When a belief becomes an irrefutable fact in your mind, I think of it as being cemented in place. When something is set in cement, it can later be moved, but it’s not easy to move it. It takes a great deal of work to break down cement.
Beliefs are much the same way. And, recently, I learned that while most beliefs are formed in childhood, some can be cemented while others are not.
Growing up, I learned that I didn’t matter other than what I could do for my parents. Part of that meant if I was sick or injured, it wasn’t important- I needed to keep going rather than rest. Even if it was really bad, it wasn’t particularly important. In fact, when I had the chicken pox when I was in the fifth grade, I had a very nasty case. It lasted for about two weeks. My mother was so tired of staying home, & complained because my parents & I hadn’t gone out to dinner in so long. She, my father & I went out to dinner one night, even though I was still covered in sores. As she drove out of the neighborhood, she told me to duck down in the backseat & hide since some neighborhood kids were playing outside. She didn’t want them to see me. She said if anyone at school mentioned seeing me, to tell them she was taking me to the doctor.
Things like this showed me I didn’t matter & that if I was sick or injured, I should keep on going rather than take care of myself, no matter what, & not bother anyone with my “petty” problems. Thankfully I did start fighting against that belief once I became an adult, although it was a struggle.
Then, I married my husband. He is of almost pure German decent. As a result, he’s a hard worker & pretty tough. Very little gets him down, & he expects the same of me.
After getting extremely sick last year from carbon monoxide poisoning, I was unable to do my usual housework. It wasn’t long before my husband was upset about having to do all of the chores. I ended up resuming housework & cooking well before I felt able to do it (recovery from carbon monoxide poisoning can take months, even years, if recovery even happens, that is.). I honestly believed I should stop being so lazy & get back to work.
Recently, I had a nasty flashback. After the worst was over, I pushed myself to do things I needed to do around the house, in spite of feeling physically & emotionally drained. I asked God why do I do this? I know better! I have C-PTSD & have had carbon monoxide poisoning along with a traumatic brain injury- I can’t just keep on going! I need rest & lots of it, especially when something like a flashback happens.
God showed me the answer immediately. My husband’s belief that I shouldn’t “let things get me down” cemented in me the belief that my parents tried to instill in me- I shouldn’t take time to rest/heal, no matter how much I need it, & don’t bother people with my problems. Yes, I had fought against that belief, & even had made some strides in that area. However, loving my husband & caring what he thinks of me puts him in a unique position in my life. I don’t want to disappoint him. Plus, feeling I should keep on going no matter what is such a habit. I slid back into that dysfunctional pattern without thinking about it.
Has this happened to you too? Are you living out dysfunctional patterns that you feel unable to break because they are cemented in your mind?
Dear Reader, don’t lose hope if your answer is yes. God wants to help you as He is helping me. He reminds me that it’s OK to take breaks, to sleep in, & take care of myself as needed. He will do the same for you no matter what the stronghold is! Simply ask Him, “Why am I like this? Please, Father, show me why! Heal me & show me what I need to do on my end to stop this dysfunction in my life.” I know, it sounds simple, but it really makes a huge difference! Once you see the root cause of the bad behavior, you can heal. It’s kind of like gardening. If you want to rid your garden of weeds, you can pluck them, but they’ll come back soon. If you dig them out by the root though, the weeds won’t come back. Seeing the root of your bad behavior is much like digging that weed out. You can see how wrong it was to have the bad belief put on you & let God fill your brain with good beliefs, with the truth.