I made a Facebook Live video the other day because I was experiencing parenting pain on the behalf of my 12 year old son. Remember being 12? I think I was experiencing some kind of drama or trauma every few days, so you can imagine that being a sensitive and empathic parent to my 10 and 12 year old children can feel a bit like an emotional rollercoaster. I never know what the day will bring. If you have kids, I bet you can relate!

However, witnessing the pain and suffering of loved ones is part of life, because suffering just comes with the human territory. For many of us, we not only feel challenged when someone we love is suffering – it can be a challenge to see the suffering of anyone we come in contact with!

So please have a gander at the video here, but in the meantime, here are some valuable reminders if you’re finding it challenging to deal with the pain of your loved ones:

  1. Beauty very often comes from pain: There are about a million sayings for this, but one of my favorites is: The Breakdown Before the Breakthrough. Our biggest opportunities for spiritual and personal growth are often directly linked to our challenges, and challenges can bring pain and suffering. Going through hard times gives us the opportunity to learn. If you think back to many of the challenges you’ve gone through in your life, have they led you to where you are today? We can very easily lose sight in the midst of something difficult that something pretty amazing might be waiting for us around the corner. So when someone you love is being challenged and in the midst of pain or suffering, it can be helpful to remind yourself of this. It sure helped me the other day when my son was crying. (Sssshhh! Don’t tell him I told you!)
  2. Allow them the space to have their feelings: As a culture, we are taught from a very young age to shut certain feelings down, especially anger and sadness or grief. I think there is a natural inclination to “cheer someone up” or to save them from their pain because we want to spare someone their suffering. It really comes from a loving place. However, robbing someone of the privilege of their feelings can teach them that feeling is wrong, which leads to a whole host of other issues. Feelings are so valid and we need to learn how to allow ourselves to really feel the whole rainbow of feelings, even the painful ones. When we allow for them to be, they have the chance to move through. That’s the beauty: they are fleeting. They never stick around forever. However, they will stick around for a lot longer if we don’t allow space for them to move.
  3. Beware of moving into “Fix-It” mode: Ah, fix-it mode! You know what I’m talking about, right? We tend to immediately move into fix-it mode when someone is in pain. Personally, I love problem-solving. I’m a huge fan. However, in the moment of the pain and the feelings, fix-it mode is just another way of keeping them from the experience of their feelings. Simply being there and allowing for the moment of the pain is so important. A great question to ask in the moment is, “How can I help support you?” If you’re just dying to go into fix-it mode, you can wait until the feeling has passed and they are in a better space, then check in to see if they’d like to have a problem-solving pow-wow with you. 🙂

With so much love,

P.S. If you’re a Highly Sensitive Person and would like some tips on empowering your own Inner Badass, I’ve written a special FREE eBook just for you.

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Cortney is a transformational coach, writer, speaker, mentor for Highly Sensitive Badasses TM, and founder of the coaching program: The Sensitive Badass Badass Personal Coaching Program and the Sensitive Badass Sisterhood. She is passionate about helping women tap into their unique brilliance through divine self-care so they can live their highest purpose and reach their full potential. She offers private and group transformational and empowerment coaching programs for highly sensitive and empathic women.

Cortney earned a B.A. from Vassar College in Art History and a Masters of Architecture from Catholic University. Following her heart later in life, she became certified as a health coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She became a “health architect,” dealing with her own health crisis and struggle to manage anxiety and depression. She is also a proud graduate of Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts Mastery program, a NYC institution that teaches women to use the power of pleasure to have their way with the world.

Cortney lives in Baltimore with her 2 kids, her dog and her husband. A passionate traveler, photographer, gardener and foodie, when she isn’t dancing or listening to music (her favorite things!), Cortney is all about engaging all of her senses in service to her inner badass—and awakening the inner badass in every highly sensitive person she encounters!

Are you Highly Sensitive? Take the quiz at thehighlysensitivebadass.com

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