Life is filled with experiences that lead us to experience all kinds of emotions. We easily embrace feelings that generate optimism; emotions like happiness, contentment, joy, and curiosity renew our souls. Yet in a full human experience, we also experience emotions on the other end of the spectrum that are less comfortable, like hurt. According to Samuel Chand's book Leadership Pain (2015), emotional pain/hurt itself isn’t the problem; the problem is our unwillingness to validate our pain or fear to face it.
Here's a strategy I use that you may also find helpful:
When uncomfortable emotions like hurt or pain arise, I make an effort to label what I am feeling and why. Connecting with my hurt helps me to figure out what situation triggered those emotions.
When emotional pain envelops me, I start by reflecting on it. I get curious about it - where did the hurt come from? What is it trying to teach me? What is it trying to keep me safe from? What is it trying to get me to do or change? Regardless of the reasons for my emotional experiences, I strive to acknowledge, experience, express, manage and when it's time, release this pain.
Once I've acknowledged and allowed myself to experience this uncomfortable emotion, I get to decide when I am ready to release my pain. I imagine the hurt as a big red balloon filled to near bursting. I visualize myself holding the balloon full of pain then releasing it into the vast blue sky, to be carried far away from me and say this affirmation:
Today, I choose to recognize my limitless capacity to let go of hurt. I plan to focus my efforts on releasing my pain to experience the peace and serenity that I deserve.
How much energy am I spending considering emotional hurts?
In what situations am I most challenged when it comes to letting go of my hurt?
In what ways have I become comfortable with pain? Are there secondary benefits I get from holding onto hurt?
What have I learned about relationships, love, myself, and life from my hurtful past experiences?
Am I aware of when it is time to release myself from my emotional pain?
If you're struggling to let go of pain, it may help to talk with a professional counselor. We'd be happy to help!