You’re upset about something that happened to you. It’s not easy for you to get beyond it. It could have happened today or decades ago. It could be what others consider a big thing (a death) or a small thing (a slight). No matter. What happened to you still triggers emotional pain.
Others are sympathetic at first, offering empathy and support. But it’s not long in our fast-paced society until people begin to lose patience with you. “Get over it already!” is their new message.
Not a bad idea, you think. But how do you do this? If you could get over it already, wouldn’t you have done it?
You’re right. Lots of people don’t know how to create closure after a hurtful blow. They don’t know how to move on. They don’t know how to let go. They don’t know how to bounce back from a psychic injury.
If this describes you, see if these guidelines might be helpful:
- Wounds take time to heal. So, be gentle with yourself.If you find yourself being judgmental for what you did or didn’t do, take a deep breath. Let go of your judgments. Let yourself be.
- You may want nothing more than to be left alone with your hurt and anger. Do that. But not for too long. Take a nap. But do not spend the day in bed.
- Summon up the courage to start the day anew.Get out of bed. Let go of the anger. Be open to what a new day might bring.
- Talk to someone who understands, not just what happened, but what the event means to you. If someone starts “Yes, Butting” your experience, that’s not the right person.
- Life often is a harsh teacher. Be aware of what you’ve learnedfrom the hurtful experience — about yourself, about the other person, and about life itself.
- If what you learned seems to be all negative (you can’t trust anyone, life stinks), think outside the box to find something positive. It may take time to realize what this might be.
- Focus on what’s important to you now.What do you truly appreciate now? Despite the loss, despite the hurt, despite the disappointment, what’s still good about life?
- Reflect on what you can do now. You can’t undo the past. But possibly, you can make this very next day a better day for you.
Creating closure doesn’t mean repressing your feelings. It doesn’t mean forgetting about what happened. It simply means that you put less emphasis on the past in order to create a future. You let today in. And tomorrow in. And next week in. And next year in. Then one day, you recognize that you have indeed “gotten over it.”
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Jun 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Sapadin, L. (2013). Get Over It Already! Bouncing Back from Your Past. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 13, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/06/03/get-over-it-already/