February 11, 2023

Respect your Pain: Why we can’t Heal what we Refuse to Feel.

Our body is an instrument relaying a massive amount of information, constantly updating and storing it in our system.

It is intelligent and knows what it really needs for its optimal well-being. If you are tired, you’ll certainly yawn a lot, experience a lack of energy and slight irritation. Your body just relayed a message to you, and you are probably getting ready to get some sleep to recover.

How wonderful!

We are good at paying attention to our physical health and are even better at ignoring it until we have no choice but to face it head-on. A slight hiccup in our immune system may take us down the lane of illness, and there, we’ve dropped everything to finally listen to what our body is telling us.

I wish it were less dramatic and complex concerning our mental health.

We are experts at sponging in infinite amounts of data from the environment, people, and such. But where does it all go, and when do we know that our system is saturated? The thing is that we don’t know. No one taught us, and we learned on the go. We notice things are off a bit too late. And it is okay not to know and learn in the process. And it is okay not to be okay with ourselves and the whole thing.

We are learning.

And some days, we float around because we don’t know what we are doing or what is happening. And that, too, is okay.

So here is a thing, my teenager brought home some pot and thought I wouldn’t notice. But I did, and I took it really badly. I wasn’t helping him or me, nor the situation with my reaction, and stayed upset for almost three weeks. We argued plenty and talked calmly, then argued more—the endless story like hiccups on replay.

And one morning, I had enough of pushing my anger down. I started calling out every emotion/feeling to my awareness. So the anger showed up first, then disbelief followed, and despair came out next. I threw a few tantrums followed by negative self-talk. An emotional shock and drama-filled rage shook me up.

What was the real thing behind the set of emotions/feelings? An event triggered it, but what was the real culprit behind my reaction? I had to sit in silence, holding myself and the space to welcome in whatever the truth was. I had to witness myself and be in my own presence through in breath and out breath. And it became clear to me that the guilt and shame were tied to the anger, and I realized that I had lost the “false” feeling of control of a family relationship. I thought I had it all under control.

I felt at fault because I believed I failed as a mother to prevent the pot from landing on the lap of my kid. “As if you could?!” I heard myself thinking out loud. Seriously, could I have prevented this?

The fact #1: Even if you grew an extra pair of eyes on your butt, you wouldn’t have seen this coming.

The fact #2: Your kid’s life is not your own, and you can’t live it for them.

The fact #3: Even if you brief them about dangers 24/7 they’ll still go out looking for them. They make their own choices and decisions.

But then, I still needed to be there for my teen, and I certainly needed to work on myself. I couldn’t stuff my pain down the sac. Whatever event triggered a distress response in my body, my responsibility was to acknowledge the discomfort and the emotions/feelings that were tagging along.

Learn to respect your pain. It is showing you, telling you, something important. You’ve experienced an event and endured it; your whole system may have processed it and archived it. And you thought you were good, but no, another event came along, and then a memory popped out of the hidden box.

What does it even mean? It means that you haven’t dealt with your feelings/emotions consciously but chugged them down in the best way you knew how.

How to self-evaluate:

>> Block a 30-minute interval in your calendar for you.
>> Get yourself cozy and remove distractions.
>> Ready a notebook, a pen, a box of tissues, and a cup of tulsi infusion (or another herbal brew).
>> If you feel fancy, light a candle and burn some sage or incense.
>> Start by taking deep breaths in and out. Focus on the air traveling in and out of your body. Acknowledge the loving presence within you.
>> Set an intention and begin an inquiry. Use your notebook to jot down simple questions and answers that may follow.
>> What is effortlessly coming into your awareness? Don’t force anything. Let it comb through your consciousness just like you breathe naturally.
>> Take note of every revelation during the session. Take your time and come back to it if you need to.
>> Don’t try to correct your grammar (not the purpose of this session).
>> Call out every emotion and feeling assigned to it. Where do you feel it in your body? Acknowledge it, express love, and let it dissolve with your breath in gratitude.
>> Take note of how you feel now in that same place in your body. If it still feels stiff, heavy, or uncomfortable, repeat the process until you feel relieved.
>> You may need several self-evaluation sessions like this to get to the root of an issue.
>> Anything that is too much for you to deal with or work with may require a professional intervention. Don’t hold back and take a leap.

The main takeaway is this:

We hold massive amounts of trauma in our bodies. While trying to hold it all together we are adding more trauma to the sac. It is not our fault to function this way, but it is our sole responsibility to address it.

The pain is a messenger we often ignore or minimize to something else. Regardless of the content of your struggle, the pain demands to be felt. You can’t heal what you refuse to feel.

Respect your pain, own it, and don’t let it cripple you.

(P.S. I and my teen are dealing with the situation one breath at a time. He isn’t pushed behind the doors while I deal with my wobble. I trust that it will work out in the best way for both of us. In the meantime, we float around and try to be there for each other while on other days we hold space for one another.)

With love and gratitude.


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