It’s All About Perception

It’s All About Perception

Good Day Friends!

Today I’m thinking about how we perceive certain things in our lives and how much perception makes a difference in whether or not we have a good day or a bad day. Sometimes, we are unable to avoid bad days, but overall, I believe perception determines whether we allow those bad days to control the decision we make.

I believe that one way we overcome life struggles is to perceive our struggles in a positive aspect. I see a lot of post about how changing our mindsets is important to achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves. Even God says that we have to renew our minds each day in order to live a more fulfilling life.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.  -Romans 12:2

I love how it says that God’s will for us is “good and pleasing and perfect”!

I used to think that being diagnosed with mental illness, lupus, and fibromyalgia was the worst thing that could have ever happened to me. I truly thought my life was over, but then I realized it was just the beginning. Changing my perception helped me to realize that I can use this new diagnosis to my advantage.

Changing our mindset or how we view our circumstances helps us forgive those who have hurt us, it helps us to accept our current situation; good or bad, it helps us to have courage to overcome future obstacles, and it helps us to let go and not sweat the small stuff and become more appreciative. Changing our perception also helps us have more faith in God; that He will deliver us from whatever is going on and like scripture says, it will be “good and pleasing and perfect”.

When I decided to change my perception, I asked God for His help and of course He came through with His promise of changing how I think. Fact of the matter is, God will pursue us. He will find ways to get our attention. He will allow things such as illness’ to get our attention so we can actively seek Him, so we can have a close relationship with Him.

He will use our struggles as a chance to get closer to us. God wants us to have a relationship with Him. He wants us to spend time with Him, just like a Father who wants to have a relationship with his children. His love is neither conditional nor passive. I believe God has used mental and physical illness to get my attention so He can have a close relationship with me. Let’s face it. When I was healthy, I really didn’t seek God. I wasn’t concerned with having relationship with Him. I was so wrapped up in my own life, only seeking what I wanted.

When He uses such things are illness’ to get our attention, God doesn’t just sit back and expect us to fight it alone. He fights for us!

The Lord is a warrior: Yahweh is his name. -Exodus 15:3

“Don’t be afraid. Just stand still ad watch the Lord rescue you today… The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” -Exodus 14:13,14

Truthfully speaking, my life has gotten better because of it. Why you ask? Since I’ve embraced that this is the current season in my life, it has inspired me to do the things that I’ve always wanted to do. For instance: I am unable to hold a full time job because of this condition. Since I cannot work, I am able to spend more time with my children. I am able to be at home with them more. I am able to connect with them more. I am able to put more time and effort into starting my own business. I am able to concentrate on starting and sustaining my writing career. And more important, I am able to help people by sharing my struggles and helping them overcome theirs. It truly is the best feeling.

Since my diagnosis, I’ve grown closer to God which is awesome! I feel His presence more and more. I feel His unconditional love like never before. I am able to appreciate life more. I am able to slow down and enjoy sunsets. I no longer desire death when I become overwhelmed. I no longer desire to give up. I’ve shed most of the pain that has been apart of me most of my life. I am free from shame, guilt, and condemnation from the enemy. I’ve been able to forgive and forget. I’m eating healthier and I’ve been motivated to work on my dreams.

My diagnosis has been the best worst thing that has happened to me. It has given me a testimony to share with others who are in same boat as I am.

When changing our perception, it is helpful to remember:

  • Gods love is faithful and good (Psalm 36:5)
  • All we have to do is slow down in our self-efforts and allow God to guide our steps (Psalm 37:23)
  • We are safe and secure in Gods love (Deuteronomy 33:27)
  • We are sheltered by His presence (Exodus 33:14)
  • Allow His knowledge to wash over us (Romans 1:19,20)

“Remember, it is not your weakness that will get in the way of Gods working through you, but your delusions of strength. His strength is made perfect is made perfect in our weakness! Point to His strength by being willing to admit your weakness.” -Paul David Tripp

Thank you all for reading my thoughts today. I pray that you all are having a wonderful day. As always, I appreciate everyone who takes the time out to support my blog. Please remember to pray for one another. God bless you!

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. -Isaiah 64:4

 

Taking Thoughts Captive

Taking Thoughts Captive

Good Morning Friends,

I have been struggling lately. I have been struggling to find the time to do the things that I love; blogging and spending time with God. Sometimes I question, it is laziness or mental illness. There have been a few days where I do nothing but cry all day and other days where I do the bare minimum. I know that those are the symptoms of deep depression; the same symptoms that I experience at least once a month, so does that mean that I’m in denial?

When I go a period of time having really awesome days, I forget that I struggle with mental illness. I forget that one day, deep depression will come rushing back like a flood and try to destroy the hope that I have built up over the past few weeks. Even though it happens time and time again, I always feel thrown off and unprepared. Like, “wait, what? Why is this happening? Why am I so sad?” Then I have to claw my way out like a tiger trapped in a pit of sorrow and self-pity.

I’ve come to the realization that I have to push through and force myself to do the things that I love even though I may not “feel” like it. One thing that I have learned is that feelings lie to you. Feelings have the ability to make or break who you are and what you want to become. I will never become a successful writer if I only blogged when I felt like it. And even though I have a condition that makes it more difficult, I will not allow it to become a crutch nor an excuse for failure.

I see people using mental illness as a reason to feel sorry for themselves, for not accomplishing their goals, for being mean and disrespectful, or even falling back into harmful, risky behaviors. Mental illness is just like any other illness. Yes, it can cause limitations. Yes, it has the ability to delay goals and aspirations that you have set for yourself in life, but it is no different from any other illness that others face on a regular basis.

For those of us who struggle with mental illness, it does not define us or make us who we are. It’s just a challenge that we have and EVERYONE has a challenge that they have to face in life. It’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves and boo-who to and from the doctor’s office. It’s easy to allow the feelings of hopelessness to plague our minds and entertain the thoughts of suicide. I see so many of my brothers and sisters “talk” about how mental illness is ruining their life, but I see few talk about what they are doing to overcome it (besides taking medication).

How do we do that? How do we overcome the sad days and push through thoughts of suicide and hopelessness? The answer is right in front of us. BELIEVE IN JESUS AND HIS TRUTH!

I believe in Jesus’ truth because when I am doing well, when I am having good days, I believe that I am loved. I believe that life is worth living. I am able to look at up the clouds during the day and the stars at night and see the beauty of the universe. I am able to see how glorious it is to hear my children laughing and playing and causing all kinds of “kiddy hell” in their rooms. I can see that. But when the dark days come, I become wrapped in my own pity. I can only see how badly I’m hurting and how dark the world is.

Life isn’t about how dark the world is. The world has always been dark since the beginning of time, but there has always been beauty forged from the darkness; art, love, and redemption. You’ve had artist struggling with their own mental illness make history by painting, drawing, or singing about their pain. Lives have been changed for the better because of it.

Jesus is the truth. He is the way to true freedom (John 14:6). He is the light to get through the dark days. Darkness cannot outdo light. It’s virtually impossible. Allow Jesus into your heart and allow his light to shine through when those dark days come. When you don’t feel like doing what you love, press into Jesus who loves you! Take a breath and ask for strength to get through it because you know one day, you’re going to wake up and be able to see the beauty of life once again. That won’t be by chance or accident. It will be because of God’s mercy and love that he has for us.

Thank you for reading my thoughts today. Usually today I would post Funny Friday, but I had to get this off of my chest. Please remember to pray for one another. Love you all and God bless each and every one of you.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” -2 Timothy 1:7

Funny Friday

Funny Friday

Hey Friends!

I’m so glad to be back. Writing is the source of my calm. Even if I wanted to stop ✋, I couldn’t! It’s my life’s passion. It’s like breathing for me. Do you have a passion like that? Do you find yourself missing something that used to be your “calm”?💆🏽‍♀️ Make sure you make it a priority to get back to doing whatever made your heart flutter. 💕We all need a healthy escape from life sometimes. 😉

Anyway, welcome back to Funny Friday! I pray that you all have a wonderful weekend filled with many blessings and Gods endless grace and love. Please remember to pray for one another and don’t forget to laugh! 🤗

A BUS FULL OF UGLY PEOPLE

A bus full of ugly people had a head on collision with a truck. When they died, God granted all of them one wish. The first person said, “I want to be gorgeous.” God snapped his fingers and it happened. The second person said the same thing and God did the same thing. This want on and on throughout the group. God noticed the last man in line was laughing hysterically. By the time God got to the last ten people, the last man was laughing and rolling on the ground. When the man’s turn came, he laughed and said, “I wish they were all ugly again.”

Funny Friday: How To Tie A Tie

Funny Friday: How To Tie A Tie

Hey Friends,

Hay, hay it’s Friday! This weekend is exciting because my two little nuggets will be turning 10 and 12 years old. I still can’t believe I’m a mom to a preteen. The past 12 years have gone by so fast. I’m thanking God every day that he has given me the chance to be their mom. All my children are great kids; polite, funny, kind, considerate, warm-hearted…I can go on and on about how wonderful they are. They are truly the reason I’m still alive.

Anywho, let’s get to it. Today’s Funny Friday is brought to you by GreatCleanJokes.com because you know of course this is a Christian, family blog and I have to have clean jokes on here. Although I must confess, I’m always tempted to throw some dirty ones on here every once in a while. I hope you enjoy it.

I pray that each of you enjoys this wonderful weekend. Please remember to pray for one another.

On the day of my big job interview, I woke up late. Frantically I threw on a suit. “OH NO!” I thought. “MY TIE! My Dad was out of town and wasn’t there to help me, and for the life of me I did not know how to tie a tie! I grabbed a tie and ran out the door. “Excuse me sir,” I said to the crossing guard, “I have an important job interview, can you please help me make this tie?!” “Sure” said the guard, “just lie down on this bench.” Well if someone was going to help me I wasn’t going to ask any questions. After he finished and the tie looked good I just had to ask why I had to lie down. “Well in my previous job I learned how to tie tie’s on other people when they were lying down. He replied. What was your previous job? I asked incredulously. “I ran a morg.” Was the reply.

“…but God, I Don’t Wanna!”

“…but God, I Don’t Wanna!”

Hey Friends,

It is becoming abundantly clear that I whine to God…a lot. Not just a little, but way too much for my comfort. Here I am thinking, “Hmmm, I’m pretty mature. I got this being 32 years old down, pretty well.” Ha! That couldn’t be furthest from the truth when it comes to Jesus. I find myself being more child-like than anything, but then I think that it’s kind of the point, right? How do we try to obtain perfection in the eyes of the only true perfectionist?

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In the morning, I try to spend time with God for two main reasons: 1. To set the tone for the rest of my day and 2. To check it off of my “to-do” list. As the day progresses and I haven’t spent time with him, I become more nervous because I know my chances of actually doing it becomes very slim. Not because I am extremely busy, but because I begin to whine to God as to why I unable to do it.

For example, imagine a very whiney Ashley saying, “…but Lord, I’m so tired. I need sleep. I have to spend time with the kids. I have to make dinner. I’m so tired, Lord.”

Then here comes the bargaining. “Ok, ok, God, give me like an hour to get my body together. Let me put something on my stomach, first, Jesus. Ok, ok, really, I haven’t forgotten about you. Lemme just watch this show real quick.”

Then, all of the sudden it’s midnight and I’m saying, “Oh Jesus, I will definitely spend time with you in the morning.” Then morning comes and the process starts all over again. You get my drift, right?

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For me after a few days, guilt begins to set in. I’ll feel guilty that I’ve promised God my time and haven’t given to him. I’ll feel like a child asking for forgiveness, pleading and begging for another chance of redemption. Not realizing that he already knew that my lazy butt was going to make excuses and he has already forgiven me when he sent Jesus to die for me…and you. Pause and let that sink in, but come back cause I have more to say.

Related Post:

We sin all of the time. Even we are whining and crying like children at 32 years old, we are forgiven. Once I allowed that that to seep into my brain, spending time with him has become more of a pleasure than a chore. Now, I look forward to it. And when I miss the opportunity, I no longer beat myself up. Instead, I pray that I get another chance to hear his words and adhere to his glory and grace since it has already been gifted to you and me.

Plus, it’s a win/win because I always feel so much better after I open my bible. Me, personally, I love having a book to open and read, take notes, and highlight. But if you’re not like that, there is always the free digital bibles online. It’s literally a click away.

Spend a little time with God. He will give you the sustenance to get you through the next day. For Yahweh says, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” -Matthew 6:34. 

And if someone tells me not to worry about it, you guys should know me well enough to know my whiny butt is not going to worry about. Think of it like this…if someone tells you not to worry about paying the check for dinner, are you still going to pull out your wallet? I think not! I don’t know if that analogy fits, but oh well. I put it in there anyway.

I love you guys! I pray that you are having an amazing start to your week. I pray that your bellies are full, your beds are warm (or cool) and that your minds are at peace. I thank that Lord each day for all that read my thoughts, cause Jesus knows that they are crazy. Amen.

“Reading the Bible will help you get to know the word, but it’s when you put it down and live your life that you get to know the author.”― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Related Post: Stop Whining, Ashley!

 

 

 

 

Seeking God Part 4

Seeking God Part 4

Happy Sunday Friends!

This journey of seeking God has not been an easy one, but it has been worth it. I have seen God’s power, love, and mercy so much since I’ve taken my journey seriously. If you haven’t noticed, my blog has turned into God’s blog. A couple of months ago, the Lord told me that he wanted me to use my blog to spread his word. I was hesitant. I didn’t want to lose my non-Christian followers and I didn’t want to offend anyone. After a while, I could no longer deny his request.

Whenever I posted an article that he didn’t put on my heart to post, my numbers were down. You guys weren’t messing with me. Then, when I began to post content that he put on my heart, the number of views and followers increased tenfold. Don’t get me wrong, I lost a few followers, but I gained many more.

So, I have no choice but to trust him. He has shown this undeserving sinner more love and mercy than I expected. That is what’s so awesome about God. When he blesses you, he blesses you in overabundance, forcing you to do nothing but fall to your knees and cry out, “Abba, Father, thank you!”

If you are stubborn like me, the Lord will use your circumstances to bring you closer to him so he can mold you and strengthen you. In my case, I would say he has used Lupus and mental illness to get me to surrender to his will. Surrender…what a strong word. A lot of people think it is an insult to surrender, when in fact, it is a blessing. A Christ believer will tell you that surrendering is not a sign of weakness, as some will make you believe.

Surrending to the Lord requires more strength than people would like to acknowledge. Yet, once we surrender, we are able to get out of our own way and allow God to work. And, baby…when God works, he works wonders. His wonderful blessings are always more than we wanted for ourselves. Miracles happen. Please Letting Go, Letting God read how Jesus showed up in my bathroom and saved my life. True story 🙂

I no longer see my illness as a punishment, yet an opportunity to grow. Kind of like job training. I ask the Lord to allow me to be a great mom to my children. The Lord responded, “So be it my child, but first, I must prepare you.”

Think of a block of clay. When you purchase it from the craft store, it’s bland, boring, and ugly. But once the artist purchases it from the store (in God case, Jesus purchased us with his life), the artist then begins to transform it into a beautiful masterpiece.

Image result for lump of clayImage result for clay masterpiece

The tools that the artist use are sharp and plentiful. If clay had feelings, one would think that the artist is torturing the clay, being unfair. But the sharp tools are necessary in order to mold the clay with precision and accuracy. Jesus paid the price. God uses our circumstances as tools to create a wonderful masterpiece within us. More times than often, it is going to hurt. But while he is sculpting us, he has given us resources to help us through the process, such as the Bible, elders of the church, prayer, and other Christians.

“Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.” -James 5:14-15

Most importantly, he gives us his love and promises to be with us no matter what through the process.

The Lord says, “For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.” -Jeremiah 31:25. To me, this means, during my sorrow, he will be there to give me comfort.

He also says, “…I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.” -Psalm 91:14-15

Personally, I can’t speak for every Christian. I believe in Jesus because he was the only one that showed up when I cried out for help. Not Buddha, not Deity, not money or sex, but Jesus himself. The only thing I can do is give my life to the one who saved it, to the one who continues to bless my children with a mother.

Yesterday, I was blessed with mood stabilizers. As many of you may know, I struggle with Bipolar Disorder I. I have been unmedicated for some time now, which is dangerous. But, the Lord was so gracious and he heard my cries. So, I was able to receive a 90 day free supply of Depakote. I’m excited and scared at the same time. My biggest fear with taking mood stabilizers and anti-depressants is that I will lose the best parts of me; my creativity, my bubbly personality, my love of all things Life. But this is where trusting the Lord comes in.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” -Jeremiah 29:11

“Trust the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” -Proverbs 3:5-6

My faith, my trust in God’s plan (cues Drakes “Gods Plan”) for me is the only reason why I’m still alive. If I followed the world’s thinking, my kids would be without a mother.

Thank you all for reading my thoughts and for sharing this journey with me. I truly hope that I am able to inspire someone to trust that God has a plan for your life, and the struggles that you are facing are NOT it. God bless you!

“If the stars were made to worship, so will I. If the mountains bow in reverence, so will I. If the oceans roar Your greatness, so will I. For if everything exists to lift You high, so will I. If the wind goes where You send it, so will I. If the rocks cry out in silence, so will I. If the sum of all our praises still falls shy, then we’ll sing again a hundred billion times.” -So Will I (100 Billion X) by Hillsong Worship

To catch up, please read:

Thank You Ms. Carey

Thank You Ms. Carey

Today, I received a notification from Apple News that read, “Mariah Carey Once Hospitalized After Believing Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, & Prince Were Dinner Guest”. Wait! Before you stop reading, this post is NOT celebrity gossip or even my opinion on the matter. I promise, there’s a point.

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So, if you are a fan of pop culture, then you would know that the mother of two, multi-platinum selling recording artist, Mariah Carey recently announced that she struggles with Bipolar Disorder to the public. When I read the headline I immediately assumed that if the incident did happen (cause let’s be honest, you can’t believe everything you read in the media), I’m sure it was during a manic episode. Or maybe, she is a medium and communicates with spirits. Honestly, you never know.

My point is, I feel sad for her, but I’m so grateful that she has decided to share her story. She is a world-renowned diva, whose voice and passion has gotten me through some rough times. Her decision to be open about her condition has brought awareness to millions of her fans. And I appreciate that. More awareness brings additional education and understanding and hopefully better resources. So the next time, we find out a loved-one may have symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, you can help them and not judge them.

Please read She Must Be Crazy on how to approach a loved one if you suspect they are struggling with a mental illness. 

Also, please read I’m Coming Out, I Want the World to Know about my personal journey with Bipolar Disorder. I’ve never had dinner plans with the deceased, but I probably wouldn’t mind it neither.

I pray that God is with everyone who is struggling with mental/physical illness, addiction, heartbreak, and any other ailment, that He heals us and comforts us. That He extends His love so we know that we are not alone. I also pray that we find healing in your word, for you tell us that “your word is alive and powerful” and that “it is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword cutting between soul and spirit” (Hebrews 4:12). We are all in this fight together as children of God.

Thank you to everyone who took the time out of their day to sending inspirational, loving comments under my last post. I was going through it for a moment, but after I prayed a few prayers and talked to supportive people, I was able to come out of the dark space I was in. I began to doubt whether or not I should have allowed myself to be so public with my breakdown, but then sharing my journey wouldn’t be authentic. 🙂 So thank you to everyone who prayed for me. And of course, thank you to everyone who I began has enough patience to read my long post. I can go on and on and on, like now.

Love you all! Thank you for your continued support. Stay blessed!

“With God’s help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes.” -Psalm 60:12

7 Reasons Why We Avoid Progress

7 Reasons Why We Avoid Progress

Hello Friends!

Have you ever been afraid to become a better you? That sounds crazy right. You’re probably saying, “why would someone be afraid of progressing in life?” We would like to think that we want and need progression in our lives, but very few people will admit to being afraid of it. I know I am.

I so desperately want to get better, feel better, and do better. So why does the thought of “being a better me” frighten me so much? There must be something wrong with me, right? WRONG!

Ron Edmondson is a church leader and pastor of Immanuel Baptist Chruch and is an avid believer in Jesus. I was introduced to him by one of my church elders and leader of the group that I’m in called Crash the Chatterbox, Bert.

Bert gave our class a handout that explained why we are afraid of progress written by Ron Edmondson. When I first read it, I thought the same thing you said, “Why would anyone be afraid of progress?” But then I started reading. The reasons he stated makes sense and has transformed my perception, so hopefully, it’ll transform yours as well. Let’s do this!

7 Reasons We Avoid Progress by Ron Edmondson

  1. It stretches us– Progress will lead to unchartered territories; areas that you have never been in before. The unknown can be scary
  2. It invites us– Progress loves to create interest in new activities and circumstances. In order to fuel and maintain the momentum, one must embrace the continuous change that is going to happen.
  3. You HAVE to improve– Progress requires more energy and effort as it progresses. Keep in mind, “You have to get better to get bigger.”
  4. It’s often messy– I like to say, “Anything worth having is going to require a fight.” If it were easy, everyone would be rich, everyone would be successful, everyone would have the spouse of there dreams.
  5. It often defies logic or boundaries– Think about this, 100 years ago, you would have been locked up in an insane asylum if you told them that is it possible to pick up a device, put it to your ear, and talk to someone 2,000 miles away in 30 seconds? Sometimes, stepping outside of the box will take you further than staying in it.
  6. It invites competition– “Show people a little progress and someone will want to join the fun!” -Bert V. In today’s social media infested society, it seems that everyone is losing their individuality to become more like celebrities, and the celebrities are copying each other.  So, maybe, if you progress, then others would want that for themselves, too.
  7. It begs for more– This couldn’t be truer. One time I thought to myself, “Ugh! Blogging requires so much time and attention, and I need my naps, soooo…. maybe this is something I don’t want to do. I’m glad I didn’t listen to myself but instead listened to God. I sounded stupid. Blogging has become my safe haven, my beach, my getaway. Why would I deprive myself of such harmony just because I need naps? Don’t be a turd in a hot tub, floating around, waiting to get flushed. Nurture what nurtures you.

Reading over this broadened my perception. I didn’t know that I was afraid of progressing until I said, “Yea, I’m afraid of that” to most of the reasons. I was like the chicken in the video clip. A part of improving, unfortunately, is taking a really good look at yourself. Not your outer appearance, but your soul. And you may not like what you see. I surely don’t! But you know what, it is very much worth it.

I love the feeling that I have when I know I’m improving myself. I feel great when I know something that I have struggling with is now no longer a concern. All it took what a hard look, a little vodka, and a whole lotta Jesus. Joking about the vodka, cause boy, I wish.

Anyway, thank you so so much for reading my thoughts. I appreciate all of the love that is shown to me and I love each and every one you in Jesus name. Stay blessed, family.

PS…sorry for all of the cute furry animals. I wanted to use furry cuteness to represent my mood, but I think all it’s going to do is make you guys go…

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” -Benjamin Franklin

 

 

Feelings? How Many Of Us Have Them?

giphy4Mental illness sucks. I’m sitting here trying to come with clever ways to express those three simple words, but all the comes to mind is mental illness sucks. One reason why it sucks is that mental illness will trick you into believing that feelings matter. When, in the grand scheme of things, they do not. For example, mental illness makes me feel like I’m a bad mother for having a mental illness. When the truth is, I’m not. It’s because of mental illness that I am a good mother. I am always conscious of making sure that my children do not experience the harsh realities that come with having a mentally ill parent. I am always aware of their feelings and what may or may not be affecting them.

Because of my mental illness, I am more aware of my children’s mental stability. I know what it is like to have a parent with a mental illness. For years, I failed to understand why my mother chose to do and say the things that she did to us. I used to be upset with her, but after learning what her struggles are, it made it easier for me to forgive her. Which brings me to my previous point; mental illness will trick you into believing that feelings matter. If feelings truly mattered, then I would be unable to forgive my mother because she has hurt me in ways that no child should be hurt. But I’ve chosen to forgive her for a couple of reasons…

  1. Peace of mind “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33
  2. God says I have toBear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

giphy5For me, forgiveness is more about me than it is about you. People chose not to forgive because they feel they may be doing that person a favor or they may feel like that person doesn’t deserve to be forgiven. But then there is that word again, feel. If you are having a hard time forgiving someone, ask yourself…what great feeling do you have when you chose not to forgive? Do you feel better or worse? Do you feel like a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders or do you feel angry and bitter?

giphy6Feelings should have nothing to do with doing the right thing. For example, saying hurtful words feels so good when I’m angry. When I become angry, my mind begins to fill with horrible thoughts. It’s like I am possessed. I am capable of saying some pretty awful things. When I’m angry, it feels great to say those awful things…until I calm down. Then I feel like the worst person in the world. I then, begin to obsess about how to make it right. Thus, resulting in an obsessive cycle of beating myself up. All because I felt angry. When in fact, my feelings should not cause me to want to hurt someone else. God says:

When you tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirits words to explain spiritual truths. -1 Corinthians 2:13

Feelings can be wonderful; joy, hope, serenity, gratitude, faithfulness, love, clarity, etc. It is the negative ones that mental illness uses to feed on. Mental illness is just like every monster you’ve read about growing up. The more you feed it what it wants, the stronger it becomes.

giphy7Right now, I feel overwhelmed and hopeless. I feel like I am never going to move past these moments of dread and disparity. I feel like I am losing the war that is going on in my mind and body, but guess what? Those are just feelings. They are not my reality. We have to hold on to the fact that feelings do not define our truth, they do not reflect our reality. They just simply reflect our mind frame.  We have to keep reminding ourselves that we are more than what we are feeling at the moment. Moments are periods of time that have a beginning and an end. Moments can last for seconds or for years, but we are not meant to set up permanent residence in said moments. We are meant to live life, embracing those moments so we can learn and grow from them. What do you do when you are done reading a chapter in a book? You move on to the next chapter, right? Moments are chapters in your book of life. Don’t stay stuck in one chapter because you feel trapped or hopeless.

Thank you for reading my thoughts. I appreciate every last person that decided to hit that FOLLOW bottom. You’re the real MVP’s! Stay blessed.

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” -Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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