Monday, July 02, 2012

Hug Your Pain only if you NEED Healing - Part 2

So on a day-to-day basis how do you "embrace" pain?

  • For me, I let myself moan, scream, cry, rage, scribble furiously. (Writing had been a CRUCIAL part of my healing process).
  • An important part of embracing pain is facing it (see above) but we also need to have a release. I rarely allowed myself to stay stuck in an intense state though. I'd often pray for relief ... and I received it. What soothing things can you do to turn down the intensity? Don't be tempted to say "nothing" because the human body is equipped with the ability to calm itself. Physical activity (cleaning, running, push ups, etc.) and even sleep helped every time. Sometimes I'd be scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees while crying and praying for help. Help for my hurting heart!
  • I found that journaling provided a way to really get to the heart of how I was feeling. I used to think the only emotions I had were sad and mad. But really sometimes I felt confused, or lonely, or jealous, or anxious, or *gasp* hopeful, or happy. We can't make the mistake of interpreting a feeling of happiness to mean that we're happy about what happened. Then we stifle the emotion. I think that is a mistake. Smile whenever you can. It fuels hope and builds strength.
  • I learned to talk openly about how I was feeling. This wasn't easy because sometimes I'd feel like *everyone* was tired of hearing about it. It was often discouraging to believe that *everyone* was able to move on, but me. My perceptions weren't usually correct. Just because my mom might not have been able to listen one day didn't mean my close friend didn't have a ready ear. Sometimes I'd shut down when ONE person made a comment and then I generalized what they said to everyone else I knew.
  • You have to be careful about this next one. Sometimes I didn't feel like doing anything. So I didn't. I would lay around and act helpless. I let my husband take care of everything. Sometimes I just needed to be taken care of. Like I said, you have to be careful with this one ... because activity and purpose breeds vitality, hope, joy, and strength. Helplessness is a rare indulgence because it breeds weakness and depression and can easily become the norm. But soon after a loss, laying around might feel good. Better yet, have your husband lay around with you.
Time doesn't necessarily heal all pain, but the passage of time certainly makes it more bearable. It's how you spend the time that counts.

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