Stop Hurting: Start Loving

By Henrietta Elegunde

Life is a journey with optional destinations, Life is a journey with optional destinations, where we end up is up to us. Pain can either be a new beginning, or you allow it steal your joy. This situation is trying to teach you something. You can either learn to move on, or get stuck painful emotions. You can either learn from pain and heal, or keep going round in circles.

If we always take the same actions, we will always arrive at the same destination. You may not be able to stop your pain, but you can choose whether it pushes forward or backward in life. Moving on, starts with taking the first step; take that step today. Learn how to start loving again. Start with yourself. Once your self-love start radiating, it will soon start attracting others, into your life.

Any unwanted change can be painful and a threat to ones security and wellbeing. It can also have a big impact on self-esteem. Pain is inevitable, but we have to feel the pain, and then move on. People will become insecure, if they allow divorce to keep dragging their spirit down.

It is essential that we all work on ourselves by learning how to overcome traumatic events . Otherwise they will overcome us with: anxiety, stress, frustration and disappointment. We can learn to use our pain as an emotional tool for a positive change.

We can either turn our pain into a stumbling block that will immobilize us, and stop us from progressing in life. Or we can turn our pain to a stepping stone, by using our pain as motivation to get us to the next level. Emotional stumbling block can develop as a result of lack of forgiveness. In order to move on with our lives, there have to be forgiveness, even when it is painful. Forgiveness is a choice, and not a feeling. We will never feel like forgiving someone who has hurt us, but we need to forgive people, in order to become emotional free from them. We tend to dwell on things we haven't forgiven.

Feeling good again, start with forgiveness, because it allows us to close the chapter. People with unfinished business find it hard to open a new chapter. And this steals their joy. When they refuse to forgive, bitterness would eat them up from inside out. Bitterness happens as a result of unresolved anger. Bitterness is like a cancer that can spreads to every part of people's lives. And bitterness defiles a person: Hebrews 12:15 – “looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;” (NKJV).

Bitterness is a seed that starts from a habit of negative thinking, which has grown over a period of time. Like any seed, it just gets bigger and bigger over time. Our thoughts usually become what we talk about, what we talk about usually becomes our actions. When we repeat these actions over some time, it will become our attitude and affect our decisions. We need to get rid of any bitterness, in order to heal. Bitterness can also lead to a life of stress and depression, if it becomes a habit: Ephesians 4:31 – “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”

Emotional baggage and garbage from lack of forgiveness, is what really hold people back. Sometimes we need to learn to forgive ourselves first. We often blame ourselves after traumatic events, even when it is not our fault. This happens as a result of false guilt, false humility or irrational thinking. Even when it is our fault, we can let go and learn to make better choices. Beating ourselves up is unproductive. Holding on to the emotional baggage and garbage will only hold us back. God wants His people to be free: Ephesians 4:32 - “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (NIV)

Forgiveness opens door to new possibilities in life. Painful situation can be a new beginning and a stepping stone to our new life. Instead of it become a stumbling block that will steal our joy and peace. Setbacks can be painful, but they either become our stumbling block or stepping stones. The choice is ours to make. We can either choose to be pessimistic, and allow our life to be dragged down. Or become optimistic by allowing God to lift us up: Psalm 147:6a – “The LORD lifts up the humble;” (NKJV)

We must learn to respond to life events, and not allow negative emotions to respond for us. Emotions will either lead or be led. Our emotion would always take over and control us, if we don't actively take charge. We can learn to elicit the kind of feeling that we really desire, rather than leaving it to life events, our emotions or other people's opinion. Our mind is like a computer; its output is dependent on our input. If we always input positive things, we will always get a positive output, and vice versa.

We must purposely choose our desired inputs, and disallow inputs that we really don't want, in our mind. Our inputs include what we read, who we listen to, what we what analyze, what we watch and what we talk about. Our input will affect our decisions: Luke 6:45 - “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” (NIV)

The good news is, we can purposely input great things, and design our life outcome. Our inputs always start with our thoughts. What has happened has happened. We must choose inputs that build us up as human beings: Philippians 4:8 - “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

We must watch what we talk about, even in jest. It is what comes out of our mouth that matter, not whether we mean it or not. God has given us the freewill to choose. Our actions are either destructive or productive. Our actions and decisions are either taking us nearer to our life purpose, or taking us further from it. The clues for what our purpose is, is revealed in our strength and passion.

We were designed for a purpose; God has a life plan for us. Things may not be working out in life, because we are not working on the same page as God. God has our good future planned for us. We need get on His page. We have tried our page and it hasn't worked. We might has well try his: Jeremiah 29:11 - “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

We must not confuse passion with obsession. Passion is strength while obsession is a weakness. Passion builds us, while obsession destroys. Pursuing a passion brings peace. Pursuing an obsession steal our peace. Passion is productive. Obsession is destructive. Passion is healthy desires. Obsession is unhealthy craving. Passion is not a sin. Obsession is usually sinful and enslaving. We can comfortably have a break from a passion. Obsession is an addiction.

The good news is that research shows that it takes only 21 days to develop any new habit. All we have to do is repeat our positive actions daily for 21 days. And it will become our new positive habit. It is easier to replace our bad habits with goods one, than to remove them. This is because habits can become automatic.

If we always do the same things, we will always get the same result. Life is a journey with optional destinations. If we always take the same actions, we will always arrive at the same destination. We may not be able to stop our setback, but we can choose whether it pushes us forward or backward. We can choose our own journey and destination. Every action and destination starts with the first step. Start loving again. Start with yourself. Once your self-love start radiating, it will start attracting others. Start with positive self-talk today. Tell yourself “I am a winner” everyday, until it becomes your reality: Joel 3:10b - “Let the weak say, I am strong.”

Henrietta Elegunde is an Author, Life Coach, ordained minister and Motivational Speaker.
She specializes in teaching how to cultivate spiritual, mental, physical and emotional growth, in order to achieve total wellbeing (being made whole) in your life. She is the author of the book "Hallowed Be Thy Name".



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