The other evening I was answering e-mails on my phone while halfway listening to a program that was on television. I heard a woman’s voice say, “We spend a lot of our lives trying to protect ourselves.” As images of people wearing knee pads, elbow pads, helmets, and in-line skates raced across the television screen the woman continued. “Yet even we take precautions in life there are those times when we crash land…still ending up hurt.” The images switched to people falling down hard as they lost their balance or were knocked over on their skates
I thought, “Oh, boy isn’t that the truth.” I have adopted more defense mechanisms in order to protect myself from being hurt than I can count. While I might not have strapped on the physical pads or helmets I’ve definitely tried to put on emotional protective pads.
Sometimes I strapped on the “I don’t care” pad. Other times I wore the “I’ll hurt you before you hurt me” pad. My favorite for many years was the “I won’t be close to anyone” pad. (The whole keep everyone at arm’s length adage.) And I think I wore the “I won’t trust another person as long as I live” pad for a very long time. Unfortunately, none of these emotional protective pads kept me hurt free.
I had to learn that as long as I’m living and breathing here on earth I will get hurt. It might not be another person’s intention to hurt me, but at some point that person is going to say or do something that hurts me. That is simply one of the hazards of being human.
What I choose and what you choose to do with the hurt is the important thing.
If we insist on holding tightly to the hurt we run the risk of it becoming our sole focus. When that happens there is the potential of becoming trapped in a victim mentality. If we internalize all that hurt, allowing it build upon itself, we’re going to end up with an explosion that has negative repercussions for us and for those around us. The proverbial saying, “walking around her/him on eggshells” will be on the tip of people’s tongues when they refer to us. The worst part of not letting go of our hurt is that we will carry it as baggage into every one of our
relationships…dooming them to trouble from the get go.
The only way to ensure that we don’t become a captive of our hurt is to give it away – to give it to God. Handing our hurt over to God isn’t saying that we weren’t hurt or that we condone the action/lack of action that caused the hurt. It means that we admit that we can’t carry the burden of hurt any longer. It is a way to acknowledge that we understand that clinging to the hurt is re-infecting the original wound over and over again.
All of us have experienced a hurt at one time or another. The question is: are you at the point where you are willing to let go of your burden of hurt? If you would like to be free of your hurt I would encourage you to make an appointment with one of our trained Prayer Ministers. They will walk with you as you embark on your journey to forgiveness so that you no longer carry your burden of hurt.