The mask of chronic pain
Halloween is a fun time a year! You get to be something or someone you are not for a short amount of time. It is a blast to dress up for a night for a few hours and be a super hero, a princess, movie character, or something that you hope and inspire to be in the future! But did you know for an estimated 25 million people in chronic pain days like Halloween and putting on a mask to make others happy is something that they do on a daily bases? It is not fun anymore when you are forced to feel and act differently on the outside than what you feel on the inside because you want to make those around you not suffer with you. People in chronic pain are constantly trying not to bring others down and in the process of doing so they hide many of their physical and emotional pains. Not only is this self inflicted suffering painful emotionally and physically it is self sabotage. You may think you are doing the noble thing being there for others when you can not even be there for yourself but it only compounds the pain and leads to anger and resentment towards those we love the most. Anger and resentment steams from when we are giving people what we can not give to ourselves first (giving from a empty vessel) and not expressing our true feelings and and emotions to those we love. Anger and resentment also causes more pain and suffering and emotional pain. Emotional pain causes VERY REAL physical pain as the mind and body are connected. It is a continuous loop and cycle that must be broken to live a healthy balanced life.
I am not saying to never do anything or go out we have to live and do things and push ourselves at times. But if you have a commitment and your pain is a 10 out of 10 on the pain scale it is unhealthy to fake being okay and forcing yourself go somewhere just to be a people pleaser. Our physical health and well being requires balance. Not just one way or another but a healthy balance of giving to others as well as to ourselves.
What is a people pleaser?
Being a people pleaser stems from fear. Fear that no one will like you, that someone will leave you, or that you will be left all alone if you don’t say or do the right thing. Ask yourself, are you being realistic about your fears? If you decide you do not want to go out with friends one night and you say “No” What is the worst thing that can realistically happen? They might be a little disappointed or upset but realistically if they no longer liked you or left the friendship because you did not want to go somewhere with them that is a little far fetched. So it is important to write down your fears and see how realistic they really are.
People pleasers often times base their self worth on how much they do for others. It is kind to do things for others but you should do them because you want to do them! Not because you feel obligated to do them. If you feel that you are doing things for others constantly out of obligation it gets exhausting and you build up resentment. Would you want someone to do something for you under those circumstances? Of course you would not! So hold your self to that same standard!
You have the right to say “No!” It is emotionally healthy for you to do so when you don’t wish to do something and there is no personally responsibility connected to it. There are things in life that you are obligated to do like work, parental responsibilities, and taking care of your health, so when you have the option to do or to not do something that is your option and your choice! Make sure you exercise your right to Choose! You deserve it!
I have done it. I have gone out with people and done things in pain that would lay up any “normal” person in agony to avoid being called lazy, or being told I am overreacting, being told I am someone that has given up on themself, someone that is unreliable, a hypercondriac, or emotionally unstable. I really cared for most of my life about what people thought about me and their reactions to my personal decisions I made for my wellbeing and physical health. I also paid tremendously for this. For days at times with relenting pain and exhaustion that left me not only no good for others but the most important person myself. This would cause me to be very angry towards people and say and do things not within my character and hurt them. So not only was I hurting myself I was hurting those I was trying to avoid hurting and trying to make happy.
Take off the mask and start loving yourself!
Self love and self care actually go hand in hand because once you love yourself you want to care for yourself it comes naturally. You start saying “NO” when you don’t want to do something (you become less of a people pleaser), you stop negative self talk that is very toxic to the body, you stop working a job you hate, you stop eating things that are poison to the body, you get out of relationships that no longer benefit you or the other person, you start putting your needs first so that you are healthier, happier, and at peace for yourself and others (it has a trickle down effect to those all around you). Putting your needs first is NOT selfish like we have been lead to believe! It is a form of self love! Self love is not just a gift to yourself but a gift to everyone around you! When you love yourself that love radiates to all those around you without feeling depleted all the time.
The people that I have come to know in the chronic illness community are some of the most kind, helpful, compassionate people I have ever met. They are always in helping fields before they get really sick and can no longer work. Service workers, volunteers, teachers, military, nurses, care givers, and the list goes on and on the type of work these amazing people do. I truly believe part of the puzzle to the mystery of chronic illness is repressed emotions and putting other peoples needs before your own. Repressed emotions does not mean you do not get upset or happy or have any emotions throughout the day, it means that a lot of us don’t deal with the big stuff that builds up over time and our bodies react with real physical pain. It causes a block in our energy body causing disEASE. At times we tend to hide or deepest thoughts and feelings so we do not upset others. We put on a show because we don’t want to burden others with our “stuff”.
Part of my healing journey was learning to say no and learning to not care what people think or say about me. I had to build up my self confidence and stand in my power! I hope that this blog post helps those of you that wear a mask all the time learn to be who you really are authentically in every moment. This can be done with kindness and compassion. It starts with compassion and kindness to yourself and letting people see you for who you truly are at a soul level. It requires us to remember who we were before the harshness of the world taught us who to be. It requires us to shine and show our true essence. It requires a lot of self love and self care.
“I ask people of the world and children of light to start reflecting the stories of their souls to vibrate wisdom around the earth. Pick up a paintbrush or microphone. Press the inks of your pens to paper or tap words onto your screens, and start sharing what you know and have learned with the masses. Turn your personal painting into a piece of the earth’s puzzle so that our unified assemblage of thoughts, experiences and lessons reveal common truths that cannot be denied. Imagine the changes that could happen if everyone suddenly stopped acting like someone else, became true to themselves, and celebrated the beauty of their uniqueness. Only after people have willingly removed their masks and costumes, and have begun pouring light from their hearts to reveal their vulnerability, dreams and pains, will we be able to see that beneath the surface we are all the same. After all, how can the world collectively fight for truth, if soldiers in its army are void of truth? We must first all be true by putting truth in our words and actions. And to do so, everyone must learn to think and react with their conscience. Imagine what Truth could do to neutralize the clutches of evil once this black and white world suddenly became embraced by a strong rainbow of loud powerful voices. We could put color back into every home, every school, every industry, every nation, and every garden on earth where flowers have been crushed by corruption.”
~ Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem