When Something Hurts, Let It Hurt

Let’s think about pain.

Not the physical pain you get when you slam your finger in the door, but the emotional pain your heart feels when you experience loss.

So, let’s just be real for a second. Loss is loss. There is no moving past the way it hurts by diminishing its impact. “I shouldn’t feel this way because x, y, z” only prolongs the discomfort and delays the healing process. First and foremost, allow yourself to feel it. Because feeling it, really feeling it, is a beautiful thing. Wouldn’t you rather feel something, learn and grow and be a human of emotion, a human who experienced vulnerability, than shut yourself down?

It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to be anxious. It’s okay to be exactly where you are when you’re experiencing a challenging emotion. Especially when you’re wrapping your brain around losing something, someone, an experience or a time in your life. We naturally go into fight or flight mode. We want to shut down our emotions, distract ourselves, look for answers, solutions, explanations for what we’re feeling and how we can move it faster. How can we occupy ourselves? What can we do? We want to run. Because feeling them seems hard.

And the truth is, it is hard.

But giving yourself the space to grieve the loss of something, no matter what you’re going through, is the most important part to moving forward. Give yourself the space to face the reality of what’s happening, accept that reality, feel that pain and be in it. Allow yourself to be sad and move through the denial, the questions, the things you wish you could’ve done differently. And let yourself cry. Let yourself scream. Let yourself release.

Maybe we’re scared of change. Maybe we’re anxious. Maybe we had something we don’t want to let go of. Acknowledge that. Take out a pen and paper… “I am scared, and that’s okay.” “I am anxious, and I’m allowed to be here.” “I am feeling this emotion right now, and I accept myself.”

Try not to think about all the emotions you’d rather be feeling. Try to avoid beating yourself up for “still feeling this way.” Give yourself permission to be in the moment your heart is telling you it needs. We learn the most about ourselves in these moments. We learn from these emotions that don’t feel good. We grow from them and evolve through them.

Fear of emotion is often what leads us to greater fears and challenges in the future. By not allowing ourselves to open up to what we’re experiencing, we roadblock our path to growth, self-love, self-acceptance and courage. We make it harder on ourselves to understand future pain, future disappointment, future loss.

And sometimes, we want to analyze. We want to understand why something happened and convince ourselves that having those answers will make the pain go away. But truth is, the more answers we get the more questions we’ll invent, the more problems we’ll create to find new solutions for. Acceptance of where we are in the moment and what we’re experiencing ultimately moves us through the pain faster. Because we allow ourselves to experience it fully, giving it the space to go through its cycle and move on.

By giving yourself the opportunity to experience honest emotion, you open doors to realizations and change. You get to be okay not having all the answers. You get to move forward in a way that gives you the chance to see yourself and the situations differently. And that creates opportunities to know what you want, what you’re looking for and who you are.

Remember that there’s nothing wrong with you for feeling what you’re feeling. Loss is hard. Change is hard. Remind yourself that it’s okay to open up. It’s okay to let yourself feel and be honest, open and clear about what that means for you. And with time, you’ll feel more comfortable with being in it instead of looking for ways to run away.

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