In some families if a child or spouse gave an opinion at the dinner table, there was an immediate rebuke. That subconsciously taught them that their feelings or opinions didn’t matter. Therefore, as time went by, some grew fearful of expressing themselves for fear of humiliation. To give an opinion to them meant; “keep your opinion to yourself, that’s unimportant. Just do as I say.”
No wonder people learn to fear authority and bury every emotion within. No one wants to be rejected and face humiliation. People turn to food or other addiction like drugs or alcohol to mask inward pain. I specialize in food addiction. Addicts discover food comforts; de-stresses, never talks back and is like a warm hug against their inner child.
Were you allowed as a child, to voice an opinion without ridicule, or were you expected to withhold your opinion? You might believe you have no value, while God tells you, “I don’t make junk.” Your feelings matter, especially to God! He made you and you aren’t JUNK!
It’s a daunting challenge to overcome that mindset, when over time it’s embedded in our brains.
Connections to our past hover just below the surface. We never really outgrow childhood memories. After so many years of holding onto the pain, sometimes, something minuscule unlocks the floodgates. Submerged frustration or bitter words can recklessly spew out all at once. Have you ever yelled at your spouse, child or pet and it had absolutely nothing to do with them?
Case in point: a husband playfully teased his wife about her eating habits one evening. His comments struck her the wrong way and she lashed out at him. It seems her father, a malicious, belittling man, consistently taunted and shamed her at the dinner table in front of others. A flash of memory and her husband became the recipient of that hurtful recollection.
Sometimes, even those who lash out have no idea why they act as they do toward another. In psychology that’s called transference.
Choose to break that chain:
- You are important to those who truly care about you. If you feel comfortable enough, reveal that personal memory regarding why you reacted that way. If not, speak to a pastor, counselor or trusted friend. Leave it at the Lord’s feet and move on!
- When under stress, don’t eat – find positive actions: exercise, go for a walk, read or search for relaxation outside because fresh air creates feel-good endorphins. Be proactive. Choose healthy ways to release frustrations.
- Positive affirmations matter. You are special to God simply because you exist! Delve further into the Word to confirm it.
- Put yourself in another’s shoes. Humans aren’t mind readers and if you don’t express yourself, how would they know? Burying your feelings will only prolong the problem. Release the shackles that bind you to the past.
Speak the Truth in love if someone hurts you. Memorize Scripture and don’t become provoked. Look at the intent of the one who tries your patience. Was it truly intentional or were they simply unaware? Gather the courage to divulge how a statement made you feel.
“Don’t be afraid, because I’m with you; don’t be anxious, because I am your God. I keep on strengthening you; I’m truly helping you. I’m surely upholding you with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) ISV