IT’S 2013-BEGAN WITH LOVE (Part 2 of 4)
Greetings and welcome to my post. The purpose of this post is to engage in conversation about building trusting relationships. I believe that we are all created for relationships and what gives our lives meaning and purpose is to know that we are loved and accepted. When we have happy, purposeful, and meaningful relationships, then our lives become meaningful because we are loved and accepted by someone. Meaningful relationships really do bring hope to our lives.
So it’s 2013! Have you made your resolutions yet? Do you have your goals all written out? Are you looking forward to 2013 and what you want out of this year? Do you have a plan for this year? If not, then let me ask you to focus on twelve areas that you should consider when it comes to having a meaningful life in 2013. Don’t allow yourself to just drift through 2013 with an attitude of snoozing through the year. Why not build some momentum with some smart and practical building blocks for your life and your relationships so that at the end of the year, 2013 really has been a meaningful year. Don’t give up yet, have some hope, and consider reading my post throughout the year as a way to find direction and integrate meaning into your life.
In part 1 of this 4 part series, I asked you to look at love and especially bonding and connection as the first building blocks to build a foundation for 2013. In this second part, I want to look at love by helping others heal their hurts and brokenness through restoration. Love can be the glue that holds it all together when it comes to bringing help and hope to hurting people. Just like some people would swear by duck tape or gorilla glue as a solution to fix many broken items so can love bring healing to hurting people. In other words, all loving people can become part of and engage in the process of healing and growth. Just like hurting people hurt people so then loving people heal people.
You see, everyone hurts sometimes. When you are in a relationship with someone, sooner or later, you are going to hear their hurt and pain. The challenge as a loving person is to use the love you desire to give by offering the promise of being available, showing you care, and proving mercy and grace to what is needed for that person. This statement is so true: We cannot heal ourselves. Oh sure, we can follow into the myth that we are self-sufficient and don’t need anyone. But the song line is very true: People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.
So, one of the first challenges when it comes to restoring love is to help people not hide from love. Last year I wrote in one of my blogs the sudden and unexpected death of Junior Seau, a football player who had resigned from football and was out of the league for only a year when he decided to end his life by killing himself. He was only 43 years old. But, he was a hurting man and because of his hurt, he decided to hide and not tell anyone about his pain and solved his hurt through suicide. Just like Junior, we all can hide and pull away from others and deal with our hurt by ourselves. But the solution to hurting is not hiding or surviving on our own, but to ask and receive the very thing we all need, love. Junior did not let anyone know he was hurting and just like him, when we experience hurt we need love and care from others to bring about restoration for our lives. Possibly, if Junior had let people know he was hurting, then maybe he would not have experienced the hurt by himself but instead received the love that heals through restoration and redemption. We all must overcome our tendency to hide and pull away from others and seek and allow love from another person to help with the healing process.
So how can you both ask and give love that brings restoration to not only your life but also the lives of others? If you want to help others then love has to be intentional, not just going through the motions but really value and desire to bring help and healing to someone’s life. So in order to bring some healing to someone life, I would ask you to consider some of the elements of love as a healing agent.
First of all, receive healing and personal growth for yourself. You can’t give what you first have not received. When you have experienced love as healing from a friend, a therapist, pastor, or family member, then you can bring healing in the form of love to someone else who is hurting.
Second, seek teaching and mentoring on how to use love in healing. This does not mean that you have to go and get a graduate degree in psychology or some other helping profession but find places to get instructions and training in helping the brokenness of others. Finding some good books, or maybe a peer training class at your local church, a class at your local college, or a training class from a guru you like, can help prepare you as an agent of change for love and healing.
Third, move towards pain. See pain as your friend and not as your enemy. When people are hurting, they are in pain. When people struggle in relationships, they almost always have some pain inside of them, and not much can happen to heal that pain without an intentional connection to bring love to this area of pain. The pain must be identified, brought into relationship, and understood. Pain needs empathy and when you can bring empathy to someone in pain, you are bringing healing to that person’s life.
Finally, view your role as a resource to the availability of others who can bring healing. For example, let’s say your friend is a widow because their spouse has died. It might be a good idea for you to point that person to a grief counselor who has had special training in dealing with death and dying. Don’t put pressure on yourself to solve all hurt and pain but instead know your limitations so that you can point that hurting person to others who may have the right resources to also bring love to that person’s life.
Remember the importance of this area of love. Love can and should be used to bring restoration to someone’s life. As you know, restoration is a process that attempts to return the hurting person to some previous state that that person imagines was the person before the hurt and pain. To bring love as a healing agent to someone who is hurting IS to attempt to restore that person to how they were functioning before the hurt and pain came into their life. When hurt and pain comes, it changes us and brings about brokenness. To heal the brokenness is to apply healing love so as to restore and heal the pain of brokenness in our life.
Thanks for reading and I welcome your feedback and reaction.
Phil Kiehl, LMFT, M.Div.