Pain is pain. Hurt is hurt. We like to give rank to some pain over others, and though it might hurt more to lose someone to death than a breakup, for example, we don’t get to lessen someone else’s hurt. A lot of the time pain feels the same…it’s the duration that changes. It’s our capacity to feel it even.
Pain feels like pain regardless of the severity of the problem.
I have come to an understanding in myself on this very topic. For a time in my life I kept my pain inside, because I thought it was petty. I thought it would sound stupid or sound like complaining. Honesty doesn’t promise to be pretty…much of it isn’t at all. I had a wonderful life and family and no reason to be ungrateful. Here’s the thing though, I kept inside that I felt certain hurts in my life, because I made it small, and guess what, that harvested so much negativity. Negative thoughts and actions, and all of that could have been avoided, if I hadn’t avoided it to begin with.
Years later I’ve come to realize that grieving is a GOOD thing.
I remember reading in a book a few years back that pain demands to be felt. It’s hard to pay attention to something else when your stomach hurts or you’ve broken a bone, right? So why do we have such a hard time understanding that our emotional hurts do the same thing to our physical selves. These experiences change how we interpret the world. How we see ourselves. It’s crazy to me that we can probably all relate to this feeling. This heavy, exhausted, don’t want to talk about it, desire to be anywhere else, any other life, get me to the next picture I can post life. I’m guilty of it, and I don’t even want it. Oh the tension. Haha.
Today I know that you don’t get over pain that you make small for the world’s sake or even your neighbor’s. You have to feel your way out. You have to understand the weight of what hurts you and work your way through the ugly why. You come out understanding yourself better, which allows you to treat yourself with respect and teach others to treat you with respect, AND treat others with respect.
I hear people casually put themselves and the hurts and pains they feel down more than I’d like to say I have. It’s so commonplace in the society we’ve created. This “get it together” world is what we’ve created and it’s hurting our relationships and our souls. We feel isolated in this overstimulated place. How is that? Numb. That’s what happens when you are overstimulated with all the things this world has to offer. You are in synaptic overload. Emotional overload. “Perfect” world overload. We push down the things in our hearts that hurt us and leave them there to fester, because “time heals all wounds”. No actually it doesn’t; God does…and it takes time. If we leave hurt alone for years, guess what comes up years later in our relationships, our family life, the rules we run by, the games we play…oh that ugly little thing we thought we’d buried. We forgot that just because it can feel good, procrastination doesn’t solve problems.
We’ve forgotten the importance of grieving. Whether it’s the loss of a job or a friend or maybe your favorite restaurant that’s closing. (I get that those aren’t “equal” but the point is it’s not a sin to grieve something regardless of the bigness of the thing.) I’m not trying to say we should grieve every little thing in life, but if it bothers you grieve that it’s gone…and learn to let it go. Yeah it might sound dumb…but that’s how you heal. That’s how you become a genuine human being. That’s how you recognize and give importance to something you truly enjoyed.
I started doing this very thing two years ago and it changed my life. I learned to lament. Which sounds kind of stupid, let me clarify, I learned to ALLOW myself to lament. Actual lamenting is a natural thing that we do without having to learn. The allowing ourselves is a totally different beast. Now I get it, lamenting a closing restaurant probably isn’t the case, but you can still grieve it and move on. Lament is a crying out. Wailing out. Complete lack of words for the sadness.
I think as a society we need to quit praising faked strength. Do you ever see a post on social media that looks like a strong stand up quote or revelation?
Sometimes I wonder if it’s honestly an outward expression of inside pain. And don’t get me wrong sometimes it benefits us to consciously stand up for the pain we feel by posting something or doing something to remind ourselves we aren’t sitting in it. That might look fake because it’s not maybe 100% where we are right at that moment. It’s not wrong to do that. That’s ok, I’m not knocking that. I will say that sometimes I hope that people have a best friend or spouse to share the truth with when I see those posts. It tugs on my heart.
I knew someone years ago, who didn’t share their inner pain often. And to be honest, I think their inner pain ate them from the inside out. Not literally, of course. But their thoughts, the way they interpreted situations, the way they treated people closest to them, it was completely rationalized as this is the smart thing to do.
I cannot emphasize this enough…find someone you can trust and find accountability. You are not alone.
Social media doesn’t need to know your whole life. Let me repeat that. Social media DOES NOT need to know your whole life. But we are built for community and vulnerability.