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Unhealed Hurts: From Bondage to Freedom

In professional sports, you are put on a list if you are injured. In life, we are taught at a young age to cover up our wounds.

Hurt, to many, is a sign of weakness. So as to not stand out in the crowd, we mask our hurts and cover up our wounds. We put a bandage on what should require attention and pretend that it will someday go away on its own.

As a result, there are a lot of folks walking around hurt. We are more afraid of appearing odd than we are of dealing with the hurts.

We wonder why people misinterpret, don’t listen, don’t understand, etc. The answer? More often than not, they are wounded and they haven’t yet healed.

Understand this truth, and you will save yourself a lot of strife in your relationships and your leadership.

Unhealed hurts manifest themselves in a variety of different ways. Just like an infection in one part of the body, an unhealed hurt can take on a variety of different life forms. For some, a wound or hurt results in a very low sense of self. When we are wounded, we blame ourselves, and as a result we feel worthless or inferior to others. This low sense of identity or self can lead a person to seek validation through others.

Other Examples of Unhealed Hurts
Teens look to a boyfriend or girlfriend to feel a sense of validation and have sexual relationships. Thirteen year olds become moms and have babies that will grow up trapped in an unhealthy cycle, all because of an unhealed hurt.

A co-worker with a wound or unhealed hurt will look to their job performance to fill the void in their life. Masking their hurts, they work themselves like crazy and never truly deal with the unhealed hurt.

Causes of Hurts and Why We Don’t Trust
Many of us live with an unhealed hurt that came from someone we trusted, like a father, mother, family member or close friend. This hurt could be the result of sexual, emotional or verbal abuse. Or it could simply be the result of someone making a mistake and simply hurting another. Rather than risk being hurt again, the one with an unhealed hurt will choose not to trust anyone else. They will cover up the wound or hurt and pretend to be whole and healthy.

Trying to Help Heal Someone Else’s Hurt
Others will try to help those with unhealed hurts. Instead of openness, we find bitterness, jaded hearts and a general reluctance to trust or open up. The temptation is to want to jump in like Superman and fix their problems. Unhealed hurts to get fix this way.

How to help heal a hurt
Listen some more.
Give it time.
Trust. Trust takes time.

Don’t Do This
Try to fix them. You are not God. You can’t heal them.
Give a lot of advice. They don’t need to hear all your advice. At least not at first. They need to know they can trust you.
Rush it. Remember, true healing can take time. Don’t rush it.

I’m not sure where you are in life. Maybe you have an unhealed hurt. Henri M. Nouwen once said, “The first step to healing is not to step away from pain, but to step toward it.” I would encourage you to deal with the hurt and see if you can step into some healing. Will you take this step? Will you reach out and ask for help? Let us know!

Maybe you know someone with an unhealed hurt. Perhaps it is no accident that you are in their life. Reach out to them, even if it is uncomfortable. Will you be the bridge that brings them into healing? Will you sacrifice your comfort level and time to help them see healing and restoration? Let us know!

Why is it so difficult to uncover unhealed hurts so others may see them?

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Chad Missildine is an executive coach, consultant and speaker serving business, government and non-profit leaders. Chad was a leader and pastor at Life.Church for 11+ years, coaching and training hundreds of Life.Church pastors and business leaders at 33+ locations. He served on the Life.Church Central leadership team, helping to shape culture and stewardship as the Central Director of Generosity. Chad also provided coaching and consulting for many churches and non-profits from around the globe. He manages a multi-million dollar real estate company and mentors entrepreneurs. You can connect with Chad at chadmissildine.com.