Showing posts with label self love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label self love. Show all posts

Sunday, June 14, 2020

22. Living Free from Judgment, Part II - "Living in Light" Series

Part II. Freedom from Self-Judgment

Are you too hard on yourself? Have you ever been accused of being a perfectionist? When you make mistakes, do you beat yourself up? Well, if you're anything like me, the above questions ring too true. Sometimes, I am way too hard on myself. I can nitpick every tiny flaw. And when I do make mistakes, I think, what was I thinking?

But here's some good news, when we know the Word of God, we can stop beating ourselves up, raking ourselves over the coals, and constantly feeling like a disappointment - like nothing we ever do is good enough. This bad way of thinking is called condemnation...  

Condemnation is what the devil uses against ourselves, to persecute and judge our every mistake. He constantly finds and points out our faults. He loves to remind us of everything we've done wrong. He wants to keep us trapped in our guilt. He wants us to feel bad all of the time. 

But God wants just the opposite...
When Jesus died on the cross for us, He set us free from condemnation. He took the punishment we deserved and gave us freedom, forgiveness, and His righteousness by believing in Him as our Lord and Savior - we are saved by grace through faith. 

So STOP punishing yourself for all your mistakes, sins, and trespasses. There's a big difference between condemnation that comes from the devil, versus conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit.

Condemnation is what the devil uses to keep us trapped in our sins, but conviction is what God uses to stop sin. When we do make mistakes, and we will, we are to simply confess our sins to God, ask Him for forgiveness, and then ask for God's help to change, to repent. 

Don't get trapped in the devil's cage of condemnation! 

Here are 3 Things We Can Do to Help Us Live Free of Condemnation. 

1. Self-Forgiveness. 
The Bible says God forgives our sins, so why can't we forgive ourselves? Self-forgiveness is essential when it comes to living in freedom. We can forgive ourselves for our past mistakes. This does not mean that we don't learn from our past mistakes and change our ways. But constantly thinking about everything we've ever done wrong, will only pull us down, keeping us trapped in negativity, self-pity, and condemnation.

Joyce Meyer says, "We're not built for guilt." Guilt only puts us into a vicious cycle. When we feel guilty, we're doomed to repeat bad behavior. Because when we constantly punish ourselves, punishment can beat us up over and over again for the same mistake, only adding weight to the first offense. And when we're under the weight of all our mistakes, we can turn to any vice or comforter, which only compounds onto the initial sin. Suddenly we're in a downward spiral, adding sin upon sin.

Unforgiveness only comes from Satan, which leads to constant condemnation, judgment, and punishment. Forgiveness is a gift from God, a gift that we should freely give to anyone and to ourselves.
Remember, the devil wants to punish us and make us feel horrible for all we've done wrong so we will continue to do wrong.

But God wants us to accept His forgiveness through Christ, learn from our mistakes, and with His help, repent. When we forgive ourselves, we can cut loose our bondage to sin and truly change who we are. And with God's help, He will continue to cleanse us from our mistakes and renew us again and again. (1 John 1:9). 

2. Who We Are in Christ. 

When we realize who we are in Christ, we can begin to look at ourselves differently. For believers, since we have accepted Christ, we are clothed in His righteousness. This means when God sees us, He sees us as His loving, faithful children. He looks upon us with love, joy, and acceptance. He knows we will continue to make mistakes, but this in no way makes us horrible, broken, or not good enough. In fact, it's just the opposite. God sees us as good, healed, and more than good enough because of our right standing with Christ.
Okay, ladies... (and some guys too)... this means we really need to stop nit-picking our appearances. When we criticize our outward appearance, it only gives "the world" or the devil the right to do it too. When you constantly ridicule every little "flaw" or "imperfection" you think you might have, you're only listening to the devil. You are not listening to God. God thinks you are beautiful and wonderfully made. Why? Because He made you. Do not give into comparison and jealousy - this too is just another form of condemnation. (This might just have to become its own blog post!) 
Thirdly, the opposite of condemnation leads us to...

3. Self-Love through God.

I used to have a hard time with the entire concept of loving one's self. Thinking, isn't that narcissistic, self-indulgent, pride feeding ego? But when we truly know how much God loves us, it gives us permission to love ourselves in return. We hear John 3:16 all the time, but do we really understand what it means in-depth? It means that God loves us so much, in all our entirety, given all our faults, that He gave His only Son, to rescue us from our imperfection, sin, and death

I emphasize, HIS ONLY SON! God DID NOT have to do this. He could have just called it quits, scorched the earth, wiped us clean off the face of existence, but He gave the MOST PRECIOUS BEING IN ALL EXISTENCE just because He loves us! God gave us His favorite human ever. He made the ultimate sacrifice, putting Jesus through hell and back, because of His profound, deep, and never-ending love for us. 
So the next time you think about insulting yourself, think about how much God loves you and what He did for you. Think about what Jesus went through. When we ridicule, criticize, demean, and condemn ourselves, we are ridiculing and criticizing God's love for us. God doesn't think we're no good. He loves us fully and completely so we should love ourselves fully and completely too. Self-hate, ridicule, and self-punishment, are not what Jesus dies to give us. Learn how to think the way God thinks. Learn how to see yourself as God sees you. 

When we know that God forgives us for our sins, we can forgive ourselves for our mistakes. Even though we're not perfect, but that when we know that we're the righteousness of God in Christ, all that we should really concern ourselves with, is how we appear to God. Loving ourselves is not wrong, for God loves us, so learning how to love ourselves is simply doing what God already does for us. And if God can do this for us given His high standards, we can surely do it for ourselves. 

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 for free notifications on each new post!

Feel free to share with your friends & family! Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

9. How To Be Gentle with Yourself - "Living in Light" Series

We all know we can run ourselves ragged, especially around the holidays. We already had a million things to do, and now we have a million more. One thing I've learned is that you have to go easy on yourself. It's easy to want to be a people pleaser and even a self-pleaser, feeling like if we don't finish our to-do lists, goals, dreams, we're less than and we don't measure up.

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!

Like this blog? Make sure to subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better to get notifications on every new blog! It's free and your email is fully protected. Thanks so much for reading & have a wonderful day!

And remember, Jo may know better, but God knows best! Ask Him for guidance and He will never lead you astray. Amen.

Friday, November 22, 2019

8. The Power of Baby Steps - "Living in Light" Series

Most people want to make positive changes in their lives, but the truth is, change is hard. Most of the times it's uncomfortable and it makes us step out of our comfort zone. I've learned that the body hates change and that the mind resists change. We have our work cut out for us...

So what can we do to make change easier? Take it little by little. Small changes that are sustainable and repeatable. The secret is consistency. Consistency is the only way to achieve true success. The building blocks to get to the top of your mountain, whatever that mountain may be.

Some have a tendency to have an all or none attitude. (I know I used to be one.) We can work ourselves up, trying to convince ourselves we can do anything and we can do it now. We can feel so empowered, that we want to go full-bore. Then we can go full-bore off a cliff. I've thrown myself off that edge so many times, hoping to grow wings on the way down, but guess what? Never happened.

Recovering from falls, the disappointments, the self-loathing of our grand plans not going through, gets harder and harder. We can become more and more discouraged, leading us further away from our goals than we originally were.

So first, we have to change our mindset. If we acknowledge the fact that full-bore can sound exciting and tempting, but in most cases, it simply doesn't work in the long run. You don't want something that's just going to work for a day, a week, a month. You want these positive changes to take root in your life, your whole life, so you can compound your progress and live to your fullest potential.

The secret is making small changes that you can do again and again without taking yourself so far out of your comfort zone that you'll quit. Set some more easily attainable goals.

It's the little things that add up to big results.

One example that I'll use that most of us can relate to is "dieting". If your body is used to consuming 3,000 calories a day and being mostly sedentary, chances are abruptly changing to a 1,500 calorie diet and working out 6 days a week will be a big shock. You'll be hungry, if not starving, and probably exhausted by doing a lot with so little than your body's used to. There's probably no denying that the latter diet is healthier, but is it sustainable? Are you going to stick with it, no matter what, no matter how bad you feel and tired you get? Chances are you're not.

However, let's say you only cut out 300 calories a day and start doing some walking for 30 minutes twice a week? Do it for a month straight. Is this more sustainable and easily repeatable? You know the answer. If we use this mindset for all the positive changes we want to make in our life, we will have a higher rate of success. And once you see yourself making progress it's more likely that you'll want to continue and advance that progress.

Smaller changes are easier to make than big ones. 

With this method, there is tremendous importance on patience. I'm not a naturally patient person. I have to work to be patient. When I make a change, I want the benefits instantly. But I've learned it doesn't really work that way. When I have a hard time being patient, I remind myself of all the ways I think and feel when I'm not patient. I'll ask myself, "Do you want to feel anxious, frustrated, angry? Or do you want to feel at peace with your choices and decisions? Is slower progress, but progress nonetheless, going to be better than no progress at all?"

This is the power of baby steps. Setting small goals that are easily attainable and sustainable. Stick with your new goals until they become your new comfort zone, then make new goals. Go slowly and be gentle with yourself. I've made major changes to my life using this method and I know it can work for you! Consistency is key! Give it a shot, what do you have to lose?

And what does this have to do with living in light? Most of us want to have a life full of joy, peace, and progress. This takes time, energy and effort. So if we can make positive changes that are sustainable and consistent, we are more likely to have and keep a life of fulfillment, contentment, and overall well-being. Living in light is about living life to the fullest and doing our best, not more than our best. All we can do is keep striving for light so the darkness doesn't stand a chance!

Want email notifications on the newest post? Make sure to subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better ! It's absolutely free! Thank you for reading & have a wonderful day!


Monday, September 23, 2019

4. What Steals Your Peace? "Living in Light" Series

I wish I could say I came up with this idea, but I didn't! Joyce Meyer has been a guiding light throughout my transformation. I love how practical her advice is and she has a beautiful spiritual perspective to boot!

She recommends writing down every little thing that "Steals Your Peace". Whether it's a person, place or thing, it's all very important. When we can clearly identify our triggers we can nip them in the bud.

Sometimes we can be completely unaware of these things. Sometimes we think we're just having a bad day, going through the motions, absorbing whatever is thrown at us. But when you have awareness, you can identify all those little things that can equal a very bad mood.

Maybe you woke up late because you forgot to set your alarm. Maybe you couldn't find your keys. Maybe you got a disheartening text from a friend. These little things can set us off, especially when sometimes it seems like they just snowball.

The truth is there are a ton of things that can steal our peace. For me, one thing for sure, is usually watching the news, something I don't do anymore. It puts me in a mental state of anger, frustration or depression. For you, it could be something else. A friend that always seems to bring you down. A place that brings up painful memories. Even that creaky floorboard that gives an annoying screech!

The trick is to write down everything in your daily life so you can improve these situations. Try setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier. Organize your things the night before. Changing the channel when something begins to irritate you! It doesn't matter if it seems small. If it steals your peace at all, it's affecting you, therefore it is important!

Unfortunately, certain people can be more than irritating. You don't get to pick your family, but you do get to pick your friends. Be careful who you choose to spend time with. There will be a later post that delves deeper into this subject. But if you have a friend that constantly steals your peace, it might be time to start examining this relationship. What are they adding to your life? And moreover, what are you adding to theirs? Remember, misery loves company!

A major part of being aware is being resensitized. You can read the post "Are You Desensitized?" here: https://joknowsbetter.blogspot.com/2019/09/2-are-you-desensitized-living-in-light.html We can be dealing with something for so long that it just seems "normal" to us now. We've gotten used to being angry, depressed, bitter, or even numb about something that we accept it as "it is what it is". But the fact is, happiness is really a choice. Don't settle with a whatever attitude. This isn't whatever, this is your life! You have choices, you make decisions, you have control of your destiny!

1. Write down one thing that steals your peace. I'm sure you can think of just one. The beauty of this is that most of us have a phone or a tablet nearby, it's easy! Write it down!

2. Make a little list of ideas to make it better. All it takes is a little common sense.

3. Try one. You'll never know if it works until you try it. If at first, you don't succeed, try, try, again.

If you're so inclined, leave a comment below of what steals your peace and brainstorm an idea that could make it better. You never know if someone else has the same peace stealer. To have constant peace, live in light, we need to identify what steals it from us. This can take time, but I know for sure that it works!

Don't forget to subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for the latest posts notifications! Thanks so much for reading & have a wonderful day!


Monday, September 16, 2019

3. Are You Allergic? "Living in Light" Series

So what does this have to do with Living in Light? Your physical health is just as important as your mental health. If your body isn't functioning properly, then your mind won't either.

I didn't know how important it was to find out what I was allergic to until now. If you're constantly feeding your body things that aren't good for it, you won't live with optimal health!

When my mom had been vacationing in Newport Beach, she had met a doctor that highly recommended naturopathy. Basically, that means doctors who practice holistic healing. So my mom went to one and they had highly recommended a blood allergy test to find out what foods she was allergic to.

She took the test and boy was she stunned! And so was I!

Her list was so long that I had to get tested myself. I thought that if my own mother was soooo allergic than I must be to, and I was right.

I found out I was allergic to wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, sugarcane, even blueberries, and green beans! So many foods that I have loved all my life and that were consistently a part of my everyday diet.

I had no idea I was eating all these things that were bad for me. So I went hardcore and cut everything out! I will admit it was hard, especially at first. But thank God I live in California where there is no shortage of Vegan groceries and a huge variety of healthy alternative options.

The payoff though has been really life-changing! I have never felt this good, at least not since my early youth. I had gotten so used to feeling bloated, with stomach cramps after meals, that a part of me had accepted that the way I was feeling was normal. Well, it's not.

If you're having consistent stomach problems you got to dig deeper to fix the problems. A huge percentage of all our cells lie in our gut and that's why it's so important to get it working right! Even if you don't "feel" any discomfort, I would get tested to make sure you're being as healthy as possible.

There is so much going on inside our bodies that we can't see. Eating things you're allergic to causes inflammation and studies are showing just how harmful inflammation can be. If you have chronic pain like me or any health conditions, inflammation will only make it worse. It can also cause health conditions, problems, and issues that you might not have yet. Don't wait any longer...

I highly recommend getting a Blood Food Allergy and Sensitivity Test. Don't do the skin one, it's pointless to show what really is going to affect you. Unfortunately, this test isn't usually covered by insurance, but it really should be. However, it wasn't that expensive to pay out of pocket for and it was so, so worth it!

To fully Live in Light, one needs to cut out all that's bad for you in every area of your life. Unfortunately this can include some yummy foods, but in the end, it will make you feel so much better. I have truly never felt better in my adulthood and I know you will too!

Disclaimer: I am not and medical doctor and this is not medical advice.

Please don't forget to SUBSCRIBE at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for notifications on the newest posts for the Living in Light Series! Thanks so much for reading & have a wonderful day!