No pain no gain.

Contrary to popular belief (and my own past personal beliefs and current tendencies) things sometimes suck. Things sometimes hurt. Things sometimes cause us pain. And every time they do, I hope you have the courage to allow yourself to feel that pain. Does it feel good? No. Does feeling that pain look like sleepless nights, a sick feeling in your stomach, tears refusing to stop flowing from your eyes? Yes. Is it cute? No. Does it hurt like hell? Yep. Does it make want to beg for some relief? Hell yeah it does. There’s honestly nothing glamorous or inspirational about being in a place like that. Feeling feelings like that. It fucking sucks and hurts like a mother fucker. But that’s the point. The things that are important are hard. The things that we go through are hard. The feelings that we feel inside are the furthest feeling from comfortable. But that’s the point. Feelings of pain, sorrow, loss, betrayal, abandonment, grief, frustration, jealousy, anger, regret, fear- feel the HELL out of them. Don’t drink them away, work them away, laugh them away, positive-thought them away, i-don’t-care them away, yell them away, exercise them away, Sleep them away, distract them away. You’re numbing yourself. And you know you are because for a minute it’s relief. Avoiding the pain feels much better than feeling it. But that’s not the point. The pain we feel may be inflicted on us by others or our circumstances, but ultimately it is our own. It comes from within. Someone’s actions can make you mad, a person can make you feel abandoned, a situation can make you feel lost, but detached from the person or situation those feelings are associated with- is you. Your soul is crying out through these uncomfortable and unwanted emotions. Nobody wants to feel those horrid things. That’s why we find our ways to run. But truly, if it didn’t matter- you wouldn’t feel them. That’s the point. The feelings that we feel- the good the bad and the ugly are all just indicators of what we truly care about. The shit that matters is hard. And sometimes that means that it’s gonna hurt like hell. But I’d encourage you to feel it. Lean into it. Let yourself feel it all. Sit in the shitty feeling of knots in your stomach and crying like a baby. Write it down, talk it out to yourself or a trusted confidant. To draw a parallel, think of the gym. Those last few sets hurt the worst. All you know during them is that you’re hurting like hell and its hard to keep going and finish that set, that you’re gonna be sore for a few days after this, but if you really want to grow, these last few painful reps are the most important part. They’re going to break down your muscles and you’re right you are going to be sore for a few days. And you’re not going to look in the mirror tomorrow and like what you see. You’re going to have to go back into the gym again day after day and week after week and push through those painful reps every. single. time. But that’s the point. That’s where the growth happens. In the most painful moments. That is where it happens. That is what matters. The shit that hurts needs to be felt by your heart. Give yourself the space to let yourself feel into those uncomfy feelings that we’ve all pushed down for too damn long. Because that’s the point. That’s the stuff that matters to us. That’s the stuff that you have to show up for yourself for. That’s the stuff that you have to hold yourself for. The exact feelings that we avoid are the exact feelings that need to be felt that will teach us what matters, how to care about it, and what to do about it. That’s the work.

I see way too much advice out there today telling people to do something to distract themselves or de-stress themselves from whatever uncomfortable emotion they’re feeling. No. Just no. You can take a jog, but you can’t run from your problem. You can have a glass of wine, but you can’t drink your problems away. You can take a bubble bath, but you can’t wash your issues down the drain. You can think happy thoughts, but that doesn’t take the “bad” ones away. You can switch the topic to something lighter but the heavy stuff is still there. We only label emotions as bad because they feel physically, mentally, and emotionally uncomfortable to us. No one inherently likes feeling uncomfortable. Our bodies and brains are literally designed to avoid things that feel uncomfortable for the sake of our own survival. However, when the nervous system reacts to something uncomfortable, for example, accidentally touching a hot stove, our finger quickly pulls away. This is good because now we are not continuing to leave our finger on the stove because that will cause further injury. But the other side of the nervous system is that now we have learned a LESSON from the pain- don’t touch the stove when it’s hot. Our uncomfortable emotions should be felt no differently. You feel guilty? Don’t take a bubble bath to make yourself feel better- think. What’s is this guilt teaching me about my behavior? And what can I do to change so I don’t feel this again?

I heard this said recently, “When you fix the symptom without fixing the system that created that symptom the end is worse than the beginning.”

Yeah a bubble bath sounds great and all but feeling the hard feelings and asking yourself the hard questions sounds like getting to the root of the emotion- a permanent solution- instead of bubbly and warm, temporary relief. It’s ironic because these emotions we label as “bad” typically arise, especially in high levels, about things, people, and situations that we truly care about or hold as important. So why would we want to find an anecdote rather than finding a solution? Because feeling uncomfortable isn’t fucking easy. No one likes to feel angry, lonely, sad, frustrated, guilty, regretful. They’re not fun feelings. Just like burning your finger on the stove isn’t a fun feeling. It’s automatic for our brains to learn lessons through the nervous system, but our emotions are slower to the game because we’ve trained our brains and hearts to numb over time. It takes an internal choice to lean into the shit that society tells us to ignore and that our bodies and brains don’t like to feel- but once you start making that choice- that’s where you learn your lessons, that’s where you grow. Not in a bubble bath or drowning in a glass of wine. And for the record what would happen if your brain never learned to not touch the hot stove? You’d touch it again, and again, and again and again, and it’d become a normal every day occurrence of you hurting yourself. You’d probably eventually become numb to it, and accept it as normal. Is that how you want to live?

Feel into your “shitty” emotions, because if it didn’t hurt it wouldn’t matter. And if you don’t let it hurt- you’re dishonoring your soul and positioning yourself as unavailable and disconnected from what your soul is trying to tell you and teach you. Don’t become numb. It might feel better and appear easier and if you’re anything like most of the human population, you’ve probably been numbing yourself in many different ways for a long, long time. Let’s unpack it. Let’s melt the ice. Let’s break up the pattern. Let’s feel the hard stuff and not back out when it hurts more than you thought it would.

Let’s allow and give space for our soul express itself and accept that it may not feel good in our brains, hearts or bodies. Let’s feel it anyways and know that ultimately when we feel through this shit, and learn not to numb, we can begin to connect to our most inner being, and from there, our brain, body and heart can take cues from our soul. A line of communication will open up between our soul to our brains, hearts, and bodies. Our soul will express itself and the collective of our brain heart and body will be there to listen. Through choosing not to numb and instead choosing to show up for what your soul is trying to say, a pathway will be unblocked. The messages that your soul has been trying to send out will finally be received, reviewed and responded to. You owe it to your most inner self to make this space. Don’t let your ego or your conditioning continue to block this pathway. Your soul is screaming to express itself. And it has been for a long time. And you’ve been declining the call for so fucking long. It’s time to listen. Get out of your own damn way. Listen. Listen to the hurt, the years of pushed down pain, let yourself cry it out, talk it out, write it down, stay up all night about it, have knots in your stomach about it. And this is not a one time call. This is anytime you feel a shitty emotion coming in. Don’t reach for social media, the bottle, don’t make a bad joke, don’t do it. Listen, and feel it. Your soul longs to be heard, longs to be understood. Whatever it needs to express is going to be felt by you, and you have to allow yourself to feel it. Open the communication.

The good news about allowing your soul to express itself and learning what that means is that your soul is going to heal. It’s going to grow. But ultimately this new line of communication that you have worked and learned to cultivate and create is going to connect you to the inner most being. It’s like opening a window to what’s going on in there and being able to see it all and let all of it become present in yourself, and the world. Your true desires. The things and people and places you love. Your standards and your beliefs. Your path. It will allow you to live from a place of authentic expression. And over time, this communication process between your soul and the collective of your brain, body, and heart, will become quicker. You’ll be more connected and in touch with your truest self therefore you’ll just know yourself better and be able to show up in all the ways that you need to show up.

An expression of the inner most self becomes manifested in the exterior world because that’s the part of yourself that you’re getting to know and communicating with on a regular basis. Not a blocked version of you. Not a repressed version of you. Not a confused version of you. Just- you. A whole, authentic, you. And it will be fucking liberating.

Do this so that we can show up authentically and live from our deepest desires, rather than a state of conditioned disconnection. Let’s break this cycle.

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