I have been contemplating the handling of emotional pain for the past few days. I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with some people that are completely immersed in the roller coaster ride of out-of-control feelings, and it brought to my awareness how inept many of us are at dealing with pain. I witnessed mood changes that appeared without seeming cause, unpredictable reactions to small events and projection of “made up experiences” that caused someone to completely shut down.
Today, there are medications and pain management systems to support people with physical pain. There are also medications for emotional pain. Most often they assist us in moving away from “what we are feeling” and numb out the experience. Eckhart Tolle talks about the “pain body” as a reservoir of negative emotions that fight to stay alive and keep us in a constant state of turmoil. From my point of view, these emotions are so powerful that we learn to create masks and become experts at burying our pain.
The interesting thing about learning to deny pain is that it’s not permanent. Until we deal with the root cause of the pain, it will return again and again to consume our thoughts and behavioral patterns.
Questions to ask yourself when you experience emotional pain:
- Is the way that I am expressing this emotional challenge assisting me in relieving the pain?
- Am I attempting to cover my feelings with work, drugs, sex, anger, shopping, blame or complete withdrawal?
- Is the story that I am telling keeping me hooked into the pain of the experience?
- Is this pain distracting me from being a beneficial presence?
- What would I do if this pain was not running me? How would I make a difference in the world?
I invite you to use these questions as a place of inquiry. Use them as a point of meditation and contemplation. Pray for clarity. Journal the answers and be totally honest. Create an affirmation that opens your heart when you say it aloud. For instance, “I am open and receptive to living a life free of emotional pain.” Speak it daily and as often as you like.
Patterns are not easy to change. So, don’t be discouraged if you don’t shift right away. Practice is the key. The more you practice anything, the more it will become a habit. Your pain is not who you are or what you have come to express. You are on this planet to share your power and your gifts. We need you. Your fully expressed self is essential.
Try using this affirmation to help you handle pain healthfully:
Today, I choose to live a life that is filled with joy and peace.