My Gift to You

img_0243Hello Overcomer!

Whew! What a week, huh? Yeah, I hear you.

Well, as promised, I have a free gift for you. It’s A 7-Day Journey for the Overcomer. Go ahead and download it!

While you’re here, sign up for my blog. If you are new to this site, WELCOME! Look around and let’s get acquainted!  Feel free to share with your friends as well.

Go ahead and click the link above and enjoy!

Cycles

I’ve been on a consistent roller-coaster for years. Maybe I should call it a merry-go-round. I’ve not been able to fully embrace healing and freedom because of one thing. Cycles.

Here’s how it looks. I work my plan and I get settled, becoming comfortable. I’m doing great.Six months. One year. Maybe even two years. No anxiety or panic attacks. No cutting. No extended periods of depression anger or picking at my skin. Until…

The problem with until is I don’t realize I’m tumbling slowly down a steep hill until someone says something or I find myself frantically searching for something to cut with. After much frustration, I am forced to reflect over the previous weeks, recognizing the cycle I easily fell into. Isolation, silence, anger, feelings of inadequacy. It looks different, same cycle. Anger because I “should” have recognized what was happening.img_0237

How do I fully embrace healing and progress knowing there might – no, will be another bad day. Another bad week and possibly another bad month. For me, it is disheartening to know that another season will come around. But don’t we all have struggles? Don’t we all have things that we deal with? Of course. 

In DBT (Dialectical behavioral therapy), there’s a practice called radical acceptance. Radical acceptance says, “I accept things I have no power to change.” For me, it means while I prepare for better things, will not stress over where they are now. I am giving myself permission to grow. It’s my response to knowing that depression and anxiety are diagnosis just like high blood pressure or arthritis.32db9a89-6f0f-49ea-b640-cbbd19186185-27583-00001bcc12b45615

What’s the difference this time?

Grace. I’m learning to extend grace to me. What does that look like? Not being ashamed or condemned for how I am feeling. Owning my feelings and working through them. Accountability by letting my community know where I am. Accepting the help I need. Recognizing the progress I’ve made. Reviewing my plan of action and making necessary adjustments.

Grace. Taking a time out when I need it while being intentional not to isolate. I’m still learning not to respond to these seasons with anger and frustration.

Cycles. Unhealthy cycles are made to be broken. I refuse to be stuck in a cycle. Another way to extend grace to myself and break this cycle is by being aware. I must explore what is happening internally, deal with my triggers and learn a different response. Learning my triggers and how to work through my feelings takes the potency out of the trigger.

a9b8ab20-9664-4fa8-b37a-e48a9b90d1c9-27583-00001bcc4a5c4e7dUnderstanding your triggers is like having an emergency fund. A financial emergency doesn’t have the same stress attached to it when you already have the money set aside for the “emergency.” This is the same with triggers. When you understand them, you are already prepared to deal with them when they happen.

My therapist says the healing process is like an onion. There are layers, which means I must give myself grace as I dealt with each one. 

 

Declarations:

  • I am not stuck in a cycle
  • I am an overcomer
  • I accept me for who I am
  • I am valuable
  • I am learning to process my emotions in a healthy way
  • I am learning my triggers – I have power over them
  • God has equipped me with the strength and ability to handle my emotions
  • I take ownership and responsibility for my healing

Here is a portion of the lyrics from the song that helps me:

“This will end like I want it to, I win
The enemy will have to lose again
See, I’m a different fighter now
And I have God to thank
‘Cause His joy is my strength
See the devil will learn it’s a mistake
When I am sure
That I’m not going in cycles
I’m not going in cycles
I’m gonna break these cycles
I’m not going in cycles”

Time Out

This weekend I did something out of the ordinary. I took a time out. In efforts to protect my peace and make sure I am keeping my cup full, I decided to spend the day at a monastery. The Monastery of the Holy Spirit, is located in Conyers, GA with beautiful trees and landscaping. I was drawn to it for one thing – silence. I needed it. I didn’t have a plan for the day. I took three journals along with an open heart. img_0119-1

My first stop was the sanctuary. The architecture was simple and beautiful. Going on a Sunday was not a good idea since the visitor center, museum, shop and garden were closed to the public. On the other hand, it was an excellent idea few people were there. After walking around for a while, I found a “nook” in a corner, in the shade which had the perfect breeze. I unpacked my journals and sat. I breathed in the silence and waited. I waited to cool off first, then I waited to, once again, still my mind.

Wait! Let me backup to the sanctuary. I wasn’t seated five minutes before my eyes started this random leaking thing. I felt peaceful. I knelt on the floor. I felt like I was where I needed to be in the moment to get direction and clarity. I’ll be honest. I have a great deal of things I want to accomplish in life; many people I want to help – but I want it to manifest NOW. I have many questions and prayers prayed. I was restless for answers. img_0134

The theme of the day quickly came as I sat in the sanctuary:

“Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.” James 1:3-4

I had to submit to that. I had to realize that in order to get where I’m going, the process is unavoidable. I’ve said many times, the lesson is in the journey. I have to heed my own advice. 

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God has equipped me with great strength. There are battle scars, but I am still standing in the strength of God.

This, my dear friends, is the life of an overcomer. We learn our lessons. We give ourselves space and grace to grow. We practice self-care. We reflect and make adjustments. Don’t trust your feelings or your thoughts. You may not “feel” like an overcomer. You may even have the evidence to back up that feeling. Truth remains – You. Are. An. Overcomer.

We work our process. We may kick, scream or cry, but we work, we wait, we grow. 

The process may be slow. It seems like we are waiting an extreme amount of time, but the lessons are worth it. The journey will be worth it.

Think about how many years it takes a tree to grow to maturity. You and me? We’ll get there.