Pursuing Healing for Your Wounds

We all have been wounded. Last week I blogged on the topic, “We All Have Wounds That Need To Be Healed.” We must face and deal with our wounds in order to be freed from the shame, embarrassment and dysfunction of them. Only then is it possible to become wounded healers as we use our journey of healing to help others.

Today I want to focus on the process of facing our woundedness, so we can experience the healing we need to become wounded healers.

We all have wounds that need to be healed

Many years ago while in graduate school I read the book The Wounded Healer, by Henri Nouwen. That book forever changed my life as I was learning to deal with wounds of my life. I recently read a quote from that book that reminded me once again of the importance of recognizing that we all have wounds which continue to shape our lives. Here is the quote:

“Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not ‘How can we hide our wounds?’ so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but ‘How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?’ When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.”

Who is Building Your House?

As I have been driving and jogging around Dargaville, New Zealand, I have been noticing something very interesting. Wherever building construction is happening, whether commercial or residential, the property is fenced. The fences are mandatory to restrict access so that people don’t walk onto the building site. On the fence are any number of notices, such as, “Keep Out,” “No Trespassing,” “Danger,” etc.

Desires—No Middle Ground


4449585823_c8893f33e8_zI recall the years of struggling with sexual addiction and calling out to God to take away the sexual desires, and wondering why He didn’t. After all, I thought, this was my struggle and God is supposed to help me to overcome my struggles! I did not realize that I was asking God to make me less of a human than he created me to be.

I was asking God to remove or help me overcome something that is natural. To desire is to be human; it is how we were created.

As Henri Nouwen wrote: “Desire is often talked about as something we ought to overcome. Still, being is desiring: our bodies, our minds, our hearts, and our souls are full of desires. Some are unruly, turbulent, and very distracting; some make us think deep thoughts and see great visions; some teach us how to love; and some keep us searching for God.”

Recycling Pain

Recycle Pain 3In the city where I live, as in many cities in the United States, recycling is a routine way of handling the tons of trash produced daily.

The leader of our Celebrate Recovery often says, “God is in the recycling business; He recycles our pain.”

That statement is not new or original with this leader. It has been used in lessons for Celebrate Recovery and other recovery programs for years.

I can see parallels between the process I go through in order for the city to recycle my garbage and how God recycles our pain.

Recycle Your Pain

Pin Love --PainIn the city where I live, as in many cities, recycling is a routine way of handling the millions of tons of trash produced daily in the United States.

Recently the leader of our Celebrate Recovery said, “God is in the recycling business; He recycles our pain.”
That statement is not new or original with this leader. It has been used in lessons for Celebrate Recovery and other recovery programs for years.

But as I heard the statement this time, I saw parallels between the process I go through in order for the city to recycle my garbage and how God recycles our pain.

First Steps to Fully Embracing Who You Are

writingLast week I talked about how our struggle to truly embrace who we are is at the core of our difficulty with trusting others.

I want to offer a few suggestions to you in the process of fully embracing who you are.

Get out of your head. We all have the tendency to live in our heads. When you think about it that really is the worst place to live. In our heads we come up with the worst scenarios about our situation and ourselves.

When living in our heads, we seem to focus on our negative experiences, the things about us we do not like and do not want others to know about. We are usually not afraid to trust others with what we are good at or when we have a good idea. But we struggle to let others know about the negative or less than wonderful things. The truth is all people find themselves living here sooner or later.

Why We Find It Difficult to Trust Others

Trust thrown in airWhy do you find it so difficult to trust others? Why do you find it amusing when a child is honest and trusting? You were once like that child, completely trusting and honest with those around you. What has transpired from childhood to adulthood that now makes trusting others so difficult?

I have spoken with many people who say they know they need to start trusting others but they don’t know if they can. When I ask why, the typical answer is, “I am afraid others would judge me or not like me if they get to know the real me.” They also fear letting others know that they are struggling.

Why do we find it difficult to trust others with who we are?

Getting Along with Difficult People

Angry peopleWe have all encountered someone who we have a difficult time getting along with. Reasons vary for why we struggle to get along with some people, while we seem to have no problem with others.

With some, it is the short fuse or seemly uncontrollable anger. Others might have mood swings that make them hard to get along with because you can never tell what temper they’ll be in at any given time. Others are overly sarcastic. Then there are those who are never wrong and nothing is ever their fault; they are masters of blame-shifting.

We have all encountered someone who is challenging to be around, whether at home or work. It may be a family member, a neighbor, a friend or an acquaintance. As a matter of fact, sometimes we are the ones who are hard to get along with. But let me offer some guidance for getting along with difficult people.

When Listening is Most Difficult

Ears pluggedLast week I looked at listening as foundational to a healthy relationship. If you are to have and maintain healthy relationships at any level, you must learn to be a good listener.

Listening is most challenging during conflict. In such cases emotions run high, with anger being the dominant. When emotions run high, reason can hardly prevail. And without reason rising above emotions, conflict escalates, often leading to serious consequences for all involved. Many times in the middle of a conflict you may have heard the phrase, “You are not listening to me!” Or perhaps you used it yourself.