Healing Our Wounds by Stepping into Our Scars

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Life leaves scars—we all have our stories.

But scars shouldn’t hurt, shouldn’t be a fresh pain. Properly healed scars are closed, insensitive to touch. A faint reminder of something that once was. I have places on my body from bike wrecks, surgeries, and maybe even a dog bite, but those wounds are healed, closed off by scars.  Not too long ago though, I had an open wound on my body and when I touched it, it hurt like crazy. And I became obnoxiously overprotective of this sore spot, not allowing anyone near for fear they would bump me.

I wonder how many of us are living in fear of being bumped.

If there is something in the recesses of our minds {those places we don’t let others see} that shoots pain when it is “touched,” we are still wounded. And the best way to clean this sort of wound like this is to properly flush it out.

Nature could tutor us in this area, this healing of hurts. In his book Waking the Tiger, therapist and educator Dr. Peter Levine suggests we could learn a valuable lesson from the instinctive behavior of animals. Those in the wild apparently hold an uncanny ability to process and transform traumatic life experiences.

A gradual, intentional release of energy must take place before we can be healed. Contrary to what we’ve heard, this licking our wounds is not always a self-pity thing. It is appropriate, necessary, to give ourselves room to address emotional pain so that we can heal and move forward.

In his studies, Dr. Levine noticed how most animals experience physical tremors after surviving a near death pursuit. Once they escaped becoming someone’s dinner, they ran around, shook, cried aloud—whatever it took to release the enormous amount of negatively charged emotions that had overpowered them during the chase.

If for some reason the animal failed to process this compressed energy, and tried to return to his regular life still hyped up, he simply couldn’t survive. If he didn’t do this release-dance, these fragments of trauma eventually destroyed his ability to live a normal life.

{There has to be a} mechanism that’s there to bring us back from the brink of insanity, the brink of fear and experience of threat to balance,” Dr. Levine said. “A threatened human must discharge all the energy mobilized … this residual energy does not simply go away (Waking the Tiger, Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 1997).

I have my days when I feel a little crazy myself, out of balance, fearful and hyped-up. It’s then I know that I’ve stuffed something, failed to process a hurt. Like adjusting a rear-view mirror to eliminate those pesky blind spots, sometimes we have to take a look back at our scars to make sure there’s nothing coming, nothing sneaking up on us that could cause a crash.

Are we lying to ourselves? Suppressing unresolved hurts, believing that’s what we’re supposed to do?

It’s simply not possible to disconnect ourselves completely from those people and things which comprise our past just by salvation or the years between us … they can still be affecting our attitudes, behaviors, personalities, fears, relational ability, health, or view of the world, and of God (Jimmy Evans, Marriage Today broadcast). 

If we deny our emotions long enough, our hearts eventually line up with the lie that we have to keep this pain hidden. But that’s not God’s plan. While He doesn’t want us to look back to hyper analyze, or get stuck in the pain, we can look back to identify any negative influences that are making their way into our lives because of what happened.

There is a healing power in the release of bound emotions.

Deeper Still:  Is there something you have been ignoring, hoping it will eventually go away?

 

PHOTO CREDIT: Andrei Mihalcea, Dreamstime.com


 

10 thoughts on “Healing Our Wounds by Stepping into Our Scars

  1. Love this post Jo Ann! It so resonates with our mission at Your Story Matters. I discuss in my latest book how we can learn from our story, heal from it and go on to share it to encourage and inspire others. I have personally experienced the healing and joy that comes from knowing the tragedies that are part of my story were in part for a purpose; to help others.

    • Angela … great to hear from you! I just went over to your site, and enjoyed it. I love your passion and your desire to pour hope into other hurting women. What a beautiful heart you have. <3 We need to link some of your Inspiring Healing stories back to our readers. 🙂

  2. This for me is God’s right-on-time moment for me. I just prayed about a relationship that has deeply wounded me, and the man claimed to be a man of God, and knew about much of many abuses in my 56 years. God is now releasing me from soul ties, I never knew I had. To know how deep wounds can fester for years, and we refuse to look to look at them, they won’t begin to heal properly. It took someone that I thought truly loved me to break my heart enough to want to face my past with no marriage partner,and to know how much repeated sexual abuses can damage people into their late life. This person also suffered repeated sexual abuse, but won’t deal with how much they made my trauma worse. I have never written a book, but later in life, I now know my secret, and personal writing, diaries, and journals have helped me face alot of deep wounds now. Later in life, Complex-Post Traumatic stress was diagnosed and flashbacks, dissociation, and others symptoms have allowed me to seek the proper healing. Jesus has been the biggest part of my healing, along with books and many fears I still face. I am glad that so many men and women share their truths. The truth can really set us free!!!

    • Yolanda, thank you for your courage in sharing. You cannnot imagine how many women out there hold the same truths close to their heart, afraid to release them. I praise God for the healing work He is doing in and through you. <3

      • God bless you for contacting me and so many others. Some of us don’t have much support and sites like these help me and I see so many others, who want God in their lives. I praise God for you and all those who do take the chance and to discuss what some people refuse to hear and to confront. I usually communicate much better with writing, and that’s why this is one of my favorite sites on-line. It’s the best one about writing and healing, in my opinion!!! (I don’t mean harm when I say some refuse, I mean those who some of us wanted to tell our story, and refused to listen for whatever reason. I’m learning to forgive those who have not).

  3. Jo Ann – this is one of the sections I truly resonated with. “If we deny our emotions long enough, our hearts eventually line up with the lie that we have to keep this pain hidden.” I truly believed, and am still trying to convince myself it is a lie, that to be free of the pain, you had to keep it hidden, keep it shoved way down. What happened to me, to cause me to first silence my voice, was something I completely blocked from my mind. Eventually little bits and pieces surfaced over time. I still have only those little bits and pieces, not the whole thing. Finding my voice and being able to possibly help other women (and children), has been a dream of mine for some time. Thank you for opening that door for me. Continued prayers. <3

  4. Thankyou for sharing , a struggle I have is in my own lense of life and my perception of certain things. No harm can be meant but I at times act out of past hurts!

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