Many people (myself included) grew up in emotionally abusive situations where a parent, teacher or adult authority figure constantly degraded and belittled them, causing deep emotional wounds. Other people are trying to recover from an emotionally abusive marriage or living arrangement.
Emotional abuse and constant degradation will destroy your self-esteem. Without self-esteem, you cannot move toward your success because you do not believe in yourself. You will perpetuate the cycle by lashing out at others which leads to negative attraction. In some cases you will become physically ill or even suicidal.
Before you can begin to rebuild your self-esteem and thus your life, you must first heal the wounds. I’ve been there. It is not easy, but it can be done. The time to get started is NOW.
Let me share how I healed my wounded child.
This healing took me 10 years to figure out, but you can shorten the journey by following these steps:
Step 1 – Address the wound
Emotional wounds are just as serious as physical wounds and must be addressed as a health issue. Some physical wounds such as brush burns will heal on their own while others must be cared for or risk infection, gangrene or death.
Emotional wounds are the same way. Just about every parent, spouse, teacher, boyfriend, girlfriend or loved one has said something unkind that they later regret. These are brush burns. You will heal from these quickly with little or no thought.
Deep emotional wounds, injury to your self-esteem and self-worth by an abusive authority figure or loved ones are deep gashes that cannot be ignored. If they are not addressed, they will fester and affect not only your physical health, but your mental health as well.
Your well-meaning friends may tell you to “just get over it.” That will work with a brush burn, but not a gash. Deep emotional wounds must be addressed or they will fester.
Step 2 – Seek professional attention if needed
Some wounds can be treated at home but some require stitches and medical attention.
Just as there is no shame in going to the emergency room for stitches if you have a deep gash, THERE IS NO SHAME IN SEEKING PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING to help with deep emotional wounds.
If you have serious thoughts of suicide, are deeply depressed and cannot shake it, or if you have physical symptoms such as uncontrollable shaking, nausea, severe headaches, or if you are self-medicating with drugs or alcohol – SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP.
Remember Mental Health Food is over-the-counter medicine. If symptoms persist, seek help from a doctor.
Step 3 – Cleanse the wound
The first thing you must do when you get a physical wound is cleanse it. Cleansing removes harmful bacteria, dirt and other substances that can cause infection and further damage.
Cleansing the wound also stings!!!
Emotional wounds must be thoroughly cleansed as well. This cleansing process will sting.
Remove ALL negative, degrading people from your life as soon as possible. Belittling, demoralizing people are harmful bacteria that cause emotional infection to your already weak self-esteem. Don’t talk to them and if you must, use my three magic words – No I’m Not to end conversations quickly.
Don’t forget to unfriend them on Facebook and unfollow them on Twitter. If you are feeling lonely, friend me http://www.facebook.com/pages/Believing-Life-is-Setup-for-Success-BLISS/274963375862828 or follow me @living4bliss. I am always positive.
The sting will come when you find yourself alone and lonely. That will be fixed in the next few steps.
Step 4 – Dress the wound
Neosporin kills remaining bacteria in the physical wound and helps speed healing.
There are several emotional ointments that you can apply that will do the same for emotional wounds:
Positive affirmations – Recite a list out loud about how wonderful you are. Do this as many times as you can every day, especially first thing in the morning and right before bed. This will soothe your mind and take away some of the pain.
Positive activities – Turn outward, not inward. Find a volunteer activity – a homeless shelter, a soup kitchen, a home for battered women, etc. where you can spend some time. This will help you to see that you are not alone in your emotional pain and that you are worthwhile.
Pampering – Do something that you enjoy every day. Allow yourself to laugh, even if you are by yourself. I love to blast oldies dance music and sing and dance. It makes me feel great. This works like a pain killer. My friend Taquila Coleman feels great when she’s working on blogs and videos (me too.)
Do not wallow in the pain. Remember the law of focus - you will feel pain more if you focus on it. Do something to take your mind of of it (but don’t self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.)
Step 5 – Bandage the wound
Bandages cover the wound, protect it from further contamination and prevent re-injury.
Emotional bandages do the same.
Bandage yourself with positive people (this will alleviate the loneliness, too.) Surround yourself with them. Spend as much time as you can around them. Wallow in their company.
Positive people not only help build your self-esteem, they also attract other positive people (the law of attraction.)
So, where do you find them?
If you are volunteering (step 4) you will find positive people among the other volunteers.
Join clubs or take classes.
Believe it or not, there are lots of positive people on the Internet. I found Stress Free Kids on Twitter. Find them, friend them, follow them.
Step 6 – Wait
Scars take time to heal. You must continue to dress your wounds as you heal, but the pain will lessen with each passing day.
One day, you will wake up and the pain will be gone. The scar will always remain, but it will no longer hurt. It will be a reminder of what you were able to overcome.
I’ve been there, and I promise you will heal. The pain will end, but you must address your emotional wounds immediately to start the process.
BY ALL MEANS, DON’T BULLY YOUR OWN CHILDREN. You can leave them with emotional scars that will last a lifetime.
Visit Taquila Coleman for more uplifting ideas.
Don’t forget the 101 Ways to Praise Challenge. We’re trying to collect 101 unique ways to praise your children by Friday. If you reply to this post with at least one unique way to praise along with your Twitter ID and a positive link, I will give you a shout out on Twitter.