That’s right. I stubbed my finger the other day at the gym. I hate it when that happens. Jamming your finger into a basketball, volleyball, or any other hard object… well it just sends this horrendous pain up your nerves until you feel it in your toes, your nose, and your hair.
Well it hurts for a second anyway. Then it just kind of swells up until you can’t bend it or use it. But the worst part about a stubbed finger is the first shooting pain and you know that if you hit it just right, you’ll feel that pain again.
So I just kind of walk around in fear of hitting my stubbed finger. I wince when I see somebody come in to shake my hand. I pull back from high-fives. I drink my coffee with pinky finger in the air like a true Brit. I do whatever it takes to protect my finger from experiencing that kind of pain and hurt again.
The other day, after I stubbed my finger, I was driving down the road. I had both my hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2. I looked down at my hands and I was holding my pinky finger straight in the air. Subconsciously, without any thought to it, I had refrained from bending my pinky finger around the steering wheel to avoid any pain. The funny thing is that I didn’t even stub my pinky finger. I had hurt my ring finger. WTH?
In the moment I decided to test myself. I sort of gritted my teeth and wrapped all ten digits tightly around the steering wheel. Guess what? Nothing. There was no pain at all. So that left me with a question. What am I so afraid of that has caused me to subconsciously put restrainers in my life for protection? Is it really necessary? Does it really hurt that bad? Wouldn’t it just heal faster if I took the time to stretch it out, bend it, embrace a little of that hurt?
Obviously I’m going somewhere with this. I don’t just write blogs about my stubbed fingers… or toes. Some of you are reading this because you thought I stubbed my toe. : ) Nope.
If I do all of this to protect my finger from experiencing pain, what do you think I do to protect my heart when it hurts?
In the past, I’ve been known to intentionally build up some ancient-style city walls around my heart for protection. The result wasn’t pleasant. I kept everyone who really cared out of my heart in being overly cautious and missed out on some incredibly deep moments and relationships. I actually kept myself from reaching a healthy place emotionally by building up those walls. I learned my lesson and spent a year or more trying to tear down those walls, break through the fear of what might happen, and start to risk in order to gain something greater.
But this whole stubbed finger thing made me wonder what I was unintentionally doing to protect my heart in the midst of hurt. What restrainers were there? Have I been hesitant to reach out to people? I mean, I might not be building up walls, but it’s quite possible that I’m not reaching out to those who genuinely care for me. In my hesitancy am I prolonging the healing process? Would it just go a little faster if I were to step into the hurt, accept it, and push against it?
It’s honestly got me asking a lot of questions about myself. All that from a stubbed finger.
What do you think? Do you do any of these things? How does it affect you? What should you do instead?