In light of my last post, telling you about my first, major life changing experience, I thought I’d kind of continue on that topic and talk about HOW one actually deals with a broken self.
Taking it in 4 steps might sound easy, but I assure you it’s not. Every single one of those steps are hard, and they take a lot of time and personal effort. Dealing with hurt, heartbreak, or loss is a process and it is something that will follow you through life. But the 4 steps below will take you to a point where, when thinking of what happened or the people involved, it will hopefully no longer hurt inside.
As you know by now, I was hurt and abandoned by the people who were meant to be the closest to me – the people a child is meant to trust. But I finally found peace a few years ago.
By following these steps:
We all know the expression “Time heal all wounds”, and in a way that’s true. Time cannot take all the credit for it, of course, but time is of huge essence. You will see a great difference between how you feel about that someone who hurt you, or the situation that broke you, when you compare the day after it happened with three years later. That’s just how time works – we forget some detail and over time we let go of certain things.
Like I said, healing yourself is a long and hard process. And when it comes to the next three steps, time will assist you a great deal, because each step will need its own time to have effect.
But first and foremost, allow yourself time to grieve what happened. Let it out. Don’t lock the pain away. Let the wounds bleed for as long as they need to (trust me, they will stop at some stage), and then carefully clean them, and slowly start stitching them up, with the help of these next steps;
Talk to someone
Talking about what happened is of major importance. It can also help to write things down in a journal, but I personally, always thought there was something more to talking. And this comes from a writer(!) and someone who was so against talking about it to anyone, that it had me almost break into a million pieces before I realised I had to talk about it!
So why is it so important?
Talking just allows everything to pour out. When you start talking about it, your inflamed, festering wound is finally cut open, ready to bleed the infection out, in order to eventually start building healthy scar tissue and heal.
I went to talk to a professional, simply because she was an outsider, who had no judgement on anything I told her. She just listened, and let me cry. I don’t like people seeing me cry, but it didn’t matter with her, because I didn’t know her anyway. We only knew each other’s names, and that was it. She asked the right questions, and I poured it all out in a few sessions, until I was ready to face the world, and myself, again.
Go with your own needs. It might be best for you to talk to a parent or a friend, or maybe you’re like me and need a complete stranger. Whatever feels best for you is what you must go with. Just remember that you must be able to fully let go and trust and hold nothing back. If you are unsure, just refer to your gut feeling – it’ll always tell you what you truly want and need.
Revisit the past
Now, I know some people are against this, saying that we should leave the past in the past. And of course we should, but in order to heal our present selves and the wounds that were caused upon us, we need the courage to briefly revisit our past to care for ourselves; to dig into those wounds to try and find the actual bullet. In fact, I believe it is vital that we do so – that we think of, and in a way relive, past events and what we went through.
This does NOT mean we are setting camp there – or worse, moving in – but it is just a very temporary visit!
It is so important to work things out – go through the detailing of it all, sort out what happened, and what hurt. It’s gonna do you no good whatsoever burying dead bodies in your backyard (the “backyard” being your subconscious).
May I suggest you meet with your inner child? This is a fantastically wonderful and somewhat strange experience, but also incredibly valuable!
And a side note: as important as it is to go through what hurt you, it is equally important to remember the good times. If you’re dealing with a heartbreak, for example, think of all the good times you had with that person, before things went wrong.
For me, this whole process meant dealing with not having a proper father. But there were times I spent with him that we had lots of fun. When your mind is in the dark from what happened it’s easy to forget about those moments, though. But they’re important to remember, for your own sake, especially when you get to the last of these four steps;
Forgive, but don’t forget
First of all, let me just say, before you object to this step, that forgiving has nothing to do with the other person, the person who hurt you. Forgiving does not equal forgetting or accepting what happened. It is nothing but a tool for yourself. It is all about you.
It is the last step, simply because you often must allow quite a lot of time, thought, and talk, in order to get here. And it is the hardest step, but also the most important one, I would say.
Forgiving someone for hurting you is hard. So, so, SO hard. It’ll be one of the hardest things you’ll have to do in life. But it is also essential in order for you to live a richer, happier life, in full peace.
Prior to forgiving, we walk around with anger, guilt, hurt, sorrow, and maybe even with a grudge or, worse, hate. And the ONLY one who will suffer from these dark emotions or intentions is YOU. It will ONLY affect you and YOUR WELLBEING.
If you want to be happy and at peace with your past (and with anything, for that matter), you must find a way to forgive what happened and the person/people involved – especially yourself! If you can’t think of any other reason to forgive who hurt you, then a very good reason is because you simply wish to be happy. And then, allow yourself to let go of the shame, the guilt, or whatever type of emotions you are likely carrying due to what you’ve been through. Forgive yourself, and love yourself as you are.
I forgave the man who was meant to be my father, and all other relatives who hurt me, because I came to understand that they didn’t know any better. In a way I actually feel sorry for them.
You see, I believe that we all have a soul, and that some souls walking this earth are younger and some are older. And some of the younger ones are simply too young to understand certain things – they still have so many lessons to learn. But someday they will know better, and then they will be able to see my side of the story as well.
I promise you that once you do forgive, your mind and body will thank you. You will feel so much lighter, without that dark cloud weighing you down with its heavy rain. And when that knot in your heart and/or stomach disappears, you’ll know that the past has no more power over you. You’ll then know that the process is over. You have forgiven, and you have moved on.
Now, remember, just because you forgive, it doesn’t mean you’re erasing the memory. You simply choose to forgive to free yourself from the bitterness.
The memory stays, not to be forgotten, but to be remembered as a valuable life lesson.
Know that you deserve to be happy, and you deserve to move on. It is in your very best interest to do so, to live a life to the fullest.
Just remember to show yourself love, no matter what it is that you’re going through. Be kind to yourself, at all times. And make sure to take the help that is given to you – or even ask for it. Know that it is OK to ask for help, because we all need it every now and then (plus, it’s just nice to have someone by your side who cares for you). We are after all only human, and humans need other humans.
So liberate yourself. And be grateful for the lessons you learned, and how much you’ve grown through this experience.