Release the fear, and get it right.

Have you ever been in a situation where the vibe is just off – Mainly a hiccup in communication between you and someone you generally have a uniformed flow with? Misunderstandings or unresolved issues are often to blame for this.

I know for myself, when discord begins to rear its ugly head in specific relationships, I feel a strong urge to bring up the issue with the other party, but quickly talk myself out of it. Why?… Fear, plain and simple.

Indirect, dramatic outbursts were a pretty common theme used by me in my relationships back in the day (both romantic and platonic). Due to this toxic behavior of past, I sometimes get uneasy bringing up current issues or concerns with others, out of fear of coming across as too emotional, in turn, being written off before being fully heard out. There is also the fear of causing more harm than good by even bringing the issue up. So, I just wait for the off feeling/vibe to pass, and it does, until the unresolved issue arises again…

Well, I want off of that crazy cycle of fear, so I am beginning to take the necessary steps to achieve that. I am practicing wisdom by seeking guidance from the Lord on which issues to bring up, and which to let go of and lay at His feet in prayer. While doing this I am realizing, and accepting that I can truly only control myself and my emotions, and not the possible responses I may receive from others.

This is some work, and definitely takes practice, but I am going to keep trying 🙂

When the vibe is off, I aim to release the fear of how I may be perceived, and take the steps to get it right.

Staying encouraged – I hope the same for you!

Being Real.

Sometimes it seems the only action associated with keeping it/being real is a level of in your face, sharp shooting, telling it to you like it is, in a forceful and hard way toward another.

I agree that at times, this form of being real is necessary, but I think there is another type of real that is equally as important. This realness is that of choosing to be vulnerable and truthful, first with the Lord (I must state this, as I know Him to be the ultimate source of healing, hope, and change), then with yourself, and others – acknowledging that you may feel lonely, afraid, disconnected, or just sometimes misunderstood.

I believe there is great power in sharing victories (testimonies), as well as struggles (tests, soon to be testimonies), even in a time where it seems like we all are so bent on appearing as if we have it all together.

To me, true realness is admitting, even if just to yourself, that you do have some insecurities, you do not have it all together, and you do need others.

I am striving to walk this type of being real out.

Staying encouraged – I hope the same for you!

 

Walk them out.

I am at a place in my life where I desire to stop looking to other people, the amount of friends, connections, likes/shares, or resources I (currently) have, to justify who I am, and what I can do with the abilities the Lord has gifted me. I just want to cooperate, and do what the Lord has instructed me to do/live out. Whether it’s following through on an idea, task, goal, or service offered, or just putting forth a better effort and attitude in my daily affairs (work life, home life, citizen as a whole).

I strongly believe now is the time for us as Believers, to be bold, strong, and courageous, and confidently walk out the plans the Lord has for us – trusting and honoring Him each step of the way. Knowing without a doubt that He’s able to bring those plans to pass, with lasting success, beyond our wildest dreams…

The plans of the Lord, let’s walk them out.

Stay encouraged!

This is for me.

With frustrations, fear, and distractions all around, it gets really easy to become so focused on ourselves – our fears, insecurities, or items we have before the Lord to change and workout on our behalf. If left unchecked, being so me-focused can cause us to run the risk of becoming selfish, self-centered individuals, and that is so anti of what being an effective Believer is all about.

Unfortunately I have spent some time engulfed in self, but thankfully, I’m choosing not to stay there.

Since shifting my focus back to being Christ-centered, the softness of truly caring for others has returned, I’m building relationships, and my days are so much brighter.

Getting and living beyond self – This is for me. 🙂

Keep pressing on!

I choose peace.

I’m recognizing that in this life, trouble comes and goes, but even in the midst of those troubles, I can choose to remain secure and at peace, because God is in control.

As believers the Lord offers us peace in Him (John 16:33a), which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). So if you find yourself panicking (tripping) over the troubles and cares of this life, remember that peace is a choice, I doubt you’ll regret making – I know I don’t…

Please note – I am not stating that choosing to be at peace makes all of your troubles disappear, but I believe, and am a witness, that it will have a positive effect on your outlook and attitude, as well as remind you of whom you are putting your trust in.

Stay encouraged!

Better not bitter.

When I spend the majority of my time (even just a quick moment) keeping naysayers, hurtful experiences and people, or those who no longer associate with me (or vice-versa), at the forefront of my mind, it hits me that perhaps I may not truly be unbothered by their absence in my life.

I STRONGLY am down with being able to keep it moving in life, but while moving forward I think it’s a mistake to make your focus all about how others were never for you, or you knew they were whack, or they were only holding you back, etc. Even if all of that is true, glorifying those hurts or people of old, is still making them a prime factor in your life.

Being truly better, for me, involves forgiveness and keeping it moving – no extra comments, no hoping they get what’s coming to them (although reaping and sowing IS a principle). Just trusting and believing that all things are working for my good, and making sure I’m doing what’s necessary to get/stay right (maintaining the right attitude, and working on the character flaws in ME), and pressing on, free of regret, anger, hurt, and bitterness.

That to me is an example of truly living better not bitter, and I’m down with that!

DISCLAIMER: There are stipulations to all things working together (See Romans 8:28). Also, I am not in any way stating or encouraging anyone to pretend being dissed doesn’t hurt, but I am a witness that letting it go (releasing those painful experiences, people, etc.) is far more beneficial, than holding on.

Stay encouraged!

Let me explain.

I am a recovering people-pleaser. Part of this recovery is continually working at being free from always feeling the need to provide an explanation for decisions I sometimes feel lead to make.

In my personal experience, the times I get so wrapped up in trying to justify choices or decisions that do not line up with cultural “norms”, I begin second guessing things, then fall into double-mindedness, which of course leads to emotional instability, all due to trying to make a decision make sense to others (James 1:6-8) – It’s madness, trust me!!

Not trying to get super deep, but sometimes, as a Believer specifically, some choices just will not make much sense to others, sometimes even to ourselves, but we still make them.

In instances like this, let me explain – No explanation required!

DISCLAIMER: I in no way am saying not to be accountable to anyone, but keep in mind, in the end, you only are truly accountable for yourself, and the choices YOU make (Romans 14:12). Stay encouraged!

Much love to all!

One thing I do.

It used to be, and honestly, sometimes still is, extremely hard for me to have peace regarding some of my past actions, whether years ago, days ago, or even an hour ago…

The horrible habit of always critiquing yourself, and thinking about what you could have said or done better in a situation can be a VERY draining occurrence. Don’t get me wrong – I think there is often great opportunity to learn and grow from mistakes, but I think it is very damaging to negatively and/or obsessively dwell on them (I’ve been guilty of both!).

Strive to be a better person – grow, and mature, but in the midst of trusting the Lord (and taking the necessary steps to become better), one thing I do, and will continue to remind myself to do, is forgetting those things which are behind, and pressing forward to what lies ahead (paraphrase of Philippians 3:13b)!

DISCLAIMER: In NO WAY am I saying one should not take responsibility for their actions. You slip up, hurt others or even yourself, be accountable and try to get it right! I just think it’s counterproductive and toxic to one’s growth, to continually dwell and mope about where you are or what you did. With love, and a virtual hug, I say, dust yourself off, and try again! That’s what I’m deciding to do!

Much love to all!

Let’s try this again.

I think there is a certain freedom that comes with being open to having relationships with others (not just romantically). It seems so easy to allow all of the pain, heartache, and regret of failed relationships to hinder you from even wanting to step out and let people into your world again. The crazy thing is, when you build a wall to protect yourself from getting hurt, you of course are keeping out the bad, along with the good. Soon, you’re “protected”, but on an island all by your lonesome.

I guess the risks that come with getting to know people, and allowing them to get to know you, could possibly outweigh the reward of protecting yourself so well, that you never get hurt.

It’s been a bit for me, but I think I am finally ready to let go of ALL of the past relational hurts I’ve held onto for so long, and actually trust, and look ahead to the possibility of some pretty cool connections with others.

To opening up more, and taking the risk to get to know people, while allowing them to get to know me, I say, “Self, let’s try this again”.

DISCLAIMER: When deciding who you open up to, it is always best to use wisdom, and guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23). This is different from being cold and suspicious, but it is being mindful of who you allow to sit in a place of influence.

Much love to all!

You do know how to love.

After a conversation where she is kind or shows someone love, one of my best friends under Jesus often says “I do know how to love”. A paraphrased line Forrest Gump says to Jenny, before he walks out to his porch and awkwardly places his hands on his hips.
She and I giggle about this, but there is truth to the statement; we all are equipped with what we need to show, and be love.

I remember I heard a wise woman speak on love, and she brought up the common excuse phrase of “I do not even know how to love myself, how can I love others?” There is some truth to this, as far as treatment, but this wise woman said in response to that, you wake up and get dressed, you use the bathroom, you make sure you eat during the day (I am sure there are some exceptions to this, but I am speaking to those who can and do these things for themselves). If you can do the bare minimum in showing yourself love, you can do the bare minimum in showing someone else love.

Some examples of these bare minimums are: greeting someone as you pass them, excusing yourself if you bump someone, apologizing if you are in the wrong (apologizing DOES NOT make you a weak person), and at the least, SMILING!

Showing love does not always have to be the extreme of providing a luxury car or an expense free vacation. A lot of times, consistently showing little pieces of love builds stronger bridges, than grand gestures ever could (even though mixing in grand gestures from time to time is definitely not a bad idea 🙂 ).

The point here – don’t make excuses to not be kind and show others love.

You DO know how to love…

Stay encouraged :)