How To Stop The Pain From Controlling You
I’m sitting on my bed, my ponytail smashed to the side of my head, my face sticky with tears, and my eyes dried out. A pile of tissues are crumpled next to me. I just finished Breathwork, and it was the most intense sessions I’ve ever had.
I wrote about my heart aching a little over two weeks ago. It always amazes me how time keeps moving even when your mind hasn’t seemed to catch up with reality. My boyfriend and I broke up, something that feels really difficult to write. It was sudden, and I felt blindsided.
This breakup has brought up some of the deepest, darkest feelings I’ve ever felt in my life.
It’s amazing how much you can learn in such a short period of time. Pain can be our greatest teacher. I see so many blind spots. I see where I need work. It’s a beautiful thing. But I am also feeling something very dark and very deep.
I flew back to the East Coast to be with my family while I was grieving. There was one day when the truth revealed itself. Ironically, I was sitting in the bedroom where those beliefs were created. I sobbed into my mother’s arms like I was that little girl again and blurted out, “I feel like I’m unlovable.”
I was in such a raw and vulnerable place that there was no shame or fear to hide behind. My mind was no where to be found. It couldn’t rush in and create some kind of explanation to prove I didn’t believe it. It couldn’t figure out all of the ways I could be different to make things better. It couldn’t build a story about why he isn’t strong enough for me.
It was just time for the truth.
I don't exactly know why this part of me believes I’m unlovable. It’s not how I choose to live my life, but I’m aware it’s something that’s unconsciously driving me.
Now I am back in Los Angeles, back in my little home. Alone. Here to face it all. And today I had deep seated anxiety every time I thought about my ex. A big ball of fear and pain and anxiety sat in my stomach all day. I did 3 different meditations and tried repeatedly to get into a positive state of mind. Nothing worked. The feeling grew stronger. So I knew I needed to do Breathwork to clear it.
As you practice Breathwork over time you begin to get in tune with your body, and you can feel when you need to Breathe. This is how we heal ourselves, by listening to the body and then doing the work. So I followed the signs of intense anxiety and fear in my body, and I started to Breathe.
This session was the most intensely emotionally painful one I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve used Breathwork as a tool through other breakups. But this time something was different. If you’ve never experienced Breathwork before, after breathing for several minutes you can begin to emotionally open up. Sometimes you’ll feel blissful and other times you’ll feel emotional pain rising. It depends on what’s going on in your life. Many people cry as a way of releasing the traumas we’ve held on to. After only a few breaths I began sobbing, and I have never cried so hard in my entire life. I felt like there was a wound deep in my core from a very long time ago.
It had nothing to do with my relationship and everything to do with my own beliefs about myself.
As I cried my body heaved repeatedly, a way for it to purge the pain, and I allowed it. My heart felt like it was shattered in a million pieces. I could literally feel what it feels like to have a broken heart. This was a whole new level of pain for me. I would Breathe, cry, Breathe, scream, Breathe, cry. Over and over again. And it was hard. The breathing wasn’t hard. The screaming wasn’t hard. The crying wasn’t hard. But being with the pain was almost unbearable. Twice I sat up feeling like I couldn’t be with the pain in my heart, but I went back to it because I know my life is calling me to face it all. I needed to walk through the fire.
And now I’m exhausted, but I see some very deep truths I have been hiding from my entire life. I see that when I was a very little girl, for some reason I’m not totally sure of, I took on the belief that I am not worthy of love. I always felt loved by my family, but I never felt understood, and I often felt lonely. So that may be what developed the belief. And I’ve been unconsciously trying to get my boyfriends to fill that void. During my session I could feel my desperation to reach out to the person I love so dearly, to have him hold me and smother my pain with his love. And I knew that the only love that would heal this pain for good is my own. So I gave it to myself.
I know the truth. I know I am lovable. I know I am worthy of love. I know I don’t need anyone else to make me whole. I know I am beautiful as I am. I know I will always be ok.
When I walked through my own pain I saw that truth. Being able to be with the pain and allow myself to love the wounded parts of me on my own, to not reach out to someone who can’t heal me, is immense progress. I am on the other side now, messy hair and all, and I feel clearer and lighter. I know myself more intimately than I ever have before. I am stronger and more powerful.
Our emotional states do not last forever. Going through the pain may not be pleasant, but who you are on the other side is so worth it. Because the thing is that if you don’t face the darkness it still drives you.