Monday, September 15, 2014

Love is the Cure to Despair!

Love is the Cure to Despair

By Marcia Sirota MD

When a person lives through hurtful experiences, whether they’re childhood trauma, war, natural disasters or forced displacement, they can lose the spark that makes life feel worth living. Too much hurt, too many negative experiences can cause a person to shut down emotionally, so much so that they feel dulled inside. This inner dullness is a defense against the pain but it backfires, making the person want to withdraw from their loved ones, their work, their creative pursuits, even their spiritual life. They can become filled with hopelessness and despair. The cure to this despair has a few components: First, the person needs to face their hurts, losses, anger and they need to release all the pain inside them. This can only be done in a safe, therapeutic environment. Without safety and guidance, the feelings either won’t be released, or they’ll be too overwhelming for the person to bear. Second, the person who’s filled with despair must reconnect with the love within them: the love that lives naturally in everyone’s heart.

They must find the self-love that is the birthright of every human being and know that whatever happened to them was not about them, and whatever bad choices they might have made, subsequently were as a result of their being wounded. Part of rediscovering self-love is self-forgiveness, and that goes a long way toward healing despair. Finally, the person needs to open their heart and feel the love they have for all living beings.
This love will connect them once again to life and make life feel worth living. Loving others can take a person out of the dark places in their mind and help them focus outward, on positive interactions with others. Loving others means letting go of the victim mentality of “What has been done to me?” and shifting into a victor’s mentality of “How can I transform my suffering into the energy to do good in the world?” Loving others encourages a person to make a positive contribution to the world. All the good a person is doing will mitigate against all the bad that they’ve witnessed or experienced.  When we choose love over hurt and anger, we can begin to let go of despair and feel fully alive again.

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