This morning during work in a children’s’ and adolescents’ mental health unit, a 14-year-old boy stated, “A human can’t be human without pain.” At fourteen, this young man throws this out there. I, for one, was dumbstruck with awe at the statement itself. I believe he said that to give himself permission to feel pain, anger, sadness, and any other emotion that came up. Again, at fourteen, this young man understands this. So, I wonder why we, as adults, fight that humanity. Pain is not fun; however, it is a part of life. Many levels of pain exists on many different scales. Many people I know deal with emotional pain and heartache on a daily basis. Pain that nobody else sees just by glancing as they pass by on a crowded sidewalk or even as they stare right at them across the dinner table. The emotional scars caused by emotional pain. Nobody is allowed to see those unless the scarred individual chooses for one to know. Later this afternoon, I witnessed the anger of a woman who had emotional scars so very deep they began to build upon each other. All of her pain had come out as anger until I asked her who hurt her as a child. She looked me right in the with a shocked expression and stated that it was probably her mother because her mother sold her when she was a baby. Her emotional pain, those scars became apparent to everyone in that room. That took courage for one trying to behave so tough, so hard.
Those events today hit me hard in my heart. I started thinking about how we allow ourselves, as adults, to continue being victimized by fear, by feelings of unworthiness, by feelings of loneliness, and by feelings of being unloved. As we do this, we also allow shame and guilt to control other lies in our heads. We never asked to be victimized or treated poorly in any certain way as children. We were supposed to be loved and looked after and seen. All anyone had to do was look. Look into your children’s eyes. What do you see? I do not have the answer to that question because I can only see my own children. I do see them. I give them permission to feel, to speak, to be afraid, to be angry, and I always have. Due to a most recent thing I read from someone in my past, I started thinking about what I was given permission to do. Without boring you with details, I will say it was not a lot. It was surely unlike what I have mentioned allowing for my children. Reading it caused me pain, and I allowed myself to feel that pain. I still feel it, actually. Confronting the person who wrote it would only cause more scarring of what is already on my heart and in my soul.
I suppose my point in this whole thing is that we are humans. We will feel pain, and that is not a bad thing all the time. We must question what we plan to do with that pain. It is hard to let go of. It may feel impossible as it has become somewhat of a security blanket for so many years. I plan on working on this. I plan on helping others work on this as well. It all has to start with one thing. It is one thing that seems so easily obtained from ourselves, yet it is so far out of reach sometimes. That one thing we need to obtain from ourselves? Permission. Permission to allow that “security blanket” to be thrown into the incinerator where it belongs. There are multiple other things to cling to for survival, safety, and comfort. What you choose for that to be is just that, your choice. Be courageous enough to give yourself that permission. You are worthy of being set free of that pain. So am I.