Basic Principles of Self Healing by 'Yinka Vidal
Many people function well despite emotional traumas while others remain stuck with either the healing or the hurting process for many years. Sadly, when people don't heal properly from emotional traumas, they internalize so much pain for many years. Eventually, they will start ventilating their anger on innocent people, who have nothing to do with their initial problem or trauma. For example, it is not unusual for a young lady who was previously abused by her father to ventilate her frustration and anger on an innocent man who reminds her of her father. A young man who internalizes anger from dealing with his mother may find it difficult to have a decent relationship with a young female because he is afraid to relive the same hurt he experienced from his mother.
Take the case of a 27-year-old married woman who precluded herself from being emotionally and romantically free around her husband because of the trauma of her previous relationship with her ex-husband. When her husband tried to be more intimate with her, she would back to a corner of the bedroom and push him away. It was during therapy that she told her husband that she was afraid of being vulnerable again due to her previous experience. The therapist moved her to a point where she was able to understand that by withholding intimacy, she could be inadvertently punishing her new husband for the abuse she suffered from her ex-husband. The primary point of the therapy that attracted the wife's immediate attention was that it was very unfair for her to punish her new husband for the abuse she endured from her ex-husband.
When people bottle anger inside them for many years, the negative energy which was generated over the years may lead some individuals to commit a horrible crimes even murder. This is more the reason why it is so essential for us as people to learn and to work with the processes of correct healing before we become prisoners to emotional pain for life.
Learning to hurt
Everyone of us by age 30, has experienced some form of emotional trauma either because of death in the family, romantic disappointment, divorce, physical abuse, job loss, betrayal, spousal abuse etc. The initial process after the emotional trauma is the hurting phase. This phase may go on for a long time, depending on the gravity of the trauma or the length of time a person was subjected to an abuse. People who were subjected to abuse for many years usually hurt longer than those subjected to such pain for a shorter time. The principle here is to personally accept and acknowledge that, "I am hurting inside." Denial pushes the awareness to a less conscious level, but will not diminish the intensity of the hurt. Once we acknowledge that we are hurting, then we must plan to deal with the problem before it gets out of hand.
Most of the time, it is the emotional pain that brings our attention to the awareness that we are in trouble, and sometimes, we may need professional help.
Removing the offending agent
Once we realize that we are hurting for whatever reason, the next level is to either move away from the offending agent, or to move the offending agent from us. We can refuse to talk to a friend who betrayed us or even to move out of town. However, it may not be easy or even necessary to just end a marriage overnight.
At the removing phase, we learn to deal with the situation or to take a vacation to remove ourselves from the immediate trauma. Many times, going away temporarily helps. If it is a job and you know you are about to be decapitated, be nice to yourself and resign before they come and pick you up while you are yelling and kicking. When you resign, you have not only empowered yourself, you have spared yourself the humiliation of a termination with ignominy.
Learning to heal correctly
Once the offending agent is removed, the next level is to learn how to heal correctly. The process of healing is to preclude the offending agent from hurting us -- or lessening the pain by a gradual process. Some people join a group to help them deal with their hurt; others may get professional help, and some may visit their ministers.
There are many ways people can heal, depending on what works for the individual person. Some will rationalize what happened as part of life; perhaps it happened for a special reason. People may hurt more when thinking about the good times spent with an ex-spouse, and heal better thinking about the negative times -- psychologically putting the person under their feet. Ask yourself the question, Why should you waste your passion to care for somebody who does not care for you? Whatever method is employed here, the goal is to lessen pain, and over time it will decrease in intensity.
Healing wrongly is to spend time blaming everybody in the world for your misfortune or to blame yourself. It is a healing phase, and it should be recognized as such. Women in particular love the idea of recruiting other women to fight their offender, especially their ex-lover. When we go all over the world telling people what a particular individual has done to hurt us, we will get a lot of sympathy -- some will even support us with their own outrage. But, this is a very destructive way to heal. Once we set out on a negative campaign about another person, it is a declaration of war. Who knows who is going to win or lose?
Learning to overcome
The healing phase overlaps with the overcoming phase because while we are healing is the time to think about what went wrong and how it can be fixed. It is not the time for a blame game either, but a time to reposition oneself about life. This is the phase some people refer to as breaking from the prison of depression into the door of peace and serenity. During this time, we learn to objectively evaluate the situation and to correct the problem. Here we learn to develop strategies of self- preservation, self-protection, and self-empowerment, less we continue to become vulnerable in similar situations.
This stage may take a few months to attain based on what was initially involved in the problem that started the whole saga of emotional trauma. At this phase the emotional pain starts to dissipate, the incident becomes less bothersome, and the rational process of cognitive thinking is gradually taking over.
Defining a personal moment for closure
The closure phase is not the time to wait for a criminal to be put in the electric chair; the time for closure should be personal and removed from the outside interferences. This is a time for a person to set himself or herself free from the imprisonment of emotional pain. Nobody has the right to define closure but oneself -- not even the therapist except if a person is being guided to that point. This is a decision a person has to make for him or herself because nobody is going to stop hurting for you, but yourself.
At this closure phase, we learn to forget about the incident and replace what is missing in our lives with the decision made at the overcoming phase. Replacement is very important and it may take time. From experience, people hurt longer when they can't find appropriate replacement -- find a new job, new friend or new lover. It is time to venture out, meet new people and make new friends -- this process is very therapeutic in contrast to being reclusive and still blaming your sister for breaking your favorite toy 40 years ago.
This is the time to forget the past, continue with a new agenda of life and start enjoying life again, facing your future vibrantly.
Pampering your physical needs
A person hurting needs a time for physical indulgence, which should start after the hurting phase and continue as needed. Physical indulgence is even more important at the pampering phase. It is the time to indulge in physical needs to entertain the body. Most people who work very hard and do not have time for self-nurturing easily crash into depression during difficult times. During this phase, most people are still hurting because they have not given themselves opportunity to enjoy life since they are still suffering from emotional pain. At this time, a person gives him or herself permission to start enjoying life again, to go to social gatherings and parties, to drink alcohol in moderation, to go hiking or camping, to take a vacation, and to do those things that nurture the physical needs of the body. Most of the time when people deprive themselves of physical needs, inappropriate or dangerous behaviors may emerge in other aspects of life.
However, at this stage we should be careful not to be carried away because of over-indulgence. A person who is hurting is more prone to over-indulge -- everything should be done in moderation, and that is why the next step of healing is even more important. Many times when people are depressed, they may over-eat, drink too much and may sometimes resort to taking illegal drugs -- these are dangerous signs of the need to seek professional help.
Touching your spirituality
Years ago, therapy used to end with closure -- today, personal therapy will continue by seeking and strengthening our spirituality after we have nurtured the body. In most cases, when spirituality is included in our process of healing, we heal better and faster. We quickly learn to understand that there is another Supreme Being or a more Powerful Force -- bigger than we are, and with the power to influence our present and future if we call on Him. So, what are you waiting on? Grab your Bible and head for the church!
Getting in touch with our spirituality should be an everyday occurrence. Being a Christian, the first part is to have faith in the Lord, believe in his teachings and adjust our life to mirror the teachings of Christ. We don't have to be a fanatic to be a Christian. We learn to forgive our enemies partly to free us from internal guilt. No matter what people have done to us, we learn to repent for our sins, learn to forgive in order to experience redemption of sins - - - and our spiritual journey continues.
Walking in the spirit is more than just having faith or telling everybody all over the world, "I'm saved." Only Jesus knows who is saved, our responsibility is to do our duty. We must pray everyday with strong faith in God, fast when we can to strengthen our spirituality by decreasing the importance of material things and the joy of the flesh. We don't have to give all of our money away to the poor, but with the little we can give, we should learn to glorify God everyday.
The process of healing from emotional trauma is not spontaneous; we have to make active efforts to stop us from hurting. We must learn to forget the past no matter how painful, and elegantly face the future. At that time, we have set ourselves free!
Overcoming the Invisible Crime, 352 pages, was written when I was in deep emotional pain and struggling with the healing process. At that time, it was one painful experience after another. The more I tried to climb out of one, something else would happen and I would fall back deeper into pain. It was as if I was climbing the ladder and while I was getting comfortable that I was closer to my goal, something else pushed me back, and I would drop back to the bottom of the ladder again. But I did not give up; I dusted my behind and I got back on the ladder again until I succeeded -- and finally I freed myself. One of my greatest misconceptions was that after college graduation with many degrees, working on the job would be much easier because education would insulate me from catastrophes. I was wrong! Now, I finally got it right; college education is just a preparation for the survival battle of life and on the job. Yes, the college education gives us a lot of advantages, but it doesn't protect us from life disasters.
When I wrote the book, I was not planning on becoming rich overnight. I knew I would not get on the Oprah show even though I tried for many years before I finally gave up. Although I have seen people who had less to offer get on the show, I concluded that perhaps Oprah's and my path are not meant to cross, so I continue my journey without bitterness. After doing many radio shows and chasing news across the country, writing many articles and appearing on some television shows, I know God may have other ways for me to deliver my message to people, particularly those who are hurting.
I learned a lot of lessons from my painful experiences while working with people, and many of these are shared in my book. I learned that friends can betray you and make your life a living hell no matter how much you might have cared for them. Never completely put your trust in anybody but God. I discovered that some people carry around emotional baggages and they sometimes unload their anger on innocent people. When they pick their victims, they will justify their actions to keep attention away from them. With careful examination, I observed that those who victimize others are usually very miserable people -- some of them happen to be managers on the job. The particular manager I worked with showed all the symptoms of a person who was sexually molested. This is the title to the sequel of my first book: MOLESTED Sins of Her Parents -- How to Protect Your Children From Sexual Abuse.
No matter what anybody has done to you, quickly learn to take back your life. You can learn to hurt, learn to heal and learn to overcome and continue with your life without hurting forever. Life is filled with many uncertainties. Never hold yourself a prisoner of painful emotions for life. Be nice to yourself, learn to stop being a victim and learn to become a survivor. With strong faith in God and a lot of prayers, there is no mountain that is too difficult to climb.
I made a personal pledge to myself, despite my painful experiences working as a Laboratory Manager in some St. Louis hospitals, to create something positive out of the experience so I can bring other people to healing ground.
If you want me to share my entire experience with you, get a copy of my book, Overcoming the Invisible Crime, 352 pages, $19.99 (Internet Special for only $12, please add $3 for shipping) published by Lara Publication, Florissant. MO. (800)-599-7313. Fax: (314)-653-6543.
E.mail the author at: Outcryemail@example.com
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