“As long as you are unable to access the power of the Now, every emotional pain that you experience leaves behind a residue of pain that lives in you.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
For some, pain acts as a wake-up call, for others, pain represents a continuous pattern that seems to lead nowhere. No matter where you are in your life right now, pain has completely changed your mental and emotional setup.
We are wired to go into the direction of pleasure, but no matter how hard we try to avoid discomfort, we seem to bump into it almost every step of the way. Here are a few reasons for why this happens:
We have consciously chosen to embody our potential, but in doing so, we have taken on the responsibility to look within ourselves
This life-changing decision gets us closer to what is authentic inside but also dissolves the coping mechanisms we have used so far for survival.
This process releases tension and repressed emotions and expands what we perceive as the limits of the self. As a result, agony arises. But this pain is not something that came out of the blue, it is something that was already there, skilfully masked by distraction and conventionality.
We resist change. Defending the comfort zone where everything is safe and apparently under control, is something that many people embrace. But in doing so, we defy the purpose of being.
We cannot expand in defensiveness, and desperately trying to maintain our world as we think it should be, brings not only disappointment but also a great deal of pain.
“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” ~ Haruki Murakami
When you are not at ease, this doesn’t mean you’re off track. Pain is an indicator that something inside yourself has shifted and that it is time to take action so you can align your emotional space to your heartfelt desire. Mind controls emotions, to some degree, therefore, the way you think amplifies certain feelings that drive your human experience.
No matter your current situation, here are 8 tips to recover from emotional pain:
When going through a difficult period in your life, stay as much as possible in the present moment. Honour your pain in such a way that allows it to manifest. If there’s no way to avoid pain, the key to freedom is to mindfully go through it. Suffering shows you how to reach yourself again, and ignoring what causes you pain will eventually make things worse. You don’t need to handle everything at once. Just create a space within yourself where self-observance can bloom, because no amount of pain can survive for a long time in awareness.
Patience is more than a virtue, it is a pacifier. The more you want to get rid of pain, the easier it is for it to crawl back in. If you cannot accept what’s going on, let life be the medicine. Take small steps each day towards recovery. Spontaneous physical, mental or emotional healing is not unheard of.
Do not try harder
Try less. Try less until your attempts transform into a natural recovery. When you force yourself to overcome a setback, you add another layer of trauma on top of the initial pain. Letting go is not easy, but it is the shortest path to joy.
Stop moving in circles
Pain is like a confined space that gets tighter and tighter each time you want to break free. Instead of focusing on the emotional claustrophobia, practice tapping (EFT) to gain relief from the distress and painful memories or even conscious breathing is effective. Your breath opens up the spaces within yourself that have been flooded with suffering, and pain cannot thrive in an expansive environment.
What you feel is real. Give yourself permission to grieve, to question, to rest. You gain nothing by throwing stones at yourself. Stay with your pain for as long as it takes; eventually, it will fade and make room for the teaching you’ve been waiting for. Remember that nothing is random.
Do the things that make you feel a little bit better
You may feel like taking some days off from work. Do that. You may want to spend a whole week in bed or to visit an old friend that lives abroad. Acknowledge your impulses and see where they come from. Get in touch with what you want and act on it.
Look at your life
Travel through the land of your memories as a spectator. Remain detached yet attentive. Think about the events that once caused you harm and, more importantly, look at what followed those events. Pain is related to personal and spiritual growth. Journeying within is more like a treasure hunt than a walk in the park. Nevertheless, the gifts it uncovers are priceless.
Hold on until forgiveness comes
Forgiving others for hurt, abandonment, betrayal and everything else starts with self-forgiveness. Abiding in peace is not easily acquired, but once you embark on this healing voyage, things will start to fall into place. Until you reach your destination, go towards the people and experiences that give you meaning. Do not distract yourself from whatever you are feeling but choose a way to make your pain conscious.
Complete recovery after a traumatic event starts with your availability and intention. We were not designed to marinate in suffering for extended periods of time. Most of us do that because we don’t know there is always a way out of pain and into the self.