How To Feel Whole Again

Single parents, our lives have been ripped apart… just fragments of the way we used to be. We can tend to feel completely broken and empty. The idea of feeling whole again can seem so far out of reach. How can we move towards finding wholeness when all we see are the scraps of what used to be. Often, we don't even know how we feel other than defeated and broken.

Today we talk about how to feel whole again with our expert guest. For over 30 years, Dr. Chip Dodd has poured his heart, experience, and education into serving others. He is a counselor, mentor, speaker, and author of bestselling books. One of which comes up regularly in our Solo Parent Society groups called the 'voice of the heart', which invites us to know our hearts to better know ourselves and live fully in relationships with others and ultimately God.

Chip explains that, in his view, Solo Parent Society is just a name for, what do you do when dreams get broken? What do you do when your heart gets pierced? It's about recovery of heart, inviting people to return to their dreams, and in spite of what's happened, to allow your experiences to become part of your empowerment or victory story.

So wholeness is about the recovery of heart, either in ways you never had or ways that you returned to renew.

So wholeness really means sanity. Sanity is your head and your heart connected and your ability to tolerate vulnerability and trust that God is with you. That's wholeness. I can use my head to ask myself, what are you feeling? How are you? And then, and I can take that language, and I can present myself in vulnerability to another human being who gets it and then trust that God is in the midst of this. So wholeness comes as we develop the ability to stay present in the struggle and focus on five things that build a sense of wholeness, remembering that pain doesn’t stop, in other words, wholeness isn't perfection.

The first is to detach from control over life and what others think but still remain an emotional being. So detachment with emotion, not detachment from emotion is number one. You do not detach from emotions. You don't sink into the world of not caring anymore.

The second is to begin to develop a tolerance for vulnerability. Tolerance for vulnerability means I could get wounded again. A form of self-care in tolerance for vulnerability means that I stay in the resentment that comes with whatever breakup I've had. That breakup doesn't mean necessarily divorced, but breaking up of the dreams.

The third is to have people in your world you can grieve with; you can talk about the full sorrows and bitterness, the doubting of God, the hatred of God and others, but you're not judged for it because it's a home base where you can struggle to find the words. So grieve well and risk celebrating, hearing good things about yourself, risk hearing that despite what you have gone through, look at how you are.

Fourth is developing an invitational nature. In other words, inviting people into your story. As you grow in confidence, you become invitational. Becoming the good Samaritan. Saying to others, I was you… I was in a ditch. Someone gave me a hand now I give a hand to you. It’s not sympathy, it's the passion that comes from relating to what's happening in others and walking with them. So an invitational nature is something that grows in you.

Fifth is, continue to remain capable of catching yourself. Be willing to face the person in the mirror in all the beauty and also some things that aren't so pretty, like my motives are off base. I'm back into manipulating. I'm trying to control the circumstance. Make sure that you have people in your life who will call you out.
Chip explains that many of us have walked away from vulnerability and dependency and now worship self-sufficiency. God says, “please don't do that, come back to how you're made, who you're made to be. Who's you're made to be”, which is us together, with God. Then do what you're made to do. That's wholeness. God binding us back up together like a Kintsugi vase, a vase that highlights the brokenness by repairing with gold. Put back together with something that increases the beauty and value. It's not the fact that the vase is pristine. The beauty of the vase is the gold in those fractures that mends the shattered vase.

We can experience wholeness, sometimes for the first time, by following the five steps Chip outlines, knowing that our brokenness is precisely where we can start to find true wholeness.

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