Like you, I’ve been hurt many, many times. While the scrapes, burns, and injuries are soon forgotten, the emotional hurts can fester for years. I have not become perfectly proficient in healing relationship wounds, but I have learned a few things professionally and personally. Perhaps one of these “bandages” will help you handle hurt, too.
- Admit you’re hurt. Denying that someone hurt you makes it more likely that you will act out and hurt yourself or someone else. Even if you don’t have the courage to tell the person who hurt you, acknowledge the pain and tell someone you trust.
- Get it out. Like thorns in the flesh, emotional wounds that aren’t removed can infect us, destroying our health. I’ve found the best ways to get it out are to write it out, talk it out, and cry it out.
- Look for the root. Seeking to understand the real cause of the hurt can help you heal. Most of the time we’re either being overly sensitive or the perpetrator is acting out of her own pain. Often what was said or done isn’t about us. Understanding doesn’t excuse wrong behavior, but enables us to get over it more quickly.
- Don’t take it too seriously. Some of the things people say and do that are hurtful are quite comical when you look at them a different way. My master’s research was on laughter’s impact on pain perception. Humor helps physical pain, but it’s a great analgesic for relationship hurts, too.
- Don’t pick at the wound. Once we’ve shared our heart with a trusted confidante, continuing to talk about the painful words or behavior is like reopening a scab. Commit to leaving it alone so it will heal.
- Exchange your hope. We may find ourselves hoping that the perpetrator will finally understand how they’ve hurt us and will express their deep regret for doing so. That kind of hope leaves our wounds open to infection. Instead, hope in the God who allowed the situation so He could work it for your good and His glory.
- Pray for the one who hurt you. The most healing prayer is not that the perpetrator will be hit by a speeding bus! Instead, pray that the Lord would heal her and forgive her so she will not hurt herself or others anymore. Of course, as we pray we recognize that we have inadvertently hurt others, too. Thank God for His mercy and forgiveness.
If none of these help, email me. My husband is a black belt in ju jitsu and he would be happy to beat up the person who hurt your feelings. Hope that made you smile. 🙂
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)