Tag Archives: life

haunted?

26 Dec

Do you ever feel like you’re being haunted?

Not by ghosts or spooky-type-haunty-things, but by previous incidents, past experiences or people in your life that you wish you could forget or move on from? Memories that serve as constant reminders of the past, of how things were, that you cannot seem to escape? Have you ever felt like these “ghosts” are just freakin everywhere you turn??

Well, I don’t .

Just kidding. Its been happening to me all the time lately! Being “haunted” by the past… its like I can never truly escape it. Why can’t I stop thinking about these things? Pesky little ghosts.

Maybe your ghosts look like people, memories of someone who used to play a much larger role in your life. These ghosts may represent painful memories and/or broken relationships. You cannot seem to stop thinking about them, yet still these ghosts show up when you least expect them. Maybe they haunt you for years, sucking your thoughts back to a time you wish they would no longer recall. When these ghosts haunt you, they leave painful scars on your heart.

Maybe your ghosts look like past mistakes you’ve made, memories filled with regret and guilt. Have you ever been defined by your worst moment? You made a mistake, and eventually everyone found out. From that point on, they judged you and defined you by that one bad decision, by your worst moment, by your most painful memory.

Doesn’t that just feel awesome?

Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about. You try to move on from the past and “learn from your mistakes” but this ghost (your past) just keeps coming back… it just pops up out of nowhere and grabs you and starts dragging you down. You don’t know how to fight… well, how do you fight a ghost? A memory? You can never actually kill it anyway, for it is already dead, it is the past afterall. Yet, how are you supposed to make any progress moving forward when you are constantly reminded of and haunted by how things could have, or should have, been? Relentlessly haunted.

LEAVE ME ALONE ALREADY!

I do not want my thoughts to be consumed by these “ghosts” any longer! They are suffocating me. They are holding me hostage. I need some air. I need freedom from these ghosts.

But they seem to never go away, and the things or people they represent are never forgotten. These ghosts appear to never stop haunting you no matter how much time goes by or how much work you do to “fix” whatever situation after the fact (as if you could). You screwed up big time, everyone knows it, and now that is just who you are. That is your identity now.

Except it’s not.

Consider someone in the Bible who found himself in a similar situation:

One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, ‘Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?’ The man said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?’ Then Moses was afraid and thought, ‘What I did must have become known.’ When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian…” – Exodus 2:11-15

Yeah that’s right, Moses killed a guy. He MURDERED someone. He thought he got away with it too, until he found out everyone and their mom knew about it. Not cool. He ran away and time passed until one day God told Moses that He wanted him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses was all “Excuuuse me? What? Uhh, no, I mean, I can’t… I’m like a murderer and a horrible person (in case You forgot) and I think You may have just mixed me up with someone else because I am no hero. I can’t do anything great because I am a major screw-up, just look at my past, look at what I’ve done –that’s who I am. You don’t want me. Seriously.”

But God was all like, “Listen here buddy, I know exactly who you are. Your future doesn’t have to be measured by your past mistakes. YOU are not defined by your past. I have something great planned for you. You do your part, and I’ll do mine.”

There is a phrase used a couple times throughout the book of Exodus that says: “This same Moses [fill-in-the-blank].” This same Moses who murdered the Egyptian, this same Moses who made a horrible mistake, this same Moses is the Moses that God is calling to do something great –to lead His people to freedom. God wanted to make it known that He did not define Moses the way other people did, or even the way Moses himself did. He wanted to define Moses’ life, his future, in a different way.

It’s kind of awesome.

I am the same Kadi that God wants to use and call to great things. YOU are the same [insert name here] that He wants to use and call to great things! No matter what you may have done in your past, He still has a plan for your life. He started at the beginning and is going to be faithful to complete it. He is going to do His part, He wants us to do ours.

“…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” -Phil 1:6

When we allow ourselves to be defined by our worst moment, whether it is by others or by ourselves, we are paralyzed, stuck, unable to move into the future God wants to bring to our lives. He wants you to define your future in a different way.

There will never be anyone like you. The only person that can be the best version of yourself is you. God wants to bring the very best to your life. Do not allow yourself to be defined by your past, by your broken relationships, by your mistakes, by what others have judged you for or labeled you as. Sometimes we know God wants to give us a second chance, but we don’t give ourselves a second chance. Sometimes we need to learn how to forgive ourselves.

So, I am giving my ghosts to Him. I cannot change my past. I cannot fix what someone else broke in my life. I have to let it go. I want to grab hold of the future that God is calling me to. The greatness He has in store for me. My identity is found in HIM, not in what I’ve done (whether good or bad). I want to allow God to use the pain of my past for something beautiful, as only He can. He will provide rest and relief from these ghosts.

Peace out, ghosties!

(props to Mosaic for inspiring this post)

“love is a violent flame not to be ignored” -AE

24 Dec

I heard the most horrible story the other day. I am hesitant to write it here because it is so sad, but I want to convey the reality of this painful situation… (or is it the painful situation that is reality?) I am currently working at an insurance company, and a lady called first thing in the morning – she was distraught, asking about accidental death coverage for her mother. She went on to explain that her mom passed away earlier in the week. Her mother had dementia and wandered out of her sisters house somewhere up north where she was staying, while they thought she was sleeping. When they realized she wasn’t there and couldn’t find her, they called the police. The police searched the house and one of them went to the back of the house where they heard someone gasping for air. There was a freezing cold creek behind the house that she had fallen into. They rushed her to the hospital, but it was too late and because she had been in the creek for a couple hours, she froze to death. The lady on the phone began to cry as she said the words. My heart was so so broken for her. There was so much hurt and sadness on the other end of that phone line.

Its crazy how this time of year, the holiday season, is supposed to be so joyful and full of hope, and yet there are people all around who are in tremendous pain. About a month ago I was out watching some friends play football for an annual Turkey Bowl game they always participate in around Thanksgiving time. I sat next to a lady who was watching her son play. We small-talked for a while, and I asked about her Thanksgiving plans and her family. When I asked if she had any more kids who would be home for the holiday, she choked up. She told me through held-back tears and a quivering voice that she used to have 2 sons, but one was killed in a car accident 1 year ago to the day, right before Thanksgiving on his way home from college. She had taken the day off from work because she knew she wouldn’t be in the right mind-set, and came to watch her other son play football and spend time with him. My heart sank. Brokenness and pain was sitting right next to me.

Those stories ruined me. Each time for the rest of the day and the days thereafter, I could think of nothing else. Their sorrow left an ache in my heart, and the soreness would not go away. I wanted to do something, to say something, to somehow make things better, but what could I do? What could anyone really do?

In darkness like that, there is only one source of Light. I honestly don’t know how people get through life without Jesus. He is my rock, my comforter in times of sorrow, my support, my healer, my helper, my salvation, and so much more. What is the meaning of life without Him? What is LIFE without Him?

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:26

Hearing those stories prompts me to put my life back in perspective, remembering what and who is truly important and forgetting the rest. Their hurt reminds me to be kind to those around me, strangers or not, and constantly be showing and sharing His love in whichever ways I can. The holidays will never be the same for these ladies who have lost so much, as well as so many others with similar heart-aching stories. A little kindness can go a long way. Even a hug can go a long way. Even a listening ear and a caring heart can go a long way!

Don’t be so consumed in the holiday season that you walk all over those around you. In our American consumer-driven world, it is so easy to get caught up in what we need to get done, and who we need to buy gifts for, and who we are going to fight for the last Tickle-Me-Elmo doll (flashback!). Of course I am included in this, and just as guilty for making this season all about me and not about sharing the Love.

And so, with a heavy heart I challenge you (and me) to take a good look around. Be aware of those who are hurting, and extend your (fill-in-the-blank) in compassion and love. Make a positive difference in the life of someone who could use a little support. Thank your friends and family who have been that support for you.

Live your life for someone else for a change.  This is the message of Christmas.

Love is a powerful thing. Share it with someone.

“Love is a violent flame not to be ignored” – Andrew Ehrenzeller (musician)

So love, and do not stop.

coffee+life

4 Dec

I like studying in coffee shops because I can get things done and be entertained by all kinds of stories at the same time. Its like listening to a bunch of reality shows at once. But not as obnoxious.

Life is happening all around. I love it.

Un-Pimp ze Attitude

10 Oct

Help! Im drowning in the sea of Strategic Finance!! Its true. I very much do not like this class. Very much. Buh. Its the worst. In fact, it may be my least favorite class ever (no offense to you smartie pants out there who actually like/understand financial hooplah – also, WHY?!?) To quote the Plain White T’s: “Hate is a strong word, but I really really really don’t like you.” So boo on you, Finance class! *spit on the ground*

That’s right. Im complaining about school again. Don’t act like youre not used to it by now. You know youve missed hearing about my awesome procrastination skills and how much I loathe studying. Yes. You have missed it. I can tell.

But I shall say no more of that dreaded “F” word (for now) because, quite honestly, it depresses me. And I do not want to be depressy anymore. And I do not want to bore you with such depressy things. Thanks, but no thanks, Debbie Downer.

Instead, I shall try to tell you of more interesting and exciting and happy things, such as my new boyfriend, or my new haircut, or my new love of those salt and vinegar chips that come in that purple bag (SO yum!)

But srsly. I apologize for my bloggy absence. Things have been crazy / hectic / busy blah blah excuses excuses. Life happens. You know how it is.

So, in order to silence the silence (yeah, that’s right) I have decided to blog. Right now.

However, those of you who are still reading this may have noticed by now that I do not, in fact, have anything of importance to blog about. Well, to that I say, you are quite right. How very observant. But lets focus on the important things here. And the important thing here is that I am even blogging at all. For you. Whoever you are. Yes, a new blog has come. So just embrace it.

All this talk of being busy and doing crappy schoolwork and being in depressy moods has got me thinking lots of thoughts about attitude. I mean, if you think about it, attitude is actually really powerful. Like, really really powerful. It can change everything! It practically controls your mood – which in turn controls your whole outlook on the things that happen to/around you (life). Your whole day could be either completely ruined or completely awesome based solely on your attitude… your viewpoint… your perception.

So yeah, attitude. Lately, mine has been sucking. And while I can easily justify all the reasons for it, Id rather not. Id rather just stop.

Is that possible?

(haha that reminds me of this commercial from a while back that my friends and I used to quote all the time… “its definitely sucking”) :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCIF6JF1O5U

and here’s 2 more bc I think they’re all awesome:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgEvy60bZYI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuC6jeKjTdg&NR=1

Maybe instead of un-pimping your auto, you should un-pimp your attitude. Corny tie-in, I know, I know, but I just thought about it, and it works! I mean, come on, its the same thing! Replace your ridiculous, sucky attitude with an awesome one. V-Dub in the house… Oh Snap!

You are the only one who can change your own attitude. You can change your outlook on life, the way you see things, the position you take. Each morning is new. Each minute is new. A new chance to literally count your blessings, and start over with a fresh take on life. And you don’t have to wait to start over. It’s a choice you can make anytime, anywhere. A choice to gain a little perspective.

Sometimes we are limited more by attitude than by opportunities. – (Anonymous)

And that’s the heart of it. A sucky attitude is LIMITING! IT LIMITS YOU. It constrains you, holds you back from accomplishing all that you can. It skews your vision and causes you to see opportunities as hardships and obstacles to be avoided rather than a challenge that can be utilized to your advantage. We should be going for it! All in! Go big or go home. Don’t you want to live life to the fullest? To seize every moment and every opportunity to grow and become all you were meant to be? To live a life of joy and excitement rather than mundane and ordinary?

Confession: I so much want to be so much more than I currently am.

The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.  – (William James)

Its crazy to think we have the power to alter the course of our lives. Yes? Im not saying attitude adjustment is easy, Im just saying its worth it.

The interesting thing about changing attitude and perspective is how different it can be from one minute to the next, once you introduce a little more information. I mean, you think one way about something, and then you learn a little more about it, and it totally changes the way you were just thinking, almost instantly sometimes.

I recently started working in an insurance office, and there is a huge picture of the sinking Titanic on the wall. Its all beautiful and tragic and whatnot. And at first, I thought “How horrible! People are coming in to pay bills and are upset about money and all their other financial troubles (especially in this economy), and they look up and see the sinking Titanic?! Doesn’t that just scream ‘all hope is lost!’?” But then, today, I heard the real purpose for the picture (yes, there actually was one). It is used as a sot of visual tool. Nobody thought the Titanic would sink. It was referred to as “the unsinkable ship” –that God himself could not sink! And yet it did. You never think bad things are going to happen to you, or know when they will – all you can do is be as prepared as possible. And then, there was an instant shift in my perspective. My attitude was no longer slightly offended and depressed, but future-thinking and hopeful. You can choose to see a sinking ship or you can choose to see a lesson to be learned. Lost hope or found hope. It’s all about perspective. And perspective is powerful because it directly influences attitude.

Its usually once you know the whole truth that you begin to really understand and are “set free” as the Bible says. Our attitudes can so easily be the outcomes of our jumping-to-conclusions and assumptions (and we all know what happens when you assume… “you make an ass out of u and me!”) So really, seeking the truth in all situations kind of overlaps this whole attitude idea, because if you seek the truth, seek to understand and get to the core of things, then it changes your view of those things.

And the truth is, that you and I are blessed. Incredibly, ridiculously, abundantly blessed. Blessed above and beyond what we deserve. Im serious. Just look at the world around you. There is an abundance of good and wonderful things in your own personal life. Yes, there is. And when you start to literally count those blessings, its hard to be all depressy. In fact, its hard not to be grateful and overwhelmed with the love that flows freely and constantly from God to His children.

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you … we are in charge of our Attitudes. – (Swindoll)

It’s a choice, every day. One that we have to make a conscious effort to make. Every. Day. Sometimes twice a day. Sometimes 10+ times a day. But I promise you, when you refocus on whats truly important, remember how very blessed you are, and allow your attitude to reflect the joy that Christ has given you, the Love that lives inside, you wont regret it. (I need to remind myself of this more often.)

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. – (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Each day is a gift. And today is really all we have.

Time to un-pimp ze attitude. (hehe)