Wisdom out of Hurt

Rejection, loss, heartache, disappointment, loss of trust, deceit…

While life is a beautiful gift, at some point it is the harbinger of pain and hurt for each of us. I’ve experienced all of the above and the journey of processing situations, mending or leaving relationships, self-reflection and healing is never easy.

This growth goal is focused on self-reflection and relationships. Taking time to look back at some of the painful moments in your life and participating in an exercise that can help reduce that pain by building up yourself and recognizing growth.

This isn’t about forgiveness exactly. That is a beast of a task to be tackled on another day. This is about dealing with past issues by finding the wisdom or fortitude they left imprinted on our lives.

A PERSONAL JOURNEY

During college and my early twenties I wasn’t the best at choosing a boyfriend. I found myself a time or two …or three, in what I ultimately admitted to myself were unhealthy relationships. Relationships in which my trust was broken through lies, my integrity weighed down from harsh and critical words and the loss experienced during the hard but necessary cutting of the cord.

You can ask my parents, I am notorious for closing a chapter in my life and moving on without ever looking back. I quickly forget events, occurrences and even names. What I didn’t realize for a while was that though I’d closed the door, it wasn’t before I’d pushed my rolling luggage through first. The jaded view points, the trust issues … the baggage and scars came along for the next ride.

In the audio interview with Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Damaris Johnson she mentions that anything in the dark always comes to light. But wouldn’t you prefer to deal with it now, on your time, under your control and choice versus it bubbling over later … unexpected and unwanted.

Click on the image below to hear the 10 minute audio interview that accompanies this topic!

Damaris_NS_audio


 

I put off writing this article for two weeks because I wanted to do this exercise myself first and speak truthfully about it. Writing in my journal about past hurts was not fun. Actually that’s an understatement. It was a multi-day process because I glossed over it the first few times. Really admitting what happened and why and how I felt about it took time. Once I made it that far, I then worked on the second part; What had I learned, how was I better?

This was the salve I needed on the scabs I’d just picked. My embarrassment at past mistakes waned a bit. A few lessons even left me with a feeling of gratitude.

FINDING WISDOM AND RECOGNIZING FORTITUDE

One of my primary love languages is Words of Affirmation. In a number of relationships I fell for flowery and flattering words. After the end of a series of roller coaster relationships (and not the fun kind of roller coaster that people wait in line for hours for), I was done with it all. I wanted, valued and desired truth, honesty, and straightforwardness. When I finally met my husband, I was ready. I’d re-established value in myself and I cherished his honesty. Not overly romantic in the way of flowery words, knowing that what he says is coming from a place of truth is the most romantic experience I’ve ever encountered. (PS: I have to give credit where it’s due, he’s totally romantic in other ways. He’s amazing at quality time and acts of service).

Another experience I looked at was when my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. A junior in college, I felt my world crashing around me. But I realize now the crashing was in truth a shifting. Caught up in parties, status, road trips and even grades, that experience forever changed and elevated my love and appreciation for family. A cancer survivor, my dad gets regular calls from me, just to chat. And those really are some of the best conversations of my entire week.


 

Alright, so pull out your journal and pen…and maybe even a box of tissues {just in case}. Take your time this week. Acknowledge memories that may hurt a little when you think about them. But then start listing the wisdom and growth that resulted from those experiences. Keep these pages close so the next time you encounter a difficult situation you can look back and remember how you ultimately grew.

Here’s to traveling lighter with wisdom and fortitude as our travel companions. #BetterMe15

~Nicole Selena