Sitting with pain

A few weeks ago, I was listening to an episode of yoga girls podcast where she and her mom talked about pain. They mentioned something that stuck with me, probably because it resonated with me so much. They talked about the ability to sit with pain and the importance of being able to sit with pain.

I’ve been completely unable to do this. The thought of sitting with the pain I feel, feeling those feelings fully and not distract myself with anything seems absolutely impossible to me. I will either try to fix everything right away or I will distract myself so much that the distraction itself becomes destructive. Trying to fix the cause of the pain might sound like a good thing, and at some point it is. I am at the center a positive soul and a fighter. I will never ever give up on what matters to me and that is a beautiful trait that I will never excuse.

However, using “fixing” as a band-aid, instead of feeling what hurts is not healthy. You have to feel it in order to heal. Otherwise, you don’t get the realisations you need to learn from it.

This is something I’ve learned from my best friend, long before I listened to yoga girl talking about it. He has been able to sit with pain and he claimed it to be necessary in order to heal and feel better. That sounded insane to me at first but now I get it. The things I’ve learned from that boy are many. He doesn’t realize it of course and neither do I at first. But when I am forced to just stop and think, it hits me and I can’t help but think how grateful I am for having someone like him in my life. Someone who not only loves me but challenge my otherwise so monotonous brain.

I’m in the middle of pain as I write this but the reasons are not relevant to this post. I spent all morning trying to “fix everything”, desperately doing anything to ease that pain that scares me so much. Then I realized the only way for me to fix anything is to feel what hurts and learn from it. It is not easy. It is pretty fucking terrifying. But it is absolutely necessary.

All pain that we feel is transforming and healing, even if it doesn’t feel like that when you’re in the middle of it. My constant escape from pain and obsessive need to find the cure to everything has deprived me of the lessons the pain could have taught me.

I always used to have this fantasy of the perfect life and especially the perfect relationship. I felt like if something bad happened or if I went through a struggle it was ruined forever. Like nothing was allowed to crack that perfect facade or it would be poisoned and beyond saving. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The cracks are what shapes us, as individuals and as a couple. The cracks are what makes it REAL. As Ernest Hemmingway so nicely put it: “We are all broken. That’s how the light gets in.” A perfect facade with no cracks is not real at all.

What’s important in this, however, is to learn from every little crack in that facade of the perfect house we built. They teach us about ourselves and each other and you need to see them for what they are in order to fix them. When you learn from the cracks you’re able to fill them in with what’s needed and you have the knowledge you need to prevent further breakage. Because we all strive for a perfect facade and we all do what we can to keep it smooth. The lesson is not to stop striving for a strong house but to accept that all houses have flaws and that is what makes it beautiful and unique.

As you read this post you may wonder what kind of mushroom I had for breakfast. Or you might resonate with these thoughts. Writing it down is helpful to me in this practice of sitting with pain and learning from my mistakes. Note, LEARNING from my mistakes, never punish myself for it. We are all just human and we all want well but the ability to learn from the pain and the mistakes you might have made is crucial for making it better.

Lots of love <3