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www.creativecounselingandconsultation.com www.DecodingHim.comHow To Heal From Emotional WoundsMany women carry emotional wounds from one relationship to the next. The impact ofthese wounds can show-up in several different ways which can negatively impact yourdating relationships. Most often these wounds will impact who you choose to date andhow you behave within those relationships. You may notice some of thefollowing: feeling clingy or distant from your partner, increased suspicion, or feelingcompelled to check his email, phone, or Facebook page for evidence of wrongdoing. You may even notice a decrease in your self-esteem and wonder why he’sdating you. All these signs and more, indicate the presence of emotional wounds thathave not been healed.Today, I will share with you what these wounds are, where they come from, and howthey can impact relationships. Then I will share a 6-step process to help you heal fromthese wounds.What are emotional wounds?I would like to start by explaining what emotional wounds are. To do this I will use theconcept of a physical injury as a comparison. Both physical and emotional injuriescreate wounds. While the wounds from a physical injury tend to be visible to the nakedeye, the wounds from an emotional one often are not. A physical injury may cause usto experience one or several of the following symptoms: physical pain, bleeding, red orraw skin, swelling around the impacted area, and extra sensitivity to contact.Unlike the wounds from a physical injury, emotional wounds tend to be invisible. Anemotional injury may cause you to experience one or several of the followingsymptoms: emotional rawness/sensitivity (i.e. sense of an inner ache that doesn’t goaway), excessive irritability, low tolerance of others, lingering feeling of sadness, highlycritical of others, lack of trust, explosive anger, low self-esteem, withdrawal from others,and perfectionism (i.e. feeling that nothing you do is good enough).
www.creativecounselingandconsultation.com www.DecodingHim.comWhere do these wounds come from?We have all experienced emotional injuries at some point in our lives. The injuries thatcreate our emotional wounds, however, often first occurred when we were young. Therelationship (or lack thereof) we had with our parents shaped our initial sense of self. Itis that relationship that taught us who we are and how we should be in the world. Someof us were fortunate enough to grow-up in a nurturing environment. In this case we aremore likely to be capable of healing from emotional injuries more quickly. These injurieswill often only leave faint scars.Some of us did not have the benefit of a nurturing environment. We may instead haveexperienced parents who were critical, emotionally and/or physically absent, or evenabusive. As a result, when we experience an injury, it often heals slowly and notcompletely. This can leave large scars and make it easy for the wound to re-open.How do these wounds impact our relationships?If we have not addressed our emotional wounds they will often dictate how we interactwithin our intimate relationships. We may do some of the following: act out and becomedefensive, criticize our partner, shut-down emotionally, or become verbally abusive. Allof these reactions are misdirected attempts to manage our emotions. If you haveexperienced these or other destructive behaviors within your relationships, then thesteps below are for you.6-Steps to Heal Your Emotional WoundsThe following are 6-steps to help you heal from your emotional wounds.Step 1 – AcknowledgeThe first step in the process of healing is to acknowledge that an injury hasoccurred. This is vital because if we don’t acknowledge that something exists, thenthere is no reason for us to do anything differently. Most of us spend our time avoidinganything that we define as painful. To do this many of us will either deny that it exists or
www.creativecounselingandconsultation.com www.DecodingHim.combriefly acknowledge but downplay the significance of the injury. How many of you havesaid phrases like, “I’m over it.” “It’s not a big deal.” Or one of my favorites, “It’swhatever.” This denial however, can increase the possibility of becoming overwhelmedby your emotions.In order to acknowledge a wound, we have to validate its right to exist. Acknowledgingour emotions is not the same thing as justifying our negative or harmful behaviors. It issimply allowing the emotion that is driving these behaviors the right to exist. It is therefor a reason so it is our job to take the time to understand where it came from.Step 2 – IdentifyThe next step is to identify the injuries so that we can tend to the wound(s). In order toidentify the injuries, begin by asking yourself the following: What is my datingrelationship pattern? What do I notice about the people I date? How have mypartner(s) treated me? How do I feel about that? Are there some behaviors that I havethat I don’t like? Do I notice myself feeling sad, angry, or irritated often? When do Imost often feel that way? Asking yourself these questions and others like it can helpyou identify the injuries and increase your awareness about how they’re impacting you.Step 3 – Be WithNow that you have acknowledged your emotions, it is time to be with them. Remember,you have spent all of your time denying or invalidating your emotions. It is time to beginthe process of learning how to comfort and soothe the hurt places. Think about beingwith your emotions in the same way that you would sit with a friend who ishurting. What would you tell this friend? How would help your friend be with thepain? How would you support this friend and encourage her without belittling or takingaway from her experience?Step 4 – Seek SupportThe next step is to seek support. This support could come in many forms. This supportcould come in the form of a journal to express all of your raw, unfiltered emotions. It
www.creativecounselingandconsultation.com www.DecodingHim.comcould be a person who is able to see the best parts of you, that you may not yet be ableto see in yourself. This could also look like reaching out to your partner and letting himknow how he can support you. You may also decide to seek professional support if youfind that the injuries are too severe to treat on your own. The most important thing isthat you seek safe people; individuals who you know have your best interests at heart.Step 5 – Take ActionThe next step is to take action. In this step you’re goal is to address the thoughts andbehaviors that are preventing your wounds from healing. For example, one of yourwounds might be low self-esteem which is reinforced by negative criticism from yourpartner. Your typical response might have been to downplay the impact his words haveon you. Instead of this, your action step could be to express how this makes you feeland what you would prefer instead. You might say something like the following: “I feelreally hurt when you speak to me that way and would appreciate it if you wouldn’t dothat anymore.” The goal of your action is to acknowledge and express your feelingsand then to support yourself by communicating what would work better for you.Step 6 – ReleaseThe final step is to release. Now that you have acknowledged and tended to thewound, you can start to release the emotions that are keeping it from healing. Replacethe feelings of hurt, sadness, anger and low self-esteem with self-acceptance, love,contentment, and self-confidence.ConclusionIn the article today you have learned about what emotional wounds are, where theycome from and how they can impact intimate relationships. You have also learned a 6-step process to work through and heal from these wounds. Remember, you don’t haveto do this alone. If you have tried but been unsuccessful in healing from your emotionalwounds on your own, I encourage you to seek professional support. Don’t allow youremotional wounds to ruin another relationship. Begin the path of healing today.
www.creativecounselingandconsultation.com www.DecodingHim.comAbout the authorKarla Lawrence, LCPC, NCC, is a licensed clinical professional counselor with apassion for supporting adult individuals and couples learn to live within their lives from aplace of compassion, respect, and authenticity. Karla works in private practice at theCreative Counseling & Consultation Center LLC, located in Calverton, MD. Please visither website at www.creativecounselingandconsultation.com for more information.For more free tips and insights on what really attracts a man, how tomake yourself irresistible to him and how to capture his heart, click thelink below.www.decodinghim.com