Her face was a bit blurry on my side, but she could see me clearly.
“Why do you believe it’s hard to sit with yourself?”, she asked. I sat up tall and adjusted by earbuds. I smiled nervously as some self-deprivation joke entered my mind.
She looked at me eagerly, but patiently.
“I don’t know. It’s just hard. It’s uncomfortable to sit in the silence with myself. My thoughts become too loud. I try to avoid myself, I guess.” I admitted. The joke surfaced again. “I guess I just don’t think I make good company.”, I blurted out and then laughed.
My therapist smiled and offered, “You do know that you’re wasting your life away by not sitting with your pain, right?”
The smile stretched across my lips vanished in a split second. Then, out of politeness I forced it to return. My heart felt as if it had just been sunk in the deepest water. I cleared my throat and leaned against the headboard. The bed creaked as it gave way to my full weight.
She continued, “You have to be able to sit with yourself. Aren’t you tired of running from yourself? Sit down, listen to your heart, and make the choice to stay. Stay in the discomfort because that is the only way healing can take place.”
The next day I grabbed my keys and slammed the front door behind me. I took refuge in the local coffee shop and sat down with my laptop. I began to type and didn’t stop for four hours. 5,000 words looked directly at me and we held that uncomfortable eye contact for a long time.
I wrote about trauma I had endured, people that had disappointed me, a God that I was sure had forgotten me, and how in some strange turn of events I was made whole by my pain.
My coffee had gotten cold and the afternoon sun started to warm my face. I did not cry. There was a certain joy that radiated from the raw places I had buried for so long. The power was in using my voice–my writing–to face the demons that I had been running from for so long.
That writing session has allowed me to face my fears. I have become comfortable in my own skin and in my own company.
I believe that our pain should propel us into community. Shame hides. It runs and doesn’t look back. How much could we heal if we knew that we are never alone?
Gather with friends, family, “your person” that you love, and God–the ones that have never left you.
Most importantly, sit with yourself. Don’t let another day pass where you are living numb.
Let the light in.