If You Want to Move Forward, and Let Go of Your Past, You Must Be Ready to Feel Some Pain.
This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project
Week 10: If You Want to Move Forward, and Let Go of Your Past, You Must Be Ready to Feel Some Pain.:
“As human beings, we all want to be happy and free from misery… we have learned that the key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness.” –Dalai Lama
Brace Yourself for Pain
I think it’s important to repeat some important themes from last week: We all have internal work to do. It’s inevitable that we all have baggage from our past that we’ve never bothered to open and sort through. We’ve pacified it with a band-aid and have worked quite hard to forget it. But it hasn’t worked. It’s just changed shape into the form of a tiny little metaphorical “twig”. Just like the elephant, there are “twigs” holding each of us back. The pain from our past often holds us hostage…Face it, -we ALL have these “twigs” whether we like it or not. And the only way to realize that it’s just a twig and that you can walk away from it, is to accept the fact that the twig exists, and pull that band-aid off and to realize that this little twig can be dealt with (with some work of course), and removed. In order to see the path to what you want, you must first see what is holding you back! It is then, and only then, that you can start moving forward.
And with that, IF YOU WANT TO MOVE FORWARD, AND LET GO OF YOUR PAST, YOU MUST BE READY TO FEEL SOME PAIN!
I know, what you’re thinking, “But band-aids help heal! If I rip it off now I could open that wound!” Actually, these “band-aids” aren’t really band-aids. They’re metaphorical band-aids. In reality, these “band-aids” are actually just concealers, camouflage, a façade, a mask, or blinders. Putting a band-aid on an emotional wound will not heal it; it will only cause it move further inward to a place that’s harder for you to reach, but it will undoubtedly continue to cause you pain. You may not understand the pain you will continue to feel, as it will take shape in different ways, but trust me, you WILL continue to feel pain. Why??? Because unlike external wounds that reside on the surface, emotional wounds lie in your heart and soul, and can’t be healed with a simple band-aid, they need more serious care and attention to heal. Think of it like this: if you had internal bleeding, would you use a band-aid or seek immediate medical attention? I’m going to assume each of you understands that a band-aid is the wrong option for your future wellbeing.
“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”
― J.K. Rowling
So here you are, contemplating the many band-aids you’ve placed on these “heart and soul” wounds, and now you’ve wondering, “What do I do now? Just rip these band-aids off? Ouch! I don’t think so!” I’m here to tell you that, YES that’s what you MUST DO if you want to move forward and let go of your past. I know that’s not what you wanted to hear, but it’s the simple truth. However, it won’t be all bad, because the sooner you rip those pseudo band-aids off, the sooner you will begin the healing process. Frankly, removing those band-aids is the ONLY true way to move forward down the path of healing.
The Only Way Past It, is to Embrace It, and FEEL IT
If you want to move forward, you must remove those band-aids. You must be honest with yourself. You must acknowledge that you have been pacifying you’re pain, because the pain was too much. In last weeks post, In Order to See the Path to What You Want, You Must First See What is Hold You Back you learned that the things holding you back, -those “twigs”, were deeper, unconscious false truths and pain that were internalized. Deep inside of you are “twigs” and “heart and soul” wounds. You became complacent with these twigs, and put band-aids on these wounds. You stopped taking risks, following your heart, and seeking more meaning in your life. But when you acknowledge these twigs and heart and soul wounds, you gain the power of control! YOU can take these band-aids off and being really working on the healing process. Yes, it will be painful, and tough, but it will be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do. It will reshape your views of yourself and your pain.
When you can heal these wounds, the pain will be gone. You must reframe your internalized beliefs about what these wounds meant. There are lessons to be learned from every experience, even painful ones. Discover these lessons. You must forgive others for what they’ve done and how they made you feel and then forgive yourself for allowing someone or something from freezing you in a place of pain and suffering. Remember, what others say about you, and what they do, is a reflection of them, not of you. The best thing you can do for your healing and your future is to have compassion for yourself and others. If you feel someone did you wrong, have compassion for them, because if they truly did something that was so bad, they clearly have a lot of pain they’ve never dealt with themselves. Have empathy for others, as that is the way to truly connect with others. Be kind to others and kind to yourself. As you open these wounds, have patience with your heart and mind as you go through the healing process. Many of these wounds are deeply routed and will take time to work through. Finally, one of the keys to healing is to find meaning in the lessons behind all pain we feel. This allows us to learn from our experiences, to see the positive in these experiences (even when they’re painful), to be grateful for them, and to go forward without anger, resentment and pain. This is because, what was gained through person-growth and life experience outweighs the pain that ever resulted.
If you feel that you may need help healing, don’t be afraid to seek help from self-help books, or counseling, or any other potential option. By doing so, you’re taking control of your life, and having the strength and courage to work on yourself, which in many ways is all you have. YOU are the most important person in the world. I also recommend this book:When the Past Is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds that Sabotage our Relationships
“Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart. Love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. The point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps, someday, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
Rilke, from Letters To A Young Poet
- What am I feeling?
- Why am I angry / upset / sad?
- Why am I feeling the need to defend myself?
- Are there things that people say or do that make my angry or sad almost immediately? Reflect on these things, and try and discover why.
- What am I afraid of?
- What do I feel guilty about?
- Are there people or experiences that hurt you and which you remember very vividly even today? Take those band-aids off and work through those experiences.
- What part of me most needs my compassion, love and attention right now?
- What do I deny about my feelings? Why have I denied what I feel?
- What have I not been willing to see?
- Am I prepared for the consequences if I choose to continue living with pseudo band-aids?
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