Inspiration, Raw Honest Brave

Are You Believing Lies?

So many of us hold as truth the myths, or lies, that govern our lives, our choices, and our behaviors! I know I did (still do, I’m sure). BUT…
Who taught us these lies/myths we believe are true? The old adage “If you tell a lie long enough it becomes truth to you” applies here! Unfortunately, we accept what society or even family has taught us, believe it as truth, act on it–without even considering whether it is true, much less determining whether it’s something we should embrace in OUR lives. (I’m SO guilty of that!)

“It’s the fact that this principle or value they hold onto so tightly is impeding their progress to move forward that should be alarming.”

Shari Goldsmith

One of the most dangerous results of believing lies is that we let them take control of us! Like when you think, “Oh but I couldn’t do THAT because… {insert lie here such as, I’m too fat, I’m too poor, I’m not smart enough, I’m ugly}” so you never do it, and the lie controls you. When we give lies credence and follow their direction, we delete our own authenticity. We deny who we were created to be. We are designed and created a specific and awesomely unique way by the Master Creator, and WHO should know better about what will please us and fill our soul?

If you would like to “check out” whether you are believing lies, there are many women you already know whom are filled with wisdom–from experience, reading, searching–who would be willing to talk with you. Perhaps some of them are older (thus the experience) but there are also young women who have already “lived” a lot. For me, talking to a friend who displays wisdom and logic (to counteract my sometimes-off-the-wall passion) has been helpful in determining what is actually truth and which lies I’m allowing to take control of my life. I’ve also had to spend time “going inside” (ugh, not always pretty!) to assess and determine my true character and those things I really hold important.

So, do you think it’s easy to avoid accepting lies about us as truth?  Ummm, no! To discern lies, we have to be militant snipers because of the subtle, yet pervasive, nature of them. And if you’re thinking that you are free from this plague, let me alert you to the nature of lies by giving you examples from my life (here I go, being all vulnerable and transparent again). Until recently, I have believed I was too loud, too big, too boisterous, not smart, not humorous, not fun.

WHAT? I know, right? How in the WORLD could I have possibly believed all those lies about me?

Well, it’s pretty easy, because, I assure you, people don’t say to you, “Now I’m going to lie to your face” before their opinions about you come gushing out! We actually begin believing lies from infancy (think of gender conditioning). Here are a few examples of how some of mine happened (in abbreviated narration).

Example: As a third grader I was told I was too big to be a ballerina. Translation: being big would keep me from my dreams. It was a curse. It was ugly.

Example: when I got very excited and “cheered” in support of something (yes, I was in church, but it was a military rally type thing, after all) I was told I’d had “too much coffee”. Translation: being spontaneous, loud, or passionate was a bad thing (especially in church!).

Example: when I’d laugh loudly I was told to shush. Translation: my laugh was bad. Hold it in. Being loud was not a good thing. (Problem is that I’m just a loud person naturally and I was always being told to be quiet).

Example: whenever I’d have an opinion that was different from the significant person in my life, I was told that I am too hard-headed, or that I wouldn’t ever listen to anyone, and why did I even bother to ask if I wasn’t going to listen. So I really began to doubt my own intelligence.

I don’t know if any of these made sense to you, but these are lies that I received whether they were intended or not.

Thank goodness for my friend who helped to identify my false belief system! And I began to read, discover, and analyze only to find that I was believing many lies that others had “said” about me. These people weren’t vicious or even intentional in their lying. In fact,  lies from those who loved me were the hardest to uncover, because they were usually “told” by people’s responses (comments or body language) to my life and actions .

We ALL have opinions. It just happens that the opinions of my family, teachers, and peers were more important to me than searching for truth. For many years, I believed those things about myself, but no more!

I’ve begun the habit of speaking truth to myself. It’s funny, I don’t even care if others believe what I say, I know these things to be true anyway. (I’ve come a long way, Baby!) Here we go–here’s MY truth:
“I am quite intelligent and a good problem-solver. I am lovely. I am creative. I have a great sense of humor and I’m a fun person. Actually, I’m an amazing person. I’m powerful and make good choices. I can accomplish a lot!”

Just a few of the things I now tell myself. First time I said them I was ready to jump back in case lightening struck!! Really. It was almost like blasphemy, or against the rules, to affirm myself. Don’t want to be egotistical, you know. But there is a huge difference between a dominant ego and a healthy self-esteem.

My parents loved me, without a doubt. However, they were short on the words that would have helped my tender ego believe truth. Not a criticism, just a fact. I am trying to be more conscious of the words I use with my children, but I’m not always successful with the positive. So, I make sure to give them tons of praise, love and mushy stuff from my heart. Just in case. In case they “hear” more than I’m saying. In case they ever have doubts about how much I love them. In case they wonder if they are the world to me. Just so they know, without a doubt, they are loved unconditionally, they are beautiful just the way they are, and that they are precious treasures who make my life complete. 🙂

And I deserve the same consideration. I deserve the same love from myself. I am worth believing the TRUTH. And so are you!

Does any of this resonate with you? If so, let me know how you do with your “Lie Busting!”

Hugs and love, Passionista Mimi

OH, and hey, if you like what you read, why not share the love and click, pin, like, etc.? I’d give you an extra big hug. Thanks!

Inspiration, Keepin' It Real, Raw Honest Brave

A Call to Prayer

There’s a sense of urgency in my spirit this morning. 

We need to pray for our nation!

We have become acutely aware of how helpless we really are.

We need God!

Pray that God will pour out His mercy,

His grace, His love, and cover our nation with it.

The world too.

But today, it’s our nation that needs urgent, heart-felt prayers.

If you are one who prays,

please do that with total abandon, urgency, full commitment.

There’s a shifting going on.

There is a power moving among us.

God’s power! God has commanded His people to pray.

He said that if we will He will hear from heaven and heal our land.

We must, as a nation, turn from our wicked ways.

There is so much evil in our country.

Bad things happening. Besides the virus.

Please pray that God would move in a mighty way.

We are the nation that is “one nation under God’.

It’s time to rise up to that calling!

Only God can heal our nation.

Only God can bring life and truth to our darkness.

Won’t you join with me for the next several days and

pray with an urgency that you’ve never had before?

Won’t you begin to take back our nation for God through prayer? 

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

This is not a “pretty” verse in the Bible.

It holds a condition–but also a promise.

We need to stand in the gap before the Lord for our nation,

repenting of the evil and sin that has taken us over.

This is not the time to say “it’s not me”

and just wring our hands about how dire the situation is.

It is time to TAKE ACTION!

Go to our knees before mighty God and

entreat Him to turn our nation around.

To heal our land. 

You may not like this.

You may not like me.

But this is what is on my heart and mind today.

And I am compelled to write it.

Do what you will. I pray that you will take it to heart.

Now is your time.

 

 

Just know that I am there with you.

Much love and prayer, Passionista

 

Raw Honest Brave

God Is The Great “Recycler”

Okay, so this post is very open and raw. I have made myself vulnerable in order to reach you. I’m telling another part of my story. I believe that God wants to use all of our experiences as a way to connect with–and maybe bring hope to–another person’s heart. I’m really glad that He does that. It makes the rotten stuff worth a lot more. Let me begin…

Sometimes we just feel like garbage. I’m not talking about when we are sick and our bodies feel “trashed”. What I mean is how we fell when someone degrades us, or we can’t accomplish something we have worked really hard at. Or when we realize that we have screwed up big time. Or we disappoint someone whom we love deeply. Everyone feels this way at some time(s) in their life.

However, when abuse has been a building block of a person’s life, like mine, “feeling like trash” persistently winds its way through our lives, intertwining our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and affecting our quality of life.

Pictures7

Abuse can tear away at our spirit, making us vulnerable to lies. It can crumble and deteriorate self-confidence. It can take away our sense of worth and purpose. Basically, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse will change our quality of life. Forever.

My sexual abuse happened when I was very young. Like many, I showed the classic signs of being abused, but didn’t realize it until I was in my forties. In the early 1990s–before we became aware of statistics revealing that one in four girls will suffer abuse by their eighteenth birthdaya sexual abuse case happened within our church membership. It really tilted our world! This was before the internet explosion, with check lists and resources for those who had been abused. And many of us who had been were living in ignorance, or denial. 

Because our congregation was totally unprepared to deal with the chaos and ravaged emotions this abuse case caused, we hosted an all-day seminar to educate us on how to work through it. During the seminar I began to realize I had shown behaviors indicating abuse in my own life. This often happens to those victims who have suppressed memories as they begin to learn about sexual abuse.  I remembered some rather disturbing interactions with family members. I acknowledged my promiscuity, and the careless attitude toward sex. I realized that my need for attention and the feelings of never being enough could be rooted in sexual abuse, as could my low self-esteem and dislike of myself. Like I said, abuse will intertwine all aspects of our lives. And quite honestly, I fell apart. My tightly-held-together-world began crumbling.

The good news? (Yes there is good news.) It’s possible to find hope and healing. Not in a day or two. Maybe not in a year or two. It’s been a process (how I came to hate that word), removing the effects of abuse layer by layer. I needed to completely reprogram my brain to stop believing the lies (I’m worthless, used up, can’t be good enough, no one will want me like this, I’m garbage, I’m ugly) and believe truth instead (I’m created for a purpose, full of worth, I’m a priceless treasure, I’m more than enough just like I am, I’m beautiful and intelligent and amazing).

The process involved teaming up with a woman of great wisdom who could direct me to God’s truth and identify the lies I believed. I began to read books on the subject of abuse, co-dependency, and emotional healing. I read over and over how God could and would “make me new” (“The former things have passed away… behold, I make all things new.” Rev. 21:5). I chose to renew my mind, rather than dwell on what had happened, because I wanted to change. (Not nearly as easy as I make it sound!) I did not want the abuse to have power over me any more and control my behaviors and thoughts. I realize my abuse was relatively mild (if that’s possible) compared to others I’ve come to know or have read about. However the root of it still caused damage in my emotions and spirit and shows how even the smallest offense of sexual abuse can wreak havoc in a life. It was as if my emotional DNA had been changed.

abuse

One garbage collection day, while I was picking up the recycle bin and looking at all the ”throw away” bottles and boxes, I immediately pictured my life and those of others like me whose life-scripts had been altered by abuse.  We often feel like a throw away–used up, soiled goods that nobody would want. But immediately my mind raced to the finish, or rather, what is being completed in me. I am NO LONGER a throwaway. I never really was, though I was sure of it.

And God has, indeed, done a new thing in my life. I am a totally different person!  Visions of the many wonderful recycled products we can see–that look nothing like their item of origin–came dancing through my mind. Those items have been completely “made new”! And that is exactly how I feel. I am just a shadow of the person I was.

All things made new

I realize that living this many years has given me a wealth of experience to fuel my self-confidence. However, it wasn’t until ten years ago that I really began to blossom into this crazy, passionate, outspoken, fun-loving and confident woman. (Unfortunately I had to leave an emotionally abusive relationship before I could fully bloom, but that’s a story for another time).

If you have encountered abuse, my heart goes out to you. With everything in me, I hope you will take steps toward healing and hope.

1*I encourage you to find someone you can talk with, someone who will love you honestly and help you see truth. Identify the lies you have believed.

2*Begin to reprogram your brain with new words and ideas (new scripts to play) that speak the truth about you. You have such power! Speak who you want to be and your mind and emotions will follow. I’m proof of that.

“I am loved.”               “I can heal.”               “I am worthy.”           “I am strong.”

“I deserve a life free from the effects of abuse.”           “I am more than enough.”

3*Find something you enjoy doing and do it! Try many things and experiences until you find your niche. Doing this has helped me tremendously!

4*Help someone else. I cannot emphasize this enough! There is such healing that happens when we begin to focus on helping someone. There are people around you who would benefit from your smile, touch, note of encouragement, listening ear, help with housework, yard work, babysitting, groceries, a ride somewhere, reading out loud to a child. Kindness warms our hearts whether we are giving or receiving it. And, I always say that “good multiplies good” in our lives.

Once again this has become a very wordy blog post. To those of you who stayed to the end–BIG hugs!! I hope something I’ve said will help you or enable you to help someone you love. Abuse is horribly prevalent, and our society has become one of broken, “walking wounded”. Let me know if there is any way I can help you. Peace, love, and blessings.

Passionista Mimi

OH, and hey, if you like what you read, why not share the love and click, pin, like, etc.? I’d give you an extra big hug. Thanks!