When we are in emotional pain, it is sometimes so difficult for us to remember that there was a time when we were not in pain – and it is even harder yet, to envision our current pain ever coming to an end. The pain of the moment, if left unattended, can wake up all the pains of the past. These awakenings of pain make it difficult for us to imagine life without pain, since the past and the present have now become joined.
The past can become fused with the present at blazing fast speeds! As it occurs we oftentimes begin recalling events, situations, and/or people from our past that we have felt injured by. Just as blazingly quick we begin thinking that the collective weight of all our past injuries and pain is simply too much for us to bear. For many of us, this experience truly is too much to handle alone …and that is typically how we feel once we have begun to travel back in time: ALONE.
When we sense ourselves headed for emotional time travel, it becomes important to ask our partners to quickly tie a rope around our waste to create a tether between us and our partners before we get lost in the past. There are many different ways to achieve this, one of which is the use of the slogan “this too shall pass!”
Each time we let our partners love us, provide comfort, or offer guidance we are really allowing them to remind us of the beautiful simplicity of this slogan.
“How so?” you might ask.
Well, because for most of us the experiences we are remembering from the past truly were emotionally and spiritually lonely. At the times and moments when we experienced those pains in the past we typically did not have anyone to show up for us with love, sound guidance, or comfort. So we were left with the belief that we were alone. It is in this isolation that we lose any hope for making the pain end.
When we allow ourselves to remain “tethered to our partners” however, we give ourselves the opportunity to DO THE IMPOSSIBLE, which is to change the seemingly impervious pattern of the past where pain beget more pain in an endless loop.
We can get good at this. We can learn to tether ourselves to so many sources of love, guidance, and safe comfort. Many of us begin to experience the development of faith when we trust in in our Higher Powers and others who love us, help guide us, and support us through our most difficult times. We pass through one crisis at a time and emerge from the other end of a painful experience with the faith that we absolutely will be able to survive the next one. We come to believe that THIS TOO SHALL PASS with the help of those we allow to love us.
This article was written by John & Elaine Leadem, senior supervisors of the Leadem Counseling & Consulting offices in Toms River, NJ and East Brunswick, NJ. This is the seventh and final article is a series of recent PsychCentral articles that applied various recovery slogans to intimate relationships. These articles are based on their book: “One in the Spirit: Meditation Course for Recovering Couples”
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Last reviewed: 30 Sep 2013