If we reflect on our habitual responses when someone hurts us, we see that each of us has developed our own ways of dealing with these. If our memory still hurts, as it did initially, we know then that we still have an open wound. Our coping patterns of rebellion or compliance, for example, have not lead us to our complete healing.
When we feel offended it is usually that something someone says or does now reminds us of painful issues from before. We feel the same feelings as we did when we initially got hurt. It may come as a surprise when we overreact, but this is because today’s issues hook yesterday’s. How we were treated before affects our beliefs about ourselves and our ways of connecting with others currently. We may, for example, have been belittled in class and now find ourselves blocked if we have to speak in public. As a child we may have been allowed no voice and were silenced and humiliated. Now we find ourselves doing what was done to us. We may be surprised when we shout to feel powerful. Someone else might have always controlled our choices and we mistrust ourselves making them now.
As we intentionally engage early memories and see the patterns that went with them, the more we will be empowered to choose what we want or do not want for our lives now. As adults it’s our job to manage our relationships and not simply to repeat what was done to us. Our ways of loving can become deeper as our relational patterns are transformed. We do not need to be victims and remain stuck in our norm.
When we struggle with our outer community it’s often reminding us of something painful in our inner community that we haven’t found healing for yet. The Holy Spirit keeps bringing people into our lives to awaken us to unhealed areas of our heart. When we co-operate with Him, He heals our wounds and makes us whole and free indeed.