Living Intentionally - Week 1: Let's Talk About Hurt
Not exactly what you had in mind for our first week of our 8 week series on living intentionally, is it? But hey, here we are. Here's the deal, I'll just say it: I. hate. pain. I actually loathe going through heartbreak. I don't know anyone that loves it or even likes going through times of sadness, but I hate it. The reason? I'm just not good at it. (I'm Gilmore girls first season Rory when Dean breaks up with her because she didn't say "I love you" back). I don't want to wallow, I don't want to sulk, I don't want to hurt. I don't want to deal with the pain. I want to busy my mind as much as I can and then magically wake up one day and be perfectly ok??? How does that even work? (Hint: it doesn't.)
Side note: if you've never been hurt, or have no problem dealing with hurt -- this isn't for you. But, if you're like the rest of us and #cantdeal, this is for you.
I've gone through times where I've tried avoiding the pain life can bring and let me tell you, it just leaves you a lot more screwed up than you were before you got hurt. Because the thing is: if you're not intentional about addressing the issue, it will never get resolved. (Groundbreaking, I know.) But let's be real for a second- we may not admit to it, but we avoid pain. We avoid getting into new relationships because we don't want to feel the pain that will undoubtedly follow if it doesn't work out. We don't go for the job we really want, because we hate the rejection that follows after a "we're going in a different direction." We don't chase after that business we want to create, or the blog we want to start, or the hidden talent that could get us far in life because there will be criticism, and it will hurt.
Just being real for a second, I was pretty terrified to start this blog and I actually put it off for months, because I know how mean people can be on the Internet -- and in real life (pretty sad, huh?). I also know how sensitive I can be at times, and to me, I would've rather not even done a blog so that I didn't have to get hurt. But guess what? I sucked it up, and here I am.
Okay, let's get back to pain. You may be sitting there, with your morning brew (or night time brew, ya feel me) in your hand, warming your heart and soul, wondering "Taylor, how does this have to do with living intentionally?" Well girl, I'm glad you asked! Because in all actuality, it has a lot more to do with it than you even realize.
Have you ever told yourself, "I'm just not going to feel the pain. I'm going to cut it off/turn it off/cut those people out of my life and not look back!" or something to that extent?
I have. I really have. And girl, I get it. Sometimes it's so easy to tell ourselves that we can just "turn those feelings off", to "not think about them", not deal with it and pray that those feelings just go away. Here's the deal though: you cannot turn off negative emotions without also turning off positive ones. If you deny yourself the privilege of feeling all of the bad emotions, you deny yourself the privilege of feeling the good ones too.
Hear me out for a second. I'm going somewhere with this.
I cannot emphasize enough how much I understand this topic and how much I empathize with someone who wants to turn off the negative emotions in their lives. It's such a real feeling that no one wants to talk about because we don't want to feel pain. (Have I said that enough yet?) But the thing is- when you avoid pain, you are only making the problem so. much. worse. And it will show up later in your life, in tiny ways, and then in massive ways. Every dream you have, every time you go to do something big: a new relationship, a new job, a new car, anything -- it will show up. It will be in the back of your mind, in some way, and I know I sound a little dramatic, but it will haunt you, so to speak.
I've had a few different times of pain in my life and I have watched as the "different versions" of me handled it differently. (Different versions? Taylor, you're insane, what are you talking about?) Girl, I wish I knew. When I was eighteen, I got my heart broken. It was my first heartbreak from a guy and I was devastated. I didn't know how to do anything else but to deal with the pain- to face it head on, and can I just tell you, I got over it so fast. It's not that the pain wasn't real (because trust me... it so was), but I dealt with the pain. I cried. I journaled. I prayed. I talked to friends. I talked to God. I invested my time in other things and bettered myself. I didn't allow the situation to completely break me.
A lot of times, we try to avoid pain because we think that makes us look and feel "strong", when in all actuality, we are never more weak than in that moment.
When I dealt with the pain, I was strong... and when I don't? I'm so weak, I really am.
I hope this is starting to make sense to you.
If you want to live an intentional life, you have got to start by dealing with heart issues. Even if something happened seven years ago, thirty years ago, or if it's a fresh wound -- start this intention journey by being intentional about dealing with your hurt.
Facing your hurt head on is the only way you will find healing.
You can try to be intentional about your life in every other way: embracing minimalism, cleaning out your closet, going to bed early, taking time for "you", but those heart issues will still be there, and you will truly never live your life to the fullest if you don't do that. You will always be a broken person. I will always be a broken person if I can't deal with the people and the things that have hurt me.
Also, newsflash? You can be the person you've hurt. Sometimes we have to forgive our own selves for things we did in the past, for chances we didn't take, for things we've said about ourselves, how we've treated others, relationships we broke. (Yeah girl, we gettin' real today on Notes in My Drawer.)
So, here's the first week of Living Intentionally. I encourage you this week to deal with you hurt. How can you do that practically? Great question!
- Journal. Write it all out. Every fear, every hurt, every insecurity, every question, every disappointment. Just write it all out until there are no more words left in you.
- Talk to a friend about it. Someone you trust. Go out for coffee and just talk. Pick a friend that will just let. you. talk. They can offer advice at the end if you want them to, but sometimes it's just good to talk it out.
- See a counselor. This is not a sign of weakness. I don't think anyone trying to better themselves is ever a sign of weakness.
- Talk to God about your hurt. Lay it all at His feet. (Seriously -- all of it. Your hurt and anger does not scare Him. Read that sentence again.)
- Get a self help book. Again, this is not stupid or a sign of weakness. In fact, I think it's a very strong thing to do. Find a book that deals with the specific area in your life that you're struggling with, and read it. Soak it in. Highlight it. Write tidbits down, put them on flashcards, stick them around your room. Encourage yourself. You will get through this.
Rinse and repeat.
Yep, it's not a one and done type of situation. It'll take weeks. It could take months. It may take years. But you will overcome, guaranteed.
And remember, as cheesy as it sounds, it needs to be said: you are not in this alone. Right now, there are several different people who will read this post and think, "Wow, this was for me." Not because I'm writing something soooo powerful and groundbreaking. No. But because I said what we all need to hear- people hush hush things too much. I need some realness in my life.
If you want to share, I'd love to hear something you have overcome or what pain has taught you. A piece of advice you have might be what helps someone who desperately needs it. Don't hesitate to share.
Until next time,