Giving away my happiness

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They say that happiness is something that you choose to have. And that nobody can take it away from you if you don’t let them. Yet, how is it that today at 12pm I found myself with red, puffy, swollen eyes again? This time, I was actually at work.

You can just make the decision that you’re going to be happy… or at least that’s what I’ve heard thus far. Well, I can’t recall waking up one day and saying I DIDN’T want to be happy, but here I am. Or sometimes, perhaps my issue is that I’m failing to acknowledge that I’m sad. Could it be that? Because at this point, I must be listing my happiness for free somewhere on the internet. I’ve obviously allowed someone or something to take it from me because happy is not something I know these days.

I recognize that this change is not one that I can make on my own. I know that only God can do it through me. So maybe I’m focusing my energy on the wrong issue? Perhaps the true problem is that I’m doing something to prevent him from truly working in and through me?

The job I have now has been my dream job since I was a child and it’s frightening to me to think that I can be miserable while fulfilling a life dream. Of course I know that things will get better and I know that there’s no way to prevent the roller coaster of life from going up and down. But whatever the lifehack is that allows some people to just be happy under any circumstances is, I wanna have it too. And I’m sure it’s as available to me as it is to anyone else.

Taking a few steps back

IMG_0926 So I made a decision. Sort of…

I mean, I did make a decision for now. I decided that I am going to take a break from work. I had been contemplating this for a while, but I had told myself that I wouldn’t do it until I had gone through my budget for the rest of the year. For whatever reason… I just never got around to that. It seemed like little bits of my life were falling off and crumbling to pieces… but recently, I’ve found that God is stripping away things that hold me back from fulfilling my purpose.

So in a moment of pure anxiety, on the edge of my seat, the beginning of an anxiety attack… I asked for a few months off. My request was granted, which was bitter sweet. The pros are that I will have more time to rest, to grow as a person, figure some things out, spend time with God, and clean my home. And penny pinching is what I NEED right now because I’ve somewhat doubled back on my minimalism and it shows in my home.

I’m excited though. Thank you Jesus.

On taking my own advice…

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A photo of fuji in the background from Misakiguchi station

I’m always looking to comfort a loved one and remind them that everything will be alright. It’s something that I believe is one of my spiritual gifts from God and a part of His ultimate plan for me. Yet, lately I’ve had to take a serious look in the mirror. It’s great that I like to go to those who need me and encourage them and remind them that it’s in God’s hands. However, I should be doing more than just saying these things, I need to believe them, and I need to show my belief through my own actions.

I’m a woman who panics. There, I said it. I panic all of the time and 20 out of 24 hours of the day, I am in a constant state of anxiety and paranoia. I worry about just about any and everything and it’s been impossible for me to ever really relax. Why? Because over time, I’ve managed to convince myself that any and every bad thing that’s ever happened to me and hurt me was my fault and I believe that if I have more control over what’s going on around me, I can not be hurt again. No, it doesn’t always work out for me. In fact, sometimes I get myself into some deep waters. But this way of thinking and acting has been the way that I’ve operated and it’s given me enough results that I stuck with it til it became habit.

Now that I’ve begun to swim deeper into my faith, I’m realizing that it’s time that I stop trying to control my life out of fear, and give it over to God. Not only for my own happiness and peace, but so that I am in a better position for Him to use me. Maybe I won’t even have to speak so much to those around me because I will become a walking example of what I preach. I just don’t really know how to give Him more control. I don’t know how to live without believing I’m in control. And I’m almost afraid of what that feels like. I endured these feelings for about a month before and it was nightmarish for me. I will say, though, that towards the end of it all, I did have a small amount of peace. That’s probably the only time in my life that I was able to allow myself to be happy, despite what was happening around me. Even then, my anxiety was higher than ever and whenever my happy-high would wear off, I’d remember that I was living in a bad dream and I’d have small panic attacks.

I don’t even believe, or want to believe, that that’s what life is like when you give it over to God. At the same time, I just don’t really know what to do. I’ve been trying to retrace my steps back to the last word I got from Him because maybe if I pick up where we left off, I’ll be back on track. I also realize that perhaps I need to just ask him to help me to submit and turn over my life to Him.

Wish me luck~

4 Life Lessons

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Sometimes life grabs you by the throat and squeezes

 

I’ve always been instructed to pray bold prayers, so finally, I started to do just that. I asked God for several things, and I also asked him to take several things away from me. However, I didn’t realize the level of preparedness that I would need in order to get through what God was about to deliver.

A spiritual journey. Yep, that’s what I asked for. And you know what? God ripped me up and out of my comfort zone faster than I could finish the prayer! I have spent my time since then going through every emotion possible and slowly beginning to lean on my faith in ways that I didn’t even know were possible. I’ve got so much that I want to write and share, but for now I’m just going to talk about 4 lessons I’ve been blessed with recently:

Lesson 1: Be grateful for the blessings you do have

Honestly, I really thought I had this one down! I thank God all the time for the blessings I do have. BUT, I also have a terrible tendency to let the tiny setbacks in my life overshadow the good things. I realized that I need to spend a lot more time than I did before expressing gratitude. It’s not enough for me to just thank God for 5 minutes in the morning, before bed, or just before I bite into some food. I need to express my gratitude constantly so that I can never forget how fortunate I really am. There are a few ways that I have began to express gratitude more often, but one in particular that interests me is community service. Helping someone else really motivates me to be better, but also reminds me to be glad for all of the small things I do have.

Lesson 2: Know that you’re not alone

It’s so easy for the devil to whisper in my ears during my moments of darkness and remind me that I’m all alone and that no one can save me. So I’ve learned how important it is for me to really know and believe that I am not alone. There are people who have been through or are going through whatever it is you’re going through and they survived. You never even know but, some people may be going through it at the same time as you and they’re right beside you. It’s easier to slip into depression when you think it’s just you and that the world hates you, but if you recognize that you’re not alone, it makes that little light at the end of the tunnel much brighter.

Lesson 3: Lean on those who want to support you

It’s easy to think about and forget the people who you believe are there for you during tough times. Actually allowing yourself to be vulnerable and leaning on them is another story though. Sometimes I really felt all alone in the world and the old me would have wallowed in that pity party. This time around, I leaned on the people God strategically placed into my life pretty hard. I allowed myself to open up and talk about my feelings, break down, and even ask for favors that I’d never usually ask for. As much as I hate doing that, I really strengthened relationships, built new ones, and decreased the weight of the stress that I was going through.

Lesson 4: Keep pushing and never give up

That darn depression induced tunnel vision is the worst! It really makes me stop in my tracks because I’m almost convinced that the rest of the world has come to a screeching halt. In reality, it’s only me that’s stopped moving forward and making progress. That’s something I’ve learned I can not do. When it seems that one door is shut, it’s imperative that I start looking for the next door! Giving up is just not an option and neither is accepting the answer “no”.

Lately, my advice to those around me is to do what’s best, not what you think is going to be the right decision (unless they are the same thing). It’s good advice that I have got to apply to my own life more often. I look at every day these days as if they could be my last, so I live them to the fullest. I do what I can with what I can, and I can not stress about what I can not do. I appreciate my life much more and my trust in God has been increased 100 times over. I don’t assume that everything will be okay, or that the hard parts of life are over, but I assume and BELIEVE that it is all handled and that I should not worry about things anymore.

Confidence

Until recently, I didn’t realize how much of it I am lacking. I like to think of myself as an amazing, valuable woman who is capable of way more than even she realizes. Yet, in the past month, I’ve caught myself saying “why me” when offered great opportunities. In those moments, something else takes over me and I begin to question myself completely. Can I really do that? Do I really know that? Am I really worth all of that?

It’s an awful feeling and I’m not quire sure how to get to the root of the issue. I am somewhat sure that part of it is that I rely to much on myself and not enough on God. So what if I can’t? He can. He can do it for me or even through me. So what’s there to doubt? Am I not following His will? I mean, I may not be perfect, but my heart is set on the will of God and I can not allow pesky self doubt get in the way. Besides, God won’t let self-doubt get in the way! Self doubt can pester me and try to take me out, but it’s no match for my God.

Like any other challenge lately, I’m looking this one in the eyes as I lace up my spiritual boxing gloves. I let these kind of thoughts rule my life for too long. Now, one-by-one I am determined to face them head on.

Moving Forward

This morning, I took some time to write my last entry in my 2017 bullet journal. I wanna just say that bullet journals are AMAZING. I am so glad that I invested in that little notebook for my thoughts. I’ve actually filled up almost every page with my thoughts, ideas, schedules, grocery lists, etc… The entry I wrote this morning was so important and will likely become a reference point for me over the next 12 months. I meditated over just about every other word as I thought about where I am today and where I was this time last year. And when I closed that notebook, I couldn’t help but smile at the idea that I may have this bright future available. It honestly makes me more grateful for every day that I wake up. And speaking of grateful, I also made sure to write out the instructions that I have received from God recently.

Also, today is Christmas and I love it. The idea of a day to celebrate the birth of my savior… Just brings me an unexplainable kind of joy. But is it strange that the next holiday on my mind is Easter aka The Resurrection.