Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Problem

Life happens to all of us.  Its not because God doesn't care or because He loves some more than others.  We only see our own pain with unique, close-up perspective, and that perspective can warp what we see in the lives of others.  

We spend so much time asking, "Why?" Instead we should be asking, "What now?"  To have a little pity party when life falls a part isn't wrong, and honestly is probably in order.  The length of the pity party is where we can find the problem.  

Do you ever feel stuck?  Like you know you want to be over there or even just somewhere else but you don't know where or how to get out of the current mess?  

The problem is we too often run from the obstacle instead of running right into it.  We have to run into it so we can understand why we are still there (sometimes under the watch of a trusted therapist).  

I've mentioned before that I have several people in my life right now that are facing addiction.  Its caused me to pause as I speak to them, hug them and pray for them.  I want to shake them and tell them to just stop, but its not that simple.  I can't do anything for them - that's called co-dependency and it doesn't yield anything beneficial. 

As I was talking to one of the people on that list recently, I asked what the issue was.  I probed into the self-talk and what they saw in themselves.  I was met with instant emotion.  I had hit a nerve because I think whether its addiction or any other life obstacle, the biggest place we get stuck is how we see ourselves.  

No amount of compliments can change the negative self-talk that is on repeat in our heads.  It can change but that change doesn't just happen, its has to be met with an action-plan that takes time and effort.  

You have to stop the lies that feed you and the only way to do that is to face them head on! 

What are those sentences you hear over an over again? 

Write them down.  

You should have them memorized because you hear them ALL.THE.TIME! 

What is the message those sentences are speaking to you?  Are they true?  Trust me when I say they aren't.  You aren't worthless, you aren't a loser, you aren't crazy, you aren't a nothing, you aren't the sum of your actions or the sum of the actions of others.  

YOU HAVE VALUE - because and only because GOD PUT IT THERE! 

You need to feed your brain the truth.  

Go check out websites like this one that tell you who you are in Christ.  Right those down and read them to yourself and if you need more on this topic - read about my, "I AM" journal.   

Start today but stopping the negative messages and replacing them with positive ones. 

Recently I was feeling abandoned.  I put on my essential oils (yep, I'm that lady) and I started searching for the antonyms to abandonment.  Then I wrote down those in "I statements" - I am supported, I am accepted, I am adopted...I went to work to reverse the lies playing in my head.  You can do the same, but know if you've been listening to the junk for awhile, it will take awhile for the positive messages to take hold and stick.  So keep at it! You've got this. 

Was there a friend that this made you think of?  Share it with them.  Everyone can use some encouragement!!!  

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Finding Freedom

If you've been on this blog for anytime at all, you know I had an abortion when I was 18.  To say I regretted my abortion is the biggest understatement EVER and the pain I felt, forced me to deal with it and the other junk in my past. My own healing led to helping others because when you know how bad something sucks, you have no choice but to be there for others in your shoes.

 Because of this, I'm on a group on Facebook for those who regret their abortion.  Its a group that is free from political positions and just a place of support.  A woman recently posted on the group seeking some help.  She explained her story and felt her decision was the best choice for her and yet she's really regretting it now (a story I hear ALL.THE.TIME because seriously pro-choice or pro-life has nothing to do with emotions). In her post she was wanting to know how other people managed to live without thinking about it all the time!

Truth.  You can't.  When you are dealing with any inner conflict, distracting yourself is the same as putting a band-aid on an open wound that needs stitches. 

The best way to heal from any emotional issue is to do two things no one ever wants to do...

1. Ask For Help

2. Face It

Running from our past and our pain doesn't make the problem get better, instead that pain grows and we just have more to deal with later.  We have to dive right in and face whatever crap we are afraid we will see when we examine our thoughts and feelings.  I say ask for help first because when its a big emotional issue, facing it alone can take us to a dark place and we need someone there to keep us from going there. 

This isn't just abortion.

I know friends with drug and alcohol addiction that doesn't stop because they are afraid to face themselves and they can't ask for help.  Doing those simple things takes a TON of courage!!! 
You have to be so sick of the pain that you will do anything to be better. 

So if you have something sitting in your emotional closet that has been haunting you for awhile and you want to be DONE WITH IT - start with the two steps above. 

Please note:  Dealing with your junk doesn't mean it will never affect you again.  Scars don't just apply to our physical bodies, there are emotional ones too, but there is a difference between daily being plagued by emotions and being triggered every once in awhile. 

I get emotional about my abortion because if I could find a time machine, I'd go back and do it differently, but I can't so I made peace with it, I let myself  heal from my pain, I corrected to dumb lies that played in my head and I now walk in healing. 

If you hear one thing from this let it be:


Trust me its worth it.  If you have walked something difficult - loss of a parent or child, abuse,  addiction, abortion, divorce, slavery etc, and you are free from that now, HELP SOMEONE ELSE! Don't let that pain echo in the lives around you.  Trust me there is someone out there that needs you.  Just open your eyes.

Happy Wednesday and everyone have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

What Is Your Name?

A few weeks ago my dad and stepmom were visiting.  My stepmom had some time to hang out but it was in the time frame I usually work out so she accompanied me to the gym.  What started out as one work out class, ended up being two classes back to back! What seemed like a good idea after the first class felt like a horrible one when the second class ended. By the time we were done, we were wiped out!

The second class had a fill-in instructor.  When she introduced herself she said,

"My name is Angela, but if you don't like the class its Whitney."

I thought it was funny when she said it, but as the day went on, I truly thought it was a genius idea - two names. 

I decided I needed a second name!

I thought about it for awhile and thought about names I didn't like and then it hit me.  I have an almost name.  My parents almost named me Summer because Stephen King's "Carrie" was popular around the year I was born.  This would be a perfect second name.  That way, if my husband was mad at me, he could call me Summer, so that I would know where we stood.  I also would love to put off disputes by telling people, "I'm sorry, you will need to take that up with Summer.  She isn't available right now, but I can have her contact you when she's available." 

This might sound a bit insane and silly, but the truth is we sometimes need tangible ways to deal with issues we encounter in life.  All those negative thoughts we have get jumbled with our true identity.  What if you put all of that on a second name?  Separate the junk and be mentally productive. 

We run too often from conflict and its a reality of life that is never going away, so its best to address it head on.  Maybe you need a second name to have the freedom to do that.

Regardless, get creative and find your way out of your current box.  We have to do what works for us in life and understand that thinking outside the box can often offer us great solutions to overcome life's obstacles. 

So if you had a second name, what would it be? How would you use it? 

There is something else I want to share with you before we end our time together today.  You know that double class that I thought killed me?  Well as day one and day two muscle soreness approached, I discovered I wasn't as sore as I thought I would be.  The challenge of that day actually revealed to me just how far I've come in my work out.  Its good to find that nugget of joy in the midst of pain.  Want a scripture for this? Check out James 1:2-4 -

"Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." 

Have a great Wednesday folks and take that next step to the best you possible, the you God had in mind when he created you!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Are You Listening?

In 1999 (yes I know a million years ago) I was living in London.  I was there for a semester abroad and it was a time filled with fun memories, life lessons and moments I will never forget.  In the four months I was there, I was introduced to the term stimulus overload and soon after my move, I embodied the concept.  

At first London was overwhelming.  Everything was noisy and fast-paced and different that anything I'd lived near prior.  It was shocking how quickly my body adjusted.  The overwhelming was not something I could function with everyday, so my brain just tuned it out.  For example, the constant sirens in the neighborhood I shared with a local hospital soon became something my brain no longer recognized.  

This experience has been revisited in a new way over the past five plus years as the internet has taken over our lives.  Living online is something most of us do.  Its given us a great deal of connection in places we never had before, and its allowed us convenience, that I can't imagine living without.  The internet has also introduced us all to stimulus overload.  

The amount of messages, platforms, agendas, information, studies, life happenings, current events, perspectives, opportunities to serve and give has been beyond excess.  Mentally and emotionally we can't process all of it without tuning it all out and just becoming hardened to the issues our world faces.  Its important to ask some questions and add some intentionality to the seemingly mundane of everyday internet life.  

So here is my question: 

What speaks to you? 

What defines you and what do you give value to? 

There are many things vying for a place at the table but there isn't room for it all.  Its impossible to adequately care about all of it.  

It can all be important, but it can't all be important to you.  Giving a little to a lot means nothing is getting your undivided attention.  

Take some time today to narrow the field.  If we don't find purpose even in the messages we receive it all just becomes noise.  Noise is annoying.  

So where is your passion and how can you find more of that today?  What needs to go away from your brain space so you can focus on what matters?  

Organizing our thoughts and feelings is just as important as organizing our kitchen cabinets. 

Are you missing the important stuff because you've just shut down?   When the priorities speak, are you listening? 

Take some quiet time to take inventory and really think about how this applies to you.  I know I need this for myself.  Happy Wednesday folks!!!