We all get hurt. We’ve all hurt others. This isn’t optional, though we desperately try to avoid it. What we do with it is. While it won’t be easy and will take some time, here are 5 Ways to Get Over It when you’ve been hurt in life and leadership.
1) Get real. Don’t be brave and deny your pain. It will haunt you. Don’t “bottle” it up. It will blow up on you and those around you. Go ahead. Be hurt. Be shocked. Be angry. Be sad. After all, “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35, NIV) Whether from the unbelief of his closest followers or just because his friend died, he cried over it openly. Though sinless, He also expressed anger, disappointment, loneliness and every emotion we experience in life and leadership today.
Be whatever it is you are feeling. Be real about it. Fail to do this and you only prolong and even intensify the pain. Say the words. Journal about it (No… don’t blog it, rant on Facebook or tweet about it). Look yourself in the mirror and face your reality. God is big enough to handle your hurt and you won’t befooling anyone but yourself if you fail to take this vital step.
2) Go to it. By “it” we mean “them.” You can’t get past it if you try to go around those involved in whatever “it” is. You may have to do this more than once as you first go to God, then to those who wronged you (or you wronged), and then to those in your life who can help you (family, friends & accountability partners). Be honest with them. Don’t minimize or exaggerate. Be genuine as you forgive and seek forgiveness. There is no other step until this step is taken. (See Matthew 6:12-15 & Matthew 18:15-20)
3) Get over it. This will take some time. The deeper the pain, the longer it may take. It sounds more spiritual to say you can simply, “Forgive and forget.” The reality is we may truly forgive and be forgiven and still be tempted with lingering issues, regrets, cynicism, defensiveness or become very guarded. When this happens, do something about it.
- Be accountable. Admit it to yourself, the Lord and someone you trust.
- Give it the antidote… speak a word of Scripture, of faith, hope, or encouragement over yourself, your situation or someone you’ve already forgiven.
- Control your atmosphere. Refuse to throw private, let alone public, pity-parties. Create atmospheres of gratitude, expectation, and joy… at home, your car, your workplace, etc.
4) Give yourself time to get over it… but determine to get over it and go forward with God’s grace and the accountability of others. Our emotions will often circle and cycle around as we move forward. So will the feelings of others involved. They may come to you and then, together, you can process the hurt and gain a better understanding together of how to learn and grow from it. Take your time because that’s what it will take.
5) Get on with it. It’s time to move on. You may or may not be moving on locationally, but you can move on in heart and mind. Determine with some real “grit” to focus on what God is doing in your life right here, right now. Dare to dream a little about your future while you are at it. Then, find someone to listen to, lift up and help get through the challenge they are facing in their life. Stay busy in these ways and there will be little time to obsess about you or listen to the lies from the enemy of our souls whispering doubt and defeat, hoping to trap you in the past. Not you. Not this time. You are moving forward!
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:17-19, NIV)
Finally, be grateful for it. This is perhaps the ultimate way of cementing closure and moving on. Call it the “Joseph Principle.” Having been betrayed by family, co-workers, promoted, demoted, imprisoned, promoted again and everything in between, Joseph responded to his brothers, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.” (Genesis 50:19-21, NIV) (See Matthew 5:11-13; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; 1 Peter 4:12-14)
God hasn’t something new and next for you, not in spite of what you need to get over, but through it… maybe even because of it. No, you won’t get there in “5 easy steps.” However, you can and will get there as you determine to find help and healing in the Lord. Start by getting real…