I don’t know if it’s because of the weather these days or the season changing, but I feel that there are many people around me suffering depression, bipolar disorder, irritability, and emotional wounds. Those who have these existing conditions also see their symptoms worsened. Emotions can indeed greatly influence a person, which is why it’s said, “Hurt people hurt people”. Hurt people not only suffer themselves but also impact the people around them, especially their closest ones like spouses or children. Emotional wound is a hidden killer in all our lives, killing our joy, freedom, relationships, and even health. I’ve heard of a writer who suffered hypertension since the age of 30 and had a heart attack at the age of 50, which eventually was found to be caused by emotional wounds! After he changed his thoughts and behaviours, he recovered without the aid of medication.
How can we tell if we, or others, carry emotional wounds? These are the few symptoms that you can pay attention to.
Symptoms and causes of emotional wounds:
You cannot tolerate others doing well (criticism, low self-esteem, grievance, jealousy, neglect)
Severe mood swings (sometimes excited, and the next moment, gloomy)
Irritability, self-centeredness, excessive or distorted sense of justice (cynical, always feeling unfairness)
Argumentativeness (quarrels, excuses)
Struggles in personal relationships, loneliness, mistrust, misunderstanding, over-sensitivity to how people see you, nervousness, dislike of self, dislike of others…
How to avoid emotional wounds?
First, you have to “set boundaries” for yourself! There are boundaries in everyone’s life, just like how each property has its own fences marking its clear boundary. We must not cross over the boundary into others’ houses or properties. Imagine how chaotic it will be if there are no boundaries between houses and everyone can walk over others’ properties as they like. That’s the reason why we see that some properties are marked with a warning sign, telling you that this is a private property, or there is a guard dog inside, or do not trespass.
Emotions are no different. When someone trespasses your emotions or even your body. You must warn them clearly, with a loud alarm, that they have stepped over your boundary. By warning or alarm, I mean appropriate expressions of your feeling (that you are angry, sad, that it’s unacceptable, that you are wronged… You may also clearly indicate that you do not wish similar incidents to happen again). Let others be alerted that they have crossed your boundary, which carries a certain consequence.
I have counselled many women who are emotionally wounded or abused or are the subjects of verbal or physical violence. They often fall into a negative cycle due to unclear boundaries, resulting in the abusers continuing their behaviours without consideration. Some women choose to back down in sorrow, tear, or inappropriate actions like self-harm, making the situation even worse.
Secondly, affirm yourself! We can never control others, but only ourselves! Others may fail to control themselves and end up hurting us, but we must rise to guard our own hearts!! We must learn to practice
the muscles of our hearts and emotions and do so every day with persistence! That means, no matter what the environment is like or how others treat you, you must make up your mind to be happy, to succeed, and to live every day wonderfully! Say to yourself every day, “I am precious, beautiful, smart, loved, and lucky…” Even if others do not praise you, you must praise yourself! Even if others do not affirm you, you must not look down on yourself! You have to seize your own life in your hand and not leave it to be ruined in others!!
Additionally, you need to find an “emotional outlet”. Do not shut yourself close or live like a hermit. Try to find a friend to confide in or think of a solution, comfort each other, support each other, take a walk, or nurture a new hobby (painting, dancing, music, reading, travel…). Enlarge the territory of your heart, find a good religion, and find growth in your soul through that religion.
Manage your emotions well
The King of Management Yung-ching Wang once said, “A person’s success has to do with his emotional management!”
Let us be determined to have healthy emotions! Do not willingly accept emotional wounds from anyone, or use your emotions to hurt anyone. Learn to respect others and treat yourself well. A respectful person invites more love and respect! In contrast, someone who abuses others with emotions only earns only sufferance and despise!
The Bible records in the book of Matthew Chapter 5 Verse 5, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Here let’s take a look at each letter of the word “MEEK”—Mighty (capable of treating others well), Emotion (know emotional management), Education (modest and willing to learn), Kind (a kind and gentle heart). In another word, “a person who is capable of treating others nicely, knows how to manage emotions, is modest and willing to learn, and has a kind and gentle heart, will surely become a truly prosperous and fruitful person!”