The Fall and Rise
Have you been hurt in your relationship? What have you done to try and manage this hurt?
Hurt doesn’t simply go away because we don’t acknowledge it.
In fact, when ignored, can fester, grow and leads to destructive behaviors- causing significant distress both for ourselves and our close relationships.
You may find yourself blaming, criticizing, becoming angry and resentful, or withdrawing, numbing and shutting down completely.
These responses to pain are common because in some way they do provide temporary relief. If you feel alone or not cared for in your relationship, it makes sense to get angry, become louder- try and be heard. It is a way to release the hurt- cover it up with anger.
The problem is, your partner is unlikely to see your hurt or hear what you are really asking for, but instead is busy putting on their boxing gloves to defend against the anger or running away and shutting down to avoid the fight.
The other response to hurt and pain is to shut down and numb. We pack down the pain so far down, we think it can’t possibly re-surface. When there is any sign of pain or discomfort, the first response is to fight it, try and make it go away- not to lean in and feel our way through.
There are many ways we find to do this– alcohol, drugs, money, sex, work, affairs, children, perfectionism, busyness and distractions… the list could go on.
In both cases, we end up avoiding the truth of what we are really feeling and don’t allow ourselves to become vulnerable enough to share it with the people closest to us in a way that invites closeness.
When we approach our hurt by lashing out at those closest to us or pull away and busy ourselves with distractions- we do not allow our true selves to be seen.
There’s a deeper part of us that just wants to say “see me, hold me, love me, accept me, tell me everything is going to be ok”, but that part gets overrun by what we do on the outside- protecting these more vulnerable needs.
Anger, blame and avoidance are how we get stuck and lead to increased conflict, isolation, distress and hurt in our relationships.
Pretending not to be hurt is choosing to become imprisoned by the pain, it may feel safe, but it doesn’t allow you to be the person that you want to be or have the relationship that you long for.
This is the fall…
Rising means we do not live in the shadows of the hurt and pain, but live in the freedom of expression- living in line with your values and allowing all parts of yourself to be seen. This allows for true closeness, connection and is what makes an unbreakable bond of a lasting relationship.
How to rise to your redemption story
- Lean In: Your instinct is to do everything you can to get rid of and not feel pain or discomfort. This makes sense. But this way of living is so limited.
Your energy is so focused on everything you can control or try to do to make yourself feel better, you end up only feeling exhausted- and trust me the “to-do” list never ends.
Can you imagine taking a moment, taking 5 deep breaths and truly sitting with what you are feeling? By connecting with what’s happening, you actually allow it to process which makes it much less powerful and consuming than ignoring it.
Try labeling your experience- “I’m having the feeling that…Right now I’m experiencing…In this moment, I feel….” and breathe into it, notice the sensations in your body as you feel this.
- Reality Check: What is the story you are making up about your experience?
People think, it’s what we do. And we are quick to judge. Most experiences are neutral, until we form a story or judgment about it.
A child does not know that crying is good or bad, they just do it as a way to communicate their needs. However, the second they are told “Stop crying. Only babies cry. Be a big kid. Pull it together.” Then, they now know that crying is bad and will likely carry the judgment with them the rest of their lives.
So what is the story that you are telling yourself about your experience? Are you stuck in shame? Are you being critical of yourself or your experience?
These stories create so much suffering. Recognize it. Name it. Own it.
- Show Up: Once you allow yourself to feel and acknowledge your experience, you recognize your story/beliefs/judgements you are making up, you can then be in touch and acknowledge your true needs.
This is where true bonding, connection, and healing lies.
When you are able to be true to your experience and share or ask for what you need in that moment from a genuine place, not from your story (which just often fuels the negative reactions/behaviors mentioned above)- you can be free to live a meaningful and enriching life and have the close relationship you long for.
Showing up and owning our story is the bravest thing we can do~ Brene Brown