When you think about it, we live with a lot of pain.
Some of us are living with physical pain – like arthritis or back pain or both. Some of us take medication for mental depression in its various forms. Still others struggle with spiritual pain and agony, asking God to deliver us from guilt, envy or other demons that possess us from time to time.
And then there’s emotional pain.
This is the pain that is the result of something or someone. It’s pain that seems to be preventable – the kind that never should have happened in the first place.
But it does.
In most cases, it happened because we let the wrong person get too close. Or we disclosed a weakness that someone exploited. Nevertheless, some careless so-and-so went through our emotions like a monkey in a chemistry lab and ruined things.
What’s even worse is that sometimes we’ve had to tell the person what they did – that they had wronged us in some way. Then to make matters even worse, the offender, upon being confronted about what they did, either denied it or made it seem like we were being too sensitive.
This is a poison in our society – that people can “wrong” others and nothing be done about it. Racism is managed like this, as well as gender bias, age discrimination and gay-bashing.
One of my clients is experiencing such emotional pain – and with good reason.
She is dealing with a former fiancé who claimed to love and respect her, only to end up in bed with her 16-year-old daughter. Since the incident, the daughter is estranged from the mother and has threatened to run away with the jerk – I mean the guy. My client feels hurt, betrayed, duped, stupid and inadequate (all her words).
An emotional wound feels worse than the other three types of pain because of the way we process it. We process it straight through to the soul – that’s why it hurts so much.
And the closer you were to the person … well, you get the picture.
There is one more level that makes it worse. It literally adds salt to the wound. It’s when someone unrelated to the incident tells you to “get over it.” They say not to let it get you down and you should focus on something else.
Well, I’m telling you that you need to take the time and release that feeling from your body! It needs to be verbalized and in most cases you need to let the person who wounded you know what they did.
Whether they apologize or even acknowledge your wounds, you must tell them.
If they have died or it is literally impossible to tell them, you need to write it down and send it off – to the North Pole, out to sea in a bottle or in the air with balloons – write it and get rid of it. This will help you immensely!
The next thing you need to do is take inventory of who you may have hurt and seek them out! Apologize to them, because you have walked (or you’re walking) in their shoes. Patch up the wounds you have caused in order that you won’t repeat the same actions that hurt you.
Don’t allow 2010 to end without doing this – and don’t carry your wounds into the new decade!