Healing is Not a Sprint
If you never heal from what hurt you, then you’ll bleed on people who did not cut you. -Karen Salmansohn
My last blog, (Which I hope you read. If you haven't, go read it now!) talked about emotions, roller coasters, and scabs. As I was scrolling the internet today, the above quote showed up and reminded me how I’m on a journey of emotional healing today. Actually, I’ve been on a journey to heal for many years, and it wouldn’t surprise me if l continue to heal until the moment I take my last breath.
Let’s talk about this quote by Karen Samansohn and break it down a little.
If you never heal from what hurt you….
As I read this, I realized that I had actually read If you never heal from who hurt you. You see, my first thought, and honestly I’m sure I’m not the only one who has this thought, is that someone hurt me. My ex, my other ex, my family, my friends, the neighbor next door… Someone has hurt me. Or have they? And could that someone be me? Could I have healing to do because I hurt myself?
As I think about this, I reflect back to times I’ve worked with children, helping them understand their emotions, or times I’ve worked with clients. I even remember times I’ve been self-coaching. No one can make me feel anything. It’s a choice I make. It’s a choice we all make.
So what hurt me? It was the emotions I chose to feel. An event happened and I chose to feel a certain way. Let me give you a pretty simple example.
You are driving down the street and someone pulls out in front of you causing you to apply your brakes. You feel the anger rise and maybe even some fear that you can’t stop quickly enough.
So what are the facts:
You were driving.
Someone pulled out in front of you.
You applied your brakes.
What happened next was a choice and you may not even realize you made it. You chose anger or fear. You could have chosen empathy, compassion, understanding. A choice was made about the emotions that would be felt. (Not saying it’s good, bad, right, or wrong. It is just what it is.)
Back to the scab, or the who vs. what. Perceptions I have about an experience can cause me to choose certain emotions. Once I understand this, I can begin to make some changes. I can identify the facts, recognize and experience the emotions I feel, then accept them. The big step is using all of this to begin or continue my emotional healing. For me, there is nothing more empowering than knowing I have a choice.
...You’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you.
I’m thinking of a situation that is going on in my life right now. I wonder if this situation is playing out the way it is because I am bleeding all over the other people involved. Have I not let the scab heal on previous situations and experiences? What have I learned from past situations that can help me navigate this one? Why does this one feel different than it might have in the past?
It feels different because I have healed in many ways. Maybe not completely healed, but I know I feel different about this situation would have totally devastated me if it happened in the past.
Let me share some of what I have done towards some emotional healing, especially for this situation.
We are all attached energetically. We are attached to anyone that we have a relationship with. Sometimes the energy is good, gives us warm fuzzies, and sometimes not so much. I have both types of relationships in my life, and sometimes the energy switches from warm and caring to more negative and debilitating. Perhaps you have the same types of relationships in your life.
Working with my personal coach, one strategy she had me do was a cord cutting ceremony. If you think of energy as the cord between individuals, you can see how someone else’s energy can affect you. Using active visualization, I was able to cut the cord that was connecting me and the individuals. I was able to hear myself saying what I needed to say and watch myself cutting the cord. After the cord was cut, I watched it fall to the ground and dissolve. And I was able to experience the process of letting go. Not only that, I physically felt the release of the bigger chains that were holding me back, keeping me stuck and not moving forward in my life. Almost like a rebirth.
(Interested in knowing more about cord cutting? Google is a great go to.)
I have learned to pause. I have learned to reflect. I have learned to wait until I can respond to things rather than react. This means I have to be still. I wait. I listen to that inner voice that I have denied for so long. I reflect on what I have control over and what I don’t. I decide what next steps might be when I am still rather than when I am still connected to the person or situation. Emotionally, this has been an important step in my healing.
Part of my emotional healing is to figure out what the gift is in any situation. Especially the situations that are perplexing or my feelings have been hurt. Or say, I’ve chosen to be hurt. When I have gotten to a point where I can step outside of the situation and notice what happened, what I felt and how I can use this learning to move myself forward rather than staying stuck.
Our unconscious mind believes what we tell it. Part of my emotional healing is to create new stories for situations that have been stopping or slowing me down. Creating new stories for past or current situations allows my unconscious mind to assist me in choosing productive actions and thoughts that serve me in moving forward toward healing. If you remember the driving analogy earlier in this post, I may shift the story: The person who pulled out in front of me was being an ass and caused me some fear (old story), The person may have just found out their child was injured and needed to get to them quickly.
I am still on the journey. I am still healing and perhaps sometimes still bleeding from wounds that I are not healed. And I will continue to heal for many years. My biggest dream for you and for me is that we create stories that serve us in order to become empowered to be a better version of ourselves. When we do that, we make life better and better!