A few years back I walked into an inner healing counseling session, sat down and said, “I feel like I have no vision and the dreams I once dreamed are lifeless. I don’t have that connection I once had with them.” The counselor said, “The reason you are finding it hard to have vision is because you haven’t dealt with the pain that you have walked through.” When I say pain, I’m not referring to violence or abuse, I’m talking about the kind of pain everyone encounters. Rejection, betrayal, unworthiness, shame, just to name a few ‘fun’ feelings. We are encouraged to dream big but not really taught how to get back up when we fall down. How do we disempower the disappointments that come from an unmet expectation? My heart was like a heart with holes in it. Disappointment and discouragement had made a home in my heart rather than hope and joy. Disappointment was fogging up my lenses and I couldn’t see much of an exciting future. Dreaming is connected to our heart, so how do we manage our heart so that we keep dreaming big?
2015 a dream come true
2015 was an EPIC year for me! Full of experiencing things I never experienced before. I finished first year in California, moved back to Australia, worked in Airlie Beach, and moved back to California to start my 2nd year in September. I have traveled to New York, Los Angeles, Vegas, San Francisco and sailed the Whitsunday Islands. I have met the most amazing people and been given opportunities that I never thought possible. It turns out risk and walking through the unknown pay off! In the midst of the incredible highs, 2015 threw some curve balls that were very hard to face. I had to walk through a very painful situation. The kind of situation that feels like the rug is pulled out from under your feet. Heart break, shock and jilted were just a few of the painful feelings running through me. I was presented with a choice – I could either partner with hopelessness or hope. I made a vow a few years back that I would never create a mindset based on a negative. So here in my negative situation I found an opportunity to test that theory out. I have to dig deep to discover what it means to heal from pain rather than run from it. Not building a mindset based on a negative requires me to grow awareness around what I think, say and do. I have to find out what I am actually believing and choose to believe a higher truth rather than negotiating with disappointment and settling for a lesser life.
Sometimes we don’t value our pain because we pull out our measuring stick and say, “My pain is not as bad as that person’s over there so I should suck it up and get over it.” Pain is pain. We say things like, “I need to get over it, just move past it or forget about it.” But how do we actually do this? When we say things like, “let it go” where do we let it go too? We say things like, “time heals all wounds” – if this were true then prisoners would be the most emotionally healthy people on the planet. Instead of facing pain we push it down so far that we cope by keeping a lid on it, biting our tongue or making a cynical joke. We hope it doesn’t resurface but then when we are in a position where someone pushes one of our triggers, boom, there we go, word-vomit everywhere!
I have learnt that when we numb pain, for example, emotional eating, drinking too much, drugs, watching endless episodes of Friends, sex, we actually bury it but it always comes out in the ugliest way! Then we wake up one day and wonder why we are attracting these bad cycles in our lives and why people in our life don’t respect us. We wonder why am I always left out? Why am I so jealous? Why am I not valued, loved and appreciated? Then, because we don’t know the answer we try to suppress and ‘try harder’ to keep our bad reactive behaviour under wraps. We either try to be more positive or we shift to blaming something external for all of our problems. When really, I am my biggest problem. It all begins in my mind, what I believe about myself. For example, you may think, “People always leave me out” but the real question is, “Do I believe I am worthy of people’s attention?” and let your behavior reflect that rather than your words.
Exploring the dark to find the light
Dr Brene Brown says, “We cannot selectively numb emotions. When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” In that counseling session a number of years ago I realized that avoiding pain was stopping me from dreaming, blocking me from joy and hindering me from hope. I want to be able to rise stronger, brighter and wiser despite pain. What I find most helpful is actually talking to someone who is wiser than me. Someone who has walked through hard times but has come through with hope for a beautiful future. It’s one thing to talk to someone positive but another to actually talk to someone who has had breakthrough in the area you need breakthrough. People may hurt us but they also heal us. I write this post not to be dull but to actually start a conversation about painful things, because when we voice it to the right people we will receive fresh perspective. When we receive fresh perspective hope can rush in. Perspective will also create awareness around the way we think, speak and behave. “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” Brene Brown.