Do you want to get to the good stuff? I know I do. We want a magic pill for everything. Forget about the healing and the pain. Later for that. It sounds like the perfect plan. However, if your plan is to go from where you are now, to where you want to be, skipping over the pain will only take you back to where you are now. It may seem counterintuitive. However, the only way to the other side is through. As Jennifer put it in this episode: “Healing is a choice.” Creating an empowered new chapter of life requires healing from past hurts. And when you are healed, you gain resilience and perspective that you couldn’t have gained otherwise. Listen to the last part of this series between Jennifer and I as we dissect healing, our need for instant gratification, not enoughness and so much more.
This week’s episodes are focusing on Black History month and Black Literature. In this episode, I am doing a reading from “The Journey”. You are able to get a picture of what it was to live in the South in the 1960’s, along with the dynamics of being black. I hope that you enjoy this reading, and that something that is read will resonate with your soul as you listen to Black History Part 1.
At Valley of Grace, we believe in thriving. In order to thrive, we have to begin grounding ourselves in our identity. The first step in making this happen, is dealing with the effects of our childhood wounds. Click here to get started in Online Therapy today.****This is an amazon affiliate link where a commission is paid to offsite the cost of providing this information to you.
Sabotage Our Healing with Busyness and Instability
Sabotaging Our Healing by Allowing Shame and Perception Of Others to Reign
Sabotaging Our Healing by Surrounding Ourselves with Clutter
Lastly, we Sabotage Our Healing by Refusing to Do What We’re Told
Good morning! Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness. And today we are recording Episode 23: Sabotaging Our Healing. When we think of the word sabotage, it suggests the following: “getting in the way, damaging, intentionally interrupting, preventing something from taking place. When we think of sabotaging our healing, it means that we are harming or preventing ourselves from healing. Since the rewards of healing is astronomical, why would we want to prevent ourselves from doing it? There are several reasons why:
We’re afraid to face the pain.
We don’t want the work.
We don’t want to use our free time to do it.
We really don’t want to be free because we have been in bondage for so long, and so, the bondage that we know is better than the freedom that we don’t.
There are several ways that we sabotage our healing:
Sabotage Our Healing with Busyness and Instability- We will fill our days up from morning till night being busy so that we don’t have to sit long enough to feel. If we work outside the home, we spend hours shopping after work before going home. If we work inside the home, we make sure that we are busy from morning to night. We think that we can outsmart our mind and emotions. I have been guilty of doing this one myself. What I noticed is that one of three things usually happen.
Situation 1: When we finally lay down to go to bed, our minds are going 100 mph with anxiety. We start going over all the things that we did during the day. The feelings start coming up. Our past starts knocking on our door. Unhealed brokenness starts bleeding out. Obtrusive thoughts start settling in. Then, we end up not being able to go to sleep for several hours because our minds are trying to process everything that we didn’t allow it to process during the day. Several days of this can turn into weeks, and then weeks into months. And if we didn’t have trauma before, there is definitely a chance of developing it then. We can only go so many days like this. Our bodies can’t sustain this lifestyle without breaking down.
Situation 2: We conk out as soon as our heads hit the pillow. Because we haven’t processed anything, we are running on empty in every area. We keep putting off dealing with certain things until they are a must. And when we have to deal with it, we end up shutting down, or having a complete emotional meltdown/tantrum. This can play out at work, school, home, church wherever.
When we are on emotional and mental overload, there is no way to control when and where it will come out. Even now, I have to remind myself to take a break from work and give myself thirty minutes to lay down and think about nothing. This became an issue for me after the trauma that occurred within the last seven years. Believe it or not, as soon as I begin to relax, I can feel emotions coming up. I also like to have reflection time in the morning when I wake up. If I am in a rush and have to leave out an emotional mess from backed up grief, my emotions only intensify as the day goes on.
Situation 3: We become consistently inconsistent at everything. Lack of structure gets in the way of our healing. When we are all over the place, our minds are all over the place, and then our lives and relationships are all over the place.
Sabotaging Our Healing by Allowing Shame and Perception Of Others to Reign-This is also one that I am guilty of having to watch myself. If I allow my brokenness of perfectionism and the shame that it’s friends with to kick in, I am more tempted to want to hold off sharing with my life-giving friends or therapist about what is going on now, or a situation that happened in the past.
I get caught up wondering what the person will think of me, how I will be perceived, and the list goes on and on. I also get caught up in wondering whether or not I will possibly “lose it” and have an “ugly face” cry in front of others. I have to remind myself that these are safe people, and if I cry, so what! I ‘m human. We’re all broken. Satan will try whatever way that he can to discourage us from being vulnerable. Vulnerability in a safe environment with time and space chips away the stone of shame.
Sabotaging Our Healing by Surrounding Ourselves with Clutter-We fill up every knick and cranny of our homes and our cars with clutter. It prevents us from being able to gain clarity about anything. It prevents us from having structure and space to feel. We also have problems making decisions because the clutter is serving as an emotional pacifier. As soon as the clutter starts being lifted, then we can be tempted to go back again. Our addictions take the place of feeling the hurt and pain that we are holding keeping at bay. Being surrounded by excessive clutter takes the place of being able to dig into our feelings. Therefore, we often go back to our addictions. The pain becomes too much to bear. And instead of pressing in, we press out to comfort.
Lastly, we Sabotage Our Healing by Refusing to Do What We’re Told-If our therapists, coaches, friends, pastors, or others give us godly counsel in regard to our behavior, we have already come up with 50 excuses as to why we can’t begin to make changes. We are intent on doing it the way that we want to do it. However, nine times out of ten, our way isn’t going to work. If it was, we would have started making changes.
Naaman went to see Elisha in order to be healed from leprosy. He almost sabotaged his own healing because he didn’t want to do what he was told. He wanted Elisha to come out and do a powerful healing ceremony. He thought that he was “too good” to stoop to Elisha’s healing instructions. Elisha instructed him to wash in the Jordan seven times. He finally did it, with some prodding from his servant. But, he definitely wasn’t happy about it.
So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.
13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
Naaman almost missed out on his healing because he wanted it “his way”. What happens when we want things our way? We miss out on everything God has to offer and more. God uses wise people to lead us to make wise decisions. However, he will not beg us to do our part.
So, what is the solution to combatting sabotage? Desiring a life that thrives over a life of stagnancy. No one can give us the desire and motivation to heal. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula. The comfort is that Jesus will be there with us in the fire. We can teach our kids and leave a legacy behind that stops the generational sins of our fathers.
God bless! Thanks for listening to Episode 23: Sabotaging Our Healing
If you are ready to heal from Trauma or Any Brokenness, and you are tired of the Sabotage Cycle, check out brokenpieces.teachable.com for Two Courses: Broken Pieces: From Survival Mode to the Life of Thriving & De-Clutter Your Home, De-Clutter Your Mind, and De-Clutter Your Life
When things are predictable, we feel safe, secure, and at ease. We are not God, and thus, the truth of the matter is that not everything in life will be predictable. However, when unpredictability becomes your norm, then it can be the perfect recipe for disaster. If you already have a history of PTSD or trauma, then after a round of unpredictability at its finest, you will be in line for more.
I was young, in my 20s, married, a full-time employee and a full-time student. And although I was very busy, and I did feel stress because of it, it wasn’t anything major. Out of the blue, everything changed. I went from doing all of the above to running to the emergency room and/or doctor’s office once or twice a week. Unpredictability rocked my world to put it mildly.
The symptoms started off with a racing heart. My ex-husband dropped me off in front of our apartment building one night so that I could get settled, and he could continue driving around to find a park. My heart started racing like crazy. I remember thinking to myself, “What is going on?” It finally stopped by the time that I got upstairs.
A couple of weeks after that, on my 24th birthday to be exact, I was standing in front of the copy machine at work when I started feeling excruciating chest pains. One of my coworkers rushed me to the ER in her car. They didn’t find anything.
However, after that, every few days there was a new symptom occurring: extremely high blood pressure, racing pulse, hammer-pounding headaches that made you long for heaven, diarrhea, an unsafe drop in weight, fibromyalgia,etc. It got to the point where my belts were no longer able to keep my pants up.
Days turned into weeks and weeks into months as the physician ran every kind of blood test that he could think of. On one particular occasion, I was blow drying my hair, when all of a sudden, my heart and pulse starting racing as if it was going to beat out of my chest, and then my entire body started twitching. I finished blow drying my hair and headed to the ER. My mother, my ex-husband, and some other family members met me there.
As soon as my ex-husband saw me with my hair just blow dried and no curls, he stated, ” You couldn’t have done anything to your hair?” It was one of those moments when you stared in shock, cognitive dissonance sets in, and then you pretend like you didn’t hear what you just heard.
This vibrant twenty year-old, straight “A” student who was able to do it all suffered a time-out. I ended up having to drop two of my classes. The exhaustion and insomnia wouldn’t allow me to keep up.
Finally, during one particular visit to my physician, I gave in and told him that I was feeling depressed. He said that it was just the stress. My reply was, “Something is wrong with me.” He listed everything that he had done already, and then he said, ” How about we check your thyroid?”
In no time, I got the results. Bingo! I had hyperactive thyroid. Better known as Graves disease. I finally had an answer for this madness. I was happy and feeling blessed. However, that didn’t last long when I found out that it would take about four months before I would start feeling better.
I decided upon the “Radioactive Cocktail” as my method of treatment. A lady who worked in the nuclear medicine department gave me the best advice ever. She told me not to be surprised if my condition reverses because of medicine not being an “exact science”. It was the same thing that had happened to her.
At first, I was mad, and wondering why she would say something like this. However, I soon realized that it was the best advice ever because I was prepared. Just like she forewarned, my thyroid condition went normal, and then reversed to the other side, better known as hypothyroidism.
Four months later, I was back to my normal self so it seemed. However, the unpredictability of trips to the doctor and ER led me to develop compounded trauma. I already had childhood trauma under my belt. Then were was the trauma of being in a toxic relationship, a verbally abusive job, and my physical health was now added to that list.
If I had to look back at that twenty-four year old woman, I would tell her what I now know: “Breathe! Allow yourself to feel the feelings! When you don’t allow yourself to feel the feelings of overwhelm, your body will take it on. The stress has to go somewhere. Let it out! Nothing is worth your health. Community is everything. God is enough!”
When was the last time that you complained? Was it this morning? Did you complain because you had to get up out of the bed, and you didn’t get enough sleep? Did you complain because you had to cook breakfast, and no one washed the dishes the night before?
What about going to work? Did you complain about the fact that you barely had enough gas in the car to get to work? To make matters worse, someone cut you off on the way to the office, and then they mouthed a few words that you wish you hadn’t seen. We all complain at one time or another. However, complaining is sin, and it affects everyone else around us when we start doing it.
Take a listen to this week’s podcast to find out what complaining does, and how we can do less of it.
Outline of The Sin of Complaining Podcast
Six Truths That Come From the Sin of Complaining
Bible Verses to Meditate On:
Numbers 11:1-11 New International Version (NIV)
Fire From the Lord
11 Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. 2 When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the Lord and the fire died down. 3 So that place was called Taberah,[a]because fire from the Lord had burned among them.
Quail From the Lord
4 The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. 6 But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”
7 The manna was like coriander seed and looked like resin. 8 The people went around gathering it, and then ground it in a hand mill or crushed it in a mortar. They cooked it in a pot or made it into loaves. And it tasted like something made with olive oil. 9 When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down.
10 Moses heard the people of every family wailing at the entrance to their tents. The Lord became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled.11 He asked the Lord, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me?
The last poem that I wrote was entitled Strength, and it can be found here. Tonight’s poem deals with the conflict that arises between selecting who should and shouldn’t be included in our inner circles.
The inner circle of life.
Let in someone with wisdom, growth, and discernment?
Or, let in someone with strife.
Who will you let in?
Let in the workers of iniquity?
Or, let in the faithful friend?
Hey inner circle!
Open the door and let me in.
Can we trust you with our trials?
Or our failures and our sin?
The inner circle of life.
Let in someone with wisdom, growth, and discernment?
The last poem that I wrote was entitled “Faith Without Works”. You can find that poem here. Today’s poem, Broken Pieces, deals with the emotional process of deciding to enter the door of healing: the closed door represents survival mode, and open the opened door represents the door of thriving.