New Year’s Eve

There’s a lot swimming around in my head this evening and I find myself having a difficult time finding the connecting thread through it all. Although there really is no *magic* to a new year (any of us can have a fresh start on any given day), December 31st is a nice marker every 365 days to stop, reflect, and plan.

Looking back on this year, there’s a lot I wish I would’ve done better. There’s also a lot of successes that I thoroughly enjoyed. In the early stages of codependency recovery, I am so thankful to look back on 2017 and know that I was in reality. I didn’t spend 12 months dreaming, chasing a fantasy, or working my manipulative magic. No. I was in the present.

The present isn’t great sometimes. I’d say that the reality of my job is that I don’t like it. It takes up a lot of my time and energy without many rewards. I have fear and anxiety to work through and health issues that affect my emotions… I mean, come on, that’s just messed up. Sometimes it really does feel like my body is against me… which I guess it is because I was born broken in a fallen world.

However, the beauty of reality is that God is there. The true God Who is in pursuit of a real relationship with me. I am completely safe to fail, succeed, and recover. 2015 and 2016 were years that I delved into love addiction and family coping mechanisms. 2017 started with facing and processing my debilitating fear of eternity. Of course, that fear isn’t totally gone, but I have more ways to work with it when the leg-numbing fear smacks me at its chosen time.

I’d say 2017 has been wonderful due to the clarity that comes with codependency recovery. It was also frightening because of the struggle I had with my faith. I’ve been interacting with God since I was five years old, but I didn’t realize I created false perceptions of Him while growing up. This year I’ve gone from the extreme of “Is God real?” to “God is so real that I’m completely terrified.”

Like my fear of eternity, moments of fear about God and my relationship with Him arise. However I can say, with complete certainty, that I’ve had a couple of experiences with God at the end of this year that were more tangible than I’ve ever known possible. My conviction of the reality of God is slowly welling up inside of me and I’m so excited as to what that could mean for my future.

And that’s what I would like to end this little blurb on 2017 with: patience. Recovery takes time and you are safe in God’s hands. In the moments that you feel you’re careening into old habits and extreme codependency, God has you. There’s nothing you can do to sabotage your value. God loves you and He will never abandon you. He is at work in you.

It’s okay to be in a long, weird transition. People aren’t comfortable seeing someone seemingly floating around. They want you to meet “the one” and settle down, find “that job” and start your corporate climb, or “do whatever makes you happy.” Honestly, you may never find the one, that job, or that thing that makes you happy… but thank God that’s not the point of life! The point is to live in communication with God. The point is to know you have all you need in Him.

This whole life is a weird transition, whether people realize it or not. We’re all on our way to eternity. Don’t rush yourself there. Appreciate where you are and allow yourself to be there.

Happy New Year!

 

Fear of Success

Fear of Success

This year, my goals consist of some health things, some emotional recoveries I’d like to process, and some tangible, deadline-kind-of goals. One of my tangible goals is to get published. I’ve focused in on a family-geared book and this past weekend I handed my first draft over to someone whose opinion really matters to me. He could possibly even help me move this project forward.

When I first wrote out this goal and my first step towards making it a reality, it seemed like an awesome, bold idea. Halfway towards the weekend, it started seeming like an exhaustive project with no end. One day away from presenting my first draft to someone important… I was terrified.

Usually, I’ve sabotaged myself by then. Since I didn’t quit, a daily inner discussion with myself began about when the proper time for sabotage will be.

Is it when it comes time to print out my manuscript? Will I just not? Or will it be when I arrive to present my book? Will I keep it in my bag and pretend it never happened? Will I regret going forward with the whole thing if he looks at it with a tired expression or one of indifference? Maybe I don’t want to know what the reaction to my hard work will be to a person I highly respect that hardly knows me… Maybe this whole thing is a bad idea. I’m not a great writer anyways. Why would people want to read my stuff? Why would a publisher want to publish my stuff?

It’s all very frightening.

However, this time I knew I was different. I’d been in recovery for two years. I coached myself.

I will push through my fears and just do. Not everyone is meant to be famous but I know God made everyone with a purpose. He made everyone with gifts uniquely designed to glorify Him. Since I was a kid, I have loved reading, writing, and drawing. It’s how I express myself. I believe it’s how God has designed me to glorify and praise Him. I enjoy it and it’s come to my realization that using our gifts for God is not a suggestion but a must. He must be glorified.

Knowing that my goal was God’s glory made each action easier. It wasn’t about me. It was about Him.

The handoff of my manuscript was pretty anticlimactic — but it happened. The fact that I stuck to my goal was a huge victory for me. I’m not doing scary things in life for myself… it’s not worth it. I’m doing it for God. He gave me the gifts and He will orchestrate them to be used in His time to spread His truth to whoever needs to hear it. His truth. I live my life by it and for it. There’s nothing better.

Here’s to kicking fear of success out the window in 2017!

Stop Being an Avoidant

Happy New Year! It’s crazy that I’ve had this blog for a year – that I’ve been in recovery for another year. When I met my counselor at our first session two years ago, I wasn’t sure what she would tell me. I knew that family members had been seeing her and were transforming in ways I never thought possible. I thought I was a pretty balanced person and just needed a little fine tuning. After all, they were insane and I was merely a minor case.

Was I ever wrong! I learned I was a miserable, love addict searching for what I already had.

After the first two sessions with my counselor, I left with a light of renewed hope and a joy I never thought possible. This led me to realize I’d been miserable.

Next, I was also working towards a relationship that I had been putting all my hope in for the past year and a half. Over the next five or six crucial months, I would discover I was a love addict pursuing a love avoidant. I was stuck in an endless fearful cycle of intimacy and abandonment. I’d been on an emotional roller coaster for most of my dating life.

Through all of this, I discovered that my walk with God could be opened up into an unending supply of everything I could need. His attributes are lovely, divine, and freeing. His thoughts and feelings about me are overflowing with love, acceptance, affirmation, beauty… you name your need, He has already been providing since you were born. I was finally free.

Do you know the joy of being free? I needed to be free mainly of myself. My obsessive thinking and negative beliefs about myself and how God viewed me. Being healed of that, alone, has catapulted me into a new life that I never want to be free from. I know it’s only going to get better.

I am so grateful.

A lot of ground has been covered in a fast two years and 2017 is here. In the codependency daily devotional, Letting Go, a series of questions are presented for the New Year. One of them struck me in particular: What blocks or character defects would you like to have removed?

After having devoted two years to my love addiction recovery, this year, I would like to focus on removing my love avoidance. It’s a side of myself that has received very little attention due to my out of control love addiction. This year, it’s time to take on the avoidance. Socializing, here I come! It’s time to work through my fear of intimacy and connect… omg.