Abuse, grief, loss and suffering are all puzzle pieces to life’s pain. We all experience these emotional elements at some point in our lives. But too often the expected response from others is not always the one that is received.
Think about the last time you found yourself hurting. What was the response you received from friends or loved ones?
What about the response you gave to someone who found themselves in a crisis situation?
I believe it is a pretty fair assumption to say that most people have good intentions when trying to encourage those that are hurting. Unfortunately, it is ignorance or lack of understanding that causes them to give traditional quotes or even scriptures that are out of context and inappropriate for the situation.
If you have watched at least two minutes of your local news station, listened to any portion of a news segment on any radio broadcast or glanced through social media outlet today, you are well aware of tragedies that have affected people in your community and around the world.
You, yourself, might be one of the ones directly affected.
You might have found yourself dealing with grief or a great loss that only a few individuals are aware of or none at all.
Regardless of what unpleasant circumstance or emotion you are engulfed by right now, know that you have a right to feel the way you do. When we are hurting there is a process that we must go through in order to get to a place of betterment.
Do not allow the words of others to cause you to rush or dismiss the process.
Yes, there will be a time to move forward and get to a healthy place and one of healing. But there is time for everything, including ambiguous thoughts and painful emotions.
God is concerned about your emotions that you find difficult to verbalize. He is concerned about the sunken place you have found yourself in. God does not want you to ignore how you feel about your tragedies or mere disappointments.
I personally know how it feels to have someone either deliberately or not intentionally pour salt into your wounds. It burns even deeper when the lack of sensitivity comes from those that are closest to you.
For what ever reason the person does not acknowledge your pain and your right to feel the way you do, you have to know that there is nothing wrong with you. You are human. It is the insensitive person who needs a lesson on compassion.
So, what do you do when people try to quickly dismiss your pain?
- Acknowledge your pain. Remind yourself that it is okay for you to have whatever emotion you have about your situation. Even if you are angry about something, you do not have to act on that. Acknowledge your real feelings.
- Set a boundary for support. Naturally, people want to offer support through words, actions or resources. But you are not obligated to receive ‘encouragement’ or spiritual advice from everyone. It’s okay to be selective about who you will allow to help you through your difficult time.
- Know you are not alone. When in the midst of a challenging situation, you can feel that you are the only person who has experienced what you are going through. This can cause you to feel that your response is not valid. But know that others are going through or have been through the same situation. Their responses were also very similar, if not the exact same as yours. Sometimes it is good to be encouraged by those who have been where you are. Then you will know their words come from a good place and not just empty words.
If you are currently feeling overwhelmed with pain, I pray that you are able to go through every healthy part of the process without feeling guilty. May you receive the help and healing needed and may your pain cause you to be even stronger, in Jesus name, Amen.