When I first read Kimberly Carroll’s quote, “Suffering is pain not processed,” I stopped. Stopping in the age of continuous Facebook scrolling means a lot. It’s rare that a post makes me truly stop. Her words resonated. Simple and so true.
Shoving those hurts and emotions deep down inside, day after day, year after year creates a snowball of suffering. As you go through life collecting and compacting the hurts, you are soon carrying a load that will weigh you down. You might be in a new city, but eventually the wound will be exposed. You may be around new people, but eventually you won’t be able to hide the scars.
That’s where processing comes in. As you take time to truly process the hurts, find the root of the wound… you will find healing. It’s not an easy or quick fix, but it’s necessary and will allow healing – if you will go there.
I think one of the best ways to process is with a professional – a therapist, a Christian counselor. Friends are great, but it’s natural to not want to burden them or to not want them to think you’re a crazy mess. Professionals are paid to listen to you – so you’re not burdening them. It’s their job. And, they will keep everything you say confidential so you don’t need to worry about someone finding out what you’re going through. On top of that, they have the skills, knowledge and training to help you truly grow. They will give you new ideas and a fresh perspective. Ultimately, they want to help you learn how to live in freedom.
One of the biggest pushbacks I hear when it comes to meeting with a professional therapist or counselor is the cost. But, many times therapy or counseling is covered by insurance. There are also professionals who bill based on your income. So, you pay what you can afford. Any money spent is an investment in your health, your future, your well-being, your life… and the lives of those you love.
To find a therapist or counselor near you, check out Psychology Today’s Directory.
There are definitely other ways to process and grow and heal outside of therapy or counseling. I think the most important thing is that you don’t process alone. Whether it’s through a support group, a Bible Study, Weight Watchers, AA, discipleship… whatever it is that works for you, surround yourself with those that are understanding, supportive, and wise.
“For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened.” -Matthew 7:7
Is there something that causes you continuous pain, anxiety or depression? I pray you’ll keep asking and seeking because God wants to open up a path to healing.