How do you work through issues related to character traits you want to be rid of? If you are powerless to change yourself, who can you rely on to guide you through your growth?
It is often the case that survivors and people in recovery desire to plan and coordinate every aspect of their lives. This determination to construct a finely drawn out map of the future results in personal torment and irritation with the flow of “life on life’s terms.” You can not know peace whilst trying to direct everything to fit your ideal image of how it should be. The folly of control also applies to changing ourselves to fit the perfect image of who we think we “should be.”
The first step towards freedom is accepting the areas in our lives where we are powerless. This process takes what it takes. We all have a different bottom to reach in order to truly feel the pain associated with powerlessness. You know when you’ve reached that point of readiness when the pain it takes to stay the same is greater than the pain it takes to change. True change occurs when you acknowledge what you are powerless over and, instead of beating yourself up for being “weak,” seek outside support.
Who Can You Turn To?
Your level of humiliation is in indirect proportion to the safety of those you rely on for support. When you have come to the place of humility, accepting who you truly are and the areas of your life that you want to see transformed, then you deserve to know that the outside support you are seeking is safe and reliable. Becoming vulnerable in the light of growth and change is often terrifying for those who have experienced violence and torment. You have the capacity to determine who to move towards and who to move away from.
Humiliation either occurs when we do not value ourselves or we are not valued by others.
A Prayer for Freedom
In 12-Step recovery programs this process of seeking help to remove personal obstacles that are no longer serving our greatest good is referred to as Step 7: Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings. There is an accompanying prayer suggested for this step. Many who have made this crucial step in their recovery recite this prayer upon awakening each morning. There is a power cultivated through prayer, on a daily basis. I invite you to include the following prayer to your morning spiritual practice:My Creator, I am now willing that You should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that You now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to You and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do Your bidding. May Thy will, not mine, be done. Amen
WORKSHEET ON Humility vs Humiliation
Write down the answers to the following questions:
1. Define what humiliation means to you.
2. What are 3 examples of when you have felt humiliated in your life?
3. Define what humility means to you.
4. What are 3 examples of acts of humility you’ve experienced?
5. How do you feel most comfortable asking for help?
6. What character traits are you ready to let go of?
7. How will you reach out for support in being relieved of these shortcomings?
© Amanda Lee
Amanda, my situation applies here and I’d like to share it. I didn’t try to change my previous partner, I accepted her for who she is and I have a lot of my own insecurities that I trusted her to safeguard, but her substance abuse and my trying to help her to help herself opened up a side of her I’d never seen in her. She is now making me out to be a stalker because I have engaged her friends and loved ones to encourage her to seek help; which she refuses to acknowledge. At this point, I have cut all ties with her or those she associates with because they are all enablers. Her own loved ones support her self destructive behavior and it is no longer my place to try to help her to help herself. We were in love, I asked her to marry me, but when I talked to her father, I discovered a hidden identity. When I confronted her with the feedback I got from her father, the wheels completely came off and now I am left empty. I started with reading your published writings and really on board with your point of view. I have learned so much about women and human behavior. Without your insightful advice, we could have gotten married, but eventually I would have seen her true colors. I completely opened myself to this woman and feel quite vulnerable and betrayed. I am a Cowboy, a Marine and a real man’s man but I am also quite sensitive. I miss the connection we had, but I was in love with a misperception. I thought for certain she was my soul mate and the times we were happy, I still think we were, but it was too good to be true. I am getting over this, but filling the void promiscuously, which is just as empty but temporary relief from the pain.
Thank you for sharing the pathway you have journeyed in your past relationship. I hear that you are heart-broken and grieving, yet making strides in working to realign yourself back to center. I would encourage you to considering going through the pain of loss, rather than trying to anesthetize it through promiscuity. I appreciate your providing insight into your situation. Thank you for reading and participating!
Warmth and light,