11/03/2021

Glorious Guilt

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , at 9:26 pm by The Water Bearer

Do you ever look back at your past mistakes and still feel intense feelings of guilt, even long after you have made amends or been saved? Some of you may wish these guilty feelings away, but I see them as precious and life changing. Feeling guilty for those times we really messed up is the appropriate emotion. In fact I’d be worried if you can look back at something horrible you did and feel ok about it. Let me tell you one of my most horrifying actions that still causes me so much guilt!

One early November, when my daughter was 6 years old, she asked me “Is Santa real Mumma?” In our family I had never tried to sell that commercialised lie to my children. I let them get a book from Santa at Kindy if he was making an appearance, but I never put presents from him under our tree. If you’re curious as to why, when I am not from any religious group who all hold this same opinion, you can read my “Poem of Christmas Woe”. So when she asked me, I replied “Do you want me to tell you the truth or would you like me to tell you the story all children in our culture are told?” she looked me straight in the eye and said “Tell me the truth” So I told her the story of Saint Nicholas, and that he had lived a long time ago and that Santa was a way of carrying on his tradition and honoring his generosity but it had all gotten a bit out of hand.

I’ll let you in on a little secret though, I may have sounded strong and confident when I argued my reasons for this stance, but I had to hold this stance against every single one of our family and friends who all made their kids believe in Santa. I had to do it while I was suffering from serious mental health episodes and with the threat of being deemed insane as my father was whenever he stood against the crowd in his faith. So it was extremely scary to stand on my own like that. To protect myself and this stance, I made her promise not to tell this secret to her school friends because that would spoil all the efforts her friends parents made to keep the magic of Christmas alive and it was up to them to tell them the truth when they felt it was time. She happily agreed and kept our secret for the entire Christmas season, smiling along with all her friends as they discussed what Santa would bring them.

The following year, around mid-December, I got a phone call from one of my closest friends, she was pretty mad when she explained that my daughter had told her son about Saint Nicholas and that his younger sister had heard and came crying to her that “Santa was DEAD!” Her disappointment in me sparked a chain of events that I will forever feel guilty for. Just thinking about it it brings tears to my eyes. I was so embarrassed and scared of the rejection my friend could inflict upon me that I angrily called my now 7 year old daughter from her room to scold her for sharing the secret I had sworn her to keep. I wasn’t just mad as much as I was afraid, afraid of being a bad parent, afraid of being a bad friend, afraid of being a fanatical freak ready for exile. Terrified would be more accurate. As you know when fear explodes it comes across as intense anger. I really made my poor precious little girl feel like utter shit. She immediately burst into tears of regret. I put her on the phone to my friend so she could apologise and her little heart sobbed as she pleaded with my friend for forgiveness. 

When I saw her tears, and her big eyes filled with painful remorse I had a huge moment of clarity. I realised that she had done absolutely nothing wrong. I felt sick! I had thrown my poor daughter under the bus to avoid taking the brunt of my friends disappointment and anger. Immediately I ran into my daughters room as she soaked the pillow with her tears. I picked her up into my arms and held her and I told her “You did absolutely nothing wrong Hunni. I am so sorry for being mad at you. It was my fault and I was completely wrong for getting angry at you. I promise you from now on I will have your back, no matter what! I will never again allow what other people think of me to be more important than you. You told the truth and you should always tell the truth. You did nothing wrong. I was so very very wrong. Please forgive me!”

Recalling that moment triggers masses of guilt in me, but I do not wish it away. Do I wish I hadn’t done it? Bloody oath I do! But I can’t go back and rewrite history. I have to live with what I did and all the other previous times I likely had the same awful reaction when my children weren’t perfectly pleasing to those who I felt I needed to impress. But feeling guilty is the exact right and appropriate response. It is the shocking pain of that guilt that changed me from that moment on, it made me a better parent, and I have always had my two daughter’s backs since that day 10+ years ago, no matter who has an issue with me or my beliefs, or my children.

There is yet another glorious aspect to painful guilty memories, and that is the gratitude and humility that comes when we look from our guilt to the cross. The realisation of how desperately I need forgiveness, I need a Saviour to save me from myself and my guilt and my awful mistakes, is what brings tremendous value to what Christ did for me, and for everyone! I flood with gratitude when I see how much He has changed me from the person I once was. So if you find yourself looking back on your biggest mistakes and feeling huge amounts of guilt, take stock and be glad, don’t try to down play them, or hide them away, because they are your testimonies of God’s grace. If you find yourself looking back and being numb to your sins or convincing yourself they weren’t that bad, then you should be very very worried about the state of your heart. For through Christ’s sacrifice He can forgive everything….except an excuse!

 

18/01/2021

To Be Adored

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness, Teen Trials tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:26 am by The Water Bearer

 

WARNING: Sexual Content

Recently I got to have an awesome long chat with a much loved seventeen year old girl. I’ve seen her grow from a tiny little thing into a stunning, hardworking, and smart young woman. I’m so blessed to be surrounded by many young women and one of my favourite things to do in this whole world is talk with them and find genuine common ground.

To put it bluntly, the thing I have most in common with these girls is a longing to be adored, with most I also share the self-love-deficit that a broken home and/or dysfunctional upbringing causes. I recall far too clearly the dignity I have given away throughout my life, in exchange for a compliment, or a crumb of affection and it breaks my heart to see so many precious young women repeating my mistakes. But it gives me such hope when they engage and can benefit from my experiences and the lessons that journey taught me.

The word “adore” initially means “to love and respect someone deeply”. Well who doesn’t want that?

However, it has taken me a lifetime to realise that it is impossible to convince someone to love and respect you, neither by your eloquence, or behaviour, or appearance, or success. In fact the very motive of “trying to convince”, is possibly the very thing that stops us getting the love and/or respect we crave. No, those who genuinely love and respect us only do so because of the state of their own heart, when they are in a position to give it to us willingly. Those who appreciate who you are and recognise your intrinsic worth despite all your flaws and foibles.

In an old post I touched on the Tsunami of sexual content being bombarded into the 21st Century. Thanks to my sensitivity of evil schemes, I see the secret and polluted motives which the enemy slips into the creativity of those who create apps like SnapChat, Instagram, Tinder and eventually Pornhub. It all started with talented dance videos and romantic comedies, but quickly became “Cuties” and “50 Shades of Grey”. These forms of ‘entertainment’ are insidiously targeting the specific and broken parts of humanity that are desperate to numb their bone-aching loneliness, and satisfy the hunger for adoration. Men and women, young and old are so easily sacrificing their self-respect on the alter of sexual exploits because it gives such a quick easy dose of the emotional drug we have become addicted to. But no one seems to be talking about the masses of shame that accompanies it.

Putting up a sexy photo of your sunkissed bikini body on your Instagram page is a simple way to get dozens of compliments from all your followers, “You’re so Hot” – “No you are!”… “My God you’re pretty” – “Says you stunner”. On and on it goes, while for hormonal young men; it is free for all! I doubt it ever crosses these young women’s minds that so many of their male “Mates” are at home happily whacking off over these same pics. While others are desperately trying to curb their secret addiction to pornography and masturbation and your cleavage pic just triggered them into a relapse.

The other meaning of “adore” is to “worship”.

These constant pleas for adoration simply lead to the warped, temporary and unfulfilling worship of each other. Its no coincidence that this same worship of someone other than our Heavenly Father, was the very reason the Devil was evicted from Heaven, along with all the fallen angels who worshiped him instead of our creator God.

Without the whole story it might seem unfair for God to have such a problem with all this mutually mortal worship. Yet when we understand the unwavering loving nature of God it is simply because He knows it will never satisfy you and He knows exactly where that road leads, just look around you and inside you. But also because He whole-heartedly ADORES YOU!

No matter how much worldly adoration I have received in my life, none of it satisfied me, because we need to understand that the Almighty All-knowing All-sufficient God of the Universe is the ONLY one who has profound trustworthy Love, Respect and Adoration to give you that is everlasting and completely satisfying. When will we drop this false worship and bask in the intimate adoration pouring down from above?

 

02/06/2020

The Devil’s Puppets

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 6:57 am by The Water Bearer

Since the beginning of time there has been a war within. In every war we must choose a side. The war within calls us to choose Flesh or Spirit.

When I look around at the chaos and fear in the world today, I am reminded of the writings of God’s prophets who spoke of the disease, famine, floods, droughts, violence, fires and affliction that would come to those who chose wrong. I say chose wrong because every human being has been given free will to choose, and a voice of conscience deep within. A lot of the time our conscience is only a small voice, not very loud, especially when our feelings are much louder. Feelings loudly convince us that what we want is a far better choice than what our “conscience” has whispered.

So we make a little exception and justify our choice, and when the consequence isn’t as dire as the prophets predicted, we think its safe to take another step away from God, and we shut ourselves off little by little to that inner voice of guidance. The more we ignore that voice, the quieter it becomes until our ignorance has fully manifested into hard hearts that completely ignore God’s voice, producing the world we see today. A world driven by out-of-control emotions, by greed, and material indulgence, immorality as entertainment, humankind segregated by hatred and unforgiving feuds. A world of powerful people playing God, and blaming God, yet ignoring Him in the process.

So in this war, how do we know which side we have chosen? Many ‘religious’ people have convinced themselves that they have chosen the Spirit, yet Jesus showed us how very misguided ‘religious’ people can be. Many others have avoided religion and dabbled in the spiritual realm, and they too are convinced they have chosen the Spirit over the Flesh. Yet Jesus showed us that even Demons believe in God, so how can we be sure which Spirit we are led by?

If ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and the enemy is imitating God’s voice through our feelings, how can we know we have chosen the right spirit over the deceptive flesh?

Through AWARENESS & DISCERNMENT!…. Spiritual-Discernment and Self-Awareness.

This blog, Inner Angels and Enemies has been dedicated to increasing our spiritual-discernment and self-awareness for over 8 years, by stripping away all the attractive and misleading disguises the enemy uses to deceive us into thinking we have chosen the right spirit, when in fact our flesh has been disguised as spiritual power for as long as we’ve had feelings.

Yahweh, the creator God and Father of Yeshua (Jesus Christ) has been pleading with humankind to choose HIS spirit since the dawn of time, and warned through His prophets what would happen to those who chose to ignore His guidance and let their flesh steer their course. According to Jeremiah the weeping prophet….
“These people have trained themselves to tell lies. They do wrong and are unable to repent. They do one act of violence after another, and one deceitful thing after another. They refuse to pay attention to me,” says the Lord. Therefore the Lord who rules over all says, “I will now purify them in the fires of affliction and test them. The wickedness of my dear people has left me no choice. What else can I do? Their tongues are like deadly arrows. They are always telling lies.” Jeremiah 9:5-8

You and I may not be able to stop the riots and the pandemic, but we can ALL check the pulse of our inner spiritual walk and make absolutely sure we have soft hearts and loud consciences, because a hard heart is a dead mind, swept clean for the enemy to use us a his puppets to destroy the world God intended for us. We have the choice and the chance to take back the gift of our Free Will, to repent, to listen, to soften, to surrender and to NO Longer be the Devil’s puppets!

21/05/2020

Surrounded by Flawed Systems

Posted in Encouragement, Family, Finding Faith, General, Musings, Teen Trials tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:38 am by The Water Bearer

Its not surprising that, during this time when our usual way of life is placed on hold, that many more of us are beginning to see that we are surrounded by flawed systems.

As I list them out, it can be scary to realise that the things we rely on most are unstable and untrustworthy! So, you’ll want to hang on until the end for the good news and the solution to this conundrum.

We only need to switch on free to air TV to find its a flawed system. What used to be a device to entertain and inform, has been tainted by hidden agendas. The news is politically biased and promotes fear, advertising is extremely manipulative, time slots are unreliable, plenty of the content is offensive and mindless, and most of it is misleading. Its no wonder everyone moved on to pay for streaming. $$$

Speaking of making money, have you noticed how many companies alter their products just slightly enough to inconvenience us, but not enough to be found guilty of extortion? Products we’ve paid good hard-earned money for become redundant after only a short use. One example is Apple changing the headphone jack and charging ports on iPhones, so all your old charging cables and headphones are now useless. Money thrown in the bin. Living in a throw-away society has led to us throwing away money and big business knows we have little to no choice but pay up.

Now that I’ve eased you in, how about we investigate something more serious, like education. I’ve spoken to several concerned parents recently who only through the introduction of mandatory home-schooling have they begun to worry about the subject matter being taught to our children. This is something I have been aware of for quite some years, but now many of you are seeing just how often political biases and teacher’s opinions are being taught as facts. And how many of us have complained that our teens weren’t taught how to understand their vote, or how to apply for a home loan, or complete a tax return, or the workings of insurance, or the basic principles of our rights and obligations under constitutional law? Important information that would help steer the course of their lives. And don’t get me started on how words are being misused and their meanings twisted or even abolished, for the sake of simplicity and political correctness. Could the system that is supposed to expand knowledge, really be dumbing down our children?

How about our health system? Its kind of at pinnacle importance currently! How many of us have conditions which doctors have masked with drugs without identifying the cause? How many of you have stopped to research the drugs your GP prescribes? With the global push towards private health, how can we rely on a system that makes a profit by keeping us unwell? Think about it, someone in a big corporation is getting richer simply by exploiting our reality and our natural fear of suffering illness, pain, and death. And let’s not even begin to point out the flaws in the scientific community and the recent pandemic!

And its not just for-profit corporations that have warped agendas, how about churches and charities? Purposed to be places of solace to bolster faith, stand in truth, support the disenfranchised and radiate hope…. yet many of us have found the integrity of such places to be a complete disappointment. Aside from all the revelations of pedophilia, condemnation, and corruption, or the guilt trips set to coax you out of your hard earned dollars, to line their pockets or earn brownie points and gain bragging rights. Most of them simply don’t mean what they say. When integrity has completely left the church, you gotta know Jesus has left the building!

Lets get back to you…

How many of you are concerned about what to feed your family? By now many of you understand that processed and fast foods, which we have all been consuming by the truck load, since the 80’s, are poisoning us. We see the increasing amount of illnesses and allergies, disorders and inflammation, auto-immune conditions and hormone imbalances, syndromes and diseases impacting our quality of life, all of which are exacerbated by GMO’s, sugar, preservatives, artificial additives, hormones, MSG, pesticides, antifungals and more. All of which saturate products we chomp down to survive. We are beginning to see the hypocrisy that an organic meal costs 3-4 times a meal that is filled with poison. Yet even with both parents working full-time (while missing out on knowing what their kids are learning at school or watching on TV), the average family still can’t afford to feed their children non-poisonous food, or afford the medical insurance for when they get sick.

Whilst I would love to go on a spiel about the government, law, and politics, especially with the current restrictions on our freedoms, not to mention mandatory vaccines, microchips, climate change, 5G or the Magna Carta, I feel that is a rabbit-hole we could get lost in for quite some time, and by now you’re probably ready to check out from this blog post and this world with all its flawed systems. So, I will leave all that to your own research and imagination.

It’s reasonable to feel overwhelmed and helpless when surrounded by countless flawed systems, but all is not lost.

We the people are waking up to the scams, the hoaxes, the corruption, we are learning about our rights and our freedoms that our ancestors fought for. We are seeking for spiritual truth over dogma. We are searching out alternative health services and growing our own food, we are challenging our children to think for themselves and avoid swallowing their teacher’s biases.

Just like any good blockbuster, there is good and evil influencing our systems. Most of the systems mentioned above are influenced by the flesh, by greed, selfishness, thirst for power and control. They are influenced by evil, which has always set about to counterfeit the original trustworthy design of the universe.

Its no coincidence that our planet is precisely located to facilitate life perfectly, where 1 degree closer or further away from the sun would result in our destruction. Its no coincidence that organic food is best for us or that natural remedies hold untold healing capabilities. Its no coincidence that families succeed and survive better when they are a solid unit. Its no coincidence that intelligence grows as we discover more opportunities to ask questions and think for ourselves. Its no coincidence that evil is being exposed and its systems are being revealed as flawed, for the scriptures have spoken of these things for millennia. But in the end it ALL works out perfectly!

Therefore, I encourage you to have hope, especially those who have avoided reading scripture. This is all exactly how God said it would go, He warned us through His sevants the Prophets, but we chose our own way, we allowed our unrighteous urges and indulgences to drive the systems of this world instead of submitting to God’s wisdom. But the good news is that He also put in a contingency plan, so that none should perish. A Saviour, an intercessor, someone who upended evil’s opportunity for success, someone who told us that a new system, one completely other-worldly, would come in place of all current systems. A new government with Christ in charge! He passed the test, He overcame the desires of the flesh to overpower us. Instead, Christ showed us that serving all, having faith and giving up His life, His rulership and His rights for His people is what a trustworthy ruler looks like. All there is left to do is come to Him and await His return as King!

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

11/02/2020

Seek Not to Alter Me

Posted in Family, General, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:17 pm by The Water Bearer

“Cheer up”

“Calm Down”

“Harden Up”

“Take a Breath”

“Just Chill”

“What’s Wrong Now?”

“Dont Stress

“Geeze you’re a lot to take, aren’t you!”

If you have a mental illness, you might hear feedback like this all the time. Usually from those around you who feel they are being helpful by telling you how to ACT ‘normally’.

I recently watched the movie ‘Joker‘, and yep ok it was little darker than I usually like, but for the sake of research into mental illness I thought “Heck, I’m just gonna give it a go.”

Just as predicted it was dark, I mean really dark, and brilliantly acted!

As I watched intently, gripping my throw-pillow and cringing at the brutality, one statement POPPED like fireworks when I saw it. It was simply brilliant!

Joker writes in his journal –

‘The worst part about having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t.”

This sums it up folks! WOW! I mean WOW!

I’ve been at this a long time, well over a decade, I am unmedicated and functional despite my episodes of Cyclothymia (a form of Bipolar with long-lasting episodes, some last months, others can last years). I know the tools that help me avoid episodes and the tools that help me cope with episodes, and I use them daily. When I’m feeling at my worst, I struggle to be around anyone who wants me to behave like they want, or even to behave like I would when I’m not episodic. But the reality is, I can’t keep that up for long, and often “playing sane” can trigger a spiral into an even more severe episode, making life so much harder to deal with.

I often think how nice it would be if someone asked “How you doing today Claire-Bear?”

and I could reply “I’m actually mid-episode at the moment and struggling to be here.”

and have them reply, “Well good on you for showing up and giving it a go, if you need a time out or want someone to talk it all through with, just holler.”

But I rarely reply that way, and the times I do open up, I usually get looks of pity or motivational speeches and well meaning advice on how to manage my mood better. Some people just back away slowly, wide-eyed, not making any sudden movements, never to ask how I am again. I’ve even had people take offence, some blame and shame me. Some say “well I’m here now, you could at least cheer up for me!” or “Just get over it!” or “I can’t believe you asked for some space from me!”

With all the awareness around mental illness of late, when will we as a society realise that there is no benefit in encouraging people to “Be Normal” when none of us are normal all the time, and life would be very boring if we were. You’d prefer to be accepted or at least tolerated, even if you don’t have a diagnosed mental illness, because lets face it, you’re not perfect, no one is. Perhaps more of you could be authentic in your downtimes and weirdness if there wasn’t such negative feedback when you come clean?

Remember: An episode is not just a sad mood, or an extra does of energy, that can be altered to suit the crowd if you will it…And it doesn’t mean we can be written off as dysfunctional and useless either!

I am very lucky, I have a number of friends, family and colleagues who get me, they just do. They appreciate my amazing qualities and accept my horrifying ones. They don’t hold it against me when I act in ways that seem selfish or crazy, they give me the benefit of the doubt and don’t take it personally. They show support and they listen, they don’t sit counting how many times I interrupted them while in a manic state or take offense, demanding that I should “learn how to LISTEN!” They don’t get pissed off when I drop off the grid for a bit and stop initiating contact when I’m wrestling with depression, they reach out and say “Hi” with no expectations. They don’t hold against me the stances I take or excessive advice I give, they appreciate the wisdom I’ve gained from my overactive analytical mind and depth of thought.

So the next time you notice our imperfections…. instead of trying to make us act like you want, you could try saying

“That’s cool, You just do You.” or “I’m here if you need, Babe.” or a simple “I love you”.

That goes for behind our backs too, because eventually snide remarks all come out and who can tell the damage they can do to someone’s soul?

29/11/2019

Do Not Fear… Easier Said Than Done

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:43 am by The Water Bearer

Are you sick of the fear of not being good enough?

Now if your automatic response is, I don’t have that fear, I’m awesome… Let me stop you right there.

Self-Help Author, Life coach and Mega Influencer Tony Robbins says, that throughout his coaching experience of people from all walks of life, from plebs to presidents, that EVERYONE has this fear!

The ways this fear manifests is different for everyone, which is what makes it such a hard fear to pin down, not like the obvious fear of heights or closed spaces. This fear hides behind masks, pretending to be positive. It takes the shape of our motivations and passions, giving us an identity and an excuse to hang onto it, so we will never want to let it go.

One example could be a burning desire to do good and help people…. my hand is up!

Helping people is good and it feels good.. Right!

Now I’m not saying the surface action of helping people is a negative thing, but its the intention behind it which could be fed by this fear of not being good enough. Actually, the intention behind all actions has me curious.

For those who want to help others, a question to ask ourselves is, Do I need to help people? or Do I want to help people?

Again, you may automatically respond that you want to help. End of story. But when we start to consider our core beliefs around those who we think need our help, whether they accept that help or not, things start to become clearer.

How do you feel when you see a solvable problem in someone’s life that they won’t fix? Ugh!

Does the disappointment make you surge with a need to control something or someone? Yup!

Does it make you want to help those in your sphere more, you know the ones who let you fix things for them? Right!

Okay, So it may not be helping others that is your thing. So what drives you? No, really? It could be your relationship status. It could be your kids. It could be your art. It could be your image. It could be your career. It could be good times with your family & friends. It could be your financial plan. It could be your self-care routine.

This is a tough question, but can you hold the space of life’s discomfort without that thing or would that make you feel less than good enough?

See my point here is our deepest fears can drive our needs, which show up in our lives in many different ways, especially in our strongest urges.

To be perfectly honest I’m tired of trying to “Help People” who don’t really need or want my help, I’m tired of how that leaves a feeling of disappointment, as if my noble cause has become a burden somehow. Because let’s face it, some people love their problems; their drama gives them a story to share, a sense of space and time, a place in this world… And it’s their life to suffer through after all. So why should my sense of peace and acceptance suffer at their hands? Because deep down I need to attend to that fear, that drives me to ‘help people’ in order to feel I have achieved my purpose.

When we stop and evaluate the intentions of our hearts, its important to recognise our resistance to the discomforts of life, for its in these responses that we can better understand where our hearts need to increase in acceptance. Acceptance of the journey instead of a focus on the goal, the acceptance of holding the space of discomfort without having to improve it, the acceptance of self without the fear of not being good enough.

Acceptance is a tough one, probably the toughest, and for me its impossible without faith. Surrendering all my ambition, all my desire, all my defenses, all my identity and my value into the care of my trustworthy and loving Heavenly Father is the only time I can drink from the ‘Well of Acceptance’ and not come up still thirsty.

How bout you?

21/11/2019

“I love you”…. Whatever that means!

Posted in Family, Musings, Self-Awareness, Teen Trials tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:19 am by The Water Bearer

“I love you”

Three tiny, yet pretty loaded and confusing words aren’t they?

They’re the stuff Rom-coms and Spotify playlists are made of, but the word ‘love’ is a slippery thing.

So when someone says “I love you” it could quite literally mean anything..

  • 1. To one person it could mean “I can’t stop thinking about you, I’m miserable without you, I long to be with you every minute of every day, I need you!” (or some varying intensity of that)
  • 2. To another person it means “Seeing you happy is my priority. I accept you as you are, I appreciate you, and cherish our time together.” (or I’m learning what that looks like at least)
  • 3. To the rest it could mean anything from “I own you”, to “I hate you” and through every shade of grey or rainbow in between. (Let’s leave that group of extremists for another post on another day)

I know which one I’d prefer.. How bout you?

There was once a girl who believed she had found love. She spent all her time imagining their future together. She created fantasies in her mind of how their love would become the stuff of legends. He was going to always be there, and hold her when she was scared or sad, he would kiss her intensely when she was bored or lonely, he would be playful and romantic and make her laugh, and he would help her find solutions to all of life’s problems. He would fill all her empty spaces and she would finally be happy.

You can imagine her despair when in reality he had lots of friendships and activities to keep him busy away from her, and he actually pulled away when she was sad because he believed she needed space. He couldn’t tell the difference between when she was scared and when she was mad, so he gave her space then as well. He would kiss her intensely but only when he felt like it, which was usually when she was tired, which annoyed her. He wasn’t really the romantic type, thinking all that was soppy crap! And problem solving wasn’t his strong suit. He let things figure themselves out, while she found problems in almost everything and demanded he try to fix them… Instead he saw past her wild changes in mood, and he accepted her extremely affectionate nature even though he didn’t really like PDA’s. He dedicated himself to appreciating just having her as his special person, no matter what.

So, do you think she loved him?

Did he love her?

Do you think their love became the stuff of legends?

You guessed it!

Of course not! She thought she had chosen the wrong guy, she thought her affectionate love was being wasted on him and perhaps the next guy (who she couldn’t stop thinking about) would make all her dreams come true. SPOILER ALERT : That guy didn’t last either… and neither did the next.

The problem was “LOVE”.

What she thought was love was actually insecurity, sentimentality, obsession, selfish expectations and control All of these depend on her emotions, and how she feels about herself. Her idea of love focused entirely on herself. Her wants. Her fears. Her dissatisfaction. Her desires.

Don’t get me wrong here.. It’s not always the girls who have this co-dependent self-serving view of love, in fact many young men are now looking to this generation of confident, independent young women to become the very oxygen they breathe.

Its important to realise that our own emotions, identity and self-confidence have a huge impact on what those words “I love you” mean. They can change what we mean when we say it, but they can also change what we hear when someone says it to us. We can expect certain things that they never promised to give us. Or they may expect more from us than we signed up for.

If we are emotionally aware, meaning we know emotions are fickle and we don’t always trust them, and we have a good foundation of self-worth, a solid identity, and think of others happiness more than we think of our own, then we are more likely to find love in the 2nd way.

However if we have some insecurities to work on, and are not accepting of ourselves, or have a warped sense of identity, and our emotions take charge of us more than we take charge of them, we are more than likely to fall into category 1… or God forbid, category 3!

In other words, we make “love” all about us and our own personal fulfilment and pleasure. A love that takes but struggles to give. It struggles to give freedom, trust, acceptance and compassion.

There is an ancient guide to what true love looks like. It can serve as a template to meditate on when we are dealing with matters of the heart and relationships of all kinds. So before we say those words “I love you” perhaps we can check this guide to see if we really mean it. Now granted this is a divine form of love which doesn’t come naturally, however it is possible with help from God to manage our emotions, and work hard to aim for.

Could you love anyone like this?

  1. Are you patient with your loved one and try to keep the peace?
  2. Do you treat them with kindness, are thoughtful and understanding of them, striving to make them happy?
  3. Do you resist the urge to feel jealous and possessive over them?
  4. Do you refuse to boast to your friends about your love, not showing off on social media to compete or compare against other’s relationships?
  5. Do you apologise when you take your frustrations or emotions out on them?
  6. Are you in the relationship for what you can get out of it, or do you simply want to give love to them?
  7. Do you try not to get angry or emotionally sensitive with them easily?
  8. Do you forgive and forget when they take responsibility for their mistakes?
  9. Do you encourage each other to do your best, tell the truth, never lie to them nor tempt them to do wrong?
  10. Do you refuse to give up on your love when times get tough?
  11. Do you trust them?
  12. Do you always look for the best in them?
  13. Does your love get weaker or more selfish depending on your emotional state, or does it stay stable no matter your mood?

When you have found a special someone .. let this list be your aim. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it!

05/11/2019

The Power of Pets

Posted in Family, General, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , at 10:43 am by The Water Bearer

When I was a little girl I was riddled with fear. I now understand that I am highly sensitive and the world is a daunting place for a child when things overwhelm and impact you severely more than your siblings. I felt misunderstood, petrified, ashamed, and broken. When I talk about my childhood in this blog, I usually focus on healing the trauma, but of course trauma is not the whole story.

Every little girl dreams of owning a pony, but as a child of 3 in a home with a single mum, I lowered my expectations to wanting a dog. It wasn’t just a longing, it was a desperate need. I even stole a puppy from a litter our friend’s dog had and told my Mum it just followed me home. “It must be meant to be my dog!” I fibbed. Even after my Mum caved in and let me keep a puppy from another litter the same dog had some years later, we soon realised it was unfair to leave a little dog alone at home all day everyday and my lovely little ‘Buffy’ ended up living out her happy life as a lap dog to my favourite Aunt.

‘Buffy’

Now, when I see how attentive my little Jack Russel is to my mood and sensitivities, and after all the new evidence about the benefits of anxiety pets, it makes sense that as a terrified sensitive child, why I was desperate to have a pet. There is something so spiritually soothing and special about running your hand over the soft fur of a loyal creature who’s purpose in life is simply to make you happy. It’s only now that I’m older and more aware of mental health struggles that I realised the profound impact having a pet can have.

Some years later, when I was on the brink of adolescence, my big sister was given the chance to lease a horse. Mum had always loved horses and had arranged riding lessons for us from when we were toddlers living in England, so when the opportunity arose to exercise and look after this gorgeous Bay gelding in a paddock not far from our home, it seemed too good to be true. “Prince” immediately became a treasured part of our family, and once we were in the local horsey community another horse was leased for me. ‘Crinalea’ was a mountain pony with a bad attitude, but we soon became friends with lots of pony club and practice, and my early teen years filled up quickly with all things horsey.

‘Prince’

Despite the financial struggles, Mum worked her arse off for us to eventually buy Prince, and while Crinalea wasn’t for sale, Mum allowed me to buy my own horse from the Trading Post. He was a stunning chestnut Arabian gelding called “Rusty”. Rusty quickly became my best friend in the entire world! (I have goosebumps covering my legs as I write his name, and happy tears well up). Rusty had been trained to be a dressage horse, (which if you don’t know, is prancing in boring circles) “He doesn’t jump, and he doesn’t do sporting events, he is only a dressage horse!” His owner informed me emphatically. I would have agreed to anything, because I had fallen in love with him the moment I saw him. Rusty and I had some amazing years together, he was the best therapy pet, so trustworthy and such a good listener. Galloping on his back was powerful enough to wash away the most painful of tears and his kisses gave me the unconditional love I craved. Funnily enough after a few months of pony club Rusty proved to be a ribbon-winning sporting horse and a brilliant jumper. He would do anything I asked of him with his whole heart, and soon it was clear that neither of us much like dressage! I was in horsey heaven.

Having a horse taught me so much more than I ever imagined. It taught me the internal fortitude needed to control a huge animal, and a sense of confidence from all that I achieved on Rusty’s back. It taught me about responsibility and duty of care, and once I started working and had to take on the financial burden, I realised Mum had made an impossible dream possible for us. I eventually sold Rusty when I no longer had the time or finances to keep him, and he spent his last years as a cherished horse at a riding school for the disabled. He was the most trustworthy horse they’d ever had and I took my daughter to spoil him with carrots when she was 5 years old. He was fat, happy and retired by then. It was a grateful and teary farewell.

Those years with Rusty remain as the most wonderful part of my childhood, I will forever be grateful for them.

Thanks so much Mum xxx

If you have sensitive children or perhaps you struggle yourself with anxiety, let me give pets a plug. They teach us so much while bringing many blessings. Thank you Lord for the power of pets! 🙌

‘Rusty’

11/10/2019

Balancing Bipolar

Posted in Encouragement, General, Musings, Self-Awareness, Teen Trials tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:21 am by The Water Bearer

Getting diagnosed with Bipolar can be a bittersweet experience. Part of you is relieved to finally have a reason for the strange cycles in your mood and behaviour that causes instability in your life, while another part feels broken, ashamed, angry and even helpless.

But having a mood disorder is a pretty common occurrence in today’s age, and it’s no wonder really. Our lifestyle is highly stimulated and reactive, self-regulation has decreased since the idea of indulgence became humanities priority, our culture’s lean away from family stability, and the impact of spiritual influences increases as time winds up. I’m surprised any of us are actually sane!

There are some simple things we can all do to manage our mood swings and balance out our behaviour. So let’s ditch the stigma and face the situation with hope and these helpful tips.

1. Get Informed

Your moods, your behaviour and your diagnoses are your responsibility, they are not the responsibility of your parents, or your Doctor, or your spouse or your friends. We can gain support from these sources but ultimately any issue that comes up in our lives is an opportunity for growth in our understanding. So educate yourself. We live in the Information Age, and if you’re suffering from any condition and haven’t armed yourself with knowledge about it, then you aren’t really participating in life, are you? You’ve checked out, feeling sorry for yourself, denying the struggles of life in the hope they will just magically disappear. That my friend is a recipe destined for Hell on Earth!

2. Seek Truth

There is a LOT of bullshit information out there, and lots of amazing genuine stuff too. Its your job to be realistic about this when gathering research about your conditions. If one article says to sleep more during a depressed episode, look for any articles that promote exercise during depression. Or if one article says you must take prescription medications, look for ones that explain the side-effects and offer natural options, and always use some good old fashioned common sense before doing anything radical. Opposing views aren’t the enemy, they are the way to see the whole picture of your condition without someone’s biased agenda misleading you and wasting your time. Get honest with yourself too, about how your condition impacts your life and the lives of your loved ones. Rather than getting overwhelmed by ALL the issues you’re facing, just pick the most important one to you, and focus on that until you feel you have a good grasp of what you’re dealing with before expanding to a new topic.

3. Self Care

Some simple daily practices can settle your focus and level out the reactivity of your moods. Having a routine filled with self care is vital if you want to take back control of your life and not be at the mercy of whatever ‘wobbly’ your condition throws your way. Things like a morning ritual of stretching, meditation, journaling, and prayer are wonderful ways to start the day inspired and balanced. Peaceful time out away from screens, errands, chores and work is imperitive to reset and restore your body and mind. A few hours on a blanket in the sun, a long slow walk, a massage, or an art project can bring a sense of control back to our minds. Preparing and eating healthy non-processed foods will make a huge difference to the spikes of sugar levels, while avoiding caffeine and alcohol will calm the nervous system and rejuvenate your natural motivation. Of course no self care practice would be complete without a regular sleep cycle. Going to bed and rising early every day has an amazing impact on our neurotransmitters (brain chemistry). If you struggle to fall asleep, use a screen filter on your phone to remove the blue light after 7pm, avoid screens all together 30 mins before sleep, and a simple cup of chamomile tea never goes astray.

4. Choose your influencers

Influencers are all the rage on social media, and what we read, listen to and engage with has a massive effect on our own patterns of mood and behaviour. If you pay close attention to what you’re feeding your soul with and who you spend your time with, you may realise where you need to trim back on what influences your life. Not just what you follow on social media or watch on Netflix, but also your friends, family and co-workers. Learning to set up some boundaries to protect yourself from impulsive, irresponsible or toxic influences can bring a whole new level of peace to your life than you ever thought possible!

5. Acceptance 

Pretending you don’t have Bipolar or any other condition is not going to help you achieve peace and victory in life, and neither is resisting it. Life would be dull and boring-as-bat-shit if we didn’t have struggles and challenges to test our resilience and strengthen our character. So its time to get over the self-pity and recognise that EVERYONE has their cross to bear, their battle to face, this just happens to be yours. There are plenty of things to be grateful for, at least you’re living in a time of compassion and understanding around these issues and not being burned at the stake for being weird. Acceptance and gratitude play a big part in how well you manage your condition, and that’s not to say you’ll never have a breakdown or a blow out pity-party from time to time, but your attitude of acceptance can be an anchor to come back to whenever the wheels do come off.

6. Keep the Faith

Despite the suckiness of your diagnoses, God is trustworthy, He can turn your trials into triumphs, and your tests into testimonies. But its important to remember that the spiritual realm has to be balanced too. So for all the curses you may be battling, there are blessings scattered amongst them, especially if you plant the seeds of faith during life’s storms. King David who wrote the Psalms, had some serious mood swings and behavioural disorders to contend with, and reading his stories can bring much comfort as he pours faith into each tumultuous circumstance. For all the good God can and will do in your life, the enemy is here to level the playing field, so keeping an eye on his schemes is vital to keep a clear perspective on what you deal with day-in and day-out, and where to channel your energy in fighting against him. If you want to read more on this, this blog is filled with heaps of ways to refocus your faith and defeat the enemy, victory is certain!

 

 

 

 

10/10/2019

Waking Up

Posted in Encouragement, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , at 5:36 am by The Water Bearer

two images

 

The tightness in my chest was beyond belief, I could hardly breathe, my throat closed up… I couldn’t swallow. That old familiar feeling was taking me over yet again. My heart thumped loudly behind my breastbone. I needed to do SOMETHING! ANYTHING to stop this feeling. Quick as lightening my mind began scrolling through all the well worn escape plans of the past, as my ego tried to make a selection. Its like a game of Russian Roulette, spinning a wheel of options, hoping the one your autopilot chooses won’t blow up in your face.

Will I let out my fear in anger and yell or cry, force an explanation, shut down, walk away?

This happens mostly when I feel misunderstood or criticised, thanks to a backstory of emotional threats and volatile accusations.

As a highly sensitive person (HSP), being on guard for these types of attacks has made my sensitivities and the activity in my nervous system painfully obvious. For the first twenty years on this earth, extreme emotional outbursts were just a common part of my daily life (especially around people I cared about the most). That was until I got so sick of feeling miserable and complaining about all the drama in my life. Instead I withdrew, I cut ties, I figured life was much safer without these painful emotions or the people who triggered them. I would be much better on my own.

or so I thought…

Loneliness is not a nice place to visit, but moving in there is diabolical for a being designed for social connection.

Whether it was from loneliness or desperation, I went in search of some stability, and found it in the form of my Dad. After 13 years without him in my life, he began to teach me how to fight back… but not in the ways I had been fighting back my whole life.

First I had to WAKE UP and actually see where the fight really was.

Rather than fighting back against those around me, who instigated these attacks, Dad showed me how to recognise my extreme emotions, he taught me to dig into my own heart until I discovered the source of these emotions, and how to use Scripture to help me identify them and gain control over them. God Rest His Soul my Dad’s teachings changed EVERYTHING! My self-awareness, my reactions, my relationships, my faith, my drama, my decisions, my habits, even my nerves.

Gaining emotional control sure feels like wrestling a monster, maybe that’s just me? But I doubt it, I see people all around me day in day out, struggling to wrestle the emotions that so often rise up and cause problems. If we’re honest, if we’re awake, we’re very much aware of the monster within.

Maybe there’s more than one? But at least the monsters within are ones you have a chance of winning against… We are powerless against the monsters around us, (I leave those to the Lord Almighty) but we absolutely can win battles when we see the monsters within!!

For over 7 years this blog has been dedicated to showing you how.

So if you too are sick of feeling the extremes of your emotions, if your tired of the loneliness, if you’ve had enough with the drama and dysfunction in your relationships, and fed up with the problems your emotional decisions create, perhaps its your time to wake up?

Maybe that’s why you’re reading this blog? Maybe, just maybe you’re ready!

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