When emotional pain is too much for someone, signs of happiness only highlights the pain more, not less.
When someone is hurting, most of the time, it is easier for them to connect to people and media (art, movies, articles, documentaries) that can relate to their pain as much or more than what they are experiencing.
It somehow makes the pain more tolerable.
The hurt person may push away the loving. They may even push and pull the loving toward and then away.
People who use self harm, experience the physical pain as a manifestation of their inner hurt, or it helps them connect to the pain better. Because it matches their inner hurt. Or because they feel they deserve the pain.
The amount of inner turmoil must have an outlet, somehow. The wounded perceives the loving, merciful person would not understand this, so the wounded person pulls away even further. “Stop loving me,” they may feel. “It hurts too much.” (Because I don’t deserve it; because you don’t understand; because I cannot tolerate that love.)
The wounded person is at war within themselves. One part wants to go toward the happiness they once knew, or perceive could be possible, but the hurt self won’t let them. The pain cannot tolerate the happiness, because the happiness is not relatable. Because happiness cannot understand the pain. The pain may take over the wounded person’s world view.
The deeply wounded may become cynical, and dark. Anger may rule them.
The mercy hurts. The pain feels better. The body is in survival, it is protective, no longer connective.
I am experiencing a lot of pain. And I want to go dark, cynical, isolate. “You wouldn’t understand,” mentality.
I want to watch hurtful things, feel bad.
But something in me says something different. Something that is sewn tightly into me, like my very heartbeat, says, “Hope, Child.”
I see sad things now, on ads and things, and I am strangely drawn to them. I can tolerate them better; because I can relate to them in ways I couldn’t before. There’s a place where I want to be angry at all things happy AND there’s a part of me that wants to help the hurting better.
Pain strangely has eyes to see hurt in new ways, and has the tolerance for it because it understands it. It can connect so it doesn’t run away. It isn’t shocked, so it sits with it, calmly, longer.
I see Jesus now, as being able to tolerate incredible pain. Every pain the broken creation could lay upon him. He connected to it, not because He caused it, but because He understood it. He died because of it. He took the pain we can barely understand, and the weight of it in mountainous proportions.
His mercy was His pain. And He could tolerate both like no other.
Any mercy we can render when we are hurting is but a glimpse of His love.
Especially, because we are so drawn to staying in the shame, isolation and anger.
Jesus saw all the pain, and understanding it opened His heart and swallowed it up so we could live.
To be close to You, show me what pain You took for me and may I be grateful in my confession, receiving your forgiveness readily.
To be like You, Jesus, would mean I do like you did, FORGIVE.
When pain has no place to go but down into the depths of cynicism. Forgive.
When pain has no where to land but on anger. Forgive.
And Pain, when you have forgiven, keep healing, Pain—keep processing, stay curious about why you want to be sad all the time. Why you want to feel lonely, why you want to stay in a dark place.
Pain, you are not ready to tolerate love. And you may go through a spell of depression, grief, continued anger, repression, isolation and cynicism.
But listen to that ever drumming heart beat that says, “Hope, hope, hope, hope…” It is real and it is patiently waiting. When You are ready to turn to this Hope, I believe this is where freedom dwells.
Trauma is but for a moment, but
His Joy will come. Don’t try to find Joy on your own. You can’t. The Holy Spirit has to help you. If you try to find it on your own and can't, you will feel worse and add guilt a top shame. Insult to injury. Wait for the Lord, He will come. Even in your anger, sadness, depression, anxiety. He will come.
I AM is with you.