Archive for the ‘Encourage Yourself’ Category

Not special, but Strong

Sometimes you have to remind yourself that you are strong. Stronger than you know. Stronger than you give yourself credit for. Strong despite those who left you or hurt you. Your worth is not a variable that someone can thumbs up on Facebook, or unfollow on Twitter. Your worth is grounded in who you are. Who God made you to be. Even on your worst day, after your biggest mistakes, in your loneliest places, you are worth something.

 

No matter how much loss you’ve experienced, rejection you face or road blocks in your way, the fact that you are still here, still alive, still waking up each morning, putting one foot in front of the other and weathering whatever storm life brings, proves your strength! I don’t care if you break down and cry, or get lost in periods of depression or self-hate. I see your strength when you put on a brave face and show up to work on time, smile at a stranger, or make dinner for your kids.

 

Take time to appreciate how far you have come without drowning in the awareness that there is still further yet to go. Notice the wounds that have become scars. Maybe they aren’t fully healed, and maybe they are still tender to the touch, but Praise God for the ones that no longer bleed!

 

This life is hard; but take comfort in the fact that your struggles don’t make you special, because we—individuals all over the world, are with you, struggling together. Your struggle is like a unique snowflake but together we are snow helping each other stay alive, whereas alone we might melt. Today I am praying for you, in the same way I hope you are praying for me. That we keep fighting, we keep surviving, and we keep overcoming.

 

You are strong! Find your strength.

 

 

 

 

A letter to myself

Lose sight of perfection, and get lost in the journey. Be okay with falling, failing. Be okay with scars. Be okay with never being quite good enough. Be okay if the finish line moves with every step you take. As you improve so do the expectations placed on you. As you go high, anticipate harder falls. But when you fall, don’t stay down. Don’t stay defeated.

 

Don’t let sadness engulf you or misery define you. When people criticize you take whatever you can from it, but do not internalize it. Hear it, listen to it, learn from it, and let it go.

 

Don’t let the sadness of a previous day follow you for the rest of the week. Don’t hide yourself from hurt. Allow it to hit you like a wave, then wash it away. Wake up every day and try your best. Brush your teeth, take a shower, and be grateful for another day.

 

Let perspective find you, let joy lift you up. Find a shoulder to cry on, and if none appear, tell your troubles to Jesus. He has the kindest ear, the softest heart, the biggest smile, and a light that brings cheer.

 

You are okay, if not, you will be. The weight you carry will grow lighter as you become stronger. Believe in yourself the way you believe in others. Have faith, love, and hope. Be kind, and don’t forget to smile.

 

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Condemnation

 

Today I take the power away from you to tear me down with your words. To shake my confidence. To make me feel like I am a failure. I won’t let you or anyone else have that power. Not anymore.

 

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” (John 8:10)

 

When you derive your sense of worth from anything outside of God, it can easily be taken away. The same people, person, institution that builds you up can tear your down in a single instance. With a single word. Even if you derive your worth from your sense of self, one day you will inevitably fall short even by your own standards.

 

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. (John 8:11)

 

You may not feel worthy, or deserving, or even good. But God doesn’t shun you in your brokenness. Jesus doesn’t kick us when we are down; He extends His hands to lift us up.

 

Be lifted up oh my soul. You are a child of the King.

 

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Chilled

Right now I would really love to cling to self-pity like a blanket on a cool day. I try and wrap myself up in it, but somehow either it is too short or I am too tall and my toes end up peeking out. When everything is going well, something, one thing has to just completely fall apart. If I cover my feet, my shoulders get exposed if I cover my shoulders the chill grips my feet.

 

Why can’t everything just be perfect all at once? The bad definitely doesn’t outweigh the good. But like a persistent and painful bug bite the pain that targets one little spot can shift the equilibrium of the rest of the body. We never get a bug bite and say “thank God” the bug just bit me right on my foot, or just on my ear, it could have bitten me all over. No instead we swear that we got the cursed bite in the first place!

 

It is true that we don’t know what we have till its gone, and we don’t appreciate the simple things till its absence reminds us of its importance. This is the same way we can focus so much on what is wrong that we don’t appreciate all that has gone right. Yeah tonight the proverbial blanket has left my toes out in the cold, but I will try and be thankful that in this chill I find myself blessed with a warm thick blanket that covers the majority of my body in the first place.

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Victim mentality

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When you begin to think about all the negative things that were done to you or against youthe people who betrayed you, mistreated you, or left you… 

 

    Do you see yourself as a victim?

 

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Somehow the effect of others on our own lives is sometimes unreasonably magnified. We begin to see ourselves through the eyes of other people instead of seeking ownership of our own identify in order to flourish despite hardship. To allow the actions of others to change you in a negative way is to give them a power over you they don’t deserve. It makes you twice a victim: a victim in the moment of abuse or hurt, and forever a victim holding on to a hurt that festers and multiples. We let ourselves become bitter and disenchanted, continually carrying a chip on our shoulder, when we should just take whatever pieces of wisdom and life lessons that experience taught us and live life fully empowered.

 

As a victim often times you are living with a burden that your abuser does not share. They may have moved on with their lives, but you can’t… or won’t let yourself do the same. The greatest comeback from any kind of difficult situation is happiness with self and peace. You are not your pain, or your abuse. You are greater than that and you have the power to mentally let go of the pain that you may have physically walked away from years ago.

 

Life is more than a series of good or bad events that happened to you. Well at least it can be more than that, if you decide to be an active participant in your own life. You are sitting in a parked car, and as the seasons change the heavy rain fall turns to bitter hail. All around you looks bleak and gloomy. But you are unaware that right across the street from you is a gas station. If you look into your pocket you will find enough bills for you fill your tank. Key in hand, tank full. YOU decide where you go. You can drive to the safety of shelter and rest close by, or if you are willing to travel a little further you can dwell in warmth and sunshine. You have the key. Your future direction is in your hand.

 

The past has already been written, but your future is a clean slate of endless opportunities. Be encouraged.

I won’t ask who you voted for…

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Politics can be extremely divisive, and this space is not really one that seeks to be political.

However, I do think there are positive lessons that one can learn from this election regardless of who one voted for. In the case of Hillary Clinton, I would say that I respect her even more after this election than I did beforehand. It is not an easy task to concede something one has wanted for so long and fought so hard and so publicly for.

Speaking at a Children’s Defense Fund benefit on November 16th, one week after the election Hillary was quoted as saying “I will admit coming here tonight wasn’t the easiest thing for me..” “There have been a few times this past week where all I wanted to do is curl up with a good book or our dogs and never leave our house again..”

 

I can definitely relate to that. I haven’t yet faced a defeat as public and brutal as hers, but even the small challenges life throws my way sometimes makes me want to curl up in bed, throw my phone away, eat my feelings, cry my eyes out and give up… Hillary though didn’t end her statements there. She went on to say “‘Service is the rent we pay for living..'” “Well, you don’t get to stop paying rent just because things don’t go your way.”

 

How true is that? Though sometimes we feel down or discouraged, should we simply throw a pity party, dragging all our friends and family into whatever despair we are currently in? Tempting, but no. We should yes clean our wounds, bandage them up, but sometimes we gotta keep fighting even while old wounds are still healing. If we don’t we risk the hurt, pain, and disappointments in our past taking something far worse from us– our futures.

 

 

In terms of the lessons we can learn from Donald Trump… .. .. I would say that I have learned from him that sometimes having a dogged stubborn resilience–that sometimes borders on delusional–can be just want you need to propel yourself to the next level. Aside from what one may think about him politically… he is a successful businessman for a reason. Sometimes you need to believe in yourself more than anyone else in the room does. And if you can elevate your own worth and believe in yourself enough… pretty soon you might convince others too as well.

 

That’s my two cents folks, but remember…

 

“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”
– Martin Luther King

Risking it all

Is it just me or is it frightening to realize that often times we can never really know what another person is thinking? You could be in a relationship for years and your partner could have mentally left you, months if not years before they physically walk away. You could be investing money and time in a friendship with someone who really thinks you’re just a stepping stone in their life. Your cubicle mate at work could share jokes with you but then turn around and talk down about you to your colleagues and your boss.

 

It seems to me that letting people in, letting them get close is one of the greatest risks we can take in life.

 

Currently when you look at the statistics for things like marriage you begin to question even more. If more than half of marriages end in divorce, not to mention the remaining half; how many of them are bitter, unfaithful, miserable, and wanting a way out? Many people will then begin to share cliches about love and pain and how love conquers all and it’s always worth it. But statistically speaking it does seem that we are fighting great odds.

 

Growing up I always used to wonder: do people change so much that you could go from loving someone to… not? Little did I know then, and barely do I know now, what my mother always tells me “human relationships are complex.” (lol), I always laugh and role my eyes when she says this in her woefully sage voice, but I know she is right.

 

Human relationships are complex.

 

Thats why I won’t end this post with any cliches or thoughts on external (other-person) relationships, positive or negative. But I will say that I wish you the best in whatever complexities you face. In the midst of all these complexities however, you owe it to you, to be true to yourself.

 

Be honest with how you feel, what you think, and be honest to those around you. That is the best thing you can offer to someone whether you care about them or not, whether you love them or not.

 

It’s easier to live life when you aren’t lying to yourself about who you are and what you want. Know that life is a revolving door. People will walk in and out. Let them. But you are the person that will remain constant over your life. You are going to have to deal with you at every stage in life. So get to know yourself, learn to like yourself, and be gentle and forgiving to yourself.

 

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