At this moment, are there pains inside of you which you are ignoring, fleeing from, avoiding?
Pains you are choosing not to acknowledge?
The answer is almost certainly yes, and it is a great travesty. Nor is it necessary.
Failing to acknowledge your pains is tantamount to intentionally amputating part of your soul.
And is it’s not only a short-term problem, it can be outright devastating to your life’s trajectory. What you choose to hide affects your perceptions, beliefs, judgments, decisions, and so on. Everything. Much of it is subconscious, and as a result, it can quickly spiral out of control.
But doing so is scary. So we hide. We don’t admit we’re in pain. We bury it in a sea of guilt and shame. We seek out resources to “fix” our sorrow, and when these resources don’t work, we find ourselves in further agony.
As if caught on a cavern of icy tears, sliding endlessly downward into a prison of our own making.
I want to put an end to this. Immediately.
Running from sorrow, aching, and grief is the cause of unimaginable suffering. I know this well, for I was a master of it for years.
I didn’t talk about my friends who died. The suicides that kept me up at night, desperate to make sense of them. The disabilities I was born with, wreaking havoc upon my life in so many ways. The women I had so beautifully loved, but lost.
And this hiding—this secretive, spurious cloak, was nothing more than a façade of inner destruction.
Over the past few years, the way I approach adversity has been radically altered, and I am a very different person as a result. My life is more authentic. I’m doing what I long to do, instead of what I thought I should do. I’m connecting with hundreds of new people, forging relationships of such tenderness and transparency I’m in awe of their blessings upon my life. And I'm engendering impact, with intention and confidence. This is beautiful.
To be clear: my pain is still with me, and it still hurts with a vengeance.
But I know that the more vulnerable and broken I allow myself to be, the more I ache to walk the walk.
Not so that anything is fixed. But so that I may honor my pain with action.
I want every man and woman to stop hiding their grief, their loss, their horrors.
These horrors are collective, yet insidious. Universal, but destructive. And these are made worse when we detach. When we run.
An adverse circumstance is not something to be beaten, it is to be met, faced, and in some circumstances, caressed.
The adversity we face is often a reflection of the deepest wounds that reside within.
These wounds are fragile, tender, aching. This makes them terrifying, for they are powerful.
They elicit the gravest of memories; the most piercing questions. The awareness of our darker natures.
But this is okay. Not everything is meant to be good.
So do everything you're not "supposed" to do when faced with devastation: Rage. Cry. Analyze until the cells in your brain are defeated. Pray tears of horrific loss.
Refuse to be unmoved, for that is apathy.
Instead, find strength in facing your wounds. In doing so, you begin to come to the understanding that much of what you believe to be weak actually leads to generosity, love, and thus, empowerment.
So share your grief. Other people need you. Understand that as much as you may feel you need others; they may need you much more.
You become a friend. You commiserate in love, grace, honesty.
You become wary of the dangers of pleasure.
You see that even happiness is overrated.
Facing your deepest griefs is an exercise in deliberate unease; subjugation to something greater than yourself.
I want you to feel what you are feeling, to allow the darkness to manifest.
Not so that you make your pains disappear, for that will never happen.
Rather, you do this so that you come to a greater understanding of who you are, eliciting grace and self-forgiveness.
There is no other way.
And remember: grief does not come with a statute of limitations.
Take all the time you need.
Now, over to you: what is one unacknowledged pain you feel called to release? Please share with me.