Feeling hurt or being wounded is unfortunately a life experience that all of us deal with. The difficulty is that we get stuck in these feelings not recognizing that we have choices which can lead to less suffering. Three elements come into play when we become wounded.
1. We take things too personally - When we take things too personally we assume that we know everything that is going on with the person who has hurt us. We judge their behavior not totally understanding what has happened in their life and the pain they may have experienced which has brought them to the place when the woundedness happened.
2 We blamed others for how we felt. - We forget that we are looking at the situation through our perceptual lenses tinted by our own emotional baggage – much of which we are unaware of. Instead of owning our shortcomings which is something we do not want to see within ourselves we can only see this behavior in others, not taking responsibility for our own behavior.
3 We get caught in the victim role - We have a tremendous investment in holding on to our pain so we can blame others, proving that I am right and you are wrong. When we choose to hold on to our pain what we are actually doing is pointing an accusing finger at the wrongdoer saying I am the innocent victim.
How do we begin to heal our wounds? The first step is an awareness process of what we are doing so that we can make other choices. If you can remember the three ingredients just mentioned you are well on your way to emotional freedom. As you tell your story, look at these three elements. By using the knowledge you are gaining about yourself you can hopefully gain insight into your own emotional reactions and begin to see the situation differently. Hopefully you will be able to handle your pain more skillfully.
Exercise: If you have written a story from the past posts you may want to revisit it and ask yourself in what way have I taken this situation too personally and how can I see it differently? Or pick a situation where you needed to forgive someone and write your story down. Then ask yourself:
- How can I see the perpetrator differently?
- What do I need to do to take responsibility for my own emotional reactions?
- What is it about myself that is hard to acknowledge which I blame others for?
Remember, we cannot change what has happened to us but we can change the way we respond to it and grow stronger as a result of the situation we find ourselves in. Life will always through us curve balls and we do not need to create more pain for ourselves as a result of the situations we find ourselves in.
For more information on learning how to forgive go to “Finding Forgiveness: A 7 Step Program for Letting go of Anger and Bitterness” by Dr. Eileen R. Borris-Dunchunstang.