We may not be able to put our finger on that gnawing, unsettled feeling that haunts us at unexpected times, or understand the anger that suddenly bursts out of us, or the perfectionism we use to precisely control our environment. But the odds are greater than not that a driving force fueled by wounds and hurts is stealthily working in the background.
In all reality, there is a decisive event or a number of events that are hurtling us through life, and we aren’t in touch with what’s actually happening.
What inspired this subject today you may ask? I watched a movie recently called “Saving Mr. Banks” which is the true story behind the making of the Disney film Mary Poppins. If you haven’t seen it I would recommend that you do so, with a few thoughts in mind.
P.L. Travers, who wrote Mary Poppins, was a woman trapped within the trauma of her childhood. She had a father who was an alcoholic and he died when she was a young girl. Also, her mother had attempted suicide and intertwined throughout those years were many tormenting memories that she continuously relived. She had become a controlling perfectionist, managing everything microscopically. She wasn’t happy, and everyone knew it.
In a pivotal scene in the movie, Walt Disney shares with her his childhood memories. Walt Disney, the beloved icon who brought us Mickey Mouse and Daffy Duck among many other memorable characters had himself suffered through traumatic events as a young boy. He was forced to deliver papers for his father morning and night, through terrible weather, inadequate clothing, and threats of beatings. He was so tired he remembered passing out in deep snow and waking some time later, making him unable to concentrate in school because he was so severely exhausted. Later in life, he was heavy smoker and tried to hide it since he didn’t want to be a poor example.
It’s interesting how we each deal with our stuff. Some people are so seemingly well adjusted and in control that you’d never suspect the deep wounds that penetrate their being. Then there are others so blatantly obvious because their trauma is dealt with in a very visible and public way.
We all have trauma, every one of us, and we all chose to deal with it in very different ways.
I guess the question really boils down to this; are we willing to confront the ugliness that keeps us in bondage to our past? You know if it is there or not, and I can tell you it’s not going to go away on its own. You may ask what the benefit is to opening such a Pandora’s Box, unleashing only God knows what? I’ll tell you what, real peace and freedom!
It will take more than a little prayer, more than additional Bible study, or even a stronger personal determination to attain it, but anything you give to find the place of true peace will be well spent.
It may be time to dig into the mire of a past you don’t want to think about, to sit down with a counselor who can help you process the layers in a healthy and life-changing manner, be a part of a support group, or find a mentor who will walk the journey with you. Maybe all of the above.
It is in the journey and the destination that freedom is realized. Don’t give up, and don’t say that you can never change, because you can!
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12:1,2 (MSG)