The Healing Series: The Journey that Breeds Purpose
Step 3: Reflection
Looking into the mirror to see the role you played in your own Brokenness
Me: “They hurt me…”
“They rejected me…”
“They failed me…”
“It is never going to work out for me…”
God: “I know my child but what is the part that you played?”
This question SHOOK me because the entire time I was admitting the source of my wounds, I hadn’t realized that I was using pronouns like “they” and “it” but rarely taking ownership with “I.”
You see it’s easy to point the blame of our pain on others and unfair life circumstances, but it takes strength to finally take responsibility for the part that you played.
It was time to look in the mirror
A mirror is a polished, smooth surface that forms images by reflection. It provides a way to check yourself before moving forward.
As I started to reflect on my inner image, I realized 6 important keys that are shared below:
1. Life can become your mirror
It’s funny what sitting still and reflecting on your life will reveal to you.
As I thought about some of the rejection and hurt I felt, I realized that I too had projected that on others.
I realized that I have been nonchalant, ungrateful, and distant when I have gone through my own issues. There were so many moments I was engrossed in what I was experiencing that I did not let the people around me in. I was now starting to see that how I acted affected the ones I loved. I assumed that I could get through whatever I needed to on my own with no help. I prayed enough on my own and talked my issues out with my therapist so I must be okay. I recognized that I had reached a low point and the people around me had no idea how to be there for me because I had this continuous façade that I was okay.
It was my choice to suffer in silence and rarely speak to the pain I was experiencing.
It was my choice to shut down emotionally to those around me.
It was my choice to avoid my pain and continue to place myself in compromising situations that would produce even more confusion.
I started to see all of my flaws displayed in front of me. Many of the things I judged others for were now happening to me. I experienced inconsiderate situations, karma from the past, and what often seemed like the bad end of a boomerang all at the same time.
How could all of this be happening to me?
Did I deserve this?
I certainly didn’t expect that my healing journey would force a mirror in front of me and expose my mess.
2. You have been a volunteer instead of a victim.
You can sit there and talk about how everybody else has hurt you as a victim or you can realize that sometimes you volunteer yourself for situations that hurt you.
A victim is a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.
A volunteer is a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task.
We all have choices in life where we can choose to wallow in our pain or we can realize that we sign up for the strife we are experiencing. Sometimes we can magnify the things we are experiencing to an extreme degree that it can often feel like salt is being placed on our wounds.
For example: In my brokenness, I can continue to talk about each part of the pain that ranged from my career, relationships, mental well-being, and past by playing the victim in every scenario. Or I can realize that I am volunteering myself by continuing to relive each scenario trying to find the why instead of recognizing the triggers I am supposed to feel, then deciding to move forward.
3. If you don’t face the patterns behind your triggers, they will continue to rule your mental state
As I looked in the mirror, I had to be honest about my emotional triggers. Identifying your triggers will make you uncover what has been masking your pain. In order to uncover the masks, I had to first find the root of my triggers. This phase causes a certain transparency with God. As I thought about it and expressed my pain, rejection was a common theme that continued to come up. I was rejected by schools when applying, rejected by those I loved and trusted when disappointed by their actions, and even felt rejected by my own purpose because things just did not seem to be going my way no matter how hard I tried. I thought about why everytime I felt rejected, I was triggered into an emotional down spiral. I thought about my childhood and growing into womanhood, how I never felt like I fit in and struggled to find my place. Yes people loved me and were always attracted to me but I didn’t quite understand why. It is hard to navigate through life normally when you do not feel like the average.
When you see things differently than most, when you realize your boundaries have to be different than others, and when you see that you have to be the one to go through certain trials. I realized that I never fully accepted or believed in myself so when life circumstances brought what I felt was rejection I was instantly triggered. Keep in mind that some of my experiences had nothing to do with rejection, my mind automatically went there because the pattern was now planted mentally. I also had to acknowledge the role pride and ego played into my life during these times. I would often mask the fear of rejection with pride with statements like, “I am going to be fine regardless!” While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with this, for me it was an automatic defense mechanism used when I felt rejected.
Now that I had uncovered my roots and masks, I had to release my relationship with rejection. I had to be transparent about the toxicity of our past together and realize how many times rejection had sent me into a depression that I felt I could not escape. In order to truly change, you have to become completely fed up with how you’re feeling and be willing to say goodbye to the sabotaging traits that have ruled your life for far too long.
Essentially, I had to break the soul tie I had with rejection to make room for purpose. Though not easy I had to start by changing my old patterns. It was time to be intentional about making better choices with my thoughts.
4. It’s a choice to be offended
In the midst of this stage, I was raw and sensitive to things around me, which means I was easily offended.
I allowed my emotions to control my thoughts and I took things far more personally than I would normally. I had to realize that it is an active choice to take things personally and to consequently be offended. I am the type of person that gets offended when an action is done to me that I would never fathom doing to another. I honestly spent so much time in shock about the things that people did to me that it took away from the time that I could have been healing from it. We have to realize that people do things out of their own brokenness and though it may hurt, it’s still our choice to stay in anger about it. While there were many situations that I had every right to be offended, I decided that staying in the place of offense caused me to walk into a continuous journey of bitterness and resentment. For the sake of my emotional state, I had to first check my thoughts then choose to forgive.
You see everyone feels entitled to their hurt. In many situations, we like to compare who hurt who worse and who went through the most. We rarely realize that we too played a part in many of the things we have experienced and it’s important to change the perspective from who/what did it to it happened now how can I heal from this?
Choosing to grow rather than staying in offense will be integral to your journey.
5. It’s important to see yourself how God sees you
This particular stage can be hard on your self-confidence and there will be moments where it will be easy to see yourself in a darker light than usual.
You may look at all the poor decisions you have made and assume that that there is no way that you can recover. You will see that you really did play a huge part in your brokenness and that essentially part of the way you feel is a direct result of your actions.
For example: you may have avoided signs to get out of a situation, you may have used poor judgement, you may have been oblivious to your own flaws, you may not have listened to sound advice, you may have never trusted God in the way you needed to, or assumed that you were more in control that you actually were.
It can be myriad of reasons as to why you feel the way you do but instead of allowing the hard work of your inner healing to affect you negatively, remind yourself of how God sees you.
Remember that God loves you regardless of who you were and what you have done.
Remember that he already knew what you were going to do before you did it and that he accounted for all your human errors.
Remember that he does not expect you to be perfect in no way shape or form.
Remember that he saw exactly what happened to you and plans to use even the most hurtful things for your good.
Remember that his grace is something you get that you do not deserve but you get because of his love for you.
6. Give grace to the old you
Just as God gives grace to you, extend that same grace to yourself.
Forgive the woman that got you to this place of brokenness.
The one that forgot her worth, the one that put herself in compromising positions, the one that accepted less than what she deserved, the one that let bitterness and anger rule her life — she truly deserves the grace.
See bitterness and anger can change you into a person that you and the people around you will not be able to recognize. I am thankful that as I was going through this stage, my therapist reminded that healing is hard and it will take some time. She told me that I may never arrive to a place of full healing because God reveals different broken parts of us in each season. My sister reminded me to not let life change my gentle and caring heart because it is to the core of who I am. I had friends remind me that it is okay to take some time to myself and that they were inspired by my decision to heal.
Once I internalized this advice I realized that grace, patience, and forgiveness needed to be given to myself first. I finally released seeing myself in the bad light that caused some of my chaos and begin to say regardless of the why: I will continue to heal because I deserve joy.
A Prayer for You:
Father God in the name of Jesus
Thank you for placing the mirror in front of me
Thank you for revealing the destructive patterns behind my triggers
Thank you for revealing the choices I have the liberty to make in my life
This process has not been easy and honestly it hurts to see the part I played in my own brokenness
But I ask that as you reveal more of myself to me, you teach me how to have grace and patience
I know that you have the power to continue to heal my mind and heart during this process
Give me the strength to keep being intentional about this journey despite what it reveals
I love you and in Jesus name I pray