Think About Such Things ❤️

Philippians 4:4-8 NIV

For some, reading these verses may be very new, while for others this may not be a familiar selection. This verse has become a popular one for those looking for biblical guidance to help them through troubling times. Recently, I came across this verse in a book I read by Max Lucado; Anxious For Nothing.

I just want to say this before proceeding: Mentioning this book is not going to give me any kind of perks! These are just my thoughts and opinions that the book has inspired. Nothing I say here is in any way connected to Max Lucado, although I may use some of his quotes from the book. Lastly, even though I feel it’s rather obvious to declare, I am not a professional counselor or any kind of professional, I just make posts to try to reach others who may be going through some of the same feelings.

After reading this book, I felt like I should use some of my notes and quotes from the book, to make a blog post or posts that others may find interesting or helpful. As most of you know, if you’ve read some of my other posts, I have long struggled with anxiety, panic and depression. I have been very lost in them that I really became this lifeless blob for over a year. While a year is not even close to the length of time I have struggled with these issues, there was a year or a little more, where I was so deep in those issues that I became unable to live a “normal” life. In the midst of this terrible time, I would have never believed I’d be able to get out of the dark place I was in. I felt as if I had gotten so lost, I couldn’t possibly find the light again. Would I ever be the person I used to be again? Would I ever be able to enjoy my family or friends again? Would I ever be able to think about going to work again without breaking down and crying hysterically out of pure fear? Would I be able to walk outside, take a shower, sleep or even eat without the fear that I’m going to die doing those things?

It truly seemed irreversible at the time. It seemed like my anxiety, panic and depression had pulled me so far under, that I could never find my way out and in a way, I was right. I would never have found my way back, if not for my faith. I am aware that simply stating that my faith helped me through such a horrific time may not come across as very helpful, especially to someone who may be in the deepest, darkest depths of anxiety, panic and depression. To be quite honest, sometimes hearing something like that can make a person in the midst of such things feel even more guilty and cause them to sink lower into those feelings. I don’t want anyone reading this to feel as though they can’t make it out of their dark place without faith in God, but I want to tell you that I would not have. God isn’t just exclusively available to believers, He’s there for non-believers as well; He doesn’t turn anyone away. If you need Him, you only need to ask for Him, He’ll find you.

Back to the Bible verses I shared in the photo at the start of this blog. “Rejoice in the Lord always…” ALWAYS. Not just when things are going good in your life, maybe even moreso when they’re going horribly! Easier said than done right? To someone who is struggling, telling them to rejoice in the Lord may seem like a slap in the face! How can I rejoice in the Lord when I’m consumed by fear and worry? How can I rejoice when l find out I can’t have children or when I’ve miscarried? How can I rejoice in the Lord when I’ve lost my job, when my child is diagnosed with so many health issues, when my husband or wife is facing health issues, when I am in constant pain from an unrelenting disease, when I have lost my home and have nowhere to go, when I am going through a nasty divorce and custody battle, when I’m being abused (physically, mentally, emotionally or all of the above)- the list can go on indefinitely! How can we say REJOICE to someone who is drowning? If you have never been taught to swim, how is yelling REJOICE to you when you’ve fallen in the lake going to help? IT WON’T! We don’t have to use our words to tell someone to rejoice, we can simply lead by example around them. We can live our life with such transparency, that they will see things we have had to endure, and in turn, see how we have never stopped rejoicing all the while. Others will see how we handle our times of difficulty and wonder how they too can do the same. I have personally felt, growing up and even now, that you can get so much further with people when you’re not forcing your beliefs and religion down their throats, but simply planting seeds each time you’re near them and living your life authentically; they’ll notice, I assure you! Eventually, they’ll come to you looking for your “secret” and that’s when you’ll get to share with them that there is no secret at all, there’s only God! ☺️

The C.A.L.M approach by Max Lucado in a post found on Pinterest

In the Anxious for Nothing book, you’ll find this C.A.L.M. approach laid out for you. I don’t want to give away too much of this book, so I’ll also include a link at the end of this blog incase anyone is interested. Again I get nothing in return for promoting this book, I just believe it to be a good read.

C is for COOKIE…no wait, that’s not the right one! 😂 C is for Celebrating God’s Goodness. Again, not to sound like a broken record, but during our most trying times, it can be hard to rejoice or celebrate. You’re not perfect, neither am I, so we won’t always be able to do it as we should, but we can do our best to be mindful about it. In our more challenging times, we can say our problems aloud or write them down and then we can voice or think about what we know is good in our lives at that moment, minus whatever negative issues are going on at the time. It may seem that NOTHING good is happening, but if your eyes are open and your heart is beating during your dwelling on your misfortune(s), then you already have something to celebrate! Thank God I am alive and I opened my eyes this morning, although today might be terrible, I am still going to celebrate my being alive to see another day! It’s more about not dwelling on the negatives of the day or week or month or even year. It can be extremely easy to slip down the slope of Negative Mindset Mountain and pretty hard to try to climb back up, trust me I speak from great experience! We can acknowledge the negative and then move our thoughts to what good there is in our lives, on that day, and celebrate those thoughts. It doesn’t matter how big or small the positives are, just as long as we shift our mind from acknowledging our negative and celebrating our positives. Don’t fall into the trap that is the negative mindset, it can quickly get out of hand. One minute you’re talking about one negative that happened to you today, then you’re talking about something bad that happened yesterday, then last week and it just keeps on rolling downhill until, before you know it, you’re discussing stuff that happened to you 10+ years ago! We need to be aware of who we talk to and if the conversation is serving us well. If you find that it’s not serving your mindset well, you have the ability to shift the conversation and if it keeps circling back to negativity, you can just end the conversation and pick up another day. Sometimes our days can be going just fine, then if we encounter someone who is not having such a great day, if we listen long enough, our emotions can take us to the same place they are. Entertaining too much negativity can cause us to catch the negative bug! This is why, when I know I’m having one of those days, I try my best to keep to myself either until I shift my mindset or until the next day! I still have some work to do on this, but I’m happy to say that I have improved pretty well in that area! We need to focus on one day at a time, acknowledging our difficulties of the day, dropping them off at the slippery slope of Negative Mindset Mountain, then keeping on our journey until we reach Celebration Campsite! This is where we can set up tent, take our shoes off and stay awhile!

A is for Asking God For Help. For some of us it can be easy to ask for help, but if you’re like me, you take the world upon your shoulders, never ask for help and then breakdown at some later date under all the pressure. Asking for help may not come as natural to some of us as it does for others, but anyone can feel the relief that comes from simply knowing someone is around if we need help or having someone tell us they’re nearby if they need us. We can call out to God when things have gone wrong, but why do we forget that He’s there from the beginning? Why do we wait so long to go to Him for help when He’s already told us time and time again, “I am right over here if you need anything!” Let us remember that God is this constant Presence and we can go to him at any hour for any kind of help! We don’t have to wait until we’re really underwater before asking Him for a hand.

L is for Leave Your Concerns With God. How many of us bring our backpack of burdens to God and forget to take it off before going on with our day? 🙋🏻‍♀️ We are encouraged, in the Bible, to bring our burdens to God and He will give us rest. He wants to take our burdens from us, so why can’t we seem to let go of them?

Photo credit to Pinterest
Photo credit to womenofnoblecharacter.com

I have stated many times that I believe many of us who deal with anxiety and panic have a bit of an issue with control. What I mean by this is, one way or another our anxiety stems from an issue with lack of control. Take myself as an example, all of the anxiety that caused my panic issues mostly had to do with death, in some way. Every single thing I did, I truly felt and believed I was going to die if I did it. I can’t eat because I’ll have an allergic reaction and my throat will close up and I’ll die. I can’t go outside because I may get bit or stung by something and die. I can’t go to sleep because I’ll die in my sleep. I also always felt I would have a heart attack and die. I would also like to add that I have no known allergies to any food or bites/stings. My anxiety and panic concocted all of these scenarios in my mind and I believed that in refraining from living, I would infact survive! Did you hear me? If I stopped living I would stay alive. In refraining from doing anything I used to enjoy doing or simple daily health habits, I believed I was controlling the outcome of my life. I believed that I was somehow in control or taking control of the situations. I can stop the danger before it happens! What’s wrong with this picture though? Are any of us in control of our lives? To an extent, I suppose we are. We are in control of our choices, we have been given free will. We decide where we go, what we do, say etc. Are any of us able to keep others from death? Do we determine when we die? No! We have no say in this. Age, race, gender, health none of this matters when it comes down to it. Someone could be sick for years and still be alive longer than a healthy person who loses their life in a car accident. The point I’m trying to make and the fact that can be hard to swallow is ultimately, in the grand scheme of things, we are not in control. This fact can cause anxiety and panic in people. If we can accept that we are not in control, we can learn to leave our concerns with the One who is in control! We can go to God in prayer, making our concerns known to Him. We can write them down in a journal or simply on a piece of paper. Once we have prayed or written down our concerns or done both of these things, we can then remind ourselves that we don’t need to pick those burdens back up before leaving, nor do we have a use for the burden backpack anymore. When we leave our concerns, we need to do just that, LEAVE them!

M stands for Meditate on Good Things.

Screenshot from bible gateway.com

Now we revisit Negative Mindset Mountain, where avalanches of what ifs, doom and gloom, worst case scenarios, fears, anger, frustrations, resentment, jealousy, hatred, comparison and the like, happen on a regular basis, 24/7! You would think that not many people would come to visit this place with the frequent avalanches, yet you’d be surprised at how many people have a vacation home here or worse yet, have moved there permanently! I don’t have a vacation home or permanent residence here, but I have been known to visit and it’s not a place I like to be. Sometimes, I have managed to get to this place without wanting to go or without even knowing I’m there, but once I realize I am and I don’t know how long I have been there, I feel such disgust, embarrassment and shame. I feel disgusted because I am someone who is often viewed as the positive one to other people. The one who listens to others, gives great advice and makes everyone laugh, yet in my own personal life, I can be the opposite. I don’t often listen to myself, although I can give sound advice, I can’t give myself that same advice. I don’t extend myself the same grace I do to others. I must admit that I can make myself laugh 😂🤪 I feel embarrassment because I don’t like to be around negativity or negative people and the thought that I have been that person to others can not only leave me feeling disgusted, but embarrassed as well because, I am wondering to myself how long have I been projecting negative vibes? An hour? A day? A week? You see, at Negative Mindset Mountain, you can lose track of many things, one of those being time. In addition to feeling disgusted and embarrassed, I previously mentioned I feel shame. I feel shame because I have forgotten to leave my concerns with God. I have forgotten to ask God for help and I have forgotten to celebrate any good in my life. Much like the person who has had one too many to drink, I have blacked out and somehow woken up in this place. I don’t know how I’ve gotten here and I am not sure when I arrived. I don’t know if there is anyone else I have affected by my journey. If I’m in this place, I most likely haven’t been the example that I want to be to others. I feel shame because I have fallen down that slippery slope and been swept away by the avalanche. We tend to make it to this place because we let the wrong kind of thoughts bombard our minds. We forget to protect our hearts and minds and, in doing so, we nonchalantly open the door and let all the negativity on in to what will later become our very own pity party! Somewhere down the line, we stopped acknowledging all the good or positives in our lives and started solely focusing on all the negatives. So how do we make it back down the mountain?

We use Philippians 4:8 as our cheat sheet! If you take a look at that verse, it maps out the entire way back down! Let’s look at the verse and break it down. Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true; not what ifs, not worst case scenarios that may never come to be. Whatever is noble; thoughts that can promote honesty, generosity and things of that nature, not thoughts of jealousy or lies. Whatever is right; thoughts that are morally right are considered reasonable or ethical. We know the difference between right and wrong and this is what is meant when we are told to think of “right” things. Immoral thoughts would be the opposite of right thoughts, such as thoughts of evil or wrongdoing. Whatever is pure; again, untainted thoughts, free from evil. Thoughts that are true and uninfluenced by the wickedness of this world. In our minds is where the evil would start first. The thief, the murderer, the liar, the adulterer, they all have something in common…they first thought of evil before carrying out evil. The thief saw something he did not have and thought to himself that he should have it, so he would take it. The murderer let anger, resentment, hurt and whatever other evil thought control his mind and he thought about bringing harm to someone else and how he could hurt the other person. The liar uses his mind to weave his web of lies before speaking them to others, to come across as believable. The adulterer looks lustfully at others who are not their spouse and has thoughts of how they will become closer with this person(s). They engage in sex with this person, cheating on their spouse not only physically, but mentally and emotionally too. Whatever is lovely; these thoughts are rooted in love and affection. They are thoughts that can celebrate the goodness in not only your life, but in other’s lives around you! Jealousy has no place here! Whatever is admirable; thoughts of admiration or respect of others, especially God. Thinking on the goodness in your life can bring about admirable thoughts towards God. We look in wonder and astonishment at the world God created for us and the children He has blessed us with and the family. We see every day miracles and our minds admire the work of God! If anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.

If you didn’t notice, most of these words are synonyms of each other. They work together! Meditating on good things is all laid out for us in that one verse. Instead of thinking about what others have that you don’t, think about what you’re thankful for in your life and what you have or have worked for. Instead of thinking about the worst possible outcome of a situation or what MIGHT happen if you do this or that, think about what is more likely to happen. Is it more likely that this whole Final Destination type of scenario will play out or is it more likely that you’ll have worried and stressed yourself over nothing and then miss out on a greater time. Think of all that can go right. This is my hardest challenge, because my mind seems programmed to only see the worst case, but with a little rewiring, I believe I can improve upon it! Instead of dwelling in resentment for how people have treated you in the past, think of what you’ve taken away from that and how you use it for good in your life now. Don’t get so blinded by hatred, anger and resentment, especially from the past, that it hinders your living now. Don’t think of how you can get back or get even, use it as fuel to do better and be better. Nothing that has already happened can be erased, but it can used for good! As Max Lucado said in his book, “There is a reason the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror. Your future matters more than your past.”

If you find that negative thoughts are trying to creep in, immediately recall the words in Philippians 4:8. Let this verse serve as a reminder to all of us, to shift our mindset from acknowledging the negatives, to celebrating the positives!

A quote from Max Lucado’s Anxious for Nothing

Dear God, I pray that someone who needed this message finds it. I pray for everyone who comes across this blog, whether they like it or not, that maybe they could just take away one important thing from it. I pray that anyone struggling will find peace that only You can give. May at least one person read this and be able to make that mindset shift. Please use my words to show others Your grace and unconditional love. Let us remember the words in Philippians 4:8 and do our very best to think those kinds of thoughts. I thank You for working in me and through me so that I may not only better myself and my relationship with You, but help others to come to You as well. I pray all of this in Your name, AMEN!

I will leave the link below to anyone who would like to check out the Anxious for Nothing book. He also offers a DVD and study guide, if any small groups are interested in that. I bought the study guide thinking maybe I could still use it with the book, and while I can use it for notes and such, I personally feel it is much more geared towards the DVD. The link below will be just for the actual book. I GET NOTHING FROM SHARING THIS LINK! Please don’t view this blog to be any kind of promotional gain! Much love and God bless! ❤️

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0718074211/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc_CXWBGCDVJZDARV8JKT6Y

Words, Words, Words.

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I woke up today with a message on my heart! I love when this happens!  I hope you beautiful people have all been feeling amazing and I pray we all have a great day and I also pray over these words that God may help us through me.

We have all heard the proverbial saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” This is an older saying, often proclaimed on a school playground to a bully or between adolescent siblings, in response to being teased. While I completely agree with the sentiment, we should never let the words of others have any control or power over us,  all too many times words have done much harm. Words may not “break your bones” but they can break you. They can break your spirit; the essence of who you are…IF you let them! The beauty of it all is that we have the power to rise above and know that things said about ourselves by other people are mainly said out of jealousy or to simply get a reaction. To disturb out inner peace.  Trust me, I do know some words are hard to ignore and even more so when they come from people we love deeply, have known for years, who are friends and even family, but even those closest to us have the ability to harm us through negative words.

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From my personal experiences, I truly believe in “hurt people, hurt people.”  Those who don’t deal with their inner pain and demons project their unhappiness, negativity and pain onto everyone around them. If they’re not happy in life, everyone else must suffer with them. Be wary of people like this. I’m not saying don’t love them, but I am saying don’t play their game; refuse to engage! These people feed off of your reaction, they love to see their words have provoked you. If you’re anything like myself, you can struggle with holding your tongue when people talk about you or others you love, or they’re just being plain hateful and rude to others. Sometimes, I do feel it is necessary to speak up and defend not only yourself, but the others around you, just choose your battles wisely.

I wish sometimes I didn’t respond so quickly out of anger or aggravation, but I’ll admit I do more often than I’d like. We all have the ability to be short-tempered, but to myself that’s just a foolish way to act. Childish. I often feel convicted after being snappy or short with my children or husband. They may not have done anything wrong, but my own internal issues are causing me to project onto them. I am allowing my own issues of the day to make me a person I don’t want to be. On the other hand, they may have provoked me in some way! My children may have just done something I tell them daily not to do or my husband could have given me attitude, but they’re all human. They are allowed to make mistakes just like I am. Instead of responding back to them in the same way, I should stop and think about why they have just acted that way. I should ask myself, what’s bothering them? How can I help them? I shouldn’t have a knee-jerk response and throw gasoline on the fire! What good does that do anyone? That is only going to make me ashamed a regretful later on.

How about people who blame other people for what their own life decisions have brought into action, or people who hold on to so much past that they allow it to wreck their present or even the people who use their past to justify their questionable behavior in the present. We all know people like this. I often wonder about why people act they way they act. I question what’s happened in their life to make then respond in certain ways or to act and speak certain ways. Although there may be past experiences that have caused them to be the way they are, there is a time in life where you have to let go of your past, give it to God and allow yourself to live a life free from the prison that is your past and grow. Don’t let the negative actions and words of others control your life indefinitely. Don’t let them feel like they’ve won. Also, we can’t let our past dictate how we live currently. We can’t constantly blame others for everything that’s wrong in our lives. We must take responsibility for decisions we ourselves have made and realize we can’t use our past as a crutch. So many of us won’t cut the cord from our past because then we can’t place blame on anyone else but ourselves. We have to be able to take our bad past and learn from it; learn how NOT to be, don’t continue any cycles. Think before you speak. Be slow to anger because as I posted above, you can’t get the word back after it’s said and those words can only ever be forgiven, usually they’re never forgotten.

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Now onto GOSSIP.

gos·sip
casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.
I would venture to say speaking about anyone when they are not present, in which case almost all of us would then be guilty of gossip of some kind. Whether factual or semi-factual or twisted versions of what was initial said, it’s all gossip. For some of us gossip isn’t meant to be malicious, it just sort of manifests during casual conversation…however, some others thrive on gossip, they want to know every detail about everyone’s life or to just comment on everyone’s life. Some gossips can keep the truth intact or partial truth, but some like to take many words out of context with the intent to stir the pot or cause trouble between people. Why do they do this? Many people are jealous of other’s happiness or even their relationships or friendships. They want to cause friction, be a wedge or cause a disruption. They want their words to cause problems and they want a reaction. They purposely tell specific people things because they know it will get back to who they want it to reach; using gossip as a cowardly way to confront others or voice their issues. If any of you out there know what I’m referring to, do not engage! Don’t take the bait! Sometimes it’s difficult not to want to know what others say behind our back or to answer back gossip by gossiping ourselves, even if it’s truth you are saying. Whether truth or not, it’s all gossip. Let our thoughts be positive, our responses positive, our words positive and our actions be positive. Let’s concern ourselves less with what others say about us or other people and concern ourselves more by rising above and  building others up. May our words encourage others, inspire others, project love onto others and reflect God’s grace and understanding. If it’s not something helpful and positive, let us think about what we’re saying and if it needs to be said. Remember, those who gossip with you or to you probably gossip about you.
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God, I pray today for myself and anyone who needs this message today. Please let us all be mindful of what we think, what we say and how we act. Let us strive to be more like You and less like others in this world. Let us work on our flaws and allow us to be a better reflection of You and what you stand for. Help us when we want to lose our tempers, when we want to blame others and not own up to our own actions, when we want to answer back insult or gossip with more of the same. Allow us to be an example to others and show them that even when we are on the receiving end of harsh, negative or spiteful words that we can rise above and uplift others while overlooking the comments of the people with poisonous attitudes and praying that they too find peace in their lives so they don’t feel the constant need to tear others down. May we all focus on the plank in our own eye instead of the speck in someone else’s. In your name I pray, Amen!

Much Love and God Bless 💚

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Praising God In The Storm

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I have to start off with apologizing for neglecting my blog lately! 😣 So many things going on and time is not slowing down! As most of you probably know from previous posts, I am pregnant and actually due in another 5 weeks or so! Just trying to get things in order for go-time!

Being so close to the end of pregnancy you would assume it’s the time where relaxation kicks in and you’re just resting and waiting…maybe with the first child, but this is baby number 3 and things have been a bit wonky! It feels as if all these random little events keep happening and they all add up the stress! I know so many of you can relate to that one-thing-after-another feeling and it doesn’t treat the anxiety well!

It’s funny because every time I think what else could happen, I also think what is God keeping from happening? There’s two sides to everything and I definitely believe that many times when it feels like all these random events keep unfolding at the worst possible times, God is setting you up for greater things in the near future! Granted, in those moments when everything seems to be out of control, it’s hard to have this mindset but hopefully after things have calmed down a bit, we’re able to sit back and actually contemplate about what is happening, the actual severity of it and what good can come from it.

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I often mention Job or revisit Job in the Bible to gain perspective. I have always gravitated towards the book of Job and have many times been inspired in a variety of ways. The theme of Job could probably best be summarized in a question…Why does God let bad things happen to good and innocent people? Job had not done anything wrong, yet within one day alone he lost his livestock, servants and all 10 children! That was just one day! Can you imagine how overwhelmed we would feel if we lost even half of that in the course of a day? Even after suffering such great loss, Job still blessed God in his prayers. When we think we have it bad, sometimes it’s not as bad as we initially perceive it to be. How often far more simple things happen to us and yet we feel the need to question God’s motives.

We should be thankful in the bad just as we are in the good because we have limited understanding of our lives and what evil God is saving us from in the future. I’m sure I have typed this before but it’s so very true, God has the panoramic view to our lives, we simply see in tunnel vision. We are often focused on what is currently right in front of us that we tend to forget there is a bigger picture to behold. We cannot worry ourselves with why others who do wrong don’t seem to experience as many hardships nor do we need to question why God is allowing what seems like bad things to befall us. Our understanding of our lives and life in general is extremely limited, whereas God has the infinite knowledge; how could we lack trust when He is God of ALL? Who are we to question God’s motives? We cannot just go through life expecting only to experience the good!

Although it’s easier to praise God during those good times, we would do good to remember to praise him in the times when it feels the hardest; that’s where, I believe, the most true and deepest blessings come from. Anyone can be thankful when they’re surrounded by clear blue skies, but what about when those dark gray clouds crowd around and the challenges of life seem to rain down? Where is our thankfulness then? Let us not focus on what is happening in the moment right in front of us, but rather thank God in the midst of the storm for what He is saving us from in the future. It may be difficult to train our minds to work that way at first, but once we realize how true it is that if this bad had not occurred, our blessing could not have happened, it’ll make it that much easier to have that mindset.

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Think of several times where things went wrong in your life and I’ll wager some kind of positive came from it, in some form, whether right after or years after. A quick example for me that came to mind was my miscarriage. Maybe it’s come to my mind so quickly because I am getting closer to giving birth, but had that misfortune never  happened, who is to say I would have my other son and now this little girl I am currently carrying? Sometimes God takes from us to allow room for bigger blessings to flow, we just have to trust that He knows best! He is on our side and He does not rejoice in our misfortunes but rather hopes for us to put more trust in Him.

I pray today for anyone who feels caught up in a web of what seems like constant hard times Lord, may they know that You are for them and that You go through it with them. May they realize they may be going through a stretch of bad times now, but it will pass and blessings will be waiting on the other side! May our hearts see a different view during difficult times and allow us to have a more faithful and positive response as opposed to a “poor me” or “why me” attitude. Thank you Lord for the good and the bad because we know they work hand in hand. In Your name we pray, Amen!

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Much Love and God Bless!

The Fruit Loop In The Cheerios

I have been lurking around my own old social media posts, to dig up some gems that I could build upon on here. I found a few promising topics and I may just use one now! I haven’t been blogging much in the early morning, although with the kids sleeping it would be a more opportune time, I tend to wait to see what inspiration the day and God hands me. Today, I feel this topic works for so many people, although it’s widely perceived as more of a female issue, I am confident more males deal with it than is admitted.

Self Esteem.

Most of my life I would have deemed myself someone with zero self esteem…I would have even ventured to tell you a negative number! It’s unfortunate how many people in this world don’t recognize their own worth. It’s very sad and I don’t see that issue getting any better, if anything (in my opinion) it’s gotten worse with all the “rage” there is around the cosmetic industry and not to mention society’s ever-growing expectations of how one should look. I am very much a person who doesn’t care how I am viewed by others (if you could see old school photos, you’d understand more lol) but even being a person who doesn’t let people under their skin as I have gotten older, I didn’t always shrug off the words of others. I believe, subconsciously, we hold on to much more than we realize. We hear the words of others in our own heads but it’s in our own voice and not theirs. Somewhere down the line we gave a person or persons the power to enter our thoughts and alter our perception of self.

I’ll share something I have previously written on a social media post, and then continue on from there. Here’s what I wrote, “It’s been an extremely long journey for me to look at this girl in the mirror and say, “eh, you’re aaaiigght!” I literally used to avoid anything that showed a reflection whenever I could.
Getting ready for school I’d brush my teeth to the side of the mirror. I remember any time I’d catch a glimpse in my bedroom mirror, I’d break down in tears because one glimpse would reveal at least 15 flaws I saw with my appearance. One glimpse and the echo of all the negative words I had constantly been fed would overwhelm my mind. No matter what, I always seemed to JUST miss that boat; that boat which offered a cruise upstream through a plethora of compliments that would nourish self-esteem and self-confidence, yet I always seemed to be left in the wake.
Left in the wake in rough, choppy water…always struggling to stay afloat amongst the never-ending negative words which forever consumed me. Trying to always keep my head held high, but only ever keeping it just above water…just enough to survive, just enough to simply be.
I now am at a point where I realize the rough choppy water was never a reflection of myself, but a reflection of those whom the hatred often flowed from.
Today, I am FAR from confident, but I can look at myself and see more than the negative words. More than the comparisons. I can say maybe you’re alright, and to say I’m alright to myself may not seem like much, but it’s a pretty big deal. It may seem as if I am exaggerating, but trust me when I say I wish these words were an exaggeration. Unfortunately hateful words from unhappy and cruel people starting a young, impressionable age (just 8 years old) can ultimately affect you for a lifetime. I’ll always hear them in the back of my mind, I am just hopeful they will drown. 👐🖒 Drown out hate and let the love always flow. 💋❤ I pray that every last person reading this knows how beautiful they are, inside and out and how much they are worth. Never let the words of others define who you are, especially who you are to yourself!”

I didn’t feel that I could have written it any better than that day, thus sharing the actual post. I’m sure not everyone can relate to this topic, but I am very sure there are thousands out there (at least) who can and hopefully they can start to heal. I do want everyone reading this to know their worth and believe they are more than any negative comments that have ever been made about them. Some of us, at one time or another, may not have understood that hateful and unhappy people want nothing more than to bring others down to their level of unhappiness. Misery loves company; but we control whether we sink or swim. It’s a difficult process to overcome those thoughts, especially when so many comments were constantly fed to you. I wouldn’t say I personally have amazing self esteem, like I mentioned previously I would have said zero or some negative number…but today, I could say I’ve made my way over to the positive side of the number line, even if it’s a 1, it’s still a step in the right direction.

My challenge for you today would be to stand in front of a mirror and think or say something positive about yourself. Something that I often found confusing is that I had confidence in who I was, in my character, yet it was the outer shell I believed didn’t match. So, when I tell yo to think or say something positive about yourself…it can be appearance or even something about who you are inside, or both! Write 5 positive things about your appearance/character on a piece of paper and keep it somewhere that you can easily find it; heck, post it on the mirror! 😊 Our differences/uniqueness is where true beauty comes from. The world is full of such diverse beauty, yet everyone strives to look like each other or act like each other.  Find confidence in yourself and don’t compare yourself to others or let others compare you to someone else. You have a beauty that no one else has, use it!  May you come to the realization that all those comments you were ever force-fed were and are a reflection of the person who said them or says them; they were/are never about you in the first place. Much love and God Bless!romans12_2