When healing through chronic disease, in addition to the traditional medical approach, it’s crucial to look at the unconventional things that also may be contributing—such as your spiritual and emotional health.
One common thread among my patients is the need for healing through emotional pain caused by the words, actions and behaviors of other people.
We’ve all been mistreated by someone we deeply love and respect.
It’s your partner who snaps at you. Your so-called friend who can’t stop saying cutting remarks to you. Your ex-partner who spreads rumors. Or, your parents who are constantly dissatisfied with your life choices.
Regardless of the source, you’ve been on the receiving end of the hurtful words, actions, and behaviors of others.
It’s painful. And, it leaves scars.
Emotions like anger, rejection, sadness or grief surface.
And, if left unchecked these emotions can lead to long-term anxiety, shame, and/or depression (all of which can perpetuate cycles in your body that lead to poor health).
Long-term emotional pain manifests in your body as chronic stress. You consciously (or more often subconsciously) feel some level of fight-or-flight as your mind and body do whatever it takes to avoid feeling pain again.
Adrenaline is released, cortisol elevates, and neurotransmitters flood your body. Blood pressure and blood sugar increase. The immune system and your digestion slow down and your libido shuts off.
Over time unresolved emotional pain—and it’s subsequent physical response—can contribute to unexplainable fatigue, insomnia, hormone disruption, weight gain or other chronic health issues.
The kicker is this: The so-called “negative” or painful emotions are actually meant to help and protect us.
And they’re healthy.
It’s normal to feel and express them.
But, they’re meant to be felt AND expressed, processed, and let go.
But, many people get stuck…they feel the emotion but instead of expressing, processing, and letting it go— they stuff it. They shut it down. And, they put on their happy face.
Were you one of those children who were told not to express your feelings?
Were you told that you’re being too emotional and to “suck it up”?
After all, big girls don’t cry, right?
They cry. They get angry. And, they feel and work through their pain.
Easier said than done.
When you feel like you’ve been on the receiving end of unfair treatment, brutal personal attacks, or even abuse it may seem like you’ll never be able to let it go.
I know. I’ve been on the receiving end of the cruelty of others whom I deeply loved.
And, I needlessly suffered…for way too long.
Let me share with you one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned.
When people hurt you, it’s not personal. It’s not about you, it’s about them.
In his life-changing book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz talks about this very thing. Agreement #2 is this: Don’t take anything personally.
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dreams. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. Even when the situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you.
It’s true what you’ve heard.
Hurting people hurt people.
They’re dealing with their own pain.
They have emotional baggage.
They’re doing the very best they can with the cards they were dealt.
Recognize that the actions, behaviors and words of others are a reflection of their inner world, their perceptions and their emotional baggage and suffering. It has nothing to do with you.
How they treat you mirrors how they feel inside and is partly a reflection of how they treat themselves.
What can you do?
People hurt you because they themselves are hurting. They’re suffering and carrying pain, fears, and sorrows that you may or may not be aware of.
They, too, have been on the receiving end of the hurtful words, actions, and behaviors of others.
Send loving and healing thoughts their way.
Ask the Divine to heal their pain.
Forgiveness is a powerful, daily intention.
And, it’s hard. Like, really hard.
Maybe you feel like they don’t deserve it. Or they continue to hurt you time and time again.
Those things may be true but harboring unforgiveness only hurts you.
When you choose not to forgive someone you give them power over you. They essentially gain control of your thoughts, actions, and behaviors.
Do whatever it takes to forgive them—not for their sake but for yours.
An important caveat…
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you need to allow these people to be a part of your life.
It may be necessary separate yourself from those who are toxic to your emotional health.
It’s okay to end relationships that once had meaning to you. Sometimes a relationship has served it’s purpose. Not all people are meant to be in our lives forever.
Practicing gratitude will change you.
It has the power to transform your mind and shift your thoughts. It’ll help you heal through emotional pain.
Always look for the blessings even in the pain.
All of life’s experiences are meant to teach us and help us grow.
What lessons are these moments trying to teach you? What are they revealing to you?
Take ownership of and heal through your own wounds and scars.
As you heal yourself, you’ll be less influenced (and hurt) by the actions of other people.
When you feel hurt, what wounds are being triggered? What areas of your life need healing?
It may be necessary seek help from a trusted advisor or therapist.
Take responsibility for how you treat others…knowing that your emotional pain may cause you to treat others less than optimally.
Look for the lessons.
Take care of yourself.
Let it go.
Have you healed through some deeply emotional pain? What has helped you?
Please leave a comment below.