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Any TMS sufferers with strong religious/spiritual beliefs?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Stormshadow, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. Stormshadow

    Stormshadow Peer Supporter

    I know this may be a deeply personal topic and I don't want to turn it into a religious debate, but the reason I ask is that I became a born again Christian a few years back and amongst other pressures in my life, I wonder if the way I handle that contributes to my "goodist" nature. I know alot of times, particularly in my marriage, I tend to think about how God or Jesus would want me to handle a situation. And that would be in a loving and patient manner and a forgiving manner despite the circumstances. And I think this causes me to force myself to try to be calm and loving when deep down inside there might be a rage or anger that wants to explode but knows its not appropriate. I see this alot in my marriage where there are some parts of me that hate that my wife and I can't communicate and I feel like she won't listen to me or really hear me. I also think sometimes there are parts of my personality or bad habits I have that I need to work through or eliminate and I put pressure on myself with trying to do that or getting upset when I stumble with different things. So there is guilt and shame and a feeling like I am not good enough sometimes. I know I should be focusing more on forgiveness and self forgiveness and acceptance.

    Anyways, wondering if there are any of you that may have similar pressures to do good based on your beliefes and how you handle or process them with TMS?
  2. phillyjoe

    phillyjoe Peer Supporter

    Stormshadow: Let me throw out the disclaimer before I comment further. I share your confession of faith. Contact me at corsoj@michigan.gov. I would like to answer your question in a private manner. I feel comfortable giving my email here.
  3. Stormshadow

    Stormshadow Peer Supporter

    Thanks Philly. I'll send you a separate email.
  4. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey storm shadow, you should have a good time here. I'm a Christian and I believe in all the miracles in the bible. You should be happy that your in a place of healing- wow, That's what I thought. Anyways you have bad thoughts and habits - well here is where you fix them and you will know what god said about doing certain things right is truth.
    Also The TMS Recovery Program will also show you a lot of ways to deal with this issue too
    Bless You
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
    Mermaid and nancy like this.
  5. Msunn

    Msunn Well known member

    Hi Stormshadow. Great questions. I've had to look at the same issue from a different perspective. I've been a member of a twelve step group for the last seven years, which has been a life changing experience for me. A lot about the program asks for us to be of service to others, not hold onto resentments etc. This has affected my marriage in a way where we have less arguments conflicts etc. With TMS symptoms I've had to look at this more closely. It's great to be slow to anger, think of being of service to a higher power, (God for me), think of others before myself, etc. but I think this has also fueled the goodist traits described by Dr. Sarno.

    Stuffing emotions is not healthy for me whether I do it just from being out of touch with my emotions, or because I'm trying to live a more unselfish, spiritual life. I've had to look at the fact that I'm more angry, petty, negative and selfish at times, than I might like to think I am.

    There's been a lot of fuel for journaling in this as well as some screaming, crying, not at anyone in particular, but as a way to discharge these stuck emotions.
    I'm trying to learn to embrace my whole messy, imperfect self, while still striving to be a better more spiritual person.

    I really like the book The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. It's not written from a religious point of view but it addresses these issues in a way that make a lot of sense to me.

    Scott Brady's TMS book Pain free for life incorporates prayer and spiritual beliefs into TMS healing. I like his perspective for that.

    All the best
  6. Mermaid

    Mermaid Well known member

    Hi Stormshadow

    We are God's children and he loves us warts and all !

    Remember we are to love our neighbours as ourselves, so it's OK to love yourself and nuture your own needs.

    I think everything in God's creation looks for balance, we've just lost ours temporarily. Trust that wellness will be restored to you once you have learned all this experience has to teach.

    Chin Up ! ;)
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and Msunn like this.
  7. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Storm - I too am a christian and I too have associated my TMS with my faith. Probably went through each one of the same thoughts you mentioned above whenI started my TMS journey.

    I came to the realization my personality of trying to solve all of lifes problem by myself without the help of God was what sent me over the edge. I tried to solve my marriage issues by myself, I tried to handle my feelings of not being good enough for God by myself and changing,faltering over and over. Even with TMS, I tried to search for a solution to my issue all on my own becuase that is what I had always done...solved problems on my own.

    It wasn't until I realized that I was out in front of God with my timing that I started to put the pieces together. I wasn't allowing God to fulfill his promise of taking my fears and anxiety on his shoulders. Read I Peter 5 : 7, Psalm 55 and Philipians 4. God is very specific about handling our anxiety and fears over to him.

    Claire Weekes said the anxiety is simply being out in the future with our thoughs instead of living in the present. My therapist said the same thing. As a Christian, the bible tells yuo not to worry about the future, God will take care of you.

    I recall reading your intro and I just felt as though the FEAR of the limitations that TMS would place on your future life were more of a concern than the present pain. For some reason I see a lot of your issues are in line with mine. Tramatic experience and stress...leads to symptoms....FEAR sets in with anxiety based on your unrealistic thoughts of how limiting your life will be in the future.

    Placing your faith in God and the holy spirit allows your heart, actions, thoughts to be guided by the holy spirit that lives within you. There is nothing wrong at all with feeling frustrated with communication issues with your wife, children. There is nothing wrong with feeling not worthy of Gods love do to imperfect actions or unpure thoughts. We were all born into sin and even with the spirit working inside us we are still sinners and will need to continue to ask God for forgiveness and pray for guidance and support.

    My question for you is this.....have you handed your TMS over to God? Or are you trying to solve this issue alone? Have you been able to ask him to solve this issue and guide you in your approach to the TMS? Handing it over to God and believing that he will handle TMS for you is really no different than you deciding you have TMS on your own and then stopping symptom checking and obsessing on your own. I think using God to help you is actually a benefit because his love is also the answer for helping you work through your repressed emotions around your communication gap with your wife as well as all of your other thoughts your putting pressure on yourself with due to God.

    I am on the tail end of my TMS I believe. It wasn't until I made the connection between FEAR, my lack of trust in God to solve my problems and handing it over to him did I flip. For me, recognizing my trigger was a huge step but recognizing that FEAR was the only thing keeping it alive was the key. The faith connection for me was simply I had never needed to rely on God to help me with any problems. I had never really faced adversity on a level where I couldn't solve the issue on my own as part of my perfectionist personality. Even now I find myself starting down the path of getting ahead of God...wondering why I still have all this head tension and sore eye muscles...wanting to google and search for answers when sometimes just relaxing and having faith in God and what we know about TMS already is the answer.

    God didn't cause me TMS, but I do think he allowed TMS to enter into my life and is using it to bring me closer to him and to sew up some wounds in my heart I have had for awhile. There are so many stories regarding people who were hurting so badly emotionally who turned it over to God and the answer was given to them. It parallels TMS so much that I think there can be a powerful connection with faith.
  8. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    StormShadow, Wow….what great questions you're considering. And my answer is, yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I think religion is the perfect incubator for TMS. I spent years in it….performance based religion. You never felt poorly because you were "standing on the Word of God!". Obnoxious people who sucked the life out of you were to be served and prayed for. (And yes, I believe we should be kind to all but there's a line that gets crossed over into co-dependence and other unhealthy behaviors.) I was encouraged (and did so very well), to set aside my ("selfish") desires and serve the church.
    I could go on and on. I've had to untangle a LOT of my beliefs. The book that Msunn recommends is fantastic and I urge you to read it or to even just look at Brene Brown's TED talk on shame; it's on Youtube.

    Also, Lifestream.org was very helpful to me in sorting out my Christianity after the harm religion did to me. (Please hear my heart, I"m not trying to sound like a victim or am I throwing rocks….I know there are some very good and healthy organizations out there.)
    G.R., Mermaid and Msunn like this.
  9. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am not religious, but I am spiritual. I believe there is Truth in many doctrines of religion, but I also believe my relationship with God is not through an intermediary. The lure of religion is the community support, and many benefit tremendously from such a setting. I shy away from such gatherings as I witness too much hypocrisy. Words have power, but I cannot bear to witness the actions of the very people who profess love of God, but act out in less-than-charitable manners.

    In my belief, there lies not a shred of hate or prejudice or vengeance within the radiant Light of God.

    I also believe our bodies are gifts, to be treated as such. When we look into mirrors and feel disgust or dismay, and we criticize what we see ... where is the gratitude to the giver of this gift? We are pieces of God, inhabiting this organic creation that allows us to experience this physical reality.

    If we view these bodies as the gifts that they are ... if we truly feel gratitude for this gift ... then how can we bemoan that it is not perfect? How can we abuse it? How can we even hate it? It is ours to take care of, ours to treasure, and ours to keep in as best condition as we can.

    I offer this from Nelson Mandela, at his 1994 Inaugural Speech

    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
    It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
    We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous"?

    Actually, who are you not to be?

    You are a child of God.

    Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
    There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
    We were born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us.

    It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
    And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

    As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.


    with grace and gratitude,
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lily Rose, thanks for posting the Mandella speech. It's wonderful.

    I know what you mean about religion and hypocrisy. I experienced it first-hand from someone
    who broke all the Christian rules, then came to Mass every Sunday and put Communion wafers
    in everyone's mouths. I would leave the line going to him and move to the next line. I finally
    changed churches, still Catholic, not with him in it.

    Abe Lincoln said he seldom went to a church service because of the hypocrites he saw there.
    Wives would parade their fine new dresses and hats but they weren't paid for and he represented
    the store owners were suing them.

    God is inside all of us. No hypocrites can take that away from us.
  11. Msunn

    Msunn Well known member

    Beautiful post Lily. I especially like the Nelson Mandela quote.

    I have the highest respect for anyone's spiritual path, but I have seen in my case how perfectionism can enter in and lead to denial of feelings, if I'm trying to be more spiritual than I am.

    I guess by nature any church or religion is composed of humans and we are by nature imperfect, (at least this one is!), so I can accept the inconsistencies of behavior there. I'm not particularly religious myself, but I have been attending church recently. I guess I just look for the similarities rather than the differences with others there.
  12. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    It isn't about being more or less spiritual .... you already are. The bud of a rose cannot deny being a rose. As the sun warms it, nurtures it, the rose opens up. That is us. We are in various stages of our cycle, but we are still that spiritual being.

    Like emotions, though ... knowing we are spiritual and feeling our spirituality are two different experiences. I know, and I feel. When I am in distress, I feel it less because I am overwhelmed. When I am less distressed, or tromping around outside in my waterproof bogs, basking in the cold winter sun and hauling pruned branches to the burn pile .. then I feel it.

    You make music, Msunn ... surely there are moments when you are lost within that experience, the sound, texture, emotion. That is an aspect of spirituality.

    with grace and gratitude,
  13. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love this reply. So true, thanks Mermaid
  14. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Pingman you wrote such a beautiful post -- for god did not give us a spirit of fear but of power love and a sound mind II Timothy 1:7
  15. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Awesome reply Msunn, Wow you have really come a long way in knowing how to beat tms, thanks for your insights.
    Bless You
    Msunn likes this.
  16. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love this quote from you Lily Rose, thanks.
  17. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks Walt, Awesome.
  18. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Guys I feel like I got the Best of the best in the quotes above from you and its cause you come in to the community to share your wisdom that I can keep growing and building new knowledge too. I want to tell everyone of you -- well you guys are the best and I love you. I have learned more by your words than I could ever learn in my private studies. The private studies don't have heart and compassion. I can feel it in your words of hope and encouragement and again I want to say thank you. and here it comes -- Awesome.
    North Star and Mermaid like this.
  19. Waterbear

    Waterbear Peer Supporter

    This has been an interesting thread for me to read. I plan on going back and checking it out again, to really study it. I was actually going to start a similar thread, but looking for advise from the other end.
    I think God and religion are a factor in my TMS but a bit on the other end. I'm mad, and a bit confused.

    Here's a bit of a background. I was in 9th-10th in my Catholic confirmation class. I could talk about this for a long time but to make it short. They were absolutely terrible people. Two short examples.
    I'm 15 years old and the teachers took us into the empty church at night. Every child sat alone in a pew. They did their beside to separate us as much as possible. The church was lit only by a few candles. For the next hour, they described in graphic detail the torments of hell that we would all mostly likely endure since most likely we'd mess up and be damned. I'm an artist. I picture everything people say to me. It was awful.

    Second example. They wanted to show an abortion video. I told my parents that I didn't want to see dead fetuses. My parents told me to stay home that week. The teachers found out that a lot of kids did this. They simply showed the movie the following week. This movie was sick. Graphic is a mild term for it. I saw a dead human baby being eatten by dogs.

    Here's my confusion, hate, etc.
    I want God to be good. I want to think he is good. I have been furious at Him and the church since I was 15. I'm 30.
    This past year. I've had horrible pains all over my body: elbows, knees, wrists, shoulder, ankles, back. I used to be so athletic. I miss it dearly. My sister needed to have a surgery, at the young age of 25, which has made her unable to bare a child. She's 25! My grandmother has breast cancer. My little cousin needs to have a huge surgery on her chest which will be very painful. The final straw was my friend who heroically gave her kidney to her ailing brother. The surgery failed so badly, the kidney didn't take in her brother and died on the table so she couldn't take it back.

    I want to believe that God is good. I really, really do. I just can't keep the teachings from my church out of my head. It's almost like we're being punished. I feel like I'm being punished, and of course, I have 2 years of extreme Catholic teachings to back my feeling up. I know my church was too extreme too, but that doesn't make me un-hear and un-see what I experienced.

    I'm a good person though. My family members are all good people, very good people.

    Why so much pain? So much suffering. I don't want to hate God. I want to love Him. I want to think that He's got my back. But, wow, look at that track record. I feel hated and unloved.

    So safe to say, I'm conflicted. I'm hurt and mad at Him. I'm confused too. I think all these swirling emotions have a factor in my TMS. I think faith is a powerful thing and whether you have a lot or not, it can really make a huge impact in your life.

    It's good to read about people who have faith since mine really has been shattered from the past 15 years.
    Keep doing what you're doing everyone!
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
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  20. mindfulliving

    mindfulliving Peer Supporter

    And oh yes definitely....tms helped me study my spiritual self and religious faith better...i came to a better understanding of things around me....and i learnt what i was missing out on due to be filled with negativity...now i smile far more often than before and have learnt its better to let go of worry than hold on to it for long periods...but yes my faith definitely kept me going....bexause i always knew there was a reason god is putting me and all of us tms people through this....we are not defected or we dont have any mahor issues....we are just special....
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.

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