I just read something powerful: ‘Healing is a decision.’ You don’t have to walk around being broken. You can make a choice, and choose forgiveness, and be healed from brokenness. The choice is solely up to you. Are you choosing what brings you closer to an abundant life or what is going to bring you closer to death? The choice is yours. I choose an abundant life.” – Kendra Parker
By Dawn Onley
Hurt people hurt people.
I was in church when I first heard a preacher say these words and immediately they stuck. It made perfect sense. I now had an explanation for why people do the hurtful things that they do. They do it because they are hurting.
What it didn’t explain, however, was why people stay in this hurt state. I could understand being hurt and acting out on that hurt. I’ve done that before. I think most of us have. But I couldn’t understand a person who continually hurts other people. A person who continually hurts his or herself. A person who never got better. Isn’t that what we all strive to do in life — get better?
I’ve now come to realize that it’s possible to become addicted to pain. It’s possible to find a sort of comfort in pain. It’s possible to choose, even if the choice is an unconscious one, to stay hurt.
It seems like an oxymoron, but it’s not. It’s possible to grab ahold of physical, mental and/or emotional pain and long after the cause of the pain goes away – decades after, in some cases – we can still find ourselves clinging to the brokenness of pain. We can still find ourselves regurgitating past injuries. And through that decision to not heal from the injury – and I believe it is a decision on our part — it can alter our life trajectories for years to come.
So much of adult pain emanates from childhood incidents. It could have been something said to us. Maybe it was something done to us. It could have been how we were treated or made to feel. It could have even been a perceived slight of some sort. It could have been a number of things that left us feeling less than or shattered in some way.
We can become so accustomed to being down, to feeling inadequate that we can begin to distrust that there is a better way. Much of who we become as adults is ignited in our childhoods — and that includes the good and the bad stuff.
Unless this pain is acknowledged and dealt with, it can become a default mechanism later in life. As adults, the moment we face abandonment or a broken heart or betrayal or a mean-spirited person, it can become a trigger that brings us right back to the thing that caused the initial childhood pain.
It’s at these points, when we are tempted to withdraw and default back to the hurt little girl, that it is absolutely vital to take pain medicine. And no, I’m not talking about the pills at the pharmacy. I’m talking about the stuff that replenishes what the painful experiences threaten to take away.
I’m talking about facing the pain head on and taking the steps to heal from it. I’m talking about doing more of the things that bring joy and light to our lives.
“When you hold on to your history, you do it at the expense of your destiny,” says Bishop T.D. Jakes.
Once we decide to get over any addiction we have to pain, we unleash unlimited possibilities that may have been previously blocked by our decision to stay addicted.
Drop the habit. Like any other addiction, it’s bad for your health. It’s bad for your family’s health. It’s bad for your friends. Most importantly though, it’s bad for you.
You are worth so much more.