Steps to emotional healing
“Although wounds can heal sometimes a scar is left behind.”
There is nothing more crucial for a wound than healing; that goes for both physical and mental ones. Last week’s article was the first in a series that discussed this crucial subject (click here to read it). But what are the first steps towards this essential and vital action?
The dictionary defines healing as: to make sound or whole; to make well again. From an emotional viewpoint, this would be a phenomenal result. No doubt there are countless people who recall incidents from their pasts which have troubled, distressed, or even haunted them to this day. Some may have exhausted all their efforts searching for solutions and found nothing but vague or insufficient advice to help them become “well again”.
I wish there were a simple step-by-step formula we all could follow and heal those injuries but if that were the case, someone would have already discovered it. The healing journey, as in life’s journey, is different for each one of us. Thankfully, there are common elements which aid us in this seemingly elusive task.
My wounds did not occur from physical events but rather a series of emotional ones which at the time, I had no clue were doing any harm or damage. One common denominator with most abuses is that they are done to us by others. However, the way I chose to deal with it was to believe that somehow, I deserved it or was unworthy of something better.
My abuse was done by someone whom I held in the highest respect and even though it may not have been his intentions, the impact was terribly devastating because I believed the horrendous things he said which browbeat and intimidated me for the next several decades.
The solution was to forgive myself for accepting all of those awful spoken words. At that time, I was convinced there was no other choice but to concede that everything he told me was true. Those negative thoughts not only stayed with me but accumulated over time. When I finally understood all that shame was not true and not who I was, I could forgive myself for ever swallowing those terrible thoughts about myself.
Yes, this was my journey and although it may not resonate with you, ask yourself did you ever once believe that your abuses were warranted? Was there one time when you thought, “I somehow deserved it”? If that is the case, I highly recommend rereading the previous three paragraphs and tell yourself, “No, I NEVER deserved any of it”!
Every kind of abuse is appalling and the pain we undergo while it is happening is something we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy. However, if there was ever a miniscule belief that in some small way it was deserved, that is the beginning of self-inflicted, emotional abuse. Since we generated those false thoughts, we can also forgive ourselves for doing so in the first place.
Helping others heal is my passion and I am dedicating my life to learn how to become more effective at doing so. Please share your thoughts and ways you have been able to heal from your struggles. My thanks to Tim Gouw for the wonderful picture.