We have all been hurt at one time or another. Being hurt is unavoidable and just a normal part of life. The problem is, many of us have difficulty processing our hurts in a positive way and our emotions become badly damaged. It is important that we address our hurts and deal with them so they can’t continue to cause pain in our lives.
Here are some steps we can take to heal any damaged emotions:
- Face your problems dead on. If you try to avoid them, deny them or hide them, it won’t work. Pushing the pain away may temporarily relieve the pain, but in the long run, the hurt will keep coming back. Take an honest look at what happened and talk to someone you can trust.
- Take responsibility for what happened. Be totally honest with yourself. Did you play any part in what happened? Most of the time, there can be blame placed on both sides. How did you respond? Did you show anger or did you try to understand the situation?
- Ask yourself if you really want your damaged emotions to heal. Sometimes people use their problems to get attention and to make other people feel sorry for them. They get stuck in a bad habit and become comfortable struggling with their problems. This is really not a good way to live as it never allows any possibility of peace or happiness.
- In order to heal, you must be forgiving. First you need to forgive the people who hurt you. This does not mean that you are telling them it is okay for them to hurt you because it was certainly not okay at all, it means that you are giving up the hold they have on you. As long as you have unforgiveness for a person, you are tied to them and they can continue to hurt you over and over again. Tell the person you forgive them for hurting you and then forgive yourself and move on.
Do you feel that you will never measure up and are always comparing yourself to others?
Do you feel that you never do anything well or can never please anyone or yourself?
Are you always driven by the expectations of others?
Are you often frustrated or feel like a failure?
Have you ever stopped to wonder where these feelings come from? We form our opinions of others and ourselves mainly from the environment that we grow up in. This is reinforced by the people we surround ourselves with and how much we immerse ourselves in the media. Perhaps you grew up in a home where criticism was the norm and whatever you did was never good enough. When you cleaned your room and it wasn’t perfect, were you praised for what you did or criticized for what you didn’t do? When you brought home a report card with 5 B’s and 1 D, were you praised for doing a good job and encouraged to beat that D or were you just criticized for getting a D? When you brought home friends to enjoy some fun times, did your family welcome them and talk nicely about them when they left or did they pick out all their bad points and tell you that you didn’t choose your friends very well?
Growing up and living in an environment of criticism and negativity will have profound effects on how you live your life. Feeling that you never do anything right and thinking that all your choices are bad ones, will create a need to find perfection. Everything you do will be geared to pleasing someone else. The result is feeling like a failure because you can never measure up to anyone else’s expectations. The world continually promotes perfection and the need to succeed. We should always do our best but we can never be perfect in a world that is far from perfect.
We need to understand that we all have strengths and weaknesses and not be critical of our imperfections and flaws. We ALL are imperfect and we ALL have weaknesses. We just can’t be the ‘super’ person that everyone expects us to be. Even the expectations we put on ourselves are way too high and can never be reached. Accepting ourselves for who we really are is important. We all have unique value and worth. Discover your own amazing abilities, strengths and personality traits. Make a list and review them often to remind yourself what an awesome person you are!