I loved living in denial of my people- pleasing addiction, almost as much as I loved chocolate. Almost.
My denial of the truth created a hidden place, and allowed me to ignore the still, small voice of God. I had the key to the safe of denial, but I often chose to lose it, so Iíd have an excuse for being consistently motivated, to the point of compulsion, for the approval of others.
After all, menopausal women lose things, so give me a break.
That was then.
Iím in the process of recovery in an inspired new program in the church, using the twelve steps, according to scripture. Itís for anyone who suffers from hurts, habits, or hang-ups.
The beatitudes are used as its eight principles for recovery. In small groups with the same gender, we work on living up to Godís purpose for our lives by admitting our own shortcomings and asking God to help us work through them.
ďMy name is _______________, and Iím addicted to peopleís approval.Ē
Our meetings start with introductions and confessions in order to drive home that we are there to work on the one person we have the control to change.
If a person offended me, any person, I would control all urges to tell them the truth of how I felt. It never mattered what it was. If I had to take the risk of losing the love, I kept my mouth shut and smiled, even when inside I was sometimes seething in hurt or anger. No one could get close to me or really know me. It was too risky. I needed them to like me to feel ok. That was not just a weakness. It was sin.
Denial helped me live the lie of appearing to love others, when what I was really craving was their love in return. The more I got, the thirstier I was for more. The more my thirst was quenched, the hungrier my need became. My addiction seemed to me less serious than the substance addictions of others.
I pompously have judged alcoholics with disdain. After all, I can still drive under the influence of peopleís praises. My drug of choice is not against the law that will put me behind bars.
But in truth, Iíve used people to fulfill my own selfish needs.
Admitting to Him I am powerless over this addiction has been my first baby step towards good mental and spiritual health.
Coming out of hiding, and seeking the only One who can fulfill me, love me unconditionally and set me on the path to being a God- pleaser, is releasing me from the painful bondage of fear.
The journey to internal freedom from this addiction is intoxicating.
I wonít look back.
Celebrate Recovery started at Saddleback Church in California. Thousands of churches across America are participating to help set Christians free from all kinds of bondages and addictions. For more information, please go to the website celebraterecovery.com.
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