Unhealthy scenario #4: Delusions*

To deny the affects that our past has on our present behavior is delusional.

We are all the sum total of our past experiences. Good, bad, helpful, hurtful – what we have lived through impacts what we will live through. In the realm of spiritual, emotional, and relational health, it is imperative that we investigate how we came to be where we are.

In discerning how events and habits have contributed to current unhealthiness, there are several areas to consider:

Family of origin issues:

  • How were gender roles defined and manifested?
  • How was anger handled?
  • What were the acceptable ways of displaying grief or sadness?
  • How were fights and arguments settled?

Cultural issues:

  • How is success defined?
  • How is conflict to be managed?
  • How are gender roles and characteristics defined?

Theological/religious issues:

  • What is the perspective on how to handle mental health issues?
  • How should conflicts be handled?
  • What are proper gender characteristics and roles?

There are plenty more examples, to be sure. We as care providers need to develop skill in helping others avoid delusion. Identifying personal historical issues is often the first step in determining future healthy habits. Ignoring or denying the role that our past plays can lead to hypocrisy and crazy-making attempts to cover up reality.

*Based on Peter Scazzero’s book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality