Giving something up can be the way to having everything.
Let’s face it – life hurts. There is no human being on the planet that hasn’t experienced emotional pain and/or trauma.
It’s an awful experience. Yes, agreed.
So, there is pain and what you do with pain is what is most important. Wouldn’t you rather be living your life fully again? Enjoying all that is wonderful and awe-inspiring or be stopped by the past incident that cannot be undone and continue suffering over it? No one truly wants to suffer so let’s explore the alternative.
Putting the blame on others is a seemingly easy enough way to handle the situation. We feel like someone let us down or did us wrong and we are owed an apology. We think they need to “own up” to what they did.
Blaming others and not taking responsibility for ourselves is the fastest way to being powerless in our lives and leaves us stuck with anger, resentment and no resolving of the pain we feel. Yes, you have valid feelings. It’s important to acknowledge them and express them fully but put a limit on how long you feel them. You can even say to yourself, “For the next 15-30 minutes I am going to cry my eyes out, write in my diary or say out loud how I feel and feel it 100% and then I am going to move forward with my day/night”. Getting into the habit of indulging in your grief is a vicious cycle. Remember, you are the one hurting more than the other person if you continue to “live” your pain over and over. It’s a balance. A balance of embracing what’s there for you to express and putting it away for the rest of the day or preferably resolving it and moving on.
5 Ways to Move Through Pain
The pathway to happiness, fulfillment and satisfaction in your life is to make room for it. If you are full of sadness, anger, bitterness how can the opposite show up for you?
1. Make a choice to let go
Things do not resolve themselves without you choosing it. If you avoid making a conscious effort to move on you could be setting yourself up to continue to keep the pain alive and drag it around in your life and even effecting your outer world in a negative way.
Choosing to let it go also means you are accepting that you have the choice to do so. You can decide to stop playing the story over and over in your mind every time you think of that person.
2. As mentioned before, an important step to moving on is expressing your pain. Find ways that are satisfying and healthy. Experiment with the tips mentioned above. Find a great listener, someone who you look up to.
Even though you may not have had the same amount of responsibility for the pain you’ve experienced, look to see what you are responsible for. What can you learn from this experience and do differently in the future? Choosing to be less free and trusting is not necessarily a great choice versus being more aware of what is actually being communicated before all hurt broke loose. Learn to really understand and get to know people before “jumping in”. The most successful relationships were built as friendships where mutual respect and admiration can grow. Consider taking communication classes. Ultimately, will you choose to become wiser from the experience or a victim?
3. Don’t choose to be a victim, choose to be a winning warrior
Being a victim can feel pretty good. We don’t have to take responsibility or take a good look at ourselves. But being a victim is like donning a costume of a decrepit zombie and that is just not who we authentically are. Your feelings are worthy but when we allow ourselves to wallow in them it becomes at the expense of everyone else in the world and we all matter – equally.
The good news is that we have a choice in every given moment. We can continue to feel bad about someone else’s actions (or lack of actions) or decide to feel GOOD! Taking responsibility for your own happiness is power and giving your power over to someone else to determine how you feel is absurd. No amount of obsessively thinking about a painful situation has ever fixed a relationship issue. So why choose it?
4. Be Here Now – In the Present Moment
Do you really know what it feels like to be powerfully present in the now? How liberating, freeing and just good it feels? Here’s an exercise that will help you get related to reality – now.
Either out loud or in your head notice 5 things you hear (if there are not five you can repeat something). Now, 5 things you see and 5 things you physically feel. Repeat the same exercise working your way down to 1. 5-4-3-2-1. When you’ve completed the exercise notice how you feel, your surroundings and your thoughts. Suddenly reality has taken over your imaginings.
5. Forgive Them as Well as Yourself
Perhaps we won’t forget someone’s poor behavior, but everyone is deserving of our forgiveness, including ourselves. Sometimes getting trapped in pain makes it occur like forgiveness isn’t an option, yet it is. Forgiveness is empathy and empathy connects us to the beauty, love and laughter in life. Accepting “what is” doesn’t mean you are agreeing with what happened. That it is ok to happen again and again and again but that it is ok that it happened once. Forgiveness is a true sign of strength because that is actually where strength comes from.
Forgiving yourself is just as important. Identify what you said to yourself about yourself after the breakdown occurred. That is what you want to forgive yourself for. For inventing and taking on a lie as if it is truth. Anything disempowering is inauthentic to who we truly are. Create something new, the truth, to live by.
Although letting go takes an effort. It requires us to be courageous, to be committed to our happiness and health. Everyday you hold on to pain is another day lost to it. Go ahead. You can do it. Choose to implement these exercises in your life and set yourself, and everyone else, free!
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