Posts Tagged ‘encouragement’

Perched

 

 

This is a letter to myself. A letter to myself that I am sharing with you in hopes that it might help you as it is slowly helping me.

 

Today I was at my wits end. Recently I have been struggling with intense overcast feelings to the extent of not wanting to leave my bed and feeling as one without hope. I blamed these feelings that I felt on many circumstances that I was drowning in. External pressures, external loss and disappointment. I was a victim of my circumstances. And I couldn’t overcome it. As a Type A personality I do very well at burying my feelings and emotions under work. I schedule my days to leave no time to think, reflect… or to breakdown. My mind is always moving, always achieving. But I couldn’t shake the cloud that had been following me. It was persistent, vigilant, shaking its hand at every ray of sunshine that tried to lighten my way.

 

Then something happened that took me from sitting under a cloud, to sitting under a cloud, as it began to downpour. With no coat or umbrella, I felt like shaking my hands at God. Was I not low enough? How well was I handling the cloud, that made you decide now was the time to bring the rain!

 

During this pity party, which was hosted and attended by me and myself alone, I came to the realization that my perception of the intensity of my circumstances stemmed from one issue. I tried to quiet all of the external voices for one second and the only voice left was my own. And I was screaming one thing. “God why have you discarded me! You have left me!”

 

The only reason my circumstances were drowning me was because I no longer believed that I had a lifeguard watching over me, ready to dive in and buoy me up. I felt that God was absent, uncaring, and un-invested. I felt like I was fighting a battle myself when I should have been letting God fight for me. But how could I sit back and let God fight for me if I didn’t believe He was on my side? Or even if He was on my side maybe He was unfeeling. He didn’t have anything to lose in this game! When I am doubling-over in pain that’s just me hurting, me alone. Why should I let him direct me if I have to face the aftermath by myself? When Job had sores on his body (Job 2:7) and his breath was putrid. God was unaffected!

 

I shocked myself with my thoughts. I pride myself on being pretty well read biblically. I could have quoted to you: Isaiah 49:15, which says “Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.” Or Lamentations 3:32, “Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.”

 

But the problem was the Bible is just a book, unless you believe in the power of the words there in. In my pain I reached out to someone, which in and of itself is incredibly unlike me. But I needed someone to remind me of those words. But not just the word, the power behind those words. I needed someone to tell me those words and hear in their voice that they believed that which they were saying to be the truth. Like a match to a candle I was reminded of what I had long sought.

 

Romans 8: 38-39; “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

I wish I could tell you I am equally as persuaded as Paul was when he was writing this verse; after facing beatings and imprisonment. I am not there yet, partly because I haven’t been tested on that level. I don’t want to be to you like Peter who swore twice He would not deny our Lord and Savior, only to deny him thrice (Luke 22:54-62). But I will tell you that though I still remain perched under my cloud, the rain has slowed and when I reach out beside me I recognize that I am no longer alone.

 

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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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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.

Overcoming obstacles

Sometimes it is easy to wallow in self pity. When I get in that frame of mind I tend to dwell in it for quite a bit. I wake up not so ready to face the day and with a feeling of two large hands pressing down on my chest. Then there is also the feeling of walking under a perpetual cloud. Today was one of those days, where I kinda just planned on barely making it through the day. I got to work and after some semi-challenging news I started feeling like the cloud above me was going to burst. I picked up my phone hoping to distract myself, but as usual there is never really anyone to talk to when you really need them, so I ended up going online and reading an article about a woman who has every reason to wallow in self pity but doesn’t.

She literally goes around giving TEDx talks exuding positivity and strength; when she can’t sit down and has a to use an external bag as a stomach. She’s extremely skinny because though she eats 8,000 calories a day she only retains 20% of it. Which most of us would think great right? But not when the rest drips out of what should be her stomach. I thought wow. If I was going through that I would be such a mess. I mean imagine relationships, the limits in getting closer to people, the constant rejection and explanations she has to give. Never really being able to be ‘normal.’  And the bitterness that doctors actually made everything worse. But she literally just pushes past all that and lives a meaningful life. Traveling, meeting people, sharing her story- her insecurities, and exuding strength and courage.

I know sometimes looking at how worse off others are can be a means of disregarding our very real problems and suggesting that what we are going through isn’t valid. But that’s not what I am suggesting you, or I for that matter do. I feel like stories like this should give us strength to tackle whatever obstacle we are facing, and encouragement that we are not alone in our struggles. There is no one out there living a ‘normal’ life. We all have our own versions of normal. But we don’t have to be overwhelmed by it, or just accept it, we can thrive through it.

Well I am off to finish facing my own obstacles. I wish you the best in tackling yours!

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mo·ti·va·tion noun
the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

 

ded·i·ca·tion noun
the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose.

 
Dedication is stronger than motivation, because even when motivation towards a certain task or goal is gone, dedication still stays committed to that end.

 
Stay dedicated, even when your motivation is gone.

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Lemonade

i don’t care if you don’t love me.
when my intelligence intimidates you.
and my quirks make you smirk.
you don’t know how to fight for me.
you’d never die for me.
you won’t even say hi to me.
you only care for me when its convenient.
say sweet words when you don’t mean it.
chase me when your phone is dry at the end of the night.
i don’t come to mind in the daylight, when the suns high.
no i am reserved for the dark times, your down times.
i’d race to be where you are.
climb every mountain scale every height.
but you wouldn’t even turn the corner
cross the street
look down
and reach.

 

i don’t care if you love me.
i used to wonder if i’m not the right form of thick.
or if my skin tone isn’t the right level of rich.
sit up at night, heart hurting eyes burning,
restless tossing turning, hating myself for knowing you weren’t right for me.
you never tried for me.

 

but i don’t need you to love me,
i’ll love me,
i’ll try for me.
cry for me,
laugh at my own jokes,
tell myself it’s okay to hurt.

 

i’ll sing a song, not our song, but my song,
it may be off key, but i’ll sing it for me.
i’ll tell myself to be strong,
breakdown when I need to,
but stand up when i’m done and continue on.

lemonade

Hated me first

 

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      They threw stones and it hurt

 

      I fell, tasted blood

 

      or was it dirt.

 

Life is such that you can either disappoint people or you can disappoint yourself. People can hate you, or you can hate yourself. It’s easy to stay in a place of sadness and self pity, but wallowing in misery does nothing to change your circumstances. At some point you need to accept the hand life has dealt you. Accept the the bad times just like you accepted the good and move forward. You can’t force anyone to stay in your life if they have decided it’s their time to go. God has a wonderful way of showing you what is right by taking things away, bringing new things in, and letting some of the old stay.

 

People often have negative things to say but if at every point in life you stay true to yourself and who you are, don’t worry about what everyone else has to say. Luke 6:26 says “Woe unto you, when all men speak well of you.” Instead of focusing on people who quite frankly don’t put food on your table, pay your bills, wake you up every morning, or lift you up when you’re down–focus on God who helps you do all these things. As a Christian when you realize Jesus was hated by many, it’s easier to accept that no matter who you are, people will hate you. In John 15:18, Jesus said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”

 

    Take heart. God Bless.