Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ending Emotional Pain

Rev. Hillary Dawes, PhD, SC-C

One of the facts about this life is that you are going to go through emotional pain. Whether it's from broken relationships, bad marriages, traumatic childhoods, disloyal friends, spiteful people, or other life circumstances, we all have to face emotional pain at one time or the other.   It is just a fact of life that is, and therefore we need to learn good ways to handle emotional pain, and the long-lived hurt it can inflict for decades, even for the rest of our lives, affecting us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  We need to know how to get rid of it, so that it does not permanently lodge itself within our subconscious, infecting our very being with its toxicity, and becoming an emotional baggage that we carry around for the rest of our lives, creating misery and inability to ever find happiness.  

Ending emotional pain happens one way and one way only - by practicing forgiveness.   Before I go into the details as to why forgiveness works, let me first explain what forgiveness is NOT.  Forgiveness is NOT pretending everything is okay when they are not.  Forgiveness is NOT pretending as if others are not doing wrong.  Forgiveness is a REALIZATION that people are going to do bad things from time to time, perhaps even hurtful things to you or others, which will cause pain, even emotional pain.   It's this emotional pain that lingers and causes you misery and unhappiness on the inside, long after the initial hurt was done to you.  Let's for example say someone made a rude remark to you or told a lie on you.  Yes, what they did was wrong, and it hurt you.   It probably cost you friendships, your job, or caused you to be wrongly punished for something you did not do.  What was done is done, but emotional pain causes you to re-live those hurtful experiences all over again, even long after the incident was over, and keeps you in a state of constant hurt and misery.  The more you re-live those hurtful experiences, the more angry, resentful, and bitter you get.   You might even start to hate the other person, and justifiably so.  The problem however, with these kinds of emotions that stem from emotional pain, is that they hurt you more than they hurt  the other person who wronged you.   YOU are the one feeling unhappy on the inside.  YOU are the one feeling victimized.  YOU are the one feeling miserable and alone.   After a while, the emotional pain builds up so much, that you start to feel depressed and anxious, and might even cause you to feel bodily pain as well.  It's not uncommon for emotional pain to cause muscle aches and pain, as well as be the  start for clinical depression and other mental/psychiatric disorders, due to the stress caused by emotional pain.  Read here how stress can be a trigger for major illnesses.  You can also read this article here as well,  that shows the link between emotional pain and physical pain.  

Forgiveness is you releasing from your own heart the anger, resentment, and bitterness that you have on the inside for others, and not carrying grudges any more.  It means that you come to an UNDERSTANDING  and ACCEPTANCE that people are the way they are, but you don't allow that understanding to cause you to develop long-standing bitterness on the inside. When you forgive, your anger is replace by pity for the other person's pathetic ways.  You become compassionate and realize that they are weak human beings with character flaws like anyone else (including yourself), and are in need of healing.   You also understand the fact that people are going to mess up from time to time and make mistakes, and that also, people are going to act out behaviors true to character as well.  "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time" (Maya Angelou).   Put away your anger that you are carrying against people who are being who they are, or for mistakes they made.  This will go a long way in helping you to see them in a different light, and to quell the anger that is raging in your own soul.  

Here is what to expect when you forgive.   Your emotional pain is lifted.  Your physical pain might even disappear.  You will be at peace on the inside with yourself, because emotional pain is really lack of peace within oneself.   It is actually you being angry at yourself, and inflicting anger on yourself.  So therefore, not only do you have to forgive others, but you need to forgive yourself.   Forgiving yourself however is a feedback loop that depends upon you forgiving others.   You can't receive self forgiveness if you are not willing to forgive others (Matthew 6:14-15).   So forgive, and see your burdens miraculously lift away, as the grace of forgiveness enters your soul (Romans 8:1; Isaiah 26:3; Matthew 11:28).   Your inner world of peace will match your outer world of peace.  

If you are interested in ending emotional pain, I have a four-week Conflict Resolution spiritual coaching program that takes you through the steps of ending emotional pain, starting with confession and ending with restoring one's peace of mind.  My step by step program will change your life, and help you to end emotional pain, using forgiveness as the main tool.  The program outline is as follows:

Week One:  Confession - of one's weaknesses and faults
Week Two: Repentance - turning away from negative emotions
Week Three:  Forgiveness - letting go of negative emotions
Week Four: Restoration - of one's peace of mind

If you are interested in ending emotional pain and learning how to forgive, please visit my website to contact me.  God bless you!  

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