Amanda reached for her phone and then put it back down. She repeatedly flipped the business card in her hand. Should she or shouldn’t she call? Her co-worker said that the counselor was a great listener and had given her solid advice on how to deal with her son. But Amanda was not certain she wanted the help. Sure, it was causing stress with her husband and distancing her son, but facing her past was a huge deal for her. A tear drop hit the glass kitchen table. This was how big it was. Merely thinking about it upset her. “Not today,” she said to herself, “Maybe after the holidays.” The dryer buzzed and she distracted herself with folding laundry. Her freedom would have to wait.
Have you ever wondered why people put off getting professional help for mental or emotional health issues? Most of us are quick to seek out a physician to deal with our physical problems, but not so much with emotional problems. Even if those problems are causing us great stress in most every area of our daily living. Does mental health still have a stigma attached to it in 21st century America? Apparently so.
Is It Too Hard?
But there is more going on with Amanda and many of us when it comes to emotional health. Here is the truth: It is easier to deal with our physical pain than to deal with our emotional pain. We would rather tell the doctor we have a cough or how our back hurts than talk to him about childhood abuse or trauma from war or the death of a child. Who wants to confront that suffering? Emotional pain is deep in your soul. It hurts more than physical pain. That is why we don’t make the call. It is very difficult to face that pain. Instead of dealing with it, we put it away and lock it up safely so it does not interfere with our lives. Really? It doesn’t interfere? It’s secured?
Let’s not fool ourselves. Let’s be honest. No one can lock anything away in their hearts securely. It always comes out. And when it does, the emotional pain causes more pain. It is the nature of the beast.
Are You a Stuffer?
I see people stuffing down their pain everywhere I go. Like Amanda, we keep putting off the issue that we need to face in order to find healing and freedom. If you are stuffing down your pain, there is one simple step to take – Call for help. Get a trusting friend or two to walk with you through this hardship of facing your past. Those friends will be your courage. You will not be alone. Then just do it. It will be very hard, but with the support of your friends and with much prayer, you can be liberated from your darkness. If you will endure the heartache now, you will enjoy the freedom in the future.
The Healing of Being Known
Henry Cloud and John Townsend wrote,
“The more known we are, the more healed we become.”
Secrets lose their power when they are shared. Your past may be the one thing holding you back from a new future. If you have a new place you desire to be, begin by looking at the stuff in your heart. Lock arms with a faithful friend and go for it. You’ll be glad you did.