Hug It!

They said, “Embrace the pain.” “Embrace the challenge.”

What does that even mean?

Why would I want to do that?

They’re crazy. Why hug something that’s bringing me pain? That’s like asking me to hug a rattle snake.

What it took me all of this time until now to figure out is that there’s a lot more to it than a big embrace.

What pain and challenge is teaching is empowerment: how to be and embody the energy of power and strength and confidence in the face of something that seems more powerful than you and dangerous.

For some, empowerment means accepting that the pain is there and pushing through it; just tolerating it. Going to bed exhausted and irritated. Getting up and going to work stressed. Enduring. Coming home and being irritable with your family.


Empowerment means looking at it, accepting that it’s there, and recognizing that if you manifested the challenge with your thoughts, you also manifest the solution with your thoughts.

In order to achieve a different result than you had before (like stressing through it), though, you have to shift your mindset from bracing for it to a different perspective, so that you are instead, looking at it like you’re doing your 3rd-grader’s math homework.

By shifting your perspective about the pain, you realize that it dissolves as soon as you are approaching it, being curious about it, and figuring out the strategy for how the pieces of the pain puzzle fit together. Then it dissolves as easily and smoothly as melting butter.

That makes embracing the pain and the challenge rather exciting, like a good crossword puzzle, don’t you think? Like having to figure out how to get home from work when your regular route is under construction.

Just something to think about.

Posted in Coaching
4 comments on “Hug It!
  1. Vicki says:

    Thank you. That was exactly what I needed.

  2. Steven Maass says:

    What a great–and dare I say “empowering” — piece! I liked the analogies about figuring out an alternate route home or tackling 3rd-grade math. Wait… don’t they start computing fractions in 3rd grade? Oh dear….

    • Dawn Tarter says:

      Thank you!
      I know: I’d probably have to take a “refresher” course for today’s 3rd grade math! I don’t think they use an abacus anymore. ;)

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