How do we heal the pain of the past?

In the shadows of our past lurks shame, guilt, and regret. Emotions stemming from painful experiences that we were forced to stuff down and hide. Emotions that we were too busy to deal with because we had to be strong and show up to life because everyone depended on us. No time to process what was happening to us. No space to even acknowledge what was happening. Eventually unable to identify the emotions, so we just say we are tired. Depression masked by fatigue. But you can’t be depressed; you can’t be tired. Suck it up and keep moving forward, others are depending on you.

The reality is YOU must prioritize yourself. YOU must make the time and heal. So people around you do not get what going on. Know that it is not in your head. Know that it is not just going to go away no matter how much you will it. You must actively seek to heal from sources that will help you to heal.

 Get real about what’s going on. How are you really feeling

You cannot heal from an issue if you do not acknowledge it. You must be truthful about the issue and don’t hold anything back. So, if you feel worthless, and want to end it all. Then say that. If you are broken and feel like you are unfixable, say that. If you are heartbroken and feel you are not worthy of anyone’s love, say that. If you are afraid and want to stop and hide, say that. You are entitled to your emotions, to feel how you feel. Allow yourself to feel those things, don’t suppress them.  Suppressing your emotions will block you from healing. Suppressing your emotion causes them to fester and consolidate into anger, resentment, and bitterness. It then begins to infect other areas of your life eventually robbing you of your ability to experience joy and hope, sending you deeper into depression.

 Seek help

There is nothing wrong or weak about seeking professional help to cope with your problems.  Like when you are sick you seek a doctor. When you are not emotionally or mentally well, you need to seek professional help. If you continue to suppress your emotions and pain from the past it will begin to affect your physical health.  Social pain and physical pain both have an effect on the body. Often professionals can help you to gain perspective on your problems. They can help you develop skills and techniques to help you process and work through your painful past. Professionals will also be able to see if the problem has a social or biological root. For example, the depression could be the result of a chemical imbalance that could be treated with medication.

Confide in a friend

Many times, we make the mistake of confiding in the wrong person. Not everyone is understanding and or sympathetic. Know who you can confide in and about what. Some friends are great for emotional support others are not. Some are good listeners,  some are good advice givers, and some will hold you accountable. Find someone you can trust. You are stronger when you have the support of others. Sometimes simply venting to a friend is healing in its self.  Isolation and secrecy are the worst things you can do for your pain. Also be willing to tell your friend how they can help you. If you’re a looking just to vent tell them if you are looking for advice ask for it.

Do the work

Work through the pain. Emotions carry energy because emotions are meant to be expressed. Do what you need to do to get through it to expend that energy. If you suppress that emotional energy, that negative energy will seep into your body and will manifest its self in your physical health. Negative emotional energy is stress. Prolonged stress will lead to health problems. It is important you expel that energy. Take yoga to help channel your emotional energy. If you have a lot of anger exercise hit a punching bag. Have a good cry.  If you are uncomfortable with crying watch a sad movie to give you an excuse to let it all out. Journaling is also a great way to release emotional energy. The movement of writing will help you expel emotional energy. Doing the work also includes seeking help when you need it from professionals and friends. Do not suffer in silence there are plenty of people that are willing to help you. You have to brave enough to ask for it.

Forgive

Eventually, you will come to a point where you must forgive the person or persons that caused the pain. Also, you must forgive yourself for your role in the pain. Again, forgiveness is to set you free. Forgiveness is not condoning or forgetting what happen. It is acknowledging it, healing, and moving forward. You want to be able to function without your past triggering an emotional response, not because you are numb to it but because it is truly healed. Don’t confuse numbness for healing.

 

Ultimately, you are responsible for your healing. You must take the time to take care of your mental health. Don’t allow your past to be an anchor holding you back. You have every right to be angry and feel hurt, but do not stay in that place. That dark place of isolation is where negativity and shame breed.  Let it out, air it out. I promise you, you are not the only one that has experienced hurt and pain. You are not alone. Reach out and get help and support. You may be strong, but you are stronger with support.

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