This week I had a conversation with a friend that brought up some thought-provoking questions for me. The premise of the conversation was about going through life trying to avoid pain, and both of us deciding it was time to stop running and start dealing with it. For this friend, it was running from relationship to relationship to avoid a particular pain. My friend said instead of repeating this cycle again it was time to acknowledge the pain from the past and become aware of how to work through it. It made me think of my own pain and losses, and how I, too, have looked to relationships, food, busyness, and other things to cover up my pain.
This past year was the first time I decided to address my pain and my fears head on. At first, I felt really alone and found it extremely uncomfortable to do some of the inner work necessary for me to feel and work through the pain.
Instead of resist it, as I had done in the past, I decided to lean into it.
A lot of times we revert to what makes us feel comfortable (that’s comfort food for me), but I knew comfort was getting me nowhere. I decided to do the opposite of stay comfortable and allowed myself to sit with the hurt to see what was on the other side of that feeling. While leaning into the pain, I journaled, went to therapy, got coaching, and said many heartfelt prayers. I made a conscious effort to not run to the things I normally would run to in order to ease my hurting, and instead actively chose to do the things I was afraid of. The very thing I was most scared to do was to be alone: to do everyday things on my own and to make decisions about my daughter’s and my life—alone.
By doing the very things I used to avoid, I experienced healing, inner peace, and empowerment.
The past few weeks have been particularly challenging in pushing through the pain as I have been writing my keynote speech for my upcoming speaking engagements and reliving some painful memories from my past. Some days, I’ll admit, are too much and I need to set it aside, and other days I push myself to work through it and to discover the beautiful lessons the pain has given me. Those are the nuggets of wisdom I know I’m meant to share, not only help me to grow in my future relationships and in life, but also help to empower others going through difficult times.
I find the deeper I go in self-discovery, vulnerability, and honesty, the more connected I feel to others and the more in alignment I am with my mission on this earth.
Pain can look like so many different things. It can be the loss of a loved one, heartbreak from a relationship, having been abandoned as a child, lack of communication with a spouse, or losing faith and trust in God, to name just a few examples. So what does that look like for you right now? What things do you use to avoid pain? What patterns do you see continually popping up as a result of filling the pain with those things? What’s one step you can take today to work through the pain and move one step closer to healing?
I am committed to working through my pain because I’m convinced the only way out is through, and by working through it I create more growth, love, connection, faith, and joy—and those experiences and qualities are what I’m looking to add more of in my life! Thank you for spending time with me today! Blessings.
PS – Would love for you to listen to my new podcast on The Better Part by Wendy Hogan. Listen here!
PPS – Looking to share the gift of learning the ABCs, as well as build lifetime character lessons with a special child in your life? To get your copy of The Ellie Project or The Ellie Project Stationery Set, click here!