Help You to Choose Courage: X Girls Episode 5: (My Mind)
By Jocelyn Hu
Few things stir the human heart like fantasy. Often we assign the fantasy gene solely to men and their desires, but the truth is, we are all guilty. How many times have we been at the gym, staring with envy at someone else's rock hard abs? How many times have we stood in line at the grocery store, assaulted by airbrushed skin and gorgeous hair? How many times have our fantasies been riddled with fearful scenes that probably will never happen in real life? And someone please, please tell me I am not the only one who about once a month (okay, okay, every week), fantasizes about a housekeeper, chef and personal assistant?
The thing about fantasy is, it is temporary escape. We forsake the present for a future we may never see. Depending on our season of life, fantasy can be a tool for survival - since we can't cope with the moment we're in, we create a moment we can cope with.
The problem with fantasy is its inevitable invasion of real life. There's an old proverb that says, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." The negative mental patterns in our lives lead to self-loathing, shame, mental disorders, and addictions of every kind, selfish ambitions and more.
Our thoughts create our reality.
We can choose courage to move forward, forgive, overcome the issues and create a new reality for ourselves. If you're anything like me, you want to make the choice to grow mentally and emotionally healthy and whole, but you just don't know how.
Again, none of us are professionals in this mental health arena, but as followers of Christ, each of us has chosen courage. Because of this choice, we have found freedom in our emotions and our minds.
Here's a little help for you to choose courage:
Step One: Admit the issue. No one on Earth is exempt from pain, so the first step in choosing courage is to admit our issue. Do you struggle with fear? Are you in a co-dependent relationship with a friend? Are you having trouble letting go of a memory of abuse from childhood? Are you struggling with an addiction or eating disorder? Do you constantly hear negative thoughts - thoughts like "You're not good enough; You're too fat; You're so stupid"? Choose courage and admit the issue. Admit it to yourself. Admit it to God. Remember, He's not mad at you - no matter how you grew up, God is not mad at you - He loves you.
Step 2: Face the issue. Okay, so you thought admitting the issue was hard... facing the issue might be even more courageous! To face the issue requires an investment in yourself, as well as others. Facing the issue means sharing your story with a SAFE person, leader or friend. A safe person is someone who's yes means yes, and no means no; someone who is respectful of your personal boundaries; someone who believes in you and encourages you. It also means becoming a safe person as well, so that our relationships are healthy and life giving.
Confronting the issue might also mean attending a recovery group (we are passionate about Celebrate Recovery!) or getting professional help. I personally have gone to counseling many times in the last ten years of my recovery journey, which coupled with my friendships, recovery classes, and church community has helped me develop a positive self-image and continually move past the hurts in my life.
Step 3: Think about what you're thinking about! About eight years ago, I actually started listening to the thoughts in my brain. I was stunned! There was so much negative self-talk, just like I referenced in Step One. I spent more time thinking about the size of my thighs, how stupid I was, and making up things other people were thinking about me, than my future, my destiny and God's passionate love for me. I realized there were plenty of lies about who I was floating around in my head and not enough truth. If you find yourself in the same place, begin to learn what God says about you. A great place to start is to click on this link: The Truth About a Treasure.
Step 4: SERVE. That's right, I know you are hurting. And I know you need to be served. And I know there are days you can't even get out of bed. Choose courage to serve. Serving others is often the catalyst for our healing. Get involved with your church's or your local community's outreach program; serve on the Usher Team; deliver a meal to a new mom. You'll be surprised how quickly healing comes when you begin to stop thinking about yourself and your problems all the time and grow into a person who is focused on others.
We love you! We believe in you! We pray in the months to come that you will choose courage!
WATCH X GIRLS EPISODE 5: MY BODY. MY MIND
COMING APRIL, 2013: X GIRLS DVD SERIES AND WORKBOOK CURRICULUM! STAY TUNED!
Sneak Peek at Reflection Questions
1) What activities create an escape for you? What positive emotions do you feel when you engage in the escape? What negative emotions do you avoid?
2) Which of the above steps to choosing courage are you going to take today?
© 2013 I Am Treasure Ministry