Emotional Healing – Grieving Over The Past And Embracing A New Beginning

Rozie had tried all she could to overcome a hot temper and she could not win the war. She easily flew off the hook whenever someone crossed her path.

She had lost friends and acquaintances because of her temper. She had lost business deals too. Her marriage was on the rocks because she could not control her temper. Any disagreement would almost always end up with her going into a rage and creating a scene.

Anger Related Issues

Anger is a sign that someone has been wronged, that someone’s boundaries have been violated. It is like the red light that warns us that all is not well with a car’s engine and that we need to take corrective action. 

Anger does not dissipate automatically if the pain occurred one day ago – or twenty years ago! It has to be worked through appropriately.

Anger that is not addressed simply lives inside the heart and destroys the individual’s life. Individuals with injured boundaries are often shocked by the rage they feel inside when they begin setting limits. 

 This is generally not ‘new anger’ – it is ‘old anger’. It is often the aftermath of years of Nos that were never voiced, never respected, and never listened to. It is a protest against all the evil and violation within the soul that has been sitting on the inside waiting for an outlet… Years of constant boundary violations generate great anger.

The person who has been violated over and over again has learned to comply in order to maintain peace. 

It is very common for boundary-injured people to do some ‘catching up’ with anger when they finally have enough of complying. This sometimes results in a journey of looking at boundary violations that they never realized existed.

When the floodgates of temper finally opens, it can come with such violence that it looks like floods out of a dam that has breached its gates or broken its walls. It is tumultuous and many people often drown in it unless it is well handled.

I look back to a time I was struggling to get my life back after going down with depression. I realized that I had kept so much anger buried on the inside such that the day the floodgates eventually opened, I almost drowned in the floods. 
I wrote until I could write no more. I cried so much, experienced overwhelming pain. Some of that anger dated back to my childhood.

Grieving Over The Past: Self-Compassion, Self-Nurture

People going through similar pain may not write the way I did. Some may not have the courage to let those who had wronged them know the truth and to say no to the abuse. 

However, putting up with abuse and keeping the pain on the inside does more harm than good to the sufferer and the immediate family. 
Many serious sicknesses result from such situations and some lives are lost unnecessarily. By seeking to respect and protect the people who violated our boundaries, we end up harming ourselves and our loved ones.

I have seen families that do not allow someone who is in pain to go through the grieving process. When the depressed person tries to lament and express him/herself, they see this as disrespectful and shameful. 

They also cannot bear to hear a frank recital of their own failings and disappointments through the aggrieved person’s laments. They therefore rush to give tranquilizers to the person and cut short the grieving process.

They save themselves from “shame” but the sick person does not get well. The pain lasts for a very long time and often manifests itself in various negative health conditions. 

Those painful moments also keep resurfacing and often become embarrassing. Sometimes the person ends up living the life of an invalid forever or dying prematurely. 
Violating someone’s boundaries is wrong and when that person decides to say NO, resisting only worsens an already bad situation.


We read of lamentations in the Bible by the likes of David as he cried to God about the persecution from his enemies. Being in pain or crying out in anguish is common in the Bible. Even Jesus cried in anguish as he suffered on the cross. 

When people lament, they pour out their complaints to God in an effort to persuade him to act on their behalf, all the while stating their trust in him. 
Laments allow a person to fully express their grief and even accuse God, but this is quickly followed by confirmation of trust in God. This combination makes for very powerful prayers.

The grief is not hidden, but the person does not stay in their grief – they call on God and express their faith in him. 

 The laments encourage people to be honest with God, to speak the truth about their feelings and doubts. When they do, they call upon him to act and deliver them from their anguish. 
In a lament, people do not attempt to solve the problem themselves, but they cry to God for help. They look to God, not the enemy, as the one ultimately in control of the situation. 
They ask God to take action to bring justice rather than taking action themselves or cursing the enemy.” Psalms. 28:3-4.”

Loss and Grief

A grieving person does not need our advice or condemnation; just a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on and permission to download and resolve the pain. The best way to give guidance is to ask questions that give the person direction. 

However, listening to another person’s grief and providing a shoulder to cry on can be a difficult process. We may sometimes find ourselves shedding tears too, especially when we realize what pain we unnecessarily caused to a loved one. 
The unfortunate thing is that most people do whatever they can to silence a grieving person, including blaming and criticizing.

Not all counselors are competent to walk with a grieving person so it is important to look for a qualified and competent one, one who resonates with you. 

If a grieving person comes to you for support, do it after careful consideration because it is not an easy process. 
Sometimes a person acting as a journey mate may require emotional support; otherwise he or she can also becomes overwhelmed by the things the grieving person may pour out. 
The grieving process is very difficult. There are times when a person collapses during the exercise. That is why it is not advisable to handle such a situation without help from an experienced person.

It was not easy for me to grieve on my own. It was a very painful experience. Sometimes I wept as I downloaded painful memories onto pen and paper. Other times I would become exhausted after writing and feel low and depressed. 

The wonderful thing is that I always felt better afterwards. The more I unloaded, regardless of the pain it caused me, the more I found healing and peace in my inner self.

Tears Cleanse The Soul; Don’t Stop Them

I read and listened to accounts of other people’s experiences and realized that there was nothing unusual in the way I coped with my pain. 

A very successful professional once told me that whenever the pressures and frustrations of life become severe, he puts everything aside and goes to the movies. He selects an exceptionally sentimental film that gets him weeping like a baby.

A young mother with little children told me something similar. When the youngsters have been particularly trying or the budget simply can’t be stretched to pay for another much-needed pair of shoes, she either sends her kids to their grandmother’s house for the afternoon or simply locks herself up in her bedroom while the kids are taking a nap, turns up the music and weeps. 

In an hour or so, she is strong enough to face the world again. I used to cope in a similar manner when I was raising young children. 
These are some harmless and effective strategies for getting rid of feelings that might otherwise be damaging. Tears cleanse the soul.

My own grieving made me realize that healing is a journey. I still had some imbalance and I could easily be upset during that period. 

I felt the pain afresh especially when I remembered what had hurt me before or I heard or witnessed someone experiencing the same pain. Being put on antidepressant medication helped me to cope better at that time.

I am thankful that I took the bull by the horns and struggled to get my life back after depression set in. 

I know I am healed because there are many things that used to hurt me badly but they no longer do. There were issues that I could not talk about without crying but this is no longer the case. I no longer need antidepressant medication.

If a person grieves completely and empties himself/herself out totally, the healing will be faster and more complete. 

The greatest injustice one can do to a person who is grieving is to stop the natural grieving process by putting lids on the issues the person is trying to communicate, or trying to blame or criticize the person for the pain and grieving.

The best thing that we can do for a loved one who is going through the grieving process is to provide the opportunity for that person to grieve, even though that may force us to listen to unpleasant things about ourselves and our failures where the patient is concerned.

We should take a grieving family member to a quiet and private place where he/she can pour out the pain and provide quality counseling support to enable the person cope. 

The pain we feel after being hurt is similar to the pain we feel when we are bereaved. Unless you have lost a loved one and suffered the pain that goes with it, it is often difficult for you to advise someone in that situation, as you may not be competent to do so.

Just be there for the person and avoid giving advice or trying to make the person see reason. A hurting person is not seeking for advice but just wants to grieve.

This article is written By Susan Catherine Keter, a life coach, mentor, freelancer and blogger
Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/Financial.Literacy.Africa/?pnref=lhc
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SusanCatherineK
Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Susan-Catherine-Keter

Financial Independence Africa