More awareness of gender abuse within church groups has become news recently. Doctrinal groups both reflect and shape the culture they are in.
Groups like Christian for Biblical Equality, FaithTrust Institute, and Twitter voices such as #savedfromthe silence, #defendthe sheep, #churchtoo, #emptythepews and others are witnessing that church is not always safe for women.
During Domestic Violence month, I want to point out that an estimated 25% of church women are abused in their homes. They stay longer because of wrestling with faith questions.
Although prevalence seems to be higher in conservative religions, enforcement of patriarchy as God’s will is not limited to these groups. Many books are now coming out about the struggle to maintain faith within a system that does not honor the equality of women.
However, I did not find a self-help recovery workbook to help women sort out the complex and subtle pressures to keep them in an abusive relationship within some churches.
That is why I am happy to report that my workbook, Redemption from Biblical Battering, is now available on Amazon and Kindle. I hope you will consider it when you meet a woman of faith who thinks she must choose between her faith and her marriage.
“Every human person is inevitably involved with two worlds: the world they carry within them and the world that is out there. All thinking, all writing, all action, all creation and all destruction is about that bridge between the two worlds.” – John O’Donahue
Valentine’s Day is a celebration of connection. Sending heartfelt thoughts is a way to reach out, perhaps say what can’t be said, with a greeting already packaged.
Sometimes the day is not welcomed. There may be complex feelings, confusion or
Holiday seasons are prime times for exalted expectations. Amid all the hype, images of impossibly happy families, outlandish claims for owning hundreds of products, or a desire to live up to other myths, we can easily become discouraged if we don’t see our own lives living up to the big screen.
A children’s story threatens that if we are not “good”, we will only receive a lump of coal. Early on we learn the power of pleasing others, especially those who can give us gifts, fulfill promises, and help us feel especially loved.
After we grow up, we do not believe these stories affect us. Still, the holiday season
“Oh my God, now I have to put up with this too. I can’t believe the nerve. What does he expect?! He never thinks of anyone else. It’s damned if you do or damned if you don’t.”
Feeling better after reading this? Of course not. But each day many of us inflict barrages like this on our poor adrenal system voluntarily.
We can do ourselves and our nervous system a huge favor by recognizing the top three categories of stress talk and replacing or releasing them to the fiery pit from which they came.
In this sample, extremes are pushing you off a cliff fast. Phrases like “OMG”, can’t believe” and all-inclusive generalizations or abstractions box us in. There’s a reason for the phrase “two horns of a dilemma”- it’s a false choice.
We have probably been exposed to those tests where we have to make forced choices,
I am pleased that my new book, The Courage To Be Willing, is now available on Amazon and Kindle.
Anyone struggling with chronic illness seeks comfort from their pain. Sometimes that search can lead to disordered food behaviors. “The Courage to Be Willing” allows the reader to walk with a woman who found her way out of seeking solace in excess food which complicated her other deteriorating health conditions, including non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Spanning over 30 years, Beth’s story reveals how her willpower sustained her through chronic illnesses but was useless when confronting her eating disorder. She learned in a 12-step program to surrender that same willpower when it came to compulsive overeating. She credited the program with extending her life expectancy and her doctors concurred.
If you know someone who has multiple health challenges that include abusing food, this work can be a source of hope that avoiding further acceleration or complications from an eating disorder is possible.
For some women Mother’s Day is not an easy day. Daughters of mothers who could not nurture them experience emotional fallout that casts a shadow over this day and indeed their lives.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes about the Stone Child, stories and myths of the unmothered child. As women, we experience “collapsing” and a wild hunger that leads us to doubt ourselves, have difficulty seeing ourselves accurately, engage in risky or impulsive behaviors, and an inability to maintain healthy boundaries. We miss training in honoring our intuition, consciousness and common sense. To recover, women must grow their own internal mother to warm their hearts through meditation, connecting with nature, bodywork, and support from other women. We must come to terms with our mother shadow, for she never leaves us. We cannot escape the effects and should not. Our mother effect is the source of our creative energy. Our emotions are our guide to our next level for spiritual development.
Recently a group of women in my workshop