How to Heal Old WoundsToday we’re talking about how to heal old wounds and tame all of those demons from the past. Because we all have them; memories from long ago that still cause us pain today. These experiences and memories will never go away, of course – they are a part of our past and will always be with us in one way or another – but what we CAN do is change the way we look at and think about these experiences so that they no longer have such a big negative impact in our current lives.

Don’t wallow in bad feeling memories

I’ve never been big on wallowing in old crap from the past. Nothing good ever comes of it, and this is one of the big beefs I have with certain kinds of “therapy”. If your therapist is helping you to understand what you went through and is providing you with new ways of thinking about those experiences, and if you come out of that office feeling even slightly better or calmer than you did going in, then I’m OK with it. But if all you ever do in your therapy sessions is rehash old traumas, reliving them over and over and over every week, and if you come out of that office a sobbing wreck, and you’re messed up for days or even hours afterwards, then this is not helpful. In my opinion, you need to get yourself a new shrink. Quickly.

When you marinate yourself in pain and misery and feeling of anger, resentment, guilt, bitterness, betrayal, anguish… you just breed more of these feelings in your life experience. You can’t expect to create a happier life if you keep getting sucked back into all of that. You can’t heal a wound if you keep picking at the scab and making it bleed again. When you do that, you just make the injury worse.

But don’t smother your feelings, either

This is not to say that you should never feel angry or sad or betrayed or pain of any sort; not at all. Sometimes bad things happen in life and it affects us. And the normal, immediate reaction to that kind of thing is to feel the emotions that go with it. When people we know die, for instance, we feel shock, sadness, grief, sometimes even anger. These are normal feelings and should be allowed to run their course when they occur. But if these feelings go on and on and on, then something is not right. You’re not healing. And you need to do that — you need to heal — for your own sake.

Our emotions are a part of the internal guidance system that we were all born with, and those emotions are there to let us know, moment by moment, the state of our alignment with Source and Who We Really Are. This is a highly sensitive and extremely sophisticated feedback system, and it’s really easy to use because all you have to do is pay attention to how you feel – if you feel bad, you’re out of alignment, if you feel good, you are aligned with all that’s good for you. (I have previously written articles available about your emotional guidance system and how it works if you are interested learning more about those topics.)

Isn’t that contradictory?!

So now I’ve told you not to wallow in misery, and I’ve also told you not to suppress your feelings. Maybe you’re thinking this is contradictory in some ways, but it’s not. Like I said, the feelings are there to let you know how well aligned you are – to let you know where your vibe is at. It’s not wrong to experience those “negative” feelings, but the key is to let yourself experience them without getting stuck in them. When you get stuck in negative feelings and trapped in negative memories, you’re setting yourself up for a world of ongoing hurt. What you are focused on in life is what you tend to create more of. So getting stuck in painful memories, is just going to bring more pain into your life.

Your thoughts create your life experience

Here’s how this works: What you think about affects your emotions. Your emotions affect your perception. Your perception affects your actions and reactions. Your actions and reactions are what build your life experience. So if you are constantly thinking about things that make you sad, or angry or jaded, this creates a kind of filter over your view of the world; you start to interpret the world around you through angry or sad “glasses”, so to speak. And these glasses you’re wearing colour everything you see and experience in your life. And so the entire world – to you — becomes a sad and angry place.

And the longer you wear those glasses, the stronger their filtering effect becomes. Soon, you aren’t even able to see anything that isn’t sad or angry anymore – it’s as if happy, uplifting things don’t even exist. And this is actually true – in the world that you have created for yourself, these things DON’T exist, because you CAN’T experience them at all through your sad and angry glasses.

You have to take those glasses off if you want to change your experience of life. It’s the only way. The problem is that, quite often, those glasses have been on for so long that people forget that they can actually just reach up and take them off.

How to heal the past and let it go

So take those glasses off. You have to learn to let the past go, or it will destroy you. You’ll always have those memories, but you can lessen the emotional impact they have on you. And the best way that I have found to do this – the best way to remove those glasses — is to shift the way you think about what happened.

Whatever you’ve been through in life, it was part of the journey that brought you to where you are today. It was part of the journey that got you interested in personal development, in things like Law of Attraction, and in the idea of being able to design your own life. It’s part of what brought you back to the understanding of how powerful you really are. It’s taught you empathy and compassion, it’s taught you how much stronger you are than you ever thought possible, it’s taught you that no matter what happens, you’ll be able to handle it because you’ve already handled 100% of everything that’s been thrown at you so far.

Don’t be a victim

I guess what I’m saying is that if you can find a way to be grateful for what the experience taught you, then it loses some its power over you. If you can find a way to find strength in what’s happened, then it cannot harm you anymore. The key lies in never allowing yourself to be a victim. No matter what happens to you, you are only a victim if you allow yourself to be; “victim” is a mindset. And that is something that only you control.

When you keep thinking about past hurts, when you keep reliving them, when you keep yourself stuck in that old pain, you’re giving up your power. Take your power back. If someone did something that hurt you, think of things that you actually like about that person or list all the good things that have come from your having known them. If you’ve lost someone who meant everything to you, then instead of thinking about your loss, think about all the good things that you experienced together, think about what you learned from them.

This isn’t “theory”

And let’s be very clear here. This is not “theory” – this is my life. I’ve been through more crap than most people raised in first-world countries have, and I’m still standing and still smiling. I’ve been through more deaths than I care to count, I’ve been through fire, I’ve been through the most complicated miscarriage of anyone I’ve ever known, I’ve been through eating disorders and multiple issues with mental illness, I’ve been through a marriage breakdown, the list goes on. But what I’m telling you today is what has got me through all of it.

We all have our demons; those old hurts and shades from the past that colour every aspect of our lives today. Sometimes these are big, big traumas, and learning to let go of things like that can be really hard. But no matter what we’ve gone through, we are the ones who get to decide if the things we’ve suffered are going to bring us down or lift us higher. It all begins with your mindset.

photo credit: cc

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