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How to Heal Emotional Pain

Mental Health

July 26, 2021

New Fears vs. Old Fears

Anyone who claims that they have never been deeply hurt or had any fears is lying

to you and themselves. No one and mean no one gets through life without

experiencing both. It is part of the human condition, and it’s not going away anytime

soon.

We are hard-wired to feel fear which was originally essential for our very existence.

Back in the caveman days, you could turn a corner and be faced with a man-eating

dinosaur. Your brain would sum up the situation and trigger one of two reactions.

You either fought the dinosaur or tried to outrun it. It was a straightforward, concise

system that worked for millions of years. The problem is it no longer works in

modern-day society. We have become the top predator in the food chain and no

longer worry about being eaten by a much larger aggressive beast.

Now the “predator” in early childhood is our parents or perhaps another adult. And

under extreme conditions of emotional abuse, abandonment, or trauma, we resort

back to the same fight or flight self-protective state. Once in a therapist’s office as an

adult, the therapist asked me to go back to the age of seven years old. When I did, as

I was sitting there in her office; my feet started going up and down as if I were trying

to run. I told her that I was hiding in a closet and was scared to death of my Father.

He was emotionally and verbally abusive, and I was hiding from him in a closet. She

asked me why my feet were moving, and I said I want to run and get away. She

reminded me that I was safe now, but I still couldn’t stop moving my legs. This is a

perfect example of a fight or flight response.

The Fragility of Being Human

As we get older and experience life, we all make wrong choices, feel disappointment

in others, ourselves, and experience emotional pain, including heartbreak. Those of

us who didn’t get the proper mirroring from our parents and the permission to

express our feelings had no choice but to suppress them. The question is if we

couldn’t talk about them and be afraid to feel them because we got the message that

they were not important or valid, then where did they go?

The answer is they got pushed down and stored in our bodies. If we start doing this

in early childhood, the odds are we will continue to do so throughout our adult life.

With time, these stored emotions become trapped in certain parts of our bodies and

physically affect us.

Physical Symptoms

For example, I have lower back pain that started in my thirties. I had undergone

every test known to modern medicine with no concrete diagnosis. By my forties, I

developed arthritis in the same area. Since childhood, I have stored all my pain from

abandonment issues in my lower back. This is where the root chakra is located, the

energy center for our feelings of stability and security. This makes complete sense

since I had neither in my childhood.

Many health issues can be tied to stored emotions. I was diagnosed with a thyroid

condition in my early thirties. This is not surprising because I was not allowed to

express myself vocally as a child. I was raised to be seen and not heard, and if I were

upset or crying, My Father would say stop crying and go to my room. The thyroid gland is located

near the throat chakra, and hence the connection between my suppressed voice

developed into hypothyroidism.

Getting to the Root of the Pain

The practice of meditation is becoming mainstream today, and thankfully more and

more people are turning inward for stillness and answers. The practice of grounding

during meditation is to connect with the earth and be more present in our own

bodies. For many of us, that have experienced early childhood trauma, this is

difficult. Our souls tend to be just outside of our bodies because we feel safer there.

It’s like stepping outside to avoid getting hurt or to prevent emotions that we don’t

want to feel.

There are several techniques for grounding. The one I use is to imagine a cord

coming from my root chakra or lower back. While sitting or lying down, imagine

that cord going down into the ground. At first, this may be very scary, and you might

not be able to hold the cord in the ground but for a few seconds. That is fine. This is

a process that, like most, requires practice. Trust me, with practice. You will be able

to hold it there longer and longer. And eventually, you will be able to have it go

deeper and deeper.

You Have to Feel to Heal

Once you get comfortable grounding while meditating, move your intention into

your body. You can do a complete body scan starting at the top of your head or your

toes and slowly move your focus and see what comes up. You might feel a tightness

in a specific area, a feeling in your gut, or your breathing might become labored. All

of these symptoms are normal and could indicate stored emotions.

After doing this several times, try to stay in that area and ride out the feeling. It will

get stronger initially but stay with it. It will subside. You do not need to ask or know

what caused this pain or fear. All the matter is that you acknowledge it. This might

take several times of concentrating on the same area with waves of pain coming up,

but they will subside. The pain cannot hurt you, and feel free to say that again and

again in your head. By acknowledging the emotions, you are releasing them. You

should feel lighter and calmer. You are healing yourself and releasing what should

have been a long time ago.

There are many different ways to heal. Storing these emotions that we no longer

deserve or want can prevent us from fully loving and accepting ourselves. We are all

made up of light and dark. By acknowledging the dark part of ourselves, we release

it allowing more light to come in—what a beautiful gift to give ourselves.

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Aging gracefully

relationships

spirituality

mental health

Categories

Reading suggestions

Embracing Our Age

 Spiritual Practices

Healing From Within