What Do We Do When Our Hearts Hurt?

The initial post title was 'Repressed Tears' but it sounds too negative which isn't how I am feeling, though I am not feeling good. This beautiful words and drawing from brilliant Charlie Macksey is something I returned to today, and it brought tears in my eyes again, as at each time I went back to it.

Decided to be very gentle with myself, which isn't common at all. This is especially hard to do ever since I started on the PhD journey/living by myself overseas, because being gentle = falling apart in tears for awhile and not being able to function at work. (Oh so thankful that I am home, a safe physical environment) On a positive note, I think I have become more attuned with my emotions so that instead of auto-repressing these emotions as in the past (without even realising). And I have b0bear to thank, even though he is also very much why I am writing this in the first place haha. Perhaps I have to also remember that I need to be gentle with myself so that I can be gentle with others too; and so it is not self-centred at all.

I think I struggle very much when I want to talk about something that is affecting/hurting me, because of all these tensions within: (1) Am I being too self-centred? (2) I need this person to fully empathise and validate how I am feeling (3) It's not a big deal, there is no need to be upset -- this is from my auto-repressing coping mechanism I guess.

But I realise with some things, even though my brain can logically process why it is not a big deal, I am still hurt/upset. Why I am writing this is because I think a lot of us have these triggers from our experiences growing up that become vulnerable spots in relationships, to process through my own spaghetti of thoughts-feelings, and affirm again that these vulnerabilities/patterns of hurt can stop in me because Grace has made me whole.

So for me, this particular trigger stems from my experience of feeling like I was a fool for trusting my mum at her words. What usually happens is that mum will say something which I would agree to or be anticipating. But when it didn't materialise and I brought it back to her, I felt like I was laughed at for holding these words so seriously. I really didn't know it was such a painful thing for me till in the context of another significant relationship I kept getting triggered in the same pattern. Now I am in this process of painful realisation and shedding repressed tears? All those tears I kept inside because I told myself that it wasn't a big deal when mum did that, when actually I was very hurt. Somewhat counter-intuitively, I feel like realising/acknowledging these helps me to truly forgive my mum because I can lay down the hurts at the cross of Jesus.

I can also start seeing things in a more positive light:
On hindsight, I think this is also why what I say to others is like a promise from me- I will do it because I really hated it when words are not honoured. And I will show love to others by seeking to remember and honour what they said, because that is also how I feel very loved. I guess I have touched many friends because of that, like when I mailed Clara a thoughtful birthday gift based on what she shared with me- so something beautiful came out of it :")

I can also empathise with the other person easier/faster, where before I would be stuck longer in that rut of negative rumination. Empathising was easier because I have validated my own feelings/perceptions and so I can hold the other's too, acknowledging that each one of us have our unique experiences that shape how we perceive and respond to things.

I smile through the tears, knowing that my heart will be hopeful and happy again, and these experiences will be like battle scars that show the work of grace in my heart. For I have known and experienced what it is like to be fully known and fully accepted- loved by God who loves me even when I am utterly unlovable in the dark depths of my heart.

"What do we do when our hearts hurt?" 
We will be gentle with ourselves and be brave to meet the hurts, and I pray that the grace of others and God will wrap your heart till it wakes hopeful and happy again :') Will be happy to pray and talk with you (whoever you may be) ~