So, I was talking with a friend the other day. She told me she was recognizing things in her life that needed to change. Things like negative thought patterns, unhealthy behaviors etc. Well, the first thing that comes to mind is ” AWESOME!” That is great because you’re not only recognizing the need for change, but you’re ready to do something about it. I was then so excited to talk with her about my personal journey into being healthy minded and aggressive with the “lies” in my life that I was believing.
About two years ago, I FINALLY got fed up with the junk that was rolling around inside. As a Christian, I really had been passionately in love with God for years, but I never really dealt with the heartbreak, wounds or disspointments in life. I thought ” There will always be those wounds, but the God in me is bigger than that, and He’ll help through life despite my “limping”.” WOW.. I could not have been more wrong!
I started seeing a counselor about the struggles I was having. I was expecting him to have the deep insight and revelation as to why I was the way I was, and what I needed to do to “get over it”. So NOT the case. It was a partnership… a “healing dance” if you will, that we danced together. His role? Ask me the right questions…no.. TEACH me the right questions to ask myself. My role? Respond to those questions in complete honesty, and when I dont know the answer… dig to find the answer. I visited this counselor for 6 months, learning how to communicate, learning how to ask the hard questions and most importantly, deal with things, healthily, myself. Even though I had REAL issues that could have kept me in therapy for years, I learned the right way, and am still learning the right way to approach my past, present and future.
My friend whom I was speaking about asked me what I reccommended for her. Should she see someone? What should she do to confront the inner “junk” and move forward? The best thing I think of to tell her was to have a “ME” season. That’s right.. it’s okay to focus on yourself and let go of some things so that you can adequately and honestly adress things in your life without distraction. When I decided to have my season, I stepped down from ministry for a while and spent a lot of time writing things down, asking questions to myself, being honest before God, communicating to Him my hurt, my disspointments. Also, just as importantly, I COMMUNICATED this season of my life to the people around me to welcome insight, accountability,comfort and relationship. This was really difficult for me because I had always been the type of person who would trust ONLY IF they first gave me a reason to trust them. I never took the initiative when it came to vulnerability in relationships. You know, I never realised how many people actually LOVE me, until I out myself out there. It is the most humbling experience I have ever encountered. Then I got a “buddy” Well, a few “buddies” actually. These “buddies” were close friends that would be right beside me, every painful, or victorious step of the way. My roomate Olivia was one of them. I remember coming home and bursting through our apartment door.. ” Olivia! Guess what.. I just got this revelation today! Let me tell you all about it! And so, we would sit on her bed, sometimes for LONG periods of time and she would listen to me explain ( quite fluidly, I’m sure) this NEW thing that I just discovered about myself. Sometimes I’d cry with relief for understanding why this “thing” was the way it was! Sometimes I’d laugh with joy and say ” Duh! That’s why I do that!” It was SO relieving… Do you know, because of those moments of communicating my journey with my friend, she began her own journey and is discovering the healthy way of living life and confronting her own inner “stuff”! I’ve found that many people fall into one of these two categories:
1. They don’t realise how wounded/hurt and “limping” they really are. OR….
2. They realise the wounds, but won’t adress it or even believe that they can be FREE!!!
I was BOTH!
My journey is probably not the same as it would be for you, but I will go ahead and share with you what I did, and some of the questions that l asked myself the provoked thought, honesty and eventually, change.
1. I DECIDED enough was ENOUGH! I was willing to do whatever it took to finally fight, with myself!
2. Started pinpointing obvious moments in life where I remember feeling pain, dissapointment,betrayal etc. Once I got that memory in my head, I went over every detail I could remember, not matter how painful.
3. Then I began to write down AND COMMUNICATE with someone what my findings where. I would as myself questions like:
a. How did you feel about that when it happened?
b. How do you feel about that now?
c. In what areas of your life today can you see the effects from that moment?
4. Dig through the “garbage” to find where the lies emerged from. Lies like: ” People will abandon you,” or ” You’ll probably fail if you try to do this.” or ” Conflict always results in loss of relationship.” . Those are just a few of the lies I had to confront myself.
5. Then, once I identified the ” lies”, I PROVED them to be false. EXAMPLE: If I thought that I would never succeed at something, I purposefully attempted something I was afraid to do! OR If I was afraid the conflict would ruin the relationship, I would sit down with someone and say… ” Ok, confront me on something! This is a safe place. And after you confront me on something, and we talk about it, Im going to confront you on something!” It was sooo great. My friends and I had a really great time just being HONEST!! And we were closer because of our authenticity.
Once you start experiencing freedom from the lies, freedom to pursue relationships, love and the dreams God has put inside of you, you will never be the same again. But I have to tell you, it was not easy, nor was it pain free. It’s a process that I live out every single day of my life. I want to continue to be FREE and unhindered, not only from my past, but from the crud that WILL happen possibly today, and if not today, certainly in the future. Again, my journey may not be the same as everyone else’s, but the result is FREEDOM!
REMEMBER.. a ” ME” season doesn’t mean you withdraw from people in your life. On the contrary involve them, and maybe even ASK them to be part of this time in your life. Communicate, be authentic and vulnerable, and you will find that there are so many warm bodies around you, supporting you and encouraging you, with a level of love and acceptance that leaves you humbled. And I guarantee. you WILL be an inspiration to someone else along the way.. helping them to FREEDOM. Let’s do this!