What a challenge it is to be truly self-aware! To not look to blame anything on anyone else but to search within and take responsibility for your thoughts and actions. It took a while to grasp the concept of “taking my thoughts captive” and what that truly means. I simply didn’t want to accept the truth about myself and surely I wasn’t “the wrong one ” it was “their” fault. I was provoked…And boom, that right there …I was provoked. It all became so clear, I was allowing myself to be guided by my feelings and not looking deeper to see that I was the one responsible for my own pain and misery…I was the one who ALLOWED circumstances to affect me and used them as an explanation for my reaction.
I refused to accept the fact that people hurt me… I refused to accept the fact that this was something I allowed instead I accept the victim role and allowed it to define me.
With Pastor Bill’s guidance I have learned how to take responsibility for me…my thoughts, my actions, my reactions… these are all things only I have control of. Every day is takes constant effort and acknowledgement of my feelings to then make a decision on how I allow it to affect me. I am the one in control of me. It’s definitely a challenge but so worth it to dissect the feeling, find the root cause, and be able to determine its truth…its validity. To realize your role in your pain and what “crutches” you need to remove from your life so that you can continually challenge yourself to be the best version of yourself, and not take on a victim role but become a victor.
Coming from a Catholic background I always felt shame and guilt because I felt that I was a sinner and surely God doesn’t love the sinners unless they confess their sins in front of a priest, which I thought was just weird. I thought I would be judged always, and why did I have these thoughts that were unholy, surely something is wrong with me. All the rules and rituals turned me away from GOD because I felt unworthy. I am so grateful that this door to unlocking my true self and my purpose was opened to me by my coaches and mentors. What a blessing it has been to see that my brokenness actually qualifies me to have a relationship with GOD. In reading books that have been recommended by Pastor Bill, and allowing him to take me on a journey to discover myself, I have been able to dig deep to find the root causes of why I was hurting and so emotionally vulnerable.
I’ve learned that my shame and my guilt are actually conviction. I remember a time when I was in a relationship and I kept feeling like this person just irritated in my spirit. That was the only way I could explain it. I would just get an overwhelming feeling of anxiety and disgust not only with them but with myself because I felt there was no way out. Even after I parted ways with them I was emotionally distraught. I would cry often and I couldn’t explain the reason. I just wanted peace and that is why I originally started seeing Pastor Bill. In search of peace and in search of my true self, who I was, what my purpose was. With all my achievements and career success I still felt incomplete and lost, like I was searching and just couldn’t find the answers.
I can’t even fully explain how my eyes have been opened, how I now have developed a relationship with God, and I truly understand Faith. Everything makes sense now. Before, I don’t even think I was a believer… I knew there was Something’ … some higher power, but I didn’t know what to believe. I have experienced breakthrough, freedom, a different kind of peace. I now know who I am and whose I am, and although it’s a continuous journey, I now extend grace to myself. Understanding that there is no timeline, we are all in a process, and as long as we have progress we can have the grace to love every version of ourselves, and understand that God is with us every step just waiting for us to open the door and let him in to all of our moments, no matter how difficult.
I was constantly striving to be at a certain level. Now I can accept where I am in my process and know that I am valuable exactly how I am. I don’t have to strive for someone to validate me. I can be happy, not striving for acknowledgement. I can continue living in my purpose, and there is no pressure to be perfect because it doesn’t exist.
I am so grateful for Pastor Bill’s guidance, and for all those who encouraged me to start this journey of self discovery. Now I walk with
confidence that God is faithful to lead me into victory, that I can better lead my son, and hopefully be a help to others on the way.
It’s not easy… but so worth it!
Thank you Elena for your vulnerability on sharing your story! I know many will be touched and challenged through reading it!