Lean In

As my first blog post was somewhat lighthearted, I wanted to take an opportunity to take write on the more serious side of emotional health: pain.

We have a tendency to hear that word and go running in the other direction. And I don’t blame you.  Most of us have been taught as a culture that the only way to heal is to move on and move forward. 

The practice of emotional healing teaches us that often pain can be an indication of negative emotions being held in the body.  These emotions act as triggers, and often recycle the same outcomes, belief systems and hurts we endured from an original experience.

A client of mine found herself in a relationship during her young adult life where she experienced mental and emotional abuse. Long after the relationship had ended, she still carried the feelings of powerlessness and low self-worth she felt while she was coupled.

When we began our work together, she could recognize the times she would pick fights with her new partners, a push-and-pull dance she had been doing for years.  She had also been battling a sore throat and cold for weeks, and when she would heal from one ailment another would form in its place.

She was living in a cycle of pain.

Unfortunately, this can be true for many of us.  We scoff at the idea of “drumming up old stuff.” Who wants to remember that experience? What’s the point of going back?

And yet we walk around, like my client, carrying the same beliefs we formed about ourselves 4, 15, or 53 years ago. 

When we hold onto the pain of our past, we are our past.  When we release and heal the pains of our past, we are free to create a new future.

Her courage and willingness to lean in to her pain, to look at the decisions she made about herself and about relationships, allowed her to reclaim her sense of power and deservability. Since working together, she has entered into a loving relationship, cultivated a tremendous amount of personal power, and had monumental growth in her full-time creative arts business.

It’s been my experience that when we do this act leaning in we’ll find that we are much stronger and more resilient than we ever could have imagined.