For 2 days.
It felt horrible.
Like I was congesting the pain,
Making it thick and doughy and sticky.
I felt thick and doughy and congested.
I wanted a different way.
I know a different way.
Coach a different way.
Teach a different way.
Feel the pain.
Accept the pain.
This is not your everyday twinge of sadness.
This is an all-consuming acute ache.
May cry anytime.
May scream anytime.
I’m letting it be.
Letting it in.
Letting it do what it does.
It feels very real.
It’s me right now.
And I won’t hide from me.
Because where would I go?
And who would be there for me then?
It’s an experiment.
I can always go back to sleeping, eating and hiding.
But I think I won’t.
So far, four noteworthy results:
I’ve been an emotion-burying eater for many many years.
Now, during an intensely painful time
No interest in extra food.
Not an extra bite.
It was easy to teach this when my world was solid.
And it’s the only thing to do when my world is spinning.
Second: I’m feeling exquisitely alive.
I’m having moments of acute joy as well.
Sound of trees rustling all around the deck.
Glimpse of husband and daughter’s heads touching, collaborating on Sudoku.
Laughter during a family board game.
All moments that have been experienced many times before
And the pleasure of them magnified now
Because of the contrast.
Third: I’m holding my life together.
Just had 23 people for Mother’s Day lunch.
Just taught a class on, would you believe, feeling our feelings.
Coaching, mothering, loving, writing.
A bit slower, a bit distracted at times, postponing some things that can wait,
but here and managing.
My clients are so scared that if they let the pain in, it will overwhelm them,
and they won’t be able to function.
But that was happening when I was hiding, not now.
My wise and perfectly tuned being knows when the pain can be at the forefront
and when it should it recede so I can do my life.
And when it intercedes, I have a mantra: “I’m processing pain”*
and it strengthens me.
Fourth: I know with certainty that this will end.
Not the situations – can’t control that – but the pain.
My clients also fear that if they go in, they may never come out.
But I can see it. A pinprick of light.
I’m moving through.
Don’t know when or how – don’t need to.
And surrounding all of this
An enormous sense of wonder and gratitude:
“This that I teach and coach – it’s real and it really works”
*For more on how to process pain, I highly recommend Brooke Castillo’s free e-book on the topic.