Pain is subjective. Nurses assess pain in two ways: objective and subjective. And it’s all well and fine if the patient’s facial grimace shows visibly and obviously but how about otherwise?
The issue of vulnerability
Even though I haven’t read any of Brene Brown’s work yet (they’re still in my To Read list), I’ve known and experienced a few things about emotional pain and vulnerability like most of humanity.
It’s very easy to hide feelings to show the world that we’re stronger than we seem.
In a way, we are just trying to protect ourselves from being hurt further. The thing is, choosing not to be vulnerable as a human, is choosing not to communicate what could have saved us from ourselves. It’s the way out of a much needed conversation. It’s the healing that we are supposedly looking for but too scared to admit because we will look weak. The paradox is that when we choose to show weakness, we are also displaying strength. Yes, strength. Because not all people are brave enough to admit their deepest insecurities and pain. Because admitting might seem like a stupid idea, but it’s one of the best ways to let go of what’s hurting you.
The issue of showing emotions
I’m quite the emotional person but I don’t really show most of what I’m really feeling. I’m not used to it. And I like to be chill. But when something is so against my core principles or something or someone hurts me and completely hits my pain points, I fight back emotionally with tears and a voice that desperately wants to be heard. Anger is a very strong and often misused and misunderstood emotion. I can say that because I’ve been so angry I’d fight people without hearing them out first or putting my shoes in theirs, so to speak.
The issue of verbalizing when you’re in pain
It’s pretty hard for other people to show that they’re in pain. They don’t want to seem vulnerable. For others, it’s a different story. They hug on to their pains so tight and they’re not afraid to show it at all through crying or physical expression of emotions. And who’s to say which of those two groups of people are correct or otherwise?
When we verbalize our pain, it sort of unloads most of the heavy feelings. Sure, talking about it doesn’t necessarily and/ or immediately solve our problems or take the pain away. But it’s a start.
A conversation about your pain acknowledges that you are in pain and that you are human.
People experience pain. shocker, right? But not all people verbalize their pain. Especially these days, when people post highlight reels of their lives and it just seems utterly wrong to post something that isn’t happy or supportive of anyone.
But here’s a though: What if your post, your expression, your verbalization of pain is meant to support you?
What if you make mistakes along the way like everyone does?
And what if you needed those mistakes (even though they are painful for you or for others) so you can learn and grow from them?
Pain is still very subjective and, because of this, not everyone will understand what you are going through. When you show emotions or talk about how you feel, vulnerability will creep in. But it doesn’t have to be such a bad or shameful thing. Your weaknesses will pave the way for your strengths. In order to grow and develop, you will need to be vulnerable along the way. Going through all that pain might be the loneliest road you have to take but sharing and showing it gives you power and freedom because not everyone can share what truly pains them. And if you can? It means you’re strong enough to say that, sometimes, you are weak. And that’s okay.
Photo by Luis Galvez on Unsplash