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Every new year I evaluate my last year and see what has been the value of what I contributed. We always want to highlight the successes and take note of our failures so we won’t be continuing to live out the defeats from that year. But I am wondering, are they really defeats?
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From the time we are babies, we are taught to become independent and self-sufficient. It is a process that we go through each day. Each day we hope to become stronger and less dependent on others. Although being independent does make us less of a burden on others, and it does have its positive aspect, it also has a bad side. A bad side, what? A bad side indeed. The world teaches us about ourselves, the “me” in us, to become strong, to strive to be a person with a cape. However, there are times that we realize that we just are not that tough. We need help, we need encouragement. We fail, we need to be picked up and comforted. We need to have someone to carry us through the days when we can’t even muster the strength to walk. Who can that be? Where can we find this person? Will they think we are weak? Will they even be willing to help bear our burdens? Most likely we may find someone who can help us some of the time but not ALL of the time. What is the solution? God.
All of the time He is with us. All of the time He is available to comfort us, pick us up, wipe our tears and take our burdens. We may not feel Him with us all of the time but that is due to our own fault. He is with us, we just are caught up in some feelings that muddles our minds to think that He does not care.
What are you gripping in your hands, those clenched fists? Stressful days, family issues, health problems, pain, sadness, anger.. He knows about them. Yet, we continue to keep them enclosed in our fists, trying to sort it all out ourselves. We think that we have enough strength to conquer them. We do not. We will fail. God wants us to open those closed hands and drop those burdens at His feet, through Jesus. Can you give up wanting to control those burdens? It is a fear that many of us have. We feel that God is too busy or does not care for our burdens. He does. He is just waiting for us to come to the realization that only He has control. Not us.
Stress burrows in each of our daily lives. We will never be rid of it. However, we can put our burdens at His feet and ask Him to lead us. Truly submit to Him. It sounds easier said than done, I know. Can we do baby steps with it though? Take one day at a time, slowly stop gripping those burdens and ask Him for His strength. Fuel up on His strength.
Verses to meditate on:
1 Peter 5:7
1 Corinthians 10:13
By Lorena Grace
Have you ever had a day when everything went wrong …when you need to draw on internal resources to get through things? I have had a day like that last weekend. It started with a water leak in my basement bringing water all throughout a section where there were paper boxes. All the boxes began to get soaked that were in the area of the leak. Then later that day my husband put something on our smoker/grill and dropped a bucket of oil all throughout the side of our cement patio. If you have ever tried to get oil out of cement, it can be a challenge.
Then to top it off my husband put a small glass bowl down the disposal and all the glass got eaten up stopping up the disposal! Each time something happened I prayed and trusted that I would be able to have the resources and peace to get through the mishaps. I had to believe that we would navigate through each obstacle successfully. Fortunately, everything got resolved in several days, but it felt like something to write about as everyone can have days like this.
It might start out with a call from your school that your children are having difficulty. Or you get into a fight with your spouse and feel like it is insurmountable to work through. Or physical things like what I shared happen in which you have no control. I believe we have to draw on the supernatural power that is available to us. We many times can’t navigate through these things in our own strength. I have learned over the last through years a lot about self-sufficiency. I used to rely on my own ability to overcome difficulties. Now, I have found it easier to relinquish control and trust God to get me through.
If you have ever been in a 12-step program, you know that the first step is to acknowledge that your life has become unmanageable in a particular area. It mostly addresses addictions like alcohol or food, but many of us have addictions of wanting to control, to be busy to avoid things, or just fix life events that keep tumbling down on us. What I love about the program is that we have to admit we are powerless and need to rely on a power greater than ourselves when life is unmanageable.
Examine your own life and discover where you feel like your life is out of control and you are trying to rely on your strength. This time of year can be hectic, and you may be wondering how you are going to get through the season with everything on your plate. Rest assured that if you give up trying to control everything, things will fall together easier and you will feel more peaceful and less frenzied during the holidays.
Make this holiday a time of peace and experiencing the joy of what the true season represents. I like to take time to be reflective, get quiet with myself and just rest in the beauty of the season.
I wish you an abundance of peace in your holiday pursuits,
Lately, I have been struck with how much people perseverance when faced with adversity or life challenges. This week I watched my favorite show Dancing with the Stars where each star shared their most memorable year. What was shared wasn’t all bliss, but rather times where they were faced with parental loss, health challenges, or career failure. I was tearing up as I listened to many of the stories as they all seemed to touch a deeper place within me. One lady had been paralyzed from the waist down and had many years in a wheelchair. Her dance routine illustrated her coming out of this confinement into a whole new place of freedom of movement. She is getting high scores on DWS each week which is such an amazing miracle! I thought to myself what would it be like to come out of this kind of confinement. It would be a little scary to trust that your body could move again, but I am aware that miracles can happen.
I also see perseverance illustrated in many of the true movie stories that we watch on DVD. They are always so inspiring and hopeful. We have to keep picking ourselves up to overcome odds that many times seem insurmountable. What does the human spirit have that allows it to keep on going?
Determination is the first characteristic that comes to mind. Being determined means, you may have a clear goal in mind attached to an emotional connection to get there. In working with the Tony Robbins Corporation many years, we learned to coach toward having a strong enough purpose to accomplish an outcome. Emotionally connecting to the result can be the driving force.
Resiliency– the ability to spring back from defeats can be of foremost importance. There will be times when everything you did failed. The key is picking yourself back up and trying again. You have to realize that setbacks will happen and the most successful people that succeeded experienced many. They either learned from them or persisted long enough until finally, something opens up.
A Big Enough WHY- Often I see that people don’t have a big enough reason for wanting to achieve something. They haven’t gotten connected to why they want to accomplish the goal. When you are feeling the emotional connection the purpose of why you want it, you will usually be propelled to get there.
Lately, I have brought a long-awaited book project to fruition. It’s been many months in the making and some grueling hours spent over writing and editing. I think the hardest part of it was the patience it has taken to refine the many details that needed to be taken into consideration. The testimonies of others who have overcome odds and accomplished the impossible have inspired me to continue to pursue my goal.
I am hoping to have an impact on others with tools and methods that will unleash their spirit, soul, and body to a more healthy whole life. Since I believe in the awesome power that is available to each of us, I felt led to write out these words of Christian inspiration. The title is Lost & Restored: The Father’s Love that Heals Hearts. I hope to have it released before the end of the year.
Don’t drag your feet if you have a project that you have been postponing. It’s not too late to get it started. Create your WHY and see it come to fruition! I promise you that fulfillment will be there as you see your vision unfold.
As the summer is winding down, I am hoping to be able to get back onto a regular writing newsletter schedule. I took some time off this summer to write my book which is now with the editor and can report it is beginning to shape up! I have great respect for authors having gone through this process. I learned quite a bit and now have a myopic vision for every word or sentence that doesn’t line up with proper grammar. With that said, back to my blogging.
The topic that I have been wrestling with myself is how do we love others effectively? How many of you find it difficult to love freely without any expectation in return? It might be family members that raise the hair on your chest and bring out the worse in you. Or it might be a partner that is angry and berating you which doesn’t meet your image of one whom you can respect. Or even a coworker who is difficult.
I once learned that loving others can be like horse trading. You may be giving to get something in return. Usually, we want others to respond back according to our need for something we need to have. That’s what makes it difficult because we may not get ANYTHING back—or it may not meet our image of what that love should look like.
Recently I am aware that I tend to struggle with loving without wanting a return for my effort. I wonder where my boundaries should be. Do I just give, give, give, not expecting anything? Am I a doormat leaving myself vulnerable to people taking advantage of me? I’m aware that I can’t give love from an empty well. If I am not filled up with love in my heart, how can I give away what I don’t have?
How do I get my well filled up? I believe the only one who can truly fill me up is God. When I can’t seem to turn on the love switch, He’s always there filling up my love tank. The scripture that reinforces this “His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” II Peter 1:3
There was a popular older book that I like to recommend that is called “The Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner. She discusses how one can be an over-functioner and they usually connect with those that are under-functioners. The one who is over-functioning can get angry because they never feel like they are getting anything back. Learning to be assertive to express your needs directly allows you to feel more empowered and can diffuse some of the anger that has built up by not speaking up. Also, pulling back some from all the ways you tend to over give can also aid in resolving some of the anger.
This summer I was introduced to a Biblically based EFT tapping method. Although it wasn’t a new tool for me to use on myself and others, I found Jim Richards site especially beneficial to train those on how to use this tool. Lately when I experienced an impasse in being able to resolve feeling guilty over not loving someone, I used this tool. I was amazed at how quickly the negative emotions dissipated. www.impactministries.com. Menu- Making the Journey/ Biblical EFT.
Tips on Filling up your Love Tank
- Fill up your love tank with lots of love for yourself- give yourself nurturing affirming self-talk. Ask for what you need from others rather than expecting them to read your minds.
- Practice EFT tool for letting go of self-condemnation- we can be quick to judge ourselves when we have failed to get the results we want. We may have made others unhappy by not giving them what they want from us. Unfortunately, people may be unhappy with us because they have an insatiable hole with them that can never be satisfied.
- Practice the presence of God to fill you up with His love. Spend time alone meditating on the true lover who is always available for us.
- Stop rescuing others from their distress. Focus more on loving them without doing for them things they can do for themselves. They don’t need a caretaker rather a lovable companion.
- Trust that you are given everything pertaining to life and godliness. You just need to trust that is there and ask for the fruit of the spirit at the time. The fruit of the Spirit is peace, love, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control. Galatians 5: 22-23.
May you overflow with love from a full tank!!
It looks like mother nature is finally replenishing our water supply. I was beginning to wonder if we would ever see rain or snow again. What I am aware of is how much we need cleansing of water in our own lives!
When we shed tears, it can be extremely healing. None of us likes to experience the releasing of a good boo hoo, but the after effect can be SO beneficial. Many times it can come as unresolved fears, hurt, or sadness which can let loose a layer of something we have held onto. Once this layer is peeled off, it can open up the gates for the potential for more positive feelings in our lives.
I have shared in my Ebook on self-sabotage that our body literally holds onto memories of past hurts and unresolved feelings. It is important to let go of these wounds so these feelings won’t ooze out or splatter onto others. I am firmly aware that these feelings get buried alive and want to show their ugly head from time to time at the least opportune times. If we keep pushing them away, they may show up as a monster that controls us and prevents us from moving forward.
If we see these emotions as simply energy in motion in our body, it can take the intensity away. Think of your body as an energy system. Like a television, you have current running through your body that creates the image on your selected program. If you took off the back cover of a television, poked around inside, and then replaced the cover, you would probably get a ZZZT when you turned on the television again. Suddenly, the electrical field that was tampered with doesn’t allow for a good flow of energy to come through to your television screen.
That is very much like your body that is affected when you hold onto emotions from either past or present. You can experience a block in your energetic system just like your television. When you allow them to move through you, they don’t have such a big hold on you. So, take note of a recent upset that you had. Where did you experience that in your body? Was it in your shoulders, arms, or gut?
I can think of a recent episode where I was experiencing quite a bit of emotional upset. My husband and I have been trying to get rid of a timeshare that he had purchased long before I married him. We have been able to benefit through the years with staying at top rated accommodations on trips. However, lately I have experienced not being able to get the places we want to go to due to too late or too early to book them.
We got a call to go to a presentation that would help us discover how to deal with this unavailability issue. That got my attention, since I had just recently tried to book something to see the fall foliage but was unable to get into anything. We went to a free dinner to hear about it. Upon hearing the presentation, we were told that they weren’t trying to sell us anything. So, my fears were settled down and I proceeded to listen to the presentation. As it went on, we found out that there had been a major lawsuit to the owners of the properties. We were now eligible for a way to once and for all get out of the ownership of the timeshare. That came as joy to my ears to finally no longer having to worry about passing this on to my relatives or paying a monthly maintenance fee.
What I wasn’t aware of, is that there would be a price tag to changing ownership to a new company, that would make trips so much more accessible to book. My gut suddenly started feeling so much pain and I was frozen in fear. Fear over spending money to get out of this fix. My husband, who is quite the financial man, decided it was a great deal. This is because it would in the long run afford us the travel opportunities that we wanted. I left the presentation signing off on a new travel agreement that I hadn’t intended to spend. It was so apparent to me of how emotions can impact the body. As I examined this further, it was helping me get in touch with all my fears around spending money that I took on from my parents.
Notice when you have been triggered by something recently and allow it to be an opportunity to clear out the emotions. It may lead you to an older upset that you never have dealt with. Allow yourself to breathe deeply and move through it so it is no longer is controlling you. I believe there is no accident for emotions you are being triggered by, as it may lead to a greater potential for those dreams and desires you have come to fruition.
Allow these old feelings to be cleared out as you clean out the emotional holds.
- Identify the emotion
- Let the emotion lead you to an original time when you impacted by that same emotion
- Notice where the emotion is in your body and breathe fully into it
- Notice how the emotion is moving quite well through you as you allow it to just come and go.
Here’s to your spring cleansing!
I went to the Breckenridge snow carving event last weekend. Boy was it cold! I had to really bundle up. It was quite interesting to see how all the international countries represented carved out their unique images in the snow. I have attached a blank block of snow which is what each representative starts with. It is interesting to see how their creative inspiration carves out an image that represents something they consider to be expressive of their country. Some of them required using my imagination a little.I thought it was a great analogy of transformational work. We all start with a blank slate in life, but through the years images are carved out in our soul. Many of these images are from memories that have deeply impact us. They may have left us with feelings of despair, emptiness, shame, and grief that continue to impact us today. When I looked at all of the snow carvings I could see the emotions represented through the eyes of the artist… some of them more beautiful than others, but all very expressive. What I would have loved to have seen was the artist actually carving out the images.
I know eventually the snow will melt and all the carved images will be dissolved and fade away. Just like in transformational work, we may have to face those frozen memories in time that are literally stored in crevices of our body. It is then, that we are able to fully release the hold they have on us.
That brings to mind the Walt Disney animated movie Frozen. Once Elsa realized that she had hung onto things she allowed herself to “let it go” as the song went. How many times have we frozen feelings in time and not allowing them to be let go of? We may hang onto them like a familiar shoe because we resist feeling the pain since it’s been comfortable like this for a long time. It may be comfortable, but it may not wear well over time. It most likely may be creating some of the problems you are encountering.
You may have a boss who repeatedly calls you on the carpet and it leaves you feeling defeated. You may feel you continue to want to please him and keep striving and striving and stressing yourself out. The constant striving can lead to all kinds of stress-related problems that keep you in a continual state of influx. Or you may have a marital partner who works all of time leaving you feeling like you are unimportant or abandoned. Our tendency is to make it about them, but that never allows us to heal from these trigger moments that are surfacing with these relationships.
If we go inside for guidance to show us what’s is ruling us we can begin to heal so it no longer rules us. I had a trigger moment recently with my husband who mentioned that I had spilt water in the bathroom that was making a puddle around the toilet. I immediately threw myself into an emotional outburst over this. When I realized how out of proportion this reaction was based on the situation, I found myself weeping and releasing a lot of tears. I began to realize the belief that had ruled me for some time that was causing me to feel this way. “I have to do things right” and when my husband made that statement, this belief raised its ugly head. Now as I look back on it, I think that this has been causing an abundant of unnecessary pain with me. I am learning to be more self-compassionate with myself—that I will at times do things wrong, but there is always a loving God who will embrace me. He’s not evaluating me based on rightness and wrongness, but I am fully accepted in His eyes.
- Think of time when you felt highly triggered by someone which felt blown out of proportion. What were you feeling? Ask yourself, “When have if felt this feeling before from the past?” You might have a memory come up or an experience you can trace it back to. This will help you get to the rooted emotion and belief pattern it’s attached to.
- Own the feeling and try not to make it about the person changing their behavior
- Allow yourself to move into the feeling or pain associated with it. It will eventually dissipate as you move through it much like a wave in an ocean that is hitting a seashore.
- Be self-compassionate and think more loving thoughts to yourself. Think of how you would talk to a friend or child. Are you speaking that way with yourself?
- Let go of all the self-defeating thoughts that are magnified in your mind.
- Come up with a new empowering belief that is supportive of you.
I hope this will help you on your journey to a more balanaced perspective to situations you encounter.
It’s that time of year again where I am reminded of gratitude as Thanksgiving approaches. We’ve often been told that if we just focus every day on what we are grateful for, it can turn around quickly our focus from “not enough” to “there’s an abundance or plenty”. I do believe gratitude can be a powerful exercise to turn around those negative thoughts that tend to go to what’s lacking. How many of you tend to look at the glass half empty? Do you naturally gravitate to what’s missing in a situation rather than see the good.
I know I do many times, but am learning to train my mind to see how every situation that God brings our way can bring something good into our life. It may not be neatly wrapped in the package that you expected, but down the road you can see the beauty of the package. It may have showed up with dingy wrapping paper, but later the wrapping started glistening with a whole new look. When we can see that good that usually comes later, we can really be in gratitude about what has happened to us.
I’ve heard many people describe the tragedies they have been through as the best thing that happened to them. That always surprises me as when you’re going through it, you don’t necessarily see the fruition or the value that’s there. But many times our control and ways of comfort have been disrupted so it can be extremely difficult to see the good. I read a book recently that was titled “Heart Made Whole: Turning Your Unhealed Pain into Your Greatest Strength. ” by Christa Black Gifford. The author was not only a brilliant writer, but she had a lot of depth in being able to see the value of going through the pain—going to the inner depths of your heart wounds to only come out to the other side strengthened. I would highly recommend her book.
Where does the strength come from? Is it the fortitude you had to muster up to get you through it. I don’t believe that’s it. I believe its entering into a space where there is darkness and seeing that by going through it, we can come out to the other side and see the light. The light is there I believe from a God who loves us regardless, who takes us by your right hand and walks us through the difficulties, and loves us in the midst of our pain. As we come out of the world of darkness into the light, we can begin to see what growth has come through and be so grateful that we were not alone. There was a guiding light taking us through the journey.
That I believe speaks to the real gratitude. It’s not just empty words recited each day out of obligation. Its more about receiving the value that is in all situations. A coach friend of mine once said “there is a gift in everything.” I believe that is so true, but we need to see it. Many times it has come disguised in that dingy paper and ropey ribbon. We can choose to let it bind us up and stay in resentments or allow the good to be revealed.
Make this Thanksgiving truly a time of shifting your perspective to what’s missing in your difficulties, to seeing there is something glistening behind the horizon. We just need to be open to waiting, trusting, and knowing that it will come as we trust in the process.
Tagged with: Gratitude
I took a little break from writing and I am writing this on April 1st . I am not big on pranks and instead I will tell you what I have been learning from my painting class. I have been agonizing with feelings of discouragement that I can’t keep up with more talented classmates. There is quite a tendency to compare when you see others’ paintings that you perceive as out shining yours.
But what is so amazing is there are no two paintings alike! Everyone has their own talent of laying down colors and painting the scenes unique to their eye. What that continually illustrates to me is that everyone has a particular image of what they want to illustrate on their palette. It is their image coming from their own expression. What I am always amazed by is there are no two paintings alike. There is usually something beautiful in every ones’ painting.
How many times in life do we perceive something a certain way and our spouse or sibling sees it totally different. We all have our filters and sometimes that can be colored by memories and happenings from our past. We may see it through a lens that says there is danger, so we perceive things without much hope or possibilities toward good coming our way. Or we may see things as unsafe and feel like we have to be suspicious and on guard all of the time. These faulty perceptions can really trip us up and create unwanted behavior.
We may feel like we are on a perpetual hamster wheel with feeling stuck in ever being able to change. What I am learning in my class is growing from my mistakes. It seems that many times in life we learn how to improve by doing things wrong the first time. We may learn to develop new perceptions of things when we experience the first way that didn’t work. Then we find a new way by shifting our thinking to come up with a new perspective.
I like to apply these lessons I am learning in painting to life.
Lesson #1 – Don’t give up when something doesn’t turn out well. Just develop a new strategy!
Lesson #2 – If your image of what you wanted doesn’t pan out, find a new way to perceive it.
Lesson #3 – Try to not compare as you can see the beauty in everything created- every person, every job well done, and every athletic feat. Look for it.. and you will find it!
I leave you with this as you head into spring. Soon, the snow will be leaving us and little buds will be appearing with new signs that spring is around the corner. Be gentle with yourself and allow any rebirth to be bursting forth in this turn of the season!
Suzanne Simpson, The Emotional Liberator
How many times do we make up stories in our mind about what happens to us? John is upset with me at work because he ignored me today walking down the hall. Could it be that John was walking out of a difficult meeting with his boss and didn’t look at me because he was preoccupied with something that went on in the meeting? or My husband was angry at something that happened to me and came home from work very quiet. I interpreted that he was mad at me because the house was a mess and dinner wasn’t on the table. How many times do we falsely perceive someones’ intention toward us when we have no understanding of what they are really are thinking or feeling?
Many of us are seeking other’s approval and define our feelings of being ok by responses we get from others. This tends to create a lot of mental gyrations that limit our ability to feel good at any given moment. We spend time worrying why so and so didn’t call us back or why we didn’t get that promotion when there could be a number of reasons why. Usually after I have made some assumption I later find out I was dead wrong. What I had assumed was not at all what they were thinking about me.
In the book the Four Agreements by Don Miquel Ruiz he discussed 4 ways that we make agreements with ourselves.
Agreement 1 – Be Impeccable with Your Word: We can make ourselves miserable through the spoken word. We either speak negative thoughts toward ourselves or we speak out hurtful emotions toward others. The scriptures teach: “ Life and death is in the power of the tongue and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Many times we may use the word to spread personal poison—to express anger, jealousy, envy, and hate rather than love and acceptance.
We may have grown up hearing words spoken to us that greatly affected our self-image like ” You are stupid, or you aren’t attractive.” These words were deeply implanted in your mindset and can continue to be lived out as if they were true. One of the things I was told by my Dad when I was a young adolescent was I was really going to have trouble with men because I talked back to my Dad. I learned from this that I couldn’t have a voice and started shutting down from really voicing any of my needs. I learned to stuff things inside and not be assertive and share my opinion. Having a voice and being open with your feelings in constructive ways is so important.
Agreement 2 – Don’t Take Things Personally– Taking things personally can be the the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption it is about “me”. As shared above, we react to how someone looks at us or responds to and we take it personally rather than just realize they may be having a bad day and it is not about us at all.
Agreement 3 Don’t Make Assumptions– It is the meaning or story that we attach to things that makes us feel bad. Most of the times, the assumptions are false and just something we have conceived in our mind. What I am aware of is that I tend to do is imagine the worst possible scenario that will happen in the future. I know that the biggest challenge I face is to stay in the present with not making assumptions about things that may never happen.
Agree To Always Do Your Best– If you always do your best, you can walk away from any situation or circumstance without self-judgments. Self-judgments are what really get us in trouble and into self-condemnation. Practicing these 4 agreements has changed my life. The one I had the hardest time with is believing that I had done my best. I used to self-evaluate myself after I did things. I place a judgment on whether I did things wrong or right according to my standards. I was such a harsh critic that I couldn’t let up on myself.
This is a time of year when things start getting stressful as we head into a busy year. Working with these inner agreements can be so valuable and being able to feel much more confident and peaceful. Start by practicing these every day!
Written by Suzanne B Simpson, The Emotional Liberator
- Experience a Sustained Breakthrough
- What Are You Gripping In Your Hands?
- Growth Through Perseverance
- Is Your Love Tank Filled Up?
- Spring Cleansing Your Emotions
- Gratitude: The Key to Unleashing Yourself
- Making Peace with Agreements
- Putting to Bed the Post Holiday Blues
- Are You Hearing Well?
- The Gift of Self-Compassion
- Open Your Heart to More
- Does the Need to Control Control You?
- The Top 10 Releasing Anxiety Methods
- Are You Giving Too Much?
- Forgiveness: The Path to Freedom