Emotional pain can be defined as pain or hurt that originates from non-physical sources. Sometimes such inner hurts are caused by the people in our lives. While people are the source of the greatest joy in life, they can also be the greatest cause of inner hurts we face in life. People can hurt us, sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally, sometimes accidentally, and sometimes on purpose. The greatest danger however is not the people causing the pain or the pain itself but how we choose to respond to it. I have seen people often choose to react in ways they should not. Today I want to talk about dealing with such inner hurts or emotional hurts. I am not an expert in this, but I want to share three things you should not do when you are in emotional pain. I will be using the terms “emotional pain” and inner hurts interchangeably.
Don’t ignore your inner Hurts (emotional)
The Ostrich since it cannot build nests in trees lay its eggs in holes dug in the ground. To ensure that the eggs are evenly heated, it occasionally sticks its head into the nest to rotate the eggs, which makes it look like it’s trying to hide. Hence the myth the Ostrich buries its head in the sand to hide from its enemies. Unfortunately, regarding humans, it’s not a myth. Most people as a coping mechanism pretend they are fine. Especially if they are living in a “shame culture”. Inner healing doesn’t work that way.
We are all familiar with the Chinese proverb “A journey of thousand miles starts with a single step.” Likewise, the road to inner healing could be hard and painful but the first step towards recovery starts with a single step. That step toward inner healing is pronounced “Stop living in denial and start accepting your emotional pain is real.” Like I said before I am not an expert but even the experts will tell you that nobody can help until you accept your emotional pain is real.
Don’t run away from your Emotional Pain
It’s human nature to retreat and run (or shall I say put their head in-between the legs?) I said to stop living in denial and start accepting your inner hurts are real is the first step toward recovery. The second step is pronounced, “Stop running away from your emotional pain and start facing it!” In other words, you must stop running and take the fight to the gates of the enemy. Don’t drown your inner hurts in alcohol, drugs, sex, or entertainment.
In “Stranger Things” Vecna is seen choosing people concealing their traumatic pasts as his victims. Likewise, inner hurts when permitted to linger around can cause physical harm also. You can’t keep a rubber ball submerged. It will reemerge the moment you take your hand away. Likewise, your inner hurts will reemerge as soon as the excitement of your coping mechanism fades away. If you want healing that lasts you must confront your inner hurts (or shall I say, “your demons?) by talking to someone.
Don’t hold onto the cancer of Unforgiveness
I call unforgiveness cancer because in addition to eating you emotionally it can eat you physically from within. It’s a well-known unforgiveness that has been identified as a cause of cancer. Not all the time a reasonable number of cases have been blamed on unforgiveness. We often credit Marianne Williamson with the quote “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for another person to die” but it was Socrates who was a philosopher and a physician who said that.
It is easier said than done but whether you speak to a relative, a friend, a colleague, or even a professional psychiatrist they will tell you to start by forgiving your offender. In forgiveness, you expel the emotional pain from your life and make room for inner healing. The process can be short or take longer depending on the gravity of the inner hurt that was caused but remember that forgiveness is a process. The pain is temporary but the healing and the freedom it brings will last a lifetime.
I don’t have any statistics but it’s no exaggeration to say that inner hurts or emotional pain are responsible for the high suicide rates around the world. Like I pointed out before inner hurts and emotional pain left undealt can deal a blow to your physical health in the form of sleep deprivation, migraines, lack of appetite, loss of weight, and even diabetes, and cancer. That is in addition to emotional sicknesses such as mental illness. My advice to you is to take that first step of stopping living in denial and start accepting your emotional pain is real.
Remember, it’s always the first step that is the hardest. Everything else falls in line after taking the initial step. You might want to speak to a professional counselor depending on the gravity of your emotional pain or the severity of your inner hurts. If finance is what keeps you from seeing a professional counselor, I urge you to say hello to hope by calling the Lanka Life Line on 0707112112. You will receive assistance from professionally trained counselors free of charge.
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