When we consider the concept of evolution, we often think about change happening over generations. We look at Darwin’s work meticulously charting changes in beak size and other factors that can help a species adapt to their surroundings. We debate over whether the digestive tract of the human body has evolved to adequately process the increased consumption of grains thanks to the Agricultural Revolution. But, what about the evolution of each of us as individuals during our human experience?
The human brain reaches full development around the age of 25. That is not to say that the kitchen timer rings and suddenly our growth is complete. There is always an opportunity to grow, change, and evolve towards our greatest potential. What matters most is the ability to let the ego go and be open to change. This may be easier said than done. When I talk about evolving in your human experience, I am not referring to adding an inch to your height. I am referring to literally allowing pain to destroy that which no longer serves you on your journey. (I am in no way endorsing seeking out pain, staying in a volatile relationship, or inflicting it on others.)
We as a culture shun pain. If someone tries to talk openly and honestly about pain, we say they are complaining, they are weak, they are self absorbed. The over-medication of our escapist society with a surge in prescription drugs, alcohol consumption, and any other feel-good substance do nothing more than numb us from that which is there to help us. These tools do have their place, but we are all individuals. We each have our own body chemistry, physiology, life experience, beliefs, situation, & outlook that can affect the role of these medications. Prozac may work great for one person, while another may respond better to CBD oil. It is important to find an Integrative Functional Medicine practitioner to help manage supplements and medication.
In the Army, we were constantly told (and it trickles down to the lowest rank) to, “Suck it up, and drive on!”. The most common cure-all was 800mg of ibuprofin and water. It was ingrained to put mind over matter and just keep pushing through. I understand that the mission comes first, and sometimes we do need to FIDO (F*&k it, drive on). But, when it is all said and done, restoration and reset are paramount.
Soon-to-be mothers often choose an epidural or an elective cesarean section because they are afraid that they cannot handle the pain. When I was 9 months pregnant, a friend gave me the best advice for labor. “Savor the exquisite pain,” she said. She went into a story about with her first child, she didn’t like the pain, and the entire labor, she just wished it away. When her beautiful daughter emerged into the world, she felt a huge wave of sadness for now the pain was over and she essentially missed it. During my intense 7 hours of active labor with my son (read blog HERE), her words rang through my head with every birth wave. It helped me stay completely present in the moment and feel grounded.
Even athletes will continue to push until their bodies can no longer take the load. I am personally still recovering from long-standing CrossFit injuries that I sustained during a couple of competitions. The drive to go was so strong, and despite losing my form, I pushed too hard and now my right hip is in chronic pain. I have spent years with several therapy techniques, physical therapy and even meditation trying to make the pain go away. I would have periods of relief and some increased mobility, but it is always lingering. What I found was that the more I resisted pain, the more it would burn and throb to remind me of its presence.
This whole time, I was trying to get rid of one of my greatest teachers. Instead, I acknowledge the pain that I feel. I say, break me. Destroy what no longer serves me. I welcome the power to help me evolve into that which I am meant to be. I accept that all is Divine Perfection that surrounds and engulfs our human experience. I continue to love myself from within myself and no longer hold myself to unrealistic standards, judge myself, or ruminate about my actions or words. Everything comes from love. Whatever arises, it is loved.
You cannot have light without dark. Without sadness, anger, hurt, jealousy, or rage, we cannot know true happiness and euphoria. When those emotions present themselves, they are welcome as an opportunity for growth. That is not to say that projecting the previous emotions on others is ok by any means. When one projects them towards you, it is an expression of their denied pain looking for acknowledgement.
I recently listened to an incredible teaching by Matt Kahn which was about a way out of pain. (YouTube link HERE)
According to Matt, when someone is basically being nasty to you, you say (in your mind & mean it), “I acknowledge you pain.” There is much more in his video and I highly recommend his teachings on your healing journey.
This made me reflect on my approach as a therapist. Yes, my intention is to hold space in neutrality so that the inner physician within each of my clients is free to work and heal. However, it is not my job to take pain away. I follow Upledger CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release techniques. During a session, clients are given an opportunity to witness their pain in a way that allows their higher consciousness to acknowledge and process what has been suppressed.
In my office, we talk about pain. I ask where it hurts, what makes it really flare up, and how to acknowledge it (not wallow in it). Pain is necessary for growth. Everyone around you is going through, has been through, or about to experience something. Even if it isn’t a physical injury or condition, pain is something that we will all come to know. LCR Wellness is a safe haven for pain to be experienced, heard, and processed without judgement. Real strength can be witnessed in complete emotional expression. Once destroyed like the 500 year-old phoenix, a renewed paradigm can rise from the ashes.
Let’s talk about pain,