The goal of love, according to apostle Paul, is to keep no record of wrongs. This is no easy task. With so much negativity in the world and with the added power of the negative to influence thoughts and feelings, you may be wondering how to counterbalance such a force.
Paul says it’s necessary to experience and embody love. I believe women have a deep desire to love, to love well, and to love better. This desire to love better is a powerful motivation to find a way to neutralize the negativity. Though intentionality and staying alert to yourself, you can develop strategies to neutralize negativity in your life and begin to reduce your backlog record of wrongs. I have found the following to be effective:
- Pick out the negative threads.
- Pounce on the positive threads.
- Treat yourself gently.
Have you ever watched someone knit? I remember being mesmerized by a friend who was kitting something—the hypnotic motion of the knitting needles and her hands as she wove the yarn into a colorful pattern. Imagine my surprise when she stopped after a while and began to yank on the end of the yarn, unraveling a good portion of her work! Astonished, I asked her what in the world she was doing. She explained that she’d made a mistake earlier in the work, something about dropping a stitch. In order to give the piece the integrity it needed, she had to go back to that point and take out the flawed section. She had to remove the negative thread.
This is a metaphor for what you need to do in your own life to remove negativity. You need to “unravel” the threads, going back to the parts causing negativity, so they can be pulled out and redone. This is the work of therapy. This is the work of recovery and restoration. This is also the work of a wonderful lady named Cynthia Rowland-McClure.
Over the course of Cynthia’s life, she had built up a huge storehouse of negativity, secreting away in her heart a record of wrongs, from insensitive comments by others to childhood insecurities, along with unrealistic expectations about the future. A bitter pool of anger built up inside Cynthia, supplying the rage needed for her eating disorder.
Because of the poison inside, no amount of positives in Cynthia’s life could counteract even the smallest perceived negative. All of the successes she experienced were suspect and every failure validation of the extent of her negatives. As she would come to realize during her journey to recovery, Cynthia believed herself to be “damaged goods.” In her pursuit to gain her understanding of perfection so she could finally feel good enough to be loved, appreciated, and validated, Cynthia gave in to the false promises of bulimia. She found herself binging for hours a day and horribly abusing laxatives.
Bent of ending her life and relieving herself of the pain she felt, Cynthia cried out to God to rescue her because she knew she couldn’t do it on her own. Praise God because he did, leading Cynthia to undertake a road to recovery and wholeness that led her to write an amazing book about her struggle with bulimia called The Monster Within.
Through intensive therapy, Cynthia had to unravel her past and pull out the negative threads woven into her perception of herself and her life. Then, she began the task of lovingly reworking her life. Cynthia came to realize she felt that negativity, not about other people primarily, but about herself. She was full of rage at the damage done to her.
Cynthia had stopped loving herself. When she unraveled her pain all the way back to that point, she was able to recognize and view what happened to her from adult eyes. She was able to recognize where the threads had gone wrong and to rework them, this time with love, understanding and acceptance.
Unraveling the negative threads is an important step in the process of recovery. Just as important is understanding how to rework love back into the journey of life.
Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 30 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others. For more information about eating disorder treatment, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a specialist today.