Unseen Wounds: Emotional Pain
by Genevieve Votra | April 28, 2023
Pain is part of life. Feeling it is part of being human. It is our body’s way of telling us the something is wrong. Not all pain is physical in nature. We also experience emotional pain as we go through life. Unlike the physical ones that are more overt in nature, the emotional ones are not so obvious. These are the invisible wounds that we all carry with us.
What are emotional wounds? Emotional wounds are a set of human experiences that cause pain and anguish on a deep psychological level. These are wounds that are caused by friends, family members, colleagues, etc. They can also be tied to some struggles and pains that we have experienced or are experiencing.
Because these hurts are not physical, they are somehow less real to us. But they are as real as the physical ones.
At every stage in our lives, we may experience emotional wounds—even way before we are born. These are called prenatal emotional wounds. A fetus is capable of experiencing pain and can retain this after birth. Then there are our childhood emotional wounds (i.e., divorce of parents, death of a family member, rejection, etc.) and adolescent emotional wounds (i.e., breakup, rejection from friends, unmet expectations, etc.). Then there are the adult emotional wounds, which can come from a myriad of reasons, the core of which is the violation of trust.
We all stumble onto these emotional wounds during the course of our lives no matter how much we try to avoid them. The question is, how can we heal from these emotional traumas?
Healing an emotional wound can sometimes be difficult as we sometimes block it from our consciousness. Most of us have dismissed or ignored or avoided our emotional hurts. But just like our physical wounds need healing and tender loving care, we also need to treat our emotional wounds the same way.
Here are some ways to heal our emotional wounds:
- Recognize the cause of your emotional pain. Since most of our emotional pain is hidden, we need to dig deeper to our psyche and identify the root causes of our pain. We need to look at our past experiences to reveal some of our unresolved wounds. When we develop more awareness, we can pinpoint the causes of our emotional pain, and we can be on our way of finding the healing that we need to do.
- Be in the present moment. Instead of filing our lives with mindless activities so we can escape our pain, we need to be consciously aware of where we are emotionally and mentally. When we present, it slows us down, which in turn allows us to be more conscious and aware of our feelings. Once you identify your pain, you can then acknowledge it, validate it, and then intentionally decide release it.
- Commit to heal. You cannot hurry your healing. You need time to process your hurts. Know that a lifetime of pain has accumulated in our psyches, and we need to unpack them one by one. The decisionto heal is made at one moment, but the process of healing takes time especially for deeply rooted pain. It is going to be hard before it gets better, but it will get better. So be patient and commit to the process.
Healing our emotional pain takes time. There is no magic wand and fairy godmothers to make it all better. You only have yourself, so be patient with yourself, encourage yourself, and be proud that you are taking the steps toward healing your mind, heart, and spirit.