Sin and character flaws have the tendency to hide. They are visible to everyone but us. We don’t recognize our faults because they have established themselves as patterns from an early age. We only do what we have down all our lives.

Growing up in a liberal European city, the suppression of women was usually not a topic. Equal treatment was an established state of mind because of the brave ones who went before me.

Unfortunately, the pain of suppression made many fighters bitter. Equality became superiority and men were belittled and looked down upon.

I ended up not understanding and confusion ended in rejection. I carried many wounds, wounds that never healed. I blamed the mistakes of a few on a gender as a whole.

I dragged my views with me into my marriage. I thought I was free, but I was not. I had no one to set me straight, not even my bride.

Complete love can only happen in the absence of control, but control is the essence of an insecure person. Our marriage became an angling and dangling without end, fighting a war where there are no winners.


The human makeup

Humans are not raised in a void. We come into this world as an empty canvas, but we don’t stay that way. As children, we didn’t develop any filters yet on what is right or wrong. We just soaked up everything we hear and see, good and bad.

We build our “default state of mind” from the building blocks of our early years. We have no framework to compare our information to because a framework is what we are putting together during that time.

Our parents teach us how to see the world. If mom is not worth a dime in our household and her whole purpose in life is to serve dad, we don’t perceive that as weird. We understand that this is how things are done because this is all we know.

As children, we don’t know that other people do things different. Even as adults, if we move from an abusive home into an abusive relationship, things don’t seem odd to us.

Yes, there is pain and tears, but it’s all strangely familiar. We can use the same coping mechanisms that we developed as children, and we find a weird sense of satisfaction in knowing what to expect. Familiarity gives us a strange sense of security.


What to do if things get shaken up?

Everything shifts once we hear that our normal is not the way it is supposed to be. Once our minds catch on to the idea that our suffering is not because of us but because we don’t live according to God’s design, we are faced with a choice.

The new understanding marks the beginning of a journey and we can decide on the direction. Once the conviction of truth is introduced into our lives, it is our choice how we handle that. We can’t undo revelation, but we have to live with how we deal with it.

We have the choice to ignore our new perception. In this case, the gold nugget we found will start to get dusty, and the excitement over truth will dull down. We still know what we know, but it slips into the archives of our brain, into a dark area where we are not reminded of our defeat.

The other choice we have is to act. Responsibility enters our lives along with revelation. We have to take action towards freedom. We have to be clear about where we are at that moment, where we want to be in the future and how we plan to get there.

As we take our first steps, we have to understand that revelation is only the beginning. We have to undo a mindset we had for many years. Our biggest obstacle will be our doubt.

We formed our emotions based on what we believed so far. When we change our mindset, the rest of us has to catch up. Even our perception of right and wrong might be completely off at first.


Starting with baby steps

Failure is part of the package as well. We are trying out new things and often we don’t know how to react in a given situation. We identify that something is wrong. We might even understand what causes the pain. Still we are unable to cope with it. We just don’t know what to do.

Not knowing how to handle a situation is fine. It takes time to pick up a new skill set. Acting healthy is difficult at first. That’s why it is important that we don’t expect perfection when we start this process. We have to have grace with ourselves and expect setbacks. It is all part of the learning process.

Our minds understand the concept of freedom but walking it out is a process. We have to figure out how to think, act and when to let go.

Freedom is only a choice at first. Walking it out is a commitment. It takes time and effort and is marked with failure. But the goal ahead of us is worth the struggle.

Make sure you are not alone in this. The choice is yours, but the walk is ours.

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