Transparency in the Midst of Pain
Posted on Aug 22, 2017 by Jenna Crookshanks
It’s funny to me that I know exactly what I wanted to write about today, but I didn’t know how to start. So this is me, starting these thoughts. Pain. What is it? It’s something we all experience. It can be physical, mental, or emotional. We are taught to avoid it at all costs. Cover it up. Don’t acknowledge it. At least that’s what I’ve done for years. I find that oftentimes I’m not alone in this.
What’s funny about pain is that everyone experiences it. It’s part of living on this earth. Yet, there’s such a factor of shame that plays into pain. We experience trauma or heartache or wounds of any kind, and we often bury it. It’s like, don’t look at my pain. Don’t see what I’m really going through. “How are you today? I’m fine.” Really? Are most people really fine when they answer that? It seems quite ridiculous when I think about it. Why would we feel ashamed of the pain we carry? I recently learned this from someone that seems to challenge my ideas about life a lot.
My pain is mostly physical. It changes from day to day. It’s in my stomach. It’s awful. It’s debilitating. Burning, bloating, sharp pain, nausea, etc. You name it, and I’ve experienced it. [Now, those of you who are worried for me, don’t be. I’m on a mission to find out what’s going on.] Either way, I’ve often not shared with people that I go through this on a daily basis. In fact, I felt such shame around it. I didn’t want people close to me to know because I didn’t want to burden them. Aka, stay away from me so you don’t have to see this. With pain, emotional or physical, comes some form of unworthiness or self-hatred.
It’s hard to think of the emotional ties to pain because what I’ve learned is that being real, breathing through it, and loving it or letting others love you in the midst of it….that’s the key. Love. Love is always the key. A part of loving is giving space for what is. Not needing it to be any different. Just accepting it. We are always taught that we have to be on top, and if we’re in the valley, we need to find a way to get out of it. I don’t believe that anymore, because in this life, we will always have valleys. There is healing in accepting and being real about what is. Uncomfortable as it may be, being transparent with yourself and with others is a step toward healing that pain.
I found that when I opened up to others about my pain instead of shaming myself, I found love. I also realized that people who love us see our beauty. They don’t see our pain defining us. Maybe we could stop and acknowledge that. We are worthy and meaningful no matter what pain we carry.
It’s not easy to do this. In fact, I’m still trying to learn it. Mostly day to day, but sometimes moment to moment. To love and accept myself in it and to let others love me despite it. Don’t bury your pain. Acknowledge it, breathe through it, and love it. Love yourself in it.
Love always. Jenna