College, Marriage, Ministry, Hustling, Survival, Adoption… each one like a natural disaster and I’ve not rebuilt. I read a book one time that mesmerized me, it was well written and I was mid flight to Bolivia, fully immersed when someone told me that it had come out it actually wasn’t a true story. I was devastated to learn this whilst in the middle of the book, but it turns out it didn’t make that big of a difference in reading it, and I think later I donated it. I think it was super dramatic, but at this point in life I only remember one part. The part where he realizes he hasn’t, and can’t, look at himself in the mirror. I have been there. On so many occasions. Currently when I am led astray, (Prone to wander, Lord I feel it!) I have on occasion forced myself to look myself directly in the eyes. It started at one point when I was very, very low, and I looked myself in the mirror………. and I didn’t recognize myself. I scanned over a few unfamiliar features… and stopped at the eyes. It was only then that I realized I had been avoiding my own reflection for quite some time. And it occurred to me that even when getting ready to go somewhere I still didn’t ever make eye contact. So When I accidentally did, I was frozen. I was speechless. I was……
I stayed frozen to the reflection of my own eyes and watched my lips speak.
Heard a quiet, small voice escape from within me.
Who are you?
I am so sorry.
I have abandoned you.
I have forgotten you.
I… don’t know who you are.
I stared. I had grown old. I had aged without knowing it. I could see some of the stress and trials, the anxiety, the sorrow, the disappointment, the unanswered questions, were visible in my skin, my hair. Thinking about the stress and the aging and my life, was like in video capturing or editing(i am not sure which it is), when the person is standing still and everything around them is a rapid blur.
I thought of myself as a child. Was she still in there? Am I still… her?
I want to find you again.
I want to know you.
I am so sorry.
I have lost you.
Lord help me find her again.
I’m going to find you again.
So now I have been in the steady and intense process of rearranging my life and rebirthing into a new person, as I have always done. To me it feels like a rebirth and a new person with each season, as time has continued on and I have more wisdom from each experience. But I also simultaneously feel I am uncovering my old self from where it has been buried, underneath pain, survival… life. So it is part rebirth, and part restore.
I have not been able to watch television in so long, other than several office marathons, and I ended up watching Downton Abbey all the way through twice. No other show has proved worth it in about 13 years. But one part in Downton Abbey I will never forget is the part where the ladys maid thinks she is being replaced after all she has done for the countess, and feeling completely fed up, devastated, and enraged with the situation, she leaves a bar of soap and its residue beside the tub and walks into the other room, knowing the countess will slip when she gets out. As she walks into the other room, she stressfully pauses, she looks into her own eyes in the mirror and says, “this is not who you are”. She starts to speak to stop the countess from getting out of the tub, but it is too late, she has slipped and ends up losing her unborn child.
This scene shook me, because I have actually said this to myself in the mirror. So many times. I don’t know when it started but I have made mistakes, slipped up, strayed off the path, and I have had to remind myself in so many dark moments, that this is not who I am. It might be something that I am going through or a bad choice that I made, but it is not me. It might be a mistake I have made, or a poor judgement, but it isn’t… me.
I saw an inspirational video online at one point that made another shift in my mind, where he said, you aren’t depressed, you are experiencing depression. You might HAVE depression, but stop saying you ARE depressed. [vid at bottom of post] I haven’t necessarily changed the way I speak although that is important for sure, but I have changed my thought process about some of these things. I experience depression and I experience anxiety, but that is a part of the human experience and it is something I walk through, like a fog, or a storm, but it isn’t me. I have been talking to several people lately who have made pledges to end destructive behaviors in their lives, or to stop supporting systems of oppression that degrade other human beings, or to finally break free of the chains of various addictions. Something I keep telling them, is that this is not you. This is something that you have participated in, but you can leave. This is something you have chosen and made bad judgments surrounding in the past, had poor boundaries, or used it to comfort yourself from other problems that went unsolved. Its a habit, a crutch, a dirty secret, and a waste, but it isn’t you.
You are the one who is making this pledge. You are the one who is saying I have had enough, that is not who I want to be. I should probably turn this into a separate post before I go into one of my classic motivational speeches, so I will wrap this portion up by saying, you can do better. You can BE better. In Jesus Name, you will be healed. You can be free, and he can help you break every single chain. Trust me because I have been there, there will be a day when you look back and can’t even recognize who you were back then, so wrapped up in bondage. Can’t even relate to your old self because you don’t even have that brain anymore. You will look around and see others who don’t understand the seriousness of what they are doing. The frogs, sitting in the water as the heat slowly and gradually cranks up to a full boil. People love to call other people sheep, but I prefer the frog analogy. Yes there are a lot of sheeple who are easy to herd and effortlessly jump off cliffs, but there are also a lot of frogs out there who think they are just chilling in some water and are comfortable there, comfortable with their own demise and death. Is what you are doing benefiting yourself and others? Then stop. Is this your best self? No not your survival self, this is the best I can do, I will change later, what is the point anyway- no, point blank,
Then start walking towards you. Start walking towards your best self. Run if you can, but lets start with a light jog so we can build up endurance. You can do this. God won’t give you more than you can handle. And honestly? I think a lot of us have some weird issues with our relationship with God. TALK to him. I talk to him outloud all day. Its weird but its me. Tell him everything. He created you, he knows you. Do you really think its an issue to tell him you are angry, exasperated, confused, at your wits end, desperate, disappointed, frustrated, tempted? it isn’t. Of course, you need human support and accountability, but God understands every single facet of your dilemma. Humans have NOTHING on the level of empathy, compassion, grace, understanding, and SUPPORT of the one who made you. The one who knows all. The only one who truly knows how hard it is for you!
Can’t stop escaping into the world of porn? Scared to talk to God about it? Why? You think he doesn’t already know? SO talk to him. Build a relationship. Really suffering and wanna go back to the comfort of drugs? Stop yourself, and think, is this what you really want? Do you really want to tackle addiction… later? What if there is no lateR? What if now, is literally the only option. What if there is a path, a way out, right in front of you, and you are actually considering going backwards into a nightmare?! What would your loved ones want for you? If you don’t have supportive loved ones, what would you want for yourself? When you were a child, still full of light and hope, was this what you would have chosen for yourself? If you hate yourself and can’t imagine what you would even want for yourself on a soul level, then think of the one who loves you above all. What would God want for you? He is there ready to guide you.
YOU GOT THIS. I BELIEVE IN YOU. I KNOW IT CAN BE DONE.
Point blank: it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about you. If they think this is just who you are, it isn’t. You can be more than this. You ARE more than this. lets get it.!
The following is an affiliate link to a book a family member gave me several years ago- its filled with 365 Expert Tips for a Healthier, Happier You! Super easy to read- literally just one page at a time, perfect for anyone struggling who just needs some simple reminders that take just a moment to read and keep in mind. I highly recommend it. 🙂
Couple of quotes from THE OFFICE, in case you need comic relief, and the episode numbers, in case you need to watch em and have a good therapeutic belly laugh 🙂
Darryl: [Andy walks in Darryl’s office] We should schedule meetings, because the days can slip away with chit-chat. Are you crying?
Andy: No I’m just sweating.
Darryl: I don’t know who’s got you upset but my advice is stop crying.
Andy: I’m not crying I’m just sweating.
Darryl: Look you need to pick yourself up. Man up, alright? You will win this in the end. It’s all about heart, and character. Be your best self.
Darryl: I have no idea what his problem is, that’s just my standard advice. It’s good advice right?
[season 7 episode 4]
and if you wanna see Darryl Philbin in a hilariously relatable depressive funk: [season 8 episode 3]
I decided to stay home, eat a bunch of tacos in my basement. Now my basement smells like tacos. You can’t air out a basement. And taco air is heavy. It settles at the lowest point. 😂
Here is another video I liked, I particularly loved the African Proverb:
When there is no enemy within,
the enemy outside, can do us no harm.
reminds me of my favorite,
If God is for us, who can be against us? (in college i painted this on to my car windshield with stencils because I just felt it so powerfully.
One thing this video reminded me of- is my pets. I have 3 dogs and a cat, and we have several baby gates installed or standing throughout the house, they spend a lot of time somewhat separated because they each have issues that overwhelms the other, the puppy jumping on the elderly one, the aggressive one getting predatory triggers over the smaller ones, and so on- plus I cant have anyone murdered over food or getting hurt or destroying the home (some days I feel like Im running an animal sanctuary and training facility for special needs animals but back to my point) 2 are also crate trained. There have been many times where the door to the crate, or the door to outside, or the baby gate will close on its own, and be cracked, and the animal thinks its trapped, and will cry or bark over the barrier, and not realize, that with just one nudge of the nose, they will be free again. Sometimes when I’m waiting for baby to sit so she can come out of her crate, she will be wiggling excited to get out but not realize the crate is already opened! Honestly, I feel like God opens doors for me right and left and then listens to me cry because I don’t realize the path he has created for me to be free!
The other night I was just telling God how stagnant I felt and how I was trying to climb out of it but not getting there very fast. I found out there is a JANE GOODALL documentary on hulu, you guys have to check it out! It is all footage that was previously thought lost, and Janes thoughts and story. When I was a young girl I kept a Jane Goodall book in my underwear/sock drawer. I don’t know why, it just felt sacred to me. Somehow I had a pull to Africa my whole life, in small ways, and have always loved animals. At the moment I am the Jane Goodall of feral cats, there is an entire cat colony I have been feeding, observing, and bonding with for several years on a daily basis. My ultimate goal would be a somewhat wild sanctuary where they can be free but protected and safe, and have better access to nutrition and healthcare. It is very difficult to watch them fight or baby kittens to struggle. I also feel like the Jane Goodall of rescue pets with issues but that is another blog post for another day. So I love chimps, I love her work and her spirit, how she lived her life and I related to SO MUCH of what she expressed in the documentary- I ultimately felt revived and alive after watching it. If you relate and are interested in things like that- please inspire yourself! 🙂
IVE BEEN WATCHING ThiS SKIT FOR YEARS AND CRYING EVERYTIME PLEASE WATCH!!!! GODS GOT YOU!!!!
HAVE A BEAUTIFUL DAY!!! 💋🙏🌺🌈✨🦊🌞🌍🍄🦄💚