Have you ever had an old wound, one you thought you had healed long ago and since moved on, show up suddenly, like an ex you never thought you’d have to see again? Yeah, so have I, and I’m sure most of us have experienced this.
For me recently, it was for some difficult decisions I made decades ago that affected someone else. That person brought up the past hurts she had been holding onto and threw it all in my face one day pretty unexpectedly. It hurt. Not only the way it happened, but to be reminded of things that I now know I could handle differently if it happened today.
But the fact is, we can never go back in time and change the choices we have made, much as we may want to. I was doing the best I could with where I was at the time, trying to have boundaries and protect myself the only way I knew how.
Not that I was thinking this the first few days after this happened. I confess I spent a little time wallowing in shock, grief, shame, anger, resentment and self-criticism. Because Human.
How could I have done something like that? I must be a horrible person!
How could she pretend we were friends and be holding onto that all this time? Was any of it ever real? Was she just using me? Wow, it all seems so clear now… How could I not see this before?
It is so easy to be critical of ourselves. To feel like we’ve regressed and might not EVER be over it. To want to blame and be angry at whoever or whatever is making us feel this way. To either want to escape it or wallow. These are the default modes of the Ego.
This is where the practice of consciousness comes in. First, we need to allow all our feelings, rather than fight them or making them wrong. Be with them, express them, let them run their course and then be on their way. But be careful not to become stuck in wallowing. When we are no longer in the position of being taken over by big feelings, we can look at things from a sense of calm acceptance and gain perspective.
Many times, we might have difficulty letting go and getting stuck. This is when having self-compassion and parenting yourself can help. Have understanding for how you’re feeling and be gentle with yourself. Acknowledge that it is perfectly valid to feel this way. Talk to yourself as you would a cherished child.
“It’s alright, sweetheart. Of course you feel hurt, betrayed and confused right now. It is completely expected. Just let it out and you will feel better. Go ahead and cry, scream, stomp, whatever helps you get rid of this.”
We may then need to spend some time focusing on self-care, doing things for ourselves that calm our nervous systems. Perhaps a bath, nice walks, yoga, meditation, deep breathing, journaling, painting, or playing music. Think of those things that soothe you.
Think of this as a transition, the bridge between hurt and healing. However, be aware that it can be all too easy to get stuck there as well. Like a bridge, even though the view might be fabulous, you wouldn’t just stay there indefinitely. You would eventually want to cross over to explore the other side, right?
The other side is where it can get difficult -it’s work- but it’s also where the healing happens. If we never allow ourselves to get out of our comfort zone, we push away the healing that is waiting for us to join it.
Let’s take a moment to look at this from a different angle, shall we? I want to explore some things with you that are not in our Ego’s nature to consider, so we have to become and hold onto our higher conscious awareness to play at a deeper level.
What if we can be grateful for an old wound popping back up? Perhaps it is here because something else that is going on in our lives has triggered it and we have something valuable to learn. Learning is always a good thing, right?
I believe my recent experience was brought up because even though I thought I was over that, in reality, I had merely pushed it under the rug and moved on. But I still kept that rug and put it in each new place I lived. A whole lot of good that does!
Or perhaps it is here to show where we still need to forgive. Because if we have simply buried it, we will still be suffering on some level. And until we are able to truly forgive ourselves or another, we cannot heal and move on.
I know that is why this has been brought to my attention. I definitely never forgave myself for the misguided choices I made long ago and still carried a burden of guilt and shame that led me into patterns of overcompensating to try to prove my love and worth, which meant a lack of boundaries to protect myself (ironically, the same reason I made the decisions I did back then).
And if we are still convinced we had healed this and there is no possible reason for it to be here now, consider this: perhaps this is an opportunity to heal on a deeper level now that we too have become deeper in our awareness.
For me, I have come so far in the fifteen years since this all happened. I’m pretty sure I’m not even the same person I was then! While I still have work to do (spoiler: we all do!) I am far more conscious and forgiving now. So, it would make sense that I could heal this at such a deeper level, which would echo out into all areas of my being.
Think about it, if we didn’t have the same level of awareness before, how could we have possibly healed it at this depth? It isn’t possible. We can only heal to the level of consciousness where we reside. So, if this wound comes back to revisit you again down the road, bless it instead of curse it.
But isn’t it a beautiful thing to know that we have that opportunity?
Please comment below to share your experiences with this!