Welcome to Citizen of the World Podcast, this is episode 15. Today I want to inspire action outside your comfort zone by addressing pain. I disclose how to find strength in pain. We all have experienced pain in one way or another. But, do you let your pain bring you down? Do you live in your pain? Instead, find strength in pain with the tips I will provide in this podcast. Finding strength in pain is a choice you have.
Use your Pain to Shine
Part of being a citizen of the world, is taking our life experiences, and growing from them. We can use our pain to actually shine our light, instead of letting pain bring us down.
How to Find Strength in Pain
I’ve chosen to talk about finding strength in pain for this week’s episode because my mother has been my largest source of pain for my entire life. But, because of my mindset, the pain has also been my best life lesson. Let me explain. Listen on Apple iTunes here.
From a young age, when I was about 5 years old, my mother told me she was going to kill herself. However, she didn’t. So, as a child I was always so confused. Because of her mental illnesses and her inability to find strength in her own pain, she was often erratic, impulsive and unpredictable. She wasn’t there for me like most moms are for their children. When she would bring me to school, she would yell at the principal and other teachers. Making me feel very embarrassed. From a young age, I was able to see that I didn’t want to be like her. So, from a young age, I told myself that the key to success in life, was being exactly the opposite of my mother. I lived my adolescent life in fear of my mother, but thankfully I had my father.
Life Goes On
My father and grandmother raised me to the best of their abilities. I went to live with my dad full time, at a young age. He himself was also a victim of her abuse, and together we retreated in peace. Life would have to go on.
Throughout my life, I have let my mother in, time and time again. Each time, I am left the victim. Everyone always tells me you cant ignore your mother, she gave you life, she is your mom after all, you need to help her. But, when it comes to pain, we as human beings do what is necessary for self-survival.
How to Find Strength in Pain: Help Yourself
Now that I’m 29, it had been over a year that I spoke to my mother. So, I started to feel like maybe I should reach out to her. So, I did. We had one good conversation, before everything turned again. On a peaceful Saturday night, I received voicemails from her of putting me down, yelling at me, and just the most ridiculous things. I know, I cannot help her. Because when it comes to mental health, we must help ourselves. So, my friends – let me share with you key guiding principles of how I’ve lived my life. How I took pain, and turned it into strength.
Number 1 – Be conscious.
As a young child, I was always aware of right and wrong. When my mother would cause a scene over nothing, I knew I wasn’t the problem, but she was. As a 5 year old child, I was present enough to know what something was wrong. Whatever is causing you pain, try to look at it objectively. My own presence helped me become the person I am today because I was able to separate myself from her.
Learn to separate yourself from pain. Acknowledge that pain can be temporary.
Number 2 – Let go of the victim identity
We all have choices in this world. We all have voices inside our heads. As I learned in Eckhart Tolle’s, A New Earth, the people who can’t control the voices inside their head, or who identify too closely with such thoughts, end up with psychosis. We can control how we react to situations. And, we can choose to be happy, or to be sad. You can take your pain, and choose to keep it in you, or you can choose to set it free.
Whatever pain you are holding inside you, let it go. Recognize the pain, and fight hard to overcome it. We can design our own life futures. We can choose to be stuck in a victim mentality, and let the pain influence our life. I could have said to myself, well my mother never loved me and didn’t raise me properly, so I can’t be a good person. However, what good would that bring? Instead, rise above the pain.
Number 3 – Learn from the Pain
I was so hard on myself to form a different reality. The pain created me into the person I am today. From being a young girl, I’ve lived with pain and instability. That pain turned into resiliency and not being afraid of challenges as an adult. I know that the hard path is the path that will teach you something.
Since a young age, I’ve forced myself to be better. I worked hard in elementary school and high school to get into university. My mother never graduated high school, and I have 6 years of university experience. I left Canada at the age of 25, to backpack South America, then went to pursue my masters degree in Israel. I wanted to define myself away from who I was in Ottawa. Moving away, living new experiences, opened my mind to so much more. I took time for self discovery so that I could be free. I did not neglect the pain, but I decided to spread my wings and become my own person.
Self Love: How to Find Strength in Pain
Whatever your pain needs to heal, do it. Only you know. But, do not identify with this pain, let it go and let it make you stronger.
But, in my case, my constant need to excel and be better, caused me to have some kind of anxiety. Anxiety to always be doing, creating and performing. Now, I use exercise, meditation, yoga, and spending time in nature to relax. Now that I’m 29 and have a family of my own, I can’t always be in 6th gear. I’ve learned to slow down and nourish my inner child. My inner child now finally gets to be free. I have now given myself permission to be playful and creative, which is why I’ve written a book, and now have this awesome podcast. I’ve learned to let my inner child flourish thanks to Julia Cameron’s exercise book, An artist’s way. The book encourages journalling and spending time alone with your inner child to love them. You can love yourself the way others didn’t. That is why self care if so important.
Whatever pain you are living with, I urge you to let it go. Let go of what doesn’t serve you. Take the pain, and rise above it. That’s what will create a better future for yourself, and for the entire planet.
Find the Light
My mother didn’t have an easy life. Her own mother died when she was 9 years old. But, is that a reason to continue to create pain in her own life, and for those around her? Deal with your pain, or it will take over your life. Darkness is dark and can really stop the light. You need to fight to find that light. Once you find it, never let it go. Do not let your emotions rule you. You are not your emotions. With effort, you can learn to deal with your emotions instead of letting them take over you. When a bad emotion comes in, ask yourself who is really getting upset? Learn to be the watcher of your emotions, so you don’t fall victim to your own emotions.
As it’s Easter, I want to wish everyone a happy easter. Jesus found strength in pain. He died for all of us.
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4
To me, this biblical scripture summarizes it all – everything is temporary, and whatever hurt you, can no longer hurt you. The future is in your hands.
If pain has stopped you from living your best life, spend some time with Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way, or read a new earth by Eckhart Tolle. A new perspective, might just be what you need to bring light in your life. The more light, instead of darkness you have, the more you can shine your light and impact others.
Break free from your comfort zone
As always, citizen of the world podcast inspires action outside your comfort zone. Living with pain, might actually be someone’s comfort zone. Break free from that pain, to see a whole world of opportunities. If you liked this podcast, please share with your family and friends. You never know how a podcast can change someone’s life. We all need breath of fresh air, and let this podcast help others shine their light bright.