Let’s talk about arrested emotional development. When you don’t get help for your past emotional hurts, you’ll find yourself ‘acting out’, treating others like you were treated, and repeating your past in your present. Indeed, you may end up hurting the most important people in your life, maybe even destroying those relationships without knowing why.
You’ll blame the failure of the relationship on your partner’s habits, looks, attitudes, and way of going about things. And in so doing, you will remain emotionally stuck, trapped by the unhealed, unrecognised sources of your dysfunction. What you’re dealing with here is ‘emotional baggage’: regrets over past mistakes, grudges over being wronged, and all the other hurts you hide under clouds of anger, cynicism, and reclusiveness. You will never know what you have, or what you truly need, until you get rid of your emotional baggage. How do you do that?
The answer can be found in God’s Word and God’s presence: ‘Prepare your heart and lift up your hands to Him in prayer! Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you. Then your face will brighten with innocence. You will be strong and free of fear. You will forget your misery; it will be like water flowing away. Your life will be brighter than the noonday. Even darkness will be as bright as morning. Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety… and many will look to you for help.’ (Job 11:13–19 NLT)