When I write about healing in my posts I am usually talking about spiritual healing. Physical healing is wonderful but many times it's simply the byproduct of a much deeper inner healing. Sometimes we block God's healing - in my own life one of the greatest stumbling blocks to healing was and is myself. As this stumbling block is moved out of the way the spiritual healing my soul needs has sped up.
Don't get me wrong - I'm still quite the mess. But something has shifted in me and it's as if a dam was removed. I'm sharing this because I believe that there are others that may be in the same boat and I hope this may help them too.
A large stumbling block to healing is self-hatred. The wrong kind of self-hatred. We aren't talking about the self- hatred the saints speak about here that's aimed at the false self. We're talking about a very real hatred/dislike of oneself. And it comes about through looking at yourself in an unholy mirror.
What is this unholy mirror?
It's all the false things you've told yourself and others have told you since you were very small that warp the way you see yourself and the way you see others. Add to that the wounds others have inflicted upon you and the wounds you inflicted upon yourself by your own sins and you begin to see how a distortion in the way you see yourself can become a big obstacle. For those who were raised in dysfunctional households - think of all the negative pictures others have painted of you with their words and/or actions (this also includes those things NOT done or said that should have been), especially when you were young and impressionable, and you can see how this might be a big problem. Children have no reason to believe an adult wouldn't be telling them the truth so they begin to believe that something is innately wrong with them.
God wants to shatter this mirror. Or at least break it away piece by piece. He wants you to see yourself through HIS eyes. He wants you to see your potential in Him. He wants us to know we are loved and cherished by Him.
In my case, the Lord chipped away at this false mirror gradually. No doubt had He removed it all at once I wouldn't have been able to accept it. Plus, its gradual removal has taught (and is teaching) me a lot.
This hatred of oneself may not be obvious to those who suffer from it because to them it's normal - they've lived with it all their lives and have never seen themselves in any other way. In other cases it's very obvious because it manifests all the time in their thought life. It's extremely prevalent in those who come from dysfunctional homes - children of alcoholics or drug addicts, those who are abused verbally/physically/sexually, those who are raised in homes where one or both parents are mentally ill, children of divorce, etc..
That covers a lot of homes.
I should have known I had a problem with this because it was quite obvious even as a child. I often felt defeated before I even began something. The world seemed overwhelming to me. If someone said something nice about me I would automatically correct their "mistake". I knew something was terribly wrong but I just didn't know what that terrible something was.
When I was in my twenties I read a lot of self-help books and tried to speak more positively about myself but it didn't really sink in - the only thing I was positive about was that I had a big problem. Saying positive things about yourself doesn't correct the underlying issues. It doesn't heal the wounds. Plus, I always felt like I was lying. Saying something is true doesn't necessarily make it so.
This is why I said the two questions in my most recent post are good ones to ask. We need to throw away the false pictures of ourselves (the way we see ourselves/the way others see us) and ask God how HE sees us.
His is the true picture. And His is the one that really matters.
Along with the healing of our self-image many of us are in deep need of emotional healing. It is not selfish to ask for healing for yourself - we can't truly love others if we don't love ourselves too. I pray for healing both for myself and others. I used to just pray for the healing of others until I realized this was actually a form of pride (go figure). We are responsible for our souls. It is never either/or, but rather, both/and. Our God is a very big God and He loves us all. My next few posts are about emotional healing and this is something most of us need so I hope they are helpful. I placed this post on self-image up first because of the way it ties in with emotional healing.