I’ve heard people say, “How do I get over something if it still hurts?” And yes, forgiveness is key, whether it’s aimed towards yourself or someone else. However, it’s not really the main issue. What people really want to know is, “How do I deal with the pain?”
The problem with pain is that it doesn’t just go away quickly. It doesn’t disappear when the dust settles. When you’ve been hurt – even if you’ve taken the high road of forgiveness – sometimes the pain comes along for the ride.
I’m not sure what’s worse. The initial pain of being hurt or the repressed pain that surfaces later when you least expect it. You know, you’re going along, happy and whole, then something happens that reminds you of the past and instantly a flood of emotions you thought you locked away come rushing back in. It’s enough to make you wonder if you’ll ever be okay again.
Can I help you as someone who’s been there and is walking this road with you today?
First of all, it’s normal. Yeah, you can still get riled up about something that happened to you six months ago, a year or ago or maybe years ago. You’re not a machine. You’re a human being with a heart. Just like you wouldn’t expect a deep flesh wound to heal over night, neither will your feelings when you’ve been hurt.
Secondly, don’t be afraid of your pain. Don’t be afraid to let it surface if it needs to. Nothing gets better when it’s covered in layers of shame, fear and regret. So you can’t be concerned that your pain is too ugly to show, which leads me to my next point…
Talk to somebody about it. If you’re married, talk to your spouse. Maybe you need a professional counselor or a trusted friend and cup of coffee. Let your pain come out in words. You don’t need to tell everyone. In fact, too many people knowing your problems can be counterproductive. But find one person you trust and let the cork off of all those bottled up emotions.
I talk a lot here about letting go of your past and moving forward, and I still believe those are powerful tools for living an abundant life. However, the truth is that you can’t let everything go. Some things you have to let heal. Give it space and time to get better on its own and don’t try to rush the process. Let the wound turn into a scar that one day becomes just an old story you forget to tell.