I recently returned from a trip to Cuba, only to come home to a family emergency and the resulting confusion. I sat for a few days in this stew of regrets and disappointments, experiencing pangs of negativity, thinking of all the worst case scenarios and allowing my fears to become louder than the voice of compassion and self love. As I settled into the negative emotions, I realized one thing. I was hurting myself, and only I could change it. Drawing upon the support of loved ones and friends, I came to see the light and was reminded very clearly of the importance of the story I kept telling myself. My unrealistic expectations for things to work out perfectly according to plan had come crashing down and my vision for my future took a 180 degree turn as I realized that my beliefs were getting in the way of my happiness. I believed my life should go a certain way and had a huge attachment to what I figured that looked like. I took out a piece of paper, deciding to open the dialogue with myself by writing down my thoughts, and I asked myself: “If my pain could speak to me, what would it tell me?” I sat for a few minutes and pondered this question with great care, pleading for inner wisdom to share a gem of my truth that would awaken me from my distorted reality. The response? “You will find a way to achieve your desires, simply let go and allow the universe to unfold, without trying to control every factor.” I sat down and gathered my oil pastels, expressing my deepest emotions through art. The information that came up was invaluable and I took the time to eavesdrop on my subconscious. I realized that many of my emotions, fears and beliefs were simply not true, and I could actively choose to see that things were working out for the best of all involved, even though it may not seem that way at the time. When I realized my expectations and apprehensions, I began to see new possibilities unfolding. I was able to smell the roses again, and get present in my body; I returned to my daily meditation/mindfulness regime that had temporarily been fraught with tumbling thoughts, and feeling more comfortable in my own skin, I realized that I had made a break through.

Pain is uncomfortable, and I sometimes run from emotional distress because I’m scared. Big emotions, when not addressed, can spiral into a disorganized mind. It’s important to note the role of emotional pain in our lives. Our minds and bodies are trying to convey important messages, if we will just stop and listen. Letting go of false beliefs and conceptions was my gateway to increased inner freedom, unleashing my creativity and expansion in the amount of joy I was experiencing in my life.