By Sandra L. Brown, MA
Change is redemptive. It’s transformational and it’s healing. No wonder none of those things happen to pathologicals—they don’t change, so they don’t redeem, or transform or heal. But for those negatively affected by a pathological, change is your only hope. Without the transformation of change you are hopelessly stuck on what feels like the karmic treadmill of relational bad choices that just gets worse with each selection.
But change is not only our hope, it’s God’s hope, too. Why? Because God is the God of Ecology—He recycles everything we live through to make something out of the dung of our nasty experiences. He’s invested in what happens to us, in us, and through us. As the original ecologist, He always has an eye toward what can be recycled in us for better use because that which is used is not wasted. So our experiences with the pathological that are used to help ourselves first and others second is not a wasted experience of pain and suffering—it has been transformed into a healing gift for us and for others.
This is Psycho-Ecology at its best… the good use of our bad psychological experiences; the recycling of our pain and bad choices into insight and help for others. Psycho-Ecology is the path of recovery.
- your naiveté into prevention,
- your experience into intervention,
- your story and makes it into a book, a support group, a website, or a speech,
- your intrusive thoughts and turns them into a meditation on tape,
- your tears and turns them into a poem,
- lethargy and manifests exercise,
- pain and creates a prayer, and
- creates hope out of hopelessness.
In fact, that which is not transformed is stuck—stuck inside you, stuck in your life, stuck in your path, stuck in your heart. Transform it!
That which isn’t redeemed is toxic. Pain that is not redeemed into the gift of hope and life for others is just pain, crammed in your body converting your health into something sick and bad. Redeem it!
That which isn’t healed by paying it forward is an emotional cancer cell metastasizing in your heart—eating your hope, your future, and your potential healthy relationships. Pay healing forward. Heal it!
You have the largest, most magnificent force behind your healing—The God of Economy who will take one bad thing and use it to help and bless thousands. Did you read that—thousands! He wants your healing so it can be broken, blessed, transformed, and released to others.
He multiplies in His economy—so your one bad pathological experience can help many, many more women than just you. His plan includes economically using your experience by releasing it to multitudes and includes recycling it from bad to good. That which we don’t use gets wasted. That which is wasted is not transformed and that which isn’t transformed we are victimized by.
I can always tell those women who are going to be recycled and used in Psycho-Ecology in others’ lives. They are searchers—examining everything they have been through for the opportunity to heal it and use it. They are not lethargically waiting for healing to come to them while hyper-focusing on and memorizing every horrid thing the pathological did this week… their eyes are on themselves, today—what needs to heal in them, where they will transform this train-wreck of a life into something worth living.
These are the women who are willing read the books, go to counseling, come to a retreat… (Or these women find alternative community resources to help them heal right where they live. When money is a challenge, they use their community resources to help bring healing. They use what they have right where they’re at!) They find every resource and use them to beat out the feeling of victimization that wants to swallow their life. These women are silent powerhouses of potential that, when healed, are going to rock the women’s issues field! I grin to myself and can’t wait to see what they allow God to recycle in them.
I’m already seeing it… those that will go on to redeem their experiences in their lives and others’, those that jump on anything that can move their healing forward as they eagerly wait to pay it forward.
These women are the face of Psycho-Ecology. Their horrible pain is being recycled into something positive. They are the faces of hope in Public Psychopathy Education. They are, or will be, single-handedly responsible for saving women’s lives. The lives they save through recycling their pain will only be known by the Great Recycler in the end because we never know whom we have saved. We only believe we have saved someone.
Every single week I get emails from people thanking The Institute for saving their physical, emotional, financial, sexual and spiritual lives. The book, the website, the newsletter—something touched them and got them out of the Pathological Love Relationship. It’s the most satisfying life mission there is: saving a life!
The question is: Will you be the next face of Psycho-Ecology? Will your pain teach other women? Will it speak to them?
Will your pain teach others how to help these women? Will it speak to a community through a presentation?
Will it go into schools, churches, women’s organizations, prisons, jails, and others’ hearts?
Or will it stagnate inside you, producing the most insidious bitterness and paranoia?
Change and growth for us is always a choice—a choice that allows the transformation of recycling so nothing is wasted. The Institute’s mission is Public Pathology Education, which means every single one of us does SOMETHING for the cause. Each week people contact us asking about how to start a group, come to a retreat, get phone counseling, get a workshop in their community, be a speaker in their community. The Institute is here to help you heal first so you can help others heal. There is no shortcut (here, let me tell others how to heal when I haven’t done it myself!) Nope.
There is only one letter differentiation between Nope and Hope—to not only heal but be recycled.
(**If we can support you in your recovery process, please let us know. The Institute is the largest provider of recovery-based services for survivors of pathological love relationships. Information about pathological love relationships is in our award-winning book, Women Who Love Psychopaths, and is also available in our retreats, 1:1s, or phone sessions. See the website for more information.)
(DISCLAIMER: We, at the Institute, celebrate and recognize spirituality in all forms of religion, not just the Christian version. In our work, we often speak of other beliefs and utilize many of the concepts in our model-of-care. This article in no way is intended to minimize or diminish the spirituality that may be found in other cultures or religious beliefs. However, we DO believe that pathology harms one spiritually no matter what the survivor’s spiritual beliefs may be. For those people, we ask that you substitute the Christian viewpoint of spirituality with your own.)