Tag Archive | Healing

Raw and Real #4 – Introvert

Many people, most in fact, have a misconception of what that is, as did I.

 I think that the definition of the word introvert has changed over the years, due to more study on the personality traits, types, and temperaments of people.

Introvert, Dear posted a really nice article → Introvert, Dear – This is for all the quiet ones.  if you care to read in depth on this misconception.

Here is the quick definition from that article;

“The definition of an introvert is someone who prefers calm, minimally stimulating environments. Introverts tend to feel drained after socializing and regain their energy by spending time alone. This is largely because introverts’ brains respond to dopamine differently than extroverts’ brains. In other words, if you’re an introvert, you were likely born that way.”

In this post, I spoke about spending a lot of time alone.

That was never really a problem until I started school, and was “required” to work and play well with others.

As I grew through the elementary school years, and on into the upper grades, this became a real problem.

My lack of social skills, and inappropriate responses to others, either drove them away, or caused them to bully me.

Unfortunately, the second thing, bullying, was the one most of them chose.

Here is a post from 9.5.2011 that describes my life at that time. →Sticks and Stones.

With this “Cycle” that followed through to my adulthood, I was the one deemed “Trouble”.

I was the one who would have to learn to deal with it, or watch it repeated in my children.

I spent many years as a new mom, attending church.

Church where I perceived all the “Perfect” little moms, and their “Perfect” little families, all seated in “Perfect” little rows.

While I sat “Perfectly” alone in the pew with my children. (I had no idea that those peoples little lives were just as “Perfect” as mine was!)

Contrary to what you might think, although I did feel lonely at times, and although there were difficult days, being wired as an introvert, it was not difficult for me to keep going.

This led me to my own private search for the truth about myself.

What I learned here over the course of several years, was that it all began with God;

The One who created me.

The One who loved me.

The One who was watching over me, even when I could not see Him.

That time was used to learn just what the Word of God said; about me, about God, about my past; and about my future!

God provided me with a little gem, a little jewel.

This treasure was a little book, that started me on a new path of thinking.

A beauty of a book called →Thin Places – a memoir by Mary E. DeMuth

She helped me to see and discover the ways that God was with me for my entire life.

He was aware of my “Trauma and drama”, and He wanted to use it for good.

He even wanted to use my “Trouble” to help others through the fogginess of their past.

Her words, mixed with His, flowed over me like warm honey, and soothed my soul.

This book was the first in a line of books that I “Discovered”, that changed the way I viewed myself. (A list follows)

These books caused me to understand how I am wired, and why it was vitally important that I stop longing to be like someone else.

Once I found out HOW I was wired, then I could determine what was really normal for me, and then I could begin to appreciate who I really was.

If you click on any of the links below, you will be taken to a post on my blog, posted especially for that book.

This list is long, and seems impending.

Understand that I began this excavation of my life a long time ago.

Everyone has their own speed, but if you are serious about figuring yourself out, and making the most of your life story – it’s a really good place to begin.

Next time I’ll be talking about the Little girl. 6 weeks – 6 months.

I hope you’ll be able to join me.

Until then …

Raw & Real #1 – Toxic Turmoil

Toxic Turmoil

In → a post last week I told about a meeting I went to.

My mind kind of went into the way back machine and began to remember where I began, and some of the steps that I had to take to grow out of what I call “The trauma and the drama”.

Way back in the beginning, let’s just say that it could be known as “Toxic turmoil”.

The Encarta Dictionary defines toxic as relating to or containing poison or toxin, causing serious harm or death and turmoil as a state of great confusion, or disturbance.

I remember as a tiny little girl, spending a lot of time alone.

I never thought about it much.

Though I do not remember in detail what those pre-school days involved, I know that it didn’t seem strange, this playing alone.

It is just the way it was; dancing in circles in my room.

I was content.

I remember that dad was always away at work.

He drove a delivery truck for a regional store.

When he came home, sometimes he would bring home trinkets to play with.

Now when it was time for kindergarten, I was so excited.

It was time for adventure, as I got to walk ALL THE WAY to the school.

Mom had taught me many things that the children at school didn’t know yet.

So, it was fun.

I was smart.

And fidgety.

I already knew what was being taught to the other kids.

What I didn’t have in my repertoire, were social skills.

This brought on no small amount of problems in my life away from my home.

The exciting new beginning, turned into exciting new habits.

Habits that followed me throughout my young lifetime.

Habits of wandering, and interrupting, and day dreaming.

Not only in my mind, but physically and verbally as well.

Back in the day, teachers did not teach according to a student’s skill set. 

It was strictly reading, writing, and arithmetic.

All students were expected to stay seated, and stay on task.

Learning styles were not taken into account as they are now.

Kids like me were labeled “Trouble”, regardless if our intent was to be difficult or not.

Attachment of these labels followed all through the educational years.

In →Psychology Today, I read an article that pretty well explains some of the behaviors kids may show.

They aren’t really being naughty, they are simply learning the way they learn.

One may note that even though teaching styles have changed, we still inflict labels on our kids.

Labels that follow them throughout their life.

They help to dictate who they may become.

To be sure, some of these labels are based in truth.

While others are given and never followed up on.

This post isn’t really about teaching.

It is a post that can show the reasons why sometimes we are the way we are.

Scripture, the Holy Bible, says that “words are spirit, and they are life”.

I believe we can speak things into existence.

That topic is for another time.

But if we keep speaking rotten things over our lives and our kids that is what they will become.

That little Debbie girl, she was trouble.

A phrase I heard on the daily.

Enough said about that.

Now on to the home life, early on it was turmoil.

When school began, other things began as well.

I enjoyed playing alone, but like any kid, I wanted to have some friends too.

Since my social skills were lacking, so were my friends.

The kids that I played with from the neighborhood were the ones, who like me, were lacking in social skills.

They were boys, so of course I learned to play like a boy; rough and tumble, and aggressive.

This didn’t make the little girls at school want to play with me.

These boys also had older siblings, who took advantage, mentally, physically and psychologically, of any one smaller than them.

My introduction to “real life” was early.

Although I did not have a name for it, shame became something that I wore like a coat.

It would be years before I could know the ramifications of these events, or the price I would need to consider for my freedom.

It all sounds so melodramatic when I place it all here on the page, but it is only the beginning of a pretty rough road.

“Raw and Real” is where we began.

Freedom is our destination.

Step by step, we will arrive.

Until next time …  

Freedom to Be Real

At the beginning of this year, I was invited to a new meeting, new for me anyway.

The name of the group is “Raw and Real”.

(That should tell you something!)

My husband asked me before I went what it was all about.

I seriously did not know, and I told him so.

“So why did I agree to go?” was his next query; because I 100% trust the friend who invited me.

Turns out, it is a growing group of woman from many different walks of life, just sitting for a couple of hours and sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I was dubious, because I dislike the small talk involved with meeting new people.

I love the DEEP talk – just not always the small talk of getting there.

But did I mention I trust my friend?

This group was all women with a similar world view, even though their life histories were very different.

It was actually quite a joy to hear some of their stories, and heartbreaking to hear some others.

Let me tell you folks, no matter how bad you had it – someone always had it worse.

You can never tell by looking at them, just how difficult their journey has been.

I won’t share their stories, but I can sure tell you what happened in my mind while I was there.

I did not share my story there, but as I listened I was reminded, and considered my own journey.

Sometimes when you have walked thru so much, over such a long period of time –

You know where you’ve walked, but some of the steps get forgotten.

What I’d like to do here, is share the BIG steps that I remembered during this meeting, and then in subsequent posts, share some of the little steps that were involved in becoming the free woman that I am today.

So here is the list I made while listening – many of their steps reminded me of my own!

1. Toxic turmoil  

2. Lament

3. Quiet (pjs)

4. Introvert

5. Little girl – 6 weeks – 6 months

6. Identity

7. Process

8. Too much process

9. Write

10. Travel

11. Relate.

12. Freedom

During the process of writing this out, I am positive that even more will be revealed and remembered. 

Over the years I have come to “Love the process”.

It always takes me to new places, with further vistas, and hopefully, you can realize some new freedoms too, just by following along.

Until next time …

Two Fine Questions

For quite a while, from 2008 to about 2012, I studied and studied a manuscript from a conference I had gone to in Washington D.C.

This study was about our true identity. It was written and taught by Graham Cooke .

Graham maintains that our identity is made up of two things; Who we are on earth, and how we are know in heaven.

Our PERSONALITY – made up of who we are on earth;

and our PERSONA – made up of how we are known in heaven.

When you understand who God made you to be, or how you are known in heaven, it changes your perception of your circumstances.

When you understand who God made you to be; you can look at things a different way during awful conditions.

“Why is this happening to me?” and “Why this? Why now? Why me?” are questions we would ask from our personality.

They cause us to be victims.

“What does this mean?”

and

“What shall I do?”

These are questions we would ask from our persona.

They help us to be victorious!

Those have been the two most helpful questions to me in times of trouble.

These questions have changed me from a victim, to a victor!

I get to CHOOSE! I can ask myself these two questions and then take action. 

These questions may seem over simplified, but knowing what the words say, and actually putting them to work in your life are two different issues.

The level of difficulty is often disproportionately boosted.

I worked on installing those thoughts and ideas into my heart and mind for more than four years.

I still have to break out the lesson once in a while for a re-cap.

How in the world can you change the way you think?

I did it by reading scripture over and over about just who God says I am and what He thinks of me.

Here are some important things that God wants us to know. I hope you find them helpful.

  • The most important thing that God says about me (and He says it about you to by the way) is this;

Psalm 139:13-16 (ESV)

13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance:
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

  • We are not mistakes. We are not accidents. No matter what we’ve been told.

 Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

  •  He made us just how we are, and He gave us purpose.  All different, and gloriously unique!

2 Samuel 22:20 (ESV)

He brought me out into a broad place;
    he rescued me, because He delights in me.

  • He delights in us and wants to rescue us from the chaos of this world!

Deuteronomy 32:10 “He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

  • He loves us so much. He rescues us from our wasteland. We are the apple of His eye!

John 3:16-17 (ESV)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life; For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

  • He loves us ALL the same.

If we are born again in Him, then we can always know and remember that He is there for us; even if we are not in Him, we can know that He wants us to be.

I know I’m going long here, but I’d like to share just one more thing with you today.

The words from this song by Morgan Harper Nichols, states my position on what He thinks of me (and you) very well.

It reminds me of how He cared for me, even when I was unaware of Him.

The Storyteller

On a Sunday evening I’m
looking back over all the years
and where I’ve been
Looking at old photographs
I’m remembering
you were right there
and you have been ever since

With every page that turns
I see your faithfulness

Oh the mountain where I climbed
The valley where I fell
You were there all along
That’s the story I’ll tell
You brought the pieces together
Made me this storyteller
Now I know it is well, it is well
That’s the story I’ll tell

There were some nights that felt like
They would last forever
But you kept me breathing
You were with me right then
And all that you have done for me
I could never hold it in
So here’s to me telling this story
Over and over again

Oh the mountain where I climbed
The valley where I fell
You were there all along
That’s the…

Source: Musixmatch

Please join me again next time for part two.

My Friend Joy!

Joy has been in a photo group with me for a couple of years.

Joy’s style is photo journalistic in nature.

Joy has a good eye, and is known to find beauty in the most unexpected places.

It could be her “Flower of the Day” series, or her walk along the river front or in Weed Park.

Joy is not deterred by the heat or cold, or rain or sunshine. She just goes.

It’s always a treat to see where she is going to show up next.

Join me now while I ask her some questions, and share some of her work.

Interview July 9, 2019, at the Black Pearl Cafe

  • How long have you been taking photos?
    • About four to five years now.
    • My interest began on a camping trip, in a little town in Indiana, where there was art work, murals and things, all through out the down town area.
    • The town boasted a flower garden calendar. It was so beautiful it begged to be photographed.
    • It was divided into four seasons, and it was unique and beautiful.
    • It sparked my interest in capturing the beauty of God’s creation, and being able to share it with others; flowers, sunrises, nature.
  • What camera do you use to get your photos?
    • I actually use the camera on my phone. It’s a Galaxy S9.
      • I’m mobile!
    • My phone takes quality photos, is very portable, and always ready for a shot, without doing much with the settings.
  • Do you use any filters on your photos?
    • I use no filters.
    • I have tried recently to do a couple of black and white photos, but then went back to regular photos with my phone.
  • What is your motivation for the photos you take?
    • Worship. It’s definitely a part of my worship.
    • I find it very healing.
    • I’ve dealt with depression.
    • Depression makes you pull inside yourself, and away from people.
    • Now that I enjoy photography, I get out of my house. I go places.
    • I can go with someone, or even go by myself.
    • This makes me happy because I can do things however I like. Take a picture or not, stay or go, I can decide.
    • I tend to take pictures dealing with light and creation, and the CREATION always makes me feel connected to the CREATOR.
    • The amount and diversity of creation is amazing and awe inspiring.
    • I no longer take for granted the state and town I live in.
    • Embracing and sharing my hometown, causes me to want to do it more.
    • There is beauty in every state, but coming home to Iowa is always best.
  • How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?
    • Trial and error
    • Practice
    • Viewing others photos on photography websites
    • My husband is being educated on my photo taking needs as well!
  • Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?
“Favorite picture of the summer so far. Taken from the bike trail during the flooding. I always enjoy capturing reflections and cool shadows. So beautiful with the white puffy clouds.”
  • What mood or message do you try to portray in your photos?
    • Natural beauty.
    • Positive. Always positive.
    • Encouraging.
    • I want my photos to point people to God.
      • She also likes to show off her town! (Added by me)
    • I want to try to stay out of “competition mode”.
  • Whose work has influenced you most?
  • What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
    • (Chuckles) How to take a decent selfie!
  • What would you say to encourage someone to is considering beginning photography?
    • Go out as often as possible.
    • Go out a different times of the day.
    • Play with light and shadows.

Some of Joy’s favorites for photos;

Sisters’ Garden & Bloom

Iowa Photograph

“Driving back from Kalona, with the sun behind us, I had a realization. For some people, looking back is painful emotionally. However, when it comes to photography, you need to be willing to examine your subject from every angle. Otherwise, you might miss the best picture ever!”

Joy

Dare I say, Joy doesn’t miss much!

Thanks for joining us!

See you next time!

Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing Baby

All of these stones are real. Except one.
Can you tell the difference?

Counterfeit is great until you need the real thing.

We live in a world that is bright and shiny.

There is always something to grab our attentions, and distract us from the things that are in fact, real.

We can always find a bauble for our most current need; until we can’t.

Where do we turn when we find out that what we have been following, and holding on to, is in fact only a cheap trinket, a counterfeit of the real?

This place is both disheartening and frightening at the same time. How could we have been so fooled, so tricked, so easily duped?

It could be disheartening because, well, if we fell for something this time, then we could easily fall for it a next time.

It could be frightening because, many times these counterfeits can bring danger to us; physically, mentally or financially.

Our emotions run, and run, and stopping them takes a lot of hard work and determination.

One quality decision after another.

These are times that the counterfeit goes away, and the real comes alive; Real pain; Real stress; Real bitterness; Real sorrow.

If we could only know the REAL in advance!

Well I believe we can.

My source is the Holy Bible. Words I believe that come from God Himself.

In the day in which we live, we hear all the time that we must live our own truth.

Personally, I tried that. I lived my own truth for most of my life.

Some parts were just me, other parts were me trying to mix in a little of Him to make it into something I could try and make Him happy with.

In the words of Dr. Phil; “How’s that workin’ for ya?”

Not so well I must admit.

My ideas always ended me up someplace where the bright and shiny had worn off, and turned into dingy and dark.

I want to tell you what has worked for me.

In seeking truth and light, a real deal, I came across some verses in the Bible that made me more than a little curious to seek the readily available truth of scripture.

The truth looked like this;

In Genesis 1:27 it says;

  • So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

And in Psalms 139:13-16 it says;

  • For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

And then finally;

John 8:12 says;

  • Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

I believe these statements to be the real deal, that being said, then I also believe that we are pretty dog-gone special!

If they are real, it means that;

  • I am (We) are made in HIS image!
  • I am (We) not a mistake, He knew me BEFORE conception!
  • I am (We) will not wander around in the dark if I (We) follow Him!

This is not to say there will not be dark times; there will; but we will not falter by holding on to a counterfeit comfort and light, or shiny useless baubles for our pleasure.

Isaiah 54:17 says that;

  • No weapon formed against you shall prosper. It does no say that it won’t be formed, it says it won’t prosper.

In plain language – regarding truth vs. counterfeit – If you follow what scripture says, you will always be able to discern the truth from a lie.

Thank you for joining me here – My hope is that you will find at least one thing that will be helpful and encouraging for you on your path.

See you next time!

My Genre

Today I did something I’ve never thought to do before.

I Googled my “Genre”.

I wasn’t really quite sure I “Had” a genre to tell the truth.

My passion is to lead people into seeing the value of what I call “Quietude”.

As an introvert, what this means to me is to be able to have a place to recharge my internal batteries after dealing with, as Susan Cain says; “A world that can’t stop talking”.

If you’ve been here a while, you’ve no doubt seen the little “Quiet” videos made out of the photos I take.

Little vignettes, if you will, designed to calm down the insides, help regain strength, and be ready to do it all again.

I found out so much more today! Here is what I’ll share with you for this post, and then I’ll continue with more later;

  • Where This Idea Began
  • New Information
  • Truth or Lies?
  • Slow Start
  • Onward Toward Healing

It really began way at the beginning of what I call the cave days. I was reading scripture that I had always read. Then, as it happens, some words jumped off the page, followed by a question –

ESV Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect

TLB Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you.

How can I possibly do this? How could I possibly change the way I’ve thought all of m life?

Now I believe in the word of God pretty literally, so that means that if He is asking me to do something, then there must be a way to do it, right?

So I just “happened” to see an episode of something, 700 Club maybe? TBN? The episode I watched had Dr. Caroline Leaf on as a guest. Her teaching was all about re-wiring your brain, re-training it, Transforming it. This is my own simple way of putting it.

You can follow the link for the language that she uses. It involves things like neurons, synapses, and neurotransmitters. So if you’re into that, here’s your link; https://drleaf.com/about/

I had a strong feeling that by being stiller, or quieter, or silent, that I would be able to put some of this Bible idea into my real life.

I have to remind myself these days, that THOSE DAYS, were not at all easy. It was a real struggle for me to actually DO what she was saying.

But I believed Dr. Caroline’s research, and I most certainly believed that if it were not possible, that God would never require it of me.

Enter that tenacity – read hard headed-ness – that I was born with, and one more very important question; Does God tell the truth, or is He a liar?

Well I don’t believe He can lie, so I held on to that.

I started out small. Really small. Two minutes. Ten minutes. Thirty minutes was an extra successful time slot!

I sat with my journal and my Bible on my lap. Coffee by my side. And the goal of renewing my mind to the way that God had planned it from the beginning.

During that time, I believe God allowed me to work through some pretty tragic, destructive things that had been in my life ever since I could remember. Cycles that kept on returning, began to slow down, and melt away. Healing began to come to my mind, and forgiveness to my heart.

Nowadays, in the back ground, there will either be quiet ambient music or nothing at all, and healing is STILL happening.

So now you know where this journey I am on began.

Next time I’ll delve a little deeper into this process, and even some NEW things that I’m learning.

Please join me if you just want to detect a way out of your cave. This world (thinks it) has us trapped, but our minds can be renewed!

See you next time!