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Giving Space to Pain

After the initial stage of a traumatic or difficult event (which can be a few minutes or a few years) we reach the second stage of working with trauma.

After we have made sure we are safe and have begun to find resources that will give us inner and outer strength and resilience, we can begin to give space to pain.

I could write a whole book about what it means to give space to pain, but I will briefly try to convey some of the art of healing that allows us to face and release pain that we hold inside.

Giving space to pain is one of the most complex and difficult things we can do in our lives as humans. Giving space to pain is perhaps the thing we avoid the most. From the perspective of our survival instincts, it makes no sense at all to give space to pain and most of the time our biological systems are programmed to avoid pain in any way possible. From the medical system that provides us with painkillers to the culture of consuming addictive substances (drugs, alcohol, television, sex, etc.) our culture offers us more and more ways to avoid pain so that maybe we can feel a little bit better.

But what is understood more and more in the healing schools I have visited, is that the fastest and most sustainable way to release pain is to give it space.

In my opinion, this is an art that sometimes takes years to even begin to understand what it means and to internalize that there is a possibility that it is beneficial to us. When we start moving in the direction of leaning towards the pain and not away, we notice a fundamental change in how pain affects us and lives within us.

Everything I have written so far is only to say that it is natural that we are in pain, that it is also natural that we try to avoid the pain inside of us, and that at some point there may be a time when it will be natural to allow this pain to exist inside us.

When I give space to the pain, I stop, even for just a moment, the struggle against it, the fear of it and the wish for it not to exist.

When I give space to pain I can feel the injustice, the helplessness, the rage, the grief, the sadness and the heartbreak. The guilt, the shame, the despair and the anguish that are inside me.

I try not to give the pain more space than I can handle. The stronger the resources I gathered in the first stage, the more space I will have to be present with greater pain.

When I give space to pain I agree not to know, not to be right or have an opinion about why things happened the way they did.

When I give space to pain, I stop doing for a moment, stop the actions that are sometimes meant to help me not feel the pain. I stop everything and just feel, just give space, just stay in the ocean of ​​pain that is in my heart and my body.

When I give space to pain, a new movement begins. The pain starts to move inside me, sometimes it may hurt more at first, but the stuckness of the pain that was there before, no longer remains the same.

And this movement allows something new to happen inside me. And I can go back to different resources when I need to and even go back to avoiding the pain when I need to.

And when I have more strength I continue giving space to the pain. I feel the sadness and anger and fear again. I cry and scream and fall apart.

And all of this allows room for life and love to move freely within me.

Because when there is space for pain then there is also space for love.


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