When Bandaids are Bad

When Bandaids are Bad

My son Branson is notorious for getting hurt. Things just seem to jump up and get him. He falls off his scooter. He trips in the living room when nothing is around him. He’ll falls out of his bed. It’s gotten so bad that now when he falls, if his life is not in danger he will yell “I’m okay” just so we won’t come running.

Since he was a little boy bandaids have been the fix all. No matter if he had a cut, a bruise or an imaginary boo-boo of some other degree he wanted a bandaid to make it all better.

The other night he dropped a Handy Manny toy laptop on his toe. It wasn’t cut, just bruised, but he said he needed a bandaid. So I got him one, and off he went. He told me the next morning that the bandaid really helped his toe feel better. You and I know that while it helped him mentally or emotionally…physically, it did nothing to heal the hurt.

As I’m walking these last few weeks through a period of grief and mourning over the loss of my mom I have realized that I have my own bandaids. Throughout my life I have used a variety of things to “cover up” my hurts so that I couldn’t see them anymore. I then claimed healing, when the reality was that the hurt was still there, it was just concealed by my bandaids. Some of my bandaids are:

1. Busy-ness
- I just get busy so I won’t have to deal with the real issues. After a while the pain isn’t as blunt so I think it’s been dealt with.

2. Avoidance
- While this is somewhat related to the previous one, sometimes I just avoid the issues altogether. I do other things, I change the subject…I just refuse to deal with whatever the issue is.

3. Spirituality
- I want to be careful here. I believe God can and does heal brokenness, hurt and pain in people. I also believe that many people have had a spiritual experience and stopped short of complete healing because they didn’t take some necessary next steps to confront the issues that were unearthed in their God moments. This is one of the things I love about my church. Not every time, but there have been multiple occasions where my Pastor will say at the end of an altar response time “if you believe God has started to surface some things in you that you need to talk to someone about, we have trained people who can help.” He will then refer them to our free counseling center. This may not be the step for everyone, but I believe it’s an overlooked step for many.

4. Crying
- I’ll admit it…I’m a cryer. I need to watch Extreme Home Makeover or Secret Millionaire or something similar every week or so just to get my cry on. If you show me video of kids crying, I’m done for. As it relates to issues in my life, sometimes I’ve cried about them and think that’s enough. For me, sometimes crying is a part of the process, but it’s just an external release of emotion, it’s not the internal confrontation.

There are others I’m sure. I also know that anyone with a trained background in counseling will probably tear this post apart. Though this may not be clinically true, I believe all of these bandaids can actually help in the healing process at some point. However, I have to be careful not to put bandaids over bruises and think the work is done.

What are some of your bandaids?