WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH YOUR PAIN?
Series: Take Back Authority Over Your Life
This past Wednesday was a dark day in American history as violence erupted at the capitol building. Many of us falsely hoped that the intense struggle of 2020 would stay in 2020, but it seems to have followed us right into 2021
The strange thing about something like the Coronavirus outbreak is that there is no one to blame; no one to villainize. Almost twenty years ago when 9/11 happened, it was devastating and caused a ton of emotional pain for many Americans. Yet, the enemy was clear and, for better or for worse, this country formed a stronger America in opposition of the enemy. But, in your current state of affairs, who is your enemy? Who are you blaming?
Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash
When we are in emotional pain we have two choices. We can own our pain, honor and grieve it and learn healthy ways to express the emotion or… Out of fear we project, blame and villainize any convenient person or group that we can push our pain onto. Our brain is wired to protect us this way unless we make a different choice. When no other enemies are presented, we start turning on each other or even ourselves.
As Richard Rohr says, “If we don’t transform our pain, we will transmit it.” I believe that across America and around the world this is the choice we all face. We are all are in a lot of emotional pain from struggles that are personal and global. Without understanding how or being willing to transform our pain we are transmitting, blaming and villainizing. It is turning to hatred and violence in hearts, in families, in government… unless we make a different choice.
If we can understand intense emotion (our own as well as others’) as a reaction to inner pain instead of intentional aggression or shameful failure then we might have a chance at offering healing and kindness instead of more of the same hatred in return.
Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash
It starts with you answering this question: What will you do with your pain? Will you transmit it to the next person that you disagree with? Will you blame the opposing political party? Will you villainize someone you don’t like? Will you heap on more shame on yourself? Or will you do the hard work of owning your pain, honoring and grieving it while you learn healthy ways to express the emotions you feel?
Let’s work together to make a better world.