Where Is Your Peace?

Where Is Your Peace?

When To Leave A Bad Relationship

 

So many people come on the forum and ask if they should leave their partner.  They’re confused, hurt, and scared.  Granted, there’s always some sort of story that goes along with the question.

They’re in a relationship with someone:

  • Who is over-drinking or drugging.
  • Who is not emotionally available.
  • Who doesn’t act like they are in love anymore.
  • Who is a very selfish person or a narcissist.
  • Who is emotionally or physically abusing them.

Of course, there are other scenarios as well.

Now this is a tough question to answer.  There’s no “one-size-fits-all” answer for sure.

But I’d like to go over five signs or signals that indicate that it might be time to get packing.

  1. Any Type Of Abuse

Hands down abuse is a clear indicator that it’s time to end the relationship.  I’m talking emotional, verbal, or physical abuse. Abuse is never alright. Even if they’re going through something horrible or they’ve had a tough life; it’s not acceptable.  Even if you’ve acted out, made mistakes, or whatever, it’s not acceptable.

If you’re experiencing abuse in any form, it’s time to get out of that relationship.  If you need help, find the nearest domestic violence center and speak with someone who can support you.  If you have nowhere to go, they may be able to assist you. Even staying on your best friend’s couch is better than staying in an abusive situation.

Also, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline. They’ve got professionals that can help you sort this out and make a plan to end the abuse.  You never deserve abuse; not ever. Leaving is YOU standing up and practice self-care. It’s you taking care of you and letting that other person figure out what to do with themselves. You don’t owe him or her anything. You don’t have to be loyal to someone who is abusing you.

  1. Your Talks Amount to No Changes

Chances are you’ve voiced your wants and needs in this relationship, multiple times. You might have even screamed them a few times, to no avail. He keeps drinking himself into oblivion. She keeps flirting with every man she sees, right in front of you.  He stays out later and later, neglecting the relationship. And so on.

If you’ve had discussion after discussion, clearly stating what you want and need, and they’re not willing or able to at least work towards meeting them, it might be time to cut ties. I’m not saying to leave if they have no idea what’s going on inside your head. You’ve got to get very honest with yourself and them, and also ask them what their wants and needs are.

However, if you’ve done this over and over, and nothing is changing and they’re not looking like they’re interested in “doing the work” to make changes, it might be time to make the break.

  1. They Keep Lying

Living with a repetitive liar can feel awful. You never know if you can trust what they are saying. You want to believe them. You want to believe that they’re making a turnaround, but there you are finding them in yet another lie.

Some people are repetitive liars and for one reason or another, can’t or won’t stop.  If this has been going on for a while and your requests for honesty are not being met, it might be an indicator that this relationship isn’t going to work for you.

  1. Emotional Neglect

Feeling alone in a relationship sucks.  You want to emotionally connect with your partner at least to some degree, right? But not everyone is able to make that connection – or not everyone WANTS to make that deep and meaningful connection. And that’s alright if you want a shallow connection; it actually works for many. But if you’ve voiced your wants and needs and they’re continually being neglected, it might be time to make the cut.

  1. No Love Reciprocation

It’s not very fun to be on the other side of someone who does not reciprocate love.  You love them and you happen to like to show affection. But they don’t. You’ve asked and asked for them to level up on this end.  To affirm love every now and then. Show affection sometimes. But they don’t. They may not feel those love-type feelings for you or they just don’t know how to reciprocate them. They may have checked out long ago and are simply staying out of comfort or fear.  Either way, if you’re giving, giving, and giving and not getting anything in return, it might be time to leave the relationship.

Granted, there are other situations and solutions, but these indicators can help you gauge your relationship and get clearer on what you should do. And, if you find yourself continuing to struggle, reach out to a good therapist for some guidance. You don’t have to figure it out all alone.

You deserve a healthy relationship with someone who values and appreciates you. There’s too many people out there who CAN do that, so don’t stay connected to someone who won’t. This is your life and what you want and need matters.

 

Set Boundaries With Loved Ones

Set Boundaries With Loved Ones

 

It’s Alright to Set Boundaries With Loved Ones

 

I’m no stranger to online recovery forums. I find many people write in wondering how to set boundaries with their loved ones.  Whether their loved one is an addict, alcoholic, selfish, unavailable emotionally, etc., they’re just not sure what to do.

Most of the time, my answer is, “It depends” – because it does.

However, there are some common factors associated with setting boundaries and today, I’ll touch upon them.

Boundaries are very helpful in relationships of any kind.  Whether it’s your partner, child, parent, boss, friend, etc., being able to set and keep a boundary is important. If you’re not that great at it, don’t fret. Know that you’re not alone and boundary setting is a skill.  With practice, you’ll get better!

What you want and need matters

Say this with me:

“What I want and need matters.”

This sentence is a power-packed statement.  Why? Because what you want and need DOES matter. Because YOU matter, dear one!

Knowing what you want and need matters, so if you’re not sure, take some time to sit with this.  In your relationships, what do you want and need?

Trust? Respect? Unconditional love? Honesty? Affection? Security? Peace? Affirmation?

What DON’T you want?

Jealousy? Accusation? To be ignored, ridiculed, belittled, rejected, abused, substance abuse issues?

1. Tune in to your feelings

Asking yourself those questions will help you begin tapping into your feelings. This will help you learn what brings discomfort or uneasiness. Or just plain drama!  If his consistent emotional unavailability makes you feel ignored and rejected, those feelings do matter, because you matter, so it’s alright to have a conversation around this area, stating your wants and needs, and thus, setting your boundaries.

2. Be clear

When you’re setting your boundaries, be clear. Be direct.  Come from a kind heart, and not like, “Well, you better do this and this or else I’ll…..”  That sort of tone and intent might not go over very well.  For example, if you want and need some time with your friends regularly (without getting a cold shoulder or accused of cheating), go to your partner and simply state your needs and let him/her know how much you appreciate the support.  Be confident in your ability to express this want and need, because it is important to you, and YOU MATTER.

3. Say, “I deserve this.”

Give yourself permission to have boundaries.  I don’t mean that you have to have rigid rules all over the place, but you do deserve to have a relationship that has mutual boundaries that are set in a spirit of love.  If your partner is struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs, for example, you have permission to set some boundaries around that.  I see far too many men and women sweep things under the carpet in such situations, rather than tuning into what they want and need in a relationship (sobriety being one thing), and live in misery. 

If you’re stressed to the core because your partner is doing something that brings chaos or drama, give yourself permission to stand in your truth and speak your truth.

4. Consider the past

Did you grow up in a home where boundary setting was non-existent? Where no one talked about anything?  Did you grow up in a home where alcoholism or drug addiction was present? Many times, in such cases people grow up taking on the role of “caretaker” or people pleaser.  They let their own needs and wants go and “over-care” for others. This gets exhausting. They don’t value the principle of reciprocity, giving and giving, but not allowing themselves to receive.

What has been your past experience? What was modeled to you growing up? Take this into consideration as you learn how to tune into your needs and set boundaries in your life.

5. Allow yourself to care for yourself

Many people struggling from codependency have a tough time caring for themselves.  They’ll place others’ needs before their own, and oftentimes never get around to doing the things they would like to do. Or, they don’t even know what they like to do or need to do, because they are so wrapped up in other peoples’ worlds.  Make self-care a priority.

6. Ask for help

You may need some help when it comes to setting and keeping boundaries.  No shame in that. There are counselors, books, and support groups that are valuable.  Al-Anon, Nar-Anon and Codependents Anonymous are great support groups that will help in learning how to set boundaries.

7. Practice

Being assertive with boundary setting takes practice. Start small, and go from there. Don’t expect perfection or that it will all go as planned. In fact, you may experience some flack from others when you go to them and set a boundary. After all, they’re probably used to you NOT standing in your truth or perhaps even enabling them.  Be persistent and don’t take the flack personal. In the Bible, it says, “Be strong in the Lord, and in God’s mighty power!”  It’s alright to lean on the power of God or Universe!

Relationships need boundaries, so my hope is that you’ll continue to learn about setting and keeping boundaries with your loved ones.  It’s a process, but I assure you that you’ll get better as you practice! 

Are you struggling with boundary setting?  In what way? 

Embrace The Beauty Of A Scar

Embrace The Beauty Of A Scar

Embrace The Beauty Of A Scar

 

Everyone experiences pain in life at various time.  We all get hurt. We all go through some pretty rough times. In fact, some of you may be struggling with something painful right now.

Do you have any scars on your body?  A wound that ultimately healed up and left a scar?

If so, then you understand that despite deep cuts, healing can occur, sometimes leaving that mark or blemish.

Physically, most of us have dealt with some bloody wounds, perhaps from falling down, an accident, or surgery. I know I’ve used plenty of band aids throughout my life!

Emotional wounds

Emotionally, we’ve got some invisible scars too, right?  Emotional wounds are caused by all sorts of things, from a break up or divorce to an illness to mistakes made to losing loved ones, and more. But over time, many of those inner wounds heal up too.

It’s those emotional scars I’d like to talk about for a few minutes today. Those invisible scars that we tend to be ashamed of. Those scars that we think make us weak or failures. Those scars that hold us back from fulfilling our potential in God.

Scars as a reminder

However, I encourage you to begin to look at your scars from a new perspective.  View your scars as the reality of God’s grace and mercy to bring us through the tough times.  View them as a victory in yourself and in God.

See, life is painful at times.  We’re going to get cut more than once, and sometimes that pain is going to cause us to writhe in agony.  I’ve found myself in the fetal position writing in emotional agony more than once on this life’s journey.

And, I could have stayed there in that emotional pain. I could have allowed it to swallow me up, become bitter, angry, or hopeless. And at times, I did for longer than I wanted to!

But ultimately, I chose to “do the inner healing work”, trusting that God’s love and grace (unmerited favor) could help me get through.  That God’s goodness could ultimately heal that wound, leaving a scar to remind me of God’s faithfulness.

Just look at holy texts and read the stories of men and women of God who went through some horrific times. Some of them failed big time in the eyes of man. Some of them were lacking faith. Some betrayed their loved ones. Some suffered physical harm.

They could have gotten into self-pity and stopped in their tracks.  Rather, they sought God for healing and restoration. They hit the floor and began praying. Or maybe they meditated. Or sought counseling. Regardless, they allowed that pain to fuel their faith in God and in themselves.

And, so can we.

Pain as a pathway to joy

Whatever your past has been or whatever kind of trial or tribulation you’re going through right now, choose to view your pain as a pathway toward experiencing more of God’s grace and mercy.  More of God’s divine love. Pain as a pathway to healing, and ultimately, authentic vulnerability and joy.

I understand emotional pain, including things like regret, guilt, shame, hopelessness, anger, agonizing loneliness, abandonment, victimhood, and more.

I also understand better God’s will to help us heal, no matter how deep the wound.  Will it take time?

Yes.

Will it be easy?

Probably not.

But it will be worth you making the effort, because wounds and scars can remind you of God’s unfailing love and mercy for you, and THAT is something, dear one.  That is definitely a blessing.

People need you, wounds, scars and all.  If you stay stuck in your woundedness, you will miss out on opportunities to connect and share with others.  To impact others with your presence, your gifts, your unconditional love.

Because that’s what we all want, right? Unconditional love?

Ooooh, look at this scar!

Listen friends, God can take any wound and turn it into a beautiful scar.

My stretch marks? Ah, a beautiful reminder of carrying my angels in my womb.

My emotional scars? Ah, beautiful reminders of God’s unending love, grace, and mercy for me, even when I abandoned God. Even when I made poor choices. I blew it, but God redeemed me! Restored me! Not so I can boast, but so I can now turn around and help others!

What about you?  Are you letting wounds fester and keep you in misery?  The divorce? The addiction? The loss of your loved one? The job loss? The mistakes made? Those people that hurt you?

Turn it all over to God. To Love. To Mercy.

Allow God to help you THROUGH the pain.  As many have said before, pain is going to occur, but suffering is optional.  This means you can choose to work with God toward healing, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

You do your part, and God will do the rest.

If you need help, reach out. There are counselors, support groups, life coaches, pastors, spiritual directors, etc. that are more than willing to assist you in healing.

You simply have to take that step.

You’re worthy, dear one, of healing. And, healing on all levels is my prayer for you.

Allow your scars to encourage others who are hurting, so that they can heal.

 

{Need a healing?  Here’s some wonderful affirmative prayers to pray!}

 

Seek the Light – Devotional

Seek the Light – Devotional

When To Leave A Bad Relationship

 

So many people come on the forum and ask if they should leave their partner.  They’re confused, hurt, and scared.  Granted, there’s always some sort of story that goes along with the question.

They’re in a relationship with someone:

  • Who is over-drinking or drugging.
  • Who is not emotionally available.
  • Who doesn’t act like they are in love anymore.
  • Who is a very selfish person or a narcissist.
  • Who is emotionally or physically abusing them.

Of course, there are other scenarios as well.

Now this is a tough question to answer.  There’s no “one-size-fits-all” answer for sure.

But I’d like to go over five signs or signals that indicate that it might be time to get packing.

  1. Any Type Of Abuse

Hands down abuse is a clear indicator that it’s time to end the relationship.  I’m talking emotional, verbal, or physical abuse. Abuse is never alright. Even if they’re going through something horrible or they’ve had a tough life; it’s not acceptable.  Even if you’ve acted out, made mistakes, or whatever, it’s not acceptable.

If you’re experiencing abuse in any form, it’s time to get out of that relationship.  If you need help, find the nearest domestic violence center and speak with someone who can support you.  If you have nowhere to go, they may be able to assist you. Even staying on your best friend’s couch is better than staying in an abusive situation.

Also, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline. They’ve got professionals that can help you sort this out and make a plan to end the abuse.  You never deserve abuse; not ever. Leaving is YOU standing up and practice self-care. It’s you taking care of you and letting that other person figure out what to do with themselves. You don’t owe him or her anything. You don’t have to be loyal to someone who is abusing you.

  1. Your Talks Amount to No Changes

Chances are you’ve voiced your wants and needs in this relationship, multiple times. You might have even screamed them a few times, to no avail. He keeps drinking himself into oblivion. She keeps flirting with every man she sees, right in front of you.  He stays out later and later, neglecting the relationship. And so on.

If you’ve had discussion after discussion, clearly stating what you want and need, and they’re not willing or able to at least work towards meeting them, it might be time to cut ties. I’m not saying to leave if they have no idea what’s going on inside your head. You’ve got to get very honest with yourself and them, and also ask them what their wants and needs are.

However, if you’ve done this over and over, and nothing is changing and they’re not looking like they’re interested in “doing the work” to make changes, it might be time to make the break.

  1. They Keep Lying

Living with a repetitive liar can feel awful. You never know if you can trust what they are saying. You want to believe them. You want to believe that they’re making a turnaround, but there you are finding them in yet another lie.

Some people are repetitive liars and for one reason or another, can’t or won’t stop.  If this has been going on for a while and your requests for honesty are not being met, it might be an indicator that this relationship isn’t going to work for you.

  1. Emotional Neglect

Feeling alone in a relationship sucks.  You want to emotionally connect with your partner at least to some degree, right? But not everyone is able to make that connection – or not everyone WANTS to make that deep and meaningful connection. And that’s alright if you want a shallow connection; it actually works for many. But if you’ve voiced your wants and needs and they’re continually being neglected, it might be time to make the cut.

  1. No Love Reciprocation

It’s not very fun to be on the other side of someone who does not reciprocate love.  You love them and you happen to like to show affection. But they don’t. You’ve asked and asked for them to level up on this end.  To affirm love every now and then. Show affection sometimes. But they don’t. They may not feel those love-type feelings for you or they just don’t know how to reciprocate them. They may have checked out long ago and are simply staying out of comfort or fear.  Either way, if you’re giving, giving, and giving and not getting anything in return, it might be time to leave the relationship.

Granted, there are other situations and solutions, but these indicators can help you gauge your relationship and get clearer on what you should do. And, if you find yourself continuing to struggle, reach out to a good therapist for some guidance. You don’t have to figure it out all alone.

You deserve a healthy relationship with someone who values and appreciates you. There’s too many people out there who CAN do that, so don’t stay connected to someone who won’t. This is your life and what you want and need matters.

 

Powerful Prayers For Adult Children

Powerful Prayers For Adult Children

Powerful Prayers For Adult Children

 

Whether your children are 18, 30, or older, consistent prayers offered on their behalf not only helps them, but helps you to have a more peaceful and faith filled heart.  I know for me, if I’m not looking toward a loving God concerning my adult children and their lives, I can get into fear and worry. 

Here are some scriptures and affirmations to pray/affirm for your adult children. I use affirmative prayers because Jesus said to pray, believe, and then we’ll receive. I’ve also paraphrased them in a way that I felt led. So, I affirm that my prayers are done (and they are in the spiritual realm), so I affirm until they manifest and then keep affirming and offering gratitude.

Get into that secret place and allow these words to penetrate the heart of God, as there is power in our words!  I look at it this way: Hold an object in front of a mirror and you see that object as it is.  But if you turn that object just a little, you see it differently. Praying for my children, in my eyes, helps them make shifts that grant them a closer relationship with God, themselves, and others, and therefore, a better life.

Prayers for adult children:

  1. Ephesians 1:17-19

God, thank you that my children are receiving your spirit of wisdom and revelation, getting to know you better and better each day. Getting to know you more personally! Experiencing your presence! Thank you that their hearts are being opened and they’re clearly hearing what you’ve created and called them to do in this life. That they’re becoming more aware of the immensity of your glorious way of life, your awesome power, and your endless, boundless strength!

  1. Colossians 1:9-12 (Coupled with Ephesian 5 fruits of the spirit)

God, fill my children with an understanding of you and your will. Thank you that they walk in a manner that pleases you and bear fruit that blesses themselves and others in all areas of their lives –Fruits of the Spirit like peace, kindness, humility, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Thank you that their coming to a deeper understanding of who and what you are. God, strengthen them with faith filled power, endurance, patience, and joy. Thank you!

  1. Micah 6:8

Thank you, God, that my children are learning more and more how to live as you desire them to. That they’re going within and listening to your guidance. That they’re compassionate, loyal, kind, and humble.

  1. Proverbs 2:1-11

My children receive wisdom and understanding from God as they make decisions in life, such as career, service, dating, marriage, friendships, finances, and parenting.

  1. James 4:1-8

My children guard their hearts from the temptations and lusts of this carnal world.  Things like greed, addiction, lust, power trips, hurting others, lying, etc. They allow God’s will to work in them, resisting the ways of this carnal, egotistical world. If they fall or miss the mark, they humble themselves before God, and get right back up with a heart after the ways of their creator.

I’ll add to this list periodically. Commit to praying faithfully for your children, as prayer and affirmations are great ways to continually uphold and support them. Believe God’s best for them, no matter what’s going on in the physical realm.  See the spiritual realm, believing God is always at work on their behalf. We must believe for them, always.

If you’d like to add a scriptural prayer or affirmation, please do so in the comments below.  

 

What Is Affirmative Prayer?

What Is Affirmative Prayer?

What Is Affirmative Prayer?

 

I’ll pray for you.

We say that quite a bit, don’t we?  But I imagine many times the sentiment is not followed through upon.  I know I’ve said it and then forgot to actually take a moment to pray for someone.  

So, I don’t say it much anymore.

Rather, I take time right then to speak an affirmative prayer for that person or whoever is in need of prayer at the moment.

What is Affirmative Prayer?

Affirmative prayer is simply a prayer that affirms a spiritual Truth. It’s positive and in real-time, not asking for something to happen in the future, but for the “something” to happen NOW. To manifest NOW.

There’s a story in the Bible about Jesus’s friend Lazareth dying.  Jesus was deeply saddened by this. It is recorded that Jesus prayed for Lazarus to arise from the dead, but he didn’t ask for him to be reborn.

He commanded it.

“Lazarus, come forth!” John 11:43

See, Jesus knew who he was IN God. He knew God’s presence was everywhere, and he knew how to tap into that powerful force.

He used affirmative prayer to get that healing process into motion. To defy the natural laws of this world with a spiritual law of healing and wholeness.

There are literally hundreds of records of people being healed throughout all religions and faiths by people who recognized their unity with the mighty God-force. They’re not begging for healing; they’re commanding it. They’re agreeing with the spiritual laws.  They’re not focused on the symptoms. They’re focused on birthing the manifestation of health!

But if this is true, then why isn’t everyone healed right away?

Sometimes it’s a process, dear one. The revelation is a process, and one you can get that, bam. It’s done.

How to Use Affirmative Prayer

  1. Recognize who God is
  2. Unite yourself with God. We are all a part of God, created by Spirit.
  3. Realize the truth by speaking exactly what you desire (Be healed)
  4. Offer gratitude
  5. Release and let outcomes go. Trust.

As you use affirmative prayer, let your feelings enter into your prayers. Emotions matters and helps with manifesting whatever it is we want.

“The most important lesson we can learn is how to pray.” E. M. Bounds

“Prayer puts God in the matter with commanding force.” E. M. Bounds