Are you one of the emotional walking wounded?
In this modern age, we all seem to know a whole lotta stuff. Yet an essential part of your human experience remains something of a mystery. Our emotions are still not something most of us are taught how to deal with.
In fact, those big bad emotions of ours can make people pretty uncomfortable. While negative emotions are a fact of life, the world around us seems to be in a rush for us “get over it”, no matter what has just happened to us.
But your emotions are important!
While I do teach that we have a lot more control over our emotions than we think, it’s also important to take a moment to honor what we’re feeling–and more importantly to allow ourselves to feel it.
But this is what usually happens instead.
For example, instead, of talking about a relationship and breakup, let’s pretend we’re talking about climbing a tree.
Say you’re climbing the tree but one day you fall off of the branches. You’re suddenly on the ground with a broken arm.
But instead of going to the hospital to get your arm fixed, your friends and family tell you: “Hey it’s not that bad!” “Look at the bright side!” “You’re gonna be fine!”
They urge you to just get up and keep going–so you do! You start climbing the tree again, even though every moment causes you intense pain.
Your arm might even look okay from the outside! Not every broken bone is visible to others. So your friends and family tell you you’re doing great.
But are you really okay?
Is your arm really healed?
Are you climbing the tree as well as you could?
Just like this hypothetical broken bone, so many of us are carrying inner wounds and going through our day pretending “everything is fine”.
And today I just want to show you how utterly insane that is!
So let this be your sign: if you’re carrying on this charade in your own life, then maybe it’s time to stop.
You must heal the wounds of the past before you carry on with the rest of your life!
That doesn’t mean wallowing or hanging out in victim mode forever. But it does mean letting go of judgment and pretending that you are okay. It means validating whatever it is you’re feeling because it’s 100% okay to feel the way you do.
Pretending to be fine never works! The longer you judge your emotions and pretend they’re not there the more difficult it will be to figure out what’s going wrong down the road.
But on the flip side, if you let yourself feel your feelings you’ll also be able to release those feelings and move forward, all the wiser and stronger for whatever it is you’ve experienced.
3 Steps To Heal Your Past (So You Can Create Your Future!)
Heal Your Past Tip #1:
Notice Where The Pain Is
Most of us intrinsically judge both our pain and our healing path. We try to convince ourselves that we left our past long ago but in reality, part of us is still very much grieving that time.
Denial is not the same as healing! I liken this approach to holding a ball under water. You can keep it down as long as you’re paying attention. But what happens if your attention slips? (Or you need your hand to do something else?) That’s right: the ball will pop right back out of the water, sometimes with a surprising amount of force! Holding it down didn’t make it go away. It just hid it from view for a while–which is exactly what denial will make happen to your emotions.
Of course, it can be hard to admit and face up to what’s happening inside of us. But remember that holding yourself back from acknowledging and feeling those feelings requires energy of its own! You’ll eventually exhaust yourself from keeping up the farce of pretending things are okay. Settling into the pain might not sound appealing all that but you must go there in order to release it (and finally move on).
If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll always know where the wounds are hiding. But please don’t judge them or make them wrong or tell yourself they shouldn’t even be there! Awareness is the first key to healing so it a priority to see and acknowledge what’s going on within you.
Heal Your Past Tip #2:
Let It Out
Please know you cannot heal on your own! You need the reflection of someone else to help you move past this. You need someone to listen openly and hold space for you (not rushing to “help” or to “make you feel better”).
You must share your story with someone (that’s how you let the pain out!). You need have your words, point of view and feelings acknowledged and made valid.
Although simply listening might sound straightforward, finding someone to help with this is trickier than it sounds! If there’s no one appropriate in your life to do this for you, then it might be time to call in a therapist or coach.
Again, not many of us have an emotional toolbox for this stuff! So don’t be upset with those around you if they’re not the best listeners. Not many of us are naturally equipped with emotional intelligence for these situations!
Plus “negative” emotions really do make people uncomfortable (partially because we all have mirror neurons which literally mirror the pain we see in other people).
But just because you’re making someone uncomfortable or because not everyone understands how to validate your feelings, that doesn’t make your feelings wrong. If you’re met with unhelpful ears, then it’s simply time to move on and find a better listening partner.
Heal Your Past Tip #3:
Bitterness and resentment are some of the most low-vibe energies we can experience. It’s one thing to admit what’s happened to us or what we’ve done (or not done) but it’s another thing to let go of our self-blame and self-loathing about it.
For example, many people who were victims of abuse as children still hold onto an element of self-blame. As adults, we logically know that children are not to blame in these situations. But our brain has a funny way of reframing things to tell us that we are. (If you listened more, dressed differently, said something differently, etc etc.) It’s all too common for us continue to blame ourselves even though we “should” know better.
It’s that element of self-blame that hurts the most. As long as we continue to judge ourselves and make ourselves wrong, we cannot enter a place of true self-acceptance and love.
Try taking a third-person perspective to the situation. (You can do this through a guided meditation or hypnosis or with some professional help.)
Can you understand that old version of you?
Can you forgive them/yourself?
Can you offer the child/teen/adult version of you some love from your current perspective?
Similarly, it’s difficult to move on and consciously create your dream life if you’re stuck pointing fingers and assigning blame. You cannot be the victim and the hero at the exact same time! If you want to be the hero of your next act, then it’s time to accept your part in how your life so far has played out.
That’s why forgiving others is also a necessary part of the process. We can give ourselves a lot of relief by offering a level of forgiveness to those that wronged us. Please not that forgiveness is not about condoning any actions! But it’s a necessary step to let go of that old heaviness and to break into your next level.
No one is perfect, certainly not us or our parents (or whoever else you meet in the world). We’re all raised in imperfect environments and we’re all doing the best that we can.
If you’re having problems forgiving others, try imagining this other person as a small child themselves. What did they feel as a child? What happened to them over the course of their lifetime? We’re all so much more than the sum of one action or situation. Of course, that doesn’t absolve anyone of personal responsibility. But that tiny shift in perception might just be the boost you need to finally let go while still honoring and loving yourself.
If you need someone to talk to, Better Help offers affordable therapy services online, through messaging, phone or video chat. Get the help you need in the privacy of your own home at an affordable rate! Click here to sign up with a 10% discount.
So which tip are you going to use first? What do you need to release in order to break free and be happy?
We’re all on a journey of self-healing but the more you can shift your perspective, the better chance you’ll have to truly heal.