We are living within a pressure driven society! There is a myriad of social pressures that are imposed on one to make them feel the need to fit in. This can at times cause undue stress and result in unfavorable behavior. These behaviors are not readily discussed but are becoming more prevalent! Fitting in is not easy and makes it harder to transition through the stages of youth and early adulthood development. For some it is much more difficult than others. As a matter of fact we have a growing number of individuals that are self mutilating themselves in order to relieve intense inner pressure. Self injury is on the rise!
What? Yes, they harm themselves; they are a part of the growing number that leans towards cutting themselves. Growing up can be painful and difficult! Did you know that not being like everyone else really is okay! Once you accept this you won’t have to cut yourself to feel okay! Everyone still on this side of Heaven is here to learn and grow… You are like a beautiful flower waiting to bloom!
What is cutting?
Cutting is when someone takes a blunt object, pin, paper clip, scissors or a razor blade and proceeds to make cuts on their wrists, arms, legs, thighs or torso to the point that they bleed. Some will even burn themselves or harm themselves in some other way. This is usually done in a place that is less noticeable! It is becoming an increasing reoccurring behavior that can become addicting. It often goes unnoticed because the self mutilator will make excuses for the cuts and bruises or try very hard to keep them hidden by making excuses. Oh the cat scratched me, or I fell in the bushes, i slipped, or I scraped myself on the… Cutting is considered an impulse – control behavior reaction!
Who cuts themselves?
Cutting is something that is done by both genders. It appears that female teens and younger women are primarily the predominate participators. However there are a growing number of guys who cut themselves as well. There are a number of reasons why they result to such drastic measures. Some cut because they know that their friends cut themselves. One viable cause that jumps out is the need for inner, “relief!” They are tormented and driven by thier pain. These individuals feel and enormous amount of pressure!
Books on Cutting
Someone who is cutting can’t always freely express themselves and they often feel as though they are emotionally knotted up. The need for a release is why they begin cutting. Some like the way the cuts look and when they begin to heal will reopen the cuts. You can’t really force someone to stop cutting. So what do you do? Lend a listening ear and let them know that you care! Yelling at someone who is cutting is not very helpful. Approaching them with patience and concern is a much better method if you really want to help them. Be firm in letting them know that they need to get some relief; but in a healthier way. Allow them some time to vent… Encourage them to seek help!
Signs of Cutting
There are a few signs that you might notice such as …………Continue Reading
Music for Healing – “Balm In Gilead”
Have you ever had a situation when you did not know what to do? Have you ever had a problem that you thought was so big you did not know how it could ever be resolved? Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you tried to explain something no one would understand? Have you ever felt so discouraged that you felt as though the weights of the world were upon your shoulders? Have you been physically ill or near death and felt that you were at the point of no return? Has death knocked on the door of a friend or love one unexpectedly? On the other hand has God freed you from narrow minded and shallow view thinking religious folks? Have you ever been persecuted, forsaken, maligned, misunderstood or unappreciated? Or have you just been so spiritually blessed you can just not express it in words? ( I am sure there are a few scenarios I forgot?) If you have ever experienced one or more of the above I have some great news for you! Nothing happens in your life that God is not aware of!
I want you to know that there is absolutely nothing that is too big, hard, and deep or complicated for GOD! More important all of the above are reasons to really get to find out what He is really all about “God is Love.” As a matter of fact in I Corinthians 13 the Scriptures tell us “Love never fails”. Never as a truism meaning never; it just won’t happen! Now don’t get me wrong. I said have you ever felt like? Did you know that your feelings can transport you into a realm of thought that you really do not have to enter? If you do enter you do not have to stay there? How do I do that? You must pluck some good ole spiritual fruit? Take just a slither of “self control”. Gradually digest it’s nutrients. This will help you take the helm. You must begin to get in gear. Shift by not allowing your feelings to get the best of you? How do I do that? Begin by acknowledging how you feel. Good, Bad or indifferent? Do not lean to your own understanding. Remember God is a Spirit of Truth! The Truth truly sets you free! Did you know that God will do exceedingly above and more than you could ever wish when you are obedient? He can, wants to and will direct your path. This is why it is important that you do not get bogged down in your thoughts nor into what someone else thinks. As simple as this might seem all you must do is shift your FOCUS!
For a moment let’s just imagine life as an obstacle course. Always keep in view, that at the end of your course your reward(s) awaits. To help you keep focused just know; your rewards are guaranteed and determined by God. Nobody can change or alter that fact. How many, much or few those rewards are is actually between you and God. God created you for a purpose. Each individual has a purpose. Once you embark into existence there is no way out unless you finish. Each individual has a time in which to complete their course. That time can be premature; prior to birth or instantly, after birth. That time can span a few minutes, days, weeks, years, decades or a century plus. There are no two paths designed that are exactly alike. Therefore you cannot navigate in the same manner as someone else. The Holy Spirit as the ultimate guide wants to and awaits too direct your path!
God who is all wise and all knowing has given us guide lines and instructions. This is why His Word is so very important. Now, just know that you can select some, all or part of His instructions. But are you ready for the consequences? You can practice them legalistically or even disregard, modify, add your own, or totally ignore the instructions. But are you ready for the consequences? Keep in mind there are actually some instructions that you do not have to do any more. Why is that? When Jesus came He left us with a better way. He is our only perfect example. He actually fulfilled the law. We are now free from the law. You must become familiar with His Word. It is full of history and wisdom. It is important to know what they were and what they are now! When you read His instructions you will be fed spiritually. This way you can really appreciate all that He has done for us! This will also help you when someone else gives you direction. You will know the difference when you have faithfully studied the instructions. Always remember you can opt to ignore all of them. But, again there will be consequences. Free choice was designed so we are not mechanical robots. Your intellect was actually designed for you to think intelligently. How do you think Adam named all those animals? It is crucial that you intellectually as well as spiritually yield to the Lord’s way. Yielding helps you to subscribe to His will being done in your life. Here is where you will find true freedom. You will also know “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty” But He tells us not to use our liberty to cloak maliciousness! Remember absolutely nothing is hidden from God! God is sovereign! This also helps you to keep focused!
God has given us the opportunity to have an internal guide. But you must first acknowledge Him as Lord of your life. To shift to this level of functioning you must invite His Son as your Savior to come and abide in your heart! Now you are ready! When all or any of those feelings I talked about earlier come what do you do? You shift your Focus to God. God our Father, our Creator and Maker of all things. Colossians tell us that there is not anything that was made that was not made through Jesus Christ. This world as we know it was spoke into existence. The Word, became flesh and dwelt among us! His Word is Jesus! He really does know all about your Troubles, Temptations or Trials. He really does have a way. That is why He says “I am the Way the Truth and the Life.” Jesus is the only door to Him!
When your life becomes burdened down with the troubles of this world remember it is only a test? Life wants to distract you from your purpose. You were created to worship and praise God. I also have a little secret that just might help you? It does not matter how much or little someone thinks of you? It does not matter how much or little you have? It does not really even matter how many, or few titles that are in front of or behind your name. It does not even really matter what others say; especially when it is just not true . God knows the intent as well as content of our hearts. Hallelujah! Many will draw conclusions and make assumptions based on little or no factual data. Problems and situations are seasonal. God is eternal! He always was and always will be! This is why it is so important not to get drawn into how you feel. Feeling is a good thing, anyone that does not feel is ready for the grave. Just don’t let your feelings control you. It’s never too late to change. Begin to learn to take in several bites of self control. It really goes a long way. You can learn to be objective when you deeply examine situations. Many are often deceived. Remember, you must learn to focus. This will give you the proper motivation to do the right thing at the proper time. It will also give you a taste of another fruit which is inner peace. This will also let you know what is important. What really is important is; that you know and obey God. God will never lead you to do anything morally, physically or spiritually that goes against His principles.
Start today by incorporating in your daily diet His fruit. Galatians 5 will teach you all about the fruit of God’s Spirit. It also lets you know by contrast the works of the flesh. You have as much tine as you need to accomplish what He wants you to do. Oops! By the way it might seem to others when you take a bite of patience you have, or are………whatever? Patience often does work tribulation. Oh but HOPE will take you through tribulation. Hope helps you not to be ashamed. It will definitely help you keep focused! But your hope must lie in God! Did you know your mind can bring you down and confuse you when it is not properly focused? It can allow you to distort the facts. Remember God’s Love never fails! Now if you have not confessed and believed in your heart you may or should I say will have a problem with all of this. Why? It so simple that it is difficult. Be careful who and what you yoke yourself up with. There are those who major in worry. Have you ever heard the expression “If you are going to worry why pray?” God’s yoke is easy and His burdens are light. His burdens are not to weigh you down. They come so you can what? Put it all in His hands.
Always remember who and what awaits you. Better yet who is with you? His precious Comforter, the Holy Spirit! The way this world is going, it’s just no telling, you might just be one of those who ends up being caught up in the air with Jesus? Either way at the end of this course God has reward(s). Keep your faith and trust in Him. He really does have it all under His control. This is why it is very important to always keep in view; God has a purpose for you! This is why He says be anxious for nothing! But in “all things through prayer and supplications let your request be made known… “If your mind is stayed (focused) on Him He will keep you in perfect peace.” All you must do is “PUT IT ALL IN HIS HANDS”
To God be the Glory!
Click Here to listen/download the single “Put It All In His Hands” by Percy Gray & The Chapter Ministry Singers
Depression is America’s number one health problem. A growing number of our population suffers from depression. The state of the economy has greatly impacted many! During the Holiday season when everyone is seemingly happy and cheerful many suffer from “Seasonal Depression.” Depression can be brought on by trauma, prolonged stress, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic pain, living with a substance abuser, sexual abuse, obesity, unemployment or unresolved family dysfunction. A decrease in neurotransmitters is also a major factor in depression. When anger is not dealt with properly it can actually manifest in the form of depression. Depression is actually unresolved anger turned inward. A person can actually be depressed for years and not know they are depressed.
A depressed person suffers from self- defeating beliefs. Here are a few of those beliefs. I have to be loved to be happy. I must give up my beliefs to please others. If others don’t like me I can’t be happy. I can’t trust others they will only hurt me. I’m inferior to others. I should never hurt anyone else’s feelings. This is why it is so important not to compare yourself with others. Comparing will either make you feel superior or inferior. Everyone has there own unique shortcomings. We all are in a state of “becoming”. Know that God made us all uniquely different yet equal.
There are varying degrees of depression.The foundational causes of depression are usually rooted in some type of personal injury. A deep sense of hopelessness, fear, bitterness, anger, ambivalence and despair are usually a side bar of depression. Depressed people are usually focused inwardly. A deep sense of shame often keeps the depressed person in a state of emotional isolation. Angry with themselves and sometimes even angry with God they experience a great deal of conflict. Depression is often described as feeling as though you are totally alone in a black bottomless hole.
A chronically depressed person may often have suicidal or violent thoughts towards themselves or others. They also suffer from distorted thinking, which can resort in magnifying situations. A great sense of loneliness is realized since they feel unwanted, unimportant and unloved. They may over eat, under eat, sleep excessively or to the extreme be unable to sleep at all.
In extreme depression there is frequent loss of emotional control and frequent crying spells. Overwhelmed by the depression their being inhabits a deep void. Although often remorseful after improper behavior, they have the potential to exhibit extremely violent and self-destructive behavior. A depressed person can use their depression to manipulate others. Attention getting depression frequently ends up in loss of mate and friends.
Bipolar depression alternates between manic and depressive moods. There is much medical evidence to substantiate genetic predisposition in some individuals. In between episodes they can have long periods of normal functioning. This type of depression can take a toll on those afflicted as well as their friends and loved ones. Depression of this magnitude accounts for the majority of mental hospital admissions. In most cases the assistance of a prescribed anti-depressant medication is necessary. This helps to replenish the depleted neurotransmitters. This kind of treatment is only viable by a qualified Psychiatrist or a medical physician.
Depression is of a spiritual nature as well. Although the word depression is not mentioned The Bible on numerous occasions mentions hopelessness and despair. Remember when King Nebuchadnezzar lost his mind and wandered eating grasses, grew long, long, hair and his nails grew as claws.
He finally lifted his eyes to the Lord and praised Him. His understanding was restored.” Read Daniel 4: 32-34. What about Job, Moses, David, Elijah or Jeremiah, these are just a few examples. Or how about King Saul who had a tormenting spirit? Encouraging a depressed person to think realistically from a biblical perspective is crucial to their healing. Depression can be cured with the right therapeutic help when it is not of a biological nature. The power and direction of the Holy Spirit is much needed in dealing with a depressed person. Help them to understand that God loves them because of who He is and not because of who we are. (Without God we really aren’t much of anything.) His love for us is not based on what we do or do not do. That He loved us so much He allowed His son Jesus who was sinless to die for us. When we accept Him as Lord and Savior He stands patiently waiting to help us with our varied sin weaknesses. A truly Christ centered life will give your life new meaning! Fellowshipping with balanced committed Christians is a plus. Spending time doing something for someone else will give them less time to spend in introspection or self- pity.
Let them know God already knows all what has transpired in their life. Encourage them to develop a personal intimate relationship with Him. Not a religious knowledge! But to really begin understanding that the Bible is not a fantasy! The examples therein are for us, then, today and tomorrow! Once you accept Jesus He is forever there for you. Just don’t leave Him out! You are adopted. Your old self should gradually begin to take on the characteristics of your heavenly Father. But for this to take place you must spend time with Him. Begin to meditate on His WORD! Start with Romans 5:1-6 and Philippians 4: 6-9. Be patient know that God has promised to work everything in your life for good eventually. Learn to properly verbalize your anger. Don’t suppress it. It’s okay to be angry!
Christians often experience depression. Feelings of abandonment override their ability to rationalize that God really loves them right where they are. This is why it is so very necessary for committed teachers of the Gospel to expound with wisdom and simplicity. Keeping it on a level for all to understand. To reinforce that we can really do ” all things through Christ that strengthens us”. To know that fear is not from the Lord. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the daylong; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Beyond The Walls” by Alpha 7. Smooth instrumental music that will calm the agitations of the soul.
Do you need STRESS RELIEF?
Are you stressed? Is there something weighing on your mind? Is there some inner conflict? Is there something happening in your life and you don’t know how things will work out? You are not alone! At some point in time everyone experiences a certain degree of stress. Feelings actually lets you know that you are still here! A small amount of stress is actually healthy. It keeps you on your toes and motivates you to shift. Do you need stress relief?
Life today can be quite complex at times. There are many pressures on varying diverse levels, more so at times for some. You can actually worry yourself sick. To name a few stress affects your happiness, brings on acne, hair loss, weight gain, weight loss, high blood pressure, panic attacks, anxiety, impacts your sex drive as well as hampers your infertility. If you are experiencing a significant amount of stress don’t wait until you are completely over whelmed to find some relief. Conflict and stress are a normal part of life. If your patience is getting close to nil know; you are reaching your limit. Don’t wait until you explode and get really angry to express yourself. This will only further complicate the situation. While angry and out of control you say and do things that can be destructive. Begin to shift.
Stress is defined as; “Forces from the outside world impinging on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life that can help us learn and grow. Conversely, stress can cause us significant problems.
Stress releases powerful neurochemicals and hormones that prepare us for action (to fight or flee). If we don’t take action, the stress response can lead to health problems. Prolonged, uninterrupted, unexpected, and unmanageable stresses are the most damaging types of stress.” medicine net.com
When you are stressed it becomes difficult to respond properly. Many often become verbally or emotionally abusive. For some they respond physically , in an inappropriate manner when they lack proper coping skills. When stressed you can become tense, it may be harder to concentrate, you may even get a headache or your heart begins to race. This is a clear indication that YOU NEED to shift. Here is something that will help you. Imagine a cup of ice cubes being slowly yet gently poured over your head. Allow yourself to feel the coolness of the ice gently melting over you. Begin to Allow your anger to subside. Please! Think before you respond!
When the pressures of life begin to get to you it is important that you get a grip on your emotions. No, I am not saying go into denial! How you feel is important. Your feelings need to be validated. Depression will result if you don’t. Depression is anger turned inside! When it gets to this point you may need professional help! Seek out resources for anger management if you have “out of control behavior.” Quite often you have learned some unhealthy dynamics that need to be changed. It may be hard for you to just say how you are feeling without being so angry. Your anger is a clear indication that you are also hurting. This will often result in something or someone triggering your anger and setting you “off.” If this is the case know that you are being controlled by remote. Learn how to stay “on” track!
Here are a few ways to relieve stress.
If you are stressed? It is important to begin to spend some quiet time to unwind. Writing a letter to anyone who has hurt you is good. Express exactly how you feel. This is for your eyes only. Then tear it up and throw it away! You can also get an empty chair; imagine that the person is sitting there, and say to whomever has hurt you how you feel. Take control and release any anger, hurt, shame or disapointment! You are now beginning to take out the trash that has begun to weigh you down. Listen to some relaxing music, exercising, or just taking a walk helps. You now have decided to no longer let what has happened to sit on the shelf of your mind and ferment! You are now beginning to move towards letting it go. This also heps you move towards wholeness.
If your family is stressed? Set aside some quiet time aside from the television or any outside distractions and have a family “pow wow.” Allow those concerned to briefly talk about how they are feeling. Then have them talk about how things can be improved. It is helpful to have one of the children to moderate you will be surprised. Your objective is to create a healthy, loving , open, nurturing, safe environment.
Is your marriage stressed? You need to set aside some quiet time where the two of you can calmly discuss what are the issues at hand. Rekindle that love that brought the two of you together! Restore the JOY of just being together. When two together row a boat it gets to the desired destination faster. Having a weekly date night is great as well! Remember you cannot change what has happened. But you can decide to go forward. Yes, you will probably have to revisit where you have been. But this is to remind you of where you do not want to stay or continue to go.
Is your job stressing you out? You need to make an appointment to talk to your supervisor, boss, employees or co workers and let them know how you are feeling. Make sure you are not angry when you do this. Find a neutral spot if possible. Writing down what you want to say will help you stay focused. If you feel that you may lose your thoughts or say something inappropriate reschedule. Graciously delay it until you are ready. The point is you want to take control not loose it. If they are not willing; it make be better to begin looking for employment somewhere else. If you don’t at some point your health will become affected working continuously under such poor conditions.
Incorporating prayer and meditating on the scriptures will yield much peace in your life. Actively implementing the principles are key to resolving inner conflict and stress. The scriptures where meant to point us to a better way of life. To develop a personal relationship with God our Creator. God has provided a wonderful plan of salvation for all who are willing to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Jesus is able to save you from the power of sin reigning in your life! Jesus came to show us that better Way! To help you discover your true purpose in life!
Stress again is a normal part of life. Taking the time to communicate your feelings in a healthy manner means you care. Redemptively confronting what ever the problem is or however you are feeling is always much better for you and those around you. Everyone has a not so good day from time to time. Don’t major in the minors! Just make sure that stress has not become the theme for your everyday lifestyle. Life is too short and precious to spend the majority of your time stressed! It is important to begin to work towards having a healthier balance in life. Begin moving towards creating a warm, more peaceful, safe and loving environment! Learning coping skills and ways to manage stress will also result in a healthier outlook as well as becoming healthier spiritually, physically and emotionally.
“Beyond The Walls” by Alpha 7. Smooth instrumental music that will calm the agitations of the soul.
Monitor Your Stress Level