How to Heal Yourself

Unsaved Preview DocumentThere are wounds in everyone’s life and it is how we deal with these wounds that determines the quality of our lives.

Oh, the awkward photos from my youth. When I reflect back at the person I was then I am amazed at where I am today. There were some wounds that I did not understand and their ripple effect directed my relationships. Learning to deal with life’s disappointments or emotional scars is part of the journey.

What do I mean by healing yourself? Some say God heals us. Others say use this formula. Or go to counseling. What is it? Healing yourself is about understanding yourself and who you are and why you are here.

If you are confused about those two questions then the pain will remain. I believe God can heal us, but only if we are willing to let go of the past. Getting clear about who I was enabled me to forgive myself of my past mistakes. This led to peace in my heart.

When you are clear about who you are, then you will be able to look at those wounds as part of the process of bringing you to where you are. When you understand why you are here then it will help to process what you can do from those wounds. Knowing these two questions will help you to let go of any bitterness because you will notice that is not congruent with who you are.

Life is a gift from God. It is meant to be enjoyed even the difficulties we experience. These difficulties challenge us to rise above become a better version of ourselves.

Know who you are: what are you about? What character traits would you like to be known by? How would you like others to perceive you?

Know why you are here: You have a message in life. You are constantly teaching others with your words and behaviors. What would you like to teach?

Become clear about yourself and why you are here and you will begin the process of healing your life through God.

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How to reprogram your mind

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Why was I getting the same results in my life? That was the question that stirred in my soul and sent me on a journey, which transformed my life. 

I am not sure who said, but it goes something like this, you cannot use the same thinking that got you into the problem. You have to think in a different way.  I write about this process in my new book, which I am currently editing. The book is called “Anything is Possible.”

We are in many ways the sum total of our habits. Habits are a good thing because they enable the brain to take a break from thinking. However, the brain typically will use that time instead to fill your thoughts with chatter. Chatter is not anything useful, but rather it is immersed in judgment. The judgment is either about you or another.

However, let’s be real for a minute and consider that when we judge we actually are judging ourselves. It is not about the other person, but about our own thoughts of unworthiness. Events and situations always fit into our story about us. I was not good enough to be this or do that thus we live our lives based on a story that we believe.

Where did the story come from? It came from our past, the experiences, the programming from our youth. It meshed into what we believe about us. We have searched for ways to prove to ourselves that the story is true. When something happens (good or bad), we use it to say, ‘Ah, see here, every time.’ We want the story to be true because the opposite is for us to have faith and step out and do the thing.

If I can stay here in my comfort zone and provide myself with all the reasons not to do something then I will not fail. The story only has the power that we grant it. We give it the power because the programming we grew up with demands it. But how do we begin a new story?

The new story starts when we decided that our program is not helping us. Sure, it helped us through most of our lives, but it is not supporting us in truly living the life we want. If we do not develop a vision of the future for ourselves then we are doomed to live out our false narrative.

Create in your mind a vision of your future. Then write it down and surround yourself with people who will support you and positivity. I created a vision board and when I gaze upon it each day I am reminded of where I want to go and the reason I am doing what I am.

What do you want your life to look like? Who do you want to be? How do you want to live? All of these questions are the first step in helping you reprogram your mind. Once you established what that looks like the next step is choosing thoughts your thoughts that will support the life you have created.

This is the tough step because in many ways we are almost addicted to the negative. For good reason, the negative thinking has kept us alive, yet it also keeps us stuck where we are. Thoughts are things. If you are willing to create a morning routine to empower your thinking then you will begin to transform your thoughts and your path to reprogramming your mind will be easier.

It took me a few years and I have my hiccups along the way. It happens. I move on faster than I did before. I used to make myself feel guilting, but there is use for guilt. All guilt does weigh me down. I forgive myself and I move forward. What would you like your life to be like?

How to Live without Regret

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Regret is a thief who steals your joy and peace in the now. How can we overcome this vampire of happiness?

To live with regret is to make the past wrong. To make the past wrong is to blame yourself. For years I made regret an everyday habit. If it was not one thing it was another. It was almost as if I enjoyed putting myself in that state of mind.

The regrets I had played a huge part in my depression and anxiety. I lived in a cave of fear of my own creating. However, what changed for me was a deliberate decision to love who I was and am. It is a conscious decision that I must choose each day. It is easy to look at our past mistakes or blunders and blame ourselves for the poor decisions.

However, everything we have in our lives is there for a reason. If we did not need it then we would not have it. Making mistakes is part of the learning process. It is how we become aware of life.

When we blame ourselves or begin to “should” ourselves that is when we start to go down the path of regret. Therefore, instead of using the words “should have”, try to use “could”. You could have done that, however, you choose to experience life this way. Now you have learned a new way to live.

When I make a mistake now, I stop and tell myself, “Well I learned a new thing.” Then I move on. Sometimes it takes doing this a few times before I am able to let it go. It is not about the number of times I say it, but rather more about allowing me to forgive me.

You accomplish nothing with blame. It might feel you do, but you do more harm to you. Love who you are and love that person who you were. You needed to experience and go through the trials that you did in order to be right where you are right now. Embrace yourself.

I like to review my weeks and look at where I could have done a better job. I do not blame, but rather look at how I can improve. Improving is part of life and none of us are perfect. If you struggle with regret then sitting down and journaling about it will really help you. Also, evaluating yourself is a healthy way to embrace change.

You are right where you need to be, always. 

Make it Christmas Every day

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Do you have the Christmas blues? I can relate and it is the reason why I still have my Christmas tree up. However, Christmas does not need to only be one time a year.

Every year around November I pull out my copy of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and I read it. It is not that I enjoy old English or Mr. Dickens’ wordiness (he got paid by the word). I love the message that he puts forth. Anyone can make a change at any moment, even a terrible person like Ebenezer Scrooge.

Scrooge has his reasons for the ‘why’ he chooses to be, but he is given a glimpse of the future and his legacy and it is the thing that forces him to change. Scrooge’s new persona is filled with joy, a heart to serve, and a positive demeanor. He is grateful to be alive and thankful for the opportunity that the day grants him. These are qualities that we need every day not just during Christmas time.

This is one of my goals for 2019, to treat each day like Christmas. I want to embrace each moment and love the gift of life. Funny thing though I almost told a drive-thru attendant ‘Merry Christmas’. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.

Here is a list of qualities that I believe are important to making every day Christmas:

Wonder: Children see the packages under the tree and filled with wonder about what is in them. I asked myself, what if I treated every moment with curiosity and excitement what would my life look like. I realized it’d be more interesting and exciting.

Joy: To have happiness. I am going to smile more and be happy about the mundane because truthfully there are no mundane things just mundane people.

Serve: I am to be present in each moment more to acknowledge situations and people. It’ll take practice, but it is important because I’ll be able to help people out.

Thankful: To be pleased or relieved or blessed. I have been so much and so have you. I want to acknowledge that more this year.

The story of Scrooge is the story of us all because we can forget the point of life. We can get lost in the hustle and bustle of going to work and punching a time card. Life is meant to be lived passionately and a little recklessly. Enjoy the life you’ve been given and bless each moment you are alive. Make today Christmas in your heart.

How to Deal with Depression

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A few years I found myself depressed. It took me a long while to get through it and I share in this post a strategy I used. 

Depression is not feeling sad although you may feel sad. The best way I heard it described as utter hopelessness, a feeling of nothing. I think that accurately portrays it in my opinion. However, you want a more technical explanation or diagnosis then you should consult your care physician.

I experienced much change in my life around the time of my depression. We had moved from California to Austin, Texas. I had quit my job or if you will I was told I was being let go and had been given about a year to get another job. The move was needed, but shortly after the move the depression set in as I found it difficult to get another job.

To make matters worse I used alcohol to cope with my problems. I regularly found it extremely hard to get out of bed in the mornings. My lack of a career enhanced the struggles in my marriage, which led me further down the pit of depression. I was sad, but I had never before experienced hopelessness.

What pulled me out of my depression? I remembered a book I bought in college called As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. When I read these words my whole paradigm shifted, You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you. I dropped the book and began to think about everything that had happened in my life.

I was responsible for the way I felt and what I thought about. Therefore, I decided I would change it. I used the strategy of gratitude to pull me out of the pit. The more thankful I was the more my mood shifted and my demeanor was focused on the blessings I had. Every day and several times a day I would stop and find something to be grateful for.

Over time, the black cloud hanging over me parted and the sun was let in. If you are feeling depressed then please consult your doctor. You should not feel ashamed of being depressed. It is a serious issue and talking about can help you. Talking to your doctor can help find a good treatment course of action.

Gratitude can make a huge difference and help pull the focus off of you to how much you do have. For me that was the strategy that made all the difference.

How to sustain a positive attitude

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There is a great benefit to a positive attitude, but how can we stay positive when so many things around us are negative? 

The lifehack is this, find something to be thankful for. In that moment of news that may not be what you want to hear, find something or someone to be thankful for. What that will do is break the cycle or snap you out of the negative trance that can happen.

It is easy to hear bad news and dwell on it and then that negative news creates negative thoughts. Those thoughts create more thoughts and then your attitude shifts to negativity. Once that happens you find yourself in a bad disposition. Sometimes this can create anxiety or depression in us because we can become fixated on the bad news.

I carry a rock around with me to remind myself to be thankful throughout the day. Gratitude protects a positive mind and empowers a positive beingness. Pick something at the start of each day to remind yourself to be thankful. So when you get stuck in traffic you can glance at the object and remind yourself all what you are thankful for.

Happiness is something that is work and gratitude is an ally to your happiness. The key to change is in making the small changes because they will in time equal big results. Therefore, just picking an object to carry with you to remind you to be grateful is a small change you can make.

How to Accomplish Anything

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Do you have a dream? Something inside of you that won’t go away. Maybe it is to write that book or take charge of your career. Either way below are two essential steps to accomplish it. 

What is it that you are passionate about? There are two essential steps to getting yourself on the road to accomplishing your dreams or goals. They are basic, but sometimes common sense is not always common practice.

The first is to believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in you then who will? I want to pause and address something important for people who might religious or spiritual. Believing in yourself has nothing to do with arrogance or pride or doing something without God’s help.

Believing in yourself points to the fact that you believe what God has created in you. It is a healthy thing to do not a pride thing. By believing in yourself you are acknowledging what God has done already in you and that He is going to help you do whatever it is. Believing in yourself is incredibly important otherwise why would you even get started doing the steps necessary to accomplish the dream or goal.

The second step is to be consistent. Be always working towards your dream. Do something each day. It does not have to be anything huge. Dreams are accomplished because of a hundred or thousand minor steps that were taken. Do something each day and you will be your way to accomplishing that dream.

I believe you can and so should you.