Learning to Forgive and Let Go of Hurt Through Christian Counseling
We all experience pain at some point in our lives. This pain can leave us feeling hopeless and even at times, enslaved. This can manifest into anxiety, depression, or even broken relationships. When the hurt is ignored, a seed of bitterness can grow that can be all consuming and toxic to our own health and well-being. Confrontation of pain often brings anxiety and fear of the unknown about how the relationship may be afterward.
Discerning When and How to Forgive
So how do we handle times we are hurt? We can ignore it, leaving us to just merely exist with the “elephant in the room” that is our pain to be confronted. Our pain can be bottled up to the point where it explodes, leaving new wounds as well as traces of malice in our own hearts. We may minimize our pain, believing it will pass, or at times maximize it, weighing the sin done to us against the sins we may have committed against another. These desperate measures can be cries for help to mend a broken relationship, all the while slowly robbing us of joy in our own lives as we ruminate on our pain. It may be unclear in relationships where we have been hurt whether or not to forgive, reconcile, or continue to exist on a surface level.
Getting Stuck in Cycles of Hurt
Thoughts of forgiveness may also keep us “stuck” in our pain for fear of not being heard or the issue being unresolved by truly forgiving. In the meantime, our hearts may grow bitter, angry, or even indifferent to the individual we seek an apology from. What if the apology never comes? Can we still be healed and come to a place of new growth in our own lives? Often times we become stuck in a cycle of hurt leaving us dependent on the way others treat us to dictate our own happiness and joy even on a day-to-day basis. This becomes not only exhausting because of the constant anxiety and defense mechanisms produced, but also can feel helpless, as we cannot control how others treat us or respond.
Choosing joy in the midst of pain can feel daunting or even sound trite at times. What this does not mean is that your hurts are invalidated or that the process of healing will be easy. Confronting pain is painful. We are left with the other options to simply exist and be indifferent, allow bitterness to grow, blame others, or look inward and begin to blame ourselves for sins committed against us. Our world is full of pain, but in the midst of that pain, there is hope and beauty that is made new to us daily.
Listening to the Body’s Response to Emotional Pain
It is important to pay attention to how our bodies feel when we are hurting or angry. Often times, we become disengaged to our mind-body connection when we are hurting, leaving us more confused and wounded, unable to move past the brokenness. Being mindful of how our bodies feel when we are upset is another great tool used in counseling not only to help us recognize our mind-body interaction as a cue we are hurt or angry, but also to help self-soothe. When self-soothing occurs, we are able to think clearly, process more efficiently, and begin to work through our hurts.
Christian Counseling to Help You Process Your Pain
Processing pain in a safe environment with the help and support of a counselor can be the beginning of substantial healing of past or present hurts. Speaking openly and honestly about pain, we have experienced helps our minds to process how we truly feel, as well as a trusted therapist to help guide that healing process and bring new issues to light. This freeing confrontation may be a new form of self-care, especially if it is the first time speaking the pain out loud and wrestling with a lack of forgiveness.
Questions may also arise in the midst of our pain and/or inability to forgive. Some of these questions may be related to God and His intentions toward us, whether or not forgiveness means reconciling, or there may even be questions about others hurtful actions toward us. It can be difficult to make sense of life during painful seasons. Counseling is a great way to speak hurts out loud, validating what has been done to you, as well as breaking the chains of bitterness that may be keeping your heart from experiencing true joy. I would encourage anyone stuck in a cycle of bitterness, regret, or any other type of relational pain to take a first step toward your own healing through Christian Counseling. God longs to bring healing into your life and bring freedom where we have become trapped. I would be grateful and eager to share God’s love and grace with you as you take your own steps toward healing in areas of pain and forgiveness.
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