Many of the people I’ve worked with over the years have faced physical pains and problems throughout their lives, but the ones they are most afraid to face were the emotional pains. Many times we believe we have dealt with our past simply because we chose to not think about the past. Maybe we have sanctimoniously said that we had given it to God and there’s no use bringing it up. In truth, we are really avoiding the pain. I know because I did this most of my life. However, I learned there is only one way to face a fear and that’s facing it head on.
Many of the problems we have in our lives today are because we have refused to face our pain and when we do, everyone becomes the recipient of our refusal. Marriages and families are destroyed, businesses are lost, jobs are lost and friends are lost because we refuse to face our pain. Years ago I had to go into that dark pit and face my greatest fears and to this day I have not regretted it for a moment.
I’ve had the privilege to help lead several people to their darkness, but also to help lead them out. I remember a young couple I had been observing during a seminar one week and I was amazed they were still married. The anger and venom that poured out of this tiny young woman was unbelievable. The hurt and pain she had been carrying for so long was finally being revealed. From the age of 5 – 15 her father had not only raped and molested her, but her sisters as well. He would lock up the bathroom, food pantry and refrigerator in the house and they didn’t eat or go to the bathroom unless they had sex with him. As this horrifying declaration spewed from her mouth with rage and tears I looked at her husband’s expression and it was obvious he had never heard this. All the anger and frustration he had for his wife immediately turned to compassion. It was so amazing that after she had faced her darkness and then moved on she was able to love again. When at the first of the week when the couple could hardly look at each other, now they were embraced and holding each other lovingly.
Another time I had been observing a man who was extremely angry. Everyone in the room avoided him because they could feel the heat radiating from him. During one of the exercises I walked up to his group when he was attempting to speak, but the anger he had was so great he couldn’t force any words out. I looked at him and asked who had hurt him so bad. Immediately the anger went to sobbing. This was a man had been severely physically abused by his father most of his childhood. Within a few days this man was able to smile again for the first time in years.
Who are these people? Are they the low-life degenerates that live in the dark alleys or the people we referred to as “Across the tracks?” No! They are the people you work with, people that sit next to you in church or maybe someone in your family. Maybe this person is you. Many of these people were professionals such as doctors, lawyers, dentist, engineers and accountants. They were from all walks of life and if there has been one great revelation that I have learned, it’s that somewhere, somehow we all have a hurt and pain to face.
Here is another man's story you may find interesting. If you were to be around this guy you would think he had it made. He was jolly and was always making a joke about something. He was musically talented as well as an engineer. When learning this man’s secret it silenced the room. He had 4 brothers and they were all quite talented. When they were young their father tried desperately to promote them in a singing career. They were beat out by another group, but had come so close to success. That evening while they slept their father set the house on fire to kill them all. Fortunately they escaped the flames, but not the broken hearts.
These stories have two purposes. One is to encourage you to face your pain, fight as a warrior, deal with it and move on. The second is before you become irritated and angered by the person next to you whether it be your spouse, friend or someone at work, stop a minute and ask…What might of happened to them? Whenever you come across someone who is angry, this is a sign they’ve been hurt. Anger is just a manifestation of hurt and maybe you could be the one to lead them in and out of the darkness.