As recovering codependents, part of our journey is knowing that even though we have the capacity to endure something, we simply choose not to and love ourselves during and after the making of that decision.
Many of us became really skilled not at processing pain but ignoring it. We did this because we needed to in order to get by, in order to focus on the task at hand, in order to function in our lives, in order to please others, in order to pretend we were okay when we weren’t.
While as children, this skill may have served us in various ways, we’re adults now and we are fully capable of acknowledging, feeling, processing, and releasing the pain we may have been ignoring for so long.
When we deny our pain we deny a part of ourselves. We deny our right to wellbeing. We deny that we are deserving of better treatment from ourselves.
Pain that goes unacknowledged feels like a tidal wave that keeps pulling back and never releasing, gaining more and more momentum, threatening more each day to crash down upon us and leave destruction in its wake. The irony is that while we think opening ourselves up to feeling the pain will cause turmoil, the exact opposite is true.
Denying our feelings—ignoring our pain—results in depression, overeating, overdrinking, addiction, unhealthy relationships, dependence on escaping/coping mechanisms, anger management issues, poor decision making, overspending, blaming others, and many other destructive behaviors.
It is only when we decide to face and feel the pain we’ve been denying that we make it possible to let go of the aforementioned destructive behaviors and the dysfunctional emotional patterns that created them in the first place.
I want to tell you that you have EVERYTHING to gain from feeling the feelings you’ve been ignoring, and nothing to lose. What you will be leaving behind are things you don’t even want in your life: inner turmoil, the dread of having those emotions come up, feeling like your life isn’t even yours. What you will be on your way towards are the things you’ve always wanted but never thought you’d be able to have: peace, emotional wellbeing, happiness, robust self confidence, trust in yourself, connection to your intuition, fun, and a life that truly is all your own.