UNIVERSE WITHIN by Gwen Randall-Young
Sometimes, there are people in our lives with whom we have painful connections. It might be a parent, whom we hold responsible for a difficult childhood, a friend who has betrayed us, an ex-partner or a supervisor or colleague in the workplace.
These relationships may remain unresolved either because raising the issues may create more difficulty or because we simply do not want the relationship anymore. Either way, as we try to move on, we may find we take the pain with us.
Is it that the person hurt us so deeply that our wounds simply will not heal? Is it our karma to suffer some punishment for harm we have done to others in this or a past life? Or is the pain, in part, our own creation? Any or all of these reasons may be true, but the third option is the only one that allows us to create a different future for ourselves.
When we talk about creating our own pain, this does not mean that we have somehow ‘attracted’ painful situations to facilitate our learning. It means the situation, in itself, is not the problem, but rather it is our response to the situation that creates the pain. It is our holding on and continuing to put our energy into the memory of the problems that keeps the pain alive and thriving within our consciousness.
Our learning is not so much to ensure that we avoid painful situations and relationships; that would mean avoiding love and life. It is about learning to let go of the pain. If we keep thinking and talking about the painful past and begin to define ourselves in terms of what happened to us, we bind that pain to ourselves. This does not mean we should suppress pain, however.
It is important to talk about what has happened to us, but the goal is to heal it and move on, rather than continuing to etch it deeper and deeper into our psyches. Speaking badly of the ones who hurt us or fuelling vindictive feelings only creates more toxic energy. This is harmful to the physical body and, like an inversion layer, blocks the rays of the light of wisdom to which we all have access. This kind of toxic energy hardens our hearts.
The tendency to hold on to pain, almost like an emotional constipation, may, in part, be genetic. I know of one family in which for at least three and perhaps even four consecutive generations, there was one sibling who stopped speaking to one or more of the other siblings and the silence lasted for decades, even until death. The individual held on to perceived slights, ruminated and obsessed about them and never let go.
Genetics create predispositions, not destinies. A family history of pain and suffering is all the more reason to work to change the pattern, rather than unconsciously passing it on.
Letting go of pain does not mean that whatever someone has done to us is OK. It only means that we do not choose to spend the rest of our lives suffering from it.
Others can inflict pain upon us, but only we can release ourselves from emotional pain. It takes a lot of energy to maintain the pain, thus releasing it frees up large stores of energy for creativity, loving and moving forward in our lives.
Think of every resentment, pain and grudge you carry as a heavy piece of baggage. Picture yourself dragging this baggage everywhere you go. Then, imagine setting the bags down and walking into your future without them. All that is left now is to choose what you will do with your baggage.
It’s your future and it will be what you make it. Choose consciously.
Gwen Randall-Young is a psychotherapist in private practice and author ofGrowing Into Soul: The Next Step in Human Evolution. For more articles, permission to reprint and information about her books and “Deep Powerful Change” personal growth/hypnosis CDs, visit www.gwen.ca