Lost

This past week has been a rough one, each day I felt as though I was trying to muddle through a dark thick cloud of depression. I felt paralyzed, unable to think straight, no motivation to accomplish anything just completely without direction or desire. Lost!

I spent a great deal of time everyday this past week praying for insight. I look around me and see all that God has blessed me with, so why the pity party?

For as long as I can remember, I have always been a pleaser. As a child I would do everything I could to please those around me, sometimes it was to keep the peace and/or stay out of trouble (in our house what was fine one day might not be the next, no consistency) and sometimes it was in the hopes of trying to gain acceptance and love. Either way, I have spent my life so focused on pleasing others that I have no idea who I am or what I am passionate about.

My children are now grown and have lives of their own, I recently retired and my husband of almost seven years is wonderful, supportive and low maintenance.  Because of this I have a lot of time on my hands to do what I want to do, what I am passionate about, therein lays the problem. As mentioned above, I have no idea who I am or what I am passionate about. I just feel lost.

For the first time in my life I am free to follow my passions, to enjoy what I want to enjoy and I have no idea what that is, at least not yet. Up to this point I have been trying to force some sort of, “be passionate about this or that,” and that is not working. I believe one of the answers I received from God today is to stop trying to force something into being and just let things happen (fall into place) naturally. This will take a great exercise of patience on my part, but I have a determined spirit. I want to live in the here and now and embrace each moment filled with passion.

Do you know what you are passionate about or have you lost yourself, like me, because you have spent all your time caring for others and forgetting about yourself?

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Comments are always welcomed!

What Triggered My Reaction

In all fairness let me first state that a few days before my husband’s “thing”, (see post “What are you Focused On”) we did discuss it and I was in total agreement. I was even a little excited, so what happened. What triggered my thoughts, emotions, reaction… the day of the event?

One of the definitions of trigger in the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (11th Edition) is something that acts like a mechanical trigger in initiating a process or reaction.

I believe if the trigger can be found then one has something to work with to aid in change. Often times (at least for me) it is difficult to determine what triggered a sudden change of heart and/or mood. In this particular instance after really analyzing myself, being as objective as possible, I did come to a conclusion.  That being fear of not doing everything perfectly and fear of negative judgment.

Growing up I cannot recall one time when I was told I had done something right, however I can remember countless times when I was told, “you cannot do anything right”. I believed then and I guess I still do, that nothing I do is ever good enough. Because of that belief I was always trying to do better to do everything right, and maybe then I would gain the approval I so needed. Therefore I put an unachievable expectation on myself, I want to do everything perfectly, and when I don’t the words from long ago, “you cannot do anything right” come back to haunt me and the same negative cycle continues.

My husband has told me many times that I need to learn to relax; now I understand what he means. I need to be more confident in knowing that I am doing my best and if my best is not perfect, that’s ok. I need to stop worrying about what other people might think about me and embrace myself and all my imperfections.

Like so many other things, I know that I will have to put this new found knowledge into practice and the more I do so, the easier it will become and the more confident in self I will become.

Thank you for visiting my blog,

Comments are always welcomed!

References:

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. 11th Edition (2012).

What are you Focused On?

Have you ever been around someone in a good mood, what about someone in a bad mood? How does someone else’s mood impact you?

A few days ago I woke up in the wrong frame of mind. I felt sad, angry, depressed and alone. At the time I was not sure why I felt this way, I only knew that I did not want this feeling to set the tone for the day. My time with God that morning was forced, all I wanted to do was to feel what I was feeling, but I made myself pray and read anyway. Afterwards I still felt the same.

I had a lot to do on this day, my husband had a thing (no specifics – I will call it a thing) happening at our house later in the day. I felt as though the bulk of the preparations fell on my shoulders, after all this was his thing, other than the preparation it had nothing to do with me (one of my thoughts at the time).

I went into my office to start preparing for what I needed to do for the day (creating my to-do list) and made myself stop before starting and told myself, “think about what you are thinking about to find out why you feel this way.”

What was I thinking?

  • This is a weekend day at the tail-end of an extremely busy week and all I want to do is relax.
  • Instead of getting to relax I have to do all this stuff and get the bulk of it finished by early afternoon.
  • Later I have to cook and clean up afterwards for dinner guest.
  • None of this is for me, but instead for others.
  • What I am doing is not appreciated.
  • Why does everyone take advantage of me?

Do you notice the theme here – me, me, I, me, poor, poor me. I had put myself into a victims mentality frame of mind.

I knew I needed to change my thinking, so I prayed about it and tried to think about something else. This worked for a couple of minutes and then I found my mind (thoughts) right back where I started. I continued this several times, asking God to change my thinking and found myself back at square one again and again.

As I was driving to the grocery store, continuing the same conversation with God and self, suddenly I was reminded (I believe by God) to stop focusing on the negative but instead be thankful for the positive. So I started stating, out loud, what I was thankful for and by the time I arrived at the store my attitude had turned around 180 degrees and I was looking forward to the day’s events.

It is not always easy to think about what you are thinking about and the difficult task of changing your thinking, but it is well worth the effort. I believe the more I practice this the easier it will become and the more positive I will become.

An even more difficult task is to determine what triggered the thoughts in the first place. I will cover this in the next blog post.

Thank you for visiting my blog,

Comments are always welcomed!

Going, Going, Gone

Have you ever watched a sink or a bathtub drain? The water seems to drain slowly at first and then as the level decreases a water vortex seems to suck the remaining water away quickly. That is the best way I know how to describe how the joy was sucked out my life.

At first I noticed I no longer enjoyed something I once did, and then another and another… This process seemed to speed up the past couple of years, to the point I no longer enjoyed anything. The joy was just sucked out of me. The loss of joy confused me, my life is not that bad and on the surface there is no reason to feel so sad and depressed.

I am a list maker so on my daily “to do” list I always put, do something you enjoy, and even had a list of things I used to enjoy (i.e., drawing, learning to play keyboard…). I thought if I made myself start on one of the items on the list I would magically get my joy back – it didn’t work.

It is hard to explain just how exhausting it is to constantly pretend that you are happy or enjoying yourself. I believe it was this exhaustion that finally caused me to stop running away from the real problem and deal with it, self-hate. If you are not happy with yourself how can you be happy with anything or anyone?

I mentioned in my last post that I was starting to experience joy again. Currently the joy is in little glimpses but still refreshing all the same. These little tastes of joy are energizing and giving me a new sense of hope. I know I have a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but I believe I will get there and I will do it one step at a time.

Thank you for visiting my blog,

Comments are always welcomed!

Putting the Pieces Together

Have you ever put a jigsaw puzzle together? As each piece of the puzzle is connected with another the end result of what started out as a scrambled mess is a completed picture.

Slowly some of those puzzle pieces are coming together for me. Although I still do not trust fully as explained in my last post, “Trust is a Must”, I have learned that I am capable of trusting. Each day I am looking for opportunities to exercise that trust.

When dark clouds start to enter my mind I am making a conscience effort to think about what it is that I am thinking about and shift my thinking in a more positive direction.

As each of these pieces of the puzzle come together they bring with them something I haven’t felt in a long time, joy. I realize that I have a long way to go on this journey; however I try not to focus too much on the big picture because it would be overwhelming. Instead I am embracing the small victories along the way.

Just like a jigsaw puzzle, each piece must be flipped over, looked at and examined before being put into place. Each victory is another completed piece of the puzzle. Little-by-little the scrambled mess I call me is starting to take shape and form a healthier happier person.

If you haven’t already, I would like to encourage you to start working on your jigsaw puzzle today; one piece at a time, little-by-little.

Thank you for visiting my blog,

Comments are always welcomed!

Trust is a Must

 

The walls are as high as the eye can see,

No door to let people get to me.

They can’t get in, I can’t get out

The need for people I forgot about.

This describes the wall I have built around myself, each of the bricks were shaped by negative experiences and are stamped, “do not trust.” I will be the first to admit that I have serious trust issues. Therefore I have always kept people at a distance. Even those I love have no idea of the mental battles I fight on a daily basis.

Unfortunately these same protective walls have caused a life of loneliness. I have no friends because I have not been brave enough to really let people in, to really share a part of me with others. I have spent the majority of my life like this, not realizing that I had to take a risk and open up to let others in, that is until recently.

When I finally stopped fighting myself and asked God to heal my soul I removed the first of many bricks from my wall of protection. Soon after deciding to blog about all of this (which in itself was a frightening thought) I opened up to my husband. Granted my husband knew that I struggled with emotional stuff, but not to what extent. When discussing with him what I wanted to blog about I felt a weight being lifted. At that moment I opened up to him and trusted him fully with my heart. So freeing – another large brick removed.

If you have, like me, built a fortress of protection around you I would like to encourage you to find someone you can open up to, take a risk. The first step is the hardest but well worth the positive returns.

Thank you for visiting my blog,

Comments are always welcomed!

The Root Ball of the Problem


One of the first things I do every morning is spend time with God and it was during this time a few months ago that I was lead to create the lists I wrote about in the post, “Silly Exercise Sparks Change.” On this particular morning I just felt finished. I remembered a post that I saw on social media regarding depression. It read something like “depression is living in a body that fights to survive with a mind that tries to die” (Healthyplace.com). That is how I felt and I was ready to just give up (pretty selfish I know).

It was during pray time on this particular morning that I quit fighting with myself and I asked God to heal my soul. Little did I know that it would start immediately with the two lists (likes and dislikes) and even though it took me a few weeks to find a couple of likes to put on the list, it was during this time that I started the healing process. I believe this is because I had to really look deep down inside of my soul (in search of something I liked about myself) and was able to get to the root ball of the problem. I call it the root ball because I know it has branched off in countless directions. The root ball being, I do not like myself and because of this it has impacted every area of my life.

I am already seeing positive changes in my thinking, feeling and doing. I am beginning to see sparks of joy again and learning how to trust. I will cover more about these in upcoming posts. It amazing how such a small step has started to turn me in the right direction. I have a long way to go, but I know that if I continue to take it one step at a time that one day I will arrive.

This is what is working for me; I urge you to find what works for you and let’s take this journey to loving-self together.

Thank you for visiting my blog,
Comments are always welcomed!

 

References:

Healthyplace.com. https://www.healthyplace.com/. (July 6, 2017).

Setting New Standards

In my recent post “Please Pass the Fickle, Joan commented, “it is easier to overlook our shortcomings and be critical of others. I do this quite often because I am afraid to face my inner-self.”

First and foremost I want to thank you for your comment and let you know that I empathize with your fear and your pain.

I am a word nerd so I decided to look up the definition of shortcomings; according to oxforddictionaries.com shortcomings is a fault or failure to meet a certain standard, typically in a person’s character (Oxforddictionaries). Which begs the question, who sets the standards and can these standards be changed?

I believe that many of these standards are set during childhood, forming a foundation to build on, and we continue to set additional standards through life experiences. I had an extremely abusive childhood, some of the standards (shortcomings) set for me by those individuals that were supposed to love me were; “you will never amount to anything”, “you are worthless”, and “you are unlovable,” to name a few. Thus defining who I was and with this foundation in place I continued to set even more negative standards for myself throughout life.

I personally believe these standards (shortcomings) can be changed, however it will require some real soul searching, difficult emotional work and a willingness to face my fears and slowly become someone I love.

Overlooking our shortcomings may appear to be easier, but this is only in the short-term in the long run doing so is hurtful to self and those we love. I am doing this one bite at a time. The saying is that Rome was not built in a day. I do not expect to change a lifetime of negative condition overnight, but little by little I am changing for the better.

I urge you to find a good starting place, find what works for you. Change your fear into a challenge and embrace the new standards that you set for yourself, not what others have set for you.

Thank you for visiting my blog,

Comments are always welcomed!

 

References:

Oxforddictionaries.com