In part 2 of this thought I want to continue deeper. I used the analogy of the functional alcoholic last blog. This time I want to go in another direction. At least half of us have experienced this broken but functional concept. Today I was doing my early morning research and had the thought about broken families. There are half of American families that have been broken through divorce.
Our families have been reconfigured and reformed. I have a suspicion that many of these new forms of family are not entirely fixed, but rather functional. Just a couple of generations ago the family unit was in tact for the most part. Most of us had grandparents who were Patriarchs in the family. They brought security and safety for all in the tribe. Now with careers, jobs, technology, multitudes of new families live away from the Patriarchal figures. This is even more complicated when the family has been broken and a single parent has the task to become everything.
This relational breakdown effects not only the parents who can not find resolution, but the children also. So in essence the Family unit can be physically broken, and then within that realm every one in the family can have internal breaking!
Prov 18:14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? NLT
Prov 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
I am learning that these events can wound or damage the spirit of man. We know it as heartache. When we experience these situations in our lives it is quite a journey to get back to wholeness status. I won’t go into all of the processes, and manifestations of healing the broken heart. There many great teachings to help. This is not a new age concept, nor a lovey touchy thing. This is a God thing. Jesus came for the sick not the well.
Prov 13:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart *sick…
*Sick- to be or become weak, be or become sick, be or become diseased, be or become grieved, be or become sorry – to be wounded
I am learning in my search for the REAL ME, that there are things that are being exposed. I thought they were long gone. But honestly I discovered long ago how to function while being broken. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes there is no choice. But the danger is when you begin to believe that being broken and functional is ‘Your new Normal’. I’m not suggestion being a basket case either, but don’t be in denial either. We have to be somewhere in between the proverbial sweep it under the rug, put it on a shelf, place in a dark closet, lock the door and never go in there; and the people who are all about their problems and can’t get a handle on their emotions and feelings. I am learning to systematically untwist mindsets, thoughts, and emotions concerning the issues of the past.
I realize there are those who say all this inner healing is a bunch of mumbo jumbo. I sort of am from the same school of thought. I mean going back and reliving your past and emotions, then trying to fix it seemed way too spooky for me. But my healing has come internally for sure but not in this fashion. For me it has come through this journey of finding the REAL ME. I focused on everything that God says and feels towards me. I am learning to accept, believe, and walk in the light of it. Another great thing I am learning is the fine art of living vulnerable.
Vulnerable – capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon: a vulnerable part of the body. 2. open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.: an argument vulnerable to refutation; He is vulnerable to bribery. 3. (of a place) open to assault; difficult to defend: a vulnerable bridge. ‘Dictionary.com’
You have to honest. When you read the definition of being vulnerable it looks like a VERY SCARY PLACE! But herein lies the mystery. I could never tell you how many people I have met, shared with, counselled and ministered to those that have walls around their heart for protection! This is a self-preservation trick of the Carnal Mind. The carnal mind can’t withstand pain, but it thrives upon the drama of it, and is strengthened by the fear of it!
Dr Brene Brown, says that vulnerability is definitely a place of the possibility of being wounded and hurt, but at the same time it is the only place where creativity, freedom, and true joy reside. When you build a wall of protection around your heart and life, you are going to exhaust yourself in defending the fortress. Unfortunately you will mistake shadows as actual darkness. Your creativity will be quenched. True joy will escape you, and your fears will dominate your mind and actions.
It takes a lot of COURAGE to become and remain vulnerable. When someone offends you or even hurts you deeply, if you are in defense mode both feel the same! I suspect that people with an ‘Anger’ problem, might actually have a ‘Fear of being Hurt Problem.’ Dr. Brown says before she learned the power of being vulnerable, that ‘Mean and Nasty was her default setting.’ Man I have to tell you, up here in the Northeast that is many people’s problems whew! I grew up in the midwest where life was honest, and slow, and by all means friendly. For the most part it is very genuine, but we were trained in the art of putting a smile on our face and respecting everyone no matter what we were going through. It’s called ‘Southern Charm’ and it’s real, to tell you the truth I miss it.
The courage we need to venture towards vulnerability is maybe acknowledging the hurt without hurting back. Maybe this courage is needed to acknowledge hurt and not run from it. One thing is for sure cruelty is never BRAVE! Cruelty is for the most part cheap and easy, especially in our culture! But to be honest with you here today, it takes a ton of courage to not be cruel to your own self!
Self Love is NOT pride, self-preservation, vanity; it is the powerful element to living free in this life! How else can you love your neighbor AS you love yourself.
I leave you with this thought:
If Faith is the Anchor
Hope is the Rope
And Love is the Boat!