James 1:2-4

Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journeyand cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing. James 1:2-4D

Monday, April 13, 2015

Is Emotional Health Real?

I've been pondering this thought, is emotional health real?  Is anyone really emotionally healthy? Or is our emotional health just a mask that we wear in order to convince ourselves and others we are okay?

I read this book once about relationships and how to avoid falling in love with emotionally unhealthy people.  The author suggests before making that leap into love there are two things you should look for:

  • Is this person physically and emotionally available? (meaning they are not in a relationship that is providing them physical or emotional nuturing) Okay that makes sense.
  • Are they reasonally emotionally healthy. Really? Okay now I ponder.
He goes onto say that falling in love is like a moment of temporary insanity.  You know that honeymoon period where you are swept off your feet.  He says it's in that moment in time that you have to watch for red flags and not allow yourself to be swept up in delusion.  Okay I get that.  He says that if they seem too good to be true and if there is even one thing that gives you pause about their emotional health, even if its something small, that you shouldn't ignore it, but really question if this person is for you.  Hmmm.  That criteria would disqualify a lot of people, even me at times.

So I ponder this question,  What is emotional health anyway?  Not just for any future suitor, but for myself and whether or not I even consider myself emotionally healthy.  I had to honestly ask myself the question, am I emotionally healthy according to the standard set out in that book and am I emotionally healthy enough to be in a relationship?

I agree with the author that there are truly some very emotionally unhealthy people out there, and there are red flags one should look for when choosing a potential new mate that probably shouldn't be ignored.  Some people really are not able to give or receive love in a healthy way and this ultimately could lead to a toxic relationship with certain doom.  But.... what about the "average Joe or Jane"? Is anyone really emotionally healthy?  If we are honest we will have to say no - no one truly is at least not 100% of the time and maybe that's okay.  Maybe that's just a normal part of being human.

I know for myself I've had varying degrees of emotional health over my lifetime and often it's been at it's worst when I was not dealing well with life and my "stuff".   A big part of my healing journey has been those times when I allowed myself to be a bit of an emotional mess and I began to deal with why my emotional health wasn't so stable.

I recently completed the Emotional Healthy Spirituality course at my church.  We read the book with the same name written by Peter Scazzero.  In his book he says that, “emotional health and spiritual maturity are inseparable. It is not possible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.”   He suggests that there are varying degrees of emtional healthiness and as we deal with our "stuff" we not only grow emotionally but also spiritually.  

He suggests in order to grow emotionally we must deal with our past, not for the sake of dwelling, but to face it in order that we can move forward and grow into an emotionally healthy people.  We also learned that there are these "wall" moments.  Incredible times of pain and suffering that God allows in order to wake us up emotionally and spiritually.  These times of our life are intentional--they are there to cause us to mature as human beings.

Yesterday in church the pastor preached a sermon on suffering.  He shared that there are two types of suffering therapeutic and destructive suffering.  Destructive pain is a result of human sinful desires and is sometimes forced upon us by others, or we bring it on with our own destructive behavior.  Therapeautic pain, is good pain (although it might not feel like it) but it brings with it emotional and spiritual growth. He suggested that when we learn to diagnose the different types and also realize that suffering is a normal part of life; it's in those times of suffering that we actually grow.  Hmmm!  I think I see a repeating theme here.
The truth of the matter is that suffering is a normal part of our lives and we must learn to accept that. One way is to develop your emotional intelligence.  Wikipedia defines emotional intelligence as the ability to monitor your own and others emotions in order to label them appropriately and use emotional information to guide your thinking and behavior.

Emotions are real.  They are not our enemy, there is a reason why God made us emotional people. Emotions are the fibres that allow us to connect to other humans.  However, emotions if we dwell on them too long and believe everything they tell us, can cause us to stay stuck in our "stuff" longer than we need to. 

There are going to be times in our lives that we have setbacks and may not be as emotionally healthy as we would like to be.  The challenge in life is how do I deal with my emotions and not let them completely paralyze or define me. We need to face the truth that suffering is a part of life and that it does lead to emotional and spiritual health.  

I challenge you to embrace whatever it is that your facing today, recognize that it is a part of this journey called life.  Just know, it doesn't make you a good or bad person, it just is.  Life sends us these things in order to wake us up, teach us and then grow us.  Life is our teacher.  Your job is to discern why is this happening, why do I feel this way, ask yourself, "What is this experience here to teach me?"  

Many blessings as you journey along life's road!

“I learned to love the fool in me. The one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes & loses often, lacks self-control, loves & hates, hurts & gets hurt, promises & breaks promises, laughs & cries.”  ― Theodore Isaac Rubin





Is Emotional Health Real?

I've been pondering this thought, is emotional health real?  Is anyone really emotionally healthy? Or is our emotional health just a mask that we wear in order to convince ourselves and others we are okay?

I read this book once about relationships and how to avoid falling in love with emotionally unhealthy people.  The author suggests before making that leap into love there are two things you should look for:

  • Is this person physically and emotionally available? (meaning they are not in a relationship that is providing them physical or emotional nuturing) Okay that makes sense.
  • Are they reasonally emotionally healthy. Really? Okay now I ponder.
He goes onto say that falling in love is like a moment of temporary insanity.  You know that honeymoon period where you are swept off your feet.  He says it's in that moment in time that you have to watch for red flags and not allow yourself to be swept up in delusion.  Okay I get that.  He says that if they seem too good to be true and if there is even one thing that gives you pause about their emotional health, even if its something small, that you shouldn't ignore it, but really question if this person is for you.  Hmmm.  That criteria would disqualify a lot of people, even me at times.

So I ponder this question,  What is emotional health anyway?  Not just for any future suitor, but for myself and whether or not I even consider myself emotionally healthy.  I had to honestly ask myself the question, am I emotionally healthy according to the standard set out in that book and am I emotionally healthy enough to be in a relationship?

I agree with the author that there are truly some very emotionally unhealthy people out there, and there are red flags one should look for when choosing a potential new mate that probably shouldn't be ignored.  Some people really are not able to give or receive love in a healthy way and this ultimately could lead to a toxic relationship with certain doom.  But.... what about the "average Joe or Jane"? Is anyone really emotionally healthy?  If we are honest we will have to say no - no one truly is at least not 100% of the time and maybe that's okay.  Maybe that's just a normal part of being human.

I know for myself I've had varying degrees of emotional health over my lifetime and often it's been at it's worst when I was not dealing well with life and my "stuff".   A big part of my healing journey has been those times when I allowed myself to be a bit of an emotional mess and I began to deal with why my emotional health wasn't so stable.

I recently completed the Emotional Healthy Spirituality course at my church.  We read the book with the same name written by Peter Scazzero.  In his book he says that, “emotional health and spiritual maturity are inseparable. It is not possible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.”   He suggests that there are varying degrees of emtional healthiness and as we deal with our "stuff" we not only grow emotionally but also spiritually.  

He suggests in order to grow emotionally we must deal with our past, not for the sake of dwelling, but to face it in order that we can move forward and grow into an emotionally healthy people.  We also learned that there are these "wall" moments.  Incredible times of pain and suffering that God allows in order to wake us up emotionally and spiritually.  These times of our life are intentional--they are there to cause us to mature as human beings.

Yesterday in church the pastor preached a sermon on suffering.  He shared that there are two types of suffering therapeutic and destructive suffering.  Destructive pain is a result of human sinful desires and is sometimes forced upon us by others, or we bring it on with our own destructive behavior.  Therapeautic pain, is good pain (although it might not feel like it) but it brings with it emotional and spiritual growth. He suggested that when we learn to diagnose the different types and also realize that suffering is a normal part of life; it's in those times of suffering that we actually grow.  Hmmm!  I think I see a repeating theme here.
The truth of the matter is that suffering is a normal part of our lives and we must learn to accept that. One way is to develop your emotional intelligence.  Wikipedia defines emotional intelligence as the ability to monitor your own and others emotions in order to label them appropriately and use emotional information to guide your thinking and behavior.

Emotions are real.  They are not our enemy, there is a reason why God made us emotional people. Emotions are the fibres that allow us to connect to other humans.  However, emotions if we dwell on them too long and believe everything they tell us, can cause us to stay stuck in our "stuff" longer than we need to. 

There are going to be times in our lives that we have setbacks and may not be as emotionally healthy as we would like to be.  The challenge in life is how do I deal with my emotions and not let them completely paralyze or define me. We need to face the truth that suffering is a part of life and that it does lead to emotional and spiritual health.  

I challenge you to embrace whatever it is that your facing today, recognize that it is a part of this journey called life.  Just know, it doesn't make you a good or bad person, it just is.  Life sends us these things in order to wake us up, teach us and then grow us.  Life is our teacher.  Your job is to discern why is this happening, why do I feel this way, ask yourself, "What is this experience here to teach me?"  

Many blessings as you journey along life's road!

“I learned to love the fool in me. The one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes & loses often, lacks self-control, loves & hates, hurts & gets hurt, promises & breaks promises, laughs & cries.”  ― Theodore Isaac Rubin





Saturday, April 11, 2015

For Sheila

I couldn't think of a better reason to start blogging again but to pay homeage to my dear friend Sheila who went home to Jesus today!  Love you my forever friend!

My dear friend Sheila passed away today.  Our relationship right from the beginning was a spiritual partnership.  I knew she was destined to be a pivotal part of my spiritual growth.  She herself recovering from life’s hurts, habits and hang ups, was called by God into the lives of many in this way not just mine.  It was obvious to me from our first conversation that she was called of God to help others recover from life’s painful pathways.  She was a gifted teacher but so humble in her nature.  She taught that pain was an inevitable part of the healing journey.  A strong woman of conviction, never pretending to know it all, just willing to share the many truths she had learned along her own bumpy roads. 

She never told me what to do, or condemned me for any of my many stumbles; she just always listened intently and then offered her own wisdom from her own journey.  Then ever so sweetly she would remind me of the gift of life I already possessed deep down inside of me.  She reminded me of my worth and that the love I longed so desperately to find; was already mine – living deep on the inside of my heart, and was always there the moment I asked Jesus into it.

She spoke of her own salvation story and her strength and willingness to go on rang out loud and clear in all the tales of her journeys that she shared.  She knew she wasn’t perfect and that she never would be until she met her Lord face to face, but she faced her broken nature with the grace and understanding of a true princess.  She served her King with all her heart.  She understood her purpose in this life was to love others well and to share her journey of survival with those who hurt.  She loved well…

She knew what it meant to be someone’s spiritual companion and she valued the relationships she was given with all her heart.  She knew it was her job to challenge those frightened part of ourselves that we hide so well from the rest of the world.  If she saw things in you that were hindering your spiritual growth she wasn’t afraid to tell you and she always did so in love.

Sheila understood, maybe not consciously but in her spirit; that each and every person God brought into her life to minister to; was for the deeper evolution of both their souls and her job was to bring those she loved closer to God.  She was a willing vessel and God so eloquently poured out His Spirit on her—he anointed her with the power to heal a human soul.  I am forever grateful that God chose her and I to be connected in this deep, meaningful, spiritual connection that we shared.  She taught me so much and I will forever be grateful for these things.  Here are some of the things she taught me:
  •  That life is precious
  •   I am exactly who and what God designed me to be
  •  I am worthy of his love
  • That it’s okay to be broken
  • That acceptance is the pathway to peace
  • You must love God first, then yourself, before you can truly give and receive love well
  •  I am beautiful just as I am
  • I can be vulnerable and take my masks off; and that those that truly care will still love me
  • Love sometimes hurts but it’s never abusive
  •  I can trust my heart
  •  I am not my past
  • To love and be love is our greatest calling
  • Death is not the end only the beginning
Rest in peace my forever friend.  I’m sure you’ve already heard this from the Lord himself, but may I also say on behalf of all that you loved and that loved you, “Well done my good and faithful servant!”

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.


For Sheila

I couldn't think of a better reason to start blogging again but to pay homeage to my dear friend Sheila who went home to Jesus today!  Love you my forever friend!

My dear friend Sheila passed away today.  Our relationship right from the beginning was a spiritual partnership.  I knew she was destined to be a pivotal part of my spiritual growth.  She herself recovering from life’s hurts, habits and hang ups, was called by God into the lives of many in this way not just mine.  It was obvious to me from our first conversation that she was called of God to help others recover from life’s painful pathways.  She was a gifted teacher but so humble in her nature.  She taught that pain was an inevitable part of the healing journey.  A strong woman of conviction, never pretending to know it all, just willing to share the many truths she had learned along her own bumpy roads. 

She never told me what to do, or condemned me for any of my many stumbles; she just always listened intently and then offered her own wisdom from her own journey.  Then ever so sweetly she would remind me of the gift of life I already possessed deep down inside of me.  She reminded me of my worth and that the love I longed so desperately to find; was already mine – living deep on the inside of my heart, and was always there the moment I asked Jesus into it.

She spoke of her own salvation story and her strength and willingness to go on rang out loud and clear in all the tales of her journeys that she shared.  She knew she wasn’t perfect and that she never would be until she met her Lord face to face, but she faced her broken nature with the grace and understanding of a true princess.  She served her King with all her heart.  She understood her purpose in this life was to love others well and to share her journey of survival with those who hurt.  She loved well…

She knew what it meant to be someone’s spiritual companion and she valued the relationships she was given with all her heart.  She knew it was her job to challenge those frightened part of ourselves that we hide so well from the rest of the world.  If she saw things in you that were hindering your spiritual growth she wasn’t afraid to tell you and she always did so in love.

Sheila understood, maybe not consciously but in her spirit; that each and every person God brought into her life to minister to; was for the deeper evolution of both their souls and her job was to bring those she loved closer to God.  She was a willing vessel and God so eloquently poured out His Spirit on her—he anointed her with the power to heal a human soul.  I am forever grateful that God chose her and I to be connected in this deep, meaningful, spiritual connection that we shared.  She taught me so much and I will forever be grateful for these things.  Here are some of the things she taught me:
  •  That life is precious
  •   I am exactly who and what God designed me to be
  •  I am worthy of his love
  • That it’s okay to be broken
  • That acceptance is the pathway to peace
  • You must love God first, then yourself, before you can truly give and receive love well
  •  I am beautiful just as I am
  • I can be vulnerable and take my masks off; and that those that truly care will still love me
  • Love sometimes hurts but it’s never abusive
  •  I can trust my heart
  •  I am not my past
  • To love and be love is our greatest calling
  • Death is not the end only the beginning
Rest in peace my forever friend.  I’m sure you’ve already heard this from the Lord himself, but may I also say on behalf of all that you loved and that loved you, “Well done my good and faithful servant!”

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.