Discussion: “Loving Yourself Through the Pains of Life,”
Jacqueline B. Miller “Lady J “
February 18, 2022
I believe that pain, in its many forms, will show up to let us know there is brokenness within. To show the healing needs that have to take place before we can go any farther on our personal journey through life.
Imagine leading a life that was full and busy, starting at three am every morning and ending most nights at ten or eleven pm. I’d get up at three a.m. to prepare breakfast, coffee and lunch for my husband, that drove 1hour 45 minutes one way to work. I worked at a job for twenty-plus years and had grown tired of it. Holy Spirit told me to leave many times. But it was comfortable and paid well, so I stayed until I was “made” to leave. Spirit told me to leave many times. But it was comfortable and paid well, so I stayed until I was “made” to leave.
There were times out of the clear blue I’d fall, or limbs would give out. I’d drop things from the weakness in my hands and arms. Unexplainable falls, standing at the sink, or walking across the parking lot. Finally, when the over-the-counter pain medications would no longer comfort me, because of the damaged my body had taken on, I was forced to seek medical help. The diagnosis of the doctors required spinal surgery immediately, that was followed by back surgery. Before I knew it, I was not allowed to return to work or the lifestyle I was accustomed to.
They say the God never gives you anything you can’t handle, so apparently, He thinks I’m a gangster. Well, I think I’m gangster too. I didn’t think so a few years ago, but I do now.
For the past ten years of my life, every day has been filled with physical pain. There were many days during this time that the physical pain would lead to emotional and mental pain. Navigating the battles that come with physical pain or diseases has by far been the most challenging experience I’ve ever had to deal with.
The constant pain brought on emotional stress that ultimately led to depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. I just could not imagine living this way for the rest of my life. With limited activity, I could not go out of the house daily to work or to church. Exercise was completely off the table, along with so many other things I loved to do. I resented my body and felt like it had betrayed me. And through it all, I deeply struggled with loving myself.
I’m telling you this because if I can overcome that darkness, anyone can. As I reflect, I realize it was necessary to break down so that I’d be able to break open and fully heal my mind, body, and soul. Adapting a different lifestyle was imperative in order to find internal peace. However, the extreme physical pain forced me to look at my inner pain, highlighting all of my insecurities and fears. I needed to let go of some deep-rooted beliefs that were blocking my healing. It would be easy to view the hand I’d been dealt negatively. However, I’ve chosen to see it positively and believe that there’s a greater purpose behind it all. Yes, at first I felt hopeless. But I decided I would not be a victim and learned to work towards physical and spiritual healing. I’ve grown in countless ways, and one of the most empowering lessons is how to cultivate self-love. I want to share a few of the tools I’ve gained throughout my journey, hoping it will inspire you to love yourself no matter what your circumstances are.
FORGIVENESS- IS NOT AN OPTION; IT’S A REQUIREMENT.
“In order to love who you are; you cannot hate the experiences that have shaped you.”
Forgive yourself… If you think about it, we are hardest on ourselves. We beat ourselves down in our own thoughts. When a self-sabotaging thought creeps in, identify it quick as you can without judgement and then replace it with a loving one. A powerful mantra I like to use is, “I love and accept myself exactly as I am, because I am wonderfully and fearfully made”. Even if it feels uncomfortable at first, write whatever resonates with you on the mirror as a daily reminder, repeating it over and over until you believe it. YES, posting it will become a powerful weapon in your arsenal.
Forgive others… Holding onto anger and resentment towards others doesn’t hurt them, it’s only hurting you. You find you are holding yourself hostage. Usually, others don’t even know what they have done or why you are feeling the way you do if you haven’t told them. If you can’t verbalize your feelings with the other party for whatever reason, seek outside help. It may take some time but having the willingness and intention to forgive is always a good place to start.
LEARN TO LET GO
Let go of the past, let go of trying to control the future, let go of expectations, let go of judgement, let go of self-doubt, and let go of fear. Attachment to these things is the root of suffering. They’re only weighing you down and keeping you from living to your fullest potential. Allow life to move freely through you and believe that no matter what, you will be okay.
WHEREVER YOU ARE - BE PRESENT
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Crazy as it sounds, this will miraculously change your whole life.” — Eckhart Tolle.
Presence is the foundation for major personal growth. Practice going with the flow without resistance to the present moment. A book I found to be inspiring is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It talks about being present.
AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
A grateful heart is a state of mind. Happiness is not a result of getting something we don’t have, but more of recognizing and appreciating what we have. Let ‘thank you’ be the first thought you have in the morning. If you can learn to appreciate all the little things. They will add up and help you be grateful during the more difficult times.
SELF-CARE–IT’S AN EVERYDAY TASK
“Fall in love with taking care of yourself.”
Your mind, body, and soul are all connected. So when one is out of balance, everything is. Do at least one thing a day to care for each part of yourself. It will be different for everyone, so choose what makes you feel happy and aligned. For me it looks something like this:
Mind–Affirmations, reading, listening to my favorite artist and learning something new. Fuel your mind with knowledge and always keep it open.
Body–Exercise, planting in my prayer garden, and eating a healthy diet. My body and health are my wealth and I am learning more and more to cherish and care for it.
Soul–Meditation, praying and surrendering myself to He who controls my entire world, requires daily work for me. But I have found it to be so much worth it, so I do it.
Loving yourself through the pain is where your courage in life lives. “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” You don’t have to let your struggles defeat you or define you. I encourage you to turn them into something meaningful instead. When you find that inner strength and underlying peace, everything changes. By truly loving yourself, you can naturally give unconditional love to others. This is how to make a real difference in your life and in the world around you…. It starts within.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle - Source
Thank you for joining me for Friday at Sundown. Remember… Just Breathe!
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About the Writer:
Jacqueline B. Miller “Lady J“ is a creative, energetic multi-facet Woman of God. As an ordained Minister of the Gospel, a Marriage Coach, Life Coach, Writer, Published Author and Virtual talk show host and personality you will find that she has a servants’ heart. Her life’s loves are found within her being a wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. Though life has been traumatic at times she has endured and has learned to “Wait” on the Lord, who is her strength and to praise God in the midst of the storms.
CONTACT: Jacqueline B. ~Jackie “Lady J” Miller
On the web: http://Vlfminstrys.org/
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...."Don't allow your past to rob you of your future" …I can do all thigs through Christ who strengthens me…Philippians 4:13