People understand that if they’re injured in some way – if they burn their hand, cut their foot, bruise their leg – there are steps that they should take to make the injury heal quicker. A wise person wouldn’t pour salt into a cut or poke at a bruise expecting it to go away.
But when it comes to emotional injuries people usually do nothing at all or they exasperate the wound, making it worse. Sometimes people behave as if the injury doesn’t exist which allows the wound to simply fester. There’s a saying that time heals all wounds, and I believe that this is true. I think time can work for those slights, little insults, and small events that we run into that aren’t good for our emotional health. But some emotional cuts run much deeper than others. There are times when an emotional injury is substantial.
If you would go to a hospital, physical therapist or grab your first aid kit to deal with a physical injury; why wouldn’t you do the same for an emotional one? Below are three steps that you need to take if you are emotionally injured and need healing.
The first step that you need to take is it acknowledge that you’re hurt. Ignoring the injury is not going to make it go away. The injury is still there, and if it’s a big wound it won’t get better over time, it will simply turn into something worse.
Take anger for example. If you allow anger to linger in your heart, eventually it will create a root of bitterness. Roots run deep, and they are difficult to remove. If you are hurting, you need to acknowledge that you are hurting. Acting as if you’re not hurt won’t help you recover faster. It’ll only make things worse.
The second step is prayer. Prayer heals. Contrary to what the self-help movement proclaims – you cannot heal yourself (emotionally) by your own power – it doesn’t work. You need God to intervene. He is THE healer of broken hearts. A heart surgeon cannot give you a new heart or even heal your heart. He can only use stents, pacemakers and other devices to make the organ run a little while longer. But God is the Great Physician, who can heal emotional wounds completely.
Pray and ask for healing. But don’t just pray for yourself, also pray for the person who injured you. I find that when you pray for the other person it makes it much easier to do the third step.
The third step is to let it go. You need to forgive. You can take steps one and two and achieve emotional healing, but without forgiveness there’s an ugly scar that’s left behind. Forgiveness removes that scar. So if you want more than just healing – if you want to remove any trace of the injury, then you have to forgive.