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You have a headache.  It hurts really bad.  Eventually you just can’t take it anymore.  So, you go to the hospital and get an x-ray.  Sure enough it shows that when you were working on your house you did in fact shoot a nail with your nail gun and it went through your mouth up into your head.  Yep, that explains your headache.  It’s at this point that you exclaim, “Phew, what a relief!  I knew there must be something going on up there.  Ok then, well, I”ll be going now.”

Wouldn’t you want to, oh I don’t know, get rid of the nail?  Sure you would.  It’s not just enough to know why something hurts.  The real key is to do something about it so that it doesn’t hurt anymore.

This is obvious when it comes to physical pain.  Granted, it is horrible to have pain and not know why.  For sure that is not only painful but maddening.  However, getting rid of the pain is the very next thing you are concerned about.  However…however emotional pain for whatever reason is not treated the same way.

Most likely the reason why people stop at knowing why they have emotional pain is that they believe that knowing is the way you will feel better.  Inwardly you think, “Oh, that’s why I feel that way.  Now I can change the way I feel.”  Not so, not at all.

You see, it’s not enough to know why you hurt.  Most therapies center around knowing what is wrong, thinking differently about it, and moving on.  Perhaps they will manage what is going on in your life and family to not trigger what is hurting you.  The problem again is that it does not get rid of the pain, it just avoids it or simply acknowledges it.

In my last post I tried to explain why you are the way you are.  It then occurred to me that people may read it and think, “Wow, that totally makes sense.  What a relief!”  Sadly, at that point they…you, might end the search for emotional health there.  The problem is you will still feel all the pain that you felt before…now you’ll just know why.  The only way to begin to get rid of the pain is to process the original hurts.  This will lessen the pain incurred by present day hurts.  How do you do that?  Go back to here.

A good way to “process hurts” is by writing a therapeutic letter to people who have hurt you in your life.  For everyone, a letter to mom and dad (regardless if they raised you, regardless if they did more good than bad) is a good start.  Then, write one to those who have really hurt you (ex-spouse, backstabbing friend, abuser or whoever).  The essential key is to read to someone who can share in your hurt and/or appreciate you for who you are now…not analyze it or “look on the bright side”…that’s headsy stuff, we’re looking for heart stuff here.

So, don’t leave the nail in your head and don’t leave the hurt there either.  Get it out and begin to heal.

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