Have you noticed how you look around the world and see pain everywhere?  Pain is in politics, in schools, in the government, in religion, in our schools.  People seem to be so hurt, and hurting people hurt people.

It seems to be getting worse too.  What is going on, and what can we do about it? I believe many of us are living out of integrity with ourselves, and we find it difficult to trust anyone or anything. Can you relate?

I love Brene’ Brown’s definition of 7 key principle foundations of Trust, an acronym called BRAVING.

Boundaries:   You respect my boundaries, and when you’re not clear about what’s okay and not okay, you ask. You’re willing to say no.

Reliability: You do what you say you’ll do. At work, this means staying aware of your competencies and limitations so you don’t over-promise and are able to deliver on commitments and balance competing priorities.

Accountability: You own your mistakes, apologize and make amends.

Vault: You don’t share  information or experiences that are not yours to share. I need to know that my confidences are kept, and that you’re not sharing with me any information about other people that should
be confidential.

Integrity: You choose courage over comfort. You choose what is right over what is fun, fast or easy. and you choose to practice your values rather than simply professing them.

Non-judgment:  I can ask for what I need, and you can ask for what you need. We can talk about how we feel without judgment.

Generosity: You extend the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words and actions of others.

So given this definition of trust, can you see how most of us need to practice these principles a bit more? When the top leaders of our country aren’t practicing trust, it gives us subconscious permission to “take the easy way out.”

Because leadership is not providing moral guidance, it’s more important than ever that WE decide to lead ourselves through sound thinking and emotional self-management. What do WE value? How will we live our values daily?

As a personal example, I’ve been much more willing to get real with myself and feel my feelings. I realize why, when my 21-year-old daughter, Maddie, who has cystic fibrosis, cries in emotional and/or physical pain, it is so hard for me.

You may be thinking, well of course it’s hard–your child is suffering. But the reason it’s more difficult than necessary is because I haven’t dealt with my own deep emotional pain and grief.

When I get triggered emotionally, I will try to deflect it or avoid it or numb it. But here is my biggest learning lesson: If I’m not willing to feel the pain, I will cause pain. Period.

Since this fact really bothers me, I’ve made a conscious decision that I’d rather FEEL the pain than cause it. I won’t do it perfectly, and that’s okay.  I will do my best.

Your turn.  How do you avoid pain? Pain isn’t the enemy.  It will show up in our bodies as a red flag to change our thinking and feeling. What is your body trying to tell you?

If we will but listen to our bodies and emotions, and course correct, our quality of life could be so much better. The only way out is through our pain…The REAL enemy is numbing out and avoiding our feelings, a habit incredibly easy to fall into.

When we numb out, we create disconnection with others. We feel lonely and go through the motions of daily living.

Please comment below and tell me–how do you avoid pain, and how can you begin to consciously feel it and free yourself?

Supporting you all the way,

Angie Monko