The following article was written by my good friend, Rick Ezell. Rick is a managing partner at Business Care of America. If you are a business owner in the upstate of South Carolina you need to reach out to Rick to schedule a time to meet. His company can make a tremendous difference in your company and employee morale and development. As the saying goes, “happy wife, happy life” and in this case “happy employees, happy life”.
5 Ointments for Healing Hidden Wounds by Rick Ezell
Barbara grew up with an alcoholic and abusive father. She entered adolescence carrying this horrible secret of abuse. She was convinced that no one could love her. Yet she had a desperate need to be loved. At the age of sixteen she became pregnant. Upon discovering this news, she tried to end her life by taking some pills. Miraculously she was saved. But when the baby girl was born, the biological father left. Another confirmation that love hurts and people use you.
As Barbara grew into adulthood, she appeared so secure yet inside was so insecure. While her face was beautiful her heart was a wreck. In a complex and desperate attempt to protect her from the pain of her past, her mind had covered up the truth for years. But now the facade was cracking, the truth was oozing out, and the pain was too great to bear.
Barbara’s story reminds us that we do not have to go to war to be wounded. Each one of us in some way or other carries hidden wounds.
Here are some prescriptive measures to begin the healing process.
Arm yourself with an attitude.
We do not always have control over what happens to us, but we do have control over what happens in us. And what happens in us is far more important than what happens to us.
A crippled boy, selling pots and pans from door to door, had a lady say to him, “Being crippled must color your life.” He said, “Yes ma’am, it does. But I choose the color.”
Forgive the offender.
Forgiveness releases our pain. A failure to forgive makes one a hostage to their own hate. We don’t hold a grudge as much as the grudge holds us. Bitterness becomes like a cancer eating away at our insides. Resentment is like taking hot coals in our hands.
Let go of the past.
It is often said, “What’s done is done. You can’t relive the past.” While we can’t relive the past, we often recall it and replay it and rehearse it. What we need to do is release it.
In his book, Lee: The Last Years, Charles Bracelen Flood reports that after the Civil War, Robert E. Lee visited a Kentucky lady who took him to the remains of a grand old oak tree in front of her house. There she bitterly cried that its limbs and trunk had been destroyed by Federal artillery fire. She looked to Lee for a word condemning the North or at least sympathizing with her loss.
After a brief silence, Lee said, “Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it.”
Lee knew that it is better to let go of the injustices of the past than to allow them to remain. Let bitterness take root and it will poison the rest of one’s life.
Face the future.
We stop living in denial, pretending it doesn’t hurt. We stop trying to fake it, pretending it doesn’t exist. When we focus on the future, the hurts from the past will fade away, because there is a universal law that goes into operation. It states: When we focus on one thing it tends to cause us to forget something else. The key to letting go is refocusing.
Learn to love.
Medical doctor Bernie Siegel said, “I am convinced that unconditional love is the most powerful known stimulant of the immune system. If I told patients to raise their blood levels or immune globulins or killer T cells, no one would know how. But if I teach them to love themselves and others fully, the same changes happen automatically. The truth is love heals. . . . Remember I said love heals. I do not claim love cures everything, but it can heal and in the process of healing cures occur also.”
Now, back to Barbara’s story.
From Barbara’s perspective, she didn’t care if she ever saw her father again. But, a deep bitterness and resentment had an iron grip on a part of her life. As she looked at her life, she found she was becoming more and more like her father. Barbara decided to visit her father. On his sofa, she poured out her heart to him. Then, hardest of all, she admitted her anger and hatred she had carried toward him for years and asked his forgiveness.
By the time Barbara finished talking, they were both in tears. He asked her to forgive him for being such a terrible father. After four hours that seemed like only four minutes, Barbara left. At the door she put her arms around her father and heard herself say the words that she never thought she could say: “I love you, Daddy.”
Barbara went back to her home not looking different on the outside, but knowing that on the inside her hidden wounds were healing.
Rick Ezell can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 864 770-3560. I know he will be happy to hear from you.