I think the toughest concept to understand is how coddling oneself isn’t self- care. It’s actually destructive. We think indulging ourselves means we love ourselves. Society even encourages this behavior. The general consensus is, “If it feels good, do it.” But with no limits, doing what feels good to you can destroy you. That’s how addictions are born. Anything we do, particularly coddling behaviors, can become unbalanced.
I often say that supernaturally I’m an emotionally sensitive person. Naturally, however, I’m not. I can easily detach from everything. This has been a helpful tool when I’ve gone through some difficult times, especially in times of intensive therapy. But I can’t use it for what did in the past.
It’s just as important to love ourselves as it is to love others. Loving your neighbor as yourself indicates that. When the emphasis is placed on the neighbor and not ourselves, the idea can become distorted. Are we to hate ourselves? Or be indifferent? No. We are to love ourselves as God loves us. We are “neighbors” as much as anyone else. And we are loved.
As I thought about that moment, I began to understand what it meant to feel the aggression about injustice. As the emotions started to flow, I could feel the intensity escalating. There was definitely a good vs. evil, God vs. Satan battle going on in the spiritual realm. The enemy had several footholds in my life that I wasn’t even aware of until I began the process. My sister gave me things to say out loud. This at first was very uncomfortable and a felt a bit silly to me. But then I felt God say, Make it your own.
Using self-defense as a therapeutic tool is a surprising thing. You don’t expect emotional issues to come up while you’re learning to kick, punch, and do life saving techniques. But they do. It really seems inevitable. It’s hard to deny what’s happening. But if you’ve been harmed in some way, felt powerless, or been exposed to ongoing abuse, there is a very good chance you will find yourself confronted with the resulting pain and emotions.
In self-defense, it’s the same idea. I am constantly being challenged to do the hard things. I’m challenged to push myself. I feel the same discomfort and fear at least once during class. There are times when it’s a lot tougher to overcome, because PTSD is involved. I start to cry and really think I can’t do it. It isn’t just the normal discomfort. It’s flashbacks and memories of things that my younger mind had buried to protect itself. Or it’s the present day reality of my divorce and what my ex-husband put me through. It’s feeling the hard things and doing them anyways.