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How I Learned That My Pain is Valid and Worthy of My Own Empathy and Love

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How I Learned That My Pain is Valid and Worthy of My Own Empathy and Love


How I Learned That My Pain is Valid and Worthy of My Own Empathy and Love

“Sit with it. Sit with it. Sit with it. Sit with it. Although you wish to run. Even when it’s heavy and troublesome. Although you’re not fairly certain of the best way by. Therapeutic occurs by feeling.” ~Dr. Rebecca Ray

It’s July 2022 and I’m in the midst of a pink tent at Shambala Music Pageant in British Columbia.

I sit elbow to elbow, knee to knee, coronary heart to coronary heart with a gaggle of ladies who I’m assembly for the primary time.

It’s sizzling and we’re sweaty.

A instructor is main a therapeutic womb meditation, and she or he prompts us to establish an individual that has brought on us ache, in order that we will launch that individual and the ability they wield over us.

I’m arising brief, pondering…

“Nobody has brought on me any actual ache.”

“I don’t have any actual trauma.”

“The ache I’ve skilled isn’t unhealthy sufficient.”

So I directed my therapeutic vitality to 2 pals who I believed have been in want of extra therapeutic than me.

I immediately realized what I used to be doing. I used to be defining my pals by their perceived abundance of ache and trauma and defining myself by my supposed lack of ache and trauma.

I knew in that second that this was in all probability not truthful to my pals or to me, however this mind-set had been acquainted to me all through my thirty-two years of dwelling.

Over and over, I’ve discovered myself feeling responsible for the truth that I don’t suppose I’ve any “actual” trauma.

I come from a steady house with dad and mom who love and assist me. Rising up, I had every thing I wanted and most issues I needed. I’ve an enormous brother who is without doubt one of the greatest males (greatest people) I do know. I grew up in a middle-class a part of Maryland. I’ve white pores and skin in America. I can see, hear, and transfer my physique.

I used to continuously surprise how the challenges I’ve skilled may probably stack up in opposition to these of my pals. She who skilled the deepest sexual trauma at a younger age; or she who had an alcoholic father who was bodily and emotionally abusive; or she who’s commonly profiled when she walks house to her condo due to the colour of her pores and skin.

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Or how my challenges may stack up in opposition to college students I’ve mentored…like a ten-year-old boy from Syria whose legs are embellished with shrapnel scars; or a fifteen-year-old boy from Eritrea who was a baby soldier; or a sixteen-year-old younger girl who’s the caretaker for her sick mom and 5 youthful brothers and sisters.

Fortunately for me, and for you, I’ve indifferent from my battle story that my ache shouldn’t be sufficient. I’ve discovered fairly just a few issues and shifted away from this unhealthy mind-set about ache and trauma.

First, I’ve discovered, and can proceed to re-learn, that there isn’t a competitors for who has suffered essentially the most. Trauma and ache should not a comparability sport. 

All experiences, feelings, and emotions are legitimate. And all of us get to observe empathy and consciousness, for and of, the experiences and heartache of others, and of ourselves.

I’ve additionally discovered that individuals are not outlined by their trauma. 

And I’m deeply sorry to the folks in my life who I’ve ever outlined on this manner.

My closing studying is that the issues I’ve skilled are legitimate and sufficient to warrant my very own empathy, therapeutic, and love. 


The numerous instances having intercourse with a earlier associate, though I didn’t wish to, as a result of it was simply simpler to associate with it. Which resulted in a interval of my life the place I actually didn’t like intercourse. I instructed myself, it’s not that huge of a deal, it’s simply intercourse.

The strain from a buddy to fiddle together with her boyfriend whereas she watched. Although I stated, “I don’t wish to.”  I instructed myself I used to be simply being a prude. This ought to be enjoyable. What’s mistaken with me?

The grabs and gropes on the road, within the membership, on the bar. I instructed myself this simply got here with the territory of being a girl.

The undesirable contact and advance from a buddy. I instructed myself I’ll simply overlook this and transfer on.

The disgrace of one-night stands, though I knew he, whoever he was, felt not disgrace however one thing extra akin to glory. I instructed myself it was my fault for having a one-night stand. I introduced this disgrace upon myself

All of those experiences, and extra, have been buried deep inside me for years and I had barely been conscious of them, till lately, as I’ve launched into a really intentional journey of self-excavation.

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For me, this journey has included meditation, prayer, journaling, somatic therapeutic, and experiences just like the one within the pink tent.

I launched into this journey pondering I’d unpack just a few insecurities and transfer on with my life with relative ease.

However what has really occurred is that I’ve uncovered so many hidden treasures in myself.

These treasures are typically within the type of previous ache. Different instances they take the type of nuggets of concepts that I buried way back for a wet day. And but different instances, they’re within the type of issues that I used to like as a baby however forgot about as I grew up and was instructed by the world what I used to be supposed to like and who I used to be alleged to be.

And now I get to excavate even additional to see what every of those treasures is right here to show me. For those I shared above, there’s a clear theme of sexuality, and that theme has led me to deep dive into this house with myself. This appears like self-pleasure, dancing bare within the mirror, loving each a part of my physique, and talking my wishes out loud to my associate.

This journey has plunged me into the depths of my very own darkness. And in that plunge, I’ve been reminded of my very own energy—of my potential to bask within the darkness, all whereas understanding I will likely be okay.

I additionally get to remind myself that I’m sufficient. My ache is legitimate. I’m worthy of taking over house.

Guess what. The identical goes for you, love.


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