“Our need to be seen, soothed, safe, and secure never stops.”
Dr. Curt Thompson
Much of our trauma, shame, judgments, and vows that keep us in a rut of sin stem from our lack of being known by God and others. Christian psychiatrist, Dr. Curt Thompson defines being known as feeling seen, soothed, safe, and secure. When we don’t experience being known by God, we run to others and things to help fill that need. We try to comfort ourselves with idols and addictions, which prevent us from being our true selves. Dr. Thompson writes, “And not naming our desires or our trauma and shame leads only to a more likely outcome of making choices that are disintegrating.” The process of being known helps turn our brokenness and destruction from sin and makes us whole again, fully integrated into our true selves.
One benefit of hearing God’s voice is feeling known by God, which loosens the hold of what motivates me to sin. The issues of our hearts, the things we struggle with that withhold our true selves, are issues with attachment. Healthy attachment to God where we are seen, soothed, safe, and secure releases us from the need to comfort ourselves with idols.
Hearing God’s voice produces a healthy attachment to God. Listening to God’s voice makes me feel seen, so I don’t need to seek the attention of others. I feel soothed, so I don’t seek the comfort of food. I feel safe, so I don’t have to control things, knowing I can trust Him. I don’t need to place my security in possessions, money, or my performance and work because I am secure and free to take risks.
Listening to God’s whispers has demonstrated to me that God is my Perceiver, my Pacifier, my Protector, and my Provider. And because He is all those attributes, I am fully known by Him. Being known by God validates and accepts us for who we are rather than what we do or what we know. “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12b). Dr. Thompson challenges us with these words: “You cannot know God if you do not experience being known by him. The degree to which you know God is directly reflected in your experience of being known by him.”
Hearing God’s voice leads to a healthy attachment to God and that causes us to become the person He created us to be, fully integrated with less brokenness and the desire to sin.
“We all know what it’s like to have to overcome the ‘flesh’ of ourselves – in our narratives of insecure attachment that direct our desires toward states of disintegration.”
Dr. Curt Thompson
Relevant Reflection: How has listening to God’s voice made you feel known (seen, soothed, safe, secure) by God?