I have decided to do a little reflecting, in hopes that you will follow my lead and do your own reflecting. Many of us are very hard on ourselves, and we point out our flaws regularly. Taking a few moments to let the truth of how we have grown override the reminders of how we’ve fallen short is one way of combating the negativity in our mind. Perhaps you aren’t as wrapped up in your own failings, but the decisions of others are seemingly destroying your peace. Taking time to acknowledge the accomplishments, as well as growth, will help. It is essential to take time and ponder growth, past, and future.
I will model the S~E~E~P™ method.
This past year I have become more aware of the promises God has kept in my life. 2017 was the first year in a long time that pain hasn’t been a dominant force restraining my personal growth. There is healing that will continue for years to come, and I celebrate the increasing ability I have to see life outside the realm of survival.
Anyone who knows what life in survival-mode feels like knows how limited emotional bandwidth can be and how difficult it is to learn new things. For some meeting, basic psychological needs barricade the ability to step out into the world of others curiously. My paradigm is expanding as I heal.
Today I listened to praise music that I heard when I was in the emotional bondage of my first marriage. I knew God would provide for me. I did not realize, however, how much He had in store for me. Reflecting on His magnificent provision is overwhelming for me spiritually and fills my soul with the affirmation that God keeps His promises and the truth of His word:
1 Corinthians 2:9 New NKJV
But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
I traveled a lot this past year and missed a great deal of church. I have come to realize how crucial regular church attendance is for my spiritual life. I am grateful for my faith community and the people there who love, support and walk with me, but also the leaders who sacrifice, plan and show up repeatedly for the sake of God and the grace poured out through Jesus.
I live in a very safe environment. As a result, the shift this past year has been accepting the challenges that God is calling me to undertake in my situation. I have alluded to the emotional trials I face with the blending of families. I suppose my environment feat this year comes with accepting where God has planted me.
I hope you will discern what I am saying. If you are not emotionally safe, you are not being called to bloom where you have been planted. However, if you feel safe but uncomfortable in your space, God may be calling you, like me, to stretch and grow. That is how we can glorify Him in our discomfort. I have acknowledged and begun to stand up to the part of me that wants to flee troubling feelings. I will resist the tendency to act on emotions as I have in the past.
This year I went on a week-long mindfulness retreat and addressed my lifelong eating disorder. Acknowledging it, and its destructive power in my life was the first healing step that I took. Going to a place where I could learn and grow how to love myself and not let food and body image issues rule my life, has been paramount for me emotionally.
I understand for the first time that I need to set goals and reach for challenges. I was raised in an environment where I didn’t have to face failure because I never tried to do anything too hard. I was blessed with a spirit of contentment. However, I have missed out on the sense of accomplishment that comes with stretching and reaching for things that previously seemed impossible.
I have discovered this past year that I am missing out on the satisfaction that comes from doing hard things. I want to begin making commitments and aiming for things that will be a reach. While I have accomplished great things, I have little experience with setting a goal that seems unattainable. I’ve been too good at knowing my limitations and not stretching them. I believe 2018 will be the year to accomplish something I currently don’t think I can do.
I want to take a sigh of relief here. I have not lost the weight I thought was required to feel good about myself, but I have begun to tame the critical voice which points out my every flaw. Recently I went through old photos and videos with my kids. I was so sad to see how beautiful I was because, in spite of what I can see today, I never felt that way. What a tragic truth to understand. How damaging it has been to allow the part of me to berate the other parts of me for so long.
2018 will be continued healing from those cruel voices.
I will allow self-care to continue to be the foundation of all I do.
I have established boundaries from the unsupportive critics in my life. I can still love them, but I will not be put down by people who do not see in me what God sees me and who encourage me not to take risks. They may not have faith in God, but I do, and He will see me through.
What about you?
You can download my free S~E~E~P™ Journal and do your own reflecting. In the very near future, I will be releasing my SEEP Soul Work Journal. Please know the reasons I am GROWING through many hardships is because I take time to connect with my soul Spiritually ~ Environmentally ~ Emotionally ~ Physically.