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.
Our body responds well to care, but equally, it suffers when wounded. We’ve all had experiences which hurt us emotionally. When we go to a doctor, their first question usually is, “Where does it hurt?” That is the area of focus. Interestingly, with emotional pain, we may pretend we’re not hurting so badly. Imagine saying to a doctor, “I’m fine thanks, how are you?”, instead of bringing the issue to light, choosing to deny the pain.
Let’s use a common example. When we get a splinter in our finger, we remove it to facilitate healing. Then, we nurse the wound with antiseptic and bandage it. After a few days of care, we’ll be on our way to getting better.
Emotionally we tend to leave our hurts unattended to, and as such, they continue to have a long-lasting, detrimental effect. For example, we may have said we forgive, but sense internally that there’s still work to be done. We know that a physical wound needs protection and time to heal. Similarly, we need to give our internal wounds a safe space to be restored. This can be through times of quiet personal reflection, or with the help of a trusted friend. It is as we let our feelings in, and go into those hurting places with God, that their restoration can start.
As we find healing, both externally and internally, we are freed to be more open and life giving in the moment. Healed wounds no longer bother us. These ‘battle scars’ become part of our story. They are testament to the healing power of God, the greatest doctor.