The question is; where does the power come from? In my experience, when people try to effect these changes on their own, they get very limited results, because it was them that basically got themselves into the trouble that they are in, along with the effects of people involved in their lives that perpetuated the traumas that have marked their lives.
When we connect with God, we find pathways to healing through forgiveness and releasing of judgements. If we invest in the work it takes, God is able to free us from the repeated behavior patterns generated from our traumatic past.
Here are some steps to consider, along with getting professional help.
1. Acknowledge the reality of your trauma. Admit to yourself, to God and to at least one other person that you are hurting and in need of healing. Identify the symptoms you are experiencing, their frequency and their impact on your life. James 1:8 Says, confess to one another so you can be healed.
2. Recognize the source of your trauma. Explore and discover the source of your pain, then share what you experienced with a trusted, mature friend. Explore subsequent experiences that have been spin-offs or repercussions from your original trauma.
3. Seek counseling for severe symptoms. Process flashbacks, dreams, nightmares and other troubling experiences with a trained professional. Inform a medical doctor if depression becomes severe or chronic.
4. Realize present situations can trigger buried memories and more emotional pain. Sights, sounds, smells, touch, etc. can all prompt emotional and physical reminders of past pain. Be increasingly cognizant of your personal “triggers.”
5. Commit to journaling as you travel on the road to recovery. Recording thoughts, feelings, insights and breakthroughs are invaluable markers for monitoring the healing process. Reading your journal provides encouragement and becomes “your story” on paper, a testimony perhaps you can share one day with someone who is hurting. Archeological journaling will help you uncover areas of unforgiveness and judgement in the heart that will block your ability to receive God’s healing.
6. Examine self-injurious thinking or behavioral patterns. Honestly evaluate how negative, un-true thoughts are resulting in negative behavior, and deliberately replace them with loving, encouraging thoughts based on God’s truth for you. Pinpoint ways you could be sabotaging yourself by giving way to unhealthy and ungodly beliefs about yourself and others. “As a man thinks or believes in his heart so he is.”
7. Investigate emotional and psychological walls you have erected and self-protective tools you have employed. Enlist close family and friends to help you consider the illegitimate ways you have tried to meet your God-given needs for love, significance and security. Explore all defense mechanisms designed to keep relationships superficial or separate from your past traumas (isolation, anger, critical spirit, etc.). See how your temperament propensities when acted on in the negative, may make breaking through past trauma more difficult.
8. Find freedom from the bondage of past pain and begin anew. Dealing with painful experiences is painful, but it is critical to healing and to the hope of a promising future. Pain held captive in silence is pain never freed. Remember that pain expressed is pain released. Hurt people hurt people, healed people heal people.
God offers a new start every moment of every day. Whenever we turn to Him He is there to touch, heal, bring peace and comfort and freedom. Don’t let your brokenness disqualify you any longer. It’s actually your brokenness that can become your qualification.
“He is closest to the broken hearted.”