Never feel like forcing yourself to stay in something that God has obviously released you from is the best option. As a matter of fact, your growth will do the work for you. When people start seeing you growing after narcissistic abuse, they will make comments about you changing and being different, as if it’s a bad thing. It isn’t. They had gotten too comfortable with the “broken pieces” version of you. Either they will eventually hop on board or leave your life just as quickly as they entered it.
Everyone strives for being educated and empowered. But different words mean different things to different people. Listen 🎧 in to the conversation between Dr. Shali Mukherjee and I as we dissect education, empowerment, toxic relationships, and taking ownership when it comes to healing and emotions. Katina Horton-Valley of Grace Ministries been granted rights and permission by performing artist , Timothy Horton GR8, to use Valley of Grace as its theme song. #educators #education #healing #healingjourney #ownership #empowerment #emotions
One of the hardest things to do is to confront conflict. Why? As humans our brains only have two options: receiving pain or pleasure. And given a choice, we will seek pleasure every time. Only doing things that are pleasurable are not realistic. If we can’t face this reality, then we are back on Fantasy Island where all our dreams come true.
Even when it comes to our jobs/businesses, every single part of our daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly tasks do not bring us pleasure. Sometimes this task might be a five minute task, or it could be a one hour task. Whatever the case, there comes a point in time when motivation goes out the door, and discipline has to take over.
Discipline says, “It’s not about whether I can pump myself up enough to get the job done, I must get it done. I can chill when it’s over. I have a business to run.”
Why do we discipline ourselves in our jobs/careers?
We want to be obedient to God in the calling that he has entrusted to us.
And keeping it real, we want that paycheck. Bills don’t get paid by themselves.
When we don’t take that same enthusiasm into our romantic relationships, or any other important relationship for that matter, we are setting ourselves up for disaster.
What We Do
Avoiding conflict in hopes of only receiving pleasure is like cutting off the top of all the weeds on our lawn, hoping they will never return. It ain’t happening.
We seem to have this thing down pat in our romantic, friendship, and familial relationships.
When we avoid conflict in our relationships, we say things like, “Oh, you know we need to come together for the sake of keeping peace.” Or, another excuse sounds like, ” You know how he/she is.” Just ignore that and let’s move forward.”
The end result: nothing is resolved. You move forward at the expense of damaging and disrespecting yourself because you don’t want to feel the pain of the other person getting mad at you, and possibly not speaking to you because you told them the truth.
Slamming doors, walking out, and giving the silent treatment, and other passive-aggressive behavior gets played out really fast.
You are in for a rude awakening. But you haven’t figured that out yet.
What is truly happening when you are avoiding conflict is that you are walking around building up bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness against the other person. What you did to have pleasure at all costs has caused you pain at every cost to your mind, body, and soul.
You have been walking around with an unattended open wound.
And you keep going through cycles and cycles of it.
You refused to dig down deep enough to pull up the weed from its roots.
What is going to happen next in the healthy relationship cycle? What will be difference in the toxic relationship cycle? Tune in for the next post when we talk about the end result of this behavior in both situations.
When you are in the “Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior” Phase, there are so many different things going on. First of all, the honeymoon is over. Secondly, it doesn’t matter whether you are in a healthy or toxic relationship cycle, you are going to have problems.
The main difference is in how you choose to deal with these problems.
One thing that is common in both cycles is that once both individuals go from symbiosis to differentiation, and the individual problems manifest themselves, initially neither person knows what to say or do in order to confront the problems.
This is evident because one person usually walks around being angry/hostile all the time, and then the other person walks around doing passive-aggressive things all the time, instead of bringing the problem(s) up.
Some examples of passive/aggressive behavior would be eye-rolling, letting the other person’s food burn up, noticing that the other person somehow missed their alarm going off, and not saying anything, and doing anything else that gets on the other person’s last nerve.
None of these things will solve the problem.
For some reason, as humans, we think that ignoring our problems are like bad dreams that will eventually go away.
When we go to this place for dealing with problems, we are definitely on our own Fantasy Island. “Cause guess what?” It ain’t happenin’. Those problems are still there.
As a matter of fact, the lump underneath the rug is getting bigger and bigger.
So the question remains, what in the world are you going to do about it?
In the next post, we will talk about what usually happens for both the healthy and toxic relationship cycle.
Whether you are in a healthy or unhealthy relationship, the third phase of the relationship cycle is “The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior Begin”.
One might think, “Why would there be problems?”
Well, for starters, you have two imperfect individuals. And no matter how you do the math, two imperfect individuals equals one imperfect relationship.
In order for a pattern of behavior to occur, you have to be in a relationship with someone. It doesn’t matter who that person is. It is in this interpersonal exchange, so to speak, that your issues will manifest themselves.
Nine times out of ten, your unhealthy patterns of behavior were developed in childhood, and as the old saying goes, “there is more that is caught than taught”. We model what we have seen. And what we have seen comes from the five people we are around the most.
And in the case of children, that means the five people are more than likely the individuals in their household and/or their grandparents that have helped to form a certain perspective in their head as far as how relationships should run.
The problem that can erupt from this is that if those patterns of behavior were never checked by your immediate family, friends, coworkers, and ministry partners, you have carried them around in a backpack for years, and now, as you are entering phase three of the relationship cycle in your marriage, you are unloading them onto the other person.
In the next post, we will talk about how these problems manifest themselves in “The Unhealthy Relationship Cycle”.
The question that one might ask themselves is: what happens after the bombing? As stated in our previous post, after the bombing comes the sea of shame. And although you would think your soul’s reaction would be enough to make you stop and think, oftentimes, it doesn’t.
There is a small percentage of the cases where the individual takes a time-out based upon their body, mind, and soul’s reaction to love-bombing. However, 9.9 times out of ten, the reason you were picked as a target in the first place was because of your issues with low self-esteem, low self-worth, poor body image, or a combo of all three.
As sad and unsettling as it may sound, you were picked because you were an easy target to be disarmed and molded into what the other broken person in the toxic relationship wanted you to be. What you haven’t figured out yet, is that you are expected to return the favor.
Not the favor and disarming and molding. The worship.
Love-bombing isn’t done just for the sake of it. It is done to pull you in like nothing else has so you can stay all in. Once you have demonstrated that you are all in, the love-bombing ends. That is too much energy to put into any one person for an extended period of time.
The other person in the toxic relationship wants to be worshipped just like you were. However, the rules for their worship is different. Unlike love-bombing that leaves you in a sea of shame, they want the worship without the shame. You can’t ever give constructive criticism, feedback, or point out any wrongdoing.
Giving your take on any of these areas means that you are tarnishing the perfect, distorted image of what the other broken person in your toxic/unhealthy relationship has created. And that is a no-no.
The worship that belongs only to God has now gone to man. God never intended that to be.
He made that clear when he gave Moses the ten commandments on the mountaintop.
Somehow, as women, with Satan’s help, we twist around the word of God, making ourselves believe that God has told us to do everything that our husbands want us to do. When “obeying” your husband lies in direct conflict of obeying and worshipping God, we definitely have a problem.
You don’t realize the severity of it because your brokenness of unworthiness, low self-worth, and not enoughness is leading you in making decisions. You, as the wounded person is depending on the other broken person in the relationship to provide the enoughness that you are lacking. But only God can do that.
Sometimes the hardest part about creating an empowered new chapter of life is trusting God with each and every step. And part of trusting God involves learning to hear God’s voice, and then discerning the direction that he has for your life. Community is so important as you embark on your journey of reclaiming your power and identity. However, we also need discernment in knowing what advice we should and should not take. What does trust look like for you? Listen to Part 2 of my conversation with Cherlyn Decker to find out her stance on these issues.
Podcast Topics Outline Episode 119: An lnterview with Bestselling Author & Speaker Cherlyn Decker Part 2
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.
No matter what situation it is, the hardest part about taking on any task when it comes to self-growth and self development is dealing with you. It feels better to hold up the mirror to everybody else? It makes us feel like we are better somehow.
But guess what? Paying attention to what everybody else is doing is a blinder for minding your own business and digging deeper into our own pile of junk.
When you are playing the role of a codependent, you don’t have time to check in with yourself to see what’s really going on. Your focus is on saving the other person. As mentioned in the last post, codependents stay in the state they are in number one, because of fear, and then number two: insecurities.
“The common areas of insecurities and or brokenness are low self-esteem, low self-worth, poor body image, and not enoughness. Codependents cover up these areas by becoming the Savior of the day in their spouse’s, coworker’s, friend’s, or ministry partner’s life. So, even when you have the come to Jesus moment and stop doing things for the other person, if you don’t take the time to do the self-work, you will be right back to wearing your cape as Savior of the day, and playing Jesus.
Frustration is the catalyst for change. However, that is only if the desire and hard work required to be a better version of you outweighs the pain of staying in the comfort zone of where you are now. “
Creating an empowered new chapter of life involves healing from past hurts. And in turn, healing from past hurts helps us to gain resilience and perspective. In our next post, I will discuss the dangers of enmeshment.
Next in line to our own brokenness, the number one reason women go from one unhealthy relationship to the next is the fear of being alone. The unspoken rule becomes “I gotta have a man.” And when we follow this rule, and not give ourselves sufficient time to heal, we continue the unhealthy relationship patterns of behavior. Space, time, and stillness gives us clarity, discernment, and the ability to hear God’s voice. However, the craving for a new physical relationship often outweighs the cravings in our hearts for God. Listen to the second part of the interview between Jennifer Ramirez and I to hear more on this topic along with why women often fall victim to narcissistic relationships.
An Interview with Jennifer Ramirez Part 2 Podcast Outline Topics
The Unhealthy Relationship Cycle
Knowing Your Worth
Dealing With Our Brokenness
Having a Come to Jesus Moment
The Loneliness Factor
The Perfect Ingredient for a Narcissist
Stepping out in Faith
Stay tuned for Part 3. Interview with Founder & Executive Director of &Rise Jennifer Ramirez
In the meantime, check out Jennifer Ramirez’s website so that you are familiar with all of the services that she has to offer.