DR. CELESTE CATANIA-OPRIS, PH.D., LMFT
Sometimes, even with our crazy schedules, we are lucky to have a brief moment to sit and think. For a split second we can reflect on life; to think of our pastimes. Many were wonderful, unforgettable memories and some we may want to forget. In fact, if we could put some of those memories in a box and throw away the key, we would.
Some people hold on to their past, making them feel immobile at times. During these instances, consider acknowledging your past. Your pain is trying to get your attention so that your heart can begin to heal. If you prefer keeping that box closed forever, that is completely your prerogative. You may not be interested in addressing these issues, or they may be too painful to discuss right now. Perhaps consider waiting for a time if and when you are ready.
The key is you never have to forget your pain, but recognize it exists. Some people try to block their pain. Typical methods are alcohol, food, pills, and so forth, all in order to try to forget. These coping mechanisms may appear to work but they too come with their own pain and baggage. They can weigh you down, negatively affect your daily life, and impact the relationships with those you love.
Remember that every day you get up and breathe; you exist. Some days you may be triggered by your past trauma and that is when to acknowledge it. It is looking for recognition and to remind you how strong you are, because you made it through it. You made it through the trenches.
Think of it as a cut. A cut hurts and burns, but then it will start to scab. Once it is fully healed, it may leave a permanent scar. Scars tend to fade over time and they become less and less visible. However, a scar, as faded as it may become, will remain as a reminder that it was once there. It will be a part of you; a part of you that once endured something painful. Sometimes if you touch it, it can still hurt and feel sensitive. The pain may never fully leave you, but you can and will move past it, when you are ready.
Examine your past and allow it to guide you towards the things you want and desire for yourself and your life. You deserve everything life has to offer. Surround yourself with those who make you happy and those who make you feel loved. Try to forgive if possible, depending on the severity of the situation of course. You may need a professional’s assistance and that is okay too. A helping hand may be necessary and there is no shame in receiving support.
The world can feel so lonely at times but the truth is you are never alone. Someone out there thinks you are incredible, worthy, and perfect, even with your painful scars.
Celeste Catania-Opris, Ph.D., LMFT, offers therapeutic services to individuals, couples, and families. Visit www.TherapyForModernHousewives.com.