©2016 Nikki DuBose
The Duchess of Windsor once said, ‘you can never be too rich or too thin.’ But a Bay Area lawmaker believes she is wrong–at least on one account–and has proposed a ban on models who look ‘too thin’ on the runway.
In fact, San Rafael Assemblyman Marc Levine wants to ban anorexic models on the catwalk altogether. He has introduced AB2539, which takes its cue from a similar laws already on the books in France, Italy and Spain. The hope is that models will stop starving themselves to get work, and women and girls will stop starving themselves to look like models.
Read more on CBS San Fransisco.
This year NEDA’s theme is 3 Minutes Can Save a Life. Get Screened. Get Helped. Get Healthy.
For over seventeen years I battled with not only an eating disorder, but a plethora of mental health conditions that held me prisoner in my own mind and body. If only I would have trusted someone outside of myself I would have experienced the help much sooner. It really only takes three minutes to get access to critical, life-saving information. Isn’t it the most amazing feeling to know that there are people out there who understand you, who are just waiting to love you?
Visit NEDA’s Awareness site to get screened and find out more information.
In regards to my own recovery, it was thanks to a combination of spirituality, mentorship, the twelve-step program, therapy, medication, family and friends, great organizations like NEDA and leaving my modeling career behind. After falling many times and never giving up I was able to regain my mental, physical and spiritual health, and have been going strong for the past three years. Writing and speaking have been incredible tools of healing for me because they have helped me to find my voice during times when I thought that I had none. But we all have voices and often they can be heard the loudest when our lives feel the darkest.
Don’t give up, ever. You, more than anyone else in the world, are worthy of self-love, care and recovery.
Here’s my schedule for #NEDAwareness 2016:
Feb. 23 10am PST: Twitter Chat – “Getting Healthy: The Many Faces of Eating Disorders Recovery” with @NEDAstaff @EDHope @GenderSpectrum @MentalHealthAm @EricC_Official @TheNikkiDuBose
Feb. 23 7pm PST/ CSU San Marcos: Screening of The Illusionists and Panel Discussion. I will be speaking on a panel at CSU San Marcos, discussing the documentary The Illusionists and talking about the globalization of beauty. All are welcome to attend.
Feb. 25 7pm PST/ CSU San Marcos: Keynote Speaker. I will be telling my personal story of recovery and then holding a Q & A session afterwards.
I came across this prayer on Facebook by Joyce Meyer Ministries and I wanted to share it with you if you are struggling with any kind of addiction or stronghold in your life.
I believe that we can be totally set free from anything, when we believe that we hold the power over whatever threatens to control us.
Prayer for Addiction: “God, I know You can help me overcome this addiction, and I’m so thankful, because I want to be free. Every time I come to You, I win another battle. Thank You for helping me to keep on fighting. I pray for complete healing and transformation not just for myself, but so others will be blessed by my testimony of Your love and mercy and Your power over sin. Help me remember what Your Word says: You will never leave me or forsake me, and You love me no matter what. Because of Jesus Christ, I already have the victory. Thank You, Lord, for showing me who I am in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
-Joyce Meyer Ministries-
The theme of the picture is, “You are more than your insecurities.”
Do you ever feel as if all you can focus on is the things you don’t like about yourself? How about redirecting that energy and focus on the things you love about yourself?! Did you know you are made for greatness? You really and truly are!
We all have insecurities, but they do not define who we are. In fact, the things that make us different are also what make us extra special 🙂
We have now arrived at the twelfth and final step of the recovery program. Congratulations! Give yourself a huge hug and relish how far you have come to reach this point. Your recovery is the cornerstone of the success for the rest of your life.
Step twelve touches on what is single-handedly the most important part of daily recovery. Although all of the steps are essential for a healthy soul, mind and body, the twelfth step is crucial because it instills the importance of giving away what you have been given. After all, where would we be if recovery, support, and guidance had not been given to us by others all along the way?
Helping other people get their life back on track by sharing our experience, strength and hope can be done in the form of sponsoring up to the level of your recovery or by being an accountability partner. Just being kind to others and allowing positivity and love to flow through your personality to the world around you enables all kinds of continual healing to take place. When we don’t pass on the knowledge that we have received, we run the assured risk of falling back on our own recovery and becoming selfish and proud.
The steps need to be repeated for the rest of our lives. We never become “too good” for program; rather, our success in life is dependant upon our daily surrender to God and being willing to work on ourselves. Recovery is a beautiful thing; how will you pass it on today?
Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for the following questions.
1. How have I passed through the pain and despair of enslavement to addiction and moved into healing and freedom?
2. Having had a “spiritual awakening” after being set free from my addiction, am I excited or hesitant to share my experience, strength, and hope with others who are struggling with addiction? Why?
Describe the story of your spiritual awakening and how the first eleven steps have brought spiritual principals, truth, and healing into your life. Describe what you were like, what happened, and what you are like now.
1. Am I connected to the vine? How do the Twelve Steps help me to “remain” in him?
2. Is my recovery attractive to other addictive/compulsive people because I am becoming more loving rather than condemning those who need my help?
3. What am I doing to reach out with Jesus’ love?
1. What is my attitude about sharing my story of recovery? Am I reluctant to tell my story, or am I the type that wants to share too much, too soon, with too many people?
2. From either extreme, am I willing to wait for God’s timing for sharing recovery?
3. Do I see my story as valuable to God’s plan? Describe how.
Talking the Walk
1 Timothy 4:14-16
1. Paul encourages Timothy to “throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.” What changes in my life can others observe since I have been sober and working the Twelve Steps?
2. Paul wanted Timothy not only to teach others, but to be an example. When I share my story with others, am I preaching, or sharing my experience, strength, and hope.
3. Am I able to let the other person make his or her own decision by relinquishing control and letting God do his work?
What do I remember about my last drink or my last binge? Describe that last time, including actions, feelings, behaviors, and thoughts that led up to it and followed it:
The Narrow Road
1 Peter 4:1-4
1. Peter pointed out: “You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy-their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties” (1 Peter 4:1-2) the pains of recovery.
2. Does the approval or judgement of others keep me from sharing recovery? Do I fear negative rumors?
3. How can I work the Twelve Steps on this fear?
Step ten is the first step that I take daily in order to keep myself in check. When I find that my character or food plan might be getting a bit sloppy, I try to immediately surrender myself to God and ask for His help to renew my mind In Him and take account for exactly where I am going wrong. In doing so, I am able to get back on track much faster and have a fruitful day. In the past before I found strong recovery I just kind of floundered around mercilessly inside
and felt very lost. My mind was weak because I had let the eating disorder and other problems control it for many years. Thank God for His Grace and the twelve steps of recovery to bring daily help in every single situation that can arise.
Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for the following questions.
1. In order to restore trust in relationships, what particular weaknesses do I need to set boundaries around?
2. Is there a trusted person to whom I can clearly define my commitments? Who? What commitments am I willing to make?
1. Do certain behaviors and character defects that show up in my Step Ten inventory point to a pattern? Which ones? What is being revealed to me?
2. Am I having trouble admitting these promptly and forgiving myself?
3. Do I give myself grace? Why or why not?
Dealing with Anger
1. What is my first response when I am angry? Lashing out? Stuffing down? Avoidance and covering up?
2. How was anger dealt with in my family? How did my mother deal with anger? My father? Which pattern do I follow?
3. When I am angry, can I promptly admit it? Why or why not?
4. Do I have support people who can help me learn to deal with anger more appropriately? Am I willing to ask for assistance with this issue?
1 Timothy 4:7-8
1. As this continual inventory is important for spiritual fitness, where in my daily routine can I set aside time to make myself self-assessment part of every day?
2. Do I have any resistance to evaluating my defects daily? What are my objections? What do I fear?
3. An example of a simple, daily, personal inventory:
Where have I been selfish, dishonest, fearful, inconsiderate, or proud?
What have I done right today?
What do I need God's help with tomorrow?
What am I grateful for today?
2 Timothy 2:1-8
1. How do I see my recovery as a war against addiction and as a fight for my soul?
2. How do I see myself as an athlete in training for the marathon journey of recovery and serenity?
3. Am I working in every season and situation? planting seeds of recovery by applying the Twelve Steps to my life?
4. Where do I lose heart in fighting, training, and working through the Twelve Steps?
Looking in the Mirror
1. Have I been quick to recognize but not take action in a particular area of my life or defect of character? If so, I can take action without self-criticism by going back through Steps Six and Seven, then Eight and Nine on that particular area or defect.
2. On what area or defect do I need to take action today? This week? This month?
1 John 1:!-10
1. Have I hoped for immediate release from my defects as I may have had from my addiction? Have I perhaps unknowingly hoped that by doing all this step work I could attain perfection? Write any thoughts and feelings that arise from reading this meditation:
2. Am I clear that I still need inventories to continue my spiritual growth? In other words, have I developed enough humility to accept that inventories will be a regular part of my journey?
3. Am I sensing that my conscience is returning or developing so that I more easily recognize my faults? Am I humble enough to admit them more readily? Record any progress you've noticed in your conscience:
In step eight we took inventory of all of the people we had hurt and how it had affected us; and in step nine we lay out a plan of action with our trusted sponsor. We discuss how we can execute making amends with them except when it would be problematic for them or us. For example there might be past relationships that come to a point where it would be easier to “bury the hatchet” by not ever saying anything bad about them ever again rather than contacting the person directly because doing so would damage their current situation (eg marriage or work).
Step nine might sound like a harsh and frightening dose of reality if we are not prepared for it, but truly when are we ever really prepared for anything? I believe the best way to receive healing and to grow, is to face the fear and go through it rather than to run away from it. The pain of doing things we might not always want to do makes us stronger, wiser and better people for ourselves and for the world.
Truly though we never have to be afraid because God is always with us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. And when we really meditate on that and trust in that, we can be confident to move forward in step nine and in anything that life brings our way.
Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for the following questions.
Long Awaited Healing
1. Who are the people on my Step Eight list who strike the most intense fear in my heart when I think about making amends, face-to-face?
2. Do I have supportive people who help me gain willingness to take such a challenging step? Do I have an advisor or sponsor to work with me?
2 Samuel 9:1-9
1. How have my thoughts/opinions/ideas affected the decisions I have made?
2. Is there anyone to whom I owe amends due to forgetting, either on purpose or unintentionally, to fulfill a promise?
Covering the Past
1. What forms of harm listed in Step Eight do I resist giving up in order to make amends with another?
2. What fears keep me from the life-giving process of Step Nine?
1. What is my usual response or reaction to brokenness?
2. Does my amends list include people that have something against me? If so, do I have difficulty finding the courage to deal with them?
From Taker to Giver
1. List financial amends that you owe. Name the people and amounts:
2. Am I willing to go to any lengths to offer amends? What risks are involved?
1. How far will I go to restore a relationship with another person, with God, and with myself?
2. Do I have any unfinished business left on my list? List these categories:
Money owed to people/jobs/businesses:
Any laws broken:
Broken; painful relationships:
3. Am I waiting for the certainty of forgiveness before I make amends? Am I willing to take the risk? Explain:
A Servant’s Heart
1 Peter 2:18-25
1. What am I afraid will happen when I attempt to make amends?
2. Do I fear that painful consequences will cause me suffering if I make amends? If so what is the worst that could happen?
3. Do I trust God’s will for me if I follow the challenge of Step Nine?
4. Which of the Twelve Steps do I need to focus on before I make these fearsome amends?
One of my sponsees asked how she could be free of all of the people and situations that had hurt her in her past.
This is a common question and something we all have to go through again and again for the rest of our lives. Unless we learn to forgive every time someone offends us we run the risk of holding onto unhealthy resentments that do nothing but hold us hostage in our addictions and keep us from receiving God’s Best Plan.
Let’s say for example you are holding onto resentments from a past relationship.
1. Past Relationship: The fact that you are Aware that you are resentful of your childhood bullies is the first step because it allows you to Accept you have those feelings and then be able to take the spiritual Action you need to be free of it…
3 A’s of Recovery
Ask yourself “Can I forgive this person/these people”..
If you find yourself saying “No! they hurt ME! I am still messed up inside and hurting because of them”… then just remember this…
When Jesus died for US He payed the ultimate price. He was and is Perfect and Blameless and took ALL of OUR sins and Never ever complained. In fact He did it out of the Purest and Highest Love and Loves us Unconditionally all of the Time. He Forgives us over and over again when we ask Him to sincerely and He is always waiting for us with open and Loving Arms; never judging. Surely we can forgive others just as God Forgives us.
If you still have a hard time feeling like you can forgive remember that you ARE SO MUCH MORE than your feelings and then ask God to help you forgive them. Pray and repent and get down on your knees. Write it out and pour your heart out to Him or maybe say a simple prayer. If you need to ask God to help you forgive them because you know that apart from Him you can do nothing then by all means do it.
But remember that forgiveness is not for the other person it is for YOU. You do not want to waste your life over broken memories and not receive God’s Promises. You do not want to be living off “spilled milk” and find yourself in your eighties one day still bent out of shape because of all of the injustices the world caused you.
After all what have you done to hurt others consciously and unconsciously knowing it…
Ponder that and write it down.
Step Six was all about getting ready for God to remove our defects in order that He may help us to be all that He has created us to be. Step Seven now is simply and humbly coming before God in prayer and asking Him to remove every shortcoming that stands in the way between us and our God-Given Purpose.
Being a humble person is so important because without it it is pretty impossible to recognize our defects and to be people that can ask God to help us. I daily come to God in prayer in the morning and all throughout the day and ask God for His help now because I know that I know that I know that without Him I can do nothing. Within myself I am weak addicted and a total mess but In Christ I am strong confident courageous and an overcomer. I am set free from every attack that satan tries to bring against me because God is with me and for me.
Clearing the Mess
1. Have I developed enough humility from my experiences in addiction to see that I need to let God work in my heart. Is there any doubt that self-reliance has kept God out.
2. Describe the difference between humiliation and humility.
Giving up Control
1. Have I ever demanded to have circumstances changed for my benefit. When.
2. Have I ever become impatient with God’s timing in the process of changing my heart and character.
3. What keeps me from letting go so that God can shape my life better than I could ever imagine or create myself.
Pride Born of Hurt
1.Is it hard for me to ask anyone even God for help. What keeps me from sharing.
2. What experiences in my family of origin have brought about this self-sufficiency.
3. Have I held back from asking God for what I need because I am projecting my disappointments onto Him. Do I trust Him.
4. Am I willing to give up self-sufficiency and pride to persistently ask for God’s help in removing my shortcomings.
A Humble Heart
1. Have I ever compared my faults/problems/sins to blatant sins of others such as robbery/murder/adultery to justify avoiding deeper work on my own character defects. What does this do for me.
2. Have I ever justified myself because I attend church/sing in the choir/do service work. Do I judge others for their lack of participation or involvement.
3. After self-examination in Steps Four through Six have I been struggling with self-hatred and shame.
4. Do I realize that the “secret sins” of pride/judgement/comparison are just as serious as the more blatant ones.
5. Have addiction and adversities humbled me enough to open the door to God’s forgiveness.
Declared Not Guilty
1. Steps Six and Seven re one path to acceptance of this verse: all of us have fallen short not only of our own ideals but also of God’s glory. Have I been trying to “measure up” and show God that I can “be good” by doing good works. How have I tried to show him that I am okay.
2. Can I now trust in faith that Jesus will not only make up for my weaknesses but will also begin to remove shortcomings as I surrender humbly to his will. If not why.
Into the Open
1. Have I disguised my addiction by covering it up with a good image. Have I hidden behind a good reputation.
2. Do I still fear that others will find out about my addiction. Will my pride be hurt if someone knows the extent of it. Am I willing to share it if it will help others.
3. Can I release to God my self-centered fears of being known and of losing my image. If so write a prayer to God expressing your desire to do so.
Eyes of Love
1 John 5:11-15
1. God already sees us as we will be when his work is done. Am I aware of any blocks that keep me from asking him into my heart to do that work. What are they.
2. Is my confidence in God’s willingness to remove my shortcomings renewed. How and why.
As a survivor of childhood, adult, family and domestic abuse, I am passionate about raising awareness not only on a political level, but for each and every person who is still suffering in their own hell and afraid to get help.
You don’t have to be a victim any longer. No matter what situation you are in, or how powerful your abuser claims to be, the second YOU decide to get out and get help, your hell will be over. Seek out help, and seek it out NOW, before it’s too late.
Think nothing will happen to you? Ok, fair enough, I understand. Here’s a little bit of my story, and about my mom.
My mother used to think that nothing REALLY dangerous would happen to her; She thought she was invincible.
Last year when she mixed alcoholism and an abusive relationship together, her life came to an end. I begged her for months to stop this relationship with her abuser. Her bruises became more and more evident as time went on all over her body. Her abuser was also her enabler and also knew that the more that he kept her knocked-out drunk, the more that she would stay with him. This relationship only lasted for a few months. The beatings and the drinking spiraled out of control, until one day in August 2012, domestic violence and alcohol took both their lives in a car accident.
Still think that nothing will happen to you if you stay in an abusive relationship? Think again. Keep playing with fire and you WILL get burned, and maybe to death. Why don’t you love yourself enough right NOW to get the help available in your area?
Use your right and voice to help put a stop to domestic violence. One out of every four women in the United States are victims of domestic violence. Tell the Senate to reauthorize #VAWA & its critical protections tomorrow.
Visit Girls Inc. to find out more information about how you can take action now!
After going through my Step Four Inventory the first time in 2010, I was scared to death to actually share it with another person. I had read in my recovery book early in my program that I had to confess my deepest, darkest secrets to God and to a trusted sponsor, pastor or unbiased friend.
At that time I remember thinking: “HUH? How humiliating! Wasn’t it good enough to give it to God in prayer and trust that He was Healing me? Why would I tell my shameful past to another person? Besides, they would just hurt me like everyone else…right? How in the WORLD could I truly trust blindly someone else. I knew it, here was the catch. I knew this recovery program was too good to be true, everything always is. No one and nothing is ever to be trusted. There is always fine print.” And I thought like this for about, oh, a good six months or so the first time I went through Steps 4 and attempted to go through Step 5. And I backtracked in my recovery and slipped into old habits because of FEAR. Do you know what fear really stands for? F.E.A.R. False Evidence Appearing Real.
I was so afraid of the false scenarios I spent more time making up in my mind about sharing my mess with my sponsor than actually DOING it for the healing that I needed to get, that I ended up having a relapse. Now, relapse can be a part of recovery, but do you see what I am saying that if we just learn to take hold of the fearful thoughts and know that God is with us and for us, and just DO the things that are being asked of us, surrender and get the help we need, we would see so much victory in our recovery and lives.
Fast forward, three years later, strong in recovery, Praise the Lord I did regain victory over the relapse and did end up completing Steps 4 and 5 (a few times). I had gotten a wonderful sponsor and life coach who really worked and worked with me and never gave up. I would never be where I am without my sponsor and without working with her and continually taking inventory and telling her about my messes. I believe that we generally give up too easily in life and we can give up on others too soon also. You never know what you can do for another person’s life if you just keep praying for them, working with them, and helping them in any way you can.
In the Catholic religion, confession is very similar to step five, you know, going and releasing your sins to the priest and being relieved of your burdens. Well in recovery, your past and the things underlying your addiction truly have to be inventoried and shared with God and another person because if not, they continued to get buried. Our secrets, pains, traumas, defects and past fuel our addiction if we do not get healing for them. This is what I consider to be the most critical step of any 12 step program.
So as I continue in sharing from the Life Recovery Workbook, here are the questions from Step Five.
1. What am I avoiding in Step Four by delaying Step Five?
2. What is the exact nature of my wrongs as listed in Step Four?
3. What interferes with my being honest about myself?
1. How do I react/respond to the truth that God does not give up on me?
2. What keeps me from being truthful with God?
3. What makes me think that I can hide anything from God?
The Plumb Line
1. Have my morals and values been in line with God’s? Explain.
2. Have I had morals and values without being able to apply them to my life? Explain:
3. What has kept me from staying in line with God’s and my own morals and values?
4. Am I ready to surrender to God’s moral “plumb line” and share my Step Four Inventory? If not, why am I hesitating?
Feelings of Shame
1. What scares me about sharing “the exact nature of (my) wrongs” with another human being?
2. Who is my fear related to in my past? How did this fear develop?
3. Has there ever been a time in my life when I felt the fear and took action anyway?
4. Have I set the appointment for completing Step Five by sharing my Step Four Inventory? My commitment to myself:
1. Why would God want reconciliation before praise when we bring gifts to him?
2. Does anyone have anything against you that needs to be reconciled? Who and why?
3. What would be the impact on your life if you opened yourself up to forgiveness of others and from others?
Freedom through Confession
1. Lack of confession and openness with others results in a self-constructed prison. Do you know what that is like? Describe it here.
2. How can confession result in such profound healing?
3. Reflect it here on God’s command to be open not just to Him but also with each other.
1. As you examine yourself, can you admit to some self-deception in the past?
2. Does anyone have the freedom to speak truth into your life on a regular basis? Who?
3. Ask three or four trusted friends to write five words describing your strengths and five words describing your weaknesses. Record them here and examine them to discover areas you can work on within your small group of trusted fellow strugglers.”
Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for letting me reprint the above questions to help further the recovery process for those still suffering.
I am all for medicine and traditional therapies to help on the road to recovery for eating disorders, but there is something to be said for the ancient art of yoga, the tried and true Eastern practice that originally hails from India over 5,000 years ago.
Combining both Western and Eastern practices has been my method for the past two and a half years since I started overcoming my disorders. Yoga helped me reconnect to my inner self and has allowed me to focus on my body and the things that it really wants, instead of being ruled by my impulses. Before I practiced yoga as part of therapy, I lived as an addicted person who lived largely ruled by compulsive decisions. I am now able to listen and live intuitively on what is good for me. The art of yoga has greatly helped me get back to the basics of loving my body and myself.
Just how does yoga help to heal anorexia, bulimia and other eating problems? Read this great article by Velvet Mangan on yoga, meditation, and eating disorder recovery to find out! Velvet is an eating disorder specialist in Los Angeles, California.
Oh boy. You mean as if this recovery process wasn’t hard enough, I now had to turn my life and will over to the care of God as I understood Him? For me, God was always taught as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Personal Savior when I was in the second grade. I went out into the hallway with my sweet, devoted teacher Mrs. Hammock and right there and then I gave my life to Christ. However, if I had become saved and supposedly received some sort of Holy “immunity” against all evils and afflictions, why the heck had I developed a chronic and serious eating disorder that same year? Wasn’t God supposed to shield me from that?
In fact, come to think of it, about that time is when I remember starting to encounter all sorts of terrible abuses, issues, traumas, deaths, and they never stopped. If God was with me, He sure as heck didn’t care to give me an all access pass to life, liberty and the right to happiness. No, I wallowed for a long time in my own self pity and that my dear friends, is what kept me in my own unhappiness and addictions.
Once I really hit rock bottom in 2010 emotionally and decided to recommit my life to Christ, seek professional therapy for my past, and get help for my eating disorder, for the first time in my life, then I saw what God could do for me. But I had to turn my life over to Him every day. I have a disease of addiction that tells me that I don’t have a disease. It’s a constant release of pride, selfishness, jealousy and fantasy in exchange for living in the now moment, humility, powerlessness and realism. It’s understanding that truly only God can restore me to sanity and without turning over my addiction and those tempting moments over to Him, I will forever be living in denial and relapse; a deadly fantasy.
So, for today’s recovery on Step three, here are some very thought provoking questions for you to meditate on. I encourage you to take the time every day to go over these and answer honestly, it’s one of the best ways you can love yourself into wholeness. These questions are reprinted from the Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop, pages 25-28.
1. What in my life has taught me not to trust God?
2. What have I done to cause others not to trust me?
3. What keeps me from surrendering to God?
Free to Choose
1.What is it about my understanding of God that blocks me from deciding to turn my life and my will over to His care?
2. How does fear affect my choices?
Giving up control
1. Where did I get the illusion that I can control other people or my circumstances, job or life?
2. What stops me from giving up my life, so that I can find the life God intends for me?
Redeeming the Past
1. How do I hold God the Redeemer at arm’s length? Why?
2. What fears have the most power in my life?
3. How is shame connected to fear in me?
Submission and Rest
1. Why do I think that I am able to handle my addictions/dependencies on my own with no help from outside myself?
2. How ready am I to be taught?
3. What characteristics interfere with my being taught by Jesus or another person?
1. How does my life reflect my image of God at any given moment?
2. How do I define the word surrender?
3. What is the difference between “my will” and “my life”?
1. What does resistance look like in my life?
2. What do I have to face in myself when I draw close to God?
3. How is addiction connected to my resistance to God’s direction in my life?
Christian Relationship Help: Six Tips on How to Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You by Karla Downing
“Forgiveness is a commandment for Christians (Matthew 6:14-15); yet, there is a lot of misunderstanding on how to forgive. This Christian relationship help gives you six tips on how to forgive someone who has hurt you:
1. Understand that it is a process.The first step is to commit to that process. Some people erroneously suggest that someone should forgive right away when they find out about a major offense. This isn’t possible. Before you can forgive, you have to know what you are forgiving. It takes time to figure out what has happened and how it has affected your life.
2. Reflect on the facts of the situation, your reactions, and how it is affecting you. You have to count the cost in order to forgive by first recognizing how you have been affected by the offense. This way you know what you are forgiving.
3. Understand what the offender did and why it was done.This is putting yourself into the shoes of the other person. It gives you a perspective that can help you to be empathetic. Hurt people hurt people. This doesn’t mean you excuse the wrong or not hold the person appropriately accountable; it only means that you try to understand the problems the other person had that would have caused him/her to do what was done.
4. Choose to let go of the right to get revenge.You turn the person over to God and allow him to judge in his way and time (Romans 12:19). This can include allowing the person to face the legal, relational, financial and situational consequences of his/her actions; however, you need to let go of your bitterness and resentment and not take pleasure in the person’s pain and demise.
5. Treat the person with dignity and respect.You want to love your enemies and offer them a cup of cold water, as Jesus suggested (Romans 12:20); yet, you can still set boundaries to protect yourself. This requires that you take a step of faith and treat the person well. When you do it, it will help you to maintain the forgiveness and allow God to work in the person’s life.
6. Choose to no longer be defined by the offense.This is where you integrate the offense into your life as another thing that has happened that you have walked through that God has used to shape and mold you. Your identity is not: “The spouse who was abandoned,” The parent who lost his child,” or “The unloved child.” You have a different perspective that involves acceptance, forgiveness, and faith and a self-image that includes how you have been refined through your life experiences and how God is using it for good.
This Christian relationship help offers you these six tips on how to forgive someone who has hurt you. These tips will enable you to move on from the offense in a way that sets you free and pleases God.”