We all likely have people in our lives who hurt us. Sometimes we hurt ourselves. But rather than hold onto the pain, it’s important to learn to let it go in a healthy way. Only then can real healing begin.
We say “learn” because it’s difficult for most people to let go of pain. Often, our inherent nature is to examine the pain, find someone or something to blame, or fixate upon it until it becomes an all-consuming part of our identities. Sometimes, in an effort to “let go,” we actually do the opposite. We internalize the pain and become numb to it. This only leaves us vulnerable to more pain, disconnection, and depression.
Forgiveness is an essential tool we can add to our arsenals to help us overcome pain. It is a skill we can learn. We can forgive others, and ourselves, when we realize that people are imperfect. People make mistakes. People carry around emotional baggage that affects their decisions. People act out when they feel ashamed, afraid, or unaccustomed to asking for help. People hurt those they love the most—who are close enough to feel the pain.
It’s important to recognize this aspect of human nature, and to remember that it exists outside of ourselves.
When you are hurt by someone else, it is usually not because of something you did but because the person hurting you is not well. Perhaps they are hurting from their own trauma. Perhaps they are angry, miserable, or had a bad day. This does not excuse their behavior, and it has nothing to do with you—even if they accuse you of triggering their behavior.
When you hurt yourself, it is important to discover why. Once you reveal the source of your pain, you can work to overcome it and change your behavior.
By separating yourself from the source of your pain, mentally and/or physically, you can create the distance and perspective needed to stop hurting and start healing. This is difficult to do on your own, and you may need support. Professional counseling is one way to get there. Start the journey today to build a future filled with more hope, peace, and happiness.