We’re all bound to get emotional wounds, because life is a contact sport. Well, more like a contact sport played by first graders. It’s dirty, it’s messy, the rules are hard to remember and everyone has their own strategies. Everyone is only pretending to know what the hell they’re doing. Someone is in the outfield pretending they are on the moon. And it can get a bit gory…Scratched knees, broken hearts, grass stains on clean reputations.
Emotional wounds are not only allowed in the game of life, they should be expected. Broken relationships and loves lost, saying goodbye to a family member, fighting for your life from cancer or losing someone you love to the same battle. Emotional wounds are nothing personal from existence itself. It’s simply that life’s blade is a sharp one, it cuts quickly and deeply. Life is not a game of win or lose, it’s based solely on presence and experience. Emotional wounds are not a punishment, they are only an experience; one that hurts, certainly, but one that makes life all the richer.
So when we get cut open by harsh truths and hard circumstances, surely it will hurt. The only problem lies in keeping those wounds open for longer than they need to, a tactic so many blindly employ. We feed our emotional wounds with poisonous thoughts (“I’ll never love again”, “I’ll never be able to let go of this”), and in doing so, we ensure the wound won’t heal. It’s like feeding our cuts with burning resentment when what they need is cleansing forgiveness.
It is a tragically missed opportunity to not take advantage of a wound. As illogical as it sounds, every heart break is a chance to either enliven-become more alive, or to deaden-become more callous and hardened. To feel the pain, open up, and realize your own humanity, or to block it, deny yourself, and live in a fantasy, in which you pretend not to be in pain.
Just like physical wounds, emotional wounds open up a part of the hidden, deepness in ourselves. It hurts because it is vulnerable. We can numb it with our beliefs – that it is someone else’s fault, that it was unwarranted, that it shouldn’t have happened to us – but that only we prevents it from healing.
We can harden ourselves, making it harder to be wounded in the future. But when we build a callous around our wounds, we are actually just filling them with denial and guarding it with loneliness. It may never be hurt again, but this aspect of ourselves will spend a long life alone and afraid.
Think of these examples:
When one is diagnosed with cancer, there are two choices. She can 1) Accept it, even with fear, and move forward through the process of treatment or passing on. Or they can 2) Deny it, resent it, hold anger and negative energy around it calling it ‘not fair’, as if any part of life is fair. In the second option, even if she survives, she’s sure to be living with a very enraged side of cancer for years to come.
When a relationship ends, the options are similar. One can be bitter, hurt, resentful, and call the lover involved a cruel person. Or they can mourn the relationship while being grateful, hopeful, and supportive of the person they once held dear. One allows for both parties to move on, to grow, to evolve; one handicaps both in a cage of negative energy. Any love that was built is killed and buried.
Furthermore, someone else breaking their promises does not warrant you to break your own. If you promised to always love them, a break up is no exception.
There is bravery in admitting hurt of emotional wounds, in fully indulging in the pain rather than denying or suppressing it. If we let our wounds be open, if we feel the energy of the pain and the process, we will be baptized and healed in our openness. We will rise up through the pain.
If we build new cell by new cell with gratitude and peace and love, the wound will heal with new skin rather than calloused old bandaids. If we open up through the hurt rather than hide from it, we will see the other side is bright. We will see the divine grace of the plan unfolding around us and through us. We will become bigger than we were before the pain.
And best of all, in openness there is no blame or guilt or hate. We know only love because we filled those emotional wounds with love, and it will forever resonate with love and forgiveness, and we will be rewarded with peace. We will not resent it or what happened or anyone involved. We will only be free of it.
So next time a guy dumps you, thank him for opening a new place for you, even a place that hurts, and send him on his way with gratitude. You are powerful enough and resilient enough to heal alone, and you WILL.
Next time a boss mistreats you or criticizes you in a way that breaks you down, feel the disappointment and pain. Allow the hurt to help you work harder, achieve more, strive further.
Next time life hands you much more than what you thought you can handle, remember life is still with you, time is on your side, and you have everything you need to overcome this. If you need a personal note of reassurance, email me at RachaelAfter@gmail.com, and we can talk it over together.