You live in a world where everyone is suffering. There is so much pain and grief. But the tricky part is that no one is allowed to discuss it. If you want to survive, you have to push all of that pain down and behave as if everything is okay. You go throughout your day feeling one way, but acting another. In that world, when someone asks, “How are you?”, you don’t give a second thought to responding with, “I’m good”, even if you’re not good. You smile all day long and when you finally get to go home, you can be yourself. In another manner of speaking, you can take the mask off.
It would be incredibly difficult to live in a world like that, right? The world I just described is the definition of a broken world. Everyone living in it is broken, but no one shares that with others. Something that a lot of people aren’t aware of is that a wound cannot heal unless it’s been exposed. You can’t scrape your knee and keep a Band-Aid over it the entire time. At a certain point, you have to rip the Band-Aid off – you have to expose the wound. The same principle applies for emotional wounds as well. But in that broken world described above, no one ever takes the Band-Aid off, and the wound never heals.
I’m sure at this point you’ve figured out where I am going with this. The broken world I described is our world; it is the world that you and I are living in today. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that our world sucks. In fact, there are a lot of things to love about the world we live in! But a lot of us, if not most of us, are hurting.
An important concept that we all need to understand is that in a world where everyone is hurting, more and more hurt piles on top each and every day. Jon Weece, a pastor at Southland Christian Church, said it best: “Hurt people hurt people”. I’ve never heard truer words.
If you want to free yourself from the burden of the pain you feel, talk to someone about it. It may be difficult to share intimate details about your life, but sharing it with another person, or even writing about it in a journal, can lift so much weight off of your shoulders. And from a religious perspective, I say to you, pray. If you are a follower of Jesus, give all of your pain to Him. You don’t have to carry all of that weight alone. At times, I have found myself saying to God, “I can’t handle this on my own. I give it all to You!”, and I promise you, it helps. I cannot even express how many times I have had to do this in my life.
Bad things are going to happen to you; it’s inevitable. But how you handle those bad things is what counts. When you experience pain, don’t hold it inside and choose to never speak of it. You may think that not talking about it will simply make it go away, but it actually has the opposite effect. And once that pain starts to multiply, it can make you cold.
If there’s any advice I can give you, it’s this: don’t let the brokenness of our world turn you cold. Don’t take the pain that you feel out on others. Although it can be difficult to love deeply in a world as cruel as ours can be, do it. Love deeply. Love everyone. If someone hurts you, keep in mind that they are hurting too.
Hurt people, hurt people.
But healed people, heal people.
Expose your wound. Heal yourself. And help heal those around you.