We all experience emotional pain at various times in our lives. Pain comes in many forms; sadness, depression, grief, emotional exhaustion, fear, anxiety, and many more.
I think of emotional pain as a way in which your brain is providing you with valuable information. When you experience physical pain, your brain is letting you know that something is happening to your body, and you need to pay attention. You have eaten something that isn’t good for you, and you get a stomach ache. You’ve lifted more than you should, or lifted from an unwise position, and your brain lets you know that you should stop in order to avoid further injury. You are wearing shoes that don’t fit, and now you have a blister. The pain tells you to remove those shoes! or risk worsening distress.
Emotional pain carries with it the same kind of message. Something is happening in your life and you need to pay attention.
You are in relationship with someone who who treats you badly. They don’t take your feelings into consideration, they lie to you, cheat on you, beat you, steal from you, are emotionally and/or verbally abusive. You feel sad, unwanted, invisible, lost. If you’ve trained yourself to ignore the messages these feelings carry, you continue in this or other damaging relationships.
The shoe is too tight. It pinches and is causing bloody blisters, but you keep wearing it and you keep walking in them. Why? Do you have a false belief that if you take off the shoes, or end the relationship, there will never be another for you? Do you feel you don’t deserve to be treated with kindness and consideration? Have you decided that what everyone else wants is more important than what you want, that keeping the peace is the best you can hope for? Think again!
Accepting that you DO deserve better would be the first step toward making emotional pain work FOR you. Learning from the experience, and possibly seeking help to understand what keeps you stuck in repeated unsatisfying, painful relationships, might be the key you need to unlock your potential for being loved!
The message from emotional pain is this: consider how you are living your life. If there is way more pain than joy, on an ongoing basis, consider dumping those tight pinching shoes in the trash and let’s look for a new pair!