Fight or flight.

As of late I have been honestly evaluating my life and the relationships and mindsets I hold, inviting the Lord into the mix to help me see myself and behave in a way that is aligned with how He sees me. A specific area that I’ll share in this post is facing the possibility of rejection from others. It has been years since I intentionally took the risk of letting my guard down and been open to being known by others deeper than surface level smiles.

Often, when I get to the point where I let a little bit of my authentic self be shown to others, mainly in small groups, I go into fight or flight mode. Regularly choosing flight, I get the heck out of dodge either by extended absences in a group membership or swiftly and smoothly exiting the premises of a social event to save face from what I deemed as risky, self-revealing behavior. It’s not even that I am some rude jerk or have some off the wall humor or beliefs (let’s say not 100% of the time 😊), I just shy away from being known.

Don’t get me wrong, I am totally fine with flying solo, I prefer it, but when being alone becomes more of a defense mechanism that I run to, thus causing burned bridges of potential or sure relationships, then the solo thing becomes a problem…

In part I am sure this fear of rejection comes from past relationship hurts, or feeling embarrassed that I took a friendship more to heart than others involved, but despite the reasoning, I think I am just tired of running from the pain and embarrassment resulting in regrets.

Being honest with myself, I’ve done enough of the flight. Perhaps it’s time I stop running, trying to protect myself from possible rejection and hurt from others, and just stand in faith, being open to truly loving people, knowing that God is with me, and He’ll see me through any relational obstacle that may possibly arise.

Pressing on and growing in faith – I pray the same for you!

Relieved to be relieved.

I recently heard a sermon on flourishing in faith and love in the New Year (2023). I was reminded of the importance of letting things go, to avoid bitterness from taking root in your heart. Since allowing this wonderful Word reminder to fall on the good ground of my heart, it has been revealed that a lot of the things I need to let go of and forgive, are my own actions toward myself.

Many of my past actions proved me to be one of my worst enemies. I acted foolishly when it came to seeking acceptance, love, confidence, and inner peace. Rather than choosing to learn from my mistakes I often became annoyed, upset and embarrassed at myself. Memories and even old songs from specific eras would cause me to ask myself “how could you have been so stupid?”, “how embarrassing”, “how incomplete and messed up were we?..”. I looked back with so much regret and shame.

The above were feelings I put on myself, no doubt the flame being fanned by the enemy, who of course seeks nothing but to steal, kill and destroy. I had to decide to TRULY start seeing myself how God sees me. Not necessarily only in the present, but even how He looks at my past mistakes. I am beginning to fully take God at His Word, believing that He is giving me beauty for ashes, that He causes all things to work together for my good, even the insecure stupid acts of the past – How specifically? I am not sure, but I trust Him.

As of late, when I look back on my past, I celebrate that the Lord has brought me from a mighty long way. I give thanks that God didn’t leave me where I was. I have joy and am amazed that I now hold the character traits I thought I would never have the strength and courage to possess, such as self-control over certain thoughts and actions, saying goodbye to relationships and people that weren’t the best for me (or I for them), as well as setting and keeping personal boundaries and standards. Not only are these things active in my life, but they are getting strengthened each day, as I continue to surrender to the Lord, ask for His help, and remain open to spiritual pruning (old mindsets being renewed, toxic defense mechanisms being released and removed).

I released and continue to release myself from my own mistakes and stupidity of the past, as I have asked and received the gift of salvation, repentance, and renewal from the Lord. I pray I continue to trust God’s process with me, going from faith to faith, forgetting those things that are behind and pressing ahead.

I truly am relieved to be relieved of my own self-inflicted pain of the past.

Pressing on, I pray you continue to press on as well!

Inward Resolutions – Change IS possible.

A few goals (resolutions) of mine, stated prior to the new year, which I still plan on running with within this new year, is maintaining a new attitude, remaining present, and accepting things as they are, vs how I think they should be. What I like about these goals is that they contribute to inward changes in me, which I hope will spill over into outward changes, not only affecting my body, but also my actions and relationships.

The phrase attitude makes the difference is true stuff. Our attitudes affect everything that we do, and what we think about. Since where my mind leads my body and attitude often follow, I want to be more disciplined in what I choose to think about to maintain a new positive attitude and outlook.

In remaining present, I shrug off the past and focus on the here and now. In the not-so-distant past, I had a horrible habit of holding on to regrets. The truth regarding regrets is I have no remote to change those things. What I can do now is learn from those regrets, and utilize those lessons in the present, in hopes of limiting regrettable acts from here on out.   

Accepting what is vs what could possibly be allows me to relinquish control. This is a big one for me, as I often like having things/plans clearly laid out, step by step, leaving no space for adjustments. Unfortunately, I have been known to get bent out of shape, falling off a set course, if anything in my plan was misplaced or altered in the slightest way. This mentality robbed me from chances to learn how to roll with the punches of life with ease. I also missed out on the possibility of getting an even better plan and route the Lord may have had for me. Now, rather than using most of my energy on trying to prevent hiccups and changes in my set plans, I will be open and accept that I do not know it all, and do not have to have it all clearly laid out – This is a great bonus of having a Savior and the gift of the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide me each step of the way 😊

The shared inward goals within this post will NOT be my only aims of the new year (or my life), but declaring a few desired resolutions is a great start to an even better me. Life is a journey that offers numerous opportunities for growth and to embrace change if we are mindful and open to it.

I pray we all do not shy away from declaring some of our inward change desires out loud, taking the necessary steps to get them in motion, and relying on God to do the rest. Change IS possible.

Keep pressing on all!  

Know that you’re the “S” (stuff).

Rejection that can follow when a (potential) relationship doesn’t turn out as you’d hoped sucks, but do you know what sucks even more? When we allow the result of said “potential” relationship to cause us to forget who the heck we are, and what we are worth!

I get angry with myself when I allow rejection or an unsuccessful (potential) relationship to cause me to question my personality, my unwavering relationship standards, or my choice to just pass on it (the person or potential relationship).

I think being without a relationship for a bit can cause one to question whether they are being unrealistic or demanding, so after the initial shock and pain of letting someone go, I would strongly suggest taking a beat, and snapping out of the emotions that may ensue. If you have set deal breakers prior to getting involved with someone, they more than likely are you being real with yourself and honestly identifying what you can and cannot (or will and will not) tolerate.

Although it can get lonely out here as a single person, (😊) knowing that you’re the “S” allows the ability to shake embarrassing and hurtful situations off, and keep it moving, gracefully, without animosity, anger, guilt or shame toward yourself or others.

Let’s stop returning to vomit* (the people/relationships you know are no good for you, whether the party intentionally hurts you or not) and embrace the unknown. Know that you are the “S”, and that God’s got you…

Staying encouraged, and TRULY hoping the same for you!

*“As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.”

~Proverbs 26:11 New Living Translation

He won’t leave you alone.

Sometimes the people in my life are just busy with life, having other things going on, and unable to always be present and check in. As a side note, from personal experience I would encourage one to not to take these times of “absence” personally, as there may come a time where you find yourself on the other side of things (unintentionally being absent) and want some grace and understanding.

Anyway 🙂 , at times I feel I need, or more so want another human around, if for nothing more than to hopefully feel like someone “gets” me at a time where perhaps I feel misunderstood or honestly, just lonely (again, at that specific time). During these times when there appears to be no one around, checking for me, I am thankful that I can always count on the Lord to be near, by my side, wanting to be invited into the “mix” of my life.

I am getting better at realizing that whether I have anyone around socially, romantically, etc., or if I appear to be all alone (I state appear, because as a Believer I know that I am never alone), I am thankful that I always have a friend in Jesus.

I dig that there are never any misunderstandings or ill-intent on His part. I can always be honest and myself, which is sometimes not so loveable, or pushy, silly, hard, even vulnerable – The Lord sees it all, and He sticks around, because He wants to. *When He said He’d never leave me nor forsake me, He meant it! He’s faithful through and through. Again, I am thankful to be witnessing this for myself.

He (the Lord) won’t leave you alone – That’s a real nice thing…

Staying encouraged – I am sincerely hoping the same for you…

*Deuteronomy 31:6c NKJV

Heart vs mind (head) and trusting the Lord.

Heart vs mind is a tricky balancing act for me. In my younger years, I was for sure more of a heart over mind type of gal. Strong emotions, passion, and feelings guided many of the actions I took, especially when it came to personal relationships. I strongly believed that since I was an awesome person (my personal opinion here – You better know you are awesome for yourself – just saying 😊), everyone I met would just adore me, treat me well, and have my best interest in mind. Various life experiences and lessons shifted this way of thinking, more towards the all-mind (using your head/logic only) end of the spectrum.

For me, the all-mind (head) thinking ran the risk of me becoming jaded, bitter, hard, and closed off from the world and others. In my specific case, it wasn’t that I was hard, angry and unfriendly, quite the opposite, as I love being friendly. It’s something everyone has an equal ability to do, just at different levels and expressive routes. My thing was more of I just didn’t choose to let anyone in – shallow relationships were just fine – you know, the casual greetings, sincere well wishes, but getting to know me – know me, was out of the question. I didn’t want to get hurt or disappoint myself by being so carefree and unguarded, that I unintentionally let the wrong person/people in.

The question then became, “how do you balance using both heart and mind (when it comes to relationships)?”. One word rings out loud and clear to me here, and that is WISDOM!

I pray that I continue to invite the Lord into the mix, and utilize His kind of wisdom as I am granted opportunities to try again at being willing to open up and get to know people, as well as allowing them to know me.

Y’ all pray for me as I step back out in faith on this.

Staying encouraged, hoping the same for you!

*Feel free to refer to “Don’t start none, won’t be none” for a share on using wisdom when contemplating starting something up.

Don’t start none, won’t be none.

I am thankful for the lessons learned from many of my life experiences, thus far – believing the Lord for even more, as I continue to press on 🙂

Due to being in the midst of summer nights, one lesson that comes to mind is that from times I became entangled with “like” interests, at an inopportune time (out of season).

Occasionally I miss the entertainment of a “like” interest – the giggles, smiles, and cool conversations. Unfortunately, what I found, at least during “focused seasons” which I strongly believe I am in now, is the situation with a “like” interest becomes too overwhelming. After a bit, I would get fully engulfed in attraction and time-consuming behavior that ended up pulling me away from the things that truly should have been a priority at the time. Plainly put, I became distracted.

The “harmless” smiles and giggles eventually turned into frustration and annoyance – Not necessarily because of the other person, but more so because a relationship got started before its time. In some instances, nothing should have gotten started in the first place, but that’s a whole other post!

All in all, I now see, pertaining to out of season romantic relationships and all that come with them, if I don’t start none, won’t be none. So again, lesson learned…

Staying focused and encouraged, sincerely hoping the same for you all!

Embrace the time of calm.

Sometimes I get into a “go-go-go!” type of mode – I feel like I always must have something going on. If not personally/socially, then professionally (at work).

I totally get the mindset of wanting to be productive and utilize your time here on earth, but always being on “go” not only isn’t the best for your health (even our electronic devices need a reset/recharge), but this mindset can also make it nearly impossible to positively embrace the seasons of calm that enter our lives.

Typically for me, right after a prolonged stretch of a busy season (mainly at work), I find the need to have to fight back the feeling of anxiety when a time of calm hits. My body seems to desperately search for a task I must’ve forgotten, or I pick back up a worry/concern that I’ve already laid at the feet of the Lord, again to feed the need to have something to “work” on / be consumed by.

This time around I choose to do things differently! During this time of calm, I am making the conscience decision to chill the heck out! I have already begun to experience a little taste of how enjoyable the here and now can be when I am present, and not overburdened with workload, unnecessary tasks and events, or even thoughts.

For as long as I am living, there will again come a period when busyness will be required, so for right now, I am taking on and embracing the time of calm!

Staying encouraged – Sincerely praying the same for you 🙂

**I do want to mention that as Believers, we have the privilege of always having some type of peace/calm at our fingertips, so we can embrace the time of calm in every season we face (Philippians 4:6-7)!

Check your Check-in Motives.

From personal experience I just want to say, if you do not mean someone from your past well, and just want to check in on them and see how they’re “surviving” without you, do that person a favor and don’t (check in).

I have never quite understood the reason why past love/like interests feel the need to check back in, knowing full well they don’t mean you any good, but just want to “see what you are up to”. In my opinion that is selfish and highly inconsiderate.

If you are reaching out, not to try to make things right, but only to get your unanswered questions or unresolved issues within yourself settled, I strongly encourage you to think before you reach out. Your selfish motives run the risk of undoing a lot of healing and growth that has taken place.

If someone has begun the getting over you journey, let them keep trucking down that path, in peace!

Just a word to the wise.

With all of that said, I am still sincerely hoping you (the reader) are staying encouraged 🙂

A season of lessons to be learned.

Obviously it has been a bit since I last shared via Carpe. Definitely not because nothing is going on with me, quite the opposite actually. The experiences are not all peaches and roses, but definitely making it through, by the grace of God.

Anyway… I am one who believes in embracing the various seasons of life. I believe that I am currently in a lessons to be learned season. In this season there is more living going on, that has, and will continue to birth lessons and experiences to hopefully draw from and share in the near future.

Nonetheless, I wanted to drop some lines to sincerely state I hope all who view this blog are staying encouraged and pressing on, in whatever life season you currently find yourself in.

More to come… 🙂