Image courtesy of Flickr user:lel4nd
Think back to the last time someone wounded your heart... go ahead, I will wait.
Did it occur because the person communicated (either in word and/or deed) that you were not worthy of love/respect/care? That your feelings didn't matter?
After I wrote a post on communication being more than words, it seemed like God kept telling me: it is okay to protect my heart from hurtful people and their words. Over and over for the past few weeks.
I can be a little slow on the uptake sometimes but I keep receiving the same message from various sources: It is okay to protect your heart from hurtful people. Okay and necessary.
Sometimes we can't protect our hearts from being wounded, such as when we are children and powerful adults in our lives abuse us emotionally, verbally, psychologically, physically or sexually. Or they fail to protect us from abusive children and/or adults.
There is a wide range of abuse but even "mild" abuse as a child will affect a child to a greater degree than if the same abuse happened to an adult. The constancy of the abuse is another factor. In sum, childhood abuse is particularly traumatic.
"Children can feel, but they cannot analyse their feelings..." Charlotte Bronte in Jane Eyre
Unfortunately, what happens to us as children, when our impressionable brains and bodies are being formed, can unconsciously continue to affect our interactions with others(*) (including God).
Experts and my experience tell me that if one doesn't make an intentional effort to make what is hidden in one's unconscious a part of one's conscious life, then one lives a life less than all the fullness God intended.
"Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23
I have not always protected my heart because at my core, I didn't believe my heart was worth protecting. I didn't think that God cared about my dreams and desires.
It has taken me years to believe (in my heart and not just in my mind) that God values my dreams and desires, especially the ones He has put within me. You know, the ones that bring Him glory and also bring joy to my heart.
You mean God cares about my joy and not only about my holiness? Yes, the two are not mutually exclusive.
By God's grace, I hope to share in a later post what God has been showing me recently through a sermon, a book, and a workshop teaching girls (and their parents) about emotional intelligence.
Isn't God great to give me the same message over and over? Yes, I need that many reminders. So grateful for His grace and patience with me.
For now, I want to encourage you with this truth: it is okay and important to protect your heart from those who trample all over it. God values you and your heart. Really.
Do you have a hard time protecting your heart? What has God been showing you lately about your heart? His heart of love toward you?
It is always a gift to hear from you. You bless my heart. Thank you.
* PARENTING from the INSIDE OUT: How a deeper self-understanding can help you raise children who thrive by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Mary Hartzell, M.Ed.
Linking up with God-graced sisters: sweet Jennifer of Getting Down with Jesus, encouraging Emily of Imperfect Prose and her team, and wonderful Jen of Finding Heaven.
© Soul Stops/Dolly Lee 2012. Creative Commons License: Okay for noncommercial use if you attribute this post to me and link to my permalink and blog.
© Soul Stops/Dolly Lee 2012. Limited License: Okay for noncommercial use if you attribute this post to me and link to my permalink and blog.