Week 4: STOP THE BLEEDING
Making wise choices is a crucial part of healing. In order for things to start getting better, they have to stop getting worse. It is important that we equip military families with the tools needed to make wise choices in the face of difficult situations.
Weekly Challenge: This week’s challenge was to exchange numbers with at least 2 other members of the group and call or text them with something encouraging this week. If you do not receive any texts or calls, ask yourself if you have sent any.
This week, the topic was stopping the bleeding. Step one to proper healing is – don’t harm yourself! It’s time to stop ripping out the stitches and making our situations worse. You can ask yourself, “What are the things that are tearing apart my life? What is my role in these things?”
You have to take responsibility for your decisions. While trauma can open the door to making decisions you wouldn’t otherwise make, you ultimately are responsible for your choices. Trauma has a tendency to squeeze the life out of us. Things from your past that may have been manageable before combat trauma may now be oozing out of you, affecting your here and now.
To ease this kind of suffering, we have a tendency to use spiritual painkillers. Some of the examples given in our group were – alcohol, medication abuse, pornography, seclusion, work addiction, and working out. In order to heal the wound, you have to be able to feel it. Even though trauma opened the door to these things in your life, you and God can close it. We sometimes use secrecy to leave this door open (just-in-case). You can ask, “What are my spiritual painkillers?”
There is one question that answers every other – “What is the wise thing to do?” For every choice that we are faced with, we can ask “In light of my past experiences, my current circumstances, and my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise choice?” Repentance means to turn around. It means to decide to feel the pain, to take accountability, and make better choices from here on out. That can be made easier with the support of someone who has struggled, someone to help you figure these things out (here’s where the weekly challenge comes in!