At some point over the last 25 to 30 years, I’ve become more thoughtful and aware as an adult, I became curious about what makes me tick. I made a conscious decision I wanted to be more purposeful in my life, more intentional with my thoughts and handling situations with others. I wish to know the things that make me work, the things that make me who I am, and to find those things that are hidden. I want to grasp a hold of them in such a way that I may better understand them, and personally play an active role in their workings or to even be able to unplug from them. Also, to have a better grasp of where I'm going, rather than to aimlessly wander.
I'm not a psychologist, nor do I hold a degree in mental health. I do believe as a God-fearing person, there's much our Savior and Holy spirit can do to help us heal and overcome, that is, if we will allow it and be willing to do some hard work. So what I share only comes from personal experience from what I've learned along the way on my journey to gain more understanding in how to operate in a present time dialog with myself and others. I want to be intentional.
Our psyche is made up of so many parts, and it would be impossible to understand it all in a day or even a lifetime. Still, we know that genetics, environment, and life experiences, good or bad, have played a considerable part in our daily dealings in life. By nature, we even give ourselves permission to do the bad sometimes and are entirely unaware and sometimes by participating in things that will harm us, when we know we shouldn’t. Sometimes we do step into unhealthy places in our minds, and we aren’t even aware of it. PTSD is a genuine phenomenon and can hold a person in a horrific state.
In talking about these things, I discovered that by allowing myself to be more vulnerable with safe people, of course, and letting myself be with people on an honest level, I’m finding out a lot about myself even still. This week I learned that in getting to know some new people better, I initially acted a little different than I normally would by being around people that I’m around a lot more. For instance, when I’m with my Son or Daughter , close friend or coworker, I tend to be more confident than I would be if I’m with someone I’ve only spent a few hours or days with.
Socially awkward, if you will! Yikes!
So my speech will change, my heart will race, and I will find myself not speaking up as I usually would. My confidence to speak might go out the window as if I’m afraid I’m not going to say the right thing or my mind goes blank. I’ve also realized there have been times I’ve been conditional about some things in my life, wherein other parts of my life I wouldn’t dare be. It’s a realization that somehow came to light and was birthed right before my eyes. In retrospect, I may have held it to be part of some unhealthy belief system. Which sometimes, there's a bit of too.
A bit uncanny, actually, but I’ll take it because I believe we are all made with an infinite ability to grow and learn and change through realizing our flaws and shortcomings and taking deliberate steps to shed off old skin. The process isn’t always a short one. Sometimes it may take years of searching and replacing old habits and thoughts with new ones and taking responsibility for failures, and grieving those failures, and celebrating further gains and losses. Sometimes a loss can imitate growth. We are recognizing our strengths, weaknesses, recognizing when we are confident and when we aren’t. Finding the right counselor or tools that work for us can sometimes be a challenge. I always try to stay in a present state of mind and even just stop for a little while to get my bearings. Its ok, we all need to do this if we are honest with ourselves.
If we look at our behaviors and embrace what we often call destructive or harmful behaviors, it can propel us forward.
So with that said, by taking the courage to look closer at ourselves, we can grow stronger and be above the autonomous gears that we operate in every day. I never want to be a slave to my adverse reactions. I do want to know what they are, look them in the ‘eye’ and fight back. To fight back by putting myself in a new situation to make new friends, go new places, and do new things. By allowing myself to be more vulnerable, and each time I hope to capture a unique experience and gain more power over my thoughts, feelings, and reactions. Allowing myself to connect with new people allows fresh bonding, and guess what? Hurt people by nature do not want to bond, and this is a trauma reaction, and instead of helping us grow, it pushes us further into isolation. Some traumas take much longer to heal, and we may take a few steps forward, make some gains and then fall, and that’s ok. But we must get up and go at it again.
We are all different, but we can’t stay in one place very long; we must move forward, winning every day, step by step. We must make safe, strong friendships. Without them, our lives will be a stagnant, dark lonely place. In some of our relationships, the lights went out a long time ago, and we can still love and admire those people for all the wrong reasons. When we do this, we can take some of this baggage into a our new relationships, and this will cause us not to flourish or not to make commitments or healthy decisions.
Find out where you are, find out your strengths and weaknesses, and a quote from John C. Maxwell. He said, ‘Fail, Forward, Fast.’ Turn those failures and defects into stepping stones!
Don’t sit in a lousy place for too long, and if you don’t know what to do, grab a counselor with a good track record and talk it out! Take it from someone who stayed in a bad marriage for 20 years. Don't stay in something too long just because you hope it will get better. I was raised that if I dissolved my marriage, I would go to hell and be cast out from Gods love. Extreme belief systems can destroy lives. (Just because your in church, doesn't mean your safe). I won’t get the time back, but I can move forward, working on being my authentic self, enjoying a new life and a healed heart, soul, and mind.
I have a fresh new outlook now, a very close relationship with God, and I know he's not a punisher, but a lover of my soul, he supports my dreams and my desires, and he's a great Dad! I know I've said a lot here, but just know, it's really important for us to question what makes us tick! Dare to question your thoughts and perceptions. Question your feelings, and ask yourself could you react in a happier more positive way. Are you stuck in the past way of thinking or are you thinking in a present time place. Don't let an unsettled mind keep you from being in a present time moment. Just because we think a certain thought or way, it doesn't make it true. Align your life in such a way to keep hinderances away. I'm a firm believer in questioning why I do things. It's ok to change it. It's ok to do something different. Break free, and be bold! . You are unique, don't copy someone else's path.
Be blessed, Be strong, Stay Young, Be you!
Be Encouraged, and always have the courage to reach out to strong leaders, challenge yourself to become bigger, better, wiser. Don't let anyone stop you on the pathway to your dreams. A good indicator of a support system is those who back you and push you towards your desires, not hold you in ‘their’ place of reality. Holding those people close gives you the liberty to move forward towards living out your dreams. Everyday is a new day, a new fresh start!
You can Do it! Don't Quit! Go be a better you!
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Candice Holtzclaw ‘Candi’