We won’t forget the hurtful things. That’s our human blessing.
If we were to forget it would be the same as walking up to a rattle snake in the wild and petting it. Being completely abset-minded of the pain we’re deliberately walking into.
Our memory lets us know this, whatever this is, is not safe.
The fear has been our alarm to survive and avoid physical danger. Today, we don’t find ourselves physically running away from danger, but emotionally we are.
It’s healthy to be aware and identify what’s simply not safe. But it’s unhealthy for our bodies to consume our fear.
Sometimes, we have to be in incredibly difficult situations where we feel uncomfortable, betrayed, belittled, ostracized, or bullied. We are forced to a certain point. This bodily reaction is telling us to run, but we can’t.
But we can gently leave these scenarios without causing more harm, and set the necessary boundaries.
That’s how we can survive in the modern world, without putting a toll on our physical health:
Creating an environment where we feel safe.
If we feel wronged over and over again by the same person, then we must interfere. It is our responsibility, as absurd as it sounds.
We can give others the opportunity to continue hurting us, or bring that to an end. The longer we let it happen, the more mistakenly convinced we are of our worthlessness.
When that’s not the truth.
The truth is you have been hurt. It’s also true that this pain does not define you, because you are valuable and deserve happiness.
Here’s what to do instead of trying to forget how someone hurt you:
1. Stop it from continuing.
Take back control. Avoid scenarios that you know will stress you, and decide these boundaries ahead of time.
2. Grieve it properly.
Take your time processing your feelings and releasing the weight. This is an important process. If it’s rushed then there is risk of being too forgiving or having remaining pain that can cause all sorts of illness. It may require guidance or loyal spouse or friend to process this with you. You can write a letter and not mail it to free yourself of what’s bothering you.
3. Create an environment of peace and safety.
This is influenced by your physical and emotional environment. Decide on the boundaries you need to be able to avoid high levels of stress. This comes easily and naturally after grieving properly.
4. Before considering reconciliation, ask yourself if the person’s efforts seem genuine.
In every relationship we test how trustworthy a person is before building up the relationship. And to grow a relationship, it requires a certain amount of vulnerability, so the question remains, has this person earned your trust….after all that? The truth is we can tell or get a feeling if someone is genuinely interested in a relationship or not. For your own sanity, tread slowly.
5. Dodge the re-runs.
Having a memory isn’t the same as replaying the event in your mind over and over again, like your favorite Friends episodes. The memory is to help you avoid falling into the same pit twice. Ruminating, or living re-runs of the pain in your mind without any insight or growth, is just as damaging as walking into the situation again and again—because you’re re-living it dahling!
Now just be careful out there.
We wouldn’t want you to “start over” with the person that hurt you without any resolution from previous pain.
Having “unfinished business” with trust will leave the relationship vulnerable to more despair because it is still fractured.
Your time, health and feelings are valuable. Don’t waste your time by picking up the broken pieces by yourself.
Your feelings are like fire alarms that something isn’t right. Don’t let the fire burn everything within you.
February 23, 2018
December 15, 2017
December 09, 2017