Laughter is not only powerful medicine, it's toxic to the real enemy: Shame
By: Susan Deborah Schiller
I am a warrior, but inside this strong woman is a child with a soft heart that has been punctured by arrows of rejection, pierced by envy and hate, and nearly slaughtered by neglect. It has been a battle to the death because there was a beast within me that was every bit as deadly as the abuse I have taken in my external world.
There's a monster that had been living inside me that subconsciously created external beasts so that from inside and outside I became a lure for predators. But that's changing; I'm slaying the dragon – my false identity, created through shame and fear, beginning in early childhood.
That beast was growing stronger the more it was fed a demonic brew of shame, fear, and control. And that's where the battle begins and ends, as I starve the beast and love my inner child.
Victims of abuse nearly always feel a sense of groundless guilt. We attract circumstances into our shattered lives that deliver the "punishment" for our supposed crimes. We have been pummeled so hard externally that we rarely see the monster directing our life story, from within.
We are programmed to protect ourselves from the external dangers but rarely does anyone teach you about the even stronger, internal dangers.
Unless we recognize our self-sabotaging beliefs, the illusion that our pain comes from purely external forces only empowers the monsters both internally and externally.
The monster is fueled by our negative thoughts about ourselves.
It is said that most of us think negative thoughts around 80% of the time. It's like a spiritual auto-immune disease. Some believe this is actually a poison that leaks into the body, causing physical auto-immune disease.
Our spiritual corpse attracts spiritual maggots – we become easy pickings to the nearest predators.
It's like living in a concentration camp. If you want to escape to freedom, the journey begins inside of your own mind.
As for me, by age 7 I knew I was "damaged goods" and before adolescence I was already coming up with contingency plans for my adult life because I was certain no good man would ever want to marry me. Although I had become the ultimate nice girl, a real "goody two shoes", I knew who walked inside those shoes and I was the first person to point a condemning finger at myself. Abusers depend on us to think this way! We become our worst enemy.
One day I prayed, "I reach out to you, Jesus. You are my only Hope. I can do nothing to rescue myself, my children, or anyone. Kill me, my Faithful King – destroy all the enemy strongholds remaining in me. Thank you for exposing darkness. I confess Fear has a grip and Intimidation still pulls my strings. I submit myself to you, Jesus, and I command every last enemy to flee. Search my heart, oh God. Your Spirit is the Lamp that lights my soul. I open myself to Your Light. You know my tears; You count each one. I hold back nothing. Whatever You want, I want. What can I do, Father?
"I laugh at the enemy." I sensed Him saying, as a quiet inner voice.
Lord, please teach me to laugh at the enemy! Train me!
"You delight me." I heard Him whisper back. "I'm grooming you to grin in the face of your enemy."
Laughter is a weapon. Beauty is a cure. God's ways are childlike, and the battle is His, not ours. Our job is to rest, to play, and to enjoy this beautiful world. That's our Father's nature; it's the way He looks at things.
What we focus on magnifies, so never try to focus on evil, to defeat it. Instead, laugh! Instead of warring against whatever it is that's defeating you, try laughter!
Laughter inhibits fear, scientists say. It redirects your focus off of a problem area and in a more positive direction. Laughter can reduce stress hormones and build the immunity system. Finding humor in your situation can stave off depression.
Laughter puts your enemies on the run. Can you just visualize God sitting there on His Throne laughing at the enemies lined up in front of Him?
But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. ~ Psalm 2:4
Who rules in Heaven? Christ, yes… and WHO is seated with Christ? Ruling right alongside of him… yep, you and I!
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, ~ Ephesians 2:6
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. ~ Psalm 23:5
The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! ~ Psalm 110:2
That's what God wants you and me to see… our enemies in a daze as we dine in God's favor at His banquet table right in front of their helpless gaze. We know the Truth and the Truth sets us free. We hear our Papa's laughter and we laugh too.
There's a time to fight with restraining orders and civil hearings. There's a time for divorce proceedings and child custody matters. But that's not the real battle. The real battle is spiritual and mental, behind the scenes. That's where our first step to recovery takes place.
Good humor is toxic to that beast. So watch a comedy. Dance. Sing. Relax. Have fun. Slay the shame dragon. Be good to yourself!
You may be too weary to laugh right now. That's okay, dear one. Just take one of these verses at a time and feel what God is feeling for you. Sense His delight in you. He is wild about you! He is fighting for you!!! See yourself in that place of victory, by His side. 🙂
The king is wild for you. ~ Psalm 45:11
For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." ~ Zechariah 3:17
Writing Prompt: Describe the enemy that lears at you today as if you were seeing him while seated with your Father in His Throne Room. Hear your Father's laughter and feel yourself grinning. Write the scene from that perspective… give it a try! Share in the comment section below or shoot me an email 🙂
With all my love,
Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate to freedom and fullness.
Today Susan helps people write their life stories, unearthing the treasures of their past and sowing them into their future, creating new family legacies.
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