Do you ever sit and think about how much you’ve changed in just a short period of time? Or how much longer you still have to go? I currently find myself in brand new territory and I feel serene and anxious all at once. I feel God pushing me to push myself to be better. I know I’m on the right path, but that doesn’t make what I need to do any easier. For those of you that were once part of my life, I’m sorry to leave you with so little warning. For those of you I have chosen to keep, get ready, because I’m counting on you to keep me sane. Let the games begin.
I’m always curious to know how someone gets into writing. Is it suggested to them by someone they know, were they always interested in it, or did it just happen on a whim? My story is a little bit of all three.
I am excellent at reading other people’s emotions and when I walk into a room, I read each person like a book. It’s my own emotions that I have a hard time reading. And I think that’s okay, but I need to do some emotional digging every once in a while too. For a long time I thought I was a thinker, not a feeler because I just didn’t feel internal emotion like other people. What I’ve learned in my journey with MBTI and self-realization/self-acceptance is that I just don’t really care what I’m feeling. I’ll sacrifice my own needs for others every single time. There’s nothing wrong with that either, as long as those people are willing to do the same for me. And sadly, most of them are not.
So why did I start writing? That’s the purpose of this post. Well, I started writing because a few friends suggested it might be a good way to find out how I feel about things. Journaling is something I’ve always wanted to do but I just never forced myself to sit down and do it. I think it feels a little selfish to me to write about my feelings. And it is, and it’s okay to be a little selfish sometimes. It also happened on a whim. I just decided one day to start writing.
Writing can be such a blessing to those of us who only care about how others feel and ignore our own emotions. I had someone recently call me selfish and I was kind of shocked. I don’t say so much of what I’m thinking to maintain harmony in the room or in the group. I’m super quick to apologize and I am constantly telling people to think about the group. I also just said to a friend of mine that their individual ambitions don’t matter that much if it only helps them. Everything we do should better the people around us.
Now, as some with depression, it can be easy for me to be concerned with myself, but that’s not who I am naturally. I’d rather have others be happy and I want to give them a good experience.
Writing has helped me with my depression and anxiety and even if you don’t struggle with those things, writing can help you forge a path that you want to be on and help you understand how you’re feeling and why you do the things you do. And it’s just fun too. So, today, this week, whenever, take a few minutes to write what you’re thinking and feeling and you’ll be surprised what you come up with.
Let’s talk about insecurity, fear, doubt, and anxiety. In many cases, these all feel the same. For me it involves my heart racing, nervous thoughts, and nausea in my stomach. These are the ugly sides of being human. It’s hard to admit that I’m not always so secure in my body or so confident in my personality. Yes, I struggle with anxiety and self doubt. AND IT SUCKS.
I often try to reassure myself that i don’t need someone to make me feel loved and accepted, but it’s not always that easy. After all, these emotions are real. And I know that because I feel them, like a wave crashing into my heart. There are times I feel like if I give in, I won’t be able to breathe. It’s not so much the opinions of others that bother me, it’s the self doubt. It’s far easier to guard your heart from the voice of others, but the internal voice. Well, that’s a whole different demon to conquer.
I can’t remove my mind and place it somewhere else when I need peace. My mind, my thoughts, my emotions, they’re always with me. Everywhere I go, whether I’m in a crowded room or an empty building, my thoughts are with me.
What I’ve learned in my walk with God is that Satan will try all external forces to break me, but then he’ll turn inward. He knows as well as I do that if he can break my mind, he’s won. It’s up to me to not give in, even when anxiety is so present in my mind. When we put our mind on earthly things, we find anxiety and ruin. But, when we set our mind on things above, we find purpose and peace.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. -Colossians 3:2
It’s not always easy to shift our mindset to heaven instead of the world, but it’s vital for our spiritual, mental, and emotional health. Above all, if you struggle with anxiety, pray about it. Talk to your pastor. Find a resource that will help you, but always remember to keep God involved.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. -Isaiah 9:6
How do you know when it’s time to a call a friendship or relationship quits? I’m not sure that there is a right time, but I do believe that it’s a gut thing. It’s painful to let go of someone you love and move forward without them, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need.
Right now, it’s what I need. I’m in a season of defining relationships, testing loyalties, and building the support group that will support me as much as I support them. But it’s so hard and so inexplicably painful. I ask myself, is it fair to walk away from someone after so many years? They tell me they have my back, but I just don’t believe them. So who do I trust? Do I trust their words or do I trust my gut instincts? I think I know the answer, but it’s the more painful road to take.
How do I walk away? What does that even look like? Should I have a conversation with them or just continue to distance myself like I’ve already been doing? What’s the right thing to do? Honestly, I don’t think their is a right thing to do in this sort of situation. I do know that I have to do what’s best for my mental and emotional well-being or this will continue to weigh heavily on me.
Should I even take the risk of walking away from someone, knowing that I may not be able to find another soul to connect with for a while? The thought of that loneliness is so overwhelming, but the freedom from this friendship is exactly what I need.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Last week I had a life altering moment with Jesus, and I’ve noticed such a huge change in my general disposition and outlook on life. I think that’s why this season and sense of urgency to redefine my life is hitting me so hard. I’ve realized that being real, raw, and vulnerable is the biggest show of internal strength and security, when up until very recently I believed that emotion was equivalent to weakness.
So as I sit here on my bedroom floor thinking thoughts and feeling feelings, I can’t help but feel the overwhelming peace of God in this room. It never ceases to amaze me how present he is in times of trouble. I don’t know what the future holds, but that doesn’t matter right now. I’m just going to sit here and enjoy the presence of God.
So it’s 4 am and I have a thousand thoughts running through my head, because that seems like the right thing to be happening during this time of the night. My primary thought is why does society try to push us all into the same mold? For so much of my life, I’ve fought being weird, because I was told that it’s not okay to be different from anyone else. I’ve been asked isn’t it worth it to pretend to fit in to get a promotion or to get a better job? And my immediate answer is, no. No it’s not worth it. I’m intelligent and kind, and sure I have days where I feel and act like the reincarnation of Stalin, but I’m not an evil person. So why do I have to be someone I’m not just to get somewhere in life? But also, why do I need to have the same goals as everyone else? A better job, marriage and kids aren’t a primary focus for me. I’m not going to be defined by those things like so many other people are, but then I’m told I won’t get a husband or a promotion with that attitude. Does that even matter? Is marriage the goal of life? Is a better job the goal of life? If it is, it shouldn’t be. Being a good Christian, following the Word of God, and trying to live right should be our primary focuses, instead we try to fit in to a profoundly sick society. This world is not the end game for us, so why do we treat it as if it is? Is there not a bigger picture? Is there not a more worthy cause?
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2 NIV
One of my favorite things to ask myself and others is, “Is this the hill you want to die on”? And most of the time, the answer is no. Almost every situation you find yourself in is not a life or death situation and it does not deserve to be treated that way. The house being a little messier then you want it to be, or your car needing to go to the shop again, or the only food left in house is pizza rolls, or a coworker lied about you to your boss, none of these things are worth freaking out over. Relax. It’s so, so, so easy to get caught up in the little annoyances, in the opinions of others and the expectations they try to place on you, but don’t. The people around us are not responsible for our relationship with Jesus Christ and that relationship is all that really matters.
Drink: Vanilla cappuccino
Song of the day: P E A C E – Hillsong Young & Free
What do we do when we have no inspiration and no direction? Well, inspiration is a tricky subject. The things that give me inspiration may not give you inspiration. I also have a terrible time making decisions and taking a risk, so I’m not sure how much help my methods would be. However, I have found writing to be a safe haven for me. It helps me to sort out everything I think and feel into cohesive statements instead of just feeling like a bag flying around in the wind. But writing may not work for you. So what does work for you? What is it that inspires you? What makes you feel alive inside? What inspires you will make you feel renewed and restored, happy again. It’s maddening to feel no sense of direction, purpose, inspiration, but don’t fear, don’t be anxious because it’s possible that you’re in the very plan that God has for you and you just can’t see it yet. And yes, it’s not always easy to trust that God has a plan and you just have to wait for it to play out. I’m at this very place in my life right now, so trust me, I get it.
Philippians 4:6-7 ESV Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
If you’re not feeling inspired this morning or you feel anxious about where your life is headed or if it’s headed anywhere at all, pray. I’m serious, pray. And since it’s Sunday morning, this is an excellent time to pray. Pray for direction, pray for peace, pray for inspiration, pray for God to open doors for you. He will. Most if the time God speaks to me in a still, small voice. It’s not harsh, he doesn’t yell, he just tells me exactly what I need to hear and that means so much. I say all the time, it’s the little things that God does that make him so wonderful to me.
QUICK BACKSTORY: I have two cats, Chicken + Shapiro. Chicken is almost 3 and Shapiro is a kitten. Shapiro is basically a terrorist. He chases Chicken around the house and she growls and hisses. We’ve made some progress though, Chicken doesn’t hiss when she sees him anymore, but they are not on speaking terms. Chicken just glares at him and he runs around like a wolverine on cocaine. It’s going well. And he just heard me typing which is apparently fascinating because now he’s just sitting next to me watching. Creep.
My intention with this blog is to be raw and honest about who I am and what I think about during the day. I am not looking to be a therapist for someone else, but to be a therapist for myself.