Start your healing process
Emotions are a vital part of our being and a healthy emotional state of being helps us to build an honest relationship with self and others. If our own emotional process is twisted, distorted and repressed, we cannot know who we truly are. If we do not deal with our hurt and emotional pain, the unconscious messages we project and communicate to others will only reflect a negative image of self.
The negative effects of experiences of loss, abusive relationships, depression, rejection, stress may result in an emotional struggle with feelings of fear, mistrust, guilt, resentment, anger, loneliness and sometimes sadness. If the negative emotions are not dealt with, it can have an adverse effect on the way we manage our emotions and relate with others. The thoughts of dealing with our hurt and pain may seem foreign, however if the right medication or process is not applied directly to the affected area on time, the long term effect can be devastating. Wallowing in self pity and refusing to let yourself have the experience of total freedom and emotional wellness will only prolong the healing process. True emotional freedom can only be achieved when you turn your experiences into something positive and see it as a stepping stone to regaining control of your life. It is important to make a personal commitment not to allow your experience rid you of your joy, thrusting you into a state of defeat and “I am a victim” syndrome.
I had my first serious relationship at the age of 17. It wasn’t meant to be serious but it dragged on for six years. The guy was four years older than me and my senior in secondary school. The funny thing was that at school he never noticed me or even acknowledged my presence. He was one of the popular boys who only dated a particular kind of girl, the kind who was streetwise and fashion conscious. I was the complete opposite: nerdy looking, with a curly perm and big round glasses, and not what you would call streetwise. By the time I was 16, life reached a turning point. I was moving from secondary school to sixth form college and was beginning to have an interest in boys, fashion, and beauty, particularly in makeup. I never left the house without makeup. So when I met my boyfriend at the time, I looked different. We promised each other that we’d never be apart and I believed every word. I guess I was naïve and looking for love, and was willing to take whatever I was given.
The relationship dragged on. I was not happy and he probably knew that he was not going to hang around, but because I yearned for love and acceptance, I ignored all the warning signs. We both did not have the courage to let go. By the end of the sixth year, it was apparent that he was never committed to me because I found out that he had been unfaithful. At the time, I was deeply hurt and shocked by these revelations. But I was an introvert and kept a lot of my emotions to myself, hoping that the pain would end. Everything appeared all right on the outside but I carried the pain of rejection and hurt for many years and subconsciously would not get involved in any relationship. This went on for at least eight years.
I often prayed to God for his love and acceptance. I knew that this experience would kick-start my healing process but being stuck in a love triangle and a relationship that was not going anywhere hindered me from experiencing God’s love. I was disillusioned about love and the only remedy was to deal with my fear of not wanting others to see my vulnerability.
The following steps helped me in getting free and restored.
The first step to your healing is to ACKNOWLEDGE the need for healing. For you to receive emotional healing, you must first acknowledge that you are hurting. Many of us lie to ourselves as well as to others. We pretend and put on a mask and occasionally when asked how we feel, we reply with statements like “I’m fine” or “I am feeling great.” Sometimes, the emotional wound is so painful that we prefer to hide behind the pain. In such a case, we may need the aid of a professional counsellor to guide us gently in facing our hurts.
The second step is to LOCATE the cause of the pain. It is important to be honest about the experience and its details. Quite often we try to forget so quickly that we miss important factors and events that may be the key to our healing. The cause of pain could be associated with certain triggers and speaking to someone about it can help you identify what they are.
The third step is to RELEASE ourselves from the pain. Emotional hurts left untreated can lead to feelings of un-forgiveness, anger, bitterness, depression, and anxiety. The effects of emotional pain also lead to low self-esteem, lack of passion, lack of motivation and no self-confidence. We must release those who have offended us and ask for God’s peace and love to cleanse and replace all the toxic emotions released. Some people find it comforting when they actually tell those who have hurt them that they have released the pain caused by the experience and are ready to move on.
The fourth step is to be RECEPTIVE. The fascinating thing about God is that when we ask to be healed, he uses various events to help us in the process. For example, a person who has experienced sadness and depression from an abusive relationship may experience love from the birth of a child years after the experience. The birth may be a positive experience that will bring the person joy and a sense of purpose that can negate the previous sadness. When you ask to be healed, be ready to be receptive to that healing process.
The fifth step is to be EMPOWERED. You can do yourself a disservice when you belittle your experience. The beautiful thing about life is that our experiences can be the missing link in empowering others if we keep it hidden and not share it. That is one of the reasons why I have taken the time to share my experience because I know my story will empower and help someone else. You regain strength when you are empowered by your experience and you gain a greater sense of purpose when you pass it on.