Pain is something I know well: This is part of life. Pain inside. Pain outside. The longings that propel, the desires that pull, the space between here and there, uncertainty, illness, death, these are sources of pain we all experience in some form or another. Certain times hold more points of pain. Where there is great growth and transition, pain pockets exist, exposing what needs to be seen, healed, released, reinvented. To become more on purpose and empowered, pain must be acknowledged and worked with.
I have wrestled with pain, wondering how to bring helpful and true perspective to the most troubling times. There is purpose embedded in everything, especially the experiences that have been barely survived. One of the cornerstones of my life's work is to use the material of life to grow and to glow, this applies to pain and pleasure alike.
It is human nature to try and avoid pain. Resistance only exacerbates what is unwanted. There is no bypassing growth. Pain is part of transition, change, creation. Loss comes before gain. Growing brings pain. This is just part of the human journey. Evolutionary growth requires moving through pain. Finding a place of power, a perspective that allows you to benefit from all you see, feel, sense, experience, want and work for, this is a process. This is the light side of pain, where the gifts are.
There is power in pain. Being with pain is a great teacher, offering invaluable lessons and wisdom. The learning that comes through growth, growing through the phases of pain and allowing it's purpose to guide you, this is where power comes. The birthing place of stability, confidence, power, conviction, fierce grace, all center in the spiral of pain and compassion. Honoring the phase you are in, the learning journey of life, knowing there are gifts and wisdom in even the most difficult times, these are the great challenges and opportunities of every person.
The contrast between light and dark are needed, even when unwanted. Like a painting, with striking colors and vivid shapes, the white and bright would not pop and move us the way they can without the black and grey. We are artists of life. Our relationship with ourselves and the experiences we create, step into, collaborate with, are all in our gallery. As an artist of life, we have access to darkness and light. Cat Caracelo, founder of JourneyPath Institute, speaks of this often within the context of power and purpose through accessing the spectrum of experience. One way this comforts and guides me is linked with pain, with power, with purpose. These concepts, all weave together, to craft a tapestry, a masterpiece, life's work and legacy. We need both: pain serves a purpose and using it to grow is an opportunity we have every moment.
Learning to bring compassion, comfort and courage to points of pain is where new safety and significance are cultivated. Honoring the material of life, what is coming from within us, feeling and accepting it all, brings us (back to) a place of power. This is a process, one that we all do alone, yet are all in together. Pain has taught me the value in connecting. Even through the messiest times (maybe even more so during the trials and tribulations), it is worthwhile to dare greatly, to be seen, to ask for support, to give love, to uncover the vulnerabilities and offer witness with those on their own path of pain. Leaning into intimacy, letting those close in even closer, sharing the points of pain, finding purpose through loss, offering perspective, seeking insight, giving compassion, receiving grace, learning what matters, releasing what is ready, more vibrant aliveness... these have been gifts of moving through pain. In the moments of sobs, tears, mental anguish, physical discomfort, forgetting that there is purpose in what is happening is common and understandable. Being connected to reminders that there is purpose in pain is sacred and supports survival. Spiritual connection, friendship, family bonds, intimacy, partnership, circles, creative expression, local community, these all become our guides, tethers and companions, shepherding us back to truth when pain steers us away from this knowing.
Power shapes itself into many forms, offering what is needed when it's needed. Power is quiet and safe, stable and supportive, courageous and bold. In honoring your self, power will rise from you. When pain sweeps you up, like an unexpected wave, power will carry you until you find your feet landed to a new place where you can start from again.
Bring questions to pain. Uncover the possibility tucked in the experiences, phase and stage. Tap into new supportive perspective with curiosity. This is the place of power pain provides!
How do you find purpose in your pain?
When you allow feelings to flow with and through you, what do you notice?
Where does pain live in your body?
Where does power live in your body?
What ways are pain teaching you today?
When do you feel most empowered?
Who offers me perspective I need to know and remember?
What pain has to teach me now is...
See the power in pain, not because you want it to stay forever, but because it is fleeting and it's wisdom is designed to use. Carry the lessons with you, using them to step into new perspective and strengthened empowerment. Seek support. Sit with stillness. Notice what comes. Ask what else is true. Honor the process. Celebrate your courage.
When pain comes, when it goes:
You are never alone, always supported, forever believed in.
With Huge Heart,
Darcy Helene Meehan
As an advocate of Reinvention + Recovery, I work with clients to achieve balance, alignment and purpose in all areas