A way to look at pain

A woman recently posted on a private Facebook page about her feelings of hopelessness and unlovability (she’s going through a divorce).

Feeling heartfelt compassion for her, I thought about her situation and wrote the following response:


Thank you for sharing your raw, honest self with us, [name withheld]. It takes courage to be vulnerable, and your reaching out is a brave step in the direction of a life joyfully connected with people who “get” and love you.

Feeling hopeless is so, so painful. It consumes our energy and often blinds us to innumerable paths we might take to higher ground. When in a depressive state, we often need people on the outside of our pain to help us understand our resources and to celebrate our freedom to choose our next steps. I hope we can provide support, friendship, and some wise advice to you at this time, and going forward.

I think we sometimes invite additional suffering by judging our pain as wrong and therefore unacceptable. Feeling down for any number of reasons is a natural part of being human–and negative emotions are part of our body’s warning system (a signal to pay attention to an unmet need or a damaging situation).

Feeling lonely and worried about continued isolation is “helpful” in that it reminds us of what we truly need: connection, acceptance, and belonging. Rather than despise those feelings, rather than believe that they are a portend/diagnosis of inevitable future pain, you might just allow yourself to feel them. Where do you feel them most strongly in your body? Pay attention to how they feel. Breathe into the feelings– breathe into that place in your body where they’re residing–and accept them. Trust that they’re doing their “job.” You might even thank them for faithfully reminding you of the importance of connection, acceptance, and belonging. Then let them go, reassuring your body, “I got the message! I’ll get working on connecting with ‘my people’ right away!”

A mantra I recently adopted is: “I choose to believe that everything I experience is contributing to my growth and healing.” You might try that mantra on and see if it serves you.


This viewpoint keeps pain in perspective.  I hope to remember the suggestions, myself, next time I’m feeling the blues.

About Shaunalei

"Peace by Piece" is a storehouse for my exploratory journey of discovery and healing. Feel free to reach me at: shaunalei@codepoet.org.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply