Life is not always fair. It’s often filled with real and perceived injustices which hurt all of us. The pain we struggle with everyday pours from a range of experiences such as body-image, poor health, child abuse, or racial prejudice, just to name a few. The harsh reality of life is that in some way or another, every one of us will go through some profound pain at least once in our lives. Take the time to listen and you will discover that each person has a story about wrestling with spiritual, mental, emotional, physical or sexual trauma.

The irony of it all is that when we get hurt, we end up hurting others as well through real or perceived injustices. This vicious cycle compels us to develop strongholds. A stronghold is a state of emotion that manifests as unhealed internal pain. Strongholds come about when we develop social defense mechanisms to protect ourselves from being hurt again. These strongholds exist to protect ourselves from pain, yet it also hinders us from receiving the love and truth that we want and need to heal.

Anger, for example, is often used as a defense mechanism to try and hurt the other person before getting hurt. Other ways to deal with pain are more self-destructive, like gluttony, substance abuse and drunkenness. These are just a few methods people use to numb their pain. They are compensations we use to keep ourselves from hurting.

Examples of Defense Mechanisms:
Anger, doubt, unbelief, hatred, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, guilt, shame, condemnation, self-hatred, unhealthy passions, envy, jealousy, pride, selfishness, gluttony, drunkenness or substance abuse.

How we deal with the injustice and abuse in our lives is vitally important. Whether we react and become defensive or we learn to respond with forgiveness and healing informs the relationships we establish with others.

We can either choose to become a victim or a victor because how we deal with these emotions will determine what kind of life we will experience.

Richard Martinez
Intl. Transformation Expert

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