Archive: Trust

January 26, 2016

How Much Pain Will You Tolerate?

angle of grief

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

God wouldn’t give you more than you can handle.

Challenges build character.

If we can get through this, we can get through anything.

No pain, no gain.

There is a lot of glorification of pain in our culture. There are a lot of stories about pain making us stronger. And while it’s true that through adversity we can grow…it’s also true that there is a limit to how much we can (or need to) endure.

Years ago I was an actress and during a show I passed a kidney stone on stage. I was in excruciating pain, but I kept going. After the show one of my co-actors said to me, “I’m really impressed with you. What you did, only actors or athletes could do!” I remember wearing that statement like a badge of honor. I was proud of myself for pushing through. There is a lot that can be said for honoring your obligations and commitments. And at the same time, I totally ignored my pain in order to keep going. Earlier that day I had called my urologist (I had been in the hospital for kidney stones a few days prior) and complained about pain and he told me I was being sensitive and I should take another vicodin. So I listened to the expert and told myself that I was overreacting. I told myself I was being weak and I went out in the world (and on stage) and ignored my pain.

For anyone living with chronic pain, you know what it is like to desensitize yourself from your pain. You are so used to the pain that it starts to be incorporated in how you feel every day. What might be a 7 for someone else on the pain scale, becomes a 4 for you, because that is your normal. Your relationship to pain changes. Your tolerance for pain changes. And sometimes you suffer greatly.

This doesn’t only happen with physical pain, but also with emotional pain. If you’ve been ignored in a relationship or treated poorly, you may expect to be treated that way. If you are used to taking care of others without much reciprocity, you power through when you need support. You may deny your own wants and needs. You make it work.

If you’ve been sick for a week, your coworker may respond with, “You think that’s bad? I’ve been sick for 2 weeks!” As we compete for whose life is harder, we start to doubt our own experience.

You’re crazy.”

Don’t be so sensitive.”

You’re overreacting.”

Man up!”

Don’t be silly.”

It’s not a big deal.”

Don’t you trust me?”

It’s not that bad.”

If you’ve been tolerating quite a bit of pain then you might start to doubt your own intuition. If your own pain radar goes off but someone else tells you it’s not a big deal, you might start to believe them and ignore yourself. As someone else invalidates your experience, you may believe them. You wonder, ‘Am I overreacting? Is it really that bad?’ You see other people soldiering on and you feel like you should do the same.

Pain is inevitable. Things happen that are hard or sad or excruciating. There will be pain. There are also limits to what you need to endure.

Take a little inventory in your own life. How much pain are you tolerating?

(I didn’t ask how much you CAN tolerate, I know that you are strong and able to tolerate pain, but do you need to?)

How much pain are you willing to tolerate?

Is there anything that will alleviate some of your pain?

Support from friends or family

Seeing a doctor

Exploring your grief

Hiring a coach or therapist

Delegating or getting help with tasks

Getting more sleep

Radical Self Care

There is no shame in making your life easier. Getting support doesn’t make you weak. And tolerating excruciating pain doesn’t always make you strong.

Filed under: Receiving,Strength,Support,Trust — admin @ 5:00 pm

November 20, 2015

I’m still saying, “Yes!” to Paris

Image by Robert Jahn

Image by Robert Jahns

People have asked me if I’m still going to Paris after last week’s terrorist attacks.

The short answer is “Yes!”

I will not live in fear.

I will not be careless. I will not knowingly put myself or anyone else in danger.

I am also aware that fear, tragedy, violence, terror – it can happen anywhere. It can happen in Paris. It can happen in Beirut. It can happen in Baghdad. It can happen at home.

And so I live my life in the only way I know how. With love, with pleasure, with connection, with joy, with gratitude, with faith (and maybe some tears too).

And while pleasure may seem frivolous at a time like this. I believe it is necessary.

Pleasure builds resiliency.

With so much darkness and heartbreak in this world, it’s essential to also focus on the good. Don’t ignore the hard or pretend it isn’t happening…but don’t let yourself be consumed by it. Feel the sadness, honor your grief and reach for love and joy and pleasure. This spring I will be doing that in Paris. Won’t you join me?

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”― Victor Hugo

Filed under: Paris,Retreat,Trust,Women — admin @ 3:28 pm

April 15, 2014

Are you looking for someone to complete you?

Magical other

The fact is, however, external changes are not going to solve your problem because they don’t address the root of your problem. The root problem is that you don’t feel whole and complete within yourself. If you don’t identify the root properly, you will seek someone or something to cover it up. You will hide behind finances, people, fame and adoration. If you try to find the perfect person to love and adore you, and you manage to succeed, then you have actually failed. You did not solve your problem. All you did was involve that person in your problem. That is why people have so much trouble with relationships. You began with a problem inside of yourself and you tried to solve it by getting involved with somebody else. That relationship will have problems because your problems are what caused the relationship.”  –  Michael A. Singer from the untethered soul

Filed under: Change,Relationship,Self-love,Trust — admin @ 9:48 am

February 5, 2014

Living isn’t for the faint of heart

This beautiful traveling altar was sent to me by a wonderful supporter and someone who recognizes when I am "in it."

This beautiful traveling altar was sent to me by a wonderful supporter and someone who recognizes when I am "in it."

So many big things are happening. So many of us are IN IT! And sometimes it is hard.

Major changes, challenges, growth opportunities and struggles.

We are starting businesses, ending relationships, raising children, speaking out truths, saying goodbye to people we love, going back to school, struggling to pay our bills, giving up our dreams, grieving, choosing to have a baby, struggling to get pregnant, moving to places where we don’t know a soul, leaving places and people we love, hearing bad news, receiving life altering diagnoses or prognoses and wondering, what is the point of it all?

We are taking risks and sometimes falling and standing again and trying.

We are flourishing.

We are saying yes to love, laughing with our heads thrown back and our mouths wide open, receiving touch and warmth and connection, dancing with our arms out and our hips swaying, making love and calling out our pleasure, loving our bodies and shaking off shame.

And sometimes we aren’t.

Sometimes our heart is breaking. Sometimes we are crying on the bathroom floor. Or sometimes we wish we could be crumpled on the bathroom floor, but there are mouths to feed or floors to wash or other tears that need to be dried. Sometimes we are stuck in shame, unable to be seen or see ourselves, wishing we could just disappear…sometimes forever.

Oh man, this stuff is hard.

Oh man, this life can be hard…and wonderful…and glorious…and hard.

Sometimes the joy is so big we feel guilty. Sometimes we worry that it will all be taken away…there is too much good and when other people are hurting it feels uncomfortable to have too much good. Sometimes we feel like we need to pay for the good or earn the good or even things out a bit. We worry we are undeserving…we don’t enjoy this moment because we think about how awful it will feel when it’s gone.

Living isn’t for the faint of heart.

But what are our choices?

We live and feel it all…the up the down…the high the low…the lovely the miserable…the ecstasy and the brutally hard –- or we shut down, we numb out, we self-medicate, we build walls, we close up, we push away, we turn inside out, we give up.

When you close to pain, you close to joy. When you numb the hurt you numb the bliss. When you avoid heartache, you avoid heart-opening.

It’s a bitter truth, eh?

You have a choice. Neither is easy. Life isn’t easy. And truly living isn’t for the faint of heart.


January 1, 2014

Someone is looking for you.

someone is looking for you

Filed under: Dating,Faith,Love,Trust — admin @ 5:54 pm