Deep Dark Secrets

There has been so much talk about abortion lately. So many people are quick to exert their opinion and to ask questions like, who would ever, how could somebody choose, or why in the world?

This post is only for people who have or have had a deep dark secret, have skeletons in their closet, or have had an abortion. If you’re not one of those people then this is not for you.

If you have a deep, dark secret (like having an abortion, perhaps) I bet you’ve kept it a secret for a reason.

Shame. Guilt. Don’t want to deal with the judgement of people finding out…

Here’s what I have to say about that:

The ONLY opinion of you that matters is from God. And He knows about the deepest, darkest places of your soul. And He loves you more than you could ever dream of being loved.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to [the brim] of all the fullness of God,”
Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV), words in [ ] are mine.

God forgives all of the darkest places when we come to Him and ask. That’s all it takes. Asking.

And if you’ve found yourself in a deep, dark hole because of your shame or guilt I want to encourage you. There is ALWAYS a way out. There is ALWAYS hope. There is ALWAYS love. Even down there in the deepest, darkest pit. Find a pinhole of light and begin moving toward it. Even if it feels like it’s a million miles away. And even if it feels as if you have to cross the entire world to get to it. Take one step toward the light today. And if that’s all you can do today, great! You can take another step towards the light tomorrow. Before long, the light will seem so bright you will wonder how you traveled so quickly!

I hear some of you saying, “Carrie! How do YOU know what it feels like to be judged because of what you’ve done or not done or what’s been done to you?”

Well, because I have lived this truth. See, I am one of those that has had an abortion. I let my decision pull me down into the deepest, darkest pit I couldn’t even imagine. And I didn’t tell a soul. For 10 years I let this dark pit grow until it consumed me.  And I wanted to die.  

I’ve lived with the shame and regret and guilt of my decision for almost 20 years now. And what I’ve learned is that forgiving yourself is the hardest part. And I’ve also learned it’s so worth the decision.

I now live in freedom from my past. It no longer holds me in bondage. All because of the love and forgiveness of God.  And God has asked me to encourage women with my story. So, I boldly (only with God’s help) step out and tell you my deepest, darkest secret.

If you’re out there hiding in the darkness because of fear I encourage you to reach to God. Ask Him to help you walk towards His healing, loving, peaceful light. And if you need someone to talk to, I’m happy to listen as well.

There is always a way out.  There is always hope.  There is always love.

Just Breathe

So, I’ve had a pretty emotional few days and wondered what in the world I was going to write about today because I’m still in an emotional roller coaster. I decided to just write what was on my mind:

Sometimes life sucks.

Something unexpected happens and pulls the rug out from under your feet. Or something not so pleasant happens that you know is going to happen and it still sucks.

So what are we to do?!?!

My advice is to just breathe.

Breathe in the breath of God.

In Genesis 2:7 it says,

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

Without God’s breath this man would not have come alive. AND, it is the same today. Every single being comes to life with the breath of God.

Have you ever heard a baby take its first breath and cry? Guess what?!?! God did that! He breathed His breath into that little, precious miracle.

In addition, every single breath we take we are filling ourselves with the breath of God. Imagine that resurrection power entering our nostrils, traveling to the lungs, entering the blood stream, and what that power is capable of. ūü§Ē

Johnny Diaz sings a song called, Just Breathe, that is such a good reminder for me.

Last week I posted a video on my Facebook page about anxiety. And in that video I discuss one way of breathing to help calm anxiety. And sometimes we could use to focus on the breath to just make it through the day- whether we have anxiety or not.

From a health perspective, breathing can calm the central nervous system allowing us to process the emotions instead of storing them inside our bodies as toxins. (I love talking about emotions and our bodies by the way! Perhaps a blog post topic for the future.) The less toxic we are the better our bodies function and the better we think and feel.

Yes, breathing can help with all that. Wowie! So, today, in the midst of the emotional struggle I’m going to focus on breathing. Breathing in the breath of God.

What life events or struggles have you had that pulled the rug out from under you? Comment below so we can support, encourage, and pray for one another.

Simplify

Life is complicated.

Jobs are complicated.  Relationships are complicated.  The internet/cable service is complicated.  Politics are complicated. Religion is complicated.

So, how are we to live a simple, yet fulfilling life in the midst of all this complication.¬† (I’m not talking about a simple, boring life!¬† I’m talking about a simple, abundant life!)

Good question!

Here are 5 tips for simplifying life to create space for fulfillment and abundance.

1.Declutter

Your external environment is a direct correlation to your mental state.  If you live, work, or play in a place full of clutter you are likely going to be stressed and anxious.  Your life will not feel simple.  It will feel complicated and messy.  Take 5-10 minutes a day to pick up, clean up, get rid of, or organize.  Breaking it down into chunks will help remove the feeling of overwhelm.  I might also recommend  de-cluttering your schedule as well.  What are activities or events that drain you?   What can you let go of?  Fill your calendar with things that nourish and fulfill you instead of clutter.

2. Meditate/Pray

Take a few minutes a day to clear your mind and just breathe.¬† This can be a prayerful time too!¬† There have been¬†abundant studies to show that taking time daily to meditate/pray makes you more productive, more compassionate, less anxious, happier, and focused.¬† Who doesn’t want that in their life?!?! In addition,¬† it helps you to feel more grounded so you can make better choices to simplify your life.¬† Opening your mind and heart in prayer can also give you guidance so you can take the next step forward.

3. Take a walk

There are soooo many reasons to get outside in nature.¬† We all know the benefits of¬† exercise.¬† And, so many of us think exercise has to be complicated to be beneficial.¬† Actually, it doesn’t.¬† You don’t have to do zumba, pilates, rock climbing, or surfing¬†(But if those bring you joy, then by all means go for it)!¬† We just need to move our body in a way that feels good for us.¬† Taking a walk is easy on the joints, gets us outside, works our heart muscle, and gives us time to think or enjoy the company of a friend.¬† Simplify your exercise routine to help create a simpler life.

4. Take a day (or a week) off

You have vacation days.¬† You have sick days.¬† You are allowed to use those!¬† Take a day (or week) for you!¬† Send the kids to school, the spouse to work, and lay in your pj’s all day, binge a Netflix series, get a massage, take a bath, or whatever!¬† Simplify by using this time to fill your cup.¬† When we do all the things all day,¬† everyday we become depleted, sick, and life feels complicated because we don’t¬† have any energy or patience left.¬† Take some time for you to renew and rejuvenate.

5. Don’t expect so much from yourself

Of course, do your best.¬† And do your best at a few things.¬† You don’t have to do all the things.¬† God created the entire universe in 6 days.¬† He didn’t do it all in one day.¬† ¬†And you don’t have to either.¬† This is one thing near and dear to my heart because it’s a struggle I’m having right now, actually.¬† And I recently read a book called¬†¬†The 12 Week Year.¬† It has opened my eyes to the tasks that are most important in achieving my goals.¬† AND it has helped me make a step by step plan to reach my goals.¬† AND I’ve taken several things off the to-do list because of it.¬† I highly recommend this book if you’re someone who has big goals, a large to-do list, and overwhelm.¬† Whether you read it or not, simplify by removing items from your to- do list (or get help doing them).

Remember:¬† life is short.¬† Do what’s important in the long run!¬† Simplify now so you have more space/time/sanity later.

For more help on simplifying your life email Carrie at needahealthcoach@gmail.com