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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra

How much can you bear?

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

Today I held my son in his pain. With my pure presence. Simply present with an open heart, without being overwhelmed by his pain, without closing my heart because I could no longer bear his pain and mine. I just held him in my heart. Without wishing the pain away. Without distracting him with food. Without explaining to him that it wasn't that bad. Without looking for solutions or explaining to him solutions to make the pain smaller. Without numbing. Without relativizing or diminishing.

With my whole presence focused on him and the pain that was spreading inside of him. Simply loving him. And loving myself for the pain it caused in me to look at him suffer. For my insecurity, for my guilt, for not knowing what is right, not knowing what makes a mother - a mother, for everything I have done in the past and see differently today. For my infinite will to do everything right and to give the best, knowing that at the same time it is not possible and everything is always exactly as it should be.

How much pain can you bear?

Can you feel and endure your own pain to the core? Maybe even get to like it or love it?

How much suffering can you bear internally or externally without looking away? Or comforting? Without distracting? Without numbing? Without relativizing or minimizing?

Can you watch your child in pain and just hold space for him?

Because it can be really painful. Missing your parents at the crib entrance in the morning. Scraping your knee. Not getting something. Going to bed without someone you love. Losing a game. Yes Even eating spinach.

Awfully painful. Can you remember? The pain burns in your stomach, in your heart, in your throat, in your body, so unbearable that sometimes you don't know if you can take the pain in its magnitude. So that it constricts your throat and you can't breathe normally. So engaging that you don't know if you want to go on living. So infinite in this moment full of presence that you don't know if it will ever end. It burns. It bites. It rages. It suffers.

And yet the pain, if we let it, is like a drop of red paint dropped into a glass. At first, the red color spreads and takes up more and more space. The pain grows and takes hold of the whole consciousness until we think in despair that we can't stand it or that it will never stop growing. But if we allow the pain and stay in presence with it and in the body, the pain dilutes like the drop of paint in a glass of water and becomes transparent again.

Our emotional body is like a small child and does not grow into an "adult". We have learned to separate ourselves from our emotions and not allow them when we feal it idoesn't fit. However, if we want to deal with the pain, we have to let it "happen" to us (again) and focus our awareness on it. If we allow the pain or the anger to spread out in its full size, it will scream and rage, throw itself on the floor, yell so that everyone in the house hears it, express itself. Yes, it is really painful. When you miss someone. When you feel abandoned. When you're lonely. When you don't get what you want or think you want.

When we can't bear the pain, we close our heart. What we can't bear is mostly the feeling of our own pain, not the pain of the person in front of us. Our own helplessness, of not being able to help someone in their pain. It is our own pain we fill, that has not been allowed (yet) to spread. The pain that was trodden away with love, diminished, disregarded, made inappropriate. When we see pain in someone else, we become aware of our own pain and close our heart, because we can't allow ourselves to fill our own pain again.

I know from experience that I can only bear as much pain on the outside as I have allowed myself to feel pain myself. I can only bear so much pain until I feel responsible or guilty and begin to justify myself internally or externally and start to deny or minimize the pain. Yes, it hurts when my child needs me and I don't have the time or energy or don't feel like it. And my child is allowed to say, think and feel that. And I can accept it, take it, and hold my child in its pain. I can hold at the same time, my own pain, my not being able to do more, my guilt.

Then I become able to look my child openly in the eyes and allow his pain. Allow his anger. Love him deeply for the power that lives within that pain and anger. And marvel at how little it takes for my child to laugh again all by himself, held by my open heart and abysmal love.

Do you want to deal with the issue of pain, anger or emotions? Then book a first free session with me or come to our Family Rainbow Tribe. Everything is welcome there, just as it is. Because real children cry. Just like men do. Because real children are fighters. Just like women are.

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