16/03/2021

Hellish Help

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Self-Awareness, Teen Trials tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:30 am by The Water Bearer

You know that feeling where you feel disconnected from those around you, when no one understands your heart or intentions, where you feel accused, misjudged, attacked, unsafe. When you feel that no one sees your value or allows you to be your worst self and let it be ok. When no one gives you the benefit of the doubt and every tiny thing you do is under a magnifying glass and scrutinized. You feel fragile and exposed but even when you seek God in that moment you can’t seem to truly connect to Him. It’s enough to make the best of us shut down, or crumble into a puddle of tears, or erupt in a cyclone of unpredictable emotions.

These feelings all bubble to the surface because deep down you feel you’re not good enough, no matter what you do, or how hard you try, there’s always a critic, waiting to pounce on you for pulling a facial expression you didn’t know you were pulling while a torrent of emotions overwhelm you… I’m mean it’s not like we can see our own face looking out at other people… right!

Most of the time you try to press those feelings down and say “I’m fine” to anyone who asks. This is a protection strategy, because during these dark times you are extremely vulnerable. You know you can’t trust yourself to be in that state around other people because all self-control and self-esteem has left the building. You know from past experience that you can’t trust others to get it, to give the validation, compassion and empathy you crave, and adding their misunderstanding to that level of vulnerability is like a Molotov Cocktail for your sanity!

This my lovelies is HELL… It’s a place filled by these fearful voices of the enemy deep inside us. I’ve be writing about Hell for a long time, about the sanctifying process it holds, bringing to light our fears from deep within so they can be seen and then cleared out, so they won’t unconsciously pollute our behaviour and our faith. But I’ve only just realised what others can do to help someone who is in Hell.

So this post is for me to learn and practice more than anyone, because I’m so sensitive to their hell I want to fix it. The closer you are to me, the more I want to stop your tears, but I now realise that these tears are precious, and necessary, and being “Happy” all the time is disingenuous and unable to bring growth. If we aren’t growing we are just dying, if our loved ones aren’t growing they are dying. So encourage the tears to fall, to water that authentic growth. God wants us to be authentic and healthy and free from the lie that we aren’t good enough. So we all must give our loved ones a safe place to unload their tears so they can get the relief and the lessons and eventually the blessings that Hell brings.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2

How to Handle Hell

1.Never give Advice to someone in Hell. They can’t do shit in that moment… Nothing. If you understand what hell is like, then imagine someone giving you advice, you’ll probably understand why it made the top of my list. Wait until they ask “What should I do?”

2. Listen with eye contact if possible, and stay engaged with sympathy sounds, hmmm…Yeah… tutt… Oh.. geeze…

3. Ask them questions about their pain. Allow them to lean into the discomfort and have empathy (even if they are upset because of you). “Do you feel … Misunderstood? Attacked? Blamed? Like nothing you do is good enough? I hate that.. it sux to feel like that”. As I mentioned in a recent post…Validation is vital.

4. See their truth… This is so important… Look past your own fears, needs, desires, self talk, and try to truly see them, to feel their pain, to give them grace to pull faces and say nasty things and recognise they don’t mean anything by it, they aren’t to blame, they are just in hell. They are frantically battling demons and you are just getting hit with friendly fire.

5. Never talk about yourself or say “I understand” before they’ve unloaded. Saying ‘I understand’ or “I’ve been there” or “same” cuts them off so they can’t explain any more. They don’t get the freedom to ramble about it, to unload, to cry deeper and release more pain from within. We learn heaps about ourselves when we talk about ourselves. Wait until every question you can think to ask has been asked, and they begin to feel better, then say “I can’t tell you what to do but if you like, I can tell you what I did in a similar situation?”

6. Watch for your own fears. Often when we see someone we care for going through something difficult we get triggered too. Especially if it is our child or spouse, because we immediately take on some guilt that we were unable to protect them from such pain. When our emotions become fearful, we automatically go into control mode, we want to fix it. This is why we try to give advice like in lesson no.1. It’s also why we start talking about our own pain in no.5 and no.7, because we can so easily relate to theirs. But that makes the situation and conversation about us and that doesn’t help them.

7. Remind them that the enemy is up to his old tricks, lying to them in their thoughts and using their emotions of shame, telling them they aren’t safe, or aren’t good enough. Give them countering truths against these lies. Reassure them that they are more than good enough and loved even at their worst… Jesus made one hell of a journey just because he loves the worst of us most! Encourage them that the enemy has been defeated by the cross and this will pass and bring amazing interactions with God and huge growth of faith.

As I mentioned before in this blog and many others, there is a very important purpose to Hell, and there is no avoiding it, even if you’re “saved”. Hell is the furnace that purifies the flesh and soul. It reveals our worst selves so that we know where the enemy is getting in and that helps us know where to direct our attention as we grow in faith and towards the best version of ourselves. So the next time you or a loved one are going through a season of Hell, get out this blog, and use these tips to support each other through it. It just may help the Hellish phase pass far more quickly than resisting it, because in that moment you get to be the arms of Jesus, holding your loved one and helping them find the light at the end of the tunnel.

Every time I learn something cool about God or understand a little more how much the devil sucks, I write a blog so I can treasure the lesson. This lesson is huge! Its a game changer and it effects every single one of us. Thank you Lord for sharing your wisdom with us!

 

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!

 

05/03/2021

Bitterly Blended

Posted in Family, General, Self-Awareness, Teen Trials tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:44 am by The Water Bearer

 

Ever since the Boomers discovered divorce and gave themselves permission to break their marriage vows, there’s been a steady increase of single parents and blended families. I’m not telling you anything new, and we’ve all heard plenty about the negative consequences and scary statistics that befall the children who aren’t raised in a home with both of their loving biological parents.

However, in this post I plan to share some helpful tips for parents to mitigate some of the damage.

Relationships are complex in the most stable of circumstances, and parenting is a bloody hard enough job without doing it alone or bringing more outsiders into the mix. Especially at a time in history when emotional instability is at an all time high. There certainly are occasions where parents separate amicably and continue to nurture their children with love and respect for each other long after the romance has passed. But the more common theme is one of bitterness, tension and ill will.

Whether that bitterness is between Mum and Dad, or Step-Mum and Mum or Step-Dad and Dad etc. It’s extremely toxic to children… I’ll say that again.. IT’S PSYCHOLOGICALLY TOXIC TO CHILDREN!

“looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;”
Hebrews 12:15 NKJV

I have testified many times the dire psychological impact from my own experience with this toxic formula. It happens while the parents are all consumed with their own powerful emotions, and trying to navigate each turbulent situation, so no one is really interested in how the children feel.

I tried for decades to explain my traumatic feelings to my bitter parent and yet I never felt heard or respected, safe or even loved. In response to sharing my pain, I was met with defensive justifying excusing their actions, along with all the reasons for their feelings. I was reminded of All the “acts of care and effort” they had done, as some sort of evidence that I should not feel the way I did. The message was loud and clear… Their feelings mattered and mine did not.

Is it really so hard to ask a child in your care “How do you feel and why?” Or ask “Is there anything I can do to help ease your pain?” Or owning your humanity admitting you made a mistake and say “If I could go back in time I would have done things differently” Especially as the children grow into teens and start realising the unhealthy strategies they’ve adopted to cope with their traumatic feelings.

In relationship therapy there is a simple process called “Active Listening” It goes like this… Ask “How do you feel and why?” Then paraphrase back “so what I’m hearing is….. Is that correct?” If you were correct then validation is so important “That must have been awful for you, you must have felt…. (Add in 3 or 4 similar feelings that they might have felt)” then reassure “I reassure you that from now on I will… (Your plan of action to prevent repeat)

Don’t parents think we know it all! We can even assume to know our child better than they know themselves… so instead of being heard, understood, validated and reassured when I withdrew emotionally to protect myself, I was accused of being ‘cold hearted’. Instead of asking why I stopped playing happy families and avoided close contact, I was called “ungrateful”, and instead of considering if my feelings were valid I was told I had been “brainwashed” or “coerced” by my other parent.

If you are a parent, in any style of family and you catch yourself doing any of the things listed above, allow me to be the one to knock some sense into you! If you accepted the role to care for a young person and you can’t see past your own feelings to show empathy to theirs then you are headed for a future of loneliness and drama, likely cut off from those children and their children. And you will find yourself having to badmouth those poor kids to everyone who asks “how are your kids?” as you try to shirk any blame for them cutting you out of their lives. Trust me, no one may tell you to your face, they may all sympathize and tutt and say “you poor thing, how terrible!” but underneath that they are thinking “how horrible does someone have to be to badmouth their kids? No wonder the kids don’t call or visit”. It’s not a good look… Ever!

If their unhealthy coping strategies don’t destroy them, at best those kids will end up in years of therapy paying someone to listen to their feelings cause you couldn’t manage it!

If you’ve read this and know of someone who badmouths the young people they accepted care of, either through birth, adoption or marriage, please be brave and tell them what empathy is and how to actively listen. That it requires putting their own feelings aside for a moment to be able to show compassion and support for someone else’s pain. You may just save a family and a child from becoming another statistic of God-only-knows-what!

 

 

 

 

 

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?

 

24/11/2020

Accepting Unforgiveness

Posted in Encouragement, Family, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:18 pm by The Water Bearer

I’ve always tired to be nice, polite and tolerant of people, I’m a typical people pleaser, so its easy for me to ‘forgive’, to keep the peace and get along with most people. I really just wanted to be included and I assumed this was how it’s done.

In the past this trait caused me to befriend the wrong people. Rather than being choosy about who I let close, I invited in anyone willing to show me attention, affection and acceptance. Even after they had treated me with appalling betrayals, I was willing to give another chance, believing I was growing and learning about forgiveness.

It’s not just friends that teach us about forgiveness, its colleagues, family and lovers too. Recently I have been learning the difference between friendliness and true forgiveness. The world would like us to believe that we must remain in relationship with those we have forgiven in order to prove we have let go of the grudge. But people are often nice to the face of those they hate, so how is being ‘Nice’ to them any evidence of our forgiving heart? I’m pretty good at nice, but I’m learning its not the same thing as true forgiveness. 

I heard Jordan Peterson say something like “Don’t pretend you are a better person than you are. If you have even 5% unforgiveness left in you and you pretend its not there, it will come out in other ways and may destroy everything.”

This got me thinking, because what happens when we allow someone back into our lives, claim to forgive and try to forget their past betrayals, only to realise they continue in the same vein? What happens when more betrayals build on top of the 5% of unforgiveness we may have hiding in our hearts from the last source of pain? Jesus said to forgive 70 times 7, but I don’t believe he was encouraging us to keep putting ourselves back in the path of someone who hasn’t learned the lesson from their last betrayal, or even their last hundred betrayals. I think he was talking about how often we all fail, feel remorse and need forgiveness and must give the same grace to others that we accept for ourselves. That is more about self-awareness, and growth, because we ALL mess up over and over, and our remorse must reach its utmost before we really make the changes and cease the behaviour.

In just the past year or so, a few of those I had ‘forgiven’ and let back in, became untrustworthy yet again. And those old beliefs that I must rise above, tolerate and ‘forgive’ came rising from within me. But when I took a good look in my heart I realised I was still hurt, still angry at past events even though I had continued in relationship with them, and so their recent betrayals just lit the fuse of an explosion of unforgiveness! It wasn’t pretty.

On top of that, people who I trusted for many years also turned on me, and it would have been easy to pretend all was forgiven and go back to people pleasing them, but instead I withdrew just a little, I stayed polite, but I chose not to be as invested as I had always been. I didn’t want to be included. I wanted an damned apology! I wanted to protect my fragile heart and I wanted proof that they were trustworthy again before letting down my guard.

Then came a huge epiphany!

It is often necessary to accept our unforgiveness and take the time to heal, in order to truly forgive.

Now this will be tricky, and can’t be rushed, especially with those who haven’t even apologised, and/or continued to betray me. I knew I needed a significant amount of time to truly forgive. I needed to heal that last 5% and that means I need time without more betrayals adding to the pile. 

Some may believe that I am unchristian and unloving by removing myself from the contact of those who need my forgiveness. But I know the truth, I know I have tried to treat them well despite the pain in my heart. I recognise they need my true forgiveness, not merely a polite relationship. I believe, thanks to the forgiveness I have received from my Saviour, that true forgiveness is possible and I am looking forward to experiencing its freedom when I get there. But in the mean time, I’m removing that overcompensating smile plastered across my face that makes everyone more comfortable with their mistreatment of me and I’m focusing on the process of entirely overcoming any deeper levels of unforgiveness, so that when I say and act like I have forgiven someone, I will feel and know it’s TRUTH!

 

 

30/09/2020

Giving Evil Enough Rope

Posted in Finding Faith, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:09 am by The Water Bearer

For the past 8 years or so, this blog has been dedicated to exposing the devil. The archives are full of 180 posts about the nature of evil and how it manifests itself under the guise of religion, politics, ego and emotions, just to name a few. Once my eyes were opened and I could finally understand and wrap language around the evil I had always sensed, I was consumed with the purpose to expose the enemy, in the hope to put a stop to his wicked antics. I spent 18 years completing an epic novel, fueled by this very purpose.

Two decades later and I am still frustrated by the ignorance in the world, and confused as to why Almighty Sovereign God would allow evil to continue.

This blog “Inner Angels & Enemies” uses self-awareness techniques to help readers (and myself) dig deep into our motives to discover the evil within, so that we may bring hidden evil to the light to be overpowered by the grace and blood of Christ. Seems simple enough. But what happens when people refuse to rid themselves of the evil within, or if our hearts are a bottomless pit of evil and we just keep finding more. What is God’s plan to conquer all this evil, and when?

We don’t have to look far before we feel our anger rise at all the injustice and lies, cruelty and malice in the world, and we all know someone who treats us in wicked ways that we are unable to accept. Every human has sin in their hearts and its a given that we unload our worst selves onto those around us, especially those we love most. Its human nature to want to control the discomfort this brings. We end relationships, we quit jobs, we move towns or countries, we disown family, we riot, and we call people out on their shit at the first inkling of wrongdoing. But all these tactics just appear to be harsh judgments because the seriousness of their sin hasn’t had chance to fully reveal itself.

So what if, instead of forcing people to recognise their private evil, we wait and give them enough rope to hang themselves? It will test our patience, challenge our tolerance, and curb our judgements, but these are beneficial aims anyway. Let me be clear, this is not a tactic for our enemies alone, this is the very same tactic God uses in the way He parents us, His children. This is a tactic of love and justice.

God has given the devil enough rope and it will be his undoing! Simply by allowing the enemy free-reign to allow the true depth of his wickedness to develop to its fullness, the once ignorant world is beginning to recognise the devil everywhere. He’s been hiding in the churches, in the schools and colleges, in the government, and in us, but in 2020, there is no more denying it. His own works expose his truly deceptive character and we see it!

Is it possible to treat our loved ones as God treats us? He allows us free reign and free will so that the wicked motives of our hearts can become clear to us. How many of us know deep down we probably shouldn’t do something? But we run the gauntlet, hoping to get away with it, convincing ourselves we aren’t that bad. But eventually one day, the reality of what we have become reaches absurdity that we have no choice but to accept that we are in need of a righteous and drastic change. This is when we learn to crave the mercy and righteousness of our Saviour, so that we choose His will freely and receive His blessings, His protection, and His strength, so we can give Him honour for His goodness, never to fall for the lies and temptation of evil ever again!

It’s time for a change of tack, time to sit back and laugh as this temporary world becomes flooded with evil, because it is only in the revealing of just how wicked our enemy is, that we can comprehend how unbelievably Awesome is our Creator God, and surrender to His plan for our eternity without evil! Yeeew!

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!

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 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 “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 passionate 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, expectations and control All of these depend on her emotions and how she viewed herself.

Don’t get me wrong here.. It’s not always the girls who have this co-dependent 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 and a solid identity, then we are more likely to find love in the 2nd way.

However if we have some insecurities, 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!

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, gaining our sense of identity from being His much loved creation, and understanding the goal of what love should look like. 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?
  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 depending on your emotional state, or does it stay stable no matter your mood?

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