Like A Clanging Symbol

WHAT MATTERS MOST
“Love others as you love yourself”
How can I love others like I love myself if I’m always so hard on myself? Is that really love? But love is patient…. If I’m hard on myself, how is that using patience & equally, how is that loving myself?
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If I truly loved people how I loved myself up until now, my goodness- I’d be no good!  Love would NOT exude from my being & my representation of Christ would be horrendous!  But I do love people. Perhaps, I love others MORE than I love myself?  I am certainly more patient, forgiving & understanding to everyone than I am to myself. So what does that mean? Does that mean that I’m not truly loving Like God commands? Does that mean that all my efforts are like a clanging cymbol because I lack the agape love for myself? Oh my goodness. If this is true, then I have some loving to do!!!!!!!!!!  

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Widen Your Horizon

Being the new year, I decided to do an instagram clean-up (myheart_in_ink) and I couldn’t help but be astonished at how far I’ve come not just physically, but mentally and spiritually over the last 8 months.  Life is definitely NOT the same. Eight months ago, the things I’ve tapped into were not even a question, let alone did I even BELIEVE that I was capable or deserving of these things.  I am beyond grateful for how far I have come in this journey to wellness & as each day passes, that fire, that passion within keeps burning more and more.  Now, I’m to the point of truly having goals that are far to reach, but are not impossible whatsoever.

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Through this journey, I’ve had many question and doubt but my life is far too important than to choose to stumble on what others think I should and should not be doing. This, after all, is my life- following after God’s heart. So, if I make a mistake, that’s a learning opportunity and a chance to get better and try something new. I even lost a few people along my journey, and I’m 100% happy with it. I learned a hard lesson a few weeks ago, not everyone in your life is for you- sometimes those “haters” are the closest to us. Sad right? But truth. When you begin to move in and towards your purpose, those “friends” will fall away- because you’re progressing, doing something right, and they’re not.

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It is so foreign to me to even have someone jealous of my progress. It sounds wrong!  Thing is, when you have a vision, you’ve got to go for it anyways, no matter who says what.

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So, with that said- here’s what’s been on my heart the last week and a half-
My passion for dance has ALWAYS been there. I began dance when I was 3 1/2 years old- ballet, tap dance, gymnastics. Somewhere along the way, life happened, the good and the ugly, I got older and insecurities set in, belief that I was not capable of greatness was engraved in my brain and that love got buried- almost to the death of it. Junior & senior year came and I took 2years of dance. I choreographed our dance for our group final & our dance teacher begged me several times to join the dance team BUT I had to turn it down due to my parents.  So then, I graduated- and life got REALLY bad- I spiralled down real quick doing anything and everything, my life was without boundaries or sound judgement- because I just didn’t care anymore, I believed my life was pointless. I became an object, something to be used but never a keepsake.  My view of men was so messed up and I began hiding behind my weight so I wouldn’t get all those looks and whistles. It disgusted me- but that disgust was rooted in bitterness and unforgiveness. I was angry and I took the victim role, I was broken. Gaining and gaining, all the while being controlled by fear.  Sure, I accomplished a few things over the years, but it was like fighting tooth and nail with myself. New mindsets would never stick because who I was told I was (a failure) was too engraved in my brain.  Many people gave up and said I was a lost cause. Only one person stuck it through, and I gave her hell, lemme tell you!  My best friend, my pastor, my big sis.  Several times in the past, I had the typical “I can do this” spurts and they were progress short lived because I was still chained by fear. I didn’t believe I was worthy of anything great. I believed I deserved a life of complacency, a life on a treadmill- going but never getting anywhere. I was afraid to try. Afraid to dream. Afraid to fail.  Dreaming made me want to hyperventilate!   Then I turned 28. Everything within me was awakened and I felt an urgency to move, to go forward, it was time to come out of hiding. I didn’t know what it all meant at first, but I knew I had to run and never look back. Zumba was and still is a legit answer to prayer- but as the months passed, it became more than that. My passion for dance came Alive again. As if my passion for it wasn’t enough, I went on an all dance-type movie binge one night about 2wks ago, right before Christmas. It was then that a new dream was birthed. I don’t just want to be a size 14 or size 12…. That no longer is my tentative end goal. I want a dancer’s body. Yeah. I said that. No, I don’t want to be a size 4. What I am saying is that, I want to be fit. I want to be able to move with agility and grace, to be sharp on my moves, and my endurance twice as what it is now. I want those toned arms and abs. Yeah, that’s a lot for someone who was once pushing 300 lbs- but it isn’t impossible. That, my dear readers, is a miracle. That I am finally able to dream that big & to believe it’ll actually happen.

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Every time I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror, I ask myself “who is that girl?”…. My mind is changing but at a slower pace then my body is. I’m getting there!  Sometimes I still think I’m much bigger than I am- but tonight I saw my old pics in a different light- “wow, I WAS a lot bigger there!”, that is a step in the right direction & yes, I’m proud of myself for finally seeing the change rather than being highly unsatisfied with my amazing progress.

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So, this passion is woven in my veins- it’s not something that will go away. What I thought could be true a few months ago, I have realized and accepted as truth. Part of my purpose is wrapped in this passion- what 2015 holds for me, I believe, is a year of being fearless, having courage & love. What all that entails- I don’t know yet, but I’m moving full speed ahead, I know that if I thought that God blew my mind in 2014, then 2015 is going to be an explosion!

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I am fired up and by the end of 2015, I’ll be looking back, as a completely different person. Ever changing, moving forward, living fearlessly.

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Until next time,
Amanda 😘

Words of encouragement

Don’t doubt My work
Your time has come, trust.
Stay humble, baby girl.
Humility comes before honor.
Don’t be saddened by the way it’s come about, it’s My hand at work! Everything the enemy means for evil, I take it and create something good, something wholesome, something worthwhile! Continue to stay alert, continue to see thru My eyes- Seeing the real truth
I’ve saved you, remember, the first will be last and the LAST shall be FIRST!  It’s ok.
You’re gonna be ok,
YOU’RE GONNA DO GREAT!!
Don’t be scared, I’m with you!
I’m guiding you through the  untread waters,
I am your eyes, I am your hands, I am your feet, I am your heart, I am.
Remember, do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent- silence is no more.
I love you. I love you dearly. My precious, wonderful, sweet, loving child. You can do this, and you will. I’m helping you, I Already equipped you, you’re right on!

Acknowledging Fear

An opportunity has been presented to me and want to know the truth?  I’ve been avoiding anything that has to do with it… but today, after being asked yet again, I had to self-evaluate. Why am I acting this way? Why do I feel as tho I’ve stopped breathing and my heart has sunk to my stomach? The answer came so clearly, “because I’m scared”.  Wow. As I felt that truth ring through, I saw that conquering our fears are often alot like an addict’s first step: admitting to thier addiction. I had to acknowledge the specific fear…. and ask, “why am I scared of this?” The answer? Because I’m afraid that I’ll fail & do not know enough… as if I’m unknowledgeable of this particular thing. What if that fear is just an imaginary wall I’ve just set up inside my head? Because staying where I’m at is safe, while stepping out and taking on more responsibility is what I’m destined for but I’m holding myself back….because “I’m scared”. 
I remember years ago when this opportunity was just a “maybe, one day, but I don’t think so” and suddenly it’s become a reality and I’m the only one on the verge on turning my own dreams down? What is it with self-sabotaging and fear of failure? My whole life, bound by fear of so much, being fed that I was destined to be a failure all my life….
I am so thankful to be at a place that I am recognizing those fears, and putting them where they belong- Beneath me. So, I may be scared to death and I may not have a clue how I’m gonna do it, but I have to trust that the person asking this of me is only doing so, because it’s finally time.

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I know that God has so much planned for me to do in this life and alot of it, I am afraid of!!!  These things, I am wholeheartedly passionate for, all the more reason for me to push. We can’t ever enter into greatness if we’re too comfortable staying small!  Until next time,
-Amanda

Words: either life giving or to death- choose wisely!

No one can make you do it. The only excuse holding you back is you.

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I was the girl who had a sea full of excuses, and those excuses were rooted in fear. I didn’t want to try because I thought I couldn’t do it, because I thought I’d fail anyway, because I believed the lies inside my head. I allowed the unknown to leave me complacent in life, unbeknownst to me, literally BOUND by fear. I believed I wasn’t deserving of good things, of treating myself as one who deserved the goodness of life.
Despite my beliefs and relationship with God, I was still tangled up by the lies and roots of all I was ever told as a child. Never tell your child anything negative about themselves- YOU are molding thier definition of self. It’s the most difficult thing to break out of and rebuild, don’t do it. Love your children no matter how many horrible things they do. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS believe the best, have faith, let your words be full of life, love and encouragement. I know what it is to be bashed by your parents words. It’s horrible.
So, today, choose life, not just in how you live, but in WHAT you speak. It begins with our thoughts, not everything that runs through our brain is true! Some of it is rooted in fear- fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of success etc etc… The battle truly begins in our mind, and IF we can filter out the negative, then what comes out of our mouth will be life giving. Whether it be words and beliefs of your ability OR to a loved one. Our words are so vital to our success or failure. If you don’t believe in yourself from the beginning, then you’ve already failed. You ARE capable.
You ARE smart. You CAN do whatever you put your mind to. Believe that it’s possible, and for myself, I rely not on my strength, but God’s. It is truly through Him that I can do anything, and He is the ONLY reason why I’ve been able to do this. So, so, SO many times my thoughts got in the way!!  I prayed that God would send help my way, not just his supernatural strength, but people. People that are hands, feet and mouthpieces for God- He sent me 2 people. How do I know that they’re Heaven sent? Because I didn’t know either of them before I began the journey to a healthy me. I began the journey, I prayed and there they were. I’m so thankful for them, I can’t even begin to explain!  Ha. Well, until next time,
-Amanda

Your passion is on the other side of your fears

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We fear the unknown. What our human experience has yet to endure, areas yet untapped, an area that we can’t control because we know nothing of what this unknown beholds. Perhaps, perhaps we are meant to relinquish our control of “life” and just go.
This goes out to those afraid to try, to those so afraid of failure that they’ve already hit failure just because they never tried. This goes to those that tried to control the future by thinking up what could happen and just get scared to start. JUST LET GO.  Scary isn’t it? Like stepping out on the water, what if you fall? Who cares! If you do, that’s ok, at least you can say you tried, and you can get back up again! I speak for myself, I have experienced all this, I have felt all this, thought all this. After months of breaking into the new me, I am finally at the point of not being afraid to fail. Our failures are part of our success and failure is what we learn from. Life should always be full of learning, we’re never to old to learn something new. So, if I fail, eh, who cares, it’s  not gonna stop me. When a baby is learning to walk, how many times do they fall before they get it right? When they do get it, do they take off running or take ONE step at a time? We adults can learn something from babies. They always get back up no matter how many times they fall- tiny in stature but full of determination and focus to eventually walk!  So, let’s conquer our fears, step on em, use them to your advantage. That’s what I’m doing, one step at a time… and it’s working!! Until next time,
-Amanda

Freedom

While playing piano on Sunday, it came to me- I refuse to live the rest of my life living in fear.  I’m done being bound by these invisible chains that never allow me to move forward.
Just the other day, I had with my family what some may call, an intervention.  Definitely not expected and I’m pretty sure it was all planned out. There was a deep wound that goes way back, years and years in the making that has affected nearly every area of my life- the fear of failure, the fear of not being good enough.  Slowly everything began to click together. Why it has always seemed like my life has been on a treadmill- going, but not really getting anywhere.  Procrastination to the absolute maximum, even the easiest of things. Self-sabotage, waiting way too long and missing opportunities upon opportunities.  Knowing the right things to do, but never actually doing them. Starting and never finishing.  Believing everything was my fault. Words engraved into the depths of my being since I was young by parents.  Words spoken of lack, failure, a problem, never being good enough, a nobody, not worthy, not deserving of good things.  These were what have molded my reactions, choices, thoughts and words throughout my life. 

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This was a rude awakening.  I’ve gone through healing from my abusive childhood but what has still stuck with me is fear.  It’s as though all this time, I’ve been blinded and now a light has shined upon the very root of some pretty serious things in my life.  It is a horrible feeling to have all these dreams and goals yet, somehow, never being able to reach them. 
In light of my current goal: finding self, knowing that I’m deserving and worthy- I suppose this realization couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.  It is imperative that I know that I know that I know that I know that I am deserving and worthy of so many things, quite alot actually.  This fear goes real, real deep.  I am ready. I am ready for that freedom. I am ready for these chains of fear to be loosed. I am ready. This is the year I come out of hiding. Hiding behind those evil words. Hiding behind those filthy lies. I am so, so, so, SO much more!!!