Psychological Wounds, Inner Children, and the Beauty of Emotional Pain
Upon reflection of yesterday’s decision made out of anger and a desire to stop the pain of loneliness, I have come to the realization that there might be another way to change my situation besides moving to another building. I asked the question that I probably should have asked before, and that is why do I feel lonely and isolated. Delving deeper into the origins of those feelings brought me to an inner child who was stuck in the past in which she was isolated and alone. Once I paid attention to that inner child, the one who spoke through me in my last post, I realized that the loneliness and isolation that I was feeling the other day had very little to do with my current situation. In retrospect, the feeling of anger born of a sense of powerlessness should have been an indication to me that there was more to the situation than what I was experiencing at the surface. Once again, the strong emotions that I felt were a reflection of my psychological wounds.
Psychological wounds manifest as parts of myself that are stuck in the past because of childhood trauma or self abandonment. They keep me in the past and make it difficult for me to discern what is happening in my current reality. These wounds take the form of inner children who take over in times of stress or distress and make it hard for me to make adult decisions. In the moments where situations arise that evoke emotions that I have suppressed, I am transported back to the past and I become an infant or a small child unable to make sense of the situation, and like an infant or small child, I cry out for attention, love, and comfort.
Seeking those things externally can never meet my needs because it is not the adult L’Shawn who is crying out, it is the inner child, and I am the only one who can sooth my inner children. Knowing this, I realize that in times when I am crying out for attention and significance, it is most likely an inner child calling out for my attention so that I can bring them out of the perpetual pain in which they are trapped and integrate them into my psyche making myself whole one child at a time.
In the past, before I understood what psychological wounds were and how they affected my behavior, I thought that these immature reactions to various upsets in my life were an indication that I was irreparably damaged. This would give rise to feelings of intense shame and despair and I would spiral into a depression that would last anywhere from a few weeks to a month. Believing that my negative emotions were indicative of weakness and imperfection, I would deny my feelings of anger, loneliness, and isolation thereby ignoring my inner children who were in desperate need of my attention. This of course did not resolve the situation, so I was stuck in a cycle of of emotional stability punctuated with bouts of deep depression.
I have known about psychological wounds for about three years now. I learned about them when I was searching for answers to cure my depression. The late Peter K. Gerlach, who passed away recently, posted a series of videos on YouTube. These videos made it possible for me to understand and name the root cause of my immature and unproductive behavior. However, it wasn’t until I started this process of self-love that I have been able to benefit from Gerlach’s lessons. It wasn’t until I was able to give myself permission to feel angry, and lonely that I was able to move past these emotions to their source.
Giving myself permission to feel angry and to react to my feelings of loneliness the other day allowed me to see the truth behind those unpleasant emotions. Once I was able to move through the emotions rather than block or resist them, I could do the shadow work that was necessary to resolve the real issue which was an inner child in need of rescue. Now that she is in a place of love and acceptance, I no longer feel lonely and isolated. I was able to be present for most of the day today. I connected with a number of my colleagues, and I was able to be vulnerable without the fear of being judged or rejected. I was able to be myself, and it was a great feeling.
Having that clarity of mind and being self aware really emphasized the fact that I was not reacting to my work situation at all but rather, my work situation had awoken an inner child which transported me to the past and out of the present. It is through this realization that I have now begun to grasp how the universe teaches us through contrast and reflections. Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world when that inner world is fractured or not integrated. Any time we experience an emotion that is similar to a past unresolved emotion, we are pulled back into the past where the emotion originated. Until the experience tied to that emotion is resolved, it will continue to arise throughout our lives. In other words, we cannot move forward or be fully present if parts of us are trapped in the past.
Today I learned a profound lesson about myself and the nature of psychological pain. It is through our psychological pain that we learn about our wounds. It is through compassion and unconditional love that heal those wounds and reintegrate the parts of us that are trapped in the past. The ability to feel emotional pain is a beautiful and wonderful thing. It is the first step to awareness. Without emotional pain, we cannot heal, we cannot grow, and we cannot move forward. Before I hated being in emotional pain, but now I welcome it because it is an opportunity for growth. It is also an opportunity for empowerment.
Any emotional pain that we feel can be resolved through introspection. This means that the power to heal is squarely in our hands. We all have it within us to heal ourselves; we only need the tools with which to explore our inner world. We are fortunate to live in a time and place where there are so many tools available to help us explore our psyche. Each of us has our own individual paths and we must come to this realization in our own time and on our own terms. Some of us come to this faster than others, and some of us go our whole lives without realizing this. However, when we do reach a point where we realize that the answers are truly on the inside, it is an amazing experience. We are then able to be present and to connect and to really live our lives to their fullest. It is my sincere hope that we all get to experience this at some part in our lives.
So now that I have learned this, I have decided that I do not need to move to the other office. For now, I will stay where I am, and I will learn new things about myself while I’m interacting with my fellow teachers. I will learn how I make connections and how I become part of a group. It will be the first time in a long time that I will have allowed myself to belong. It’s an exciting prospect.
Until next time, I wish you all the very best.