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!

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