We all have a past, and in that past, we all experience some sort of pain and/or suffering at times.
Whether it’s painful memories, disappointments, frustrations, loss, or something else, facing challenges is a given.
This journey of life is not guaranteed to be a bed of roses, as everyone goes through painful times. Many people cope with the negative emotions just fine. But there are many who don’t cope in a positive way.
How do you cope with pain and suffering that come your way?
Some people repress and stuff the pain. This can cause it to get locked in the subconscious. They don’t even realize they are doing this. This negative energy that is stuffed down deep may stay there for a while, in what psychology may call the “shadow side”, but eventually it tries to surface so that it can be dealt with.
It is there in the shadows, but it will manifest in certain ways and at certain times until it is processed and healed.
Healing the past and the pain associated with it is vital to experiencing a more peaceful, joyful future.
The first thing that you must do is to recognize that perhaps you’ve repressed or stuffed some pain down deep through the years. Maybe your childhood was full of dysfunction, or you got bullied at school.
Perhaps you had a verbally abusive partner who continually attacked your self-worth. Or maybe you just never accomplished what you set out to do because of fear and doubt.
I want you to sit down and take some time to think about your past.
Take a day, a week, or as much time as it takes.
You may have heard this kind of work referred to as shadow work or inner child healing work. The gist of this type of inner healing work is that you consciously go within to explore what pain you may have ignored, repressed, rejected, numbed out, etc. and heal it.
You consciously invite negative feelings to surface so you can take an honest look at them.
It is critical to facing your emotions head on when it comes to healing wounds and freeing yourself up for a happy future.
I will say that not everyone should do this type of inner healing work alone.
If you’ve experienced trauma or you’re just not sure you want to revisit past memories that were hurtful by yourself, then reach out to a qualified therapist. It can help immensely to share your stories with someone who can simply be a safe space for you to share.
A space where you can be yourself and be loved unconditionally.
Professionals can also share some insights, tips, and resources that can help you face, process, and heal past painful memories or experiences.
It’s not always easy to reach out for help, but almost everyone needs some expert help at least once in their life. There’s no shame in that.
Want to know more about Shadow Work? Read this next: Why Do We Do Things We Regret later? A Look at Our Shadow Side
If you’ve adopted a victim or “poor me” attitude, you are disempowering yourself from living an authentically happy life.
It is time to really face and embrace past hurts and hang ups, forgive any wrongdoers, including you, process them, and bid them adieu. What happened ten years ago or even ten minutes ago is done. You have a choice to stuff negative emotions or embrace them, process them, and let them go.
Those with a victim mentality hold three beliefs: Bad things have happened in the past and will continue to happen to you, others are to blame for your misfortune, and there is no point in trying to make a change because it will not work. - Verywellmind.com
I understand that it is not easy, and it is certainly a process that takes time.
I know of a woman who stuffed her pain for over twenty years until her life had become so unmanageable, she had a mental breakdown. Not able to stuff it down any more, an avalanche of negative emotions and pain flooded her being.
She didn’t know what hit her, and couldn’t figure out why she was so emotional, because she’d always been so strong and in control.
What happened was like a balloon that gets filled up with too much air pops, her psyche absorbed all the pain and negative emotions it could take and “popped." Her life had become miserable and she didn’t know what to do.
Fortunately, she came across a woman who knew what she was dealing with and pointed her to a good therapist and support group. She worked through her pain and allowed past wounds to heal.
She took responsibility for her emotional life and reclaimed her power. Courageously facing her painful past, she did a lot of journaling, and started a new journey toward wholeness. Now she looks forward to her future while enjoying her present. Her emotional breakdown she now calls a “spiritual transformation."
How about you? Do any of these resonate with what you are going through?
If so, take some time to consider taking a season to healing your past. Do some reading on the subject, watch YouTube videos on inner child or shadow work healing (Here's a great one on a 14 Day Shadow Work Journaling Challenge you may enjoy.).
Start doing some shadow work journaling. Or, if you need professional help, go see a therapist. Allow someone who has been there to help you.
As you are proactive, you will not only experience the healing of wounds that keep you from growing, but you will be well on your way to a happier and more peaceful future.
Do your best to enjoy the process, as sometimes it can take quite a while.
Offer gratitude for the good in your life and believe that as you walk your healing journey, your life is turning toward the better.
You got this.