When children fall, they often have the habit of looking around for a split second. Before they get up, they want to know: “Did anyone see this great tragedy of mine?” They make a quick evaluation based upon the intensity of their pain, and the response of others. If others have noticed, then a flood of tears and the incessant cries begin as a result of the pain. The emotional response of the pain is released. If no one has noticed, then the pain and the tears are both suppressed.
This pattern is often carried into adulthood. If there is a compassionate listening ear, we are more prone to share our burdens and the pain deep within us. That becomes an opportunity for us to open ourselves up so that our inward being can be healed. Does anyone care? Is anyone concerned?
But if there is no listening ear, then it is clear that there is no opportunity to open up. Thus we suppress the hurt and pain deep within us. Unless properly dealt with, the suppressed pain and emotions stay within this individual throughout their entire lives. There are three areas where these suppressed emotions will impact the person: social, spiritual, and physical.
Socially, the suppressed emotions act as a filter. All our experiences are interpreted through this filter. The danger in this is that our pain and suppressed emotions will cause us to react in negative ways. We will appear irritated, hurtful, and illogical even in the simple aspects of daily life. Our friends and families will become the “victims” of our emotional tirades. But during that time, we will see ourselves as the victim and everyone else as our enemies. This eventually turns into a vicious cycle from which it is difficult to break out.
Spiritually, something similar happens to us. We interpret God and his work from the same perspective of our pain. Although we may not see God as our enemy (sometime we do), we are not able to draw close to him. Our relationship with God remains superficial, with only a “formal” religiosity. No intimate connection with God at all. Ultimately we end up with a “form” of godliness, but no life.
The physical results of pain and suppressed emotions can also be identified. Numerous physical ailments have been traced to emotional and stress related issues. For 17 years, my lower back pain had caused me tremendous pain, and other challenges as well. It was a long process of emotional healing which continues even now. You can read about that at this link. That process was accelerated tremendously when I understood the link between my chronic lower back pain and my emotions. It was a book by Dr. Joseph Bowles that alerted me to that connection and helped me to deal with it systematically.
So, does anyone care? Of course there are so many who care, but because of my “filter” of pain and suppressed emotions, I just haven’t noticed. Now I am on a journey — a journey of healing. This journey is three-fold: social, spiritual, and physical. The physical is complete, but so much is lacking in other areas. The Holy Spirit is literally walking me through this process. It’s a painful process, but well worth it.
How about you? Does anyone care? What’s your journey like?
Share it here in the comments.