heartbreaking to see someone you love in a toxic relationship: watching
them be continually torn down and berated, treated with complete
disregard, humiliated publicly over and over again—and knowing that
despite how much damage has been inflicted, they will likely stay with
their abuser, to their own detriment.
is a unique kind of helplessness when a human being is so blinded by
their past hopes about what the other person would become, that they
can’t see what they actually are presently; when they are so consumed
with the story they’ve told themselves about the heart of their partner,
that no amount of evidence to the contrary will be enough to convince
will be lied to and gaslit and injured—and still they will fiercely
defend the object of their misplaced affections; perhaps because they do
not see their own worth and imagine they will not find better, or
because fear has paralyzed them into inaction, or because living this
way for so long has left them unable to see another possibility.
they are confronted by the efforts of well-meaning people, they will
deny and rationalize and even lash out at the very suggestion that they
are being manipulated, rather than face the possibility that they have
been fooled by someone they misjudged and trusted. It
is exhausting to try and help them extricate themselves from their own
hearts, to show them how unhealthy this place is, to wake them up to
their greater value.
Nearly 40 percent of this nation is in an abusive relationship with this President and they are the only ones who cannot see it.
He has complete contempt for them and yet they passionately defend him. They cut ties with those who attempt to reach them with the evidence of his betrayal. Though
they are being daily devalued and damaged, they cannot see it through
the intoxicating romantic haze of their Fox News, Evangelical, Great
America back stories. They
see those of us who oppose him as the enemy, when the truth is we care
far more about them than he ever will—which is why we have to show up in
November and help them see what they cannot right now.
election is the chance for the sixty percent of us to rescue these
people from this bitter codependence; to vote them into a safer and more
stable place; to show them what it could be like if they were led by
someone who actually cares for their well being, who actually works to
strengthen the bonds between them and the people around them, who will
not subject them to a continual toxic flood of intimidation in order to
keep them close and retain their affections.
someone finds their way out of an abusive relationship, you watch them
blossom: you see them embrace the wide-open life that has always been
waiting for them, and they get to see themselves and the world with new
eyes. Like a
mighty Phoenix rising from the suffocating ashes of something that was
far less than they deserved, their spirits are reborn—and they wonder
how they ever let themselves be treated as anything less than beautiful. They find real freedom.
I so want these people around me to experience this, for them and for the America that I share with them. We
all deserve far better than the oppressive, violent, fractured place we now live in, and until they see that we’re stuck here.
best of who we could be as a nation is not possible while they are
tethered to something so destructive and injurious, and the greatest
gift we can give them is to save them from themselves.
That’s what’s at stake in this election: everything.
I agree with so much in this piece...as I almost always agree with everything he writes. His columns speak for me so often - and I'm sure for many others.
I really want him to be my best friend!
I would love to read your comment about the essay, if you have one. However, stand forewarned, though I have no issue with differing opinions, I will just delete anything that is abusive or ugly.
Now, go make something beautiful!
(¸.•´ (¸.•´) Tristan
John Pavlovitz is a writer, pastor, and activist from Wake Forest, North
Carolina. In the past four years his blog Stuff That Needs To Be Said
has reached a diverse worldwide audience. A 20-year veteran in the
trenches of local church ministry, John is committed to equality,
diversity, and justice—both inside and outside faith communities. In
2017 he released his first book, A Bigger Table. His new book, Hope and Other Superpowers, arrived on November 6th.
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Well stated and I'm glad you posted it!
I adore John Pavlovitz and what he has to say. I attended a workshop of his about 3 years ago. Thanks for introducing him to your readers!
John Pavlovitz's essay on abuse is poignant and profound. However, I have to say that I think the opposing side and the president's critics are no better than he is, maybe worse considering the lengths they have gone to to sabotage his presidency. I will hold my nose and vote for him, as I think he is one of the last things that stand in the way of socialism taking over this country.
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