“For most of this century we have wrongly defined soul wounds as psychological disorders and delegated their treatment to trained specialists. Damaged psyches aren’t the problem. The problem is disconnected souls. ”
by Larry Crabb
Healing Ourselves and Our Relationships
Have you ever wondered why you are where you are, and what in the world is the point? In his book, The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren has helped millions of seeking souls to recognize some of their personal, spiritual goals as they strive in practical ways to find their path in life. The very popularity of this book over the past several years gives ample evidence that people are longing for guidance, for direction, and for a sense of meaning to this physical, temporal, fleeting existence here on earth. And when we can't seem to find our way, when we wander around aimlessly searching for "the meaning of life," it is no wonder our society seems so broken. So many people find themselves with shattered dreams, broken hopes and hearts, and eventually consumed with frustration and anger.
Even in the midst of the busy, busy, busy lifestyle that has become so typical of Americans, we just can't seem to drown out the echo of our souls searching for meaning. In my own life, for so many years, I was consumed with raising a family, ministry in my church, volunteer work in my community . . . . but I was alone. Now, most of the time I was grateful for a few moments of "quiet, alone time." But that is different than being surrounded by people, noise, and activity and STILL being alone. I wasn't lonely, because I didn't have the time or the silence to even contemplate all of that - but deep within my soul, I was ALONE. Through many years of heartache, turmoil, loss, grief, and frustration, I have managed to discover a place where I am at peace, and now I am no longer alone. But it was not easy finding my way here.
When we think of "soul wounds," we often contemplate issues such as abuse, abandonment, disillusionment, neglect, and heartbreak. And those kinds of experiences definitely create wounded souls. But I think it is in the deeper, more intimate places of our souls where the wound grows. When you consider the source of all of these kinds of heartache, the foundational problem is, as Larry Crabb, asserts: our "disconnected souls." Our aloneness. Because when we are broken, or wounded, that can be a temporary struggle. It only becomes a life-long tragedy when we carry our "wounded souls" silently within, and have no one else to help carry the burden.
Too often we focus on the "event," and not the causes of the various events in our lives that have wounded us. Have you ever thought about WHY this person or that person hurt you or abandoned you or abused you? There is never an excuse for wrong behavior, but there usually is a REASON people behave as they do. Have you ever wounded someone in your life, not because you intended to hurt them, but because, in your own anger or frustration or pain, you simply said or did something that was hurtful to someone else? Of course you have, because we all have done things that are less than "perfect" because we are human. We make mistakes, and so will everyone else in our lives. Forgiveness is the key to this particular situation, but thinking about "wounded souls" brings us back to the question of just HOW did we all get here? And what should we do about our own "wounded soul"?
The words of encouragement in today's quote suggest that it is not in "getting even" with the ones who have wounded us, but it is in discovering a way to re-connect with others who will nurture, support, encourage, mentor, and guide us . . . . or even carry us, when we need to be held tightly for a while. We must be wise - be careful of those who would wound us again - but remember that there really are people in our world who are safe, who are honest, who are trustworthy. If you but look for them, God will guide you to the "safe people" in your world. Disconnected souls will be wounded souls. Reconnect and be loved, and the wounds will become a memory that will spur you on to be one of the "safe people" for someone else. Life truly is a circle . . . . come on back home!