What to do with tricky emotions when they just keep coming back

What to do with tricky emotions when they just keep coming back

Yesterday my tears joined in with the splish splashing of the shower.

Unlike other times I’ve felt pain, I allowed this pain to come, to wash over me and through me and out my eyes and down the drain. As I stood there engulfed in steam I suddenly had a moment of clarity:

Pain has to break us down so we can build ourselves back stronger.

Just like muscles.

I put on my stripy pajamas (yes, I look like a prisoner), and climbed into bed and allowed the pain to cry me to sleep.

I know Monsieur Pain (which in French actually means Mr Bread!? I hope he’s gluten free) has a message for me,

and I know I need to listen in order to learn.

When we go to the gym or do yoga or go for a run, we expect it to hurt a bit. We know by now that muscles have to break themselves down in order to rebuild themselves bigger and stronger.

If we did bicep curls with no resistance, and felt neutral, no pain, we’d know that we weren’t going to get any stronger.

The pain enables our muscles to grow.

Why then, when we experience emotional pain, don’t we automatically think “Oh, this is just me being broken down so I can be made stronger. Bring it on, pain!”?

In our emotional lives,

we flinch at the slightest sign of pain and try to get rid of it immediately.

Imagine if we treated emotional pain in the same way we treat muscular pain?

No pain, no gain.

The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow.

Running is a pain in the ass. But it sure gives me a nice one.

Yep, I just googled fitness quotes. God they’re horrible.

What if we looked on emotional pain as a useful, necessary and even helpful tool for growth, rather than something to ruminate on, try to shove down, numb out with alcohol and drugs/ and more often than not make ourselves feel guilty for?

What if we treated our emotional health like we did our physical health –

what if we actively sought out ways to deconstruct our mind and emotions on a weekly basis so that we could continually build ourselves back up again?

We never expect the gym to be easy.

What if we started to embrace pain, knowing that it’s here to help us grow.

What if we stopped expecting life to be easy?

Because it never is for too long…

And maybe that’s the whole point?


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Gidday, I'm Andrea

I'm a mindfulness advisor and former cynical pessimist.

I used to be an awkward, pessimistic, mediocrely happy overachiever.

Life looked good on the outside, but on the inside things were average.

I was indecisive, I didn't know what to do with my life, I self-sabotaged the hell out of my relationships.

I had a feeling I was going to keep f-ing things up for myself unless something radical changed.

The life handbrake-turn that followed over the next few years came as the result of learning what I now teach in Bloody Good Life 101. Just practical, relatable techniques without any rainbow and butterfly jibber jabber.