Healing Takes Time

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Car problems. 

I love my car, but I hate when it’s time to dig deep in the finances and address the maintenance!

Over the past few weeks, I began to notice an annoying noise when I would engage my brakes. Then, it got worse—I started hearing a grinding sound, which is an indication that the brake pads are about gone and rubbing against the rotor. I knew it would be a while before I could get to the brake shop; with work obligations and family duties, I just couldn’t fit it in. So, until I could get to the brake shop, I would gingerly engage my brakes when I had to stop. 

At some point, I departed my job early and got the brakes replaced. No more grinding or squeaking noise when braking!

But then, I began to notice something.

Although my brakes were newly replaced, strangely enough, I spent so much time previously compensating for the wear and tear on my brake pads and rotors by carefully engaging the brakes, I was still gingerly engaging the brakes when stopping the car despite the braking system being replaced and up to date. And at some point, I had to tell myself, “You know, you don’t have to compensate any longer—your brakes are good!” Now, if that’s not enough to detox from being traumatized from failing brakes, I’d hear any noise while driving; I reacted as if it’s a byproduct of the brakes failing.

You know, when it comes to healing, especially when it’s getting over a breakup, an unfaithful partner, a horrific employment situation, emotional abuse from your inner circle of family and friends, even when removed from those situations, it is common to have lingering effects from those experiences. If you’re not reasonably recovered from an emotionally devastating crisis, you will bring your lingering baggage to the following situation. Those unresolved fumes will influence your future decisions because you’ll see things through the lenses of the pain that you’ve encountered. 

Typical example: A man ends a relationship with a woman because she’s been unfaithful. But instead of healing from that disappointment, he goes right back into the world of dating—and essentially penalizes every woman he encounters by assuming they are all trustworthy. And the issue isn’t actually the women’s ability to be reliable, but rather it is the guy—and his choice to not address his mental and emotional health so he can begin to trust again and get over his past hurts.

Are you still in a place of hurt from a previous disappointment? Here are a few steps that could help get back to a healthier place:

·       Become familiar with emotional regulation and distress tolerance and skills.

·       Forgiveness—it does not only help to remove the imprint of disappointment, but it’s good for you as well.

·       Recognize that being human is flawed; everyone has disappointed someone else. So give space for people’s imperfections and don’t hold them to perfection.

·       Minimize isolation by connecting with others.

·       Seek out support.

·       Participate in social activities, even if you don’t feel like it.

·       Minimize self-blame and judgment.

·       Practice self-compassion.

If you put the time in to recover from your disappointment, you will be amazed how differently you’ll engage future possibilities requiring your emotional investment.


Picture Courtesy of @mal_bailey

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