How emotional pain imprisons you
Pain springs from many sources. Most common is a loss of some type such as the loss of a loved one, loss of a relationship, loss of job and income, loss of your health, loss of sense of self and the loss of a way of life you previously had such as through divorce. The source of the emotional pain may be different but the results are the same; imprisonment by your pain.
Pain holds you hostage. When you’ve been wounded deeply the result is trauma and standing still with your life for fear of being open and vulnerable to more pain. Pain keeps us frozen in place for years unless it’s addressed. Is your emotional pain paralyzing you?
Measure your pain.. Take the quiz:
1. Have you suffered incredible loss such as the losing someone close to you, lost a job/career, income, financial stability, your health, gone through a divorce?
2. Do you long to change your life but feel afraid of stepping into the unknown?
3. Do you yearn for a greater, bigger more fulfilling life?
4. Do you feel confused about your direction?
5. Are you overwhelmed because you’re working harder than ever before?
6. Does your indecisiveness lead you to contemplate giving up at times?
7. Are you uncomfortable opening up and asking for help?
8. If you were to review your life over the last few years would you notice not much has changed?
If you said yes to two or more of these questions your emotional pain is holding you back from achieving your goals and living a life you love.
How pain paralyzed me
After the economic melt down in 2008 my income declined dramatically. The following year it declined again and every year after that. I went from spending without a care to living in lock-down mode not buying a thing I didn’t have to. I sold my home to conserve my resources. If I had stayed in my house I would have burned through a retirement account it had taken me twenty plus years to acquire.
The industry I was in was decimated by the financial crisis. I frantically applied for jobs in other industries only to be turned down. No one would hire me because I had no experience outside of this one area.
I didn’t know what to do with myself to rebuild my income. I remained in the industry I knew just to stay afloat and changed employers a few times hoping things would get better. By the time I was making some money again I had lost interest in my career and it became a huge chore to do it again day in and day out. But I so feared not having an income that I remained stuck by refusing to walk away from my job for the “security” it gave me. Then one day I woke up and knew I just couldn’t do it anymore.
Release your emotional pain
I realized I had allowed my pain to imprison me in a life I didn’t love. My fear of loss of income kept me working full time. Every other spare minute was spent writing and publishing and having private sessions with clients. Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to make it through some days. I had too much to do, too many obligations and responsibilities, too little time and no support.
The moment I comprehended what my emotional pain was doing to me I had a mental shift and opened to the possibility of reaching out for help. I saw that “staying afloat” was not the same as living. I allowed myself to begin dreaming again and I remembered that I had big dreams.
Connecting to my pain and seeing how much it was costing me to “stay afloat” in order to avoid the fear of the unknown empowered me and turned on the “lightbulb above my head.”
“Your wound is the place where light enters you.” –Rumi
I realized that my fears about the loss of money had kept me stuck at a certain level for far too long. I committed right then to do things differently from that moment on. I felt my enthusiasm for life returning. The next day I woke up excited about the prospect of changing my life.
The more enthused I became about playing full out and going after what I wanted the more wonderful opportunities came to me. By not being afraid any longer I had released a flood of power that had been frozen inside of me. This wave moved me forward smoothly, easily and most effortlessly.
Realizing how your emotional pain has been holding you hostage can inspire an epiphany and empower you to move forward just as easily too. You just need to know the system to be released from your pain and have those prison gates open.
The simple 8 step method for releasing the power trapped beneath your pain:
1. Acknowledge the pain. Sometimes the pain is too great. You don’t want to look at it because looking at it opens the wounds again. The problem is that cramming a painful memory way down is not a solution. The pain is frozen mass inside that blocks the circulation of life energy. Bringing it up to the surface of your awareness where you can heal is what releases the power to move forward in your life.
2. Forgive. Forgive yourself and anyone else whom you believe may have contributed to the situation. For example, I was angry about what happened in my industry and about how my my lucrative career had been taken away. To find who or what to forgive look to what you’re angry about. Forgiveness frees you from dragging this painful burden around with you. It gives you permission to live again!
3. Be grateful. Find the good in everything. There is always a silver lining no matter how things appear. For example, now I see that had my industry not imploded I would not have had the opportunity to grow and change. I wouldn’t have developed the desire to have my own business either. It’s actually been a great lesson. Where you can you be grateful and find the good in your own situation?
4. Focus on what you want. The more attention you give to the things you don’t like or want in your life the more of your awareness they consume. Start thinking about what you do want instead. Allow yourself to dream and dream big! When a situation or condition arises that you would rather not have in your life ask yourself what you would like instead? Play that scenario over in your mind rather than the one you dislike.
5. Claim your good! Staying afloat is not living and it is certainly not claiming the good the Universe has in store for you. When we allow our pain to paralyze us we live each day just to get through it. This fearful attitude keeps our good at bay. You are here to live up to your highest potential and to have, be and do whatever you desire but you have to claim your good. To claim your good believe you deserve to live a better life.
6. Tame your fears. I love this quote from Mark Twain: “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” The truth is that most of what we fear never happens. Fear is imaginary and keeps us from jumping fully into our lives. Make a vow to stop worrying and listening to your fears.
7. Listen to your intuition – it knows the way. Your intuition is that voice inside that keeps nudging you to be more, to live up to your potential and go after what you want. If you follow your intuition you will not fail to bring forth the exciting life you dream of. You stop listening to your intuition when you allow your fear to be the predominant voice you listen to. You wouldn’t have this voice inside pulling you toward accomplishing certain things if you already didn’t possess the capability and power to achieve them.
8. Get support. There’s a mystique especially in Western culture that upholds the lone individual as a hero and role model. It’s not the reality. Everyone needs support. Everyone needs community. Everyone needs to learn from more successful people. Find a mentor, hire a coach or join a mastermind. The truth is if you could have done it alone you would have done it already, right?
What power would you release if you dealt with your pain? What has holding onto your pain really cost you? Join the conversation. Leave a comment.
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P.S. Is pain paralyzing your life? Contact me to schedule a life purpose reading to discover how to change it – here.