1. Cut Out the Darkness you already know some simple steps to having more peace in your life. But now I'd like to talk about cutting out the darkness on a deeper, spiritual level. The reason why I have so much more peace and happiness now is because I've learned to turn away from certain things. My focus has turned toward the positive and by virtue, my life has become so much more positive!
I wish I could say I came up with this, but I did not. Turns out that thousands of years ago people were talking about the same things. The more I study the Bible the more I realize all the common sense, logical and practical things we can do now to make our lives better!
In Matthew 3:8 the Amplified Bible teaches, "Produce fruit that is consistent with repentance (demonstrating new behavior that proves a change of heart, and a conscious decision to turn away from sin). And even before that in Psalm 34:14, "Turn away from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it."
So not only are we supposed to turn away, remove our focus from all the negative, evil things of this world, but we are supposed to actively pursue peace. That means you got to work to have peace!
I used to believe that peace was just an overly idealistic theory that some people claimed to have. I never thought it was attainable for me. I never understood that it was something you actually had to work for. There were times when I felt peace, but it was usually when I took myself out of my normal, routine environment, like hiking through the forests or sitting by a lake. It was not something I could have at work, at home, or in my day-to-day rat race.
But now I know it is a conscious decision to have peace, just like it is to have happiness!
It was an amazing feeling when I realized I did not "have to" watch every hit show there was on television or hit movie. I know that may sound silly. But I used to think I was "missing out" on something if I did not watch what everyone else was watching.
Freedom feels amazing! You get to choose what you are exposed to! You can cut out all the negativity, the sins, the evil of what you watch and turn your focus toward the positive and life actually gets better.
My anxiety has plummeted. I have nowhere near the amount that I used to have. Removing the news, graphic t.v. and movies, and listening to certain negative people has released my spirit to be joyful, at peace and with a new deep calm that I have never known before.
My depression has left me. I feel weightless. And it's not that I stopped caring about other people. Actually, I have a newfound compassion for all people since I was born again. But I refuse to let myself drown in hopelessness. The majority of the news is extremely negative. If it focused on all the miracles, and goodness, and virtues of human existence it would be a different story, but unfortunately, that's not the way our world works.
We have no idea how deep our brains actually go. What we watch can show up in our dreams, nightmares, subconscious minds to levels we can't understand. The scariest thing is that we can actually start believing in the lies of the entertainment industry, negative people's perceptions and start applying those lies into our real lives.
Happiness and peace are attainable things in this world. When we start focusing on the goodness of human nature and God, our minds become full of positivity, love, and compassion. We can feel happy and at peace with ourselves in the world. Let's start feeding our souls good news, virtues, blessings, favor, miracles, compassion, love and divine acceptance. For these are the things that will bring us true joy and peace.
"Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God's word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things (center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart). Philippians 4:8.
And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better
Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!
Monday, January 20, 2020
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
But here's the thing, the more we beat ourselves up over these things, isn't going to get us any faster towards our goals! If anything it can cause more self-doubt, disappointment, mental exhaustion, and worse, us just giving up. We have to be more gentle with ourselves, take off the pressure and just do the best we can (not more than our best) so we can fully enjoy life and just be happier!
Who doesn't want more happiness?
One thing is to set realistic goals. Ask yourself, what can I realistically get done today? And even if you can't finish that list, don't beat yourself up over it~ embrace the fact that there is only so much time during each day. Only so much energy you have.
Tell yourself constantly that you're doing your best. This will reinforce your positive attitude toward yourself.
Tell yourself, just because I couldn't finish this today, doesn't mean I won't ever finish it. You will start to feel the weight on your shoulders lift, I promise you.
Next is the importance of boundaries. You can have a ton of people pulling you in different directions, from family to bosses. Their demands may be too demanding and their expectations of you may be too high. I'm telling you that's their problem and not yours.
If you're truly doing your best then that's all you can do. Make it clear to yourself and everyone else that you're doing what you can. It doesn't mean you don't love your family or your job, but you can't give other people control over your life.
Your happiness is going to be because of your choices, not theirs.
Thirdly, give yourself a break. I highly recommend daily breaks, weekly breaks, and even doing something just for yourself once a month. Taking time to just be with yourself doing something that you love. Something that helps restore your mind, body, and soul.
It could be something like taking frequent 5-minute mental breaks when you're at work. Taking a bubble bath once a week. Even getting a spa treatment once a month to get away for a bit. (You can so tell I'm a girl! Men, I'm sure you can think of some things that would help you restore too!)
Whatever it is, take some time for yourself. You deserve it.
Most importantly, we need to be easier on ourselves. It's no wonder stress is the number one reason for all our health problems. We need to learn how to downgrade. Shift into neutral and coast sometimes. Never lose sight of your goals and dreams, but remember life is about the journey.
If we're not happy when we're chasing our dreams, then what's the point of having dreams at all?
We all have these ideal visions of ourselves. Our "perfect self" finishes all to-do lists with ease and grace. We look "perfect" all the time. We can "please" every family member, every friend, our boss, effortlessly, and all without struggle. Does this sound familiar? Constantly comparing ourselves to our "perfect self" will only cause more unhappiness.
Don't judge yourself. We live in a society that thrives on the criticism of others. Don't fall prey to that way of thinking. Especially when it comes to judging yourself! The more we over-analyze ourselves and others, the more we create distance and negativity. Just as one should try to find the good in others, we should be constantly searching for the good in ourselves.
Embrace who you are right now, imperfections and all. Set realistic goals. Know your boundaries and limits. And take regular breaks from the hustle and bustle!
Be gentle with yourself. I promise you, you'll have a happier journey & you'll truly begin living in light!
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And remember, Jo may know better, but God knows best! Ask Him for guidance and He will never lead you astray. Amen.
Friday, September 6, 2019
I started to realize that maybe the reason my mind would never stop fighting with itself, was because I was constantly feeding it conflict, annoyances, injustices, just negative stuff, all the time. That's when I learned that what you focus on becomes your life.
I thought I was a positive person before I made these changes. And maybe I was more than most people, but that still didn't mean I was truly happy and radiating positivity. Some people from the outside that know me would have never have guessed that. I always tried to put on a happy face no matter what. But the war in my mind would never let me have peace.
I knew it was time to make some drastic changes. I was going to examine every facet of my life. Especially what I watched, read and listened to.
If you're constantly focusing on the negative, your mind will only become more negative.
Also, I had realized how desensitized I had become. Things that used to really bother me on t.v. and movies started not to bother me anymore. My heart was getting harder and I felt numb to the horrors of this world. After following these steps, my heart has started to resensitize and now I feel things more deeply and with greater satisfaction, especially the good feelings like joy, love, and happiness. There will be more to explore on this subject at a later post.
1. Stop Watching the News - Okay, okay, I know some will fight me on this. I'm not saying to become completely oblivious and unaware of what's going on. But who can honestly say that 98% of what the news talks about will have some direct effect on you? My point is the news is so negative. Its focus is conflict and injustice. When was the last time you heard something positive on the news? We know that it is few and far between. The news counts on our attention to the negative to make money. That's how they stay in business. And unfortunately, the news has become so divisive, that it's constantly pinning us against each other. It thrives on conflict.
Try cutting out the news for just one week and see how you feel. I don't watch the news anymore, unless I know it may have some direct effect on me, like weather. But that's about it. I've never felt more at peace with the world. I've realized that other people's battles are not my own. Especially because so much of it is out of my control. When you learn to let go of what you cannot control, you feel weightlessness like never before. Side note: This includes getting your news on social media. More on this later.
2. Cut Out Violence and Graphic T.V. and Movies - Is it just me or have t.v. and movies gotten more violent and graphic than ever? Every top t.v. show or movie seems to be raising the bar on how much they show us. And here's the thing, you can't unsee things. If you're watching violence and horrific graphic depictions of the lowest of the low of human behavior, how do you think these will affect you? Whether you realize it or not, this does have an effect on your emotional, mental, and also your physical state as well. And the thing is, I didn't realize this. I was so desensitized to things, I could watch just about anything and eat at the same time. Something that I would've considered unfathomable just 10 years ago. It's only now that I have resensitized myself that I've realized how horrible the entertainment industry has sunk.
Try cutting out everything above a PG-rating for a week and see how you feel. I have completely and have never felt better. I will admit that this has cut down on what there is to watch, but this is a good thing! Less time sitting in front of the t.v. absorbing negativity. I feel less negative, anxious, depressed, worn down, deflated, angry, torn and just less helpless about all human existence.
3. Cut Out Social Media - Oooh, a hard one for most of us. We've become so reliant on it for entertainment, news, hot topic debates, and even good things like connecting with friends and family. But here's the thing, studies have shown that social media increases anxiety and depression, and with teenage suicides at an all-time high, this is no coincidence. A lot on social media can be very negative. It seems like the top stories amongst "friends" are always concerning political debates, racism, gun control, etc. And although it can feel noble to want to fix the injustices of this world, most discussions on these topics only lead to fighting, more divisiveness, and emotional separation between friends and family members. No wonder it's causing more anxiety and depression. We joined social media to connect, but it has created distance between us like no other. This is the power of negativity. This is why you need to cut it out of your life.
Try cutting out social media for just one week and see how you feel. I usually only use social media now for my career and very seldom use it for personal reasons. I am also super selective about who I am "friends" with and who I choose to follow. Another positive that I have garnered from this change is that I don't feel like I have to take on the weight of everyone else's problems. When people used to complain about things publically, my first emotional response was to either want to help them or want to push them away because their problems seemed so painful. I'm not saying that you shouldn't care about what you're friends are going through, but they can become overwhelming, especially if you have a lot of friends. If you do have a close personal friend that's going through a hard time, why not try sending them a personal text or even a phone call? This is a much better way to connect on a personal emotional and mental level.
What you watch, read and listen to does affect you. Pay attention to everything you pay attention to. Have an awareness of negativity. Cut out the darkness wherever you can. I urge you to try the things above as they have brought me a kind of peace I have never known before.
Please subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for the latest posts updates on the "Living in Light" Series. Thank you so much for reading & have a wonderful day!