Anxiety vs Anxiety Disorders

Everyone feels anxious from time to time, like before an exam of a big event. If you’re in a stressful time of life, such as college or wedding planning (or the middle of a pandemic) stress and anxiety can be even more common.

This is why it can be tough to tell the difference between typical anxiety and a condition like panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

WHAT IS IT?

Typical anxious feelings

A temporary and expected response to a stressful situation but not an ongoing problem. This is an appropriate reaction to the situation. It doesn’t interfere with other areas of life but can actually be a good and helpful thing. Can act as a motivator to accomplish assignments or warn you about dangerous situations. Can also activate the fight, flight, or freeze response.

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Boundaries – A Breakdown

It is essential to have personal boundaries in order to have healthy relationships. These protect you, your mind, your heart, your soul, and your relationships.

WHAT ARE BOUNDARIES?

These are basic guidelines in a relationship for how you are treated, how the relationship looks, and for what’s acceptable and what isn’t. A boundary can be made for every area of a relationship: physical, emotional, responsibilities, spiritual, etc.

Healthy boundaries increase self-esteem and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

The relationship does not have to be a romantic or sexual one. In fact, you should have boundaries in every relationship. This includes family members and friends.

Think of an imaginary line separating you from something/someone else.

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A study in grief

WHAT IS GRIEF?

Grief is the natural reaction to loss.

Grief is a strong, sometimes overwhelming emotion for people due to a loss, particularly of someone or something that the person had a strong bond with or affection for. Although, grief can also be for a relationship that has ended badly, a healthy lifestyle after a terminal illness, or other losses, such as a family home or a job.

FIVE STAGES OF GRIEF:

Denial

Denial is a conscious or unconscious decision to refuse to admit that something is true. This is natural as grief brings sudden and intense emotions. It’s a survival instance to ignore these feelings.

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Practicing Self-Care

IMG_1627I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care recently. Mostly because I’ve had to for work, therapy, and because a friend of mine coaches it. But, as usual, these thoughts have bled their way into every little aspect of my life. It’s a tape in a constant loop in the back of my head, whether I hear it or not, I know it’s there.

On a global level, self-care is extremely prevalent right now. Which makes sense when we’re locked up in our houses with mostly ourselves. We’re FORCED to care for ourselves. Continue reading

Learning to Forgive

26592BB3-4C0A-4EB7-80D8-B72EF8A80E5D.JPGI’ve been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately. Trying to fit it into a specific, narrowed-in situation and stepping back to see it from the view of the universe.

What does it really look like to forgive?

If you’d asked me a year ago, I probably would have given you a bible-belt answer polished with feigned humility. Something along the lines of, “Forgiveness means wishing the best for someone who has hurt you, whether or not they’ve apologized. And it means forgiving yourself.” Then I definitely would have added a, “but I don’t really know and sometimes wonder if I even know how to forgive.” You know what I’m talking about. The perfect response with a convenient self-deprecating addition that actually makes you look better?

Now, though, I just can’t give an answer. Continue reading

Divided Down the Middle

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, sky, cloud, tree, outdoor and natureI’m as guilty of it as anyone. Maybe even more so. (Definitely more so)

Acquainting Christianity with political parties. Picking apart the beliefs of leftists and rightists and trying to compare them with the gospel. Actually, the other way around. Politics, which is quickly dividing our nation, has become the heart of beliefs and religion is forced into the stances of those parties. Too often, religion is seen through the lens of politics.

We need to remember that everything, politics included, should always be seen through the lens of our faith. Continue reading

TALITHA CUMI

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetFROM MY NEW BOOK, TALITHA CUMI:

“In the ESV version of the Gospel according to Mark, there are only three things Jesus says in a different language (Aramaic) that Mark (or Peter) then translates for the reader. These are Talitha Cumi, Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani, and Ephphatha. I’m going to consider all of these, but to begin, I want to focus on the first one.

I still think I have more to tap into when it comes to the Aramaic words Talitha Cumi and Eloi, Eloi. But the other day during my prayer time, the Lord kept saying to me Talitha Cumi, which could have been because I’d just read that chapter and thought I may want to observe it, but for a moment there, I couldn’t think of or write anything other than Talitha Cumi and Eloi, Eloi over and over. “Little Girl” or “Little Lamb, I say to you, arise.” These words are in a very important context. They are most likely meant to show the contrast between the bleeding woman and Jairus’s daughter, that God was showing he heals all, that he loves all, no matter if they are a ruler of a synagogue, an unclean woman, or a small child. That he calls them “daughter” and speaks to them in their native, household language. Continue reading

Your Identity and Your Place

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ArtbyMonday

During this historical and monumental time, it can be easy to get lost in the news, social media, and your own mind and heart. It’s hard to find the correct voices to listen to in a sea of opinions, pain, and information. The world feels like a stormy maze where around every corner is another piece of advice or something to grieve over.

But perhaps the most difficult thing to do is figure what your place will be in history.

My desire is that everyone finds justice, peace, and hope this year. As an Enneagram type eight, I tend to stand radically and forcibly on the side of justice. I advocate for speaking out. My instinct is to listen to Alexander Hamilton and make Lin Manuel Miranda proud.

If you stand for nothing, what’ll you fall for?  Continue reading

Beauty in Books

book“I forgot how much I love this world man. I feel like I didn’t appreciate this book well enough the first time and now it’s just crushing my heart with hope and joy”

“Isn’t that the beauty of books though? Just rams your soul with hope and emotions that you (I) usually run from”

That’s a conversation that is fairly normal among me and my reader friends. We live in a whirlpool of books, throwing our favorites at each other to eventually create a petri dish of the same universes, characters, relationships, and words. We crave a new world, new pain, new hope, new love. Hunger for masterfully woven words fills our bones. It’s an unquenchable thirst that will occasionally feel satisfied. A best friend will throw me a story that ripped them apart and I’ll devour it until I’m stuffed and hungover from the intoxicating tale. Continue reading

Tourist of Faith

Tree2I don’t know what sort of faith Adolf Hitler had. He was born to a practicing Catholic mother and was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church. From a young age, he expressed disbelief and hostility to Christianity. And he obviously was hostile towards Judaism. Hitler wanted to reduce the influence of Christianity. It seems to me, he didn’t need God because he wanted to be god. His faith was in his own power.

Sometimes I don’t know what sort of faith I have. I think I do, I hope I do, but I’m always wondering. I visit the faith I want, treating it like a vacation destination. When I’m in pain, I tour a church. When I doubt, I read the plaque of faith, hoping it will give me all the answers. But I’ll leave and return home to the place I know well. Where I don’t need God because I can be god.

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