Lesson Twelve- Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Pain

I have always been someone who is extremely emotional and sensitive. Sometimes, this makes me feel isolated from the rest of the world, as if I don’t belong and my mind and heart live in an imagined place that only I can see and feel. I look around and find that what moves me to tears is what others would as soon leave behind, and do—they appear to let go and so effortlessly follow through with this choice. But going along to get along is more often than not harder than it seems.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about feeling pain and the shame that sometimes comes along with it. I know that I often place a great deal of pressure on myself to recover from my darker emotions, caught up in the belief that the longer I dwell in them, the weaker I will become. These days, life is often moving along faster than our thoughts can keep up with it. We digest so much information and so many ideas so quickly that we can forget the benefits of pausing and pondering, of simply being in the moment and allowing ourselves to be exposed in all of our complicated depths. When we feel stuck, though our first instinct is often to keep moving along despite the slowing rhythm of our hearts, perhaps there is really something more to be said for embracing the place we’re at and all it has to teach us. What if we listened a little more closely to those quiet echoes within?

What we are struggling with is a reflection of what we need to nurture within ourselves. It is a signal to a starving soul that needs to live more fully in its light. Permit those thoughts which make you uncomfortable, and instead of berating yourself for them, learn about yourself and how you want to grow. Allow yourself to cry your tears, and then turn them into art or some other beautiful form of chaos. If you have to cry them again, know you haven’t lost the battle. We were all meant to feel in our own ways, and trying to rush the process or avoid it all together only results in remaining stuck on the path. Create from the hurt in your heart—even if you believe it to be insignificant, there will always be someone who relates to it and can learn something from where you’ve been. Sorrow can inspire as much as joy, and sometimes more when we see those who have moved mountains we fear we never could.

Be gentle with yourself. Let the rain fall around you and seep into your skin a little. Don’t let your brokenness be your burden. Paint your life outside the lines and shine those tiny cracks of light through the longest of your nights. Don’t be ashamed, you are not as small as you think you are. You are not lost because all you want to do is cry. Release yourself and unburden your heart. The soul’s journey is incomplete without walking through the darkness and befriending it. So pause for a least a few minutes today and reflect on those emotions that frighten you. Love yourself through them, and let the answers reveal themselves to you when you are ready to receive, and find your strength in the patience to let yourself be.

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