Break Free

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Break Free from doubt.

Break Free from fear.

Break Free from negativity.

Break Free from debt.

Break Free from sickness.

Break Free from pain.

Break Free from addiction.

Break Free from confusion.

Break Free from worry and stress.

Break Free from poor decisions.

Break Free from weaknesses.

Break Free from poverty.

Break Free from past mistakes.

Break Free from guilt and shame.

Break Free from old routines and habits.

Break Free from your enemies.

Break Free and know that WE are BIGGER than OUR circumstances.

Break Free and understand that the POWER to change and improve OUR lives starts with US.

Break Free and prosper.

Break Free and claim peace of mind.

Break Free and experience happiness and love.

Break Free and see your life in a new way.

Break Free and nurture your strength of mind, body and spirit.

Break Free and go into this new day full of PURPOSE and a NEW understanding.

May the spirit of the Lord show us the way.

Give us the courage, wisdom, guidance and strength to see this process through.

Break Free, Break Free, Break Free.

 

Walk into this new day with your head up as we believe and work on our breakthroughs one day at a time. You are not alone!  Trust and believe that you WILL overcome each and every obstacle in your life. In the name of Jesus, AMEN!

Have a blessed day friends. Thank you for stopping by.

Health and Wellness Fridays : Self-control

Hello and welcome back to Health and Wellness Fridays!  Hope you all are having a wonderful Friday. Tonight,  I want to talk about the challenges most of us have in exercising self-control especially as it relates to our eating habits.

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Let me first start off by saying that this is an area I personally struggle with.  I know all the right foods to eat and all the unhealthy foods to avoid and yet in spite of all of this knowledge and wisdom – it can be really tough to walk away sometimes.  I know for a fact that I’m not the only person with this issue but let’s keep the focus on me. I don’t want you guys feeling bad or guilty. So just hear me out. 🙂

Self-control means that not only do we have the POWER to control ourselves, our choices and our decisions but that we actually USE that power in our best interest.

I believe we all have self-control the challenge is applying it to the areas of our lives that we have relinquished control – for some it is their finances, others their relationships, and so many other areas but mine is junk food. 🙁

Do I have self-control? Yes! Is it effectively applied to every area of my life? No. Food is one of the most challenging areas for me. Sure, I have the good stuff like my fruits, veggies, nuts, multivitamins, and so on but I also have occasional fries, fried chicken, pizza,  and Chinese food from time to time.  I know what I have to do and yet there are times when I decide to just throw it out the door and just have what I want and not necessarily what I need.

Do I love myself enough to do better? Yes!  So what’s holding me back from committing fully to the process?  Let’s find out.

  1. Cravings – old habits where you can’t help but want what you want even after you’ve implemented new habits.
  2. Enablers – the people around me who love the same stuff I love so it’s easy to fall back into it.
  3. Self talk – where I convince myself I’m in control and I walk into an establishment leaving self-control at the door as the aroma of food fills the air.  He better not watch me crossed eyed when I’m walking back out with my fast food in tow he can pout all he wants.  🙂
  4. Emotional eating – if I am feeling stressed out  you could believe that I am going in search of my comfort food KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) or a good BBQ. It does help to be honest but I do feel guilty after so all I end up doing is transitioning from one emotion to another.
  5. Not eating on time.  This is a major factor in me making poor food choices as I let my sense of smell and sight along with my hunger pains determine what I eat and how much.
  6. The belief that because I make healthy food choices most times that  I can have occasional ‘feel good food’. Life is just too short for diet rigidity.

All of the above factors make self-control over eating habits more challenging.  How do we overcome them?

  1. Eating on time. I try to add little snacks like yogurt, fruit or even nuts to help me not feel so hungry as I’m often stuck behind a desk.
  2. Try to monitor my stress levels and try to distract myself with music to take my mind off of whatever is attempting to throw me off.
  3. Monitor the self talk. If I feel like convincing myself to go through the drive thru I would try to give myself reasons why I probably shouldn’t go – the line is just too long, the chicken might not even be fresh or the fries might be hot.  It works most times.
  4. As for the enablers, I just started saying NO especially if I already indulged once or twice for the week then anything after that is a no. I end up talking down their cravings as well. Of course, they’ll be a little disappointed and I’ll probably have to provide an alternative but at least we saved ourselves from overindulging.
  5. Cravings – I try not to stifle my urges entirely because food makes me happy. I have made an effort to regulate how often I would indulge for the week and month and try to stay within or under that goal making sure not to exceed it. Example, I might have KFC 2 -3 times for the month rather than 2-3 times for the week.
  6. Being honest with myself about what my weaknesses are and trying to put things in place to improve them for the betterment of ME.

Self-control is inside of each of us we just have to tap into it meaningfully. We all stumble from time to time and that’s okay. We need to support and encourage each other especially in areas of weakness – so let’s pick ourselves up and keep pushing forward. When we give up on ourselves self-control walks out the door.

Our health and wellness is just as important as those other areas of our lives that we apply self-control to if not more so.  It is there to protect us but it can’t work if we don’t use it.

Have a wonderful night and an amazing weekend.  Thank you for stopping by.

Dangers Of Playing It Too Safe

Playing it safe from time to time could save us a lot of hurt in certain situations.  I used to ‘play it safe’ and still do in some aspects of my life.  However, there is a difference between playing it safe and playing it too safe.

In fact, playing it too safe is probably one sure way of increasing the odds that very little happens to you.  You’re probably wondering, how is this a bad thing and what makes it so dangerous?

Some dangers ofplaying it too safeinclude:

  1. We limit our experiences and by extension our learning.  If you are unwilling to try new things or do things differently from time to time how would you learn and grow your knowledge.  Reading knowledge from a book is great because you get a point of reference but actually attempting something or trying something new gives you that experience that you will carry with you for a lifetime – no book could give you that!
  2. We can cause others to naturally exclude us from events.  If you are invited to events from time to time and your answer is always NO eventually people would stop asking.  Of course, I’m referring to people you are familiar with and feel safe being around.  I’m in no way suggesting you put yourself in any situation that can be potentially harmful to your well-being.
  3. We let our fear of uncertainty prevent us from truly enjoying life.  Life is full of uncertainties that is a given however, if we allow ourselves to stay out or away from everything, are we enjoying our lives?  Take small steps, do little things and enjoy the air and breath that you wake up each day to enjoy.
  4. We pass on this way of thinking and living to our children making them fearful of the world.  As parents, our job is to protect our children but we should do so objectively.  Yes, we have to warn them of the potential dangers out there but we should also show them that the world still has in it good things as well that can and should be enjoyed.
  5. We limit the knowledge we have about ourselves such as likes, dislikes, true strengths and weaknesses because we don’t want to try anything new.  When we avoid anything that is new or different how do we really know if we like it or dislike it without even trying.  I’ve never done drugs but what I know of it and seen I know without a doubt that is not something I want to be messing with.  There are just some experiences we don’t need to mess with. Pick your battles, stay safe and stay smart!  
  6. We can end up isolating ourselves.  Sometimes being too safe could cause us to share little of ourselves with others.  It’s okay to say hi or just flash a smile from time to time. Sometimes when a stranger says “Good morning or Hello” it is just that, they are simply being nice and courteous.
  7. We have difficulty accepting change.  We want things how we want it, the way we’ve known it and don’t want to try anything else.  It is good to change up your routine from time to time.  Take a different route home, try a different brand it is good to have options.

All in all, life is just too short to be stuck doing things one way all the time.  We are here to enjoy life, to learn, to love and share with each other while having some fun along the way.  Create memories that put a smile on your face and brings joy to your heart.  Be brave but not reckless. Share the moments with the people you love.

Stay blessed.  Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Have a great day!

 

Are you dependent on the approval of others?

This weekend the word approval came to mind.  I found myself wondering why such a simple word complicated the lives of so many of us.

I can honestly sit here today and say that I struggled with needing the approval of others for a long time. From my childhood to adulthood this word I could not escape until now.

How did I do it?  I sort to understand why I needed it and started approaching life and my interactions with others and myself differently.  I understand it better and no longer let it control me or my actions.

History of approval

The need to get the approval of others starts early in our lives.  We grow up seeking the approval of our parents, teachers and even our friends. Why? Once we’ve seen and experienced what disappointing them feels like we try not to repeat that once it can be helped.

We like knowing that they are happy and satisfied with us. Other times their approval can make us feel like we belong.    As adults, we carry that same desire into the rest of our lives.  It affects us in our relationships, in the workplace even how we see and value ourselves.

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of approval versus dependency on approval.

The upside of approval

  1. It provides confirmation.
  2. Help validate who you are.
  3. Builds you up – making you feel good or better.
  4. Provide a sense of belonging.

The downside of dependency on approval

  1. When you don’t get it you don’t feel good about yourself.
  2. It could make you feel insecure or uncertain about what you’ve done.
  3. Some people may use it against you.  They know you want their approval so they purposely don’t give it hoping this would negatively affect you.
  4. You’re constantly second guessing yourself.
  5. Keeps you stuck. You delay action or won’t act because you don’t believe in yourself hence you need this approval to push you into action.
  6. It breathes a quiet fear that hinders you from truly growing as an individual.

Reflecting on all of this confirmed for me that although the approval from others is good and has its benefits it is not always necessary except in the workplace when it directly relates to your job.

More importantly, becoming heavily dependent on getting the approval of others is more damaging than good.    I can tell you from first-hand experience that sometimes in life, if you sit back waiting for others to recognize, substantiate, acknowledge or reward your efforts you may be disappointed.  They may not give it and sometimes if they do it may not even be genuine and can be just as hurtful.

Don’t let this get you down.  Don’t let it discourage you.  Don’t let such people take away how good you feel about your contribution or yourself.

Their acknowledgement or lack thereof does not make you any less of a person.  It does not mean what you’ve done is not good because it is probably amazing!  Once you’ve done your best and feel good about it let that satisfaction fill you up.  Their thumbs up would be great but you taking joy in yourself is more important.

The trick is to value yourself first that way what others think of you would be more of an enhancer and not a deciding factor.   Many times it is simply their own insecurities or jealousy that makes it difficult for them to compliment or acknowledge the good others do.  That is something they have to work on.

You just have to focus on being YOUR BEST not THEIR BEST.

I would leave you with this, if you have people in your life that support and encourage you be thankful for them. Genuine people are rare hold on to them.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Don’t let your PAIN hinder your GROWTH

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Image Credit: Pixabay.com

Everything happens for a reason both the good and the bad. Some people come into your life to build you up while others try to break you down.  Every encounter has a purpose ultimately it is up to you to use it to make you better, stronger and wiser.

How many of you can say that you’ve never been hurt emotionally, physically or psychologically by another human being?  I’ve been hurt and I don’t feel bad acknowledging this because even Jesus had his share of hurt, pain and disappointments.

How many of you can say that when you were hurt that it did not negatively affect you?   Whenever, I feel hurt sometimes it affects my mood, my appetite and even my interactions with others. The fact is, we all react to pain differently but we all react nonetheless. 

PAIN is a part of life.  There is no way we would be able to go through this life and have everything and everyone in our lives be perfect 24/7.  It is unrealistic because life itself is unpredictable.  We have to learn to handle our pain and emotions in a manner that does not leave us feeling defeated, helpless and broken.

The circumstance may have labelled you the “victim” but you can determine if you accept or reject that label. Take a note of the following, DON’T LET YOUR PAIN… 

  1. STEAL YOUR FUTURE.
  2. HOLD YOU BACK IN LIFE.
  3. PARALYZE YOU.
  4. KEEP YOU STUCK.
  5. FEED YOU EXCUSES FOR STAYING WHERE YOU ARE.
  6. BLIND YOU FROM YOUR TRUTH.
  7. DENY YOU JOY AND HAPPINESS.
  8. SHUT THE PEOPLE OUT WHO REALLY LOVE AND CARE FOR YOU.
  9. SMOTHER YOU ANYMORE.
  10. CONTROL YOUR LIFE.

Some facts I thought you should know:

  1. YOU ARE NOT PERFECT AND THAT’S OKAY. NO ONE IS!
  2. YOU ARE MORE THAN YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE – SO DON’T JUST SIT BACK AND ACCEPT THAT’S HOW IT IS.
  3. YOUR FUTURE IS ULTIMATELY UP TO YOU. 
  4. USE THE PAIN TO YOUR ADVANTAGE – LEARN FROM IT – GROW WISER AND STRONGER. 
  5. PAIN IS NOT OUR WEAKNESS. IT JUST MEANS WE ARE HUMAN.
  6. DON’T GIVE UP.

Time for the healing to begin. Find your purpose.  You were not put on this earth to be mediocre and unhappy.  You have a purpose and you have to find it.  Don’t let your pain stop your growth or keep you stuck in a rot.

Over the years with every situation I realized there was a lesson to be learnt. Not only about the people involved in it but about myself as well.  Ask yourself what is the ‘lesson’ to be learnt from this experience?  What good can you take from these lessons? Find it, so you can move forward.

You’ve made it this far!

The Benjamins and the Hopefuls

 

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Lea by: Firkin

Let me tell you a story about two families – the Benjamins and the Hopefuls.   The Benjamins were a very wealthy family. They had two sons Sam and Samuel both of whom attended private school.  Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin spent all of their time working and had little time to spend with their children.  Their sons were usually left in the care of their nanny Elsa. She was an old woman who was always very nice and kind to them.

Mr. Benjamin learnt from an early age that he had to work hard for what he wanted and he honestly believed that the sacrifice he was making would spare his sons the tough lessons he had to learn growing up.

He was proud of his accomplishments and his sons but he would never tell them. Instead, whenever Mr. Benjamin and his sons would cross paths in the hallway of their home he would always stop them and say, “Everything I’m doing, is for you” and they would always shake their heads and answer, “Yes, father. We understand“. Then they would all continue on their way to wherever they were going as they would try to stay out of each other’s way.

The truth is, Sam and Samuel didn’t understand.  In fact, the more time that passed the more resentful they became. They did not understand why having money and riches didn’t make them happy.

The Hopefuls on the other hand, were simple people. They were crop farmers and owned a modest piece of agricultural land.  They had twins a boy and a girl, Adam and Angelina.  Mr. and Mrs. Hopeful were hard-working, kind and humble people. They were not rich in material things but found value in each other.  They made the most of everything they had and always believed in teaching their children about the value of a dollar, good manners, responsibility, life skills, independence, respect, integrity, gratitude and forgiveness.

Mr. Hopeful was a very serious man but when it came to his children his heart would melt like butter. He would play with them in the field, go swimming and even take them hunting.  He treated his children equally.  Mrs. Hopeful would help them with their homework and would encourage them to assist with the chores around the house.  At bedtime she would read to them and kiss them on their foreheads. Before she would leave the room she would always say to them, “It does not matter where you start in this race called life; all that matters is how you finish.”

Adam and Angelina were always well-behaved and well-mannered.  They knew their parents loved them. Even though they did not have all of the things the other children had they never felt as though they lacked anything.  They always supported and looked out for each other.

As time went by the children in both families grew up and eventually took over the respective businesses their parents had left them.  Mr. Benjamin eventually died from a heart-attack.  Mrs. Benjamin died from a broken heart soon after.   It seems the death of her husband was too much for her.   Mr. and Mrs. Hopeful unfortunately died in a car accident later that year.

Sam and Samuel could not cope with the death of their parents. They felt alone and did not feel they were equipped to run the family business.  Sam, the younger of the two started doing drugs and hanging out with the wrong people while Samuel turned to drinking and gambling. Needless to say, the once respected Benjamin name within two years had crumbled to nothing.  The banks seized all of their properties and they had to file for bankruptcy.  Sam was eventually imprisoned for drug possession and Samuel died in a car accident. The pressures of life seemed too much.

Adam and Angelina both missed their parents terribly but knew they had each other. They stuck together and worked hard to build and grow the family business.  They had done so well that they were featured in the town’s newspaper.  They eventually expanded and opened ‘The Hopeful’s Vegetables and Poultry Market’.  All the lessons they had learnt as children growing up had prepared them for life.

Their once modest agricultural land had expanded into two and a half acres.  As they sat on the porch looking at the beautiful sunset and all the blessings they had received they could not help but remember those words their mother would recite to them before bed, “It does not matter  where you start in this race called life; all that matters is how you finish.”

This was my first short story. Hope you enjoyed it. 🙂