Over the past several months I’ve been writing to you about uncomfortable emotions from children, parenting, and the bruises in your heart. In reading these blogs, you’re thinking, “Okay, we get it Eeyore! Negative shit happens.” I’ve been writing about it a lot and will most likely dive into these topics again. I did spend my early 20s specializing in the reduction of high-magnitude, dangerous behaviors as a young clinician. I love hard emotions and challenging behaviors; not because of, well, the challenge, but because of the messages behind them. In my work as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, I was given the gift of knowledge. The knowledge that all behaviors have a function and a remedy if we want to invite them to leave.
Today, I’d like to flip the script (sorry Eeyore!) and tell you about what I believe the function and remedies are for our negative emotions. I would also like to plant the seed that as we intentionally offer to heal complex emotions, we can change our outlook and behaviors. That is what I want for you, what I want for everyone. I want us to know as humans that we are not the sum of our negative emotions, behaviors, and experiences. Yes, they are a part of life, but I truly believe that who we are and what we need is love. Let’s dive in.
Recognizing The Separation From Love
In writing to you about the bravery of witnessing your pain, I’ve asked you to lean into emotions and/or experiences that have brought you discomfort so that you may offer yourself healing. I’m sure I’ve written somewhere that an unhealed wound metastasizes. In asking yourself to witness your pain, what I truly am asking you to do is to ask yourself, “baby where does it hurt?” to your brave heart.
A surgeon or doctor asks you the same question to find out how to heal your physical wounds. Similarly to physical pain, our emotional pain must be identified to know what type of wound we have and what healing words and actions it needs. The difference here is that with physical wounds the treatments will vary based on the wound. With emotional wounds, while they need to be named to heal, the treatment is always self-love and boundaries.
You see the origin of emotional wounding is an experience when we were separated from our loving presence and subscribed to fear instead. In these moments something happened that was too overwhelming to stay in our loving nature and so we left ourselves. We left to either avoid or fight the fear and pain that came to us. We emotionally ran or armored up because we felt, well, threatened. In our subconscious minds, we innately choose this response because our species is one of survival. If there is a threat, you have to get away from that threat. At least that’s how our brains have developed starting back when we were avoiding the Saber Tooth Tigers. “Danger, no good, run or defend yourself!” The tricky part about the modern human is that emotionally we still respond to perceived threats like a tiger and have to do the work to know why we even responded that way.
Reconnect With The Love
Let me say more. Our brains are that of survival, they want to keep us safe and so we have billions of ways our brain speaks to itself to protect us. Our brain doesn’t speak to our conscious mind, it goes on autopilot. As our brain sees threats, because either our body or emotions say there is a threat, our brain then creates a series of stories and strategies to keep us safe from the threat. The primary problem with this is that conscious rerouting is normally done in childhood through stories of shame instead of reality. We all have a unique pattern or story of shame that was derived from a negative experience we wanted to protect ourselves from. As this shame story took root in our mind, each time fear came to us our shame told us, “there is something wrong with you but I can protect you from this fear.” When shame takes over our narrative, love is shut out, when love is shut out it’s impossible to heal. This is incredibly frustrating because shame when embeds itself into our subconscious, layers into multiple forms, and can last from decades to a lifetime. Shame is always the scar over your wound and a separation from love. This is why love is how we heal, our emotional wounds need to reconnect to our loving nature because fear separates us.
There is a peaceful existence when we can witness our scars, and the scars we gave to others, then offer them the love they always needed. Witnessing can bring up deep moments of pain, just as we sit in that pain and allow love in, the pain will go away. As love takes over we can offer the original wound the care it deserves, the repair that will change your wiring. Offering love to your core wounds and shame stories disconnects us from fear and reconnects us to our loving nature. When we are connected to our loving nature our life becomes ours again. We become the person we always were and can choose our path with intention and not based on the fears of our past.
This work is the bravest work we can do; to face the demons of our past that hold our hurt. Yet it’s also the most healing experience you can offer yourself so when pain comes now, or in the future, it does not reroute who you are and or what you believe about yourself. When you stay rooted in love you can heal all wounds and live a life of peace.
This is my wish for you.