I Believe I Am… Ecouraged

When I decided to go to counseling for my depression and anxiety, I shared the traumatic life changing experiences that had occurred in my life over the past 2 years with the counselor. And after a lot of nodding and add-libbing during my “I just don’t know what to do” cry, the first thing he told me was “You’re a fighter. You’ve made it through all of that. I think you deserve some credit for that.”. But since my mind was in a “I’m still in so much pain” state, I didn’t know that I actually needed to be in a “Good job, now keep going” mind-frame.

The past is not a place that we are residing in right now, we’ve already lived through it , and if your chest is moving up and down, you have decided to keep going. The purpose of the past is to look back at where you’ve been and appreciate the strength you’ve built this far. Whether you realize it or not.

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However, you have to encourage yourself, and believe in your encouragement. Encouragement requires a new attitude towards yourself, which involves a new love, respect, and level of confidence.

In my own honesty,  confidence is having the ability to love being bare-ly you. Did that make poetic sense?  In other words, boldly living your inner self on the outside and having your inside accept what is physically outside and owning it. That right there is something serious, and if you already have that, then you’re on your way up. But if having confidence is something that is new to you, then be patient with the process with loving yourself, and believing you are worthy of self love, it is a beautiful journey. Even if you have a day when you aren’t feeling encouraged, purposely live as if you are. Your feelings will eventually get in alignment with your actions. It’s called faithing it until you make it folks! I’m still practicing,  but I can sense already that it works!

 

And just as a gentle reminder, don’t play yourself. You need God for all that you want to achieve and all the confidence you have.Literally, nothing will go right if you’re soul-ly doing it your way, you need the Lord at every decision table. Ephesians 4:17-18 says ” I tell you this. I warn you: Do not continue living like those who do not believe. Their thoughts are worth nothing,. They do not understand, because they refuse to listen. So they cannot have the life that God gives.” Therefore, the confidence you hold should not be of arrogance, but gratitude in being able to accept who you are with assurance from God.

The back and forth between “I’m not good enough” and “Well maybe I should try” is useless. Why go against your own potential? Why doubt your abilities? Why go against you?  An understanding has to take place here and now. God gave you the ability to fulfill your most desirable wants and for you to take part in the things you need to do as well but you have to believe that, you have to live that, you have know that you are the green light. Ecclesiastes 6:10-11 says, “Everything that happens was planned a long time ago. A man is only what he was created to be, it is useless to argue with God about it, this is because God is more powerful than man is. The more you argue, the more useless it is. You gain nothing by arguing. A person has only a few days of life on the earth. His short life passes like a shadow. And who knows what is best for him while he lives? Who can tell him what will happen after his time on earth?”

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The enemy will try to poke at your  insecurities, doubts, and fears to place you in discouragement, but even in times when we are tempted to be discouraged and fearful, we still have the right mind enough to make the decision to fight it off and encourage ourselves. And this takes practice and patience with yourself, and yes I’m still practicing, or blooming so to speak. AND IT WORKS!

Even if no one else believes you have the ability to do whatever it is you are trying to do, don’t wait for their approval. We aren’t on the earth to consistently try to convince people of who we are, the only opinion that matters is God’S. And only He can determine the purity in your heart. What I’ve learned is that if I wait for someone else’s approval I’m only weakening the ability to believe in myself, and holding other people accountable for congratulating me when I feel its necessary is a burden on myself, and sometimes on the other person.  You wont always get the applause. So be aggressive, be , be aggressive! Sorry, Bring it On just got added to Netflix, but you get my point. Be your own cheerleader. Pom Poms and everything.

Encouraging yourself to do the things that you don’t really feel like doing knowing that doing it will cause better habits and traits, causes an even more beautiful bloom. Joyce Meyer said once “When you feel like doing the wrong thing, but choose to do the right thing, you are growing” (or in our case, blooming)

Just say to yourself “just one more semester”, “just one more  hour at work”, “just 2 more laps”, “one more year until I can move out”.  Come on ! You can!

Keeping yourself encouraged also means killing off any negative thought towards yourself. Stop focusing on what you’re not, and focus on the beauty that you are. Inside the bud and outside on the petals. (speaking in poeticphotosynthesis terms here). Don’t talk down to yourself, you’ll begin to believe it. Carry yourself as the child of God that you are (a very honorable position btw), acknowledge how far you’ve come, and believe that you are not small, you are a Queen/ King that  Jesus thought was  worth dying for. And don’t even think about comparison. You don’t have to diminish your inner or outer beauty just to speak highly of someone else. It’s good to have a spirit that is eager to compliment, but  we’ve all got something worth offering and complementary about ourselves. Check out this post on running your own race. 

But to say the most, have gratitude that you are who you are and the life you’ve conquered so far,  thank God for that! You’re a beautiful flower that still has a garden to fill. Congratulate yourself from where you’ve been, believe in God and yourself to keep blooming, and knowing that loving yourself isn’t weird, but a blissful blessing. And while you’re keeping yourself away from the devil’s pettiness, encourage others as well, you’ll feel all soft and good and stuff like you just inspired the next Dj Khaled. Stay in an encouraged mindset and you’ll find that staying encouraged in other areas of your life easier. You’ll find yourself doing things you thought you were incapable of.

And I just wanted to tell you. CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve made it this far!

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This week create your own encouraging meditation mantras. Try to make them in relation to what you need encouragement in right now.

These are a few of mine.

  • I have decided to keep living even when I didn’t feel like it
  • No one is better than me, and I’m no better than anyone else
  • I have the grace and confidence of a queen
  • God put the seeds of greatness in me
  • I’ve learned to love myself, while also showing love to others
  • I respect my peace, doubts and discouragement are NOT welcome

And never forget, God is in your heart, encouraging you 24/7.

#StayBloomin’

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I Believe I Am…Free

Freedom is desirable. Just think of how liberating it may feel to just have it in your life in this very moment?  But exactly how can we become and remain free from the things that we are stressing the most in our lives that put us in a state of suppression?  And exactly what is keeping you so held back from your exhale?

Could it be:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • fear of being accepted
  • addiction to negative thoughts and behaviors
  • insecurity
  • negativity
  • bad relationships
  • body shaming yourself
  • financial stress
  • something you’re running away from

Well what I can tell you is that you have the God-given ability to set yourself free from any imaginary mental choke-hold planted by the devil, and once you believe this truth, you will have this thing called freedom. Just think, what would freedom from  your struggle really look like in your life? Better confidence? Joy when life punches you in the face? The possibilities are endless.

But first, in order to have peace, you must also want it. Seems simple, I mean who doesn’t want to be completely free? But you’d be amazed at how we can add a sense of normalcy to the things we actually want to be free from, and when we pursue freedom, we may get uncomfortable because we’re getting rid of something that is normal to us. For example, for a long time I felt like I was suppressed to my painful circumstances thinking there was no way up from the pain, and constantly wanting people to feel sorry for me all the time. And while beginning to meditate on my freedom from feeling broken, I prayed to have these thoughts go away so I could focus more on positivity, but since I was so used to feeling like things would never get better, I would continue to use every chance I got to think positive, to let those depressing emotions take over. I was comfortable in my  suppression.

God had to bring it to my attention that in order to stop the bad habit, I had to believe that I was actually free from it, and to continue in freedom, I had to want it.Because if you know that something is not good for you, but you don’t want to be free from it yet, you’ll find it hard actually believing you are free, and you could potentially give up on your own freedom.

I think we’ve all heard the ” you can’t do the same thing and expect a different result” phrase, and that applies to an element within freedom as well.

You have to believe and know that you are free. Which is something that the devil will try to make you think you’re not regardless of your efforts. Good thing is, the devil ain’t nun but a liar. And when you elevate to new levels he’ll have you thinking doubting thoughts meant to throw your belief in your freedom off track.

Just to give a heads up, it’ll go a little something like this:

  • You aren’t good enough for freedom
  • You won’t get past this
  • You can’t control your thoughts
  • Your doubt in yourself is bigger than your will to keep going
  • Your progress will be wiped away if you make a mistake
  • You’re not really free, the pain is still there

But from what 1 Corinthians 7:20-21 says “Each one should stay the way he was when God called him, if you were a slave when God called you, do not let that bother you. But if you can be free, then become free. Yes,the enemy will make it easy to go back under suppression regardless of what level of freedom we’re on,  but we always have the ability to tap into our resilience and sound, free mind to that God has given us to keep blooming.

Freedom can also be fearful because some people may have a sense dependency towards their issue. Take FOMO (fear of moving out) for an example. It is liberating to finally be able to move out of your parent’s house, but the responsibility that comes with it is something you feel unprepared for.

And freedom comes with much responsibility. Which may require for you to have to create space from things that cause you to be suppressed instead of liberated.Because you can’t be free from bad habits if you allow the influences of those habits to continue to take place in your life.

I had a fear of freedom towards the end of a relationship because it meant I had to let something that I wanted go, which set my flesh into a frenzy. But I had to understand that staying in a constant state of heartbreak would not set me free from my pain and allow me to continue my life with joy and accept the lessons and perspectives given to me from that relationship. So eventually I had to stop listening to Mary J. Blidge, and get in formation with Beyonce.

Freeing yourself from whatever it is that is bothering you can either be a long-suffering exhale, or bittersweet growing pains. But Galatians 5:1 states that “We have freedom now because Christ made us free, so stand strong. Do not change and go back  into the slavery of the law”. And if we have freedom through God, we’re on the right track, and we’ll be iight.

Every step you make towards freedom is essential, no matter how big or small, but continuing in freedom is the only way to keep peace in your life. And the amazing part of it all is that we aren’t given suppression from God, we’re given strength, so whatever comes our way that is meant to disturb us from our peace, we already have the power to fight against it.

2 Timothy 1:7 says “God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid. He gave us a spirit of power and love and self-control”.

So what should you do to stay in the peace of freedom? I’ll tell you what I do. Meditate. Pray. And believe.

I meditate on these 3 things

  • “I believe that I am free”
  • ” I have freedom”
  • “I don’t doubt that I can live in my freedom”
  • “My mind has been renewed in freedom”

Freedom is a liberating journey, but the entire way you must believe that you are free, and live as if you are. Old ways behind, new ways ahead. And when you are free from one thing, you’ll find it easy monkey bar to the next area of freedom that is often related to the original issue. Sometimes we aren’t aware of the things that we need to be free from, but once you feel it, you’ll know.

Cast all of your worries and stress on God in prayer and just be free, the sun is your spotlight. Don’t find yourself crying to the moon in depression because you spent the whole day in disbelief of your own freedom.

And as children of God, we already have the essentials that lie in forgiveness, a renewed mind, and peace.

So get out there and wear that bathing suit, get over that guy, go to an event by yourself, master your talents, believe in your freedom, and BLOOM.

When you wake up to the sun every morning, say with belief, 

 “I believe I am free.”