Boundaries

Nature vs. Nurture: An Unanswered Question?

Nature versus nurture: it's still an unanswered question. And that mystery applies to all things appearance.

Faces have always captured my attention. I am fascinated by the variety of features and expressions they contain.

A Couple of Kittens...

I first was obsessed with my mother's set of three cat figurines. There was one "mother cat" and her two smaller white kittens. I was especially preoccupied with the kittens.

And here, perhaps, is where I encountered one of my first harmful disordered ideas about image. I viewed one kitten as cuter, a/k/a, "better" than the other. Why? It was because this kitten- let's call her "Sally"- appeared to have a sweeter, more pleasing, "good kitty" facial expression. The other kitten, however, had more of a "Sophia- Loren- exotic- eyeliner-drawn- face" situation going on.

And, somehow, to me, that kitten face - let's call her "Sophia"- symbolized more mischief and displeasing, "bad kitty" behaviors than that of innocent-and-cute-looking Sally.

Indeed, in this kitten context, my toddler self was already learning inaccurate appearance associations all on my own.

But soon, other influences contributed to my preferences. Adults also instructed me about which emotions, often depicted in the human face, were acceptable - and which were not.

An Image Utensil?

The Mother-Daughter Tug-of-War

It's been said the mother-daughter relationship is the most complicated dynamic around. Therefore, most of us can see why eating disorder behaviors often arise within these relationships. The influential modeling of mother on daughter impacts her beauty values.

But the issue goes beyond just appearance; the enmeshment creates a tug of war for control and autonomy.

Know the Difference: Healthy or Unhealthy Support System?

"Know the difference between those who stay to feed the soil and those who come to grab the fruit."


This sobering statement recently came to my attention. I don't know who originally said it, but it resonates, all the same.

It has personally factored in heavily as I have learned, firsthand, who was a part of my healthy support system...and who was NOT.

Indeed, this concept plays a MAJOR role for each of us as we navigate our addiction/recovery journeys. It is usually not too long in life, before we encounter the all too common cliché dysfunction of co-dependency, narcissism and/or exploitation.

The Importance of "STOP!"

That’s odd for me. I want to focus on moving forward, dreaming big dreams, taking risks. And lately, for some reason I don’t understand, I seem to hear STOP.

I don’t think it’s about the big things, I’ve no sense about stopping those efforts. So I’ve wondered about STOP as it relates to the ordinary, everyday stuff. I think I might have noticed something interesting.

STOP is nearly always useful advice when I’m uncertain.

Are you lost? STOP. Don’t keep wandering, compounding the problem. Get your bearings. Ask for help. (Hint: Works for more than driving.)

The 12 Steps for Those Who Love an Alcoholic

1. We admitted we were powerless over the lives of our loved ones.

2. We came to believe that Christ could change our way of thinking.

3. We made a decision to turn our will and lives over to Christ, COMPLETELY.

4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of OURSELVES.

5. We admitted to Christ, ourselves, and to another person the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. We were entirely ready to have Christ remove all these defects
of character.

7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Phyical, Spiritual & Sexual Abuse Workshop Transcript #4 (of 4)Premium Content

Transcript for Session #1
Transcript for Session #2
Transcript for Session #3

Heavenly Father....
we thank You for Dvora who has put so much work into this workshop....
we ask Your mighty blessings upon her and her teachings today....
open our hearts, spirits and minds to the Biblical truths you would have us learn.....
Bring healing to everyone who comes here today.....
in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

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17 Ways To Wear Yourself Out

treadmill
Do you ever feel like you’re on a treadmill—lots of activity, not much progress?

One of my big personal issues is confusing busyness and productivity. I often reach the end of the day and realize that I’ve done a lot, but not much has gotten done. Am I the only one?

I also recognize that passionate productivity energizes me while busyness wears me out. I’m trying to do better at setting goals to direct my efforts, but I’m also recognizing that a number of personal attitudes contribute to the energy-draining side of my activities.

The Under-Discussed Damage of Spiritual Abuse (Part 2)

This is a two part article. See: Part One

Therefore, concerning what is being asked of or expected from us, which approach are we seeing from the particular leadership in question?

This?

Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity. Titus 2:7

Or this?

And many will follow after their sensuality, through whom the way of the truth will be maligned. 2 Peter 2:2

The Under-Discussed Damage of Spiritual Abuse (Part 1)

This is a two part article. See: Part Two

When someone mentions the term, "spiritual abuse" today, sexual molestation of a child often comes to mind. We have too many accounts of priests, pastors and Sunday school teachers preying on the children in their care. And yes, sadly, that is spiritual abuse.

But this kind of abuse can also take on a more subtle form as well. Its definition hinges on the manipulation of power enforced by a spiritual authority figure, with the abused party feeling helpless and coerced.

Children, of course, spring to mind as the most vulnerable. But the net spreads wider.

And a heartbreaking reality emerges: loving God does not exclude us from being hurt, even in the seemingly Godly setting of church. We are all susceptible when it comes to spiritual abuse.

"...Many spiritual abuse victims find themselves struggling to make decisions, and may even have a hard time disciplining themselves to do basic everyday functions such as getting out of bed and brushing their teeth. For so long, we allowed the group/leader to think for us, formulate our opinions for us, and make decisions for us. No wonder so many of us struggle for many years learning how to find ourselves again after leaving a spiritually abusive situation..."
"Spiritual Identity Crisis?" www.churchabuse.com
Used with permission.

Marriage: Change of Attitude = Change of Heart

How can we concentrate more on the blessings of our marriage? How can we discover the goodness in the person we married? By focusing on what brings contentment and happiness. For instance, just a simple switch in attitude can make a person have more compassion for the person they married. We have to stop believing in the lies we hear.

The world likes to feed gullible people things that aren’t true. Some people are susceptible to these untruths because they want to believe them. I wanted to believe them and I did believe them. We want answers to our marriage problems and we’ll practically listen to anyone who has something to say that we want to hear. Anything that will provide the validation we need for our own rotten actions. Over time, believing in the lies of the world builds an unhealthy attitude in us. I receive emails from women who actually believe that their husband committed adultery because of something they did or didn’t do. This is a lie generated from the world. It is incorrect.

Unhealthy attitudes keep us stuck and trapped in our sins. Our sins are whatever we live for and whatever is controlling us. Unhealthy attitudes steer us away from God’s love and into the follies and sinfulness of the world. But if we are following Jesus than we are truly free from the lies of the world. God’s children do not search for their answers from the world. That is what those who have no understanding do. They believe in the lies of the world and that is why they are often referred to as blind. Wisdom comes from God because God is wisdom.

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