September 14, 2019

Holding Our Pain

On my long arduous commutes as of late through Boston traffic, I started listening to books on tape. This has been a wonderful distraction away from all the cement and cars, as I try my best to avoid being hit by another car or hitting one.

One of the books I have listened to is LOVE WARRIOR. Had I not been on the road, I think I most likely would have chucked the book to the side, as it initially felt way too light & fluffy for me. I knew that it was a best seller however and that I should give it a little more time, so I patiently waited for it to reach the depths that I was looking for and I am so glad that I hung on for its gems.

I love what author Glennon Doyle shares about what she terms the "hot loneliness" of our pain. The loneliness that everyone experiences in pain, and when we do, we hit the "easy buttons" (food, booze, drugs, shopping, porn...) to keep ourselves from feeling pain, which keeps us from moving through it and beyond it.

Hot loneliness, the feeling of sitting with our emotions and not shoving them down or away.

Not only do we try to rescue ourselves from our hot loneliness, we try to rescue our kids and other loved ones from theirs as well. The lesson here is to allow them to be with their pain and then they can move through it, instead of hitting the "easy buttons" and allowing the pain to fester.

As Glennon explains, we would be much better friends if we weren't so afraid of our pain.

For me, I've known this to be true in my own life. I've known I have to pass through the darkness to get to the light, but Love Warrior put it in a new, very helpful context for me:

Hold it. Get intimate with it. Let it be okay. Don't fear it and push it away.

And in doing this, we find our strength.

It's beautiful actually.

First our pain,
then our rising.