Have you heard the saying, “Hurt people, hurt people?” If not, well now you have. This is why it’s so important to acknowledge trauma from our past and to acknowledge and accept painful moments as they come. Wounds don’t disappear because you make the decision to ignore them, if they are not properly treated they leave a scar. Healing in general is a continuous effort that requires you to actively be present and aware with yourself.
Throughout my past posts I always talked about “doing the internal work,” to better yourself. What does that internal work actually look like though? For starters, it’s really about recognition. Recognizing what sets you off, when your mood changes for the worse, when your energy decreases, when you become uncomfortable around people and situations, in other words…recognizing your triggers. You can choose to ignore painful and hurtful situations as much as you want, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that you lived through and experienced whatever that situation may be. If it hurt you and you don’t acknowledge and accept that pain, you’ll unintentionally hurt others, yourself, and will only continuously have those initial painful emotions resurface by triggers you didn’t even know you had. The work starts by being present and aware enough to recognize immediately when something feels off.
Throughout the day we naturally drift off into deep thought, day dreams, or simply forget what we were doing in the moment. What I like to do is randomly, numerous times throughout the day, is ask myself (in my head not aloud) a series of questions as follows:
What am I doing?
Why am I doing this?
Who is around me?
What setting am I in?
How do these people and this environment make me feel?
*If you like to journal you can use this for midday journal prompts, I just covered the benefits of journaling on my instagram you can view it by clicking here!*
I call it my “reality check,” because I’m doing a self check whether I’m present and aware of my current reality. Haha get it? lmao It’s what I’ve been doing for years now, multiple times throughout the day, to help me practice being aware and present in my moments and experiences. I’m now naturally very aware and very present in all moments. This has helped me tremendously in identifying my triggers aka the start of the internal work.
For instance, something unfortunate and traumatic happened to me my second year in college at the hands of another individual who didn’t respect my body and my boundaries. At first, I didn’t tell anyone what happened to me. I sort of kept it to myself and only confided in my bestfriend at the time, I chose to suppress it. I suppressed it deep. I told myself if I didn’t talk about it, it would be as if it didn’t really happen (again ignoring wounds don’t make them disappear). Eventually, I started to notice I got agitated quickly around a specific demographic of people. I would have a really nasty attitude or get extremely quiet. I felt uncomfortable around this demographic when my friends would leave me alone around them even if it was just for a few seconds and the discomfort on my face was always clear and noticeable. I would always feel depleted after interactions with this said demographic. I spoke to an on campus counselor about my mood swings, she was horrible I can’t lie *must have been her first day on the job lol*, but I did benefit from one of her takeaways. She recommended that I start keeping note of when my mood changes.
So I started journaling, started asking myself the questions above and eventually realized I ended a lot of my sentences with, “they remind me of *name of individual who hurt me*.” I suppressed the situation so deep, there was a point I forgot it even happened and was unintentionally treating every individual that had even the slightest resemblance of that person horribly. Not only that, I would crave the drama of others because I wanted others to be going through something too *misery loves company*. I was hurt and was hurting people as a result. Hurting myself as well because I would randomly get panic attacks for what I thought was for no reason but came to the realization the actual reason was the situation I attempted to suppress. I eventually confided in my parents, siblings, and a therapist and started the internal work.
I acknowledged what happened to me, acknowledged how it made me feel and all the emotions I experienced as a result of it, acknowledged how it temporarily affected my interactions with certain people, acknowledged how it affected my academic performance for that specific quarter, and honoured and accepted the notion that what I experienced wasn’t okay but that doesn’t mean I don’t have the right to be. I kept telling myself that until I genuinely believed it. I was consistent in my efforts and I eventually got to reap the benefits of being at peace with myself and what happened.
Have you been hurt? Are you currently hurting? Are you doing the internal work to be better and do better for yourself? Are you mindful and aware of your behaviours throughout the day? Ask yourself these questions. Be honest with yourself in the process. That is the most important part. Be HONEST with yourself. You are the only person who knows the extent to which a situation has affected you and you are the only person who knows how much or how little you are hurting. Honor and respect yourself by taking the time to heal. For some it can take minutes to days to heal from a situation, for others it may take years! That is okay! Trust the process, it’s your process. Hurt people, hurt people. Do the internal work for yourself more than anything, the peace of mind that comes with it is a beautiful thing! I can vouch for that. Uncover, acknowledge, and work through those uncomfortable feelings, don’t suppress them. Why? Because that’s #WhatChiSaid! See you next time!
~These are just my thoughts and opinions
~If you enjoyed, share with a friend!
~Comments and/or feedback always welcomed!