After serious pain has been inflicted upon us we are told that there is a proper grieving cycle we must follow. This cycle permits us “x” amount of time that we are given to recover and allows us an assortment of rebound activities we may indulge in. However, after this cap of time has been met, then we better have our shit together and our hearts fully mended. It’s a badge of honor to promote yourself as truly healed, strong, fearless and recovered from the pain that you suffered. You are not only praised for this mentality, but you are expected to feel this way- to be “over it”. And if you let the pain still sit heavily on your heart you are viewed at as weak or overly emotional.
Well, I’m here to advocate for the opposite of this warped mindset. I’m here to promote feeling your pain, your heartache, and your sadness. These are all extremely true emotions your heart feels and not something we should be pushing away prematurely or sweeping under the rug. No matter how long it’s been since the pain of your past that you are experiencing happened, it doesn’t make it any less or more important or acceptable to mourn.
I’ve always been the type of person to want to fix things. I hate when relationships of mine are experiencing conflict, so I desperately seek resolution at every possible angle. So when there’s pain in my past that I can’t fix or un-break or make go away, it takes a real toll on me and I think many people can relate.
So I tried. I tried fixing the pain with other people and I tried fixing the pain with other things. I tried fixing the pain externally and I tried fixing the pain internally. I spent hours reading books, scouring articles, delving into hobbies, having in-depth conversations, and basically using every distraction technique known to man- all to try to take away the painful emotions I was feeling. However, in all my searching, sauntering and desperate pursuits for answers, I am left with one, simple truth: feel your pain.
Don’t run from it, don’t try to cover it up with alcohol or hookups, with lavish traveling or extreme hobbies. Don’t
brush it off as if it’s nothing or burry it so deep within that it consumes you. Don’t laugh at it, but don’t over-analyze it. Don’t hold yourself to unrealistic standards or getting over it and get mad at yourself when it resides. Don’t minimize it and don’t misplace it.
A wise person in my life told me that no one gives things the proper time they need to heal. And even with infinite time some wounds will always leave pain. Everyone in our world seems to be in such a rush to fix things that we end up pushing ourselves prematurely to “get over it”, deceiving our hearts in the process. However, time looks different for everyone when dealing with true pain, so don’t let our culture’s view dictate what you need. It’s okay to still talk about what happened, to think about it and feel sad or even to randomly break into tears. Don’t be ashamed. It’s okay, because that shows the pain is real and that’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about.
So feel the pain as it comes. Acknowledge it and accept it. Embrace it even and don’t be mad at yourself for still feeling it. Let it ebb over you and then let it flow away, as it will over and over again throughout time.
Most importantly, be grateful for the pain that you are feeling. For without it, you would not be the person you are now- a person who is wiser, stronger and braver because of it.