How to Heal From Emotional Wounds and Move Forward
“Forgiveness does not
change the past, but it does
enlarge the future.”
~ Paul Boose
When a relationship ends or was never present in the first place it tends to leave you confused, hurt, angry, sad, or even numb. You may act inward and blame yourself for not being lovable, being good enough or trying hard enough. You may act outward and blame the whole thing on the other party and how they hurt you, didn’t see your value, or just didn’t care about you.
What you’re experiencing is a form of grief and one way to gain closure is to develop forgiveness and a sense of compassion for those who’ve hurt you or abandoned you.
Why does a break-up, betrayal, or abandonment hurt so bad? It’s because the pain feels as though it is two-fold. The separation or loss is painful in itself but the method in which it was done feels as though it is coming from a cruel or heartless place. It feels personal.
If you’ve experienced losses like these there are a few truths you need to understand:
- Some people don’t have the capacity to communicate, be available, love, or feel empathy for others.
- The words and actions of others doesn’t minimize your value or worth.
Have you ever wondered why or how a person could be so mean or unavailable? Nobody is born bad. In honesty, they too are suffering, in pain, and grieving losses.
They’ve been shaped and molded by loss, grief and abuse themselves. When humans act bad it is because they are trying to reach out for help but don’t know how. They are afraid of loss or simply don’t have the skills to build relationships with other people.
“My Dad was an alcoholic and he abused our family”
“My mother always rejected me and never gave me her attention or love”
“My spouse controls me and is abusive. I can’t take it anymore, but I love them and I’m afraid to leave”
These are all relationships that are broken or non-existent. The path to healing and developing forgiveness and compassion is to first accept that the relationship between you and the other party can never work. We’re all wired differently and some people just aren’t a match no matter how hard we try.
As painful as it may be to come to this realization, this helps everyone when this type of awareness and honesty is accepted. You’re either building your life or destroying it and your relationships have a direct impact on this.
The pain and losses are not excused away, they are just acknowledged for what they are. Then, can you find it in your heart, even just a tiny bit, to try to understand their pain? It’s a two-way street.
“Forgiveness is not something we do for other people. It’s something we do for ourselves to move on.”
My mother showed very little attention or love toward me my whole life and it really hurt. But I KNEW she loved me. She just had no way of showing it. Can you imagine how painful it is for a parent to be unable to connect with and love their own child?
What happened in her life that caused this?
My dad used to kick my ass when I was a kid. But now I realize he was in a lot of pain. He grew up as an adopted child, served in the Vietnam war, and had other trauma-related events happen to him over his life.
Much like my parents, I too have experienced trauma and losses. And sometimes I can be mean, unavailable, or stressed, and project this outwardly toward others in an abusive way (though I’m working on it).
Now, if I’m not perfect, how could I expect the rest of the world to be?
If something bad can happen to you, it can happen to someone else. If you can act abusive, angry, and controlling, so can someone else. The point is, if you can empathize and try to understand the reality that the world is full of broken people who are just trying their best, you can be on your way to healing.
It’s in this space where forgiveness and compassion take root. The best way to get over the pain, grief, loss, and anger is to put yourself in the other party’s shoes for a moment. This is to understand that the words and behaviors of others is separate from you and your worth. The hurt they caused is not personal or directly linked to who you inherently are.
This is where the focus of pain is and once you realize it has nothing to do with YOU the process of forgiveness is much easier. It’s about releasing yourself not the other person.
But never give POWER to their shortcomings, weaknesses, or emotional and physical abuse. When focus is given to a person’s problems you give it power and thus, allow it to have control over your emotions. Instead, focus on the good qualities (if any) and keep your boundaries intact.
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
― Steve Maraboli
Today I have forgiven my parents, family, and most of the people who’ve caused me pain and loss.
- I can now have adult conversations instead of the constant throwing around of blame.
- I can now move on with life and no longer have this pain weighing me down.
- I can give myself emotionally to others rather than being a prisoner of my past emotional wounds.
You see, hoping and expecting for some acknowledgement, compensation, apology or harm to come to those who’ve hurt you is just an emotional dead-end. It takes a huge chunk out of you to hold onto this.
It’s like constantly going to an empty well and expecting there to be water when there isn’t any. The power of forgiveness and compassion can do wonders in your life. And, the more you do it, the freer you become. You’ll see your life change before your eyes. This energy is contagious and has the ability to inspire others.
Forgiveness and compassion heals and mends relationships. One day you may be surprised to find out your strength and dedication has influenced and changed the lives of not only yourself, but those around you.