Who Are You Permitting To Plant Seeds of Doubt?

Is anyone telling you something that is contrary to your core beliefs? If so, how are you discerning healthy seeds from harmful ones? Do you know who you are so that you do not fall for who you are not?

During my reading time yesterday, Genesis 3:1 awakened me to an old technique that can cause us to doubt the truth within our hearts and minds. Genesis 3:1 reads “now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?”

The technique the snake used is appearing to know more than what Adam and Eve knew and had been told.

Before Eve’s encounter with the snake, God gave Adam and Eve clear instructions on what they could eat, but desires for more wisdom and to taste the fruit (susceptibility) drove Eve to eat the fruit and share it with Adam.

From ages 5 to 10, two male family members misused my developing body. Both of them used actions and words (force and kindness) contrary to what I felt was right, but my confusion, seeds of doubt, and susceptibility kept me quiet for years, denying the truth within me.

J & S was not my first experience with abuse. Before the age of five, I reported to another family member that my father was abusing my mother. Seeds of doubt planted while my father berated me for telling the family’s secret.

Shortly after the abuse secret was out, I realized that my focus must be on decreasing my susceptibility to false information instead of spending a lot of time in anger, fear, and potentially destructive habits. Therefore, I sought alignment with nature and a personal relationship with my Creator. I still experienced weeds, but I became more proficient at recognizing and ridding them.

Throughout my personal and professional life as a nurse and health coach, I have witnessed the power of words, but more importantly I realized that the state of our inner garden is what permits harmful seeds (words) to grow.

Often, my mother told us that “as long as people have tongues they will talk.” This is true. Therefore, the way I see it, the best way to utilize my energy, money, and time is by attending to my own garden.

Not too long after the secret was out, S, the nicer one tempted me with doubt.

(Here is an excerpt from Bent Not Broken, my soon-to-be published memoir about my experience with sexual abuse).

“One day, after the secret was out, we were playing outside with S. Before I knew it, he was standing in front of me with his back facing me. Within a matter of seconds, he turned to me and said “it wasn’t that bad.” I stood there shocked by what I just heard. I wondered if anyone heard him, but everyone was laughing and running around. In a round-about way, S was admitting what happened between us. From day one, he denied his involvement in the sexual abuse and blamed J. No matter what, I knew that telling on him was the right thing to do. Sex with children is wrong.

Throughout my life, I have encountered many weeds, but now more than ever I know that preparing and saturating my garden with living water, planting healthy seeds, and daily maintenance is an absolute necessity. I know that my life could have been worse if I had not sought to know my Truth and my Creator. I do not get hung up on religious behaviors or what to call our Creator. The Truth is what I seek, and the Truth is within me.

Unfortunately, weeds have a way of finding good soil, and they can look so pretty and inviting. As a novice gardener, I am learning this Truth. It is up to us to know what our core beliefs are and to have something stable to measure what we hear and see.

How do I get in touch with my Truth? I meditate, pray, and read and watch empowering and inspiration works. I use the principles within the Bible to reinforce my foundation.

Our mind is the master controller of our body. We must cultivate thoughts of honor, respect, and love and remove weeds of doubt, for if they are allowed to grow, they can look so pretty and inviting.

We must hold unto our truth.

The Bible continues to open up truths to me and the mindset to transcend life experiences, even using the lessons of others. That’s what made Jesus so effective in dealing with bitterness, criticism, jealousy, and the like. When we know the truth and beyond knowing, we see the distractions a mile away. We do not succumb to the pressures of life because we know who we are. I am not mad at S for asking me that question that day, because the thought helped me to reestablish who I wanted to be and convict me to my truth.

Anything used to silence someone, whether through force or kindness is not right. God did not give us dominion over people, but over fish, birds, and creatures.

No matter the technique, having sex with children is not honoring the human body. No matter how long sex with minors have been around, children are children for a reason.

Who is in your ear slowly steering you from your truth? Have you detoured from your Truth and trying to find your way back?

I’d love to hear your comments.

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Is it possible our next President, House of Representatives, Senators, and other officers?

To work together for a common cause, instead of attacking other. One major principle I learned in nursing school is to focus on the patient. Egos need to take a back seat to maximize resources and come together for the greater good of the world. Focus on the people you serve–all people. Treat others as you would your loved ones. Sometimes, we can get caught up in being right instead of looking at possible right solutions. If people are suffering, what can we do to lighten the load? One of the greatest commandments is to love others as God loves us (John 13:34. If we say we love God and hate our brother, then we are not being honest. (1 John 14:19-21). Do nothing in rivalry or conceit, but in humility (Philippians 2:3-4).

To have a role model president and others in leadership positions. My grandfather taught my mother the importance of accepting people who do not look like you. My mother went on to teach us the same principle, and now I tell the same with my children. One of the greatest commandments is to love one another. 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 gives us more details regarding this trait. “Love does not boast nor dishonor others.” When we call others outside of their name or the name they prefer to be called, we are dishonoring them. Hateful words do not show me a powerful person. I see hurt, and someone calling for help.

To desire discernment and share accurate, knowledge, insight, and wisdom. When I feel and see that you care, regardless of your defining characteristics, I am more likely to listen. (The Book of Proverbs and Psalm 111, Romans 12:2, 1 John 4:1, James 1:5)

To understand that we are all connected–all shades of black, brown, white, and everything else in between. God made us all in His image (Genesis 1:27), not just a specific color, language, shape, and anything else that is often used to divide the human race. When I look at my surroundings (humans, plants, trees, cars, houses, dogs, etc.), I see a variety of colors, shapes, and the beautiful presence of God. God is everywhere and in everything.

To practice self-control (Galatians 5:22-23, Proverbs 25:28). When we are children, we behave as children. We hold ourselves to higher standards. There are multiple ways to get our message across using grace and mercy. No one is perfect. Belittling, blaming, criticizing, and judging others are ways of division instead of peace. Just because we can do something does not mean that we should.

To work with other experts. Active listening is a component of humility. No one knows everything. Work with people instead of against. There is no contest that is more important than preserving life. COVID -19 does not care about egos. The virus seeks a body to inhabit not an ego.

To mean what we say and say what we mean—at least most of the time. Faith is not by just words but actions. Own up to your learning experiences is one of the best ways to confirm that you are human. Denial is a powerful blinding tool to the truth. We are all teachers and students. When we share information, take the time to do as much research as possible.

To forgive. Forgiveness is necessary to move on and to lead a country. Uncontrolled anger/rage cannot produce peace. There is enough conflict in the world already. Be the one who desires and strives for peace for all. (Ephesians 4:32)

Even if the Bible is not your go-to-source for how to treat others, what about moral virtues such as compassion, courage, empathy, grace, hope, humility, kindness, patience, respect?

It takes courage to admit your errors, to do what’s right regardless of possible external rewards from others, to speak the truth, and to promote inclusion instead of separation. It takes courage to listen to others when you do not know the answer. It takes courage to admit that you do not have the answer, yet, you have resources to help you get the answer.

We become what we teach to others. Often, we must ask ourselves, what are we teaching others with our actions and words.

Often, my mother would say “You can fix your mouth to say anything and “Don’t talk me to death.”

Is it possible?

Timika

How did I avoid an argument with my spouse?

Argument

I caught myself yesterday after speaking words that I knew would cause an argument. I was finishing up laundry from our recent vacation, and my spouse found more of his clothes that needed washing. I wanted to have laundry done by a certain time Friday morning, and I began feeling a little frustrated that there were more clothes that needed to be washed. If I had continued on the path I was on with feeling delayed and frustrated, and that I had all of the clothes that needed to be washed in the laudry room, and he did not, an argument with my spouse would have followed. I soon found out, after I decided to change my path, that I, too, had more clothes that needed to be washed.

An argument takes more than one person. I am in control of my thoughts and the words I speak. They can be words of love or words that come from anger, jealousy, frustration, or any other negative emotion/feeling. One of my favorite quotes by Napoleon Hill is “Direct your thoughts, control your emotions, and ordain your destiny.” So, I needed to change my thoughts, control my frustration, and pick a path in alignment with who I want to be.

Another quote that I was reminded on Friday is from the Book of Mathew, and it comes come :
Matthew 7: 4 &5 :How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while there is still a beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Besides checking to see what mood or state I am in before I speak, here are the steps I I used to avoid an argument with my spouse yesterday:

1. Removed myself from where were I was. I left out of the laundry room and decided to be still and realized that what I had said was not called for. I could clearly see what he was doing, so I did not need to ask the question.
So, go to another room that allows you to clear your mind and reduce the risk of saying something else to ignite the fire of an argument? Removing myself from the room helped me to think about what I just said and what to say next.

2. Assessed my intention for the words I spoke? Why did I just say what I said? I was trying to complete all of our laundry early Friday morning, so that I could enjoy the rest of the day and do other things. I felt like he was putting me off schedule. I played a part in being off schedule by not communicating properly my intentions. Never did I communicate to my spouse that I was doing laundry and what color clothes I was washing next. I actually like doing laundry and feel blessed that I can do it myself.

3. Thought about what my spouse was going through. I was not the only person trying to finish something that morning. So, I put myself in the other person’s shoes and started talking about what was bothering him.

4.Kept focused on my goals for how I want my life and my marriage to be. Choose by battles, wisely! I want to live a long healthy vibrant youthful life with the one I love.

Mika