“As Christians we must always correct our own hearts... so that we don’t get carried away by the cares of this world.”
~A. W. Tozer
I got to thinking recently, that, although I am not an overt target for bullying, I can actually be bullied. And especially in the case of an authority figure who has authoritarian tendencies. It runs down the history of my life. I am getting to explore the source of it. The good thing about this sort of problem is that it illustrates that anyone can implement restorative strategies for healing the heart. These strategies merely require that we own, and work with, our own stuff.
The great gift of life is to know that, in accepting only our own issues, can we become better and not bitter.
It is a great gift to know that many hurts done against us were not our fault, and could never have been. It is also a great gift to know that the damage we retain needs always to be dealt with. So, on the one hand, our wounds are not our fault, but on the other hand, we must still deal with the ongoing effects of those wounds.
When History Repeats Itself
It can be embittering, even humiliating, for us to discover that our woundedness brings us back, repetitively it seems, to similar situations and similar ways of handling those situations.
Perhaps the abuses we suffered early on are more profound compared to the abuses we suffer today. But today’s abuses have about them the ability to link us back with our pasts. Our problem is our past, perhaps unconsciously, becomes lived in the present.
As I look over my life regarding being bullied, besides the temptation to be bitter toward my bullies, if I am honest, I can see a pattern that leads me back to my own ways of dealing with things. History has repeated itself and that is my clue.
And as I survey my life, exploring the patterns where authority figures may have abused their power, I can begin to understand my susceptibility to even the slightest abuse of power. I can begin to understand how the cares of this world impact on me. I can begin to recognise how these have wounded me.
And by understanding how the world hurts me I can begin to plan for those hurts. For, if history has repeated itself I can expect it to continue that way in my future.
Taking Responsibility For Our Hearts
In the pantomime that is my life and yours, we are the starring actors. The world is a stage, other people are co-actors, and the Broadway play is life. The show always revolves around us. And we can do nothing about this. We wouldn’t want to do anything about it. We have our own self-interest to look after.
But other forces and influences can become damagingly pivotal. They have wounded us.
Being that we have our self-interest to look after, however, we are called to nurture our hearts, particularly in the case of our hurts. If we do, we can deal with our world and we can live a happy life. If we don’t, our world gets on top of us and we flounder.
We can afford ourselves compassion for our woundedness. We can and we should.
Everyday problems reveal hurts central to our identities in our hearts. People and situations merely irritate otherwise primal wounds. Our control is in our response. It’s our freedom, too.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.