Podcast: Face It


Tova and therapist, Nicole, introduce how to get over bad things that happen to you by following the 6 Steps of Loving Truth. Step 1 is to "Face It".


Host: Tova Kreps, LCSW
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Nicole Velez, LMHC


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Speaker 1: (00:00)
Welcome to wellspring on the air where professional Christian counselors share practical life and Bible insights. Why? Because hearts and minds matter. We're glad you joined our show today to hear from our host Tovah [inaudible], president of wellspring counseling in Miami. Tova is a licensed therapist with many years of experience as he Christian counselor. Tova teaches rights and consults and life. FM is pleased to have wellspring counseling, restoring hearts and minds in our community. Welcome to wellspring on the air. I'm Tova and with me today is Nicole Valez. Alfonzo, one of our therapists who specializes in trauma. Hi Nicole. Hi. Thank you for having me. So glad to have you here. I just want to say at the beginning, I want to

Speaker 2: (00:41)
today's for my voice. You listeners out there have heard me before. This is not my normal voice, it's my sinus infection voice. And so there you have it. So without apology, we'll move on. Nicole, tell us a little bit about yourself. So I've been a licensed mental health counselor now for 11 years at wellspring. I've been for two and a half and I really enjoy working with teenagers, young adults. And adults navigating through mood disorders, anxiety, grief, loss and trauma. I'm a trained EMDR therapist, uh, with wellspring as all a lot of other therapists are at wellspring. And I am one of the equine therapist as well, which has been a lot of fun. Okay. Tell us about equine therapy. So horses can really be so helpful and understanding ourselves because they teach us how to have healthy relationships and that healthy relationships have choice.

Speaker 2: (01:25)
So horses are sensitive, they're social, they live in the present, and they're big, and they, most importantly of all, they're very honest. So you can't lie to horse, you can't blame the horse, you can't manipulate the horse. So they give us live feedback to apply to our lives, helping us to look at what we need to face about ourselves. All right. And that leads us into our show today, which is about facing things, but just for you, listen to it out there, I just want you to know, we actually have, at coin therapy, we have all sorts of types of therapy at wellspring because we really believe in a holistic approach. And what works for one person doesn't work for the next. So all different ways of as getting, getting out of the things that are issues in our lives. So today we're going to talk about our loving truth curriculum.

Speaker 2: (02:07)
And this is a curriculum that I have written that we use in our bounce program, which is a trauma recovery program, but we use it in other places too. And basically the loving truth curriculum is simply six steps or six ways of getting over bad things that happened to us. So we're starting today a series on the six steps of getting over something bad that happened to you. So we could call it trauma, but it was broader than just trauma. It's really just those negative life events. How do I quote? Just get over it. And so we're going to cover those steps. And the first of those six steps is to face it. You cannot solve a problem, you don't admit exists. So the first step of getting over something is admitting that it exists. So let me ask you out there, how good a job do you do a facing the painful truth in your life?

Speaker 2: (02:55)
Do you tend to ignore things you didn't hope? They just go away, that if you ignore it, it won't be true anymore. Are you one of those or one of you? Those who just tackles it head on and says, I want to know the truth so I can get past it as quickly as possible. So think about that as we get into this program. Don't change your dial. God has something in store for just you and we hope you'll get something out of this program on facing truth today. So Nicole, we're going to dive right in here. Let's start with why we don't face painful truths. What are those reasons? And I have five of them here. So let's go one by one. Let's look at them. I think the first reason we don't face painful truth is because we're smart. We're really smart people.

Speaker 2: (03:35)
And why would we have pain on purpose? You know, God designed us to not have pain and we, and we know we don't want. So if you have a painful truth, of course we avoid it. Don't you think that's pretty smart? That's right. I would not want to feel that pain. So it's the first one and it's, we do not want to feel pain, so it's not all bad for us to avoid it sometimes. That's right. It's actually not because we need to survive the moment. Yeah, we do. Sometimes it's going to be painful and we're just going to push it off. You know, my dermatologist, I have skin issues, but my dermatologist, she, when she does a biopsy or something, she never calls me with the results until a Monday. She told me this one, so now I dread Mondays, but she said, why should I ruin a perfectly good weekend if there's nothing you can do about it?

Speaker 2: (04:20)
So why no, when you don't know. So there's nothing wrong with postponing or delaying. Sometimes it just needs to not be a lifestyle of postponing it because the pain is still there. My, my diagnosis is still there on Monday. Didn't go anywhere but, but it's okay to delay a little bit to avoid a little pain or to to get through life. And you, you mentioned to survive the moment, say more about that. So, um, when something bad happens to us, we tend to go on the flight freeze and fight response. And so our brain automatically just helps us say, you just need to survive this moment right now and, or you need to leave, right? So runaway or you need to fight or you just kind of get stuck. And so that's, we, we can't get past that. It's just what happens with our brains.

Speaker 2: (05:04)
So what the priority is to just survive the moment. And so that's what we need to do. We just need to survive the moment. And sometimes that takes a few days, sometimes it takes a week. That takes a few months. But after that is when we can actually start facing. So it's good for us to avoid in the moment in order to survive is what you're saying is not like there's something wrong with us. As a matter of fact, it's just prioritizing survival and life itself over grieving a process and I going to thing the first thing is you got to survive it before he can go grievance. So getting through the moment, so it's not a bad thing if we just postpone. I'm facing the truth, but it is something that we tend to, sometimes we survived it so later it's like, why am I thinking about it now?

Speaker 2: (05:45)
I go back to it. I've already lived it, I've already passed it, but really we never did live it because we didn't feel it at the time. We didn't face it at the time. We just got past it and went on function mode in order to survive. So it's a good thing to not face truth in order to survive the moment, but again, we need to go back and face the truth later when we can get to it in a safer time in our lives because as you said, if it becomes a lifestyle, then it's destructive to us. Right. All right. I had a third reason why we don't face truths. And that is that sometimes the painful trees make us feel bad about ourselves. So we don't like to feel bad about ourselves. So we just don't admit that something's true. Uh, an example is if, if like, say you are abused by your parents as a child, that makes you feel so bad.

Speaker 2: (06:28)
Like maybe there was something wrong with me, which isn't true, but it's, it's shameful to feel disrespected by people who have been abused by somebody to been rejected by someone you love. Uh, that makes us feel unworthy or bad. And so anytime we think our dignity is taken from us, we don't really want to look at it. We'd rather just pretend it didn't happen. Yeah. And so if we make a bad choice also, we don't want to see that we might have made a mistake and accepted that that's true, that we made a mistake and that we need to forgive ourselves or move through that. So, so our mistakes, our failures, our sins are one of the other things we don't like to face because it makes us feel embarrassed or bad about herself or unworthy or something. All right, that's pretty good. So I've got a fourth reason that we don't face truths and that is that we will have strong feelings that we don't want to have like grief and loss.

Speaker 2: (07:19)
So I'd rather pretend you didn't hurt me. I'd rather pretend I'm going to see you again next week. Even if you're moving away. I'd rather pretend all sorts of things as opposed to feeling real grief and loss or or other things like that. Disappointment. Someone may have disappointed you and you just want to just not even address it and just kind of keep going as this. Yeah. Well that might be the feeling of then I might be angry and I can't tolerate being angry with somebody because then I'll have to confront them and I can't handle that or I'm just other strong feelings. Some of us aren't good at feelings at all. We'll talk about that next week. But I'm that feelings feel over overwhelming or overpowering or scary. We don't want to feel it. So we don't admit. And also the loss of maybe dreams and goals and expectations because of certain circumstances in our lives.

Speaker 2: (08:06)
And we don't want to face those losses that are real. And that happened to us. All right? So we've got one more good reason that we avoid truth and that is that it will pressure us to change in our life. So that's the first. So I have, it will be painful. It helps us survive the moment it makes us feel bad about ourselves. We feel grief or loss or strong feelings we don't like in the fifth reason we avoid truth. Painful truth is it will have to change. So for me, some examples of that is that if I admit I have a problem in my marriage, I'd actually have to get counseling. Or maybe I couldn't live with this person anymore. If I'd met, I don't like my job or that it's a problem, then I might have to go look for a new one.

Speaker 2: (08:46)
Are, if I admit that I have an unhealthy eating pattern that I'd have to, you know, make some adjustments there as well. Yes, I met my addiction on my, I'd have to actually go into rehab or show up at a, at an AA meeting or something. Um, or I might have to attend to something that's going to cost me something. And so that's a good reason we avoid it, but it's not a good enough reason isn't we need to really face truths in order to get past them. That's right. So we do have to do something different. We do have to change and change is hard. Change is hard. So we really do need to face the painful truths of our lives. I have a great quote about this. It's by a gentleman named John [inaudible]. He's quite famous in the world of therapy. And his quote is this, the good news about denial is that it gets you through the day. The bad news is that there will always be another day. Isn't that great? So we can really avoid pain and truth, but it's really still there. It's still there. So we might as well face it so we can get past it faster. That's my goal. All right, we're going to take a quick break and we'll be right back. How do you

Speaker 1: (09:48)
care for your heart and mind? Join Professional Christian Counselor Tova Kreps each Saturday at 11:30 AM for wellspring on the air to learn about being mentally healthy because our hearts and minds matter. This show also airs at 1:00 PM on Saturdays and Friday nights at 7:30 PM for more information or additional programs, visit their website@wellspringmiami.org

Speaker 2: (10:11)
welcome back to wellspring on the air and this is Tovah Kreps and with me today on our show is Nicole Velez all farms up. So if you miss the first part of our show or you're just tuning in, we are talking today about facing truths, painful truths in our lives is the first step of our loving truth curriculum at wellspring counseling and how to get over bad things that happen is to face it is number one. And so far we've talked about why we don't want to face it and all the good reasons we avoid pain, but the fact is we need to, we need to face it because it, that's something for us to know the truth so we can do something about it and we're lot faster at solving our problems. The sooner we admit that they're true, it's kind of like physical pain.

Speaker 2: (10:52)
Physical pain tells us that there's something wrong in our bodies. The reason we have that pain is so that we do something. If somethings poking you, you gotta make it stop poking you or get to the doctor or if you need to itch you makes you scratch. So emotional pain is the same way. It tells us that there's something wrong. We need to take an action about it. There are three kinds of pain that I think we have in our life on the emotional realm. One is something somebody did something to us and hurt us and the action we needed to take is to set boundaries or to forgive. Sometimes it's something I did, whether it was on purpose or a sin or whether it was just neglect and something I regret, but we have answers to that actions we need to take. We either need to repent and or we need to learn the lessons to do it better in the future so it's worth facing it so that we do better in the next time.

Speaker 2: (11:42)
And the third is lost. I lost something. 11 is painful and again, there is an action to be taken on losing things and that is to grieve that loss and to honor that loss and we need to do something about it. The truth, if we face the truth, even if it's painful, it ultimately sets us free to talk a little bit about what the Bible says about that. It's interesting. In Luke nine, Jesus says, if any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me for whoever would save his life will lose it. And whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. And I know this is, we generally apply this passage to other things, but the point is it's worth taking on painful things in order to do the right thing. If our goal is to avoid pain at all costs, we're going to have more pain.

Speaker 2: (12:30)
If instead our higher priority is truth at all costs, we will do the right thing even if it's sometimes painful. And ultimately it will lead us to real life and a better life and less total pain spiritually, emotionally, physically. So, um, we need to face those things. Jesus is of course our wonderful role model in this. And as I studied for this talk, I thought about how interesting it was, how he was dead set on facing what was true in his life, especially as painful truths. Listen to this. In Luke nine he's talking to his disciples and this is kind of as he's gearing up to going to the cross and he says to him, let these words sink into your ears for the son of man is to be delivered into the hands of man. And the interesting that phrase sink into your ears.

Speaker 2: (13:17)
He's trying to like shake his disciples and say, listen, face the truth. Cause they were trying to tell them, no, you don't have to go to Jerusalem now. You don't have to die. That will never happen to you. And he's like, listen to me. And then he tells us that he set his face to go to Jerusalem. He's, he dug in and said, yes, this is hard, but I'm going to do it and I know the truth and I'm going to keep walking even though it's painful. He did that again, right? But at the last supper and said, Jesus, knowing that the father giving them all things and that he'd come from gown was going to God rose from the supper and that's when he washed his disciples feet. So he knew what was coming. And then he took action even in the Gardner Gethsemani when they came up to take him, the soldiers and the guards with Judas, it says in scripture, John 18 I said, Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him came forward and said, who do you seek?

Speaker 2: (14:08)
And he turns himself in this concept that he knew, he knew. He knew. And we need to be like him. We need to know what's true so we can face it with the help of God in our lives and he'd be willing. Just that willingness of going forward. And Jesus was very willing, you know, he'd said, yes, it's me. Let's go. So if we don't willingly face the truth, we just live in a lie. And when we live in a lie, we don't allow God to transform us and come in and transforming and see what he has in store for us. If we were to relieve ourselves from the pain of the suffering and face it, Jesus faced the truth. And we need to be like him and we need to not live in lies. Jesus was light and he was. Truth says, I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the father except through me.

Speaker 2: (14:56)
And Jesus is truth. And we want to walk into his way. We need to be looking at what's true and not pretending, not living in lies. Satan is called the father of lies. He's on one side. We want to walk in truth and we want to walk in life and light. And so we need to do that by facing the painful truths of our lives. So I have this great quote here from Tovah j corrupts right here next to me. And this is just so powerful. People do not attend to the painful truth of their lives until they're old enough, wise enough, safe enough and loved enough to handle them. And that's why we get in therapy. A lot of times people don't come to therapy until they're in their thirties forties because they're not ready to face it yet. And then they realize, oh, you know what?

Speaker 2: (15:41)
It's time. And they're ready because they feel safe because they're wiser, right? And they know that it's important to face it. And so, um, that such a great quote. Well thank you. You know, I have that quote because I do think we need to give permission to people to stay in denial when they need to. We have defenses against things that we can't face when it's overwhelming and it's particularly true of us when we're children. And so I think not pressuring people to face truce, so not ready for not judging them because they're living in denial. So that's why I said at the beginning, there are good reasons to kind of deny pain, but they need to go away eventually. And as we become old enough to handle like a kid can't handle the fact that their parents don't love them because they're still dependent on them.

Speaker 2: (16:24)
They can't even look at that honestly because they have no other choice. They're in survival. And when they have survived and they become adults and they can look back because now they're old enough, have their own family, now they're wise enough and now they're loved and now maybe they have a spouse that loves them. Maybe they've come to Jesus and they know that God loves them. Now they can honestly face those truths. And so again, without judging people, but still pushing and nudging each other to, to be honest about what's happened in the past, again, our tendency is to just never go back to it and to rewrite it into truth. And that's where we end up in problems. And we're so proud of our people who come to therapy later in life and say, you know, I just want to rewrite what happens. So I see it honestly who I was, who they were, what happened to me.

Speaker 2: (17:10)
And I'm not there anymore now. And so sometimes we just have to wait until we're ready to do that. But we do need to push for that and push for living in truth and not pretend. You know, one of the big disadvantages I think of him living with those lies is we have to flush out those lies in other ways. So for back to my example, if your childhood included abuse and you choose to live with a lie, this is what loving people do. They treat each other this way. The problem is when you get married and you have kids, you're going to treat your kids the same way because you have to maintain the lie. You have to keep the myth up. And so the advantage of going back and rewriting, you'd say, no, maybe they did the best they could and maybe I can forgive them, but it wasn't loving right.

Speaker 2: (17:55)
And the ultimate reward then is now I can be different, better, healthier for my family, right when we face things, right? But we have to be honest, we have to admit what was, even if it's painful in order to make something better, you know, on Nicole also, I wanted to talk for us to talk about the advantage of telling the truth. There are some advantages. I think the business world has shown this. There's a book called the truth advantage by Liz wheel. And in that book she kind of talks about the business world and how we think we should always never show our flaws in the business world because if we show our flaws and we give people power over us or they're going to look down on us. And research shows that actually the people who admit their flaws publicly, including leaders actually have this greater level of respect from people.

Speaker 2: (18:42)
People Trust more people who admit that they screwed up and then own it and do something about it than they do. People who pretend to always get it right, the painful truth of our failures. So the Bible says in proverbs 1215 that the way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. And so this speaks to the fact that if someone always thinks they're right and they don't see their weaknesses, they're not really going to be respected. They're not facing the reality that they are weak. And then there's things that they need to work on. And so the wise person admits their criticisms. So that's one of those things we have to admit is our floss. So the wise person looks at that painful truth and faces it honestly and then they can do something from it. Scripture tells us that all wise people do.

Speaker 2: (19:26)
You know it's also true, you were saying earlier that telling the truth takes less energy than lies. That's right. That's right. There's a lot of energy involved in having to put the pieces together to keep a lie going. It's not free. It's actually slavery to maintain this kind of way rather than facing your truth and live in a freedom of Christ. Yeah. Cause you're always having to pretend this didn't happen or pretend that didn't happen or pretend I don't feel this way. Act as if. Right. And so you're putting on this facade, this mask, right. I'm in front of everybody and that's just not your true self. And sometimes that means that you live in the circumference of your life rather than in the the self, the inside that that God self, which is inside of you. And so when you face your truth, you clear the way for your God self to come out.

Speaker 2: (20:12)
You know, another reason that it's an advantage to face the truth and the painful trees who are alive is that sooner or later the truth always comes out and it doesn't always come out like you want it to come out clearly. I mean, when you talk about an affair, you know that those kinds of things, they don't come out in any healthy way. I mean, people get hurt, all of the people involved in an affair can get hurt. So if you face it, you, you prevent pain for a lot of different people and involved. Yeah. And I think it shows, even if you don't ever tell, let's say someone has an affair and they never tell or they have a, here's on a, for me it was just a secret sin that you've got going on or pornography or all these things that we have that we avoid.

Speaker 2: (20:54)
Um, sooner or later, even if you don't tell it shows in you the lie you're keeping in yourself is going gonna show and you just disconnecting from people, your guilt kind of comes out, your overcompensation comes out somewhere. I think the truth does show itself over time and scripture sells us that it will tells us that someday it will be declared from the rooftops. That's a scary thought, right? So we might as well face it right now. Jesus even says that. He says, you know, make peace with the person on your way to court because when you hit court, it's gonna, it's going to show. So you better figure it out before you get there. And I think these are our opportunities. Let's figure out what we're doing now. Admit it and do something about it. Find forgiveness, repent, make our changes, learn our lessons because there's going to be a day of accounting sooner or later.

Speaker 2: (21:44)
The three, I think for me, you know, I uh, I like, I'd like to avoid, uh, sorry for me, I'd like to avoid the painful truths of, of some of my health issues. Like I was saying, you know, um, if I just, that somehow not exercise and I'll stills be strong, you know. Um, and I know people do that all the time. You know, I'm, if I'm smoking, but somehow it's not going to, I'm not going to get lung cancer or people's addictions and somehow they're not going to have bad consequences. They can manage it. They can be a quote functional alcoholic. Somehow they can pull this off, you know? Yeah. But that's not the truth. You're not living in truth when you rationalize it what you're doing is right. Or that your sin is okay. You know? So yeah, scripture tells us you reap what you sow.

Speaker 2: (22:31)
And so if we sowed to the flesh, we reap from the flesh. It says those who, so violence, rape, violence, and um, all, all the things that we do, they are going to come out sooner or later. So the sooner and the faster we address them, honestly, the faster we are to get over those things and to heal from them. Yeah. Next week on our show, we're going to hit the next steps song. [inaudible] comment on that or we're going to talk about feeling it and expressing it. And that's the next step is after you face that you feel in expresses. So you can join us for that show next week. But today, Nicole, what kind of steps could someone take if they are been avoiding a painful truth in their life? Yeah, so right now if you're kind of driving and you're realizing, wow, you know, maybe I should address that because you know, it's really holding me down.

Speaker 2: (23:17)
And I think one of the main things that we like to do is just share it, share it with someone verbally or share it. Journaling, you know, express it in a way that is, um, that you enjoy. You know, when you see it, when you hear it, it just seems so real, so much more real to you that you know what that did happen. Or that is something that is really affecting me. Still know that's especially true in the world of trauma. You know, when we, when we survive, the moment mind shuts it out. We don't really look at it. We don't experience it because we're surviving and later we need to go back and say, okay, that's what I thought. That's what I felt. And so that first step might be even drawing. And we do that a lot, don't we? In therapy, just drawing it out.

Speaker 2: (23:59)
And then suddenly I've seen so many times where people have this Aha moment where it was a secret until then, and the moment they put words to it are drawed on a piece of paper or journal it suddenly they go, Aha, it's true. And they see it in our responses. When someone listens, it's like, now I have a witness. So it really did happen. That really was me. That really is true. And somehow when we keep it hidden in a secret way, it's not really true because we haven't brought it into the light. That's right. Yeah. That's a Satan's playground. Is that seek Arcadis? Yes, that's right. Keeping it secret. Well, I think we've done a great job talking about facing it today. Next week we'll talk about feeling it. So I just have just a little promo I'd like to say to you guys. We at wellspring counseling offer a trauma recovery program to youth kids who have been traumatized, who experienced some horrible event in their lives, maybe violence or sexual abuse or things like that, and we offer this camp to them and we have one coming up in spring break.

Speaker 2: (25:01)
It's full and it's fully funded. We have two more this summer in there, partially funded, so we are looking for people to sponsor some, a few more kids. I think we have 20 more slots that we need sponsored for this summer. So if you care about youth who've been traumatized you, you'd like to donate to us, that would be great. Just find us@wellspringmiami.org if you have someone in your life, a teenager who has had a traumatic experience that continues to suffer way afterwards from that experience and you think they be a good candidate for this, you may also write to us@wellspringmiami.org and let us know, just get on our contact page or something and let us know that you have a youth to refer. We'll screen then we'll test them. We'll let you know all about it, but we have that coming up. We wanted to let you know that that's coming up, so encourage us.

PodcastAlexandra Delgado