Emotional pain can traumatize us long after the event that triggered it. The more traumatizing the event, the more we tend to revisit memories, thereby keeping the pain alive.
We do this not because we wish to suffer, but because we simply don’t realize the power of our thoughts. We don’t recognize that it is not the traumatic event, but our thinking about that event, that continues to perpetuate the pain.
The mind does not know the difference between actual events and thoughts about them. To the mind, thoughts are as real as the events they represent, and so we keep reliving the painful trauma of past events as long as we replay these thoughts in our minds.
Breaking free from this cycle requires that we recognize the process and choose different responses to it. As soon as we stop giving our life energy to memories that seem to be overpowering, those memories lose their illusion of power. In the very moment of choosing differently, we are also released from the ongoing emotional pain of suffering over what had happened to us in the past.
Negative memories do not have an individual, independent existence. When we falsely believe that what happened in the past still has power over us, we allow ourselves to revisit the tyranny of emotional pain triggered by those past memories. It really serves no purpose now!
Think about it for a moment: in order for the person who broke up with you to still be able to hurt you now, in this moment, they need to be breaking up with you now, at this very moment. In reality, the event has passed and is no longer taking place in your present reality – yet you continue to suffer because you are replaying the details of the event in your mind, allowing the memories to trigger emotional pain each time you think about it!
Nothing, absolutely nothing can have power over us unless we give it that power. When we truly understand this principle, we can begin to free ourselves from the emotional pain of negative memories.
Instead of seeing ourselves as victims of circumstances beyond our control, we can exercise our innate power to choose what we focus on. And whatever we choose to focus on, becomes our reality.
Our perception produces what we experience. This perception is made up of many different elements, all of which are based on our subjective interpretation of reality – not the objective reality. When we view events this way, we relate to life through these subjective filters of attachment, desire, lack or fear.
These subjective filters of perception form our viewpoint of any given experience and then flavor our interpretation with emotion. It is not the relationship breakup that causes our current pain, then, but the painful meaning we attached to that memory. Our perception labeled the event as “heart-breaking” or as our “one and only chance at love” or as a “vicious betrayal.”
In reality, the event itself was simply part of the ongoing unfolding of life – it was neither good nor bad. It’s our interpretation of the event that creates the joy or emotional pain we associate with it.
If our perception causes pain, then why don’t we just let events happen spontaneously without grabbing onto them and interpreting their ‘meaning’ from our particular viewpoint? Why do we choose to continue experiencing the emotional pain?
I believe we interpret events through the filters of our perception because we’ve become so used to drama and trauma, pain and suffering that we are not sure who we are without it. As strange as it may seem, we welcome the habitual demons of emotional pain because it makes us feel alive.
But this is not our true nature. It’s always the false self – the ego – that thrives on the drama of emotional pain. At the same time, you and I are not just egos; we are spiritual beings who live in human form with the ego as our constant companion.
We can free ourselves from the false suffering of ongoing emotional pain to embrace a higher way of life! The perception of pain as evidence of being alive does not come from the soul; it stems from the ego’s attempts to resist change and maintain the status quo at all costs. All these conditions that seemed so real and painful are the creation of faulty perception as directed by the ego!
It is our misguided belief that past events have the power to hurt us that makes them continue to appear hurtful and propagates the emotional pain. Once we choose to remove our focus from the events, the energy around the memories collapses and we can move on.
We can accelerate this process by bringing fresh logic to the situation. Everything that is created has both a beginning and an end; therefore, everything we experience over the course of life, eventually passes to make room for new events and experiences. And so, even the most painful events of our lives also pass with time. We can help this process along by becoming mindful of what we focus on and staying present in each moment.
Even if we’ve suffered for years because of the way our perception interpreted what happened to us, we no longer need to suffer this pain. Now that we understand how the process works, we no longer need to be a victim of our own misunderstanding. We can inwardly say to that suffering ego state,
“Ego, you are not the ruling power in my life – you only think you are. The knots in my life that have me all tied up have no power over me outside of my own perception. It is ego’s perception that led me to interpret these events as emotional pain, but now I choose to see things as they really are.”
Then we can turn our focus away from the ego’s habitual re-runs of past traumas. We can let go of the emotional pain. Instead, we can turn toward Truth within to reclaim our peace in this present moment.
When we release the past, we become free at last to embrace our birthright of peace in this present moment.
©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.