Tag Archives: freedom

Surround Yourself

Who and what do you surround yourself with?

In a world inundated with negativity, it is crucial to surround yourself with the opposite, positivity. I’m not saying we should walk on a delusional path, ignorant to the realities of the world. I am simply saying that it is important we do not transform to them.

Even the Bible warns about it:

“Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.”- 1 Corinthians 15:33

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” – Proverbs 13:20

and one of my favorites:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” -Romans 12:2

But it’s not just about people, it’s about everything. What is your mind seeing every day? Whatever it is, it is setting up a platform on which you will focus.

Living most of my life with incredible anxiety, I know this all too well. The vicious cycle that captures our minds like prey. This was most recently experienced after my daughter was born. While I couldn’t admit it at the time, I suffered from postpartum anxiety which teamed up with the post traumatic stress disorder that still lingered from my son’s anaphylactic reaction years before.

During this time, the last thing I needed was more negativity, but it was everywhere. Every other post on Facebook had it. The news that was on television. The news that people told me. What I was google searching… what I was searching for… what I was reading… turned into what I was thinking… It. Was. Everywhere.

Until I had a huge wake up call, I was choosing what to surround myself with. Sure, it was all out there, the negativity our society sometimes seems to sickly crave, the accidents we can’t turn our eyes from. However, it was my own choice if I looked or turned away to something else.

So I decided then during a session of breastfeeding my daughter I would gradually take control back from this vicious cycle once and for all.

That was when I started to google search positive quotes and song lyrics, leaving them on my phone to see when I went to text. Or when I would try to search up something fearful, I would see Bible scriptures of hope in the search engine and screen, then reminding myself to put the phone down. I started to plant seeds of positivity everywhere… my phone, my phone cover, my keychains, my computer screens, my ID holder, my classroom, etc.

Unlike the keys we must carry to get where we need to go each day, we do not need to carry the weight of the world’s negativity with us. Instead, learn to surround yourself with positive people who empower you and your life with reminders of all that is good in this world. Because the truth is… there really is sooo much good, just waiting to be seen.

There is so much beauty in the world if you train your eyes to see it. And if for some reason, you don’t see it… create it, become it, be it! That is why I embrace the mess because it is surrounded by goodness.

Be Who You Needed

In many ways, this quote has become my motivation this year. I could spend hours, if not days, talking about what I lacked and needed growing up. The struggles that almost took my life time and time again as a child, adolescent and young adult. I could point fingers and place blame on person after person for why I was the way I was, why I hated myself for so many years despite having so much to be thankful for.

But forgiveness allowed me to stop the useless finger pointing and take on the new challenge, applying to every part of my life.

“Be who you needed when you were younger.”

And it has truly changed the way I breath, the way I live, the way I love.

So who did you need? What did you need? What do you still need? Turn to the Word, pray for the strength and then do this very thing. Become who you needed. Become who you need. Become who the world needs. For there is beauty in becoming who you need … in becoming who you are meant to be … amongst the mess.

Be Who You Needed

From my experience, it’s very easy to form excuses as to …

 

Why we are the way we are?

Or why we do what we do?

Why we can’t do what we are called to do?

Who made us the way we are?

Who said something that affected us deeper than forgiveness can reach?

Why we can’t be happy until that change happens, that miracle comes, that person changes… etc.

 

Excuses can be for everything. Excuses to why we can’t defeat our anxiety, why our flaws continue to get the best of us, why we can’t be different than those before us, why we can’t use that talent, why we can’t forgive…

They protect us in a way from failure… from being vulnerable … from embarrassment… from life…

But excuses are just that: excuses. They hold us back from our full potential. They prevent us from using our God-given talents. They lie to us so that forgiveness is not allowed in … that cycles can’t break.

Those are all lies. For forgiveness is the key. Forgiveness is what we are all called to do. Forgiveness heals everyone involved especially the forgiver. Cycles of the past like addiction, anxiety, abuse or even deep unhappiness … they do break! But it takes prayer, perseverance, patience and ….. forgiveness.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Ephesians 4:32 NIV

https://www.bible.com/111/eph.4.32.niv

One of the greatest things I ever did was forgive some people, some very close to me and others I may never see again, for things of the past. It was not easy. I battled myself for years… (truthfully decades about it … )

But lucky for me, the cool thing about forgiveness is that it doesn’t always require us to tell the people directly. Sometimes, it just involves that huge step within our lives to forgive and let go… to lift it up and use those scars for good.

So even though I did not tell them directly that I had forgiven them, I finally did it. My stubborn ways tried so hard to hold on to the grudges and the pain as backup excuses for when I messed up. It’s so much easier to pass the buck to someone else than face our own flaws or mistakes.

But this forgiveness brought so much more…. it brought a peace I could never have had with all that baggage still piled up.

One of the best quote I read around the time when I decided to embrace forgiveness was this one by Prince Ea, which has now become one of my life mottos.

“Be who you needed when you were younger.” – Prince Ea

Prince Ea’s actual post and page

So think back…

Who did you need as a child…

Who did you need as a preteen...

 

Who did you need as a teen… young adult …

Who do you need now?

The moment I started to reflect on this is when I finally stopped sulking in the excuses and pains of the past… and saw the promises and possibilities awaiting me in my now. It’s when I took ownership on my present and my future… both blessings my past can no longer steal.

Being a mother and teacher gives me a platform for this for sure. However, we all have our own platforms to do this… to be this… to be who we needed … to be who we need… in everything we do and with every relationship.

So no matter what mess the past left you, every day is a new chance to forgive and be that person you too once needed.

It will change your life!