Why we need to talk about emotional pain

Why we need to talk about emotional pain

 

Emotional pain is something everyone deals with even though many don’t want to talk about it.

Some hide it out of fear and shame.

Some still fail to see the need to talk about it believing a person ought to just get over whatever is bothering them.

But there is no just get over it with emotional pain.

This attitude isn’t pushed when someone has physical pain like a broken bone or migraines. When someone goes to the doctor with physical pain they talk about it, the doctor validates it and moves in the direction of healing. Emotional pain is as real as physical pain and deserves the same treatment.

I am one of many who understand emotional pain needs to be talked about it and validated.

Emotional pain is as real as physical pain and deserves the same treatment. Click To Tweet

We need to push for awareness.

 

Why awareness?

Because we are unable to do anything about what we can’t see.

People are blind to so much. That has included me. But now I’ve been made aware of my blind spot.

That’s what awareness can do. Point out the blind spot.

 

My lesson in awareness

It came following two joyous announcements I received on the same day. One from a friend that her daughter had been born and the other that they were finally pregnant.

The one whose daughter was born had struggled to become pregnant but I didn’t know that until after the baby was born. I had a blind spot.

I’d been aware of the struggle of my other friend to get pregnant so understood how huge this joy was…or so I thought, but I was wrong. I had a blind spot and didn’t even know it.

As I listened as my two friends share more details of their situations my eyes were opened to a depth of emotional pain I’d not been aware of.

And as I contemplated the depth of this one topic, infertility, I saw our lack of awareness for one another in emotional pain across the board —because we don’t talk about it.

I saw how our ignorance is a blind spot and causes pain or slaps band-aids on what needs to be talked about, validated and healed.

Without awareness we don’t know, that we don’t know stuff, that would be helpful to know.

Without awareness we don’t know, that we don’t know stuff, that would be helpful to know. Click To Tweet

So how do we overcome this relational tragedy? Genuine connection.

 

Awareness causes connection

Because they talked about it, I became more aware of my friends’ emotional pain and it connected my heart to theirs in a deeper way. It gave me the opportunity to listen, validate and aid in their healing.

Natalie Brenner is a mom familiar with the emotional pain of infertility. Having struggled long and hard she and her husband adopted a son. She shares her story in her new book The Undeserved Life.

I read an excerpt from her book and it gave me an awareness of the emotional pain of adoption.

Before I read her words I was aware of the joy of adoption. Yay. It’s all celebration, right? I understood the process is grueling but it’s all for a happy ending right?

There may be some truth in that but it misses something.

The joy of adoption comes at the price of great sorrow because a loss occurred so another could gain. Click To Tweet

Natalie opened my eyes to the other side of the story. The joy of adoption comes at the price of great sorrow because a loss occurred so another could gain.

I must acknowledge that though his adoption embodies graciousness, it is also a reminder this world is not as it should be. Brokenness permeates our world. Sure, beauty is born from ashes, but the ashes don’t just magically disappear. Suffering and all that is wrong in this world still exists.

This side of heaven, tragedy remains and the moments of her son becoming ours is a representation of joy and suffering deeply intertwined. Our son, the living proof and blessing that love is what makes a family, also reminds us that adoption is born out of undeniable loss. Irrevocable loss of wholeness, of what was meant to be.

To only acknowledge the beauty without giving voice to the tragedy, is to detract from adoption. In diminishing the tragedy of adoption, I decrease my son’s story, along with others a part of the adoption circle. I would be choosing to ignore a massive portion of who he is.

This Undeserved Life (emphasis mine)

I appreciated her sharing that so much. It was eye opening. She understands that even though she’s providing a place of joy and love and provision, her son will have sorrow that will need to be validated and healed.

Because of her awareness of the pain he will feel, she’ll connect with him and help him process his feelings about his birth mom.

Why does this matter?

 

Connection brings healing

Connecting to one another about our pain creates a common ground that fosters trust. In this trust is a powerful union that brings mutual compassion and healing. I suffered a long time with emotional pain negated by invalidation.

Trauma is personal. It does not disappear if it is not validated. When it is ignored or invalidated the silent screams continue internally heard only by the one held captive. When someone enters the pain and hears the screams healing can begin. – Emerging With Wings: A True Story of Pain, Lies, and The LOVE that Heals.

Connecting in joy is easy. Connecting in the pain is messy. But that’s where the healing begins. Entering each other’s pain.

When we share and connect to each other in the painful places, helping each other process it, we build bonds of communion that foster deep connection.

Not just with each other but we become more compassionate, accepting and forgiving people and the world needs us to be people like that.

When we are carried by others who have connected with our pain it empowers us to carry others.

The emotional pain that seeks to weaken us can be turned into strength through the power of… Click To Tweet

The emotional pain that seeks to weaken us can be turned into strength through the power of connection. Again, this is something Natalie speaks about in her new book The Undeserved Life – she calls it uncovering the gifts of grief.

And no, what causes us grief is not the plan of God.

I love how Natalie challenges these misguided attempts of comfort which deepen pain.

There’s much more to Natalie’s story. One thing is she became pregnant during the adoption process and now had two adorable sons. Get a copy of her book The Undeserved Life here.

Have you been personally touched by the trauma of infertility, miscarriage, premature birth or…? I lost one grandbaby before birth and two others were premature – it changed me.

Emotional pain does that – we need to talk about it.

There is no 'just get over it' with emotional pain. Click To Tweet

 

Next step:

  • What emotional pain comes to mind as you read this? Please talk about it – you can do it here, even anonymously, I care.
  • Can we get rid of blind spots if a person is hiding their pain? What can we do?
  • Emotional pain can make us feel unloved. This can help: Love’s Manifesto free here.
  • The song If You Want To Love Someone has the second line: search your heart for where it’s broken, find the cracks and pour your love in… read/listen here.

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6 thoughts on “Why we need to talk about emotional pain

  1. It’s hard for ones that’s never experienced emotional pain to have understanding, I have heard the get over, suck it up butter cup that’s the past so many times, The give it to Jesus its over and yes Jesus has helped me ,but I had to confront the one who sexually abused me before the healing could really begin , I buried it deep, it’s amazing how just hearing I’m sorry can help, not only emotionally ,but healing in my physical body, I have also suffered through 2 miscarriages, that took healing also, My prayer is Lord make me aware of others when they are hurting and need a listening ear, a hug, some understanding that emotional healing is a process, but there is light at the end of the tunnel! God Bless you Danielle for you insightfulness, and encouragement to be who God created us to be, and face the good, the bad, and the ugly! Love and Prayers Glenna

    1. I’m so sorry for your pain and the invalidating band-aids you’ve gotten.
      The give it to Jesus and it’s over is particularly irritating to me and shows such a lack of compassion.

      I can’t imagine how hard it was to confront your abuser.
      And then losing two babies, my heart cries with you.
      I’m thankful for all the healing you’ve experienced. It is a process. Sometimes a really long one. And I agree, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I finally got free from some stuff, as you know from reading my book.
      You have a precious soul, Glenna. Thank you for being courageous and sharing.
      Love, Danielle

  2. “Because they talked about it, I became more aware of my friends’ emotional pain and it connected my heart to theirs in a deeper way. It gave me the opportunity to listen, validate and aid in their healing.”

    Vulnerability is where connection happens!

  3. Thanks Dani for sharing this thought provoking article. My fav quote from it is, “When someone enters the pain and hears the screams, healing can begin.” This is so very true. I’ve been privileged to enter someone else’s screams recently-sacred ground in my opinion-because it requires trust on the hurting person’s part. But I’ve also been blessed when others were bold enough to approach me in times of my own need. Yes, this is exactly when healing begins. Love is the bridge of connection between the person in pain and the person offering their heart of compassion to listen to that pain so that healing can begin. Loved this post!

    1. You’re so welcome, Roz. You’re not alone in the love of that quote. I’ve found that particular quote from my book all over the internet. When I penned it, it was an inner declaration I felt alone in. I had no idea it would resonate with so many.

      I love your term – sacred ground.
      I agree that being allowed to enter someone’s screams to walk with them is a place of privilege – sacred ground.

      Thank you for sharing and I pray comfort and healing for the person you’re giving your heart of compassion to. You are a precious soul, my friend.

Please share your thoughts!