Guest blog By Roxanne & Rob Maroney, authors of “Hope After Hurt”
Have you ever heard someone say, “You can’t fix broken thinking with broken thinking”? What this says is, if I want to experience something new in my life, I need a new way of thinking about my problems.
I often told myself, “I’m not enough,” “I’ll never be enough,” “I’m a disappointment,” or “I should do more”. These negative self-talk messages went deeper than just passing or occasional thoughts. My broken thinking took me down a much darker path. Wrong thinking led to false conclusions, which became false beliefs.
Your Mind is Fear-Based
This may be hard to hear, but your mind is 100% fear-based. Your mind asks things like, “What if I fail?” “What if I’m not good enough?” or “What if I lose everything?” The good news is this is exactly how your mind was designed to work! Like your own private security guard, your mind is always on the alert for anything threatening. That’s the survival-based part of your mind and its always on duty to protect you and focus on staying alive. The challenge is to step back and evaluate where those thoughts come from.
My fear of failure and false belief that I didn’t measure up started long before I met Roxanne, and in many ways, she paid a price for my distorted thinking. I became self-protective, resistant, and defensive. During our long journey through nine counselors, one of them asked me, “Rob, why do other people have to pay for the pain in your life?” This sounded harsh at the time, but as the question sank in, I accepted the reality. I was fearful of intense emotions and difficult conversations that might expose my fears, my flaws and my faults.
My lack of courage to express or receive strong feelings was certainly an imprint from my upbringing, and my discomfort with conflict clearly showed up in my relationships. As a child, I have no recollection of anyone in my family ever resolving conflict in a healthy way. I don’t even recall anyone raising their voice or getting angry (which, by the way, is not normal or healthy). These experiences send a message to a young heart that emotions, especially intense ones, are dangerous and off-limits.
Since anger and conflict were avoided in my home, I developed a belief that anger was a character flaw. It was a weakness, rather than an accepted and legitimate feeling. I became judgmental of others who didn’t control their temper. You can imagine how well that worked for me in business, marriage, church, parenting. I learned to hide weakness, never talk about feelings, and not reveal anything I was too ashamed to reveal. It’s not that I wasn’t angry (I certainly was) I just believed it wasn’t acceptable to show it.
You Are Not Broken! But maybe your way of thinking is.
Broken thinking may be the result of negative life experiences that often lead to negative core beliefs about ourselves, leading to unrealistic expectations and beliefs about others. With new ways of thinking, brokenness over weakness becomes more important than avoiding vulnerability and holding onto resentment about the wounds inflicted on us by others.
Are you waiting for someone else to change before you change? What part of that belief may you need to adjust?
Hope After Hurt
By Roxanne & Rob Maroney
In Hope after Hurt, Roxanne and Rob reveal not only how their marriage was rescued from becoming another casualty but how they were set on the path to creating something entirely new. Opening up about secrecy, lies, broken trust, loss of connection, and damaged intimacy, this is not just a story of two flawed people and their need for repair but also an honest account of more than forty years of healing using practical tools for greater connection and intimacy in marriage. Hope after Hurt offers real-life examples and a roadmap to healthier relationships for all couples.
Whether single, dating or married, this book will transform your relationship. If you struggle to find hope, read Hope after Hurt before you do anything else.
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I hope today’s blog has encouraged you. Make sure you sign up to receive blogs posted every week. At TransformingFamilies.org, our resources are designed to guide you through the restoration process of developing your heart, mind, and strength, enabling you to become the man or woman God created you to be.
I also provide one-on-one coaching; if you want to improve your relationships, let’s connect through e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. My hope for you is that through these blogs, references, and resources, God will transform you from being bruised or broken to an abundantly blessed child of God.
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