Each and every one of us experiences painful things over the course of our lives. And no one can deny that some of us experience far more than others do. Sometimes enough that it should stop a human heart, and the fact that your heart keeps beating just the same, feels like its own source of pain. Pain can be something that just accumulates and accumulates. With too much accumulation, you become deeply unwell on an emotional level, on a mental level and on a physical level. You become spiritually out of alignment as well. And so, it is critical to let go of the pain. And you can decide to do so, once you are “done” with the pain.
Let me explain the concept of being ‘done’ with pain. Being done with pain isn’t being done with it because you are avoidant of it. It isn’t escaping, suppressing, denying and disowning it. If this was what being “done” with pain was, everyone would be done with pain the second it started because no one wants to be in pain.
Being truly done with pain means that you have acknowledged and processed it. What I mean by this, is that you have looked directly at it, felt it, accepted it, owned it, and learned/grown from it. You have found some personal empowerment relative to the situation that is causing you pain. And you have gotten to the point that enough is enough, holding onto it is no longer serving you. So, it is time to let it go and release it.
When you hear this, some of you may feel resistance to this idea welling up within your body. There is always a good reason for this resistance. Inherent in that resistance is the very resistance that you have to letting go of your pain. Maybe it is your resistance to letting go of pain in general. Or maybe it is your resistance to letting go of your pain relative to something very specific that you are currently struggling with. You can’t and should not bulldoze through that resistance. Instead, you should face and resolve that resistance directly. The best way to do this, is to work directly with the part of you that is in resistance to letting go of your pain. You can do this with parts work. To learn how to do parts work, you can watch my video titled: What is Parts Work and How To Do It. Your goal here is to question this part and to let this part of you that is in resistance to letting go of the pain express as much as it wants. And seek to understand it as deeply as possible. You want to get its full truth. Within its truth, is the key to what needs to be resolved or what it’s going to take for you to let go of the pain you are carrying.
There are so many reasons why someone would be in resistance to letting go of the pain they are carrying within them. Here are just some examples…
- We may feel like if we let go of the pain we are carrying, we are letting other people off the hook. And like other people will not “get” how much they hurt us. And that if we do that, they will never change and may hurt us again. We can’t live with the idea that people can just get away with the things they do to damage or destroy others.
- We may feel like letting go of pain or moving forward as a result of doing so, is a form of self-betrayal.
- We may feel like holding on to pain is a form of staying connected with or staying true to someone or something that we love and therefore, feel like we are betraying them or leaving them behind or are losing them even more by letting go of pain.
- We might feel like pain is the only thing that is real and that we can count on, so we may use it to keep ourselves safe and stabilize ourselves. We may use it to prevent ourselves from getting our hopes up in a situation where we feel it will only be dashed. To understand this more in depth, you can watch my video titled: Building Walls to Keep Pain In.
- We may be holding onto the pain because being in pain in some way enables us to get a need met that we feel we can’t get met any other way.
- We may be holding onto the pain because we have not yet learned how to avoid that same kind of pain from repeating in the future, and we feel like holding onto the pain will help us to prevent re-experiencing it.
- We may be holding onto the pain because we feel we need something very specific to be able to move forward and to get over something, and we have yet to experience that specific thing.
- We may be holding onto the pain as a motivating force and be afraid that without that pain we will lack the energy necessary to accomplish something important to us.
- We may be holding onto the pain because we need to make a difficult change that we fear we won’t make without that pain being there.
- We may be holding onto the pain because we don’t trust ourselves not to do something again, unless we have that constant reminder of the pain.
- We may be holding onto pain because it is the only thing that makes us feel like we are a good person. The pain may be something we use as a form of self-punishment, that we are convinced is keeping us good and is keeping us right.
- We may be holding onto our pain because we are using it as a substitute boundary against something that is a “no” for us.
And this list could go on and on and on. When it seems like you or someone else won’t let go of pain, or something that you judge as painful (such as a behavior or a strategy or a belief or whatever it is) it is because that person believes that regarding whatever situation they are in, they will be in MORE pain without it. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: People Are Not Attached To Their Pain.
Acquaint yourself with your specific resistance to letting go of whatever pain you are carrying. And see if you can resolve that resistance.
Pain serves a very important purpose. To learn about this, you would really benefit by watching my video titled: The Meaning of Pain. It is critical to understand this, rather than to stay in the primitive, black and white mentality that pain is bad. But let’s turn our attention back to letting go of pain. Provided that you have acknowledged and processed your pain… You can decide to let pain go. So, for the sake of awareness, I want you to ask yourself the question: What is it going to take for me to let go of the pain and stop carrying it inside me as I move forward in life? You can pause this video and sit with this question, as well as whatever answer arises in response to it, for as long as you want.
A little-known truth is that you can choose with your free will to dump pain or to release it from your being. It can be compared to the way that you can choose with your free will to relax your muscles. It is an absolute guarantee that you have seen someone do this in your lifetime. But seeing as how I can’t “tooth fairy” myself into your living room and show you an image of when that was specifically in your life experience, I’ll give you a couple of movie references. In the movie, Forest Gump, in a very dramatic ocean scene, Lieutenant Dan faces his pain relative to God for the way his life went. And once he has done that, we see him let go of his pain completely. He isn’t stuck on it and it isn’t stuck inside him anymore. And in the movie Love Actually, pretending to be a carol singer, the character Mark declares his love for Juliet, knowing that what he needs to move forward past the pain, is to tell the truth. And he realizes it’s time to be done with the pain of not being able to have her, because she is married to his best friend. So, he decides right then and there to let go of the pain.
It benefits a lot of people to do a meditation or visualization specifically of letting go of the pain when they decide to do this. It also helps some people to perform a ritual around letting go of the pain (maybe it’s a specific pain).
When a person truly lets go of the pain they are carrying, they do not forget the pain they felt. They do not forget what happened. What is very different is that they aren’t carrying it anymore. They don’t feel “traumatized” anymore. They have changed their minds and their lives in response to it, using the pain to become more and to become better. They feel open. Open to different and new experiences. To starting fresh. There is a lack of tension within them. There is an empowerment you can feel. And most especially, there is a ‘letting in’ of positive things.
There is such a thing as “readiness” to let go of the pain that you are carrying. That readiness is about acknowledging and processing your pain. And that readiness is about the specific contents of your resistance to letting go of the pain. Most people are ready to let go of their pain when they have hit a dead-end regarding processing their pain and a dead end relative to how much they can extract from their pain… Whether that thing they needed to extract was some personal truth or some understanding of what they want in their life or some awareness they needed to have or something they needed to accept or some benefit they got from keeping their pain.
Because we have made pain bad and wrong and because we don’t want to be in pain or see other people in pain, once we know that it is possible to let go of pain, we run the risk of expecting people to just do this, and shaming them for it when they don’t… Telling them that they are “attached to their pain”. The reality is that working through our pain, and helping someone to work through their pain, is a far faster way of getting to the point where we (or someone else) are ready to let go of our pain. But sometimes, you are at a dead end regarding your pain because the only next step there is, is to consciously decide that enough is enough. To decide it is time to stop carrying it with you… Time to leave it behind you… Time to release it from yourself… Time to give its energy over to the universe to recycle… Time to let it go.