I met and sat before a familiar face, perhaps my best memories of her is quiet, intelligent, kind, good hearted and beautiful. I listened to her story.
What is before me seemed to be drained of life. Devoid of joy, confused, lost and disoriented. Hungry for a place to fully express without being interrupted and judge.
In her five years of marriage, she has reap words so demeaning and deprecating she has lost her sense of value and intelligence. The words she received from her husband I never imagine would be uttered to her. The words are so verbally and mentally abusive. This is not okay, this is not normal in marriage specially for a husband who claims of faith in Christ and know the scripture.
Bible verses weaponize against her wife. This is not okay, and will never be okay.
Using God and faith to manipulate a wife, in order for his wishes to be fulfilled. This is not okay and never okay. This is not normal!
Not allowing your wife not to talk to pastors, people that can guide marriage and be part of a community. This is not okay.
Blaming the wife for his misfortunes is not okay. This guy is not taking ownership!
She wonders if this marriage is normal. I said, this is not okay and this is not normal.
The wife is a victim of an abusive relationship.
But here’s the thing, the husband was raised up by a single mom, who also weaponize the scriptures as he was raised up. This too was not and never okay.
The husband grew up in environment, that is very controlling, lacking of praise and filled with correction.
The husband is also a victim.
But this cycle has to stop, at least that’s what I think.
Thoughts from this:
The Bible is not meant to be weaponize to attack and manipulate others. This does not give glory to God and not reflective of His good character.
Sadly, not all who goes to church, nor who knows the bible and every verse does not necessarily equate with being intimate with God and a disciple.
While every believer is not expected to be perfect, our journey in faith is inescapable of gospel transformation. That changes our hearts and behavior reflective of Jesus Christ’s along the process.
What are your thoughts?
We actually make it harder for ourselves when we are in denial of our personal state as a whole. The same goes for our emotional and mental state. It is okay, not to be okay!
In this blog I’ll be sharing what we need to understand, what we need to do, why not being okay can be okay.
This pandemic has put as all in a corner and brought about restrictions that we never had, freedom has been redefined, our physical activities and daily lives disrupted, forcing us to adapt to a new normal. All these are a recipe for a roller coaster of emotional and mental stress. And I am not excepted from these either.
Here’s what we need to understand about emotions.
- Emotions are valid, but we also need to learn from it.
- Our emotions are important to God, God created emotions to convey something that we need to inquire of him and for us to anchor inGod.
- Awareness of our current emotions enables us to respond with the right behavior.
- Emotions should not define our behaviors but God’s Word can transform us through the renewing of our minds that results in right actions.
- Emotions provides a rich source of information of the state of our heart.
- Emotions is a gauge for processing and reflection and not a button for reaction.
First things first, Yes prayers and devotion should be part of every believer. The emphasis on this blog is the role of available tools and community in the journey that God has designed for us.
What we can do?
1. Recognize and validate emotions.
You have to recognize that your emotions are valid, it is telling you that there is something wrong and you have to act, left unrecognized and unvalidated, it is like a small stone inside your shoes rolling around that will, in time, trigger uncomfortable pain.
Left unrecognized, emotions can become an invisible layer of wall building on the layers of unsettled issues that will eventually blow up or create a relational divide towards key relationships.
We have to honest in asking ourselves the following questions:
- How do I truly feel? am I frustrated? anger?calm? annoyed?elated? rage? jealous?
- Where is it coming from? What is the source that triggered it? Example: a friend who normally greets me happily when passing by, did not do that today, that made me feel- unwanted/ rejected/ distant? Or made you think that you did something wrong?
- Is there a potential lie I am embracing or believing because of what I feel? Example I feel insignificant, I am a failure, I am worthless, life is hopeless, I will never amount to anything.
- What is the truth I need to embrace?Example I failed in a one time quiz, However that does not define me as failure in life. Here’s another one, “I will never be loved” the scripture say I am fully loved by God even before I was born.
- For believers of Jesus Christ, what is your scriptural truth and worth? What does God think about me through my identity in Christ.
Tip: Research and understand the different emotions. It is helpful to find the right language with you feel and being able to distinguish it is important this enables us to respond with the right behavior. Google is rich source of listed of emotions.
2. Discover what works with you in understanding how you are taking up the emotions over the present situation.
One of habit I’ve develop over the years is keeping a journal. The process of writing has taught me that there is more to what really feel.
Another is running or walking, because I am an aesthetic learner. I am better able to process my overwhelming emotions and thoughts, doing these is also relaxing and has been helpful to focus on what truly is going on.
Self talk when walking, running or in solitude moments has been very helpful to process and understand why I am responding in a specific way.
Lastly having meaningful and honest conversation with a community of friends and spiritual community. These are vulnerable and unfiltered moments of conversations with people who provide safe place to fully express without being judge.
3. Actively participate in group discussions.
Being part of a community wherein you can freely express yourself without judgement and prejudice. These groups can be your friends, church community, Bible study groups, mentors and coaches.
Connect with other people, know what they are going through, aside from being listened to, be a listener to what really going with others.
We need a community that speaks truth and grace in our life, encourages us, speaks faith and points us back to our relationship with God and the Lordship of Jesus in our lives.
To answer why not being okay can be okay.
Not being okay can be okay because it can be a starting point of knowing ourselves better and this can be an opportunity of growth towards Christlikeness.
Not being okay can be okay because it can be a springboard of meaningful conversations with key relationships and staying connected to God.
Not being okay, can be okay when it is growing your character more, molding us to be more patient, gracious, understanding, content, forgiving, developing self- control, faithfulness, kindness, endurance. That is when it is definitely not being okay can be okay.
I am not perfect in following these principles either, I am still a work in progress but strive to build continuously in these areas. I am grateful for the gift of relationship with God and other people, that has encouraged me when emotional roller coasters arise. I would love to hear what you think about what you have read, or if there are things you think I could add or improved on this blog.
This was taken at the beginning of the year, I was doing a series of video message to our group in facebook. I made this public, because I felt others can benefit from it. Enjoy and let me know at the comment section what you think about it.
I previously shared about prioritization of personal well being for 2020, one of they key aspect of habits to build upon is developing habits for the mind one of those is reading.
How can someone love the idea of daily reading or actually make it a habit? On this blog, I looked back to my experience and sharing the how’s and tips of it.
The reading habits of ultra-successful people is an article that may just inspire you to make reading a habit.
Reading is powerful, it takes you places you’ve never been, imagination beyond compare, it enlarges your knowledge and enable you to grow your understanding in so many aspects in life. It’s like meeting with another mind. Here’s my How’s and tips for you.
Find and explore the kind of book that interest you, Not bore you.
Let’s admit it, we don’t like boring readings,maybe just maybe, you haven’t really found what really meets you mind. As a starter, it is good to start with books that interest you first. This is the identification of your which genre of literature your into. Take this as your adventure and exploration time. It is best to find the books that meets your interest and enjoys most.
Through time I realized I have enjoyed multiple genre of book, I first started with Tom Clancy’s Virus, eventually ending up reading his other novels. Now the books I’m into are from a wide range of leadership, wellbeing and spiritually. How about you? What kind of book interest you most? Let me know at the comment section.
Read with a purpose to enjoy and right mindset.
If your not enjoying it, then your dreading it! Your first 5 minutes on the book will allow you to determine if you will continue reading it. However if this a course requirement in academic you are in pursuit at the moment. It is important to take heart the value of the book in your life pursuit.
If your reading a book filled with technical terms, reflect why you are reading it and why it is worth it, taking the time to devour and invest upon. When I was just starting the habit of reading, my primary motivations was for me widen my vocabulary, as I grew in understanding I grew in appreciation and in knowledge.
Challenge your self to a 20 minutes daily book reading.
Starting a reading habit can be overwhelming for a non- reader, to help you focus, setting a timer may just work for you, for a start set a ten minute or 20 minute timer and put an alarm at the end. Before setting the alarm, be intentional in keeping way with digital distractions. Keep away from mobile devices for more focus.
After the alarm rings, take a pause and think what you got from your reading. Take a 5 minute walk, do other task, play a game on your phone, have a short conversation with someone, do push ups then go back again to your timer to continue reading. The short break helps reboots the mind.
As time past, as you consistently do the daily habit, you will notice how you will naturally increase your reading time.
Handwrite your learnings from the books.
Having a pen and notebook at hand is very important in the process of handwriting your light bulb moments at the same time it helps keep retention of the valuable lessons or principle. Handwriting activates the brain more than keyboarding because it involves more complex motor and cognitive skills.
Handwriting contributes to reading fluency because it activates visual perception of letters, hence it is crucial for note taking. Taking notes by hand is vital for ages because it improves attention, comprehension and results.
Share your learnings with others.
The process of recalling the topic reinforces your mind to think back, giving more retention of the knowledge in our brain. Downloading your learnings does not need to be awkward or sound boastful, there is graceful way in putting it in conversation with the heart to help others, your insight may add knowledge to others and might just be very helpful. I enjoy listening to my friends, part of our regular conversations are sharing insightful ideas we have picked within the day or week. This kind of conversations stirs the mind for new things and great ideas.
Join a group books study or book club.
Part of the perks and privilege of my work is passion for growth and learning, and this is translated in our book study together and then we get to talk about it in our meetings. After all leaders are readers. That experience was really helpful for me, having the deadlines to meet, being accountable with my teammates and sharing my insights about the chapter gave me the extra push to do my readings. The principle of doing a book study together as community gives way to a more insightful learnings and conversations.
The end goal is to make reading a habit, to enjoy and love the journey that each book leads you. It is not about how many books you can finish, thought that would be wonderful.The a journey of enriching the mind, heart and soul should ultimately lead us to help others. May our learnings leads to actions that impact lives and communities.
Where your priorities are, there your time will be. Personal well-being is just as important as our external priorities. When we are healthier on the inside, we live better lives and thrive despite life’s challenges.
No one else will take care of your well-being but you alone. In order for us to continue to serve the world, our private world has to be in order.
Below are 3 areas of our well-being and some suggested habits we can build to to help enrich it.
Mental / Emotional / Spiritual Aspect
- Creating morning routines
- Spiritual practices
- Working on a meaningful project
- Taking trips on a weekend
- Joining fitness classes
- Spending time in Nature
- Have a good enough sleep that works with your body rhythm
- Eating healthy
- Excercising regularly
- Spending quality time with love ones
- Talking to family and friends over the phone
- Volunteering regularly
- Attending cultural or sporting events.
- Community involvement
In order for us to keep serving and loving others, we need to learn to love and take care of our self first; that is being intentional of a healtheir you inside – out.
How about you? What best practices for well-being helps you the most? Or what new habits for well-being will you be starting this year? I’d like to hear from you at the comment section.