“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
Too often lately I encounter friends or meet new acquaintances who express various levels of brokenness caused by someone in their lives. We've all been hurt or heartbroken on occasion. Everyone processes and deals with emotional pain differently. The key is to learn and practice how to handle these situations in a manner that makes them teachable moments, makes you a little wiser for the wear, and ultimately propels you forward.
Some say pain is weakness leaving the body. I, on the other hand, prefer to think of pain as the usher that shows strength to its seat. And that can apply to either physical pain or emotional pain. None of us are exempt from the tests and trials we encounter in life. Nine times out of ten, they are not pleasant or comfortable. And sometimes, shit happens that hurts like hell. In this entry, I really want to focus specifically on healing from emotional pain inflicted by another party. All you have to do is turn on “reality” television and witness the millions of dollars being made off of the emotional pain of others. Why is that? Because there probably isn’t one person in the entire world who hasn’t experienced some type of emotional pain or grief caused by another person.
It’s become such common place in society, people now have become desensitized and even numb to this pain under the veil of “having a thick skin.” But the thicker the skin, the tougher it becomes for those important to you to even break through and get to the part of you that really matters. Probably the most difficult part of healing is the initial realization that you are even wounded to begin with. Instead, we enter a state of denial and develop unhealthy patterns that give that pain a voice — anger, drugs, alcohol, food, sex, etc. Christine Langley-Obaugh so eloquently states, “We repeat what we don’t repair.”
There is a plethora of scenarios in which people experience emotional pain: guilt, rejection, dishonesty, abandonment, betrayal, abuse, etc. Whoever and whatever the case may be, I want to really focus on the path to healing any type of broken relationship based on my own experience. I call these ‘street signs’ that can universally guide and direct any situation to a place of healing and peace.
- Evaluate. Determine if the relationship is worth salvaging. Some people come into your life for a reason, others for only a season. You get to decide. And the reality is, there may be a shift on both sides. Sometimes, people simply just change their minds in regard to your relationship. That's okay. The problem is... Some people are too COWARDLY to just own it and communicate it.
- Communicate. And be vulnerable with your communication. Don’t be timid about expressing your hurt to the appropriate person who you feel harmed you. They need to understand the fullness of how their word and/or actions made you feel.
- Pay attention. This is a BIGGIE for me in my road to healing a relationship. There’s one very important key I listen for in my communication with someone who has caused me pain… ACCOUNTABILITY. People MUST be held accountable and willing to take ownership of their wrong doings. No empty apologies are accepted. If I express my hurt to someone, and they make excuses, or worse, make things MY FAULT, that’s unacceptable. In such case, I immediately go back to number one and evaluate, in real time, the value of this relationship.
- Be prepared and open. Prepare yourself for things to not look the way you expect when you have that hard conversation with someone. If you find yourself in a situation that ultimately reveals itself as a toxic one, you MUST be ready and willing to walk away.
- Forgiveness. Forgive YOURSELF first and foremost. Whether you played a roll in the situation or not, you don't deserve the pain you received. No one deserves pain. What we all deserve is understanding and compassion. When someone does you wrong, 9 times out of ten they will eventually come back more than likely seeking that understanding and compassion. However, when they do, they don’t get to come back and tell you to just forget about it. They don’t get to dismiss how they made you feel. They must bring that same level of understanding and compassion to your table. They must take ownership and ask for forgiveness. And only THEN, do you move on to the next phase…
- Let it go. That doesn’t mean forget the pain completely. But once you’ve resolved it one way or the other, you must move on from it. And you get to decide what that looks like. Let it go on YOUR terms and no one else’s. Get the lesson you need from it and keep it moving. Be better, not bitter.
- Rebuild trust. Start with rebuilding self trust first. Whatever lesson you learned from the traumatic experience, trust that you’ll be wiser the next time. The universe will test you to make sure you actually got the lesson. And moving forward... When you trust you, you’ll know who you can trust. When you love you, you’ll know who you can love.
- Love again. Don't be jaded. Give of your heart again and love on those that remain in your life who you treasure and who treasure you enough to give of themselves to you. You might find that the more love you give, the more love you will attract unto you. Be that which you expect to receive. Remember... We don't attract what we want. We attract what we are.
Until next time, WARRIORS... Go forth seeking light...