Monday, January 04, 2010

Survival Mode for Women

How many of us adult women still deal with un-dealt wounds from father/mother or other authority figures?


As one who mentors women, I know that all of us at one time or another in one season of life or another will face a new layer of old wounds that will surface.

I remember a specific time when that happened to me. I was shocked at my fear and anxiety and anger that surfaced. All I knew in that moment was to cry out to God with something like, "God, I thought I'd dealt with that." His gentle answer ever so clear was, "You did, Lylah, I just want to take it a little deeper." And, He did.

And now, for some of you, I think you are in or will enter a season of God taking something a bit deeper - so don't be alarmed - just go with it.

Understand that as little girls, events in our little lives come through our senses and travel to various parts of our brain. The brain, in this case, the limbic system color codes those events depending on how safe that little girl feels. The level of safety or degree the little girl feels protected can be real or imagined.

If an event leaves the little girl feeling vulnerable, hurt or abandoned the brain will come up with some sort of a system of thought that will allow her to survive. She will develop strategies to maintain those systems to continue to survive. Keep in mind that we were all meant to be protected (by dad/mom) as little girls and it's natural for the brain to set up a system for survival when adult authority/protectors don't do their job.

All of us have those systems of thoughts that kick in - when we "feel" triggered by an event. Such thoughts might be: "I can do this myself." " I won't allow myself to 'need' anyone and if I don't need anyone, then I won't end up vulnerable and if I'm not vulnerable then I won't get/be hurt."

As women, when we experience vulnerability (and btw it can impede intimacy) the next reactive emotion is often fear which is normal. It's the flight, fright, flee freeze thing.

The problem comes in when we continually operates out of fear (masked anger because of a real or perceived injustice.) She will tend to control, manipulate, intimidate, isolate, withdraw (love), with hold (love), etc. and influence others based out of her fears. She will tend to struggle with relationships and maintaining them. One thing I know - is that women are wounded in relationship (especially with other women) and it's in relationship (with other women) that they heal.

This woman will also struggle growing up and out of the drama she tends to create and perpetuate from such undealth with wounds. Adrenaline kicks in and if there isn't drama then it has to be created because living on adrenaline is addictive.

Paul in Colossians 1:28 was passionate for all to become mature so they could be presented to Christ on That Day (the Judgment Seat of Christ also known as the Bema Seat) in a way where they would not have regret but receive reward. If we, as women, continue to operate out of fear will stay stuck in the pain and shame of the past, not become mature and then have regret. It's because I don't want regret and I do want reward that I continually do that inner feminine soul work.

One way to get unstuck is to pause in the moment of a knee jerk reaction and briefly dissect the thinking processes and the subsequent emotion (usually fear). When an emotion leads an action, we're bound to make a mess of things but when right thinking leads (even acting our way into right living - respecting others boundaries, learning to love what seems unlovely, listening and seeking to understand before being understood, etc.) then in time we'll develop new and right thinking patterns (based on biblical principles and truths) and become mature.

Maturity is about thriving, living with joy and hope even in the hard things - not surviving.

My suggestion is to find some safe women, create a confidentiality in the group of women, practice listening and not fixing and then let each other dump and feel loved (dispels and helps to heal vulnerability) along the journey.

May 2010 be a year where you journey forward on the path of maturity.

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5 comments:

Angel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lylah Ledner said...

thanks girls...so glad i could encourage you to move in a thriving sort of direction. blessings upon His mercy. . . lylah

Dawn said...

This was an awesome, insightful post. Thanks for sharing = )

Roxane said...

This is unrelated to the post but i got here from the Phoenix Permaculture site. I was just wondering if you have gotten any milk goats yet? We're looking for some raw goats milk. Thanks!

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