Forum Activity for @rebecca-broaddus

RBroaddus
@rebecca-broaddus
04/29/16 06:33:07PM
5 posts

The Struggle


Empath

People are afraid of what they do not understand. Which isn't wrong or bad - there is value in being skeptical. And we have abilities they do not, nor ever can, fully understand. There is that saying: any sufficiently advanced technology seems like magic. And our abilities would seem like 'magic' to someone who's perceptions are exponentially dimmer.

I didn't really understand how uncomfortable that was until I met an empath who was MORE so than I am. I always assumed it would be WONDERFUL to have someone know and read ME as well as I could read them. But it didn't turn out that way. It was disconcerting and disturbing to find myself in the position of being the one who was more known and less knowledgeable. And it wasn't because this person ever did anything to take advantage of me or treat my feelings with anything less than respect. It was simply because, for the first time in my life, I was at a 'disadvantage' and came face-to-face with how vulnerable that made me. So I can well understand their fear.

I am also aware that I can too easily become... arrogant in my 'knowing'. Not in a loud, brash, self-important way. But simply because I'm so used to being aware of so much more that I can tend to assume that I always know more. And because I often know better how another person is feeling, I can mistakenly believe that I know them better than they know themselves and/or that what I know about them is more 'right' than what they know about themselves. But I am sometimes wrong and have the potential to do great damage to another from my belief that I know more/better than I actually do.

And so I have come to a couple conclusions:

1. My gifts are are not about me. I've been given them to glorify God. It's not necessary for someone to know about my gifts in order for me to use those gifts to help them. They don't need to know how I know how to be there for them in order for me topray for them or be there for themin a ways others cannot.

2.Keeping quiet about my gifts is one way of keeping the arrogance in check - I am more careful about what I share and to whom. I am more reluctant to reveal what I know and therefore think through whether it's necessary or even a good idea to do so.

3.People aren't always ready to hear some truths yet. Trying to force them to confront a truth they aren't ready for can overwhelm them with more than they can handle. And may do more harm. So I must be sure that the truth I see about them is something they actually NEED to know at this point in their journey.

4. To those whom much is given, much is expected. I have been given a great gift (though sometimes it can seem more of a curse!) and must be careful that I use it wiselyand responsibly. Because I can touch someone deeply, I can hurt them just as deeply. So I need to be sure that, in helping, I 'do no harm'.

And I don't mean to imply that it is not a legitimate need to be accepted and known as we are - it is! I have a few, select, close friends with whom I do/have shared that I am an empath. And it is a great comfort and relief to be able to freely share that aspect of myself and be accepted.

RBroaddus
@rebecca-broaddus
04/29/16 04:56:24PM
5 posts



I wonder if it is because, since Jesus was the manifestation of God that existed as a human, he seems more 'relatable' to humans...? I don't know whether I feel 'more' for one aspect of the trinity over another, but I tend to have different feelings towards them andrelate to them differently, because of the different functions/jobs I view them as having. For instance, the Father aspect is who I think of when I experience God's love and care for me. Jesus is who I think of when I feel understanding and compassionfor how difficult it is to live as an imperfect being, besieged by temptations and my own weakness/flaws. And the Holy Spirit is the manifestation I think of when asking for guidance or intervention when I don't have the words to express to God what I want to say.

I'm sure I see my earthly mother differently than her friends do. Or how her bosses or employees did when she was still working. She is the same person, but she relates/related to them each differently, because her role with each one is/was different, so they each have/had a different perception of her. And those perceptions color the feelings she evokes in different people.

There isn't any really good analogy for this, because we usually relate to other people in only one role. As a parent. Or as a friend. Or as a rescuer. Or as a mentor. And even for those few people who may have more than one role in our life, one of those roles dominates, thereby affecting how we relate to them in the other role(s). There is no other being that is - and always has been - ALL three roles continuously and simultaneously, with none being more or less important than the other. It is only our own perception that islimited. But now I'm getting off-topic...

RBroaddus
@rebecca-broaddus
05/25/12 08:46:12PM
5 posts

Help! I keep getting caught in other peoples negative vibrations..


Empath

I know I do not experience what you are going through to the extent you have described, so it's entirely possible what works for me won't be adequate for you. But it can't hurt!

For me, I think of my 'shield' as more like a force field: it's a flexible, semi-permeablebarrier that I consciously control. How strong it is (and thus how impermeable and/or large it is) depends on how much energy I put into it. I experience it as pushing back against all the stuff around me that is bombarding me (which is why it takes energy to maintain), creating a space around me that is 'mine' and only me. I do not shield all the time - only as I need it (otherwise I would very quickly be totally drained!)

Perhaps I should back up a bit and share my very first experience with shielding. I was having a rather upsetting discussion with a guy I was dating at the time. The conflict we were discussing had to do with some boundaries I was asserting that he was not happy with. He became pushy (in a manipulative way), and (this is where it gets hard to describe) he was pushing his feelings and issues with the situation onto me. It felt like he was trying to make his issues become my issues, become a part of me - I could literally feel him emotionally pushing himself into me (there was no touch involved - this was totally on an energetic, emotional level.) And something in me said "Enough!" I clearly recognized the feelings as unmistakably NOT mine, but his, and decided I was not going to allow it. And I (also on an energetic/emotional level) pushed the feelings back to him, mentally saying "No! Those are YOUR feelings, NOT mine, and I am NOT going to take them on." He continued to try to push them on me, and I kept pushing back. It took A LOT of energy to do that first time. But it was so freeing! For the first timeduring a highly emotional situation, my emotions weren't being clouded by someone else's; I KNEW - CLEARLY - what I was feeling! What I wanted, what I needed, what was important to me. So it was worth every drop of effort and energy I put into it.

After that, I began using the same technique in other situations that I'd always found difficult, like being in a crowd, or around negative people. Initially, it took a lot of energy to put up my 'force field'; partially, I think because I had no skill at doing it so it took a lot of preparation and attention/concentration/focus to put it up and maintain it, and partially because I hadn't learned how to control the 'strength' or size of the bubble so I tended to make it too 'solid' and too big. But just like learning any skill, I got better and it became easierwith practice. Now, I can put it up at a moments notice and it's only as strong as it needs to be - all without muchconsciousthought on my part (it's pretty much automatic now).

Something that I now realize probably had a lot to do with me 'discovering' how to shield at the time I did: I was doing a lot of things to help me grow - like therapy, participating in some support groups, reading a lot of self-help books - and I believe they had the added benefit of grounding me and getting a clearer sense of myself. All of which made it easier todistinguish what was 'me' from what was 'other'.

Sorry this is so long-winded!

RBroaddus
@rebecca-broaddus
04/25/12 09:13:02PM
5 posts



Welcome, Leigh!

I know for many years I saw my empathic abilities as more of a curse than a blessing, so my heart goes out to you. Most of my life I've dealt with low-grade to full-blown depression - "a dark night of the soul" seems to me a very fitting description of how it feels. Learning healthy ways to cope with my ability (shielding, taking care of myself, not taking responsibility for other peoples' stuff, etc.) has done much to reduce both the length and frequency of depression in my own life.I've also found it helpful in the midst of it to remember that nothing lasts forever, not even depression. I clung to the phrase, "This, too, will pass" many a day. I hope it soon will pass for you, too.

-Rebecca


updated by @rebecca-broaddus: 01/20/17 03:25:29AM
RBroaddus
@rebecca-broaddus
04/25/12 08:13:05PM
5 posts

Inner conflict - warning- intense emotions


Empath

Sorry it took a while to respond, but I've just started a new job in a different city and was without a computer.

Yes, you are making perfect sense! Before I learned how to shield myself, I was so entangled with others that, as you said, I could not tell the difference between me and them. As a result, I felt I needed to fix other people to make them stop hurting or being angry or whatever negative emotion was pouring out of them into me - because I could not cope with it. I can only do - and am only responsible for doing - anything about my stuff: my feelings, my needs, my attitude, my thoughts, my beliefs, my actions. But the only way to know what is my stuff and what is theirs is to know where I end and they begin. Changing or fixing people is God's business, not mine. All (as if it were a small thing!) God asks of me is to love: him first, myself and others second.

So, yes, I think it is critical to be able to distinguish between what is me and what is other.Learning to shield myself made a huge difference in my life because it made it possible for me to do that. Before then, the only way for me to know the difference was when I was alone, which got pretty lonely. Having the ability to put up a shield when I need to has allowed me to enjoy being with others, and even to be able to be there for them in a far greater capacity than ever before. When things were so tangled up together, it was such a mess I wasnt effective helping anyone not me or them!

As I've spent more time out with others,shielded, I've gotten to know who I am in relation to others (which has been something of a learning experience, I can tell you!) And as I grew more confident in being able to distinguish between me and others, I was able to relax myshieldingto fit the situation:if I am in an environment where there are only a few people that I feel safe around, it's very thin and close to me (or even down completely); if I am in a crowd of strangers with a lot of negative stuff blasting out from all directions, I can make it very firm and cover a larger area around me.

edit: I just realized that, while I completely 'get' what you are experiencing, I'm not exactly clear on what you are seeking. So I'm not sure if this is a complete (or even a partial!) answer to your question, but I am happy to continue to share whatever insights I can offer.

RBroaddus
@rebecca-broaddus
04/21/12 04:55:46PM
5 posts

Inner conflict - warning- intense emotions


Empath

Boo on your browser! That is soooooofrustrating. I will sometime write my replies in my word processor program, then copy it into the web for that very reason!

You are quite welcome! I would add: be patient with God as well. It really is true that he works on a different time-scale than we do!

I have indeed had times when I felt an urgency towards something. And that can very well indicate that something has a time element to it - that there is a limited window for the opportunity. For me, that usually only lasts for minutes to a few days at the most - just a in-this-situation/momentkinda thing. Though I have very definitely experienced long stretches of time where I also felt there was something I needed to pay attention to -usuallysomething I needed to learn that I'd been stubbornly resisting!

I guess it would depend on how you are meaning 'controlling' it. Do you mean actively trying to direct or enhance it? Or do you mean putting limits on it?

I personally do not feel comfortable actively directing or doing things to enhance my empathy. Or using it in exchange for monetary recompense. It is less that I have have objections to that in principle (though in all honesty, I can't say I have none either) than that I do not want it to become 'work'. I kinda feel the same way about my creativity. I'd rather it be something I do for the joy of it or as a gift rather than something I have to do on-demand (of course, some of that could be fear that I won't be able to 'perform'...)

As far as using stones (or crystals, or meditation, or any other 'alternative' techniques), I tend to be something of an open-minded skeptic: I am open to the possibility that they haveefficacybut also need a reasonable explanation of why and/or how they work that makes sense to me. I don't think we have even scratched the surface on how our bodies and minds work and are affected by the environment around us. We generate magnetic fields. Acupunctureclearly does something, though no one knows what or why. Our heart has a mind of its own and influences all kinds of stuff, including other people. It seems reasonable to me that things like stones or crystals might also affect us.

I am much more comfortable with the idea of limiting my use of my empathy. About the only thing I really use for that, technique-wise, is shielding. I do that for a number of reasons:

1. To protect myself: It's just too exhausting to be constantly bombarded with all those feelings. And while I am willing toexchange/share some energy, I'm not willing to be sucked dry by 'vampires' or take in tons of other people's junk that they should be dealing with.

2. To respect other's space/privacy: I'd freak out at the idea of someone being able to read my mind, because that would make me feel rather vulnerable and exposed. Being an empath isn't quite the same thing, but to a non-empath it can seem rather similar.

3. To not take an unfair advantage: I do my best to not use my abilities to influence, manipulate or control others. I say 'my best' because it is pretty much impossible to NOT take the information into account (just as I never completely block all incoming feelings, just dampen them down to a whisper instead of a roar) in how I react and respond to others. But it is never my aim to use it to gain power overanother.

Not sure if that's what you were asking, so I apologize if I was rambling on completely off-topic.

-Rebecca

RBroaddus
@rebecca-broaddus
04/21/12 03:24:41PM
5 posts



The first question that comes to my mind is: why do you want to be friends with him? From what you have written, I'm not seeing any indication that he has much desire to be friends with you. I am not saying that IS the case - it may simply be that you have left out that information - but I don't see anything in your post to indicate he does. Friendshipsshould be reciprocal relationships. I don't mean that in a I'll-do-this-for-you-if-you-do-this-for-me sort of way, but in that the relationship is balanced - both people want to be in it and both make an effort to maintain it.

I second Ruthalia's suggestion to calmly ask your friend what is causing him to act as he is. I might suggest you approach him with it in a non-confrontational way, though. Here's why: from the information he told you about his father pushing him to do things he doesn't want to, there is a possibility he might be more sensitive or reactive to situations where he feels pressured. If this is an issue for him, it might be more effective to approach him in a way that lets him know you respect his boundaries, yet is still honest about how his behavior is affecting you. Also, creating distance in relationships is one way some people deal with feeling pressured - keeping others at arms-length, so to speak. It's not a healthy way to deal with it, and is clearly hurtful and disrespectful to the ones that are being pushed away, so I don't mention that as an excuse for his behavior - simply as a possible explanation. You still deserve to be treated with respect and consideration, and the way you describe he is acting towards you is clearly not doing that.


updated by @rebecca-broaddus: 01/20/17 03:32:50AM
RBroaddus
@rebecca-broaddus
04/21/12 02:10:51PM
5 posts

Inner conflict - warning- intense emotions


Empath

Hi Nea;

I feel a deepsympathywith your confusion, fear and conflicted-ness. It can be so easy to get caught up in those emotions and, worse, they seem to feed on each other!

It sounds like you are saying that you are unsure whether God wants you to use your gift of empathy in some way. Additionally, it seems that you have other abilities that you are unsure whether you should use at all; that you are questioning whether some of these gifts are actually of and from God. If this is the case, I can understand your concern. Anytime one opensoneselfto spiritual influences, there is always the risk that those influences do not have one's best interests at heart. And because one cannot see them, it can be extra difficult to tell which are which. When I begin doing something that has the potential to open me up to spiritual influences, I have learned to pay attention to how my behavior and attitudes change over time - if they move in directions that concern me, I take that as a good indication I should stop that practice.

One thing I find helpful to remember is that God is not pushy or impatient. How this works out on a practical level is that there is rarely ever a need to rush into anything. That helps me to realize I do not often need to make any decisions about what I am or am not going to do RIGHT THIS SECOND, which eases up the pressure I feel. God is also notmanipulative - He whispers and gently knocks rather than shouting or barging into our lives. So I am always a bit wary whenever I feel 'pulled and pushed' (particularly pushed!) By which, I do not mean that that automatically means it is not from God, just that I am a bit more cautious and will subsequently pray and study the situation more rather than less.

It never hurts to pray that God make his will known to you in a clear andunmistakableway. I find God loves to reveal himself and his will through his word, so reading the bible is an invaluable source of answers for me: I will open the bible at random or pick a passage that I seem lead to, start reading and bingo! there the answer is!

Also, decisions are rarelyirreversible. Sometimes it seems afterwards that which way I chose was less important than the fact that I was willing to step out in faith and act. If the way I chose wasn't ideal, there are usually opportunities to back up or change directions. Romans 8:28 And we know thatGod causesallthingsto work togetherforgoodto those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

I think we also get particularly attacked by the powers of darkness when we are moving in a direction that draws us closer to God and fulfilling his purposes. Suddenly all kinds of stumbling blocks and difficulties manifest to discourage us. An effective tool in this spiritualwarfare I haverecentlyfound came to me in the following song:http://www.songlyrics.com/john-waller/our-god-reigns-here-lyrics/

The idea that we can call on Jesus' name forprotectionwas not new to me, but this song really opened my eyes to how creativeSatan and his minions can be in their attacks. Any time I feel oppressed by any of the 'spirits' listed in the song, I now banish it, by name, IN Jesus' name. I have been amazed at how quickly negative feelings are lifted (sometimes immediately!) - not necessarily all of them, but it certainly cleared enough of them out that I was more easily able to identify what the real issue was and deal with that, whereas before I felt so overwhelmed it practically paralyzed me.

I pray you find serenity.

RBroaddus
@rebecca-broaddus
04/07/12 08:16:41PM
5 posts



Welcome to the community!

I am excited for you as you begin walking this journey of exploration and growth. I don't intentionally do readings, mentoring or teaching, but I am willing to share my perspectives and experiences on topics, discussions or questions that strike a cord with me. As a fellow Christian, I can relate to wrestling with some of the questions, doubts and confusion that bubble up as result of needing to reconcile my gift with some of the beliefs I have been taught.

I hope you find this community to be as much of a blessing as I have. And that God uses us to assist you in finding the answers you seek.


updated by @rebecca-broaddus: 01/05/17 04:05:12PM
RBroaddus
@rebecca-broaddus
04/07/12 05:46:19PM
5 posts

Help! I keep getting caught in other peoples negative vibrations..


Empath

Hello, Chris;

My heart goes outtoyou. I, too, would be concerned in your situation. I have felt hopeless to the point where death seemed not only a viable option, but a very attractive one. When I recovered, I was very grateful that I did notsuccumb, but I am still haunted by how seductive that 'solution' seemed in the depths of my despair. SoI can identify with the feelings you wereexperiencing but, for me,it was clear that thosefeelingswere coming from within me rather thanwithout. I cannot imagine how confusing and frighteningit must be to be overwhelmed by them when the source is external, on top of the distressing nature of the feelings themselves.

Since I have never experienced such strong feelings from anyone with as distant a connection as you have described (I do pick up feelings from strangers, but I only seem to receive such strong ones from people with whom I have a personal connection or attachment), I cannot suggest any 'helpful tips I have learned'from similar experiences beyond the grounding and shielding techniques described in the Empath Survival Program. However, I do know from my own episodes of being depressed that 'a burden shared is a burden made light(er)'. It puzzles me as tohowor why it works, but I have indeed found that if I talk with and connect with someone I trust when I am deeply troubled, those seemingly-monumentaldifficulties somehow become less overwhelming. Do you have someone you trust that you could call on if this happens again? Someone to talk with or simply keep you company so that you are not facing these overwhelming feelings alone? At the very least, someone who will intervene if you contemplate acting on suicidal feelings?

These may simply be stop-gap measures to carry you through until you are able to find some more effective method(s) of managing your empathy, but it strikes me as essential to survive long enough to do so!

RBroaddus
@rebecca-broaddus
12/05/11 08:01:17PM
5 posts

Bitterness... or Gratitude?


Empath

Thank you - I am glad it was a blessing to you.

My hot flashes seem to wax and wane with the seasons - unfortunately in the wrong direction, as they increase in summer and diminish in winter... :-( I much prefer tea to coffee - I only have one cup of coffee in the morning to jump-start me, and don't drink sodas AT ALL. But come to think of it, I do drink more tea in the winter... hmmmmmm...

RBroaddus
@rebecca-broaddus
11/27/11 04:19:49PM
5 posts



This list - as well as all the additional comments - is awesome! Thank you to everyone who has contributed. I, too, think I need to print this out and read it regularly.

I would add something which is really expanding on what Daphne said (heal yourself first): You can't give what you don't have, so take care of yourself first. You can only be there for others inasmuch as you are there for yourself. If you are totally drained, you can't do either yourself or others any good.

RBroaddus
@rebecca-broaddus
11/27/11 03:42:20PM
5 posts

Bitterness... or Gratitude?


Empath

Thank you, Stacie! It helps me to hear validation that I have good reason to feel overwhelmed (not that I didn't already know it, but it's still nice to be affirmed!) Knowing that others find my words helpful also affirms why I felt nudged to share. :-)

RBroaddus
@rebecca-broaddus
11/26/11 08:35:59AM
5 posts

Bitterness... or Gratitude?


Empath

Thank you, Deborah, for the kind words and the suggestion!

RBroaddus
@rebecca-broaddus
11/25/11 09:54:54PM
5 posts

Bitterness... or Gratitude?


Empath

This, too, will pass. It is one of my favorite phrases when I am going through a difficult time, feeling despair. It is often my lifeline, keeping me going until it passes. It reminds me than everything is transitory: trouble, feelings, thoughts, circumstances.

Life has been challenging for a few years now. Loss of a job in the construction industry, so finding employment has been especially challenging and taking a job that brings in about 1/4thof what I was previously making. The draining of my savings. Moving out of a large apartment I could no longer afford and downsizing to renting a room in someone else's home. Dealing with the difficulties of a long-distance relationship that is struggling. All in a place where the support-system I had developed is in another state 500 miles away not only can I not afford to move back, but the employment prospects are even worsethere(which was why I moved here in the first place!)

Though I am generally a positive person, I am also prone to chronic low-grade depression. Until recently, in one of those hidden-in-plain-sight discoveries (thanks to some of the information I found on this sight!) that only becomes obvious when your attention is drawn to it, I hadnt connected that with being empathic. In the immortal words of Homer Simpson, Doh! :-) Well, in these times, there are plenty of negative feelings to soak up. And I am indeed feeling overwhelmed. I know that, being sensitive, I need to take extra care of myself when things are difficult but sometimes that just feels like yetanotherburden and stress added to what is already on my plate. I find myself wishing I were 5 years old again so someone else would take care of me!

What I find most worrisome, however, is that I am becoming bitter. As a child I saw how bitterness and resentment poisoned my mother and vowed, at age 12, to NEVER allow myself to become bitter. And I have been remarkably successful through all the bouts of depression, through a hellish marriage, through a rape, through other job losses, through poverty and homelessness. I have always been remarkably resilient. And what I am going through now is not any worse than anything I have been through before. So why is it hitting me harder? The only thing obviously different is menopause has been added to the mix and while I do not discount its impact, Ive also lived with hormonal imbalances since puberty.

I heard a song this past week that brought me up short. I listen to a Christian radio station throughout the day and this particular one was about someone who was going through a difficult time. I do not remember the exact words (and so cant find the song online right now!), but it made the point that every pain and difficulty is remembered and recorded and that one day we will get back every one of those moments; every tear will be replaced with joy. It reminded me of the thought I started this with: that everything in this life is temporary.

[Edit:The song is,"You Get Back Each Single Minute" by Mark Bishop]

I received another insight a few days later when I was listening to a program that focused on expressing gratitude. The scripture quoted was1 Thessalonians 5:18In every thing give thanks(or, in a other translations:give thanks in all circumstances). This can seem not only impossible in some situations, but an unreasonable and downright cruel command. But I KNOW from my own experience that it is powerful.

I learned this lesson almost 20 years ago. It began with a story I read about Mother Teresa: she discouraged using the word problem; instead, she encouraged calling it an opportunity. The person relating this story remarked on what a profound impact it had on their attitudes and approaches to 'problems'. Initially, they made a joke of saying that they had a new opportunity, but over time they realized that they actually began to stopseeingthem as problems but asopportunities: to make positive changes, to improve circumstances, to transform lives. They began to actually welcome'problems' instead of dreading them.

This played out in my own life when an ex-boyfriend was stalking me. For my own protection, I needed to make radical changes in my life: moving, buying a different car, disconnecting my phone and filtering all calls through an intermediary, changing my routes to and from school, constantly being aware of my surroundings when driving to insure I was not being followed. To put it mildly, it was inconvenient. The worse thing, for me at least, was that I was FORCED to depend on others to help and protect me. And I was angry; angry that I had done nothing whatsoever to deserve this, yet my whole life was disrupted; angry at my helplessness to stop him (this was several years before stalking laws were enacted, and I was unable to catch him in the one and only way I could have prosecuted him: trespassing); angry that he could blithely, not only live his life undisturbed, but continue to make my life hell without any consequences to himself. I realized my anger and resentment were hurting no one but myself, but I didnt know what to DO with them. In the midst of this, the 1 Thessalonians passage came to my attention. And God made it clear that I was indeed expected to follow its directive. I was incredulous! You cant mean you expect me to THANK you for this?!?!? All means ALL.

Now, before I go on, I do NOT believe God makes tragedies happen to people. We are given free will, and one of the consequences of that is the ability to choose to treat our fellow man in horrible ways. Nor do I believe that acts of God such as earthquakes, floods, tsunamis are actually caused by God they are the natural results of a dynamic world. I do believe God intervenes by damping and mitigating the severity of disasters, by whispering warnings and suggestions in our ears, by sending someone who can make a difference in an outcome. But even many of these depend on exercising our free will toact. So I do not see the command to give thanks in all things as a command to thank God FOR CAUSING those circumstances. But to give thanks IN them. Nevertheless, I did choose to thank God FOR it; for how God would use it to mold me.

I did not pretend I wasnt angry about it. I expressed that, too. I do not know how many times I said, God, I am REALLY pissed off right now. I do NOT understand why this is happening to me. I HATE dealing with it. But I choose to trust you and thank you for it anyway. Even though thanking you for it pisses me off, too!And an amazing thing happened. Slowly but steadily, my anger dissipated. I even gained enough understanding and compassion for the stalker (though I was no less vigilant in protecting my safety) to forgive him. I found out how much my friends loved me and learned to be gracious in accepting their help. I stopped being poisoned by my negative feelings and found peace. I began tofeelgratitude in the midst of a trying situation.

The program I heard reminded me of this truth. I truly DO have many things to BE grateful for:

Yes,I am making only a fraction of what I was before I was laid off,butI have a roof over my head, enough food to keep me healthy, and can pay all my bills.

Yes,it sucks when hot flashes wake me up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat or hit while Im working outside in 100-degree temperatures,butmy endometriosis is in remission and the painful periods are gone.

Yes,it is difficult to work on a troubled relationship when a 1000 miles separate you,butI know I am loved and he has proven over and over - his commitment in the face of every difficulty.

The guest speaker in the program pointed out that we want to be thanked, and as beings made in the image of God, it makes sense that God also wants to be thanked. But I think there is another, deeper reason I need to express gratitude. It is too easy to become complacent, to take what I have for grated, to forget how blessed I am, to let bitterness and resentment take root. It is impossible to simultaneously feel a negative emotion (anger, resentment, self-pity, entitlement, etc) and gratitude. I needed to be reminded that the struggles of today will not last. And to incorporate gratitude into my lifeevery day.

(Note: I posted this on my personal page before realizing this group existed. Anyway... thought it might also be appropriate here!)


updated by @rebecca-broaddus: 05/12/17 09:37:53PM