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Forgiving Yourself

10.7.12 Journal Blog post about my experience counseling in the inner city (For more context- please refer to Corporate Girl in an Inner City World)

 

To the torturers

During “Patterns of Change” class I co-lead, I brought up the topic of unforgiveness towards self because we were talking about guilt and shame. Working with the women in this shelter, I have really noticed that there’s a lot of guilt and inability to forgive oneself.

Many of these women have come from difficult domestic abuse or substance abuse situations where they have not been able to give their kids the best. (many had kids in their teen years)

Somewhere in the middle of their addiction and their abusive relationships, most women had kids at a young age and really wasn’t there for their kids (either their parents took care of their babies or they did a poor job raising their kids).

In that shame, in that unforgiveness—as the Bible says—there really is a release to the ‘torturers’ that I believe happens even psychologically! This has to be a priority…to not just forgive others but to forgive themselves too.

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Toxic Anger: Part 2

If anger is like a fire that causes great damage in the body, in one’s spiritual life and in relationship with others when mishandled then…what does handling anger well look like?

In the first part of this article, “Toxic Anger: Part 1,” I outlined the original design God had for anger, common roots for anger and what happens when anger is mishandled. In this second part of the article, I will review what it looks like to handle anger in a biblical and healthy way that has been particularly useful and life-changing for me.

 

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Toxic Anger: Part 1

Anger. The emotion and sensation of feeling offended, wronged or denied. Desiring retaliation.

We all experience it on some level.

Sometimes people are ruled by it (think: road rage) or work really hard to keep it inside (“I’m not angry! just frustrated…”)…

But like fire, anger has to be handled correctly or it can cause great damage. In fact, I would argue that many physical and stress issues people have today can be linked back to the mismanagement of anger. Unreleased anger and stress can ravage the body.

I would also vouch as I did in the article “Learning How to Feel Again,” that the mishandling of the anger and emotions we experience can be at the root of many addictions.

In this 2 part article, I will outline the original design God had for anger, common roots for anger, what happens when anger is mishandled and one approach on handling anger that has been particularly useful and life-changing for me.

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