If you and/or your partner have a habit of avoiding the conflict and pain in your relationship, and acting as if everything is okay when it’s not, this message is for you!
If you broke your leg, you certainly wouldn’t avoid that pain. But when it comes to emotional pain, so many of us have convinced ourselves that avoiding the pain makes it easier to deal with.
The truth is, avoiding emotional pain creates a ton of internal conflict (a battle within ourselves) and makes an already difficult situation even harder.
RD Laing, MD (a psychiatrist who specialized in mental illness) said: “Pain in this life is not avoidable, but the pain we create avoiding pain is avoidable.”
Avoiding Pain Is An Illusion
When we think we’re avoiding pain by not dealing with it, we are fooling ourselves. Just because we’re not addressing the problem doesn’t mean it goes away.
In fact, it festers inside and ends up manifesting in different, and often harmful, forms:
- You bite your kid’s head off because your partner hasn’t paid much attention to you lately; or
- An affair happens outside of the marriage because of the lack of connection at home; or
- You’re suddenly having heart palpitations because your body is under a lot of stress.
Unresolved emotional pain puts a tremendous about of stress on our bodies, and is one of the biggest contributors to heart disease, obesity, cancer…the list goes on.
We add to this stress when we deny how we really feel on the inside by saying things on the outside like, “It’s not that big of a deal, I’ll get over it. It’s fine, he didn’t really mean it.”
When what you say doesn’t align with what you truly feel, you are out of integrity with yourself, and this creates confusion and distress. AND you’re essentially telling yourself that your feelings don’t matter.
What’s so incredibly ironic about this is that one of the biggest complaints women have about their partners is that their partner doesn’t care about their feelings.
And perhaps this is why so many women end up stuffing down their feelings. They’re tired of not being heard, so they just give up.
Let’s Turn This Around
Whether you’ve always avoided pain by pretending like it’s not there, or you’ve been ‘trained’ into that pattern through your relationships, it doesn’t have to stay that way. You have the power to turn this around!
The best way to do this is to give yourself permission to feel. Because emotional pain is a cry for help, it demands to be felt. So feel your pain. Get in touch with it. Try to understand what’s it attempting to tell you.
If you’re not ready to share your pain with your partner, share it with a trusted friend, or a counselor or coach. If you’re not even ready for that, allow yourself to feel it when you’re by yourself and in a safe place:
- Let the tears flow instead of forcing them back. Crying is an extremely healthy form of release.
- Let your anger out instead of letting it fester. Be sure to do it in a healthy way, instead of directing it AT someone.
- Let your feelings of sadness, disappointment, confusion, etc. be expressed through journaling. Writing down how you feel is a healthy and safe way of getting in touch with what your feelings are trying to teach you.
Believe in Yourself
Allowing yourself to feel your feelings is one of the most empowering things you can do to improve your relationship with yourself! And when you appreciate and honor yourself, you are much more equipped to make wise choices about your relationships.
The next time you are in front of a mirror, I encourage you to look into your eyes and say: “I believe in myself. Even though I’m in a lot of pain, I allow myself to feel it because I know my feelings matter. I know I can free this pain by honoring it instead of avoiding it. I matter, and so do my feelings.”
When you get in touch with your feelings on a consistent basis and begin to trust them, you not only feel way better about yourself, you also bypass the unnecessary pain that’s created when avoiding pain.
Always remember that you have the strength and ability to turn your painful patterns into powerful perceptions…and that your life will get better and better when you do!
Stay tuned for more mindful messages. Giving you helpful tips and exercises to improve the quality of your life and relationships!
With love and support,
Healthy Relationship Coach
P.S. If you’re looking for extra guidance and support, feel free to contact me. I would love to connect with you and help you however I can!