I spent the last two days sitting with people and their pain. When I became a coach, I didn’t know that I would spend my time talking about hurt and anger and fears and doubts. I thought I would help people organize their life better or become better budgeters and planners. I didn’t know that my coaching and speaking practice would evolve to see me talking about the darkest hurt that we so often carry in silence. I wouldn’t change a thing. When I think of my clients or when I stand in front of a group of people, I am at home in the rawness because I know why pain is so powerful.
Why Your Pain Is So Powerful
Your pain is so powerful. It can influence the decisions you make, impact the relationships that you have and be the reason why you are unable to live the life that you truly want. I have seen pain ruin lives. You can run your entire life from your pain. There have been so many moments in my own life where I have let pain hold the steering wheel. I have used my pain to keep myself safe. I have used my pain to create space between myself and the world around me. I have also used my pain to justify bad behaviors or poor decisions.
Why was my pain so powerful? Why did I let it rule the show? As I began to improve areas of my life, I began quite superficially. I started taking better care of my health and my finances and created boundaries around the way that I chose to spend my time. I started to feel better about myself and at the same time, I still had so much worry and anxiety and negative self-talk. I couldn’t see why, as I began to feel so good in areas of my life, that I didn’t feel at peace. I was not safe in my own head and heart. I would be triggered by something or someone and would have a powerful reaction that disrupted those good feelings. I doubted myself and didn’t want to put myself in a position where I was taking a risk or being vulnerable.
All of these things were linked to my pain. I had to keep finding a way to excavate the layers that I had built around myself in order to finally break free of the energetic connection that my pain had over me. I had to get to the root of it in order to finally find that peace that I so desperately wanted.
How to Use Your Pain
Recognize It – Your pain may be so powerful that it is difficult to even begin to acknowledge it. I would never advocate for anyone to revisit something that hurt them deeply. I didn’t live in my own pain. I simply acknowledged that my pain was ruling the show for me and that it was time to make a change. Every time I felt worry, fear, anger, anxiety and hurt bubble up I tuned into those less-than-desirable feelings and knew that they were born of some pain that I needed to recognize. That was the very first step for me.
Stop Running – The next step is vital. I have seen the result of running from your pain your entire life. It is a waste of who you are as a human being. You are meant for more. You can create your own healing and find your own peace and this will require a radical act of bravery. If I did it, so can you. I stopped running. I stopped looking for the answers outside of myself and decided instead to face whatever came up. When I felt like crap, I didn’t run, I recognized that those bad feelings were some form of pain that needed to be healed and I faced it.
Use It – That’s right. You need to use your pain. You need to see it, face it and use it to change your life. You must embrace your pain so that you can sever the energetic connection that it has over you. This is not easy. The reason that your pain is so powerful is because it is deeply uncomfortable to face it. I used to think that the deck of cards I was dealt wasn’t fair. I didn’t want to face the pain of my childhood. I didn’t want to use it as a way to find my freedom and yet, it was the exact source of my freedom. I had to play the cards I was dealt. I tried to be as gentle with myself as possible and employed curiosity as a tool to heal my pain. I often asked myself when the shit feelings arose: “What am I learning here?” In spending that time looking at the bad feelings I was able to use my pain to come into a deeper relationship to myself and strengthen my self-awareness.
See the Patterns – Perhaps you struggle with knowing when your pain is ruling the show. Maybe you have patterns that continue to persist in your life that you would like to change because they inevitably result in you being hard on yourself and beating yourself up. If you find yourself, once again, in a place that you don’t want to be in, your pain is driving a pattern in your life. If you can see beyond the pattern to the pain that is driving it, you will be able to shift or release the pattern entirely.
Keep Going – Healing your pain does not happen overnight. It is powerful. It can, if you choose to use it to change your life, bring you into a deeper relationship to yourself. When I think back on the pain and trauma that I have experienced in my own life it simply doesn’t hurt anymore. In fact, it has led me to a place of profound peace and love for myself. Your pain is so powerful because it has shaped you. It is a piece of who you are and if you keep going, you will come to the place where it doesn’t hurt you anymore.
It All Makes Sense
Of course, I would be speaking and coaching on these subjects. It makes sense to me that I would become so comfortable holding space for my clients as they stepped into their own pain. I had to do it in my own path to healing. My upbringing was the source of much of my pain and it continued to have an energetic hold over me as I became an adult, but I used it to change my life and my relationship to myself. I love it. I love my pain. I love that it showed me exactly what I am capable of and that healing is the basis of the work that I do with my clients.
My wish for anyone that I meet or that reads these words is that they can begin to see their pain not as something to run from, or to feel embarrassed about, but as something to face and use to create healing and peace in their relationship to themselves. I will continue to hold space for anyone that wants to do the same because if I can do it, anyone can.