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Okay, I'm attempting to simmer down. I just finished another viewing of the animated Disney classic, "Sleeping Beauty."
Like a lot females out there, I have a complicated love/hate view of this fairytale princess depiction.
Over the years, I have bought into, absorbed, aspired to be like and have been resentful of this ingénue archetype. I have run the gamut of emotions, largely because of the all-important beauty factor which is mandatory for our young princess heroine.
It was all I could do to get through this latest viewing of the film.
For, right off the bat, we have our staple Disney music, chiming in, emphasizing just how beautiful our "Sleeping Beauty" is...
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he... Proverbs 23:7
When I was a senior in high school, I had a caricature drawing done with a friend of mine. I remember as we sat for the artist, we tried not to laugh and squirm as we anticipated what the finished product would look like.
And, I'll admit it, when I saw the drawing, I was startled.
I looked at my ginormous head, stubby nose and large mouth and it certainly didn't look like a "beauty shot."
But, it was never supposed to. The caricature was, well, a caricature.
- "a picture, description, or imitation of a person or thing in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect."
I didn't quite appreciate the drawing for what it was: exaggerated. The shock to my system created feelings that confirmed, yes, I was grotesque.
And that drawing memory connects me to another one.
My high school art teacher repeated a motto as we, her students, attempted to draw anything, people included:
"Draw what you see, not what you know."
The concept, if embraced,
You did it again. You messed up. You’re doomed to failure, why even try? These words of condemnation ring often in the heads of those on the recovery journey. Recovery from an eating disorder, addiction, trauma or other life-altering behavior is imperfect, fraught with difficulty and pitfalls. No one wakes up one morning “cured.” There’s no quick fix, and the road to healing and sanctification is often long, hard work, and requires deep spiritual transformation.
One of the most enduring challenges when fighting the battle toward wholeness is silencing the inner critic: the condemning voice that threatens to undo all our progress as we continue our march. It holds an unattainable standard of perfection in recovery over our heads, so that when we do make a misstep or give in to weakness, we see ourselves as utter failures, rather than beloved children of an understanding Father who holds our hand each step of the way.
Accepting God’s grace, even when we fail, ignites within us
When you are inclined to worry -- don't do it! That is the first thing. No matter how much reason there seems to be for worrying -- still, there is your rule. Do not break it -- don't worry! Matters may be greatly tangled, so tangled that you cannot see how they ever can be straightened out; still, don't worry! Troubles may be very real and very sore, and there may not seem a rift in the clouds; nevertheless, don't worry! You say the rule is too high for human observance -- that mortals cannot reach it; or you say there must be some exceptions to it -- that there are peculiar circumstances in which one cannot but worry. But wait a moment. What did the Master teach? "I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear." He left no exceptions.
What did Paul teach? "Don't worry about anything!" He did not say a word about exceptions to the rule -- but left it unqualified and absolute. A good bit of homely, practical, common-sense wisdom, says that there are two classes of things we should not worry about -- things we can help, and things we cannot help.
Evils we can (correct) -- we ought to (correct). If the roof leaks -- we ought to mend it; if the fire is burning low and the room growing cold -- we ought to put on more fuel; if the fence is tumbling down, so as to let our neighbor's cattle into our wheat field -- we had better repair the fence than sit down and worry over the troublesomeness of people's cows; if we have dyspepsia and it makes us feel badly -- we had better look to our diet and our exercise. That is, we are very silly if we worry about things we can help. Help them! That is the heavenly wisdom for that sort of ills or cares -- that is the way to cast that kind of burden on the Lord.
I am the world's worst transgressor
I have murdered millions
I have made people failures
I have made millions of homes miserable
I have changed promising people into hopeless social parasites
I have driven untold millions to despair
I have wasted the weak
I have snared the innocent
I have caused starving children to know me
I have made the hair turn gray on many parents
I have ruined millions and shall seek to yet ruin multiplied millions
My Name is Addiction
World's Greatest Benefactor
I have given life to millions
I have made failures successful I have made millions of homes happy
While going through some of my childhood possessions, I came across something which took on a profound meaning to me: a kitten poster.
This was the first poster I got as a six year old. I immediately was captivated by it because of its cute factor. A small kitten, hiding in a paper bag? What's not to love?
You know, the phrase, "the cat is out of the bag?" Well, I couldn't deny that ditty followed me throughout my life, eating disorder shenanigans and, of course, my disclosure of and recovery from them. After all, within my book, "Thin Enough," I wrote a poem starting the chapter on disclosure, entitled, "The Cat is Out of the Bag."
Disclosure - it is intimidating.
"Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known." Luke 12:2
"Fight Club" is a powerful film, cemented within pop culture. It's notorious, in particular, for the famous line of its main character, Tyler Durden's, often quoted within our society...
"Welcome to Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club!"
And it got me thinking about secrecy.
Being "spiritual" does not mean "made up of spirit." "Spirit" is not a ghost-like substance that inhabits the truly "spiritual Christian." The adjective, as in "spiritual man" and "spiritual body," does not mean ethereal, incorporeal, immaterial, otherworldly, or even unworldly as depicted in movies like The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Ghost, and The Sixth Sense. True spirituality takes form as we live in this world in our own bodies following God's Word in the power of the Holy Spirit.
To be Spiritual is to be guided and motivated by the Holy Spirit. It means obeying His commands as recorded in the Scriptures. The Spiritual man is not someone who floats in midair and hears eerie voices. The Spiritual man is the man who does what the Bible says (Romans 8:4–8). This means, therefore, that we are supposed to get involved in life. God wants us to apply Christian standards everywhere, in every area. Spirituality does not mean retreat and withdrawal from life.1
Spirituality is measured by
Here's an Alcoholics Anonymous-Bible refresher as Early A.A. spoke about using the Bible
In his last major talk to AAs in Detroit, Michigan, in December, 1948, Dr. Bob said these things about Alcoholics Anonymous and the Bible. See The CoFounders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches Their Last Major Talks (NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc; 1972, 1975. This is A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature, Pamphlet P-53:
"When we started in on Bill D. [A.A. Number Three], we had no Twelve Steps, either; we had no Traditions. But we were convinced that the answer to our problems was in the Good Book. To some of us older ones, the parts we found absolutely essential were the Sermon on the Mount, the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and the Book of James," p. 13.
"I didn't write the Twelve Steps. I had nothing to do with the writing of them. . . . We already had the basic ideas, though not in terse and tangible form. We got them, as I said, as a result of our study of the Good Book," p. 14.
In DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers
Years ago, there was a popular song, "Feelings."
As the lyrics go, "feelings, nothing more than feelings...whoa...whoa...whoa..."
(It's bad Karaoke, let me tell ya).
Anyway, I've been giving some thought to the feelings factor. I've seen how it has done some damage in my own life. Temper tantrums, crying jags, meltdowns of epic proportion- whatever you want to call them - feelings, let's be real, rarely lead us to make great decisions which improve our lives.
But wreck our lives? Well, that's a different story.
For those of us in recovery, for those of us coming from abuse, the feelings thing is a tricky course to navigate. In my case, because feelings weren't safe in my home, growing up, I learned to suppress, stuff, until...boom! Explosion happened. Not a good coping mechanism.
And so, a girl of extremes, when life moved on, I was determined to fully express my feelings whenever I had them. Oh yeah. This was fun and games. No one was going to control me!
Hence, I was OUT of control.
The cliché in life is true: it's about balance and moderation. And that was NOT something I was good at. I was not good at dealing, in a healthy with my emotions.
Scripture tells us, like it or not, we all need to do this:
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
Years after the immediate damage of both my eating disorders and my childhood abuse, God has patiently- and gradually- led me into honestly looking at my heart, the factory producing all of these blessed feelings in the first place.