Dear Suffering One,
I see you.
You’re asking for help in a hundred different ways…
The things you say–on your bad days, yes, but even on your good days–which say loud and clear that you’re hurting and searching for answers.
You talk about your many physical aches and pains, or your depression and anxiety, which are cropping up again.
Or you post dozens of songs and quotes and pictures, to which you’re clinging for a bit of hope. (Things like, “I’ll get through this” or “I’m a fighter” or “God’s got me.”)
Other times you’re very clear that you’re struggling:
Suffering One, I want to help you.
But, when I see the type of counsel you’re running toward, I’m just not sure how to intervene. Quite frankly, I’m afraid your counselors are killing you, but that sounds so negative, doesn’t it?
That’s bad, because those deadly advisors have taught you to shut out the “negative” people who question anything you don’t want questioned. “GET RID OF THE TOXIC PEOPLE,” they say.
“Just keep consuming what we’re feeding you.”
How can I help you get better when you think you’re already getting the treatment you need?
There’s an eating disorder called “Pica,” in which people crave non-food items.
Hair? Dirt? Rocks? Paint chips?
A person with Pica wants to eat those things.
Here’s a lady who appeared on the show “My Strange Addiction,” because she couldn’t get enough toilet paper.
I can’t help thinking of this lady, when I see some of the “advice” y’all are validating on social media.
Stuff about remembering that you’re “enough”…
Stuff about how to be less of a “people-pleaser”…
How to diagnose all of your exes as “narcissists” and set up “boundaries” so that you can surround yourself with “supportive friends” rather than the “toxic” kind…
Suffering person, I have to tell you: that’s a whole lot of toilet paper you’re eating.
So often, those encouraging quotes are paint chips and balls of hair which you’re devouring because no one wants to cross your boundaries by saying “WHOA, GROSS!”
I’m afraid you’re just going to call me a “hater,” just like your toilet-paper-eating counselors have said.
Too many of you suffering, broken, grieving, hurting, traumatized individuals have built walls around yourself, so that no one can get in except other hurting people…
…but now you’re in there, sharing paint chips with your friends, and all of you are wondering why you’re not okay.
What can I do? Can you even hear what I’m saying right now–through the wall? Or have you already dismissed everything I’m trying to explain, because it doesn’t taste like Charmin?
How can I help you recognize healthy food?
Financial advisor Dave Ramsey often says, “Don’t take financial advice from broke people.” He gets frustrated because clients come to him, asking for help, and then they refuse to give up the lifestyle that led to being broke in the first place.
“Taking financial advice from broke people is like taking dieting advice from fat people. In other words, it’s dumb.”
The point should be obvious: Show me where your advice comes from, and I’ll show you where YOU will be in the near future.
So many confused and hurting people are allowing OTHER confused and hurting counselors to mentor them.
I actually know a Christian who recently shared an article about recovering from childhood trauma. The article came from a website called “Let’s Queer Things Up.” (That alone ought to give a discerning Christian something to think about.)
Furthermore, within the 2300-word opus, the blog author put himself in a position to assist other people with their trauma solely because HE is dealing with trauma himself. Openly admitting to multiple patterns of unhealthy behavior, including addictions and eating disorders, and he eventually writes this:
“I’m sharing this because, holy shit, my friends, the number of traumatic relationships I’ve thrown myself into — professionally, personally, romantically — to get stuck in this cycle, with my self-esteem pulverized, has made my heart so heavy.”
I’d like to speak with anyone who thinks this guy is in a position to help Christians with their “self-esteem.” But it seems to me that he presumes to be a teacher (James 3:1), because he comes from a culture that says the best counselors have “walked a mile in your shoes.”
(Some of you have found that to be a shareable meme!)
The problem is, the “walk in my shoes” rule requires your advisors to come stand where you are–in the pain and confusion–which is the opposite of wisely choosing advisors who are walking in the shoes you would like to wear someday.
You’re taking hiking advice from people wearing your busted-up boots.
You’re taking spiritual advice from Spiritually Broke people.
I know those Spiritually Broke people are calling their methods “healing” or “therapy” or “empathy.” But, really, they can’t offer anything other than toilet paper*.
(*The author of the above article endorses Pete Walker, M.A.–to whom he gave glowing praise for shaping his thinking. It turns out, Mr. Walker’s “self-help” books are based on the tenants of Taoism, which is an ancient, godless philosophy that contains all the nutritional value of 2-ply.)
…but there’s no point in delving further, if you’re more concerned about having a wallow-buddy to commiserate with than a successful person who can teach you how to grow.
Suffering, traumatized people, my heart goes out to you. I’d really love to support your recovery. But, if you crave unhealthy things, I simply can’t in good conscience give you what you’re asking. Trust me, I get no pleasure for standing by helplessly–immovably– while you beg for more of what you’re getting from Let’s Queer Things Up.
All I can do is ask God for Wisdom on your behalf: asking Him to change our appetites and lead us in the path of righteousness, so that both of us can walk more loyally in HIS shoes.
I ask God to supernaturally intervene and protect us from unqualified counselors, who are only dishing up more and more of what is killing us…