Healing Emotional Scars
A scar is a constant reminder of a wound from the past. It may serve as evidence of a horrible event, useful only in establishing guilt in a court case for example, but it also prevents the individual from fully letting go of the memory of the hurt that may have attended the wound. Scars can be unsightly, resulting in the telling and re-telling of the sad experience. Some psychologists opine that verbalising a negative experience may lessen the mental damage, over time. Scars can be physical or emotional. Emotional scars, by their very nature, are invisible, internalised, yet they govern the attitudes, thoughts, even decisions of the sufferer.
Child abuse, rape, divorce and other trauma, wound so deeply as to shake the individual to what seems the very core of their being. Those who treat and counsel victims find that, whether intentional or not, persistently belittling, degrading, bullying or intimidating anyone, but especially the impressionable child, is often more damaging in its lasting effects than physical abuse, which is also abominable. Emotional laceration and abuse cut to the quick, and when subjected to this regularly, can result in a total loss of self worth. In essence, it diminishes systematically.
It has become more and more worrisome to read on the pages of national newspapers, atrocities committed on our children – reports of rape, incest, paedophilia – usually by adults in positions of trust – parents, other older relatives, teachers, even religious leaders. Needless to say, the prevention and punishment of such offenses is the jurisdiction of law enforcement agencies and the courts. But what about the emotional scars that remain. Can they be healed? Can psychological damage be reversed? Can negative behavior, attitudes and traits arising from emotional wounds be unlearnt?
Psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors recommend meditation in some form; non-professionals advocate time as a healer, but the unassailable truth is that God can heal emotional wounds and dissolve the scars, so that even the fiery smell of the incident is not found on the victim. Healing starts with acknowledging spirituality as real, relevant and untouchable by trauma. This is not positive thinking or sweeping the incident under the carpet, but rather, facing the experience with God, and finding it yield to the universal solvent of divine Love. Then comes forgiveness of self and the perpetrator.
The Bible reassures, in Psalm 34 that God is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Christian healer, Mary Baker Eddy shows practically how this is accomplished. With vivid imagery, she describes spiritual man, as God’s conception – the spiritual, immortal idea of divine Mind – perfect as the Mind conceiving him [Science and Health with key to the Scriptures]. This statement echoes Christ’s statement of man having the kingdom of heaven within. Seeing man thus, enables the realisation that nothing can touch the core of man’s being without touching God first. It brings the assurance that healing must come, because man, in God’s likeness, is held superior to sin and trauma. Forgiveness lets go of the burden of bitterness, resentment, self flagellation. This spiritual understanding heals the mental and the emotional scar.