Healing past emotional wounds that affect your present

Written by Amie on May 6, 2014 – 3:26 am -

We all have emotional wounds

Another very popular statement thrown around quite often today is, “stop living in the past”. It is another statement that irritates me. In some cases, sure, it is very possible to live your life in a way that only focuses on past events, traumas, etc. However, if you are depressed, chances are good that events, traumas, old beliefs, conditioning, etc. from your past, are affecting your life today. When you begin questioning, investigating, and reflecting on your life, this does not mean you are living in the past. This means you are courageous enough to look within yourself to uncover the wounds that are hindering your life today. We all have emotional wounds. They are to different degrees, but we all have them. It is part of being human in this world today. Many people are not willing to do the difficult and sometimes very painful work of self reflection. When we investigate our wounds, it doesn’t mean we are sitting around blaming others or staying stuck in the past. It means we are taking responsibility for our lives by looking at our wounds and feeling the accompanying emotions that were never felt. It means we are able to get through the pain, to the other side, which is our true self.

the truth keeps resurfacing

Sometimes it is easy to “talk” about things that happened to us. This isn’t the same as processing the emotions around these events. It is the hidden emotion underneath the “talking” that will heal. It is allowing ourselves to feel. It is expressing the emotions that were buried at the time of the true hurt. It is allowing ourselves to process the feelings that are coming up today even though the may have happened years ago. If we don’t allow the emotions to come to the surface to be felt, we are living in the past. The past is controlling our present. We can deny our past, we can “say” we processed it, we can pretend all is well. But the truth keeps resurfacing in different forms. It may show up in denial, depression, severe anxiety,debilitating fear, rage, isolation, over compensating by keeping extra busy, addictions, etc. When we keep trying to hold in those repressed feelings, we block our ability to heal. So this means really living in the past. It may appear as though you are living now, but in all honesty, you are merely functioning. You may tell others to stop living in the past, when in reality, it is you who lives in the past because the fear of feeling your truth is just too great.

photo (2)

 peeking underneath the pain

I understand this completely. I remained in a severe depression because at first I didn’t know that I was burying my pain. I thought my depression stemmed from an inherent flaw in me. I was conditioned to believe that something was terribly wrong with me. I learned to turn my emotions inward. I learned to blame myself. I learned to pretend that all was well when it was nowhere close to being well. I told myself to keep looking to the future because it was sure to be better. Until my past wounds finally got such a deep hold on me that I couldn’t do it anymore. I had to begin the process of peeking underneath the pain to see and feel what was really there. One layer at a time. I revealed my core wounds. We all have them. This absolutely does not mean something is wrong with you or that you are bad. Thinking something is wrong with you or thinking you are bad or broken ; these are conditioned beliefs. They are not true.

What coping mechanisms do you have in place

You can begin healing your past by becoming aware of your beliefs, thoughts, and your wounds. What is the message you continually tell yourself? It may take work to discover this. What do you believe about yourself? Where did these beliefs come from? How do you interact with others? What do you feel in your body during interactions with others? How can you take responsibility for your emotions? (which gives you your power back) What coping mechanisms do you have in place that keep you from looking and feeling your truth? By this I mean do you keep yourself so busy or so focused on work or home or some other thing so as to make it impossible to have time to really look at your inner world? Do you eat too much so that you can then focus on how miserable you feel so as to take the focus off your feelings? Please know I am not judging. I have done many things in order to distract myself from feeling. I just want to throw some ideas out there.

In order to heal, you must first feel. There is no other way around it. It is hard work at times. Be gentle with yourself, be patient with yourself. Love yourself every step of the way even when you don’t feel love for yourself. 

 

 

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Awareness, Depression, healing from depression, Help with depression, Self-love | 4 Comments »

letting go; it is a process

Written by Amie on March 26, 2014 – 3:14 am -

bypassing old protective programming

It seems as though there are endless opportunities to practice letting go of the things that can’t be the way I want them to be. It is so interesting to me when I *know* something intellectually, but it isn’t quite resonating with me in my body emotionally. For example, in my life right now there are a few people who I really wish would *wake up*. I am not saying this in a judgmental way. Not at all. I’m saying that I wish they would have that “a-ha” moment when they realize how much they have hurt people they love, including me. The moment when their heart bypasses their old protective programming and their  human vulnerability comes  forward. I find myself wanting to tell them how hurtful their words and actions have been, but I know my feelings will be dismissed and I will be told I am angry and hateful. It is frustrating and very sad that we can’t have a conversation as people who, on some deep level, care about each other. On some deep level, beyond the defensiveness and the conditioned beliefs we have learned, lie two souls who just want to be loved and connected.

charge-hug

 I was closed up tight

It sounds so simple when I look at it from this point of view. I honestly believe it could be simple, but only if all parties are willing to put aside their armor, and just express their truth. Instead, I have to keep my boundaries, otherwise I continually get hurt. I understand exactly where they are coming from. I remember wearing my armor so tight that nothing could get in. I couldn’t admit to a mistake, I couldn’t admit I needed something, I couldn’t admit I was hurting. I was closed up tight. And this is why it is so difficult for me. I understand exactly where they are coming from, and at the same time, I crave an authentic connection with them that will never be unless they become conscious of their own wounds and begin to heal. It is contrast at every turn for me. I am not the same person they used to know. I am who I was born to be now. So I don’t relate in the same ways to people anymore. It is difficult to be around the old behaviors. It is difficult to be around the dysfunction, that in the past, had intensified my self hate.

focus on *how I feel* in a situation

I used to think something was terribly wrong with me because I felt one thing in my body, while at the same time, I was told a completely different truth. (It was a way to keep the facade going that everything was perfect and wonderful) I couldn’t figure out the inconsistent feelings for a very long time. I have since learned to focus on *how I feel* in a situation, not what someone else tells me is true. Trusting how I feel has been, and still is a difficult practice for me. Some days it clicks and I trust without a problem. Other times I question every single thing people say and do, and I doubt my gut feelings. I’m getting there, albeit slowly. It is a re-learning, it is a process. It is still tricky for me sometimes when someone sends me a note with words that, years ago I would have thought, “this is nice’. (While also feeling crappy inside, and assuming its just me,  something is wrong with *me* if I can’t see that this person is being nice) I received a birthday card the other day, that appeared to be a birthday card, but was really an attempt at guilting me. To some, it may have been considered “nice”. However, I am able to translate, or decode words from people now. I know the patterns.

 unresolved emotional wounds

I always come back to this: why do I want to spend time with people who can only see themselves as victims. By this I mean no matter what is said, they turn it around as though they are being attacked. They reach out in the same manner  that  worked on me in the past. Guilt and shame got me every time. I would feel so guilty that I would never question the behavior of these people, and I would go back every single time. I would go back to living the dysfunction I felt familiar with. Until I started waking up and realizing my true self was completely buried. And slowly, I had to distance myself. Then a year ago, I had to draw even deeper boundaries. Here we are over a year later, and they not willing to look within themselves to see how their actions have hurt. Hurt deeply. Had I not begun the process of waking up, I would be hurt over and over again. Because each time they ignore the needs of others, the hurt is compounded. Each time they twist the truth, they cause deeper hurt. Each time they use guilt to try to persuade, they cut deeper. This is the part I have a hard time letting go of. The fact that they refuse to truly accept how their behavior affects those they claim to love. I am no longer a victim to this behavior. Yes, it is difficult to understand, but I also know its not about me. They are acting and speaking from their unresolved emotional wounds.

I know for sure

It gets easier for me to let go when I am reminded of just how dysfunctional this situation is. At the very beginning of this situation, when someone very close to me was hurt, nobody came to her to see how she was doing. Instead, they ran to the side of the person who did the hurting. This is when I know for sure I am doing the right thing. This is when I know for sure I am breaking the cycle, at least for my own family. And still, it is difficult to let go of the hope that things will ever be healthy. It is a process…..

Great clip with Brene Brown about having the courage to be vulnerable.

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Awareness, Connection, Depression, healing from depression, Help with depression, Self hate, Self-love | No Comments »
RSS