I purposely waited until Tuesday to write this post. I spent today indulging in a few sessions that have definitely shaped the information that I am sharing with you. For one, I participated in OWN television’s, Oprah’s LifeClass and I have to say that it was transforming. I have literally been changed in the course of two hours.
I was stuck in pain. I thought that I was working through all of my stuff, but I realized that what I was really doing was invalidating some of it. I kept telling myself that I shouldn’t feel the way I feel, but that didn’t make it go away. Iyanla Vanzant said, “you need to feel, deal and heal the pain.“ You have to sit with that pain and tell the truth about it. My pain is that I have been the strong, responsible one. I don’t have a problem with that. When I would tell someone my fear, my doubt or my hurt, it was dismissed. The response was always, oh you will be fine. What I wanted, in that moment, was for someone to empathize with me. I wanted someone to understand my weakness in that moment. I knew I was going to be strong later. I just wanted someone to recognize and love my doubt in that moment. Instead, when they dismissed my feelings, it made me feel stupid, unappreciated and alone. On the show, Iyanla Vanzant said, “When you are the strong one, people do not allow you to hurt. They see you bleeding all over the floor and nobody notices. When you are the strong one, do not allow people to disregard your pain. Tell them again, again and again.” When I heard her say that, I knew that I was allowed to feel weak and doubt myself even if I was going to be strong and get through the situation. I knew that I had the right to be comforted and reassured just like anyone else. But, I also figured out that if I was invalidating it, then I was inviting others to invalidate it as well. I needed to comfort and reassure myself. I needed to give myself the permission to feel my feelings. Getting unstuck from the pain is about feeling the feelings. We are so afraid to feel the feelings because it seems like it’s going to kill you. But the truth is that you kill yourself trying NOT to feel the feelings. If you sit with the feelings and allow them to pass, you will find that it doesn’t kill you and it is not as bad as you think it is going to be.
The biggest lesson that I took away from this is that we all have the power to stop the pain. I have the power. You have the power. The pain we continue to feel is based on what we tell ourselves about what we experience in our lives. If you want to stop the pain, you have to change the story that you tell yourself. Another quote from Iyanla Vanzant is:” If the thought causes you stress or pain or upset, get another thought. “ Our thoughts shape our reality. We create our thoughts. If you leave those thoughts unchecked and unchanged, you can think yourself into depression and despair. But, if you challenge those thoughts and change them, you don’t have to be in pain. From my example, I thought that if no one acknowledged how hard it was for me to be strong that it meant I was alone and I wasn’t allowed to feel those feelings. I changed my story. My story is now that I am allowed to feel weak before I am strong and I am only responsible for my feelings and no one else. What was causing me pain was that I felt like it was expected of me and it was what I needed to do to get love from other people. When they didn’t acknowledge how hard it was for me, it felt like they didn’t care about what I was giving to them. What I realized is that I wasn’t really chasing their love. I was chasing my own love. I was chasing my own validation.
My final quote from Iyanla Vanzant is a powerful one for me. She said, “Right where you are God is. God wants your perfect happiness. If God wants your perfect happiness, and God is right where you are. Then your perfect happiness is right here.” You can replace God with whatever name fits your beliefs. It could be Source or Universe. The statement is basically saying that you were created and meant to be happy. Pain and sadness is not your natural state. Pain is merely to get your attention. It is inviting you to look inside yourself and figure out where you ARE NOT loving yourself. Where you feel pain is where you ARE NOT choosing and loving yourself. It may be a relationship. It may be a job. It may be in giving too much to other people. Pain is begging for your attention because you are meant to be happy. If you are unhappy, you are not in your natural state. You are not in the beauty of what your life is supposed to be. It is an invitation to heal a wound. The way to get unstuck is to give yourself the love that you deserve. It is to permit yourself to heal. It is to figure out what you want and ask for it and know in your heart that you deserve it. The pain is begging for your attention and love. Love yourself through it. Sit with it, acknowledge it, understand it and then choose to let it go. Replace the story with a new story that empowers you in your life. How is it a blessing that leads you to happiness? What is the lie you are telling yourself to keep you in pain?