(This blog was originally posted on June 2, 2016)
“Don’t let yourself go/’Cause everybody cries/And everybody
hurts sometimes.” – R.E.M.
|Photo by Rick Hustead|
During the course of a lifetime, it is unlikely that many of us will never be hurt—emotionally if not physically—by someone we care about. Whether it’s a verbal slight, cruel teasing, bullying, or a physical or sexual assault, emotional and even physical pain can be caused. To add insult to the injury, the person who hurt you may never offer a genuine apology for or show remorse about this behavior. But that doesn’t mean you can’t act “as if” one has been offered so we can get on with our lives. Following are some techniques I teach my hypnotherapy clients that can facilitate this process.
- Write a letter to the person who hurt you. Explain or describe how that individual’s actions/behavior made you feel. Even if you never send this letter to the person, the process of writing this letter enables you to vent/release unexpressed emotions. Be sure to include information about how strong/loving/confident, etc. you still are and always will be, regardless of this incident or exchange.
- Write a letter from the person who hurt you. In this letter, write the things you want to know about what happened. Why did the person say or do that hurtful thing? Remember, this is an explanation, not an excuse. What could the person say to help you believe this apology is genuine? Even if you are/do not feel ready to forgive this action—and you certainly don’t have to be—use the words, phrases, expressions that you wish this person would say to you to express his or her contrition. Be sure to write this letter at night before you go to bed, so the subconscious mind can more easily accept and integrate this information. You know what you need to hear, so go ahead and say/write what will make you feel better. The subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between an actual or imaginary apology, and will accept this information as real.
- Imagery and Hypnosis. After these letters are written, the positive/self-affirming messages in the text can be incorporated into a hypnotic script to help you let go of the negative situation. One of my favorite imagery journeys for this kind of situation has the client imagine that he or she is climbing a mountain. Eventually and gradually, the person drops or removes any heavy burdens (i.e., this pain or hurt) the individual doesn’t want to carry around anymore and enjoy the freedom of being finally free of this emotional burden.
- Systematic Desensitization. While you are in hypnosis, I desensitize you to the various aspects/triggers of the pain and disappointment you may still be carrying around. I will also teach you diaphragmatic breathing and help you create an emotional anchor so you can return to this extremely relaxed state whenever needed.
For more information about the concept of letting go of previous (emotional) burdens, I invite to read my blog titled, Why Are You Still Carrying It?
Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.