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Runaway Caregiver, Runaway Congregation How to survive and thrive when friends, family and church avoid and neglect you. Rev. Betsy Ritzman Licensed Clinical.

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Presentation on theme: "Runaway Caregiver, Runaway Congregation How to survive and thrive when friends, family and church avoid and neglect you. Rev. Betsy Ritzman Licensed Clinical."— Presentation transcript:

1 Runaway Caregiver, Runaway Congregation How to survive and thrive when friends, family and church avoid and neglect you. Rev. Betsy Ritzman Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Individuals ~ Couples ~ Families Consultation Website:

2 Gentle us, Holy One, into an unclenched moment, a deep breath a letting go of heavy experiences, of shriveling anxieties, of dead uncertainties, open us to the mystery, fill us with the joy that is you. AMEN

3 Isaiah 53 The Suffering Servant 1Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. 3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.

4 Introductions  Name?  Where are you from?  What is the most compelling lesson you have learned from care giving so far?

5 Facing Reality and Speaking Truth  Psychological, Social and Spiritual aspects of our culture support compassionate responses to human suffering.  These same rules of connection also undermine compassion.  This is true among Christians and in the life of the Church. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

6 Social myths of autonomy  Culture directs us toward independence and separation  Culture polarizes connection and separation  Real independence is the outcome of a never ending dance between connection and disconnection.

7 Psychological factors:  Abuse= Failure of Compassion Abuse is hurting the feelings or body of someone else to alter some unpleasant feeling within the self. Because compassion regulates unpleasant internal feelings, all abuse is a failure of compassion for self and loved ones. Abuse is hurting the feelings or body of someone else to alter some unpleasant feeling within the self. Because compassion regulates unpleasant internal feelings, all abuse is a failure of compassion for self and loved ones.

8 Why those who love us hurt us:  Relationships serve as mirrors of our inner self. We know who we are by how others see us. A misbehaving child can evoke feelings of being a failure and thoroughly unlovable as a parent. A misbehaving child can evoke feelings of being a failure and thoroughly unlovable as a parent. Angry or withdrawn parents can evoke in children feelings of shame, and unworthiness. Angry or withdrawn parents can evoke in children feelings of shame, and unworthiness. A distracted or controlling spouse can evoke feelings of worthlessness. A distracted or controlling spouse can evoke feelings of worthlessness. We know who we are by how others see us

9 Revenge  The rage and resentment these feelings of shame, rejection, unworthiness stimulate an internal crisis  They inspire our revenge, not for the behavior of others but for the wound (to our sense of self) they seem to inflict.

10 Reciprocity in relationships:  Loving relationships build the sense of self, if they provide:  Loving relationships build the sense of self, if they provide: Unconditional safety and security Unconditional safety and security High levels of compassion High levels of compassion Freedom from resentment, hostility, abuse, and other emotional constraints. Freedom from resentment, hostility, abuse, and other emotional constraints.  If a relationship consistently fails to do this, it loses its ego-building function.  If it falls below the threshold of safety and security, it becomes ego- destroying.

11 Perspective: Perspective: The world is one gigantic cross for people who die at the hand of executioners, from massive poverty and starvation, from injustice. This cross casts it’s shadow over two-thirds of humanity. The world is one gigantic cross for people who die at the hand of executioners, from massive poverty and starvation, from injustice. This cross casts it’s shadow over two-thirds of humanity.  Unconditional safety and security for all parties  High levels of compassion  Freedom from resentment, hostility, abuse, and other emotional constraints. For us, myths of independence and autonomy are shattered. The illusion of separation is lost. We are “the other”. a “crucified people” may not always offer Daniel Hernandez Salazar

12 Fear and superstition in Spirituality  Reactions to suffering that impact our faith:  Fear = this might happen to me!  Superstition = I can control whether I suffer

13 Lauren’s Birds

14 Spiritual Pecking  Job’s friends: you must deserve this  Prosperity gospel – name it, claim it. Emphasis on success, Renounce failure/pain  Healing traditions that deny suffering and pain on the premise that we are already healed, forbidding any open expressions of suffering as inviting evil.

15 Behavioral Pecking  Fear  Distance –people as projects  Spiritual: If I avoid death and suffering, Ill be spared.  Compassion

16 The Marriage of Fear and Hatred: The Marriage of Fear and Hatred:  Anger: Redemptive uses Redemptive uses Destructive uses Destructive uses  Control: Defining the “Other” ie “Not Me”

17 Fear and the Golden Rule  Fear has taken the gospel from you: You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart and all your mind and all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself has become “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” Or, more bluntly “Do unto others before they do unto you!” Or, more bluntly “Do unto others before they do unto you!”  How do we find compassion for those who fear us and our suffering? We must resist defining them as “other”

18 A Neighborhood Story

19 The Psyche of the Good Samaritan: Building compassionate human response in your faith community.  Identifies with the oppressed  Capable: noticing, present, able  Observes the spirit of the law  Compassion: Takes effective action  Fearless: Violating cultural demands  Radical: Violates religious law

20 Managing Stigma and Suffering, Maintaining Community  Suffering is universal in every life  Suffering scares people  Fear inspires distance  Being separate from others is transient  Others suffering is our suffering

21 You will fall You will be alone and fighting for your existence You will rejoin the community You will suffer You will suffer alone Yet, the beloved community will suffer with you.

22 Changing the Rules:  True compassion arises naturally when our ego-protecting thoughts lie down  Pay attention to yourself, open your heart, abandon assumptions about yourself and others  First, be compassionate toward your sweet self  Then, listen for God

23 Marks of the Beloved Community  Honoring the connection with those who suffer  Willingness to engage transformation by suffering ourselves  Planting seeds of forgiveness  Harvesting Joy from Pain

24 Consultations… Discussion … Questions… Answers…


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