Updated: Apr 22, 2022
There's a saying that goes:
"A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for."
But is it really?
I have spent most of my life trying not to feel inadequate. My brain had me convinced it's too dangerous . . . too painful. My life choices reflect this pain intolerance.
Pain intolerance kept me living a small life; kept me accepting less than I am capable of; refusing to stretch myself beyond what I was certain I could accomplish; so I would never have to experience failure and feel that painful feeling.
My actions to avoid the pain of inadequacy has given me the opportunity to feel another painful emotion: regret.
To avoid feeling regret I buffered with denial: "I didn’t want to accomplish that goal as much as I thought I did."
"That goal wasn’t worth the sacrifice."
"So glad I didn’t get what I thought I wanted, that would have been too hard to maintain."
Blah, blah, blah.
Denial of my own truth set me up to feel another negative emotion: betrayal...self-betrayal is the yuckiest kind.
Our brains trick us into thinking that if we control our invironment to proctect us from feeling bad, that we’ll end up feeling protected from pain.
Except that we end up feeling even more unprotected. The result: anxiety and fear.
The irony? Whenever you are trying to construct your life in such a way so as to avoid feeling a painful emotion, your life will choreograph situations in which the emotion you’re trying to avoid will become the resulting emotion . . .
. . . until you choose to learn how to handle it.
I’ve decided I'm now intolerant of pain intolerance.
I’ve been practicing feeling negative emotion . . .
. . . and it has not been easy.
It’s been hard.
Staying as I’ve been has been painful too. Avoiding pain causes pain.
Choose your pain.
On the other side of feeling our painful emotions is freedom from the imprisoning life that pain intolerance creates.
The key to this prison–to everything we want in life is practicing and achieving emotional health; the willingness to experience any and all human emotions; to treat all emotions the same is to open ourselves up to the fullness of human life.
The feeling cannot be handled efficiently by controlling, indulging (That's so Emo), or resisting it . . . it must be surrendered to over and over until our brains learn that it won't kill us after all; until we start to KNOW that we can experience it like any other feeling.
Freedom to live our dreams is the result.
P.S. If you want to achieve freedom from emotional prison, book a discovery session with me today. The beginning is hard. You can do hard things. You already have. It just keeps getting better from there. I'll be with you every step of the way.