Bereft

be·reft

   /bɪˈrɛft/ Show Spelled[bih-reft] Show IPA

verb

1.a simple past tense and past participle of bereave.
 
   /bɪˈriv/ Show Spelled[bih-reev] Show IPA

verb (used with object), be·reaved or be·reft, be·reav·ing
1.to deprive and make desolate, especially by death (usually followed by of ): Illness bereaved them of their mother.
2.to deprive ruthlessly or by force (usually followed by of ): The war bereaved them of their home.
3.Obsolete . to take away by violence.
 
10/26/2012
What a somber emotion to come up on my list today. However, it seems to be an emotion that I am overcome with this week. So here is a moment of volunerability for you all.
*This is week is the 2 year mark since my dad’s passing
*I am grieving for a few friends of mine who are caught in their own struggles. Struggles that I know of all too well.

(DIS)Covering Shame

I am on a journey, as most of you know, to a road of recovery and growth. Complete wholeness is my ultimate goal. I have struggled a long time with shame about things and situations in my life that I could not change and I am only now beginning to uncover those areas and deny shame that hold.

Brene Brown (an author I refer to frequently) has dedicated her life to studying shame and I am a huge fan of her work (please check it out) HOWEVER, I really want to look at how the Lord views shame. What was shame in the bible, who was covered in shame, why were they found in shame, what did they do to get away from shame, ect. So here is my journey DIS (removing) covering of shame.

Genesis 2:25

“Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”

This passage comes from the initial creation of humans, man and women. God looked at them and said they were good. They were naked and yet unashamed.

One of the biggest shame triggers in our western culture is surrounding beauty, size and body image. We are constantly shamed by the way we look, be it to overweight, to thin, lacking muscle tone, having too much muscle tone. We all see the adds every day that depict what beauty is and we unconsciously measure ourselves against that level of beauty. When we don’t match up, we shame ourselves. But here is the kicker, we were meant to NOT BE ASHAMED of our bodies!

One of the first things the Lord did was validate our bodies, the beauty and perfection of our bodies, and taught us to not be shamed by them. He loved the human body so much, he allowed his son to take on a human form for all of eternity. HE is clearly NOT ASHAMED of how we look!

Lesson #1 – We were created to enjoy our human body, not be ashamed by them.

Beautiful

beau·ti·ful

/ˈbyu tə fəl/ Show Spelled [byoo-tuh-fuh l] Show IPA

adjective

1.having beauty; having qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind: a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech.
2.excellent of its kind: a beautiful putt on the seventh hole; The chef served us a beautiful roast of beef.
3. wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.
10/25/2012
I have to admit, I was extremely excited when beautiful appeared on my list of emotions today. But really, what is beauty? How does one even begin to define beauty or the feeling of being beautiful? It varys widely from person to person and culture to culture.
So I tried to define what feeling beautiful means to me or looks like to me (note: some of these are somewhat selfish ideals but it is good to acknowledge those parts of who we are too)
1. Confidence
2. Independent
3. High heels
4. Thin figure
5. Grace with ease
6. Passionate
Yes, most are superficial states of being that really can’t be held at all times.
For instance, the most independent people I know, only achieve that by their social networking skills. Which begs the question, how ‘independent’ are they.
OR
Most confident people appear confident because they have the support of friends and families in their lives to encourage them through the good and the bad. Again, going against the ‘independent’ mind.
Yes, a thin figure is just not something that should define beauty, I know this. BUT- it does for me. And for many in this culture. If you don’t believe me just open up a cover girl magazine the next time you are at the grocery store. So really, what is Beauty?!?
I am reminded of a song by Gungor: Beautiful Things
All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at allYou make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

 

12/08/2012

In starting this process I asked others “what does beauty mean to you” and here are some of the responses I got:

Beauty is:

A desire, Aw capturing, Genuine, Makes me smile, Morning Dew, Sunrise, Confidence, Happiness, Health. Babies, Fresh snow, Water, What’s on the inside

Help me with the project too by leaving what you say “Beauty is _____”

 

 

Dragon Slayer

Finding compassion and silencing the inner judge.

These last few weeks I have found myself beat down by the could of should of would of’s that come with life and not able to overcome the horrid emotions that go with that. Then a friend of mine, several of them actually, reminded me that I Am Loved. This act in and of itself was a nice reminder and encourager that deeply touched my heart but it didn’t remove the should of could of would of feelings.

So now what……

I finally realized that its not about comforting and loving me who I am now. It is about loving and comforting the person in those should of could of would of moments. It’s about seeking out those memories and validating who you were and the choices you made in those moments while showing compassion and love.

This was all really great and helped tremendously, until the judge in me began to take over again. Starting once again with the shaming and condemning comments. “You’re such a failure” “you’re gaining so much weight you look disgusting” “you don’t deserve that promotion.”
Surely you know what I’m talking about.

So, how do we silence that?

For me, I had to first validate that part of me. I had to validate the part of me that wants to protect myself, that judges in order to motivate and keep safe the things of my heart. Validate the side that just wants what is best for me. Because that is really what the could of would of should of’s come from: wanting what is best for you/me. But then also acknowledging that that side is no longer an affective means of protecting me anymore. It did good work when it was first established, but now it is only causing more hurt and pain, the opposite of it’s goals. I finally had to just say, lets find a new way to protect myself. One that is not constantly shaming or condemning of myself but that is rooted in compassion and empathy.

1. Build compassion for the way you/I responded in a particular instances. You did what you had to do to survive, and that is VALID!

2. Love that part of you- again, it was a VALID response.

3. I can’t say it enough… VALID VALID VALID!!!!!!!!!!!

4. Recognize that the judging side of you is simply trying to protect you from it happening again- validate that part of you

5. Note that your judging side isn’t always right and doesn’t always know what is best for you.

6. Find a new way to approach “how to protect you” that doesn’t involve condemnation.

***I’m not saying this will work for all people for all things/circumstances. But it has changed my heart this week.***

Overcoming Food

Overcoming Food — I find this phrase a bit disheartening, overwhelming, inaccurate and unhealthy. Yet, it’s a phrase that our culture has seemed to embrace and encourage. “The strong overcome food and say NO to chocolate cake” “You can do it, overcome the urge, and keep your diet” All such common, misleading, and unhealthy statements.

So WHY is this phrase so disgusting to me?

1. Food is a necessity in life, we must have it. It is not an option to NOT eat… we have to EAT!!!!!! People who encourage you NOT to eat, are clearly not thinking in rational terms.

2. “overcoming” creates an uneven power balance. It makes it seem as though food has power over the individual. and guess what, IT DOESN’T! FOOD does not have power over YOU!

Striving for a healthy, balanced relationship with food is key. I know it seems futile to stress the negatives of a so commonly used phrase, but I really believe that what we say and how we think, affects our behaviors and actions. If we think in terms of overcoming food we develop a negative view and relationship with food.

Challenge of the day- How do I view food? Does it have power over my life? Do my words and thoughts imply a power differential? What ways can I change those words and thoughts to result in a healthier more balanced view of food?

Balanced

bal·anced

/ˈbælənst/ Show Spelled[bal-uhnst

adjective

1.being in harmonious or proper arrangement or adjustment, proportion, etc.
2.Football . pertaining to or noting an offensive line formation having three linemen on each side of the center. Compare unbalanced ( def. 5 ) .
 
Balance is an emotion, more of a state of being, that I am constantly striving after in my life. Partly because I believe that a balanced life is a happy life and partly because I just can’t seem to maintain balance for long before something creeps up and knocks me off my footing.
 
What does balance look like? To me its coming to a point where my beliefs are reflected in my actions.  I spend time socializing with friends but also make time for my own self. I respect my boundaries: my own limitations. I EAT when I am hungry. I exercise reguarly. 
There are 3 main cataogories for me to feel balance: Physical, Mental and Spiritual. IF these three areas of my life are alligned and balanced, I feel healthy.

Authentic

au·then·tic

   /ɔˈθɛntɪk/ Show Spelled[aw-then-tik] Show IPA

adjective

1.not false or copied; genuine; real: an authentic antique.
2.having the origin supported by unquestionable evidence; authenticated; verified: an authentic document of the Middle Ages; an authentic work of the old master.
3.entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy: an authentic report on poverty in Africa.
4.Law . executed with all due formalities: an authentic deed.
5.Music .

a.(of a church mode) having a range extending from the final to the octave above. Compare plagal.
b.(of a cadence) consisting of a dominant harmony followed by a tonic.
 
What does feeling Authentic look like? How do I feel and live an authentic life?
 
Feeling authentic would require that we like authentically. That our actions are congruent with what we think and believe. Which leads me to that word: CHOICE’s.
 
What do we/I choose today. Am I going to choose to respond to situations (not react) in ways that reflect who I am and what I believe.  When we align our mind, soul, spirits, thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors– we find authenticity.