As you know I’m 45 years old… and like everyone, flawed 🤣! This morning I have been thinking about the painful stuff that has happened in my life, and whether it’s possible to heal from the really hurtful things.
For every abused child, every frightened teenager and every scarred adult, there is a story that explains their pain. For some, this may be neglect or sexual abuse when they were too small to understand that the abuse was not because of them. It was not something they did or deserved, it simply happened. It happened because their parent, carer or relative directed their pain towards the child instead of facing that pain and dealing with the emotions that arose. The small child believes it’s their fault, the abuser walks away, the child is left with a belief that they deserved to be punished. This belief can follow children through into adulthood and they may never fully recover.
For a teenager, the damage may be more complex. Their peer group is broader and often judgemental within this age group. Add that to society and academic expectations becoming more sophisticated. Add that to the increasing need to be seen as beautiful, successful or popular as a result of social media. For the teenagers today, there is little respite from the need to present a good image, to be perfect. All the time. It’s just not possible to be this! One company I worked for called SAGE Publishing has a mantra along the lines of “Good enough is good enough.”. It means their team feels able to be themselves, they achieve every and move forwards without fear of reprimand or the need to be perfect. It frees people to be their best selves and achieve great things, for the business and for themselves. Genius. Let’s do this for our teenagers. Free them up to do great things by allowing them the space to get things wrong…
As an adult, we recognise that bad things happen. We recognise that often these things are only partly our fault, if our fault at all. Even so bad events can still traumatise, hurt and cause us to react in socially odd ways, especially if the cause is not expressed. Counselling can help, self-healing can help, and support can help. The difficulty can be when the individual is unable to ask for this help when they need it most. This means they carry that pain and it skews their enjoyment of life, causes depression and could create an inner desperation that is invisible to others but may lead at worst to their tragic suicide.
I have been wondering how to heal people in all these age groups and have come up with a simple answer; LOVE.
There is a phrase in counselling called being a ‘Compassionate Witness’. It means that when an individual expresses pain, the listener just listens. Even years after, often the main thing that hurt person needs is to be acknowledged. They need to be acknowledged that they were right to feel pain in that situation. Their pain and the cause of that pain is acknowledged and understood. As a result of this simple action and recognition of the painful event, that person can move on with their life…
Let’s do more of that. Compassion. Listening. Understanding. Friendship. Put simply, Love 🌹. It’ll make the world a better place, I promise 😍.
Lots of love to you and yours,
P.S. The photo is of me, my brother and my dad at my cousin’s wedding. It’s a Polaroid so a bit blurry but my favourite photo of us ☺️.