Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Falling Down

I have to confess that I found myself reacting the other day to some words which had triggered me, and left me hearing repeated echoes of past abuse. I reacted. I struggled. I felt like I'd lost my footing and was flailing around trying to find my balance. "Not again," I thought, attempting to regain my equilibrium.

And as I wrestled with that reality, I was dragged down by the weight of failure. After all, I'd experienced so much healing since I lived in that old head-space. What on earth was wrong with me!?

But when I stopped the self-recrimination long enough to listen to my heart, I started to see that I'd simply fallen into an old, discarded trap - the false teaching which says that after you say the magic words everything is all better, and nothing will ever trouble you again.

But real life is not like that. We fall down. We get up. There is no magic.

So yes, I'd fallen down. And yes, I could get back up. But here's the really good news. The healing I've pursued has left me better equipped to get back up again. I don't need to pretend I haven't fallen. I don't need to stay down the hole. I'm no longer imprisoned by the toxic conditioning of my past.

I haven't 'failed'. I simply fell down.

But the experience has been useful, because it's made me stop and think. And it's helped me to realise that I no longer believe healing means:
  • that we don't get hurt any more
  • that we no longer get triggered
  • that we have all the answers
  • that we have no more struggles
  • that we are now perfect
  • that we have "arrived"
But it can mean:
  • that we can more readily acknowledge the pain and process it
  • that we can identify triggers and have strategies in place to deal with them
  • that we have made peace with the mystery
  • that we have hope in the midst of the struggle
  • that we can embrace who we are - imperfections and all
  • that we are continuing our journey 
 And it seems to me that's a much happier and healthier outcome.


  1. Yes, a system that asks us to pretend that we never fall down, makes it that much harder for us to pick ourselves back up again... and nearly impossible to ask for help.

    1. These toxic teachings are so hard to get rid of. I still catch myself in certain situations having to think very deliberately about why I'm feeling the way I am, and whether it's because of some religious rule I've been expected to follow and can now discard. But I'm getting there :)

  2. this idea of having "arrived" reminds me of the Gertrude Stein quote, "There is no there there." And the Ursula K. Le Guin quote, "It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." And the T. S. Eliot quotes, "Where is the Life we have lost in the living." And, "There is no end."

    1. Such great quotes! I think this is my favourite: "Where is the Life we have lost in the living." Thanks :)

    2. my favorite poet growing up---T. S. Eliot!

    3. testing.. and this is why i hate google and blogspot..

      i tried repeatedly as monax to leave a further comment under Leaving the "Church Collective" to no avail.. because i signed up for and into gmail for notifications it wants me now to use my old "marmot" blogger account.. and refused no matter how many times i reloaded the page for me to comment under monax or marmot.. so feel free to erase this comment.. just want to see if this goes through..

    4. Sorry that it's making life difficult for you :/

      But thanks for the effort :)

    5. actually the way things were previously set up for me here it did make conversations difficult.. not so much life, though.. still i'm thrilled to be up to speed.. in my comment (that didn't want to go through) i mentioned how i'm not sure Dallas knows of the email follow and update options.. when i asked him the other day he said he just manually checks your site for posts and comments.. which reminds me of the old ja'blog days.. question: were you around as "Living Liminal" for the bgbcsurvivor blog? did you comment and interact there under any name(s) i might remember?

    6. I first used the moniker, Living Liminal, in February 2014. Prior to that, I mostly just 'listened and learned' but would occasionally use a guest log in to comment.

    7. Julie Anne put me in the "DOG HOUSE" (with her boy actually drawing a picture of such with those exact words written above the door, then she posted it on her blog) after i attempted to check the meanness of some SSB wolves under her eye.. upon doing so.. she went into lock down mode (once again), deleting me, then entertaining a complex of lies that worked to sustain her and the blogs wicked course of direction..


    8. that was the last i commented on SSB..

      JA was absolutely wolfish and wicked with me months later on facebook.. and i addressed it.. laid out her lies and deceitfulness.. but, of course, i was wrong for doing such because i did it in front of everyone.. not privately.. but i learned that when someone owns the place that everyone gets together at, be it a blog or a church building, they as owner get to ban and censor anyone calling them out for their egregious wickedness (and i did this in love.. see for yourself in the "calling wolf" post, and, fwiw, i have everything documented with our own written words to ground our reality in).. so there went my community i invested so much of my self in.. all for challenging the Shepherdess, as i called her.. being displaced and put in the "DOG HOUSE".. really sick and wolfish stuff.. but she came out a really sick and wolfish world.. but that was so long ago.. many lessons learned..

    9. I took the time to read your post and I am saddened.

      One thing I keep coming back to, are the wise words of a very dear friend. "We must remain contestable." It's a hard thing to do, but unless we are willing for our words and actions to be questioned, even challenged, we are just feeding into the cycle so many of us have painfully escaped.

      Of course, that also feeds into the idea of being able to agree to disagree. Again, it can be so hard to live out, but I believe it is vital to our capacity to love like Jesus.

    10. P1. Thank you. I feel better understood now.

      P2. Yes! Especially for those who are teachers and fathers and the like.. they need to give themselves over to some proper times of rigorous examination by their students and children and such.. why? well these times become some of the best teaching and learning moments there can be.. for both fathers and children.. these challenging conversations are opportunities to share and sharpen discernments.. and really.. often times students and children are much wiser than their teachers and fathers, i've found..

      P3. Had a pastor utilize that line with me a few times: "we're just going to have to agree to disagree." And what could I do? He had all the power. But I certainly did not agree "to agree to disagree." That would have sinfully set me against my Christ whose Word says,

      "I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought" (1 Cor. 1:10; NIV).

      Paul reiterated this again to the Corinthians in his Second letter, to "be of one mind."

      Now, forcing others to conform their thoughts according to their own is neither in line with the Gospel nor proper spiritual means to understanding. It's HOW we go about ALL arriving at the Mind of Christ that is at issue. Problems, as we know, arise, when Church Leaders (antichrists, really) demand we toe their rebellious and idolatrous lines. They're the ones who shut down the conversations that might just release everyone from their stupor.

    11. I guess I wasn't thinking about people using it as a power play to silence disagreement. In my book, that's just cowardice.

      I was thinking more of discussion between brothers and sisters who are at different points in their journey of faith. Sometimes we need to extend grace to each other and trust God to reveal his truth to us as he sees fit. (More along the lines of Phillipians 3:14-16)

  3. okay.. cool.. i went in and was able to update marmot to monax and to change emails and pic and such on my blogger account to use here.. seeing how it looks now.. thanks for your patience with me, LimLim.. =]

    1. Awesome!! now i have a profile pic of my little "buddy" and it looks like i'm offered the option to "Delete" which may come in handy.. knowing me.. Yup.. Now i'm ready to engage.. Yay!