Forgiveness of Self

Fear of Disapproval

I recently came across an image post on the internet. It was a female's body, in workout gear. And it was accompanied by this statement:

"For Every 'Comment', I'll do 10 sit ups, For Every 'Like', I'll do 5 squats. Go, go, go!"

Furthermore, this post was also followed by a series of emoticons to emphasize its message: three arm curled biceps and one gold trophy.

(Sigh... Here we go again...)

Exercise, goals, striving for improvement/perfection...This is where I squirm, faced with posts as these.

Indeed, there is much emphasis on fitness in today's culture. There are countless gyms, trainers, exercise equipment, programs, workout clothes and shoes, as well as a variety of athletic activities from which to choose. It's overwhelming.

Yet there's still a rise in eating disorders and in such health issues as

Body Programming: The Disturbing Onesie

Negative body image, via merchandise and marketing, strikes again.

The Wry Baby, an apparel company, has sparked controversy for selling onesies which read "I Hate My Thighs."

Cue toxic body image before females even get out of diapers!

I know, I know, the intent was not to hurt or offend; it's about being funny, cute and whimsical.
What's the harm, right?

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he... Proverbs 23:7

It is difficult enough being female in a world which is largely hostile to the gender. Cultural and image expectations enforce many a harmful, unrealistic and rejecting message. Unless and until a female embodies a thin, aesthetically appealing and societally acceptable standard, she is deemed ugly, worthless, undesirable and irrelevant.

What Was I Thinking?

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child... 1 Corinthians 13:11


Many of us, looking back on childhood photos, stare in horror at our various hairstyle and clothing choices. Sometimes, they were made by our family members; sometimes, they were made by us.

Regardless, with hindsight, we reach the conclusion, "what was I thinking?"

Complicating that question further, is the reconciliation/forgiveness/better choices we embark on as we proceed with our lives.

It starts by acknowledging and applying the wrap-around scriptures, encasing 1 Corinthians 13:11...

Relief from the Anger

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1 KJV

A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.Proverbs 15:18 KJV

The Bible gives us many references about the conditions and consequences of anger in our life and in the lives of people that we are in relationship with. When you can develop a way to manage the anger that has been pushed deep down in your heart and soul, life in recovery gets better.

Another consequence of addiction is that you use rage to express anger. Rage is a dangerous threatening condition that harms people and creates overwhelming fear. You can learn to express your anger without the rage. Anger is a feeling that is a part of the human experience. When you begin to express your anger without rage, you can break the cycle of rage as an expression of anger. Here are some tools that can help break the cycle. Rage is a distortion of reality.
In his book:
Addictive Thinking, Understanding Self-Deception

- by Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.

He says there are three phases of anger:

Internalizing the Wrong Messages?

I'm a huge fan of classic cartoons. The Roadrunner, in particular, always makes me smile.

Recently, I stumbled across an image, featuring Wile. E. Coyote's "calling card," which read "Genius." And it immediately reminded me of a famous Albert Einstein quote:

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Faulty Thinking?

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he... Proverbs 23:7

We can really do a number on ourselves with our faulty thinking.

How many of us have said the following things to ourselves, about ourselves?

"I'm...
...worthless...
...ugly...
...fat...
...weak...
...stupid...
...a failure...
...never good enough..."

And then, if we're plagued with disordered eating and body image issues, it gets amplified even further.

Reaching Perfection?

Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 18:13

The artist, Salvador Dali is famous for stating one of my favorite quotes:

"Have no fear of perfection. You'll never reach it."

Image taken from About.com
Indeed, if you look at his art, there was a challenging of the perfect, of the “normal," of the expected. Surreal images were not about depicting something as it occurred in life. Stretched out clocks and manipulated human bodies captured that artistic representation.

If one cannot find his depiction of perfection in his work, the same, however, cannot be said about the existence of excellence there. It is pervasive. Imagination, bravery and human imperfections are all there. And, I believe, that's part of why we identify so strongly with his art. We can relate to

Discipline Or Regret: Which Pain Do We Embrace? Premium Content

I don't know who said it, but there is a quote which goes something like:

"You either embrace the pain of discipline or you embrace the pain of regret."


Yes, I know, it's a festive one.

Nevertheless, it is a reality check, especially for those of us in recovery from any particular thing which has seized our pleasure centers, all in an effort to escape pain. We desire pleasure to soothe, numb or obliterate our pain. We believe the lie it will happen. Furthermore, we also believe there can be no good thing which comes from denying our indulgences for it.

Therefore, as we stumble and relapse, we often choose to embrace the pain of regret concerning our addictions and the harmful consequences which can follow.

It's not to shame anyone. Rather, it's, again, to provide the reality check that none of us are immune from relapse and bad decisions. We are all vulnerable.

For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. Psalms 103:14

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23

It's acknowledged in the first two Twelve Steps:

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Building Healthier RelationshipsPremium Content

Hang my locket around your neck; wear my ring on your finger. Love is invincible facing danger and death. Passion laughs at the terrors of hell. The fire of love stops at nothing - it sweeps everything before it. Song of Solomon 8:6 Msg

My journey into the mystery of love B.C. (Before Christ) was fraught with rejection, repeated failure, pain, nagging doubts, confusion, dashed hopes, withdrawal, shattered dreams and broken relationships. I even at times explored in my mind the so-called benefits of the life of a recluse; which my twin brother actually chose.

I made a multitude of mistakes while attempting to re-build significant and lasting relationships. At that point, enduring joy and peace were not on my relational radar! Dys-function and Dys-grace were a more common theme in my relational reality. Patient trial and error became non-negotiable in my journey toward hope-filled, healthier relationships.

But as the mystery of the love discovered in Christ has been unveiled within my inquisitive soul, I have taken the bait again and encountered myself risking and unmasking! Slowly and surely, the rewards of function and grace have provided impetus for timid, albeit safer forward motion relationally. Over the course of forty plus years I am experiencing more and more relational success.

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Demolishing StrongholdsPremium Content

A stronghold is a faulty thinking pattern based on lies and deception. Deception is one of the primary weapons of the devil, because it is the building blocks for a stronghold. What strongholds can do is cause us to think in ways which block us from God's best.

Two very destructive and common strongholds:

The first one: You see God incorrectly:
One of the most popular and devastating strongholds to have, is an incorrect image in your mind of who God is, and how He sees us. People who see God as a taskmaster, live their lives with an unhealthy fear of God.

What strongholds can do is cause us to think in ways which block us from God's best.

The first one, where you see God incorrectly: One of the most popular and devastating strongholds to have, is an incorrect image in your mind of who God is, and how He sees us.

People who see God as a taskmaster, live their lives with an unhealthy fear of God.

There's a good kind of fear of God, which is more like a holy respect for Him, but there's another kind of fear that is very unhealthy that the enemy wants us to have, and it's the kind of fear where we see God as a taskmaster, cruel, cold, distant, uncaring and would snap the whip at us the moment we step out of line.

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