From the desk of Crystal Andrus:
This article is the continued part of Hurt So Good
When my daughters were born, I felt the overwhelming feeling of love. When I sat crying in my rocking chair with my daughter cuddled on my lap, I felt the overwhelming feelings of despair and confusion. In order to get where I am (and I’m not just talking about in my career!), I’ve had to actually feel and deal with all “my stuff”—the abandonment, neglect, betrayal, and abuse, as well as letting myself embrace the love, passion, drive, and desire I also possessed. I had to discover my true worth and value. I had to feel in order to heal. I then had to heal what I was feeling.
It hasn’t always been easy to do. And there have been many times I haven’t wanted to feel. Sometimes I still try to forget … and all I want to do is “feel good” with whatever way I’ve convinced myself will do the trick. There have been brief times over the years that I’ve completely retreated into my skin, numbing myself with work, wine and/or mashed potatoes.
And yet something always reminds me that as hard as things may seem, escaping them now only means I’ll have that much more to deal with down the road. It’s like performing daily maintenance versus a major overhaul once every few years. (Believe me, daily effort is much easier!)
I know now that emotional eating, drinking, taking prescription painkillers, even shopping, sex or exercise, can unconsciously take us away from the present moment … can take us away from the pain, the past, the hurt, the shame … sneakily convincing us that we don’t have to deal with whatever is eating us up on the inside; but inevitably, we discover that we will never be able to eat enough or drink enough to feed the hunger for love … acceptance … approval.
Making the decision to stop overeating or over-drinking (or whatever escapism you’ve developed) can feel scary. Food, wine, and/or credit cards have perhaps been your best friend at times. They’ve soothed and comforted you when you needed it most. And yet if you’re anything like I was, once you eaten, drank and/or emptied the shopping bags, you’re still left with the aching feeling that you’re not good enough, not loved enough, or not wanted enough. Plus, you’ve compounded the problem by burying yourself deeper in debt, weight, poor health, and shame.
But if you’re ready to stop the cycle … if you’re ready to step into your true authentic power and realize who you truly are and what you’re really capable of, then I want you to know that you can do this!
The first few days (okay, the first week!) will be the toughest. You’re so used to feeding your feelings and haven’t learned healthier ways to “feel, deal, and heal”. But what I want you to know is that once you’ve faced your demons and set yourself free, you won’t have to keep finding ways to escape.
There won’t be anything to run from.
I finally “get” the saying, “it hurts so good”:
If you won’t feel the hurt, you can’t feel the good.
My worst times and my happiest times have all shown me who I am and how rich and wonderful my life is.
Do I wish some things were different? Do I wish I could wave a magic wand and make every relationship in my life be fabulous, kind, thoughtful, and enriching? Well, sure I do! But the reality is I can’t change any of it. What I can do is accept even the unacceptable. I can continue to stay present, awake, alive, and engaged. I can continue to work on my “own stuff” so that I can climb my own mountains and soar in my own life.
Life is too overwhelmingly wonderful to escape. It is too overwhelmingly beautiful to avoid. Too overwhelmingly rich to numb.
If you want to feel the good, you’ve got to accept the bad, too. It’s okay, my friend, sometimes it has to hurt so good.