Tag Archives: habit

Having A Balanced Relationship With Technology

We live in an age where technology rules so much of our lives – where we’re almost never without a phone in our hands or away from some type of screen.  In many ways, technology makes our lives easier.  It enables us to communicate, learn, find entertainment, shop, & so much more.  However, if we’re not careful, technology can take over our lives & dominate our free time.

It can be hard to put down electronics, especially when they can provide us with an escape from the real world.  But, there is a lot of value in spending less time online.

When people spend too much time on their phones & computers, it can lead to a feeling of being disconnected from the real world.  We can become so focused on what we are seeing online that what’s happening around us in the real world doesn’t seem to have as much importance.  This can end up having a negative effect on our mental health, even making us more susceptible to anxiety & depression.

Spending less time on the internet also can help to improve your relationships.  If you spend all of your free time chatting over the internet, you’ll miss out on the real world conversations that are part of our closest relationships.  When you spend time with your loved ones without the distraction of your phone, you will nurture those important relationships. 

The physical health benefits of decreased internet use are also something to consider.  Too much time sitting in front of a screen can lead to neck & back pain, headaches, & more.  Taking a step away from the computer & reading a book, or doing a different activity can be just as fun, if not more fun, than spending time online.

Spending less time online can help us to appreciate the present moment more.  We can get so consumed with what’s going on with our notifications & posts that we forget to appreciate the beauty & joy right in front of us.  Instead of being caught up in what’s happening on the internet, we should be mindful of the little, ordinary moments like enjoying a nice cup of tea, taking in the beauty of a garden or getting in extra playtime with our pets.

Finally, when you forgo spending time on the internet, you can open yourself up to discovering new skills & hobbies as well as exploring new & different experiences.  Or, you can revisit things you once enjoyed doing yet gave up. 

There are some easy things you can do to break the habit of spending so much time online.  Stop reaching for your phone the moment you have any free time.  Instead, pray, pick up a book, reach for a craft project, write in your journal or call a friend.  Also delete those apps you no longer use or are big time wasters. There is nothing wrong with playing a game on your phone, but if that game takes up a lot of your time, it needs to go.  Remember, electronics should serve us, not monopolize all of our free time.

In many ways, technology makes our lives easier. We just need to remember to be careful & not let it take over our free time or even our lives.

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Filed under Enjoying Life, Mental Health

What Matters To You?

My entire life, I thought if something mattered to me, but not to other people, it wasn’t important.

 

I believe this stems from narcissistic abuse.  Narcissists do their level best to convince their victims that nothing about them matters.  Not their feelings, thoughts, desires, or even their health.

 

Amazing how narcissistic abuse seems to infect every single area of your life, isn’t it?  It’s so insidious, that I didn’t even think about the fact I thought that what mattered to me should matter to others until recently.

 

Now that I realized there is a problem, at least I can fix it while sharing what I learn with you, Dear Reader.

 

To start with, I’m talking to God about it.  It’s the best place to start that I know of.  I asked Him, “What makes the things that matter to me less important than what matters to others?”  “Are my desires less important than those of others?”  He responded me by reminding me that no one is more important than another person.  My wants, needs, etc. are just as valuable as those of other people.  I matter!  I also asked God to help me remember such things when I slip up, which no doubt will happen sometimes.

 

I think it’s also important not to beat yourself up when you slip into old, dysfunctional habits.  I do that very easily simply out of habit, & it’s very unhealthy.  It’s depressing & damaging to self-esteem.  Rather than beating yourself up, why not just accept that you’ll make mistakes.  No one is perfect, & mistakes happen, especially when trying to form a new habit.  Shake it off.  Accept that you made a mistake & try not to repeat that mistake.

 

When you realize you’re improving in this area, celebrate!  Reward yourself for a job well done!  How?  That is up to you.  At the very least, thank God for helping you & tell yourself you did a great job.  Changing old mindsets & habits isn’t easy, so you should be proud of yourself for making the appropriate changes & allowing God to help you to do so!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

Cemented Beliefs

When a belief becomes an irrefutable fact in your mind, I think of it as being cemented in place.  When something is set in cement, it can later be moved, but it’s not easy to move it.  It takes a great deal of work to break down cement.

 

Beliefs are much the same way.  And, recently, I learned that while most beliefs are formed in childhood, some can be cemented while others are not.

 

Growing up, I learned that I didn’t matter other than what I could do for my parents.  Part of that meant if I was sick or injured, it wasn’t important- I needed to keep going rather than rest.  Even if it was really bad, it wasn’t particularly important.  In fact, when I had the chicken pox when I was in the fifth grade, I had a very nasty case.  It lasted for about two weeks.  My mother was so tired of staying home, & complained because my parents & I hadn’t gone out to dinner in so long.  She, my father & I went out to  dinner one night, even though I was still covered in sores.  As she drove out of the neighborhood, she told me to duck down in the backseat & hide since some neighborhood kids were playing outside.  She didn’t want them to see me.  She said if anyone at school mentioned seeing me, to tell them she was taking me to the doctor.

 

Things like this showed me I didn’t matter & that if I was sick or injured, I should keep on going rather than take care of myself, no matter what, & not bother anyone with my “petty” problems.  Thankfully I did start fighting against that belief once I became an adult, although it was a struggle.

 

Then, I married my husband.  He is of almost pure German decent.  As a result, he’s a hard worker & pretty tough. Very little gets him down, & he expects the same of me.

 

After getting extremely sick last year from carbon monoxide poisoning, I was unable to do my usual housework.  It wasn’t long before my husband was upset about having to do all of the chores.  I ended up resuming housework & cooking well before I felt able to do it (recovery from carbon monoxide poisoning can take months, even years, if recovery even happens, that is.).  I honestly believed I should stop being so lazy & get back to work.

 

Recently, I had a nasty flashback.  After the worst was over, I pushed myself to do things I needed to do around the house, in spite of feeling physically & emotionally drained.  I asked God why do I do this?  I know better!  I have C-PTSD & have had carbon monoxide poisoning along with a traumatic brain injury- I can’t just keep on going!  I need rest & lots of it, especially when something like a flashback happens.

 

God showed me the answer immediately.  My husband’s belief that I shouldn’t “let things get me down” cemented in me the belief that my parents tried to instill in me- I shouldn’t take time to rest/heal, no matter how much I need it, & don’t bother people with my problems.  Yes, I had fought against that belief, & even had made some strides in that area.  However, loving my husband & caring what he thinks of me puts him in a unique position in my life.  I don’t want to disappoint him.  Plus, feeling I should keep on going no matter what is such a habit.  I slid back into that dysfunctional pattern without thinking about it.

 

Has this happened to you too?  Are you living out dysfunctional patterns that you feel unable to break because they are cemented in your mind?

 

Dear Reader, don’t lose hope if your answer is yes.  God wants to help you as He is helping me.  He reminds me that it’s OK to take breaks, to sleep in, & take care of myself as needed.  He will do the same for you no matter what the stronghold is!  Simply ask Him,  “Why am I like this?  Please, Father, show me why!  Heal me & show me what I need to do on my end to stop this dysfunction in my life.”  I know, it sounds simple, but it really makes a huge difference!  Once you see the root cause of the bad behavior, you can heal.  It’s kind of like gardening.  If you want to rid your garden of weeds, you can pluck them, but they’ll come back soon.  If you dig them out by the root though, the weeds won’t come back.  Seeing the root of your bad behavior is much like digging that weed out.  You can see how wrong it was to have the bad belief put on you & let God fill your brain with good beliefs, with the truth.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

What Is More Important To You- God’s Word Or Tradition?

Last night, I was watching Jesse Duplantis preach on the TBN channel. I love his preaching- not only is he fun, his preaching isn’t “fluffy” like some other preachers. He touches on deeper issues than how to be blessed, how to be healed, how to prosper financially, etc. such as holy living.

So anyway, last night’s topic was very interesting. It came from his sermon series “Gospel Casino” (available at http://www.JDM.org if you’re interested). He mentioned how when he was first saved, & first going to church, there were so many traditions & ways the church he went to did things. Their traditions were extremely important to them. Rev. Duplantis said something in his heart felt wrong so he started looking up what the Bible had to say about certain things. The first thing he found was Mark 7:13 ” Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” He realized his church’s traditions were more important to them than God’s word! Upon reading this, he started researching what God says about all kinds of things in the Bible. As a result, he has become an absolutely wonderful, inspiring preacher!

I got to thinking a bit after listening to this sermon.. how many people do this very thing- put their own traditions, habits, whatever ahead of God’s word? This is a very common behavior especially for us daughters of narcissistic mothers. We grew up knowing our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, even instincts were all flawed-Mom knows what’s right, not us. So, we often continue dysfunctional behaviors into adulthood because it is what we were told to do- it became habit.

In my last entry, I mentioned how when I got together with my husband, I quickly lost “Cynthia” & became “Eric’s wife.” This is a good example of what I’m talking about- I grew up thinking I was such a terrible person, no wonder I became what I thought my husband wanted instead of hanging onto my real self! I carried my old, dysfunctional beliefs into adulthood just because it was what was normal to me. Thank God He’s been pestering me for years about getting myself back! Only recently have I had the inner strength to begin doing just that, & I am grateful He is helping me do it!

I want you to think about your life. What do you do because Mom always did it? What do you do a certain way because that’s how it was always done in your family? Do you go to a specific church because Grandma went there, then Mom & it’s expected for you to go too? Did you get into a certain line of work because that was expected of you?

Whatever you are doing, I encourage you to pray about it. Ask God what He would have you do, then make changes as necessary. Once you begin doing that, you will feel such indescribable joy! There is an amazing satisfaction & peace knowing you are doing God’s will for your life.

I know I’m hardly the most famous author in the world. Even so, I love what I do! I get an incredible satisfaction from writing in this blog & writing my books. And, when people tell me they were inspired from something I’ve written or learned something from it, I am thrilled! 🙂

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health