You may have done all the reading on healing that exists out there, visited as many therapists as you’d like and tried a host of various anti-depressant medications, but no matter which route you may take to heal, at some point, we’ve all gotta do this: simply face our pain.

Pain is gruelling, which is why I understand why so many of us try to build our lives avoiding it. It’s certainly not a pleasant experience and neither is it easy, no. When we break a leg, we have the privilege of casting our eye on our wound and watch it heal with the right therapies, as the days pass by. However, when it comes to emotional wounds, we gaze inwards and are often met with a long, seemingly never-ending hallway of childhood memories and traumas which we’ve collected over the years. We simply don’t know where to begin. So we shut the door and build a new adjacent corridor, believing that if we only direct our attention to something else – a newer, happier, more optimistic life, we can overcome our wounds, we can outlive the past.

In a strange way, this never seems to truly work. Weirdly enough, these 2 corridors begin to merge and w somehow find our wounds from childhood unconsciously affecting our relationships today. We realise how our unresolved anger and frustration boils over into how we choose to parent. We come to find how a sense of low self-esteem and self-neglect is intrinsically tied to not feeling seen or heard as children.

No matter how many corridors we build, we realise that these wounds are desperately calling for our attention. What looks like a dark, never-ending corridor actually needs more of our presence and compassion. It doesn’t need to be shut closed and pushed down. It needs to be opened again and breathed into.

We don’t get to choose our wounds, but I have learnt that we get to choose what to do with it.

Sometimes, we just need to make space for and listen to the wound which speaks.

So, I’m going to encourage us all to (at our own pace and with support from a therapist or mentor if need be), take a small peek into this deep, dark corridor which we all carry within. We don’t need to know what lay ahead of us in there. In fact, we don’t need to know anything, except that we CAN do this.

When you take a step inwards, notice the sensations around you. How does the atmosphere feel? What is your heart saying? Does your mind want to turn back and escape? It’s okay. We’re here now and we’re ging to shine a light of compassion and presence at just this spot, for today. There’s hope. You’re not meant to suffer for the rest of your life. There’s hope. Sit down and listen deeper. What exists here? If there is a wound which cries, allow it to cry. We don’t need to fill the space with anything else but compassion and deep listening right now. We don’t need to know anything, but that there exists hope for us and our journeys. It doesn’t matter what we’ve been through or how dark our tunnel may look. There is always, always hope. We don’t even know what to say or what exactly to do. Just sit for now and listen…

(Stay tuned for our weekly series on how to make space for pain – entering the dark territories of our inner wounds)

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