If you were seriously injured, would you go to the hospital? Of course you would. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that pain is a sign that something is wrong. But what about emotional healing?
Would it would be safe to say that if you had emotional pain, you would seek help, right?
Many don’t. Instead of seeking help to relieve themselves of their emotional pain, many people hide behind a mask. Some hide behind a mask of bitterness, others a mask of perfection, while some choose to mask of fake happiness.
Why do so many of us choose the equivalent of putting a Band-Aid on a slit wrist?
Because seeking treatment for emotional pain has a stigma attached to it. It’s seen as weakness, and weakness isn’t exactly something we prioritize on our society.
Yet getting relief for emotional pain is just as important as it is physical pain, and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Here are three ways you can begin on your journey to emotional healing:
- Journal your feelings. When I was first told to journal I thought my counselor was crazy. I thought journaling was something emotional people who “feel things” very deeply did while sipping tea. I don’t have time to “feel,” I reasoned. I’m a busy gal, don’t you know! I quickly discovered that my busyness was a disguise for all the emotions that I was suppressing. Once I was able to connect with what I was going through, I learned more about myself and my relief was almost immediate. Now I love to journal.
- Invest in healing. There were emotional hurts in my life that I was able to find relief for quickly, and there were others that kept coming back, like a bad infection. It is at these times that it is crucial to seek help. Whether you are struggling with unforgiveness or bitterness, seek the guidance of professional counselors. Your friends may be wonderful, but they are not trained to help in such matters. Plus, I loved them too much to keep dumping my baggage onto them and ask them to sort through it. By paying for professional help, you get your answers and kept your friendships!
- Set a new standard. What’s the standard by which you live? For the longest time, my benchmark was what everyone else thought or said. The problem with having others as your standard is that everyone has different ideas of happiness. If you want to live a life of peace and happiness (which I so desperately wanted), you need to learn what God expects of you, not everyone else.
Once I began to understand how He wanted me to live, my choices in life changed. And I must say, it was a lot easier than I thought. Instead of being clouded with confusion, I now had clarity. Instead of being unhappy, I now had a joy I couldn’t explain.
I realize this may sound like an oversimplification of a complicated process, but it’s the truth. These three steps will take you on a path toward emotional healing faster than you could have ever imagined.
Emotional pain and physical pain both start with wounds. When they are healed, they form scars. Wounds hurt, scars don’t. In fact, most scars are numb to pain. It’s up to you to allow God to heal your wounds into scars.
For a more complete path towards emotional healing, this is exactly the topic I cover in depth in my book, Build a Beautiful Life Out of Broken Pieces.