5 steps towards healing from emotional pain.
Emotional pain and suffering comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes - immense heart ache, the loss of a loved one, retrenchment, the demise of a passion project, friendships lost. Whatever your story, the process of healing doesn't come in an all-size-fits-all formula. Much to the frustration of many, it's impossible to project manage; there's no direct correlation between effort and outcome and a specific outcome is never guaranteed.
The process of rising after falling requires immense courage, a willingness to face and accept what is and a commitment to throwing yourself into the fire and doing the work. We must embrace our vulnerability and be as brave as all hell.
Recently I sought out the wisdom of an intuitive healer. I was hurting and I recognised that regardless of the self help skills I've developed over the years I needed help. I paid her for an hour of her time. We spoke, she shared some valuable insights and at the end of the session she asked me how I was feeling. I told her I was feeling bloody frustrated.
You see in an ideal world I would have got on that call to be 'fixed'. I wanted homework and a guarantee that all would be well in X number of weeks. Deep down I knew of course that this could never be the case, but the pain of exiting that call with all the time and space and grief in front of me was immense. I had years of pain and sadness to unravel, buckets of tears to shed - years of crap that I had been denying myself the right to feel (and then, release).
I did however become immensely determined to do things differently, taking comfort in the fact that on the other side of trauma and immense pain is most often incredible transformation. I've been there before and I will be there again.
These are 5 thing I know to be true about healing from emotional pain.
1. We are 100% responsible for our own healing; no one but us can do the work.
It doesn't matter how much money you spend on your crew of therapists, no one can take away your free will and choice, no one can change the way you think. Only you can truly heal yourself. That being said, finding a support crew is a good idea when you need help delving further into the layers. Just remember you do not need to be fixed, and no one person can heal you, except you.
2. Be conscious of how or when you numb your hurt.
This takes many forms - alcohol abuse, shopping, affairs, drugs, food, Netflix.. We can't walk around challenging emotions and pretend they're not there; we have to walk through them, we have to feel them and we need to let them go. Cramming down pain and suffering, suppressing it, will always come back to bite us on the arse. It will rear it's ugly head in many different forms - physical or mental illness, destructive and codependent relationships, irrational decision making, further substance abuse.
Numbing hurt includes my personal favourite, staying busy:
"...living so hard and fast that the truths of our lives can't catch up with us. We fill every ounce of white space with something so there's no room or time for emotion to make itself known." - Brene Brown
3. Understand that you can't control your recovery.
You must learn to trust your inner wisdom, feel into your intuition, stop pre-planning and attempting to control the recovery path by instead trusting that the right people, the right books, the right therapists will come. We need to stay open to this. This of course takes immense patience and faith.
4. For our life to take a different course, we need to do things differently.
If you feel like your life is on a cycle, if you keep ending up in the same challenging place, it's because you keep making the same choices. If you want a vastly different life you must start making vastly different choices day to day. Change your thoughts, the food that you eat, the people you choose to spend your time with, the type of partner you select, what you choose to do in your spare time, remove the destructive vices you consume.
5. Focus on nourishing yourself daily in ways that will best support you.
For me it is imperative that I maintain a daily meditation practise, that I continue to devour predominantly plant based meals, that I exercise, and that I surround myself with people who help lift me. Every day I choose essential oils that I know not only support my physical health but help unlock and release emotional pain and bring feelings of calm and comfort back into my life. I limit or avoid alcohol, sugary foods and anything else I'm aware of that can feed anxiety. I ensure where possible that I get adequate sleep, and take more time out of work to do those things that bring me joy.
Whatever your personal situation, find comfort in this: nothing is thrown at us that we cannot handle and whatever it is always makes us stronger.
Recovering from pain takes time, faith, self compassion and trust. If you need help on your healing journey please don't hesitate to reach out. Whilst only you can ultimately do the work, therapists such as myself can help clear the blocks that limit you and help you find an easier path forward. You certainly don't need to walk a rocky road alone.
More information regarding the transformational CTC therapy I provide face to face and all over the world can be found here.