How Journaling Helps You to Get Free
When I was in an abusive marriage to a minister, I was challenged to work my way through the reality of how my faith was used against me.
Studying communication as well as counseling helped me see the fallacies that my husband was using, both with and without Bible verses.
As women we want to be fair. We want to be responsible. And faith concepts, like all abstractions, are open to a wide variety of interpretations. Our right to challenge someone else’s idea of what they mean is often forbidden.
But both the meaning and the assumptions behind the meanings hold the keys to mental and emotional freedom.
Let’s begin with one often confused: humility.
When I was growing up, stories of the saints being glad to bleed or inflict themselves with pain were glorified. The ideal of not asking anything for yourself was held up as an ideal to strive for.
I had to learn the difference in humility and humiliation.
Our accusers often encourage us to accept humiliation with Bible exhortations to be humble. This wrongful use of these ideas is damaging to us on several levels.
A humble person is not arrogant. He or she accepts their place in the human race. They are equals, neither above nor below others.
One of my favorite sayings is, “The ego is easily offended.”
When around an arrogant person, you often see that they are easily offended. In fact they may look for excuses to feel offended where no slight was intended.
Your abuser may behave like this with you.
Humiliation on the other hand has its purpose in making you less than. It desires to take your strength from you and keep you in bondage to another’s wll.
God did not command us to be humiliated. We are made in the divine image. God desires our well-being.
Any treatment which says you must accept insults or harm in order to be godly is wrongheaded. You will notice that the one telling you to accept this does not accept it for themselves.
The assumption means unequal power in the relationship. You are not worthy to be treated with the same respect as the one telling you to be humble when what they mean is humiliation. They will make you feel guilty or ashamed for resisting mistreatment. Reject this accusation for the false faith concept that it is.
Other misused concepts are faith, sacrifice, God’s will, and forgiveness.
Which one gives you the most trouble? Let me know and I will examine it in the next post.
“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,
Americans’ levels of stress are among the highest in the world. Our national ethic of incessant striving with no measureable way to say, “I’m at the peak”, strains our bodies, hearts and minds. Our media reinforces constant dissatisfaction, a necessity in a consumer based economy. While there are worlds written about it, here are the four major ways that I have gleaned from most of the material out there over the years I have been reading about it. Feel free to let me know if any of this has worked for you or enlighten us on other ways you’ve come down from being stuck on a red alert button.