Saturday, August 8, 2015
With the challenge at an end, I can look back and appreciate the year. Recently, I met up with my friend that challenged me to go without dating or sexual relations with a man for an entire year. At times it was quite challenging; I think I mentioned last month how I avoided watching any shows and sometimes even Facebook because there were pictures of men. After having lunch with my friend, I realized just how much I've grown, I've learned to love myself more, and that I am worth everything. Most importantly this month I decided to walk in faith. Sometimes when I don't feel well, I tell myself "do as much as you can, it's better than nothing", I'm walking in faith that God will give me no pain and energy to get through the day. When something new is on the horizon and fear starts to creep in, I tell myself about how the Bible has those 365 passages that God tells us to not have fear, He is with us; so I close my eyes and take that proverbial step forward. What I realized was the unhealthy behavior I had before was like a drug. I needed that fix and needed to feel needed. Now, I don't have that need. It's almost like I've detoxed. I don't regret doing the challenge. I'm glad that I did and completed it. Now I can move on to the next challenge.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)
"For we live by faith, not by sight."
July - "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
In July there was a death in the family. Death always makes us look at the mortality of life. Life really is too short. This month I also focused on counting my blessings instead of obsessing over what isn't "right" in my life. Who says it's not "right"? I've really worked on detoxing myself with societal standards. Yeah, I might not look like the girls in magazines or the women on television, but I'm NOT them and I have been through REAL trauma and hell (a couple times) in my life. The scars I do have I wear as a proud reminder that life tried to knock me down (repeatedly) but, I didn't let it keep me down. I'm a survivor. It's taken me a long time to accept that I'm not perfect - but, who the hell is - NO ONE! Jesus is the only person that has been the standard for perfection - and he died so that we can live. What does that tell you - It tells me not to waste anymore of my time with fear or any of that silly business and just have fun. Speaking of fear, I read a devotional recently where it talked about how there are 365 passages in the Bible where God specifically tells us not to be fearful, and that's a daily reminder for an entire year - do not fear, He is with you.
Not that I'm going to go out, kick my heels up, and cause drama. Quite the opposite, I try to stay far-far away from drama. I know I deserve someone who will treat me right, cherish what I do have to offer, and want to grow old together. My delusional thoughts like to keep me knocked down by telling myself that I'm fat, and therefore I am ugly; that I am nothing, and that I have nothing to offer. Lies. When doing devotionals I've read repeatedly how "the devil" likes to tell us these lies because it can keep us from furthering our relationship with God. However, sometimes we have to travel those troubled waters to draw closer to Him - and that's what he wants, He wants US. So, I started doing devotionals learning about God's love, and defining love itself. When I listened to songs, instead of telling myself "that would be nice, if a man thought that way about me" or something along those lines - so I had to recondition my brain, instead of wishing for a silly relationship with an earthly man, I would listen to the song and think about God's love; unconditional and unyielding - much more meaningful than any sort of mortal, flesh ridden love. Next time you are feeling unloved, find your favorite love song, and instead of dwelling on those lost loves, or the love that you long for in the song, think of God's love instead and tell me that you aren't immediately filled with the Spirit.
June - "Dirt Therapy"
Watching television, movies, and even Facebook have becoming challenging. There are pictures of hot men everywhere! My kryptonite; Henry Cavill, Chris Hemsworth, along with any other man at this point. I needed something (other than cold showers) to cool me off. So, why not go in a different direction. Something else that has completely frustrated me this year was the fact that my garden was over-taken my thistle weed! This kept me really busy and it was a great distraction for me. I didn't see it at the time, but I see it now. God always has a plan. It was a wonderful achievement to sit back once the garden was thistle free and really started to fill in with yummy goodness; Zucchini, Spaghetti Squash, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Watermelon. PLUS, with all my hard work in the garden I was able to bless others with amazing veggies.
"Keep yourself busy if you want to avoid depression. For me, inactivity is the enemy." I've found this to be an absolute truth. I definitely have seasonal depression and I realize it is because during the colder months I am less active and feeds a vicious cycle - the less active I am, the more my depression acts up, the more my body experiences pain, and it just keeps going round and around. All of this changes for me around Mother's Day. This is when my family buys a bunch of flowers for my mom and plant them out back. I call this my "Dirt Therapy" - when my hands are in the dirt my entire mentality changes. We all have something that changes those brain chemicals and spreads a little sunshine inside an otherwise dark place. June is also my mom's birthday, so it's a busy month of planting, gardening, and then maintaining. I also made sure my inside plants were cleaned and fertilized. A real gem was going to local stores (Wal*Mart, Loews, and Home Depot were my choices) and going to their gardening centers and checking out their clearance racks... the plants might not look great, but with some TLC they come back and look beautiful. It's another feeling of accomplishment when you can nurse the poor things back to life.
Thursday, August 6, 2015
MAY - Therapy Through Friends
Is talking with your ex ever really a good idea? I know there is a debate if men and women can really ever be "just friends" with no "benefits" - I watched movies where the guys have always commented that men are only interested in women for one thing... so if they are friends with you, they've already imagined having sex with you a couple different ways etc. I would like to believe that men and women could be friends without the benefits and so I set forth with this attitude - yes, apparently I'm that naïve. So, one day my ex and I started chatting through text messages about what went wrong. But, I was proud of myself - I was totally honest with him and told him about my challenge and that I wasn't "in the market". I told him we could be friends but that's as far as any relationship between us would ever go. It was good too to talk things out a little bit, I could have some closure for our past relationship in a way.
May was a great month because two of my long-time friends and I went to the beach! It brought back so many great memories and built some more. Friends are so crucial, they help, support, and keep me in-check! Alcohol is always nice too *wink-wink*. We had plenty of laughs and if I've learned anything in this life it is that you have to laugh! Talking with your friends is truly better than therapy. I think true friendship is a unconditional love, acceptance, and bond between people. You can look like total shit and they still know you and love you no matter what. There were no men, there was no "hooking up" (well, they're married too), and it was only for a weekend, but it gave us time away that was much needed. And while they talked about their troubles and their married lives with children, it's easy for me to wallow in despair. Instead, I really am secure in my single life. For a long time I was so sad and depressed (well, for other reasons too) that I wasn't married and didn't have children, but God has shown me that again, this is my time of rest. I've given so much of myself that it's time to give myself to myself. I don't need to be married and I don't need to have children, I'm happy in my faith that God has a plan for my life. I'm here as a friend, supporter, and whatever else I need to be to help others.
April - In Like A Lion, Out Like A Lamb
With spring comes the renewal of hope and it seems like love is all around, the birds are nesting, couples are coupling, and I'm over here in the corner puking!!
No, seriously though, it seemed like this spring was a little bit of a hill for me to get over. Insomnia had set-in again and my mind was riddled with thoughts of past relationships, wrong-doings, and beating myself up with the reasons why I was so unlovable. Again, I was falling back into my delusional thought patterns. I needed to keep myself busy. So, I finished my second book - like it's that easy! I went through the editing process, again, and again... and again... then we had to figure out the cover and all the little goodies. It kept my mind busy on other things other than being self absorbed, which is exactly what I needed. Keeping busy was a crucial key for me. After the book launch was over, I went directly into the third book, and was advised to take a small break... self-publishing is a lot of dedication and hard work, not that other jobs aren't too. Let's just say it's a well deserved break! However, with a break also came more time for my mind to go crazy again. Finding different things to keep me busy is easy in this day and age. There was Netflix, going out with friends (when I had funds), and taking care of my two adorable nieces. It's a wonderful lesson in life to learn to count your blessings instead of worrying about everything else. I also downloaded this great Bible app that has daily devotionals, which I read before going to bed, and I actually sleep!
So I realized one of my delusional thoughts has been thinking about "why I'm so unlovable" and it's not that no one wants me, it's just as the picture states above "Being single doesn't mean no one wants you it just means that God is buys writing your love story." I've decided to stop asking God for this sort of man or that kind of character, etc. Instead, I want God to take the wheel this time. Like I've mentioned before, I'm not going to be the aggressor (I'm not going to make contact, he will have to pursue me). This has to be on His terms, in His time, and I know when He sends me this person, it'll be just right. But, I'm also at the point in my life where I'm pretty happy being single. I have no real commitments, I don't have to compromise, I have my bed all to myself - and there are plenty of times I breathe that sweetness in and stretch my whole body across the bed and love it! I read a devotional recently where I felt that God is giving me this rest period, because of my past, and this is my time to rest and learn how to enjoy life again, while also learning to love myself.