Have you at some time during your life, had a traumatic experience that hurt you to the core of your being? Do you believe that it has damaged you irrevocably?
Do you come to it again and again in the dead of night, reliving it, crying and shaking, blaming it for the many failures in your life?
I did that for many years. Until one such torturous night when I suddenly had an insight and I have never looked back.
Again, as on so many occasions, something had happened to upset me and I had these people, these wrongdoers, in my mind’s sight, picturing them somewhere having another sip from the bottomless supply that alcohol is. Pictured them having fun, completely unaware of my suffering.
And then it struck me: they are no longer responsible for my suffering. I am. How come?
By going back to the incident again and again, by remembering it, I was reliving it and hurting myself. These people were nowhere to be seen. They were doing nothing. They were somewhere living the good life.
I was doing it all. By remembering. By remembering every hurtful word, every careless act, I was reliving it.
I thought to myself: how many times have you cried about this? Has it helped you at all? Has it helped you to ‘work through’ your hurt?
The answer was simple: no it hadn’t. In fact, it had prolonged and consolidated that hurt until the wound formed a scab that was like a wall I couldn’t get over.
And with that insight, I had another: stop going there. Leave the hurt where it happened: in the past where it belongs. Don’t drag it into every subsequent moment and spoil the present as well.
An unexpected benefit.
Because I stopped going back to the events in the past, I had no one to blame anymore. I had to take responsibility for my own happiness. I could no longer convince myself that I was this miserable, defeated excuse of a human being. Over time, I was able to find the courage to take life on and live my life with a quiet joy.
Of course it took time. Transformation takes time, but once you have an insight that you know in the core of your being is true, the process has already started. And like a flower that can’t help but to bloom under the right conditions, so will you.
If you are reading this, and think that it makes sense but you could not possibly do it, just consider the possibility and let it be with you. It can be a bit much to take in and you might feel that to forget what you lived through and survived at great cost to yourself, diminishes the wrong that was done to you.
But consider this: blame, resentment and hurt feelings, even if justified, will glue you to your past and keep you there. Is that where you want to spend the rest of your life?
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