“You have to step out of your comfort zone, that familiar, cozy place of dysfunction, and be willing to purposely change; make new decisions.” I coached.
With his head down, looking up at me, and a smile on his face, “Surely that should be easy, but I am afraid I will fail, ” he said.
“Of course I don’t, but then again maybe, just maybe, I use these failed relationships as an excuse to stay where I am because I really don’t want to change.” he confessed.
“Wow, did I just say that?” he continued.
And on it goes. Do we really want to change or are we just making excuses to stay in that old comfortable place rather than venture into the virtual unknown with God?
Change is hard. I think we can agree on that.
I, personally, would rather try sleeping on a bed of nails than to change. Even when I know it is what I am being asked to do by Jesus.
It is not an easy process and many times we fall flat on our face at our first attempts to make a change.
When you’re in the process of changing, sometimes you will fall back into old patterns and sometimes you’re going to lose your way and wonder why you’re trying in the first place.
So, here’s my reminder for you:
Patterns that, if not broken, you will live in the rest of your life.
Before, you let these patterns run you – and you let them run you blindly–but now it takes a quality decision to focus on your goal for change.
Now that you see them, trust God to help you make the change. Ask Him to remind you when you start to fall back.
Stuff will continue to come up. Old patterns die hard. But seriously do you want to live in the same spot the rest of your life?
Then we choose differently.
Trust the King who made you to guide you and show you how to surrender that part of yourself that even you don’t understand and help you to change your choices.
I believe in you.
Most of us, can agree, that at some point in the day we come up against a battle. The battle between what we know we truly want to do (what is from our soul) and what our weakness desires to do (from our fears/ego).
It can be something simple that brings about this “everyday struggle. An everyday struggle can be the choice to eat that delish and healthy steamed veggies and fish dish vs. eating the processed junk food. Or something perhaps more severe.
Perhaps your everyday struggle, is choosing that hit of the drug again versus going to that twelve step meeting. Or choosing between shining or hiding your truth out of fear.
Once we begin to perceive our struggles as opportunities for Jesus’ guidance, the struggles become opportunities to strengthen your faith even deeper in that particular area.
We all have an everyday struggle that we face. Paul said in Romans 7:15
“I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong…I often find that I have the desire to do good, but not the power.”
This resonated with me so much. How many times have you had the desire to do good but felt you didn’t have the power to do it?
Verse 23 goes on to say, “But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”
On a day to day basis we come up against those fears of “do I have the power to do this?” I discovered through my own journey, that when I comfort those fears with truth, the fears diminish and truth and courage rise.
What is that truth? Love is more powerful than fear, always!
When a struggle or obstacle arises in our minds where the warfare takes place, I ask Jesus to: give me the strength to deal with this obstacle and struggle through His power and not my own. I ask Him to give me the words, the energy, the actions to do this with confidence and love and peace. Sometimes I am instantly filled with that power, and the revelation that I can lean into Him and He will be my strength and my guide in this journey of change.
If you stop fighting it another plus emerges. You begin to learn who you really are. A divine daughter and son of the King of Kings and He is the one who propels you to great heights in the Spirit.
In accepting and remembering who we truly are, we allow our smallness to diminish and our greatness in Him to really come forth.
Then, you can step out in faith and in truth not in fear and insecurity. Love does that.
You need not do anything to prove your worth, you simple are worthy. How amazing is that?
In remembering these truths, you are filled with energy, confidence, purpose, and the strength to move through the struggle and the obstacle. You are filled with all the power you need to continue to be willing to choose what is good for you.
Remember, you already have what you need. All the love you desire is within you through His power.
Feel it, remember it, move with it.
All struggles are opportunities for you to practice remembering who you really are and how to step back from the wheel and turn it over to Him. When you remember this truth, you are unstoppable, miracles flow, and everything becomes a beautiful journey with deeper growth and joy.
Today, remind yourself of who you already are. Strong, brave, powerful, divine.
Now go out there and change!
I recently was talking to a client that was being so totally honest with me and pouring out her heart, that I, too, began to identify with what she was saying.
Ever have that happen?
This, in essence is what she said to me,
“I spend most of my regular time believing that God has a plan for my life, but then I take most of that time trying to figure out specifically what that is. Knowing that I’m supposed to share my faith with friends and strangers, but usually feeling too exhausted or irritable to actually do it.
I agree that God wants to do great things in my life, but I feel like a failure because all that greatness seems so often submerged in mediocrity. I am exhausted just trying to figure it all out.”
I thought, ”Wow, this is me sometimes. I know He has a plan for me and I know it is big. But today I want to just do nothing. I want to take a nap from all this greatness!!
Hmmmm… Maybe all of this striving, and guilt, and frustration, is actually not what God wants most.
Maybe, what Jesus desires for us, more than anything, is that we recover a pace that allows us to breathe and receive.
Could it be possible, that your most pressing personal mission, is not about you doing anything at all.
Here’s a thought! What if God’s plan for your life right now, was not that you save souls or change worlds, but that you take a nap?
I gave myself permission one day to stop reading, and studying, and writing, and thinking, and doing God stuff, and I simply laid down in our backyard swing by my waterfall.
I purposefully didn’t wrestle with any great spiritual truths, or any nagging questions about the future, or death, or my personal, God-designed plan; I just rested and let my mind wonder. I “considered the lilies of the field” as it were.
I let myself become cocooned in the lightness of His presence without thinking I needed to be “doing” anything else. I drifted in and out of a blissful sleep.
I could hear birds chirping and I enjoyed the fragrance of my Angel Trumpets blooming nearby.
And something really great, and quite spiritual, happened while I laid there.
I remembered how small I am.
I noticed the trees shifting in the wind, and the sounds of birds, and the shade of blue above me.
As I did, I was struck with the thought that God doesn’t just a have a plan for me,
God HAS ME!
It could be true that God wants you to change the world and as a matter of fact, I am sure of it. But more than that, God wants you to find peace in His presence…..
…to be able to rest in the questions and in the undone;
…To pause and realize that His greatest plan is not that you save anything.
You are the one being saved.
If you never went any further than today, I am convinced His highest for you is to have a love relationship with Him that surpasses all else in your life, and to rest in that.
He is not a driving task master.
What Jesus wants to teach us is to live at home in Him. This is not a theology to subscribe to, but a way to live all day, every day.
Living with Jesus has absolutely nothing to do with where you are on Sunday morning at 10:00 and everything to do with following him through each day. He made all of life sacred by coming to live in us and becoming a part of everything we do.
We sometimes over complicate things. The reason people have trouble discovering this reality is because they don’t believe it is as simple as it really is. Living in communion with him is what he shapes in a willing heart as we learn to relax in his love.
Right where you are he can show you how to live at home in the Father, confident in his love, and at peace even in times of trouble
If you are not at rest in God’s love for you, no amount of human contact will fill that void; it can only mask it. Let your loneliness draw you into a greater depth of relationship with him and then a new way of relating to others emerges.
He is the Jesus who has given you freedom. He paid the ultimate price so that you can be free to just love Him. It is in that love that you find your place to just BE! Any service for Him will flow out of that.
So, lighten up on yourself. I give you permission to enjoy your life and to have fun, and enjoy simple trust.
She came with a hoodie covering her bowed head that day. She was very petite in stature and seemed to draw her own countenance within herself as she sat downcast in my office with tears streaming. She had been beaten down emotionally by an abusive and demeaning husband who had a girlfriend and told her she had to live with it.
She came defeated.
She came with no hope.
Her pain was palpable.
I was fairly new to coaching at that time and earnestly prayed for Holy Spirit’s help to reach this new client. Little did I know she was the beginning of Holy Spirit showing me what kind of coaching practice He was calling me to.
I prayed for Jesus to help me really “see” her. Not just the outward appearance of defeat, but to see her.
Let me see her heart Lord!
And when I looked there it was.
And something else…..I had to look close and with faith, but there it was; A diamond that was still buried in the rubble, but there it was none the less–An inner beauty and a love for God.
And in the months that followed in coaching her I witnessed the Holy Spirit transform this buried treasure into a beautiful woman of God who allowed Him to set her free in a most profound way.
It was amazing to watch and to think I was so blessed as to get to watch Jesus open this young woman’s eyes to who she really was all along. This is what she wrote:
When I first walked into Dixie’s home I was at one of the lowest points of my life. I was sad, confused, and hopeless. I felt like a complete failure in life. I had been medically discharged from the USAF after almost eight years of service and couldn’t find a job to support myself and my medical bills. I had also just discovered that my husband had been having an affair for about 6 months. He said he was in love with this other woman, but that he loved me too. So I was pretty much an emotional wreck with all the time in the world to sit and think about how my life was caving in on me. I couldn’t even remember the last time I laughed. I told Dixie I felt like I had nothing to offer anyone and Dixie told me she could help me discover God’s plan for my life. I really didn’t think I could handle sharing the negative pieces of my life with a stranger, but when I spoke with Dixie she was just so comforting. I felt like I was talking to my sister. There was a positive glow that radiated from her and I decided to give the coaching a chance. I’m certainly glad that I did! Early in the coaching I realized that Satan had been lying to me. He’d been keeping me trapped in my past and my negative mindset. The time I spent with Dixie allowed me to recognize my value and my worth as a child of God. I learned to surrender my hurts and mistaken thinking to God. I became aware that God loved me no matter what! I discovered that I had enormous strength through Him and started finding the passions in my life that I did!
She eventually left the area and moved away, and now has a beautiful little boy she delights in.
Years later after her stint with Life Coaching, I was in the area she lived and contacted her to meet for lunch. When I walked into the restaurant all I saw was a beautiful, light of a woman smiling ear to ear from one of the booths. She radiated Jesus! I didn’t recognize the transformation until she jumped up and ran over to give me a big bear hug.
Learning how to really see a person is a supernatural Jesus thing. He is the transformer. It is His eyes we ask for. In the natural we see the outside appearance of a person. But when we ask for His eyes, we see their heart.
People long to be seen. To feel worth it!
He will give us His eyes to really see to the heart of a person. There are so many crying out to really be seen; lost in the world of darkness and pain and feel there is no way out.
Jesus is pretty well-known for his miracles; for beautiful, unbelievable, mind altering, nature-defying acts, and for his teaching; those incredible, wild, heart-piercing words that have shaped our very lives.
Scriptures remind us that it was Jesus’ vision, His divine eyes, that made Him who He was then and who He is now.
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. Matthew 4:18
Do you think He really saw to their core and knew where He would take them?
Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Matt: 9:2
What? What sins? How did He know?
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36
The so called unimportant people. How did He know they were harassed and helpless? He also knew they were hungry. Here come the loaves and fish to feed multitudes…..
When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Luke 13:12
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. John 11:33
He saw their hearts. He felt what they felt!
Over and over again, Jesus shows us that what we see, is as important as what we say, or even, what we believe.
It’s a supernatural gift that God offers; a blessing of the spiritual eyes, to see what other people can’t see, or sad to say, refuse to see.
Too often, we become selective in our sight, and we miss so many opportunities to reflect His character, and in the process, we miss seeing countless people who cross our paths every day; those who spend most of their lives feeling invisible. Even when we meet with believers we many times don’t really see them.
Maybe we have grown hardened, and voluntarily choose to close our eyes, to those we find distasteful or inconvenient or messy. We don’t have time. Perhaps you should read my disclosure of my attitude with a homeless man. You will find it in the archives entitled, The Homeless Man and the Bottle of Tea.
But regardless of the reason, we need our vision restored.
If there’s a prayer the Church can pray today, that will bring revolution to the body of Christ, and life to the invisible people outside its doors, its: “Jesus, teach me how to see again.”
Years ago I conducted support groups for women who were sexually traumatized as children. They came in trembling and uncertain to face their victimizations. Many for the first time ever. They learned that after the telling of their story, and dealing with all the ramifications (grief, shame, horror, anger, etc.) throughout each session, that soon it was time to move on. They then were directed into healing and a new realization of their worth, their callings, and who they really were in Christ. Subsequently, their decision to be free of the past was what set them free. It was a priceless experience for me to witness these women who came in as victims leave the group as victors and take control of their own lives.
By contrast, some of those women shared with me that they had been in secular support groups for years, and each week all they ever did was talk about their victimizations over and over. And they never seemed to find healing. They just relived the past over and over.
You can spend hours and hours working out your past life traumas. You can talk about it all day long.
And many do.
You can trace the root causes of where your pain began and find the ultimate reason why you are so stuck.
Been there too!
But there comes a time in our lives where we finally have to shift our attention, not on the past, but where we would rather be.
And there comes a time when we have to accept that to move forward it is up to us to let go of the pain and start moving.
When we feel like all we are doing is constantly rehashing the past and are not moving forward it is the time to just do it!
The Lord can only fix us when we are willing to let Him.
Sometimes our past has brought us so much attention, and if we were to be honest, we don’t really want to let it go. Even though it is a miserable place to be it feels more comfortable than the unknown. Even when the unknown is the place of finally healing.
Familiar friends, I call them….but very toxic and not our friends at all.
I’ve had at least a thousand conversations with sweet clients and friends about wanting to be unstuck and wanting to see their desires come to pass and find success in life. The ones who truly found healing were the ones who were willing to process the past and take the steps to let it go and find God’s purposes for them today.
Recapitulating the past can provide a lot of comfort and confirmation. And is necessary in most cases to gain understanding of why we do what we do.
But…too much analysis can create a type of paralysis, and work against us, preventing us from moving forward.
Sometimes we can’t see why we were stuck until after we get unstuck.
You have a new path to take, and it looks nothing like your last path.
Don’t get me wrong. We have to look at our past to move forward. As a Life Coach I believe that when what is in darkness within our souls comes to the light with a trusted mentor/coach, the darkness has to go.
It loses its power over us. The power lies in the secret, in the silence.
As an incest survivor it wasn’t until I told someone for the first time what had happened to me that my healing began. The power that secret had over me suddenly disappeared the moment I told.
So, yes, we must tell a trusted coach, mentor, or therapist our story to move forward and get unstuck and sometimes to break generational patterns.
So going there is necessary…
BUT STAYING THERE IS NOT!
Learning to let go of our pain once and for all is a huge step towards being healthy, spirit, soul, and body.
People who hold on to these past hurts often relive the pain over and over in their minds. Sometimes a person can get “stuck” in this pain, in this hurt, in this blame their whole lives.
The only way you can accept new joy and happiness into your life is to make space for it. If your heart is filled with pain and hurt, how can you be open to anything new?
Make the decision to let it go.
Making the decision to let it go also means accepting you have a choice to let it go. To stop reliving the past pain, to stop going over the details of the story in your head.
A very important step is to stop being the victim and blaming others.
Being the victim feels good — it’s like being on the winning team of you against the world.
But in reality, and I hate to say this, but in general the world largely doesn’t care.
Yes, you’re special.
Yes, your feelings matter.
But don’t confuse “your feelings matter” to “your feelings should override all else, and nothing else matters”.
Your feelings are just one part of this large thing we call life, which is all interwoven and complex.
In every moment, you have that choice — to continue to feel bad about another person’s actions, or to start feeling good.
You need to take responsibility for your own happiness, and not put such power into the hands of another person. Why would you let the person who hurt you — in the past — have such power, right here, right now?
No amount of rumination of hurt has ever fixed a relationship problem.
Focus on the present — the here and now — and the joy that you have in the Lord. It is there for your taking…but again, you have to choose it!
Let go of the past, and stop reliving it. You can’t undo the past, all you can do is to make today the best day of your life.
Our lives should not be defined by our pain. It’s not healthy, it adds to our stress, it hurts our ability to focus on the good in us that God put there, and it impacts every other relationship we have (even the ones not directly affected by the hurt).
Every day you choose to hold on to the pain is another day everybody around you has to live with that decision. And feel its consequences.
Let go of the pain. Do something different today and welcome happiness back into your life.
If you need help with letting go of your pain and moving forward, as a Life Purpose Coach, I can help you with that. Click here to read some of my clients’ Success Stories and letters of freedom from the past!
A few years back, (well, maybe about 25) I worked as a Medical Staff Coordinator in the Administrative Department of our local hospital. I had worked my way up from the Cardiovascular Department to the one job that no one else could do, or so I thought. I felt pretty secure in my job, and as a single mom knew that it could only get better from there…
…until the day I was fired.
I was called into the CEO’s office and let go due to layoffs in the hospital in general. The Administrative secretary had convinced the CEO that she could do my job as well as her own, and save the hospital money. (Which sabotaged her own job in the end, but I digress).
Since they were laying off R.N’s due to the cutbacks, I became the sacrificial lamb, the big example for Administration to use to show they were ‘suffering’ as well.
This lay off came as a total shock and I was just so unprepared for it that it took several days for me to realize I had no income or job in the future. As I drove away from the hospital that last day feeling like my life was over, I drove past a huge dirt lot across the street from the hospital.
“You will work there”, Jesus whispered.
“Huh, what? There? On that dirt lot?” I quivered.
“Yes, you will work in that exact place, Dixie. Trust me!” He said.
Two years later, after a stint of working in a nearby city at a medical clinic, I was hired as the new Human Resource Manager and Medical Staff Coordinator of a brand new medical clinic built on that dirt corner where Jesus told me I would work.
Looking back I see now I was primed to learn about surrendering all to God because I was convinced that I was indestructible and I fully believed that my job was safe, and that it was forever. Boy did I need a few lessons.
It is usually at the peak of arrogance that we feel the first blow pointing towards true surrender, and we reluctantly do it because we have to! Isn’t that God’s patient way with us? He allows us to come to the fact that there is just no other choice.
Here are a few things I have learned about surrender along my journey that I share with you…
By the way, it is NEVER easy because we are human. This is how I learned what surrendering means, the hard way, and the TRUE way:
It is usually when there is no other place to turn but to God; we are maxed out of ideas and there is no way out.
There was no way out. I had no choice but to once again surrender my life and my fears of not being able to support my 2 kids, to God. Why is that always the LAST thing we do instead of the first thing?
In the end we have to accept the changes that happened, that things may never be the same as the way they were, and that we get to make choices.
Stop fighting the reality that this is real.
We could be OK with it and flow with God, or be miserable for the rest of whatever time we struggle.
Stop murmuring and complaining!
Complaining only diminishes your faith and robs you of your joy…you believe it when you hear yourself saying it. It makes us pretty unlovely people and we drive others away from us. Who wants to listen to that every time they are around you?
Someone said that non-complaining is a muscle, and as such, it needs practice.
So practice your non-complaining muscle.
What did murmuring get the children of Israel as they wandered through the desert? Nothing, but Quail up to the eyeballs!
Being thankful for what you have, and, here is the key, WHAT YOU DON’T HAVE…..YET!
Know that He always has a plan and isn’t going to let you sink.
Thankfulness is one of the most powerful forces in the Kingdom of God.
If you list just ten things you are grateful for today then suddenly you have “perspective”.
When you live in a state of thankfulness, you see yourself for what you are, and sometimes you don’t like what you see and now have the opportunity to change it.
Never underestimate the power of gratitude when you are trying to surrender. It is like a shortcut, it gets you there really fast, and underlies how blessed you are, already.
It’s not easy to think with gratitude when we feel like we are in the gutter…
…but let’s just get over ourselves already.
Life is not easy for most of us. It is a choice to rise above our situations at every moment of the day.
BE STILL and know He is God!
Whoa, now this is a hard one and goes back to our minds being the battlefield that either makes or breaks us in our storms. Learning to breath, praise and be thankful, and simply just be in His presence, is right where He wants us.
Learning to let go of our fears and let them go to Him and not allow them entrance into our minds anymore is most of the battle of true surrender.
It was not easy, I wanted to scream, list all the reasons why it was impossible, and complain. But I did not.
When we shut up and just BE, circumstances resolve themselves right in front of our eyes.
I practice shutting up all the time now. I know how powerful it is. Talk about the power of surrendering those words of anger! No room to do that when you are sitting in the presence of God almighty!
GIVE UP CONTROL
In my loss of job situation I could not control anything, but I could “intend” to change jobs. But I was pretty much at His mercy in how it happened. I searched, but He is the one who directed me to the right places to find employment. And I did as I learned to take one day at a time and learned to trust instead of fear.
That took a while…I am no different than you are.
With a clear intention I let go of how I thought things were going to happen because I had no control over the “how”.
Sometimes things move way too slow. Sometimes they don’t move at all. We can intend and keep our vision that He is traveling this journey with us and wait for the break through.
Funny thing about the how…when it happens it looks so obvious and is a “Wow, didn’t see that coming”… but we can never anticipate or control it.
LETTING GO OF THE PICTURE
I have always been one who tried to fit everything into a picture I had in my head of how it was supposed to be. It was my place of denial and avoidance. I learned this mind survival skill as a child escaping my perpetrator who was molesting me. It was no longer working for me as an adult, but I was still doing it. I had to stop and face reality.
Sometimes I get what I want.
But the thing that gets me is that what I get is NEVER how I pictured it in the first place.
As surrendering gets more in tune with God we begin to realize that everything we tell ourselves is just a story out of our own minds, based on our own backgrounds. His pictures of us are very different and is the very best for us.
The mind labels things and prides itself in knowing. But what “is” with Jesus always happens beyond the ideas that our minds wants to box-in.
Beyond surrendering we understand–at a intuitive Holy Spirit level–and we begin to live life as a practice of being present for what is arising in this moment, surrendering all concerns to Him as they show up on our radar.
This leads to seeing everything as spiritual. Because this moment, with its infinite possibilities, is sacred. We are spiritual beings even when we don’t FEEL spiritual.
Years ago I was at Santa Barbara City College to witness my friend’s graduation as an X-ray Technician. The campus was teaming with people that day for there were many students getting various degrees and licenses in their particular fields. The event was outside and I sat down on the cold metal chair and then realized I had a while to wait so ventured off across campus to find the restrooms.
I wore a long skirt that day. After using the restroom hurriedly, I started the long walk back to my chair. The whole way there people were staring at me weird.
Some had smirks on their faces and some looked away in disgust. I couldn’t figure out what their problem was and one time I even shot a dirty look back at some guy, like he had a problem or something. I passed many people on the way back to my chair and they all looked away when I would smile at them.
When I finally sat down I felt intensely cold metal on my back side and glanced back. My skirt in the back was completely tucked inside my underwear and my entire back side was exposed to all the ‘millions’ of people that I passed on the way back. No one had the nerve to tell me!
Just shoot me now!
I find it very funny now. Add it to my list of escapades that have provided many chuckles in my story telling on myself.
But back then I wasn’t as healthy, and had not dealt with much of my denial and secrets of years past born out of being a victim of childhood sexual abuse. I sat there the whole event cloaked in shame and embarrassment. I felt exposed and uncovered the whole day and I felt like a child inside with no self esteem who just wanted to run.
Shame is an emotion in which the self is perceived as defective, unacceptable, or fundamentally damaged. Shame is often confused with guilt, which is a related but distinct emotion in which a specific behavior is viewed as unacceptable or wrong, rather than the entire self.
Brene Brown says, “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
Shame is darkness to our soul. We need to learn to recognize it and then let it go into the light of His presence in us.
People who experience traumatic events, mostly in childhood, are prone to shame, particularly if they blame themselves for the event.
Shame gives you a desire to hide, disappear, or even die.
Have you ever done anything you’re not proud of, like feigning a headache to get out of a dinner or snapping at your partner in a heated moment? You mess up, like we all do, and when it happens, you probably feel guilty and convicted to make it right.
Guilt is a normal emotion that people experience when they believe they have caused harm or actually done something wrong. We all make mistakes and those mistakes often affect other people, therefore we feel guilt.
Or there is unfounded guilt, the worst kind. We could come from a family that used guilt to manipulate us all of our lives. Such as, “Okay go the movies son, but if I am dead in my chair when you get back, just bury me out back.”
Now that evokes guilt. Any dutiful son would cancel his plans so that he won’t be responsible for causing Dad to die. The motivation is guilt. But that son will carry anger in his heart, and left undealt with, will be with him through adulthood.
Or how about going to see an elderly parent. The first thing they say to you is “Where have you been? Why haven’t you come to see me?” More guilt, instead of rejoicing that you are there now. The guilt can be so horrible it makes you not want to visit them at all.
But, If your feelings of guilt cause daily anxiety or are out of proportion to the actual mistakes you have made, you might be suffering from an even more toxic emotion:
Shame is what I felt that day I was exposed to the world.
Shame is commonly confused with guilt. People who experience shame often feel bad for every little error they make, and are in a constant state of fear of making more. For this reason, they feel fear around authority figures, judge themselves harshly, and have a low sense of self esteem.
Guilt says I have done something wrong.
Shame says I AM something wrong.
Shame is toxic.
Shame can strip away the joy and freedom that you deserve to experience in your walk.
Shame most often stems from a wounded part of you that was convinced in childhood that you weren’t enough. Though this is not the truth, it may feel that way, as beliefs that you carry for decades become your reality.
Shame can play a very powerful and negative role in your life, but it doesn’t have to. God can heal your feelings of shame and you can start living a happier and more empowered life.
One of the most powerful techniques to healing shame is to practice self compassion. We need to love ourselves. How do we do that?
We begin to treat ourselves and talk to ourselves with the same kindness, caring and compassion we would show a good friend or a beloved child. We find out what God says about us as His precious children and begin to confess that over ourselves in spite of what we feel. We will eventually begin to believe it. It will sink into your mind and renew your mind to truth rather than what you have believed all of your life.
When we practice this, it helps us to feel less isolated and alienated from others. The more shame we feel, the more deficient we feel and in turn, the more separate we feel from others.
Now say those words out loud to yourself. Take a deep breath and really take in those words. How does hearing yourself say those words out loud make you feel? Can you feel your faith grow in your own value in the Kingdom of God.
The more you practice this the more you will believe it. Oh, there will be triggers, (like my skirt incident), that will bring back those old familiar feelings, but pay them no attention…pull out those scriptures and start saying them over yourself again. Sing them over yourself if you feel inclined. Get them into your spirit and renew your mind!
You deserve to be free to allow God to lead you into a life of freedom you truly love and to feel worthy of having it.
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.” NLT(Psalm 139:13-15).
For help with shame issues I would be honored to coach you into freedom. You can contact me on this web site from the home page.