Validating your pain is the first step to getting stronger.

 

I have dental “issues.” I’m one of the (apparently) very small percentage of people who are difficult to freeze. There are theories, previous orthodontic work, mystery nerve configurations … I’ll spare you. But you can imagine how dental experiences might go in these cases.

Most often, dentists say something like, “There’s absolutely no way you can feel that,” and then they proceed with the drill. And I endure, thinking, It’s all in my head, or, It’s meant to hurt a bit, and I deep-breathe and body-clench my way through it.

Until I found my current dentist. He started a procedure, I started to wince, and he said, “You can feel that, can’t you!” And I mumbled, “Ya! I CAN!” And he said, very kindly, “You’re one of those!” Eureka! And I started to get teary, not from pain but from relief that finally, someone got me, and finally, I knew it wasn’t in my head. I could feel it.

So ya, I have dental baggage. But I recently got permission to put it down …

I’m having a basic dental cleaning. The hygienist hits a spot and my whole body jerks. It was far from excruciating. It was just, nervy. We actually both laughed at how dramatic my physical reaction was.

And … my first response was, “It’s okay.” In a nano-second I told myself, despite the evidence, that it didn’t actually happen. “Keep going, I can take it,” I told her. And then this: “But you shouldn’t have to take it,” she said. “We can make this easy for you.” And she gave me a pinch of freezing in the right place and we sailed on.

Default refrain: I can take it.
Paradigm-shifting response: But you shouldn’t have to.

VALIDATING YOUR PAIN IS THE FIRST STEP TO SANITY, STRENGTH & HEALING

  • Acknowledgement first, analysis second. If you have a reaction — a rush of emotion, a dark thought lunges in, a curious question circles your mind, your stomach flips, or your heart goes ba-boom — then something is really actually, for real, for sure happening to you. You’re having an experience that is true for you. Never mind qualifying how justifiable or sane your painful or fearful reaction is, just notice that it is really happening — because denying it is a form of insanity.
  • Endurance can be a very unwise choice. As inevitable as emotional and physical suffering is, it doesn’t always serve to make us stronger — sometimes it just wears you right down. Sometimes, the test of strength is to say “This isn’t working,” the millisecond it’s not working.
  • Believe your pain. It’s not a friend you want to invite over, but when it does show up, it always — always — brings you precious information about what’s best for you.
  • Dare to be high maintenance. I bet you’re invincible in many areas of your life. But when you need it, ask for special treatment.
  • You want people on your team who believe you. I have friends who would be dead now if they didn’t keep looking for a doctor who believed what they said or how their body was responding. Keep searching for a lover who understands your vision of partnership, a collaborator who can see your dream, friends who are tuned in enough to say, “Is everything okay?”

Healing happens in resonance, not opposition.

If it hurts, it hurts.

Bring your pain into the light and everything changes.

 

 

related posts
Featured @2x 456x456 (16)

The difference between happiness & joy. And why it helps to know.

There’s a difference between the definition of happiness and the definition of joy. It’s valuable to be aware of this because when things get tough, logic might want you to default to despair, or utter sadness or worse, you might think you have to choose between hardship and joy, or support and separation, or light and dark…

Original-Self-Help-July-28-When-You’re-Done-Fighting-For-It

When you’re done fighting for it. The upside of finally giving up.

Do you know the story of the man who was hitting himself over the head with a hammer? “Why do you keep hitting yourself with that hammer?” a shocked passerby asked him. “Because,” the man replied, “it’s going to feel so good when I stop.”

Featured @2x 456x456 (14)

You will be called on to expand. And this is why we practice.

I travelled to Dharamshala, India with six friends to meet with The Dalai Lama. It was cell-altering and heart-expanding. The week before our arrival, there had been a horrible event in which some monks were murdered — most shockingly, by other monks. The story was on everyone’s mind and in our small, private meeting with His Holiness, the first thing we did was offer our condolences. His response captivated me…

Featured @2x 456x456 (12)

You’re going to feel guilty

The guilty feeling associated with desire, with going after what you want, with transforming….you know that feeling? It’s like tar on your mojo. Maybe you were raised in an environment where desire was considered a negative thing. Or your social circle constantly reinforces the message that you shouldn’t dare to bust out. And maybe you frequently feel guilty for wanting what you want — and you know that it’s causing blocks in your life…

Featured @2x 456x456 (11)

Love your sadness. It won’t last.

I was feeling it. Pure sadness — the inescapability of it plowing through the softest part of me. When you’re in that kind of painful place you’ll try to climb the walls to get away from it. You want it over with. “Love your sadness. It won’t last long.” A friend texted me late at night. I caught it just as I was turning off my bedroom light….

Featured @2x 456x456 (10)

refuse to worry (and how to be more useful for your friends)

Every fearful expectation has a big “story” behind it. The trauma, the drama, the pain, the plot. Worry feeds on the gruesome details. It replays the potential saga in your head. It validates all the reasons things could go wrong by drudging up the past again and again. Worry is cleverly building a case as to why you should worry…

Featured @2x 456x456 (9)

What to do when things suck. (hint: don’t gloss over it.)

When you’re feeling out of your soul zone and something crap is happening…accept that it’s happening. I know. Believe me, I know. This may sound super flaky and totally impossible. And yet…this counsel is at the heart of most Eastern mysticism. Don’t deny what’s occurring. The power to change what’s happening comes from accepting it first.

Featured @2x 456x456 (8)

what’s the ‘big real’ of what you’re doing?

There is a Big Real behind everything we do. Sometimes it’s a negative Big Real. Sometimes it’s a positive Big Real.

Featured @2x 456x456 (7)

the euphoria of admitting when it sucks

I hear this time and again, “If I just hang in longer… Maybe she’ll come up to speed. It might sell in the summer. If I dig deeper, I’ll learn to love Excel.” Fess up – it ain’t workin’. You’re smart to see it. You’re brilliant if you move on…

Featured @2x 456x456

Infidelity, sisterhood, and self-respect either way. #Lemonade and Love.

My feelings about infidelity, monogamy and commitment — and how they’ve evolved over time. How I define Divine Fidelity a la David Deida’s 3 stages of relationships. And my deep respect for Beyonce’s art and every woman’s choice of devotion.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This