Have you ever felt like there’s a constant wind of negativity blowing against you? Let’s say you have your big puffy coat of positivity, your ear muffs of affirmations, your scarf of happy-go-lucky, and your good mood beanie on. You head outside, walking all warm and comfy maybe even singing a little tune, then a rush of wind starts pushing you. So you pull your coat closed tighter and keep trekking. Then the wind picks up and your beanie falls off. Now your head is cold and it’s hard for you to focus with your head freezing. You still have the rest of your positivity suit on so you continue to walk against the wind. Then eventually the wind becomes so strong that your earmuffs and scarf both fly away. Now you’re ears and face are freezing. You’re just trying to get to your destination but the wind is making you so cold, you cannot focus, all you’re thinking about is how cold you are and how tough it is to walk against wind. You’re quickly growing tired. You want to quit.
That’s how I’m feeling. I am constantly wrapping myself up in my positivity gear and there’s always a wind of negativity following me waiting for the moment, THE MOMENT, I have everything all buttoned up and tight, so it can start to blow it all off. Is this just me having a negative outlook on life? Or is that a good description of how tough life can get sometimes? A little bit of both? I admit, any time things go well, I’m waiting for the other shoe to fall. So I feel like I have to put on this positivity gear often because sometimes, even the weakest wind will knock me out. I put so much energy into making sure my gear stays on that I forget to check how weak the gust of wind actually is.
These past few weeks God has been my safety pin. I am a true believer that God will shake up your world because He wants to save you but it doesn’t always make the change easier. I’ve been on this roller coast for a few weeks now. I have to keep reminding myself to pray and keep my eyes on God. My anxiety has been triggered so much and it’s the worse when I feel like my heart is pumping out of my chest. There are moments where I cry because I’m so worried about how things are going to work out. Other days I’ll quickly remind me that God is not going to give me more than I can bear. What I’ve learned is that coffee is a catalyst for my anxiety. I should really stop drinking coffee. When I feel in my mind that I’ve calmed down, my heart is still racing because of the coffee. I just get so tired in the morning.
Back to my analogy. I’m learning to allow God to calm it all for me. There are too many times where all I want to do is curl up into a little ball and cry until everything fixes itself but life doesn’t work that way. I’m still learning. I’m still figuring out what it means to put all of my trust in God. I’m still learning to walk by faith and not by sight. I’m still learning that faith without works is dead. I’m just saying on the days where the wind’s force seems much more powerful than mine, I wish God and Jesus were right beside me physically, pushing against it all.
For this #selfcaresunday I am choosing to feel. It is much easier to put aside my feelings. The thought of dealing with my sadness, anger, disappointment, even happiness causes me such anxiety it’s ridiculous! You read that right, even happiness gives me anxiety. This is because I don’t allow myself to basque in the moment. I’m so suspicious of happiness that I’m like, something is going right in my life, hmm, that MUST mean something terrible is going to happen. So what’s the point of enjoying this moment in my life if I’m going to have to worry right after anyways?
Or when things are going so wrong that I should take some time to just sit in silence and cry or scream. It’s probably healthy for me to express my feelings instead of just holding it in, right? I’ve gone years with holding in my emotions. I’ve always had this idea that if I don’t show my emotions or act like it doesn’t bother me, then my mind will magically make it disappear. WRONG. Instead I internalize it all. Instead, all of those negative emotions get so bottled up that it starts to affect my health. This way of internalizing these emotions also halts me from enjoying the great moments in my life. I’m can be so pessimistic sometimes, it’s scary.
So, when I get to that boiling point of stress, I always find myself needing to write or release all of those emotions. Typically, that occurs during my menstrual cycle. Lately that seems like the only time my mind will allow me to feel any type of emotions. So, I’ve learned to allow my body to fully feel all of those emotions. It’s OK to cry, laugh, show anger. Don’t feel like you need to internalize it every single time because it’s not good for you. Those feeling are meant to be expressed. Talk to your partner about your feelings.
It’s Ok to FEEL. It’s human nature It’s healthy to release those emotions. There are many ways to release those emotions. Sometimes I know it’s difficult to find someone to talk to. So instead, write your thoughts down. Or go for a jog or head to the gym. Maybe paint or draw. Perhaps you can do a little retail therapy. CRY. Laugh. Smile. Good or bad, feel. Don’t deprive yourself from feeling. Do force yourself from holding back your emotions for anyone.
Who else wishes they were taught about financial responsbility in school? I wish someone pulled me aside and not only explained to me how important credit is but also how to manage my money. I’m in my mid 20’s and I’m having a lot of anxiety with all of this.
So today, in hopes to lift my spirits and anyone else who may find themselves in a financial black hole, I’d like to share some of my mistakes and lessons.
- Establish a savings early. When I was younger, my parents had a small, pink, plastic piggy bank for me. I can’t recall how my parents did it, but I remember putting money in that piggy bank being extremely exciting and fun! I always felt so accomplished and proud every time I put some money in there.
- Live within your means. This is what I’ve struggled with most of my adult life. It is indeed easier said than done. When I received my first job, I opened a credit card. To establish credit, I’d use that credit card for lunch, gas, and a few wants BUT I was so good at never spending over $200/$300 every month. Why? That’s because my paychecks during that time were only about $600/$700 and I’d always pay the entire balance off by the end of the month. This helped control my spending knowing that I wouldn’t want to spend my entire paycheck paying off my credit card.
- Save a siginificant amount every paycheck. I’d recommend this especially when you first start to work. It’s important to establish this saving habit as early as possible. I had an ex-coworker that said with every paycheck, he’d pay his bills, only pay for the neccessities (gas, groceries, etc), then put whatever is remaining into his savings account right before his next paycheck. I thought that was genius. I haven’t done that yet but that’s a habit I’d love to get into!
- Be careful with opening credit cards!! This was a big one for me and a hard lesson to learn. I know it’s tempting with all of the offers we get in the mail, online, etc. Please think about the long-term effects first. Research each credit card offer. The best cards are to get a secured credit card through your bank. This helps you regulate your spending because it’s your own money that you’re using. I wish someone told me to have two credit cards max and to only spend 20% of your limit. You have to remember credit cards isn’t your money, you’re borrowing it. You don’t want to rack up your credit card bills and bury yourself in debt. Trust me, this can happen in a blink of an eye.
- Always be in a ‘I’m saving just because of an emergency’ mindset. I never realized how important it would’ve been for me to start saving as soon as I started working at 18 years old. Imagine the amount of money I would’ve had by now!! I follow a blogger and she recently purchased a home, planned and paid for a wedding, and a honeymoon. She was frequently asked if she and her husband paid for everything themselves and she said yes. She explained when she was younger she was taught to always put money in her savings. It didn’t have to be for a specific reason. I don’t know why reading her response sounded like such an ‘ah-hah!’ moment. Like she was some sort of genius or something. This is something I’m definitely going to teach my childrent young. Not only teach them about but to get them excited about!
I know it’s tempting to just spend, spend, spend. Most of us live paycheck to paycheck and we put in countless hours at our jobs. Instead we should change our habits and set ourselves up for greatness and prosperity. Any time I find myself in a tough financial situation, I start to reflect on the countless times I should’ve been more responsible with my money. Financial competence is important and should be priority in planning our futures. So this #motivationalmonday, I want you to think about how can you become better at educating yourself and improving your financial situation. We can do this!
When you are not being intentional with your decisions, you don’t think about the consequences some of your actions can have. Unfortunately, some of the consequences can set you back, making it harder to move on. I haven’t been living an intentional life. I didn’t set goals for myself. I was living with no idea of what kind of future I wanted for myself. Reflecting back now, that’s so scary. Imagine where I’d be right now if I set goals for myself. If I was being intentional. I was sitting in the backseat, allowing life to make decisions for me. I had no direction for my life. NO DIRECTION. Growing up I was more interested in people’s goals instead of my own. I didn’t have enough self-love to set goals for myself. It has taken me all of these years to understand it’s important to be intentional with my decisions. I needed to be intentional with my actions. I needed to be intentional with my words. I needed to be intentional with my thoughts.
This evening, I encourage you to be intentional with your decisions. Picture what your future will look like. You should have dreams, have goals, be ambitious! Don’t just be a feather floating in the winds of your life. Imagine yourself as the pilot of your life, have a destination, allow yourself to ride with the wind, but ultimately your goal is to reach that destination. In order to reach that destination, you need to be intentional with every button you press, every turn you take, and every choice you make to keep that plane afloat.
“I’m going to begin to take more doses of the word of God and it’s changing me. I am getting better. I am getting stronger. I am getting fulfilled.”