by Steven Price, MA, LPCA
Have you ever ventured out or thought what it might mean to get your heart back?
That question usually stirs up one of two immediate reactions:
- Wow! How great would that be? or
- What do you mean? I never lost my heart!
The first is usually from men or women who have experienced pain in their lives and realize that they have never really fully recovered. Those pains can take many forms, but often include wounding moments experienced after our fathers or mothers, friends, coaches, or teachers made us feel diminished. As we experience a sense of betrayal by someone we admire and trust, we can often begin to cope in ways that we believe are helpful but that in fact simply mask the underlying vulnerability. Some of us forget about these deep, painful life paper cuts or bone-chilling slices as we get older, then are surprised when we over-react to a moment or seemingly small event.
The truth, however, is that those pains remain with us and they impact the way we relate to others. We may limit the effort we put into relationships for fear of being hurt, or we may hide behind a facade to project a brave or happy face. Others will become extremely outgoing or extremely shy. No matter how we arrange our outward appearance, there is nearly always something that lives just beneath the surface, whether it’s fear, shame, guilt, anger, or sadness, that is all-too-easily provoked.
Now, the second reaction usually comes from those who have the deepest wounds and therefore feel they need the boldest facades. Unfortunately, the same is still true for those men and women. There still seems to be this easily-provoked emotion just under the surface.
The treatment, or the goal of therapy, in either case is “wholeheartedness” – “getting your heart back.”
What does that look like? It’s a basic exchange… trade in the pain for healing. If each wounding moment we’ve experienced is stored in a proverbial basement within our hearts, then we have to get into that basement, take each sealed box down, look at the contents, expose the hurt, and determine what treatment is best (with the guidance of the Holy Spirit), and then exchange that hurt for God’s healing power.
Sounds easy, right? It is… and yet it’s not. To even begin takes courage. There is work involved, and it’s hard work. There may even be additional pain involved, but usually this is the good kind (if you believe there is such a thing). It’s the kind of pain that comes when you know Jesus is the one exposing the wound so that he can then bring healing. The most beautiful thing about it all is that when Jesus brings the healing, we know we are truly healed. We truly get our hearts back… we become more and more wholehearted. More who God created us to be.
Are you still dealing with hurts from your past? Are you putting forth a brave or happy face even though you know there is something just under the surface? If you have boxes stored in your basement that you need help exchanging — if you want to get your heart back so that you can live freely — call us at LifeCare Counseling & Coaching.