All of us carry wounds and we each have our own ways of dealing with them. Some are not easy to brush away. These often lie in our subconscious until someone says or does something that exposes them again. We may try to keep going while our emotion pain tank is getting too full. It may surprise us when it unclogs and overflows and we become over-sensitive or depressed. A sure sign that we are carrying too much is when we just can’t receive another’s pain.
We need to find ways to clean out what’s stored in our pain tanks. We know that not all pain we receive impacts us to the same degree. We take hurt differently depending on whether it is from someone we love or someone we hardly know. We feel offence more deeply if it’s an attack on our person or if we are let down by someone close to us. Instead of addressing it we may try to cope by avoiding that individual, or may choose to pull back and not risk relating again. We may move home, job, change friends or chose sides against the offender.
We all have seen how harbouring offence can be a way to give us identity and meaning. We hear of long-standing vendettas that continue through generations, causing bitterness and cruelty to both sides that refuse to forgive. Here old wounds are continually re-opened, so they never heal.
It does not help to pretend offence didn’t happen and that it doesn’t hurt. Pain does not disappear by trying to drown out our experiences. We may well have to give ourselves time to grieve our real losses and hurts. We are not however alone in this process. Jesus knew we would have trouble in this world. He uses our pain to draw our attention to our wounds that He has carried on the cross, and is wanting to heal. He so graciously wants to partner with us to transform our pain and to then to make it into a gift that can help others find healing too.
Just as we have a body, we have an inner self. There are similarities between our physical and our unseen parts. If we reflect on our body and how we care for it, we can learn a lot about about how to tend to our inner ‘body’. Just as we eat well and exercise to keep healthy, so too we nurture and love our inner self.
Continue reading “Where does it hurt?” Healing our wounds in order to live more fully
Reflecting on dreams which so affect our life journey
The countless dreams that motivate and energise us give us our life direction each day. We need to know our guiding images to understand what is inspiring or frightening us, where we’re being reactive or compliant. We tend to view dreams as being positive, but some can be enormous, yet unconscious, burdens if they are driving us to fulfill another’s expectations. Continue reading What guides us through life?
Releasing others who have hurt us.
We are needing to view conflict in a different light. It is very much part of our lives, though for all of us it tends to have negative connotations. It really has not been developed by us into something we feel skilled at, so most times we just want to avoid it at all costs. However, since conflict is in all of us, historically and each new day, we need to start to view it more creatively and to engage with it more constructively as something that can transform us. Continue reading ‘Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.’
From childhood we’ve all sensed imbalances of power. In most relationships, though often unspoken, we feel we are being continually measured, pegged at different levels. We all know who’s stronger than us – whether verbally, emotionally or physically – and we know who can punish or frighten us. We sense where we are placed in our social circles, whether at the centre as the ‘queen bee’, or further out towards the fringe.
Each of our early experiences are peopled with memories which touched us, both the good and the painful. The patterns we each developed to flourish and to survive then are the same as those we still use today. That particular person or event from our past is long gone, but our learnt patterns of relating remain. We continue to see ourselves and others (even God) through this lens.
Continue reading Childhood Hurts – Blockage Or Bridge?
In order to become aware of the inner patterns and guiding images we all carry, we need to stop and look. This will need times of being alone with ourselves in order to grow in wholeness. This is essential so that we can also be there for others. This aloneness is a transformative, ‘pregnant’ waiting. It is not the same as loneliness, which carries with it feelings of lack, desperation and incompleteness. We dare not postpone living, waiting for our dream to materialize and for our present life to pass. This invitation to deepen intimacy with God and ourselves is done reverently, but not without fear. Indeed, intimacy implies this as ‘in timor’ means ‘into fear.’ Continue reading Loneliness or Aloneness