There is no one who has not felt strong feelings of sadness, fear, anger, grief and a mix of many other emotions, including painful ones. However, despite the fact that there will be painful feelings, the way you choose to view your pain and the way you cope with it can make you feel like a victim, or be the source of an amazing transformation.
Acknowledging the existence of painful emotions is the first step. Ignoring or denying that there is pain does not make it go away. Once you accept that pain can happen, you can begin to understand the way in which your feelings affect you, and you can decide the best way to cope with both the feelings and the effects.
Dealing with painful emotions is not necessarily mysterious. In fact, once you accomplish that first step of awareness and acknowledging, it can be relatively simple. You can learn how to think more clearly about what you are feeling without blaming yourself for having the feelings. Conscious awareness of the thoughts and sensations that are associated with your feelings, along with a desire to understand what is making you feel the way you do, can help you understand yourself, and fuel your determination to heal, to grow more resilient, to make more effective choices, and to feel better overall.
Feelings have the power to show you how strong you are. This is an essential paradox, and the basis for the transformational force of feelings. What happens is that when you feel weakest, pain can motivate you to become stronger. Painful feelings can inspire, and sometimes compel you, to make coping choices that reduce the pain, and increase the satisfaction you derive from your life.
To manage difficult feelings and facilitate their transformational power, you can learn self soothing techniques such as relaxation and meditation to calm your body and relieve your mind. You can discover that feelings actually have the power to make you call upon new or increased strengths inside of yourself, such as intuition and inner wisdom.
No one wants painful feelings, including me. But the pain I have welcomed the least, usually has helped me grow the most. It is at those times that I have been able to experience the depth and breadth of my inner resources and to think more deeply about how to solve problems with effective strategies. As my friend always says, “When I feel the heat, I see the light.”
Can you remember times when pain has made you see the light? These events, these moments can be integrated into your personal story with new meaning. What experiences come to mind when you think about what has made you grow stronger? Give that a little thought, and please feel free to share your experiences and strength.