Hurting people hide. As I look back over past conflicts and hurts my reaction has been to hide and withdraw. I either hide in public by serving people, managing them with kindness, or I withdraw away from people and situations I can’t manage or control. Either one takes me away from relationships, life, community, and intimacy with others.
I have learned that pain takes all of us away from the very things that God designed to bring health and life. We are designed to life in community, not on an island alone.
Healthy people learn that they need to live in an accountable healthy relationship. All of us are doing 1 of 3 things all of the time:
- Moving Away – This is either physical or emotional withdraw. The person who does this feels overwhelmed, angry or anxious and needs to step away to get their thoughts head screwed back on. This may work in the short run but becomes toxic over time.
- Moving Against – This is anger, escalation or just aggressive behavior that is designed to move the other person and make the person feel better. They believe the problem is the other person and they are going to fix them quickly. The false belief is that if they control or stop someone else they stop the internal feelings of anger, anxiety or feeling overwhelmed.
- Moving Toward – Hint….. this is what you want / need to do. Healthy people move toward people or problems. They interact with the desire to solve the problems. They are able to process the feelings of anger, anxiety or feeling overwhelmed and move toward people to create solutions.
All three trends are available to us and healthy persons are able to move in any of these directions when needed. What usually happens, though, is that we become comfortable and used to one of the trends and so the other two become less accessible.
Learn to move toward God, yourself and others. This bring you into life giving relationship.