My three-year old has had a pacifier since day 1. She was definitely co-dependent on it and refused to give it up. Even when I’d say don’t you want to be a big girl she’d reply with the cutest face, “No mommy I’m a baby.” The fact that she could articulate that, made it obvious that it was time to let it go. Then our daycare provider made us leave the pacifier in the car once my daughter turned 2 1/2. So she was going from 7:30-3:30 without a pacifier. My husband was adamant about her keeping the pacifier at home until she’s ready, but he said if she lost the last pacifier we had it was over, no more pacifiers. One day I was in the shower and when I got out my daughter was watching television in my bedroom with no pacifier. I kept asking her where it was because it was almost time for bed. I then told her that the pacifier must be hiding from her to make it into a game. She had no idea where it was and then her dad starting looking frantically. I, on the other hand was calm and secretly excited until that night…She was the worst sleeper for about 2 weeks, but things got better and now she’s fine. This made me wonder what is my pacifier? What things, emotions, feelings am I holding onto that need to leave. When other people look at me they see that I am too mature for certain things and I recognize it too but as a comfort, I want to hold on to my “pacifier.” Whatever my “pacifier” is from complaining to unforgiveness, it has to go! Many of my friends and family thought I hid my daughter’s pacifier and I’m going on the record and saying I did not hide her pacifier. I’m glad it’s gone though! But I am responsible for the negativity that you will see disappearing from my life! I am totally responsible for those disappearances with the help of the Lord!!
I’ve heard that “It’s not you it’s me,” is a common phrase that someone says when they want to break up with someone and they dont want to hurt the other person’s feelings. I recently went to the dentist and had a terrible experience with a deep cleaning. The hygienist took forever and made a lot of negative comments that made me feel awful. All of my other dentists made me feel like i took pretty good care of my teeth so what was up with this lady? I was tempted to cancel and go to another dentist to avoid this particular hygienist, but in the end I thought maybe I’d get someone different in that office …and then that day SHE walked in. She began to examine my teeth in the same manner but her feedback was different, which i thought was odd. I told her that I thought her process was thorough and she chuckled and said yeah I have obsessive compulsive behaviors.
Then it clicked…so the first time I was embarrassed and ashamed about my teeth, but she made it clear that she has to get EVERY piece of plaque on every patient’s and it’s something she’s working on. That made me think about how that applies to everyday life. Sometimes when people repond to us negatively it isn’t even about us and because of our own insecurities we respond from a defensive place. So even though the phrase, “It’s not you, it’s me,” is clique, sometimes it’s true. Try and respond from love and see if you notice a difference not only in your life, but in your interactions with others. There’s a reason why Jesus said love your no neighbor as yourself.
And speaking of Him, the thorough cleaning that the hygienist conducted reminds me of how He takes His time during the process of growing us. He doesn’t rush through anything even if He realizes it may be painful for us, He knows in the end its for our greater good. I’d rather all of the “plaque” in my life be removed so I can be more like Him!
I have been physically injured a few times in my life and afterwards have had to participate in physical therapy. In case you haven’t been in physical therapy before I am here to tell you it is AWFUL and PAINFUL. Initially you go to the doctor broken and hurting and wanted some type of relief and then the doctor writes a referral for physical therapy and some medicine to ease the pain. The doctor realizes that you will not be able to bounce back without strengthening your muscles and that any other type of treatment will only ease the symptoms and not the root of the problem. Once you get to physical therapy the physical therapists have you perform certain exercises that target the place where you are broken. This basically makes you move the part of your body that hurts the worse and it seems impossible. As you continue to go to your sessions you then see progression and then they may increase the intensity of the exercises and you can see that the new patients are doing your old exercises. You start to become the expert and realize that maybe there is some type of method to the madness. The last time I was at physical therapy another patient saw me grimace and he told me that the pain is the only way that I will be healed. I gave him a look because it didn’t make sense to me. Why do I have to feel worse before I can get better? I realized at that moment I can also take that same concept to emotionally healing. Sometimes we are broken and then in order to “feel better” you have to first face your problems and the issues that come up and that is truly painful. I realized that emotional therapy is necessary for healing. We have to sometimes fight for our healing!
I have experienced so much pain in my life so in my defense to keep that pain from happening again I built many walls that act as defense mechanisms. Once I was healed from some of the pains I allowed my walls to crumble to the ground. At first I felt naked and afraid because of my vulnerability. I knew that because my walls were down there was a possibility that I could be hurt once again but somehow I felt so free and liberated. I never knew that my walls/defense mechanisms actually had me in bondage. I learned that it was harder to have the walls to prevent being hurt than just dealing with the pain itself. It is much easier said than done because I have had the defense mechanism for many years and it was engrained in me that I needed to guard myself. I learned it takes work to hold up the walls but dealing with the pain is a little easier. I realize that the walls are debilitating and crippling to me instead of helpful. So LET THE WALLS FALLS!!!
I was in a training for sexual assault victim advocate training and the trainer emphasized that sexual assault can lead to PTSD. She continued to explain that sometimes with traumatic events people tend to push things down and not deal with them, but the things that happen in our pasts are always there, lurking if not addressed. The analogy that I visualized was like a beach ball that you are trying to hold under water. Sometimes pushing the ball down seems to make us feel better even though it is a strenuous process. You can push it down, continuously but it always eventually slips and manages to pop right back up from underwater. This is similar to the issues that we push down it’s hard to hide the traumatic events that happen to us but we think that it is easier to push it down. However, no matter how hard that we try, the problems always rears its ugly head. As hard as it may seem we need to face our issues because avoiding the issues only delays our healing. Don’t allow your issues to be like the beach ball. Take the courageous step of facing your pain in order to obtain the healing that God has for you.
In January of this year I was at church and was taking off my coat while talking to some friends at and suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my arm. We were joking around about something so as I’m laughing I’m telling them that my arm really hurts and then one of my friends sees my arm. I looked down and realized that in the middle of my arm there was a ball that wasn’t supposed to be there. Someone popped my arm back into the socket but it came out 2 times after that. I wore a sling for about 3 weeks and had to attend physical therapy. This situation reminds me of a when some people are sexually assaulted. They are doing things as normal i.e. on a date or walking down the street and then someone attacks them. They weren’t doing anything to make you think they should or even could happen. However, the sexual assault happens but just like i was the innocent victim in the coat situation they are the INNOCENT victims in the sexual assault. The doctors were baffled by my arm, they said that it was a freak accident that this happened. I will say that I’m more careful when doing anything where I have to stretch my arm out but it wasn’t my fault. Nothing that a victim can say or do makes them responsible for his or her own rape. No outfit, flirty behavior, or attitude of a victim should lead anyone to believe that someone deserves to be sexually assaulted. Victim-blaming is very common when someone is sexually assaulted and that is wrong. It’s time that we stop blaming the victim and start holding the perpetrators responsible for their own actions. I will be the voice for every sexual assault victim and shout, “IT’S NOT MY FAULT!”