Have you ever been in that place where you desire to change, and you keep wondering, when is it going to happen? Why is it so hard to change? Should I just give up on me? Does God really Love me and is He listening?
I am talking about those deep issues of the heart, habits and personal weaknesses, that are deeply buried in your heart. You struggled with these areas since you became conscious of you. You feel trapped and exhausted, longing for deliverance, longing for a new you.
I believe, it is my purpose on this earth to encourage you, while I encourage myself, to be patient, yes after all these years, be patient and maintain the right perspective and attitude through the journey. Don’t let your frustration blind you to the growth you have already experienced and the lessons you have learned. If you want to experience true purpose and a fulfilling life now, you need to EXPERIENCE CHANGE!!
Sometimes we hinder ourselves and seek to look for someone else to blame
So, you recognize that you need to make a change, but you do not accept full responsibility for your behavior because you think someone else is responsible for the way you are. Let’s suppose you experienced some form of abuse as a child, verbally, emotionally, physically, or sexually. The pain of your past dictates how you think and behave, even when you are not aware. There are those natural responses that happen like reflexes and you only make matters worse by getting angry with yourself, not understanding that you need to understand how your experiences have shaped you and taken control of you, so that the shifting can take place.
The painful facts remain, you have been abused BUT the hopeful facts persist, it is of the past, blaming the one who abused you would not help, directing your anger and hurt to others who care about you, would not work, encouraging self-pity and depressing moods would not help either, it would destroy you.
Here are some steps to follow if you really want to experience change:
- Accept that you have been abused – You need to admit that it has happened, don’t deny any aspect of it. Don’t down play it to protect the person. You must admit it to yourself and to whoever matters, meaning the persons in your life who need to know the truth. It is painful just to admit it, even so to confess it. But it is necessary for change to commence.
- Recognise the thoughts and behaviours that are flowing out of your belly, because of what happened. – Anger, anti-social behavior, resentment, jealousy (comparing yourself with others who appear to be well-balanced individuals who were not abused), unstable emotions, self-hate, doubts about your future etc. It is very very important for you to identify these thought patterns and behaviours. Point them out, write them down. You can no longer point to others and blame them for your actions. You need to take responsibility; it is only then change can happen.
- Work towards change – Change certainly would not happen if we sit on our beds saying, “I have a problem and that’s that”. Recognizing you have a problem is great, but doing nothing about it, is suicide. You do not need to remind yourself of your problems every day. You have already recognised where change is needed, so it is time to sow those seeds that would bring you healthy fruits.
These steps can help;
- Begin saying to yourself “I am going to do this!” “Change is possible!”
- Identify the people, things and activities that are making it difficult for you to change and gently remove them from the important places in your life. E.g.: Do you have a friend that is bitter, critical and angry, always seeing doom and gloom? Oh, no, this person cannot be your best friend, the one who gives you counsel, you need to do something about that fast. Maybe your church condemns you and you need to find a church that would not condone sin, but would seek lift you up, building you up in a holistic way. Maybe it is your activities that need to change, maybe your activities are allowing you to focus too much on yourself and less on others.
- Then, adopt new friends and activities that would provide a nurturing network for you as you seek to change. There are tons of good books to read, start a library of inspirational stories and articles, check out blogs like this one, there are many sound, forward-looking inspirational blogs out there. It is also important to begin focusing on others and their needs, make someone happy, do something to make a difference in someone’s life.
- You may start well and meet some obstacles, you simply start again, stopping is not an option when you want to experience change. Keep going; we often make great starts and allow ourselves to become discouraged along the way, but there is always room for starting again. Sometimes, it is possible that the project or activity we started wasn’t the best idea and you need to try something else. That’s o.k, it may mean that you lost $100.00, but it is all part of the journey.
- Recognise your progress and believe it to be progress no matter what others say, you know where you have come from and the little progress you have made. Let us consider punctuality. Imagine you have been arriving to work late every day and for the past month, you were early 5 days out of twenty (just an example), you can focus on the 15 days you were late or the 5 days you were early. Considering that normally you would’ve been late all 20 days, being early on five days is progress. Here is another example, you have not been spending your hard-earned monies wisely and you decided to start preparing monthly budgets, you look back and for the last three months, you prepared monthly budgets, but you did not use them. Failure? NO! You actually prepared the budgets. YAY! The next step is to begin using them, at least partly, them completely. You just can’t stop!
- Sometimes, counseling is necessary, embrace this as well. It is great to hear others analyse your situation and give you their perspective of hope and guidance necessary to overcome. I recommend God-fearing counselors.
- Finally, seriously consider giving God the permission to direct your affairs, your life. Give him control over you, submit your rights to his righteousness and let his supernatural power, truly create that change that is real and lasting. We should not run from him but run to him, simply because he really knows what is best for us. Sit at his feet with the word of God and just bathe in his presence. Enjoy his abundance, his glory and his beauty. Let Him saturate you and transform you. And as you submit to him, trust that even when you cannot see around the bend, you can rest in his future for you.
Have a wonderful Journey!