Have you ever found yourself caught in a mood or an emotion you could not shake off? It happens to us all. Perhaps you were slighted and you find yourself ruminating about it all day - feeling sorry for yourself - then feeling angry about it. Such moods are also called 'ego states'. You do not have to be governed by your ego states/moods/feelings. You can learn to shift out of them to more open, compassionate, peaceful modes of being.
We do need to acknowledge, feel, work through and respect our reactions and the emotions that arise after difficult experiences. But if you find yourself stuck in an emotion long after the experience is over, you could try the suggestion in the following paragraph, to skillfully step out of it. (E-motions are moving things - they are supposed to move through you, not be stuck like a broken record - hence the word 'e-motion'. When you choose to relate to your emotion instead of from it, you are allowing it to move through you, to let in the next emotion.)
Let's say you are feeling angry way past the time that the anger should have abated. In that case, try relating TO your anger, instead of FROM your angry state. When you relate FROM you anger it spills out on to everyone around you - even on those who were not involved in the incident that angered you. If you can make the shift and instead relate TO (acknowledge, affirm) your anger it would look/sound something like this:
Talking to yourself: "Well, of course I have been experiencing some anger. Who wouldn't after being slighted by a good friend. I felt diminished and my anger is an indication that I was not treated with respect. I've acknowledged my anger and I do not have to live from this angry state all day. When I see my friend again, if it still feels appropriate, I will tell him how I felt about what happened. In the meantime, I am going to let the anger go and welcome the day. I choose not to live from that angry state."
You acknowledge your feeling (relating TO it), but you refuse to let it permeate all your other interactions (which would be relating FROM it).
If you were wounded, abused or traumatized in your past, it is normal to have many emotions about the traumatic events, and they need to be acknowledged and worked through. That may take some time. However, if you find that you are relating FROM your wounds way longer than is generally expected or healthy for you, use the above technique to begin to relate TO your wounds instead of living FROM your wounds.
If you are living from the wounded place you are 'identified' with your wound....you are making the wound what you are all about. You don't want to deny the fact that you were abused, but you do not have live identified forevermore with your victimhood. Relate TO the fact that you were abused, RATHER THAN FROM the feelings you have about the abuse.
You can substitute any word/emotion for the word 'pain' in the graphic above. For example:
I relate to the fact that I am depressed, instead of always relating (living, acting) from the depression.
I relate to the fact that I was addicted, instead of from my addictive tendancies.
I relate to the fact that I have abandonment issues, rather than from that historical fact.
I relate to my physical pain, instead of from my physical pain.
I relate to my fears, rather than from my fears. ("Yes I am afraid, but I am not going to live based on my fears.")
I relate to the fact that I was hurt, but I do not intend to see or live my life from that hurt place.
Of course, many of these are easier said than done, but with practice you can have this as a secret tool in your back pocket to help you disidentify from unhealthy, unskillful ways of being in the world.
Related to this is the fact that when we are hurt, wounded, traumatized we all tend to regress a bit in our emotional age inside. We feel little. We feel needy, desire help, want rescue and reassurance. We are not then living in an adult emotional state - we are relating from a child-like, needy state. It is hard to manage our life effectively if we are feeling little inside. It is hard to make good decisions when we are feeling wounded, weak, hurt......the victim. Use such feelings as signals - if you are feeling sorry for yourself, feeling like you are always victimized.....you are probably living from an immature ego state. You need to shift from relating/living from that state to simply relating to it.
When you make the shift (this takes time and practice) and relate to your self-pity, wounds, hurt instead of from them.....you shift back into a more mature, adult ego state. From there you can sympathize with child inside of you, saying you know they were hurt, but they are safe now and the adult part of your personality is the one in charge. Don't let your wounded ego state drive your life's vehicle! Relate to your childhood pain, not from your childhood pain.
Give it a try. It costs nothing but a little mental and emotional effort and can save you a lot of pain and grief.