Some disliked my choice of wording in a previous post. When I say, "When you're Real, you don't mind being hurt," it feels to them like I'm saying, "you don't care that you're hurt"---suffer, no matter, what comes your way.

I do not mean to say anything like that. If a woman is being abused, it would be wrong for me to suggest she should not care about being hurt. She should care and so should the rest of us. And she should do what it takes to end the abuse, move away from it, get help, seek justice, stand up for her God-breathed dignity---and us, with her.

When I say that "you don't mind being hurt," what I mean is that you want to get to the point where you're no longer getting hooked by your thoughts over and over again, obsessing in your mind about the wrong done to you, living unconsciously about the way your thoughts can drive you into a doom-loop of cognitive captivity.

My focus is your thought life. If with your feet you must walk away, if you need to protect your body, then by all means possible, do so.

And when you're free and have the safety to do so, then enter into a healing process so you can learn to let go of the outrage that can fester and hold you prisoner to the abuse you once experienced. Relinquish the resentment. Give up your grievance. You can do so, by becoming aware that of the fact that you will suffer, but your suffering doesn't have to define you. No one wants to suffer, but all of us will---some of us in awful ways. And I do not intend to minimize or render people passive to the inhumanity of some forms of suffering.

Instead, I want to invite you into a way to be honest about your suffering, while not tolerating the kind of suffering no human being should have to suffer.  The resurrection of Jesus means at least this:  Life is at work in you and will not rest until you are fully alive, fully free.  So, you should no longer tolerate abuse.  Neither should you let suffering define you, imprison you, or keep you suffering over your suffering.

Unless you learn to stop suffering over your suffering, the abuse will never stop, even if you're now living in safety. The abuse has just moved inside, into the realm of your mind. Your abuser is no longer outside you, but inside you. The thoughts of your mind have become the abuser, and your mind is much more difficult to escape.

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AuthorChris Neufeld-Erdman