**TW for mention of G*d – you can skip down past that part if you like, because there are still things in this that you might like to incorporate in your own way**
On my way to work this morning, I was thinking about a situation wherein I am waiting for a response from someone about a question I asked them. It’s a complicated story and not one that necessarily needs to be unpacked in this post, but the premise of the question I asked was to determine whether a certain plan seems to be important to God or not, based on whether the person wants to be part of the proposed plan.
The more I thought about it, the more this seems wrong. The ways in which we determine what matters to God and what doesn’t, especially for those of us who are wounded, can sometimes become a little bit loaded and we don’t even realize it. ANYWAY, I’ll write about that another day. Let’s just wrap that up by saying: God cares, even if said person does not respond favorably to the specifics, and even if the plan on the table isn’t the plan that happens.
But in my thought process, I stumbled into this promise: God, I promise to try my very best not to judge your heart toward me by what this person does, if they reject this plan.
Because that’s a real thing that I do, and half the time I don’t even know I’m doing it. I think that because a person responds to me a certain way, that that’s how God would – and does – respond to me. This is a dangerous and damaging assumption, and I live with the results of it every day. Trauma survivors’ lives (or histories, at the very least) are often loaded with rejection. And sometimes we internalize the rejection of the finite people around us as the way God feels about us. It’s one of those things that’s hard to even work on, because it’s such a subconscious process we can barely perceive that we’re doing it.
At any rate, after X-number of years in this life and in this process, I managed to catch myself beforehand, and promised to try not to.
Then I started thinking about other promises. The Christian life is very focused on God’s promises to us, which is a wonderful, beautiful thing, even if some of us have trouble experiencing them in a tangible way that we can perceive. But sometimes it’s good to define your own promises in response, or even just as a stand-alone statement of intentions. So I started making a list, and wanted to share some of it with you in case you feel it would be helpful for you to do the same.
Some notes: if you are not a Christian, you might like to make a list of promises to yourself, or to your family/friends, or to the world, or to your system (if you are DID).
Also: I am using the word “promise” but here are 2 things about that word. I personally feel like it’s a kind of serious thing to make promises. Now, I happen to be of the mindset that Christians are under grace, not law. I won’t engage in any closed-minded debates about that, but at the same time, I take my words seriously. So I don’t want to make promises lightly, especially not to God, nor to others. So there is that.
But also, my friends tease me all the time about being a word nerd. Words are very important to me, more so than some people. I don’t like to throw them around, and I get confused when other people throw them around. So in this activity, a better word to use might be “intentions.” It may sit better to write a list of intentions. And know that these are your intentions; no more, no less. Everyone falls short sometimes, and it’s not about writing specific stuff that you will immediate fail at, and be consumed with guilt over. It’s just about writing some intentions that can help you define goals, attitudes, principles you want to live by. That’s all. They can be as broad or as specific as you want, and they can pertain to others, yourself, the world, or etc. There are no limits to this.
If it’s a helpful, enlightening activity for you, you might enjoy doing this. If not, trash it. 😉 Here are a few of mine, but I will probably keep adding to them and won’t necessarily share them all here, since the list will grow over time and some of the things on it are more personal than a blog post.
So…some of my promises to/intentions toward God are:
- I promise to try, when I can try.
- I promise to hug as many people on this earth as will let me, and send love in some other way to the ones who don’t want hugs.
- I promise to recognize You in all beautiful things.
- I promise to keep reaching for You, as much as I can, as long as I can.
- I promise to protect and shepherd my inside people to the best of my ability, and keep trying to guide others insofar as I have anything worth sharing.
- I promise to help as many people as I can in as many ways as I can for as long as I can.
- I promise to not let pain stop me from growing.
- I promise to not let go of the pursuit of You, even if I don’t experience You in all the ways I needed or wanted or hoped.
- I promise to try not to judge Your heart based on the actions of wounded and imperfect human beings.
- I promise to plant flowers in honor of my children, seen and unseen, held and unheld, known and unknown, until the day comes when I see them face to face (I promise to keep believing that day WILL come).
- I promise to live my life not only for my own benefit, but for the benefit of others, even people I’ve never met, even people who may not live within my own lifetime.
- I promise to the best of my ability not to return hate for hate, hurt for hurt, abuse for abuse; to pass down a new legacy, YOUR inheritance, to the generations after me.
- I promise to look for ways to help the DID/trauma/SRA/survivor community to heal faster, and better, and more, and pass them on.
- I promise to not let heartbreak keep me from believing in wholeness.
That’s just a little portion of mine. Cheers. ~J8