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Finding Your FEARLESS

I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t have to step into one situation or another – big or small, when I don’t have to find my FEARLESS.

 

Think about it. When things are happening around us that cause us to feel unsafe, fear is a normal emotion.

 

So, what am I talking about? If I’m afraid, is FEARLESS even possible? What does it mean to be FEARLESS?

 

We have it in us. I see it in you.

 

The ancient Hebrew word for women, is ezer which comes from two root words, one meaning “to rescue, to save,” and the other meaning “to be strong,” or “fierce strength.” Crazy, right? In fact, the word ezer is most often used in the context of a battle. It’s in our hardware – wired right into our spiritual DNA. We’re strong. It’s who we are and how we were made. We know it’s true. I watch women fight with fierce devotion, for each other, their families, and for truth. We are life-givers. While we can’t do our husband’s recovery work for them, as it’s their personal battle and choice to make, we do have the ability to ask for truth, establish safety in our camps through boundaries, and call others up. (Intimate Deception: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Betrayal, pg. 201-202)

 

It’s how we step into what’s right as we fight for truth. It’s how we protect our children or stand up for fidelity in the face of sexual deceit. It’s when we stop tolerating the intolerable and with surgical precision clarify what we need. BEING FEARLESS is not about the absence of fear. Quite the opposite. It’s staring “wrong” directly in the face while we’re standing for what’s “right.”

 

When we stand our ground, we stand in what we know to be true. It’s uncompromising courage. It’s our ability to hold onto ourselves even when we’re feeling pain, panic, anxiety, fear, or anger. It’s holding onto all the strength we can muster…. even if it’s just for that moment.

 

I know how you feel. When I’m in a fearful situation my blood pressure rises, my palms sweat, my heart skips a beat, my bladder suddenly feels full, my body shakes, my mind begins to question what I’m doing, and I may have to sit in a bathroom to compose my thoughts in private.

 

It’s true. These experiences are common to all of us when we’re on the front lines of confronting what’s wrong, calling someone up into responsibility, inviting others into what we need to be safe, setting protective boundaries, and fighting for what we believe and those we love.

 

Revolving doors in a marriage don’t work.

I was recently moved by a woman’s courage. She was FEARLESS. Her husband was continuing to look at porn and minimized a weekend getaway he took with a women from work. He said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He didn’t want to acknowledge his infidelity. This couple has three teenagers at home. There’s so much at stake. He’s not working on his recovery. He’s not sober. He’s been unwilling to get into SA and do what it takes to get help for his destructive patterns of sexual acting out.

 

She told me, “I can’t do this. What will the kids think? They love their dad and have no idea of what’s going on. I’ve never asked him to leave. If I do, how the kids will react.

 

It was then, I showed her this picture and asked, “What does this image mean to you? Her face flushed red and she started to tear up.

“As a little girl I grew up in a home with a rage-filled dad. You never knew when he’d go off. I was always afraid. Now, I’m scared my husband will get mad. There’s a bull in my house and I’ve been running from it. I can’t allow this anymore. I’m going to ask him to leave until he’s willing to cut off all contact with the other woman, get back into therapy and get some help.”

 

That evening she went home and set a boundary by asking him to leave. She told him what she needed before she’d consider having him returning home. She was scared, she’d never been on her own. Yet she knew it was right. She found her FEARLESS.

 

What are you facing today? What bull might be lurking in your home? Finding your FEARLESS may not require a separation. It may mean you ask your spouse:

 

“Have you sexually acted out since your last sobriety date?”

“Neither one of us are experts in all this. Would you be willing to meet with someone who specializes in sexual compulsivity (CSAT)?”

“I feel like we’re the only ones’ struggling with this. Would you be willing to attend a couples group to get some extra support?”

“I’d like to meet with you and your therapist to get an idea of where you’re at with all this?”

 

These requests require finding your FEARLESS. Please don’t feel embarrassed by asking for help. We need en-courage-ment when our emotions rev up. Reach out to your betrayal recovery group, ask a friend or counselor to help you while you ask. They will be there to support you no matter what the outcome is. It might be a hug, a high five, or a patient companion as you’re looking for your FEARLESS. When we hear, “Fear not for I am with you,” it’s not about the absence of fear. It’s actually about the presence of another who believes in you, is committed to you and is fighting alongside you.

This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. Living in this situation is so disrespectful. It is so easy to see it when it is happening to someone else. It is hard to see it when it is right under our own nose and when we live in fear that our betraying spouse will rage when we unmask their lies!

  2. Thank you for understanding what we go through. Only by God’s grace and love are we still standing after the trauma of sexual betrayal. After 25 years of marriage in a foreign country I am picking up the pieces of my life under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. One day at a time. God is good and faithful through it all. God’s grace over your ministry.

  3. I am learning more and more that the “bulls” I faced were not just my ex-husband’s SA, but the lack of self-worth and dependency on others to make me feel fulfilled. There is no one who can fill that void or give me the strength to stand on God’s plan for my life. Only God and make me feel whole.

    1. Wow Laura! I’m sending a high five your way. What powerful wisdom. Thanks for sharing it with us and for choosing to face those challenging “bulls” on the inside that can keep us stuck in shame and helplessness. Brave on girl as you continue to grow stronger!
      Warmly, Dr. Sheri

  4. Thank you Dr. Sheri,

    Gotta find, yet another “safe place” to live… This will be my fearless kicking in as I continue to WAIT for the court system… Court date scheduled for August 16th. In the meantime, Contacted him and got the response, “What will you give me for a room?” I’m so weary. The trauma’s seem to never end.
    Angie

  5. Thousands of years of patriarchal conditioning has formed us to bow to the men in our lives because we have been told verbally and non verbally that we need them in some way, news flash! We don’t!
    Now if we ‘choose’ to be in an equal and and mutually supportive relationship because it fills our soul and gives us joy then by all means let’s foster those relationships!
    Otherwise, find your space, your peace and know that you are whole and perfect in and of yourself, do not allow anyone to back you into a corner.
    You are fierce and strong and full of fire!
    Blessings to all sweet and strong women, you are the core of all things wonderful!

    1. Thanks for the reminder of our incredible value as women Lilith. Historically this concept of equality goes way back to early Rabbinical thought. When it comes to our God given name, ezer kenegdo, (Gen. 2:18b), we hold a beautiful name that reflects the truth of our identity. When we understand this, it can change how we see ourselves and relate to others in our world. When we recognize who we are, we can stand firm knowing from the top of our head to the bottom of our feet that we’re worthy of respect, dignity, and truth. We can rest in being ourselves as we own our strengths and accept our imperfections. We can value ourselves regardless of how someone else sees us. This truth can cause us to rise up, for our sake. No need to tolerate the intolerable or bow to harmful behavior and abuse. Check it out from page 201-202 in my book Intimate Deception: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Betrayal.

      The second Hebrew word, kenegdo, appears only once in the Bible when talking about women (Gen. 2:18b). I love how R. David Freedman thoughtfully did his homework. He recognizes the debates among translators that haven’t done the word justice. He shows how the early Rabbinic Hebrew language interprets the root kenegdo as “equal” in divine value.1 The words reflect our identity and great worth as women, just because of who we are. Putting these ideas together, it only makes sense that we were created as equals in divine value, to be ezer warriors, women who know who they are, who fight for what’s right and those we love.

      Brave on, sister warriors of incredible worth and strength,
      Dr. Sheri

      1. R. David Freedman, “Woman, a Power Equal to Man,” June 6, 2004, http://temple.splendidsun.com/PDF/equalto.pdf.

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