Ways I have Hurt Myself

Sharing and capturing on Clean Hands, Pure Heart

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John F
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Ways I have Hurt Myself

Post by John F » Fri Mar 10, 2006 7:09 am

I am currently working my way through Clean Hands, Pure Heart once again and answering the questions at the end of each chapter. This morning I read in Chapter 8 (talking about step 4). On page 117 Phil says,
Like many others I truly missed out on a lot of blessings in my life because of this addiction. For example, the blessing of feeling good about myself. The blessing of being able to hold my head up, of associating with others without feeling inferior, without having to hide who I really was.
As I begin to feel some of the blessings of recovery, and the fog is beginning to lift from my mind, it is becoming more clear to me just how many blessings I have missed out on because of my addiction. I am coming to understand how much my addiction has harmed me and my family.

The blessing of feeling good about myself-
This important blessing escaped me for most of my life. Even though many other people felt good about me, and complimented me for my accomplishments and my "goodness", I couldn't feel good about myself because I knew my "dirty little secret". I knew the "real me".

I even told myself that it was good not to feel good about myself. If I felt good about myself I was being prideful. What a lie! The truth was I didn't feel good about myself and yet I was STILL full of pride, because I wouldn't turn my heart and will over to the Lord. I have only recently begun to feel good about myself...and that has only come after I came to realize my own nothingness. It's strange to think that by admitting my powerlessness I have come to feel good about myself, but it is true. Because as I became aware of my nothingness I also became aware of God's all encompassing power and love. And that has given me hope and faith and I have come to be able to love myself.

The blessing of associating with others without feeling inferior-
As I have come to feel good about myself I am beginning to be able to associate with others without feeling inferior. This is coming a little more slowly for me. I think one of the biggest ways my addiction has hurt me is that it has changed my personality and made me less outgoing and less willing and able to make friends, less willing to allow others to get close to me.

Even within my own family I have avoided getting too close. "How can I teach a lesson in Family Home Evening about honesty when I am carrying this secret?", "How can I talk to my son about sexual matters when doing so would make me feel like a hyporite?" And I have hurt my wife and my relationship with her by making her feel like I am only interested in her as a way to fulfill my selfish desires. All of these feelings of inferiority served to entice me to do things or avoid doing things that fueled my feelings of inferiority even more. It was a vicious, self-defeating circle.

I have not had any close friends since my childhood, and I am coming to find that this is not uncommon among addicts. It is not that others didn't want to be friends with me, but I couldn't allow them to get to close to me, for if I did they might find out what I was really like.

Now, as I am beginning to come out of my addictive shell I am trying to make friends again. It is easiest among fellow addicts in my Heart t' Heart group because they know "the real me". But I am trying to branch out and allow myself to be vulnerable to others and allow them to get close to me. I am not as afraid to let them get to know the "real me" now because I am feeling better about the "real me".

The hardest part has been my relationship with my wife. She knows the old "real me" and doesn't like it too much. And she is having a very hard time becoming acquainted with the new "real me". But the Lord is blessing me with patience and He is blessing her with a desire to trust the new "real me". I am amazed at how the Lord is blessing her with a willingness to still try after all the hurt and disappointment she has experienced because of me. And I am amazed at how He is blessing me to not feel resentment towards her (as I most certainly would have in the past) as the process of becoming reacquainted with each other is more difficult and moves more slowly than I had hoped. Truly we are being blessed and nurtured by the Lord.

I bear my witness of the reality of the blessings of the Lord as we seek His will in all that we do. I love Him with all of my heart and thank Him every minute of every day for the new blessings that I am beginning to experience. Blessings that have escaped me for most of my life.

John F

PhilH
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Post by PhilH » Fri Mar 10, 2006 7:21 am

Thank you for your comments, John. I related really well to your relating to what I wrote. Is that convoluted enough? The truth was, as I was reading your post, I could wasn't sure if you wrote something or if I wrote it. That's pretty common with most of us, I think. It is amazing to me how similar all our experiences are.

(Also--I hope you don't mind that I moved your post to the CHPH forum. It seemed to fit well there, and besides, we didn't have any posts in that forum yet :cry: . Now we do :D )

Phil

tomk
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Post by tomk » Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:34 am

John:

Thank you for having the courage and the love for us to post these thoughts.

I want you to know how much what you wrote meant to me.

I am amazed at how quickly pride enters into my life. As soon as I think perhaps I have pride licked in one area...there it pops up in another area and I'm doing it again!!

I recently tried to lecture my wife about paying a full tithe.

She is inactive right now and sees tithing as "just another bill to pay that we don't have money for"

I actually DO have a testimony of tithing...and I realize that we need to pay our tithing FIRST.....don't question it......pay it with joy. We are only giving the Lord BACK what belongs to Him already. We cannot...CANNOT...reap the blessing of tithing if we pay it relunctantly or grudingly.

Anyway, suffice it to say....my wife and I disagree on this.



My POINT in saying this is..... I have no right to lecture her. I have no right to judge her.


She has put up with SO much from me. 11 years of me choosing MB over HER love. And believe you me...that IS how they see it....no matter how much you try to explain it. And you know what....they're right. We are choosing MB over them. It is not ALL ABOUT THEM....no......but that is one side-effect of our selfishness. They feel shunned.

I need to just be the best example I can be.....keep my mouth shut....and STAY OUT OF THE LORD"S WAY.....let Him deal with my wife as He sees fit. As she comes unto Him...she will naturally and effortlessly REALIZE she needs to pay a full tithe. It is as simple as that.


What really hurts is......not paying a full tithe is keeping me out of the temple.

Maybe I am "too early" to even be WORRYING about temple attendance.

Maybe my pride is what wants me to go back.....not a geniune desire to serve others / serve the Lord.


Also, my lack of abstinence is keeping me out.

My l~st is keeping me out.


The Lord has opened my eyes to what it ACTUALLY means to keep the law of Chastity...and it is WAY MORE than just not acting-out. I cannot be lusting, either.


Just writing all of this..........I feel myself "white knuckling"


I so need to let this go....and let God guide me and lead me in ALL of these things.


I have to submit myself to HIS WILL........not my best guess.



Wow...this has really helped me....I hope it helps someone else.


Love,

Tom

Mark L
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Re: Ways I have Hurt Myself

Post by Mark L » Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:46 pm

John F wrote:I have not had any close friends since my childhood, and I am coming to find that this is not uncommon among addicts. It is not that others didn't want to be friends with me, but I couldn't allow them to get to close to me, for if I did they might find out what I was really like.
Thank you so much for sharing this John. I have been a "loner" for most of my life. I know some of it was nurture, and I think even a bit of it is in my nature. But I have never made the connection to my addictions and how they isolated me from others, keeping me from have the close friendships I have craved. Thank you for your share, which allowed the Spirit to add an additional piece to my understanding.

Val
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Just a thought

Post by Val » Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:32 pm

I had a hard time paying my tithing, I felt it was another debt that we didn't have money for. Even during periods of paying a full tith I did it because I had to. My husbands wants to pay tithing but dosn't really care either.

Now I changed my attitude and do it because it is a commandment and I want to follow the commandments. At first it was hard, but now I still don't have a testimony of tithing, but it is the first thing I pay with my money. When I do run out of money (usually often) I don't even consider tithing the reason for it, but look at what I spent money on that I could have went without.

The other thing I have done is I pay and report a full tith even when my husband has not. I did this in the past when my husband and I reported together, and with this new year I asked my record to be separted from my husbands and I pay my full tith under my name.

Talk with your Bishop and agree on an option that you can become a full tith payer. That is how I did the things that I have been doing. I can't imagine now not paying my tithing. (The first I have ever flet like this in my life) Maybe I do have a small testimony of tithing if I feel that way. Hummm.

Love, Val

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