HEALING OUR EMOTIONAL PAIN AND RELATIONSHIP PAIN DR. MAX HAMMER AND DR. BARRY HAMMER EDITORIAL NOTE: This article was written by Dr. Barry Hammer in the Autumn of 2014, summarizing some of the essential psychotherapeutic and interpersonal relationship insights of Barry’s late father, Dr. Max Hammer (1930-2011), an eminent psychotherapist, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Maine, and supervisor of graduate interns in clinical psychotherapy at the University of Maine. The present article also draws upon related insights by Dr. Barry Hammer, whose Ph.D. is in Religious Studies, with significant graduate studies in psychological, spiritual, and pastoral counseling.
For more extensive discussions of our insights regarding effective psychotherapy, psychological self-help (healthy psychological development), expanded spiritual awareness, inner peace, happiness, creativity, and development of psychologically healthy, fulfilling, interpersonal relationships, with true love, emphatic emotional/experiential intimacy, and good communication, please see our two published books.
The primary author of our books is Dr. Max Hammer, with secondary authors Dr. Barry Hammer and Dr. Alan C. Butler. Dr. Butler is a psychotherapist, Emeritus Cooperating Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Emeritus Training Director (Supervisor) of Interns at the University of Maine Counseling Center, and colleague/friend of Dr. Max Hammer). The titles of our books are as follows: 1) Psychological Healing Through Creative Self-Understanding and Self-Transformation. (ISBN 978-1-62857-075-5). 2) Deepening Your Personal Relationships: Developing Emotional Intimacy and Good Communication. (ISBN: 978-1-6198-590-4).
The content of our article follows immediately below. An important key to emotional self-healing is to fully embrace our emotional pain and relationship pain with an open, nonjudgmental, nonpartisan, compassionate, warmly loving heart. That warmhearted, compassionate, loving embrace of our emotional pain releases, untwists, or dissolves it back into its underlying substratum of undivided, pure, clear, love-life energy, which is inherently, naturally wholeness, self-consistent integrated harmony, well being, relaxed, serene, security, without any intrinsic negativity, inner conflict, or painful qualities. Resisting our judgments and inner conflicts only perpetuates and intensifies them; “what we resist persists.” It is important to compassionately, calmly, courageously, accept our natural judgments, reactions, preferences, and emotional pain without being controlled by, acting upon, or exclusively identified with non-constructive or inappropriate urges.
We can let be and embrace our judgments and conflicted feelings but also see beyond them to a deeper level of our being that is unconditionally relaxed, serene, intrinsically self-accepting, and naturally, compassionately nonjudgmental. We have an innate urge to restore our natural wholeness of being by reunifying with formerly estranged, disturbed, self-conflicted, aspects of ourselves. When we stop struggling against, distancing, identifying with, taking a judgmental partisan stance for or against, or being overly dominated by emotional negativity or conflicted, disturbing aspects of our energy, then our energy is thereby liberated from self-division and self-conflict, which makes our energy, feelings, and behavior less tense, less negative, and produces greater inner relaxed peace, fulfillment, and wholeness of being. That inner wholeness is also our natural psycho therapeutic healing, health, happiness, wholesomeness, and holiness, not an idealized perfectionistic holiness, but atonement to what is naturally easeful, harmonious, regenerative, sacred, precious, beautiful, truly good, and life-affirming in ourselves and others.
Dr. Max Hammer’s psychotherapeutic dictum, “Wholeness heals!” reflects this view that compassionately embracing and reunifying with uncomfortable, turbulent feelings, energies, and experiential states in ourselves, is the key to restoring our natural wholeness and well being, as well as similarly healing or constructively resolving unnecessary discord and experiential distancing or estrangement in our interpersonal relationships by emphatically embracing or non judgmentally, compassionately, intimately or non-dualistically contacting the experiential wholeness of other individuals, including their experiential negativity. Distancing ourselves from uncomfortable feelings and experiences produces a disturbing sense of inner self-division between know-er and known, as well as between what we are actually feeling and more “positive”, desired feelings, sensations, concepts, and experiential states that we pursue and superimpose upon the uncomfortable feelings as a means of distracting ourselves and thereby escaping from them.
Reunifying our energy and thereby healing emotional pain involves non judgmentally fully accepting and compassionately embracing whatever we are actually experiencing, and letting go of the pursuit of idealized notions of what we “should be” experiencing, feeling, achieving, “proving” or validating about ourselves, because pursuing what we hold to be “better” rejects and distances our actual experiential reality, producing greater self-division and self-conflict, which exacerbates emotional pain, rather than healing it. The natural inner wholeness that heals emotional pain involves not distancing ourselves from our actual feelings and experiential states by superimposing predetermined, presumptive interpretations upon them, but rather, being fully unified with the energy of the feelings, without speaking for the feelings, so that the feelings can speak for themselves and resolve or dissolve themselves by revealing their underlying message. That is how embracing our emotional pain and inner conflict releases it back to its original substratum as pure undivided energy, which is an intrinsic wholeness and well being without any inherently negative, painful, non-constructive, psychologically unhealthy, self-conflicting tendencies.
Being unified with our feelings and experiential states does not involve identifying with them, or acting on inappropriate urges. Whatever we identify with dominates us, and sticks to us like glue, vehemently pressuring us to inappropriately, impulsively express intensely energized toxic feelings and seek to gratify irresponsible, non-constructive urges with which we are identified, whereas we are free to constructively release and gain liberating healing insight into feelings with which we are not identified. Reacting for or against particular feelings is a form of identification and self-divisive partisan exclusivity, whereas simply observing our feelings without judgment and predetermined interpretations produces liberating insight and compassionate self-reunification. To restore our natural undivided wholeness of being, thereby healing emotional pain, inner conflict, and related psychopathology, it is helpful to be open to the whole range of our spontaneously arising inner and outer experience, with an accepting, compassionately embracing, non-controlling, non-censoring, non-selective, non-partisan, non-judgmental, non-interfering attitude. Taking a partisan, selective, judgmental attitude toward our feelings and experiences produces self-division and self-conflict between approved and disapproved, desired and rejected feelings and experiences. That self-division and self-conflict generates and exacerbates emotional pain and psychopathology, as well as contributing to related physical and social disorders. Beyond all divisive self-interpretations abides the deeper core level of our being, which is inherently, unconditionally, relaxed, serene, security, wholeness, well being, self-accepting, as “the peace that passes understanding.” (Philippians 4:7).
When we let go of all self-divisive, partisan, selective, predetermined, presumptive forms of self-interpretation and judgmental self-evaluation, then psycho therapeutic healing and liberating transformational insights can come from the “still small voice” of intuition (I Kings 19:12), arising from the unifying core integrity wholeness level of our being. Emotional pain and inner conflict is healed by being aligned with an energy pulse of self-consistent wholeness and harmony when we unify with and thereby compassionately embrace our emotional pain, thereby including it in our natural integral wholeness of being, functioning as a connective, cohesive, harmonious, regenerative, energy vibration.
We must let ourselves fully experience our emotional pain, hurt, and fear without exclusively identifying with it or reacting for or against it, and without distancing ourselves from the emotional pain by interpreting it, speaking for the pain from the outside, or attempting to control, manage, or evade its fullest energized impact. Instead, compassionately embracing or non judgmentally reunifying with the emotional pain, and letting it impact us fully, in its fullest energized intensity, restores the natural undivided wholeness of our individual being or energy-field, and that experiential wholeness produces experiential healing of the emotional pain that we compassionately embrace or non judgmentally reunify with, without holding any distancing interpretive preconceptions about it. Siding for or against, identifying with, pursuing, rejecting, justifying, condemning, distancing, and misinterpreting our feelings and experiences produces self-division within our energy field between approved and disapproved, conditionally accepted and rejected, or “self” and “not-self”, aspects of our energy, and that self-division perpetuates and exacerbates emotional pain and inner conflict. However, holding a non-distancing, non-analytical or non-defining, non-controlling, non interfering, non selective, nonpartisan, nonjudgmental, unconditionally accepting, compassionately embracing or welcoming attitude enables our emotional pain to naturally heal itself by reunifying our naturally holistic awareness and energy field, and enables us to also naturally be more compassionate to other people by emphatically embracing or intimately contacting their experiential wholeness without letting them abuse us or inappropriately take advantage of us. Relating to ourselves in a genuine, sincere, compassionate, emphatically responsive manner enables us to also relate to other people in that psychologically healthy, loving way. Conversely, being at peace with others can help us also be at peace with ourselves, by undoing a false sense of division and conflict within and between the individual and relational aspects of our energy field.
Compassion, empathy, and unselfishly generous caring for other individuals is natural because (to explain in metaphorical terminology) the individual self is like a circle or cone that converges with other selves or circles/cones at the center or heart core level of its being, while being clearly differentiated from others at the circumference or surface level of conscious awareness, as well as naturally experiencing various partial degrees of relative intersecting overlap and relative differentiation, or a dynamic relative balance between centripetal and centrifugal energies, along the radius or intermediate level of our conscious awareness. The process of healing emotional pain and restoring our natural wholeness involves a relative degree of caring connection to others as well as a relative degree of compassionate connection to the experiential truth of ourselves, because the energy of our real individuality naturally extends into the energy field of others, to a relative degree, in contrast to the ego as a false, distancing sense of totally separate identity and continuous, dualistic, narcissistic self-awareness, involving incessant egocentric mind chatter or inner monologues.
Reconnecting to others and to the experiential truth of ourselves in a genuinely caring, compassionate way restores our natural wholeness by reunifying the inner and outer, know-er and known, or subjective and objective aspects of our individual awareness and energy field. Restoring our natural wholeness in that way produces healing of emotional pain and inner conflict, rooted in unnatural self-division within and between the individual and relational aspects of our being. That healing process of loving self-unification and nonjudgmental compassionate self-acceptance is like a process of inner alchemy that transmutes our emotional pain, inner conflict, and negativity so that it is harmoniously integrated with our natural wholeness of being, and adds to rather than detracts from the luster of our inherent spiritual grandeur of being, as part of the undivided whole spectrum or “many splendors” of our pure energy field.
Dr. Barry Hammer offers transformational life coaching and interpersonal relationship advising to help people better understand and heal their emotional pain and inner conflict, as well as explore factors that can facilitate or impede the development of psychologically healthy, fulfilling, deeply caring interpersonal relationships, with good communication and emphatic experiential intimacy. If interested, please contact him at his email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A more detailed discussion of principles of healthy individual psychological development and psychologically healthy interpersonal relationships is presented in the following books:
1) Psychological Healing Through Creative Self-Understanding and Self-Transformation. (ISBN: 978-1-62857-075-5) and
2) Deepening Your Personal Relationships: Developing Emotional Intimacy and Good Communication. (ISBN: 978-1-61897-590-4). The primary author of these books is Dr. Max Hammer, with contributions from secondary authors Dr. Barry J. Hammer and Dr. Alan C. Butler.
These books can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or our author/publisher website, http://sbprabooks.com/MaxHammer.
The latter website describes the books and authors, also posts other articles/blogs by Dr. Barry Hammer (which incorporate many psycho therapeutically, spiritually, and inter personally valuable insights from his late father, Dr. Max Hammer).
See also Dr. Max Hammer’s and Dr. Barry Hammer’s YouTube videos, Psychological Healing Through Creative Self-Understanding and Self-Transformation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVrtJWHe1Dc&feature=youtu.be
Max Hammer and Barry Hammer, Deepening Your Personal Relationships http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFu2YZrpzj4&feature=youtu.be
BOOKS AND YOUTUBE VIDEOS BY OTHER PEOPLE THAT DISCUSS THE PROCESS OF HEALING EMOTIONAL PAIN AND INNER CONFLICT:
Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Debbie Ford, The Shadow Effect: Illuminating the Hidden Power of Your True Self (ISBN: 978-0-06-196264-6, Harper Collins, 2011)
Debbie Ford, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers (ISBN’s, 1-57322-735-8; 1-57322-096-5, Riverhead Books, 1998 and 2010)
Idem, The Secret of the Shadow: The Power of Owning Your Whole Story ( ISBN 0-06-251783-X, Harper Collins, 2002)
Marilyn Gordon and Ormond McGill, Healing is Remembering Who You Are: A Guide for Healing Your Mind, Your Emotions, and Your Life (No ISBN listed, Kindle Edition available through Amazon, 2013, Wise Word Publishing).
Guy Winch, Ph.D., Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts (ISBN: 978-1-921966-35-4, Exisle Publishing, 2013 and 2014)
Deepak Chopra, Physical Healing, Emotional Wellbeing (YouTube video), http://youtu.be/_gJN7I0a9XU
Idem, Healing Quest: Deepak Chopra on Releasing Toxic Emotions (YouTube video), http://youtu.be/_gJN7I0a9XU
Burt Harding, The Secret of Healing Emotional Pain (YouTube video), http://youtu.be/fvV5ZCzQCOI
Tobias Lars, Healing PAIN, Spiritual Healing of Pain, Healing Emotional Pain (YouTube video), http://youtu.be/t-VPgL-MfXU