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Copyright 2019  Jerry and Denise Basel

"Hiding from Love"

October 30, 2017

 We remember asking a client to tell us which defense mechanisms he used in his life. All of a sudden, he started singing the lyrics to Simon and Garfunkel’s famous song, I Am a Rock (Used by paid permission). “I am a rock; I am an island. And a rock feels no pain; and an island never cries.”  Whoa!

 

We all have many reasons why we learned to hide our hearts from being hurt. And because we often get hurt in love, we learned to hide from love as well. The Father is now inviting us to come out of hiding. We will have to begin to feel again—feel the truth of what really happened to us.

 

One young man told us that he was severely physically abused as a boy. He remembers lying in bed at night, afraid that monsters would come and get him (like his dad did when he was angry). He followed rigid rules of checking and rechecking all the monsters’ potential hiding places. After his routine, he would crawl in bed and cover up with the blankets up to his nose. He felt safe then—that the monsters could not get him.

 

In the summer it got pretty hot upstairs in his bedroom, so he would make up new rules for the monsters. “Okay, from now on, it is safe to have one leg out from under the covers.” And so on, and so on, the deals with the perceived monsters continued, as the heat of summer lingered. By the time fall came around, he had quite a collection of defense mechanisms in his tool chest—like denial, for example—so he could avoid feelings by minimizing their existence. Pretending and fantasizing—to deaden the reality of his pain.  Dissociation— by “zoning out” in order to escape from his feelings. Emotional insulation—by stuffing his feelings. Whatever the fears were that came with the monsters in his room, it never compared with the fear when his father came up to his room at night, drunk.

 

We all have many reasons why we learned to hide our hearts from being hurt. And because we often get hurt in love, we learned to hide from love as well. The Father is now inviting us to come out of hiding. We will have to begin to feel again—feel the truth of what really happened to us.

 

We may ask, “Why do I have to look at the past? Why go through all that again?” Because we never went all the way through the pain the first time. We never expressed our feelings at the crucial times—the feelings that belonged there.  Just like we always say, “Feel it to heal it. Grieve it to leave it.

 

PRAYER:  Father God, I am realizing that I still guard my heart, especially with those closest to me—and even with you. I have been afraid to be totally vulnerable in order to protect myself from hurt, rejection, and abandonment. Father, I need you to be my safe place. I am willing to trust you with my heart. I’m willing to walk with you back through the rooms of my past—even into the room with the monsters. I am willing to feel what you feel about these broken places in me, so that I can ultimately be healed by you. 

 

(Excerpted from our book, “Loving God, Loving Myself.”)

 

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