“When you heal yourself on the inside,
everything else around you no longer triggers old pain.”
A Window of Wisdom 1007*
The last few weeks we’ve been talking about releasing old pain and experiencing a lighter, happier life. On December 17 we talked about the harm we cause ourselves by concealing our pain. On January 1 we discussed letting our negative feelings out. Today we’re continuing to think about ways to heal yourself on the inside.
The idea that has been floating around mental therapists and religious teachers for many years is forgiveness. An old saying tells us to “forgive and forget.” It’s easy to say I forgive this person for doing that to me or my loved one. But do we actually forgive? Forgiving means to release the pain and begin to feel kindly toward the person who has injured us. That’s a tough job. From my own experience I’ll say that it’s almost impossible to forget. We may forget what E=mc2 means but we never forget an insult or other situations that cause us pain.
Recently a friend told me about a better way to release old pain. That is to thank the person for the role he or she played in your life because it affected who you are today. That may not be possible or safe to pursue. An easier and safer way is to write that person a letter pouring out your feelings while acknowledging the way that person’s actions made you a better person. How is that possible? Perhaps a person telling you repeatedly that you were stupid made you determined to prove them wrong. Maybe it encouraged you to pursue higher education or get a job requiring excellent mental skills.
I can hear you saying, “I wouldn’t dare send a letter thanking ____ for what he/she did. That would put me in danger or at the least bring their ire raining down on me.” Only mail the letter if you feel 100% safe. You don’t have to mail the letter. Just writing out the facts and feelings is releasing the old “stuff.” You can burn the letter allowing the pain to float to the clouds with the smoke. You can tear the letter to bits and send it to the landfill with the rest of your trash or release it to a river to float out to the sea.
A quicker method my friend suggested is to picture the offending person in your mind and mentally or verbally thank them for making you the person you have become. Either method is incredibly freeing. If you do this choosing to be free of the old pain, you will be.
Thank you for teaching us that we don’t have to carry the weight of old and new pains. We can release ourselves from this burden by thanking the offender for the role they played in our lives. We know that you will transmute the pain to feelings of freedom. We know and trust that this is so for each of us, no matter our situation.
And, so it is.
* A Window of Wisdom 1007, January 6, 2016, https://awindowofwisdom.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/window-1007-hidden-triggers/
© by Sharon D. Dillon, January 15, 2016
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com.