Emotional Pain in Relationships: Reclaiming Your Power
When we talk about pain, it’s not always physical pain. Some life situations or relationships can bring emotional pain in the form of guilt, fear, shame, sadness, grief, depression, and even anger, resentment or hatred. Some relationships can make you feel unworthy or bring low self-esteem or self-doubt. They can cause feelings of being a victim or having guilt for our mistakes. All this emotional pain keeps us chained in the past and doesn’t let us move forward in life.
Our relationships are the source of our greatest joy or our greatest pain. We want people in our lives to behave in a way that makes us happy; if they fulfill our demands then we are happy, if not then we feel miserable and blame the other person. In other words, when our happiness depends on others in our lives, we are giving our power away in the relationships!
Many of my clients have relationship issues with their parents, especially with their mothers. One such client told me how angry she was with her mom. In fact, she hated her. Her anger started when she was 4 years old and her mom moved to her boyfriend’s without telling her that she was divorcing her father. She blamed her mom for all the miseries in her life (she was now 60) because she had been separated from her father at 4.
In one of our sessions, she realized that there was no way she could have understood about divorce at the age of 4 even if her mom had told her about it. Secondly, as a 60+ year-old she can now understand the “woman” perspective her mom had. She was so wrapped up in being upset that she’d failed to see her mom as a young woman needing to leave an alcoholic, abusive husband and who had the right to be happy as a woman.
She started to change her perception of the situation and gradually came out of her “victim” mentality, her ‘blame game” and the “me-me-me” pattern. She started to accept her mom as a person, let go of her anger, resentment and hatred towards her mother and finally she was able to forgive her.
When people choose to be a victim or want to place blame, it is not possible to make them feel any better.
“You can’t get sick enough to help somebody get well. And you can’t get poor enough to help somebody be prosperous. You can’t get mean enough or mad enough to bring somebody into alignment. The only thing you can do is find (your own) alignment.” (Abraham Hicks)
I observe a curious phenomenon in my life. When I love, respect and accept myself for who I am, people around me love and respect me as well. I know now that when I am unkind or unloving towards myself, I see it immediately in how other people are treating me. Of course I have taken my own sweet time to understand this phenomenon, and have gone through my own process of blaming others, feeling like a victim, and arguing with the expectation that another will change their behavior. I didn’t look within; I focused outside.
Someone told me about Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life. To my amazement, things started to change when I went through the self-love and self-acceptance work in that book. During that time, whenever I made a mistake or said something I would later regret, I made a habit of telling myself, “Even if I made this mistake, I love and accept myself.”
As I continued to mend my own relationship with myself, many totally changed their behavior towards me. As for those that didn’t, it did not matter to me anymore. In fact, now I am so grateful for the people in my life, even when they are not so kind to me, because they are either mirroring or reminding me of what I need to work on.
I feel that no one’s life is perfect, but for the real self within, there is perfection in this imperfection.
I heard this recently from one of Abraham Hick’s seminars and it summarizes this process:
“People who are so compliant and willing to be just the way you need them to be so that you can feel good do notgive you a gift. People who really give you a run for their money who make you have to find your alignment because they will not give you a reason to – they give you the greatest gift of all. They give you freedom from bondage. They give you the freedom to feel good no matter what. They give you the reason for the freedom that you discovered. That’s a reason to appreciate them right now.”
Note: The above article of mine was originally published in Journey of Possibilities Magazine, July 2016 Summer Issue. You can check out the magazine here!