The will of God

The will of God.

How many times have you asked, “Is this God’s will for my life”? Have you pondered whether to change jobs, to move, to go back to school or to start a family? These are questions that if left unanswered can lead us to become stagnant within our growth. We open the Bible hoping to see a verse directly related to our question. Maybe we are contemplating going back to school, we play Bible roulette and say, “okay God if it is your will show me a verse”, and then we hope to find a verse about wisdom or knowledge. We may even be thinking about uprooting and changing locations, we may start seeing the name of that state everywhere and think, “It’s a sign from God!” The truth is that if you look for something, you will find it.

I’ve done some research and I have found 4 verses that directly say, “This is the will of God”.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 (NIV)

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.19 Do not quench the Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 (NIV)

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.[b] The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before.

John 6:40 (NIV)

40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

1 Peter 2:15 (NIV)

15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.

Nowhere in these verses does it say, “Be a teacher, a counselor, a doctor”. It doesn’t say, “Live in the United States, in Texas, or California”.

We can do God’s will anywhere, doing whatever profession. We can honor God in many atmospheres. God gives us passions and desires for a reason. Sometimes we just have to DO something!

Fear of failure? Now that’s just silly!

Success.

We strive for it. We dream about it. But, do we know what it is?

Success is defined as the achievement of something planned or attempted. The attainment of goals. And lastly, when something turns out well or has a favorable outcome.

Now there are many things that could “stand” in our way or that we believe could stand in our way of success. Some of these things are: laziness, lack of belief in abilities, negative influences, and finally fear.

Not just any fear but, fear of failure.

So what is failure? Failure is defined as lack of success. Okay, perfect. Let’s dig deeper. It can also be defined as the action or state of not functioning. So in everyday terms, “failure” is when your goals or plans do not end up working out.

That doesn’t seem so scary, so why is failure something to fear?

There is nothing wrong with our plans or goals not working out. However, when we label ourselves failures we bring shame and guilt to the equation. We feel disappointed and unworthy so we label ourselves a failure in order to reflect those shameful feelings.

Does that sound productive to you?

It’s not!

All it does is make the road back more difficult. Not only do you have to begin again but you have to mentally process through those labels of failure. That takes time.

If failure is your goals or plans not working out then not trying would also be considered failure.

When you do not try, your goals are not being accomplished.

So, what’s the difference?

The difference is that if you try and don’t succeed, you still have the experience and the journey. You can learn from your missteps and try again.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again”.

If you never try, then your goals remain unaccomplished and you also miss out on the experience and the journey.

The choice is ours! Do you wanna sit back, and not risk, and have nothing; or do you want to try, and maybe try a few times, and get experiences in life?

I choose the latter!

What about you?

Viva La 7th, MindFULLY Of Course…

Living MindFULLY isn’t easy but, it is simple.  Since 7 is my favorite number and it is July 7th today, here are 7 simple not easy ways to live mindfully!

1. Eat Healthy – Food is all about instant gratification, think long term!

2. Get a healthy amount of sleep – you don’t let your car run for days at a time, nor do you let your car sit undriven for long periods of time either. Respect the Rest!

3. Practice Patience – I know we want it now, or even yesterday! But keep in mind that impatience breeds anxiety.

4. Make Slow, Lasting Changes – You may be able to quit everything for a few days but will it last? Make small changes first and work on maintaining.  Think a slow transformation over the shock and awe. This aint biggest loser.

5. Be Present – Get out of your head!  You are missing…everything!  The world happens around you not inside of your head or inside your phone screen!

6. Remember the road goes both ways – we can be quick to point the finger but remember everytime you point the finger you have 3 pointing back at you.

7. Learn to let go – holding on to people or things that don’t want to be held on to will only torment you.  If something is unhealthy in your life, more of that will not make it better.  If there was poison dripping into your arm that would kill you, and you had a choice to take it out or let it drop slowly all day err day, which would you choose? Now here’s the wrench, if you let that poison drip you get cotton candy once a day…SOLD! Not.  Ridiculous right? Yup, it sure is.

Dontcha Know That You’re Toxic…

Did that title sound familiar?

Here’s a little more..see if you guess it.

With a taste of your lips
I’m on a ride
You’re toxic I’m slipping under
With a taste of a poison paradise
I’m addicted to you
Don’t you know that you’re toxic
And I love what you do
Don’t you know that you’re toxic

If you’re now singing Toxic by Britney Spears, you nailed it!  If you are just confused then just continue reading. :)

Toxic can be defined as: unhealthy, dangerous, poisonous, or something that you want to stay away from. However, we are not talking about a chemical or a venomous animal, we are talking about people.  Toxic people can catch you off guard. One can be so invested that by the time they realize it, it’s almost too late.  The venom begins to paralyze.

Knowledge is power, and just like knowing the saying for snakes…

Red on black…friend of Jack…Red on yellow, kill a fellow.

Being well informed can save you a lot of pain and heartache.

1. The Manipulator – They are experts in manipulation.  Their talent is finding what your buttons are and then pushing them to get what they want.

They are toxic because they begin to eat away at your belief system and self-esteem.  Your values, morals, and boundaries can become compromised and you can begin to lose your sense of identity.

Manipulators tend to function out of a fear of being out of control. They will manipulate in order to avoid vulnerability and trusting others to take the reigns.

2. The Narcissist – The Narcissist believes that the world revolves around them. They can be blunt about getting their needs met and in the beginning their direct approach may seem refreshing. Your needs are unimportant to them, it is all about making sure they are taken care of. 

They are toxic because your energy levels become drained due to focusing on them, and you have no energy left for yourself.  Not only are you emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically dehydrated but you will also begin questioning your sanity. It will seem odd that they seem to be so happy within the confines of this one sided relationship and you are the unhappy one.

Narcissists tend to lead double lives, and have a persona that they show the world and have another one behind clothes doors that no one typically sees.

3. The Downers – Downers lean towards the negative. Their cup is always half empty.

They are toxic because they are bubble bursters, taking joy and excitement out of any situation.  If you are around downers for long periods of time you may even begin to become one.

Downers tend to be insecure about themselves.  They are not entirely happy about their lives and have negative thinking errors.  What we believe in our heart tends to come out of our mouth.

4. The Judgers – If something does not fit a judgers belief system they automatically assume it is wrong.  Judgers are typically black and white thinkers and find it difficult or refuse to see any grey area.

They are toxic because they are very critical and negative.  They, like downers, can also be a kill joy. Judging is something that can be learned, so be careful because it can rub off on you.

Judgers tend to be insecure of themselves and instead of confronting those issues they project those insecurities onto other people.  Judgers have high expectations and typically have a perfectionistic mindset.

5. The Dream Killer – Dream killers will tell you that you can’t or that it is impossible to do.

They are toxic because they are stuck in what is not what could be.  This can begin to eat away at your self-esteem and belief in yourself. If you are around dream killer for a long period of time you may become stagnant.

Dream killers have a fear of being left behind.  They do not want to see other’s succeed where they believe they cannot.

6. The Insincere – The insincere keep you at an arms length and keep things on the surface.

They are toxic because the relationship is built on a superficial foundation. You can continue to try and invest in them but you will meet a wall.  They are only willing to invest in you on a surface level.  If you really need an insincere they will not be there for you.

The insincere function out of a fear of getting hurt.  They do not let themselves close enough to get hurt.

7. The Disrespectful – The disrespectful are inappropriate, aggressive, and tend to be bullies.

They are toxic because they can be opportunists to use any information to their advantage. They have no sense of boundaries. They do not respect your feelings, thoughts, ideas, or values.

The disrespectful tend to have low self-esteem.  Instead of processing these emotions of low self-worth, they choose to act the polar opposite.  The disrespectful can also be taught, many children who bully others in schools are bullied at home by older siblings or parents.

8. The Impossibles – nothing will ever be good enough for the impossibles. They take you for granted and have unrealistic expectations. They will continually blame you and will not take personal responsibility for themselves.

They are toxic because you will drain yourself of energy to please them and you can end up losing yourself in the process. They can even make you feel bad about yourself which can eat away at your self-esteem and self-confidence.

The impossibles are looking to fill a void within themselves. They have not grasped the concept that they need to be able to fill the void themselves. They are constantly searching for new hobbies and new people to cover up the lack they feel inside. This appeases them for a short while until they realize that the void is still present.

No one is perfect. If any of these are you…there is hope. We can face our demons, we can confront those insecurities head on. Once we deal with the root issue, the unhealthy coping that we do to cover up the pain will begin to disappear.

There is freedom and power in our choices, use it!!

 

 

 

What Grey’s Anatomy Taught Me About How I Function Within A Relationship!

How greys anatomy taught me about how I function within relationships… I am loyal even when you’re boring, confusing or overly emotional I will still invest time into you… Even if I can’t listen at the moment I will always come back to listen (ie dvr) I am willing to invest, 10 years… 10 years of laughing, smiling, crying, death, weddings, separations and writers strikes.. I’m still here, I still care, I still care about big things, small things, trivial things I still care, and lastly, even when I’m mad at you, I still love you and will get over being mad and continue to invest, love, support and dedicate time to you.

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Why are boundaries so important?

Boundaries… Eek

When someone hears the word boundaries they have a few different reactions.

“What’s that?”

“I don’t want to live my life with limits!”

“I need to work on that…”

When I hear boundaries, I light up! My response is, “Let’s talk!”

I am by no means a master of boundaries, but I have been learning more each year while counseling.

Boundaries is one of those topics that makes people feel out of control or less than.

But, why?

When someone tells you that you need to improve an aspect of yourself what is your response?  “Oh wonderful!  I wanted to know how imperfect I was today!” Probably not.  We are all different.  Some people stray away from healthy criticism and others lean towards it.

The thing about boundaries is it takes someone who has boundaries to realize that you do not.  So with that said, there are many out there who will still believe that you are “perfect”.  But for the others who pursue personal growth you may have to work harder to convince them.  You may even have to create some boundaries to continue your illusion.

So back to our topic question, why are boundaries important?  Boundaries have two main functions.

First, they define who we are.  Boundaries show what we are and what we are not, what we agree on and what we do not agree on.  It also shows a clear example of what we love and what we hate.

Secondly, boundaries protect us.  We set boundaries so that we can keep good things in and bad things out.  When our limits are not clear and direct we expose ourselves to unhealthy, toxic experiences and people.

So…do you have bad boundaries?  Let’s take a quick quiz.

Question 1: Do you go against personal values or rights in order to please others?

Question 2: Do you let others define who you are?

Question 3: Do you expect others to fulfill your needs?

Question 4: Do you feel guilty when you say “NO”?

Question 5: Do you hesitate to speak up if you disagree with someone or something?

Question 6: Do you stand up for yourself if you are being treated poorly?

Question 7: Do you share too much too soon?

Question 8: Do you rush getting to know someone?

Question 9: Are you afraid of people leaving you?

Answer Key: Yes = Y No = N

Bad boundaries: 1. Y  2. Y  3. Y  4. Y  5. Y  6. N  7. Y  8. Y  9. Y

Good boundaries: 1. N  2. N  3. N  4. N  5. N  6. Y  7. N  8. N  9. N

How’d you do?  Despite whatever category you ended up in, we can all use some work.

Here are some helpful guidelines for setting boundaries.

1. Boundaries are for you and only you!  You can not impose your boundaries on others, or force others to set their own boundaries.

2. Boundaries are meant to be a positive addition not a negative one.

3. Boundaries should be clear and direct.

4. Boundaries should be flexible, and they can be different for each level of relationships. (stranger, acquaintance, friends, coworkers, family, best friends, and spouses)

5. Boundaries should be balanced and realistic, not extreme and unattainable.

6. You must stand up for your boundaries because no one else will!

Here’s to a wonderful 2014.

Be Blessed and Happy Boundary Setting!

Saying Thank You

Have you ever received a compliment, and thought; “Oh they are just being nice”? How do you respond when someone tells you that you look nice?  “What?  This is just something I threw together”. Why is it so hard to respond with, “Thank You”? This goes deeper than just a simple communication error. It is bigger than a missed opportunity.

We do not say, “Thank You” because we do not believe what the other person is saying. By saying “Thank You”, you accept the compliment, and agree to it.  But we don’t. We don’t accept it or agree. When we meet a compliment with misdirection, or a push off comment, we reduce the likelihood of a future compliment. Have you ever tried to compliment someone who will just not accept it? It can be very frustrating. We might even think; “Why can’t they just say thank you, and move on”. This is something that is very easily seen in others; but we tend to overlook this mentality towards ourselves. As humans we are naturally hypocrites, so this is no surprise.

So where is the root? Where does this begin, and how do we fix it? The refusal to accept compliments stems from low self-esteem. I know, this is a hot button to push, and we tend to avoid it. But, looking at ourselves through rose-colored glasses isn’t going to help us reach a deeper level of personal growth. We are flawed, blemished, and imperfect. But, we still attempt to view ourselves in the best possible light. Facing constructive criticism, or coming face-to-face with our weaknesses, is not our idea of a good time. But the truth of the matter pulses through every avoided compliment.

        If you don’t believe in yourself, you won’t believe it when someone else does. 

When we look for the escape route within a compliment we are not only telling the world that we do not affirm ourselves; but that if you do not agree with their opinion you will not hear them. You may listen but you will not truly hear the words that are being said.

The belief that we are good enough, or pretty enough, starts with us.  We have to put faith into ourselves, and enter into a realm of self-acceptance. This is not something that anyone can do for you. It is a choice.  It is a choice that each, and every one of us needs to make for ourselves. It starts with us, with our thoughts, beliefs, and actions towards our own reflection. We need to be our own best friend. We cannot radically change our thinking over night; it is a process. But if we don’t start today…when will we?

 

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