I drifted off to sleep Saturday evening, I was tired - exhausted even, and it was within a half hour of falling off to sleep I jerked awake, and when I woke I began to cry out of my sleep. I felt this incredible sadness come over me.
I felt alone, I felt unsure, I felt sad for the physical pain I am going through and all these doctor appointments and tests and unsureness.
As I sat there alone in the dark with tears in my eyes, this quote that I heard the weekend before at a movie I saw came back to me "Pain demands to be felt" and I finally understood why that quote resonated with me for a good week before I could understand it and write about it.
"Pain demands to be felt"
When I see and hear that quote I believe there is a reason the pain is here, and I am really starting to believe that in order to heal the wounds that pain us, we need to address the wounds and feel the pain.
When I heard this quote in the movie I saw, it hit me so hard that I almost ran out of the theater, because I felt emotions screaming to the forefront and I just wanted to throw myself to the flood and cry! "PAIN demands to be felt" and I wanted to know why this quote hit me so hard.
My therapist told me about a book that he has read many times, and I decided to download it on my tablet this past weekend, the book is called "Why bad things happen to good people" by Harold S Kushner
In the book I found a quote that talks about pain and what it means and that quote was "Pain is the price we pay for being alive".
"When we understand that, our question goes from “why do we have to feel pain” to “what do we do with our pain so that it becomes meaningful and not pointless empty suffering?"
"How can we turn all the painful experiences of our lives into “birth pangs or into growing pains”
"We may not understand why we suffer or be able to control the forces that cause our suffering, but we can have a lot to say about what the suffering does to us, and who we become because of it."
So when I woke up Sunday morning in a puddle of tears, feeling pain that I couldn't understand, I sat with the quote yet again "pain demands to be felt".
Maybe by me waking up and allowing myself to cry instead of trying so hard to shut it off - it will heal something inside that needs to be healed. Maybe this pain I feel demands to be felt in a way so that I can understand it more.
As I sat there and began understanding this more, I wasn't just feeling the pain anymore, I was understanding "WHY" I was in pain and "WHY" I was crying.
I knew what was wrong, I knew why I was feeling the pain, I knew what I woke up crying about, and I understand why that pain woke me up and demanded me to feel it.
I have been struggling with a lot of things the past couple of years. I have been faced with medical issues, emotional pain from something that hit me deeply a couple of years ago. I have been faced with some pretty hard stuff even in this year alone, and maybe instead of trying to 'fix it" maybe the answer is "feeling it".
I am one to always shut off the emotions as quick as I can and to say "we need to fox this, I need to feel better".. maybe all that needs to be done is to feel the pain I feel, talk about the pain I feel and maybe just for once just say to myself "I know I feel this pain, and I know I hurt, but this is how I feel and this is good enough in this moment, because maybe this is the healing process".
There is also pain put upon us that we don't deserve to feel, done by others out of our control.. but that pain is the kind of pain that can be healed by our choice - making the wrong done by others our empowerment to heal.
That is the harder pain to heal; pain that should have never happened, but we can take that empowerment back by healing us in ways that the pain never could.
I finally understand what the quote meant "pain demands to be felt". It puts healing on a whole new level for me. It allows me to open myself up to not the feeling of the pain, but what is behind the pain and no longer being afraid of it.
Pain doesn't have to be a debilitating thing that cripples us into a hole of loneliness, pain can be a strength that heals us. A foothold to rising above it. We can use the pain as a step to move above it.
When I gave birth to my middle child, I could never understand why the DR would tell me to push when the pain of contraction started, and he said, that pain helps the body to push the baby out and forward.. if you work with the pain of the contraction, you are helping the process along. I think emotional pain is much like the same. If we allow ourselves to FEEL the pain, maybe that is where we begin to understand the process of healing what it is that pains us.
I am not saying this is an easy process, and to be honest it scares me, but I have spent 40+ years chasing my pain away and hiding from the way these memories and triggers hurt me.. maybe its time to face it and say "OK what do you want me to know, what can I learn from you so that this will not debilitate me and my life any longer.
I never thought that a quote could hit me so hard like this did, and as I sit here this evening writing about it, it makes so much sense on why it did.