Many of us go through our lives being aware of a well of pain that has been under our daily awareness for so long we aren’t even sure where it comes from. It almost seems as if it’s part of who we are, or the way we see the world, but it’s important to realize that this pain is something that needs to be acknowledged and processed. The longer we sit on it, the harder it is to work through, and the more likely it is that we will be forced to acknowledge it as it makes itself known to us in ways we can’t predict. Rather than waiting for this to happen, we can empower ourselves by identifying the pain and resolving to take action toward healing it. The very thought of this brings up feelings of resistance in most of us, especially if, on the surface, our lives seem to be in order. It’s difficult to dig up the past and go into it unless we are being seriously inconvenienced by the hurt. The thing is, when we are carrying the burden of our unprocessed pain, sooner or later it will inconvenience us. If we can be brave and proactive, we can save ourselves a lot of future suffering and free up the energy that is tied up in keeping the pain down. There are many ways to do this, but the first step is to recognize the pain and honor it by moving our awareness into it. In this process, even if it’s just five minutes during meditation, we will begin to have a sense of what the pain is made of. It might be fear of abandonment, childhood abuse, anger at being mistreated, or some other long held wound. As we sit with the pain, we will also have a sense of whether we can deal with it by ourselves or not. It may be time to work with a counselor or form a healing circle with close friends. Whatever path you choose, resolve to go deep into the pain so that you can release it fully, and set yourself free. Remember, it is never too late in life to heal what hurts, and there is never a better time than now.