When Emotional Pain is Too Much: Real Love® Insights

By Greg Baer M.D.

December 21, 2023

Jack called me and described the mess of his life: his anger, his addictions, his marriage, and his children.

It was pretty awful, and—tragically—not so different from the lives of many of us.

“I feel like I’m tied up in knots,” he said.

“Probably because you ARE tied up,” I suggested.

The obvious question is then how to untie all the knots, but the answer often has nothing to do with knots.

How We Respond to Emotional Pain

I once needed to move a rock weighing several tons out of a deep hole where it was partially buried. I used multiple winches and heavy-duty polyester tow straps.

One strap needed to be lengthened, so I tied another one to the end of the first. After successfully pulling out the rock, I attempted to untie the knot that united the two straps, but I discovered that the pulling force had been so great that it had caused the polyester knot to fuse.

So, I accepted that it was impossible to untie and simply cut the knot free of the straps.

We can’t untie every knot.

How We Respond to Emotional Pain

Emotional pain is everywhere, and we tend to respond to it with protecting behaviors that temporarily make us feel better but cause even more pain and complications long term. Eventually we cause knots that cannot be unraveled. Then we spend the rest of our lives saying things like:

            “I’m afraid that …”

            “I don’t know how I can …”

            “Why did he/she …”

            “But if I …”

            “If only …”

What Helps Emotional Pain

Fortunately, we don’t have to unravel our pain and mistakes. With sufficient love in our lives, and with knowledge to make new decisions, we can cut the knots and start over.

We need to understand that; that love eliminates pain and the consequences of pain. If we’ll let go of the past—mostly our guilt, resentment, and shame about the past—we can create a new life of joy, rather than untying old knots. 

So don’t keep chewing that old stuff. Don’t try to analyze your mistakes as a person or parent. Just keep being truthful, finding love, and sharing love with your children. 

Teach them how to focus on faith in the love they have and gratitude for it—now. Now is all they have. Let the knots go.


Recover from your negative habits and beliefs!


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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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