Abuse: It's Deceptions, Forms & Healing

As we already know, abuse can come in many forms: physical, emotional, sexual, verbal, financial, spiritual and so on. For the most part, it is you that is the victim or survivor of abuse. But what if the abuser is you? How do you deal with the fact that you are an abuser yourself? Do you blame it on being abused yourself? Is it a result of growing up watching your parents while one abuses the other? How do you change your behaviour? Do you want to change your behaviour? There are many questions regarding when you are the abuser and there are many roads to choose from of which to travel down. Also, what if you are not the abuser, but the person being abused? What are your options? What actions should you take to end the violence? It is my prayer that this article will lead you in the right direction and start you on the healing path if you have not already started there.

ABUSED - Jesus' sayings about it, what will happen to wicked people, 6 things the Lord hates, Psalms cover many topics of abuse, Job is a good example of a survivor.

SURVIVORS

Here is a list, although not complete, of some Scriptures that can assist you in your healing journey.

SCRIPTURE WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU
Psalm 34:18 - The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; he rescues them from all their troubles. God will never abandon you, EVER.
Psalm 25:2-3 - I trust in You, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat. No one who trusts in You will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others. When you put your trust in God, He will not let you be disgraced before God or man.
Colossians 3:13 - You must make allowances for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. The Bible clearly states that we are to forgive those who hurt us - not to be trampled on, but to forgive.
Romans 12:19-20 - Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, "I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it," says the Lord. Instead, do what the Scriptures say: "If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you." If we love and forgive those who abused us, it piles heaps of coal upon their head. They will feel the guilt and condemnation that comes from your forgiveness. This does not mean you allow yourself to be trampled on or readily abused, but if you are, to offer forgiveness IN YOUR HEART so that God can work His vengeance on them.
Matthew 6:12 - ?and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. When we pray, we are to forgive those who have hurt us because Christ ultimately forgave us for crucifying Him.
Proverbs 27:3 - A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the resentment caused by a fool is heavier than both. To harbour resentment will only deepen our burden and sadden us more.
Psalm 30:11 - You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy? God will give you joy - you need only ask for it.
2 Corinthians 1:4 & 6 - He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. So when weighed down with troubles, it is for your benefit and salvation. For when God comforts us, it is so that we, in turn, can be an encouragement to you. God will comfort us in our times of sorrow. Eventually, we will be able to comfort others in our situation.
Psalm 130:1 - From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help. Even in the deepest pit, God will hear our cry for help.
Romans 8:1 - So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. We, the survivors, are to feel no guilt or shame over what happened. We are free from that oppression.
Psalm 118:5 - In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and rescued me. God will always come to our aid when we ask Him to.
Psalm 149: 4 & 5 - For the Lord delights in His people; he crowns the humble with salvation. Let the faithful rejoice in this honour. Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds. God takes joy in your being you every day.
Psalm 119:76 - Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant. God promises to comfort us with UNFAILING LOVE.
Romans 8:26 - And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don't even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. When we pray, even when we don't know what to pray, the Holy Spirit literally groans for us, and the Father knows what the Spirit groans for, and the Spirit is in harmony with God. When you cry out to Him, He DOES hear you.
Psalm 10:17 - Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will listen to their cries and comfort them. God already knows what you are longing for, and He listens. He also answers them and comforts you.
Psalm 147:3 - He heals the broken-hearted, binding up their wounds. God will heal your broken heart, and heal you, if you let Him work in you.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 - May our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father, who loved us and in his special favour gave us everlasting comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and give you strength in every good thing you do and say. God loved us from the beginning. He has already given us everlasting comfort and hope - we just need to reach out to Him for it.
Psalm 18:21-24 - For I have kept the ways of the Lord; I have not turned from my God to follow evil. For all his laws are constantly before me; I have never abandoned his principles. I am blameless before God; I have kept myself from sin. The Lord rewarded me for doing right, because of the innocence of my hands in his sight. If you were abused in any way - verbally, sexually, emotionally, physically?you are in no way held responsible. In God's eyes you are the victim of someone else's selfish deeds. Regardless of what the perpetrator told you, God says you are blameless. God will draw near to you to offer you healing.
1 Corinthians 1:30 - God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and he gave himself to purchase our freedom. By Jesus dying on the cross, we who have accepted Him are already pure and holy. Survivors often feel shame and guilt about what they have been through. Take heart, knowing that in God's eyes, you are spotless. God sees you as whole, not violated.
Psalm 17:1-2 - O Lord, hear my plea for justice. Listen to my cry for help. Pay attention to my prayer, for it comes from an honest heart. Declare me innocent, for you know those who do right. Talk to God. Be honest with Him about your abuse. He wants to hear from you how you are feeling.
1 Peter 2:19&20 - For God is pleased with you when, for the sake of your conscience, you patiently endure unfair treatment?.if you suffer for doing right and are patient beneath the blows, God is pleased with you. Some things will never change this side of Heaven. Your abuse may stop, but abuse in and of itself, will not.
Romans 11:36 - For everything comes from him; everything exists by his power and is intended for his glory. God, your Creator, gives you vale and it is His breath that keeps you alive.
Revelation 21:1-4 - Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a beautiful bride prepared for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people.. God himself will be with them. He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever. Your pain will not last forever.
Colossians 3:13 - You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 1 Peter 3:9 - Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it. Bless those who cause you pain because if you retaliate and seek revenge you will only hurt yourself even more than you are already hurting.
Psalm 22:24 - For he has not ignored the suffering of the needy. He has not turned and walked away. He has listened to their cries for help. God is not ignoring you. He is right there with you, right now. He is listening to every cry, every moan, and every word you speak.
Psalm 23:4 - Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. God is with you through it all. He was there when you were abused, and He is there right now, as you are healing. There is no place you can go that He will not be there with you.
John 11:33-35 - When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, he was moved with indignation and was deeply troubled. "Where have you put him?" he asked them. They told him, "Lord, come and see." Then Jesus wept. Every time you cry, Jesus cries with you. He is sad when you suffer. He hurts when you are hurting.
Psalm 56:8 - You keep track of all my sorrows.. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Your suffering matters to God because you matter to God. He knows every sorrow you have suffered and it matters to Him that you are hurting.
Psalm 126: 5&6 - Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest. You may be very sad and despaired right now, but you will one day again feel joy and happiness. It doesn't seem like it right now, but the sorrow will eventually end.

SELF-ABUSE - your body is not your own to do with what you please; it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Do all that you do as unto the Lord, What would Jesus do, coping techniques. Try to figure out WHY you are self-abusing.


1 Corinthians 3:16
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
1 Corinthians 6:19
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
2 Corinthians 6:16
16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
1 Peter 1:15 - New International Version (NIV)
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do

1 Corinthians 10:31 - New International Version (NIV)
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.


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ABUSERS OF OTHERS - what will happen to the wicked who do not repent and turn from their wicked ways, Jesus' saying about a person who hurts children, Jesus weeps when you hurt others - you are basically going back 2000 years and saying "crucify" because you are showing contempt for His ways

THE PERPETRATOR
I have done a lot of research on just how God actually and truly views those people who abuse us.

Scripture What God is saying
Romans 13:10 - Love does no wrong to anyone. If you truly love somebody, you will not harm them in any way.
Leviticus 25:17 - Show your fear of God by not taking advantage of each other. I am the Lord your God. If you truly love God, you will not hurt another person.
Psalm 11:5-6 - The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked. He hates everyone who loves violence. He rains down blazing coals on the wicked, punishing them with burning sulphur and scorching winds. God does not tolerate those who abuse other people - He will punish them.
Matthew 26:52 - "Put away your sword," Jesus told him. "Those who use the sword will be killed by the sword." Violent people eventually have violence done to them in due time. Violence begets violence.
1 Corinthians 13:1-7 - If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn't love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift or prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn't love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love I would be no good to anybody. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn't love others, I would be of no value whatsoever. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." We can be talented beyond comparison, but if we do not love God or other people, our talents are useless. Words mean nothing when actions do not accompany them.
Romans 1:24-26 - So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other's bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies?that is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires When you continue to hurt other people and go against God's order, He will eventually let you go and abandon you.
Jude 1:7 - And don't forget the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbouring towns, which were filled with sexual immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and are a warning of the eternal fire that will punish all who are evil. Those who do not repent of their sinful abuse of others will have the same fate as Sodom and Gomorrah.
Romans 13:13-14 - We should be decent and true in everything we do, so that everyone can approve of our behaviour. Don't participate in wild parties and getting drunk, or in adultery and immoral living, or in fighting and jealousy. But let the Lord Jesus Christ take control of you, and don't think of ways to indulge your evil desires. God warns against indulging our own selfish desires, which is what happens when people abuse other people. God warns those who abuse people.
Psalm 9:16 - The Lord is known for His justice. The wicked have trapped themselves in their own snares. God is known for His justice. The wicked often fall prey to their own abuses.
Ezekiel 9:9-10, Job 35:14, 2 Chronicles 19:7, Job 36:6 & 17 - look these ones up God does not tolerate abuse and brings to justice anyone who abuses another human being.
Job 34:12 - There is no truer statement than this: God will not do wrong. The Almighty cannot twist justice. God will not hurt you or make you do anything wrong - EVER.
Zephaniah 3:19 - And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones. God will not look past somebody who abuses another person.
Proverbs 26:27 - If you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself. If you roll a boulder down on others, it will roll back and crush you. What goes around comes around. What has been done to you, will eventually happen to the person who abused you, or worse. God's justice.
Psalm 51:1-4 - Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my shameful deeds - they haunt me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. Those who have abused you, in order to be forgiven by God, must first realize they have sinned. God knows the truth - even what is done in secret, God knows about. The perpetrator must realize there was no excuse for what s⁄he did to you, and possibly others. They must recognize how shameful it was and how ugly it made them on the inside. They must beg for God's mercy and be truly sorry - true repentance means that actions must accompany the words of remorse. God will forgive them, if they are truly repentant, but they must be completely aware of what kind of harm they have done.
2 Corinthians 12:21 - Yes, I am afraid that when I come, God will humble me again because of you. And I will have to grieve because many of you who sinned earlier have not repented of your impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure. Actions must accompany the words of repentance for it to be true repentance. Just saying you are sorry doesn't cut it. Abusers must show that they are sorry in their actions.

ABUSERS OF OTHERS IF YOU HAVE BEEN ABUSED - you above all others should know the negative impact it will have on your victims' lives, you have become what God hates, you have become what you hated and feared, find ways to deal with your emotions, turn yourself in to the police for help and rehab, seek counsel. You will not have any leniency on Judgment Day if you do these things to others. Blunt, yes, but it needs to be. You of all people in the world, know the horrible things abuse can do to a person's body, mental state, emotional well-being, and overall health. You will be judged worse than those who have abused without being abused because you have walked in their shoes and now you are punishing others for a crime they did not commit to you. If this is you, you seriously need to get help, Now. The above list applies to you more so than the regular perpetrator. You know God, you know the pain of abuse, and yet you continue to sin. You will be held accountable for your actions and judged as such.

FOR ALL - coping techniques, support systems, crisis lines, emotional releases that are positive, read the Bible - especially the Psalms, pray, attend church faithfully, get involved in positive activities such as at church or in the community where you and others are not at risk.

The biggest obstacle to overcome and to which there are many controversial issues over, is forgiveness. It is ESSENTIAL to healing from any kind of abuse, whether you are hurting yourself, others or any other form of abuse. Just look at the myriad of Scriptures to back it up:

Forgiveness is not:

  1. Letting the person who hurt you off the hook
  2. Saying that what happened was okay
  3. Belittling the pain you endured and may still endure
  4. Excusing someone's actions
  5. Ignoring your issues and pain
  6. Allowing someone to take advantage of you
  7. Being a doormat, letting people walk all over you
  8. What Satan wants you to do
  9. Saying you have to like the person or be their friend
  10. Simple
  11. Easy
  12. Quick

Forgiveness is:

  1. Part of God's plan and will
  2. Challenging
  3. A process
  4. Very hard to do
  5. Recognizing that we have been hurt unjustly, and then turning the matter over to God
  6. Taking back the control of your life from the abuser(s) - not giving them the power to continue to hurt you or consume your thoughts and emotion
  7. Enriching our lives by letting go of a painful past
  8. Giving up your resentments
  9. Releasing ourselves from bondage
  10. Allowing God to truly forgive them AND you
  11. An essential step in healing
  12. A commandment to Christians.

Several passages in the Bible plainly tell us that we are to forgive others the same way God has already forgiven us:


Colossians 3:13
says to forgive others the way God has forgiven you.
Luke 6:37
says to forgive others, then you will be forgiven. (It is a conditional promise.)
Matthew 6:12
says as we forgive others, God will forgive us.
Matthew 6:14-15
tells us if we forgive others, God will forgive us. If we do not forgive those who have hurt us, God will not forgive us.
Mark 11:25
says that when we are praying, if we remember somebody who has hurt us, in our hearts we are to forgive that person so God can continue to forgive and bless us.
Luke 17:3-4
tells us if someone who has hurt us comes to us and asks us for forgiveness, we are to forgive them - EVERY TIME!
Proverbs 20:22
states that we are not to pay back evil for evil, but to wait for God to delver true and fair justice.
Romans 12:17
says you are leave justice for God to determine and for Him to do what is right for everyone.
2 Peter 2:13
says punishment WILL come to those who have hurt us.
2 Thessalonians 1:6
says God will pay back trouble to those who hurt us.
Proverbs 24:29
warms us to not even think of wanting to get even with somebody.

All these Scriptures tell us to:

  1. forgive
  2. leave the matter in God's hand
  3. not to take matters into our own hands and
  4. not to pay back the harm done to you.

We are not to judge. We did not create this world, so why would we be adequate or allowed to judge it?

We are to forgive those who hurt us, not wish them ill-will. When we forgive them in our hearts, God in turn can forgive us AND them. God will repay the evil done to you, by all who hurt you. Their day will come - if you let it - in God's time and in God's hands. If, on the other hand, we do not forgive and continue to harbour resentment towards those who hurt us, God cannot continue to properly bless us like He so deserves to do and cannot fully forgive and work in the lives of those who hurt you.

How many times have we, ourselves, sinned - sometimes doing the same thing over and over - and yet each time we went to God in humbleness and sorrow, He freely and lovingly forgave us each time?

If God designed and created us like Him, in His image, is able and willing to forgive us, who sin so easily, then why would He expect any less from us, His heirs, who continue to sin against God, ourselves and others?

On the next few pages are some things you can do to cope and get through tough times. It is not exhaustive, but should help until you can get the professional help all abuse sufferers need, whether they are hurting themselves, others, and especially if they have been abused and are abusing others now.

MY CHRISTIAN VIRTUES

God says I am to be CHEERFUL in my attitude. - Phil. 4:4, Col. 3:16
I will have a CHEERFUL attitude toward God and others.

God says I am to be CLEANLY in my person and my home. - 2 Cor. 7:1
I will be a CLEAN person in my self and in my home.

God grants me COURAGE when I need it. - Phil. 1:27-28

I have COURAGE when I walk with God.

God desires that I live DILIGENTLY in my life activities. - Rom. 12:10-13
I will work DILIGENTLY in all I do and say.

God says I am to be DISCREET (wise⁄tactful) in my dealings. - Eph. 5:15-17
I will be DISCREET when dealing with life's situations.

God will help me ENDURE anything that comes my way. - 2 Tim. 2:3
I will be able to ENDURE whatever comes my way with God's help.

God desires that I live by and have FAITH. - Mark 11:22-24
I will live by FAITH and walk by FAITH.

God says I am to be FAITHFUL to Him and others. - 1 Cor. 4:2
I will be FAITHFUL to God and to those I interact with.

God says I am to FORGIVE others. - Eph. 4:31-32
I will be FORGIVING toward those who harm⁄hurt me.

God wants me to be FRIENDLY. - Rom. 12:15, 18
I will be FRIENDLY to everyone equally.

God says I am to have an attitude of GRATITUDE. - Phil. 4:6
I will BE THANKFUL in all that happens in my life.

God says I am to be HONEST. - Rom 12:17
I will be HONEST in all my situations now and in future.

God says I am to be HONOURABLE. - 1 Pet. 2:17
I will be an HONOURABLE person at all times.

God says I am to be HUMBLE in life. - Phil. 2:3-11
I will live HUMBLY before God and others.

God says I am to be LIBERAL in my giving. - 2 Cor. 9:6-15
I will GIVE LIBERALLY.

God says I am to LOVE Him and others. - 1 John 4:7, 8
I will LOVE GOD and OTHERS.

God says I am to be a MEEK (gentle) person. - Mat. 5:5
I will be GENTLE in my actions and words.

God says I am to have MERCY on others. - Mat. 5:7
I will be MERCIFUL when dealing with people.

God desires that I be OBEDIENT towards Him and my leaders. - Rom. 13:1-7
I will humbly OBEY those in authority over me.

God says I am to be long on PATIENCE with others. - Heb. 10:36, 37
I will be PATIENT in all situations.

God desires that I be a PEACEFUL person. - Rom. 12:18
I will live in PEACE with God and others.

God says I am to live PRUDENTLY. - James 1:19
I will be SENSIBLE in all my dealings.

God says I am to be PURE IN MY THNKING. - Phil. 4:8
I will focus on PURE THOUGHTS.

God says I am to be PURE in my way of living. - 2 Tim. 2:22
I will live a life of PURITY.

God says I am to be STEADFAST. - Eph. 6:10-20
I will be PERSISTENT in my daily walk.

God says I am to have SYMPATHY for others. - 1 Pet. 3:8-9
I will be SYMPATHETIC toward people in my life.

God says I am to be TEMPERANT in life. - 1 Cor. 9:25:27
I will live a life of SOBRIETY.

God says I am to be TRUTHFUL at all times. - Eph. 4:14-16, 25, 29
I will be TRUTHFUL at all times.

Today

  1. TODAY I WILL NOT STRIKE BACK:
    If someone is rude, if someone is impatient, if someone is unkind....I will not respond in a like manner.
  2. TODAY I WILL ASK GOD TO BLESS MY "ENEMY":
    If I come across someone who treats me harshly or unfairly, I will quietly ask GOD to bless that individual. I understand the "enemy" could be a family member, neighbor, co-worker or stranger.
  3. TODAY I WILL BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT I SAY:
    I will carefully choose and guard my words being certain that I do not spread gossip.
  4. TODAY I WILL GO THE EXTRA MILE:
    I will find ways to help share the burden of another person.
  5. TODAY I WILL FORGIVE:
    I will forgive any hurts or injuries that come my way.
  6. TODAY I WILL DO SOMETHING NICE FOR SOMEONE, BUT I WILL DO IT SECRETLY:
    I will reach out anonymously and bless the life of another.
  7. TODAY I WILL TREAT OTHERS THE WAY I WISH TO BE TREATED:
    I will practice the golden rule- do unto others as I would have them do unto you-with everyone I encounter.
  8. TODAY I WILL RAISE THE SPIRITS OF SOMEONE WHO IS DISCOURAGED:
    My smile, my words, my expression of support, can make the difference to someone who is wrestling with life.
  9. TODAY I WILL NURTURE MY BODY:
    I will eat less; I will eat only healthy foods.
    I will thank GOD for my body.
  10. TODAY I WILL GROW SPIRITUALLY:
    I will spend a little more time in prayer today:
    I will begin reading something spiritual or inspirational today;
    I will find a quiet place (at some point during this day) and listen to GOD's voice

It's quiet. It's early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black.
The world is still asleep. The day is coming. In a few moments the day
will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun.
The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day.

The calm of the solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of
the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by
decisions to be made and deadlines to be met.

For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day's demands. It
is now that I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I'm free to
choose. And so I choose.

I choose love...
No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness, I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.

I choose joy...
I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical...the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.

I choose peace...
I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.

I choose patience...
I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll invite him to do so. Rather than complaining that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.

I choose kindness...
I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.

I choose goodness...
I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.

I choose faithfulness...
Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.

I choose gentleness...
Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.

I choose self-control...
I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day.
If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.

[When God Whispers Your Name
Copyright 1994, Max Lucado
Word Publishing
Used by permission]

WE ARE NOT ALONE

We need to feel more to understand others.
We need to love more to be loved back.
We need to cry more to cleanse ourselves.
We need to laugh more to enjoy ourselves.
We need to see more other than our own little fantasies.
We need to hear more and listen to the needs of others.
We need to give more and take less.
We need to share more and own less.
We need to look more and realize that we are not so different from one another.
We need to create a world where all can peacefully live the life they choose.

WHO WE ARE IN GOD

Who God Is
He is our Lord He is light
He is our salvation He is a teacher
He is good He is my Savior
He is our defense of life He is beauty
What God Does
He defends us He hears my voice
He keeps us safe He receives us unconditionally
He will hide me He is sovereign
He lifts us up He protects us from false witness
He puts us above circumstances
Who We Are
We are worshipers We experience rejection
We seek God We are fearful
We are insecure because we do not ask We have enemies
We need leadership We are impatient
We are God's child We are servants of God
We are petitioners in prayer
What We Do
Not fearful, but trust the worthiness of God We are confident
We pray, we seek, we ask We meditate in His temple
We wait upon the Lord We seek the Lord's face
We desire to be in the house of the Lord We sing praises with joy
We ask of God our petitions We take courage

A NOTE FROM PAUL

Whatever is true
Whatever is noble
Whatever is right
Whatever is pure
Whatever is lovely
Whatever is admirable
If anything is excellent
If anything is praiseworthy

THINK ABOUT SUCH THINGS.

My favourite list of how to cope:

  1. Keep a daily journal.
  2. Write down your dreams and nightmares.
  3. Meditate and⁄or pray.
  4. Take naps.
  5. Give yourself rest breaks.
  6. Draw (or do another visual art).
  7. Dance by yourself.
  8. Sing in the shower or car.
  9. Buy yourself flowers.
  10. Spend time in nature.
  11. Volunteer.
  12. Learn to say no with a smile.
  13. Speak your truth gently and clearly from your heart.
  14. Ask questions; request an explanation.
  15. Tell yourself and others what makes you happy.
  16. Ask for what you need.
  17. Be willing to negotiate.
  18. Offer to help someone else.
  19. Join a support group.
  20. Ask someone to mentor you.
  21. Say something kind to a stranger.
  22. Clean a closet and give something away.
  23. Take bubble baths by candlelight.
  24. Play your favourite music.
  25. Get a massage or exchange one.
  26. Do stretching exercises or learn yoga.
  27. Close your eyes and take deep breaths to center yourself.
  28. Schedule artist dates alone. (See Julia Cameron's books.)
  29. Listen to or compose your favourite music.
  30. Bake bread, or multi-grain low-fat muffins, or anything you want.
  31. Create a sacred space or altar with your spiritual treasures.
  32. Design personal rituals and ceremonies.
  33. Give yourself rewards (they can be cost-free).
  34. Recycle and reuse; leave only footprints.
  35. Learn basic science.
  36. Practice critical thinking.
  37. Keep your agreements.
  38. Keep your word.
  39. Dispute your negative thoughts to combat depression.
  40. Do creative writing simply for your own pleasure.
  41. Write poetry.
  42. Make a list of things you're good at (100 minimum).
  43. Take long walks--in nature, if possible.
  44. Keep a (lovely) notebook of your ideas; decorate it yourself.
  45. Learn to say, "Oh, well," when things don't go as you planned.
  46. Remember: Worry works only when it leads to effective action.
  47. Eat by candlelight-- even when you're alone.
  48. Play with children's toys and crafts: clay, finger-paint, crayons.
  49. Set realistic goals.
  50. Complete projects.
  51. Accomplish something you'll be proud of.
  52. Defy your limiting beliefs: I can do that!
  53. Compliment yourself; pat yourself on the back.
  54. Thank yourself.
  55. Ask for help when you need it.
  56. Cook a good meal for yourself alone.
  57. Grow fresh herbs-start with one potted plant.
  58. Renew the pleasure of an old craft or former hobby.
  59. Face a fear by doing something that's a little hard for you.
  60. Allow yourself to be imperfect and only human.
  61. Bake cookies and give them away.
  62. Praise yourself.
  63. Do a good deed.
  64. Ask someone you admire to coach you.
  65. Study an interesting topic for a year and become an expert.
  66. Learn a new skill.
  67. Make a donation.
  68. Do more of what makes you feel good about yourself.
  69. Offer to teach another person something you do well.
  70. Write down your creative ideas.
  71. Listen to the wind in the trees.
  72. Carry an idea notebook.
  73. Buy yourself some art supplies.
  74. Create your own retreat.
  75. Take a walk in the rain.
  76. Introduce yourself to strangers you want to meet.
  77. Have a pet and cuddle it-a sure source of unconditional love.
  78. Read something inspirational or motivational every day.
  79. Practice self-loving (See Betty Dodson's book).
  80. Celebrate sensuality.
  81. Make soup.
  82. Rent a movie you love.
  83. Become an expert on something.
  84. Daydream and watch your creativity bloom.
  85. Create your own tea ceremony.
  86. Get up before dawn and watch the sun rise.
  87. Post a quote that inspires you on your computer or mirror, where you'll see it every day.
  88. Do a crummy chore that's haunted you and feel proud you got it done.
  89. Call someone you know is lonely.
  90. Send a love letter to a good friend.
  91. Write notes to yourself for encouragement and place them in pockets of clothing you'll wear next season.
  92. Write letters.
  93. Read, read, read.
  94. Curb your dogma.
  95. Mail yourself the letter from your future self that you wrote at the end of Chapter 1 of Dream Back Your Life.
  96. Buy yourself a down pillow.
  97. Plant flowers.
  98. Write a letter to your newspaper and make your opinion heard.
  99. Give yourself permission to do something imperfectly.
  100. Make a wish.
  101. Reread a book you loved as a child.

10 ways to protect and nurture your self

  1. Treat yourself as though you were your own best friend.
  2. Write down a list of your own strengths. Both your strengths in this job, and in every other job⁄situation you have ever experienced. Stick your list on a wall where you can see it each morning.
  3. Know that what is happening to you now is simply a short detour in the journey of your life. Try to look at your life as a whole. Write a list of everything you've achieved so far in your life. Write a list of everything you still want to achieve.
  4. Keep a journal of your feelings. Writing down your feelings helps you to release the anger and frustration you are feeling. As you write down your feelings, you will find yourself also writing down your hopes and dreams. This exercise can help you to focus on what is important to you in the long term, rather than what is happening to you at present. Remember things happen for a reason.
  5. Don't push the river. Wait for it to flow. Accept that it is okay "not to know." You don't always have to be in control. It is at times that you are confused, that new creative thoughts enter your mind. When you are 'out of control' you are also open to new opportunities.
  6. Use your time constructively. Don't waste time complaining about the situation with others. Rather use the time to do something you've always wanted to do, but never had the time for. Learn a new skill. Read a book. Do some research. Meet new people. Network.
  7. Spend more time on hobbies. Remember you are more than the work you do. Expand your horizons. Take up new hobbies. Spend time with family and friends. Do something different each day!
  8. Keep positive. Read positive motivational books. Collect positive quotations and email them to your friends. Spend your time with positive people. Don't fall into the trap of listening to, or feeding off other people's insecurities.
  9. Listen to your inner self. It will tell you everything you need to be doing. Do some self development work. Read books on personal transformation. Keep a journal.
  10. Do one nice thing for yourself each day. Treat yourself. You deserve it

36 Christian Ways to Reduce Stress

  1. Pray
  2. Go to bed on time.
  3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
  4. Say "No," to projects⁄activities that won't fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.
  5. Delegate tasks to capable others.
  6. Simplify and un-clutter your life.
  7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)
  8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
  9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together.
  10. Take one day at a time.
  11. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.
  12. Live within your budget.
  13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.
  14. K. M. S. (Keep Mouth Shut.) This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.
  15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.
  16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.
  17. Get enough exercise.
  18. Eat right.
  19. Get organized so everything has its place.
  20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.
  21. Write thoughts and inspirations down.
  22. Everyday, find time to be alone.
  23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait until its time to go to bed to try and pray.
  24. Make friends with Godly people.
  25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.
  26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good "Thank you Jesus!"
  27. Laugh.
  28. Laugh some more!
  29. Take your work seriously, but yourself not at all.
  30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).
  31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).
  32. Sit on your ego.
  33. Talk less; listen more.
  34. Slow down.
  35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
  36. Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before.

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  1. Make up your mind to be happy - learn to find pleasure in simple things.
  2. Make the best of circumstances. No one has everything and everyone has something of sorrow.
  3. Don't take yourself too seriously.
  4. Don't let criticism worry you - you can't please everybody.
  5. Don't let your neighbors set your standards - be yourself.
  6. Do things you enjoy doing but stay out of debt.
  7. Don't borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than actual ones.
  8. Since hate poisons the soul, don't cherish enmities and grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy.
  9. Have many interests. If you can't travel, read about places.
  10. Don't hold post-mortems or spend time brooding over sorrows and mistakes.
  11. Don't be the one who never gets over things.
  12. Keep busy at something. A very busy person never has time to be unhappy.

- Robert Louis Stevenson

ADULT SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ABUSE

This is for you. Through my love of writing, I wanted to express myself in a way I could help others. It feels good to write. It's my gift in life, and I choose to use it to the best of my ability. If I can help just one person, then I have succeeded in my goal. Please enjoy what comes from my heart, as well as thought provoking quotes from authors unknown.
Cheryl

Always hold your head high and be proud of who you are. Remember how far you have come and what you've accomplished in life despite your past. You are a survivor.
Don't let your abuse overcome your chance for happiness. If you let it control your life; then your perpetrators have won. He⁄she no longer has control, you do. You have the power to overcome your abuse; you have the courage and strength to succeed.
Understand you are not alone in your journey to heal. Adult Survivors world wide, stand with you hand in hand. Counsellors, too, are a valuable part of the healing process. Don't be afraid to invest time with them in your life's journey. They are not judgmental; they are compassionate, caring people.
Let your today's be filled with happiness, your tomorrows with visions of hope. Yesterday is already a dream; tomorrow is only a vision, but today well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Take time to invest in yourself, you're worth it. Do something that makes you feel wonderful, truly glad to be alive. Go for walks; reflect during your quiet times. Reflect on what's good in your life; your family, your friends; those who love you.

See how important and truly unique you are. You are one of a kind, no one can replace you. God put you here for a reason. You matter. In this world, you will make a difference in the lives you've touched, leaving a lasting mark in their hearts forever.
Use your inner-strength and realize how strong you really are. You've overcome insurmountable odds and survived. Feel proud of yourself and know you've done the best in your circumstances.
Remember, you can close your eyes for the things you don't want to see, but you can't close your heart to the things you don't want to feel.
Value what's most important in life, you. You only live once. Cherish the life, God has given you. Nurture yourself, love yourself unconditionally.
Invite happiness into your heart. Embrace your loved ones, family and friends. Friendship truly is the gold thread that ties hearts together. Keep them close to your heart throughout your journey in life.
Voice your pain, let yourself be heard. There is always someone who will listen with an open heart. If you can only whisper, keep trying, no matter how hard it seems it will get easier.
Open your mind to success. Being successful gives you such a sense of achievement. Believing in you is the first secret to success. Always believe in yourself.
Release your pain by focusing on the good things in life. The positive out weighs the negative by far. See beyond your emotional pain and realize what it's doing to you physically. Suicide attempts, substance abuse, self-harming, are ways of showing pain, crying out for help. See the good in yourself, learn to love, and most importantly, forgive. Only then, can you stop the cycle of self-abuse.
Share with other survivors. It's amazing what can be learned from each other, a wealth of information. There are so many people that stay silent, and through reading stories, learn that they are not alone. Through shared experiences, survivors become stronger in facing their own. Sharing means healing; healing brings inner-peace.

Open your eyes and see things as they really are. Don't be blinded by your past. Your eyes are the windows to your soul, let them guide you toward a better future filled with hope and happiness.
Focus on making better choices. Whether you choose to enrich your lives with those choices is ultimately your decision. Only you can change your life, only you have the power to do that. If at first you don't succeed, try and try again.

Smile and don't give up on yourself. Giving up is not an option, nor is giving in. Great results cannot be achieved at once, and you must be satisfied to advance in life as you walk, step by step.
Educate others about sexual abuse. Speak from your heart and share through your experience. In doing this, your abuse will not be in vain. By educating children, they become stronger; they can protect themselves and survive the unspeakable if it happens. If they have knowledge, they use it, and seek help from those they love.
X's and O's mean kisses and hugs. It's important you feel comfortable in sharing them. Don't hold back; express your emotions and show others you truly care. Feel good about you; feel good about showing those you love through expression. Kisses and hugs go a long way.
Use words to help you heal. Write your thoughts and feelings; fill empty pages with hopes and dreams. Journal daily, bring life to a book you can call your own. Words are powerful, their messages instilled in the minds of those who read them. Words can heal; they bring solace, comfort and inner-peace. They can enrich your life, forever changing who you are, who you want to become.
Accept, love, and forgive the child within. In accepting and forgiving, you will learn to love and respect who you are now. In doing this, you become whole and can then nurture yourself to become a healthy adult. Only then, can you begin your journey to happiness.
Learn to enjoy life, live each day to the fullest and cherish new memories. Imprint them in your heart, never let them go. There are no guarantees for tomorrow, so live for today.

Always have goals and don't give up until you reach them. We all have hopes and dreams; it's up to us to live them. If you want to reach your dream, you must stay on course, past the point you would normally have given up.
Be the best you can be, reach out to others, giving a part of yourself in the simplest way. A smile, a hug, a twinkle in your eye could make all the difference. A person remembers that smile; they remember your warmth, your compassionate side. It's never forgotten.
Understand your need and love of family and find that inner-peace you so desperately need. When you do, you will find only happiness in your heart. Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches.
Seek comfort from your loved ones. Embrace in their love and let it heal you inside. Grow in their strength, become stronger, become like the willow tree that bends in the wind instead of breaking.
Envision a better future when you become happier, more content with who you are. To do this, learn to love yourself; learn to forgive yourself and trust in those you love. Find inner-peace in your heart, mind and soul. Know the trials and tribulations of life will always be there. The rollercoaster rides shall never cease. Learn to deal with them the best way you know how. Stay strong. Stay positive. Be the best you can be; be proud of who you are. You are a survivor.

How to Love Yourself

by Louise Hay
STOP ALL CRITICISM.Criticism never changes a thing. Refuse to criticize yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. Everybody changes. When you criticize yourself, your changes are negative. When you approve of yourself, your changes are positive.
DON'T SCARE YOURSELF.Stop terrorizing yourself with your thoughts. It's a dreadful way to live. Find a mental image that gives you pleasure (mine is yellow roses), and immediately switch your scary thought to a pleasure thought.
BE GENTLE AND KIND AND PATIENT.Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself as you learn the new ways of thinking. Treat yourself as you would someone you really loved.
BE KIND TO YOUR MIND.Self-hatred is only hating your own thoughts. Don't hate yourself for having the thoughts. Gently change your thoughts.
PRAISE YOURSELF.Criticism breaks down the inner spirit. Praise builds it up. Praise yourself as much as you can. Tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing.
SUPPORT YOURSELF.Find ways to support yourself. Reach out to friends and allow them to help you. It is being strong to ask for help when you need it.
BE LOVING TO YOUR NEGATIVES.Acknowledge that you created them to fulfill a need. Now you are finding new, positive ways to fulfill those needs. So lovingly release the old negative patterns.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY.Learn about nutrition. What kind of fuel does your body need to have optimum energy and vitality? Learn about exercise. What kind of exercise can you enjoy? Cherish and revere the temple you live in.
MIRROR WORK. Look into your eyes often. Express this growing sense of love you have for yourself. Forgive yourself looking into the mirror. Talk to your parents looking into the mirror. Forgive them too. At least once a day say: "I love you, I really love you!"
LOVE YOURSELF... DO IT NOW. Don't wait until you get well, or lose the weight, or get the new job, or the new relationship. Begin now - and do the best you can.

~ ~ ~

If these are not enough coping techniques, get your Bible out and start reading the Psalms starting at Psalm 1 and read until you feel peace in your soul. You will know when that is.
Look in your local phone book for distress centres you can call in times of great need and crisis. I utilize them at least 2 times each week and it prevents me from harming myself.
Ask your doctor if you need medication, either for a short period of time, or like me, forever.
Talk to a friend you trust dearly.
Ask God to walk with you and EVEN carry you as in Footprints In the Sand.
It is never too late to change.

ALWAYS REMEMBER - GOD LOVES YOU!!!!

Write out what you are feeling, thinking and going through. It gets it out so it is not junking up your mind with harmful and negative thoughts.
Find a local support group you can attend for the social support that is ESSENTIAL to recovery of any kind. You have to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH!!! This is the purpose of support groups.
READ, READ, READ books of self-abuse, recovery from abuse, recovery from being an abuser. Always educate yourself to learn why you do the things you do and how to overcome the highest and most difficult obstacles in your way. Remember the old saying, "There is nothing that is going to happen to me today, that You and I Lord, cannot go through together." And another goodie right from the Bible - With God, all things are possible. And one more - This too shall pass.

Have hope.
You can overcome if you have the mindset that you WANT to overcome. Now you have the ideas and resources to help you get through your recovery. May you be blessed and find comfort, peace, love, joy and understanding in the Gentle arms of the Saviour Jesus Christ - the Counsellor, Everlasting [good] Father and friend to all who want to be His friend. (Psalm 18:2)

~ * ~

Copyright 2007-2014 by Sheri Liegh Adams.
All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Sheri lives in Canada.

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