Wrestling with Emotional Pain

If you can get to the root of deep emotional pain and work it all the way through, you will make enormous progress toward better emotional health.

Nobody likes to suffer. People generally do whatever they can to avoid feeling painful loss, grief, sadness and the like. They distract themselves, focus on other things and stuff down hurt feelings. But this is not the most effective strategy for becoming emotionally healthier.

It is absolutely normal to want to avoid feeling badly, but there is no growth in doing so. By distancing ourselves from painful feelings, we give them power over us and force them underground where they can get stuck in our emotional system.

Deep hurt and grief are true feelings. They won’t go away if you simply refuse to think about them. Often, the only way around them is through.

Painful feelings carry an emotional charge, like an electrical charge, that needs to be released to restore the system and your mood to its normal balance. You do that by processing feelings of hurt: through conversation, deep thought and taking the time to acknowledge them at a purely emotional level. Find the inner spot of emotional pain and go there, and stay with it as long as you can.

You don’t have to do it all at once. It may help to talk it out with a friend, family member or counselor. In time, by addressing these unwelcome feelings you release their charge and free yourself from their grasp. The result of processing painful emotions is that they go away. You emerge from them healthier and happier, like the sun coming out after a rainstorm.

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