A key component to healing from a painful past is opening up and talking about it with someone that you trust (a pastor, mentor, counselor, or trusted friend). Allowing yourself the freedom to express what happened, and letting out the emotions that come with it in a healthy environment. This experience will bring a great sense of release and help you gain a new and healthier perspective. Sharing our story is probably the one most important aspect of the healing process, and yet it can be the most difficult for some.
Here’s the struggle for most of us: Telling our story means revealing, and revealing means exposing difficult memories that can be painful to talk about. It took time for me to share my story of abuse with someone. The idea of my friends, or other family members, knowing what happened to me was terrifying! However, I soon discovered that my fears were unwarranted and that I was not the only girl to ever experience the pain of childhood sexual abuse. Discovering that truth brought me a level of freedom to be able to further voice the hurt I felt inside.
I began to see that when I was open about my painful past, others were more open to share theirs with me. By being vulnerable about my story of abuse, healing has taken place for me and for others as well. That’s the beauty of sharing our stories. God can use them to mend wounded souls. He has used my story to help others overcome their painful past, and he can use yours (whatever it may be) to do the same. Each of us have a circle of influence, and in that circle we can have a great impact. When we are vulnerable and open (I’m not suggesting grossly transparent) we allow others to relax around us and give them permission to be real. It’s in that place that healing can happen.
Have you shared your story yet? If not, what is holding you back? I’d love to hear your comments, so please feel free to share.