Healing Wounds and Building Resilience

The journey to break free from our past often means confronting and healing old wounds. These wounds, whether from past relationships, social pressures, or religious beliefs can linger and hinder our effectiveness and happiness.

Shelley Audette Settles

8/4/20233 min read

As a mindset coach working primarily with women aged 40 and older, I understand that the journey to break free from our past often means confronting and healing old wounds. These wounds, whether from past relationships, social pressures, or religious beliefs can linger and hinder our effectiveness and happiness.

However, by learning to break through the past to embark on a journey of healing, women can build resilience, find inner strength, and create a brighter future, one that reflects who they choose to be.

Today, I am exploring the process of healing old wounds and offering practical tips to foster resilience and emotional well-being.

1. Validate Past Wounds

Your first step toward healing is to acknowledge and validate your pain and emotional wounds without dwelling on them. Often, we downplay our emotions or dismiss past experiences, thinking that stuffing them down allows us to cope. This provides only temporary ‘relief.’ Stuffing pain, rather than acknowledging it, is a recipe for stress, anxiety, and festering anger.

Take the time to recognize and honor your feelings without judgment. Feelings are emotional energy. By acknowledging your wounds, you create a safe space for healing and growth.

2. Seek Support and Guidance

Healing old wounds can be a challenging process, yet you don't have to go through it alone. Seek support from caring friends and family, or support from like-minded individuals or trauma therapists who can empathize with your experiences without allowing you to dwell on them. Dwelling on your pain reopens your wounds making them even more personal, intimate, and painful.

3. Practice Self-Compassion

Throughout the healing process, remember to practice self-compassion. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that healing takes time and effort. Avoid self-blame and negative self-talk. This is not only a waste of energy, but negativity keeps you bound to your wound. Instead, treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer a close friend facing a similar situation.

4. Use Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation are powerful tools for healing old wounds. These practices allow you to observe your thoughts and emotions without judgment, helping you gain a deeper understanding of your inner world, which is where all your real power resides. Regular time for mindfulness and meditation promotes healthy emotions, reduces anxiety, and provides a sense of inner peace. It helps ground you with who you really are (which is not your collection of old emotional wounds) and frees you for other possibilities.

5. Rewrite your Narrative

Take control of your narrative by reframing your past experiences. While you cannot change the past, you can choose how to interpret and respond to it. This is important because our emotional wounds often first occurred when we were too young to interpret what happened correctly. Consequently, we often take on the assumption of guilt, shame, and unworthiness when nothing was our fault. We were simply too young to understand therefore we write on our hearts damaging, hurtful, and WRONG interpretations. This is an area where a mentor can be especially helpful.

Identify the lessons as strengths that emerged from your past challenges and focus on the resilience you have displayed throughout your life. Reframing your narrative empowers you to view yourself as a survivor rather than a victim. It’s a mindset shift that will shift everything.

6. Set Boundaries and Prioritize Self-Care

As you heal from old wounds, setting healthy boundaries becomes crucial. Identify situations or relationships that may trigger negative emotions and establish boundaries to protect your well-being. Prioritize self-care practices that nourish your mind, body, and soul. Whether it's practicing yoga, spending time in nature, or indulging in creative hobbies, self-care is a powerful tool for healing and rejuvenation.

Part of a healthy self-care routine includes taking the time to re-write new beliefs that encourage you and serve you better. This is a time investment in yourself that is priceless.

7. Practice Forgiveness, including Self-Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a transformative act of releasing emotional burdens. You can forgive others who may have caused past wounds, as well as forgive yourself for any perceived mistakes or regrets. Remember that forgiveness doesn't condone what happened, nor is it about the other person at all. Forgiveness liberates you from carrying the weight of resentment.

8. Engage in Journaling and Expressive Arts

Journaling and other expressive arts, such as painting or sculpture, provide an outlet for processing emotions and experiences. Write letters to your past self, expressing understanding and compassion, or use art to depict your journey of healing. Engaging in these creative practices can be cathartic and help you gain new insights into your emotions.

I would also encourage you to write a letter from your ‘future, healed and happy self’ that shares insights with your current self. This is a great tool to tap into your inner power and insights without any current baggage.

Remember the path to healing may have its challenges, but with determination and self-love, you can emerge stronger and embrace the beauty of your renewed self.

Once you invest the time and energy to work on yourself, you’ll find freedom and lightness in your step. This new skill set can then be parlayed into helping others or directing your energies into creating a life you’ll love living.