I've been seeing a Registerred Counsellor the last few months regarding my anxiety. She focuses on mindfulness rather than other methods of psychology such as cognitive behavioural therapy. Mindfulness is being present with past stuck emotion for a period of time however long it takes so that one can work through those emotions, usually past traumas and painful experiences so that a person can gain closure on those parts of their life. It is about emotional healing.
It's very uncomfortable to look back on these events, emotions and experiences, but if one stays with it long enough, one can find new insights into the causes of the pain and the reasoning why it hurt so bad. Taking it a step further one deciphers how to move forward in spite of the difficulties.
At a certain point in time the emotion will dissipate and one can have closure on the pain and trauma and stuck feelings...and it happens naturally...organically...without struggle as most people try to fight their emotions or never face and deal with these emotions head on...it definitely takes time and patience. This deep inner work will uncover more undealt with emotion but, slowly one can then start to move forward with life.
In my case, I have many issues with my upbringing and my relationship with my mother. There were two stinging events in my life that I've recently moved past using the mindfulness exercise.
There was one extremely violent episode where my mom threatened my life and literally trashed the inside of the house. Dishes and lamps were broken, tables flipped, and phonebooks and magazines strewn everywhere. This was among the most terrifying experiences of my life. This left a deep wound in me for many years.
A second more subtle experience, but having spent time with the memory it was a surprisingly painful one. It was my first time being away from home at camp for aweek. I had come home eager to share stories of my camping experience with my family, perhaps most with my mom and dad. Naively, I was expecting a warm welcome home, that my family would at least feign interest.
I don't remember who picked me up either my brother or sister, but I remember the car ride being a solemn one. I was familiar with the feeling, but because of the high of being away and feeling accomplished and growing, I ignored it. When I arrived home, everyone scattered like cockroaches back to there bedrooms, doors closed and locked. Whenever, my parents were fighting or my mom was having a tyrade, our house felt like a ghost town.
Still, I ignored the signs, dropped my bags and headed into the kitchen to eat. I was still beaming. A few minutes later my mom entered the room
I said "Hi!" excitedly. She ignored me. In fact, she didn't even notice me. I was hoping that she was missing me like I had missed home...but in fact caught up in her own mental storms, and problems with my dad...she didn't even notice I was alive. I could've been dead or a bloody mess and she would have literally walked right by me. I felt so small, worthless and uncared for...and that feeling I would be all too familiar with as I continued on into adolescence.
I write of my home life not to incriminate my mother. I love her and have forgiven her long ago. In fact it saddens me to this day that she has not seeked the mental health treatment and help she needs. She is not as angry and violent as she once was, maybe because the pressures of raising a family are gone or pressures of money are less now that we are grown and independent. But still, there are a lot of things regarding her mental health, such as obsessive behaviours and paranoia that hinders my relationship with her, and her relationship with the rest of her kids and grandkids.
It can be sad at times, because there are many occasions, such as mothers day that we miss out on having a present mother.
Even though I had forgiven her for those memories, I realized more recently that they were very painful for me and I had not moved past the stuck emotion.
I employed mindfulness and stayed with the hurt and eventually it allowed me relief to move on and now there is no emotional energy when I think about it...it happened but there is no resentment and residual pain where there was before.
This is the first time it happened like that for me and it was very enlightening that I could bring closure to undealt emotion.