Emotions do not dictate my life, my faith does. But this was not always the case.
I have ridden the rollercoaster of feelings, way up one day on good news, and hitting the bottom the next because of one little thing that threw me off, always getting motion sickness because of the ride. And my poor husband, he never knew what to expect because he could not tell where the rollercoaster with me on it was, he always ended up getting flattened by my moods and we fought, a lot.
I want to tell you first, do not let your feelings run your life, you will be miserable. And if you’re reading this, you are likely right there, emotions have taken over and you’re just about over it. Good. Because second, I want to tell you that you can choose faith over feelings, every day, every moment, every situation, and share with you what worked for me in the hope that it will work for you too.
Decide that you are going to wrangle (maybe strangle in some cases) these emotions of yours, decide that they will no longer run your life, your moods, your outcomes. Decide not to believe everything you think, read, “know”, and feel.
It sounds so simple, it is not. This is a deep concept in the process of mindfulness, one that takes consistent work and growth, but it can be done. You can decide, and make it a firm, one-time decision.
I know decision and choice are synonymous but, in this case, they are used separately because of how you will put them into practice.
A decision is a one-time thing, decide and be done, move on to something else, a choice is a repeated and this choice, the one to pick your faith over your feelings, is one you will have to make every day, during every situation. You will have to decide to believe the vision God gave you over what you’re seeing, or not seeing, right now. You will have to decide to believe the God of Abraham who gave Sarah a child in her old age when you keep coming up with negative pregnancy tests, you will have to decide to trust the God who lead the Israelites by smoke and fire through the wilderness when you’re wandering around aimlessly looking for your promised land. You will simply have to choose every day, all day to believe your faith, to keep your faith, to trust your faith.
Tangent: It is okay.
It is okay to make the choice for faith first thing in the morning and by lunch time be so overwhelmed by everything that you’re struggling with faith- cause let’s be real, it happens, and if it hasn’t yet it will. It’s okay to have made a choice during your prayer time to focus on faith and to choose to trust God to provide all that you need and then an hour later be right back where you were before your prayed.
Stop beating yourself up that your choice for faith doesn’t last all day long or that you can’t even make it an hour before the doubts creep in. Please stop that. Please, for me.
Please let yourself be okay, please tell yourself it is okay that you “slip up” on your faith choice.
Hear my heart- this is a journey, this is a path we walk, this is a literal uphill climb fraught with obstacles, battles, mean people, and satan himself giving you the hardest time. Please know that you are okay, that your journey is okay, and that the times when you find yourself falling back into old patterns of thought, belief, and faith, all you have to do is make that choice again.
A choice isn’t permanent, a choice is repeated, and you both can and will need to make that choice often.
All of it, it all has to go. The negative thoughts, words, beliefs, and even the people. Most especially the people. If they aren’t cheering for you, telling you that you CAN do this, that you can overcome, that you can have your dream kick em out and DO NOT let them back in until the prove they can behave themselves. I mean it, I don’t care who it is, they are not welcome to our growth party until they show that they too are willing to grow. #loveyoumeanit
Now, if they are your spouse, parents, or children, you likely cannot literally kick them out, but you can stop talking to them about certain things, your goals, wishes, dreams, desires, your work, your growth, your faith, your belief, etc- the stuff about which they have negative things to say, just stop talking to them about that part of your life. Do your growing, learning, and changing on your own, they will notice a difference and you won’t have to say a word.
Get rid of the negative thoughts- learn to meditate, it makes all the difference in dealing with what you think. After you start to meditate you will be able to review your thoughts and do something productive with them, but meditation must come first.
Get rid of the negative words, 1st about others, stop saying crappy things about other people, stop saying mean things about her shoes, hair, outfits, whatever, stop bringing down other people. Then 2nd, stop saying crappy things to and about yourself. No more “I’m stupid” or “math isn’t my thing”, or I’m ugly, I can’t, I’m not talented enough, I’m a bad mom, bad wife, bad housekeeper, I’m bad with money, etc, etc, etc get rid of all of that. Stop saying the bad things altogether.
And I really don’t care if they are “true”, I really don’t. They need to stop coming out of your mouth starting right now.
These two steps are in order, you must get rid of the bad and THEN put in the good, you can’t put good on top of bad, you’ll just end up with a buried mess that will one day come to the surface and be a gigantic mess you have to clean up… trust me here, just go ahead and get rid of the negative.
* Read good stuff- omygosh I could take over my entire house with the amount of good books I read, I am usually at 2 books per week, sometimes more because they are SO good!
* Listen to great stuff—YouTube is FULL of powerful speakers, Podcasts, radio programming, and so much more
* Sing good stuff- music is powerful, the right song can take you back to the best moments of your life, the right worship song can make tears pour down your face and help you break barriers you’ve had for a lifetime, the right music can take you out of a funk and give you full-girl power (I’m looking at you Beyonce!!)
* Focus on your gratitude- write a list, say it out loud, call a friend, mentor, someone and run down the list with them, sit and just think on all the great things that have happened to you. And if you can’t come up with a giant list do not beat yourself up, start small, start with food- there are people out there starving. Start with water- there are people who do not have access to clean water. Start with clothing- you have plenty and you could share some and still have enough. Start small on the days you have more negative than gratitude, you will soon find yourself overwhelmed by how big that list can be.
* See good things- yes, I mean visualize, but let’s use another word so it doesn’t scare you away. Daydream!
I mean put yourself right in your 5-year plan, imagine that you have ALL of the things you’re working toward, dreaming about, that car, that house, that boat, those kids, the bank account number, the spouse, the whatever you’re dreaming of—let yourself get lost in the day dream of having everything you want. Feel those feeling of having it, enjoy it all. Just daydream and smile 😊
And I don’t mean just any friend, we talked about kicking out the negative ones in #3, do not call the one who is going to tell you that you’re dumb, you’ve wasted your money, time, whatever. No, matter of fact delete her number right now.
Call in your #buttkickfriend.
This is a term that I use with my Paparazzi Accessories team and it means your Ericka. Your girl or guy who is gonna give you 5 minutes to have that pity party, will empathize with you, will let you get out all the feelings, and then will tell you to dry your face, get up, and get back to making your dreams happen. This #buttkickfriend does not let you wallow in the garbage, does not let you let your feelings over take you, this friend knows your dream and your journey to choosing faith over your feelings, understand that hard times come, will get down in the dirt with you and will be the one to pick you up and help you grow from the mess you’re in. This is the one person who can tell you the God’s-honest truth, no matter if you don’t like it, from a place of love in an effort to make you a better you.
This is the friend you call. Let her lift you up, set you back on track, and then you get back to business.
Right now. Celebrate right now that you have that trophy, rank, child, spouse, raise, whatever it is you’re working for, choosing faith for, celebrate that it is already yours.
Remember the feelings from your daydream in #4? Recall those feelings, but this time add some serious excitement to them, jump up and down and say “I did it! I won, I got it!” Pretend you call your mom and tell her “Mom!! You’ll never believe! I did it, I found the perfect man for me!”
Celebrate now! Why? Because those feelings of excitement, gratitude, joy, and the thoughts that are coming from your celebration will change your entire outlook on your journey and will truly make faith easier to choose, and those feelings, those are good ones, we want more good ones! Feelings breed feelings, they really do, and we want to grow in you (and me) more of those good feelings so that even more good ones will come.
Faith over Feelings is a growth process, is maturity process, and this is just one tool in your tool box. When I started my real faith journey 4 years ago I was not ready for this part of it, I was not prepared for someone to tell me what I have just told you. Or maybe I was and because of my personality no one was willing or able to tell me these things… I’m not sure.
I do know that the biggest thing I’ve learned is that you MUST learn how to remove the negative before you pile on the positive, it’s not optional. I tried it the other way, it worked for like a minute then I was right back where I started just now with even more ammunition to use in the war against myself because I had yet again failed at something, it was terrible, vicious cycle.
I want to help you avoid that part.
Don’t just pick up a self-help book and get to reading swearing that it will do the trick. Don’t just watch one motivational video and know that it is going to change every part of your life. Don’t just attend one seminar and believe that it is the game-changer, in and of itself.
That isn’t how this journey works.
This is a growth process in faith, and I do mean process. You may get to express through some of the steps because you are prepared for that, but you do not get to SKIP and of the steps, if you skip you will not succeed. Sorry, but it’s the truth.
Continue every day to apply these steps and the many others you know of. Continue every day to grow yourself, love yourself, speak kindness over yourself, and bit by bit, day by day you will see yourself change, you will be less ruled by emotions, you will grow a deeper faith, you will achieve your goals, dreams, ambitions, and more than you could have ever dreamed.
I believe in you.
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