In the past, as some of you know, I wrote different letters to myself and recently, after reflecting on how far I’ve come, I think it’s time to write a letter to Pain. Instead of blaming Pain for all the heartache it caused me over time, I’m going to look at Pain from a spiritual point of view and how it changed me into the woman I am today.
One thing I know for sure is that we always have a choice in our lives, for every decision that comes our way which makes us accountable for ourselves. If things are decided for us, then we get to decide how to handle it. What we decide becomes our new life path and leads us to exactly where we need to be in order to learn what we don’t know yet. Even if it’s the second, third or hundredth time around.
Author Caroline Myss says there is no wrong path, we are all on the right path; but here’s the thing, we just might not be managing it very well. We may have taken a detour along the way. Therefore, in knowing we have a choice to get back on track and more aligned with who we really are; the path we are on always leads us home. Back to ourselves and to our purpose.
Unfortunately, I know you well. A little too well, actually. I’ve seen you come and go throughout my life, sometimes disguised as pleasure, and I have to say, it is never easy or comfortable when you come to visit me. Most of the time you appear without warning out of nowhere and end up making me feel scared, angry, disappointed, confused, upset, and hurt. Your timing is incredible because it’s always inconvenient with my plans, forcing me to stop what I’m doing or take another detour.
However, these stops and detours have served a purpose while you were here. All because of you, Pain, I found ways to handle you, heal you, and let you go. There is no strength if there is no struggle and if there’s any silver lining to be found within you, Pain, this is it. You’ve given my emotional muscles a real workout.
You see, Pain turned up the volume of the unworthy voices in my head and I believed them. Pain knocked me down, but I fought to live. Pain was my best teacher and worst nightmare all rolled into one. I’ll never forget the lessons learned in the classroom outside the classroom. Pain tried to make me fail but after a while, I passed the tests and received the blessing of insight. Looking back, I see what needed to be learned and why. So many rich meanings and a spiritual awakening occurred.
Pain, I can’t carry you around on my back anymore, you are too heavy and dark for me. Not only do I need light, but I also need to feel light. I finally realize Pain is a reverse role model of what not to do.
Here are some examples of what Pain brought me on the left, and on the right are some things Pain taught me:
Lies = Honesty
Mean = Kindness
Revenge = Walking Away
Selfish = Giving
Stealing = Generosity
Negative = Positive
Self-Righteous = Forgiving
Betrayal = Setting Boundaries
Quiet = Vocal
Closed Minded = Open-Minded
Ignoring Myself = Self-Care
Physical Symptoms = Exercise
Emotional Symptoms = Asking For Help
Holding On = Letting Go
Old Me = New Me
Thanks to you, Pain, I found new hobbies, interests, friends, work, perspective on life, parenting skills, awareness, and a new life. Everything got better. I even taught my kids how to handle you because unfortunately, they have seen you too. Now I have more compassion, empathy, strength, understanding for others dealing with loss, suffering, and divorce.
Thanks again to you, I discovered the power of music, reading, writing, practicing mindfulness, living in the moment, accepting truths, and forgiveness is a gift I give to myself.
Writing is a big part of who I am, it leads me back to myself. It is my life purpose, so much so that I wrote a book about you, Pain, and I still can’t believe it. Don’t get too excited, just because I write about you doesn’t mean I like you. I’m simply trying to understand and decode you for myself and others. Happiness doesn’t come to me, it comes from me. It is a choice and how I perceive life experiences. Writing makes me happy.
You taught me the hard way to put the relationship with myself first, so I don’t put myself second with others. I question what real love is, what do I want, need, from a meaningful relationship. You showed me dealbreakers, pitfalls, narcissism, toxicity, and wove red flags in my face. Now I ask more questions, and I’m careful with who I trust. You’ve sent me difficult/selfish people, heartbreak, loss, tragic events, unfortunate circumstances to handle which taught me many things about myself and life. Because of being cheated and deceived, I’ve become more vigilant and discerning. Respect is a 2-way street, I accept nothing less. You certainly tested my patience and my ability to control my emotions. Now I can see one of the reasons why you showed up was to protect me from other forms of pain.
At the moment, I am practicing gratitude on a daily basis, my heart feels lighter, more peaceful. I’m finished hiding behind you Pain, now I’m more obvious. I found the courage to stand up and live my best life, imperfections and all. What I’ve learned is this: if you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lessons, you will continue to grow. All because of you, Pain, I grew, learned, discovered, and even avoided you. People came and went thanks to you. I also apologize for being just like you at times, a royal pain in the A**!
The new me feels free, empowered, happy with myself, and never gives up. I can walk away from you, but with a grateful heart for all the life lessons. I know I can’t live my life “Pain-free” but the next time you do arrive, I aim to be more prepared.
I never thought I would say this, but thank you Pain for showing up in my life, and for everything you’ve taught and brought me. I’m exactly where I need to be in my life with my work, friends, family, love, and myself. No experience goes unwasted, no mud, no lotus. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be me, right here, right now.
Dare to live courageously…
Much Love ❤
One of my favorite songs Never Give Up, by Sia is what I listen to while I go for my walks down by the river. I love it, I hope you do too.
**Hello Everyone and Happy September! Copies of Winning While Losing: The Upside of Heartbreak are still available at all online bookstores worldwide. All my gratitude to YOU ❤