A Long Day’s Journey
December 21, 2012
A Long Day’s Journey
How many days does it take to get through heartache? I have some clients that sit down and tell me they are still aching after two years, six years, even 20 years. What does it take to let go of what does not serve you and reach forward into a new paradigm of life?
When your body and mind go through something stressful, every cell in your body experiences it in a different way and stores it in a different way. The cells in your brain, the neuro pathways get effected by establishing a connection to the pain. So, if it is someone leaving you, whenever there is a chance of something or someone leaving you, this connection will be triggered.
On a cellular level your body can act in a completely different way. Your stomach may hurt. You may get anxious. You may get a headache. You may get itchy. It depends on the part of the body that was effected during the trauma.
The one thing that wasn’t effected was your spirit. It stays the same. It watched and gained a clear perspective of what happened. Now it may have shut down after the incident, because you don’t want to relive the pain. But, trust me, your spirit remained intact.
To get over what you went through, you have to get in touch with that spiritual place and—WITHOUT JUDGEMENT—watch what happened to you with compassion for all who were involved in the situation, starting with you.
Forgive yourself, then begin trying to forgive everyone in the action involved in your hurt and pain. Imagine trying to write a story about each character involved. Try to give each person a good reason for acting the way he or she did, without judgement. Every character has to have a history that caused them to act in the way he or she did.
For instance, you have been dealing with a narcissistic mother who has inflicted the worst kind of pain in your life. She has since passed from this world. As you look back on her life, you might consider that she may have been abused or raped in her teens, and was never able to get help or talk about it. As a result she became controlling. You were the only person she could successfully control. It would make sense that she didn’t want you to date or have children. Etc.
This is just one example. If you want to heal, you have to find a compassionate break in your story as you relive it to be able to move on. Maybe that time isn’t now, but you will not move on until this happens. Anger just helps you relive it and re-energizes the situation. It displaces your feelings. It doesn’t heal them.
When I talk about forgiveness, I never mean having to let someone back into your life either. Forgiveness is for you. A compassionate break is for your brain and your heart. The person who did this to you probably doesn’t belong in your life. Great and sturdy boundaries are highly recommended when you are doing this work. The last thing you want to do is make yourself venerable for the same thing to happen again.
So, you ask yourself, how long will it take for you to get over your heartache? And the answer is: As long as it takes for you to find a clear pathway to compassion in your heart about each and every character in your painful story.