Friday, 24 January 2014

Stop Past Broken Relationships From Killing Your Current One

"It's not the future that you're afraid of, it's repeating the past that makes you anxious" 

This quote was posted by one of my FB friends recently and it made me get back to writing this blog entry that has been on the to do list for at least six months. You see, I've come to understand that whether it's with your mother or a sibling, a cousin, friend or ex, if you're still licking wounds from an old broken relationship, it's going to tell in the one you may be trying to build now. 

Unfortunately, with each fractured relationship, we may actually find less to love about ourselves; we just focus on the ugliness of the scars and don't accept the opportunity of the healing that awaits.  Some of us, me included, have learned this the hard way, so  I figure we all need some Straight Talk on dusting off from past brokenness and charging into a brighter, better relationship future. 

Below I share a few things that I think can help us to allow the past to heal rather than keep on hurting.

Give Yourself the Talk
Repeat after me: I must not...let...past broken relationships...hold me back...from living today.  I must forgive myself and others for what is past... and make an impassioned...and make today...the best day I have ever lived.

There you go!  That is the start, because the current relationship that you need to nurture is the one you have with yourself.  I believe that the Bible teaches us to love God in order that we can truly love ourselves, so that we can truly love others.  It teaches us how to stay connected to each other through that one true powerful force.  Staying connected doesn't mean that we have to be in each others' physical space, but it does mean that every interaction we have is counted as important and yes, no matter how bad, as a gift to help us move forward.  So I'll round this off with my personal favourite memory verse from scripture, quoted from the King James version, (because that version is so poetic).  This is God reassuring Joshua who was to take over from the great prophet Moses in leading the people of Israel to the promise land:

"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."Joshua 1:9

Through this verse we can all get daily reassurance.

Take a trip to the doctor
I'll bet you've been having some unexplained health issues lately.  You've tried to change your diet, exercise more, read positive things, go to church and the list goes on but still... Is the blood pressure just a little higher?  Are you feeling more anxious, had to take more sick days off than usual?  You may be feeling sick but can't put your finger on what the problem could possibly be.  Sometimes some sobering readings on the vitals can be wake up call enough to force a change, but you'll have to do some searching, some deep digging, to find out what it is that you've covered up with all this 'doing and saying and reading the right things'.  I'll bet there is a relationship that was shattered or continues to be broken and it's eating you alive.  You're going to have to let go.

Just let go!...1, 2, 3...Let go! Or get sick, really sick.  Choice is yours.

Stop Re-living the Past
You know about SnapChat right?  So it's this new photo messaging app to allow you to send messages and have them disappear in the next instant.  Pretty handy tool especially when a great deal of privacy, or treachery is what you're seeking.  If only some of those bad memories of the past would just vanish into thin air, as if they never were, just like a Snapchat message would.  That would be great, but our brains don't quite work that way, do they?  In order to stop re-living the past we have to find the lesson in what happened.  Detail the lesson learned and set out to apply what has been learned to a situation right now.  Find a way to do what you were unable to do before and reward yourself.  Don't stop there.  Repeat this.  Constantly find a way to apply the lesson to the NOW.  The past is only as good as what you have learned from it.  Don't re-live it, learn from it.

Choose to change
If there was something wrong with a relationship you've had or that you're in, you are partially at fault, whether you have created a rotten situation or you have just accepted or allowed it.  But if for even a moment you can recognise that you can actually choose to change and then actually change, that would be the greatest moment.  

We can choose to change.  Many times that choice will have to be made in fear, but it has to be done nonetheless.  You really don't have to be the YOU that you were in the past.  You can tweak YOU, it just takes a little detailed assessment and then a few nips, tucks and pinches here and there and you're on your way.  You can choose to change and then actually change.  It is possible.  As the Nike-ers would say, "Just Do it"!

Be Accountable and Make Peace with the Past

You have to be open in your current relationship about all that you believe you have learned from those of the past.  You don't have to get all honest all at once!  But especially when you really get the sense that a relationship is of a more serious nature, sharing is a requirement.  But share who you are because of that past and share what you are working on because of that past and share what you seek because of that past and what you presently value most because of that past.  Be truthful, make peace and bear witness to someone else, so that you remain accountable for the changes you have made and the peace you intend to keep.

So that's all I have to share, but perhaps you can help to add to these thoughts if you have suggestions on how we can all Stop Past Broken Relationships from killing Our Current Ones.  Looking forward to the list.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Do You Have The Courage To Listen?

Just what is that still small voice inside that likes to say the complete opposite of what people would have you do?

Just where does it get the audacity to know exactly what and who you are and why you are here?

Ever heard it?


If you're like me you probably sense it sometimes as a 'gnawing sensation'; 'something you can't explain'; a 'gut feeling'.  It can be annoying; something you wish you could just ignore.  In fact, if you are really like me, you'll make every excuse to ignore it.  You'll call up a trusted advisor to get some perspective, hoping that will knock some sense into you, because after all, your advisor will have something far more meaningful to say than the voice inside you. You'll find somewhere noisy to go in an attempt to drown it out or you'll get super busy with a slew of meaningless things to try and crowd it out of your mind.

But somehow as your heart beats and your blood pumps, that voice remains.  It waits, it stays, it stands.  It speaks to you even when you won't listen.  It is constant.

Ever heard it?
Ever listened?

I must confess that there are times when I have listened, but it's frightening.  That bloody voice never seems to ask you to do anything easy.  It's often about waiting when you're gung-ho about pressing ahead; working harder when you couldn't care less; doing more when you would much rather do less; speaking out when you'd rather disappear; standing out when you'd prefer to blend into the crowd and be left alone; going beyond your comfort zone.  It is often about doing what no one else is doing and about standing apart. Scary... and annoying!

Ever listened?

I've come to the conclusion now that the still small voice must be an important part of me since it doesn't go away.  It must really be on a mission to tell me something that I need to hear; something no one else will tell me.  I've made a vow to stop and wait and listen to this never-dying presence that demands my attention.  How committed can I be? If I can be as committed as the still small voice that is BIG commitment.  

What happens when it bids me dance to my own tune and for everyone to see, can I follow the instruction?  Do I have the courage?

Do you?

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

My Lessons for a New Year

Well, 2013 is now history and I had some hard but necessary lessons to learn in that beastly year, some pleasant ones too.  Thought I would share some of that tough tutelage that will most definitely guide me in my 2014 sojourn.
  1. Trust what God has put in your heart.  He is faithful and true and will never lead you astray.
  2. Learn from the light in a child's eyes...every moment is ripe for a new and wonderful discovery.
  3. Live You and live You out loud... or quietly, whatever is truly You.
  4. Listen to what people have to say, but make your own decisions.
  5. Apologise to the people you have hurt and do your best never to hurt them again.
  6. Decisions made out of fear can be detrimental to your life.  When you decide to face your biggest fears, it's then you realise that you made them out to be much more than they really were.
  7. Bottled up emotions, past trauma and bad experiences need to be dealt with as a matter of urgency.  When they explode, too many people experience the fallout.
  8. Ask for what you want.  Hiding it, or denying it, won't make the want go away.
  9. Be who you are by all means.  That's who people really need to see and that's who you need to be.
  10. Take a break and tune into who you are, what makes you tick and how you must live.  You'll be miserable if you do it any other way.
  11. Be thankful for where you've been, but you don't have to go back there.
  12. You must take the time to treasure and appreciate the ones you love. But you must take more time to listen and understand their hearts' desires.
  13. Take the time to listen carefully to your child/children; learn about that person whom you have the honour of raising and understand that God's plan for that child/those children is greater than any of your own dreams for him/her/them
  14. Love, in fact, conquers all...fuh real

Got any lessons of your own to share?  I'd love to hear them.