Thursday, September 18, 2014

So How Do We Make Peace With Our Past?

One patient step at a time.  There are a few roadblocks that get in the way of our healing.  At the top of the list; impatience and fear.  Our culture promotes instant gratification and if one doesn’t see immediate progress they often give up.  In addition, many are afraid to look at their past hurts thinking they will relive the intense pain all over again.  Often, the monumental pain is created in our minds rather than the reality of facing old hurts.

Remember, old pain is exactly that.  It is in the past.  When we revisit it we return as a guardian rather than a lost child.  As a therapist, I often will take my clients by the hand (figuratively) and guide them into the old experience.  As we meet the past pain we both nurture the inner child, reminding him that the pain has served its purpose and he can now move on.  The unconscious mind internalizes this process and then becomes ready for change.

We affect change by recognizing whatever difficulties we survived in our past had a purpose in creating who we are today.  Through every painful act, we realized we had more strength than we imagined, our resiliency increased, we became wiser, and we developed a keener sense of intuition.  All was not lost in that deep dark tunnel, rather, if used appropriately, your light continues to shine brighter with each brave step toward healing.

Once we recognize the purpose and meaning of the “dark night of the soul“, we are better able to give service and help others in their time of need.  Another avenue to healing.  Who knows better the compassion required in helping others than someone who has been through it?  Gather your passion and use it to serve others.  In time, you will realize you are serving yourself in healing as well.

Take time to meditate, sit in the quiet, allow yourself to just BE.  Visualize the existence you know was meant for you.  Enter a peaceful picture in your mind’s eye.  Notice the image before you and connect your body, mind and soul to its essence.  In time, any trauma you experienced will be replaced with healthy positivism in your life.

Continued support with a therapist, friends and family are important in laying the foundation for healing.  You will know when you are ready to fly.  Take your time, and think about how long it took for you to get to this place.  Be patient with yourself and time.  Time does heal all wounds but it is the digging that cleans out the old dirt to stave off chronic infection.

Visit that innocent child and give her a chance to live again.  Peace will prevail.

*Excerpt from Living, Loving & Unlearning: A therapist’s guide to healing and living authentically from the inside out.

 Cynthia Brennen, LMSW, Contributor, Author.  Please see Bio section for additional information.

© 2014 Cynthia Brennen, LMSW