At some point or another during your life time it is inevitable that you will experience some sort of personal pain in one form or another. Perhaps it will come upon you while you are experiencing a rather devastating divorce, a sudden loss of income or housing, an uncontrollable addiction, the unforeseen and very sudden loss of a friend or loved one or some other incident that is sure to cause pain or grief in your life.
Some people may experience only mild grief or pain while others may experience a grief or pain that they feel is so completely devastating and so very catastrophic that they find themselves thinking that it is unimaginable for them to be able to ever let that pain go. Or perhaps they feel, or possibly even fear, that they may never be able to let it go or get over it.
Some may even feel that they may never again have a normal life because of the intensity of their own personal pain or because of the devastating effects of a particular incident, while yet others may feel that they perhaps can get over it and move on, but don’t quite know how to go about such a thing in order to see an everlasting effect and positive change in their life.
Some people may grieve continuously for days at a time, while others may experience the yo-yo effect where they are happy one day but then the next day their mind wanders right back to that very thing that had made them unhappy to begin with. The more they dwell upon it the more it then festers and festers, becoming like an open wound over and over again until they end up doing a nose dive, crashing when they are suddenly overcome by their own deep rooted emotions pertaining to that hurt.
It is in our human nature to grieve and to feel pain as we suffer through an incident that has profoundly affected us, but ultimately it is what we do with that grief and pain that determines the outcome of our true happiness and deep inner healing from the very thing that has caused us so much pain and grief to begin with.
While we may be restless and grieving over the incident, it is still within us, deep within us, to want true freedom from that which causes us to be downright miserable or unhappy at times. Instead of dwelling on the past we should instead strive for success in wanting that true freedom in our lives, in our homes, and in our families. When you were a child, or maybe even as an adult, did you ever want something so badly that you were consistently doing whatever you had to do to see that you got what it was that you wanted? Did you ever just flat out refuse to give up until you got what you were seeking?
We should have the same enthusiasm in desiring to be set free from our past. Well, how can you do that when the pain is so unbearable? By putting your foot down and finally deciding to let go of the pain and by deciding to let God in to that particular area.
Easier said than done? Yes, it is. It will be a battle between you and your mind. It will be a battle between you and your will. It may be a battle that needs to be won while the circumstance is still active in your life. It may even be a battle between you and someone that you know. I can’t promise you or tell you that during the healing process it won’t be painful to finally let it all go, but I can tell you that the final outcome and the freedom that you will have from letting it go is well worth it. It will not be an easy transition, but it is a necessary one in order to truly be set free once and for all.
So where to go from here? We need to start at the very root of that which has caused us so much pain. Maybe it was one incident or if you are like me, perhaps it was several incidents. Some of these incidents were brought on by my own hand, and many were brought on by others causing pain for me in my life. Whatever your circumstance is, the place to start is by determining what initially caused the pain to begin with. If you have several things that come to mind that may be the root cause, tackle them one by one.
Perhaps the pain initially started when you were very young and extended well into your adulthood. Start back at the beginning of it all, thinking back to what exactly it was that caused you such pain. If you have problems remembering back to exactly where your pain first started, don’t be shy about asking the Holy Spirit to show you these things in order for God to go in and do a complete healing in that area of your life. You would be amazed at just how much the littlest things that may have happened when you were young could very suddenly have such a huge and profound impact on everything about you during the later parts of your life.
I found this to be true when I first decided to finally let go of the pain of my past by asking the Lord to help me get over it once and for all. I was desperate to be set free from everything that had caused me pain and sorrow. I had finally decided to surrender myself wholly to God and let the Holy Spirit into my life to take me back to the beginning of all of the pain.
I had found that the first hurt that I could actually remember was when I was five years old and it was my very first day of Kindergarten. I was scared and felt very intimidated at the thought of going to a school that I had never been to before. That’s a scary thing for a little kid! My mother did not seem to care about any of that though. She walked me just a little ways up our street and then informed me that I was on my own. I remember being extremely frightened by a number of things during this first incident. However, the one thing that stuck out the most in my mind when the Lord was working on me was the fact that at the tender age of five years old, I had already felt very much rejected and abandoned by my own mother because of what she did, or rather, what she didn’t do.
Now please don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t just the Kindergarten incident that left me with such deep scars of rejection and abandonment when I was little, but it was a long list of things about my mother – things that I felt she neglected with me or things that I wanted from her but never received. These things just kept piling up, doing nothing but leaving me with deep rooted feelings of rejection and abandonment. These feelings then began to fester and plant themselves deeper and deeper within me, slowly eating away at everything about me, and more so by the day.
They festered so much, in a matter of fact, that for my entire life up until the time that the Lord had healed me, I absolutely dreaded being rejected and abandoned by anyone and reacted badly to it. I either had a complete melt down when this happened or I reacted badly in other ways such as falling into deep bouts of depression for days at a time.
Sometimes I would even lash out verbally, all the while willfully and purposely intending for my verbal assault to have a negative impact that was directed at and meant to hurt the other party or someone else just so that they would ‘hopefully’ end up hurting just as much as I was hurting inside.
It was as though I didn’t want other people to be happy because I wasn’t happy. And I didn’t want them to be happy because they had something that I didn’t have at that time – which of course, was happiness. My actions when I was hurting were only meant to take their happiness away from them just like I had mine taken away from me. Many times I would do this over and over again, not caring about others feelings in the process.
Again, you would be amazed at what wrong thinking and wrong attitude can do to a person as well as those around them. With this kind of thinking and attitude, everyone gets hurt, and nobody wins. Yet during even the midst of all of this, deep down inside I was bitterly and utterly hurt by the rejection and abandonment and blamed myself. Often times I would lay in bed depressed, wondering what it was about me that made people want to reject and abandon me. I thought about all of my possible flaws and pretty soon my mind managed to convince itself that I was such a terrible person that nobody would ever want me.
While the Lord was healing me, He brought up the fact that most of these feelings were rooted in failed relationships. He also showed me that in these failed relationships, the most intense pain that I had felt was a direct result of the hurt that my mother had initially caused me when I was very young. He brought to my memory the many times in my past when my mother would reject me in some way or another. When this happened, I would then go and lay on my bed in my room and wonder the same things about my mother that I was now thinking about men or other people in my life that I felt had rejected or abandoned me for what I had perceived to be ‘unknown reasons’.
Many, many times in my past I would just lay there on that bed and wonder why my mother disliked me so much. I would wonder why it was so hard to get her to love me or to pay any sort of positive attention to me. I would wonder what it was about me that made her want to reject and abandon me all the time. Again, I had no idea that this wrong thinking and wrong attitude would be the starting point for the bad seed that was now planted deep within my being. As that seed was being planted, I was blind to the fact that this bad seed would, without a doubt, manifest later in my life and make a show of itself through the way that I then began to perceive things throughout my entire life, the way that I perceived myself to be, and by the way that I lived my life from that point on out.
You see, early on I was beginning to reap what I had sown, starting with the corruption of my own mind and the way that I thought about myself as well as others, starting at a very young age. I was blind to the fact of how it would carry on for so long in my life. I was blind to the continuous reaping of the bad harvest from the bad seed planted year after year, reaping more and more of the ugliness and negativity of it as time went on.
I began to see myself as unlovable and undesirable for anybody to want to accept. I began to believe the lie of the enemy of our souls when he whispered in my ear at those times when I was hurting the most, telling me that I was undesirable and unlovable and incapable of finding true happiness. It only left me with the misconception that I then had to try to be someone or something that I was not. I was convinced in my own tortured mind that nobody would accept me for who I really was, just like I felt my mother never did when I was young.
These feelings went around and around in their vicious little cycle, causing more and more damage along the way. Can you see how that initial hurt from my mother all those years ago festered within me long enough to where it actually began to poison my thinking during any relationship that I had? When the devil whispers something in your ear, if you don’t put him in his place right away, he will ultimately get you to believe anything that he wants you to believe. And I can tell you from experience, that’s a dangerous place to be. The devil had me believing that every time that I was rejected and abandoned, that it must have been because of something that I did to deserve it. This thinking was because of the mindset that I had adopted early on from many, many, years ago – starting on the day when my mother first began to reject and abandon me.
Negative thoughts about myself would begin to fester and fester deep within me until I was convinced that these things were happening to me because of something that I did wrong. Back then that was my way of ‘coping’ with things – by blaming myself. Because I didn’t know any better, I was making myself accountable for the fact that my mother chose to reject and abandon me. I was blaming myself for her actions.
This would go on for years and years. I was blinded by my own pain filled emotions over a situation with my mother and that would then cause me to refuse to see that it was my mother who was accountable for her own actions of rejecting and abandoning me. I was blind to the fact that it was my mother, not me, who chose to do those things. It was my mothers free will to act upon those feelings toward me. It was my mothers decision that she had made – her decision to treat me the way that she did.
I didn’t force her to reject me. She rejected me because of some deep rooted issue that she had within herself. Because she had unresolved issues in her own life, she then took them out on me, and the vicious cycle began. Back then, because her actions had caused me to have such poor self-esteem about myself, I began to beat myself up over her rejection and put the blame for it on the wrong person – me.
When the Lord began working on me, He had opened my eyes to the fact that addictions or other unresolved personal issues on my mothers part or on the part of a lot of the other people that had hurt me, was a lot of the time the main blame of that person leaving or ‘abandoning’ me. Only at the time, I failed to see it that way. Instead, I was seeing it as a personal attack against me. I saw it as a weapon against me. I saw it as though the person must have rejected me because of some awful thing that I had done, or some awful thing about myself that nobody dared to tell me about. I couldn’t figure it out!
I was baffled at what it could possibly be, and I didn’t understand it. And because I didn’t understand it, I got defensive about it. And because I got defensive about it, I withdrew more within myself and festered over what the causes of it could possibly be. And then because I was festering over what the causes of it could possibly be, I then began to get angry at myself because I couldn’t figure it out. And then because I was getting angry at myself because I couldn’t figure it out, I became even more angry at being angry and therefore became even more defiant within myself through my actions and more defiant toward everyone else around me until all of these feelings managed to finally flare up to do a slow burn in every area of my life.
When the fire of that slow burn would finally start to fizzle out, it would then turn into bouts of severe depression and self hatred that was now buried so deep within me that I no longer felt any sort of happiness whatsoever. All that I would then feel was a gut-wrenching feeling of hopelessness and despair. I would feel a big ugliness inside of me for not knowing why I was being rejected and abandoned by people. I would – day after day, hour after hour – feel that huge emptiness inside of me slowly eating away at my very life until the emptiness inside of me was so enormous that I no longer had any sort of real hope for any true happiness at all.
I felt doomed. I felt like I was living my life as an empty egg shell, fragile and broken. I felt that if I made any one wrong move, the egg shell would surely then completely shatter to pieces, leaving me even more broken and even more shattered than I was already feeling inside. This cycle would go on for many years until I finally had so much self hatred within myself that any time someone would show me the slightest bit of attention I would jump at it. I would then hope and pray that I could get them to love me. I would hope and pray that they would show me more attention so that I could finally feel better about myself.
What I didn’t get at the time was that when you feel so bad and are negative about yourself, that reflects onto other people around you and it then causes them to see you the way that you see yourself. A lot of the time it may even cause them to have feelings that do nothing but reflect the way that you feel about yourself. For instance, if I was going around feeling nothing but depressed and despondent all of the time, that would reflect onto someone else around me and my depressed mood may then start to bring them down and depress them as well. It may then cause them to not want to be around me or it may cause them to reject me because they would not want to identify with someone that was such a drag to be around, especially if all I was doing was ‘bringing them down’ all of the time.
Sad to say, we are a people that mimic what we see others doing. Even music promoters know this. This is why they push so hard to have their music artists portray a certain image to the public, whether for the good or for the bad. For instance, if a music promoter is promoting a Christian artist, the last thing they want is their artist showing a bad side that may reflect on their customers, causing them to refuse to buy their music. On the other hand, a promoter who is promoting trash and sexually immoral material is going to want to give their customers the impression that being trashy and immoral is ‘the in thing’ – the ‘way to go’ and they will thrive on pushing it onto the customers that then begin to act the same way as they see others acting in their videos or magazines, which ultimately will further promote their trash and bring in a higher customer base, all to who’s glory? All to the devil’s glory, that’s who.
It’s the same principle in action when we portray ourselves to others as an individual and how we see and react to others as well. If we see someone walking around being all nasty and angry, we may have a tendency to not like that person, or we will – in turn – treat them with the same nastiness and anger that we see them portraying. The sad thing is, a lot of the time we think this is okay to do and it causes us to take on the attitude that we should be all about ‘an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth’. It causes us to take on the ‘be nice to me, and I will be nice to you. Be nasty to me, and I will be nasty to you’ attitude.
This is not what Jesus tells us to do. He tells us and shows us through His actions that no matter what the other party is acting like – no matter how nasty they are to us, like they were to Him – that we are to love them unconditionally. He even goes as far as to say:
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44)
It is at this point that we need to assess ourselves and our motivations for our feelings that we have and how we reflect them toward ourselves and other people because – again – we, not the other party, are accountable for the way that we feel and act toward ourselves, toward others, and the way that we treat ourselves or others as the result of those feelings.
This is why it is important to get to the root cause of our issues with the pain of the past, starting at the point of entry, no matter how many years ago it was. Can you begin to see how that bad seed that gets planted inside of us all of those many years ago can grow and grow until the problem is bigger than life, itself?
Once the problem becomes that big, it is impossible for it to disappear on it’s own. It will ultimately only get much worse as it lays dormant deep within us until a more opportune time later when it will rear it’s ugly head all over again and cause us to go right back through that same horrendous cycle over and over again. It is then that we need to turn to the Lord for help. The only way that a problem that becomes that huge can be resolved is through the Lord. It is His ability to bring us back to the starting point that will enable us to deal with the unresolved issues in our lives and in our past.
This is why, if we truly desire deep inner healing, it is a must to get to the root cause of our pain. If we do not deal with the issues that are deeply rooted, they will only come back to hurt us – and those around us – even more as time goes on. Instead, we must run to the Lord to have Him uproot all of the deeply embedded seeds that the enemy of our souls had planted. These seeds planted by the enemy are only meant to steal, kill, and destroy everything about us.
It is the Lord’s will and desire that we live in good health mentally, physically, and spiritually. It is not the Lord’s desire for us to live in bondage to our past. Being in bondage to our past is a work of the enemy! God has called us out of Egypt. Egypt represents bondage and being held hostage, all of which God’s children were in the past. We were set free from Egypt. It is not God’s desire for us to recede in any area of our new lives that we had received through Him.
Interestingly enough, when I looked more closely at the word ‘recede’ in Random House’s publication of Webster’s College Dictionary, I found that one of its definitions was: to cede back; give to a former possessor. If we look at that word and how it would pertain to our Christian walk, you could see that if we ‘recede’ in our walk with Christ, if we take that step back to where we were at the point of entry of the hurt of our past, if we deny that we have that pain from the past, we could then say that we gave our freedom in that area over to ‘a former possessor’, which would be the enemy of our souls – Satan.
If we stay in that spot of recession, we would only be giving the enemy a ‘right’ to keep us in bondage to that hurt and pain of the past that has so profoundly affected our lives.
As followers of Christ, we were set free from this bondage through the blood that Christ shed for us on the cross. We have no right to take back something that He has already paid dearly for with His shed blood! It is wonderful to know that not only does He love us so much that He shed His blood for our freedom from the pain of the past, but He has so much more in store for us as well.
“But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.” – Deuteronomy 4:20 – (emphasis added)
We have an inheritance! We have been FREED from the bondage of Egypt and all that it represents in order to be who God wants us to be, enabling us to receive that inheritance! What inheritance, you ask? The inheritance that is ours, which is every good thing that God promises is ours if we keep His commandments! Every blessing in the book of Deuteronomy is ours! Every blessing that God speaks about anywhere in His Word is ours! We are to be blessed, not held in bondage to our pasts!
It is not God’s will that we go through life’s trials and tribulations only to stay in bondage to those trials over and over again for years and years after He has already said that we are FREE (“If the Son therefore shall make you FREE, ye shall be FREE indeed.” John 8:36 – emphasis added).
Our redemption from all sins, sicknesses, diseases, every hurt and pain imaginable was already paid for in full because Jesus paid the price for our freedom from the past when He went to the cross! It is finished! Who are we to take it all back to try to undo what He has already done for us? His heartfelt desire is for us to triumph over the past, and to rise up in the victory of who we are in Christ! We are to live our lives victoriously through Him so that we are no longer slaves to our pasts!
A surefire way to succeed in this is by letting go and letting God! If we attempt to win the battle by ourselves without the Lord’s help, we will surely lose. But if we give the battle to Him and let Him do a work in us and through us, we are sure to come out ahead as the Conquerors that He intends for us to be! But again, in order to truly succeed in letting go of the pain of the past, we must start at the earliest cause possible as this is a crucial place to start.
If we leave behind even the smallest fragment of a hurt it will, undoubtedly, surface some time later in our lives as an even bigger hurt than what it began as and will only continue to slowly steal, kill, and destroy our lives as only the enemy can. Leaving unattended and unresolved issues within us will quickly lead nowhere and leave us vulnerable to reap what we had sown from early on unless the issue is dealt with from within, spiritually, as well as emotionally.
Our spiritual well being is a concern for the Lord and He only desires for us to be well in all that we do:
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” – 3 John 1:2
It would make sense for us to seek God with a whole heart – with everything that we have! If we seek Him but leave a lot of the pain and hurt still deep within us, how can we expect to step into the rich fullness of what He has for us as an inheritance?
I encourage you to seek His face and get to the root cause of the pain that has been holding you back from receiving the freedom that is already yours in every area of your life!
“Father God, I come before You now, LORD, and I ask that You reveal the root causes of any and all hurts or pains from my past. Holy Spirit, I ask that You show all of the hidden hurts in my life and show me areas from the past where these wounds had entered in so that I may know where they are stemming from. LORD, I ask that if there’s more than one incident per hurt that You would reveal all of them to me so that I am able to receive a deep inner healing from the root causes of the pains of the past. I thank You, LORD for revealing these areas to me so that I am able to acknowledge them to You and open more of my heart for Your healing touch to enter in. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”
Taken from Letting Go Of The Pain Of The Past, by Mary Scanlon, copyright 2010