By Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

Do you have a favorite childhood memory? I remember walking hand in hand with my mother and hearing her say we were having BLT sandwiches for lunch. Eating a sandwich with a “letter” name was intriguing. Although I had not eaten a BLT sandwich prior to that day, I remember growing excited as we continued our walk home. Through the years, this has become our “signature sandwich.” The BLT itself is not as significant as the warmth felt when we share this “special” meal together. 

Feelings/emotions can be triggered by our memories. Sweet memories fill us with warmth where painful memories sometimes stun and immobilize us. Unfortunately, we can not escape our past. History has been made and unlike the “what if “ Hallmark movies, we do not get “a do over.”  How can we ride the waves and move through our unpleasant past experiences? How can we manage the negative emotions that rise to the surface during those times?

A way to do this is to acknowledge and embrace the negative thoughts. Allowing ourselves to experience the pain in the moment will help us to get to the other side. When we are injured physically we expect pain and discomfort. Whether we use traditional pharmaceutical or holistic methods, we prepare ourselves for pain management. Likewise, we need a plan to lessen the hurt, disappointment , sadness, discouragement, fear… when we are emotionally fractured. We do not expect physical pain to disappear instantly-even with medicine . We understand it takes time to heal. Likewise we should give ourselves permission to “feel bad” and walk through the pain (process)  and not rush healing. Establishing routines that ground us like journaling, jogging/walking, meditating, deep breathing, a cup of tea…can be our supplements ( like a Tylenol) during our process time. 

Most of us have first aid kits in our homes. When we have exhausted “home remedies “ and over the counter medicine we may decide to seek a physician’s help. For some emotional pain, our first aid kits/processing tools may no longer be effective. We have become immune to our regular interventions. Despair begins to cloud hopes and our cozy memories are overshadowed with pain and sorrow. 

Having support while establishing a healthy mental  pain management routine may be helpful. Ready to take the next step?

Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

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