What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
By: Javan
January 13, 2015

imageWhat took down the gloriously engineered Titanic ship wasn’t the massive iceberg that was visible. It was the smaller, below water, out of sight, non-visible iceberg, below that sunk the great ship. That’s why there’s the saying, “What you don’t see CAN hurt you.” You can’t heal what you don’t know.Even the most beautifully engineered life, planned out perfectly, can turn into a sunken life.

There is a monumental difference between unhealthy coping (just getting along with life with white knuckles) and being emotionally uncomfortable for a time to have permanent, long term recovery and happiness.  The first steps of recovery are to recognize the unhealthy coping mechanisms. Because what you can’t or are unwilling to see CAN hurt you. The continued use of unhealthy coping is like putting a bandaid on a wound that is gushing blood. Using a trash compactor to manage your negative feelings is a good way to hurt yourself. That’s what happens when you try to make “positive” life changes when you haven’t changed core issues. It’s like working against yourself, uphill, in a blizzard. You’re working against your own emotional wiring.

imageThe reason we go through the process of assessment, meaning taking historical data from a client, is to identify and understand unhealthy coping mechanisms. These coping skills work “around” the issue, which is different from resolving an issue.

It’s natural and normal to struggle with remembering the original source of pain or fear. As adults, it is challenging to reconnect to the original source of how a coping mechanism came into existence. This is the reason many people don’t begin therapy. It takes years to cultivate any kind of coping mechanism. That’s why there are no easy fixes to a lifetime of learning. The best way is through the truth.

Healing can begin along with healthy changes once the connection is made between the unhealthy coping mechanism and today’s pain or frustration. This is how healing begins. By recognizing what you couldn’t see. Opening yourself up to what lies deep within your heart, embracing the whole self, and connecting the life experiences to today.

Realizing that unresolved issues develop into unhealthy coping mechanisms is the first step. Whether marital issues, family issues, or individual issues are your concern, the center of that experience is you. The change will feel monumental. But it doesn’t have to feel impossible. Thank you for reading.image