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Life comes with many bumps and bruises along the way. And often it’s tempting to keep our heads down and just keep pressing forward. But while it’s true we can’t change the past, it’s still helpful to name the impact life brings to our souls.

Of course, when we get hurt physically, we must first acknowledge the injury before we can provide what is needed for our healing. It does no good to pretend we didn’t cut our hand or break our leg.

Whatever the injury, naming it simply affirms reality. It doesn’t immediately fix anything, but it allows us to clearly dress the wounds we’ve suffered.

And the same is true when it comes to the emotional impacts of life. We name them not to change the past, but to acknowledge reality and to free us to live well in the future.

For instance, we might name the things that make us angry – the injustices that should not have happened. Perhaps this was being overlooked by our parents or being picked on as a kid. Or maybe it’s being passed over for a promotion, having our vacation plans cancelled, or having a loved one taken away from us too soon.

And we might also name our many griefs – missing extended time with friends and family, not being able to enjoy our usual holiday traditions, or things simply not as they used to be, for example.

Likewise, we might name our fears as we look forward in our story and remain unsure how things will turn out. Will we ever have the job we desire? Or make true friends in adulthood? Will it always feel like we’re just holding on?

Whatever it looks like, naming our anger, grief, and fears allows us to eventually move toward hope, joy, and peace.

This can be done with others, through writing, or in prayer with God.

In the end, this is simply honoring the movements of our heart by naming them.

What you’ve been through matters. Name it and bring it to the light – allowing you to continue your healing journey and move toward God’s best.

Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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