Dancing in the Shadows: Healing my Relationship to Pain

I am currently walking through one of the most painful seasons of my life. This past summer, I experienced both the beauty, joy, and pain of birth as well as the beauty, depth, and pain of death when my son Everest was born and then passed on a mere 10 days later. This experience has been big and unexpected and so, so painful. That said, I am also seeing how being with my pain is illuminating many other aspects of myself. In honoring the pain that is present, I am unlocking energy that is guiding me into my own power, helping me to recover a sense of myself, and allowing me to see deep, strong emotions that I didn't know were present in my body.

I have always been afraid of pain and especially strong sensations. They have terrified me and I have felt powerless to them. I am now coming to understand that this is not unique to me. I believe that we have culturally turned away from pain and have tried to "fix" it in any way that we can. Often, these well-intentioned Band-Aid solutions only serve to push the pain deeper. It begins to manifest in things such as anxiety, an underlying sense that I am not okay, among other things.

Sensing my own pain breaks my heart open. This is scary and vulnerable. It connects me to the collective pain of other humans and of the earth. This breaking open also reveals a strong tenderness. A reminder that my heart can hold my pain and that of others with grace, ease, and connection. I was recently reminded of this poem by a friend, that honors the importance of befriending our pain. It is called The Guest House, by Rumi.

In facing my own pain, I am learning to compassionately honor the pain in others. Pain becomes a portal into power, presence, and depth.

**Please know that touching your pain can bring up big memories, emotions and sensations. Not always, but sometimes. In these times, it is wise to seek professional support, as you are not meant to walk through your pain alone. I am eternally grateful for those who have supported me through this time.