Are you an abuser? I'll answer for you. Yes, you are. And so am I. C'mon, admit it. You've been an abuser for a long time. You've become an "expert abuser". In fact, you're being abusive right now. And if that's not you, you were being abusive just before you started reading my post. Still not you? Sit tight. I've got you covered too. You're going to abuse yourself after you finish reading my post. See, I know you. I know all about you and your abusive behavior. I used to be you. I was an awful abuser. An abuser of the worst sort.
I was the worst! I'd rage and rant. I'd denigrate and degrade. I'd deride and dismiss. Nothing was ever good enough for me. Even when things were perfect it still wasn't good enough. "It should have been done this way!”, I'd chide. "Are you ever going to get this right?!”, I'd shout. And if you know me at all, you know that I'm not a yeller. Nope. Not my style. Until it was.
You see, I'd be very subtle, coy, and clever with my abuse. At worst, what I had to say would be delivered with a bit of a frown. But most of the time, I said things with a straight and almost comforting look on my face. The trick was to make sure my message sunk in. That it took effect. Deep beneath the surface. Deep into the mind. To be replayed. Over and over. And over again. To have the second guessing start to repeat. "Maybe he is right. Maybe I did screw things up again." Imagine having to live with that every day.
And I did. Because I was an abuser. On a regular basis, I abused myself.
I abused myself physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. In part, it's what being a perfectionist will do to you. It's what listening to and believing the lies of Satan will do to you. I know, you don't believe in all that. Well, just because you don't believe it doesn't make it any less true or him any less real. For now, know this. "Be alert and of sober mind. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." - 1 Peter 5.8
Like you, I bought into his lies and deceptions about, well, everything. My life and every part of it. One of the primary places he'd get me was with success. That is, if I didn't attain a certain level of success, then I'd failed. I'd beat myself up about it. I'd abuse myself. I'd allow him to do it as well. I'd hold tightly to my secret failures. Just like you. I'd fight and temporarily escape. I thought I was winning. Just like you. Only to have the next devastating blow knock me right out of the box.
Until that day. One day. When Jesus Christ set me free. Truly free. And in case you're wondering, I'd given my life to Christ decades before that day. Surprise! See, that's how I know you so well. I was you!
Until the day I decided to lay it all down and submit and relent, I was doomed to failure and living with secret failures. I had some lessons to learn. My old way of living, thinking, and believing had to become and--watch this--remain just that. OLD! As in, in the past. Done. Over. I had to take God at His word when He said, "...as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." - Psalm 103.12. And, "I, even I, am he who blots your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." - Isaiah 43.25.
It's time for you to do the same thing. Ask the Lord to forgive you, because, "...if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." - 1 John 1.9.
Move forward. Don't let the same mistake beat you twice.
You've also got to forgive some other folk as well. Even if they're no longer here or in your life. I know. This one is hard and you just bristled up and tried to tune me out, but you're still reading. Because you know it's true. It's time to release them. By way of releasing them, you'll be released. You'll finally be able to truly live an abundant, full, and prosperous life. The one you were made to live. The best part about releasing them is this. You'll be FREE!
Dr. Charles Stanley of InTouch Ministries has provided this next bit of advice for years. If a person whose hurt you is no longer here or you don't know their whereabouts, this is what you do. Get two chairs. One is for you. One is for that other person. Have the conversation with them. Tell them how much they hurt you. Get it all out. Then, forgive them.
I know. That sounds a bit silly, doesn't it? Until you do it and it works. And before you ask, yes, I've done it. A few times. You may have to do it more than once too. Do it. Your life is worth it. You're worth it. The people who love you and those you love, they're worth it. Because you know its had an impact on and is impacting them too, right?
I know that last one, forgiving those who've hurt and injured us, ain't simple or easy. I also know that it must be done. I know that this is an issue that is far deeper than can be tackled or handled in a single blog post. That's why I didn't attempt to tackle or handle it in full. Instead, I wanted to get you started off on the right foot to dealing with and handling it. It's time.
It's time for you to stop abusing yourself with secret failures. It's time for you to be at peace. It's time for you to get set free.
If you're truly and finally ready to stop abusing yourself with secret failures and start leading and living your best life, I believe that I can help you. Contact me.