Why Pleasure And Rest Are KEYS To Getting Where You Want To Go

Hello Dear One!

Today I want to share a more 'personal' post, in the hopes that my story will inspire you to take extra good care of yourself.

I want to share about my experience with not allowing myself to feel pleasure, not allowing myself to truly REST, not allowing myself to relax and enjoy my life as I was in the heavy process of trying to get OUT of the pain I was in. I want to talk about why I think it's so easy to lose our capacity to allow for feeling GOOD when we feel like we need to CHANGE the situation we're in, and why learning to embrace what IS GOOD about where we are, can actually help us move forward.

If you struggle to let yourself feel good in your life, if you feel like you can't be happy or relaxed until you're healed or until your life has been transformed in some way - this article is for you. Let's explore together why leaning into pleasure on the PATH of healing and transformation can feel so scary, and why in reality it's one of the most beneficial things we can do for ourselves.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Fear Of Pleasure Makes Perfect Sense When We're In Pain:

Never allow your shadow work, the acknowledging and validating of your pain, your traumas, the things you’ve suffered, the working towards something new and the rejection of what no longer works for you to be something that blocks you from ALSO allowing for the pleasure of what IS working and what DOES feel good in your experience.

I worked for a LONG time to change my life.

I was in a lot of pain, and got to a point where I was SO focused on healing/changing/growing/evolving that while I allowed pleasure to be there as a guidepost for where I wanted to go and what I wanted to build, I wouldn’t let myself EMBODY that pleasure.

I wouldn’t let myself FEEL it.

I wouldn’t let myself enjoy the little moments of peace, fun, love, excitement and rest on the PATH because I was so afraid that if I allowed myself to relax or accept the goodness in where I was, that this would mean I would never get to where I wanted to go.

That the Universe would interpret this as me being ‘happy’ and therefore not needing to move forward anymore.

I was afraid to feel pleasure because I knew I hadn’t processed all my stuff and that my pain was GOING to come back - and I thought it was easier to just stay ‘in’ the pain, rather than jumping in and out of it. I got SO focused on where I wanted to go, that I MISSED so many moments I now wish I hadn’t.

Now, standing where I am, where I’ve made SO many changes and transformed and healed SO many things, standing in what could be argued as the ‘after’ I was visualizing for all those years - I can see now that even if I’d let myself relax, enjoy, have fun, settle into what was good about a situation I couldn’t actually change in that moment anyway, I STILL would have gotten here. Probably in the same relative amount of time. If I had allowed myself to enjoy the little pleasures all along the way, I wouldn’t have lost motivation - the pain would have still been there. The drive for what I wanted would have remained. I just would have ENJOYED the JOURNEY so much more. I got the message that pleasure was the messenger of what to build - but I was never IN it. I never let myself be nourished by those pleasures. It was so intellectual. 

Being Aware Is Different Than Experiencing:

I can see now that although again I was ‘aware’ of what made me feel good, and even though I was building those things and following them as a roadmap for the life I DID want - in contrast to the life I was trying so hard to change and get out of - I rarely allowed  myself to FEEL GOOD/safe/relaxed/nourished. I never practiced enjoying it.

So, as I’ve settled into this ‘after’ - I’ve noticed I had a hard time ‘turning off.’

I’ve had a hard time NOT being in constant drive mode.

Constant productivity mode.

Constant GROWTH mode.

I’m now really working to adjust my nervous system into relaxation mode, into taking this in mode. Into being ok with WHAT IS because what is IS good. I still feel my system amping up, like I gotta GO - in response to NOTHING in my actual environment.

It’s a pattern now.

A pattern that DID serve to get me here. I'm sure on some level it was incredibly important that I focused as hard as I did, that I drove as hard as I did, that I learned to have the endurance and capacity to continue on when things got hard and dark that I did. I don't 'regret' developing the strength I developed on this journey. 

And.

I have compassion for the me that couldn’t enjoy.

Of COURSE I feared pleasure and pleasure going away.

Which it would have.

My nervous system was SO traumatized from pain, that allowing pleasure made the pain feel WORSE than if I just stayed focused on the pain.

I didn’t WANT to enjoy anything for a long time, not until I was SURE the pain was FIXED so I’d never have to feel it again.

But that’s reality. There is no perfect after where there’s no more pain. Life will always be a mix of pain and pleasure. Now I see that if I wait to allow myself to feel good until it’s all DONE - I will NEVER feel it. Because it will never be all done. I am working with myself to be ok with TEMPORARY pleasure, with being in what’s good FOR NOW, knowing it will go, then come again and so on.

I have compassion for the fact that back then, I didn’t know I was going to get here. It was all a hope and a dream. I didn’t know what would happen if I relaxed. If I stopped pushing in every moment. The fear that I would never get here and that I HAD to push with all my might, I get why that was there. The pain was bad and the journey was long and hard. I know that focus was what saved me in a lot of ways so I don’t ‘regret’ it. But again, now I see that the pleasure was a source of reprieve to help me keep going.

I believe I would have been far less exhausted by the journey had I enjoyed more.

Now I am working every day to allow for this rest, pleasure and relaxation. It IS nourishing me. Everything is easier with these practices included in my life. Even the hard things I face aren't as hard, because I'm not so depleted anymore. I can still push when I need to, and in those times I have so much MORE strength than ever, because I'm allowing for the rest and pleasure in between.

Things Change And I Miss Some Parts Of The Past:

I also see how much things change now.

How the awesome things that totally did exist in each phase of the journey, even the most dark and painful parts, were LOST when I moved to the next phase. So although I would never want to ‘go back’ to a past phase, there are elements from the past phases I wish I’d enjoyed more - because they’re gone now.

I can’t recreate some of those special times. 

I can see that I needed that phase of being IN my pain.

IN my traumas.

IN my shadows.

Fully embodying the pain, trauma, abuses and neglect I’d experienced - because I’d spent SO much of my life having to pretend it wasn’t happening. Having to deny myself. Having to repress and suppress and get on with life no matter how terrible I felt. I NEEDED to go DOWN THERE and be SEEN and VALIDATED by me. NOT asked to see the bright side. Not asked to have hope. Not asked to have the answers to be able to know I was going to figure it out - a way I helped soothe those around me when I melted down, always assuring THEM I didn’t need help, and would be fine 'don’t worry I’m so sorry I made you feel bad…' - I needed to make room for the scared, child, lost parts of myself. To embody them and give them a voice finally - and to recreate the childhood where those parts were held, loved, supported and not asked to figure it out that I never got. Because I didn’t get that. I had to be capable before I was capable. I had to be supportive when I was melting down. I had to know what I couldn’t know. And that hurt. I get that. I had to be that place for myself, and let all those parts fall apart and not ask them to put themselves back together. It was scary but really necessary. I let myself be that child many times, and I learned to hold space for me. As meta as that can sound.

And.

The pleasure is nourishing. It’s scary. It’s hard. It’s not always the answer. But it is the answer sometimes. Learning to embody it, it’s a practice especially when we’ve experienced a lot of pain/insecurity/trauma. It’s not so simple to convince the nervous system that we’re going to be ok. That we can toggle between the pain and pleasure and not die. It’s hard to learn to let life nourish you when you’ve experienced so much neglect. 

But it can be done. As hard as this may be to believe, the pleasure IS always there. Even when it’s bookended with pain. There’s always a thread of joy calling us forward. There’s always something nourishing even within the shit. 

When I allowed myself to start experiencing the pleasure - my drive didn’t go away.

I still moved and worked.

What happened was it just got EASIER to keep going.

I had more energy. I had more capacity.

I was better able to hold space for myself.

I had more resources.

I was better able to focus on where I wanted to go vs. just getting away from what hurt. It helped me expand my awareness so I didn’t DROWN in the pain but could better access that higher reasoning space of LEARNING from the pain. Getting curious instead of shutting down. And it’s still a work in progress. I’m still convincing my nervous system that this state of relative safety that I’m in is REAL and can be TRUSTED. I’m learning to take my guard down. I love that guard. It was so good and protective.

And.

This is a new phase. 

We Never Really Arrive, So Pleasure Is A Practice NOW:

There are still things I want to grow into.

There’s no end.

There’s no goal state reached.

So if I don’t allow myself to enjoy NOW, when?

As cliche as that sounds, it’s true. This is the only moment I KNOW I get. So if I continue to deny pleasure for the idea that I’m going to get another chance, how much of my life am I going to miss? I don’t want to miss my life. Not anymore.

There's joy IN the path. Now I really get that. The joy of life isn't really found in the accomplishment, as it is in the life lived along the way. I now really see that the greatest moments of feeling good in life come when we are in what we're in fully. Come from showing up for what is, embodying it, and letting it either grow us or nourish us.

Joy is available at all times, if we are willing to embrace the moment for what it is - in the sadness, darkness, lightness and fun.

We will always want to accomplish more, and that's normal. That's healthy. AND there's pleasure all along the way. Both and. Life is now. Pleasure is now. It's all here. We will keep going, even more, if we let ourselves have the good in the here and now.

It's not one or the other, joy is in the both/and.

If this is resonating with you, please know:

The pleasure is there.

It’s a helper.

It’s nourishment.

It will give you strength to keep going. I

t will give you resources to hold yourself and deal with the pain.

It’s a guide for where to go next. 

Allow for the pleasure, just a little each day. I know it’s scary. You’ll still get where you want to go. You will still make it and be motivated. The universe won’t see you’re enjoying what is, and not give you what you want as it assumes you’re ‘good’ here.’ You will miss these things when they’re gone. And when you get there, the more you’ve practiced EMBODYING pleasure, the more you’ll be able to ENJOY where you land. And of course the more you’ll enjoy the journey.

Now can be good too. I promise you.

Let it in, just a little. Just a little each day. Slow and steady on your nervous system. You don’t have to force it. It makes sense to fear pleasure. There’s nothing WRONG. This isn’t to fix you.

It’s worth it and you’re worth it.

You deserve the pleasure too.

That’s what this is about.

You deserve to have pleasure for pleasure's sake.

Because you exist. You deserve it.

<3

perceptiontrainers

Author perceptiontrainers

More posts by perceptiontrainers

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Mary Anne says:

    Yes….we do deserve pleasure….for me to night the pleasure has been watching the humblest of creatures…the common sparrows play about my garden…they are quiet now…they are resting…I will too…I am always grieving…I am always thankful….sending big hugs and much love….nearly summer here now in Michigan…I am outside as much as I can be….including others in my pleasure and in my rest…so much love to give…it’s free and it’s all I know….💚…strange…I always miss you….so glad you are in my social media world🥰

    • perceptiontrainers says:

      I’m so happy to hear that you’re indulging in both rest and pleasure, and that we can stay connected here <3 <3 <3 Sending you warm summer hugs!

Leave a Reply