Growth and Transformation Through Awareness: Pain and Toxic Traits
We all have a way in which we think and act based on our beliefs and ideas. Sometimes, however, our judgment and growth are clouded by the pain and trauma we often recycle through our toxic habits and behaviors.
The tricky thing about pain is how deeply rooted it is. We don’t see our behavior as toxic or hurtful until it’s too late and we’ve already hurt someone we might care for.
In order to identify those toxic cycles, we must grow in self-awareness. The more self-aware we become, the more we are able to catch ourselves and understand why we act the way we do. Although some behaviors may appear harmless, like numbing our feelings and trying not to cope with our pain, if repressed for too long, will eventually appear in our behavior.
Projection occurs when we place how we treat ourselves onto the people we love or want to love. Often unconsciously our own self-abandonment is how we begin to treat those around us.
The first step in feeling our pain is to accept that we’ve hurt someone and forgive ourselves. If we hold onto the pain and regret, it will stay with us and lead how we treat those who enter our lives.
Once aware, begin the process of identifying in what ways we can improve and begin to love ourselves in that process. Although we can’t undo another person’s pain, we can improve and heal through our own. We must learn who we are and the pain that guided our past self.
The growth that self-awareness brings can resurface memories and thoughts that created the original pain, but that process will birth a transformed perspective.
We learn through experiences and wanting to do better. Without the urge to do better, the pain will validate itself and remain how we see ourselves.
Important note: This process can be difficult to do on our own but I found therapy, self-help books, meditation, writing, reflective exercises, support groups, and mental health resources to be a great help in beginning this process.