19 Safe People

A righteous man is cautious in friendship.  Proverb 12:26

God is healing us.  Jesus meets our deepest needs for love and acceptance.  In the journey away from perfectionism, God ministers to us and often uses people.  These people reflect the love of Jesus.  We need their fellowship to heal because isolation breeds shame and self-hatred.  Separation magnifies shame.  We actually need healthy connection with others to let go of shame.

To those who have been deeply wounded this may sound like bad news.  Friendship involves trust.  When deeply wounded, we choose not to trust so as to protect our hearts.  We resist being vulnerable so that we are not hurt again.  Imagined control over our environment seems safer than trust.  However, control leads us deeper into perfectionism, whereas trust leads to healing.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Trust and caution go together as Proverbs 12:26 indicates.  Find safe people to trust.  They will encourage your faith and healing.  Safe people love & respect others and guard others’ dignity.  Safe people are, for the most part, gentle, forgiving and non-judgmental.  Truthfully, we will not find perfect people to trust this side of Heaven.  Yet, we apply discernment and grace as we learn to trust in relationships.

Sometimes on our journey, no one seems safe.  We may have learned not to trust, and perceptions get skewed.  We can see lack of trustworthiness in others.  We need to learn to trust.  Take small risks.  See who is fairly trustworthy.

Remember, safe people speak truth in love.  We may feel hurt at times by their honesty.  This doesn’t mean they aren’t safe, because sometimes, honestly, we need to be confronted and the truth can hurt.  We need to learn humility in the process.  Here is a guide:  Criticism hurts without regard for others’ hearts and dignity while critique seeks to benefit and regards others’ hearts and dignity.

As a caution, when we cling to anyone, except Jesus, we make ourselves unsafe.  Also, we give them too much power.  This makes them unsafe for us.  We need to become dependent on Jesus alone.  Hold on to safe people loosely.  Having healthy connections with others in mutually loving and respectful relationships will help you to let go of shame and self-hatred.

Finding safe people, becoming a safe person,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


18 Self Hatred

My last post may have made it sound like you have or you do not have shame.  Actually, we live in a mixture between feeling shame and feeling loved.  In this confusion, we ask the question, “Am I so bad?”  We seek ways to prove to ourselves that we are not so bad.  Our tendency toward perfectionism is one of them.  Self-hatred contrasts with shame by providing an answer to shame’s question.  “I am so bad!”

Oddly enough, self-hatred can at times feel better than shame.  We ask ourselves, “Am I so bad?”  Our feelings of being loved and of feeling shamed fight each other.  The arguments between love and shame create tension and insecurity as they rage unresolved.  In contrast, self-hatred gives a false sense of being settled or resolved, even if in a negative way.

When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders.  “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”  “What is that to us?” they replied.  “That’s your responsibility.”  So Judas threw the money into the temple and left.  Then he went away and hanged himself.  Matthew 27: 3-5

Self-hatred flows into self-punishing behaviors.  These behaviors done to self vary in destructiveness from hair pulling, excessive scratching, pinching and cutting, to suicide.  Physical pain feels like it brings relief from the emotional pain, but is only a temporary distraction; the emotional pain eventually returns (in the case of suicide, the pain is eternal).

For those of us who experience self-hatred, God’s love can seem hopelessly unrealistic.  Take heart.  Jesus makes us whole.  He can heal you.  Bringing the dead to life is one of God’s specialties.

You may have prayed for years to be healed.  Keep praying.  Ask others to pray with you.  Deep emotional healing takes time.  You need tell others about your struggle.  This may include counseling.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call for help.  You could call your church and ask to speak to a pastor.  If you are not willing to talk to someone in your circle of acquaintances, call the Christian Suicide Prevention at 888-667-5947, website: http://www.christiansuicideprevention.com/  if you are contemplating suicide, suffering in silence could result in your death.  Do get help.

Finding relief and hope in the journey,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


17 Shame

I have danced around the subject of shame.  Previous posts provided tools to deal with it.  I hope that you are ready to hear about this deep, dark, intractable subject.

(H)e raped her…Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornamented robe she was wearing.  She put her hand on her head and went away; weeping aloud as she went…And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house, a desolate woman.  2 Samuel 13:14,19,20

Shame feels like hopelessness, emptiness, worthlessness, loneliness or pain.  Shame relentlessly hits our souls and identities with negative messages.  Shame diminishes and intensifies, but it never completely goes away.  Triggers remind us of our shame.

Our identities developed in childhood.  Back then, we believed what happened to us was about or even because of us.  When parents or other significant people in our lives wounded us repeatedly, we came to believe that we were defective.  This formed our shame-based identity.

Shame feels like guilt, and so we may confuse the two.  Indeed, they intermix when we sin as others sin against us.  To heal from shame, we need help discerning the difference between the two.  With guilt, we confess how we hurt others and receive forgiveness through the blood of Christ.  With shame, we need to acknowledge how other people hurt us, which can involve letting ourselves feel the anger we have towards them.  Throughout this process, we need to forgive them through the power which Christ’s blood affords us.  We resist forgiving, especially so when others do not acknowledge how they hurt us.  We still need to forgive them.  Forgiving can be a long and difficult process.  Yet it ultimately frees us.  As Francis Frangipane writes, “Unforgiveness is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

Beyond forgiving, we need to receive from God our new identity as forgiven and beloved.  As we receive God’s forgiveness and love, our shame-based identity fights back and struggles for survival.  When we try to kill our shame-based identity, we shame ourselves. We actually feed it in trying to destroy it.  Rather, we need to let go of the old identity and allow God to transform us into our new identity in Christ.  We cooperate with Him when we stop trying to earn His love, yield to Him and let Him give us our new identity.

Let go of shame.  Shame can stick like glue and it resists dying.  Do not focus on shame. Rather, focus on God, His love and forgiveness.  God created us.  He nurtures our new self.  Open your heart and mind to Him.  Crying out to Him opens your heart to Him.  Receive His love as gift.

Much of our recovery involves letting go of shame and receiving God’s love.

Learning to see myself as His beloved,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


16 Submitting Wounds of the Heart and Mind

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hears be troubled, and do not be afraid.  John 14:27

Longing for love and not feeling it drives our perfectionism.  We seek to make ourselves lovable by earning it.  To let go of perfectionism, we need inner healing for our hearts.  When we feel pain and other negative emotions, we can receive inner healing by submitting our wounded hearts and minds to the Lordship of Jesus.

Submitting them involves feeling the pain and looking to Jesus.  We see Him smiling.  We feel His touch.  We hear Him saying, “I love you.” and, “I give you my peace.”  We choose to believe Him rather than the pain of the wounds.  We surrender them to His Lordship.

Submitting wounds of the heart and mind takes time and effort.  We will encounter resistance in the process.  You may not find any benefit from submitting your wounds at this time.  We will pass along other ideas in future e-letters, which work alongside this one.

The following illustrates submitting wounds of the heart and mind:

My mom died when I was eight and a half years old.  I felt abandoned and unimportant.  I heard about God’s love, but doubted Him.  In the here and now, I trust God and sense His love for me.  Recent events reminded me of my heart wounds.  I experienced again the pain of feeling unimportant.  I gave my pain in prayer to Jesus and asked Him to take Lordship over the place in my heart where I feel this pain.  I felt His love pushing into my pain.  The pain did not instantly disappear.  I felt the tension between His love and my pain.  I felt His love gradually begin to burn away my pain.

In process of submitting,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/