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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Why does this hurt SO bad?

Have you ever been obsessed with a person or situation?

Have you ever found yourself hurting more than you expected, for longer then you expected, and you find yourself nearly obsessing over a person or situation because of it? The scene replays over and over in your head like a broken record.

Photo by Elena Taranenko on Unsplash

This type of intense emotional pain can be a signal that something is not okay inside, but it probably has nothing to do with the person or situation you are obsessing over.

There are two types of emotional pain to address here:

  1. Valid: Pain associated with loss.
  2. Lies: Pain associated with the things we tell ourselves about an event. 
Wrapped up in these are a host of emotions. You may be wishing you could control the outcome, control the person, make it come out the way you want it to. 

The Truth will set you FREE

Dealing with Valid Loss:

Some of this pain is valid. You experienced a real loss. You are grieving something you had and lost or something you hoped for and didn't get.

This is called "grief". You must process through this grief and release that dream. It hurts. It sucks.

It's something you can recover from, if you process well.

Time doesn't heal this wound by itself. Time for lies to worm their way into your soul will make you more sick the longer it goes on. Time combined with purposeful healing in a safe community will bring you through that period of grief with a new life on the other side.

Time*Lies*Isolation=Toxic Death.  
Time*Truth*Community=New Life

The bigger the loss, the more time it could take to recover and work through the ramifications of that loss. You may need to get some alone time with God, go out to coffee with a friend, pick up the phone and call someone, even make an appointment with your Mental Health Professional.

Dealing with Lies:

The other pain is caused by lies. These are identity-based thoughts. 
  1. What does this mean about me?
  2. Am I unworthy of...?
  3. Am I not enough?
  4. If only she/he would... 
  5. How dare they treat me this way!
  6. He/She doesn't deserve...
  7. He/She is only/always/never...
Frankly, the hardest and most rewarding lesson I've learned this year is that these kinds of obsessive thoughts are not about the other person/situation at all. 

Pain is a Signal:

Just as the pain of a skinned knee is telling you that a wound has occurred and you need to fix it, or the pangs of hunger tell you to eat... these obsessive thoughts are here to tell you that a valid emotional need is going unmet. 

Like a movie may give you access to your emotions and help you cry, this person/situation is giving you insight into the needs you have that are going unmet. 

It was really fun, refreshing to be raw and vulnerable, I liked who I was when I was with her/him. 

When I worked for X Company or with Y Ministry, I felt important and I mattered. 

Now it's gone. It hurts. It's not really about him/her/it, it's about you. It's about the emotional need you have. 

So the two questions to ask yourself is: 

What do I see in him/her/situation that reflects an unmet need in me?

How can I get that need met in a healthy way in healthy community, elsewhere?

Then you can release him/her/situation and focus on finding healthier places to get that valid emotional need met in a safe, healthy, community. There are things that need specific answers.

It's true, certain things you hope for may not come without a spouse. But many aspects of the intimacy of the heart, accountability, enjoyable interactions, and more you hope for can be met with safe friends and community.

Your Turn:

Think about something you've been obsessing over, you don't have to say what it is. But what could you learn about your own unmet emotional needs from reviewing why you are obsessing over it? How could you meet those needs in healthier and more constructive ways in healthy community?


Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


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