Healing Old Hurts

“We are often haunted by important relationships from the past that influence us unconsciously in the present. As we work them through, they go from haunting us to becoming simply part of our history.” 
~ Norman Doidge, The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science

 

Why is it that some things are so hard to let go? I’m not talking about that happy reminiscing we all indulge in from time to time, where we look back on relationships or incidents from our past with a fondness or a good humour. I’m referring instead to those things that we can’t seem to move on from – where remembering them and recounting them re-opens old wounds, and causes pain almost as fresh as the day we were first hurt.

One of the precious privileges I have as a psychic is bearing witness to the pain many people suffer around their relationships. Even people who seem to have the most ‘together’ lives often open up and reveal how much they still hurt over relationships with family and others that they love or have loved deeply.

Old ladies in their nineties still worrying about fallings-out with their sisters when they were mere teenagers, old men are still bowed and shamed by incidents with their fathers or grandfathers.  People yearn and ache for lost loves and relationships that ended badly. We grieve mistakes and bad choices, and crucify ourselves for past decisions. We carry these hurts with us though life.  Why? They are all unresolved issues.

If you fight and then make up, or discuss things and decide to part ways, that’s a resolution. When we have resolution and closure – even if it’s painful – something inside us lets go and we find ourselves able to eventually move on.

An unresolved issue is any situation where we didn’t feel heard or loved or supported or understood. Where we never got to a conclusion or a resolution.

Sometimes we are fortunate enough to be able to find resolution years after a situation has occurred. A friend’s father had a difficult upbringing.  His own father had been extremely hard on his children, and in some cases that hardness had actually been cruel. My friend’s dad had been dogged by this his whole adult life. As his father became ill and required care, my friend’s Dad, by now a man in his fifties, finally decided to speak to his father.  The older man had no idea that his actions had so hurt his son and other children. He thought he’d been being a good father by ‘toughening up his children’ so that they wouldn’t suffer in life the way that he had. The old man apologised unreservedly.  It led to a great healing and a new closeness in the relationship between father and son, and my friend’s dad felt as if a weight had finally been lifted from his shoulders.

Occasionally, after time has passed, we are lucky enough to be able to have that conversation, and finally feel heard and acknowledged.

Another friend found the courage to speak to an older sibling about something that had divided their relationship as teenagers and stopped them speaking with one another.  They are now in their sixties.  It didn’t go as my friend had hoped.  They talked, but there was no apology, no new closeness, no opportunity for a mended relationship.  Still, it gave my friend closure. She has stopped wondering if the relationship can be salvaged.  She has mourned it and let it go.

It is worth attempting resolution, or seeking closure. Even when the outcome is not what you may have hoped, it can allow you to let go of the thing you have carried around inside you for so long.

Sometimes we’re able to have that conversation.

But when we can’t, there are still options.

If the person is alive but unwilling, if they are no longer able to be found, or if they have passed over, we can hold the conversation in our head instead.  We can write them a letter we never send.  We can still get it all off our chest.

Sometimes WE are the person we have the issue with. Well, we’ll still need to have that dialogue, even if it’s with ourselves.

Good therapists can help here. Hanging onto this painful stuff buried deep within is never good for us, and can lead to anxiety issues, depression and even post-traumatic stress.

Sometimes what is most needed is simply to accept the other person and their behaviour; to understand that they are who they are, that they won’t change, and that expecting them to be different will always cause disappointment and hurt for you.

Finding resolution and letting go of old hurts is about energetically releasing ourselves from the past. Sure, we may end up with a scar, but a scar can’t be reopened like a wound can. We may have a reminder, but we can find ways to accept, to forgive, to put it behind us, to move on.

Most importantly, when we heal old hurts, we gather all of the emotion and energy that we were placing on that person or situation and it becomes available for us to use in new ways.  We can put it towards creative projects, new love, business, health and well-being. Tremendous energy can be wasted by being caught up in the past. So much so that it prevents us from living in the present or moving into the future in any satisfying way.

Healing old hurts is possible, and is one of the most worthwhile things you’ll ever do. 

* Other posts you may find helpful around this topic are:

Emotions and their impact on your health

Knowing when to let go

Parents are also people

Closing the door on abusive relationships

Working with the energy of forgiveness (this one also has a guided meditation)

 

7 thoughts on “Healing Old Hurts

  1. What a beautiful piece of writing. I have to echo what you wrote by sharing one of my many stories I have personally experienced. I had an unhappy childhood caused through an abusive relationship with my step father, during my adolescence years I carried that around more and built up more hate for him. 7 years ago I began my attunement to reiki level 1, then going on to level 2 and master. After my 2nd attunement my mother asked me to give my step dad healing, he had become quite ill, I really didn’t want to, but she insisted and I proceeded. To cut a long story short, it transpired he was dying, I was able to feel this through reiki, and through the weeks that followed I continued giving him pain relief, and one day he sobbed through reiki, explaining after he had seen an angel and knew where he was going after he died. He had feared he would go to a dark place but now knew he was going to a beautiful place. He went onto to explain to my Mum how as a child he was sexually abused, locked in cudpboards and had an awful childhood. My Mum never knew of this, it allowed me to gain an deeper understanding of somebody I had once viewed as nasty, evil for want of a better word. Now I was able to walk his walk, gain an understanding and talk with him, giving forgiveness, love and compassion to him, he passed over a week later. When someone causes pain to you, it is just a reflection of their self being projected onto yourself, realising that sets you free, where there is darkness I always send light and love and understanding x x x

  2. Good morning Nicole, Rushing out the door but needed to say this is yet another well written piece that should be compulsory reading for everyone. I will share it with a few dear friends who have unresolved family issues and with a couple of others who can’t let go of circumstances they found themselves amidst. I can attest personally to the power of the UNPOSTED LETTER for helping to release, resolve and achieve acceptance of an enormous sadness that affected the first 30-years of my life. One can be completely honest and open in the never-to-be-posted letter and it is very liberating. Your readers will see a different jewel sparkling within your sharing words today depending on their circumstances. Wishing you all a gem-filled day …… Mitch xox

  3. Writing a letter is definitely something that works. I did one recently (and unexpectedly when I realised a situation I thought I’d come to terms with, hadn’t). The emotions that can be released via this are powerful. For me, I write the letter, then read it once, then I burn it with a sage smudge stick and let the ashes be washed away with running water.

  4. Wow I really needed this post. Thank you so much. I have used the meditation (3 times this afternoon !) from a previous blog and it was just the ticket. Annette thank you also for your comments. I found them very moving. … more tissues !

    I hope your Doctors visit was beneficial for you.

    xx

  5. Wonderful words Nicole! As a psychologist, I have given the same message more times than I can count. It needs repeating until it is no longer necessary and I do not see that day coming. There are always more in need.
    As for myself, closure had to come through my writing. Thanks for saying what needs to be said.

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