For years I put other people’s needs before my own. It became normal. Now I’m being plagued with sickness. I am trying to forgive people who have hurt me but am unsure how to respond to a person whom has caused hurt. I never would have associated my emotional response with past hurts. ~Anonymous
Recently a friend inquired about maintaining professional composure while feeling emotional. My response was in the previous blog post entitled Emotional Cleansing. Additional questions were generated from that post and I challenge everyone to travel a few steps backward in efforts to take many steps forward into achieving the goal of emotional healing.
Repressed emotions are tricky because as they begin to surface, the behavioral response is unpredictable depending on the time length of the dormant pain. A signal is sent to the brain that a pain is present and creates a “sympathetic” flight or fight response to protect oneself. This response could present as yelling, laughter, crying, silence, body discomfort or dis-ease.
In order for you to forgive another, you must first forgive yourself. If you were a child when the altercation took place then the natural response is to blame self because the “dominant” participant manipulated your young mind into believing the created pain was your fault. It was not your fault. You must begin to forgive yourself for something that was outside of your control.
If you were an adult when the exchange took place then you must exercise self-introspection. Identify time periods when you had opportunities to see clearly and, subsequently, the power to “choose” so you could change the outcome of the situation. Once you identify those missed opportunities then you can begin the process of self-forgiveness, which, in turn, will allow you to forgive another. I will continue this communication by addressing you as an adult.
Please note that the process above is challenging yet victorious if you can allow yourself to move through the journey with progression.
In providing brief answers to the additional questions, I am also offering a few personal questions to ask of self to begin healing emotional pain.
Question: How do I acknowledge the possibility of communicating a repressed emotion to which I have disconnected?
Sage Joya: In most cases, opportunities to allow, acknowledge and communicate repressed emotions come in the form of clients, customers, family, friends or even strangers. You naturally attract the people you “need” to heal. Your genuine willingness to help, by drawing upon your past experiences, creates opportunity to heal. The remembrance of past experiences will allow emotions to surface and while you are helping, you can heal.
Question: Should I allow those emotions to continue to surface?
Sage Joya: Yes. You should allow those emotions to surface AND allow yourself to express the grief around those emotions. These emotions, which have been suppressed for some time, create awareness opportunities of self-contained pain, hatred, and the like. Awareness creates healing opportunities. You can look at those pains and ask yourself the following questions to begin self-forgiveness:
1. Who was involved in this painful process?
2. What happened?
3. When did it begin happening?
4. Where was my opportunity to choose?
5. Why did I feel powerless?
6. How can I forgive myself so I can let go of this pain, forgive the ignorance of the other participants and grow beyond these past moments of my life?
Lest ye forgive, you create dis-ease within your body (more pain) and you stagnate your prospect to experience true happiness while serving your life’s purpose.
Whenever you think about the hurt and become angry, it’s your red flag explaining you must heal. You remain in control of the length of your healing process. Forgiveness of oneself takes time. Consistency can speed the process. You have to be kind to yourself. Tell yourself, “It’s alright. Mistakes happen.” Nurture yourself as you would a child. Keep trying. And, one day, you will arise to that genuine feeling of self-nurturing within your heart. The forgiveness feeling will shine through your heart. That is when you will know you have grown past the hurt and are ready to elevate within your life. Have faith in yourself. You can do it!
NOTE: If you are seeking help with the suggested steps or additional life stages, Sage Joya is available for individual consultations via telephone or office. Feel free to visit the website for additional information or email to schedule an appointment. Thank you!