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As a spiritual person, I have become quite fond of the peaceful, feel-good emotions that permeate my being after a meditation. When I connect to source, and let universal energy course through my body, I feel soothed and content. All is well. I love this feeling. But then, who doesn’t love feeling good?

healing emotional painI love it so much that I have found myself avoiding any negative emotions that make their way into my experience. I think that on some level I believed that if I was truly spiritual I would’t need to experience the negative. I would be so enegetically high I would simply float above them. If I was feeling off, I would try my best to avoid expressing these emotions for fear of bringing everyone else around me down. I would seek out quick-fixes or other means to distract myself from the feelings that lingered inside. I was afraid if I let my true emotions flow, they would be so painful, I would…well, I think the expression is keel over? I wasn’t entirely sure but our mind has a way of making us think the worse. Our fear has a way of keeping us trapped. Again, who likes feeling bad? Why would we willingly venture into the lion’s den of our emotional body? After all, some of our external distractions (television, internet, shopping, eating, drugs, gambling) can really numb us from the pain…temporarily.

Life, as beautiful as it is, also has a way of giving us the information we need to move forward at the exact time we need it. This past weekend I was blessed to have the opportunity to attend a healing spiritual retreat. At one of the workshops, the speaker pointed out that the purpose for pain in the body is to call our awareness to something that needs our attention. Pain’s main function is to call our attention to some unbalance in the body. Somewhere, something is energetically off and one needs to go within and listen to what that pain is there to teach you. Is there something in your life that you have been ignoring? Perhaps there is a change you need to make in your life that you have been avoiding? Perhaps there is some emotional processing that you need to do that you have not allowed yourself to do? Whatever it is, there is something that needs your attention, and if you allow it to be, pain can be a great teacher and healer in our lives.

Suffering is not caused by pain but by resisting pain. —Unknown

What I am also beginning to realize is that by resisting the pain, I created even more negative emotions. Underneath it all I had my emotional pain, but then I also created a fear or resistance of that pain on top of it. I was making it harder than it needed to be without even knowing it. When we’re afraid, we always imagine things to be so much worse than they really are. By ignoring the pain, I was making it out to be more than it really was. It became the monster in the closet with ten legs and sharp claws. Yet, when I turned on the light I realized it was just an out-of-control pile of dirty clothes that needed cleaning. The clothes were not a monster, rather a messy wound that would not go away without some tender-loving care.

All negativity is a cry for more love.—Sanaya Roman

healing emotional pain

While emotional pain can feel unpleasant while we are experiencing it, I now know that it is not greater than I am. I am not my pain. I will no longer give it more power over me than it deserves. Yet, I will strive to give it the respect and attention that it calls for.  For myself, paying attention to pain is more of an allowing. I resist the urge to numb what it is I am feeling. I allow myself to feel what it is I need to feel. I sit in silence and allow the pain to run its course through my being. I do everything in my power to surrender all resistance and remind myself that this too shall pass. I cry. I release. I listen. I learn. But most of all, I heal.

For me, singing sad songs often has a way of healing a situation. It gets the hurt out in the open into the light, out of the darkness.—Reba McEntire