Hi, and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. I am glad that you decided to stop by and visit with me. Yesterday I started an important series. I truly believe that apart from rigorous honesty some people will continue to drone on with their lives. These individuals may be satisfied to merely exist to survive. In my experience, I simply got tired of moving from one crisis to another, while living on the edge of another person’s sword. In my experience I had to do the work embodied in this series or die emotionally, spiritually and quite possibly physically.
In my experience I had to look at the dynamics behind what created my inner turmoil. I had to find out what led me to saying, “ I am sorry” so many times that my 6th grade teacher made me write out “ I am sorry” 500 times, like that was going to prevent me from saying “I am sorry”. I had to find out why I continually berated myself. I had to look at the patterns in my relationships that left me anxious, bewildered and discontent. I had to understand why I needed to people please and approval seek when I interacted with people.
I had to come to terms with myself and stop hating the child that God loved, me. I had to repair my relationship with the God of my understanding, that had been torn apart by a shame based spirituality that controlled my life and being. I had to start being a human being and stop being a human doing. I had to make the journey to my heart and stop looking for emotional and spiritual bandages. I had to live and not die emotionally, spiritually and physically. I just wanted the pain to go away and the madness to stop.
As a traumatic brain injury survivor, who had sustained significant and irreparable damage to his right frontal lobe – executive center functioning – I was susceptible to being blamed shamed and made to be responsible for many matters that had nothing to do with me. Because of the damage to my brain in addition to believing that I did not just make mistakes, but that I was a mistake, I had a very difficult time discriminating between what was my responsibility and what was not my responsibility.
In my post My Journey thus Far I disclose how I ardently attempted to rid myself of the “sin” that beset my life. I set out on a course to repair myself and thus repair my relationships.
In this pursuit, I became obsessively involved with various churches. I spent countless hours saturating myself in bible study, scripture memory and listening to a wide array of teachers –from charismatic, full gospel, fundamental, non-denominational, and denominational churches / leadership. I attempted to apply what I was learning, but continued to fall short.
Some would say that I just did not do enough: pray, read, or believe. To that notion, I would say phooey. My interest was to do whatever it took to become a victorious over comer and at the same time to be of service to God and to my fellow man. In this pursuit, I went on to obtain my undergraduate degree in theology from Oral Robert’s University. I attended Asbury Theological Seminary for 1 year and then went on to obtain my master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Kentucky.
My motivation is to expose my readers to what has worked for me and provided a way, where no way seemed to exist. None of what I will share in this series has anything to do with psychological mumbo jumbo. Nor is it anti Bible, God or Church. If you want what I have –as I have heard others people say — then do what I do. If what you are doing is working for you, keep going. I am happy for you. If it is not, be open to learn. In this series I will distill much of what I have learned over the 40 years through my pursuit of personal empowerment as a traumatic brain injury survivor and a man who has been affected by toxic shame. In essence, I have had to resolve and then begin to overcome two significant hurdles before I could begin to accept myself.
The information is not a substitute for you doing your own work. In my experience, I had to be committed to my process. I have found that my commitment has provided phenomenal freedom and dignity, and has resulted in my having peace with God, my fellows, and myself. At the end of meetings there is a saying that we repeat, “Keep coming back, it will work if you work it”. To that I add “ and work it (your program) because you are worth it”. You and I are worth doing what ever it takes to fulfill our destinies and to be of maximum service to God and our fellow sojourners. Concluded in Part 3 .
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