I often hear people diminish their own suffering with phrases like:
It's just first world problems. I have it so much easier than other people. It's no big deal. I really have no right to complain.
Sometimes we say these things because we’re trying to remind ourselves to be grateful for what we do have. Sometimes it’s because we’re ashamed of our own needs and of our own vulnerability. Sometimes it’s because we’re afraid to let ourselves feel what’s really going on. But I want you to know that your pain matters, too. It doesn’t make a difference how extreme your pain is, or whether anyone else can recognize that it hurts as much as it does. Your pain still matters. And it is important to feel and acknowledge it fully. In fact, it’s one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself and for the world. Let me explain.
First of all, everyone deserves love and respect. And you are no exception. We are each one of us part of humanity, each one of us a part of Creation, of this mysterious Universe – and ALL of it is worthy of love. In fact, the ultimate nature of it all is simply love. When you honor your pain, you bring love and acceptance to the piece of the Universe that is you – to the piece that it is your honor to be and your responsibility to care for.
Pain, on the other hand, is a sign that our energy is blocked. It signals where in our physical and emotional bodies love is not flowing – where it is stuck or cut off. When we acknowledge our pain, we are gently shining the light of awareness on it. We allow it to be without judgment, without trying to change it. We simply hold space for ourselves to feel it – noticing it, maybe naming it, sensing its texture and where we hold it in our bodies. Like a good friend, we let pain tell its story, listening to it patiently, without trying to judge it, or fix it, or shut it down.
And that is the magic. That simple act of care, that acknowledgement that our pain matters, that it is important, too – is what allows it to transform. Our awareness brings the flow of love into the areas that were blocked. And that love gently invites them first to clear and then, as they are ready, to fill with everything that love brings – peace, insight, joy, new possibilities, and so much more.
As we learn to be patient with our pain, we discover compassion for our own suffering, understanding of the human struggle, and wonder for the vastness of Being. As we heal, we become a brighter channel for the love that flows through the Universe. We become a brighter light in the darkness. And that is exactly what makes our world a better place. In fact, it is the key to supporting both ourselves and others on this great healing journey. As we fill with love and light, we learn to ease our own suffering and the suffering of those around us.
You see, your pain matters because it is your gateway to understanding and transforming not only your own pain, but the collective pain of being human – what we all have in common, what connects us together. If you linger outside, lamenting that your pain isn’t big enough or important enough to count, then you’re going to miss this whole beautiful journey. So, go ahead and feel your pain. Acknowledge it, honor it, and, as you feel ready, allow it to transform. You’ll change the whole world as you do, starting with yourself.
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