The following blog post was written by my friend, Raven Valencia, who I interviewed on my Messages of Hope radio show on May 2, 2019.  See below for a link to the audio archive of this powerful episode.  For now, please enjoy and learn from Raven’s wisdom:


Pay Attention Inward Now. So says Iyanla Van Zant. It has worked very well with emotional pain.I have paid attention to my emotional pain for many years trying to heal trauma from childhood wounds, disordered eating. I have felt physical pain from scrapes, falls, childbirth, surgeries, scleroderma, shingles and toothaches. But never have I felt this pain. This take your breath away, can’t figure out where or how to be pain. This pain is harder to pay attention to yet it levels me. I can do nothing but be present in my body when the pain is present This body, from which I have spent much of my life disassociating and whose needs I’ve been working to transcend, has brought me smack dab into its holy presence. Totally, fully, unapologetically. Pay Attention Inward Now, indeed!

And because I am who I am as a Soul and as a human I can’t help but ask myself in between the spaces of pain; what are you trying to tell me? I am listening. You have my attention. I’m here now. Right now. And I wait and I ride out the waves of pain and I notice.

I notice the anxiety in my husband‘s eyes. I notice they concern in my mothers. She asked if she could rub my head and shoulders.She often did this when I was a child when the pain of fists and feet hitting flesh was too often the order of the day. I didn’t know I craved that touch, that nurturing. She lays in bed and rubs my head and my back and for a moment all is well. I notice that I can’t distract myself from my pain by helping someone else because my body won’t allow that anymore.

I notice that I’m asking for what I need more clearly and more directly for I no longer have time to waste on people pleasing or insecurity or being fiercely independent to prove I don’t need anyone. Truth is I do. I notice that I am crying more easily now than I have in a long long time. I no longer produce tears due to Sjrogen’s Syndrome, but my eyes get wet and I have gut wrenching sobs that feel good and moves the pain along.

I notice I feel vulnerable. I notice I feel humbled by this process. I notice I feel raw and I pull out all of my tools. I try meditation, reconnective healing, all the modalities I’ve ever learned. I try writing, repeating mantras and still the pain persists. I call my friends, I call my family. I ask for help. It is hard to ask for help. Did I mention that I am fiercely independent? I prefer to experience my pain in privacy. We ride the wave together. I am not alone.naked and want to hide. Isolate and hide is what I have done most of my life. So here I sit humbled by an emotional and physical pain so massive it has me on my knees.

I start to notice that people love me and care about me. I start to notice that I love me and care about me. I start to notice that my team, my Spirit team, Jesus, the Divine Mother, Archangels Michael and Rafael, my beloved ones on the other side are all pulling for me. I start to notice that in my pain I am not alone. I notice I am still Love. I am still loved.

And eventually, the pain subsides for a bit and I notice that I want to to live harder, love more, be more present with the ones I encounter. I notice how grateful I am to be pain free. I notice that I no longer take this body for granted. I notice that my soul and my human body are coexisting, making peace with each other. No longer at war. No longer feeling invaded. I am One with both my human body and my Soul, my God Self. Who knew that pain could produce peace, gratitude, love, grace?

Pain has no mercy. It consumes you. I am familiar with pain. It is been a friend, a constant companion. From emotional, physical, mental and spiritual pain of my own to witnessing my son deal with his challenges and the pain caused by 14 surgeries and dealing with the effects of his living with spina bifida. I have known pain. Not to mention all the loved ones I’ve been privileged and honored to hold space for as they endured their pain. Pain was always something to get rid of, from which to get away. It was to be avoided at all costs. And yet here I am.

The pain is so debilitating. I sometimes can’t function. And yet, I ask, what do I need to see, hear, feel? And I hear; just be. Just be here now. Love yourself to the best of your ability. Allow others to love you. And I know that this too shall pass. When the pain does pass I feel such gratitude to have less pain or no pain. I feel like I want to hurry up and do what I didn’t get done while I was down with the pain. I’m learning to pace myself, to slow down. Because if I don’t I create more pain because I overdid. Balance. I’m learning to balance. For a woman who has spent her life trying to get back in her body and be present there is no escaping it these days. There is no disassociating (my self help tools have worked too well for that to happen) there is only being present, In this moment, in this breath, knowing that all is well and all will be well.

I move from my bed, to the sofa, to the guestroom bed looking to find relief from the pain. I call my soul sisters, my healing sisters, my family. They surround me like elephants do for a birthing mother, trumpeting their love for me, their healing prayers and thoughts for me, protecting me from my own negativity and tendency towards isolation. I find comfort in their presence. I find comfort in the touch of my mothers hand on my head and back. I find comfort in knowing that this too shall pass. And it does, in between doses of medication it passes or eases and I am able to function again. I am filled with gratitude for the mercy and grace shown me first and foremost by my Creator, by my Spirit team, and all my loved ones. I am held in Light until I again am reminded that even with the pain I Am the Light. I am a child of the Divine. I am still here. I am still present. I am dancing with the Divine as I ride the waves of pain.

Oh such blessed relief when it eases or disappears. Such mercy. Such grace. And I know in my heart all is well. All will be well for I am Love. I am bathed in love. I exude love. I radiate love. It is my essence. It is my core. I came here not to transcend my physical body but to embrace it, to embody it, to choose love no matter the circumstances.

My condition is teaching me that I can no longer say yes when I mean no. I can no longer people please. I started saying yes to that which scares me. I can no longer chase people and beg them to love me. I can no longer hide or operate in the shadows. I can no longer worry about what people might think. Brene Brown writes so eloquently in her book  on vulnerability, Daring Greatly about Theodore Roosevelt and his Man in the Arena speech and I am reminded of those words. I have entered the arena. I am no longer the critic sitting in the stands judging my efforts as less than. I am in the arena! I Am daring greatly!

I must risk being vulnerable. I must risk being seen and heard. I must break down the walls of separation I erected to protect myself from pain. There is no protection from pain. There is only Love. I can only be in this moment, in this breath,In this body with this Spirit, with this spark of the Divine that I Am. I choose Love. I will always and in all ways choose Love.


Please enjoy the powerful wisdom shared in my chat with Raven on the May 2, 2019 episode of Messages of Hope, available for listening anytime in the archives at: