The Valley It’s January 30th, 2022. Many are asking, “what will be different about this year?”. We will be the spectators of another troubled, fearful, anxious ridden and uncertain world again? Will our hearts be… More
In today’s society we are hearing more and more about codependency and it’s raw and damaging effects in every area of our lives, our families, our friendships, our work, even at the grocery store. So what is codependency?
Codependency is when a person will plan their entire life around pleasing the other person in the relationship, this could be a coworker, a friend, a husband/boyfriend, our children, or the enabler. In its simplest terms, a codependent relationship is when one partner needs the other partner, who in turn, needs to be needed. Sadly codependent relationships are unhealthy to the extent of emotional or physical abuse. The one who “needs to be needed” is the abuser and enabler. This is a recipe for disaster in our relationships and puts on a path of a never ending cycle of resentment, bitterness and the need to control. It’s a dysfunctional dance between two people.
The Childhood Connection
If you are familiar with codependency and if you are a codependent individual, then you would know that this personality trait comes from your childhood and it was developed through childhood patterns and behaviours learned by our experiences with our parents and those around us who were primarily involved in our up bringing ie. brothers, sisters, close family friends, and involved family members.
Growing up in a home where mental illness was prevalent and having parents who were intertwined in a toxic dance I was set up in the path of codependency later on in adulthood. Parentification occurred (when a child or adolescent must take on the role of a confidante or mediator for (or between) parents or family members), at a very young age between my mother and I. She had severe mental health concerns that went undiagnosed for many years until her mid forties and this played a role in the early development of codependency in my life. I’ve recently discovered on my journey of self love and self awareness that my mother had high narcissistic traits which enabled her to to enable me. If your not aware of narcissism I highly suggest doing some research, you may be surprised to learn that you are either living with a narcissist in your relationship or perhaps you are working for a person who is narcissistic. Let me just be clear, comes on many levels and diagnosis, for more information on narcissism click here Narcissism.
My relationship with my mom had me anxious much of the time due to my relationship with her and wanting always keep her happy. Constant demands of cleaning the house, yelling, belittling, shaming and the constant separations between her and my father and her need to find consolation in me was the set up for a life of codependency in future relationships. There was many more things of course that contributed to this relationship dynamic between my mother and I but I will share that another day. The bottom line is, if we were unable to express our emotions and feelings as children for the lack of a healthy space to do so, and feeling guilty for thinking of our own personal childhood needs, chances are we are doing the same today in our current relationships.
The Cycle Ends Now
If we are codependent, what can we do to put a stop to the never ending cycle of codependency in our relationships? For me, it was first doing the research to find out if I was codependent or not. Finding a professional therapist or counsellor who is trained in codependency is also key. And once you begin to put the puzzle pieces together and realize this is a part of your being, it’s ACCEPTING your revelation. Many people cringe just hearing the word codependent, it’s almost like an insult or a bad word, however, in my own personal experience the last several months I could t be more happier to come to this discovery. It has empowered me to come to terms with dysfunctional relationships in my life and I have learned the tools to heal and finally overcome and dismantle the patterns and behaviours that come with codependency.
So where do we start to break the patterns of codependency? This is huge my friend, if you can do this you will slowly BREAK the patterns you’ve been repeating your whole life. It’s not easy, I can tell you it’s one of the hardest things I’ve hard to learn in my life going on 50. I highly suggest to all you younger people to find out now if your codependent. Take charge of your life and your peace now. Do not suffer needlessly if you don’t have too. It is hard work to undo unhealthy patterns we’ve adapted over the years but the longer you wait, the harder it will be and the sad part you may never be healed and you will continue to live a mediocre life of being a slave to everyone in your life, leaving you empty, burned out and resentful. This my friend is not way to live your life. We have been called to live abundantly and with joy. This does not mean free of trouble or worry, this joy I’m tasking about is one that comes from deep within you. Some may call it their higher power, I call Him Yehovah. Whatever you choose, choose life! Make a conscious decision to walk out healing, forgiveness and wholeness and freedom from codependency.
I don’t have too many regrets but if there was one I had to choose as the most important, it would be not setting boundaries later in my adult life. I would not have the amount of inner work to do today had I set boundaries, especially in close relationships. It’s important not to carry guilt or shame for being codependent. It’s not your fault, it was your poor programming as a child. Please make sure that gets down on the inside of you. This is key in your healing and changing behaviour patterns.
So how what are boundaries and how to they help us heal and move forward to success and more meaningful relationships? The first thing is too realize YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FEELINGS OF OTHERS. Please hear me on this one, if you continue to take responsibility for the behaviours of others and their feelings you WILL NEVER live authentically. You will be a slave. That may sound harsh but codependency in my eyes is simply defined as being a SLAVE. You are not true to yourself, you are only meeting the needs of others and not your own.
Listen, if we are to love others as we love ourselves, tell me how we are supposed to do that when we don’t take care of our needs and practice self love? It’s impossible. A codependent person may come across to others as sweet, giving, caring and selfless people, but the truth is, they are more often resentful and bitter because they are only “doing” and not “being”. They are on pilot mode most of the time meeting the needs of others, and becoming burned out, exhausted, depressed and anxious. It’s time learn to say NO my friend and DRAW THE LINE IN THE SAND, Then and only then can you become a genuinely caring and loving person to those around you BUT more importantly to yourself. When we make regular, healthy deposits into our own love accounts first, we will have enough for others to make withdrawals.
Here are a few boundaries you can put into practice now;
•Physical boundaries protect your space and body, your right to not be touched, to have privacy, and to meet your physical needs such as resting or eating. They tell others how close they can get to you, what kind of physical touch (if any) is okay, how much privacy you need, and how to behave in your personal space. A physical boundary clearly defines that your body and personal space belong to you.
•Emotional and Mental boundaries protect your right to have your own feelings and thoughts, to not have your feelings criticized or invalidated, and not have to take care of other people’s feelings. Emotional boundaries differentiate your feelings from other people’s, so you’re accountable for your own feelings, but not responsible for how others feel. Emotional boundaries also allow us to create emotional safety by respecting each other’s feelings, not oversharing personal information that’s inappropriate for the nature or level of closeness in the relationship.
•Spiritual and Religious protect your right to believe in what you want, worship as you wish, and practice your spiritual or religious beliefs.
•Financial and Material protect your financial resources and possessions, your right to spend your money as you choose, to not give or loan your money or possessions if you don’t want to, and your right to be paid by an employer as agreed.
•Time boundaries protect how you spend your time. They protect you from agreeing to do things you don’t want to do, having people waste your time, and being overworked. This is critical in marriages and close friendships. The “people pleaser” is known to be codependent and saying yes all the time will only be resentment, anger and exhaustion. It steals your peace.
It’s important to know there is a healthy way to set boundaries. It must be done with kindness. In the beginning this will seem hard as you break out of your patterns. You will more than likely feel a lot of guilt in the beginning for setting boundaries. Accept it then LET IT GO! This will become easier with time as you practice, I promise. They let us doing it with kindness. Keep the focus on your feelings and needs. Setting a boundary is about communicating what you need and expect. In the process, it may be important to gently call out someone’s hurtful behavior, but that shouldn’t be the focus. Focusing on what someone has done wrong is likely to make them defensive. Instead, lead with how you feel and what you need. Be direct. Sometimes in an effort to be kind, we’re wishy-washy and don’t clearly ask for what we want or need. Use a neutral tone of voice. Your tone of voice may be even more important than your choice of words, so pay attention to how you’re saying it as much as whatyou’re saying. Try to avoid yelling, sarcasm, cursing, and other signs of anger or contempt; this turns people off from your message — they stop listening and start defending. Choose the right time. Timing is everything. Always consider the other persons needs. If you are determined to work out a codependent relationship you may have to continue to meet specific needs of the other person while they walk out their healing. This can be a tricky path. Especially if there is addiction, mental health or physical disabilities involved. Just remember that practice self love is crucial even more so under these circumstances. Otherwise the relationship will confuse in toxicity and dysfunction. It’s a choice only you can make to decide to stay in an toxic relationship, but PLEASE be sure the road to recovery is MUTUAL, if not, there may be a need to step aside if one does not want to do the necessary healing in order to become healthy.
Healing is Possible
My prayer for all of us who find ourselves in this place of codependency is that we will RISE up and find our FREEDOM to be all that God has called us to be. We all have a purpose and a pain for our lives. Freedom paid a high price and therefore we should be diligent in seeking out and finding our freedom in life. If you find yourself in a place of discovering your true self, BE COURAGEOUS, BE KIND TO YOURSELF, FORGIVE YOURSELF & OTHERS, and practice SELF CARE.
I am an old soul trapped in a young woman’s body, or so I think so lol. I’ve always loved time travel movies and although the treatment of women during the 15th and 16th century was not what I would call necessarily great, I would travel there in a heartbeat. I find something about those times mysterious, sexy, exciting and honourable. Men were men and women were women. Men(most) were masculine, honourable, strong, skilled, and most importantly old fashioned when it came to loving their women. Now, do keep in mind most 15th and 16th century movies I’ve watched were romantic, if you ever watched The Outlander, you know what I mean.
The Heart of a Queen
I am going to take a leap of faith here and say that I believe there are still many men in the world today who are looking for an old fashioned woman. When a real woman finds a man she will lay her life down in submission and serve him with her whole heart. In every area she will give him her best. She is loyal and she is fierce to her man. She will make him feel as though he is the only man on the earth. She will adore him and do whatever he asks with dignity. When he is down she will lift him up in whatever way it takes. She will only have eyes for him. She will pour out many words of affirmation to make him feel like he can do anything. She will show such appreciation by her endless affection to him. Her heart is fully in his hands.
A man is one with honour. He walks in integrity. He is loyal and trustworthy. He will lay his life down for his Queen. He will protect her. He will shower her with gifts. He will love her unconditionally. He will watch over her as she sleeps to make sure she is safe. He will uplift her to those around him. He will put her needs before his own. He will provide for her those things necessary to make their house a home. He will lift up and connect with her. He will listen to her and hear what she is saying and asking for. He will speak kindly of her to others. He will teach his children to honour and respect her.
A Crown can be a very heavy with the metals and all the diamonds and stones. In fact, Queen Elizabeth says it’s impossible to lower your head while wearing it and it not fall off. You must always look straight ahead, something a Queen must do when all hell breaks loose around her. She keeps her peace and her dignity.
So how does a modern woman today wear her crown? Does she even feel worthy of a crown, does she see herself as a Queen? Is her self worth based on a man, a career, her children? Does the man in her life treat her like she is a Queen? Or maybe more like a maid servant? An equal? An object of affection? less than? Weak? What happens when a king mistreats his Queen?
King and Queen
The standards of affection have changed over the years between a husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, women and men, however, there are some common foundational qualities that should never be compromised in a relationship such as; LOYALTY, TRUST, COMMUNICATION, and most importantly LOVE. Without these, a Queen can not be a Queen and a King cannot be a King. Their duties, their affections and their rulership over every area of their lives will be unstable and open the door to destruction aka, break ups, separation, and divorce.
A Broken Spirit removes a Queens Crown
As I shared the deep loyalty and commitment of a Queen to her king in the beginning of this post, it’s important to know that it comes with monumental responsibility on the man, her king. When the foundational principles are broken or lacking; loyalty, trust, communication and love, something deep on the inside of a woman begins to break. For some women it’s a sudden realization of the need to break the ties and commitment and move on with their lives. For others it takes a lot longer to realize what’s really happening. They have become broken in their spirit and therefore unable to seek for truth, they are exhausted and hopeless from remaining so long. She can no longer express that unconditional love and desire to please her king. Yet, she won’t give up, she will persist in making it work. She will wait, she will try to change the man, she will continue to keep herself in a place of brokenness because she believes there is no other way to love her king than to lower her self worth, her dignity and self respect, at least that’s what he has made her to believe. Until one day, the Queen has a revelation of who she is, that all along she had another King who has loved her unconditionally even before her birth. This King has been waiting all along. Loving her form a distance. She begins to learn that this King speaks only good of her, he laid down his life for her, he loves her more than she loves herself, more than a man ever could. This King wants to give her whatever she asks for in faith, he has great plans for her, he supports her dreams and he gives her visions. He has a greater purpose for her life and has a great plan. He has opened the door for her to walk in the path she chooses. She now chooses to freedom.
The Demise of a Foolish king
When a Queen removes her crown in the presence of the king, it symbolizes the kingdom is no longer stable. The Queen has made it clear he no longer has access to her or any rights. The king has lost a great treasure by his foolish actions and choices and now must come to terms with the end result, a broken kingdom. The end of an era. The Queen however in her loyalty to a foolish king, does not lose her royalty. She is given a new Crown! Not one made with gold and diamonds but a spiritual crown, a crown that will never rust, never break and one that will last for eternity. The crown of her earthly king was removed for his careless actions. She is not guilty of any wrong doing, except one thing, trying to change the heart of a king. You see, a Queen can not change a king, he is above her and his ego will not change unless he wants too. He is in control of his actions, his thoughts and his words. If he does not guard his character the King above him will eventually remove his crown. He will allow destruction and waste to come near his door.
2 Chronicles 12:14 “He did evil because he did not set his heart to seek the LORD.”
A New Kingdom
A broken queen puts on a new crown for a new Kingdom. She doesn’t look back. She sets her crown upon her head and lifts up her face and shows the world that the king did not destroy her. She has taken the pain and made it her purpose instead of her prison. She is free. She binds her wounds and then let’s them heal and with time she begins to serve a new King. This new King has all the foundational principles she needs to heal, to grow and move on. He is loyal, trustworthy, loving and communicates with her 24/7. She knows in her heart that this King will always be there to the end. That He will never hurt her and now she only removes her crown to serve Him.
And so she gives her new King all of her heart and begins to serve Him.
Where to Begin
Where do we begin to heal our wounds both past and present? Do we turn to others like psychologists, clergymen, doctors, social workers, spiritual retreats, books, Instagram….etc etc. As I have been on this journey for many years I have had to climb my way through many different elements and types of healing resources but one lately seems to keep popping up. It’s the focus on emotional healing. This I believe is a biblical form of healing. It connects us spiritually, physically and emotionally, the way God designed us. Too often we focus either too much in one area mistakenly avoiding the others. For many years I focused only on the spiritual aspect of healing. As important as spiritual healing and growth is, it is not solely effective on its own. What I’ve learned is spiritual counsel is great for drawing nearer to God, but it is not the complete path to healing our emotional wounds wholly and completely. The fact is we will never be whole and complete until we arrive (hopefully) in Yehovah’ presence. However, while here, it is not only our responsibility to work on continual healing emotionally it is in our best interest if we want to serve God and others with our whole heart with genuine motives.
The Whole Human: Spirit, Body and Mind
Although in the past, spiritual counsel and the word of God brought me some clarity and shifted some poor behaviour patterns it was not and is not enough to heal from the roots of my woundedness. My soul. Some of you may be thinking, this sounds a little wishy washy so far, God either heals us or He doesn’t. Stay with me. You see, healing is a two way street. I could count on one hand how many times myself or others would walk up to the altar at a church service for healing only to be back at square one a week or even perhaps even hours later. Can I get an amen to that? There are reasons why these “altar calls” do not often set people free or heal them emotionally or physically or let alone keep them free. Healing is a two way street, it takes you and God to do the work, and the “WORK” is where most of us stop dead in our tracks. We don’t want to dredge up those painful memories, but I can tell you that done in a safe space either alone with God or with a trusted friend, there is healing awaiting you.
Here’s the thing, if going to an altar call was the absolute answer to healing our wounds, no one would be broken, depressed or anxious anymore and churches would have line ups for days. That said, do I believe God can miraculously heal people? Yes, I’ve seen it physically and experienced it myself physically, but I have never been emotionally healed at an altar. I am a strong woman of faith, and without my faith, I would not be here today, however, I’ve come to realize that all those altar calls and prayers for emotional healing were not in vain, I just wasn’t given the right tools to access it. Now many years later I have learned from my own pain and suffering that emotions are part of our soul, and our soul is not “born again” like our spirit is, rather our soul is made up of who we are based on our past experiences in relationships, our childhood, etc. It’s a deeper work. Biblical in nature of course, but nonetheless, a conscious effort on our part. It’s a work we do WITH God.
The Body Speaks
I’m going to guess that many more people have experienced physical aliments this past 18 months than they ever have before, especially those under the age of 50. Headaches, insomnia, back pain, bladder problems, digestive issues, neck and shoulder pain, bloating, and sadly even diseases. Could it be linked to the stress and inability to control our worlds circumstances during the pandemic? Over processing the situation, resisting rules, researching outcomes…the list goes on. Why would there be a rise with mental health and addiction during this pandemic? These are all connected to our soul which carries our emotions which in return affects us physically. We need to pay attention to our bodies, they do us the favour of letting us know something is out of balance. This is a gift from God. If your experiencing these types of physical symptoms, tune in to what’s going on emotionally, become aware of your surroundings and what could be affecting you physically.
Patient in the Healing Process
“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” Psalms 27:14
As I walk out my healing journey I am becoming more aware of who I am. Both the good and the broken. I don’t say bad because I believe nothing we have learned or grown from, even pain, is not necessarily bad. Pain teaches us to either grow or disconnect and isolate. I have already tried isolation and disconnectedness and it didn’t work so now, I gladly except all the parts of myself, good & broken; hurt, anger, sad, happy, pride, anxiety, peaceful, negative, pessimistic, optimistic, low self esteem, depressed, courageous, judgemental, loving, kind, confident, giving, perfectionist, controlling, forgiving etc etc.
The hope is too create the safe spaces to heal with the time needed and to release those broken places and grow into self-loving, ambitious, loving, caring, humble, kind and a WHOLE woman of God, the way we were intended to be.
My hope is the same for you beloved…life is too short
“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.”
Embrace your journey right where you are because where you are is exactly where God wants you…..
Often times when we are looking for direction in our lives as a believer in God, we tend to look for the answer through indirect methods. That could be a friend, a song, a book, heck even a billboard advertisement. It’s the human way to do so. We are tangible beings and getting answers to life’s biggest problems should come in tangible ways, or so we think.
Where do you go to when the earth beneath you seems to be crumbling? Are you facing something right now that is completely crushing you spirit and soul? I want you to STOP & take a deep breathe right now. Close your eyes and repeat out loud, “I need you God, I want you to SPEAK to me”. Did you do it? Did you hesitate? Did you feel uncomfortable? Did you think it was silly? Or do you think perhaps that you don’t need God to speak into your life? It’s quite possible if you’ve never really asked God to speak to you directly that you would feel awkward or maybe even silly. The truth is my friend, if we become still and truly PURSUE the heart of God, He will SPEAK to us.
The Weight of Life
There once was a man named Elijah. He suffered from deep depression, major fear and was in great despair. Many of his friends were murdered and he was being hunted by the very people who killed them. He had no food, no shelter, no place to call home. He was desperate. Have you ever been desperate? Have you ever been depressed, given up hope? Have you ever felt that death could be the better option? It’s a sad thing to think but it’s a truth that many suffer. Sometimes life’s circumstances can really just seem-UNBEARABLE. This man, Elijah so desperately was listening for the voice of God in the noise instead of the still quietness where God can always be found. Elijah listened in the winds, he listened in the fire and he listened in the earth quake, but God was not there.
Where are you listening for God?
If your like most people, me included, we can go to our friends, family and other outside sources to get advice. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact, God can and will use those in our lives to direct and guide us, however, God wants to speak to us in the stillness, in solitude, just you and Him. This is where relationship is built with God. He wants to speak to us directly. It builds our faith, it heals, and it gives us divine direction in our lives. It was at the entrance of a cave all alone and in his desperation & aloneness that God so gently spoke to Elijah. No bells, no whistles, no earthquakes.
God Always Answers
Lately I’ve had to be still, which for me is very difficult. I’m an extrovert and love to converse with others on every level, however, in this season of my life I have learned that it’s absolutely crucial to be in solitude & quietness with God in order to find the truth & seek direction. Sometimes we can even avoid that stillness and even God for fear that Gods answer may not align with our desires. At the end of the day however, Gods answer for direction is the BEST and most rewarding place to be. Where there is confusion and anxiety, it is not from God and if it’s not from God why would we want it.
Beloved, seek, pursue, and knock and God will be found, and He will lead you.
“I am Yehovah, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.”
It’s a October 6th and just like any other work day I hit the snooze button 3 times. Force myself out of bed and made myself look half decent in a short amount of time as possible, yes, I’m one of those people who get up at the last minute. So away I go packing a light snack for the shift ahead & pour my tea into my thermos to go.
It Was not just Another day
When I arrived at work it became clear things were different this day. Do you pick up on people’s energy? good and bad?, some call it telepathic, some call intuition, for me I see it as a gift from God. It’s a gift because it warns me of “danger ahead” and also prepares me mentally and emotionally ahead of time. The downside of this is if I’m not right spiritually, it can cause me anxiety and that anxiety can come across as hyper sensitivity. Regardless, I can see and pick up on things people don’t even realize. This gift has been both a blessing and a curse in my life.
There had been a silent storm brewing over the last several months. Coming to work was no longer a place people wanted to be.
It was 6:30pm that Tuesday evening in October and my day at work ended on a bad note. The next several weeks would be a time of complete brokenness and rebuilding. It would be the deepest pit of anxiety and depression I had ever experienced.
At the end of that day, I decided to clear my mind and go for a drive to Mississauga and pick up some Krispy Kreme donuts(don’t judge :)), nothing clears the mind like a delicious raspberry glaze donut right? That would be the last drive I took for several weeks.
As I pulled out of the parking lot, a sudden wave of heat and perspiration began to flood over me and a feeling of passing out along with insane heart palpitations. By this point I remember thinking, I’m going to die. I had to pull over my truck on the side of the highway (I don’t know where) and I didn’t know whether to call 911 or my husband or just let go and realize this was it. Yes, thats how bad whatever was happening made me feel like. At one point I called out to God and said, ok God, if this is it, here and now, let it be your will, and right after that I hunched over my steering wheel and started to take one deep breath at a time.
The Gunk was coming to the Surface
I did make it home that night in one piece and thankfully I am alive to tell the story. But there was a long road ahead of rebuilding and restoring what I had lost, not just over the last several months but years as well. My work situation was the catapult to long road to recovery. I’m still not there yet.
Maybe you are in a similar situation or have been for a while. There is something brewing deep down inside you but you can’t put your finger on it. It keeps you up late at night, it causes you to binge, maybe drink, maybe do drugs. It’s like an elephant sitting on your chest, you know your alive because you can feel the pain of the elephant sitting on you, you see the elephant, you know it’s not good, BUT you can’t move, you don’t know what to do. I want to help and share the tools I am using to get mentally stronger again.
I’m here to tell you that you can RISE above your past, your current circumstances and the anxiety of the unknown of tomorrow. It does take a lot of work and it takes consistency, but with the right tools in your hand & some good support, you can make it through whatever you are facing.
Almost two months later since that horrible event, I am coming out into the light again. With persistence, determination and support from my husband and friends and most importantly, my God. I am confident that this storm is slowly passing.
The Tools to RISE from the Ashes
Research is one of my strengths, if I don’t know something I will dig deep and find an answer to my questions. It was no different with this bout of anxiety and depression. It took several weeks to want to even get out of bed, but when I knew it was either MOVE or be still & give up, I knew I had to move.
I want to share with you the first tool I came across on my journey back to a healthy mind. There are two brothers from Australia; one is an ex-depression sufferer, the other a counsellor disenchanted with the current mental health industry. The name of the organization these two brothers built is called the The Depression Project https://thedepressionproject.com/. I highly recommend it.
I’m not even sure how it came up but this resource helped me a lot and the best is it was free. I have battled with depression off and on since childhood and this has to be the first tool I’ve used that actually helped me.
If you want to know the greatest tool I had to make it through, it was God. Believe me when I say, he is familiar with suffering. He knows the crushing pain of the elephant. Yes, Yeshua, felt that pain when he drank from the cup of wrath. But I’m not here to convert you, only to tell you that God was and is my greatest source of strength. He can be yours too. I’ll just leave that here.
Not much else to say about this tool for overcoming depression and anxiety except that IT WORKS! You don’t have to join a gym or start lifting heavy weights, however, you must walk every day outside for at least a half hour, an hour is recommended but hey, I just wanna encourage you to get out and move.
Here’s an article on the benefits of exercise for your Mental health
A couple last things I’d like to share that have helped me. Sleep! This is a big one, without the right sleep our mental health is immediately in jeopardy. If you have issues with sleep, speak to a naturopath for natural aids. Also you can checkout sleep foundation for more tips.
The eyes are the gateway to the soul. Be aware of what your watching and feeding your soul. Right now, avoiding the news is probably one of the first healthiest stores you can take to better mental health. There’s nothing positive anymore.
Many things I’ve mentioned you may be familiar with but I hope that you have found at least one thing helpful in this blog. I’m always willing to take a chance on talking about mental health. I’m not scared of what people think and I believe it’s time we start talking and doing more about it.
If you need immediate help or you are feeling hopeless please reach out and call this number Find help
Did you know you know you have a second brain? Stay with me ok.
Sadly, some of the things I’m about to share with you may be the first time you’ve heard it. There is some amazing research going on in the background to the connection between the foods we eat and our mental health. We already have a pretty good idea of what happens to our bodies physically when we eat bad foods or not enough of the good ones but what if you were told that you could help slow down or improve symptoms of your loved ones dementia. What if instead of taking a purple pill for acid reflux that all you had to do was include certain foods into your diet and exercise. What if women who suffer with poor cognitive memory, depression and anxiety from hormonal changes or stress could significantly lower their symptoms by eating the right foods and exercising.
The Second Brain
With advances in science around mental health and the connection to the food we eat, doctors, the government and scientists should be shouting it from the roof tops! But, sadly you will have to take the power into your own hands and do your own research because as long as pharma is around, the discovery of food as medicine will never win a Nobel Prize.
So, where is your second brain? you ready? it’s in your GUT, that’s right, your gut(intestines) are the spark plugs to your brain just like the spark plugs are to the engine in your car. Just like the brain has neurotransmitters and nerve cells, so does your gut. The ENS(enteric nervous system, intestines) is the part what controls the digestion system in your gut, it’s also impacted by what’s going on in your brain.
The gut has more than 100 million nerve cells, that’s enough to make you go hmmm. The gut tells our brain whether we’re hungry or not by the hormones that run through the blood stream. Now recently, a study found a new set of pathways that use gut cells to rapidly communicate with the brain stem. If you look closely you will see the “vagus nerve” going all the way down to the ENS system (intestine).
This just blew my mind when I read about this and the strong connection between the two, our gut and our brain. That’s why scientists and researchers will call your gut the “Second Brain”.
Fight or Flight
So now that we know that the vagus nerve connects the brain stem to the abdomen now what? This really is a huge scientific discovery and I could make this blog a book, but hey, thats where I got my information. More and more doctors and naturopaths are sharing these findings in books being written on the subject of gut and brain health. If you’ve ever heard the term, “leaky gut” thats all tied into this research.
The SNS (sympathetic nervous system) which controls the flight or fight system also controls our digestive system. Believe it or not when you are suddenly faced with a fight or flight scenario your digestive system SHUTS DOWN. The SNS system signals the vague nerve to be disrupted and digestion all down the line gets disrupted. If this disruption takes place too often we can end up with a slew of problems from heartburn, IBS and acid reflux to serious life threatening diseases when chronic conditions remain unchecked. This also keeps our bodies from absorbing important nutrients. So where does this all take us and what do we need to do to avoid ending up in a predicament like this over and over?
Stress Management & Mindful Nutrition
These last several months like many of you I have experienced unusually high levels of stress and anxiety. For the first time in years my appetite changed drastically. I’ve basically had no appetite and if I did, I didn’t crave the usual plate of healthy plant based meals & snacks, rather it was potato chips, french fries and donuts. The science behind this is that sugar releases serotonin levels in our brains and makes us feel better. The problem however with emotional eating is the feeling of relief only lasts temporarily until the feeling of the threat(stress) is gone. In many cases the stress(chronic) or triggers in our lives do not go away for a long time and turning to junk food to manage emotional stress is for obvious reasons not healthy. Thats another topic for another day.
The GOOD NEWS is we have the power to choose the right foods to eat to allow our gut and brain to work together in harmony. Stress is inevitable, however, it’s how we handle it that determines the negative effects it will cause to our bodies and minds. If we can manage stress with exercise, meditation, setting boundaries and eating the right foods, we can significantly reduce the risks of disease and slow down or reverse current conditions we may already have.
Click Ways to relieve stress
Have you ever heard of pepitas? I never heard of this term until i turned to plant based foods. It’s actually a another name for PUMPKIN SEEDS. You need to include these tiny super seeds into your diet. They are a triple threat to your gut and brain. Meaning, they have three times as much potassium, calcium and magnesium which all have these minerals are known to delay cognitive decline and boosting the mood. Need a pick me up? grab handful of these super seeds. Before bedtime is a good time as magnesium/calcium have been proven to aid in better sleep. Interestingly our bodies naturally store about 25 grams of magnesium. Sixty percent of that magnesium is stored in our skeletal system and the rest in our muscles, soft tissues and bodily fluids. Today our society has a huge deficiency in this mineral, not so much because were not getting enough in our diet(almonds, cashews, spinach), but remember earlier I wrote about the stress effect on our digestive system disabling our body to absorb nutrients?
Click for More in magnesium benefits and foods to include in your diet. Foods good for your brain.
So now that we know how stress can affect our gut and how our gut can affect our brain we can now make healthier choices in what we eat and how manage stress and anxiety. It’s important to know that stress and anxiety do differ but both negatively affect our brain and gut. People under stress experience mental and physical symptoms, such as irritability, anger, fatigue, muscle pain, digestive troubles, and difficulty sleeping. Anxiety, on the other hand, is defined by persistent, excessive worries that don’t go away even in the absence of a stressor which can lead to the same symptoms as stress if not properly managed.
If I told you today that the right foods could fight some of your ailments like acid reflux, IBS, relieve symptoms of depression, slow down the decline of your memory, reverse digestive and gastrointestinal issues would you try? I always say that getting healthy isn’t always about cutting out all the bad food, its about including the good ones. Here are some great foods to add to your weekly grocery list. One day at a time, one change at a time can make all the difference in our life or someone that you love.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear~Buddha”
What is the condition of your heart? With the changing times has it made your heart hard? Has it softened your heart, has it made your heart anxious?
Regardless of what you believe in during these times of a pandemic, whether you believe masks save lives or they are all part of a bigger story. Whether you believe that the virus exists or it’s the beginning of a new world order, it’s time we step back and really examine what is it God wants us to know and do in this uncertain time in the world.
If we have faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob and wait for the battle between the prince of this world & Yeshua, we must not lose our faith & allow our hearts to become hardened & bitter. This is NOT the will of God for our lives.
We must stand strong, brave & united with the Holy Spirit. We must take up our spiritual armour & be prepared to fight on our knees all while keeping our joy and peace. Not the joy necessarily of laughter, but a joy deep down in our soul that rejoices constantly. Not peace that man gives but the peace of God that passes our understanding, despite the despair & sadness in the world that surrounds us.
True reflection of our hearts & soul are paramount to picking our battles in this earth. Recently it was the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the day of repentance, prayer and fasting. A somber time of reflection of the sins we have committed, knowingly & unknowingly. It’s a time to make things right with those you have either wronged or those who have wronged you. It’s a time of denial of self. No easy task. But by the sacrifice of Yeshua,(Jesus Christ) our High Priest we can know that God will cleanse us from all sin. Not by our good works, but the price Yeshua paid. Death.
During Yom Kippur I thought of a song called Refiners Fire;
PURIFY MY HEART
LET ME BE AS GOLD AND PRECIOUS SILVER
PURIFY MY HEART
LET ME BE AS GOLD, PURE GOLD LORD
MY HEART’S ONE DESIRE
IS TO BE HOLY
SET APART FOR YOU LORD
I CHOOSE TO BE HOLY
SET APART FOR YOU MY MASTER
READY TO DO YOUR WILL
PURIFY MY HEART
CLEANSE ME FROM WITHIN AND MAKE ME HOLY
PURIFY MY HEART
CLEANSE ME FROM MY SIN, DEEP WITHIN
This song needs to be sung with great humility & reverence. It is not just a song but a declaration to God, our Heavenly Father. When we ask these things, we must realize God will willingly do for you what you ask when the purpose is to refine us as individuals, that is Gods will for our lives. God will turn up the fire in your life to burn off those things which are corrupt & hindering our relationship and purpose with Him. That even means the worldly things, like a pandemic. Yes, even that. God has not been caught by surprise of the current situation in our world. God is omnipresent and omniscience, He has SUPREME POWER, always has, always will. Gods purpose in all this is to refine us even more as we prepare for Yeshua’ return.
The Power of Fire
Have you ever wondered what happens when a forest fire takes place? I never knew until recently just how important forest fires can be under the right circumstances.
Forest fires release valuable nutrients stored in the litter on the forest floor. They open the forestcanopy to sunlight, which stimulates new growth. They allow some tree species, like lodgepole and jack pine, to reproduce, opening their cones and freeing their seeds. There is a sacrificial piece to this though, many species will die in this process, The old will die to make room for the new.
Isn’t that familiar to the message Yeshua taught. Yeshua said we need to die in order to gain life. Die to what? Our sinful nature. Our ways. Our corrupt desires. When we die to our old nature, only then can we experience the new birth in Yeshua fully and completely. Then and only then can we begin to even remotely resemble any holiness in our lives. Without God it is impossible.
Dance in the Flames
Thankfully the refiners fire as we understand it is only symbolic, if it we’re real, unless by a supernatural miracle like Old Testament history, we would die. The Refiners Fire however, brings us life in the symbolic death. So yes, all hell can be breaking loose and we can still dance with joy.
Flesh that won’t Burn
In recent months not only have I witnessed believers lose their faith or compromise their peace, myself included, I have witnessed, an anger that does not stem from righteousness necessarily but from control or the lack of it. This is not the will of God for our lives. Does that mean we do not fight for our freedoms & rights as citizens in the land, not at all, God is not a God of passivity. God had men take down thousands of armies & destroyed cities by plagues & fire. There are times we are called to fight in the physical just like King David, but we must remember our greatest way to win battles is by prayer and fasting. Allowing Yeshua to intercede on our behalf before God.
We must die to what the flesh wants.
No matter where we find ourselves in the midst of all that is happening in the world, we must not lose our hope. The hope that only comes from God. If we declare that we have hope and faith to the world, than we must execute that in public as well as behind closed doors. We cannot lash out, we cannot mock, we cannot ridicule, we cannot respond in anger, we cannot cuss, we cannot strive with those who are blinded by the prince of this world, we cannot manipulate, we cannot hate.
The world is watching, some are sent by demonic forces to steal our testimony & to mock God, some are sent to find the truth we have and some are sent to teach us.
Let the Joy of your Salvation be your Strength
When Seasons Change
Like most people in the world today, I feel like life has become a bad Hollywood script that I wish would end sooner than later. Changing times are inevitable and if we don’t learn how to adjust and maneuver through it, we risk all that we have fought so hard for, our peace.
It seems since covid hit the scene that so much has not only changed already but everyday things continue to change. It’s hard to know from day to day what the new “rules” are & how to navigate them. One day we’re told masks are useless to now where were told we will get a $500 fine if we don’t wear one.
Proper Perspective vs Media
Pre-covid (did I even just type that?), I watched CNN, HNN, and read many news articles from local newspapers, but after observing and doing some research during the recent lockdown, I came to learn that the mainstream media is nothing but a pawn for politics & those with power & a whole lot of money. Now, bear with me here before you start calling me a “conspiracy theorist”, trust me, I’m one of those, avoid conflict at all costs, kind of people BUT one thing I am, is a woman of justice, and after some long over tired nights of research I began to see that some things just didn’t add up with covid and there were many other shady things that just didn’t make sense. And so my digging began & life became disheartening.
Conspiracy Theorist vs Critical Thinker
It’s strange to say that covid had any kind of valuable purpose with all the trauma, anxiety, depression, financial turmoil, sickness and other traumatic effects, but truth is, it did for me. In a strange kind of way.
When covid first started I was worried for my mother and I believe that this was a very deadly disease and that many people I knew would die. That’s what media does, they blow up the “story” 100x bigger to not only control & manipulate their audience but to get the ratings they so desperately need.
So for obvious reasons, when I heard about the healthcare workers who took care of my mom weren’t wearing any masks and jumping from patient to patient, I left work for a period of time so that I would become her full time caregiver.
When I wasn’t with my mom I had time to start doing some research on statistics with covid cases and numbers and well, things just didn’t add up. Then, things went deeper as I began to research the political world in the US and I began to come across some very disturbing details that were linked to many politicians (Canadian & American),and actors. It wasn’t information I wanted to think or hear about, but I’m glad I did and THAT was one of the purposes covid served me.
The Rabbit Hole
Needless to say, I started going down a rabbit hole that almost 9 months later I haven’t crawled out of and I don’t suppose I will anytime soon, as evidence and research just keeps building a stronger case for some really crazy things that will eventually start to unfold. Anyways, I want to stay on point and stick to the subject of this blog.
Truth can be a hard pill to swallow for many of us, it’s easier to stay comforted by the old and familiar rather than think critically, I know, I was one of those people. If I had to choose a movie character of my personality, it would have to be two, Joan of Arc & Pocahontas. I can vibe with the hippy flower child & I can battle with the patriots. It depends on the circumstances to be honest and with recent events I weigh way more on the Joan of Arc side.
Keeping my Peace
In saying all this, it brings me to the fact that through everything, I have lost a lot of my peace that I once had. Anxiety has come back with a vengeance & some days I wish I didn’t do all that research. I guess there’s some truth behind that old saying, “what you don’t know won’t kill you”. My peace has always been my priority in life. I’ve faced & gone through worse stuff than what’s happening in the world right now, but the truths of humanity has really got me low.
That’s why I’ve decided to start writing again. It’s a therapy for me along with exercise and therefore I won’t put it off any longer. Everyone has something to say and it’s not that one blog is better than another, it’s a matter of who the reader is & what they can relate too. So if you don’t relate or agree with my thoughts, that’s ok, but if you want to get to know me, or wonder where I’m at, hang on, cause it’s been a crazy ride.
As I navigate life during this time, I hope my blogs can bring you a little hope, some inspiration and maybe even some laughs.
Whatever path you find yourself on right now, I pray you choose to allow it to bring restoration, resolve, hope and more love in your life. You can be a warrior & a lover at the same time. It’s absolutely necessary that we never allow our circumstances to harden our hearts & to take our peace.
In Times of Isolation
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over two months since the emergency “stay at home” orders were put in place during this global pandemic. I’ve been thinking a lot about writing again, a book I started 5 years ago, but I got busy baking instead. I learned how to make pretzels, Challah, carrot cake and chickpea vegan burgers (I’ll post the recipes eventually:). In these recent days of isolation however, something strange started happening, a feeling of familiarity started to hit me. I encouraged myself to go back to my book (the whole 2 chapters, sigh)and share a bit wth you. Maybe someone can relate & if anything it will remind you that there is a light in the darkness.
The Joy in the Shadows
Life seemed somewhat normal to me growing up, at least in my own world, I really didn’t have much to compare it to as I spent much of my time alone as a child. I had an older sister but we were not your typical sisterhood sisters, we were very different in many ways and our up bringing didn’t make it easy for us to connect. The truth was my parents were too wrapped up in their own conflict to even notice we were there most of the time. My dad was a workaholic & my mom sadly suffered from mental illness. Being grounded was also a common punishment in our home, and it wasn’t like todays grounding, it was solitary confinement. I learned at a young age to be very selective with friendships as I would need very understanding friends who would still be there weeks or months after being grounded, it made it difficult to build healthy social skills. For the most part, I enjoyed the world I had created for myself, it was quiet, comforting and had no drama or bullying; just me, my cat, my colouring books & my barbies. I made it work & I was content.
By the age of 12, things took a dramatic turn in my family’s life, I had lost my big sister who left home to try and figure out life as young vulernable teenage girl. Despite the lack of a deep rooted sisterhood, I was very devastated. I remember crying & feeling so unsure of the future & what I would do without her there. When push came to shove, my big sister always had my back, I felt sorry for Karen(a bully), my sister fixed her up real quick.
About a year later after my sister leaving, my dad and mom had decided to get a divorce after many years of conflict. I was in the middle of grade 7 and it didn’t take long before I found myself spiralling down a long dark tube. I had never felt more alone and insecure about life. Looking back now, this feeling of uncertainty was the beginning of a long road of depression and anxiety.
None of my friends at this time had experienced divorce with their parents, it was still fairly rare in the early 80’s and so confiding in anyone seemed pointless in my eyes and I didn’t want to be judged or looked at differently. Without any control anymore, my quiet, content little world I had created during isolation growing up suddenly turned upside down and things were never the same again.
By the mid term of grade 8 my home room teacher contacted my mom and told her she was concerned for me. My grades went from average to very below average within weeks. The teacher explained if I didn’t get help I would not pass grade 8 and move on to High school. So with the amazing love and support from Mr.Childs, (EA), I started the awful battle uphill to pass grade 8 and thankfully got to graduate with my long time friends. A special thank you to all those teachers that make such a huge difference in the lives of children.
My emotions though with the separation of my parents and the struggle to fit in were beginning to seep through the surface and very few were able to see it. There was still very much unknown about depression and anxiety and if a doctor showed any concern, the answer was short and simple; “it’s just stress”. In the meantime, things at home went from bad too worse with my mom. The pressures of High school started and my heart was becoming a hardened piece of rock, and rebellion seemed the only path to take. I remember being locked out many nights and sleeping in a park or having my best friend sneak me into their house. My mom was moving on with her new life. As far as I was concerned, I didn’t want to be there anymore and school wasn’t for me. By fourteen, I decided to go stay with my sister and found myself on a bus all the way to Penetanguishene.
A Father’s Rescue
It was only one day I would spend at my sisters after running away from home. My dad drove over 300 km to come and take me home. His disappointment was blatantly obvious and I thought for sure I was gonna get a beating, but to my surprise, my dad had become a very different dad in the last several months during the separation. He simply asked why I ran away & then proceeded to tell me he was going to fight to get custody of me. Within one year I moved to a new small town with my dad in a tiny house and started a new life. What I didn’t know was this small town would be the beginning of a very dark path.
One day strolling in the house drunk on a weekday morning at 5am, my father told me that if I don’t stop drinking I would become a “piss pot”, as hard as those words were to hear, they were very timely and I began to think of where my life was headed at nineteen years old. I was a high school drop out, depressed and an angry young girl who escaped death on a few occasions by making foolish decisions and I knew this was my wake up call! It was time to leave this small town and head for the big city and find new hope.
The Light in the Isolation
Many years later I did find that NEW hope, I opened up my heart to Yeshua(Jesus) and asked Him to be the Lord of my life. My life was never the same again. I am still on that journey today and I still have that little world I built as a young girl, however, now God lives there with me too. He is the light whenever the darkness comes.
One thing is true, no matter how dark your life may seem right now, there is HOPE. There is a Light that waits to bring you peace & strength in the struggle, that LIGHT is Yeshua, (Jesus Christ).
In my darkest lowliest hour, God sent His love to rescue me, he didn’t force a religion on me, he didn’t threaten me with hell, he simply said, “here I AM, I was with you all those years you thought you were alone, I was the contentment in the storms of your childhood, I was the peace in your midst when all hell was breaking loose.” BUT, I had to wait for you to stop being self sufficient, I needed you to open up the protected world you built & let me show you that TRUE love exists, that your life has a purpose and plan. I needed you to make me Lord, Yehovah, over your life, if you didn’t choose too, I would let you be, for I do not force anyone to invite me into their life.
Yehovah says, “I do long to be there with you, to love you, to support you AND to be the LIGHT in your darkness all I ask in return is to spend time with me, commune with me, keep my commandments, study my Word to know who I AM and NOT who “man” says I am and finally, desire those things that are holy, righteous and true.”
John 1:5 The LIGHT shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
One month ago a precious woman I follow on IG Young Beauty shared some interesting scientific research she did on a drug called “hydroxychloriquine” otherwise known as Plaquenil. (look it up on IG for detailed explanation under her stories-COVID-19).
She was on to something before many had even heard of this drug.
She did a detailed illustration of the cellular structure & how it works in conjunction with zinc to penetrate the nuclear wall & how the US government was in talks about using it as a COVID-19 treatment.
Surprisingly a week later the FDA pushes through clinical trials by way of an “emergency approval”
in the US & Canada. (Week of March 15th).
The day I watched her explanation about the combination of zinc and hydroxychloriquine by prescription and the benefits of zinc, I went to my natural health food store and ordered 4 bottles of the zinc I take regularly for my plant based diet. (Been taking this supplement for over a year).
By no surprise, my zinc has not come in yet and it’s been four weeks-the customer service rep even told me that was unusual. Well not really, because the world has caught on that clinical trials have already started in many parts of the world with success. (I’ve already researched it and it’s out there, do your research).
You will not find zinc anywhere right now, in fact even two weeks ago I checked amazon and NOTHING!
So I tweeted our government today to give us some feedback on what’s happening with hydroxychloriquine in Canada as I personally have not heard anything. So of course I did some digging myself tonight and came across an interesting article in the National Post.
It turns out that out of four of the manufacturers that make the medicine in Canada, three have no stock & the one has “very limited” stock. How could that be when were not even hearing about clinical trials in Canada except for Alberta which is just underway as of recently.
It also happens to turn out that, well, I’ll let you read the article National Post Here’s just a couple paragraphs that seem a little disturbing;
The Alberta College of Pharmacists, another regulator, said it has received reports of physicians prescribing hydroxychloroquine for ” ‘office use’ to themselves, to family members and when there is no accepted indication (i.e., treatment of COVID-19 infection).”
Pharmacists in Ontario also received prescriptions “for office use.” It was unclear whether those physicians wanted a supply to dispense to patients — when many clinics were closed — or for themselves and family, said Allan Malek, chief pharmacy officer with the Ontario Pharmacists Association.
This is absolutely disgusting to think this could even be a possibility. So now it is no longer a question of giving us some feedback on clinical trials BUT, accountability and proper management of prescription drugs in the hands of those with power.
One more disturbing fact, people with Lupus and Rheumatoid arthritis are in need of this drug and are having a hard time getting it now.