Individuals come up with all kinds of excuses for their inappropriate behavior. “I have to keep moving from job to job because my work-place is filled with idiots.” “I am this way because my mother was this way.” “I act like this because when I was growing up I was neglected, rejected, abused-you fill in the blank.” A person will not change until the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of change.
While it is good to consider the source of our woundedness, we have to come to the end of using it as an excuse for our behavior. We need to take ownership of our brokenness if we are going to heal and move on with our lives. It’s time to stop the blame game. It’s time, to be honest with yourself and examine “Why do I do the things I do” “What’s wrong with me”
If that is where you are today there is hope, but you must take the first step and break the chains that bind you.
Spiritual brokenness and brokenness of soul are two very different things. Spiritual brokenness is an indication of surrender to God’s control over our lives. By brokenness in this situation, we are referring to the Healing of our emotional wounds.
Healing our emotional wounds requires several deliberate steps in our journey toward wholeness.
Step One: Break Out of Denial
Denial is a consequence of emotional shock which deadens our emotions and prevents us from feeling the full impact of the painful experience. We feel numb and are unable to recognize the amount of which we have been hurt. We need to examine our wound by reflecting on the details of the traumatic incident.
We may find the pain of acknowledging the source of the wound too painful to look at, so we choose to bury it and pretend it didn’t happen. It feels safer to keep the secret than to face the truth.
People who bury their emotions are afraid that if they allow their feelings to surface they will lose control. They are terrified of the dam of emotion busting open and swallowing them alive. What if they become so broken they never recover?
Yet harmful emotions once buried, never die. They ferment, become more potent, more harmful and explosive. Like harmful chemicals buried near a water supply seep into the drinking water and poison those who drink it – buried emotional pain seeps into our everyday lives contaminating all our relationships.
The first step toward emotional healing is to shake off denial by talking about the traumatic event with someone we trust.
When someone has a car accident, they usually have to tell the details of what happened to several people before they are able to put it behind them. Talking about our distressing experience helps us deal with it.
As I began to share my story, my roller coaster of emotions gradually began to level out.
Step Two: Own our Brokenness
The second step to healing our brokenness is owning our brokenness. It is essential that we allow ourselves to feel the pain caused by the incident. If we are to heal, we need to acknowledge the effect the traumatic event had on us.
Time does not heal all wounds. In fact, time often causes the wound to move deeper. The full destruction of the sin against us must be faced, felt and expressed before true healing can take place.
Along with counseling where I walked through my memories of painful experiences, I spent much of my time journaling my emotions and pouring out my heart to my Heavenly Father.
Step Three: Receive God’s Love
Our lack of knowledge of our Heavenly Father affects our emotional and mental health. If we have a faulty spiritual belief system we will short circuit our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
If we do not have a healthy understanding of who God is, and who we are as His child we will not be able to trust the love of our Heavenly Father.
My healing journey involved committing myself to meditating daily, for several years, on Scriptures of God’s love for me. It was very comforting for me to discover Scriptures which told me how God felt about my anguish.
Step Four: Give Up False Loyalty
Tips to healing emotional wounds
If the offender is a parent or someone you love, you may feel a fierce need to protect the person. One of the family rules may have been, “What happens at home stays at home”.
By breaking the silence, the wounded person feels a deep sense of betrayal and guilt. However, if the offender is never acknowledged, or assigned appropriate blame, healing is not achieved. By not acknowledging the guilty party, the wounded person carries around shame that rightfully belongs to the offender. As a result, anger is often reflected in innocent individuals.
How he or she responds to the hurt is the responsibility of the wounded person. Does he lash out at others? Does he manipulate and control? Does she act out her pain in rebellion? Does she get angry with God?
Counselling and studying books on the topic of my concerns helped me take ownership of what was my responsibility and assign appropriate blame to the offending party.
Step Five: Reject False Beliefs
Satan feeds us all kinds of lies:
False Belief # One:
It was my fault.
I must have done something to deserve it.
I should have stopped it.
No one will believe me if I do tell them.
I am worthless, helpless, and hopeless.
But God desires that we believe the truth about ourselves. We need to reject the lies and replace them with truth.
Most people, who were victims of neglect or abuse as children, whether verbally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, or sexually, blame themselves. But no one is ever responsible for another person’s behaviour especially when it comes to an adult /child relationship.
False Belief # Two:
Good Christians don’t get angry.
Anger is not a sin; it is an emotion, but how we express our anger can be sinful. If we punch or hit someone in anger, it is sin. If we verbally lash out at someone in anger, we have sinned. If we gossip about the offender, we have sinned.
If we pretend we are not angry, we are being deceitful. God desires truth in our most inward being. If we bury our anger, pretending all is well, it will resurface as depression, fear, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, or we will explode over the simplest infraction.
The Bible gives us permission to be angry in Ephesians 4:26.
In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.
We are to deal with our anger quickly in an appropriate manner so that it doesn’t become bitterness. It would be appropriate to tell the offending person calmly, that what he or she did makes you angry.
As I searched for truth, Jesus began to shed light on my wounds.
Step Six: Give and Receive Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a major and necessary step to healing. Forgiving our offender is giving up our right to demand retribution. By forgiving the one who hurt me, I am not saying what he did was okay. Nor am I saying I am over the emotional pain. Forgiveness simply means I am willing to live with the consequences of his sin against me. I let him off my hook, but he is still answerable to God.
Forgiveness sets us free to move through the healing process and continue to grow as a person. Forgiveness is the key to healing for all emotional wounds.
Step Seven: Trust God’s Redemptive Plan
No pit is so deep that God can’t reach down and lift us up out of the mire. He cleanses us, heals us and redeems us through the death and resurrection of His Son.