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4 Responses

  1. terri jo says:

    Hahaha that is a wonderful cartoon and really loaded with meaning for me. Yes I suppose I created the cage I was in by giving to much credence to others and their expectations (of me). I suppose I also “made a choice” to sedate myself with alcohol and marijauna and other confectionaries for my middle teens, 20’s and 30’s to dull the pain. However, the choices and cages I erected were built upon layers and layers of repressed feelings, false beliefs, the effects of heavy trauma, little or no sense of self, and all types of masks to fit in to whatever situation I found myself in. It was survival at best. A trapped animal in an adult body. Looking good on the outside, but smiling feebly, and terrified and seething on the inside. It is after 17 years clean and sober, many different therapies, intently searching for the deeper meaning of my existence and healing that I find myself a follower of Christ. Immersed in the consciousness of Christ. Yes a bloody holy roller. hahaha No longer drowning in resentment fear and loathing, finally free, and experiencing fleeting moments of peace. Able to Let it Be. Able to put down the armor. Not having to be right. Knowing that tough and having the last word is not intelligent or strong. Those are only a few aspects of what following Christ and the wisdom found in the Bible has done for me. A relative beginner, I want to keep my naivety, I don’t want to be a Bible know-it-all. Or a self-professed theologian. One of my biggest masks in my life was to appear smarter and quicker and wittier than others. I recognize this as ego and pride now.I nurtured those masks out of fear aand insecurity. Those old masks kept me far away from serenity, joy wisdom or intelligence. Peace y’all

  2. Velour says:

    (Pastor) Ken Blue wrote in his book Healing Spiritual Abuse that he noted a common denominator in the people who came to his church, or for counseling, that had gotten involved in authoritarian, abusive churches: The majority had bad childhoods and deeply dysfunctional families. That set them up for choosing a bad church and not being able to discern healthy from unhealthy.

    I went to a smaller church, to be known and to know others, not be at some mega church, to have connections and a sense of belonging. To grow as a Christian.

    Instead I saw a small group of pastors/elders wield power and control over church members, abuse them, be authoritarian, via church membership covenants (I’ll never sign one of those again), elder-led/rule (I’ll never go to a church again that doesn’t have a congregational vote and respect the priesthood of all believers, where we give our time and our money), this Patriarchy heresy that is spreading like wildfire (all of this obey and submit stuff being foisted on people since the 1990s). The heavy Shepherding Movement from the 1970’s all over again.

    I saw excommunications and shunnings of lovely Christian men and women, all ages and professions, for any dissent or critical thinking skills. Then my pastors/elders did it to me too.

    Perhaps we are meant to sit with loneliness and come up against ourselves. Perhaps we are meant to connect inward and not outward.

    But no…this manufactured connection in the institutional church didn’t turn out any safer or saner or have any more know how. Countless people were deeply harmed.

  3. Debbie Davis says:

    I love this cartoon! When my internal “resent-o-meter” starts going off I have to carefully see what expectations I am bumping up against. I have several authoritarian type siblings who are really tempted to tell others what to do. They will use phrases like “suck it up” or “get over yourself” – flipping into an Adult to Child way of interacting instead of Adult to Adult. Usually, I can tactfully avoid the requests/demands but occasionally (when they pull out the weapons of shame and guilt) I find myself wanting to pick up those “expectation” bars and begin building my own cage.

  4. I understand this Debbie.

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