We walk in dark streets, feeling lonely and separated from the world. The tune “Scars” by Papa Roach replays over and over again in our heads, “My scars remind me that the past is real.” We look at our arms and see proof of this pain, cuts from razors, broken glass, aluminum cans and mom’s kitchen knives. It’s easy to do, and easier to hide.
We’re numb and we want to feel again, so we pierce our skin. It’s a momentary grasp at control. Through each cut we attempt to manage our hurt and dictate when we feel pain. We’ve lost all sense of importance in the world so we turn to the pain to realize we are alive; we are here, walking through these dark lonely streets.
Cutting is a symptom of feeling disconnected to the world.
We desperately want to be understood, heard, known… not just for the label we’re given or the image on the outside, but for who we really are. Often we don’t even feel encouraged to discover our own self. We’re surrounded by stereotypes that seem to define what’s expected of us. Plus, it seems like just days ago we were playing with Barbie’s, and BOOM, now we have our period, make out with boys and dress like we’re 21. Where did our innocence go? How did we get here? Through this sense of being cut-off from the world, we might as well be the ones to make the cut.
It’s time to eliminate the pain, and discover who God made us to be. In order to understand His desire for our life, we have to explore our passions because they point us to who we are in Christ.
How do we deal with cutting and move forward in our lives?
We don’t want these scars forever. We want to be able to truly feel again, we want to show the world our restored self – both physical and spiritual. We want to be ourselves, or at least we want to find ourselves.
We must reconnect with our passions. Our passions involve things we like, regardless of what others think! Passions are an expression of our true self; they are desires deep within us, what we yearn, dream and hope to gain. God often calls us closer to Him through our passions, through visions for making the world a better place or becoming a better person. Cutting is a poor coping mechanism or a displacement of energy from our true passion. It’s time to eliminate the pain, and discover who God made us to be. In order to understand His desire for our life, we have to explore our passions because they point us to who we are in Christ.
Discover your passion.
What did we like about playing with Barbie? Was it the fashion? Or the theatrical role play… our childhood pastimes provide us insight into what we like and who we want to become. If we can’t recall these childhood memories, we must explore or experiment with healthy activities until we find something in which we are truly passionate! We find our true identity among our passions, because they are healthy expressions.
While seeking our passions we have to eliminate that idea that we must be number one. Our image of number one is skinny, sexy and perfect… an impossible expectation and goal, therefore we must not criticize ourselves if we don’t reach these unreasonable goals. We must not be convinced that our passions have to fit into a perfect bubble. That is simply not realistic. We must also eliminate the idea that we are at the bottom, that we are worthless and our lives are pointless. Who are we to judge the meaning of life? All life has a purpose, so seek your passions to discover what God intends for you.
Thoughts + Feelings = Behavior
We must explore the way we think to help us interrupt the reason behind our cutting. Consider the possibility that the way we think about a particular situation determines how we feel and ultimately our behavior. When we change the way we think, then we can change the way we feel – resulting in the end of the need to cut.
Doing an activity is very neutral, it’s how we think about it and use it that makes it a passion. Thinking about our activity creates a positive or negative feeling. Our feelings determine our response. For example, a boy asks us out. We think he is really cute, so we feel really pretty and significant (which we should). So then we go out with him on Friday! Versus, a boy, who we think is ugly and kind of a nerd, asks us out so we feel irrelevant and ugly. Instead of going out with him we shoot him down on the spot to make ourselves look cool. Same goes with cutting, we think the world is against us, we feel nothing, so we cut to feel again.
What makes you believe that cutting yourself is a good thing?
For true healing, we must seek the truth; spend time identifying which beliefs and emotions are true. We must modify the things in which we expose ourselves. We must allow our perception to change and help us to recognize what is and is not in our control; and what is or is not our responsibility. In doing this, we will discover our true identity, the person God made us to become. Nobody can do this for us, but it does not have to be a lonely journey. So, go back to those thoughts, what makes you believe that cutting yourself is a good thing?
Reference: Ann Shopp with ACTS Counseling in Broomfield, Colorado