Pain Is Not A Safe Space

Like many things in my life, I used to think that there was a “destination” with my pain.

Let me expand a little…

Destination addiction is something I have wrote about before. It is belief that happiness, contentment, etc. lies at a “destination”. In the future. Not in the now.

I thought there was a “destination” with pain. I thought that after doing “x” amount of work, after talking about it enough, or making peace with things, that the heaviness and weight of pain would dissipate.

That’s not how it works.

It was after sitting with myself and my thoughts that I came to realize that I feel like I haven’t grieved properly through a lot of things in my life.

Ends of chapters, losses of loved ones, shifts in dynamics…I feel like I have only scratched the surface.

To be honest, it is those things that I most often ruminate about.

I let my thoughts run astray. I let my emotions get tangled up in regret, guilt, fear, and anxiety. It can, and usually does, bring me to the point of tears.

I have thought this was normal behavior for most of my life.

But I am coming to realize that defaulting to negative, painful emotions isn’t an adaptive, sustainable way to live.

And that realization came after reading a quote from @bunnymichael on Instagram.

It read “stop beating yourself up because it feels more comfortable to be hurting…pain is not your safe space.”

This really spoke to me.

It may be more comfortable, natural even, for me to be hurting.

At any given moment, anyone can think of negative, painful experiences that have happened in the past.

But living like that isn’t “living”.

Each second I have spent ruminating about the past, or worrying about the future for that matter, has taken time away from the present.

Regardless of what has happened in the past, the present…and future…are all we have.

One thing I am trying to embrace is the fact that my pain will always be with me.

As much as I try to work through it, talk about it, or make peace with it, it will linger.

And while that’s not ideal, it’s okay.

Our pain is a part of us.

Each chapter closed is a part of us.

Each loss is a part of us.

Each dynamic is a part of us.

The main objective now is finding a healthy, sustainable way to live with the pain.

The more we acknowledge that pain is not our safe space, we will start to make space for the warm, good, and pleasant things in life.

Whatever you’re going through right now, I feel for you.

You can, and will, be okay.

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