There is a common behavior we humans have that, for the most part, does not serve us. We do all we can to avoid pain. “Well, duh,” you may think. Who wants to experience pain?!

No one. The problem is, life is impossible without it. We forget that pain, be it physical or emotional, is bringing information. It’s telling us something very important.

This Wednesday I am having knee replacement surgery. It’s my second one. The first one was 3 years ago and it did not go well. A nurse in the hospital screwed up and I was in excruciating pain for 8 hours. The doctor screwed up and I can’t bend my right knee past 90°. This has been physically restricting and emotionally difficult.

I knew back then that I would need to have my other knee “done.” I spent a lot of time, money and energy trying to avoid a second surgery. That knee became more and more painful. I couldn’t put it off any longer. What I’d been trying to avoid more than the physical pain of the procedure was the emotional pain of losing another part of my body, of the potential for an even more restrictive quality of life.

Once I woke up and accepted the truth, that putting it off any longer was just going to cause me more pain, something happened. I started making smart choices. I engaged a strength trainer to prepare for the surgery. Low and behold, I started feeling my body in a way I haven’t in years. I feel more confident and even powerful. After saying I want to start teaching live workshops again, I scheduled the Speak Like a Leader*. I also found a highly touted surgeon who is setting me up for success. See the photo below of all my high tech post operation equipment.

I am reminded of something I have heard both as a (former) somatic therapist and as an EQ-based Leadership coach. When clients have spent years avoiding certain truths, certain feelings – be it sadness, anger, fear or shame – and they finally let themselves experience their truth, they inevitably say, “Why did I wait so long?! It wasn’t that bad. In fact, I feel much better now!”

I know that facing long held emotions you fear will be painful and can be a daunting task. It’s one reason I wrote my book, to offer tools that I’ve used, and my clients have used, to free ourselves of old conditioning that doesn’t serve us. It can also help to have a therapist or spiritual counselor to guide and support you.

As the saying goes, “The truth shall set you free.” What emotion or situation in your life are you avoiding because you think it will be too painful? What do you need to tell yourself the truth about? Do it now. Don’t delay. Liberate that stuck energy so it can be used for something productive.

~ Joie

*My recent workshop Speak Like A Leader was full and wonderful. Stay tuned for more dates coming soon.