I’m so glad to get comments from readers, on both newer and older posts. In fact, some of the most frequently read and commented-on posts are ones about difficult problems and unresolved family pain. Let’s talk about this for a moment.
Some good news. So many people endure and live meaningful lives while also having a history of deep family pain. Ongoing conflict, abandonment by parents, estrangment from siblings, molestation, abuse, neglect, emotional manipulation, and more. This goes on in many families every day, yet people live on and find ways to find joy.
No matter what the source of your pain, it IS possible to go on. It is possible to have a good life in spite of all this. Your mind and your emotions are your own, so have more control than you may realize.
Ready for the bad news? You may not ever truly “get over” the hurt you’ve been through. You might, but you might not. There’s no cure-all for deep emotional pain. If you are looking for a fix for your broken heart or trauma, you will probably be disappointed (and hurt even more).
Now for reality. The healthiest way to deal with the deep family pain you feel is to learn how to live with it. It’s far healthier to face your emotions in small doses than to continually run away from them or dwell in them. Face them, acknowledge them, experience them, then let them go. Do something to move on for the moment.
When the feelings come again, do the same thing again. As time passes, the waves of emotion will still come but less frequently or less powerfully. By acknowledging them, you allow them to live with you. However, you only let them have the spotlight for so long. Then they have to go back over to their “spot” off in the corner of your mind. Keep a long list of healthy distractions so you can quickly turn your mood around after you’ve faced your feelings.
This practice trains your brain, your body, and your emotions to recover so you can move on with your life. Instead of feeling the weight of the world, you can let things go more easily. Your life is at the center of your attention, not your misery. Accepting the truth of your pain may seem like the most awful thing you could do. However, it may be the very thing that will free you to really live each day.
Take this approach, dear readers, for any family pain that truly runs deep. Learn to live with your pain and it won’t rule your life.