No one questions if you have a wounded body. No one doubts that combat affected your mind. But what if combat injured your soul? What would be the symptoms of a wounded soul?
We began our discussion this week focused on REBOOT’s beginnings, drive, and focus- which is the soul. We have doctors for our physical complaints, and we have an ever-increasing amount of professionals for our mental health struggles, but we are often left to struggle with wounds to our souls alone (“here’s a book” still counts as alone!).
We all filled in our tree of spiritual roots and physical fruits, with the fruits being the symptoms that are often the result of combat trauma (anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, marital issues, financial issues, sleeplessness, and the list goes on). The symptoms can be managed, yes, but without addressing the source of the problem they will continue to multiply until the symptoms are managing you rather than you managing them.
We wrote a list of the things that this group would like to see addressed and accomplished over the course of REBOOT: survivor’s guilt, identity, seclusion/isolation, anger, nostalgia, communication/”off-limit” topics, coping, maintenance, acceptance, and switching humanity back on. This is such an introspective list, and one that is filled with the hope of possibility and progress.
With time, community, and a focus on healing the spiritual wounds that created the infection that destroys the physical fruits, these diseased roots can and will be replaced with strong, healthy roots. Each of our lives can bear the fruits we were meant to have: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).