By Drs. Bev and Tom Rodgers
We all have experienced painful things in our past; a betrayal from a trusted friend, or spouse, negative words spoken in anger by a parent and some have even experienced physical abuse at the hands of those who were supposed to love us. We call these hurts, Soul Wounds. We specifically look a wounds in childhood because they have a great impact on us today. There is a neurobiological reason for that. Trauma or Soul Wounds are not recorded or processed in the new brain or neocortex, the part of the brain that is logical, objective and solves problems. Soul Wounds or trauma are processed in the old brain or the lower functioning part of the brain. This part of the brain is where the limbic system is located. This part of the brain is subjective, irrational and prone to perceive danger and become reactive. This is the seat of our fight, fight, and freeze, appease emotions. The old brain does not have a sense of theme so a soul wound that occurred at age five can be relived at 25 with the same feeling and emotion. Childhood soul wounds can be easily triggered in adulthood because they have a greater impact on our memory since the brain is more formable in childhood. They leave a bigger “scare” on the brain besides the brain has been said to be Velcro for negative and Teflon for positive. We tend to focus more on the negative happenings in our life than the positive.
These wounds can be triggered in our adult relationships especially those closest to us in I/16 of a second and you react as if you are in grave danger even if this is not the case. Giving your current relationship more information than it deserves because a childhood trauma is triggered is called Reactivity, and when you are reactive, you are not in your new brain, your calm objective problem-solving part of the brain, and you are processing from your old brain or amygdala and hippocampus to be exact. This can wreak havoc on your life! Neuroscience had found that the brain is changeable and that you can indeed heal from past pain and even abuse. Changing the brain by changing your mindset is called Neuroplasticity.
One way to heal soul wounds is to allow the Lord to heal you with His love. Allowing yourself to feel and experience God’s love can be a wonderfully healing experience but it can be hard for people who have not felt loved by their own parents or caregivers. Another way to heal the trauma in the old brain is by repetition. Repetitively speak healing words, think healing thoughts, and pray healing prayers. Yes, this is hard to do when you are wounded but the Lord can help you. When you think thoughts you grow dendrites in the brain. These are like thought trees that get stronger and stronger with repetition. Negative thought release negative brain chemicals and positive thoughts release positive brain chemicals. So you want to kill negative thoughts that haunt you by not thinking them. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “Take every thought captive to the truth of the word of God.” God’s word says He loves us with an everlasting love and has great plans for us to give as a future and a hope. Speaking these words repetitively can grow positive dendrites and release positive brain chemicals like serotonin that can help you feel and act better.
The problem is you have to repeat these thoughts a lot, and the Enemy of our souls is at war against us and loves to remind us or our past pain. The scripture says, “Be careful and watch for attacks from the Devil, your enemy who prowls around like a roaring lion looking for some victim to devour,” (I Peter 5:8. TNLB). We need to wage war against Him by staying positive. Regularly praying against the Enemy’s attacks helps you heal. We have an exercise in the Soul Healing Love arsenal that is designed to help you repeat positive thoughts and words, kill negative ones, and apply God’s love and grace to change your Story from pain top praise. It is called THE REMIND and has 5 practical steps to change your brain and your life.
The REMIND EXERCISE
There are five steps that require you writing in five columns. They are:
- What is your negative thought? i.e. “I’m not good enough”
- What is your behavioral adaptation from the negative thought? People pleasing, giving up etc
- Retell or re-context your story to an empathic listener who helps you see God’s perspective.
- Re-Mind yourself of the positive thoughts you have created to combat the negative ones. i. e.
God’s love heals my soul, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, God has plans for my welfare and gives me hope.
- What will I do and how will I act in the light of these positive thoughts? i.e. Join a group, seek friendships with positive people, forgive those who have hurt me.
The Re-mind need to be done a minimum of 8 times a day for 40 days in order to change your brain. We have heard from many clients that it works! Romans 12:1-2 says, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind which is in Christ Jesus.” That is exactly what you are doing you are being transformed and healed.