As fragile human beings there is one experience above all that connects and reinforces the closeness of our shared human condition. Howling with newborn lungs, we are all equally powerless as we emerge screaming into this complex and beautiful world. We have no voice, no choice but to take our first feeble breaths of air or perish, arriving both innocent and oblivious to the problems that permeate our surroundings. Some would say that this simplicity amounts to the sweetest and purest joy of life: ignorant bliss. But what few are able to recognize is that each and every day holds the possibility of rebirth, not in blissful ignorance, but in an inspiring re-ignition of the passion that comes with a positive outlook on life. That doesn’t mean that the human experience will ever be simple, but to live under the cumbersome shadows of our histories just seems downright exhausting. So follow me and let us begin.
The first and most fundamental step to a healthy recovery when suffering from any psychological trauma is acceptance; individuals who have been hurt, betrayed and abused have the right to feel angry. Although most people are not comfortable confronting their innermost pain, the reality is that anger needs to be acknowledged in order to begin the healing process. If not dealt with directly the harboring of negative emotions can damage personal health on many levels, including the disruption of personal relationships, autoimmune suppression, higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and consequently increased mortality. Recognizing the hurt you feel in yourself and see reflected in the people around you is the integral first step to releasing negativity and embracing empathy. When compassion reigns freely in your life, you begin to more genuinely understand the interconnectedness between people’s emotions, actions, and deepest aspirations.
Once you’ve thoroughly reflected on the source of your pain, take a few moments to practice letting go of your emotions. Breathe. Meditate deeply if you have to. Do whatever it takes you to feel utterly calm and in complete control of your mind and body. I know some will be hesitant to try, but being in a soundless environment with total physical tranquility actually works wonders on the human psyche. Try dispersing any negative memories that arise and instead actively focus on remaining calm and intent on healing. Ommmmm.
Upon achieving a reasonable level of zen, it’s time to learn how to forgive. To truly continue healing, the first person you’ll need to forgive is yourself. Learning to accept the painful realities of the world and coming to terms with your vulnerability will both help you to ascend difficult memories and embrace your emotions. Finding common ground between yourself and an aggressor is also a useful way of developing forgiveness. But remember, it is extremely important to openly recognize your differences with respect and understanding, for maintaining this degree of separation is a vital and often missing component of promoting emotional health. When the blinding barriers of anger finally come crashing down, you will quickly thank forgiveness for melting its way into your heart. Through this absolution you will effectively ready your spirit for the final step of healing.
The last and broadest step of a healthy healing process is to wholeheartedly embrace humanity. I’m sure some of you are grumbling and growling right about now. Yes, the world is destroying itself with both armaments and apathy. Yes, we’re a deranged, wacky bunch – mad as a hatter. And yes, we’re just as often fearful of change as we are embracing of it. But we are also all capable of profound and powerful transformation. In the end it’s not as fragile human beings but as creatures of passion that we arise into this world, skillful wielders of tender compassion, empathy and above all else, love. So let us put these powerful tools to worthy use. Embracing the unifying advocacy of peace, love and understanding, let us begin our journey on the path to healing ancient wounds.
A wonderful article about anger, forgiveness and the healing process can be found here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/liking-the-child-you-love/201010/anger-forgiveness-and-healing