“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anaïs Nin
Reflecting back, I now realize that my life has unfolded by periods of breakdowns and rebuilding. Small breakdowns which only required a pat on my back, sometimes simply from myself, and other times more intense ones; the kind that tear your very core, the kind that requires every ounce of breath in you to stand up and try again. Regardless of the size or the type, each occurrence made me learn something valuable about myself, allowed me to release something inside of me that was keeping me stagnant, and enabled me to grow and move in the direction I was meant to.
What I realized is that only in being aware of the pain within, was I able to release it, and free myself from restraint.
That’s what pain can be if not dealt with properly; shackles that weigh down your very existence.
I allow myself to realize that I am only human, made to feel a range of emotions: anger, sadness, joy, and compassion to name a few.
Emotional pain such as hurt, anger, sadness are just types, they serve to inform you but are not absolute, they should not last for long periods, and certainly not forever.
The places I occupy in life today, as a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend, only exist because of every emotion that has helped shaped who I am. Every experience that has a painful emotion attached to it, those that knock me down, continue to shape me.
How do I do it? Well it’s definitely not as easy as I make it sound in words. What I’ve learned to do over a long period of time is to program my brain towards thoughts that are more realistic instead of despairing. I read, I learn, I listen and I apply. I feed my brain with thoughts such as: “as necessary as I believe the pain is, I also know it’s not meant to prolong it’s time in my life, let it serve it’s purpose and then leave”, “I fall only to get up and try another route, “It’s OK to pain, but it’s also to be kind to myself and want the pain to end”. You may call it positive self talk, programming thoughts, or building neural connections. What I’ve noticed over the years is that each painful experience takes me less time to recover.
I have learned to put my foot down when I’ve had enough of pain, decide when the lesson has been learned, and then work to ease the feeling out of my life. My biggest support system is my Quran. So I turn to my Lord, knowing only He can mend my heart. There are countless versus that can comfort, ease and even erase the pain. The goal is to read them often, reflect and accept them as truth.
The comfort in the following words can only be felt by the heart that turns to them with conviction.
“And if Allah should touch you with adversity, there is no remover of it except Him. And if He touches you with good – then He is over all things competent.” (Quran 6:17)
This realization for me is always paramount. It takes away any feelings of hopelessness and allows me to take a breath towards release and healing. There are many ways to release emotional pain. Here are a few steps I practice when periods of life are working to break me down.
- Worship in all forms. Remembrance of Allah swt, charity, prayer, fasting. Remember whatever you intend from an action is what you will get out of it.
- Realize I have more control over my emotions than I allow myself to have. I accept my pain as is. I let it be without judgement, I don’t ask the why’s, or the when’s about it.Once accepted, I get proactive.
- Reflective learning is important to emotional growth. After the step two of acceptance I’m now ready to move past the emotion because I can feel and see clearly again. I now ask myself: did it redirect me? What lessons did it leave behind? Did it close or open certain doors in my life? How do I feel now?
- I make sure I turn to someone. Whether it’s my husband, a friend, a family member, or a community resource, support is key. I don’t wait for it to come knocking on my door, it’s already there, and I just have to turn to it.
In the very acts of me crying, begging, bowing, prostrating for mercy and help, there is guidance in all forms. After all, I’ve asked the King of the worlds, of course He will deliver. We can’t always wait for some huge bang of a miracle to come release us of our pain. Instead, pause and look around, you will see small miracles everywhere just waiting for you to hold on to them for hope. There is always a hand you can hold on to, a shoulder you can cry on, and words you can out pour. Remember you are never alone.
And this my friend, is the time when emotional release of pain happens, and the closed up bud inside of you starts to blossom- “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anaïs Nin