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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Someone else’s story

Written by Amie on September 13, 2009 – 12:12 am -

Everything is just fine

I’m not really sure what got me thinking about this again today, but I did, and here I am writing about it. When someone who doesn’t know me looks at me, they really have no idea what my “story” is.  When I look at someone that I don’t know, I have no idea what their story is. So many people keep themselves hidden. They want to appear as though things are just fine. I do this as well sometimes. If I feel safe telling someone my story, and they are interested, I will tell them about myself. It is always pretty obvious whether or not someone wants to hear about who you truly are. Sometimes it is easier to just let someone form their own story about me.

Hug

Go ahead and reach out

I guess what I am getting at is that there are so many people walking around in pain, and they are afraid to reach out to someone. It is so hard for us to be vulnerable enough to reach out for help. Yet, when we do, most people are very compassionate and would do whatever they can to help. What keeps us from showing our true selves? I know the answer, years and years of being conditioned with beliefs that it is weak to show our vulnerable side. Years and years of conditioning that tells us that we should be able to do it all on our own. Years and years of believing that it is asking too much of someone if we reach out and tell someone that we need them. It really just amazes me on an almost daily basis how we are so afraid to reach out to each other.

New Moms

I think of all of the struggling Moms with new babies who think they should be able to do it all on their own. They think they are weak if they say they are stressed and tired. I think of people who are living alone and are depressed and are afraid to “bother” anyone with their problems. I have been there many times myself. I have been afraid to ask for help when I feel overwhelmed. Most of the time now, I am able to reach out. It is not easy, don’t get me wrong, and I am still practicing how to do it, but at least I am able to consider the option of asking.  I had to unlearn my old ways, and learn new ways. It did not come naturally. I know that when someone asks me for help, I feel so good, even if it is something I am not able to help with. I want to help other people, it feels good.

We are all waking up

I want to also talk about the positive side to these ponderings. I do believe 100% that so many people are starting to wake up from the craziness that has been our world for quite some time. I can feel a shift of energy and an openness with people. I really believe that people are wanting more connection, more love, more vulnerability. I think we are all starting to sense that there is so much more. I’m sure many people have been seeing this much longer than I have, so they have been patient waiting for others to wake up. So, where am I going with this? Two things I guess. One is that I want to encourage people who are struggling to reach out and ask for help, even if it feels really difficult. Remember that you never know someone else’s story, and that person you just reached out to may have been in a similar place themselves. They may have some helpful information for you. They may be struggling as well, and would love to have someone who knows what they are going through to commiserate with, or to try new things that may make you both feel better. The second consideration I want to mention is that we all try to connect with each person we meet. Look them in the eye and send them loving thoughts of, “I don’t know your story, but I accept you just as you are.” Even if it a person that is not particularly kind. We can still send them a loving message, but then decide to send the message from afar next time! I want to encourage each one of us to be just a tad more vulnerable. Show the world who you really are, the loving person who wants love and connection just like everyone else.

Are you hiding a painful story?

The next time you meet someone new and can’t quite figure out who they are, just remember that they might have a painful story of their own that they are trying to hide. Send them some compassion and wish them well. Share a smile with them, a kind hello, share a piece of your story that might give them a link to who you really are. We are all connected in a much bigger way than we can ever imagine. The person that you are extending kindness to is also a part of you. The kindness that you extend to them is also kindness that you extend to yourself. You can heal parts of yourself by extending a part of yourself to others. When I look at another person, I remind myself that we are all in the same boat together. I can never know what is truly happening with them unless they choose to connect with me. So I connect with them in a non verbal way, just by sending them love and acceptance. I figure that each time I do this, I am spreading love to the world, including myself!

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