I can’t save Me from being Me

This weekend was another Every Mans Battle workshop. At the end of session 1, the staff introduces themselves, and usually say a word of encouragement. This month Jim said something that blew my mind. I asked him to repeat it because at first I was super confused. But the more I chewed on it, the more it became deeply profound. He said:

“Jim can’t save Jim from being Jim.”

Holy cow. I can’t save me from being me. That’s deep! When I finally got done chewing on it, it reinforced and rapidly propelled me towards the reality that I need a Savior. Not just for eternity, but in this life. Now. Present tense. Because if left to my own devices long enough, I’ll go back to being who I used to be, doing what I used to do, blowing my life and the life of the people I love the most on this planet.

I’d encourage you to give some energy to that pithy statement of Jim’s. It’s like a whole theology book summed up in 7 words. Talk to the people closest to you about how you process it. And think about what if anything might look different in your life if you lived by that statement.

Empathy Barrier

One of the biggest challenges in the relational recovery process is for a husband to have empathy. I wrote another post about that recently here. I think its important to understand a key barrier to empathy. That barrier is a lack of self-intimacy; knowing our own hearts and our needs.

As we navigate life, our emotions are stirred and we are impacted by the world around us. We have good days, and we also have those days where we wish we had a mulligan. Those tough days, especially, affect us. Our car breaks down and we feel powerless, disappointed and angry. Our stocks go down and we feel the same. Our boss yells at us, or we yell at employees. Or kids. Or our wives. And we feel guilty and remorseful. A deal falls through, a vacation gets canceled, etc. Or perhaps we act out again and relapse with porn, strip clubs or cross-dressing. You name it, the emotional impact of life can leave us feeling hurt, disappointed, ashamed, guilty and fearful to name a few.

Unfortunately, many men don’t give credence to these emotional impacts. A lot of us will¬† cruise through the day, trying to let this stuff roll off our backs, knowing tomorrow we’ll just start over and hope it goes differently. Wash, rinse, repeat for many of us. But along the way, our hearts are hurt. We end up with legitimate emotional needs that never get addressed. Needs like reassurance, affirmation, validation or perspective. And those needs build, functioning like a kettle on a stove. They heat up and heat up, then eventually when the kettle whistles we’re at critical mass and we’ll move into a reactionary posture. At that point automatic processing kicks in and old habits show up – angry outbursts, shutting down, acting out, acting in. All the while, we’re denying our hearts by ignoring them.

Think about it for a second – how can I have tenderness and compassion towards my wife and honor her heart, when I’ve locked my own heart in a vault? If I don’t allow myself to feel then I’m not going to know my own needs. Nor will I get those needs met in healthy ways. Thus it’ll be nearly impossible to be available for someone else’s needs. Especially those we love the most.

So if you’re struggling with empathy, chances are high that you’re not dealing in self-intimacy; knowing your own heart and your own needs. I don’t mean this in a selfish way, I mean this in a serving way. I am responsible to protect and nourish my own heart in order to have gas in the tank to protect and nourish the hearts God has entrusted to my care.

If you are wondering what that even means, I encourage you to talk to your support guys, your counselor and/or your pastor.

 

KitchenConvos.com just launched

Shelley and I are pumped to announce that our new video course for couples is now available!

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If you’re trying to navigate the healing process after betrayal through pornography, emotional/physical affairs or other sexual integrity issues, this video course can help!

The course will include 3 stages. The first stage (15 videos) is live, and the next stage is in production. In these videos and the workbook we talk in-depth about the challenging process of restoration. We cover details like-KC_WorkbookCover

  • How to prepare for full disclosure
  • How to do full disclosure
  • The grieving process – for the husband and wife
  • How husbands can help their wives’ grieving process
  • How to navigate life after disclosure
  • What to do if there are slips

Plus I’ve included 3 WhiteBoard Session videos where I diagram key aspects of the recovery process and how to handle them. Here’s an example –

SpringLoaded

We believe this video course will be incredibly beneficial, giving guidance and hope through authentic conversations and practical advice.

Click here to check out the course! www.kitchenconvos.com