Life's Seasons Speaks

Band Aids on Bullet Holes

February 16, 2022 with Jenny & Tina Episode 42
Life's Seasons Speaks
Band Aids on Bullet Holes
Show Notes Transcript

Band Aids on Bullet Holes

Physically speaking, sometimes we have an injury that requires special treatment – maybe surgery or physio… something that will hurt to endure, but it’s an important part of the proper healing process.  It’s something that is necessary and for the greater good in the long run. 

Well, what if we don’t do it?  What if we decide that we don’t have time for the suggested surgery, or that we just don’t want the extra discomfort of physio, so we don’t go through with it?

This scenario happens with our hearts too.  We can have an injury to our heart that happened years ago.  An injury that required surgery and maybe a follow up with physio to help repair it properly.

Let's talk today about how to go back and really assess that injury, and heal it properly - not just compensate for the pain we carry daily.  Let’s acknowledge the hurt and give it a space and a voice in our story.   To heal, to dispel false guilt, to learn from our mistakes, to kill shame, and to live free.  We deserve it!


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Physically speaking, sometimes we have an injury that requires special treatment – maybe surgery or physio… something that will hurt to endure, but it’s an important part of the proper healing process.  It’s something that is necessary and for the greater good in the long run. 

Well, what if we don’t do it?  What if we decide that we don’t have time for the suggested surgery, or that we just don’t want the extra discomfort of physio, so we don’t go through with it?  Well, it usually means that years later, we are still affected by that old injury, and it is now affecting our freedom to do certain things that we wish we could do.  And all because we wouldn’t take the time at the time and allow for the extra discomfort it would take to heal well. 

Some of you now are thinking about that old knee injury that you didn’t have the surgery on, or do the physio for, and man do you know it once you’ve done anything physical at all.  Or maybe you just have to say no to a lot of activity now, because you know your knee just can’t handle it. 

This scenario happens with our hearts too.  We can have an injury to our heart that happened years ago.  An injury that required surgery and maybe a follow up of physio to help repair it properly.  

But we didn’t want to take the time to really focus on the healing process.  And we knew it would be uncomfortable.  So, we just kept going, learning to compensate for what hurt and do our best to do our best with it.  

But now here we are, years later still with a broken heart, that keeps us from living freely, and has us really sore when we try to engage in activities such as relationships.   

Now I’m thinking of my husband having several breaks on his nose when he was younger.  He really should learn how to speak to me.  I’m just kidding.  I have never broken his nose.  He would, however, love to tell you about the time when I broke his toe, but that is another story, and he isn’t the host of this podcast.  But one of the times he had broken his nose, it was on purpose.  He had to have it medically broken because it hadn’t healed properly a time before and it needed to be reset.  And I’m thinking of how that can be exactly what it’s like when we realize that we have old wounds and old injuries of the heart, that are still causing us pain. 

It’s when we are in fact living with a past hurt that didn’t get the proper care and wasn’t given the chance to heal the way it should have.  Maybe we didn’t do the surgery or the physio we should have when it happened, and now we are at a place in life where it could be uncomfortable, but the best thing to do, is let the injury be reset, to really heal properly this time. 

It may need to be rebroken and reset in the proper place.   

This may be in the breaking of old behaviors and old patterns that used to serve us as protection or survival, but now it’s just something in the way of us really living freely and being active in our own lives. 

It might be that your old wound that scarred over needs the old scab pulled off so that the wound can be cleaned well and heal with new and fresh healthy skin. 

It’s uncomfortable to peel back a layer that we thought was protecting us.  An old scar that we thought was actually healed, but never really looked at and acknowledged and recognized for what it was. 

Sometimes that scar looks like anger and bitterness and rage and disconnect.  It’s been somewhat protective but if we could just peel it back and see the fear and sadness and pain underneath, and really clean that wound out with care, it could heal into confidence and understanding and compassion and wise perspective. 

Have you ever been going about your day, and someone innocently says or does something that makes you just snap?  I mean you are so upset.  You let them know as well.  All just to come back to the incident later in your mind and say, “Ya, that was definitely an overreaction on my part”. 

Well, the truth is, you weren’t reacting to what they said or did.  You were reacting to something that hurt your heart, maybe years ago.  Something you didn’t have surgery for.  Something you didn’t follow up with physio for.  Something that has never healed properly and is now affecting your freedom to be happy and enjoy your everyday life. 

You’ve got this scar that has not healed properly, has left your heart very sensitive to touch, and very fragile to anything that might rub up against it and agitate the old wound. 

And the people who love you, who care about you and your well-being, see this happening.  And you matter to them, so they try to help. 

They can see this is a past hurt that keeps affecting your today’s – so they offer you their best advice to help you heal. 

You have to let it go, they say.  Not bad advice.  But useless on its own. 

What does that even mean?  How does one “let it go?”  This makes no sense as a one liner. 

You know, it’s like being told you need to get enough sleep.  You need to take time to enjoy life, eat healthier.  Exercise more, get outside for fresh air.   

Sure, this is all fantastic advice.  And you know what, you might even be doing a lot of these things.  But the truth remains, these things will not heal a broken heart. 

I don’t know your hurt.  But I know pain. 

I’ve had so much loss in my life.  I’ve said goodbye to too many people that I love dearly.  I’ve had my share of traumas and they have broken my heart time and time again. 

But it was never about getting over it.  And I couldn’t sleep a healthy number of hours to heal my heart or eat healthy enough to fix my pain or even find relief and healing out in the fresh air.  Getting over it is not an event.  It’s not even the goal.  There is a process to heal an injury to the heart. 

The first thing we can do for our healing is to acknowledge the hurt.  We really let the injury be examined, and we are honest about the extent of the wound. 

This means we don’t slap a band aid over the bullet hole.   

We pull back the band aid and really look to see what damage has been done. 

And we give that damage space.  We let it be a part of your story. 

And then we give it a voice and tell our story.  The story of what hurt us and how. 

Do you know much anxiety and depression producing energy it takes to hold in your hurts and try to pretend that they don’t exist, and don’t hurt you as much as they do? 

Why do you think we live in a world overrun by addiction in a million forms, and distractions beyond comprehension? 

Because we will do anything to avoid our hurts.   

We drink and we smoke, and we shop, and we jump partner to partner, and we bury ourselves in work and take up a million hobbies. 

All to try and distract ourselves from the fact that we are hurting and suffering. 

But we think it’s too painful and too time consuming to do the surgery, and it's too uncomfortable to do the physio, so somehow, we will try to cope and live with how painful it is to carry around anxiety and depression and then all the unhealthy coping techniques on top of it all? 

We don’t make sense folks when this is our reasoning.  And I’m pretty sure that most of us would agree when it’s laid out before us like this, that peeling back the band aid, examining our wound, allowing for it and talking about it, is worth it. 

That is the surgery and the physio that it takes to allow our wounds to heal properly. 

So why do we keep avoiding what it takes to heal? 

It really is simple.  We’re scared.  We’re scared to let the pain be painful.  We’re scared to feel it and we’re scared to acknowledge it as a wound. 

Because that makes us real humans with real suffering, doesn’t it?  And that makes us what?  Weak? 

Do you know of anyone who has had a heart break, that you would label as weak? 

I doubt it.  We are generally compassionate and empathetic. 

So why can we extend compassion and empathy for others, but then think they won’t do the same for us.  We judge ourselves in the same areas that we extend grace to others. 

That has got to change for us to become healthy.  We have to wrestle with this thinking if we are to heal. 

We have to come to grips with the fact that we all suffer, all deserve grace, and all deserve to tell our stories in our healing processes. 

Who of us would tell our kids to suck it up and pretend it doesn’t hurt and to put on a brave face, and even maybe drink their way to comfort? 

We want to say, “not me!” 

But isn’t that what we do when we model that for them?  Isn’t modelling teaching and communicating the way to go? 

Let’s model a new way for the generations under us.  Where it’s not weak to be honest.  It’s not too hard to admit suffering.  And it’s not too much effort or discomfort to heal.  It’s just a natural part of being hurt.  It’s the natural progression and process to go all the way through. 

We can normalize getting hurt, and just as naturally, normalize what it takes to heal. 

Remembering that once we’ve examined our wounds, given them space, and given them a voice, we are back at episode where we talked about forgiveness.   

Again, this is not saying what happened to you was ok.  It’s part of being honest and about what hurt but also saying I refuse to continue to carry this, linking me to what happened. 

I am more than what happened to me.  It was an event.  But I am a person deserving of a life beyond what happened. 

And part of forgiveness is laying down our right for payback.  Oh, that’s not a problem, maybe you’re thinking.  I’m not a vengeful person.  I’m not looking to get back at anyone for the pain that they’ve caused.  I’m hurt.  But I’m not trying to punish someone over it. 

How many times since they hurt you, have you reminded them that they hurt you?  Why have you done that?  If it wasn’t to punish them, then what was it for? 

Control?  Belittling?  Just a reminder?  For what? 

It was for punishment.  But there is no way you can punish them and also be free from what happened. 

That punishment will connect you and them and the pain.  And inflicting punishment can be another addicting distraction from not doing the surgery or the physio. 

Giving up your right for pay back does not mean it’s ok that they hurt you.  It doesn’t mean they are off the hook for hurting you.  It doesn’t mean you want anything to do with them in your life even… it just means that you do not want to be connected to this pain they caused anymore.  And part of acknowledging it and facing it and feeling it, is also saying I don’t want the attachment to it, not even through vengeance.  That just perpetuates the cycle of pain, and I’m jumping off this hamster wheel. 

Here is another piece that we have to look at when it comes to punishment and forgiveness.  One that we haven’t talked about before. 

It’s about who is often the hardest person to forgive, and easiest to punish for past hurts. 

And that’s ourselves. 

We carry guilt and shame for things no one else will ever even know about. 

And we carry it like that bullet hole with a band aid over it.  Too afraid to look at it.  Too afraid to give it space or a voice.  We know how shameful we feel about this.  And we can’t imagine how someone else would react to us talking about it. 

You haven’t found the right person to talk to yet if you feel like carrying the guilt and shame of an old wound is better than healing. 

Or maybe you have found the right person, you’ve just never been given the chance to prove it to you yet. 

Again, we need to model this for our kids.  Healing from whatever hurts.  And forgiving whoever hurt you.  For the sake of freedom and living the life you deserve. 

The guilt and shame are too heavy a burden.  Unbearably and unnecessarily heavy. 

Maybe you have done things you can’t undo.  Maybe you’ve said things you can’t unsay.  Maybe you’ve been in an incredibly hard situation, and you felt cornered, and you made a decision that you thought was best at the time and now you wish you’d had made a different one.  You feel so guilty about that now.  You’ve regretted it ever since. 

What do you do when you are haunted by the past hurts that wounded you, but it’s you that you need to forgive?  And that feels impossible. 

First of all, let's look at this idea of guilt.  Not all guilt is equal. 

Some of us are living under a feeling of false guilt.  We are feeling extremely guilty for something we don’t actually need to feel bad about. 

We might see this in people who believe their parents’ divorce had something to do with them when they were children or teenagers.  They’ve been carrying this guilt that they somehow contributed to the breakdown of their parents’ marriage. 

Nope.  Not true.  That my friend is false guilt. 

There is also the case where people have been abused, and often by someone who was in a position of power and authority over them.  And the perpetrator has done a horrific job of making the victim feel like it was their fault.  They are carrying so much guilt and shame in the woulda, shoulda, couldas.  And that too is false guilt. 

Anytime a victim carries guilt over what happened to them, it is not justified guilt to carry. 

It was not your fault. 

False guilt is always dangerous and non-productive. 

Another kind of guilt is called conviction.  It is a guide in decision making and learning from our mistakes.  It’s a guilt that helps us go forward in wisdom. 

It’s not the same as shame.  Guilt and conviction are about what happened.   

Shame, however, becomes about us.  It changes the narrative from being about a situation or a thing and makes it about us personally.  It’s the difference between “I made a mistake” and “I am a mistake”. 

But this guilt by way of conviction says, “I don’t like what I felt when I did that or said that.  I don’t want to feel that again.  I want to change and be different from that.  I’ll change my behaviors and apologize and heal from what happened in the past.  And I won’t do that again”. 

Guilt says I did something terrible.  I need to change. 

Shame says I am terrible, and I will never be anything more than terrible.  I am now marked by what I did, and it will forever haunt me. 

Guilt says I’m sorry please forgive me. 

Shame says I am unforgiveable.  My life is over, and my integrity is shot.  I will never be good enough again.   

Shame is a liar and has no place in our lives.  It’s just another wound being inflicted on our hearts. 

And shame dies when stories are told is safe places. 

Which is what we’ve been saying all along… Let’s look at our wounds.  Really examine them to see what is hurting and why. 

Let’s acknowledge the hurt and give it a space in our lives and a voice.  Let’s talk about it.  To heal, to dispel false guilt, to learn from our mistakes, to kill shame, and to live free. 

And let’s model it for all who may be watching. 

You deserve this freedom in your life.  So do you kids who are watching you for how it’s done and done well.  And so do their kids who may never know another way by then, but the normal process of injury, surgery, physio, and proper healing. 

Take care guys, until we meet here again. 

This is Tina saying good-bye for now, and we’ll speak again soon.