This is on the wall in a friend’s office. What do you think?
This is on the wall in a friend’s office. What do you think?
In honour of Valentines Day, I want to share a CS Lewis quote. I find this insight to be a good reminder of why love is worth risking.
I hope you are able to extend and receive love this week.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything & your heart will certainly be wrung & possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one…but in that casket it will change. It will become unbreakable, irredeemable.”
What do you think of when you hear the word trash? Unwanted, disposable, stinks, worthless, valueless, discarded, filthy? What pictures do you have in your mind? Banana peels, dirty diapers, slimy stuff that you don’t want on your body or clothes? Nobody likes trash which is why we take it away from our homes and neighbourhoods. Nobody likes going near trash.
On Twitter and Instagram, I follow a handful of people that regularly declare, “Men are trash” or when they’re really upset, “ALL men are trash.” The person posting the statement typically receives push back, 99% of the time from men, that shout, “Not all men!” Then all sorts of messages will be posted back and forth until someone is blocked and the claim that men are trash is confirmed.
I respect the stories of those who post the claim that men are trash. This is not a knee jerk reaction to the statement. I can understand the anger and frustration they feel and pain that’s behind their feelings and words. There is a spirit of murder against the women and children of this world and men are overwhelmingly the perpetrators. All human beings are capable of much harm but sadly, we must admit men truly do some very trashy things and we do it a lot of the time.
And yet, what does it mean when we say someone, or many someone’s, is trash? Unwanted, disposable, stinks, worthless, valueless, discarded, filthy? We are shaming people. Despite popular belief, shame does not produce good; it never facilitates change. Shame erodes the very part of us that’s capable of change. Shame also produces disengagement, push back, or a desire to fight shame with shame. Think fight, flight, or freeze. Pretty tough to see change happen when that’s how people are reacting.
From that perspective, declaring that men are trash is defeating; it undermines the goal of changing the world for better. Isn’t that what we want?
A friend pointed me towards an article concerning modesty. It shifted my thinking and I want to recommend it as a must read, particularly for Christians.
Here are some highlights but please click the link and read the whole thing:
“No one really knows what “immodest” means. It puts the responsibility for a man’s lust and fantasies squarely on the shoulders of women.”
“Many conferences and books have even gone so far as to name women the “gatekeepers” of sexuality. He will go as far as you let him, the narrative goes. Wow! This a staggeringly unhealthy narrative to promote to our children about the way sexuality works, and plays directly into the hands of a rape culture such as the one in which we live: if you are a female and ever get catcalled, abused, molested, raped, or any number of other sexual advances, you are probably at least partially to blame. What were you wearing? What did you say to him? Did you bend over to pick something up? Was your perfume too sensual?”
Putting modesty/immodesty on women and saying they are gatekeepers of men’s behaviour “…grants men and boys amnesty from the responsibility of their own sexual choices.
“Not only does Jesus say nothing about female culpability in a man’s fantasies, he absolutely destroys any excuses a man might make about his inability to control his own urges. No, Jesus says, a man’s culpability begins and ends with his own dang eyes and right hand.”
Wow. Check it out and let me know what you think.
I shared this new to me blog for the first time last week. This is another post from The Crappy Childhood Fairy that really impressed me. Simple suggestions that can help anyone take baby steps towards healthier relationships.
This week, I’m introducing the new crappy vlog format. Same sloppy visuals as the drawings on written posts, same overly long narration. All new content! Hope you enjoy.
This is a blog I’ve just started to follow and this was the first post I read. I’ve also spoken about apologies and I really appreciated how this is presented. I hope this helps you be better at apologizing and also spotting those who fake apologize so you can call them on it.
If you grew up with a lot of childhood crap, you probably know a thing or two about broken down relationships! And sometimes, sometimes, it’s we who did the breaking. Or at least played a part in it. If you have any apologies you’ve been meaning to give, but weren’t sure how, this is the…
This is a must read for anyone wanting to better understand how toxic people will manipulate bystanders into a triangulation to abuse their target. Dr. Perry touches on the following scenarios:
Check out the opening comment below and find the whole article at the link.
By Dr. Perry, PhD What does it take to have a healthy relationship? Whether it is in love, friendship, work relationships or family relationships, they all need mutual respect in order to thrive. One of the reasons narcissists are not able to have healthy relationships is because they do not respect people. To the narcissist, […]
Lately, I have been on a journey to learn as much as I can about trauma. I recently went through a series on trauma presented by the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine. It was mind-blowing – and often beyond my brain power – but fantastic nonetheless.
Another topic that interests me is nurturing healthy relationships. Love and belonging are critical to our wholeheartedness – our capacity to deal with the junk that smashes into us on a regular basis.
Anyway, here’s how those two come together. Those who had childhood trauma typically struggle more than others in their romantic relationships. That’s not big news as most of us are aware how our past affects our present. But the key question is why – why does trauma create these difficulties?
Apparently, childhood trauma produces a great deal of self-criticism and it’s the self-criticism that hurts the relationship. To be clear, the studies that have noted this weren’t saying it’s a definitive cause and effect. I’m sure there is more to this story and many subtle differences between people. It’s just a link we need to be aware of.
The good news is, there is help, hope and healing. We can reduce self-criticism and improve our relationships. Talk with a counsellor, check out online resources, pick up a book or two (Dr. Guy Winch’s book “Emotional First Aid” covers this topic fairly well I think.) Explore the options and find what works for you.
Are you overly self-critical? If so, can you see how it’s negatively impacting your relationships? What do you do to reduce self-criticism?
I like good news. Somebody I want to meet up with actually commits to a plan. A surprise cheque (or check for my American friends) that arrives in the mail. Final grades above 90%… or above 65% if I was in trouble and that’s what it took to pass the class.
What’s the last good news you received?
What about good advice? You should… You need to… Why don’t you do… You have to… Good advice can be helpful but it also can be annoying, worse if it’s unsolicited.
I’ve got some good news for you. It’s a bit technical but that’s what makes it so good.
When the apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Christian church in Rome – we’re talking first century AD – he noted the problem we all face:
“…all have sinned and
fall short of the glory of God,”
Now you might not buy into the idea of sin* or even God but just hang on for moment. Paul is saying, we’ve all got a past we’re not proud of and even now, as best as we can do, isn’t good enough; it’s all tainted. Even if you only count the last six of the commandments. we’ve all missed the mark at least once if not several times. (Note that the problem runs very deep – the commandment to not kill includes contempt and the one about adultery includes even lusting after (objectifying) another person.) This sin stuff, it’s messy. It unleashes death, killing us slowly from the inside out. Anyway, the point is, this is our continuous state.
But wait, didn’t I say something about good news? That’s not very good news at all. Well, Paul was simply stating the problem so he could tell us about the solution:
as a gift by His grace
through the redemption
which is in Christ Jesus…”
That phrase, being justified, is a Present Passive Participle. The what? This is the technical part. Being justified is a continuous expression related to the verb just before it – have sinned and fall short.
Being justified takes care of the past, the present and the future, too.
But what does it mean to be justified?
It’s a legal phrase. It’s one of the metaphors for talking about how God has done everything to reconcile us to his heart. The key is it’s not just simply forgiveness, although that’s included, it’s not a not guilty declaration, or an acquittal.
Because of what Christ Jesus has done, justification means that you and I, despite our past, our regrets, our shame, it’s as we never did the deed.
So that you can know, without a sliver of doubt, that you have the full love and acceptance of your heavenly Father who created you.
That’s good news.
* Sin has to do with alienation from God, from creation, and from one another. It breaks our relationships, hinders our fellowship, and ruins our stewardship of the earth.