Bloganuary Day 15

Daily reflection has proved to be very beneficial. Over time, I have formed the habit of going over in my mind the day’s events. And I allow the feelings to bubble up.

  • If it’s joy, I re-enter the event in my imagination, and relive it again. I am reinforcing and strengthening my joy.
  • If it’s something negative like hurt or irritation, I would reflect on the cause. Is it my own unfulfilled expectations? Is it the other person’s lack of consideration? How can I do better next time?

For people who like a more deliberate structure and the authority of 400 years of tradition initiated by St Ignatius of Loyola, these five steps are very helpful.

The Pocket Examen is from Loyola University, Maryland

These daily reflections gets me unstuck from today and moves me on to tomorrow.

An unexamined life is not worth living


Billie Eilish and Porn

Billie Eilish started watching porn from age 11 and it “really destroyed my brain.” She’s right.

One teen also started the habit around 11 or 12, when she stumbled upon it in her computer — and she couldn’t stop looking at it. The addiction was almost instantaneous. Subsequently, it led to a sex addiction. She didn’t like it, felt humiliated by the cavalier treatment of her male partners, but couldn’t stop it. She was degraded, but also attracted — she wanted love and intimacy from the opposite sex, but was seen by male predators as easy game.

Porn had normalised sexual degradation of human females. “The first few times I, you know, had sex, I was not saying no to things that were not good. It was because I thought that’s what I was supposed to be attracted to,” Eilish said.

Her brain and body had been trained to expect and desire sexual degradation while her spirit was pained by the repeated defilement and wounding.

How does all this start?

We look at the previous generations. Quite often, there would be a history of promiscuity — multiple wives, mistresses, concubines, what not. Truth is, the sins of the fathers do come down to the third and fourth generation. Second, there are such things as demonic temptation and traps — most young victims “happen” to see the porn when they were alone. Then the generational sexual weakness kicks in, the trap snaps shut and they are pulled into a whirlpool of spiritual defilement and shame.

“I think porn is a disgrace,” Eilish says, adding that she suffered nightmares because some of the content she watched was so violent and abusive — that stuff goes right into the subconscious and the torment continues there. “I think it really destroyed my brain and I feel incredibly devastated that I was exposed to so much porn”. She was only 19 when she spoke about its effects on her life.

The bible is realistic — sin is pleasurable, else people wouldn’t do it. But a very high price is extorted in payment for that pleasure.

But there is hope. There have been people who managed to come out of it with ministry and just sheer persistence. It’s a long, hard journey to get back your mind. But Jesus can and does set people free.

Were you one of the people who instinctively avoided porn despite peer pressure? Thank God.

Were you one of the people that got addicted but Jesus set you free? Praise God.

The Cinderella Child

In almost every household, there is a Cinderella child — a child that’s less favored than her siblings, a child that’s the lowest ranking in the parent’s priorities. Here are examples of how it plays out:

One child is freely given piano lessons, skating lessons, sailing lessons; but Cindy has to campaign for opportunities to learn. This favored child has clothes that take up 80 per cent of the shared closet — but likes Cindy’s new blouse and wants the right to wear it too. Cindy bursts into tears at the injustice, at the repeated victimization — but this incident shows something has happened to the favored child. She has become predatory.

There is a dispute between Cindy and another child — without further ado, without hearing Cindy’s side of the story, she is punished. The other child learns that lying and pretending helps him get away with everything, and it becomes a lifestyle. So a manipulator is formed.

So Cindy tries to EARN a place in the family by her performance, but her excellent performance, praised by those qualified in their field, is dismissed with the words that her sibling got a Distinction too.

The favoritism teaches the siblings to lord it over Cindy. They arrogate to themselves their right to have what Cindy has; they believe it is only right that their whims and desires come first, and Cindy’s needs are irrelevant; they believe it is right to take by force the inheritance given to her, but not to them. Her desires are not respected, her boundaries repeatedly violated. She is only told what she is to do… or else…

The family is satisfied with the system: it benefits them, after all. It gives them someone they can parasitically suck from, if they want anything. It becomes a lifestyle to notice Cindy’s assets and scheme for ways to take from her for themselves.

There are many variations of the story above, but one things remains true — in dysfunctional families, there’s always a Cinderella and it could be of either gender.

The parents set up an unspoken caste system, with often the older in the family given the higher status, ranked according to age, and the youngest the lowest status. Sometimes, it could be any one of the children that’s singled out as the lowest status, not necessarily the youngest. But this child is the one who is stripped of her rights, and is expected to serve the rest. From the time she joins the family, her status is already decided by the parents, and the rest of the family agrees, because wouldn’t it be to their advantage to use the one that’s designated as servant of all?

For those who resonate with this story, who feel that this story somehow describes them, I feel for you. But there is hope.

Because there’s also a Prince — a Prince who Sees Everything, and His name is Jesus.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. — Galatians 5:1