The hurt, the pain, the uncertainty - it's all there, staring you right in the face. But you're tired, broken and don't have the willpower to confront it right now. So you push it all away and stuff it into the smallest, darkest corner of your 'mental closet'. And then you're better! You're good! You're able to focus on the here and now and you have convinced yourself that you made it through the trauma. You have conquered the pain.
Life begins to move again and you are out in the world being great. You are making moves and are feeling stronger than you have ever felt.
But then it happens.
Something so small, so subtle comes across your path and triggers you. That 'mental closet' door opens wide and the pain, hurt and uncertainty that you thought you conquered comes pouring out with a fierceness. The raw emotions from before are just as painful and now confusion has been added to the mix.
"My life is going good, why am I feeling this way."
"I moved on from that person/situation, so what's wrong with me? What am I holding on to?"
"Why am I so angry, moody and emotional now?"
"What's wrong with me? I moved past the pain, I was good, what happened?"
That answer is this: You moved PAST the pain instead of processing THROUGH the pain.
For a majority of us, the pain and hurt are intolerable. We don't want to experience it and deal with all of the emotions that are attached to it. So what do we do instead? We try to find a quick fix for it, something like a 'mental band-aid'. We place the 'band-aid' on top of the wound and go about our business while letting the wound heal.
But what if more needs to be done to the wound? What if the painful wound is too deep and needs to be thoroughly cleaned and nurtured before the healing process can begin?
Sometimes you need to be uncomfortable and honor those painful feelings so that true healing can begin.
This is when you need to step out of that place of denial and fear to face the pain and process through it. Sometimes you need to be uncomfortable and honor those painful feelings so that true healing can begin. Being able to identify, acknowledge and feel the pain will help you process through it and make sense of the experience. And once you are able to make sense of the experience and accept it for what it is - a painful experience, you will be able to separate the past from the present and will begin your journey of true healing. This process gives you the opportunity to change the narrative that you attached to your pain so that you can better shape your new reality.
"Yes I experienced the pain, but the lessons learned from it has made me grow. I am more self-aware and in better control of my emotions. I understand that pain is a natural part of the life experience."
How To Heal
Honor Your Pain
It happened. Unfortunately you can't change it. Reflect on the experience and give yourself permission and time to grieve and process through the pain.
Reach Out to Others
Connect with supportive friends or family members. Seek out the services of a professional such as a therapist that can help you process through the pain in a safe, comforting and nurturing environment. You do not have to process through the pain alone. Allow others to support you and uplift you through the process.
Learn From It
Learn from the experience. Ask yourself, what are the lessons that I can take away from this and apply to my life moving forward? Remind yourself that by processing through the pain, you will become wiser and more resilient.
Take a Break
Allow yourself the opportunity to breathe during your processing. Take a break and engage in an enjoyable hobby or activity that helps you to regather and rejuvenate so that you can successfully process through the pain. This is best when you start to feel overwhelmed or feel that you are wanting to stop processing.
Move On and Move Forward
Just because you are experiencing the pain does not mean that you are suppose to stay there. Don't become stuck in your pain to where it starts to drain you fully. If you find yourself in a stuck point, this is the time to seek out the services of a professional who can help you continue processing through the pain. Once you have gotten to the place where your pain has been turned into a lesson or experience, move forward from it. Use the lesson and experience to propel you into the next level of your life. Allow it to push you towards your greatness.
*As a reminder, if you know that you are not mentally strong enough to process through any type of trauma or pain by yourself, contact a therapist or a trained/licensed professional who can assist you with the processing in a safe and secure environment.*