It's safe to say that everyone at some point or another in their lives experiences some type of negativity and emotional pain. After all, negativity is an unfortunate but natural and inevitable part of life that we all have to endure, regardless of the frequency and severity. It’s also safe to say that everyone has encountered situations that they simply can’t control or overcome.
Everyone, including the lucky and fortunate people that are born with so much and get to live a long, happy, and successful life, are affected by some type of negativity and emotional pain. Yes, even these folks, who seem to have everything, are forced to deal with problems and challenges. Well, it's even harder for everyone else, and especially those unfortunate souls who live a life of pain and sorrow. Let's face it; we are all emotionally damaged, injured since birth, by our negative thoughts and experiences.
Emotional pain can come from almost anywhere, and at any time. We can even relive negative experiences tracing back in to early childhood. Some people have had to endure traumatizing and negative situations, while others just seem to be more inclined to being overly sensitive and experience strong emotions. Emotional pain can be brought on by losing a loved one, ending a relationship, or by losing a job. Undergoing any kind of trauma such as being in a car accident, or experiencing physical and mental abuse can also cause havoc in someone’s life. The emotional pain list can be long, extensive, and dark.
Sure, we can do things to help ourselves right now, but there's very little we can do to change our past experiences that may still haunt, affect, and at times, ‘take over’ our emotions until this very day. Unfortunately, we can't just simply go back in time and change the things we don't like, so we just have to live with it.
When something bad happens to someone, it’s common for them to say things like “It’s not fair,” or “Why me?”, “I’m a good person,so that’s not suppose to happen to me”. Well life isn’t fair, and yes, shit happens. We just have to deal with it to the best of our abilities. Either way, these deep rooted negative emotional thoughts often turn into, what we might say, is a long list of feelings that can include anger, rage, hate, fear, depression, abuse, and violence. Low self-esteem, low self-confidence, and low self-worth will often lead to a life of self-sabotage and abuse.
Do you struggle with overwhelming emotions that always seems to ‘take over’ and run your life? Are you sensitive to emotional experiences that trigger intense negative reactions? What are you doing to deal with your emotional pain and negative thoughts?
Pretending that the emotional pain isn’t present, or trying to hide our feelings in an effort to control everything in our lives can backfire and cause confusion, unsatisfactory relationships, addictive behaviors, restricted activities, and worst of all, shaming and blaming from others and ourselves. Everything that happens should not be throwing you into an uncontrollable, stressful emotional tailspin.
Yes, things may not be the way you want it to be or how you need them to be, but stop blaming others for everything. If you stop and think about it, you’ll probably realize that a lot your problems may have to do with your thought patterns, your attitude, and your behavior. How you see and feel about things, often has a direct connection with your experiences. For example, your reaction to something that you care about is probably quite different then your reaction to something you don’t care about. The difference between you caring and you not caring about something, can make all the difference that you need to change your attitude, and dramatically change any situation.
The bottom line is that it’s extremely difficult to find peace, love, and harmony when we're being affected and inflicted by harmful, negative thoughts. But how can we help ourselves, since we can't change our past? And suppressing our feelings and thoughts can be very unhealthy, so we can forget that option.
It seems reasonable, and sensible, for us to try to protect ourselves and avoid unpleasant physical or mental pain, but what are we to do about our unpleasant current and past experiences? We could also try to ignore our thoughts, or maybe try to distract ourselves and pretend that the emotional pain it isn’t present. And if that's not enough, we might perhaps even go so far as turning to unhealthy behaviors such as recreational drugs or alcohol to numb and forget the pain and discomfort. Pharmaceutical drugs without a prescription are also commonly abused, so why not try them. Trying these options may work in the short term, but avoidance will, sooner or later, fail. And that usually happens after self-sabotage has caused additional damage. Running away isn't the answer either.
So what can we do to reduce and minimize our own suffering?
We can’t change the past, but we can choose to change how we think and feel about our negative experiences. To help us make the change successfully, we’ll use a methodology called Acceptance. Acceptance is a very powerful tool that we can use to help us deal with, cope, and better manage our past and present experiences. Acceptance teaches us to accept reality, and once we accept reality, our anger and suffering tends to decrease over time. Accepting reality is an important and necessary part of moving forward. The key is to accept your reality, instead of trying to avoid it.
Instead of trying to suppress negative past experiences, we should learn to acknowledge and accept that those things actually happened, and that although we can't change them, we can work through them, in an effort to get some closure and move on with our lives.
Acceptance, in this case means that we acknowledge, consent, and accept that those negative experiences happened, without judging whether they were good or bad. We then can free ourselves, find closure, and move forward with our lives without being tormented by our thoughts.
Acceptance does not mean that we are giving up, being passive or complacent and unwilling to struggle and fight for want we need and want. It’s actually quite the opposite, in that we are positioning ourselves to accept the things and experiences that we can’t control, thereby allowing us to focus our energy and efforts on the things that we can impact and manipulate.
We cannot act to change things until we recognize them as they really are, and Acceptance helps us work through each unpleasant experience.
Acceptance can help to remove feelings of blame, criticism or denial. And once we remove those feelings, forgiveness often follows. Forgiveness can mean that you don’t have to forgive the person, or people, who caused you your pain, it means accepting that the experience occurred.
Once we’re free and get to a certain state of mind, we can love and be loved, as though we've never been hurt.
It's up to each of us to embrace the idea of Acceptance and incorporate it into our daily lives. Acceptance does not fix or resolve things, but if does help to confront and acknowledge pleasant and unpleasant experiences in our lives.
Below are a couple of helpful suggestions that you can use to embrace Acceptance and accept reality in your life.
--- Try to apply Acceptance to things that happen throughout the day.
--- Allocate time out of your busy schedule once or twice per week to create a session where you think about and reflect on your negative past experiences, and then apply Acceptance. Once the time is up and the session is over, you must change your attention to something else. We call it, “changing the channel on your mind to something else”.
--- Practice Acceptance every day and make it part of your behavior.
--- Remind yourself that you’re choosing acceptance and why this is important to you.
--- Make your own list of things you’d like to accept.
--- Focus on the present, and try to accept that things will happen in the future.
--- Try to accept reality without passing judgment more than acknowledging that it happened.
--- Meditation and Mindfulness can also help you to spot and apply Acceptance techniques.
It's also a good idea to consult a professional, such as a physiotherapist, who can help you better cope with and heal from your emotional traumatic experiences.
Let’s face the fact that emotional pain is part of our lives, and that accepting reality can help minimize needless suffering. It’s up to us to make healthy changes. Acceptance of reality can be hard but it’s something we must do in order to live a healthy, happy, and successful life.
The main message here is to understand that Acceptance is a powerful tool that we can use to help us effectively manage our reality. It’s up to you to apply Acceptance to your past and present experiences.
May you find love, peace, and happiness in your life -