Tending to the wound

Apr 04, 2024

If you've ever tended to a child's wound, you know that it's not an easy task. The wound needs to be cleaned and bandaged. 

And yet the child is reluctant, because the cleaning likely means more pain. 

But the alternative is a dirty wound that will likely become infected.

As the adult, you know that an infected wound takes longer to heal and means even more pain.

It's a good analogy for life after the loss of a spouse. The primitive brain is hard wired to avoid pain and seek pleasure.

Granted, there's plenty of pain and nothing much is pleasurable, but there may be a little relief from binge watching, or scrolling, or overeating and the like. My "escape" button of choice was staying overly busy. 

While those attempts to escape the pain may provide a brief moment of relief, each one has it's own negative consequence. Plus, the pain is still there, waiting. 

The difficult feelings that come in life after loss demand to be felt. It's a bit like tending to a wound. Processing difficult feelings as they come is like cleaning the wound right away. It isn't comfortable. But the other option is to attempt to outrun or avoid the pain, which is a lengthier and more difficult experience. 

The best way through is straight through. 

In episode 4 of the Life Reconstructed podcast, I walk you through processing a difficult emotion, and I share the incredible benefits of doing so. 

If I think back to my loss in 2012 and the years that followed, I wish I would have known the superpower of processing a difficult emotion. 

I wish I understood then that while my primitive brain is hard wired to avoid pain, the better option is to process the pain instead. I would have saved myself years of exhaustion and fear. 

Processing a feeling is to:

  • Reduce it to proper proportion.
  • Witness the feeling and learn from it. 
  • Gain mastery over it.
  • Increase our confidence to feel difficult emotions. 

It opens up a world of possibilities. And that's my wish for you. 

Join me inside of Life Reconstructed, my coaching program exclusively for widowed people, and create a life you love again. 

Learn more about Life Reconstructed.

Click here

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