I know I'm not the only one who's been engrossed in Trend Central's "Blue Therapy".
The web-series has got the whole world talking about the state of manhood and the use of therapy in relationships.
The series reminded me of a DM I got from a young lady:
She had been with a guy for years and he was incredibly toxic and narcissistic towards her. He would constantly entertain other females, sometimes even flirting with some of them in front of her, he would subtlety poke fun at her body shape, publicly humiliate her by ignoring her when out with friends, all to love-bomb her and shower her with loads of sex later. I was gonna type "affection", but we keep it real here *inserts laughing emoji*. Sis was confused, she wanted to know whether this was healthy, and most importantly, whether she could do anything to help the relationship. She was sure he loved her, but it's just that he had some flaws that they needed to work through in order to reach the promise land of their relationship.
Sounds familiar right? We've all been there.
One of my favourite scriptures when it pertains to relationships is Psalm 42:7 - The message version just slaps, it literally says: "Chaos calls to chaos".
It took me a longtime to realise that I'm attracting what's within me. If I'm broken, toxic and co-dependent, I'll attract that. It sounds 'worldly' but as you've just read - its actually biblical. Chaos has a way of attracting chaos.
As I began to talk to the young lady, she let me know that she's a believer and she firmly believes that the man I just described is the man God has for her. I know chileeee, but we have all been there!
Throughout my therapy process, I've been learning a lot about indoctrination.
Indoctrination is when you make a person accept an ideology or set of beliefs. Christians, through the bible, sermons and Christian culture, have been indoctrinated to believe certain things and act a certain way. Even if we remove religion, it's most likely that the average woman has been indoctrinated by societal belief systems to want to get married and settle down. We say its natural to have those desires, and it may be natural - but have you ever thought that you may have been indoctrinated to desire certain things?
Indoctrination is often subtle and repetitive. It's in films, tv-shows, music, books, media, basically, it's everywhere. There's always a belief system that is being pushed and when the right amount is digested - you begin to accept the belief system. Sounds spooky, I know...*inserts awkward laugh emoji*.
Just to prove this point and give you some context, we'll take it back to Hitler. (Fun fact about me - I love history, it absolutely fascinates me. I took it for A-Levels and would've studied it at uni if the job prospects weren't so poor, ha!).
We all know of the evil Holocaust and its devastating effect on the world. However, sometimes, what people fail to realise is that many German's, including many of Hitlers own army, were actually never racist to begin with. When Hitler was elected president of Germany in 1934, he obviously had an agenda, however, he knew that his beliefs were odd and weren't shared by many. So, in order to generate hate, he needed to indoctrinate German's into believing two things; the first thing they needed to believe was that Germany's economy was in serious decline, the second thing they needed to believe was that the cause of all of this was Jewish people.
To make people start to believe this, Hitler sent a radio, as a gift, to every German national's household. Radio's were new at the time, so to gift almost everyone in Germany with them was expensive. The radio's were modified to only pick up one radio station - I know you can guess who's radio station it was picking up - yep! The radio station of Hitler's political party. Hitler would have long speeches playing repeatedly, in which he talked about the poor state of Germany's economy, the lack of jobs and also how all of Germany’s issues arose when Jew's started migrating into the country.
It was an odd belief system Hitler had, but overtime, as people repeatedly listened to this speeches, minds began to change and many started to agree with Hitler. Soon, millions joined him in his stance against Jews, and later he was able to have live televised rallies, with many coming to vouch allegiance to Hitler, and join his army with the agenda of "ending" the Jewish race and "saving" the Aryan race.
So, can you see how indoctrination can make you behave in a certain way? Sometimes, it makes you behave in ways that initially are foreign to you.
Back to my DM and this topic!
After the young lady told me that she was believer, I began to understand more where she was coming from. I think it's really hard, for any woman, especially Christian women to let go of a toxic man, especially when toxic behaviours are laced with genuineness, love and sex..*let's keep it real, sis, them soul ties be tyingggggggggggggggg*.
We have been indoctrinated through sermons, children's stories, Disney movies and culture to believe that as women, we suffer when it comes to love. We are often told that when we suffer in love, the men we suffer with will most likely grow to love us more. This has relevance some people's situations, but it does not pertain to every woman.
I agree that a woman holds a special place in a relationship. I agree that a woman can definitely help a man on his growth journey, but it's important that we don't confuse the God-given place of being a helper with being abused.
It's so important that as women, we actually know the Bible for ourselves, then trust in the sovereignty of its Maker, I say this because today's culture pushes so many silly narratives when it comes to love. An example of this would be Kevin Samuels, if you're not familiar with him - just YouTube him. He went viral for telling a single mother that she was below average (looks wise) and should settle for less than what she desired. Although I agree with some sentiments he makes; sentiments like we should be realistic when looking for love, I believe other statements he makes will never apply to every woman or single mother. There's many narratives I am told as a single mother, narratives like I should settle, however for me...there's only one truth I'm holding onto - God's word.
...Back to the DM...I think as women we sometimes struggle with identifying toxic partners. King Saul is one of the best examples of a toxic person (See 1 Samuel). Saul, like many toxic people, began well, but overtime, power, pride, jealousy and envy infected his soul. One thing to notice is that due to Kings Saul's crippling jealousy of David, his mood was never stable. Sometimes, he would be calmly listening to David's music, the next moment, he would be trying to kill him (1 Sam 19:9-10). Soon after that, King Saul would show genuine remorse, vowing never to kill David again - only to try again soon after (1 Sam 24:16-17, 26:2, 21).
King Saul is the definitely blueprint for (Chioma's) Paul *inserts laughing emoji*.
In all honesty though, I don't think Saul ever had peace.
When people ask me how I know something is "God", I often say "I have peace about it."
When you are walking God's will, there's a certain peace you will have.
The word from heaven will come to us, with dazzling light to shine upon those who live in darkness, near death’s dark shadow. And he will illuminate the path that leads to the way of peace - Luke 1:79.
I've been in relationships with people where I never had any peace. I'd always be thinking, questioning, proving, snooping, worrying, I'd be so busy doing all of that, that I was probably loosing myself and probably not even seeking God. Then, I've been in relationships where its easier, communicating isn't hard, finding time for eachother isn't hard, supporting eachother isn't hard, trusting is easy, progression is natural, thing's just fall into place and the relationship inspires me to grow in my relationship Christ. Those relationships weren't perfect either, but it didn't have the...strain..that being in the wrong relationship has.
My mum has an analogy that she often tells me:
She says, when a man isn't for you, it's almost like he's a size 3 shoe. You're a size 5...cause, well, you're above him..*inserts gagging emoji*. Trying to make the relationship work is as painful as trying to fit your size 5 feet into a size 3 shoe, and even on the off-chance that you get it on and manage to keep it on, because it's not your size, and was never made for you, choosing to keep it might mean you will forever be in pain, or eventually end up numb to the pain.
I think that's the summary of it all - I think as women, we have stop choosing men over ourselves. We have to stop holding onto the wrong people. Leaving is painful, but its less painful than staying and being disrespected over and over and over and over and over again.That was never the way God intended love to be. I literally was smiling when Chioma revealed she had left Paul. I'm sure that's how gassed God is when we finally decide to leave some relationships.
The young lady who DM'd me, was similar to Chioma in that she couldn't identify her partner as "chaos" because chaos also resided in her. For her to accept that standard of love as good enough, means there are some belief systems she has which are incredibly toxic. It's these belief systems she has about herself; how her life should be, her worth and her standards that dictate the way she moves and allowed a man like King Saul/ Chioma's Paul to gravitate towards her. I hope I'm making sense.
As a Christian women, it is importaaaaant that we renew our minds daily with the word of God;
“Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.” - Romans 12:2
We outchea trying to live our best lives (as we should), but at times we have to put down the gram, the TikTok and whatever else distracts us. It‘s important never to allow the belief systems presented on social media to become your belief system. It is so important that we surrender and allow God space to purge us, and gradually remove toxic belief systems, replacing them with Godly ones. Theres certain things, or even people that you craaave or attract that God needs to remove from your life. Renewing your mind daily is the key to sustained transformation, it will heal some of your wounds, it will save you from more heartache, it will make you more effective in life and in the Kingdom of God, but it would also make it more possible for someone with a Godly belief system to gravitate towards you.
Sometimes, we wonder why we end up with who we end up with, but always remember, chaos attracts chaos.
In the words of Lauryn Hill - "How you gonna win when you ain't right within?".."Cus Baby girl, respect is just the minimum"
- Millicent x