Inner Healing stream
Talk 1- Healing the wounded heart by Bro. Vic and Ditas Espanol
Bro. Vic and Sis. Ditas said that we all have emotional wounds, pains or limps. We focus on those “seed events” of our emotional wounds and pains from the past. But the truth there is that God wants to heal our emotional wounds. There’s a bible verse about it which says, “But we all..are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory.” (2 Corinthians 3:18). We also have this emotional echo or sounds that control our lives. It keep us immobilize that causes us fearful. It tells, “What I’m feeling now is what I feel when I was young.” The challenge for us is to silence our emotional echo. There are 3 emotional echoes such as fear, rejection and hopelessness. People have these tendencies to believe the echoes in our mind, but God doesn’t want us to continue listening to it. If we want to silence our echo, we need to change our beliefs of our painful pasts.
The greatest emotional echo is fear thus we must face our fears and trust God for us to deal with fear. The lie about fear is that we’re all alone. The truth about Fear is we are not alone! No matter what circumstances we have. God is faithful. We can deal with our fear through: Facing it and trusting God.
Next emotional echo is rejection which means results of an imperfect love. (Read Luke 8:28-30). What’s important is “Who we are in Jesus Christ.” Jesus is giving us new identity. Acknowledging the rejection, being thankful for the rejection, forgive those who rejected you and surround yourself with people who support you are simple ways to get healed.
The last emotional echo is helplessness and the lie about it is, “I will never make it.” The truth is God is behind you, speaking your name. Our hope is in our faith for our Risen Christ.
Sis. Ditas also shared on how she went through a bad pregnancy. They turned to God for comfort. She also added that we can deal with helplessness through labeling your feelings, engaging in fun activities and challenge what you’re thinking.
Other verses to ponder upon: Jeremiah 33:6; John 10:10; 1Kings 19: 1-13; John 20: 11-13; John 20: 14-17
Talk 2- Healing the wounded identity by Bro. Earnest Tan
Bro. Earnest said that a wounding in our identity can influence the way we experience the world and distort the way we look at ourselves. Example: when we look at an ugly mirror. He also warned us to be careful with our wounded identity.
There are 3 areas of identity. First is our Self-Image, this is how we perceive our worth when it comes to our appearance- physical and social. It’s either we have a healthy or poor self-image. It’s also how we feel about our looks. He said that our original state is that “We are Special!” These are ways on how to heal and restore our original image, first is to affirm our birthright as God’s children, then reconcile with our limitations and lastly, accept and embrace our givens. We must believe that we are beautiful and we must be ourselves. He also shared his experience on how it was for him to build his self-image because he’s half-Filipino and Chinese. But he wants to act as a pure Filipino, but his tendency is to act Chinese. It somehow trimmed down the way he sees himself.
The next area is our Self-Confidence; this is how we perceive our worth when it comes to our abilities. Our original state must be, “We are Promise!” But by the grace of God, we can heal and restore our wounded confidence, first is to believe and discover our God-given potentials, next is to master our fears by doing baby steps and lastly by stretching beyond our comfort zones. (Read: John 15:16)
Sometimes, we learn to doubt our capabilities because our authorities put us down for our mistakes, failures and imperfections. He also shared that he grew up being compared with his brothers. Even in school, he was being bullied and looked down by his teachers, but by the Grace of God, he blooms.
Last area of our identity is our Self-Esteem, it is how we perceive our worth when it comes to our ability to love and be loved. Our original state must be, “We are Loved!” We must enjoy the love from people and we must make sure that we work on our love-ability. (Read: Is. 43: 1,4) We are damaged because we are being abandoned, rejected, and loved with conditions.
He also shared a story about a Chinese mother who has a daughter, who always asks her if she loves her. The reason why the daughter is not secured with her mother’s love is because when she was young, her mom attempted to abort her thrice.
He concluded that Love is freely given. This must be the most important thing to work out for us to heal and restore our wounded identity. These are the ways to get healed, first is to trust in your Love-ability, next is to welcome opportunities to give and receive love and finally, we must experience unconditional and believe that, “I am Lovable!” We must shine as we are meant to be! We are a seed of love.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles
― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles
The truth is:”If you don’t love yourself, you won’t love anyone else, including God.”- Fr. John Powell
Talk 3: Healing the Wounded Family by Fr. Larry Tan
Fr. Larry Tan started the talk by asking everyone to join in the singing of the song Welcome to the Family, after which he stressed out that family is the most important relationship we’ll ever have. According to him, we may be successful in our career, but failure in our family puts everything to waste. Sadly, such is the case involving many people today—experiencing dysfunctional families, divorce, separation, and such issues as sibling rivalry. It’s the work of Diablo which means divider to separate us from our family.
Fr. Tan said that families today are under attack, and many of the problems that people face now are family related. But, the good news is that whether we want our family to be heaven or hell, it is UP TO US.
He compared the family to the World Trade Center, which took years to build but only took minutes to bring down to Ground Zero. Similarly, a family takes years to build, yet it only takes one mistake to destroy it. This said, we all have to work hard for our family. We should not just let things happen, but we must make them happen. No more time for lip service, but to do an action. There is a lot of imperfection in our family, but love is a risk relationship.
We want a strong family. Every man, woman, and child wants a harmonious and happy family but our reality says a different way. There are many factors that influences and controls our lives such as peer, media, school, society, church, boss and nuns. We are complex people and we are a product of other people and family.
Fr. Tan enumerated the different blocks to a loving family: criticism, hostility, disrespect, control, suspicion, fighting, indifference, and selfishness. The good news is that there are also different helps to achieve a loving family, which he enumerated: praise, acceptance, forgiveness, giving, joy, listening, trust, and respect. He also mentioned one big secret for a loving family, which is loving and reaching out 100%.
He reminded everyone of the truth that the person we love most will likely be the one to hurt us the most. But, instead of choosing between the option to fight and to avoid, he said that the best option is forgiveness or forbearance. The root of hurt is a lack of love, and the secret to healing is to HEAL (Have Enormous Amount of Love). Whatever the hurt, fill it up with love. Fr. Tan said that we have the power, and it all depends on us. We can love one another and let love’s work… begin. (Read: Eph. 6:1-3)
Talk 4: Forgiveness by Ilsa Reyes
According to Ilsa Reyes, forgiveness is the key to healing. She said that what defiles is not what’s outside, but what’s inside. Then, she asked these questions to her audience: is your anger destroying your life? Is it robbing you of your peace and your joy? Are you letting it keep you from experiencing the life God intended you to have?
Ilsa said that nursing anger can have various effects. One, it can make the body sick.
(Read: Sirach 27: 30, 28:1) Unforgiveness can cause emotional distress, and medical studies show that it causes the production of inflammatory hormones that can harm organs. And what’s interesting–—the mere act of forgiveness relieves this. And two, nursing anger can destroy the soul. When we are angry, we can either let go of the anger or feed it and hold onto it forever. But, we have many reasons to forgive.
First, because God, in His great love and wisdom, asks us to. All of us have sinned, so we have no right to say that “I cannot forgive others because I am perfect.” (Read: Mat. 6: 14-15) When we build community, we must accept the weaknesses and differences, and recognize the woundedness, in others. God became God of our last resort, but later realize that we can ran to Him immediately. (Read: Sirach 28: 2-4,6) Second, because it is good everyone of us, for you and me—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. (Read: Heb. 13: 5-6) Forgiveness helps us embrace the truth that our source of self-worth is God. If we don’t forgive and let go of our anger, we’re saying that we’re powerless, and we therefore block the grace of God. Third, because it brings harmony to our relationships with other people. If we fail to forgive, the anger that we nurture will destroy our other relationships. Fourth, it is an opportunity to release the offender from bondage and bring him closer to God. When we forgive someone, the person who receives it can share it to others, and so we can bring so many closer to God. And fifth, so society can be more peaceful. When we forgive, we end the cycle of hatred.
Ilsa also mentioned some salient points about forgiveness. One, it is an act of the will—feelings may follow later. Two, it is divine. We need prayer, and we need God’s grace, in order to be able to forgive. Three, it is a process, so it takes time. We must let God be in the center of that process. Four, we need others’ help. We need competent and caring people, people that we trust. Five, if we can’t do it face to face, then maybe vicarious or even long distance. And six, we need to forgive God and ourselves too.
So how do we forgive? Ilsa shared this prayer: “By the love of the Father, in the name of Jesus, with the power of the Holy spirit, I forgive you (name of the person) for (reason).” She recommended praying the said prayer three times a day. It can also be used when asking for forgiveness.
According to Ilsa, a healing journal may help in the process of healing and forgiveness. And, we will know when we have already forgiven if we are able to think of the person without bitterness, resentment, and anger. We may not forget the experience, but we forget the pain.
Ilsa enumerated five dominant emotions in the forgiveness process. One is denial, a stage when we don’t admit that we are hurt. Two is anger, when we blame the other person for hurting and destroying us. Three is bargaining, when we set up conditions to be fulfilled before we’re ready to forgive. Four is depression, when we blame ourselves for letting hurt destroy us. And fifth is acceptance, when we already look forward to growth from our hurt.
She said that forgiving oneself is also crucial for healing. When we forgive ourselves, we must accept that we are vulnerable and allow ourselves to be humans. Forgiveness sets us free.
To end her talk, Ilsa led the reading of a passage telling of Jesus inviting us not to hold on to our anger.