We are all recovering from something. It’s impossible not to have felt some form of emotional pain in this lifetime. People hurt, hold resentments and carry their wounds deep within. Sometimes they are hidden and sometimes they are on full display for the world to feel. Being human is hard. Carrying unresolved pain is even harder.
I’m often asked by my clients how to reconcile their wounds, the experiences that have had a lasting imprint on their hearts. Do I ignore them and hope they pass in time? There’s really no right way to navigate pain, hurt or feelings of the heart. Everyone has their own way of processing. Recovering can be a struggle and one that doesn’t happen without brave and diligent curiosity. A knowing that the hole, whether big or small, that exists within all of us, can no longer tolerate the external crap we’ve been filling it with. Why you ask? Because that need for a quick fix is not sustainable. No matter how many times we may try.
There was a time when I was desperate to avoid feeling anything uncomfortable. I became so dependent on filling that void, it got to a point where I could no longer tolerate any feelings. And as a result, my emotional and behavioral responses became abnormal. I acted out, justified my less than desirable actions, hurt others, hid behind my pain and went through life spiritually detached. Eventually, it became very clear that after a decade of dodging myself and all that I was experiencing, my mental health was in jeopardy. That’s the thing about unresolved issues. They don’t just go away because you burn 200 calories at the gym, spend $1000 on new clothes or drink yourself into a temporary blackout - these are some of the great lengths I went to. At the end of the day, you still exist, feelings and all.
Here is the good news. I woke up to my life. Having been pushed to the tipping point, I recognized I was no longer in control and asked for help. I was determine to stop avoiding; unleashing all my fears, failures, and heartbreaks I had collected over the years. It was a welcoming release; the catalyst for change and a commitment to personal growth. My stepping stone to inner peace.
Do you want to be present and awake in your life? Or do you want to ignore and deny your feelings? My hope is that you choose the former and willingly participate in your own healing. Willingness to take action is the first step. Then allow yourself to feel pain. Dare to be vulnerable. Lean in. Dig deep. Ask for help, fight, self-reflect, cry, nurture the parts of yourself that have been scarred. Create a new narrative and use your experience as a guide for how you want to feel in the world. And lastly, empower yourself to look within and say hello to the person you have been hiding from.