This is the second in a series of four articles on what may well be one of the most important topics we will ever encounter and that is the subject of Emotional Healing. It is possible all of us have suffered from some trauma which left us feeling wounded or perhaps worse, traumatized in a way which haunted, handcuffed, or impeded us for most of our lives.
There is no amount of money, social status, or elixir which will wipe the damage away and eliminate them from our memory. At the time these injuries occurred, they had the capacity to cause paralyzing fear or the impetus to permanently alter us in ways we never would have imagined. While everyone’s afflictions happen in varying degrees, the best way to live an emotionally healthy life is to heal from those injuries.
The difficulty arises in knowing how and when emotional healing occurs. What is the process which allows us to heal from these tragic events and how can we measure its success?
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary provides excellent definitions for the word heal. They are as follows:
A. To make free from injury or disease – to make sound or whole.
B. To make well again – to restore to health.
C. To cause an undesirable condition to be overcome.
D. To patch up or correct.
E. To restore to original purity or integrity.
Although these meanings were not focused specifically on the emotional aspect, when examining each of the above definitions they all are excellent outcomes we would want to happen to liberate us from those past burdens. Embracing these thoughts will help you acknowledge your healing is taking place.
Also, we need to decide which memories we would like to be healed. While many of us may have suffered multiple experiences, it is best to focus on one and work through it rather than trying to combat several at the same time. After we have learned to deal with a single episode, the process will be less encumbered when we move to the next one.
It may also be prudent to begin with one which is not the most traumatic. Starting with less excruciating wounds will be easier and a small success is helpful in moving forward. This journey can be much simpler under the care of a trained mental health professional or counselor who understands how to guide others along this path. But don’t lose heart, we all have the capacity to heal.
Once we have an awareness of what emotional healing means, we must now understand where it occurs and what is being healed. When we become free of injury, what is being set free? What is being patched up or corrected, and what is being made whole again?
When we get a cut on our skin, there’s no question where the specific healing happens. When a bone breaks or we require major surgery, the doctor’s skill is not the healing. Although it contributes greatly to the healing process, the skin must grow back, the bone must become whole, and the blood vessels need to regenerate and repair before it is considered healing.
Emotional wounds occur in our minds, our psyche, and in our perceptions. In order for there to be emotional healing, these areas must be the beneficiaries of the mending or repairing. Experiencing healing in our minds will instill within us a healthier outlook about ourselves and minimizes the strongholds our past abuses held over us.
Taking a walk in nature is healing in the same way a bandage or stitches help our skin. Neither the walk nor the stitches are what is being healed. They merely provide a better, more enhanced environment for healing to take place. Listening to music or artistic expression is not what is being restored or repaired. All these actions provide a more favorable atmosphere for our minds to heal and although for some may be instrumental for our progression, the healing occurs when those memories no longer haunt us or act as an anchor in our daily lives.
It is always obvious when a cut on our skin is healed because the original sign of the injury is gone. The problem with our emotional wounds is that there is nothing visual to measure our success. It is only experienced mentally. We are the ones who decide if any healing or progress is made. If we have already been plagued with lifelong notions of self-doubt and unworthiness, it won’t take much to doubt our progress or feel we never deserved any healing in the first place.
All too often, we are guilty of inhibiting our own progress because we never learned to trust, believe, and love ourselves.
Thankfully, by overcoming our own insecurities through more self-assuredness, this very same belief helps us change the perspectives of our past cruel and painful events. Ultimately, we learn to accept what happened to us and no longer allow it to enslave our lives.
By no means do I wish to minimalize anyone’s past pains or sufferings nor am I mandating your personal journey. Those figurative scabs have been ripped off far too many times. There are injuries which can permanently alter us as severely as a damaged or severed limb does to our physical bodies. But many people have managed to overcome and thrive despite such horrific losses.
We must be determined to do what it takes to change the perceptions of who we are. We must realize the power to change is within us and no abuser is strong enough to take that from us. Next week’s article will focus on ideas and techniques which will help emotional healing transpire. My thanks to Ian Parker on Unsplash for the wonderful picture and I look forward to your comments.
If you or anyone you know is having difficulty healing from past traumas, it is my passion to guide people on their journeys of emotional healing and greater self-development. Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to read the first article in this series, go (or return) to the blog home page and select the article before this one. Thank you very much.