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Emotional wounds need to be healed

Q: I have been through some very difficult experiences in life. For the most part, I’ve been able to set them aside and move on, but sometimes I still struggle with my emotions. Do you have any advice for getting past the hurt?

Jim: Life can be tough, and it inflicts wounds in us all. The question is: What do we do with the pain?

On a summer vacation several years ago, my wife, Jean, and I relaxed by the pool while our boys splashed around in the water. At one point, I watched my son Trent wrestle with a beach ball. Again and again, he’d muscle the ball under the water, then struggle to keep it there. Eventually, he’d exhaust his strength, and the ball would pop back up to the surface. As I sat there and watched, I realized that my son’s game was a striking metaphor for life.

Throughout our lives, we can suffer any number of deep emotional wounds. In many cases, the only solution we know is to push the pain beneath the surface of our hearts and minds. We think that if we can just block out our negative memories, the bad feelings will go away. And they do — temporarily. But eventually a crisis occurs, and the stress brings our pain right back up to the surface.

The truth is our wounds need to be healed, not ignored. Embracing our pain is an important first step. As we receive healing support from professionals and those who care about us, the air is slowly released from the beach ball. Over time, we no longer need to rely on willpower to keep bad thoughts pushed beneath the surface. They’ll heal and sink from memory all on their own.

Focus on the Family’s licensed counselors would be happy to help you get started on the path to healing. You can call 855-771-HELP (4357) weekdays, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. (MT).

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jim Daly is a husband and father, an author, and president of Focus on the Faimly and host of the Focus on the Family radio program. Catch up with him at www.jimdalyblog.com or at www.facebook.com/DalyFocus.