I’m from Milwaukee, WI like other cities in United States; where peace is an expense rather than a necessity. Having peace is not the norm but blending with the crowd is. The crowd is not in the best shape, but many would rather choose to follow what they see than what they know. The norm is being chaotic and peace is being abnormal. The energy is thick. That same thick energy described is what followed me daily.
Between working, going to school for my masters, completing internship hours, attending to my client’s (youth) needs, planning and facilitating a girl’s group, healing spiritually and mentally, attending to my family’s needs, attending church, trying to stay consistent with my destiny, and attending to my partner’s and I personal tests and trials.
I wish what I listed above is exaggerated, but I would be lying. What I have described is just the base of what I have endured this year. Giving the details of each responsibility would take up too much space. Each responsibility given to me obtained obstacles.
I became burned out with everything that came my way. Crying and asking God to give me strength to endure everything that came towards me. Wondering why me?
I was looking and searching for support, wisdom, knowledge, and a break in any way. Instead I got misunderstood, talked about, feelings looked pass, or no emotion acknowledgement at all.
I got to a point in my life where I became mentally, emotionally, physically exhausted again. Along with my exhaustion came emotional over eating, trying to control every detail of my life, moody, doubtful, an over stimulated brain, and irritability.
I was functioning the best way possible. Days when I didn’t want to go anywhere or move, I still heard God’s voice telling me to keep pushing and soon this season will be over.
The interesting thing is that I thought I handled these issues listed above already, but it’s funny how God shows us that there is more work that needs to be done within. I have found myself repeating this season over and over to the past five years. Since I have been here before, I was able to tackle this issue before it gotten worst. The words that God kept speaking to me is it’s time regain your peace, purpose, and balance in life.
Since I am recognizing and tired of going through the same issues and situations like the movie Naked (2017) with Marlon Wayans and Groundhog Day (1993) with Bill Murray; I knew I had to do things differently. I decided that I was no longer going to Settle For Safe (Sarah Jakes Roberts).
Handling situations in my life the comfortable way is leaving me with the same results. I am now finally allowing myself to get on the bandwagon to do things the way God had been telling me to do it for the past five years.
I thought if I help God out a bit then we both would get what we wanted. Epic fail! See my control issue? I knew It was time let go of my control issues, fear, doubt, and being impatience for real this time with no turning back.
The four primary and secondary emotions I felt was what I used to survive in life especially when things were tough. I found out that those emotions were costing me more than profiting me. I thought it was my sense of control that would protect me from danger, my fear that kept me alert of any problems, my doubt that kept me from being used and abused, and my impatience that kept me driven for the next thing.
Losing these qualities makes me feel as if I am losing myself. I have become accustomed to functioning in life with these qualities. God spoke and said that he no longer wanted me to function with those flaws anymore because I am doing harm to my destiny and purpose.
Romans 8:6-7 (NIV),”The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.”
I had ideas and vision of how I wanted my life to look but God’s plan is different and more proficient in helping me grow as individual. In order to regain my peace back, I must stay consistent with these four different aspects:
- Staying True to Myself and Goals (Beware of Distractions)
Romans 8:28 (NIV) states, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” It so happens that my true self and true goals are aligned to what God wants for me.
I have tried countless times to obey what my family and friends thought I should be or envision my life to be. I found out that a lot times other people’s dreams for you are dreams they envisioned for them self at one point in their life and did not accomplish it. I am accomplishing a lot of healing and learning, and I have abided to trust the inner me.
Healing has allowed me to distinguish between the thoughts of others and God’s voice to myself. It’s interesting because I am more at peace with God’s plan verses the plan that other seemed to have for me. My purpose involves being the light in others darkness, which explains the reason God allowed me to work with youth dealing with mental health issues and enjoy it.
My purpose also involves breaking curses in my family, which was something I would avoid at all cost because of my own insecurities and past experiences. What others said I could not do or not to do. It so happened that I am supposed to do it.
Others opinion were the opposite of what God needed me to do. Beware because the enemy will use those closest to you to distract and steer you away from God’s direction. The enemy will also use surprise circumstances.
T.D. Jakes made interesting concept with Judas and Jesus’s relationships. Jesus called Peter as satan and Judas his friend. Everyone knows Judas was the reason Jesus was sent to the cross. Many would say Juda betrayed Jesus. Peter, Jesus’s close friend on the other hand was trying to stop Jesus from getting on the cross. Many would say Peter was looking out for Jesus.
The interesting thing is that Jesus’ purpose was to die on the cross for our sins. Had Jesus listened to Peter, Jesus would have been going against his purpose. Going against your purpose is what the enemy wants. It is okay to distance yourself from negative energy.
- Prioritizing God and Quietness in My Life
Healing needed to occur first for me. I was accustomed to being busy for years to distract myself from dealing with my true self and childhood issues. I would run around like I had ADHD.
I probably did, but I could function with it. Times when I had peace I did not know how to function because it was so uncomfortable for me. I would not allow my mind to process anything because it meant I had to face my insecurities.
I thought that peace could not be achieved as longevity. I am so glad I was wrong.
Colossian 3:15 (NIV) states, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
This verse lets you know that Peace is a must and given freely when God is a part of your life. I have my most peaceful moments when I am conversing with God alone in a quiet space. I also able to understand what God’s next steps for me are in my journey.
My favorite place to talk to God is in the shower and the car. I also do mindfulness techniques to quiet my mind and become presence in the moment.
With going to school to become a therapist, I know all the right tools to make peace exist. For those that do not, look online for mindfulness techniques that work for you. In order to live through consciousness and not through emotion, I need more peaceful and still moments. Remember prayer is key.
- Becoming Healthier (Food, Exercise and Positive Thoughts)
Being under pressure and stress makes me crave carbs, sweets, fast food, and salt. I am more attracted to those foods because they make me feel good, and they give me energy when I am exhausted. I began to understand that I was feeding my flesh much like a person with a drug addiction. I noticed I was self-medicating.
Being present in the moment allows me to listen to my body’s aches and groans for a need of change. I began to eat healthy by picking my favorite healthy foods like broccoli, kale, salmon, carrots, and apples.
I found a way to incorporate those foods in my meals and snacks and work my way up. The food we eat affects us emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically throughout the day. Our mood is contributed to the way we think throughout the day.
Jeremiah 33:6 (NIV), “Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.”
Since I have tried the gym before while in school and barely went, I have begun to take more walks and bike rides outside until winter hits.
- Commitment (Not Giving Up My Peace for Any one or Thing)
It so happens that staying committed to keeping my peace is one of God’s commands for myself. If I do not have peace with myself then I will become toxic with others. My purpose involves with working with others and I cannot walk around spreading bad energy. Not allowing others to come in my life and steal my peace and joy is all the control I have in this imperfect world. In order, to stay committed I found it is ok to take time away from the world.
Staying committed to God’s command and my peace helps me to produce self-love, care, and respect. Commitment helps me to feel more confident in who God needs me to be regardless of the response from others.
John 14:26-27 (NIV) states,” But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
According to Psychology Today, it takes 66 days to form a habit. I plan to commit to my peace so that it become a part of who I am no matter what life throws my way.
I’m learning to let go and let God, which is helping with my control issues, increasing my strength, and faith in God’s plans. I am learning to go with God’s flow, which is key to obtaining his peace given freely to me! So far, the discomfort of my peace is doing more good than harm to my mind, body, and soul!