Guest Post by Rita Schulte
How you respond to hurt and pain will affect you for the rest of your life, because loss has a cumulative effect on your heart. If we don’t allow ourselves to touch or connect of the losses of our lives, if they are denied the expression of emotion, sooner or later we’ll find that our hearts will grow cold, frozen under layers of unrecognized hurt and pain.
Last week we learned the rules of engagement for dealing with your losses. In a related exercise, you compiled a list of hurts you have experienced in your life. Once you have completed your list, it’s time to put it all together by deciding.
Here are some things you need to consider:
- How long will I need to grieve this loss? What will that look like?
- Do I need to forgive myself, God or another person to move forward?
- Is there any unfinished business attached to this loss that needs attention?
- Is there anything hindering me from moving on?
- What next steps do I need to take to move forward?
- Do I need professional help?
Taking care of our hearts can be messy business. Most of us would rather avoid the process altogether, fearing that if we connect with our pain, it will shatter us. The truth is, burying our heads in the sand will only prolong the process. We will continue to experience a low-grade pain and/or depression for years to come.
The Lord’s command to “guard our hearts with all diligence” begins with noticing what’s happening to us as the issues of life unfold. So begin today. Become a noticer, and follow the rules of engagement to fight the most important battle of your life. You won’t be sorry you took the risk.
Rita Schulte is a licensed professional board certified counselor. She received her B.S. in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Rita has a private practice with offices in Fairfax and Manassas Virginia where she specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, anxiety and depressive disorders as well as grief and loss issues. In April, 2011 she launched “Heartline Podcast where she talks with top leaders in the Christian counseling and literary world about cutting edge issues affecting the hearts and lives of people today. She also airs a 1 minute devotional spot Consider This on 90.5 FM in NC and 90.9 FM in Lynchburg, VA. Heartline airs on Saturday evenings on 90.5 FM NC and will be heard on Christian Life Internet Radio in the coming months. Her book, Sifted As Wheat: finding hope and healing through the losses of life is currently with Hartline Literary Agency. You can follow her at http://www.siftedaswheat.com or Twitter at Heartlinepod.
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