What’s in Your Grip?

istock_000006493749xsmallWhen life is chaotic and out of control, we have a tendency to hold on to areas of our life that are detrimental to our well-being. We hold onto:


Labels become badges of negativity: ugly, fat, dumb, too sensitive, uncooperative, no talent or abilities, unlovable, reject, etc.


Racing thoughts compounded by the “what if’s” increases anxiety and worry. We become so accustom to the chaos and trouble that peace and rest are absent.

Scripture reassures us. “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:31-34 NIV


Holding on to anger leads to bitterness and unforgiveness. This keeps us in bondage to our circumstances and can lead to vengeance. Since anger is a feeling, learning constructive ways to release it is critical.


We compare ourselves to others who seem to have it altogether pointing out our failures and judging ourselves harshly. We long to be all that God created us to be and to experience His grace, but we have become stagnant in our perceptions telling ourselves we are not worthy of anything.


Have you ever played the game of “I should have”, “If only”, or “I could have?” We call these regrets. We keep ourselves in the pit of despair and self-condemnation playing the movie of “What might have been”. We call this fiction. It never existed. Past actions and words can’t be changed. They are history, yet we hold onto them as if our very lives depended on them creating our own fantasy world.


The wrongs that have been done to us keeps its grip on us as we replay the   incidents in our mind seeing the lack of fairness and justice. Those offenses begin to control our lives and become a filtering system for future situations. Revenge may become our mode of reaction and anger rules our feelings.


  • Fear of making the wrong decision
  • Fear of the future
  • Fear of failing
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of learning something new


We play the victim role drawing others in to get attention. Most of us hold onto pain and hurts because it is so difficult to face realities about ourselves and our circumstances.

When we face these realities, it requires us to make necessary changes. Sometimes these changes are difficult because our lives become a whole lot worse before it gets better. It is much like having surgery to get rid of something that is harmful for your body. There is pain because of the surgery, yet in the future the pain will go away and the result will be the saving of your life.


These are relationships that destroy who we are. It keeps us in constant turmoil trying to figure out how to fix the problem so there will be peace. It could be a spouse, dating relationship, a parent, our own child, a sibling, or a friend. There are questions we need to ask ourselves when we cling to toxic relationships.

  • Ask yourself why you are holding on to them?
  • Are you getting your identity from them?
  • If you let them go, would your lifestyle that you are used to change?
  • What is the need within you that drives you to continue to try to have a relationship with them?
  • Are there fears of failure?

Everything we hold onto becomes our filtering system for our perceptions of current relationships and situations. We assume and judge people’s actions according to our experiences. It may be difficult to maintain relationships because we put on a mask to hide what is inside. This prevents others from getting to know the true you. Authenticity is difficult.

Are we willing to let go and move forward on the healing journey? In letting go, we leave room in our heart to hold onto Jesus, our healer and hope.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16

By Paula Silva

© 2010 FOCUS Newsletter, FOCUS Ministries, Inc., www.focusministries1.org

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2 comments on “What’s in Your Grip?
  1. Simone Wilson says:

    The toxic relationship that has exsisted between myself and my ex for over 15 years. I’ve tried very hard to move past the hurt, shame and bitterness that I feel towards him. We share 3 amazing growing sons and now I see the effects of the abuse on them. It’s painful to watch the manipulation going on with my children to get to me. It feels as though I’m being abused all over again. The pain runs deep like a knife and at times my heart cannot bear anymore. Even when you get out of the abusive relationship, the cancer still tries to steal the remnant of what remains as your family. Sometimes you feel depleted at others full of hope.
    However God is always there in the most ugly of state we are in
    He is there…waiting..watching…loving. He is there.

  2. Paula Silva says:

    What you have described shows the long lasting effects of toxic relationships. When your children eventually grow up, you will have less communication with their father which will help with the healing process of your heart.

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