In Pain

Scott Stabile, author of the book Big Love, supports us in honouring our emotions and meeting ourselves in our darkest places for love, healing and freedom.

The post below is a heart-open and opening excerpt in which Scott helps us address the pain we may be carrying, referencing his own journey after the murder of both his parents.

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He reminds us that wherever we are at on our path, whatever we have experienced, choice is always there for us. We can choose to face our pain without judgement, and we can choose to love ourselves through it all, as much as possible, no matter what.

“We are not our struggles, or our heartbreak. We are not the actions we’ve taken, or the assaults we’ve endured. Yes, our experiences influence how we grow and who we grow into. But ultimately, who we are is who we decide to be, because of and despite everything we’ve been through. Our power lives in choice.” ~ Scott Stabile

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Some emotions can lie within for periods before they surface for release, come out sideways, or get triggered. In my experience present triggers and pain is often much deeper rooted, such as in childhood wounds and the repeating of painful patterns.

Consciously feeling your feelings as they arise deepens self-intimacy and honouring emotions in everyday life. Your beliefs, thoughts, attitudes and perspectives also influence emotions. Ever had an awareness or epiphany shift or transform emotions around something?

You can also dig for your feelings. You can bring your presence, your love, your light of awareness and compassion to them. Scott offers encouragement for that in support of healing.

There can be resistance to self-intimacy/alone time/quiet/stillness if on some level you are avoiding uncomfortable, painful or unwanted feelings. You might not be aware you are avoiding stuff within, which could be just under the surface, or more buried. A part of you knows, however, that in getting present and connecting more closely that ‘stuff’ may surface.

Shutting down your feelings cuts you off from yourself, plus numbness isn’t selective. Shut down to block out negative feelings and you may block out positive ones too.

Feeling our feelings deepens our connection with our heart and allows our emotions to do what they are designed to do – move, rather than get stuck in layers within our being that can also become toxic.

It’s understandable to want to avoid unpleasant, painful and uncomfortable emotions. Coping mechanisms may be used as part of dealing with pain, trauma, stress and distress. They can help you quite literally survive when experiences are overwhelming. Coping mechanisms of any nature, and by their very nature, can be addictive, however. Many coping mechanisms are addictions. When a coping mechanism is no longer needed, it may continue nonetheless and become unhealthy and destructive.

Repression and coping mechanisms can be akin to band-aids protecting a wound. When a wound is allowed to breathe by ‘feeling it’, it can have an opportunity to heal.

Scott shares: “We all have our reasons for burying our pain, but at the core it comes down to fear. Fear of facing the truth of what we’ve done or endured, the truth of just how dark our darkness is, and the fear that we can’t survive it. That it will destroy us. But it won’t. Whatever it is, we can survive it; we’ve already survived it.”

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Honouring your emotions does, of course, go all ways. We’re referencing pain and negative emotions here as there can be more resistance to processing those. Though less acknowledged, there can be resistance to fully feeling positive feelings too for a number of reasons, and feeling fully in general. Allow yourself to fully feel, relish in and harness your emotions. Give yourself permission to allow and immerse yourself in your beautiful expansive feelings. Let them wave through you and bless your being and life. And feel through the denser ones. Scott shares a descriptive example of such an experience with processing pain.

There can be an unvoiced stigma around ‘negative emotions’ which can lead to avoiding, judging, repressing, or denying them. Feeling feelings frees feelings, however.

Scott shares what is akin to a simple practice for allowing yourself to honour your emotional being. There are so many valuable and empowering truths in this post as in the wonderful book Big Love that serves as an ever reminder for choosing love with perspectives that hold a lantern for everyone.

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There can be stages and layers with feelings, grief one example. Traumatic events can also include a period of shock and with that a numbness. Feeling feelings isn’t about forcing yourself to feel them, but being accepting of and open to them wherever they and you are.

Scott shares, whilst he is not at all thankful for what happened to his parents, there is gratitude for what has ‘become’ within since and the knowing that healing is possible.

With Thanksgiving just ahead, an exercise for exploring gratitude around challenging life situations is shared at the link below (note: this process isn’t about feeling thankful for tragic and traumatic events in themselves. Explore it only if it resonates).

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May your pain turn into pearls that bless your world.

Lots of love,

Aine Belton

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