|Photo by Erik Kroon on Unsplash|
I wrote these words a couple years ago. They have proven to be so true. I have seen and felt it in me. I have seen and felt it in others.
Physical pain. Mental pain. Emotional pain. Spiritual pain. Relational pain. All pain.
When pain is acute and deep, focus tends to draw inward. Toward the hurt, pain, chaos within.
It sometimes feels like there's no way out of the protective walls that shoot up when the brain thinks we are in danger. The truth is that those walls often close off the very people that are willing to help.
"I started to build a home with all the walls I was putting up for myself, but when I was finished, I realized I had built a cage and didn’t make a key." - Lidia Longorio
I have worked for years to recognize and intentionally act in ways that counter the closing off that feels natural when pain hits hard.
One way I do this is to reach out, when I feel myself closing off and turning inward. I do this through prayer and connecting with a friend. It doesn't always make an immediate notable difference for me, but I can usually notice that it positively impacts the person I reach out to... and it ultimately impacts me, too, even if it's delayed.
My goal in reaching out is to connect. This sometimes involves sharing about my current struggles, but not always. Oftentimes, it's simply to let them know that I'm thinking of them. This is likely related to me feeling alone in that moment and wanting others to know that they're not. I find that true connection helps both individuals feel less alone.
"Knowing that you're not alone really does make all the difference in the world." - Normani Hamilton