I know it has been a while since I’ve written anything on my blog and I’m not sure why? Sometimes it’s very hard for me to wrap my mind around all of the thoughts and emotions I’m feeling and try to put them down on paper or in a post and have them make sense. This post is definitely very different from ones I’ve published in the past, but please hear me out and be patient and open-minded.
This morning I had planned on doing something I hadn’t done in a LONG time…I was heading to church. I was invited to attend a non-denominational Christian church this past week and I thought, “Why not? I’ve got nothing to lose here.” Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned and I ended up not attending. Rather than giving up on this new excitement, albeit nervousness, I was feeling I found another outlet, per the suggestion of a friend. I decided to listen to a sermon online from Elevation Church, led by Pastor Steven Furtick.
I scrolled through all of the videos, not really sure where to start, but ended up settling on something that I thought would speak to me. It was called ,”TRIGGERED: Taking Back Your Mind In The Age Of Anxiety.” Something happened that I wasn’t expecting…..his words actually spoke to me. I was shocked. *At the very bottom of this post is the Bible verse he talked about and his interpretation that spoke to me, if you’re interested in reading it.* I’ve always had a not so great view on Religion, because I grew up Catholic and made the decision as soon as I left High School that, that Religion was absolutely not something I wanted to base my life off of. Since that was all I knew I was unsure where to start. I had no idea what kind of church would speak to me. No idea of what kind of church I could actually relate to. I still don’t really know…I was hoping to start that journey today. I thought this new church could be what I’d need to kick-start the process of finding some sort of inner peace.
You see, even though I choose not to use social media as my outlet for airing every difficult thought, insecurity and emotion that I’m feeling, it doesn’t mean that I don’t still struggle every day. Yes, I’ve been through a lot of heavy shit in my life, and I chose to share part of that with you on Instagram (my sexual assault and the bipolar/unipolar disorder), but I’m not the type of person to seek validation from hundreds to thousands of people I don’t know on social media. I guess you could say I’m kind of doing that right now with this blog post, but my actual words, along with a well-timed selfie, aren’t actually showing up in your news feeds. I’m not forcing my words down your throat. You can choose to open my post, and read my words, or not. I’m giving you that choice.
I’m a very over-active thinker. I always have been. My mind takes a normal situation, or one that shouldn’t be a big deal, and runs with it. I come up with all sorts of scenarios of what could possibly be happening and they are usually all terrible. I end up feeling 10 times more anxious and sad than I was before. BUT, sometimes it’s my intuition telling me to be careful and approach the situation with caution. That’s why it’s so hard for me to decipher what’s intuition from what’s my mind just running rampant. Social media does not help one bit. It sucks you in and takes you down a black hole. You go from reading inspirational quotes, and looking at sweet photos your friends and family have posted, to searching for problems that you shouldn’t be searching for in the first place. Yes, maybe the guy/girl you like is sitting there waiting for someone else and not trying to build something with you. Yes, maybe they’re liking just about every single post this other person is putting up and only liking every 3rd post you put up. Yes, maybe you can tell there is something there, but you just can’t put your finger on it. And yes, maybe you don’t agree with the situation that he/she is sitting there waiting and wasting their time on, BUT there is NOTHING you can do about it. Absolutely nothing. And now here you are with added bullshit in your life that you never needed in the first place. NONE OF IT MATTERS.
STOP looking. STOP visiting your ex’s IG or FB page to see if they’re seeing someone else. STOP trying to find shit you don’t really want to know about. Whatever it is that you’re trying to find just STOP looking. I take pride in the fact that I’m a relatively strong person. Life has made me that way. But I still struggle with myself. I start looking for problems on social media and end up filling myself with self-doubt. I start to think, “Because I’m not sharing all of my problems on social media I come across as somewhat cold and unrelatable. Like someone that you wouldn’t have a deep conversation with and get close to.” I start to tell myself that I’m not as good as this other person because I don’t share every single step of my journey, in depth, and therefore I’m not relatable. I start to wonder what this person has that I don’t have and why I’m the one being looked over/passed up. But that’s just the thing….I AM good enough. I’m just not the type of person to share every emotion and struggle I’m facing on social media and seek validation from people I don’t know, and THAT’S OK. It doesn’t mean I’m not relatable, because if someone actually took the time to get to know me they would see that I am the complete opposite of that. I’m an extremely caring and loyal person. Some might say that opening up on social media like that is you just learning how to be vulnerable…kind of, to a certain extent. Take that vulnerability you’re trying to achieve and apply it to every day life. Not to people you don’t know on social media, because in the long run it’s exactly that, you don’t know them and they don’t really know you, aside from what you tell them. Be vulnerable in the real world. That’s how you learn. That’s how you grow.
There is a reason behind why I allow myself to think I’m not good enough, though. There’s something inside of me that’s lacking. I’m feeling stuck. I always wonder why I attract the types of guys that I do attract – emotionally handicapped – and the answer is, because that’s the type of energy that I’m projecting into the World. That’s the kind of person that I think I’m good enough for. I want to help them and make everything better and not focus that healing energy inward. Not focus on taking MY MIND back and work on mending what needs to be mended. It is SO, SO easy to help others and give them advice and SO, SO hard to take that advice and apply it to yourself. To your own situation. It’s all about brain training….turning the thought process around. When you find yourself going down a hole and looking for shit that doesn’t need to be in your life you are the one that has the power to stop it. Turn your mind and energy toward something else. Something that makes you feel happy. Something that brings you back to center gravity, whether that’s going to church, gardening, reading, playing with your dogs, etc. Turn that focus and energy inward. It should never be SOMEONE that you turn to. You shouldn’t find your happiness in other people. It should be within yourself. Because when that person is gone you are left with that emptiness again and have done nothing to make yourself happy. You relied on someone else to fill that void.
Maybe church will be that catalyst to kick start something I knew was inside of me all along and maybe it won’t? There is only one way to find out, though….and that’s to get out there and start exploring. Start implementing the positive and cut out the negative. Start training my brain to focus on all of the good around me and not on what I don’t have or what someone else has. Stop letting social media, or another person, dictate how I feel and control my happiness. It is mine and mine alone and maybe, just maybe, church will help me to get a solid grasp on that concept. As cliche as it sounds we really do have to love ourselves fully before we can be open to the type of love and attention we deserve. We will always receive what we are open to and what we ask for.
I’m still struggling with the concept of God and Jesus, but I’m keeping an open-mind and approaching this without any judgement. It’s something completely new to me…something I’ve never really taken seriously. I just want to make sure I have an experience that is true to me. I know I’ll feel uncomfortable at first and out of my element, but THAT’S how you grow. THAT’S how you become a better person. Force yourself outside of your comfort zone and put yourself out there for the world to see, not giving a shit about what anyone has to say about it and not looking for validation from people on social media.
1 Peter 5:8 NIV – “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
“I always read that wrong. I thought he was a lion. I thought he was bigger than me, stronger than me. But what I found out is that he’s just loud like a lion and the place that he roars is in my mind. That’s where he’s loudest – in the thoughts that I have. And so he’s looking for someone to devour. Did you ever wonder why all those Twitter feeds, and Instagram feeds and Facebook feeds are called ‘feeds?’ It’s because they’re eating your mind alive. Did you know that? And so he devours people any way that he can. He’s looking for someone. The command is ‘resist him,’ but how many know it’s hard to resist what you don’t recognize? If we can resist the enemy, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t intend to live the rest of my life as a Christian and be a slave to my own imagination. I don’t intend to live the rest of my life forgiven by Christ, as a prisoner to my past and replaying memories of moments that have come and gone, but I can’t escape them in my mind. So I really intend, if it takes me the rest of my life, and it might because it seems like sometimes I take two steps forward and three steps back, but I’m trying to get free. I’m trying to take my mind back, so I can serve God with my mind and love the Lord, my God, with all my heart – with all my soul – with all my mind – with all my strength. I don’t want to be drained and I go into each day with no energy and broken focus. I really want to be able to see clear the way ahead, so I can follow Christ into my future.” – Pastor Steven Furtick