On this blog, I would like to discuss healing the self. It’s a deep topic for me because it took me a very long time to heal…and it took even longer to accept what happened. For so long, I suppressed my own emotions and because I had buried these hurt feelings, I really hadn’t felt the true impact of those emotions until I finally decided to look at them. Only when you decide to look at those painful, scary emotions…look at the root cause…can you begin to understand them. Next is the processing and healing phase.
In my old way of thinking, I used to believe that healing meant that you get over the offense that’s been inflicted upon you; and “getting over it” in my mind meant that you remember the offense and become “ok” with it. I thought that this was healing. Little did I realize at the time was that every time you tell yourself that you’re ok with it, you diminish who you are, you diminish the offense itself, you diminish the deep impact and pain it has caused you. You diminish the wrongfulness of your perpetrators and you diminish the way you feel. This is suppression of self. This is not healing.
I can not explain the emotion behind my “being ok with it”. I think on some level, I had told myself that the offense really wasn’t that bad, that somehow I had blown up the events in my head. (exaggerated it) I thought maybe it wasn’t as bad as I had initially made it out to be and I told myself that I was just hypersensitive emotionally…that I really needed to get a grip. As I began to expand my consciousness (grow Spiritually), I began to see that I mattered, I was important: I began to feel “NOT OK” with what had been done to me. I was no longer ok with the events that had caused me such pain. I was not ok with the perpetrators. Now we can not change the events of the past, but we can choose to no longer be affected by it in the present. This is the beginning of the healing process…
In healing, there is a time when you need to look at the painful past and tell yourself that you are going to face up to those ugly moments. Take a look at the events that transpired and allow yourself to feel the pain of those events. It’s at this time that you begin to see how wrong those moments were. You are no longer denying or diminishing the pain inside…and you allow yourself to feel the pain that you’ve held down for so long…and it hurts and it’s ok for these feelings to occur. You are remembering the deep pain, allowing yourself to feel it with the intention that it will be worked through and no longer suppressed. At first the pain feels like the same pain that you felt when you first experienced it…at the time of the offense…but now, you are allowing, acknowledging, accepting…processing, letting go and healing.
After awhile, anger begins to surface and this means that you are on your way to healing. At this point, some people may feel inclined to then attack or get back at their perpetrator. I know I did. I had all kinds of vengeful imaginings of how I was going to get back at them. I would lie there at night and make up all kinds of scenarios on what I would do and say to them. How I would hurt them back in my final retaliation. This was a good stage to be in because I no longer saw myself as a victim. I saw myself fighting back. I allowed myself to stay in this stage for awhile but then it was time to move forward and begin to let go of the anger. I knew it was time to move forward because I began to feel uncomfortable being in the vengeful mode. The degree of anger I felt was no longer serving me.
For so many years prior to true healing, I had psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors and clergy tell me that I needed to let go of my past, forgive my perpetrators and move forward. I heard what they were telling me and knew that they were right but the one thing that they did not tell me (or maybe I just didn’t hear them) was that it was “ok” to be angry and because of this, there were many times when the anger would come to the surface and I would push that emotion back down. I thought that it was not right to feel anger. Anger was bad. Besides, how do you “let go” of something that is intangible?
Then there comes the stage when you begin to accept what happened. This is very different than being “ok” with what happened. It is never “ok”. What else is there really? You can’t go back and change the past but you can look at it and tell yourself that what happened, happened and then accepting -that- in itself. The alternative is to tell yourself that you just can’t accept it…then you’re stuck in an inner turmoil.
We have all heard, or been told that the past is the past and you can’t change it. We’re told to “let go”. This may be true, but I think what is crucial in the healing process is to allow yourself to feel all the emotions that accompany the healing. Don’t try to distract yourself from the uncomfortable feelings…but sit with these emotions. It’s not pleasant…but necessary. When you allow yourself to feel the pain, sorrow, ugliness and anger, these become “tangible” … it feels “real” and when something feels “real”, it is only then that you can “let go” of it. As long as you continue to suppress those emotions, you are denying them and telling yourself that they are not real…and if they are not real, how can you “let them go”?
Underneath all the pain, you will find Love.