Friday, June 24, 2011

Healing The Whole Person- Reprint

Perhaps one of the main reasons for an increase in depression, over-exhaustion and feelings of inadequacy or loneliness comes from the fact that we do not accept ourselves as we are. Perhaps we are unable to embrace our greatness (being made in the image and likeness of God and with a purpose) because we are broken and need inner healing. We place so many demands on ourselves and others that we end up complicating our lives rather than simplifying it. Why do we do this? Because we do not feel good enough or worthy to be loved as we are so, we delude ourselves and others, wasting so much of the energy we have, on a facade. We do this because we are wounded.


Because many of us have been wounded, we can fail to see the beauty in who we are and try to become what we think others will accept us as or what we “should” be so that others will not reject us (rejection wounds). In other words, we “should” all over ourselves. This depletes a tremendous amount of energy. Energy that could otherwise be spent fulfilling our purpose. Sometimes we just stuff down our pain, pushing it deeper and deeper in a jar and turn the lid on extra tight so it stays there. We then forget about it but, the effects are still there.
Then there are some people, who know who they are and embrace it. They embrace their weaknesses and limitations which becomes a new strength by simplifying their lives and allowing them to grow in humility. These people radiate energy and when you are in their presence you feel it like rays of sunshine on your face on a a clear summer day.

Have you ever met someone like this? When they look at you, you fee as if they are really seeing you and it is without any judgment, prejudice or fear. This is what it feels like being in the presence of Dr. Bob Schuchts who presented Sexual Healing and Redemption at the Theology of The Body.
I certainly know what it is like to be deeply wounded. I realize now that I have consistently sabotaged my own happiness and relationships because of them. Something I am determined to heal.
Many of us are afraid to face those things within ourselves, maybe because when we have done so on our own or with a counselor, it just seemed to create more pain without any healing. However, when we make our healing Christ centered, true healing begins.

Over the past year I have been growing in courage. I attribute a course taught at The Theology of The Body Institute last summer called “Sexual Healing and Redemption”. More specifically, I believe it was the teachings of Dr. Bob Schuchts, who teaches a concept of Inner Healing. The premise is that the “whole” person must be healed. That we may see repetitive sins in our lives but unless we deal with the root of the wound, we can not find true healing. Are you angry? The root of anger is in control. Why do we want to control (this may be passive or aggressive control)? Because rooted in the control is abandonment wounds.

I learned that the 7 deadly sins are often “rooted” in a wound. When we make promises to ourselves, like “I can not count on anyone but myself” (pride), we bind ourselves up with that promise to a particular sin. It is a proclamation binding us in our own free will. Unless we bring Christ to that place and submit it to Him (God will not interfere with our free will) we may not experience freedom. When we bring Christ into that wound and submit our will to Him, He can then heal the abandonment wound. Only then can we begin to experience freedom from the anger that seems to consume us.  How do we find out what our "root" issues are? We look at our distress symptoms.

Ever react in a way that catches you off guard? That can be a distress symptom.  A distress symptom points, like a neon sign, toward the very issue God desires to heal you from.  When we are wounded, we can be tempted to make an inner vow to protect ourself.  We might say "I am alone"or "No one"cares".  This inner vow, of our own free will binds us up from allowing us to be vulnerable or to trust in God's loving care, particularly that of God the Father.  In this place of  brokeness, the inner vow we make (of our own free will) locks God out.  It is not that He does not desire to heal us, it is that God does not force Himself on us.  He will never impose upon our free will.  

We make an inner vow, then we make a judgment about the other person.   We may say to ourselves, "because I am alone, they must not care about me".   This judgment creates anger. A person with with anger as a distress symptom may manifest depression,  angry outbursts,  passive-aggressiveness and more.If the anger is repressed or if it is turned inwards it becomes depression.  If it is turned outwards a person can become easily irritated or in worse cases, become violent or emotionally unstable.  

I should make the point of stating that there is always an idolatry associated with a persons wound.  It is the way we protect ourselves rather than turn to Jesus Christ to protect us or to be our comfort.  When we make an idol of something  we turn inward to protect ourselves and in doing so we make a false God of something.  We then can sin in that place as we begin making choices to numb or our pain. 

For example, Shame wounds usually come with the idolatry of self. The sin associated with it is Pride.  Rejection wounds create an idolatry of Relationships. The sin associates with it is Lust.  Powerlessness wounds can be a worship of comfort through avoidance of pain.  The sin associated with it is sloth. 

Inner healing bypasses all of this and seeks to heal the original wound that created all of this chaos.  What is the root wound of anger issues? An abandonment wound.  This abandonment can make it nearly impossible for someone to overcome their fear of vulnerability.  However, we know that all things are possible with God.  The inner healing I experienced through the Theology of The Body Institute

Sexual abuse creates a division within our very personhood and find the effects of something that happened ten, twenty or thirty years ago, still affecting us today. The suffering we sustained from sexual abuse can create tremendous suffering as any childhood abuse.  If we sin to numb the pain from that abuse or turn inward instead of toward God, then our own destructive decisions can create even more woundedness.

We can function somewhat normally through prayer, participation in the sacraments or even by seeking out counseling however, unless inner healing takes place, then we are only functioning better for a period of time. Dr. Bob Schuchts explained very beautifully, using the concepts of Theology of The Body to explain how to do this through this contemplative prayer like therapy that focuses on Jesus entering into the counseling and illuminating what hurts need to be healed. Then Christ Himself is asked to provide the healing as an experienced therapist guides you through it. An example of how successful this kind of therapy is can be demonstrated by considering AA and it's 12 step program. It was based on the St. Ignatius contemplative prayer style. Until God is allowed into our wounds, we do not find healing.

This also reminds me of the book “Unbound”by Neal Lozano, in which the focus is prayer and asking Jesus to reveal the source of our sin. We ask to know the place where we may have opened the door to the enemy. We give the enemy a foot hold when we say things like “I can not trust anyone!” or “Things will never change” with our own words we end up cursing ourselves and we are bound.

Dr. Bob Schuchts and his Inner Healing concepts have brought me a tool box by which Jesus and I have begun to heal my soul and my spirit (something he explains have separate functions) and through this healing I am more able to live through this body and physically bring Christ to others. Inner Healing is giving me the ability to Embrace my Own Greatness. By this I mean that God has given us all gifts and charisms to accomplish His will in and through us. With inner healing, I am more capable of doing this.

God often uses the simplest of ingredients, water, oil and wheat etc. He can work with us in our own brokenness however, He desires for us to be whole. If you are suffering and need Inner Healing then I would suggest you check out the Theology of The Body Healing Center. I can not tell enough people how amazing this healing is. When we become more whole then we are more capable of bringing Christ to others.