Blog Archives

God of Wonders

Photo by Stefan Stefancik on Pexels.com

Emotions Make Great Friends, Not Great Rulers

Some time ago, I was ruled by anger and frustration that I held onto inside of me until my Mom’s last words before dying were “don’t be so frustrated darling”. It bothered me that I was frustrated even up to the time my Mother was about to die and those were her last words to me. It also woke me up to the fact that I was letting negative emotions control my life and that’s when I decided to do something about it. I realized quickly that my frustration was rooted in resentment and unforgiveness from ways I was treated in the past by others. I understood that I needed to let go of the resentments and forgive those things that happened to me in the past in order to have a better future.

Emotions like frustration and anger tell us something is wrong and in that way they make good friends, if we can listen. A good friend will tell you something is not right and help you make it better. I can say that since I dealt with these negative emotions ruling me, my life has improved greatly! I have more peace and happiness in my life and that is far better than anger and frustration.

If you’re ruled by anger and frustration and want to have peace and happiness then look back at the root of your resentment from the past, forgive it and let it go! It’s that easy my friend.

The God Who Speaks

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

THE PROSECUTOR WHO DEFENDED ME

Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com

Many years ago when I was young and  foolish I was drinking heavily at a party.  By the end of the night, or early in the morning, I decided to stagger home. I was passing a closed restaurant when I realized I was hungry and decided to break in to cook myself some food.  So I made my way into the closed restaurant through the ventilation system on the roof.  I ended up falling through the ceiling and landed right smack in front of the grill in the kitchen and thought to myself “this is convenient.”  However, in my drunken stupor I quickly changed my mind about food and made my way to the bar.  I grabbed the biggest bottle of booze and left by the back door and proceeded to stagger home.  The next morning I was woken by two detectives who had some questions for me.  I was very hungover and my head was pounding from drinking the night before.  I knew what they were there for and I decided to admit everything and not lie.  I was brought in to the station and questioned in which I fully cooperated by writing a confession, then they let me go with a court date.  It was scheduled in a couple of weeks and I’ll never forget how worried I was about  jail being a possible punishment.  A couple weeks go by and I am in the waiting room outside the courtroom when a familiar face walks by and notices me.  It was the Crown Prosecutor who was going to be the one to prosecute me for my crime.  I remembered doing some landscaping for him when I was a student a few years prior.  He asked me why I was there and I told him.  He could see that I was very sorry and also worried about jail.  So after a short talk he told me that he would defend me and see to it that I didn’t go to jail.  When my case was called, I stood and the prosecutor began to defend my case. He asked the judge for mercy.  The judge listened to him and I walked out of the courtroom free, feeling very thankful and relieved.  Since that day I changed my ways and never thought of breaking the law ever again.

This was a true story that happened to me so long ago. It has a lot of similarities to the true story of all of us, as we will one day meet the ultimate judge in the great judgement that is to come.  Jesus, who is the actual prosecutor on that day, will prosecute every crime or sin you have committed and the punishment is eternal. But you can become friends with Him by acknowledging Him and confessing your sins, then changing your ways to match His. Then the prosecutor will become your defender and  the judge will grant you mercy and forgiveness so you can be made free with eternal life.  Jesus paid for your punishment on the day he was crucified by being an acceptable sacrifice for your sins.  All you have to do is acknowledge Him and become a new creation in Him so he can defend you. John 5:24 Jesus says  Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.   The Apostle Paul says in Romans 8:2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.   Finally John 8:36 Jesus says Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. Turn from your ways of sin and death and become a new creation before it’s too late.  Start by repenting and seeking after Jesus by reading His word in the bible and He will be your defender instead of your prosecutor.

Post-Trauma Peace

Helpful Advice for Trauma Survivors

Sadness, shame, helplessness, anger, vulnerability, embarrassment, disappointment and frustration are the eight unpleasant  feelings that prevent us from having a happier life according to Dr. Joan Rosenberg.

Whatever trauma you have been through, let me first congratulate you because you have made it through!  All trauma is unique for each situation, however, the “after effects” are most, or all, of these unpleasant feelings. Holding on to them holds you back from happiness.

I know for me, I felt completely helpless and vulnerable, which led to me hiding away in my house. I became lazy and overweight.  I ate whatever I wanted and drank beer everyday to deal with my sadness and shame.  Many things about my trauma, and how it was handled, caused great disappointment, frustration and even anger.

 This anger symptom was the first one I recognized and dealt with a few years ago.  Simply put, anger is one letter away from danger!  Over time, I have managed to change my life for the better by dealing with these unpleasant feelings in a productive way, rather than a destructive way.  I eat healthy, non-processed food and drink fresh lemon water and do 22 push-ups a day. I have gone from 240 lbs down to 170 lbs.  I used to wear a size 42 pant and am down to a size 32.  My blood pressure was 166/111  and now it is down to 120/80. I am much happier now!  Up until 2019, I was still holding onto disappointment and frustration from my military career.  I was advised by a good friend to go see Veterans Affairs to see if they could help me.  It was very difficult for me to be vulnerable and to ask for help, but I am glad that I did.  Just as McDonald’s had terrible coffee and changed it to great coffee, so it is with Veterans Affairs.  They had a reputation of not really caring and I thought it might be a waste of my time, but I was very wrong.  I was met with love and compassion and I felt like my concerns were finally being addressed. This has allowed me to start to heal that part of my life. I realize it is not this way for everyone, but I had a good case manager.

If you’re like most trauma survivors and feel anxiety often, then listen closely:

You have two different nervous systems.  One is called sympathetic and the other is parasympathetic.  Parasympathetic is when you are calm and at peace, just like before you fall asleep.  Your body heals while you sleep and when you are calm during the times you are awake.  On the other hand, the sympathetic state kicks in when you see a bear with her cubs 10 feet away.  Your heart rate and blood pressure go into survival mode and you are prevented from healing.

I spent years always anxious and worried, as a blood pressure of 166/111 would tell you, but over time I changed my habits and I have learned that the most important person to take care of in your life is YOU. In order to take care of yourself, you must deal with past negatives to make room for the positives.

This is indeed different for every person, depending on your circumstances, but for me, I found classical music, warm salt baths, being around positive people and nature to be most helpful.  Whatever brings you to that place of calm and peace, should be your direction in life from now on.   Also, deal with every unpleasant feeling or situation that comes along as positively as you can so you can quickly go back to your healing state of calm.

In 2016, I saw a statistic that said 22 military members take their life everyday and that shook me to the core.  I had also heard of a group of former military personnel that do 22 push-ups a day to bring awareness, and also, in some weird way, to put our collective energy into combating this tragedy.  This was the very beginning of my healing journey that has brought me this far.

If you are ever considering now or in the future to end your life for whatever reason, please understand that you have a real purpose for the life that you have been given.  There are countless people, including myself, who have been at the bottom of a hopeless pit wanting to just die, but I am here to tell you that no matter how bad things get,  they will always get better! I am living proof of that, so please never ever allow yourself to feel that way again.  Keep breathing!

My definition of confidence is: the deep sense that you can handle the emotional outcome of whatever you face or pursue in life.  I hope this article brings you understanding and confidence to handle whatever you face or pursue in your journey to peace.