first step to heal yourself

I believe more and more that we are going to have to learn to heal ourselves.

So… the first step to healing yourself from spiritual abuse is always the most difficult.

This is because the underlying assumption of the abuser is that it is necessary for you to be under some authority and you are incapable of being self-determining. We exacerbate this by believing these things. If we believe we need to be under some authority and we can’t determine what’s best for us, then the conditions are perfect for our abuse.

Sometimes, like our Sophia, you have to decide that you can make your own decisions for your own welfare. You need to break yourself away. You need to be confident that you know what is best for you. (You can get originals and prints of Sophia here.)

This does not negate seeking advice or counsel or wisdom or guidance. But you seek these on your own terms and only voluntarily submit for a time when you absolutely know it is good for you.

You can do it. You don’t need someone with authority over you. You can decide and determine what is best for you. Yes, you can!

If you haven’t bought my book of cartoons, I invite you too. It addresses concerns such as this. Nakedpastor101: Cartoons by David Hayward“, from,, Great for laughs and serious discussion!

Download my eBook "Money is Spiritual" for just $10!

19 Replies to “first step to heal yourself”

  1. Like your comment. Would only ask that you not use, “you simply MUST” when offering your book or whatever it is. MUST is a sensitive word for those of us who are trying to get over spiritual abuse.

  2. Interesting post. I just attended a two day mental health forum and the speaker had been institutionalised for some 15 years of her life because she believed the “experts” that she’d never get better. She became a passive victim of the system. It wasn’t until she rejected their diagnosis and got in the driver seat of her recovery and went on a journey herself. She now employs psychologists and consults around the world.

    The flipside to “heal thyself” is that we all need others. It frustrates me that I can’t recover in isolation, but I guess it’s just the way God made us.

    The balance is that we are responsible. We need to own the process and be in the driver seat. When we invite others alongside (whether they be trusted friends, family or professionals) it’s because we initiated it. But when we make them responsible for getting us better, that’s when we end up victims again.

  3. I learned a principle while I was in the Army that also kept me in good stead for other areas in life too. We were taught that as leaders, we listen to people around us, evaluate the situation, then make a decision. While other people’s input is good to have, ultimately the responsibility for making a decision is your own.

    The key is personal responsibility. This phrase is usually used in a bad way, as an accusation. But its not an accusation, its a statement that we are independent, sovereign moral beings. While human beings are social creatures, they are also individual units of their own. Human beings are not like sheep or cattle, they are autonomous entities.

    We have to take responsibility for ourselves, and not give it away to people or organizations. Included in this concept is that we are allowed to be autonomous. We are made that way.

    Listen to other people, weigh the facts, and make a decision. If people around you don’t like it, tough. If you are an adult, they aren’t required to like your decisions, and they have no say in them!

  4. amazing. this is the very same conclusion I came to today. I realize what I’ve gotten from this is far more than all those church sermons that “were” “life changing” It is because I now have the freedom to go out and weigh wisdom with my own heart and I know what is good for me and what isn’t I reject. I spent so many years begging God to heal me … and when I started on this path I am really finding healing.

  5. Being in a healing relationship with a safe counselor, provided me the opportunity, to experience “someone” knowing me and still valuing me, allowing my hidden areas to become known even to myself. Through this process along with self-directed studies into historical theology, I learned to know more, what would be best for myself and to discern the distortions. As a cult survivor, I had mainly lived by instinct and intuition, which are great survival skills but not always the best of methods to build and create a joyful and fulfilled life.

  6. Jon – I’m somewhat confused by your post. Doesn’t being in the army mean that, while you have personal responsibility for certain decisions, you often act based solely on the orders of others, putting the responsibility for your actions into someone else’s hands? I’ve never been in the army, so I may have it all wrong. Just wondering.

  7. I am very interested in anything on Spiritual Abuse. Four years ago, my husband, myself, our daughter and 5 others received letters of excommunication from the church we started and loved. The church leadership decided to “fire” the church treasurer, who was a servant that was very meticulous in her books. All monies were accounted for and no errors were found. We know now that it was a discrimination case as she was a woman. The church’s pastor audited the books and tried to find and error of $37.00 which she quickly let him know he had put that in the wrong catagory. There was no apology. We received registered letters excommunicating us for not reconciling. Some tried to reconcile to no avail. We have been shunned and my husband tried to peacefully talk to the pastor and got ordered off the property as all communication was to go through the District Superintendent which has no love or compassion. We don’t know for what we are to “reconcile” and all information is “sealed”. We feel we have been spiritually violated–what are we to do????

  8. You make it sound so easy. We don’t want others in this church to experience this. No one dares disagree with the leadership. We are fearful that there might be another round of excommunicating.
    It is difficult to “forget” when we’ve put our lives and money and abilities and when we were the
    people that worked so hard to go out and get others in Bible studies, etc. There were no problems for over 20 years and now this………

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