there are some who say that the way to counter negative feelings is by simple repetition of positive self-affirmations. while i concur with the general notion that positive affirmations of self and others helps to uplift and encourage, there is a danger lurking in the assumption that negative feelings are bad. if we make a habit of always covering our negative feelings, our hurts and resentments and pain, with "happy thoughts" we will miss the opportunity for real healing. affirmations can act like a band-aid, they cover the wound so we don't see it. if we keep adding band-aid on top of band-aid the wound remains out of sight but does not heal. hidden under layers of band-aids it festers and deepens.
now band-aids have there place in the healing process, but periodically they need to be removed so that the wound can be cleansed and treated in order to promote real healing. sometimes the band-aid needs to remain off the wound, allowing the wound to be exposed to the much needed fresh air and sunlight.
sometimes a scab forms over the wound, kind of a natural band-aid working to heal the wound from the outside inward. for some wounds that's just perfect, yet sometimes the scab falls off before the healing is complete, or we may pick at it a bit thinking it's all better, but its not, and so the wound starts to tickle with blood. "darn thing, thought i was over it." but that's ok because different wounds heal at different rates. of course i want the pain to end now. i don't like pain, what sane person does, so the desire to simply apply another band-aid and forget about it is very tempting.
funny thing is that wounds have a way of making themselves known, often in different guises. an infection may set in and travel to another part of the body manifesting in a boil or some other condition without any awareness, on our part, of the connection between the two. for instance, there is a direct correlation between infections in our mouth and heart disease. go figure, who would have thought, but its true. so it is with emotional infections, a deep wound from childhood lies hidden under band-aids and festers, erupting years later in the form of arguments with loved ones or displaced feelings of resentment or any number of problems or stresses.
i used to apply to myself (and others) what i like to call the joan rivers school of psychology - "quit blaming your mother, get a job, and grow up", lol. and there is some truth in that; once you are an adult it's important to take responsibility for your life. blaming others, even blaming ourselves or God, just diverts us from growing. the blame game is just another band-aid.
however, the problem with this "school of psychology" is that it promotes denial. just forget about it and move on - it should be so simple. forgetfulness is like a long lasting scab, suddenly it itches a bit and you are reminded of it, so you pick at it a bit and then the blood starts to flow, and the original hurt surfaces. this may cause tears. in my case, whenever that happened i would quickly follow archie bunker's instruction to his wife edith whenever she got upset over something - "stifle yourself". stifle means "to quell, to crush, to kill by smothering", gee doesn't that sound like the way to good health? well it never worked for me either.
the truth is the only way to heal a wound is to address it. it will take time, and attention, and the courage to bear the pain, and often, very often, it will take help - from a friend or a professional - and especially from the One who can heal from the inside outward.