Have you ever heard the saying, “Sweep it under the rug”? This phrase communicates the effort to hide, ignore, or keep something secret, instead of dealing with it directly. We convince ourselves that if it is “out of sight”, then it will be “out of mind.” I used to think like this when someone hurt my heart. Thinking that time could heal all wounds, I would ignore the hurt. However, I have found on several occasions that a “trigger” can come and bring these feelings back to the surface. These “triggers” are unavoidable and can be different for everyone. For me, a trigger can be a smell, sound, place, conversation, or picture that causes me to flash back to another time and place. When I have a flashback, I feel as if these past events are happening in the present.
Can you relate?
The harsh truth is that we are forced to continue dealing with pain we have tried so hard to ignore. In reality, when we sweep things under the rug, we are creating bigger obstacles in our life—obstacles we WILL have to navigate later.
Do you have any obstacles in your life?
- Maybe you struggle trusting others because someone has betrayed you in the past.
- Maybe you find it hard to reveal your true identity to others because you have experienced the pain of rejection.
- Maybe you cling to relationships out of fear of being abandoned again.
- Maybe you wrestle with self -esteem because others have left you feeling unworthy.
- Maybe you wear yourself thin trying to please others because you have never received affirmation from someone important to you.
Nothing good comes from sweeping your hurt under the rug. Ignoring it only causes more pain in the present or future.
Hurt knows no boundaries. It happens in ministry, friendships, parenting, marriages, families, work, and school…
So, how do we deal with our hurts?
- We acknowledge the past hurts in our lives and recognize the consequences of sweeping them under the rug. These consequences become obstacles such as: bitterness, loss of identity, fear, poor self-worth, jealousy, stress… All of these things are not of God.
- We deal with one hurt at a time. Dealing with hurts can look different for everyone. It may be in the best interest for some to seek professional Christian counseling. The important thing is to deal with them appropriately to find healing. I love to journal and pour out my soul before God. Often He brings a scripture to mind that speaks a truth I need to apply to my circumstance. Sometimes, I am led to share with a friend that I trust is walking close with the Lord and can offer wisdom and a fresh perspective. Sometimes, it is a process to get healing from a deeper hurt. (Think of peeling an onion one layer at time. Getting to the core is a process.) It does not feel good peeling layers of hurts away, but getting to the core of why we hurt is the healthiest thing we can do. It is healthy because that is where God steps in and does a deeper healing in our lives. (Allowing God to get to the core of my pain has set me free from a bondage that held me prisoner for too many years.) No matter how long it takes, it is worth dealing with one hurt at a time.
- As we move forward, change the way we approach new hurts. We should be quick to acknowledge when we get hurt. Stop! Take it to the Lord, and seek resolve before we move on. Ask what God’s word says about how you should handle it. You may find that you need to forgive someone, either within your heart privately before God, or face to face with the one that hurt you. Maybe with love, talk it through with the one that hurt you. Whatever you do, do your best to not let the sun go down before making amends. I really like how the “Message” elaborates on Ephesians 4:26-27, “Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.”
God never promised us that we would be free from experiencing pain. But, He did guarantee us that we would have trials. (James 1:2) He desires that we cast our cares on Him because He cares about us. (1 Peter 5:7 NLT)
Friend, our hurts can crush our spirit, and we can feel alone in them but…
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 NIV)
God can handle what you feel, and He desires to break you free from the stronghold that it has on you.
The beautiful thing about healing is that the triggers that once brought pain now bring peace. God has not only healed my heart, but he has healed my mind.
Let’s not sweep our hurts under the rug any longer. Let’s roll up our rug and toss it out for good.