Wow! Wow! Woweee!
I have told you all before that I experience a lot of anxiety. It has caused me extreme discomfort and I have let it hold me back way too often.
I hear people say “Use your nerves” or “Channel your nerves” I have heard it more times than I can count, but I never knew what they meant or how to achieve it.
I found this Marie TV episode extremely profound, helpful is an understatement and, well to be honest, AWESOME!
Some quick simple techniques to understand and overcome fear, nerves, anxiety, shyness etc.
You may be far from calm and serene, but calm may not always be the most effective state when trying to capture attention, (e.g in public speaking, performing etc).
I was told recently that the most creative people more commonly also suffer from anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, etc, and that if they could just get out there and share their creative energy without letting their negative emotions prevent them, they would be brilliant!
This information is just what I needed, and I know many of you will be blown away by it too!!
One of the concepts my Dear Departed Dad always used to explain to me, has come back to me recently. It’s as though he still helping me, even after his passing.
Back when he was still around, and I was struggling to keep the faith and stay on track, He always had a phrase of comfort, or a story with stability to ground me. During series of events that made me freak out with fear and dread, events that set off all my triggers of my psychological issues, when I was filled with self-condemnation and depression etc. He knew exactly what to say to provide the support that I needed.
This is another one of his concepts that has come back into my recollection…
“Life is a play, earth is the stage. You are merely playing your role. What you face here and how you must react to it will not last forever. You are just up on stage reciting the lines, responding to the actors, the director and the plot. This is not your permanent place, this is a stepping stone to the next place. Just hold on, play the best part you can, and know that when the curtain drops it will all be over and you will never have to play that role again.”
Does that resonate with you as much as it does me?
If an actor makes a mistake on stage, they just keep going as if nothing happened (yet determined to do better next time). If the audience isn’t paying attention to them they just keep on going, doing their best, the reactions around them hardly effect the play.
In the past it helped me avoid so much dread. It helped me step aside and look at the issues without letting them overwhelm me. How I dearly miss his words of wisdom. I am so grateful that they come back to me like this so I can lean on them once again.
Even though life is tough, and gets to be too much at times, we have also been given some great roles to play that balance out the bad. The times I feel like a good mum, when I play with my girls and nurture them with kindness, approval, affection and attention. As a wife, when I can comfort and support my man. Times I feel completely loved as a child of God, Or am brave enough to share something I created. Amongst gatherings of loved ones filled with laughter and companionship, or as a servant to those in need. Even just the ability to enjoy my own company while staring deep into the blue sky above or a picturesque sunset, or the crashing waves of the ocean.
There are so many fabulous roles for us to play, let’s not allow the harder roles drag us into despair. One day all will be washed new, the curtain will drop on our time here and the next place will be where we can be our true authentic selves, not poisoned by the inner enemies we carry around with us while we are here.
It is just a play and this is just the stage!
What if you could become the perfect Christian? The kind that when God looks down from heaven, He can say, "I find no fault in that one." Would you do whatever it takes? Travel to any country? Witness to any person? Give up chocolate and TV for the rest of your life?
Well, what if I told you that you can keep your chocolate and still be a perfect Christian?
Through these few weeks of suffering the condition I mentioned in a recent post, I have been more focused than ever on bringing more of God’s presence into my day-to-day life. Funny that!
We always stretch further for Him when we are suffering, don’t we?
Last week I completed a 2 week fast. No alcohol, No TV, and did not touch a blog site or any social media. My intention was to meditate, and work on my novel, as much as possible (although my plans are not always His and He had other things for me to deal with).
The foundation of a successful fast, is giving up anything that seeks to control us, anything we enjoy enough to get lost in, or find a pull towards during tough times. Easy distractions or addictions, habits and weaknesses. During a fast we make a 100% non-negotiable promise, to God, to go without which ever thing we are fasting for an achievable amount of time.
Each time the tempting thought arises we acknowledge God and our promise to Him, we reinforce that promise and we ask for His help when it gets tough. By doing this we are making some huge expressions of faith from our softened hearts. (God just loves it when we do this!)
These are some things that speak out of our hearts during a fast like this – God is real, He watches us, We revere Him enough to want to keep our promise. We need his help when we are weak. We are willing to give up the pleasures of the world to acknowledge Him and invite Him in to our situation.
It is the most powerful exercise I have found to overcome the world and my flesh, and witness His presence.
The first thing I noticed during this particular fast, was how much spare time I had to get other things done. I accomplished so much, and after feeling useless for a number of weeks, I felt a great sense of achievement as I ticked off many things on my never ending to-do list.
The second thing I noticed was how much easier it was to discover God’s guidance and to find things to praise Him for. The medication I am on for this condition has exacerbated my mood disorder significantly, I am more emotionally sensitive than ever. It can only take a millisecond for me to burst into tears, or flick on the rage switch, grit my teeth and loose any place of calm. Often, in times like this, I pray. Usually something desperate like “Oh Lord help me, take away my emotions, help so-and-so see how hard this is for me and not aggravate me! I don’t want to feel like this” etc. Then I wait…with angry tears….until He changes things.
However, during this fast I found praising Him was a much quicker way to flick off that unpleasant switch.
I recommend everyone tries this, it is not always easy, but it works every time!
Right in the midst of a full blown attack, when our Inner Enemies are hitting us from every angle, rather than fighting back in anger, we can end the battle then and there. By pushing aside that tidal wave of ammunition, which fuels unpleasant emotions, just for a second, and find something, anything to be grateful for. Praise God for that, whatever it may be. It could be as simple as the ability to breathe, or the warm bed you are about to snuggle up in… It could be the legs that allow you to walk away from something aggravating.
If there is anything that will send our Inner Enemies high-tailing it into the distance, it is Praise! Worship! Gratitude! Forgiveness! A sure way to grab onto the face of God and turn it towards you!
Have you ever experienced an immense trial, and found you managed to bear through it? You knew that you had a good reason to loose the plot, however, you found a supernatural place of calm amidst the storm. Have you gone through some of the most troubling ordeals and not been shaken, in faith or character, by them? I believe I have, once or twice.
On the other hand, in the most unfathomable fashion, a tiny splinter of affliction can send us spinning into a cycle of destructive behaviour. Transforming us into the most ungodly version of ourselves. I have definitely been there too. When being a prisoner of our own flesh becomes unbearable. I have felt like this more times than I can count, especially during bouts of depression. I am sure many others have too.
Don’t get me wrong, most of the time I quite like being me. But sometimes, other times, I get sick of the sound of my own voice, sick of the thoughts piling up in my head, sick of the sight of my reflection. These times I just want to escape myself, because I know there is a much better version of myself out there somewhere. Somewhere elusive.
The tricky part is, I can’t MAKE myself be the better version. No matter how hard I try, I can’t stop myself falling into the sin and nature that is part of my flesh. I say to myself to do one thing, and find myself doing another. Sometimes it is as if I can hear myself from a distant place in my mind, through miles of murky water, saying the very thing I ordered myself not to say. I am a wretched version of myself sometimes!
These times bring me to my knees, and in need of comfort. There are times we all need comforting. Who is the best comforter I know? The Lord. I open the pages of His word, I see Paul, a great man of God struggling with the very same inner enemies as me. The words comfort me…
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do.”
“So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am!”
“So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature - a slave to the law of sin.”
(Romans 7:15 & 21-25)
Woa! Those words bring me such comfort, because they express my own battle so perfectly. Empathy is a wonderful consolation for shame and self-condemnation.
I think, the reason I, and others, have found that calm place amidst the biggest storms, is because we knew we couldn’t manage it all. Somewhere in our subconscious, we knew the trial was too big for us on our own, our hearts were fragile and we accepted that. Our ego got turned off, our pride took a step aside. Our broken and contrite hearts were exposed, and God will not ignore a heart like that.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
The greatest peace I have found while trapped in this body, is when I see the Lord take over. When I have reached my wits end. When I stop kidding myself into thinking I have enough self-control to be better, and beg God to take the reigns. I repent of all my misgivings, my efforts to depend on myself and not on Him. I repent of my easily led flesh that encourages me to wander toward the distractions of the world and away from God.
When you reach your wits end, that’s when God begins. I hope you enjoy the words of this wonderful poem.
Wit’s End Corner
Are you standing at “Wit’s End Corner”?
Friend with troubled brow
Are you thinking of what is before you,
And all you are bearing now?
Does all the world seem against you,
And you in the battle alone?
Remember-at “Wit’s End Corner”
Is just where God’s power is shown.
Are you standing at “Wit’s End Corner”?
Blinded with wearying pain,
Feeling you cannot endure it,
You cannot bear the strain,
Bruised through the constant suffering,
Dizzy, and dazed, and numb?
Remember-at “Wit’s End Corner”
Is where Jesus loves to come.
Are you standing at “Wit’s End Corner”?
Your work before you spread,
A mountain of tasks unfinished,
And pressing on heart and head,
Longing for strength to do it,
Stretching out trembling hands?
Remember–at “Wit’s End Corner”
The Burden-bearer stands.
Are you standing at “Wit’s End Corner”?
Then you’re just in the very spot
To learn the wondrous resources
Of Him who faileth not:
No doubt to a brighter pathway
Your footsteps will soon be moved,
But only at “Wit’s End Corner”
Is the “God who is able” proved.
Poem by Antoinette Wilson
A lot is changing in my neck of the woods of late. Much of it I knew was coming in advance and it grew like storm clouds in the distance, looming and grey, with the possibility to bring either destruction or renewed freshness of life.
It has been a strange couple of months adjusting to each change as it tacked itself onto the growing cloud, and the upheaval of emotions brought with each new turn. Even though I am aware of the effect these changes are having on me, I have been trying my best to stay balanced. Trying to be aware of my sensitivity to the friction and fear that are close acquaintances of the unknown. Trying to hold myself in, keeping tight grip on the emotions that are brimming up inside me, but to be honest I have been failing much of the time.
As I read my older posts, I know I have had a true sense of peace at various points over recent months. Yet at the moment, the concept that I can get back there anytime soon is not tangible enough to calm me. I accept that so many changes are bound to cause unpleasant reactions to slip out and I have been endeavoring to demonstrate some self-compassion. Not very successfully, but still, I am trying.
When life gets many bursts of change all at once it can take on a manic appearance, and mania is an old foe of mine. I have had too many encounters with manic episodes to trust myself in its presence. I have a true deep affection for people in general, I love engaging and connection, but even so, I have come to learn over the years that I am not good at being around other manic people. Not for long anyway. I am too easily influenced by the emotions expressed by others, they add onto my own dysfunction. It is unhealthy for me to spend too much time with someone else’s mania, which I have no ability to calm or control.
So, as changes come thick and fast, the faster time seems to pass, not enough time to regroup my thoughts and get a grip, and it’s nearly impossible to slow my thoughts enough to seek God before I act upon them.
I have been hit with a condition that has had me bed ridden for almost 2 weeks. My Iron levels dropped so low that I could barely stand for more than a few seconds. I have had to watch and cope with all the pending changes from a horizontal position. You would think resting in bed for two weeks would encourage time to slow down, but feeling useless only added to the upheaval I have been battling with. Those enemies of friction and fear were not appeased in the slightest. The weight is still building on my shoulders.
So I guess this is my prayer request, in Yeshua’s Name:- That I stop trying to maintain control over things God is obviously trying to change, because they may be the keys to changes I have been asking Him to bring about within me. To have a subconscious level of trust in His plan. To recognise the stirring of mania as an opportunity to faithfully hand all my cares into His capable hands.
Your prayers are greatly appreciated…..
It seems crazy to me to say that Inner Angels & Enemies has been up a running for a whole year! It has been a truly wonderful year, especially as I have come to find that I am not at all completely misunderstood. This was a huge discovery for me, because once my Dad passed away I thought I might have no one left to share my left field perspectives with.
Big huge thanks to those who have read the ramblings which I have the nerve to call writing, and for the constant support your feedback has given me. I am here to serve you, and when something I have shared here may connect with you, even in some small way, it brings me so much joy.
How awesome are my readers!! You have comforted me in my lowest moments, encouraged me when I am in fear. You have reassured me in my self-doubt and accepted me as I expose both the good and the bad. You have humbled me with your compliments, and inspired me by sharing your own stories honestly in your wonderful comments.
I hope we can continue like this for a long time to come. It’s all about connection! If you want to connect further, tell me how you are going, let me know if a post related in some way to you, do you have a favourite topic? Share your questions and opinions with me. I love to hear from you all. I am so glad to be able to open up to you in this special way, & I wish you so many blessings!!
Happy Blogiversary to Me!
Blasting to the past with the link to my very first post – I hope my intentions are shining through a whole year later.
A child wakes to a crisp Easter morning
The smell of chocolate is in the air.
Her aim is to find the most number of eggs
That a bunny was willing to share.
Shop windows filled with chickens and rabbits
Business doors are closed up tight.
Plans are made for the long weekend
Though not a cross is in sight.
The truth of why we celebrate this time
has been lost and no longer kept,
No thought at all for the message of grace
nor of the Saviour’s many tears wept.
Our Lord cried in the Garden of Olive trees
On the eve of His great sacrifice.
His torture and grief were for certain
Yet He begged some other way would suffice.
The keys of death were far below
Where sin caused life and hope to cease.
Only a blameless soul, willing to go
Could make a path of mercy, to peace.
In our home on every Good Friday
We read aloud this precious story.
We sip wine as blood and eat bread of life
In awe of His risen Glory.
Bunnies are cute and chocolate is sweet
And the truth of the cross, tough to grasp.
But next month all the eggs will be gone,
This gift of forgiveness shall last and last.
I hope you enjoyed this poem, perhaps you would also like the one I wrote at Christmas. Here is the link in case you missed it A Poem of Christmas Woe.
Happy Easter & Blessings to all!
It took a long time for me to hit publish on my first post, 2 years in fact. I missed out on the wonderful Blogosphere for so long because it was so very far from my comfort zone. Have you missed out, while clinging to your comfort zone too? But isn’t it amazing when we do take a risk and perhaps experience a little discomfort, in order to bring something new and wonderful into our lives!
After the long list of times I have found success in my faith walk, you would think I might be more courageous. I have written many posts bursting with evidence of courage and victory, posts about standing on God’s promises, about speaking up for faith while risking my reputation. I have shared the amazing tale of trusting God with my premature Daughter. I have advised on all the ways to gain help from above, and many more, but my courage seems fickle sometimes.
I’ve noticed that most of these experiences seem to have emerged from the most desperate times in my life. Times I was fighting for my sanity, when I was fighting for my family’s & my safety, or I was fighting for a new life.
It is much easier to choose to hand these types of situations over to God, because I know I have no control over them anyway.
Recently, God has been teaching me to let go of control in other ways, in areas that don’t threaten my life, or my sanity. Teaching me about sacrificing my ability to create comfort around me.
You see, I have this yearning inside me to go to the next level in my life, like destiny is calling my name so loudly it is deafening sometimes.
Yet, I have a good life. I am extremely blessed. I don’t have that desperation to HAVE TO change or improve anything with great intensity. Life is looking pretty damn good right now, and I am so grateful for that!
I guess I find myself at a point where I am scared of what I will have to give up in order to reach that next level. Sayings, which we have all heard a million times, are replaying in my mind, “Why fix something that is not broken” & “Don’t rock the boat!”. (Sigh*)
I read this awesome post Being Comfortable can Become Crippling and it hit me in the core of my being. It made me realise something profound.
I am crippled by my comfort!
The blogger replied to my comment, where I shared my recent predicament, and her words were simple, convicting and wonderful. I saw how our Inner enemies use our comfort as something we pursue, aimlessly following it wherever it takes us, yet while chasing after this comfort we miss out on the greater blessings and purpose given to us from above.
Her last few words gave me the kick in the pants I needed -
“It’s time to bust out of our comfort zone and jump into the lake of faith and swim. I know we don’t know how deep the water is, but God will be our floatation device. Trust Him!!!”
It is easy to fight against an opposition that is obvious, enemies that you can see threatening you, but we must go deeper and fight against those next level inner enemies, the ones that aren’t so blatant but just as damaging to the greater plan for our lives.
It is time to fight back against these tactics which hold us back. Time to break out of our comfort zone and see what we are really here for.
Lord I pray you show me how, guide me toward YOUR steps, and I will go, with your strength as my cane and your wings as my safety.