Friday, March 25, 2011

Healing Hurts Takes Time

Dr. Sandra D. Wilson's (2001) said something profound in her book, Hurt People Hurt People, that reminded me of one of my favorite readings from my Al-Anon book, Courage to Change: One Day at a Time in Al-Anon II (1992). In chapter seven, Wilson (2001) talks about the help that one can get from their hurts. She said that when one becomes a Christian, they expect instant relief from their aches and pains. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts for healing. Wilson (2001) quotes Romans 12: 2a, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (NIV). Wilson (2001) states that this renewal process takes a lifetime. This means one has to be patient. As I recall, patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23, NASB). Courage to Change's (1992) very first reading dated January 1 says the following, "we live in a society of instant gratification: instant coffee, instant breakfast, instant money from our local ready bank machine--it's everywhere we look! No wonder so many of us arrive at Al-Anon's doors looking for the instant answer to all the problems... Recovery is a process. It takes time to regain, reclaim, and recoup all that was lost while we tried on our own to cope... Building trust takes time, change takes time, healing old wounds takes time; there are no immediate, ready-made solutions. But the journey to better times is often what makes us happier, stronger people. When we stop expecting instant relief, we may come to believe that where we are today is exactly where our Higher Power would have us be" (p. 1) [boldness added for my emphasis]. Patience seems to be the common denominator between these two books. Pretty much it seems to be nonexistent these days. I have to admit that it is not easy to be patient. Al-Anon teaches that one cannot cure, control, or change the alcoholic, but what one can do is change their own ways of thinking and attitudes. Healing the hurts that comes with living with or loving an alcoholic takes a lot of patience. Al-Anon utilizes the Serenity Prayer to help convey that only God can give one the serenity to "accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can and wisdom to know the difference." This reiterates Wilson's (2001) thoughts regarding healing the hurts. We have to remember that God is in control , we are exactly where He wants us to be throughout our healing process and that we have to be patient!


  1. This post is very true and I think that in the world of the new and now that we live in, people are losing their ability to be patient. It is very important for counselors to continue to teach their clients to remind patient when they are dealing with their issues because the clients must realize that they are not God and He might not always work out their problems exactly when they want Him to. Patience is a lost doctrine that needs to be taught to this generation (me included).

  2. It is also very important to point out that we shouldn't try to stay in relationships with people that hurt us. In loving that alcoholic that you mentioned a person must first look at the reasons they are in that relationship in the first place. They must be careful not to be an octopus clinging to people that need fixing in order to make self seem worthwhile to self.


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