We all suffer. We all experience pain, and we all do what we can with what we know to feel better.
Perhaps we use alcohol, sex, or excessive working to feel better. Or maybe we find comfort in playing the victim, isolating ourselves or feeling the need to control every little thing. The way in which we comfort ourselves could either be benefiting us or hurting us…And if we don’t become aware of our methods of consoling, we will more often than not stay in our pain for longer than we’d like, continuously attracting experiences that reflect the way we feel inside.
For me, pain was living with an alcoholic mother, an absent father, a divorce at the age of 21, and a deep loneliness after leaving the Christian Church behind to seek my own truth. I was convinced I was going to hell due to previous teachings, and therefore lived as though each day was my last, with excessive alcohol, cigarettes, risky sexual behaviors and irresponsible spending. I ended up in the hospital numerous times due to my careless attitude and still wonder till this day how the hell I survived my twenties!
Despite all of my experiences, all I wanted was to feel better inside. I just didn’t know how to do it. It was until I hit a rock bottom experience, having thoughts of suicide in a previous abusive relationship, that I mustered the only ounce of self-respect I had and enrolled into one graduate school program for Marriage and Family Therapy. After surprisingly getting accepted, my confidence grew enough to leave my relationship and set off on a self-love journey.
Now, this self-love journey was not all butterflies and rainbows. It still consisted of much pain, but not the kind of pain brought about by new experiences, it was the pain that was so deeply suppressed that I was only now allowing to surface. I remember days of lying on the bedroom floor, crying out what felt like years and years of pent up emotions. Tears of anger, of agony, of shame, of despair, of hurt…All I could hear was a voice telling me “I know this hurts, but let yourself feel through this.”
Although my support system was still minimal at the time, I was so heavily surrounded by healing knowledge in my therapy program that I began incorporating those methods into my own life. One such therapeutic approach that I remember thinking to myself, “this is it, this is where I will find my peace” was Mindfulness. I resonated so much with the concept of spending the majority of our time dwelling in past memories or anticipating our future that we’re rarely ever present in the moment. Mindfulness taught me to seek comfort in the here and now…That who we were in the past no longer matters and who we choose to be in this moment is up to us. But most of all, Mindfulness taught me self-compassion, to accept myself for exactly who I was.
The more I experienced small successes within myself, the more my self-esteem grew. I began to write, started my own blog, and am now teaching self-love through personally coaching clients, my instagram platform, a brand new podcast and my very own self-love program called “From Pain to Peace in 4 Weeks.” Who would’ve known that my pain would later turn into my message. But really, that is exactly what pain is here to do…To teach us, to grow us and to help us evolve. Pain is inevitable. It’s just as normal as experiencing joy. We must not run from it, but face it with a bold heart and a willingness to see what’s behind the picture.
So how do we do it? How do we face pain boldly?
We do it with Mindfulness, with being aware of our thoughts, feelings and experiences with the understanding that they do not define us, but instead serve as tools to guide us.
We do it with self-love, by accepting ourselves unconditionally and knowing from the bottom of our hearts that we are always supported.
We do it by taking action, by identifying those familiar disempowering words we tend to tell ourselves, and instead speak words of kindness and tenderness to ourselves, much like we would want someone we love to comfort us when we are in pain.
We do it by showing up in this loving way for ourselves, every single day.
So I ask you this…
Are you ready to change your relationship to self in order to shift your pain into peace? Are you ready to make the small efforts everyday of showing yourself the kindness and love that you desire from the world?
Because if you are, you will be unstoppable.