I've shared that I was a victim of childhood abuse in my previous blogs. I can guarantee you will read or hear about it in the future as well. Why? Because it's something that caused deep wounds for me. I've had to cry, dig deep, and uncover all the ugly, so I could find the treasures buried underneath the pain.
Several years ago I complete one of Beth Moore's Bible studies, Breaking Free. I’ve completed many in my life but this one was life changing for me. She mentions generational curses and when broken, it impacts thousands later in life. I'm not sure about you, but the thought of taking a step to change my life, knowing it would help my son, his children, and years to come was my fuel to keep walking towards healing when I wanted to give up.
One of the treasures I found underneath the rubble was that I had a choice. God created us with the right to choose. Later in adulthood, I came to this realization. Imagine how frustrated I was when every time someone asked me to do something or be somewhere, my first thought was more about how they would feel instead of myself. I would say more often than not; I made the decision to ensure their happiness instead of owning up to my needs and feelings.
I can remember being in a counseling session and being extremely frustrated with a particular person. I said, "That's it, I'm not going to speak to them ever again!" My counselor looked at me and said, "Ok! You can make that choice. It's up to you. However, what are you going to do when you run into someone else with those same characteristics?" His repose was life changing for me.
He EX-POSED me to these two things:
1. I have a choice. It is up to me.
2. Although I have a choice, sometimes moving on is not the answer. The answer might be working through the process first and then making a decision. That decision could be to eliminate the relationship. However, the first step might be working through the process.
You see, I allowed (notice I said that I allowed) the abuse to make me believe I no longer had a choice in life. During that time in my life, my abuser manipulated me into thinking I didn't have a choice to tell anyone. I allowed his words to become my truth until God used counseling to reveal His truth to me.
God created us with the freedom choose. I also recognized the trauma during childhood made me believe sharing how I felt didn't matter. It was better to keep my feelings inside. I carried that lie with me into adulthood until God used counseling to reveal that I have a right to set boundaries with others and express how I feel. Another book I’ve read is called, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life. This book was a helpful resource to me as I decided to take actionable steps to create the life I desired.
I'm so grateful for every session that I had with my counselor. I know God can perform miracles but I believe he gifted certain people to guide us along the way. God's truth was EX-POSED to me! I have a choice! You have a choice! We have a choice! How freeing is that? Also, I find freedom in knowing that boundaries are not there to be mean to people. They are there to help guide us all. It's not intended to restrict but to protect.
I'm not sure what your story entails. You may be able to relate based on the trauma in your life. Or, my story may have helped you understand a loved one better. Either way, I want to encourage you to remind yourself and others that we have a choice. Setting boundaries helps protect you and others.
My prayer for us this week is that we remember that we have a choice, setting boundaries is a way of protecting ourselves and respecting others, and expressing how we feel is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.