Must There be Emotional Pain Before it Heals?

Good morning to each of you. May your day be filled with gentleness and peace. The query that got my attention today was “must there be emotional pain before it heals?” This tugged at my heart, and so, I’d like to speak to this question today.

It has been my experience, and the experience of many I have heard talk about emotional pain, that there is pain first from the wound that needs to heal, and then, pain is followed by the healing.

Think of a wound that you get and how it heals. If it gets infected, the wound cannot heal. And, if a scab does form, there is an infection that festers beneath the scab.

This is true of our emotional pain, our emotional wounds. If we gloss over them or shove them away before looking at them, they fester below the surface, showing up in, perhaps, violent ways, but always showing up somehow. Maybe the pain manifests as physical symptoms such as heart disease or heart attack – even cancer – or maybe as irritable behavior.

We can look at these as signals of a deeper issue – one of buried emotional pain. If you think about it, we all suffer wounds to our psyche, inflicted unconsciously usually, but sometimes intentionally. The effect on us is hurt feelings. What do we do with the resultant feelings, with our emotional pain? We stuff them or lash out.

There is an altenative. That alternative is to quietly and gently clean out the wound. We do this by looking at it, feeling the hurt that was inflicted. We may be angry, yet stop and realize that beneath anger is often hurt, so we would be wise to look more closely at the hurt, the emotional pain.

How do we do this, you may ask? Well, I have found the most effective way to clear out emotional pain is to write about it through journaling. Furthermore, deep feelings will arise if we journal, print, with our non-dominant hand. For example, I am right-handed, and in early sobriety I injured that hand, and it was very painful to write with my right hand.

So, I taught myself to print with my left hand. All sorts of deep emotional pains came forth… literally flowed out onto the page. It is this which I recommend for you to do when you have emotional pain, when you have wounds you need to examine.

Additionally, have someone you trust that you can speak to about your pain. If your emotional pain is extensive, a therapist or counselor is usually preferred over a friend or family member because the friend or family member will get exhausted hearing about your feelings. Be aware of this, be considerate of them, and seek help from an outside person.

By writing and then talking about your emotional pain, you will see some transformations occur. You will see the festering of wounds decrease until they are healed.

Tell us, did you try the journaling with your non-dominant hand? If you did, what was the effect? Leave a comment and let us know what that was like for you.