There are times in the emotional healing journey when you find yourself completely alone in the process. Those can be difficult times, and yet they are an important part of deep healing.
I remember a very grim time many years ago when I chose to be alone over the holidays. My boyfriend went home to be with his family and rather than choose to be with my own family I stayed home.
I was feeling depressed because I was afraid I was pregnant. Feeling unwanted by a boyfriend that didn’t choose to spend the holidays with me, I was scared and sad. And being with my family to celebrate a cheerful holiday, just wasn’t something I wanted to do.
So I sat for days in my apartment and cried. I blamed him for abandoning me and bemoaned my lonliness. I asked the little spirit inside me to leave because I was not ready to parent a child when I was so emotionally unstable. Bless her heart, her spirit left me. That was good in that I wasn’t ready, but it only heightened my feeling of abandonment.
What I now understand was that I created this aloneness in order to heal my pain around abandonment. I abandoned myself, spending days ruminating on my pain and not giving myself emotional comfort—from me.
Had I been able to receive the gift of aloneness, I could have found true and lasting peace that comes from emotional healing within. I created aloneness because my subconscious mind knew my emotional healing had to come from my compassion (not pity) for myself.
In that regard, I was a slow learner. It took more than one of those occasions for me to finally realize that moments of aloneness were opportunities to learn how to comfort myself. Until I began to engage in true self-compassion and self-caring, I was a hungry void—looking for everyone around me to fill me—everyone except me.
Like most of us, I had to find new ways to be with the emotional pain I was feeling. I had to become the master of my own ship. And you can too. Here are some suggestions from the Chopra center to help you find new ways to address your emotional healing:
But no one else could fill that void. No one understood me the way I could. No one could be more intimate with me than me. And here is what I didn’t understand: I couldn’t truly feel their compassion until I could feel compassion for myself.
Self-compassion requires truth. You must be willing to see the truth of what you are creating, and rather than berate yourself, open your heart to the wounded one that created so much pain. Then you can finally feel the beautiful being underneath the pain.
Ultimately, to get to the sweet one behind the pain, you have to honor all of you. As a very wise therapist once said to me, “You have to hold yourself.” When it comes to choosing lasting emotional healing, she was right.