Overcoming Your Past Emotional Wounds
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Emotional mental abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, betrayal, and bullying, can you relate to any of these words? Do you believe because of those things that have happened to you that you are an inferior being that does not deserve love? Some of our problems may be the result of things that happened to us in childhood or even in our adulthood. We are products of our environments to some extent. However, whatever has happened in the past to hurt you, Jesus can bring healing emotionally and mentally to you.
Inner healing needs to take place, and when it does is to never forget a hurtful or traumatic event, but where the Holy Spirit identifies the problem area and removes the stinger from it. When this is done, a person can look back on that wound, and see it in a different way; it will no longer be painful to look at.
How do you know you have emotional wounds that need to be healed?
1) Feelings always rise up. Feelings of anger, resentment, jealousy, hatred, etc. seem to rise up at the slightest offense from another.
2) Overly sensitive about your past.
3) Difficulty forgiving others and self. It is difficult to love others, yourself, and to forgive.
4) Difficulty receiving love. You may be surrounded by people who love you, but find it difficult to receive their love. Have difficulty with God’s love.
5) Lashing out on others. An inner wound that has festered can cause you to lash out at the ones who love you.
6) Feelings of anger towards God. When you have been wounded it is easy to blame God and feel anger towards Him.
7) Self-hate. If you have been hurt/abused in your past, you may think what happened to you is somehow your fault.
8) Low self-esteem. Do not feel worthy to receive love or have what others have.
9) Fear, usually fear of authority figures.
10) Guilt and shame.
11) Escapism. This can happen in the form of TV, alcohol, drugs, computer, shopping, etc.
12) Having frequent pity parties. Your past is such a strong identity to you, and you feel compelled to tell others so that you will receive their sorrow.
13) Unrealistic expectation of others. Somebody who has been wounded set high and unrealistic expectations for others and for themselves. There is an intolerance for the mistakes of others.
14) Perfectionism. If you have an emotional wound, it is likely you are performance driven. This could stem from never being able to please a parent, and later on in life, that rejection wound caused you to be a performer to the point where you are never satisfied and burned out by your efforts.
15) Being overly driven. When you suffer from an emotional wound, it can create a sense of void in your life’s meaning, thus driving you to find meaning and purpose. This could be in the form of college degrees and careers.
If you are going to receive healing from an emotional wound, you have to get honest first.
Ask yourself the following questions:
1) Who is it that you blame or hate, and what was done to you? Be specific, and go back as far as you can remember.
2) What things from your past do you regret doing? In particular, be aware of why you may have self-hate and unforgiveness of yourself. Are you excessively embarrassed or ashamed about anything from your past? It is important to get to the roots of why your wounds have still not healed.
It is important to settle in your heart that God is disappointed with you or that He does not love you. Getting yourself to the place where you know that God loves, forgives, and accepts you, is one of the foundations for inner healing. Carrying around shame is a sure way to hinder the healing process. One of the biggest keys to receiving healing is your perception of God. Open up your wounds and give them to Jesus. If you hold your wounds in darkness they will never heal. You need to take your “mask” off and expose it to the light of Jesus Christ. Christ has taken our pain to the cross, and if we transfer it to Him, He is waiting to heal our wounds. If you choose to carry your own sorrows, it is usually because you do not believe or realize that He carried your sorrows.
Picture in your mind, Jesus’ sorrow and tears; as He wept beside you feeling the hurt and suffering that you have.
Another key to inner healing is not to meditate or continue to think about what was done to you. Once you have given it to the Lord, don’t continue to think about how badly you were wronged. You will cause emotional wounds to fester when you continually think about what was done to you. Don’t deny what was happened to you, but once you bring it before Jesus; then leave it with Him and let Him carry your pain. You need to make a firm decision that you will not dwell on the things of the past, they need to be “starved so that they can eventually die.”
Stop listening the the voice of the enemy. He will remind you of your past wounds and why you should feel hurt and anger. The enemy likes to stir up past emotional wounds to cause them to get infected again.
It can be tempting to desire hatred over healing. Do you REALLY want to be healed? Would you rather see that person who hurt you suffer and punished for their wrong? Jesus made it clear that if we want to forgiven, then we need to forgive others. Stop blaming the person that has wronged you, because it is not what they did to us that is keeping us in bondage; it’s our reactions to what they did. You are not responsible for what has happened to you, but you are responsible for how you choose to react. Blaming others will hinder the healing power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If you want to receive mercy in your life, then you need to be merciful to those who have wronged you.
Forgiving yourself is vital to your inner healing, and seeing yourself the way God sees you. Know that you are cleansed, washed in the blood of Christ, and your past failures have been removed from your account. If you continue to walk around beating yourself up, then you are denying the work Christ has done on the cross.
God desires to heal our wounds and sorrows. Remember, once you give God your pain and wounds; keep them with Him. It is very important that you do not pick them back up by talking about them and dwelling on the pain of the past. Let go, and let God.