“If you don’t heal what hurt you, you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you.” -Unknown
Rea and Rashmi were 13yrs old and were best friends. Both were like two poles of a magnet, completely opposite but always together. Rea was timid and shy whereas Rashmi was confident and outspoken. One day girls had an argument on a very trivial issue, though it was quite common, this time it happened to the extent that it reached their mother’s as well. As usual, because of Rashmi’s outspoken nature, her mom presumed her at fault and scolded badly, without giving an ear to what she wanted to speak. But this time the story was different, Rea spoke a few things that hurt her. Rashmi wanted to share it with her mom but before that, she was proven guilty. That small incident was life-changing for that chirpy girl. It deeply affected her, and differences cropped not only between friends but also between mom and daughter.
This is the point where a new chapter of insecurity, caving inside started in child life. Who was at fault, Rea, Rashmi or mother? All Rashmi wanted was to speak out what she was feeling. She needed a vent to pour out. But the mother cold shoulder attitude discouraged it. Mother failed to acknowledge the emotions that were undergoing in that little heart. Rather her response made the child feel guilty of expressing. Unlike Rashmi, we all can relate to those moments in our life, when our words were locked inside. Expressing of true self was discouraged or speaking to heart was snubbed by our adults.
Our thoughts, behaviour and emotions are interrelated. Emotions are like the information guide, that tells about what is going inside and around us. At different point of time, we experience different emotions like pain, happiness, sadness, excitement. Sometimes there is a mix of emotions too like happiness accompanied by crying or anger and sadness. Firstly, it is important to identify what emotion you are feeling in the present moment before we learn to manage. For e.g. if it is raining outside, we cannot deny it similarly if we are feeling sad, we should accept it. Usually, we try to ignore or avoid in accepting our negative emotions, probably the pain associated with it being the reason.
Like in the above case, Rashmi’s mother shrugged off her feelings that made the poor girl feel ambiguous. Till that point, she was angry or sad because of that fight. She wanted to speak out her heart, but the non- acceptance of her feelings dwelled that pain of sadness deeper. Now she was confused if feeling angry or sad is appropriate or not. The way her emotions were dismissed worsened the situation.
The fact is that emotions dig deep and take time to heal. The process of healing starts only when the emotions of that moment are addressed. Addressing is all about first acknowledging, what you are feeling. Sooner it is done better it is. Most of the times we are in a denial mode, like, “how can I be like this or why am I behaving in such a way”. Here, it is important to understand what emotion we are experiencing now, and are we really feeling drained out with emotionally, mentally and physically in that situation. If we can acknowledge our feelings, we are on the way to heal but if there is non- acceptance of the feelings we enter a complex intriguing cycle of unhealed emotions. The discomfort or pain associated with it may be substituted by behaviour like addictions or workaholism etc. The irony is that the intensity of short-lived emotions is very powerful. These emotional experiences condition the perceptions about life. The glass is half full or half empty or has scope to refill, is all about the emotional state that we are in. Our emotional health is a major contributor to our physical health. A person may have challenges physically but can live a happy and peaceful life if he is emotionally fit. At no point in time, their importance can be undermined. Instead, emotional health should be taken care in a more cautious way than physical health keeping in mind its fragile nature.
The truth is that acceptance of emotions will bring wisdom.
Once you can identify your feelings then comes the next step, Acceptance. The overwhelming emotions like anger, sadness or frustration etc. need a vent. Denial of emotions only leads to chaos and internal struggle. Investing time in exploring the emotion and sharing with someone who is your trustworthy help in the better tuning with one’s emotion. The gloomy state wears off, the sooner it gets a voice. The voice, that helps the person to reach to the core of what they believe and feel. The validation of emotions. Like, it is ok to feel what you are feeling. Like in the above case, the rejection and ignorance of mother in acknowledging Rashmi’s feeling created havoc in her mind. The girl was angry with a friend, but her mom’s non-validating attitude made it worse. All Rashmi wanted was a listening ear and a hand to hold. Acceptance and understanding.
Healing starts when we embrace our feelings. It makes a heavy heart feel lighter and help them to counter effectively. When our loved one Validates our feelings, we feel confident. It is a gesture by our dear one that he is standing beside and is impartial, not judging us for our present state. It is a time when we want to be heard and not necessarily looking for the solution or guidance. It also helps in bringing in clarity of thoughts.
All of us have a brush with pain and loss in our life. But keeping them in heart and not coming at par with them only makes it more painful. So, remove that self-inflicted pain and come out and acknowledge the truth and move ahead and Heal. Keeping the feelings bottled up only leads to massive eruptions later. So, talk it out to one’s that understand. Also, let us work towards becoming an ear for someone else too.
“We must laugh and cry, enjoy and suffer, in a word, vibrate to our full capacity… I think that’s what being really human means.”
– Gustave Flaubert
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