How comfortable are you with intimacy? I’m talking about honest-to-goodness emotional intimacy. Where you share with another person your feelings, your concerns, and the thoughts of your heart?
So many of us, as we’ve passed through life, have been hurt. But later as we joined the ranks of kids in school and at other places, our experiences became rough ones. We have experienced hurt feelings.
Maybe our younger years were fine, but now we’re working for an abusive boss. Or maybe, just maybe our spouse is not the most delicate with our feelings.
Whatever the experience, though, Christ can heal our wounds. The important part to know is that human emotions are given for a reason – they are not meant to be dulled through the passage of time. We are not creatures created to walk around “past feeling.”
No, in fact, as we read the scriptures looking to see God’s emotions, they are in plenty of places. We can read that he is a tender God, a passionate God, even a jealous God. (Ever wonder at the expression “jealous God”? Look up “jealous” in the dictionary. You may be surprised at what you find.)
If we are to become like our Father in Heaven, we must become familiar with our emotions and comfortable with them. As Latter-day Saints, we recognize that to become “past feeling” often implies that we are able to sin without any recognition of its destructive powers. This is not what we want!
But the opposite of being “past feeling” implies that we DO feel. And sometimes FEELING things can hurt.
God will help.
The Lord understands this. And so we turn to Him when we are hurt. He can heal us. But it takes effort on our part. The most priceless gifts generally are not freely given; there is some required work on our part if we are to have a family that bonds together for eternity. The joy that awaits is real and accessible and worth receiving!
So here are a few tips the next time your feelings are deeply hurt by someone you care greatly about.
1. Turn your heart to prayer.
When wounded by a loved one, find a safe, private place. Kneel and begin pouring out your heart to your Father in Heaven. He is there to succor you and to help you through all times of difficulty. He will help you make sense of your feelings, and give you the insight you can’t get any other way.
2. Turn your heart to scriptures.
When wounded by a loved one, turn to your scriptures and begin reading them. And don’t stop. Every moment you have that is free, immerse yourself in the word of God. Literally. Over the course of a few days, melding into a few weeks, you will begin to notice a softening of the edge of pain. Eventually, insights will come to help you wend your way during this challenging time.
3. Turn your heart to service.
As silly as it sounds, service really can make a difference. Even if your heart is heavy, angry, full of recriminations, etc., find a way to serve the individual who has hurt you. Remember how Jesus said to pray for your enemy and to serve those who have hurt you (Matthew 5:44)?
Service brings love into one’s heart and can do a great deal for the situation; regardless of how the other person responds, the Lord will respond with aid because you were willing to follow in the pathway of Christ (who did not revile at even the vilest of revilers).
Emotional intimacy – or in other words – human relationships can bring us pain. But there is a way out of the anguish caused by another’s words or deeds. Prayer, Scripture Study, and Service really can do much to assuage the feelings that can come during the sometimes rocky path of loving those around us. With the help of God, our hurt feelings can be healed and we can be whole again.