Showing posts with label self-help. Show all posts
Showing posts with label self-help. Show all posts

Friday, May 15, 2020

21. Living Free from Judgment. Part I - "Living in Light" Series

Part 1. Freedom from Judging Others. 

It's really easy to judge other people. We love to point out what we don't like about them, in all sorts of ways. "I don't like what they say," or "I don't like how they act." The problem with this judgmental way of thinking is that we can constantly focus on what's wrong with everyone. This mindset is a trap that will constantly steal our peace. One negative thought can easily lead to another and we can find ourselves in a constant mental war with anyone and everyone.

 

This is what the devil wants. He wants us to focus on what's wrong with everyone else. He is a master distractor, that loves to have us focus on what's wrong with others, instead of what may be wrong with ourselves. He can even use the Word of God to have us constantly fighting with each other. Let's just say the devil will use anything to divide us. Don't fall into this trap.

 

Why is living free of judgment important? Because judgment is a heavy, heavy thing. That voice in our heads that loves to judge everyone and everything can constantly steal our peace, and make us angry, upset, depressed, anxious. You name the negative emotion!

 

This can open the door to the devil. The accuser that loves to judge everyone and everything to "his standards". He is the self-proclaimed "supreme judge" that loves to separate us, divide us, and turn us against each other. This can also lead to anger, hate, and the self-entitled position for us to dole out judgment and the desire to punish each other. This is a burdensome job, a job that is not ours

 

Furthermore, I will explain whose job it really is as we continue on further...

 

1. Are You Perfect?

 

Remember the popular phrase, "Nobody's perfect?" Well, except for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, the phrase is very true. Although we can know right from wrong according to God's Word, we can still make mistakes. Jesus said, "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone," when the adulterous woman was about to be stoned to death. Every person dropped the stone and walked away because they realized they were all sinners too (John 8:7).

 

We're all sinners. We can realize that we're surely not perfect and no one else is either. We all make our own mistakes and don't want to be judged and punished by others for those mistakes. If anyone knows that we're not perfect, it's God. His standards of perfection are so high, everyone besides Jesus, fell short. But God still loves us regardless.

That's why God's Word is so helpful when it comes to how we think and treat others. When we realize we're not perfect, we're less likely to dole out judgment upon other people. We can still love others given their flaws and mistakes. If God, the Holy of Holies, can do this for us, we can surely do it for them. 

 

In Matthew 7:3-5, Jesus goes on to say, "Why do you look at the [insignificant] speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice and acknowledge the [egregious] log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me get the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite (play-actor, pretender), first get the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye."

 

We can be so quick to judge, criticize, ridicule, and opinionate about what others do wrong. But how often do we examine our own thoughts and behaviors? 

 

*Here's a tip that really helps me

Every time I find myself judging someone, 

I turn it back around on myself. 

I call it "turning the mirror around

and I look at my own actions, thoughts, and behaviors

I ask myself, "Do I do that?

Then dig deeper, "Do I do that in any way, shape, or form?

and even, "Have I done that in the past?"

And, "How would God want me to treat others

given that I may have made the same/similar mistakes?"*

 

We can take these opportunities when we want to judge others, to examine ourselves instead. Ask yourself the above questions and truly think about what you have said or done. We will explore much more on this topic in the next blog!

 

I love what Joyce Meyer says, "The less you judge, the more peace you'll have." Ain't that the truth? Judgment is a heavy burden to bear. To constantly have to judge everything someone does or says is mentally, emotionally, even spiritually taxing. If we give ourselves that job, we'll never have a day off! So...

 

2. Who's the True Judge?

 

The only true judge of this world is God. The truth is, we never have enough information to judge anyone fully. We don't know a whole person's heart like God does. We are not the moral authority. Only God is the moral authority. We don't know everything that's going on in a person's life. We don't know everything that they've been through either. Only God knows everything.

 

So leave the judging up to God. He knows better than all of us. Let God take care of it. Our God is a God of justice (Psalm 50:6). He will serve out His punishment that will perfectly match the crime. Even if we feel offended by something someone else does to us, God will take care of it. Personally, this way of thinking gives me so much peace. 

 

Let go and let God--this saying never gets old!

3. Can You Forgive Them, For They Know Not What They Do?

 

Maybe you're a person that's read the entire Bible and can accurately state what's right or wrong, good or evil, a sin, or a virtue. But the truth is, most people haven't read the entire Bible and just don't know. Before I started this journey, I for sure didn't know half of what I know now. I realize now that others simply don't know certain things, and I can forgive them because I didn't know those things either. 

 

I can forgive others because God has forgiven me. We can, "Forgive those who trespass against us," because God forgives us for our trespasses (Matthew 6:14). If we can learn to treat others the way God treats us, let me tell you, there would be so many fewer problems in our world.

 The Golden Rule is paramount: "Do unto others, as you would have done unto you. (Luke 6:31)." 

 

Let's not let the devil divide us, separate us, and turn us against each other. As believers, we can unite under God's love for us as we learn to love each other. Let God be the judge. We can pray for others' repentance and obedience. We can encourage others to read, learn, and study the Word of God. Let us be the shining example of what God's true love and acceptance really are.

 

 Read Part II. Freedom from Self-Judgment next!


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!

 

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 9, 2019

2. Are You Desensitized? "Living in Light" Series

I highly recommend reading the Living in Light Introduction & Part 1 of this series before continuing on.

Are you desensitized? I know I was. And it's not that I would watch just anything on t.v. I did have some standards of what I would expose myself to. But the majority of what I was watching wasn't good. This was a gradual process. It didn't just happen overnight. I was experiencing a slow descent and the worse thing was, I didn't even realize it was happening.

I think these days with so much technology, constantly bombarding us with so much content, it's easy to get lost in the fray. We may watch something just because it's the "top show", "top movie" or watch something simply because it's on! But are we really watching things that help us improve as human beings and add positive things to our lives?

There is so much darkness and negativity in the entertainment industry. It seems like almost every show keeps on raising the bar on how much we are exposed to. More violence, graphicness, sexual explicitness, human deceptions, harmful behavior, are at an all-time high and it doesn't show signs of slowing down anytime soon.

The thing with being constantly exposed to darkness, negativity and the horrors of this world, is that we can start accepting these energies as our own. Our thought processes and emotional being can turn towards the negative as our hearts and minds become desensitized.

I think it's important that we investigate our thoughts and feelings as we're watching something. Pay attention to what your thoughts are as your watching t.v. Ask yourself questions like, "As I'm watching this, are my thoughts mostly negative or positive?"

If your thoughts are leading towards judgment, anger, aggression, a pure fight or flight mentality, chances are you're watching something not good for you. If you start feeling depressed, anxious, nervous, or scared, start realizing that the darkness and negativity of these energies are becoming your own.

Being desensitized to things is extremely harmful on every level. When we become numb and hard-hearted, we can start to ignore the beautiful things about our lives just as we become accustomed to ignoring the bad things. It's as if we become blind in every area of our lives.

The most important thing is to have awareness. The slow descent into becoming desensitized is a step by step process that requires our choices. When I say this, I mean for the majority of us, obviously some people are exposed to things without their choice, which is a horrific injustice. But most of us do have a choice. Only when we start acknowledging our negative thoughts and feelings, can we start making positive changes. This is how we resensitize ourselves.

The beauty of resensitizing ourselves is that we start to feel things on a deeper level, the way we are supposed to. We can experience love, joy, and gratitude so fully because our hearts and minds are open to positivity. When we live more tenderhearted, we can care for other people with compassion and empathy, including ourselves. We need to take better care of ourselves in every way.

Your thoughts and feelings determine your reality. 

I can truly say I've never been happier because I resensitized myself. I realized I needed to make some drastic changes because no matter what I seemed to do, I wasn't really happy. My heart and mind had become so numb that I couldn't really feel anything anymore on a deeper level. I had too much of a "whatever" attitude and that was hurting me much more than it was helping me.

I hope this will inspire you to make some positive changes in your life. Again, pay attention to what you pay attention to. Drama only increases drama. Cut out the darkness and negative energies and just wait for positivity to flow into you! You won't be sorry.

Please remember to subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for notifications on the newest posts! Thanks so much for reading and have a wonderful day!

"Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind." - 1 Peter 3:8

Thursday, September 5, 2019

"Living in Light" Series - Introduction.

It always amazed me how people completely changed their lives after they've been diagnosed with cancer. They changed what they watched. They changed what they ate. They even changed who they spent time with. It's because your odds of beating cancer greatly increase when you make positive changes to your life.

How about making some changes before you get cancer?

I've been through a lot over the past ten years dealing with chronic pain. 24 surgeries and procedures. More chronic diagnoses. Doctors telling me I will never get better.

Through being cut down at my knees, time and time again, I have finally found some answers that have helped me in every single area of my life. I want to share these answers with you in the hope that you can get helped too.

If you want more peace, less pain, and more happiness, I urge you to follow this series. You can try whatever you want to see what works for you. And if it doesn't work for you, then it simply may not be meant for you. But is it not worth a try? You have nothing to lose.

It has taken me more than 10 years to discover some truly life-changing answers. Most came through with just having common sense. Some took a lot of research. Some were divinely inspired. I can honestly say I have never had more peace and happiness than I do now. Especially even though my health hasn't drastically changed, I have changed and now my health is going to have to catch up with me!

I invite you to embark on a journey where some simple changes can make huge results. Please follow this blog or visit https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better to start living in light!