Monday, October 12, 2009

Guest Post-Natalie

I met Natalie when I worked at the Provo Courthouse. Her husband and I worked together and she was the reporter that would come in on a daily basis. I watched as they went from casual flirting to full-blown engaged in a matter of months. She has one of the most delightful blogs, The Bobby Pin, where she captivates her readers with serious topics, like domestic violence, or being frugal and glamorous all at the same time.


A few weeks ago, I burned my hand. I was straightening my hair, getting ready to go to the symphony with my husband. Then, all at once, my foot stepped on the straightener, making it slip it through my hands.

Despite running cold water of it and icing my hand, I ended up with a nasty blister. Husband wondered if we should go to the emergency room.

I preferred the symphony.

As I sat there in pain, I told husband I didn't feel like I could complain, because I read blogs of women who have endured so much more.

Husband, however, gave me permission.

"You don't fully know the pain of others until you experience some strain of it yourself," he said.

Now, I don't think my pain helped me empathize for someone who had felt so much. But as I was overwhelmed with my throbbing hand, it felt good to have permission to hurt. So I did

My hand doesn't hurt anymore. But sometimes I feel as though -- and women, especially -- don't feel like we can hurt. Oh, sure, we cry in private, but do we let ourselves hurt? Or does the vulnerability of experiencing pain block us.

When I shared my burn scar with a friend, she opened up about her current physical aches and pains. We hugged it out.

I say we open up. No longer shelter our pains both physical and emotional. Let us band together as women, and do more than just happily say that everything is fine. A little honesty, no matter if we feel others will think it is silly or dumb. It is your pain, it is my hurt, so it is serious. As we are vulnerable, we will reap benefits. Closer friendships, less stress from being guarded.

And most importantly, we will not be alone. 

2 Grass Lovers:

Becky Andrews said...

Natalie - such a great post. I agree. I love the concept of self-compassion which encourages us to show loving kindness with our pain. I agree also there is such support when we openly share with other women.

Gabrielle Valentine said...

Natalie - that's a great post because I always feel bad for feeling bad: hurt, pain, sadness, etc because I always feel that others have it so much worse than me. But really, you can't fully know what someone else is going through and they can't know what you are going through. So I agree, we have to try to allow each other to feel their hurts and then be there to support each other.