Contributor: Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.
One of the first questions I ask couples when working in a counseling session is this; “What is your dominant, natural disposition to conflict? Fight or Flight?”
We all have an internal, hard-wired mechanism within our own God-given psyches that moves to self-protection and survival when we feel attacked, threatened, or that in some significant way our life will be damaged and that we will lose something so dear and precious to us that we wonder if we’ll ever be able to recover.
The alternative to feeling pain and responding appropriately is to become numb to our own feelings and our emotional health. The good news is you don’t have to deal with yourself, the bad news is that you become so hardened that you become an emotional and spiritual leper.
You have ZERO feeling and no ability to relate to people or yourself in a healthy manner.
CS Lewis said a lot of great things but maybe this quote on how love is vulnerable might be one of his greatest contributions to life:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal.
Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change.
It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, and irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
We see emotional pain and relational pain as the greatest risk we could ever take while Lewis says; “Yes, it’s risky, but the bigger risk is to become hardened and unbreakable.”
What would happen in your life if you started seeing emotional pain as a “warning sign” to listen to instead of an “annoyance” or “weakness” to reign in? What if you started listening to your emotional pain and reconciling with those parts of your life that are broken instead of stuffing them?
What if you started seeing the internal pain as a gift that you’re not numb yet and you still have some sensitivity and by God’s grace you can still feel something?
Emotional health and an ability to deal with emotional pain is at a major crossroads in the American culture.
This country is desperate for emotionally healthy people who are engaged enough with their internal battles enough that they know how to channel the pain in a manner in which they come out better, rather than bitter.
Where do you have emotional pain that needs to be tended to, dealt with and resolved? Where is your past personal pain desensitizing and limiting your present and your future?
Where have you unknowingly become an emotional leper who’s lost touch of the internal health of your own life? It’s time to ask God for help and move to the broken spots so you become the whole person that God intends for you to be.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
Recovery from addiction is difficult, yet possible. How was your recovery from addiction impacted by your emotional pain? How did you move to a place of healing from emotional pain?
About the Author: Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing.
He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together. Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR
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Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on December 30, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com