Fear and self control

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgement and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].
2 TIMOTHY 1:7 AMP
https://bible.com/verse-of-the-day/2ti.1.7/718

This week I went on a road trip with my two boys.. and I came back with a lot more than pictures.

I have two boys, who in age are around 5yrs apart and in character are complete polar opposites. My eldest is very calm, an observant individual, happy not to speak unless it means something to him or if spoken to. He’s wondering into his teenage yrs so his temperament fluctuates like the wind. At times he seems SO miserable that its actually hard to be around him as he is just so dismissive, and resistant to any form of engagement…

My youngest, he’s 7 and just happy to be alive. He is warm, affectionate, close, engaging, nooooon stop talking. He needs engagements from the moment he wakes to the moment he sleeps. This could be an age thing, but he’s always been this way..

Polar opposites. Mothering both of them has had its challenges. I’ve had to master the skill of looking after both spectrums at once.. one who wont start and one who wont stop. One who doesn’t want to be looked at and one who wont stop till you lock eyes with him. One who laughs with passion and depth.. and the other.. who almost seems afraid to let you see him smile. It can be quite difficult as I can’t engage with them the same but I must and need to engage.

This week I realized that my children are a direct expression of my character.. or maybe that should be characterS…plural..and how hard it must be to manage and be with me.

I recall conversations with my ex. He would tell me how hard I was to be with. How hard it was to anticipate and gage where I would emotionally or mentally be at any given moment. He once told me he that he’d rather not spend money on me if I was in one of my moods. He hated that I could run from one pole to another at any given moment..and he never knew who and or what to expect.

This week it registered just how difficult this must have been.. through my children I was seeing me.. the warm and tender me and the.. well.. not so warm and tender.. and it stopped me in my tracks..

I had to bring this to God. He opened my eyes, and I just didn’t know what to do with what I was seeing. I immediately went to God for help. Help with my emotions. The fact that I seem to swing like some uncontrollable pendulum from pillar to post.. no warning.. just swinging. It’s not good.. not safe.. not nice..

I had to ask God for help! And help He did. 2 Tim 1:7. Tells me that God hasn’t give me the spirit of fear, but power, love and a SOUND MIND. Another version talks of a Well-Balanced mind and Self-Control … basically.. NON-PENDULUM-LIKE-NESS-NESS…!

I had to start by thanking God for being kind enough to expose my issues. He’s a good father. Secondly, I asked him to remove the core emotions of fear that demonstrate and manifest themselves in my pendulum like ways. I asked God to help me.. help me be more balanced. Help me to have some self-control. Father help me not to be such a pendulum.. all this swinging around cant be healthy or helpful..

The Power in Perspective. Pt 1

Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…”

There is something very powerful, life changing and transformative about the way we think. The scripture does not suggest that there is something external to the man that dictates what he does, and who he is, however it is dependant on the very content of his own mind. This scripture is so powerful because it rightly proportions the right and the power of your actions back into your own hands.

Now, for some, this isn’t good news. Why, you may ask. Why wouldn’t someone like to hear that they have the ability to control the outcome? Because truth be told, some just enjoy being how they are and the way they are  – it’s uncomfortably comfortable. Because it means that I have to be, and am fully accountable for me. For some this is bad news. No, seriously – this is horrible for some people. The fact that they are no longer able to blame someone and or something external to them for the way they are is a full on party pooper of a statement for them. They say ignorance is bliss.. not anymore baby.. not any more!

For some it’s simply easier to have someone else to blame for the way we are now. And believe me when I say I am not suggesting that we are totally abstract and unconnected from our experiences – but what I am suggesting is that at some point we have to take responsibility for what happens now.

Psychology would suggest that the person we are today is made up of various things. One of those things are what we think of ourselves – our own perception of who we are. Another is made up of what others have told us and we have adopted to be truth (whether it be actual truth or not). Another is based on what has happened to us that has shaped parts of our personality – learnt behaviours, coping mechanisms, phobias etc. So I fully acknowledge that external things have an impact on what we do and who we are… however.. I am suggesting that at some point we have the power to rewrite the future based on our choice of perception.

At some point we have to become responsible for who we are. At some point we can no longer blame the upbringing, the parents, the education, the church, the friends or the lack there of – at some point you have to become responsible for telling the rest of the story.

As a man thinks – he is. The responsibility is on you. Nothing external. You.

I know hardly warm and fluffy like a fresh batch of Cinnabons.. (if you don’t know what that looks, taste or smells like..Chilllllle.. where you beeennn..? go google it now..I’ll wait).. but medicinal and good for you.

So what exactly is perspective:

noun
1.
the art of representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other.
“the theory and practice of perspective”
2.
a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view.
“most guidebook history is written from the editor’s perspective”

 

I love the first one. The Art.. perspective is an art-form indeed. Three-dimensional objects on two-dimensional surface so as to – watch this – give the right impression. Which would suggest that there is a possibility to have the wrong impression. The second meaning looks at attitude and holding a particular point of view. Ultimately it is the art of of altering ones view or how something is seen. Which would suggest there is and can be another way…

1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things”

The putting way of childish things wasn’t the making of the adult. By that I mean the writer didn’t say he became a man because he put away childish things. It suggests the impression of the need to put away childish things came when he became a man. Again it was a person responsibility and reaction. Just because time lapsed and I became an adult did childish things automatically disappear? Nope. I – You – We need t make the choice to put them away. We have got to change perspective.

Perspective changes responses – How?

2 Kings 6: 15-17 “15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. 16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha”

The passage shows two men in the same situation – with different perspectives – results in two different reactions. Both polar opposites. The servant – being surrounded by chariots and horses of the enemy he was scared, fear took him. Elisha wasn’t afraid of what was happening around him, so his reaction to it was different, and he knew exactly what his servant needed to see – what perspective of the situation he needed to have that would alter his reaction to a very real situation they were in. The prophet asked God to open the man’s eyes so he could see what he could see – the perspective he had – that he had more with him than were against him. His perspective needed changing to change his reaction to the experience.

Your Perspective – Your Choice

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Are you aware you have a choice to you’re thoughts and perspective? Especially if you are person of faith. You have a right and a choice to your perspective. The results of stinking thinking is stinking living. Bad thoughts and negative perceptions will only have you responding in likewise ways. The responsibility to change this is yours. 

My own story – After a breakup from a 6 year narcissistic abusive relationship (I’ll share that story one day), I was a full on mental and emotional mess. After 6 years I was left with PTSD and was verging on Psychosis. My mind and thinking totally battered and shell shocked. Unable to distinguish night from day, light from dark, good from bad and most importantly, truth from lie. Somehow I found myself blaming myself, I was of the opinion that God was against me, and I was no good. That was my perspective. and this radiated in my living. I rejected love from God, adamant I was worthless, unworthy, condemned, judged with a verdict that was far from in my favour. That was my perspective and that was my reaction. As I was thinking – So Was I .

But there came a point where I was simply sick and tired of being mentally sick and tired. I was done with thinking bad, feeling bad and being bad. I was fully fed-up of being a slave to the contents of my own mind. I had to take back the power. I had to stand in the power given to me.

2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

We are told that we have the ability and power to demolish every argument and presentation that is against what God knows and what we know of God. We have the power to put into subjection anything that is distorting our perception. Anything that has presented a false or limited perception. Again, the power has been given to YOU to do it. Hardly the lazy man’s guide to life.. but something I really want you to grasp with both hands. The choice is YOURS. The choice was MINES.. 

I made the choice to change the way I was thinking. I had to – and have continued to make a choice to. I could continue with life on the spin cycle of negative stinking thinking – spinning in pain and frustration and bitterness and hurt. Or, I could change my perspective. Believe me – there was plenty to remain negative about – years of it – but I had to make a choice…

Come back for Part Two where I tell you what I did to get there .. Not a finished work.. but I am better than I was yesterday and for that I am grateful and willing to share..

See you soon lovelies..