Healing a broken heart
Addiction Recovery Key # 2: DISCOVERING AND REMOVING THE RUBBLE
What is a heart wound?
Heart wounds create the rubble in our lives and we must discover and remove them. By not resolving heart wounds, we cripple ourselves, quite often, to the point of ruining relationships in the past, present and future. We continue down a journey of relationship failure and misery, broken heartedness and strife. We tend to avoid people and strike back at the same time. We end up compromising ourselves and others all because of unresolved wounds. The sad part is that most of us have no clue as to why we react the way we do. Heart wounds come from both childhood memories and from painful experiences in adult life, such as:
• Abusive parents or siblings
• Bully at school
• Close friends making fun at your expense
• Finding out you were an unwanted child
• Friend deceiving you
• Loss of a job
• Loss of spouse due to divorce
• Spouse having an affair
Healing heart wounds is vital to mental health
Heart wounds caused by the pains of life are often life traumatizing, and how we react to those wounds tends to set a precedent of future reactions. If we avoid heart wounds we tend not to resolve them. If we physically fight back when wounded, we learn to get revenge. So, how do we resolve the hurts of life? For most of us we never do.
What an awesome feeling when heart wounds are healed! Thousands of times I have witnessed a life changing experience as a client lets go of past wounds, wiping the years of rubble and pain from their life, clients report feeling unbelievable peace. Many times they experience God’s presence and the immediate release of resentment toward others. The Bible tells us that Jesus came to set the captives free, and those set free are free indeed.
A case study in how to let go of hurt: Jordan
1. Shame of the past
At age 17, Jordan had made a decision to have an abortion, but no one knew. The father of the unwanted child told her the unborn child probably wasn’t his and that she was on her own to deal with her pregnancy. She felt devastated that her boyfriend abandoned her and insinuated that she was unfaithful. She experienced a heart wound and felt all alone. She began withdrawing from people from that point forward.
Later in life, she never felt close to her husband but desperately tried to be the perfect wife. Early on, she successfully convinced others that she was happy and content. But, eventually the alcohol wasn’t enough for her to be able to handle the shame of her lies and secretive past. She sought to hide from her feelings in other relationships, gambling, and shopping, overeating, and excessive exercise. All the while, Jordan was heading down a dangerous path of devastation and addiction. As the years continued, she stocked piled the rubble in her life.
2. Life became unmanageable
Jordan’s life was heading for disaster. Her marriage was in shambles, she had cheated on her husband, her kids weren’t talking to her, and her career was almost gone. Jordan was at the brink of suicide. She had spent the past 10 years drinking her life away. At first, she only drank on weekends, and then because it wasn’t acceptable, she began hiding her drinking during the week. She withdrew from her friends and family. She would disappear for hours at a time, never truly explaining her whereabouts. She would say she was depressed and wanted time alone.
Jordan was living two different existences. The happy family and career woman during the day, and the wild, anything goes woman at night. To those who saw her in church, her life was picture perfect. She had a loving husband and two wonderful daughters.
3. Blessings in disguise
It was the two DUI’s that brought everything to a head. These two DUI’s probably saved her life. The court ordered her to alcohol treatment, where for the first time in her life, she dealt with the heart wound, the shame, and devastation of her past. Jordan received inner-healing. How? Jordan learned to forgive. She went back to the past events of her life that caused pain and was able to let go of her stored away hurt.
Forgiveness frees us from our wounds
The only way to rid yourself from the rubble of the past (heart wounds) is to forgive the people who wounded you. Forgiveness is an incredible concept and a process Jesus modeled for us to help us resolve issues of life. He demonstrated mastery of forgiveness on the cross by asking God to forgive those who have persecuted him. Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. It opens the door to healing. Being able to forgive and let go of hurts and anger enables a person to be free and not react in fear or revenge.
Jordan forgave many and was forgiven by many. Her fears were erased and life restored. Truly this is a story that brings hope for others. You may not have experienced the same heart wound as Jordan, but you probably have experienced someone in your life that has wounded you. Healing heart wounds requires a willingness to face the painful event or memory of the past. Hiding the pain will prolong its power over you. Give God and yourself permission to unlock the doors of memories from your past. If you haven’t found a counselor yet, then do so quickly. Don’t avoid the past; allow God to guide you through the help of a Christian Counselor.
Photo credit: shewatchedthesky