I haven’t talked to an LDS parent that didn’t feel some pain when their child came out.
“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional,” But where is the line between pain and unnecessary suffering?
There are two types of pain – clean and dirty. Clean pain is normal and healing and dirty pain is pain that causes us additional pain and keeps us stuck.
Clean pain is pain felt from difficult circumstances in life, it hurts deeply and profoundly, but it relates to things as they actually happening— the facts of the situation and the reality event.
Dirty pain, is taking difficulty from life and blaming yourself or others for it, arguing with reality, should-ing all over it, or just generally thinking “things should be different and how things are is wrong.”
Examples of clean versus dirty pain:
Clean pain: “I felt disappointment when my son came out as gay.
Dirty pain: “If I had been a better mother my son would not be gay.”
Clean pain: “My daughter came out as bi-sexual and I feel some sadness about that.”
Dirty pain: “I'm worried how people will judge her.”
Clean pain: “I am sad that my daughter doesn’t want to go to young women's.
Dirty pain: “Our young women’s leaders should be doing more for my daughter.”
See the differences here? Clean pain is real and valid, dirty pain involves generalizations, should-ing, and negotiating/reality, worry and blaming ourselves or others.
Dirty pain is like when you have wound and you just keep squeezing lemon juice all over it.
You are arguing with reality. You argue with who they are, with how they feel, and with what their lives look like.
It feels terrible to do this because you can't control others. People will say words and do things we don't agree with BUT we can do the work on how we think about other's actions.
How do you clean up your Dirty Pain?
1. Stop resisting the pain. We create more pain for ourselves when we don’t slow down and process the emotions. When we resist sadness, grief, anger it can grow into anxiety and de