Taking Care of Emotional Wounds
When physically wounded most of us don’t ignore the problem but rather take the necessary steps to address the injury. We get the help we need to let the healing process begin. While we’re gentle around the spot of our injury this tender regard comes from an immediate, mindful focus on that injury.
It’s too bad that when it comes to emotional wounds the behavior described above tends to go out the window. Rather than making the emotional wound the center of our attention, rather than making it something of pressing concern to be addressed and worked through as quickly as possible, we feel compelled to keep that emotional wound at arm’s length. We ignore, repress, or project. We recur to our full psychological repertoire to try to protect our fragile psyches. We turn away from instead of towards the pain.
But what happens when a physical wound isn’t treated? It gets worse, it festers, and it ends up causing a lot more damage than it would have if it had been properly dealt with from the get go. Emotional wounds are just the same. They don’t magically go away just because we ignore them. They don’t cease to cause us problems just because we don’t fully address them. Rather they end up causing all sorts of problems in our relationships and our continued growth as human beings.
So when it comes to emotional wounds, we’ve got to resolve to drum up the same type of mindful care, focus, and regimen for healing as we do when our wounds are physical. Rather than turning away from the emotional pain we’ve got to let ourselves inhabit it, learn about its source, treat it, and reach out for help if necessary so that we can let the process of healing begin.