Love and Pain : An Invitation to Heal


Run run as fast as you can, you can't catch me...I'm a runner.  That feels so very odd to say because I am not at all an athletic runner.  I am an emotional runner.  I am a therapist, a mother, wife, friend, entrepreneur and a runner.  I've been running from pain for as long as I can remember.  And when I was a child this made a whole lot of sense, because the adverse childhood experiences I had would cause any one to run.  I used to think that only people who had traumas like mine knew pain like mine, and wanted to run and hide, or wretch in the torment of it all. Now I know this is not at all true.  Almost all of us humans do not know how to be with pain.  We even go so far as to call pain sin sometimes, like pain is in opposition to God, and so we must do our damndest to not experience it, or admit it's experience in our life.  At the extreme end of this we fly to addiction, sex, shopping, food, etc... and on the other end some of us run away on the inside, away from our bodies and the present world, maybe even just to our head;  but it's still away.

I didn't really think I was a runner.  I thought no, I'm the one who stays.  I'm the one who, when my mom was leaving us kids with our inebriated father, I stayed.  I held down the fort.  I stayed.  I didn't,  I ran.  Just like my mom and my dad, and many many generations of family before me.  I ran out of my body and into my head, and my happy face, so that all would be well when dad awoke.  I'm just realizing now that I am still a runner.  I feel like I'm at an AA meeting.  'Hi I'm Danielle and I am a runner'.  This must be how it feels the first time an addict says those words, such sweet relief to own their truth and niggling fear that this is now the label you may see me as.

I've been running from my life, my sweet three beautiful babes, loving egalitarian marriage, thriving career and business life.  I sit with people every day and hold space for them to be in their life, and be with their pain.  And sometimes I run from mine.  I remember the first time I ran from Ben.  We had just gotten newly engaged and had an expansive time telling all of our most beloved community the news.  The very next day I day dreamed of leaving him and flying to Ontario back to my chaotic family.  I day dreamed about this for days, and finally one night while in his embrace I broke down and told him about this, and asked him what he'd do if I left him.  These were his words "I'd call you up and say 'Baby why are you over there, come back here and be with me'".  I melted.  I knew I had never been, and would never be more safe than choosing this man for my life.  This safety kept me from running in that moment, but I was a closet runner then.

And now today in my openness I still day dream, and go into my head, and away from my body, and I blame my people.  But... I know I do, and I come on back down to my heart out of my head and I sit, and ache, and feel, and I survive.  See, I have learned that pain and love cannot be separated.  Brene Brown says "We cannot selectively numb...".  Maybe also, 'We cannot selectively run...".  To feel the love, to heart wrenchingly feel the love and beauty in my life, I must feel the heart wrenching pain.

I watch my daughter.  She is five.  I watch her create.  I watch her dance and sing.  I watch her live safely and freely to be who she is and I ache.  I almost want to turn my eyes from her because in my guts, I ache.  I don't know how to really describe this with another word than ache, I ACHE.  I ache for the beauty and love that she so freely flows in the current of because it's just so unbelievable that this could be her experience in life.  It wasn't mine, and I ache for 5 year old me.  And I want to turn away from her, from the grief, and the thoughts of "Oh Danielle you are so intense, you are too much".  But it's my truth, so I lean in, I lean in hard and my eyes fill with tears and I cry the deepest tears of loss, and then just as deep as the grief, is the rising.  The rising of my heart into my whole chest and now I am bursting.  I am over flowing and all I want to do is dance with her.

See LOVE and PAIN are the most intimate life partners, with the deepest utmost loyalty to each other, that we CANNOT experience one with out the other.  And so because LOVE is the giver of all life, and LOVE is the constant that we can count on, I need it to survive in this world.  We all do.  But if LOVE is my oxygen mask supplying my blood with it's life source, than PAIN is my IV - oh God is it ever - supplying my body with the nutrients it needs to rebuild and restore.  Working together to renew my life in the richest most long lasting way.

I have this new friend and sister, she doesn't know me, her name is Glennon Doyle Melton, and she has a book called 'Love Warrior'.  It is her story of this process - holding love and pain- living love and pain quotepain - healing, becoming and thriving through leaning into her love and her pain.  It's a 'brutiful' story, as she says.  I encourage you to read it if there is any stirring in your soul at this moment in time.  I do not have her story, but I have her process of healing.  All of it; the running, the anger, grief, rage, therapy, tears, yoga, connection, breath, rebirthing and becoming.  Not in her order, not in her way, but still it's the same, it's human, it's divine, it's in the core of how we are created to HEAL.

So why do I write this?  Why on this platform of Re.Pose?  Because this is the essence from which Re.Pose (to rest and trust) therapy, was born.  Through my own human, humble, deep, wretching process of leaning hard into - LOVE and PAIN.  This is our foundation of therapy/counselling, yoga, essential oils and mindfulness to heal body, mind and soul and thus become who you've always been, and thrive there.  Each person that calls Re.Pose there 'work' has a story, but they also have the same proces_LSC8783s, of learning and living their LOVE and PAIN.  You may never hear their story, but they know the process, they know it's required for healing.  And so as a team we hold each other to, and in this process of continuing to heal, become and thrive, in the deepest, vulnerable, most authentic way.  And I promise you that should you walk through our doors, we will invite you into this process in the most gentle, loving and surest way.  And you will have your story, it will be yours, and we will guide you into owning that you are also worthy of having your PAIN and your LOVE too, and in your own pace and time you will transform.

Danielle Braun-Kauffman MFT, RCC