Thursday, June 2, 2016

Red Hot Buttons

It happened again.

The old familiar cycle repeated itself A-GAIN!

So frustrating. Why can't I break this pattern?

The circumstances may be different; the contexts may be different; the pattern is the same.

Atychiphobia strikes again!

At least in my eyes.

Her husband commented to her, When we go to visit your family in the city, you always turn into a different person. I guess I'm not the only one.

A few months ago while visiting my extended family, it happened. That is sometimes fertile ground for my atychiphobia. But truly I've experienced many other contexts as well where my victim-hood shines, I'm not good enough.

Over the years I've tried different methods to reach my good enough goal. What outfit might be just right for this occasion? How should I style my hair? What thoughts should I offer for this dilemma - what would sound really wise? 

It boils down to people pleasing, and the cycle begins.

It starts with this unhealthy self thought, I'm not good enough. This is the fuel the feeds the cycle.
But I can handle this, I think. I review Psalm 139, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." (verse 14)

But even that truth is not quite enough.

I hide my feelings and paste on a smile.

I take cover away from others trying to erase my reality and protect myself.

These resistance techniques are digging me deeper into despair.

Now I'm tempted to act out, No, I DON'T want to go shopping with you. No, I DON'T want to go to that meeting.
I justify that decision. I need time and space to lick my wounds.

Blame is easy, they really don't know me and my opinions are not important to them anyway.

The shame sets in. I'm a mature woman. I should know better than to be acting so foolish.

Truly I'm not good enough. 

My hope that it will ever change vaporizes.

And round and round the cycle I go.

David's cry in Psalm 30:2 gave me words, "O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me." I prayed for God to heal ... or at least give relief from this damaging cycle. Hope begins to surface. Awareness is huge.

1. Remember and review my primary identity, the beloved child of God. Be on the offense.

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us ...
called children of God ... exactly who we are."
I John 3:1, The Message

2. Remember and review God's personal whispers to me concerning atychiphobia. Be on the defense.

"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you."
Jeremiah 1:5

3. Be humble enough to invite my community, a few trusted friends to 'come with me', when I know atychiphobia could be knocking at my door. Ask them to pray; ask them to text scriptures. 

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin."
I John 1:7

"Therefore confess your sins to one another
and pray for one another, that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous person has great power and is working."
James 5:16

I'm thinking, this is the way of escape.

"Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.
God is faithful,
and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability,
but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape,
that you may be able to endure it."
I Corinthians 10:12, 13 (bolding mine)

Reviewing truth, walking in the light, inviting community - these are life-giving principles to overcoming atychiphobia. 

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and self-discipline."
II Timothy 1:7 NLT 

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