You Are Allowed To Admit You’re Not Okay

Hey guys,

You’re not okay if you’re spending every single day in bed, barely moving from your room, rarely answering texts or engaging in any type of human interaction.

You’re not okay if you’re crying your eyes out every single night before you go to sleep, if you’re skipping showers almost every single morning, if you’re losing energy early in the afternoon when you’ve hardly even started your day yet.

You’re not okay if you’re always telling lies about why you’ve been acting so distant from your friends, why you’ve been locked inside your house lately, why you haven’t been in the mood to go out, why your eyes are always so red and puffy.

You’re not okay if you’ve lost interest in things you used to love, if you’ve lost energy, if you’ve lost passion, if you’ve lost the desire to roll out of bed when your alarm rings.

You’re not okay if you’ve been feeling off, like you’re not exactly yourself, like something needs to change. You’re not okay if you’re worried you’re going to feel this way forever. You’re not okay if you’re hoping thing are going to change soon.

You need to understand that not okay doesn’t mean not normal. There are so many people in this world feeling similar to how you’re feeling. You’re not alone. You’re not weird. You’re not crazy. You’re just a human going through a hard time right now.

If you’re not okay, you shouldn’t be embarrassed about it, but you should do something about it. You should reach out to get the help you deserve. You should make the choice to make a lifestyle change. You should see if you can find a therapist to talk to about your situation. You should pour your energy into finding a way to cultivate happiness moving forward.

You don’t want your life to be about existing until the next day, the next hour, the next minute. You want it to be about looking forward to the next day, the next hour, the next minute. In order for that to happen, you need to find things you enjoy. You need to get excited about waking up in the morning again. You need to ask yourself what you want and how you’re going to get it.

The time to play pretend is over. It’s time to start taking care of yourself. It’s time to decide you deserve happiness. You deserve to feel proud of yourself. You deserve to wake up in the morning with energy.

When you pretend you’re okay, you’re pretending you don’t need to fix your situation. You’re pretending your mental health isn’t a priority. You’re pretending talking to someone isn’t going to help. You’re pretending you’re perfectly fine living like this day after day after day.

But you’re not okay — and it’s okay to admit that. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to start taking better care of yourself. It’s okay to decide you matter. Your happiness matters. Your well-being matters. Your life matters.

Don’t pretend to be okay. Everyone needs help!!!

You Glow Differently When You Let The Pain Go

You glow differently when you let the pain go. The pain of the past. The pain of your childhood. The pain of your breakup. The pain of your failures. You glow differently when you don’t let pain define you. When you take the lessons it taught you and turn them into wisdom, into art or into stepping stones on your way to resilience.

You glow differently every time people expect you to break but you don’t crack. You’ve survived storms before. You’ve overcome tragedies and painful experiences before. You can do this. You glow differently when you allow yourself to feel the pain without letting it permeate your life. When you let it all out but continue to live your life to the fullest. When you let the darkness roll out but let the sunlight in the next morning.

You glow differently when you don’t let your heartbreak stop you from finding love again, when it becomes your motivation to find your passion or get back in touch with your friends or meet new people. You glow differently when you believe that these things end for a very good reason, even though you might not understand it right away, it’s what’s best for you. You glow differently when you believe that God won’t take something away from you unless something better is on the way.

You glow differently when you don’t let your childhood wounds define you. Whether it was how your parents treated you or what they told you about love or about yourself. You glow differently when you forgive yourself. When you don’t carry the burdens of your childhood with you. When you don’t let the darkness of the past shadow the brightness of your future.

You glow differently when you’re not scared of pain, when you’re not ashamed of your scars, when you’ve found a way to accept the pain and you’re not ashamed to tell your story. When you let your pain inspire you to dig out your inner strength, your power or your talent. You glow differently every time you grow out of your pain and find happiness again.

You glow differently every time you heal because it looks so damn good on you.

Share to your loved ones who needs this.

Bless.

Master The Art Of You’re Allowed To Admit You’re Not Okay

You’re not okay if you’re spending every single day in bed, barely moving from your room, rarely answering texts or engaging in any type of human interaction.

You’re not okay if you’re crying your eyes out every single night before you go to sleep, if you’re skipping showers almost every single morning, if you’re losing energy early in the afternoon when you’ve hardly even started your day yet.

You’re not okay if you’re always telling lies about why you’ve been acting so distant from your friends, why you’ve been locked inside your house lately, why you haven’t been in the mood to go out, why your eyes are always so red and puffy.

You’re not okay if you’ve lost interest in things you used to love, if you’ve lost energy, if you’ve lost passion, if you’ve lost the desire to roll out of bed when your alarm rings.

You’re not okay if you’ve been feeling off, like you’re not exactly yourself, like something needs to change. You’re not okay if you’re worried you’re going to feel this way forever. You’re not okay if you’re hoping thing are going to change soon.

You need to understand that not okay doesn’t mean not normal. There are so many people in this world feeling similar to how you’re feeling. You’re not alone. You’re not weird. You’re not crazy. You’re just a human going through a hard time right now.

If you’re not okay, you shouldn’t be embarrassed about it, but you should do something about it. You should reach out to get the help you deserve. You should make the choice to make a lifestyle change. You should see if you can find a therapist to talk to about your situation. You should pour your energy into finding a way to cultivate happiness moving forward.

You don’t want your life to be about existing until the next day, the next hour, the next minute. You want it to be about looking forward to the next day, the next hour, the next minute. In order for that to happen, you need to find things you enjoy. You need to get excited about waking up in the morning again. You need to ask yourself what you want and how you’re going to get it.

The time to play pretend is over. It’s time to start taking care of yourself. It’s time to decide you deserve happiness. You deserve to feel proud of yourself. You deserve to wake up in the morning with energy.

When you pretend you’re okay, you’re pretending you don’t need to fix your situation. You’re pretending your mental health isn’t a priority. You’re pretending talking to someone isn’t going to help. You’re pretending you’re perfectly fine living like this day after day after day.

But you’re not okay — and it’s okay to admit that. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to start taking better care of yourself. It’s okay to decide you matter. Your happiness matters. Your well-being matters. Your life matters.

Guest post by Holly Riordan.

What I Wish Everyone Knew About Getting Sucked Into Comparing Yourself To Societies Norms.

Being someone you are not, in an attempt to live up to social norms, means that signals will eventually intervene to help you. As Marianne Williamson says, “The universe is self organising and self correcting”. If you are not aligned to who you really are, your true self, the natural order of the world in which we live will eventually assist you to see this. Intervening signals are not always pleasant, but they are signposts to help us head in a new, better, healthier, more beneficial direction. When things in your life ‘turn to custard’, it could well be because you are not in your flow, you might have accidentally swam into someone else’s flow. So, get out of their river and get in your own

Here is my final word on this subject, and when I say it to you, know that whatever I write is really a message to myself as much as it is to you. For in saying it to you I am reminding us both:

  • NEVER compare yourself to others. EVER.
  • NEVER try to be someone else. EVER.
  • You were born extraordinary and unique.
  • Any time you compare yourself to others, trying to be something else or like someone else, you deny the beautiful individuality that you were gifted when your soul chose to come into this life.

Create your own norms in life. The norms of society have no bearing on you, unless you choose them. At all times, be yourself. There is nothing more magical, perfect and beautiful than you being you.

You Can’t Please Everyone: Live Your Life

I used to be stubborn to change. Back then, if it’s “not like me” to do something, then I just wouldn’t do it. However this mindset held me back from growing and evolving like we should be.


People will say shit like “you’ve changed,” but isn’t that something we should all be doing (for the better)? Obviously the 21 year old you will have to approach life differently than the 12 year old you did.

I feel like if you want change to happen in your life, you’re going to HAVE to do something out of your comfort zone — or something that will eventually break you out of your normal routine and tendencies. Eventually your new habits and perspective will make you seem like a different person, but I just like to view it as someone who grew and learned. Some moments in life may require you to be that 12 year old you. Other moments will need you to be the 21 year old you. Either way, you can’t expect to please everyone with your personality. You’re the one living your life, not them, so ya do what ya need to do to succeed.

The Value Of a Smile

The value of a smile is so priceless, yet it is the cheapest, easiest, most rewarding and most sincere gift to anyone that crosses your path.

The value of smile

A smile makes a person’s day, anybody’s day, even a stranger’s day. A smile is infectious. Start infecting people with your smile today.

A smile is nature’s best antidote for discouragement. It brings rest to the weary, sunshine to those who are sad, and hope to those who are hopeless and defeated.

A smile is so valuable that it can’t be bought, begged, borrowed, or taken away against your will. You have to be willing to give a smile away before it can do anyone else any good.

So if someone is too tired/ grumpy to flash you a smile, let him have one of yours anyway. Nobody needs a smile as much as the person who has none to give.

Image credit: Pinterest

How to Stop Feeling Guilty & Believe in Yourself

Have you been feeling guilty recently?

Or perhaps for a very long time?

Maybe you’ve done something you regret, something awful even.

Or maybe you are just tired of feeling shamefaced all the time.

You’re going to get really good at this. The more you practice reframing your thoughts about your relationships, the more enchanting you will become.

The process goes something like this:

  1. First ask yourself, “Should I really feel guilty about this?”
  2. Question the motivations of the person placing guilt on you. Was it about their needs or yours?
  3. If you are at fault, do something about it. Make it up to the person if you can. And move on.
  4. It’s not the end of the world if you lose a relationship with someone who doesn’t care about you or won’t forgive you.
  5. Use the experience as a learning opportunity to make yourself a better person.

And remember this, you gorgeous person–the best cure for guilt is to the become the highest version of yourself, not of someone else!

Thank you Tami Green for these wonderful points.

Image credit: Pinterest

Pain Fades, Love Remains, Joy Returns

Pain is a part of this life. Brokenness is all around us. Parents split. Families’ abuse. The cancer wins. Children die. The only thing I know to be true is this: God is faithful. He is a deliverer. A healer. A savior. A protector. A warrior. A lover. A completer.

I’ve seen some pretty dark stuff in my days in this world. Perhaps the darkest was when I was still in the world, doing stuffs that had no meaning but hurting people around me. Also too many of my friends died. There was no escape from the pain. It was crushing. I never considered killing myself, but I can now see how some people could do it. The pain is simply too much to bear. It was the worst time of my life.

But God moved with a Mighty Hand. He heard me crying out and “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” – Psalm – 40:2 God brought to me a community of faith that changed my life and surrounded me with an amazing family in Christ. I walked in to new life.

He restored my heart and healed me of the wounds. I saw how good and mighty He really is. I worship Him for His faithfulness to bind up a broken heart. It didn’t happen overnight, though. Even as mighty as He moved, healing is a process. It seemed as though the pain would always be with me but again His promises are true: Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

The night may last longer than you wish, but when The Lord is your God, the morning always comes.

This year will be the second since I lost some very good friends. Am sure they are in peace and with Jesus. Not only did God help me walk into new life, but He saw fit to completely heal me. I am free. Looking back, I realized that even though He had been healing me, I was still walking with a limp through life. While I was not under the weight of tragedy any longer, joy had not returned to my heart.

There was a weekend outing with some church friends, we challenged ourselves to some games filled with lots of laughs and fun. I cannot remember ever laughing so much. It was the best time I have had in years.

“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.” Psalm 40:3

I would never wish such tragedy on my worst enemy but by clinging to Jesus during the night, He has restored my soul.

I know some of you have experienced terrible things, I know that. Just remember, no matter how long the night, the morning always comes. After that season, the Lord left me with a simple message I would share with you. The pain fades. Love remains. Joy returns.

Here Are Seven Awesome Psalms To Read Whenever You Are Struggling With Depression And Anxiety.

They are:

Psalm 23:4

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

God’s words bring peace (psalmsquotes)

Psalm 27:1–3

“God, You are my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? You are the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked come against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear!”

Psalm 32:7

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”

Psalm 46:1

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

God’s words bring peace (bibleverseimages)

Psalm 55:22

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”

Psalm 61:1–3

“Hear my cry, O God; from the ends of the earth I cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you are a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy…”

Psalm 34:1–10

“I will bless You at all times, Your praise will continually be in my mouth. I sought You, Lord, and You heard me, You delivered me from all my fears. When we look to You we are radiant. Your angels encamp all around those who fear You and You deliver us. Help me to taste and see that You are good, oh Lord. You say I will be blessed when I trust You. Those who seek You lack no good thing.”

Things God Wants You To Remember When Life Gets Rough

Things God Wants You To Remember When Life Gets Rough

1. He is listening. He is listening to your prayers, your fears, your pain and your silence. He is listening to what you are asking for and in time he will either give you what you were asking for or something much better.

2. He is making you stronger. With every unanswered prayer, with every disappointment, with every hurdle, with every loss, he is making you stronger. He is giving you the strength you need so you can be strong for others. So you can be a strong mother, a strong father, a strong wife, a strong husband, a strong daughter, a strong son, and a strong friend.

3. He has a better plan for you. He knows what’s better for you, he knows what you
need not what you want . He is planning the perfect timing for your life. The timing of your love, the timing of your career, and the timing of your miracle.

4. He will answer your questions. He will show you why you didn’t get that job, or why it didn’t work out with that person. He will show you why you lost a loved one, why he broke your heart or why he tested you so much. He will make things clear to you and you will thank him for it.

5. He will heal you. He will heal your broken heart, he will ease your restless mind, and he will solve the mystery of your puzzled thoughts. He wants you to be patient but he will always fix you.

6. He wants you to trust him. He wants you to have faith in him, he wants you to leave the big things – the uncontrollable things up to him, he wants you to believe in him, he wants you to go back to him when you think you have no one and he wants you to trust that he will provide for you when you lose everything. He will always rescue you before you drown.

7. He wants you to know you’re never alone. He is always there with you; when you’re scared or confused, he is there with you. When you’re afraid of the dark, he is there with you. When you are crying late at night and you think no one can hear you, he can hear you. When you’ve given up on your life and on love and think you have no one, you have him. No matter where you are, he is always with you and he wants you to know that he is enough.

8. He wants you to grow. He wants to you to change, he wants you to learn things the hard way, he wants you to evolve, he wants you step outside of your comfort zone, he wants you to lose your way so you can find him and find yourself. He wants you to be wise and strong and he wants you to prosper.

9. He wants you to know he loves you. He loves you more than you know, he may be hard on you sometimes but he loves you, he may not give you everything you asked for but he loves you. No matter how many mistakes you’ve made or how many times you got angry with him, he still loves you, he forgives you and he is turning your life around. He doesn’t love you for your money or your looks or your status, he loves you for you. God loves you more in a moment than anyone could in a lifetime.

10. He wants you to believe in miracles. He is bringing you small miracles so you can believe in the big miracles. In every dream of yours that come true, in every pleasant surprise you get, in every enlightening situation you encounter, in every person who moved you, in every person you loved – he’s making miracles happen. He’s a God of magic, wonder and hope and he wants you to believe that.

Credit to one of my mentors Rania Naim

Exterminate The Spirit Of Guilt And Condemnation

As a Christian, we experience the presence of guilt when we sin or do something bad. After fallen into the temptation, we start having this condemnation thought in us that God is angry and whatever we have asked will not be answered.I'm free from the past, free from guilt, free from shame, and free from condemnation. I'm free with a freedom that can only be found in Christ. Christianity is not about being bound by a set of biblical rules; it's  about being set free.   Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:12 #collarbone #tattoo #freedom #free #words #verse #romans

I was surfing through my old notes and saw one of Joyce Meyer’s writing about this particular subject.

“How much time do you waste feeling bad about yourself? Whatever amount of time it is, it is too much! Even if you are not where you want to be in your walk with God, you don’t have to feel guilty and ashamed. You can rejoice that you have made some progress. Jesus, who began a good work in you, will continue developing and perfecting His work in you right up until the day of Christ’s return. When the devil attacks you with guilt and shame, you can say, “I may not be where I need to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be! God is working in me right now, and each day I improve!”

My friend, your problems are not the root. When you go through an evil day, you are like a sickly plant with sick leaves. You may have leaves of sickness, poverty, a broken marriage or depression in your life. But these are just the leaves. These are just the manifestations of the root. It would be foolish to attack the leaves because they are not the cause of your problems. We all know that there’ll be no leaf if there is no root.

Joseph Prince in one of his preaching discussed something similar in dealing with the spirit of condemnation.

When there’s condemnation, there’ll be fear. When there’s fear, there’s going to be stress. And when there’s stress, there’ll be manifestations of the curse.

Now, if you disagree with me that the root cause is condemnation, let me refer you to Genesis, the book of beginnings.

Do you know that Adam was planted in the midst of a finished work? Everything was prepared for him. But the devil told him that he needed to do something to qualify for all the things he had already qualified for. The devil gave him a mistaken identity. He said, You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4–5)

The truth is that Adam was already like God! But Adam believed the devil, ate the fruit and fell. And the curse came.

Before there was poverty, sickness and death in Adam’s life, there was stress. How do we know that? Well, God said, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread…” (Genesis 3:19) And sweat speaks of stress and self-effort.

But if you go deeper, you will find that there was fear. Do you know what Adam said to God when God asked him where he was? He said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:10) Adam was afraid. He was fearful. So the deeper root of stress is fear. But before he was fearful, he felt condemned.

The deepest root of all is condemnation.

Ways You Need To Revolve To God When You’re Far From Him

Sometimes God gives us hardships so we can turn to him and get closer to him; sometimes he just wants to remind us that life is fleeting but he is eternal and that is why we should always go back to him.

I remembered when I was wandering in the wilderness, it was not a funny experience. I disciplined myself to fast, pray and read inspirational books. I learnt that I am nothing without God, I can’t do anything without Him. Putting God in everything I do as turned things around in my life. Both the ones have seen and experienced, and the ones am still expectant of.

Beneath are some ways to revolve back to Him..

1. When you’re heartbroken. Ask him to heal you, ask him to help you repair yourself again, ask him to give the strength to move on, the wisdom to understand, the grace to forgive and the courage to try again. Because he’s the only who knows your heart and he is the only one who knows how to mend it.

2. When you’re confused about life. Ask him to guide you, ask him to help you find the way, ask him for a map, ask him to lead you because he is the only one who can, because he is the only one who really knows where you’re going and he is the only one who has the fuel to keep you moving.

3. When you don’t feel like you’re good enough. Ask him why you’re still here, ask him if you’re special, and ask him for reassurance, confidence and faith . Ask him because he wants to let you know how special you are, ask him because he knows your day is coming soon and ask him because he will bring it to you sooner than you think.

4. When you’re lonely. Talk to him, tell him your problems, cry to him, tell him to stay by your side, tell him you need him and tell him to tuck you in bed and help you sleep. Talk to him even if you’re not saying a word because he is listening to your silence and he is watching your tears and he will make you smile again.

5. When you’re scared. Tell him to give you courage, tell him to take the fear away, tell him to silence the voices in your head, tell him that you’re afraid but you’re willing to take the risk and ask him for strength to handle the consequences. Tell him to make you fearless because he knows you have it in you and he knows how to bring it out.

6. When you’re tired of failing. Ask him to give you peace of mind, ask him to give you the faith you need to trust him and trust that this is all for a reason, that he is putting you through this for a bigger and better purpose and that he is not going to let you down. Ask him for patience to wait for the answers.

7. When you’re not sure if he’s listening. Ask him to remember you, ask him to give you reassurance, ask him for a sign and ask him for a miracle, because he wants you to believe in miracles and he wants you to witness them.

8. When you’re giving up. Ask him to give you hope, ask him to let you see the light at the end of the tunnel, ask him for the silver lining and ask him to give you power to keep fighting your battles until you win the war. Because he wants to see you win and he wants you to be victorious.

9. When you’ve lost someone you loved. Get closer to him, it’s okay to question why this happened to you but ask him to be your friend, ask him to be there for you, ask him for the reason he took something you loved away and then trust him; trust his plan and trust his timing, trust that he will replace what you’ve lost with something even bigger and better and something that never even crossed your mind.

10. When people are making fun of your dreams. Tell him that you think this is your calling, that this is your passion, and that this is what makes you feel alive. Ask him to make it happen, to make it easier, to make it less cruel and ask him to cover your ears from all those who are laughing at you, because he wants to make your dreams come true but he wants to make sure that you’re up for the challenge and that you will fight for them.

The More Difficult Life Is, The More We Appreciate God’s Forgiveness and Grace: Williams Story

I have been thinking about all that GOD has done for me. I have no words to adequately express the love and the appreciation I owe to GOD. To whom much is forgiven, much is required. GOD help me to honor You in all that I do.

No matter what we’ve been through in life, no matter what had happened in the past, no matter what we’ve done and think it’s in for given, we should always look up to God, because God is love. Here is Williams story….

Why I am a Christian

I was a child of rape,
Fatherless,
Unloved by a mother, not wanted, neglected, beaten, burned and abandoned,
Fostered and then adopted by those who did not cherish nor protect,
Molested, raped and shamed,
Told was a mistake, no good, would never amount to anything,
Cursed, kicked, slapped, whipped, beaten,
Learned by example that alcohol and drugs would numb the pain,
Runaway,
Bullied, beat up, drug overdose and left for dead,
Hospitalized, juvenile incarceration, defamation,
Hopeless, angry and alone,
Crimes led to prison,
Attempted rapes, countless fights, stabbed repeatedly, and in isolation hatred consumed,
Unwelcome, homeless and hungry,
Never begged, but ate out of dumpsters and occasionally worked for food or cash,
An object of another’s deviant sexual behavior, who were beaten and money taken,
Alcohol warmed on cold nights,
Lonely women in bars were nothing more than a bed to sleep in,
Uncaring, indifferent, selfish, self-loathsome,
Attempted suicide, and angry that even death evaded me,
Immersed in the bar-tend culture,
A stripper, an escort, drug dealer, a player,
Woke up high, went to bed drunk, every day for the next twenty years,
Mean, calloused, vile and vulgar defines the man I had become.

Then the unexpected happened!

GOD graciously revealed the truth of Christ’s redeeming work on the cross of Calvary to save a wretch like me. So real was GOD’s presence as tears of joy washed away a lifetime of anger and pain. Gone was the guilt of my sin against GOD. Knowing that by accepting Jesus as my Savior and LORD, GOD had declared me righteous.

Nothing in my past had power over me anymore. It was then that I realized why GOD chose me. I know hurt. I know pain. I know intimately the hopelessness felt by all people today. But most importantly, I know that GOD can save. What I did, I no longer do. I’m not without sin, but, the sins I used to love I now hate. When I am wrong I am quick to ask for forgiveness. And shockingly, GOD has birthed in me a sincere concern for the needs people have, and the urgency for their eternal salvation. I am becoming a very different person, and this is my testimony to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is never too late for God. If you know God has done so much for you in anyway and you feel to share your story. You can be anonymous or can reveal your identity, whichever way we will respect your decision.

If you want to share your story, send via mail:

motivatedfree@gmail.com.

Prayer For Jet Li

One thing I love when am home is to either play soccer game or watch a kungfu movie. Am a huge fan of kunfu movies and love to see my action characters in play like Jackie Chan and Jet Li.

Jet Li 55 is trending online recently about his health. I was moved to tears when I saw his recent picture that surfaced online. I screamed that is not Jet Li. He’s been suffering from a terrible sickness “hyperthyroidism”. According to his manager, Chasman confirmed that Li had been battling the condition for 10 years.

“He has hyperthyroidism that he’s been dealing with for almost 10 years. It’s nothing life-threatening and he’s dealing with it,” he said.

Fans around the world are praying for his quick recovery. I know most peeps don’t like kungfu movie nor like Jet Li as a character in a movie. But our prayers together will heal him.

It’s well!!!

Loneliness Is a Powerful Enemy: True Story From Anonymous

Loneliness affects us all at some point or another. Jeff’s testimony reminds us that God can fix even the deepest loneliness.

For years, decades, before I became a born again Christian, loneliness was my best friend. As the old saying goes, “with friends like this, you don’t need enemies.” Even when I was a sophomore in college, I had to admit that I was isolated from my fellow human beings. I took a course in adolescent psychology with Dr. Elizabeth Hurlock, who, in one lecture, described “the star isolate.”

This type of personality might be someone who is popular, who excels, who has friends, and is generally gregarious; yet, he or she at a deep psychological level is isolated from other human beings. A similar problem was noted in Sylvia Plath’s book The Bell Jar. Sylvia was herself a poet who experienced a sense of isolation and intense torments of loneliness even though she was married. Eventually, she committed suicide.
And sometimes this loneliness is described as fear of intimacy or closeness with others. However, it is worth noting that loneliness is not necessarily a condition experienced by “loners” only, but can be experienced by anyone. In fact, one of the classic books in sociology, The Lonely Crowd, written by Leonard Riesman, Nathan Glazer, and Reuel Denny in the 1960’s described the remarkable loneliness found within the American social order despite a superficial gregariousness and friendliness in the population. For Glazer, Riesman, and Denny, this was associated with the “other-directed” personality, people who were trying to please others, to somehow fit in with the expectations of others, but who lacked a solid core of inner motivation and purpose. Another personality type addressed in The Lonely Crowd is called anomie. The person with anomie actually has a deficient self concept, neither able to achieve purposeful behavior from within, nor to pick up sufficient cues from others to become “other-directed.” Rather, they lack not only character, but lack identity. It is defined by the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values; also: personal unrest, alienation, and uncertainty that comes from a lack of purpose or ideals.”

If one grows up as an only child as I did, that in itself is not the basis of one’s loneliness.

All only children do not find themselves as experiencing extreme loneliness. As we see above, loneliness is not mainly defined by behavior, but by inward conditions based on one’s values, identity, purposes, norms of behavior, ideas about who other people are, what they expect of one, the extent of competitiveness in one’s personality, the sensitivity of as well as the capacity for empathy of the individual, and the degree to which one’s personality is self-absorbed.

Further, as I learned from the pain of bitter experience, the books on sociology and psychology consistently omit one’s relationship with Almighty God when depicting the sources of one’s loneliness and alienation. Thus, the spiritual dimension of experience, which is the linchpin of all other variables is neglected.
When I had the privilege of teaching Expository Writing at Pennsylvania State University, the course was developed around the concept of alienation. All our studies in reading essays, poetry, and short stories as well as the writing assignments were built around alienation of self from self, alienation of man from woman, alienation of humankind from nature, and alienation of self from God. Despite my lack of faith in Christ, I had been influenced to some small degree by the writings of Soren Kirkegaard, and saw that my own experienced belief in God was accompanied by an even stronger alienation from God, and I was interested in examining that sense of alienation. In fact, looking back on my mindset at that time, it is clear to me that my greater interest in my alienation than in seeking God was itself indicative of my fallen and sinful condition. In today’s theology, we could say that that other alienations between self and self, between self and others, and between self and nature were horizontal alienations. And alienation from God is a vertical alienation.

I had friends. I went to parties. I was elected to various leadership positions as an undergraduate student. I was hired into various prestigious teaching positions as a graduate student. I went out on dates. Some girls liked me, but one described me as “conceited,” another said that I always had to be right and was too argumentative, and there were others whom I wished to impress but who were never impressed by me. I helped one young woman to find a doctor so she could get an abortion in Washington DC. My mother had not described me as good looking, but would always say that I was “interesting looking.” I took that to be a euphemism meaning I was not good looking. This was augmented by my hair beginning to come out little by little beginning in my twenties. Would I be able to marry before I lost “the bloom of youth?”
I had told my father about my fear of not being able to find a wife, and about losing my hair. He chuckled in a friendly way and told me not to worry as he would help me find someone. I didn’t know what he meant by that, but felt that somehow, some way, he would come through for me. Nonetheless, although I looked like a scholarly and decent young man, I continued to have an inordinate and adolescent concern about whether or not my appearance was acceptable and attractive. However, my father died when I was twenty-one, and I felt I no longer had someone to support me with my wife-search problem.

Fast forward now through almost two decades of heavy drinking, failed relationships, setbacks in my academic career aspirations, more than ten years of writing and editing employment in marketing and consulting publications in commercial banking and export/import , various temporary college and high school teaching positions, writing of hundreds of poems, short stories, and essays, odd jobs including school bus driver, security guard, retail small appliance clerk, teacher of physically handicapped and delinquent teens, attendant to the developmentally disabled, lathe operator, livery car driver, high school English and social studies teacher, and global wanderer (I took a job teaching in an international school in Teheran, Iran where I contracted amoebic dysentery among other horrible experiences).

Thus, I had gone from the heights of Ivy League education and contacts with some of the country’s highest political figures and executives to some of the grittiest jobs on the planet. I had had lunch with and attended meetings with the likes of Sen. Gary Hart and Sen. Alphonse D’Amato and with various dignitaries of U.S. Customs, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, and leaders of business in exports, imports, and banking. Yet, during my years of wandering, I was assigned to guard the Harvard Club in New York City, but didn’t tell anyone that I held a degree from that institution. Another time, I was guarding a store in Midtown Manhattan, and in walked my former boss, a VP from the large commercial bank that was my former employer – she was a graduate of Princeton – and there I was guarding the merchandise. We exchanged embarrassed hellos.

During that time of wandering, I was a security guard at a construction site. I occupied a portable toilet that had been converted into a guard shack with a small space heater, and I sat in there during the dark night hours with sub-freezing temperatures outside. On one of my shifts, local ten year old boys climbed the scaffolding at the site and began pelting me with rocks, as I hid in my “shack” while the stones came raining down.

My uprooted wandering meant I had fewer and fewer stable relationships. I would move from place to place, getting along with people; yet close to no one. The loneliness I had known when I was an undergraduate “star isolate” grew deeper and more intractable. Living in the midst of the most populated city in the USA, I became increasingly lonely. Who was I? Why was I on this planet? What hope was there for me?
In an attempt to connect, I went to a meeting held by an old woman in a Catholic Church. She represented a teacher in New Mexico known only as The Professor. She seemed lonely too, as lonely and an outsider as much as I, but she had stability in the philosophy of The Professor, a strange blend of yoga meditation and exercises, Roman Catholic doctrine and practice, and a written collection of “The Teachings of The Professor.” The Professor, an individual whose name I learned was Cyril F. Kilb, lived in New Mexico and was in charge of an entity called The Motivational Research Institute. I became more and more involved with The Program.

At first, there were only two of us who were regular attendees at the meetings in the church, but eventually the other lady dropped out, and CVD continued to meet with me alone for a number of years. At first I felt some relief from the loneliness I had been experiencing. In CVD I had made a connection. She was someone I could talk with about what was happening in my life everyday. We would meditate at each meeting, and that made me feel so-so “spiritual.”

In fact, I was so grateful that I began making larger and larger weekly contributions to The Program. I took a second job so I could give more money to The Professor (she would turn the money over to him), and also to keep busy, with the assumption being that keeping busy would help take my mind off myself and thus, to some degree, ameliorate my loneliness. It worked up to a point: someone to talk to, keeping busy, having someone to have dinner with, being accountable to another, and activities at the local Catholic churches like attending masses, saying the rosary, praying through the stations of the cross, and feeding the homeless all gave me a sense of connection and purpose. CVD had become my closest friend as well as my teacher and my spiritual [sic] director. I remained in that relationship for more than ten years. She was the only person I spoke to at any length except for a few brief polite conversations with my neighbors.

When I broke free of The Program, I found myself alone again. After ten years, I had no one to talk with. Someone I knew said she saw me talking to myself in the street. She said I looked deeply disturbed. I had experienced a life of desperate loneliness from my teens until I encountered The Program. In The Program, I felt exploited, but I still, for the first time as an adult, had someone with whom I could talk and confide on a regular basis. Then, after leaving, I was more lonely than ever – more than in my days of being a star isolate, more than when I was oppressed by the competitive demands of graduate school, lack of intimacy, and lack of love in my life. More than in my days of wandering.
Wait….! Did I not just mention “love” in a previous sentence? Finally, in The Program I had made a connection. I had stabilized. I had stopped wandering. I had someone to talk to. I had someone to discuss my problems, successes, and personal failings with. Yet, it was an exploitive relationship. Was there love? When I stopped participating, when it was over, I was talking to myself. I was experiencing loneliness even more intensely than in my days of wandering, than in my student days, than at any point in my life. Now I was plunged into even deeper despair. I no longer had a loneliness based on being other-directed or from the psychic dysfunction of anomie.

I really knew the agonies of Hamlet’s deep query, “To be or not to be, that is the question….” I understood MacBeth’s agony which I had recited in high school when he says, “Life is a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing….” I experienced the loneliness that comes from a sense of utter meaninglessness, utter absurdity, and utter hopelessness. My soul was bound by pains of experiencing the profoundest sense of rejection, dislocation, isolation, and above all, lovelessness. These terms defined my loneliness. My very being was experienced as a dirty, used mop that had been cast into the waste bin of time and space.

Yet, I had considered myself a “seeker” throughout my 20 years of wandering. I was looking for truth, for God, for ultimate meaning, for a point of perfection, even for absolute perfection. As early as 1975, I had an argument with a couple of folks in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania about the relativism of the many competing philosophies, beliefs, opinions, points of view, etc. that I observed. Everybody certainly had a right to his or her opinion, but all I saw were all those competing “right views” emanating from millions of egos. How could it not be that some might be more right than others? And if another point of view was more “right,” then there would have to be a standard for assessing that rightness? Or, perhaps the truth lay in a point of view that wasn’t expressed by anyone? These were some of the questions that assailed me. Wasn’t there a more credible approach to living and to thought than the one I observed? The Program had seemed to be the answer; yet my outrage at turning over so much money to The Professor, and the cul de sac it seemed to be when I left in a state of terror, dislocation, and despair showed me that what I had thought was true and absolute was bogus and illusory.

I kept writing, kept seeking, kept reading books, kept teaching, kept talking, kept searching for love. Only later would I understand that actually I was not seeking at all, but running away from “the Hound of Heaven,” who was calling me to His kingdom and His love, truth, and eternal life.

Then, during one lonely Christmas season in 1987, I was busy cheering myself up singing Christmas carols in my furnished room in Midwood, Brooklyn. As I was singing and rejoicing in Christ’s birth, comforted by the singular peace of “Silent Night,” gentle but powerful words invaded my stressed out brain, “You must be born again….” I had seen many televangelists, and listened to them on the radio. At the suggestion of one radio preacher, I had laid my hand on the radio and prayed that I would forgive a previous boss for having fired me. (I was still under the illusion that religion was a form of magic, and that it includes different magical rituals.) I really had no understanding of salvation by grace through faith. It was just say the “right words” [sic], practice the “right rituals” [sic], and do the “right deeds” [sic] in the name of Christ, and then, well, then you were going to escape hell, and could walk with dignity and hope on this earth. However, I was soon to learn what Martin Luther, John Calvin, the Puritan fathers, Jonathan Edwards, and millions of others found in the testimony of their walk with Christ.

“You must be born again….” I heard these words, and balked. They came as thoughts, but I sensed deeply they were thoughts from God. “But I am born again, aren’t I?” I protested. . Again, the words penetrated to the deepest center of my being, “You must be born again…there’s a church for you on Flatbush Avenue.”

The next day, I walked the four blocks up to Flatbush & Foster Avenues. Looking left and then right, my gaze fastened upon a large cross hanging in front of a storefront church. It was a classic sign. The words on the cross read, “JESUS SAVES.” I approached the front of the church, and there was a telephone number to call. Later that day, I called, and a woman with a heavy Jamaican accent answered the phone. I asked when the next service was, and she said that in two days there would be a children’s play – not a real service mind you – but a family night when Christ’s birth would be celebrated.

Two nights later, I arrived and the lights were dim as the play had already begun. As I sat down, one of the old women of the church nodded hello to me, and patted my arm. “Jesus is love,” she said, repeating the words two or three times to me as the play proceeded. Her name was Sister Duncan, and her words were so reassuring, so kind, and so comforting. After the play, the congregation sang a few praise songs and hymns, and, at the pastor’s suggestion, the evangelist who was leading the singing had an altar call. Because I was partially obscured by a pillar, neither the pastor nor the song leader even knew I was in the room.

When the call was made, I left my seat behind the pillar and walked down the aisle to the pulpit. I had gone there hoping to be born again, hoping that there would be an altar call as I had seen many on TV, and it seemed that the desires of my heart were answered. At that point in time, I did not know that I was being led by the Holy Spirit. I did not understand that I was being led by Christ himself to a new life in Him, but I was still filled with expectancy and excitement at the prospect, however vaguely defined, of being born again. My deep longing for a deeper walk with Him was being answered by the God of all creation. Had he not put that longing in my heart? Had he not pointed the way during my long, lonely, labyrinthine walk out of my atheism and overly-intellectual approach to life (my pride and false sense of self-sufficiency)? On that night, I was led to take a great turn in the road of life, and to begin to walk 24/7 with my Lord and Savior.

Then, following my answer to the call, I learned that the church was having a baptismal service in two weeks. Normally, they have instruction sessions for those who would be baptized, but recalling Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch, the pastor agreed with Philip’s rhetorical reply, namely “what shall hinder you?” and admitted me to be baptized in two weeks.
Since that wonderful time 25 years ago, I have never looked back, never regretted nor questioned for one second becoming a Christian. After two years in the church, many of the old Jamaican ladies who had grown up in the church, and saw me almost six days a week (I was always in church or visiting other churches) assured me that I was truly born again, and I found a rest, hope, peace, love, and joy that I had never experienced in my entire life. Yet, I still had a lot of growing and maturing to do, and believe that I am still growing in Christ as he sanctifies my life, and leads me on the path of being made “conformable to Jesus Christ” as he readies me for my heavenly home.
So many times I have acted in many strikingly un-Christlike ways; yet, He never failed to show me His mercy and forgiveness as I have struggled to conform myself to the Word of God. He has given me wisdom where I have been ignorant and inept. He has shown me how to be more kind and compassionate when I felt disgust, and wanted to walk away from problems or people. He has given me more patience and peace when I wanted to blow my top.

He has replaced my lonely book-centered life, with family love and a Christ-centered life. He replaced my discouragement with teaching, and restored me to my career as a teacher even when I was past 50 years old. Now he has given me a healthier body to help me better enjoy my old age, and to better serve him. He has opened my mind to be able to understand theology, which I had been unable to fathom or penetrate until about eight years ago. My search for truth, begun decades ago in the Ivy League, through many trials, temptations, and snares, through sidetracks of all kinds – high status sidetracks, dangerous sidetracks and sidetracks into extreme poverty – and through the wrongheaded attempt to blend Eastern philosophy and practice with the Truth of the Christ, I came to know He Who Is The Creator of the Universe, and Who Saves Through the Power of His Life, Death, and Resurrection.