Healing Your Past: Breaking The Emotional Pain Patterns

heal emotional pain

No matter how committed to healing you are, your relationship patterns always measure how much you have healed.

Considering every childhood fear developed in relationships, with parents, siblings, and ex-lovers, the true measure of healing is seen in your relationship patterns.

If you desire to measure your healing, I’ve listed signs of healed and unhealed relationship trauma here:

1. Signs You’ve Healed Relationship Trauma

• You’re not afraid to lose your partner.
• You take responsibility for your own emotions.
• You don’t idealize your partner and put him or her on a pedestal.
• You give yourself the love, peace and happiness you desire.
• You aren’t taking responsibility for your partner’s unhealed pain. You encourage him or her to heal oneself.
• You don’t use arguing to face conflict. You open your heart to learn from conflict.
• Sex isn’t an escape to avoid lack of emotional connection, but something that happens after an emotional connection is established.
• You don’t use relationships for security. You use relationships for growth, learning, and healing.

2. Signs You Have Not Healed Relationship Trauma

• You need your partner.
• You push your own emotions onto your partner.
• You idealize your partner. You put him or her on a pedestal.
• You depend on your partner to feel loved, peace and happy.
• You believe it’s your job to help your partner through the pain.
• You use arguing to solve problems.
• Sex is used to escape a lack of emotional connection. Sex keeps you coming back.
• You use the relationship to escape feeling insecure, unsafe and alone.

If you can sit with your pain, listen to your pain and respect your pain — in time you will move through your pain.

Responding Vs. Reacting – A Key To Personal Growth

Responding vs. Reacting

Responding vs. Reacting in Life

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

~ Viktor E. Frankl

Often time people don’t notice the difference between responding to something and reacting to something. Both require an action and both are usually instigated by a situation or cause outside of oneself. But the difference between these two behaviors can be quite profound. The difference between responding versus reacting means a bad situation can become worse or a bad situation can become better. Or the opposite can happen. The choice in behavior can make a good situation bad or a good situation even better. The importance of recognizing the two choices in your life is significant.

The act of responding requires one to look at the circumstance, identify the problem or situation, hear what is happening and reflect. That reflection can be for a moment, five seconds, one hour, two days or longer. The time frame doesn’t matter. What matters is that you stopped and put an effort to think and suspended judgment. It is a conscious act and shows that you are willing to listen or observe. This “gap” between the circumstance and your behavior is what contributes to gaining a sense of control in your life. Once a person can identify that in responding they actually have a choice in the manner, he/she will start to realize that they are able to make better decisions. The key is that pause. If the situation requires an immediate action, then just take a deep breath first. This alone can help one gain a semblance of control and make one choose an alternative statement or action that can make a big difference in an outcome of a situation.

Reacting on other hand is the absence of this time gap. It is an immediate behavioral response and it is usually based upon emotions and not intellect. Reacting to events, reacting to comments from other people or reacting to sudden situations in an immediate way, can create unpredictable outcomes. When intellect or logic is bypassed for emotional vengeance, then there is a greater chance that irrationality will take over. Usually when you react you are unprepared and overwhelmed in feeling (i.e. anger, frustration, lust etc.) that your intention becomes strictly one-sided. As a person has an immediate reaction it is unlikely that the person has even considered the other person’s point of view or understanding. Immediately reacting can also mean that the person is not thinking about future consequences. The person is only identifying with his/her immediate emotions and using the emotions as a point of reference.

Now, there are obviously certain times and places for reacting. Humans have this innate biological mechanism for a reason. If you were being attacked for instance, you would want to immediately react for survival. If you’re driving the car and a dog jumps out in front of you, you will usually swerve to avoid hitting the dog without much thought. The problem arises when a person can only identify him/herself with emotions and not mindful reasoning and the need to react becomes a constant type of response mechanism. In the extreme sense a person who only uses reaction over responding can become emotionally overwhelmed thus producing hysterical or illogical behavior. Numerous and ongoing problems can arise for those having no impulse control or the ability to self regulate emotions.

The benefit of understanding and identifying both these types of behavior in ourselves is immense for personal growth.

For one, this knowledge shows you that you have options and more control over circumstances than you realize. The effect of going through life in a reactive mode ultimately becomes draining, difficult and can even bring about isolation. In addition, constant reacting to life puts you in the ‘victim’ role, a role that makes life a struggle and unfulfilling.

Making an effort to respond on other hand helps you establish control. Responding takes a conscious effort and builds mind control. Responding looks at others actions and consequences and provides a more holistic approach to behavior. Responding, not reacting will get you closer to what you want.

~ m

You Are In Control – Take Back The Wheel Of How You Feel

You Have Control Of Your Feelings

Take Back Control of Your Life

Each time you allow another person to get under your skin, you’re choosing to give up control over your life. The next time you hear yourself saying “so and so makes me so mad”, or “what she/he said really hurts my feelings”, check within yourself to see what it is that is truly making you that upset. A lot of the times, what upsets us so much about another person is really a reflection of our own selves, things we’re not aware of that we don’t like about ourselves.

Pay attention the next time you get upset with what someone says or does to you. Ask yourself why it is upsetting you so much. Check to see what kind of expectations you have for others. If you’re expectations for other people are too high, then you’re more than likely going to be going around upset all the time. People will never be able to live up to them. Just because you would not say or do such a thing does not automatically mean that others will live by the same rules you have for yourself.

No matter how upset you get about the actions or behaviors of others, it won’t change anything. The only person you have control over is yourself, and if you’re so busy being upset over the behavior of someone else then you have just given that person power over you. Another person cannot make you upset without your consent. Check your thoughts when this happens to see what you are focusing on.

Be careful not to get wrapped up in another person’s emotions, they are responsible for what they say, feel and act. Don’t allow them to drag you into their misery. Detach yourself from the drama.

Whatever it is that you feel another person is upsetting you about has more to do with you and less to do with them. Take responsibility for your emotions and get control over them. Make a commitment to yourself that you will no longer allow others to determine how you feel. As soon as you notice anger, hurt or fear arise take charge of those thoughts going through your mind, ask yourself who it is that is really in control of how you feel, is it another person that really has that kind of power over you or is it that you are letting them have that power over you?

Look at the upsetting thought and tell yourself “that is an interesting point of view ” and simply let it flow right past you, don’t hang onto it.

It’s not yours, it belongs to someone else.

~ M

The Biology of Kindness

The Biology of Kindness

Kindness. Are we wired for it?

In the last week I have spent time connecting and re-connecting with people; family, friends, people I love, and complete strangers.

I realized firsthand, that although I spend a lot of time interacting with people online or on the phone, I have really missed interacting with people in-person.

Nothing matches physically being present with someone. You experience the total person, their body language, eye contact, their touch, their smile, their laugh, you identify, you connect with them.

A few takeaways during the past week:

  • People want to be happy.
  • People do not want to suffer.

And regardless of how the media spins it on a daily basis, people want these things for everyone else.

People do care.

I am convinced we are wired for kindness, empathy, and compassion.

It’s there. Always. You just don’t see it, until something happens, and it’s noticed.

We saw it after the Sandy Hook tragedy, we saw it after Hurricane Sandy, we saw it after 9/11.

In the book “Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships”, Daniel Goleman points out:

The argument has long been made that we humans are by nature compassionate and empathic despite the occasional streak of meanness, but torrents of bad news throughout history have contradicted that claim, and little sound science has backed it. But try this thought experiment. Imagine the number of opportunities people around the world today might have to commit an antisocial act, from rape or murder to simple rudeness and dishonesty. Make that number the bottom of a fraction. Now for the top value you put the number of such antisocial acts that will actually occur today.

That ratio of potential to enacted meanness holds at close to zero any day of the year. And if for the top value you put the number of benevolent acts performed in a given day, the ratio of kindness to cruelty will always be positive. (The news, however, comes to us as though that ratio was reversed.)

Harvard’s Jerome Kagan proposes this mental exercise to make a simple point about human nature:

The sum total of goodness vastly outweighs that of meanness.

“Although humans inherit a biological bias that permits them to feel anger, jealousy, selfishness and envy, and to be rude, aggressive or violent,” Kagan notes, “they inherit an even stronger biological bias for kindness, compassion, cooperation, love and nurture – especially toward those in need.”

This inbuilt ethical sense, he adds, “is a biological feature of our species.”

People matter. People care. People are kind.

The good in the world vastly outweighs the bad.

Really.

Just pay attention. That is the key.