Did someone hurt you physically or emotionally? Did a friend betray your trust? Did a family member sell you out to a perceived enemy? Did you go through a traumatic experience? Were you raped, robbed or accused of something you didn’t do?
Are you still hurting from the pain of these experiences? Are you scared of trusting people again after you have been hurt repeatedly by those who should protect you?
You are not alone. Even though you know you will eventually recover from what you are feeling now, it doesn’t make the pain less.
Whatever the case may be, you have been hurt and scarred and you carry the pain with you. Although human beings go through different painful situations, it doesn’t make sense to water down someone else’s experience. You shouldn’t quantify or compare emotional pain.
It is possible that when you are hurting, some people might tell you to let it go as if that’s a valid solution. They may say it’s all for the best and assume that takes away the pain. But none of those fancy words will help you heal and find happiness if you don’t deal with the pain you are feeling.
Here are 10 realistic ways Nigerian women can find happiness after they have been hurt over and over again:
1. Define your pain
It’s not always easy to identify and understand what’s hurting you. The first step toward finding happiness after having been hurt is to understand why you were hurt, and get to the root of everything that makes the memories hard so that you can move on with your life.
2. Express that pain
It is not guaranteed that you will be able to communicate how you feel to the person who hurt you. Even if you tell them, there’s no guarantee they will respond how you want them to. You must say what you need to say anyway. You can write out what you are feeling on a book or in mail and free your heart. Taking charge of how you feel can feel empowered.
3. Try to live in the present
Reliving the past or the experience that hurt you can be addictive. Stop going back to what caused you pain. It’s in the past. Regardless of what you think you should have done, you can’t do it now. You would need to make sustained efforts to move on. Fight the urge to relive the pain over and over. You can’t go back and find happiness there. You can only experience that now.
4. Stop telling the story
It may seem like another way to understand what happened to you, but telling the story over and over again just keeps you stuck right where you are: living your life around a memory and giving it power to control you. You can’t find happiness by holding onto a painful story, you can only find happiness when you let it go and make room for something better.
5. Forgive yourself
This is a hard thing to do. Maybe you didn’t do anything wrong but you blame yourself for getting hurt. Regardless of what happened, you need to realize that what you did is not who you are. Even if you regret your actions, you deserve to start afresh today without carrying that weight of guilt. You can either punish yourself and submit to misery, or forgive yourself and be happy.
6. Stop playing the victim
Maybe you were a victim and someone did terrible things to you. It still doesn’t serve you to sit around feeling bad for yourself, blaming other people. In fact, it only holds you back. You can’t feel good if you always feel bad about another person’s actions. You are not responsible for what happened to you in the past but you are responsible for your attitude now. Stop living like a victim.
7. Don’t let your pain become your identity
If everything you do and all your relationships center around something that hurt you, it will be harder to move on. Even if that identity brings you attention, compassion and pity, it is not the best for you. You will enjoy happiness if you completely release your story. You need to stop letting your pain define you. You can have a sad story in your past without building your present around it.
8. Reconnect with who you were before the pain
It’s not easy to release your pain especially if you have carried it around for a long time. It may help remember who you were before that experience or to consider who you might have become if it didn’t happen. You can still be that person, someone who doesn’t feel bitter or angry so frequently. This process will remind you how you want to be and who you don’t want to be.
9. Focus on things that bring you joy presently
Despite your pain, make room for joy right now. You don’t have to think about your horrible experience the rest of your days. That’s a huge burden to carry, haven’t you hurt enough? Just focus on the now, and allow yourself enjoy some peace. You must be deliberate about living in the moment so that your happiness can be complete.
10. Share your joy with other people
Some people isolate themselves when they are hurting because it feels safer than showing people their vulnerability. You can choose some people for support, and allow yourself time with others without involving your painful stories. You can share a meal, a movie, and give yourself a break from your anger or sadness. You don’t have to carry it all the time.
In conclusion, every woman deserves to be happy. Every woman deserves peace. Women should let go of their past hurts and pains and move on so that they can enjoy all the bliss and happiness life has to offer.