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This week I sat with my pain for three minutes.

Pain or feelings that are familiar to me, but most of them I can do without. Over the past few months, I’ve been noticing so much transformation in the way that I show up, both for myself and others. It has been a gift from the Universe that I didn’t consciously ask for, but rather, chose me. The beginning of anything that you are unfamiliar with is always rocky and this was no different. It took months to get over the initial shock of needing to shed what wasn’t working for me anymore. There’s grief involved in letting go of the version of yourself that kept you safe all those years. Trauma has a way of burying itself into your core and then showing up unannounced over and over again. When the body experiences this, it thinks it needs to self-protect even though you are safe. Triggers are what these are called, rightfully so. Whenever I hear that word in relation to mental health, I think of a trigger finger, firing emotions aimed at the target, which is usually me. In the past, my triggers hit a bullseye, every, single, time.

I’m getting control of these triggers, which for me means, noticing but not reacting. I’m not a mental health professional so I don’t know the medical science for why I feel calmer, but I do know that it has something to do with decreased activation of my amygdala, the part of my brain that is linked to fear.

I don’t consider myself a fearful person. The opposite in fact. I’ve battled and survived. I stand up for what I believe in and I don’t back down in the face of adversity so as you can imagine, this realization causes a bit of internal conflict for me. What am I so afraid of in myself? How can that even be and what does that even mean? I’m searching for these answers but sitting with my pain was a good place to start.

What I noticed was, it hurt like a mothafucker. Seriously! As tears streamed down my face, I felt shame, guilt, sadness, all the shitty feelings that swirl around inside of me, taking up space. Even when I feel fantastic, like I do now, they are still there, like a hotel, checked out for a moment, but they’ll be back. They always come back. Am I afraid of these feelings? Maybe. Are they a part of me? Yes. Do I have to get rid of them? No.

So, next time I feel those nasty feelings living inside of me, I'll take a few deep belly breaths, and say to myself: “I’m ok, there’s nothing I need to do or fix. I don’t like feeling you very much, but you are here and and I’m not afraid anymore.”


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