Security that Sets Others Free! (#540)
Wayne is ticked off! He's met too many women of late who have been preyed upon by counselors or pastors who seek to fulfill their sexual urges at the expense of women who are emotionally broken. Instead of inviting them into a secure environment of love and affection, they exploit them in a way that only deepens their pain and fears. That leads Brad and Wayne on a discussion about where healing and life is learned in an institution or in a healthy family. Walking alongside others who have found enough transformation in Christ not to exploit others for what they can get, but can provide a safe and secure place for people to engage God and be open in their own struggles. Jesus was the safest place on the planet for hurting people to fall, and he wants to provide that same space through your growing freedom.
Wayne refers to this book again: Soul of Shame by Curt Thompson
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I didn’t think I would have anything to say here about this week’s topic, but it seemed like the podcast evolved a bit and things came to mind.
Maybe Wayne when you have gatherings at your place, announce its potluck (lol)!
I live out of town from family. About twice a month I am able to go in and visit, and have done so for many years. When my dad was alive, I stop in the folks house, even as an adult, and think nothing of going in the fridge to have a sandwich, turn on a light, or run a spigot. There was a comfortableness that being a member of the family, even though I’m an adult, I can still be the kid and be loved and accepted just the same.
Now, after my dad’s passing, things have changed drastically. I still go in to visit the same as I always have, but now, a sibling lives with Mom and helps out with expenses. The fridge isn’t stocked, lights are kept off, and showers
are timed. Dad’s presence is conspicuously absent, unless we bring him up in conversation. But the tone of the house these days, is less welcoming. Mom still wants me there, whenever I can make it, no questions asked, but the dynamic is now such I am almost viewed as the prodigal, which is off-putting to me, because I don’t live my life in that way, away from the scene. It has been an adjustment for me, but it doesn’t change my need for family. I respect the new dynamic to the best of my ability. I make mistakes for sure, but I realize when my expectation of someone compromises their individuality, I am not valuing them, or the relationship. God has always been my father, there is no surrogate that is adequate for the job He can do.
The discussion about brokenness made me introspective about my level for sure, and I question how much of that brokenness I impart to others. I admit to being a needy person, I feel I am improving in this area in how I relate to others, giving them space where needed. I don’t have many relationships. In my darker moments I feel inadequate and unworthy. But I know it’s because I simply don’t put myself out there enough. I have been hurt by several relationships in the past, and like an abused animal, I scurry away when someone shows interest.
You know at the start of the podcast how you talked as a man relating to women, and what you hope men would understand: about been a safe place, and rather than having that thirst for love (described as taking what one can get, and giving whatever it takes to keep it) touch some temptation inside, you said it breaks your heart. I listened to what you said, and I want to see it like that, because for the most part this is not a reality in my heart.
Basically, as I guy in my mid-twenties, I’d like to ask “how can I change?”, because what you described sounds so free. I guess this applies to more than sexual brokenness, but I feel like I am struggling with a certain kind of blindness in the heart. So far, the so-called ‘answers’ that I’ve found in Christian circles where I grew up have proved to be just as blind: empty promises like the fig tree that Jesus saw with no fruit, or clouds without rain.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this: I suppose I’m looking for an answer that is in Him, and as light shines in the darkness, the darkness hasn’t comprehended it. Anyway, I guess I wanted to say thank you for shedding light on some freedom that you’ve found, even if I haven’t understood that freedom yet.
I’m 23 years old. It’s good to see within you the longing to be at a place of wholeness. This is very important to remember, sexual desire isn’t lust. Lust is sexual desire divorced from vulnerability.
Bruce Wauchope said something very profound, that the answer isn’t looking away or shutting down, it’s putting things into perspective. When you see a beautiful woman and fill stirred up, you put it in the light that this is my beloved sister, Papa’s dearest daughter.
This is called integrative functioning and it’s like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets. What you are doing is mixing two strong emotions, so it would be the impulse to fulfill desire and caring about impact. You feel drawn and stirred up and you feel deep caring and protective. That you crave contact and closeness and that you wouldn’t ever want to harm a beloved sister. This is what will give you self-control.
Papa will guide you in this, He is very good at what He does! And that is providing that which we need to grow up.
The hardest part will be embracing emotion and I mean all emotion, not just the sunny and bright ones, also the dark and stormy ones. Papa will be right there with you, no emotion is evil or bad. It is when we take action then it becomes harmful and destructive.
So in the case of lust, if you are a visual person, imagine it play out in your mind, with Papa there. Feel it all, this is merely play, a way to process the emotions in a safe place where you aren’t hurting anyone. Papa will be right there with you, He won’t judge or condemn you, He will give you this safe place to process it. The problem is when we do this alone and then it gets us more stuck. Papa has done this with me, and it really helps, because once you process it all, then you realize that you don’t really want to act it out. That it wouldn’t feel right act it out.
Big hugs, your caring heart will guide you! 🙂
I’m sorry not to be in this dialog. I’m traveling in Nashville right now and have almost no time at all to stay up on my email or blog comments. Caleb, the only place I know to get that kind of love is from God himself, when we see him not as a user, but as the Abba in whose lap we are completely safe. Then, we will want to be like him and extend that safety to others. Struggling with sexual desire as a young single and sorting out where that crosses into lust is never easy, but I’m sure He will teach you. I love that you have that hunger to be in that process with him. Just realize that it isn’t just sexual. There are lots of ways we learn to use people, even unwittingly, in our fears, insecurities and desires. We are incapable of changing that ourselves, but an ever-deepening relationship with him will help us see where we are and empower us to make the shift in our heart and actions that will over time become second-nature. Don’t miss the process here and don’t let shame overwhelm you in it. We are all flawed and his process of transformation is breath-taking. Just keep leaning into him and leaning away from those moments when you feel like you’re using people for your own amusement. It will shift over time and then you’ll look back and marvel at what he has done. That’s why it isn’t always easy to explain how I got here. I didn’t do it. He did as I just continued to walk and talk with him about the things way I wanted to live. As Paul said, there is no boasting in this process, because it is his work not ours. He found nothing to boast in except the work of the cross that allowed him to die to the world and the world die to him. It’s what love does, it wins us out of the insecurities that make us unthinking use others to feel better about ourselves. It is glorious! Relax into his love and you’ll find new ways of thinking emerge that honor people around you even those you find attractive…
Hi Wayne, thanks for getting back to me. The online stuff must get pretty full on sometimes while traveling. I appreciate your thoughts. At the moment, I guess I want to keep waiting, take to heart what sounds like the Holy Spirit, relax where possible, and where there’s pain and frustration to take it to Him. What you said about His work & transformation, I don’t understand it, but I hope your right.
Something that has been bugging me for a while is that you, Wayne speak of hardly getting angry. I find this highly concerning because the lack of emotions isn’t a healthy sign and that’s not all. I’m sure that you aren’t intending to communicate that spiritual maturity is losing our emotions and feeling them less. Though that is what I’m hearing.
Anger isn’t bad, it has it’s function, the problem isn’t emotional expression, it’s a lack of integrative functioning (mixing). You spoke that you only feel sadness when a woman is seeking contact and closeness in a way that isn’t healthy. That is good that you feel sadness. Though what if you were to feel desire, that isn’t bad in itself. The problem would be only feeling desire and not feeling and seeing the impact if you were to indulge your desire. The problem is lack of self-control, which only comes from the mixing of emotions. (Inner conflict, feeling torn this way and that way)
I’ve been sensing this for awhile, that Christianity is seeking to purge emotion, in their pursuit of becoming more spiritual and godly. This isn’t healthy, we are emotional creatures, the limbic system is the dominate part of the brain, the other parts obey it. The mind and body obey the heart. We falsely believe that we are rational beings, we are not. It is the mind that obeys the heart, not the other way around.
Emotion is the engine of maturation, without emotion there is no growing up. That is why we see the most immaturity in Christianity, because they seek to purge the very thing that is at the core of growth. When the engine is shut down, there can be no movement forward.
There is two motivations why counselors are taking advantage of hurting women:
Immaturity, they seek to take care of others, though due to their immaturity, the alpha energy is fickle and not stable, thus they fail at protecting the vulnerable. They unintentionally become the predators, because they are filled with hunger for contact and closeness and they have not the maturity to seek it in healthy ways.
The second one, is that they have twisted, dark alpha energy, which drives them to seek out vulnerability, to cause harm, to con, to exploit, to wound and expose. This is deeply instinctive, thus they may not even be aware what is driving them.
Power doesn’t corrupt, it reveals corruption. These dark alphas seek to be in charge, they seek places of power, they seek jobs and professions that give them access to the most vulnerable. They are good at pretending and tricking, it is an art to them, to deceive, to con someone, they enjoy it, they delight in it. The way they think, is that they fully expect and assume that everyone thinks as they do, they are only doing what they feel is natural. Because in their minds, everyone is out to get them, to con them, to trick them, to hurt them. So they get there first.
They weren’t born this way, they were made and they can be unmade. Though it is not an easy thing to do.
Hannah, I agree with much of your analysis about many of those that get into counselling, especially inside the context of “ministry leaders”. My wife was deceived by a very clever and charismatic (not in the pentecostal sense) person who used women to stroke his ego (it is my view that in a strange way he didn’t have the guts to follow through sexually – as far as I am aware – however I think the majority of sexual experience for men starts and develops through ego gratification). Interestingly he would also hold himself out as a model of “godliness – yuck” juxtaposed to their husbands whose lives could always be spun as lacking, and he was there to be their “knight in shining armour” (needless to say, not the Ephesians 6 kind….). It is also notable how this man had no relationships with the males in the church, but numerous “close” relationships with women. And this guy taught and wrote books about counselling. It really was all so sick.
As I get involved with others, I find I usually just journey with them in exploring their relationship vis a vie the knowing of God. It is usually bogged down in attempts to perfect their knowing about god amidst failing attempts at behaviour modification. I know we could talk to pages about these things, but in essence it is leading them to “the real God” (ouch…I know that can sound presumptuous) by moving them from a paradigm of needing to change, to one of acceptance and love the way they are…always… As far as the steps involved, I try to encourage them to ask God as they get to know him and learn to listen to, and hear, him.
With respect to your comments on emotions, I would simply like to relate to you the decrease in my anger since engaging the God of grace and love inside a relationship of knowing him. This in contrast to many years inside the organized church system where ultimately I always failed, and would beat myself up while I judged others to make myself feel better (a survival mechanism as it were, and probably mostly subconscious). However, I don’t believe my emotional quotients have decreased, just morphed, or probably more accurately, have been transformed. They present differently. And that is because they are predominantly becoming emotions like joy and peace and love inside a state of rest (experienced emotionally as well as intellectually) that emanates from a growing trust in God as our relationship deepens. He just takes so much more of what used to result in anger, anxiety, excessive stress, impulses to control, lust, envy, greed, etc.
Resting inside the person of Jesus because of what he has done, and is doing, and then living out into my circumstances in his strength and living out the desires he gives my soul as I simply delight in him. To sum up, with all gratitude to him, I believe I am not less emotional, simply more emotionally healthy. Thanks for listening.
Thanks Tom for sharing your point of view! 🙂
Thanks for sharing that personal story. That guy was very messed up, tragic, so tragic. 🙁 He avoided men, interesting………maybe it was men who wounded him and women felt safer to be around. Obviously his alarm system was working, so that he wouldn’t cross that line into sexual abuse. A very interesting alpha, not completely dark, but not light either. Perceptual defendedness is there, that is what self-righteousness is, blindness to one’s own darkness, mistakes and faults. Curious….I wonder if his personality is a High Feeler?
Yeah, it’s like being the big brother and guiding a younger sibling into a trusting relationship with Papa. First they need to attach to you and then you can bridge the attachment to Papa, so then it shifts from you being the primal attachment over to Papa. 🙂 This is the same thing we do with raising children, they attach first to us and then we bridge the attachment to Papa.
Behavior modification is the creation of traumatized people, who sought to make themselves feel safe by controlling themselves and others.
Thanks for speaking about emotion. It makes sense that their would be less anger, because that feeling has to do with finding fault and seeking justice. The root emotion is frustration, which is stirred up within us when simply something isn’t working. It’s not always felt consciously. The paths to release this energy, is change, tears and attack. So the first movement is to seek change, and if that is not possible, we are to sink into the sadness and disappointment and if we are too defended against that tender emotion, then all that is left is to attack. We can be frustrated and not angry, but we cannot be angry without frustration. What blocks attack temporarily is our integrative functioning, the ability to mix emotions. Self-control is the mix of: the impulse to react or fulfill desire and caring about impact.
The most frustrating thing for a human being, is separation. Is feeling separated from that which we are attached too. And the church has done a great job at stirring up a lot of frustration, saying that you have to make yourself better then Papa will love you. They preach that we are separated and it’s our responsibility to get back to Papa.
And oh and the rage that comes out.
Why it bugs me when I hear people say that they feel less anger or if they are meaning rage(foul frustration), and that’s because they are more mature. It frustrates me to no end, because of my personality, I see all that isn’t working in the world, all the darkness, the pain, the brokenness and I am filled with frustration. And also I have a hard time sinking into my tears and weeping about all the things I cannot change. I can’t protect everyone, I can’t stop people and children from being traumatized and abused. I see so much, but I feel as if my hands are tied behind my back. It’s not possible for me to ever feel less frustration and anger, because for that to happen I would need to become blind and defended against seeing. And that is something I cannot do.
So Papa needs to help me a lot with sinking into my tears and developing my integrative functioning, so that I will not harm others.
“He just takes so much more of what used to result in anger, anxiety, excessive stress, impulses to control, lust, envy, greed, etc.”
Oh, I wanted to talk more about this! 🙂
I already talked about anger, so I’ll share what I see with the other emotions and feelings you described.
Anxiety, is normal and healthy, it means our alarm system is working. We become alarmed when we sense separation, which is the greatest wound to the human heart. Stress would be linked to not being able to fully express all the emotional energy within. The impulse to be in control or to control others, comes from feeling highly alarmed, find out what is alarming the person and the desire to control goes away or help them find their tears of futility or courage (fear and desire).
Lust is when healthy sexual desire is divorced from vulnerability. They seek gratification without being vulnerable. We see that with people who are addicted to porn. The deep need for contact and closeness is warped and is being expressed in unhealthy and harmful ways. They are defended against vulnerability.
Envy and jealously, has to do with shallow attachment(attaching through belonging and loyalty), plus not being able to feel one’s hunger. They are defended against feeling empty, longing and missing. And because they can’t feel their hunger, they can not be satiated.
Greed would also be, not able to feel the vulnerability of emptiness, they are trying to fill the void, or to distract oneself from their emotions.
Hannah, I know you don’t know me, but you’re jumping to conclusions. No one who does would accuse me of having shut down emotions. 🙂 I’m talking about the soul-crushing anger that lashed out at others in ways that was destructive to them and me. I could hold it in for long periods, but then it would emerge in ways that was hurtful to myself and others. God has moved that and I am celebrating it every day that I live. I don’t have to hold it in any longer because it isn’t there. That doesn’t mean things don’t make me angry now but it is not the explosive destructive anger but a grief that draws me into Father when I encounter the brokenness or injustice of the world or the abuse of people I know. But it is a more redemptive anger, looking to engage how I can in prayer or action to help in the situation and not the anger at my powerlessness or God’s seeming inactivity to fix this broken world. I now see him doing all that is His to do in bringing this world to freedom and redemption.
This is truly not about purging emotions. They are a valuable piece of our personalities and engagement with God and his world. They indicate lots of things going on deeply in us. This is about God redeeming emotions to make them more accurate and fruitful in engaging the world.
And I want people who prey on the vulnerable in our society to be stopped by whatever honest and strong confrontation that will expose the danger they represent and help other see where they are being taken advantage of by someone else’s brokenness. Yes, they need healing, but the need to be contained and constrained until they let that healing begin.
It is a cruel thing to use someone’s position of trust to abuse or manipulate anyone, especially a child or an emotional broken adult. I think the appeal in the podcast is that we need more people who can offer absolute safety, love, and support to those who have suffered at the hands of lovelessness. I’m in the middle of just such a situation here and see God doing wonderful things to set a life free that was abused by a devious “counselor”.
Thanks for clarifying Wayne.
Yes, your right, they should be contained, while someone works with them to bring them to a place of healing. It’s not right to let them roam free. Prisons should be that place of containment, though that is not what they were designed for. Confrontation may or may not work, because if they have perceptual defendedness, they won’t be able to hear a word you say, it will just go right over the heads. If their alarm system is still working on some level, you could scare them into stopping, but that is about it, plus that would only move them to find someone else. And if you tried that with someone who is completely numb to their fear, that will only make matters worse. Dealing with bullies is a tricky business, one needs to know them from the inside out, to know what to do and say. Otherwise you are walking in blind. So really the best thing to do, is to get them contained to stop them from causing farther damage to others and themselves. And yes if you need to expose them publicly, then do so, but they will need to be contained, because there is too many unknowns, will the humiliation of being exposed drive them to do something more horrible or will they break down and stop.
The best way to keep people and child safe from predators, is to fulfill attachment needs and nurture their awareness of danger. Papa gave us a alarm system that keeps us out of danger, that will warn us and move us to caution. Victims also tend to have perceptual defendedness, they can’t see danger coming, they walk right into the lions den, instead of avoiding it.
“Brain’s Mechanisms of Defense:
-The brain is designed to protect its host from a vulnerability too much to bear (ie, this is not disorder)
-The purpose of these defenses is to enable us to do our work (no one is defenseless)
-Defenses work best when employed situationally and temporarily.
-Defenses are automatic and mechanistic and cannot be controlled volitionally.”
There is three ways that we become defended, emotions, attachment and perception. The wounds that cause this to happen is too much separation, alarm, and shame. The problem lies in that the defenses never come out, that they remain stuck, instead of having armor, they become the armor.
A emotionally healthy child and person, are able to keep themselves out of harms way. The answer for those who aren’t emotionally healthy, is helping them access their danger sense and satiating attachment needs, so that pursuit of contact and closeness does not take over, thus causing the alarm to be not heard.
And bullies should be stopped and contained, it’s not good for them to do what is evil, it is love that we stop them. For when they become human again and realize all that they have done, it will undo them, and we will need to help them from becoming defended all over again, because the guilt, shame and self hate will be so strong. When we hear the stories of what created them, we are filled with sadness for they experienced more pain then a human being could handle.
It is possible to care for both at the same time, for the one causing the harm and the one being harmed. For at it’s core, they both are wounded children that need help. Papa does this and He can give us this strength to see both and love both and protect both. Papa doesn’t punish the bullies, He contains them and loves them to wholeness. And maybe that is what hell is, a place of containment, so that the fire of His love can consume all their darkness and twistedness and they can be brought back to healing and wholeness.
22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it,[j] for the glory[k] of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved[l] shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.[m] 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.[n] 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes[o] an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Revelation 21 New King James Version (NKJV)
Look at the part that says the gates will not be shut by day and there is no night. Papa does separates His children to keep them from causing each other damage, though that isn’t the same thing as Papa separating Himself from His children. It’s like a parent who needs to separate siblings from each other, because they keep hurting each other, though the parent doesn’t separate themselves from either child, both are loved dearly.
The purpose of punishment is only to keep social order, it is of no benefit for the person causing harm. It merely stops people from taking matters into their own hands. Gordon Neufeld is a developmental psychologist who worked with young violent offenders in the prison system, as well as young sex offenders. He has a vast understanding of the inner-workings of the victims and bullies, minds and hearts. Because what he shares is rooted in insight and intuition.
It’s the first thing that you wrote, that I’m misunderstanding you and then you go into explaining yourself and trying to show me your point of view. It’s completely written from your side, there was no seeking to understand what I was truly asking and what it was that I was seeking. Maybe I just have the gift/curse to draw this out of others, I don’t know.
People look up to you as an alpha, though I’m not sensing a strong energy of that kind from you. Alpha’s seek to understand the other person’s perspective and meet them there. Most times people are looking for emotional connection, support and understanding, not theological stuff. We are after all emotional creatures. Alpha’s don’t focus on trying to get others to see what they are saying, they seek to offer understanding and listen to the other person. They look beyond what is on the surface, they dig deeper and seek to see what is underneath it all. What is the person truly asking, we tend to hid it within our words, sometimes it takes a bit to see what is truly being sought.
What you described wasn’t really anger, more like foul frustration. And there is nothing wrong with feeling it on a very intense level, the problem is when we can’t channel it in healthy ways. Releasing it through creative destruction, isn’t wrong or sinful. There is quite a few of us, who need to release it in more physical ways, through destroying things or intense rage filled venting, and that’s not wrong, as long as we aren’t violating anyone or their property. That’s great that your personality doesn’t need that kind of outlet, though not everyone is like you.
The way you write about anger, which is more like foul frustration, makes it out to be bad and something that God needs to fix or remove in us. Though explosive rage isn’t bad, it becomes bad when the energy is taken out on others and it violates them. Aggression isn’t violence, violence is in the eyes of the beholder. So if we are verbally raging at someone and they don’t feel violated, then it’s aggression not violence. If someone can listen with compassion and understanding while we scream and verbally rage at them, it’s not wrong. It’s wrong, when we know that someone can’t handle it and we do it anyway. Which then would reveal our immaturity. Because if we know someone couldn’t handle it, we should seek to channel it in a way that would give us the release that we needed without violating others.
My heart breaks when I see that you aren’t understanding, the predators aren’t in control of themselves, they are slaves to their immaturity and trauma. They need compassion too, and they do need to be stopped, for their sake as much as others. I can understand the rage and wanting to protect the vulnerable. But, just because predators appear strong, it doesn’t mean that they are. They wear lots of armor to hide how very fragile they are. The crueler the person, the greater the emotional sensitivity. They were born too sensitive for this world and they experienced more wounding them a human being could bear. So their humanity was lost to them, such a tragedy. To the level of harm they cause to this world, is the level of beauty they could have brought into their world. They are in hell on earth, they may feel like they enjoy what they are doing, though that is just the chemical high that they are feeling, not deep emotional health. When they wake up and their become human again, it will all sink in and they will realize with horror all that they have done and there can be no escaping it. The poor babies, nobody helped them, things got out control and nobody stopped them. They were traumatized and nobody supported them through healing, so they remained stuck and twisted. And instead of compassion, they were punished over and over again, each time it stripped a bit more of their humanity away.
Though those who are victims, when they heal they can go back to living, it won’t be easy, but it’s possible. The others, what will become of them? Society hates them and wants revenge, they long for their death and pain. There is no going back to a normal life, they will never experience what they could have had, there is a cost, a great cost. And those children who the world screwed over and then punished them for taking out their rage. These ones, will never live a normal life, ever. There is a great price to be paid for their crimes, even know they weren’t in their right mind. That’s the funny thing, to be in one’s right mind, if someone could see their choices, then they wouldn’t do those horrible things, and I’m talking about the worst crimes. A healthy person can see the consequences to their actions, and because they are healthy and mature, they seek to not harm others. We are born good as our Papa is good.
Planned crimes are done by those who are emotionally numb and the crimes of passion, are done by those who either don’t have any integrative functioning or that in that moment they lost their mix, because their emotions were too intense and thus they lost control.
Hitler, Stalin, they were children once, traumatized and abused, nobody saved them or stopped them. They were forsaken and abandoned, we love to hate them. But, we never stop to think that if we were raised like them, that we probably wouldn’t have turned out all better. I can see the darkness, I can see all the evil that I could do, and it would be great, it’s painful being able to see it. Though, I’m glad I do. Because it helps me understand and keeps me from being arrogant, thinking I am better then those that are called villains. Because I could be them, I could be that evil and do those horrible things, and I could be really frighteningly good at it, and mean effective and efficient. And that scares me, which it should. I’m glad that Papa is the one guarding my heart, protecting it from becoming hard.
Love protects, and I finally realized what that meant, Papa guards our heart, protects them from becoming hard and cold. And that He can’t protect what He doesn’t have. That is why we need to give our hearts to Him, so that He can guard them. Though that can only happen when our attachment to Him is deepening and we feel emotionally safe with Him. It’s not that we are in charge of the relationship, Papa is fully in charge, it is just a matter of deepening attachment to Him from our side. Which only happens because Papa is doing His job, by providing all that we need, meeting our attachment needs and providing that safe place for us to express and feel all our emotions.
(I started talking to Wayne and then went off and it changed to more talking to myself, kind of like thinking out loud) So if others find what I wrote encouraging, I’m glad. 🙂
Hannah, I’m sorry this is causing you such frustration. I tried to respond by telling you that we were talking apples to oranges about anger and emotion and it felt like you’ve come back with, “your apples ARE oranges.” It is not leading to better communication. Of course I wrote from my side, that’s the only side I have. Since you seemed to be making inaccurate assumptions, I was trying to clear them up. That doesn’t mean I didn’t hear you or understand what you were trying to say. When I read your last post, however, I see that you are making so many assumptions about me, my beliefs, and my emotions that I have no idea where to begin to untangle them.
I realize my response is not what you wanted and that it didn’t fit into the specific worldview and terminology you have found helpful. While I appreciate much of the work of Dr. Neufeld, his is but one way to approach these issues. It may be the best one for you, but I would think he’d be the first to admit that and respect that others can see it and say it differently.
I do appreciate your passion for those who have been so broken they come out as abusers of others. I have been on both sides of this with people I love, both victims and victimizers helping them find connection, healing, and freedom in Christ. It is an incredibly intricate and sensitive process that defies formulas and pat answers in my view. Trying to force others into a mold or diagnosing their mental or emotional health by a few comments on a blog does not add to a healthy dialog.
Let’s all remember these are comments on a blog. Trying to convince anyone that we are right and they are wrong is a relational disconnect. All we can do here is interact with their ideas as we get to know each other. We truly don’t know the people behind their words and making assumptions about them will almost always be wrong. I hope that helps everyone take a breath, be generous in our comments and conclusion and trust the Spirit will make clear to others what he wants them to know when they are ready.
@Hannah – “I’ve been sensing this for awhile, that Christianity is seeking to purge emotion, in their pursuit of becoming more spiritual and godly. ” Actually, I see the opposite. I think many Christians seek emotion in order to experience the presence of God. This is why “praise and worship” is big business (or “monetized”).
I think what your describing is people are seeking sensation, a chemical high. That isn’t the same as emotion, feeling our emotions takes vulnerability and most aren’t able to handle that. And I believe that we connect with Papa through emotion(heart), we are after all emotional creatures, that is how we are wired. The more in touch we are in our emotions, the better we can hear Papa’s voice.
Please forgive me for going on so much but I didn’t respond last week with resect to tribalism. In the spirit of brevity, with respect, I would simply say that tribalism is best replaced by a paradigm of family as relates to interacting with other believers (interestingly commonly referred to as brothers and sisters).
It seems to me that tribalism pursues conformity, while family facilitates unity, providing a framework that accommodates differences. It is interesting how loyalty is often expressed as being sourced in the fact that famiy members are “blood”…. in this case the blood of the body’s head….
Thanks Hannah and Tom for sharing your exchange. I am also processing and you’ve given me a lot to reflect on. Blessings, Sue
Hi, Sue! 🙂
Aww 🙂 Thanks, it’s so good to share what I’m learning and also learn from others. I’m planning on taking Intensive 1 and 2 from Neufeld Institute. Much of what I’ve shared is from Gordon Neufeld. It’s amazing once you understand development, emotions, attachment, and maturation, that everything becomes clear! 🙂
I can read books and see the dynamics, it’s so cool and also I understand more what is going on in the bible, what’s happening inside the people. I can also see Papa in the midst of all the darkness and misunderstandings and see Him as He truly is! 🙂
Thanks Hannah, I am older than you and love that you are thinking deeply about these things at 23. May He pour much grace on you and give you His ongoing assurance of His love. Emotions are a gift he’s given and to learn with Him as we process is a treasure.
Aww <3 Thanks Sue! 🙂 It's been a rough 5-6 years, though it's finally getting better, now that I feel safer and more connected to Papa. 🙂 I can feel my attachment to Him, has gotten so much deeper. 🙂
I love this quote! 🙂
Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine,
Under every grief and pine,
Runs a joy with silken twine.
It is right it should be so,
We were made for joy and woe,
And when this we rightly know,
Through the world we safely go.
~ by William Blake
Thanks Hannah, I also have had some very hard times….I grew up very performance based w quite a distorted view of who Father is. To learn what it meansto follow the Shepherd and to trust Him w our wounds is an extraordinary way to walk. Emotions are a part of his creation and navigating that w his leadership takes much time. Trusting him to bring what we need…not only physically…but in the arena of our hearts and minds can be hard and also veery freeing.
Thanks for sharing big sis! 🙂 So true. 🙂 Trust takes so much time, especially when God was made out to be someone to be feared. It took a long time to feel safe enough to rage at Papa. Then once I did it over and over again, I realized that I was safe and that He loved me, and saw me through eyes of compassion and understanding, He wasn’t offended or disgusted with my tantrums, it only endeared me to Him more. 🙂
Yes, me too! In fact I can remember being surprised…expecting Jesus would return my anger w His own!…when He responded quietly w compassion I recognized that I was safe w Him as He walked me into a deeper connection w Him. So glad this is a place where we can exchange thoughts….smile
Yeah, I’m so glad that we connected here! 🙂
I have so many thoughts on this discussion…Wayne, you know a bit of my story. This hits home all the way. I love Brad’s response “because its another damaged soul.” How many counselors and pastors really know how loved they are by our Father? Which of them does not come from a past of hurt and possibly abuse? How can men be a safe place when they have been never known a safe place? I understand Sara’s conclusion – go to a woman counselor. I desperately needed a father figure; but more than that, God led me to a male counselor. And while he ended up hurting me very much, (never sexually) he went way above and beyond of what anyone else has ever been willing to do for me. I’m starting to wonder if one of our mistakes isn’t the idea of “helping” others. Does that not imply that we have expectations for that person to change? I speak from experience, because I deal with a lot of teenagers and I want them to change for the better. But what right do I have to try to change someone? What if all we need to do is love people where ever they are and God will do the rest? I’m not convinced its a good thing to tell people what they’re doing wrong; chances are pretty good they know. I know how much I hated myself when I bullied my younger brothers. If my experiences in life have taught me anything, it is this: there are no easy answers. I am convinced that loving people will accomplish everything, but sometimes it seems to take a lot of detours as people mess up time and again. We need space to make mistakes so we can learn from them. And unfortunately (or in the reality of a broken world) people end up getting hurt from our mistakes too. That does not mean I condone abuse; I understand abusers usually come from abuse. I used to be very mad at people who claim to know God and abuse people, but I’m starting to understand that even a lot of Christians just simply don’t know how much God loves them.