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One cannot live in a broken would without eventually being marred by brokenness on a personal level. All of us to a greater or lessor degree carry around emotional scars in varying stages of healing. We are the sum total of all our experiences.
Anything once distorted becomes broken. Truth distorted becomes deception. Love distorted becomes dependency. Good intentions distorted becomes obsession. Hard working becomes workaholic. Rest and relaxation becomes laziness. Excellence become perfectionism.
Brokenness of every kind, whether it is alcoholism, workaholic, obsessions, dependencies or perfectionism has its root cause which will need to be addressed if healing is to take place
However, one cannot begin the healing journey until he or she acknowledges and owns his or her brokenness. For example, as alcoholic will not get help until he or she takes ownership of his or her alcoholism. As long as the person blames someone else, her or she will never heal.
AN INDIVIDUAL WILL NOT CHANGE UNTIL THE PAIN OF STAYING THE SAME BECOME GREATER THAN THE PAIN OF CHANGE.
Step One: Break Out of Denial
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
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 to 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
“Be merciful to me, Lord,
for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,
and my bones grow weak.
I have become like broken pottery
for I hear the slander of many;
there terror on every side.”
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 affect 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.
Psalms 62:7&8 instructs us to pour out our hearts to our Heavenly Father.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
Along with counselling 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.