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Dirty Pain

Hey friends, It is Sylvia Nwokolo, and I'm glad you have joined me on this journey to enlighten you to thrive and be all that you were purposed to be. Today I want to talk about dirty pain. It might be an uncommon word to you but the feeling will be somewhat familiar. Pain is a part of life and it often saves us from more danger or becomes a symptom that signifies that something more might be happening. If you a slicing an onion and get cut by the knife, the pain will stop you from digging the knife even farther into your flesh and causing more damage.

So as humans we experience both physical pain like the example about the knife, and emotional pain for instance when one is grieving a loved one. And just as time is needed for physical pain to heal, time is also needed for emotional pain to heal. However the stories that we tell ourselves regarding our pain can prolong the healing of the pain. The stories might seem true to us and might help us temporarily to make sense of the circumstances surrounding the pain but in the long run these stories, if not looked at objectively can lead us to unconsciously hold unto the pain and therefore not moving forward and making progress. This ultimately means that we have given the power of the healing to someone by blaming them for the pain. You might be saying; Sylvia really the pain was not caused by me it wasn’t my fault – I hear you but it would not be wise for you to put a fullstop there, by saying the pain wasn’t your fault but not taking any responsibility for your healing you have delegated your healing to that person and that means the person is in control. You see this often in couples that have separated where one or both parties are still playing the blame game and holding on to the pain that caused the separation. This is because the narrative or story that is being told about the circumstances that led to the marriage failing, has led to one or both parties delegating the responsibility and likewise the healing process to the other party. I do not intend to make light of this matter but to shine light to the truth of the healing process so we can learn to let go of unnecessary pain that is holding us back from thriving in life. As humans we need to realise that we cannot control other people but ourselves. We can influence them but we can’t control them – a matter for another time. But my point is that we are in full control of ourselves and therefore control of our healing. So in other to heal from pain, we have to take back control and the responsibility of the pain and healing from others. Acknowledge what has happened without blaming the other party, acknowledge with no judgement. The marriage didn’t work out and we have had to separate that’s the situation – acknowledge it. Give yourself grace and sit in the loss without blame, sit in it and feel the sadness, acknowledge that you are grieving what you thought would be but in reality isn’t anymore, talk to a friend or a professional, journal your thoughts and feel the sadness. As a Christian, I would also pray about the situation and display my emotions to the lord, cos I know he can handle it – he is my God, my high priest just as Hebrews 4:15 says 'For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin'. And the bible also goes further to say that as Jesus is so am I in this world. So that means I can go through pain without turning it into dirty pain. I would acknowledge the pain, accept the reality of the situation without judgment, feel my grief and sadness, talk about it to God, a trusted friend or professional, and give myself grace in the process with no blame game. This process is clean pain, it is deep but heals, it could leave the scars but heal the wound. With dirty pain where the story you tell yourself keeps you as the victim till the end of the story, you stay the victim and therefore run the risk of the wound being poked by someone else and the pain continues. The main thing to look out for is the stories we tell our selves. We are used to having a hero vs villain, a good vs bad person; this can lead us to black and white thinking. We then interpret life in that way that when 2 people fall out one person must always be at fault. Our mind tends to make us the good and the other the bad or reversed in few cases. Letting go of this type of all or nothing, black or white thinking can help us to see circumstances and situation as they really are without trying to play the blame game


Take for instance you had a fallout with a very close family friend which led you to decide to cut ties with her but because of how close you guys were, it is a hard decision but at same time painful to process. Most times we take that person to court in our minds and become the judge, jury and executioner. You don’t have to paint that friend as a villain or a bad person in other for you to let go of the relationship. You had a decision to make and you made it, it would be a painful process but would you make the pain a dirty pain by painting the person as the villain and playing the blame game which would make the healing worse, or would you accept it, acknowledge it, talk about the situation, feel the sadness, and process it with full responsibility so you can heal and move on. The choice is yours. Don’t be a victim of pain, don’t create your own prolonged suffering by holding on to dirty pain. Let go of being the judge and welcome true healing. Pain is a normal human experience but dirty pain isn’t. Be wise in dealing with pain so that you can keep winning, shining and thriving. Until next time my friend, its your host Sylvia Nwokolo. Take care


Sylvia Nwokolo is a Wellbeing Transformation Coach and Author.

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