Archive for distorted thinking

I’m Listening . . .

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I think I’ve cried at least once every single day for the past several weeks, if not months.

As someone who can’t help but feel and think deeply about everything, I have taken my time to respond to what is happening in the world, but especially in our country, about racism in particular.

I am and have always been about “healing heart issues.” I have worked with clients in 39 countries, and of all races and religions. Because I usually only use phone or Skype voice, I do not see my clients, and this gives me and them the freedom to relate at the heart level.

I have found that no matter the color of one’s skin, the same heart beats in all of us.

Having said that, I know that we are all affected by our culture and the surrounding culture. We have the same heart issues, but we don’t have the same experience. In our culture, there is wide disparity between socioeconomic and racial cultures. We can easily find many areas of injustice that need correcting.

I recently wrote a blog about distorted thinking, with the challenge to filter everything you hear or read—even what comes out of your own mouth—through this lens. Our culture’s polarization, for instance, is a perfect example of most of the thinking styles mentioned. And racism is built on ALL of them.

We need to first confront the distorted thinking, the heart wounds, that exist in our own hearts before we can clearly engage in any conversation about healing on a larger scale. As Jesus said, we need to remove the log in our own eye before we can see to take out the speck in our brother’s eye.

With that said, I am prayerfully asking God to show me any way in which my own heart and my own thinking need to be changed.

And I am listening. Deeply. With humility. Listening to my black brothers and sisters, to my friends and colleagues, to people who demonstrate that they are thinking clearly.

And I want to listen to YOU. If there is anything you have seen in what I have said that shows any kind of distorted thinking like that on my blog, or just plain ignorance, call me out, please. I promise to listen.

I believe that love is what is needed now more than ever. And love listens. Love allows space for another to be heard, without judgment. That is what I have always sought to do with my clients, friends and family.

After talking with thousands of clients the world over, I believe one of the greatest aches of the human heart is to be validated. To be heard.

I want you who read this to know that I believe you should be heard. That your experience matters. That YOU matter. Growing up in a home in which I felt like I didn’t matter because I was different (with the trait of high sensitivity), I get that deep need. “Black lives matter” is a very moving statement to me.

I am also listening to God, searching his word for his perspective. What I find is that to God, ALL lives matter, simply because he created every person. God himself loves diversity. You see this in the very first book of the Bible, Genesis, when he made an incredible variety of things, and you see it in the very last book (Revelation), where the vision is of “peoples from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands” (Revelation 7:9). From beginning to end in the Bible, God loves and values diversity.

And so should we, for that very reason.

God loves diversity!

Years ago in 2006, I wrote on my Abundant Gifts blog a post called “Room for All Kinds.” It moved me greatly to write it, and I offer it to you now: https://abundantgiftsblog.com/room-for-all-kinds/

This is the vision I hold to, and pray for. Before God we all stand equal . . . and beloved. When you know yourself—and every other person–as the Beloved of God, it changes everything.

My work is to help you see that you are the Beloved, and then I trust that God and your own aligned self will make clear the unique contribution you are to make to a world in which God’s celebration of diversity is meant to be made manifest.

The events rocking the world at this time, especially the U.S., are staggering.

I have felt deep pain in my heart space over all that is happening. So much pain, loss, heartbreak. Evil exposed (this is a good thing, but so difficult to witness). Injustice and violence.

The latter two especially make me feel physically ill. I learned recently that there’s a name for this stress that can affect us even physically, that feels almost like post-traumatic stress. It’s the pain that stems from taking in the energy of a tumultuous world (and, for people of color, the energy of passive and active discrimination and racism), and it now has a name: “emotional inflammation.” You can listen to a podcast about this here, or check out the book by Dr. Lise Van Susteren and Stacey Colino here. It helped me to understand how much we are all affected by what’s going on in the world.

(For the 20% with the trait of High Sensitivity, emotional inflammation is almost unavoidable; we take in so much more, and process it at such a deep level.)

The problem is, there are many narratives out there. So many nuances to an issue. So many people twisting the facts to fit their own narrative (or ignoring key facts). I feel mentally and emotionally exhausted just thinking about making my way through all of it to the truth.

But I am committed to doing so, through prayer, as God leads. I want to be part of the solution, not the problem.

One thing I notice, among the maelstrom of media, social and otherwise, is how rampant the dysfunctional thinking is behind so much of the narratives. When a friend sent me a link to a very helpful graphic on “unhelpful thinking styles,” I began to apply it not only to my life, but to what I was hearing and reading. Read More→

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