Working through pain and trauma is something that’s essential for everyone because if you don’t, you end up feeling stuck, depressed, anxious, angry, frustrated, and even numb. When we have emotional pain and avoid it, then it begins to bubble beneath the surface and eventually can feel worse. When we avoid the emotional hurts and pretend they aren’t there, we are not honoring ourselves and living in the present (even if the present isn’t rainbows and butterflies). Being present allows you to be compassionate with yourself and others and allows you the space you need to work through your emotional healing.
We’ve all been here–needing that time to heal–but most of us don’t know how to work through it or where to begin. For me, I started with my counselor, Jacey Tramutt, who has given me tools like Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg, EMDR, and overall trauma work where I started to put the puzzle together that emotional healing is a process. Jacey has a picture in her office that says “You have to feel to heal,” and it’s so true. I would rather run from my feelings and pretend they aren’t there, but that isn’t allowing me the space I need to feel better nor is it being authentic–in fact, it’s lying to myself that everything is fine when in reality something needs healing, so I can be the best version of myself. When you are present with your feelings and emotional pain it can be easy to judge those feelings and put a negative spin on them, but try not to because those feelings and the manifestations of those feelings are how your mind and body work through them in order to feel better and let them go in a healthy way.
Other ways to help work through emotional healing are surrounding yourself with friends and a support group to whom you can go when feeling down, taking a break from the pain, learning from the experience, and moving on. Supportive people in your life allow you space and compassion from others who may be able to relate to you and offer sound advice or simply be a shoulder to cry on. Taking a break from the pain doesn’t mean ignoring the pain, but sometimes you do need to cut loose and take a step back. Yoga can be healing as well as meditation, exercise, massage, and even going to the movies. This allows you to acknowledge that you are healing but also that you are going to still enjoy life even when emotions can be overwhelming; healthy compartmentalizing allows you to give your mind a rest so when you go back to healing work you are rested and equipped to handle it. Learning from the experience and the healing process in general allows you to be able to have self-compassion as well as empathy for others with whom you may come into contact and are having trouble. Letting go is the final step in the healing process. If you hold onto pain it can define you and, whether intentionally or not, can put you into the role of victim and doesn’t allow one to live and enjoy life. Rather than allowing emotional pain define you, see where it can lead you. When you work through your pain you will come out and see that it was meant to happen to eventually better yourself and those around you. I can attest to this–I have a narcissistic mother and rather than feel sorry for myself, I have used those experiences with her to parent in a more compassionate way toward my son, I try to be empathetic and kind when listening to others’ emotional pain, and I created my own family that is a mixture of men and women who empower me and whom I empower.
We all have our demons and those things we wish we could forget and run away from, but they don’t go away until you face them. It’s uncomfortable and certainly not always easy, but it’s well-worth the work because you end up feeling whole. Love and light on your healing journey.