When something painful happens to us, we not only disconnect from the pain because it’s so painful, we also disconnect from ourselves; because the pain lives in us in some shape or form. This division within our self is called dissociation and it’s really important that we normalise dissociation as we all dissociate to a greater or lesser degree. Kathy Steele calls this fleeing from self, Mindflight, the opposite of what Daniel Siegel calls Mindsight.
When we don’t feel connected to our self and others, we feel pain on top of any other pain we’ve suffered like being unloved, unwanted, abused or neglected. Being and feeling connected is an essential biological, emotional and spiritual need throughout our life. Feeling connected is not optional, babies die without it, and adults develop all sorts of dis-eases, both mental and physical. It goes against everything we are as humans not to be and feel connected.
The nature of life is movement, not stagnation. Things will out, they’ll bubble up and create enormous pressure on us in the form of various symptoms and conditions, in order for us to connect with the part(s) who feel pain. Connecting with our pain is not the same as trying to fix the pain, that’s a relentless, exhausting and futile hunt which always eludes us.
Our pain doesn’t define us but it does become part of us in some way. It changes us, and if we feel it instead of acting it out, or in, it can bring out who we always were deep down while also transforming us.
Try the following set up statements and tap on all the points with whatever reminder phrase feels right.
Even though it’s too painful to connect with this pain, I honour my feelings
Even though this pain has remained frozen for so long, maybe it’s time to let it melt drop by drop
Even though I feel disconnected from … I am open to reconnecting
Even though a part(s) of me is afraid to reconnect with this pain because … I completely accept my fear, it’s ok to be afraid
Even though I don’t know whether I’ll be able to handle my pain, I am open to asking for help and support to get through this
Even though I wish it would all go away so I didn’t have to deal with it, I accept that need and desire