“As long as you make an identity for yourself out of pain, you cannot be free of it.” ~Eckhart Tolle
When we are grieving deeply, our pain can be so overwhelming that it seems to have taken over our entire life and identity. It’s important to remember that no matter how intense our relationship is with our pain, it is still not who we are. When we remind ourselves that it’s just something we are in relationship with (even an overwhelming intense one at times), it helps us keep our identity separate from it so that we do not find ourselves stuck with it for good.
“To demand that others should provide you with answers is like asking a strange woman to give birth to your baby. There are insights that can be born only of your own pain, and they are most precious.” ~Janusz Korczak
I so often want others to give me life’s answers, but I’ve always discovered life’s most important answers inside myself. What answers might you need to stop looking for anyone else to give you, so that you can find them yourself instead?
“Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.” ~Robert H. Schuller
It’s so easy to let our past losses shape our future, but we do so much better to learn from the losses and continue to let our hopes guide our way forward. Which do you allow to shape your future?
“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.” ~Rumi
Life breaks our hearts for us so often. Do you use those occasions as opportunities to open your heart? Or do you close it down? The choice is yours.
“Instead of asking ourselves, “How can I find security and happiness?” we could ask ourselves, “Can I touch the center of my pain? Can I sit with suffering, both yours and mine, without trying to make it go away? Can I stay present to the ache of loss or disgrace—disappointment in all its many forms—and let it open me?” This is the trick.” ~Pema Chödrön
How well are you able to sit with your own suffering? What about the suffering of others? The only way to heal our pain is by going through it, and that means being able to sit with it, open to it, and touch its very center. We need to be able to do that for ourselves and accompany others as they do the same, without rushing to make it all go away. This may be the hardest challenge most of us will ever face.