March 11th, 2013
Last night I watched a video clip on stress and how it can affect your body. Not only can it cause you to gain and store body fat in your abdomen but over long periods of time it can also start killing brain cells and cause damage to our chromosomes. This damage is causing us to lose memory and create learning disabilities.
Life is going to happen, but it truly is up to each person as an individual how they choose to allow life to affect them. It is extremely important to care for ourselves in the best possible way or we become of no good use to anyone else. Later in the video the neuroscientist explained that they have found a way that heals the damage stress can do. They studied a group of mothers who all had children with special needs. They found plenty of the damage stress had caused these mothers over an extended period of time. However, the mothers began to meet together and share their experience, fears, struggles and joys. After a while of these weekly meeting taking place the neuroscientist found that the damaged cells began to regenerate and heal. It was because of the hormone that is released when we are able to have compassion and help one another that did this.
I have been going through a lot of stress in my life especially this past year. Some I have created and some stressors were just what life handed me at the time. I am finding that it really is my CHOICE. Now I take a step back when something starts to stress me out. I realize that I do not have control of everything and I start to focus on what I do have control over. Then, and only then does that stress lessen.
I am choosing for these stressors in my life NOT to affect me in the way they have been. My health and my happiness is too important for me to do otherwise. Life is hard, and if I want to enjoy life I realize there are somethings I have to change. Starting with the way I see things… When a person undergoes long periods of stress your body starts to deplete the “feel good” hormones. It gets much harder to see the good in each day. This can be changed! You must make a conscious effort to be more thankful. Look for the positives in each situation and practice letting go of the things you have no control over.
In these moments I have found it helpful to ask myself “what do you need?”. Then I act on whatever it is I need. That is what it means to take care of yourself.
Everyone (I believe) wants a good life. People want to be happy. I believe to get that we have to be willing to change things (just like the saying says) or things will never change. It may be a natural response to say well “if ____ then I would be happier”, that may be true but even in that situation you are still left with a choice. How are you going to let that to continue to affect you?
Personally, I have noticed too much damage from the stress I have been under for such a long time. I am more afraid of what this kind of stress will do to me long-term than the issues I am actually stressing about. I want to be happy and have a good life. I want inner peace. I want to ENJOY my life, make good choices have a good relationship with God and others and have love and acceptance for myself. In order for ME to do that I have to start looking at my situations differently. I have to start taking better care of myself. I need to focus more on myself and less on other people places or things that stress me out so much. For some people this may be very easy. Because of how I grew up this did not come natural to me. At this point I don’t care how these reactions come to me as long as I get them.
My safe place.
So lately I have been having a difficult time accepting things that I have no control over. Big surprise right. Well this morning in the middle of one of my small melt-downs (yes I have had quit a few) I started to talk out loud to myself. Just for the record I don’t really care what anyone has to say about talking out loud to yourself. It works for me when I need to use it :) Like I was saying, I started to talk to myself about how I felt in regards to the thing in my life that I do not have any control over. Then I reminded myself that even though I feel unsafe in those things that I can’t do anything about, there are still things that I can do something about. Such as my own life, personal goals and how my day goes. I have control over me and that is where I am most safe. Handling my side of the road. What everone else does with thier side of the road is thier business and if over time I feel that it is no longer healthy for me to be involved with you and your side then I will do what I need to do in order to best take care of me. I am coming to a place of understanding with this (sllloowwwlyyy but surely non-the-less) It is okay for me to put me first. When I learn to care for myself I can better care for others the way I am supposed to. I am use to caring for others in a more unhealthy way. I have always felt that I needed to rescue because “I was strong”. I would put my own needs aside to make sure all was well in the world. Even if I am strong (because I am) it is still necessary for me NOT to neglect myself. If I neglect my own needs and try to care for yours I am not only hurting me but I am also hurting you. I may have to talk out loud to myself a few more time but I will get it. I will be content and accepting with what I do have control over. Accepting what I cannot change and learning to change what I can. That is where I will LIVE life and stop surviving it! My safe place is where I have understanding right now, the things I am sure of. I may not be sure of all of the things I would like to be but I am sure of what I need for now. I am secure in the fact that I know what kind of life I want for myself. One of peace, a lot of joy, friends, wisdom in being able to handle the hard stuff with a good and level head on my shoulders. A life without grudges or resentments… Bottom line is that in the midst of chaos I hold on to what I am sure of and what I do know and let go of what is confusing. That is where I can find a little peace of mind. Life is good. Even though I face a tough circumstance in this time of my life it isn’t the ONLY circumstance in my life. I have others that are not so tough. Some circumstance in my life that are good! I can get through this. With the help of God I am.
August 14th 2012
Trust: Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
This is where I am right now. I am learning to re-learn to trust, in myself and in God. I was recently doing some personal inventory on my way back from lunch one day in my car and had to come to terms and admit to the basis of my trust problem with God (because I mentioned that I am also re-learning how to trust in myself this may sound contrary but I’ll explain).I came to the conclusion that I honestly believe that I can do a better job than God can with my life. I said it out loud to myself that day and to God. I heard how crazy that sounded but it is the absolute truth. It goes back to what I have said in previous blog entries, the faulty believes we have in our heart growing up. I relate to God in the same way I relate to everyone else in my life that was supposed to be reliable. I can say about 90% of the people in my life who I was supposed to be able to depend on for safety, security, provision, love…etc… have failed me. This has happened to a lot of us. These people in our lives did not always do this intentionally. Most of them have things they faced that they themselves were not able to overcome, therefore it fell back on us. Well, because of this the belief towards God in my heart is, “If you are supposed to be a “dependable” figure you will most probably fail me”. You will forget about my circumstance, never get to it, or you will see that it is not as important as other things. This all goes back to how you see yourself. Another false belief that has been written on my heart because of being left by my parents at a very young age is “I’m really not worth it.” I can deny it all I want (and I have out of pride and defense) but that is what is comes down to.
Now because of my “trust issues” I have tried just about every other way possible to fix, fill, or move on past this point in my life without completely trusting in God. I thought no, no… There is another more dependable way to go about this “I will handle it”. This is all because I simply do not see myself correctly yet nor do I see God correctly yet, but I am getting there! I’m not saying I have no trust in God. Usually, I just kind of go back and forth between trusting in Him and trusting in my faulty beliefs. Some days are better than others. Right now that is just where I’m at. I consider it progress that I have been able to acknowledge this. I have much more support and many more tools now to help me get to the place in trust that I want to be. This is a part of my self work. It will happen.
There is an immense importance in self work. One of the best gifts you can give to others and THE best gift that you can give to yourself! Like I’ve said in other posts, everyone has a story and everyone has a past. I am a firm believer more so now than ever that everything we have experienced growing up has written certain beliefs on our heart. These beliefs cause us to function in a certain way today. Ever tried to work on a particular habit or issue in your life and maybe even felt progress on it then somehow in a situation found yourself doing or thinking that very thing all over again!? Well there is a reason for that. Many people try to fix all the outside secondary habits and issues without actually getting to the real root or reason for it. Fixing the outside will only get you so far for only so long. There is a root, a root belief that has not been altered and until it is altered that thing may never change. Sometimes it takes people a great loss or traumatic experience for that belief to change and then their behavior to follow. Others, however have to purposefully cause these alterations (choose/ allow them) to happen with the help of God and other given resources for the specific need.
The fact of the matter is that we see these beliefs as true, and rightly so. We have learned them from life experience and have a bank of valid memory to back them up. It really comes down to one question ” Are we really willing to ask ourself why we do this?” Then be further willing to give up what we considered to be true? If you sincerely believe in your heart that all men are cheaters (This is a common example so I’ll use it. Sorry guys!) and you have a bank of valid and very hurtful memories to back that up, would you be willing to step back, lower your guard and let go of the solid belief that ALL men cheat? Maybe in doing so you will find that there may be something in you or your life that has drawn you to cheating men (or them to you). Why not allow yourself the time to heal and grow from that so that not only do you no longer enter a relationship with a cheater but you no longer have to carry around all of those walls you had to build in order to guard yourself. Life is much more less burdensome with out all those walls we build.
I have many of theses false beliefs and I am in the process of discovery and putting these very things into practice. The root usually comes down to our belief and perception of self. If your mirror site is jacked up your site of everything else will be too.
Dealing with your stuff is not easy, and denial can creep in quickly. In fact most people rarely follow through. My “Tips” tab lists some of the things I do to help push myself forward. Because you are choosing to face things you would normally (possibly subconsciously) avoid you may have a lot of rough moments. Your first response may be to revert to how you have handled things all of your life up until this point. I know mine was. Push through it. The journey is worth the reward. Self Work is all about taking responsiblity for yourself and leaving the thoughts, actions, and beliefs of others alone. Give yourself the opportunity to know yourself well, accept yourself, be content where you are and in that be able to more freely give to others and move beyond what may have kept you in the past. If you are harboring jealously or insecurities for instance how will you ever be able to see other people you are threatened by correctly? Or if you lived fear based (fear of hurt, fear of failure) what will you hold back from doing? You are missing out. Married or single this can be done!
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