A few months ago, I caught myself questioning whether all the pain was worth it. You see, after three solid years of facing my truths, walking through them, and making big, spiritually led changes, pieces of my life were still falling apart. Big pieces. Even in all the magnificent, miraculous beauty, there was unbearable pain.
I fought God for a long time without even realizing I was fighting. With a hard, harsh energy, I kept praying and praying and praying for the specific salvation I believed He had promised me. It was almost like my hands were grasped around His throat.
And then one day, I let go. Because letting go is a beauty and brilliance of its own. It's saying, "I can't do this alone. I was never meant to do this alone. Here you go. I'm returning it to you with a deeper humbleness than I've ever known." Because I grew in the fire. In my stubbornness and determination, I was melded into a better, stronger, braver me. In that surrender, I found courage to give God the space to do His thing.
We can't get to the other side whole and knowing without staring pain in the face and walking through it. I knew this logically, yet the experience is far different than the rationalization.
I don't believe in ignoring the pain. It doesn't go away then. We miss the opportunity to grow through it. Instead, it stays locked inside us, creating reactions and realities we might not even realize are attached to it. We destroy friendships, families, and other things when we allow our toxicity to take root and grow. There's no freedom in that, but doing the hard work is the freedom.
I almost laughed when I finally watched Glennon Doyle's "First the Pain, Then the Rising." YouTube had been suggesting it for weeks, but I kept scrolling past. It's no surprise that when I finally watched it (to freaking get it out of my feed LOL!), it was exactly what I needed to bring it all together. As I watched it I thought, " This. THIS is what the last three years of my life have been. Courage to move through the pain. To acknowledge it. Sit with it. To dissect it while moving into the life I am meant to live. This is what I've been trying to articulate. Glennon did it so darned well. Of course she did. Because she's brilliantly herself."
As I've moved through this journey of embracing my light and encouraging us all to seek positivity and joy, I would be remiss if I didn't confess that we have to acknowledge the darkness, too. Pushing it away prolongs the pain. It prolongs the struggle.
Instead of pushing it away or pushing it deep down where we think it no longer exists, we can choose to look it in the face. We can tell it "hello" and then go about changing the story. We can use it to catapult forward, changing not only our lives but the lives of others. There's a bravery in facing the pain and walking through it.
It scares others when you face your pain, finding the courage to do something about it and standing taller than ever before. It scares them when you find the courage to shape your life as it's meant to be lived. It really scares them when you stop tolerating ill treatment and remove yourself from such situations. They don't know what to do with someone outside the norm. But many are also inspired by it, if not envious. Some wish they could do the same but never find the courage. Others will rise up and do as you've done. So embrace it. Embrace the journey and see the magic unfold.
Here's the thing about facing your truths. You can't let it suck you in. You can't sit with it too long. You have to allow it to teach you without holding you hostage. Because we aren't actually meant to stay in pain forever. The whole point of working through it is getting you to sustainable joy and being a light for yourself and others. Of course, life will always bring lessons and pain and things we weren't expecting or didn't want to experience. But the more you work through them, the less those things bury you. You begin moving through things faster and being held more routinely in peace and joy. In working through, you truly find your spirit. You align to it in ways you didn't necessarily know were possible. You find out who you really are - and that is love. Always, always love. It is all about love.
Lovelies, don't be afraid of the pain. It's meant to teach you something. It's here to help you become who you want to become. It's here to help you reach and connect to those who need you. For me, it has absolutely been worth it. The pain of who I was... that's actually the part that wasn't sustainable.
"First the pain, and then the rising."