The Big 3

Pain. Punishment. Invalidation. The big 3.

Most of us don't walk around thinking of those three things in our daily life. We notice them here and there - perhaps pain more than the other two - however, our usual MO is not to focus solely on those three aspects of life.

Pain is easiest to see, to acknowledge. We bump our toe on the coffee table and recognize the sensation that results as pain. We turn on the news and see pain in many of the headlines.

Punishment is perhaps the one we would like to ignore entirely. We would rather not see the harshness that exists in the world. And we would rather look the other way when confronted with the little ways we punish ourselves and those around us. We eat that extra piece of cake and feel guilt about it later. We react in anger at a family member when we're really feeling upset about something that happened at work. It's a powerful energy.

Invalidation is perhaps the trickiest one of the three because it creeps in everywhere. We look at a magazine and feel a twinge of invalidation. We see someone doing something differently than how we would do the same thing, and can feel invalidated. It can be subtle. It can go almost unnoticed.

Where do we put these three big energies, feelings? What do we do with them? It's not as if we can simply ignore them. They continue to survive.

A solution: clear them out of your space. Notice when they come up and let them go. Recognize that your body does not want to create pain, does not want to punish you, and does not want to invalidate you. Be aware that most of the time those energies do not originate from you. They spark from comparisons, from outside sources, from pictures in our world of what things "should" look like, wherever that "should" came from.


As we do.