The following emotional wounds are common to the human race:
Shame: I’m a mistake
Abandonment and Rejection: People always leave
Powerlessness: No matter what I do nothing changes
Betrayal: You can’t trust anyone
Sexuality and Identity: Who am I?
The process for treatment begins with stepping out of the darkness of denial. Let’s use a medical analogy that may seem somewhat absurd. Imagine that you are in an accident and break your leg. But you have places to go and people to see, so you say to yourself, “It’s not that bad. I can manage.” Off you go with a broken leg. You can tough out the pain with the help of some strong painkillers. After a few months, your broken bone has mended itself–true, it’s somewhat crooked and you can’t really walk properly, but the pain is gone!
We do this all the time with emotional wounds. Rather than identify the problem, we pretend we can continue on unaffected. But we can’t. The pain relievers we all use are the coping mechanisms we have been taught. These are only bandages; they do not heal the wound.
Once an individual has come out of denial, the wound can be identified and the healing process can begin. As discussed in previous chapters in Soul Surgeon, safety and relationship are key parts of this process.
All emotional healing takes time, but it is not true that time heals all wounds. Left unattended, emotional wounds, like physical ones, become further contaminated. Be patient with those under your care. Emotional healing takes time. As the apostle Paul was with those under his care, we, too, should be gentle among [them], like a mother caring for her… children (1 Thessalonians 2: 7b NIV).