Displacement of pain is not healing. When we take on someone else’s hurt, or we set the hurt aside and do not confront it and feel it in its fullness and complexity, we do not allow the wound/trauma to truly heal. I have been slowly removing the phrase “Let it go” as a way of communicating “Let yourself heal.”
This year I have been allowing myself to be fully invested in viewing my entire life as spiritual practice,l- every breath, every movement, every touch, every thought, every word rooted in gratitude, understanding and what I have found more and more each day to be a deep intention for healing. This virtual sharing is me working on communicating my experience with this healing in an in-depth reflection, as I confront and embrace my hurt and traumas in my every day. It is healing in itself to connect with others who experience the same, who recognize your truth- your human experience- as connected to theirs, who understand how important this reflection and declaration is and that as you write/speak your existence they can echo and reflect it with you.
There is so much pain that we allow ourselves to be unconscious of, that we choose not to dig into because it is overwhelming, because it is terrifying, because we have been taught to avoid that pain, to keep it bottled inside us. And often I have held pain within myself in order to relieve pain from others who I care for in my life. This does not make way for us to truly heal. I reflect on the repeated moments that I have allowed myself to keep my thoughts, my words, my feelings, my actions from surfacing to avoid causing pain to others- how often I have left my truths from living and being shared. This cautiousness as I look back at these moments have not helped the hurt from existing. I believe that these unconfronted moments were opportunities to heal, and because I did not allow myself to live fully in the pain and discomfort of that truth, my truth, or the truth of another in that moment- instead I made a decision to create an act of sacrifice that forced meto give up something or give into something in order to uplift another, to ease a situation- I “let it go.” But I question if it is ever “let go” of fully if we do not first fully embrace the pain that has transpired. Rather than letting go of the hurt, the wound, how can we tend to it, how can we approach it with compassion and with the want to understand where the pain is rooted?
When I remember these moments of sacrifice, where I felt I just “let it go” for the sake of moving forward and not digging too deeply into what a hurtful experience had created between me and another- I have found that the pain continued to exist and may have also festered into resentment, distrust, may have awoken my ego making me feel the other owes me in some way and should regard my sacrifice as something that saved our relationship. This pain that continued to live, as it was just displaced, or transferred to a place unseen, unthought of, untouched- brings on thought, speech, and action that made me unable to fully build with them again, and to build with others in the same regard, it mades me live in fear of re-experiencing the pain, because I had not experienced the healing from it. That has become clear to me, and so I question- how can you look back at an experience of conflict and feel settled, at ease, accepting of it, if you have not felt what healing from the pain of that moment is like. If I cannot look back and see how that confronting that pain grew my relationship with another, how it made room for newness to grow from our exchanges, how it helped me to understand and love them deeper, then I know I have not truly healed. I know what healing a hurt looks like and these healed spaces allow me, when confronted with similar circumstance, to experience similar conflict/challenge from a place of knowing, of understanding and not trauma and fear of being hurt again.
When we “let it go” where does that pain go to? Where is it displaced? Where is it transferred to? Did I let it go and let it live somewhere else inside of me, where I bear it and don’t know that it still persists until I am triggered, until it can do nothing else but resurface? Does it also show up in small ways in future moments? Will it get passed down to my children? I just don’t think “letting go” is healing, I think it is temporary, I see how regardless I learn from these pains- I don’t want pain to be my teacher anymore, I want the healing to be, I want love of self, of other, of spirit to be my teacher.
Like any wound that is deep, it has a potential to leave a severe scar if it is not taken care of properly. In metaphor, how can the tissue that grows in the place of the wound be stronger, how can it be skin that is NEW, that is strengthened by the healing, rather than fragile and susceptible to further and worse pain? How do we take care, how do we fully heal and give an opportunity for that healing the be what is re-membered when looking back at the challenges and conflict?
I am unpacking my hidden places of past hurt, and I am recognizing what pain I need to confront if I want to heal my whole being. I understand that all interactions of conflict/challenge that bring hurt are an opportunity to call forth experiences of healing and I welcome this fully. Healing takes time, and sometimes the process of healing is more painful than the initial hurt itself. I am learning to be patient with the process of forgiveness, of growth, of betterment, of rebirth, of re-creation. I am realizing that these are all acts of healing, and that we must invest and make intention to heal every day.