You Are NOT an Old Shoe!

(Overcoming Feelings of Rejection)

Have you ever felt like you who you are, isn’t good enough for anyone? Are you tired of relationships that don’t work and leave you feeling lost and confused? Are you feeling used, and now forgotten…like a dirty, broken shoe?

images We have all been rejected at some point in our lives, and it doesn’t feel good. Sometimes we don’t know why, which feels even worse, but it’s not a death sentence. We don’t qualify for every job, or relationship, or opportunity, that’s the reality of life, and that is why there is so much out there. There is something or someone right for you too.  On the other hand, there are a lot of broken people in the world; a lot of people carrying around past hurts and disappointments using rejection as a way to feel more powerful and be more popular, or get farther ahead etc.  Don’t lose yourself caring about someone who doesn’t mind losing you, or something never meant for you.

Healing can happen if you let it. It doesn’t come the day you decide you want a divorce. It doesn’t come the minute you find out you didn’t get the job. Rejection is one of the worst feelings of the human experience. Over time, fMRI studies have shown that the areas of the brain that become activated when we experience rejection, are the same areas activated when we experience physical pain. This is why rejection hurts our feelings so much. We are actually experiencing pain! [Psychology Today]   Many people don’t move on for a year or two – or more if ever –  after a divorce. Applying to jobs after six rejections letters doesn’t happen the same day. No one wants to be the one the one that wasn’t chosen. No one wants to be the shoe tossed in the corner unnoticed and unwanted. Rejection is not the end of the world, acceptance gives us hope, and a sense of worth.

You are a perfect work of art!  You exist because you have a great purpose. your value was determined by The Creator, not your neighbor, your Ex, or “that group of women” at work or in the church. You were not created to be sport for any man, so make today the day you RISE UP and stop living like an old shoe!   You are not worthless! You are attractive, and useful!

If you continue to tell yourself you’re never going to find the right one for you, you never will. If you are determined to believe that you aren’t qualified for a promotion or a better life, you’ll never be motivated to pursue anything. If you keep saying your whole life feels like one big rejection, you will only feel more rejected. Essentially, you have rejected yourself.

Conversely, if you speak words of life and acceptance to yourself, you will feel capable, empowered, and accepted in spite of the opinions of others.  Not everyone is going to like you, want you, care about you, or appreciate your worth, no matter what you do. That is also part of the human experience.  Some people just don’t like anyone who is not them because they believe they are the epitome of beauty, intelligence, and status. No matter what you do, you will always be less able, less attractive, less worthy, less likeable, less everything. It’s not you – its’ them!  Don’t let their insecurities rob you of the joy meant for you!  Not everyone can see your value, because they are trying so hard to make you see how your life is better because of them. You cannot make someone love you, but you have the power to become someone who can be loved.  You can be the person someone else wants to hire and be around.

Don’t rehearse the hurt.

See it as a new start.

Move on to something new.

Take time to improve yourself and keep it moving.

Not every venture is going to be successful. Not every date is going to lead to a second or third. Learn from your failures, don’t get angry or depressed. Life is hard, and rejection is likely, but your worth is not in the opinions of others. Whatever is meant to be, will be.

Surround yourself with positive people, plan positive experiences, make great memories and live knowing you are strong enough, good enough, smart enough and valuable enough!

 

Be Good, Be Gracious – Be A Blessing to Someone Today!

Shaunna

 

 

 

Your Time in the Cocoon

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2


Why Am I Going Through this? I’m A Good Person! Right now, you may be going through something that is undesirable, dark, lonely, and hopeless. “The struggle is real!” you keep professing to everyone every chance you get. You are in a cocoon. It’s not necessarily cocoon-02because you did something wrong.  You’re most likely in a place of growth. You were not meant to stay on one level in life. God wants to elevate you and keep you rising. The journey includes the struggle, allow yourself to be changed for better.

The frustrating thing, for humans anyway, is that cocoon seasons come when we least expect them.  Caterpillars don’t know their day or time. In their lives, like ours, presumably, all is well, and then things start changing. Their time of merely crawling is about to be over, but they don’t know it. The caterpillar is forced into a dark, lonely, hopeless place. Movement is restricted, options are removed, and comfort is something that used to be.  Sounds familiar, right?

Personally, I often feel as though I’m always going through something, and I watch those who don’t even believe in God or care about others, get favor and comforts ahead of me. However, I am reminded today, that I’m always going through, because I’m always growing, always improving, always advancing. That is the type of person I am; needing change, desiring more.  When we pray for elevation, what we see in our minds is instant elevation. We don’t consider the changes and growing pains required for the journey. Going to the next level will always be an uphill climb, so don’t listen to the people who don’t understand your growth and darkness. It is in the darkness of the cocoon that things shift and change into something greater.

How Long Will I Be in the Cocoon?  That depends on you. The average time for a caterpillar to be in a cocoon, is about 2 weeks. However, the length of time also depends on the species, (reference.com).  So, your time depends on the type of person you are. Are you patient, prayerful, hasty, ungrateful, faithful, vengeful?  God knows your timing; no man can define it for you. We emerge when we are fully prepared to do so. Butterflies are not able to exit the cocoon until their wings are strong enough to push through the confinement. When you are strong enough, you will breakthrough.

What Can I Do To Get Stronger? “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9. Confess your weakness and admit that you cannot get to the next level without going through the process.   Pray continually and worship regularly; focusing on God keeps you from focusing on your cocoon-01circumstances. Keep it moving; hiding from life is not an option on the path to growth. Be determined to make it; having an attitude of success will greatly influence your time in the
darkness. Remember that you are not experiencing something uncommon; it will be easy to fuss and cry and blame everyone else for your struggle, don’t give in, (1 Corinthians 10:13). BELIEVE!  If you don’t believe it will get better, it will not because all you will ever see is the struggle. Have faith (all you need is faith the size of a mustard seed – Matthew 17:20) that you will emerge better, stronger, and wiser. Believe in the good, and the good will come.

6 Ways to Deal with Self-Doubt

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“I’m not good enough.” “I’ll never make it,

“She’ll never be interested in me.”  “No one will notice me anyway.”

 “I’m not qualified.”


Sound familiar? That persistent convincing voice that derails a perfectly good mood and seems more likely than the truth.  Day after day we talk ourselves out of going farther, doing better, or rising higher. We set our eyes on something (or someone) and then spend the rest of our days talking ourselves out of that very thing.  Relationships don’t happen because we convince ourselves that something about us is too wrong for them.  We don’t apply for jobs because we only have 19 of the 20 bullet points. We miss opportunities because of DOUBT.

We are our worst critic, but thankfully, we are not meant to live this life alone. There are people around who will speak life and wellness into us, at least those are the people you ought to have in your circle of influence. Those people will help you see and accept that you ARE capable, and you ARE worthy.  You have spent enough time beating yourself up, and believe me, I too am guilty of talking down about and to myself even when I KNOW those things are not true of me.  Here are six ways to start speaking well and feeling better about YOU:

  1. Remember that your thoughts are just thoughts, they can be changed. You would not choose to constantly berate the friend of someone you care about, would you? No, you would speak well of them, or at least say nothing if you can’t say something nice (because that’s what mom and grandma taught us). You are someone whom someone else cares about.   Change how you talk about yourself.  Tell yourself that you will be OK at that networking event; you will find someone who loves you just the way you are; you are likeable; you will lose the weight… get the job…and you WILL be successful.  
  2. Remind yourself that the past is the past. Whatever mistakes or setbacks you had, that was yesterday, acknowledge them, do what you need to do to right wrongs if you can, and move on. You are not obligated to spend the rest of your life indebted to someone else’s thoughts and opinions. You cannot undo what is done. Leave it alone and move on.
  3. Talk it out or journal. Bottled up thoughts become toxic distortions or the truth. Simply talking about what’s on your mind, or writing them out can help you see how exaggerated your thinking can be.
  4. Work on yourself. If you know for certain you are not qualified, take the necessary steps to enhance your skills and level of experience.
  5. Give yourself a break. You are awesome! You were created for good, and good will come to you.  Your mistakes or failures do not define you. Most people will not put that much weight on what you did or said. If they are mature, considerate people they’ll get over it .  Don’t spend the rest of your life beating yourself up one moment or season in your life – LET. IT. GO!  Learn from where you were, and keep it moving.
  6. Draw energy from others. Doubt wants to isolate you, so defy it. Connect yourself with people who will empower and encourage you to stay positive and focused.

You ARE good enough! 

“Be good, be gracious, and be a blessing to someone today.”

~Shaunna 

Why Prayers Don’t Get Answered and Life Doesn’t Change

The Short answer: You have separated yourself from God.

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. Isaiah 59:1-2blessings-denied-01

At this time of year, we are all filled with words of wisdom, predictions are made and resolutions are abundant.  But, it is also the time of year when we are waiting for the many prayers of the year to be answered. The declarations made a year ago about this current year don’t seem to have reached heaven; why?

Know that there is an answer to every prayer. It is either YES, NO, or NOT NOW.  But, as the text above states, there are things you may be doing that are causing  your petitions to go unheard, things within your control.

We are a stubborn people, we want what we want, when we want it, but God is the only one who truly knows what is best for us. After all, he created us and knows us better than we know ourselves.

Know that God loves YOU but he hates sin –God loves you, and WANTS to hear you. Jeremiah 31:3 says that God has loved you with an everlasting [unending, eternal, immovable ] love. That depth of love is a love that desires for you to be safe, healthy, and prosperous, but he hates sin.  Don’t think that others are better than you, or have it all together and that is somehow the reason for their blessings; none of us is sinless (Romans 3:23 “all have sinned…”).   How and when God blesses someone else has nothing to do with you.  God wants ALL of us to share eternity with him, and so he will bless the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.

Repent and be saved – Turn your eyes inward.  What careless words or actions have gone unrepentant?  Are you given to gossip and backbiting?  Is your pride or self-righteousness getting in the way? Maybe there is something you knew you should have done and didn’t; instead you swept it under the rug or justified your inaction as being right in your own eyes… maybe you haven’t forgiven yourself for something…   We all love the Bible when it tells of goodness and light, blessings, prosperity, and the fall of our enemies; we get anxious when people suggest we are blocking our own blessings.

I don’t know what’s keeping your blessings from manifesting in your life.  All I can do is encourage you to pray to the Lord for revelation. Ask him to show you those things that you cannot put your finger on. God is very good at showing me where I messed up. Repent of your sin, and accept forgiveness.  What is done, is done. God will meet you where you are NOW, and guide you into the future, no matter what you have done in the past. God will turn his ear to you and send help, (2  Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, called by my name, would humble themselves and pray…”). 

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Don’t wait another day. Accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. Acknowledge him as the risen Lord, born of a Virgin. Admit that you are a sinner and cannot do this life without him.  Ask him to come into your heart and turn things around in your life. I can’t promise that everything is always going to make sense, or be easy, but I can promise that you will never be wrong for believing in the assurance of answered prayer, forgiveness, victory over sin, guidance, and salvation.  Start reading your Bible today, get into a Bible teaching church, and let God turn your heart ache into hallelujahs!

 

Be good, be gracious, and be a blessing to someone today!

Shaunna

http://www.speakministries.org

Change Your Labels

 

(Luke 6:37 ) “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;”neverallowanyone-11

 

 

This world is full of all kinds of people, places, things, and ideas…, and with all that comes labels and judgement. We (all of us) are very good at judging things and people and finding no fault in ourselves. We love to make up reasons why people and things are the way they are, while making excuses for our own misbehaving and thoughtlessness. We label everyone except ourselves and if labeled long enough, people start to believe those labels no matter how untrue. I was there, I believed all the nasty things a person was telling me, and saying about me, and it made me question my worth and my purpose. But scripture and Godly connections,  reminded me that I am NOT what those particular labels said, I started to make changes in my life, befriended people who spoke life to me and encouraged me, and gave me different labels;  (Proverbs 18:21) “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

I want to encourage you to change your labels to see things and people (including yourself) differently no matter how unlovely. Let your reward be good and sweet for the good you speak to and of other people.

I recently took a personality test – another way to label oneself – but I was curious to see how much my personality label has changed over time—it hasn’t;  in case you’re wondering, according to this test I’m an INFJ-T.  Some co-workers and I were talking about astrological signs, and as much as I’ve never viewed astrology as having much credibility, I am resolved to admit that I am very much what my sign says I am. My astrological sign and my personality assessmentafford me a label that is often, and understandably, misunderstood and so I am labeled in an attempt to make sense of my differences and idiosyncrasies. That’s how we get labels; lack of understanding and appreciation for something or someone.  In my opinion, the most boring sport to watch on television is golf.  I’ve never seen it live, but I can only assume that it’s even less exciting to stand and watch it happening. I’ve labeled it “boring,” because I don’t understand it, and don’t really want to take the time to learn.

That’s how we are with people. We see someone and can’t figure out why they do the things they do. They do things we don’t like or understand, they look a certain way that doesn’t match our ideals, preferences and taste, they like things we find uninteresting and beneath us … and so we perch ourselves on our pedestals and start tossing out labels…  you don’t do enough and it’s not my way –YOU ARE WORTHLESS/ you don’t dress or wear your hair like me – YOU ARE UGLY AND OLD FASHIONED / you weigh more than me – YOU ARE FAT/  you can’t read as well as I can – YOU ARE STUPID / you don’t think like I do about the world and current events – YOU ARE UNEDUCATED/ you don’t fight back – YOU’RE A WIMP/ you don’t make as much money and don’t have as many things as I do – YOU ARE A FAILURE/ you don’t believe what I believe – YOU ARE NOT AS GOOD A PERSON AS I AM … and we go on and on labeling people.

We do this because we all want to feel better about ourselves, and refuse to acknowledge our own insecurities.  But, the moment our target turns on us and labels us as mean, condescending, manipulative, uppity bullies, we have a problem. Instead of saying, “I did do those things, and called those names, and made that person feel some kind of way,” we get self-righteous and add to our negative list of labels.

We live in a time when people are desperate for love, affection, and affirmation and there is plenty out there, we are just going about it the wrong way. Love does not come from stomping on our neighbor’s self-esteem or discrediting their accomplishments and aspirations. Negating a person’s value and resorting to gossip, backstabbing, bullying, and abuse does not really make you look better, it simply makes you look all the more desperate for love and approval.

EVERYONE has value, no matter how much you dislike them or how little you care about them.  We cannot exist and not exist at the same time, and no one was created for the purpose of doing nothing. Everything that exists is meant for specific purposes, and if those purposes seem out of place to you, it’s probably because it has nothing to do with you. Things are not always going to make sense, and not all people are meant for you to know.  I am not liked by everyone, but It’s not my obligation to become more valuable to you so you like me more, it is my hope that you find it your obligation to withhold judgment, acquire new perspectives, and look for the good, and in so doing, you find and appreciate my value.  

My purpose and your purpose were created for certain times, certain people, and certain circumstances; in other words, we are not all meant to go the same way, in the same way, at the same time. Look around you, that person you’re laughing at, ignoring, disrespecting, mocking, and putting down may be the person you need to rely on at some point in the future. How do you want them to remember you?

Respecting someone is taking the time to get to know them. Challenge yourself: over the next 7 days to identify 2 people you don’t know well, but have decided you don’t like, and make an effort to get to know them. You may be surprised at what you learn.

Lastly, don’t live up to labels that put you down. If you don’t like what you are hearing about you, and you know it’s true, change it.

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

 

Be good, be gracious, and be a blessing to someone today!

Shaunna J.

“Don’t bully me, believe in me. Don’t backstab me, back me up. Don’t label me – listen to me.” SJackson   ————————————————————————

 

Other personality tests:

Meyers-Briggs with Feedback

Humanmetrics

PRAY for Me

“Pray for me.”

Those are words many of us have uttered when we just don’t have words to express how we’re doing that day. Instead of being a mere dismissal of information, it’s an actual request, often out of desperation, or a last resort.  

When someone says “pray for me,” that’s all they want; not the insistence that all will be well, or to hear someone say, “keep your chin up, ‘this too shall pass’.”  A simple prayer request is not an invitation to get ultra-spiritual with  flowery, poetic sentiment. People want just a moment of your time when you remember them in prayer.  Scolding, judging, and digging for more details to make yourself feel better, doesn’t help anyone, ever.  You don’t have to know everything, and it’s not supposed to make sense to you. God knows the details, and that is all that matters.anguish

Just pray; because when someone says that to you, that is the ONLY thing you can do for them right then. 

Just pray; God will take it from there.

 

Be good, be gracious, and be a blessing to someone.

Shaunna J.

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