Tag Archives: Shalom Total Wellness

How to recognize a trauma-bond friendship

Trauma Bonding occurs when a person, living with some sort of unresolved pain, recognizes a similar pain in another person. The two sufferers, then, begin a friendship based on their pain. This leads to all sorts of dysfunction within the relationship that will, inevitably, leak into other parts of life and other relationships as well.

At first, this may seem like a positive friendship because, after all, they’ve found someone who can relate to what they’ve been through. It’s always comforting to know you’re not alone. While this type of friendship does not always turn out dysfunctional, I will be highlighting how toxicity can manifest.

If the friends become more content within trauma, and pain, than intent on their own personal growth and healing then toxicity is certain to follow. This “contentment” is nothing more than settling for a lifelong trauma response. Inevitably, at least one of the parties involved will end up feeling stuck in life and, sadly, may wonder why.

Please understand that I am not speaking out against someone who needs support from their friends during a trying season of life. I am also not speaking against sharing burdens with friends.

To the contrary, what I encourage you to consider is a friendship that is taking too much from you – so much, in fact, that it is causing anxiety, further pain, and loss of personal growth, health, and freedom.

Another Layer:

If one of the parties involved has a leaning towards narcissistic behavior, then most likely the other party has empathic, or very compassionate leanings. This will cause the trauma based “friendship” to have an extra layer of toxicity.

The deep compassionate nature, of the empathic friend will be taken advantage of by the narcissist. In spite of the red flags, and abuse, the empath often remains stuck within the trauma based “friendship” with the narc because, after all, they recognize (and connect with) what appears to be – a similar type of shared pain.

Yet Another Layer:

There is another type of trauma bond which manifests when the non-narc feels underlying anxiety, or fear, around the narcissist. Deep down, the non-narc party recognizes that the other party is unsafe.

But, due to fear of rejection, questioning their own intuition, or under serious deception, they choose to allow the narcissist to remain in their lives. This often turns into the non-narc relying on the narcissist to “protect” them. Think Stockholm Syndrome.

Bottom Line:

If you’re wondering if your “friendship” is toxic, or if someone is holding you back in life, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

– Does my “friend” (relative, spouse, etc) celebrate my victories?

– Does my “friend” (relative, spouse, etc) encourage my efforts towards health and healing (mind, body & spirit)?

– Does my “friend” (relative, spouse, etc) give me space to grow or resent my efforts to better myself?

– What do the conversations between this person, and I, mostly center around?

– Can I, safely, confront this person if there is an issue, between us, that we need to discuss OR am I afraid of how they will react?

– Is there an issue, between us, that the person refuses to address in spite of my attempt to discuss it?

– How does my “friend” (relative, spouse, etc) speak of other people who question them?

We are all on a healing journey. Friendships can be such a blessing in this life! However, we must be wise with who we choose to spend our time with, and open our hearts to. GOD has called us to be kind to others…but not to be a doormat. If someone is standing in the way of your health, personal growth, and well-being then they do not have your best interests in mind.

This topic is very serious and can be multi-layered. There are many things that can be affected by a trauma-based friendship – whether there is a narcissistic element at play or not.

However, praying through these things and learning to recognize what you’re dealing with are the first steps to breaking free.

Our need to get well, and live well, is just as vital as our need for friendship.

When our relationships are healthy – it aids in our overall health and well-being.

Shalom to you,

Lamb of GOD passover Celebration

Spring is such an exciting time for a Hebraic Yeshua follower – Passover followed up by the Feast of Unleavened Bread gives us ample opportunity to draw closer to our Messiah, as well as to our family. I love walking out a faith that requires physical, do-able displays like getting the leaven out of our homes, eating unleavened bread, and getting the table ready. In addition, we are to go about preparing our hearts to get rid of anything that is not of GOD and seek more of our Messiah.

It is all too easy, however, to get caught up in traditions of men rather than biblical instruction. In an attempt to get everything “right”, we often get tripped up by things that are not required by our Heavenly Father. This truly is the antithesis of the shalom that HE will provide when we humbly seek Him and celebrate His Ways with His Spirit as our guide. It is my desire to encourage you to keep things simple and keep the main thing (Yeshua) the main thing.

Below, is a simple, but meaningful, Passover Service that I have written. Feel free to download it and/or print it out. There are a few supplies that you will need to gather ahead of time and it is encouraged to share in a meal, after this service has been completed.

For more information, on Passover, check out this previous blog post: https://shalomtotalwellness.com/2020/04/09/passover-season-of-miracles/

Have a blessed Passover season!

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” — 3 John 1:2

when crisis mode meets blame culture: how to regain your peace

It’s the year 2020 and what began as a rosy glow of hope, and expectation, has left a lot of people….well, feeling powerless and fearful. A peek at the news? Bad, Bad. All bad. Is anything good happening in the world?!

A minute on social media? Fear! Control! “Friends” have turned to bullying, and shaming, those who may view things differently than they do. Blame has seemingly become the culture, now!

WHY?! Why are people using social media as a platform to boss everyone around? One simple word: FEAR. Ever known a “control freak”? Well, those people are literally the. most. afraid. They also may feel the most helpless.

Control makes fearful people feel powerful!

What is it about a crisis that causes the finger of blame to be pointed? Perhaps it is the fearful person’s default when they don’t get their way. Perhaps it is just simply easier to blame others’ behavior rather than take responsibility for their own feelings of helplessness.

After all, if YOU would do this (or that) then maybe we wouldn’t be in this mess, right? Not exactly.

In the end, the responsibility for yourself, and your family lies squarely on your shoulders…and that goes for each of us.

Check out the following 4 TRUTHS ABOUT PLAYING THE BLAME GAME:

1) Blaming Others Causes a Loss of Personal Power. Remember how Adam blamed Eve (and even GOD for giving him Eve) when God confronted him for eating the forbidden fruit? (see Genesis 3)? In that moment, Adam chose to engage in the blame game rather than be honest. You see, pointing a finger of blame towards others is an act of dishonesty which leads to a loss of personal power. In effect, Adam was saying “If you hadn’t given me this woman, maybe THIS wouldn’t have happened, GOD!” Once you give away your personal power, helplessness (and resentment) is sure to follow.

2) Blaming Others Provides a False Sense of Security. Sadly, the belief that we are better than others – or at least, always KNOW better – is strangely calming for some. After all, if I am above others, then I must be getting ahead in life. I must be better. I must be safer. I will end up above while all of you are below. Right? Wrong. Not only does this attitude give no room for one to be wrong, at times, but superiority is never pretty. In time, this false sense of security will shatter and reality will set in. At some point, you will realize that your security must be in something (Someone) that is bigger, wiser, and stronger than you are.

REMINDER: Those who live on a high horse have much further to fall than the rest of us.

3) Blaming Others Is a Waste of Time and Energy. In the moment, telling others they are “part of the problem” or “not taking things seriously’, etc. may feel like you are accomplishing something positive. However, this type of behavior will leave you feeling depleted and steal your peace. Your time and energy would be better spent looking within, addressing WHY you feel the need to go around pointing a finger of blame.

4) Blaming Others Does Nothing to Redeem the Situation. There are absolutely times in life where we had nothing to do with the injustice that has befallen us. There are times when we are innocent victims. In those times, God will guide and heal us. …And bring justice on our behalf. He may even use us to speak out against corruption, abuse, etc. There are abusive situations that MUST BE addressed!

However, that is not what I am discussing here. What I am addressing here, are times where there is room for other viewpoints. There are times when questioning should be allowed, and encouraged. During these times we can be the ones to help redeem a difficult situation. We may not be able to “fix” everything, but within our own homes, and spheres, God desires us to be a part of the solutions rather than placing blame and shame on others. Helping to redeem a tough situation will help to also take back your personal power. You are not helpless! GOD made you to be an over comer and to encourage others to overcome as well!

Switching Gears

Whether you are prone to pointing fingers – allowing your fears to push you into control mode – OR you’ve been on the receiving end of someone like the aforementioned, what’s the remedy? How can we get back into a state of peace? Check out the do-able peace regaining ideas below:

1) Remember That There is Only One Who is Ultimately in Control. Regardless of the type of crisis-mode you may find yourself in (physical, mental spiritual, financial, etc)…regardless of the scale of the crisis you may find yourself in (personal or world-wide) there is only ONE who is completely in control…..and it ain’t YOU! It is YHWH, Creator GOD, your Heavenly Father who loves you and has good plans for you! Stop micro-managing the rest of the world. Instead of blaming others, run to GOD. Receive His peace. He is waiting for you with arms open wide.

2) Be Humble. Yes, I know that you have the “special insight”…the “special wisdom” that the rest of us need. It’s just too bad that we can’t all be like you *eyeroll. Well, even if that is true – be humble. Your patience with others will go much further than your expectations on others to see things your way. Besides, you might be “wrong”. Be patient, and kind, to yourself as well. Crisis-Mode takes a lot out of a person…so take it easy as much as possible.

Please, before you post or say something, ask yourself: Am I moving in the spirit of fear or faith? Am I trying to control, or encourage others? Am I revealing truth or spreading shame?

3) Find Out What God Is Saying. This is something that I go back to often because when you seek GOD for His heart, on a matter, then you begin to see things the way He sees them. You begin to see and love people (and yourself) the way that He does. This concept can be applied to situations in life as well. What does HE say about the current crisis you are in? Ask Him and then flow in what He places on your heart. ASK HIM – you may just be surprised by how He answers! AND if you have been bullied, or shamed, by others, for handling things the way you feel God has led YOU to – then pray for the shamers. Yes, pray for the blamers. They need peace just as much as you do…maybe even more so! But by all means, carry on with your God-given role in the situation and don’t allow the misplaced words, of others, to get you off-track.

I pray this helps someone out there. There really is no room for misplaced blame, or shame, during difficult times. I pray that your personal season of crisis will draw you closer to GOD and closer to your loved ones. Allow God to use hard times to root out things, within you, that are not of Him. Allow His refining Hand to bring about positive growth, and change, within you. May the peace of YHWH be upon you. May His strength carry you. May you feel His love for you in new, deeper levels…for you are so very loved now…and always.