My pain is still my pain even if there are other people who have it “much worse” than I do

Written by Amie on November 9, 2010 – 10:51 pm -

My pain is not that bad compared to others! Argh…..

I feel the need to talk about this because it has “triggered” anger in me lately. I have realized that for most of my life, I have put my own pain in the category of “not that bad” compared to many other people. This is true, there are so many other people who have had horrific things happen to them. It is difficult for me to even hear some of their stories. I usually end up in tears. However, just because others have had worse experiences and maybe more pain, it does not discount my pain. I can have deep compassion for others, while still honoring my own experience. I think it is common for us to be conditioned to shrug off our own pain and suffering because, “we should be grateful, we are so lucky compared to other people.” Again, I don’t mean to discount others’ pain either. That is not my point. My point is that everyone has some emotional pain and/or physical things that have happened to them. Each individual must honor their own situation, and know that their pain and suffering is just as important as everyone else.

I shame myself

I think it is very important to honor the fact that your pain is just as valid as the next person. When I tell myself that “I should be grateful, I have xyz, and I am able to do xyz”, I feel guilty for talking about my pain. I shame myself for even thinking I have a right to have pain, anger, sadness, emptiness etc. I can see how we are conditioned to always look at the other person, and give them empathy and compassion. Don’t get me wrong, these are incredible things to give someone. But, not always at the expense of ourselves. A friend of mine was talking about another friend who, “is so giving”, and “he gives of himself constantly”. Then in the next breathe he told me how depressed his friend is and that he isn’t taking time to honor that in himself. “Others are suffering more” he thinks. This could be true, but it also might not be true. And, it really doesn’t matter if it is true. What matters is that he honors himself so that eventually he will be able to help others on the same path. I truly believe we need to heal our own wounds before it is possible for us to help others in an authentic way. I was able to go through the motions many times to help others because I felt my pain was “nothing” compared to what they needed from me. However, inside I was dying, and when I don’t honor the part of me that is suffering and needing nurturing, my own pain gets worse, and in turn makes it nearly impossible for me to help others.

Guilt and Shame

I feel angry that my own pain and my own situation was discounted. I am also angry that I learned to start ignoring myself and my needs because I got the message that I should just be thankful…for my family….for my health….for all of the material things…..blah blah blah. Please don’t misunderstand…..I am beyond grateful for these things, but that doesn’t mean I should ignore that inner voice screaming my truth. There have been times when life just did not seem worth it to me. But I suffered rather than tell anyone. There were times when I wanted to just give up, and on some level I did. Then I attached shame and judgment to it. You know what I mean,”how can I think these things? ” I am so lucky to have what I have and be in the situation I’m in.” The main message I sent myself was that I should not ever “complain”. I was being an ungrateful baby and I should look how bad other people have it. Ugh……….starting now…..this is the affirmation I will use when I hear myself saying, “I shouldn’t feel xyz…..or “Why can’t I just be happy with the way things are”………Affirmation: I honor my feelings, and my feelings are valid regardless of other peoples’ experiences. This affirmation helps me to remember that I am, in fact, responsible for my life. I take more of my power back by doing this.

Honor yourself

Honor and accept yourself and honor your feelings. Your feelings are valid regardless of what someone else tells you and regardless of what your shaming judgmental voice is telling you. Your experiences are valid, and you have a right to feel exactly as you feel. Breathe…..breathe…..honor….love yourself……you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Remember the mean voice that is telling you to discount your own pain is NOT who you really are. That is the voice from the past that conditioned you to believe untruths about yourself. Just BE with YOU. You are worth being with and you deserve to be heard. Namaste.

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