While it’s true that humans are born with fear of certain things, most of our fears come from our own personal experiences. Maybe you were abused or neglected. Maybe you grew up in a volatile home, or with unpredictable parents. Perhaps you were bullied in school, or rejected by someone you love. While some withdraw into themselves and quietly carry their pain, others alter their pain into anger or hatred and lash out verbally, physically, emotionally. Neither is a healthy coping strategy, for them or the people they encounter. We’ve all witnessed someone abusing a cashier, a server, a customer service representative… While their behavior clearly has a negative effect on the poor soul they’re abusing, who has his or her own baggage to deal with, their anger and hostility also has a negative physical, emotional and spiritual effect on them. So, how do you love as though you’ve never been hurt, have joy when you’ve experienced so much pain? Owning the hurt and accepting it as a part of you is the first step. Again, we turn to Thích Nhất Hạnh for guidance.

As described by the publisher, “Based on Dharma talks by Zen Master Thích Nhất Hạnh and insights from participants in retreats for healing the inner child, this book is an exciting contribution to the growing trend of using Buddhist practices to encourage mental health and wellness. Reconciliation focuses on the theme of mindful awareness of our emotions and healing our relationships, as well as meditations and exercises to acknowledge and transform the hurt that many of us experienced as children. The book shows how anger, sadness, and fear can become joy and tranquility by learning to breathe with, explore, meditate, and speak about our strong emotions. Reconciliation offers specific practices designed to bring healing and release for people suffering from childhood trauma. The book is written for a wide audience and accessible to people of all backgrounds and spiritual traditions.”

Disclaimer: This blog is not designed to diagnose, treat, or prevent illnesses or trauma, and Dr. Emick is not responsible for your use of this educational material or its consequences. Furthermore, reading this blog does not create a doctor-patient relationship. The information contained within this blog is not intended to dictate what constitutes reasonable, appropriate, or best care for any given physical or behavioral health issue, nor does it take into account the unique circumstances that define the health issues of the reader. If you have questions about the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a condition or illness, you should consult your personal health care professional. As always, consult with your personal health care professional before beginning or changing any fitness or nutrition program to make sure that it is appropriate for your needs. Dr. Emick reserves the right to modify her positions on a subject based upon new research or data as it presents.