Friday, April 25, 2008

Sanity and Insanity

Sanity. Something that we assume every human has. A rightful mind. The opposite of sanity conjures up all kinds of images in my head. But what is sanity? I know the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over expecting different results”. I think in recovery that pretty much sums it up. When we enter thru the doors seeking recovery we are saying that we are done trying to fix it. We can’t. We need help. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. That implies that we are “insane” when we start out in recovery.
Lets take a step back in time and figure out where this insanity starts. You are not insane because your husband drinks. You are not insane because you kids are acting out. You are not insane because your boyfriend is a jerk. You are not insane because your life is out of control. It stated long before these things occurred.
When we are created we are knit together in our mothers womb by the hands of God. He creates us with a personality, certain bents, DNA that identifies us. Before we take our first breath the Creator knows us. We are brought into a sinful fallen world defenseless. To be raised and grown to adulthood. What we end up getting is anyone’s guess. What God creates us to have is a beautiful picture, listen to this:
Check out what Gayle Hoone, L.I.F.E. ministries says:
God meant for children to flourish in their created identity. Even at their beginnings, they are invested with the consciousness of God The Creator. HIS intent is that parents teach, guide, protect, while depositing honor [to prize, value, revere, esteem; to give dignity, originating from (giving) glory & numerous, rich, honorable] into the child’s soul-hearts, and minds.
Children learn via the growing experiences of a nurturing family, proper attitudes, and appropriate actions that honor others. The practice of these attitudes and actions generate life principles [codes and standards] of morality and integrity. Proper morality and integrity give growing privilege [freedom, honor, benefit] in each development stage of the child.
To honor means to respect, admire, revere, value, consider, follow, abide. The goal in a family is to accept each other’s uniquely made character, rather than comparing one to another. It is God’s love in the mother and father that compels a child to accept and embrace themselves, and others individuality.
Uniquely made character = Psalms 139.13-18.
Love = 1 Corinthians 13.4-8; James 2.8
Unfortunately, we don’t always get what God designs and intends for us. Thank you sin and free will. As a result of the fall of man, Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, our parents and our parents parent’s and their parents before them have been passing down the effects of sin. The curse. We are brought into life and what we experience is the effects of sin and dysfunction. My mother and father were products of their parents and the effects of their dysfunction. They picked up the tools of communication and functioning and used them with their own children. Neither one of my parents sought after God and a life of holiness. I was raised without the influence of the church and the body of Christ to nurture and encourage me. My parents were on their own doing all that they knew how to do. But how does that equate with healthy? How does that equal insanity?
When a parent is dysfunctional, the child, who is like a sponge, absorbs the affliction [burdens and/or troubles] of the parent causing the child to lose needed mental and emotional development.. Gayle Hoone, L.I.F.E. ministries
We lose the ability to communicate. To feel. To think things thru. To love and be loved. We are a product of their sin and dysfunctional behavior. We are stunted. We grow up with wounds on our heart and unhealthy tapes playing in our head.
I grew up thinking that I was unwanted. Dumb. Ugly. In the way. My tapes say that no one likes me. I don’t belong. It must be me. I am no good. I am worthless. These are the messages that I grew up with embedded in my heart and mind. The seed of insanity and dysfunction were being sown all along.
Then I drag these tapes and messages into adulthood where they are in full gear. I then enter into relationships. What do you suppose happens? I try to undo the tapes and messages and prove that I am able. I enter into dysfunctional relationships where I hope to redeem myself and get it right. I set out to prove that I am just the opposite of the tapes and messages. I am not like my parents. But I have all the coping skills that I learned from them. I have all the patterns of the past. I have the model of dysfunction to follow. Insanity says that I can do it better if I try harder next time. Insanity says that if I just give more and try longer then the result will be different. And over and over the cycle repeats. Relationship after relationship. Failure after failure. And all the while I am still carrying the tapes in my head and the festering wounds on my heart.
To me the definition of sanity is realizing that I am not GOD. I don’t have to be. I don’t have to fix it. I don’t have to change THEM. I don’t have to. I don’t. My decisions are based on truth not feelings. My choices are made with my eyes wide open. Sanity to me is acting not “re-acting”.
So if we enter into recovery to get healthy. To be whole. To be functional. Why do you think that once we get a taste of the good stuff. The peace. The pain eases. The stress relieves. Why do you think that we want to keep going back into situations that are a pattern of the past? Why do we keep looking for affirmation from the family of origin that hurt us? Why do we keep seeking love and acceptance from the system that scarred us to begin with? Why do we attract abusers? Why do we attract the angry men? The alcoholics?
I recently spoke with my sponsee and she told me that her sister commented to her that, “She just wants her sister back”….and this made me wonder. What if the sister that she remembers is nothing but a shadow of dysfunction and a shadow of the past? What is the sister was a person made up of unhealthy coping skills. What if the sister is a completely different person when she comes out of recovery?
Recovery if it is done correctly, strips away to the bone the sick unhealthy part of us. The defenses and the coping skills that destroy are cut away. The heart is circumcised and filled. A whole new person emerges into life. Into sanity. Living life with full confidence in God that He is ultimately in control and that we are only responsible for our part and what He desires of us. What we emerge with is the Freedom to BE who and what HE created to begin with. We emerge a new creation complete with the awareness that “just for today” and “that was then and this is now”. We emerge with the ability to not react to feelings or tapes. But we live one breath at a time trusting that He will work out the results.

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