Let Your Self-Truths Set You Free!

So often, circumstances place us in positions that encourage us to think differently about ourselves.  If we think differently about ourselves and we are filled with positivity in regards to growth and change — then this is a good thing.  However, there are far too many times where we find ourselves allowing our negative core beliefs to dictate our attitudes, moods, and response to life.

Core Beliefs

Core beliefs are basically absolute statements about oneself that are treated as absolute facts.  As any good therapist would tell you, it is essential that you challenge the negative core beliefs because they can lead to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, etc.  Some examples of negative core beliefs are:

  1. I am unlovable
  2. I am worthless
  3. Nothing ever works for me

Combating Negative Core Beliefs

Obviously, finding proof that these negative beliefs one holds about oneself are not 100% true is one way of combating negative core beliefs.  Identifying self-truths are another good way.  Self-truths are exactly what they sound like!  Truths about yourself.  So you can take a negative core belief such as “nothing ever works for me” and review your personal experiences to identify if you truly have had the experience of having absolutely nothing ever work for you.  Self-truths reveal positive things about our experiences that we would otherwise discount.

Sometimes we transfer other people’s personal opinions about our traits and make them into core beliefs.  How many times have you been told that you were damaged, useless, worthless, and other negative things?  There are times when you are told that you are something so many times that you take on that identity and make it into a negative core belief.

Build Your Own Self-Worth Through Self Truths

When you have a negative balance in your self-worth bank, it deteriorates your entire emotional well-being.  Negative balances are easy to accumulate while positive balances are hard to obtain and even harder to keep.  When you develop and enhance actual self-truths, you are actually building positive balances in your self-worth bank.

  • Reduce the negative effects of negative core beliefs by eliminating absolutes from your vocabulary (always, never, etc.)
  • Take every opportunity to remind yourself of your positive contributions in your own life (education, employment, personal accomplishments)
  • Review evidence that appears to support your negative image of yourself overly critically (always demand three times the proof of a negative image versus one piece of evidence for proof of a positive image)
  • If you can’t find positive self-truths about yourself — create them or have friends and family help you!

It is important that you take daily inventory of the balances that reside in your self-worth bank.  Do not allow negativity to take up residence in your life when it contributes nothing to enhance the quality of your life.  The path to enlightenment can be a long and arduous one but it does not have to be utterly impossible!

Happy Resurrection Sunday!


rejoice

 Today, we celebrate our Savior’s resurrection for paying the ultimate debt for our sins.  Although, historically, the precise date for the celebration of Easter has been a point of contention — the actual act is celebrated each year by Christians.

  Sorry, No Bunnies Here

 Yes, I understand there is something called an Easter bunny, but seriously — it is not connected to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The actual origin of the Easter bunny and painted eggs lies in long practiced fertility and spring related traditions that date far enough back and have absolutely nothing to do with Christianity.  So, for all those who make their yearly protests about the “separation of church and state” and the religiosity of “Easter” may want to specify what it is that they are claiming issue to.

There was an article about a Muslim couple who took a strong position against the school sending home flyers announcing their annual “Eggstravaganza” because they wanted there to be a separation of church and state.  I did some digging because I thought that maybe there were some recent developments that linked the Easter bunny to Jesus Christ somehow, but I found no such thing.  What happened to the days when you simply declined an invitation because it did not conform to your beliefs?  Unless I missed something, there was no threat to suspend or expel those who chose not to attend.

john 11

 Remember the REAL Meaning of Today

 Yes, I decorated shiny, shimmery eggs with my daughter today.  However, that was purely for fun and “mommy and daughter” time. I did not offer any ties to our Christian faith because, well, there are none.  I did however, explain to her that Jesus Christ gave His life for our sins and was resurrected three days afterward.  It is a day to celebrate, but we are definitely not celebrating these very pretty painted eggs (except by eating them!).

 

Have You Ever Thought About Committing Suicide?

suicide

Oddly enough, last night I put a reminder in to write about suicide today.  Then today, I saw this article about Karyn Washington’s suicide.  Although this article is mainly about the amount of pressure that Black women put themselves under — I think this is easy for any race to relate to.  The world that we currently live in has morphed into a place where the societal expectation is to “keep it moving.”  While it is great to stay positive under trying circumstances, it is my belief that we do ourselves a disservice by ignoring the pain.  Whether you are actively suicidal or are not suicidal at all, I have a few self care tips that I have been working on myself:

  • Your pain is real:  Say that to yourself until you believe it.  Don’t let others take your pain away just because “life has to go on.”  When we deny ourselves the luxury of being in pain, we “stuff” it and it grows like a cancer within our very beings.
  • Support is great:  Surround yourself with those who give you permission to dip your toes into the pool of depression without allowing you to step in and subsequently drown.
  • Give exit passes:  Some people are just not going to be supportive or helpful.  Others may put on the face of support while they are secretly happy that you are enduring these rough times.  Give those people exit passes out of your life.
  • Do something fun:  Get out of the house and go see a movie.  Go to the store and window shop.  Or stay in the house and catch up on some television episodes.  Play a video game.  The bottom line here is to do something that you enjoy.  It may not necessarily change your circumstances but it will allow you space to introduce some new stimuli into your life.
  • Sometimes your trials are not for you:  It is so easy to wonder why bad things always seem to happen to us.  It is hard for us to understand that sometimes we go through things just so that OTHERS will see how we deal with the pressure or learn something from it.  Take some of the pressure off of your shoulders and reflect that inner positivity that you have within.

If there were one thing I would like to say to anyone considering taking their own life, it is what I have said to myself when times have gotten beyond the point of unbearable – don’t.  Just don’t.  There are lives that you can touch, purposes that you have yet to fulfill, and positive life experiences that are just waiting for you if you can be patient.  Easier said than done, I know.  But it is something that millions of people are dealing with everyday and we need to do our part to reach out and hold someone’s hand so that they know they are not alone in their sadness.

We do ourselves a severe disservice when we “put on our brave face” and portray to the world that we are okay when we really aren’t.  We do our friends and family a disservice when we decide not to “deal” with their depression because it is too much work and we have our own lives to lead.  Have you ever thought about committing suicide?  Do you know someone who has thought about it?

Can You Be An Extreme Sacrifice?

walk by faith

This week’s sermon focused on “Can I Be An Extreme Sacrifice”:

John 11:1-4John 11:1-4
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

11 1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. 4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.  

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I absolutely love this passage because, with everything that has been going on in my life, it is nice to know that it’s not simply because I pissed God off.  Although I’m quite sure I have, it is not the only answer to the struggles that I have found myself encountering.

How deep is this really?  The fact that Lazarus was allowed to die simply so that God could have the glory is baffling and yet it makes a lot of sense spiritually.  It is yet another testament to Him being the Alpha and Omega and desiring our worship.  One of the main points of this sermon was to remind us that God retains the right to go to any lengths He deems appropriate to have His name glorified.  It’s also a hard pill to swallow for us sometimes.  It’s also a nudge of a reminder that some of the situations that we find ourselves in kinda pale in comparison to being allowed to die in order to prove that God is God.  So, I’ll take my “simple” circumstances of raising my daughter on my own, dealing with inadequate finances, broken marital promises and parents couple with siblings who never loved me in stride!

It’s All For the Glory of God
It is clear from the text that some of us are going through our circumstances NOT because we have done wrong but so that others will take notice and give God the glory when He brings us out and delivers us.

What Faith Really Means
Faith means that we must learn to trust God in advance for  what will only make sense in reverse.  This struck a nerve for me, particularly because I had a revelation a couple of months ago about my current situation.  A friend of mine said, “aren’t you glad that he showed his true colors now as opposed to 10 years from now?”  It was then that I was on my path to realizing many more things.  Sometimes God allows bad things to happen to us for the greater good.  While I do not claim to have all of the answers about why my situation occurred, I will say that so far — it makes sense in reverse.

All in all, the message received was that we should not prematurely judge God because of our circumstances.  If we hang in there, it will eventually become clear to us.  The question is — can God use you to glorify His name?  Can you be an extreme sacrifice?

Can You Handle the Heat?

only god

Sermon from church today “How to Handle the Heat”:

Daniel 3:16-18Daniel 3:16-18
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.  

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This sermon lightened my heart, gave me some encouragement and revealed some important truths to my soul.  The important parts that I got from the sermon are:

The devil does not lose your address when you give your life to Christ
On the contrary, life sometimes gets noticeably harder after you are saved and baptized.  It’s as though we Christians believe that the heat will never be turned up when you give your life to Christ.  There is nothing further from the truth.  Somehow, we have allowed others to convince us that when we go through struggles, it is because we did something wrong but in actuality — that is not always true.  This is clearly evidenced by the Scriptual text!  

How we handle the heat is what differentiates us as Christians
Our faith dictates that we are given spiritual tools in which to better manage the heat.  What this does not mean, is that we are perfect and we will accept our circumstances without anger and bitterness.  It does not mean that we are almighty in our responses to adverse situations.  What it does mean is that we are able to use our faith in order to better navigate the situations that we find ourselves in.  Don’t let your doubts get strong enough to strangle your faith!

Others are supposed to see the light of God through our actions
We don’t get to choose WHO is watching our responses to tragedy.  We don’t get to dictate WHEN this occurs.  Our job is to display diligence to the Word of God in all situations BECAUSE people are watching.  Here is where the hypocrisy of Christians enters in — and most of us are guilty of it from time to time.  When you were thrown into the den with poverty, unemployment, relationship troubles, familial strife, and other circumstances — what was your response?  Are people seeing the fact that no matter how high the heat gets turned up in your life that you turn to God and handle your situations with grace and faith?  Or do you “act like a two-year-old at naptime?”  Be careful, because you can either bring someone into the faith or turn them away simply because they watched YOU.

This sermon was a polite reminder to me that I need to continue to lean on God despite my circumstances.

Is This Purgatory?

if you could read my mind

Okay, I’ll admit it, I’ve been having some bad days.  Days where I have been wondering what purpose my life holds besides the pain that seems to constantly be given to me.  As I have said before, I am not perfect.  I am human and I have flaws.  But even through the storm I find myself in, I will not let the enemy succeed in convincing me that God has forgotten me because I know that He hasn’t.  I know that my suffering is for my own good — even if I don’t like it.

Purge

I am lost
I know that because my soul floats outside of this body
Of mine
Searching for a way back in
I am empty
A shell incompatible with fillings
I am desolate — a testament to the deepest sadness as a survivor
Of the trials by fire
I used to think that my life
Was a physical manifestation of hell
But now the idea of purgatory makes more sense
I mean, the episodes of my life are so ridiculously tragic
That one would think
I’ve made it up out of a sincere love for fiction
Maybe I’ve been watching too many of the movies
With a similar theme
One of those times that I came close to death maybe
I really did die
The significance is significant
And the best explanation of why
My accomplishments seem meaningless
Achievements feel like they live less than that of a half life
If this is purgatory indeed
The bright side is that I died in grace
This purge will cleanse all remaining bad deeds.
In the meantime, my insides burn
Leaving my optimism charred beyond recognition
I’m hoping this is another work of fiction
That I will rise, sweating profusely
Panting, mumbling incoherently
In the comfort and sanctuary of my bed.
And I will step onto the floor of a better reality
Where each day is not another battle
Because God, I am so weary.
I pray for death each day
Because this world that I am in is so unbearable
That it makes the idea of the cessation of breathing
That much more attractive
I search for daily reminders of reasons to continue living
I call friends to remind me of what point my existence makes
I pray unceasingly to the Lord above to end my suffering
But then if the measurement of penance in purgatory
Is based on
The amount of suffering on Earth
And this is not purgatory
Then I suppose I shall pray for more suffering.

© Miss Lady

Can’t Raise A Man

How have I not heard of K. Michelle before?  I am loving her work!  She says the things that many women want to say but feel like they can’t.  Her explicit claim of “No F**** Given” is energizing and oddly enough, empowering.  Her lyrics are simply — the truth. Unashamed, unabashed and minus the need for apology. When I heard Can’t Raise A Man, I was bobbing my head for what seemed like an eternity.  Every line in her song was absolutely true.  Could she be the new champion of female empowerment and strength? My favorites songs of hers include:

  • Can’t Raise A Man
  • She Can Have You
  • I Just Wanna

I am not ashamed to admit that when my loser soon-to-be ex texts me, I hear the beginning of Tomorrow Too Late, “I ain’t f****** with you no more.”  Shameless?  Perhaps.  Real?  Definitely…

 

Still A Fighter

I am still a fighter.  I will not cave in to the depressive thoughts that attempt to take over when I least expect it.  I keep hatred for my soon-to-be ex in low numbers by continuing to pray for him, without fail, every night.  There are nights when it is hard but I do it anyway because one thing I have learned about those who hurt other is that they do not lose sleep.  So I will not let him win by allowing his actions to erode the goodness in my heart.

One of my newest theme songs is Fighter by Christina Aguilera!  Some of the lyrics are just genius:

[Chorus:]
Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter