How Can Chains Free You Instead of Imprison You?

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So have you ever done something that you regret? Of course, you have. That was a silly question on my part. Or was it? 

You can probably list several things you have done and wish you knew and did better or trusted yourself.

At one point during my nursing career, I worked for a local traveling agency. One day, the company sent me to a county clinic, and there I heard the words that further changed how I thought about life. I am unsure of everything I said to this Nurse Practitioner, but she must have sensed that I was complaining and feeling down. And without looking at me and further explaining herself, the Nurse Practitioner said, “they based their actions on what they knew.” Then, she walked away to take care of her client. She wasn’t mad at me. That’s how the truth is. The truth needs no explaining and only acceptance.

Her words sank in me. Our actions are based on what we know. I knew this principle because sometime after my sexual abuse experience, I wanted to be more conscious of life. I wanted to align with the Voice of Reason within me that knew all. I wanted to be free and live a life without excessive anger, fear, worrying, and others. Although I continued to struggle with some emotions, somewhere deep in me, I knew that excessive and lingering emotions were a waste of energy, money, and time. And life proved it to me.

This morning, my husband and I couldn’t help but notice the communication between several birds. I laid in bed for a few minutes, listening to the freedom I heard in their singing and speaking. Then, I remembered, “behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them” (Mathew 6:26).

During prayer time, I remembered how I didn’t think about getting this or that as a child. Things just fell into place. At an early age, I started saying, “I’ll do my best, and God will handle the rest. I would also say, “God can make things right.” So, I stopped worrying about many stuff, and many emotions, including forgiveness, slipped away. And I lived my life, and other life events continued to test my newfound ways of thinking.

Our children often remind me of our natural, free spirit and how learning about life does not always lead to anger and guilt. 

So, how do you use chains to enable freedom instead of bondage? 

Each day, you realize that:

  1. It’s better to surrender to life than it is to fight it. So many of our emotions and feels are based on the nonacceptance of what is. 
  2. Live in the moment, which is all there is. The past is gone, and the future takes care of itself. Nothing you do will change what has already happened.
  3. Do the best you can and move on. Work with what you have. So many times growing up, we didn’t have the right tools (hammer, screwdriver), but we got the job done. We have more to work within ourselves than we think.
  4. Learn and plan, but do not obsess about things. Somehow things work out for the best. What you thought you wanted or couldn’t live without was not true.

I am happy to be alive. Each day is an opportunity to enjoy life instead of stressing over how, why, when, where, and who. As the bible says, do not be conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). Therefore, we can transform our life by changing our thoughts to bring more joy, peace, and understanding that our experiences do not define us. We define ourselves. 

Make this lifetime great!

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Thanks for reading!

Timika

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How To Keep Antagonists In A Healthy Perspective?

Why did she treat me that way? Why is he not supporting me? I feel like you don’t want me to succeed in life? 

Often, my mother told us that “everyone has a role to play.” Yet, sometimes, it’s easy to lose sight that both protagonists (supportive people)and antagonists (nonsupportive people) help us live our truths. 

During my childhood, I started seeing the world as one big movie, which helped me to be more observant instead of judgmental. A major component of my healing was realizing everyone had a role to play in my life. People were helping me on a deeper level.

So, many people, including Jesus, experienced obstacles to living out their truths. What about the lives of great leaders such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, presidents (John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln), teacher Lou Ann Johnson (Dangerous Minds), and principal Joe Clark (Lean On Me)?

Take a moment and glance over your life. Can you list a few antagonists and protagonists? I bet you came up with a few at least two or three of each. So, the point is that no matter what, we will encounter people who help us accomplish our goals and others who seem to place barriers  (disbelief, inconsistency, harm us emotionally, mentally, physically, sexually, spiritually, don’t do what we ask them to do, tell our secrets, make fun of us, create violent acts, betray us, and others) no matter what we do or say.

So, how do we respond to our antagonists? Our response starts in our minds. How do you perceive life and the people in it? 

Here are a few questions to ponder?

  1. Do you believe that everyone has a part to play in your life? Know that you will have people who will not support you. 
  2. Do you believe that you cause people to be upset with you or “fight against you?” Often what people do has nothing to do with us. However, people come into our lives with their experiences and perceptions. Your success may remind them of their doubts and insecurities. 
  3. Does your happiness depend on who supports you or not? The people against you may start supporting you, and the people who supported you may no longer do so. Say no thank you to the emotional rollercoaster and keep believing in yourself and your dream.
  4. Do you believe the universe is out to get you? See the distractions (help to increase your confidence and conviction to purpose) for what they are. Recently, I relearned that everything works together for my good. I have no enemies, just people who are helping me to be more creative, efficient, and perseverant.

Here are a few movies to help clarify the antagonist role. I hope I didn’t give away too much information about the movies if you haven’t seen them. 

  1. Antagonists help us to see we have the skills to succeed in life? Think about the movie, The Last Dragon. Eventually, with the help of Sho’nuff, Leroy realizes the person he was searching for was himself. 
  2. Antagonists help us realize that we are somebody. For example, a small-time boxer thought he was a nobody. Apollo Creed brought out the confidence that Rocky always had.
  3. If Cinderella had not experienced unequal treatment from her stepmother and stepsisters, would she have gone to the ball to meet her Prince and future husband?

We all have antagonists in our life. When we no longer see our antagonists as enemies and more as the jumpstarters to our truth, we are no longer the victim but the student of life. We learn who we are. I do not minimize our trials and tribulations, but I don’t want to make our struggles and antagonists our primary focus. If we focus on people’s actions and inactions, we get stuck. Our primary focus is to carry out our mission in life (your heart’s desire). I don’t want anyone to be stuck, for living is moving forward in life. 

Thanks for reading! If you found this article helpful, please share it with others.

Timika

MSN BSN RN, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, ACE Fitness Instructor, CDCES

P.S. I would love for you to join my community of being bent on using our experiences as stepping stones to our divine purpose, healing from the inside out, and achieving and sustaining optimal health. Subscribe to @timikaschambers.com by clicking the link below.

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Breaking The Tradition of Learned Responses

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Over time, we’ve observed various responses to many situations. Whether it was an angry outburst, crying, the quiet treatment, or throwing something, we internalized many emotions because we thought these emotions were “the right way to act.” Many of us are angry, fearful, resentment, and we don’t know why. Sometimes, when others inquire why we respond a certain way, we answer with the phrase, “that’s just the way I am.”

At some point in our lives, we may have heard those closest to us say things like 1. Children should be seen and not heard. 2. You should never let someone see you sweat. 3. Only weak people cry. 4. Don’t say too much. People may think you are weird. Okay. Maybe you haven’t heard the last one.

As you know, achieving self-awareness and overall wellness is not about blaming others but getting to the cause of why we do the things we do. The more we know about ourselves, the more we face our emotional triggers, choose the response that aligns with us, and transcend our experiences. We also start a brand new cycle of emotional responses. If you have children, around children, or remember being a child, then you know children record everything you do and say.

Much of the faulty programming we internalized as a child (and adult)is playing out right now and affecting our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. When we are not expressing our truths (what we know is right), unhealthy emotions (anger, guilt, resentment, shame, and others) build inside us.

What are emotions anyway?

According to Merriam-Webster, emotions are:

“1a: a conscious mental reaction (such as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body

b: a state of feeling

c: the affective aspect of consciousness: FEELING

2a: EXCITEMENT

b. obsolete: DISTURBANCE.”

Go back and read the last statement in 1a. Our emotions affect how our body works. But the great thing about a healthy brain is that we can reprogram our brain and our body. As you know, when we change our responses, we change our actions.

To replace the programming mentioned in the second paragraph, we can say things like 1 how someone feels matters. People have the right to express themselves without others opposing them. 2. Sweat is a natural body response, and there are things I can do to prevent excessive sweating. Maybe my sweating will help people express themselves without obsessing about how they look. 3. People express their emotions differently, and that’s okay. 4. I only hurt myself if I hold my truth inside of me.

Does your image matter more than your truth?

Often, we steer away from emotions and feelings that contradict our image. If we present ourselves as smart and always have it together, we shove emotions showing our insecurity and vulnerability when trying new things. If others praise us for our looks, we will often do whatever we can to change our looks, steering down the road of self-loathing instead of seeing the beauty in growing older. Ultimately, we are saying, even though I feel this way, I can’t feel this way.

We cannot undo the past, but how do we break the cycle of inexpression to self-expression? How do we say it’s okay to feel what you are feeling?

The key thing to remember is our body is a wonderful machine, and its job is to alert us when we have an issue. The other thing about the body is the more we ignore something that consistently happens, the more the program is reinforced in our body. Hence, anger turns into an angry person. Of course, there is more to an angry state. But, the point is what originally seemed abnormal is now somewhat normal. The same principle applies to high/low blood sugars. The more you ignore high/low blood sugars, the less your body alerts you that your blood sugars are high/low until your body shuts down because it cannot properly function.

Can I change how I respond to situations? Yes!

So, when it comes to our emotions:

  1. We must realize that our emotions are a natural part of being human. After we accept things, then we have the power to change them.
  2. We must examine the root of our emotions. Did you pick up the emotion from someone else without checking to see if that’s how you really feel? There is something to seeking and finding (Matthew 7:7). All questions have answers. Even just asking once puts the question in the universe. I know the universe responds because I have received answers in passing conversations, observing animals and thoughts, listening to songs, watching television, and others.
  3. I encourage you to be open to the answer you receive, even if it is the opposite of what you internalized as a child or from someone close to you. Self-actualization does not mean you are a family tradition traitor. Humans evolve. If technology didn’t evolve, you wouldn’t be reading this post.
  4. Search within and measure your responses against your truth. Who are you? Who do you want to be? How do you want to respond to certain situations? Every emotion is a choice.
  5. Act on your truth. Practice your responses to situations. Use a mirror if you have to. Commit to aligning yourself with your newfound truth with as many experiences as possible.
  6. Please pass on the freedom of expression to the next generation. Instead of telling someone how to act, we encourage them to express themselves. We talk about emotions. The only way cycles are broken if someone realizes they need to be and takes action.

Make this lifetime great! You deserve it!

Thanks for reading my post!

Timika

MSN BSN RN, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, ACE Fitness Instructor, CDCES

P.S. I would love for you to join my community of being bent on using our experiences as stepping stones to our divine purpose, healing from the inside out, and achieving and sustaining optimal health. Subscribe to @timikaschambers.com by clicking the link below.

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