I have spent most of my life running away from pain.
Growing up, I got a message from my parents that something was wrong with me and the way I feel. I know that they did the best they could and that this message came from a place of their own personal difficulty handling emotions, but the result was learning to numb my feelings at all cost.
It was not ok to be angry. It was not ok to be sad. It was not ok to be fearful. It was not ok to cry. It was not ok to laugh.
It was not ok to express emotions of any kind.
I remember putting the pillow over my head and crying at night so nobody would hear me.
Pain became part of my identity. My inner child was hurt, sad, and in pain. It was too much to handle, so I had to protect myself. That’s what led to my continuous “escape plan.”
I was programmed to believe that we were meant to suffer.
It was many years later when Reiki and I found each other that I started on a journey of healing.
My personal healing journey led me to different healing modalities. Becoming a Reiki Master and a Professional Life-Coach allowed me to turn my mess into a message.
Here is what I’ve learned about being angry, sad and scared:
- Many people escape when feeling angry, sad, and scared.
- We get conflicted messages about dealing with emotional pain, and we are not sure how to deal with them.
- Feeling angry, sad, and scared is uncomfortable. Trying to escape is uncomfortable as well.
- Holding onto the pain leads to suffering.
Many of us don’t know that it’s ok to feel the pain and that we can choose to stop suffering. The truth is that the Angry-Sad-Scared Paradox is a healthy one!
There is a time for feeling the pain, and there is a time for releasing it.
Feeling angry, sad and scared is not a bad thing. It is unhealthy for us to hold onto it for too long because over time, the negative emotions manifest physically in our body.
What can we do to manage the Angry-Sad-Scared Paradigm and to stop suffering?
- Feel the pain – Recognize the feeling, name it, own it, and feel it. In this article, I explain the importance of embracing the dark parts of our life. This is the first step. Don’t skip it!
- Bring purpose to the pain – find out what’s causing it. Ask yourself what is the intuitive message behind the feeling and identify the thought that is causing you to feel angry, sad, and scared.
For example, a woman I work with, let’s call her Jean, had the courage to admit that she resents her husband because he doesn’t appreciate her. Exploring her anger led her to understand that she is lacking self-love and self-appreciation because of the internal messages she adopted from her parents growing up. She realized that the source of her anger is feeling unworthy, so she put the responsibility for feeling appreciated on her husband’s shoulders. Once she gave purpose to her pain she could progress in healing the anger.
- Choose your response – get out of automatic pilot. Change your reaction to a more supportive one. Going back to Jean, she took responsibility for the way she was feeling. We’ve identified that her automatic response to escaping the pain was “checking out” and disconnecting emotionally from her husband. She designed a new way of communicating with him, and through this new, healthy communication, she felt empowered to release the pain.
- Release the pain – Once you go through the cycle of embracing the pain, understanding what’s causing it and changing your response, releasing it is simply the next natural step.
Remember that pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.
Accept the Angry-Sad-Scared Paradigm and take charge of your reaction. Embracing the darkness takes you on a journey to the light. Just like the darkness of the night naturally transforms into a bright, sunny day, transforming anger, sadness, and fear to positive, productive energy is in your hands.
What’s on your mind when you read this? Share below.