Getting in touch with one’s soul means going through one’s own struggle and despair and also realizing that it is working through those wounds that helps you unite with other people.
Linda Leonard, Ph.D.
Throughout our lives there are seasons that often seem not only dark but painful. Maybe it was because of a broken relationship. A sudden financial collapse. A devastating disappointment. A betrayal. A shocking diagnosis. A loss of someone dearly loved.
Those wounds cut deeply, bleeding the vitality from our spirits, draining the life from our souls. Those wounds are not easily closed, not easily healed.
Too often the pain lingers and maybe becomes even more acute because we don’t face the wounds and their origin. We don’t deal with the real issues at hand, too often putting band-aids on them when there’s a larger, deeper hurt that needs attention. And the adage that “time heals all wounds” isn’t always true. Yes, it can help and many times does. But we need more than time.
We believe one of the most important ways to enable healing is to have another with whom we can share and trust and who empathizes with us, another who will walk with us and help us to face and truly confront our pain and need.
The fact is all of us deal with wounds. They exist for all of us. And the sooner we can deal with those wounds – honestly and completely – the easier it is for the wounds to be bound up again.
In our years of counseling we have heard the stories of women who have been sexually abused at young ages and who have carried the awful secrets and shame of that abuse with them for decades. But in finally finding someone who will listen and not judge and who will show compassion for their anguish, they have begun to come to terms with the reality of their past, which enables them to finally move stronger into their future. We have heard the stories of men who have had affairs, sometimes many years before, sometimes still ongoing as they spoke. But in sharing their weakness and regret with someone who will listen and not judge and who will show compassion for their anguish, they are finally able to confront the reasons for the destructive path that they have chosen and can begin to turn back to a better way. We have heard the stories of friends who find themselves in unfulfilling career situations, dreading going to work each day, hating the direction they are on. But in sharing their suffering and sorrow with someone who will listen and not judge and who will show compassion for their anguish, they are finally able to confront the blows to their self-esteem and self-worth and can begin to find new directions and regain the strength to make the changes they need for a more life-giving journey.
It is in connecting with others and sharing our pain that we realize we are not alone, that others are going through similar struggles and painful experiences too. Healing is available to all of us and in baring our wounds with those who will care, we find one of the balms most soothing and comforting for our souls.