This morning I woke up thinking about pain and grace. If you are still alive then, I am sure you have suffered through something.
I'm sure there have been moments in your life where you have experienced something so unimaginable that you thought you would never recover or see the other side of it. Yet, here you are.
What did the universe give you as a reward for “suffering” through that pain?
Did you know that pain is subjective?
Did you know that the way you experience pain is unique to you?
Your tolerance and threshold for pain can be linked to many things like your gender, your life experiences, your culture, and your social upbringing as well.
There is a theory called "The Gate Control Theory." It states, "Pain messages travel from the periphery of the body through nerve gates in the spinal cord and up to the brain. The theory uses the concepts of gates to explain how some pain messages are allowed through the gate, while others are blocked."
I find it fascinating that we can experience the same stimulus of pain, but our bodies interpret the level of importance of that pain differently for each of us.
Before I continue, I would like to take a moment to recognize the pain that you have experienced in your life.
I am holding space for every prick that your body has felt.
I am holding space for every time your pain reflex kicked in and quickly recoiled your body from an unpleasant stimulus.
I am holding space for every compromise to your body that has ever caused it to be bloodied and bruised.
I am holding space for your emotional pain.
I am holding space for the times when you felt like you would die.
I am holding space for the times when you felt broken and believed you would not be able to pull yourself back together.
I am holding space for the emotional pain that is now tied to your physical pain.
I am holding space for all of the times when someone told you to man-up without actually providing you with the tools to accomplish manning-up.
I am holding space for all of those times when someone called you a punk instead of teaching you how to defend yourself.
I am holding space for all of the times when you were deep in grief, and people tried to put a time limit on your process because "You should be over it by now.”
I am holding space for every time you were bullied, and instead of standing up for you, people looked on and did nothing, or worse, joined in.
I hope you are creating this space with me. I hope you are filling it with things that you love and need to help you heal. Fuzzy things. Magical things. Beautiful things. Happy things. Glittery things, if that’s what you’re into.
Ok. Fine. Maybe there's no glitter, fluff, or fuzz. Maybe there are swords, shields, and armor in your healing room. Maybe there are shields with glittery swords and crossbows. It’s your healing space. It can be whatever you need it to be.
This is a space where you come to heal and rejuvenate. In this space, you can take your time and learn the lesson pain has come to teach you. Some days you will be full of questions, and other days you will sit silently. Sometimes you will scream and wail, and other times you will come ready with boxing gloves. It doesn't matter what you show up with. Just show up.
What has pain taught you about life and the people around you?
If our response to pain is a learned reaction, can we unlearn how we respond to pain and create healthier ways to experience, learn, and grow from it?
What are the gifts you received when you overcame something you considered to be painful?
Why did you have to experience a particular situation in the way that you did?
What is pain teaching you right now?
Is there something that is still causing you pain that you have not been able to learn and grow from?
"The wound is where the light enters you.”
There will be times when you won’t want to face your pain. There will be times when you want to give up and live in your pain. There is a difference between living in your pain and feeling through it.
I encourage you to feel your pain.
I encourage you to interrogate your pain. Whether it be emotional or physical, pain always has something to teach you about yourself if you let it.
It can teach you how to be more mindful of how you treat yourself and more aware of how others treat you. Pain can teach you a lesson about slowing down and honoring moments of stillness.
“The wound is where the light enters you.”
You can curl into a ball in a dark room and never leave it, or you can approach pain with the awareness that you are experiencing it because you are strong enough to go through it so you can grow through it.
You are the one who will bring the gift of that lesson back to the collective with a different perspective and inner-standing.
I do believe this is the moment in the movie when you stand in the mirror. Your theme music is playing. This is it! The perfect moment for a hero’s or heroine’s montage.
Put on your helmet. Get your swords and your crossbows. Mount your talking tiger or unicorn with confidence. Know that every wound in your life is an opportunity for you to learn how to continue you to lead with grace and integrity.