500 Words To Inspire

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If I could share 500 words to inspire, this is the important wisdom I’d want to pass along to others…

Have you ever thought that you somehow missed your turn in life and are not where you are supposed to be? Can you pinpoint that one decision or step that keeps you constantly wondering how to correct your situation or have less stress and more fun?

Now is the time to stop looking back and understand that, as creatures of habits, we have the ability to choose and change our situations at any time!

We all have been conditioned to believe that winning or losing can be traced to a single play or, in our case, a single action. You and I have experienced the media slant so often that we unconsciously view everyday life through tinted lenses. We need to remove our shades and start designing our Fantastic Lives today.

My day starts by giving thanks for another day. I’m grateful for waking with the ability to think, see, hear, smell, touch and control my body. If this is not something you do, I invite you to practice this for 30 days and experience a new lease on life. Simply say “thank you” for another day!

After a few minutes of appreciation, I focus on the positive things I wished to attract in my life. This is where you can really gain special favor by visualizing what you really want to bring into your life. If you focus on what you don’t want, you are likely to bring more of what you don’t want into your life. Focus on what you really want!! You can have anything you want in life by believing you can have it and allowing the universe to work through you.

As you know, we all have the same 24 hours in a day, so I recommend exercising the first thing in the morning. I want you to remember it does not have to be a heavy workout! A simple 15 minute stretch along with 15 minutes of walking, sit-ups or pushups will pay huge dividends over time. If you will listen to your affirmations while exercising, you will stack the deck in your favor the rest of the day.

I believe smiling is the most important step of every day. When you are smiling, the whole world is smiling with you! A smile brightens your attitude by sharing your thankfulness and gratitude with those you come in contact with. Your smile allows others to feel you caring about them and in turn helps them to receive your rays of hope and enjoyment.

I challenge you to smile to the first 10 people you see daily for the next 30 days and watch a new world unfold around you. If smiling is your natural tendency, you already enjoy the benefits, and if you are new to smiling, you will have a great awakening.

Now that we have set the tone for our fantastic day in the first hour, let’s look at the steps for our Time Is Now Day:

Review your task list of 6 items selected before retiring the night before.

Select the task you fear the most and do it first.
Gain the knowledge or seek assistance if required to complete this task.

Work through your list and once completed, enjoy your reward. Laugh, have fun and take a moment to reflect and journal your success.

Share your success with those assisting you in developing your fantastic life. Open yourself up to more success!
If you are not able to complete your list, add the incomplete items to the next day’s list. Each day starts with 6 items on the list. Feel free to add or subtract to your list to accomplish your goals.

Take action! “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Repeat steps 1-7.

The Time is Now – Be happy, have fun and enjoy life!!

Jody K Young

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Revive My Courage

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I’m afraid that I won’t be any good at this. I hate feeling like I’m losing control of what happens from here. I have a feeling that if I could get past this fear I could be incredible. I would be everything You created me to be.

The only problem is I’m so petrified of failing again. I made the wrong decisions before and I couldn’t bear to deal with the humiliation again. I don’t know if my heart can risk another disgrace. I don’t want to even try to be in another relationship again so soon after my last failed one. I want to pursue my degree, but I don’t want to be the oldest person in the class. You see, there are all these steps I need to take to become great. It’s just that there is no handrail on the way up. One wrong move and I could go from being on top to starting all over. So I sit on the steps of my destiny too afraid to climb further, too exposed to go back.

I remember way back when… when my innocence was stolen before I could even define it… before I took the first hit and started drowning.. I remember back when my biggest problem was whether I wanted to play hopscotch or jump rope.. I used to believe that all things were possible for those who believe. Somewhere along the way believing became way too problematic, though.

How do you believe when you’ve broken?

Underneath this façade of strength there’s miles and miles of fear.. and for once, I would just like to see life the way it once was. I’m not even asking to be fearless. I just want to believe more than I’m afraid. I want the boogeyman to stay in the closet and the monsters to stay under the bed. I want to be the light that makes the world realize there was never anything there.

It was all just fear.

So what’s your biggest fear? That it won’t work? So what? We spend hours convincing ourselves why we shouldn’t let go. Constantly telling ourselves the reasons we should abandon what feels so right instead of just feeling. If our biggest fear is dismissal or failure how will we ever expose the force of our potential. We bring halfhearted hopes into the pursuit of our dreams then become baffled when they’re never fully realized. The only time in life you get change is when you willingly give more than what’s required.

All around me I see lives crippled by the fear of not getting anything back. We choose to give less than we have too and complain receive less than our hearts we deserve. I don’t want to be that person anymore. I remember how afraid she was to live. Now I see the only thing holding me back was me. The only reason we can hear the whispers of our critics is because we stop living to hear them. I’m not content to stifle my best so that I can feel like the rest. I don’t want to live a life that requires I lose a piece of me to gain a good opinion from them.

Whether you have chosen to build a wall and isolate your heart from the devastation of failure and expectation or choose to live unapologetically; “they” will talk. Let your God talk back.

You have no idea what fragments of your life He needs to create a masterpiece. So give life all that He has given you.

Don’t imprison your heart. Don’t cage your mind. Refuse to silence your voice.

I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Even with my fear You remind me I’m incredible. I stopped believing that fear and beauty could exist peacefully, yet it’s who You created me to be. I’m tired of having to choose between my fear and my dreams. I just want to remember that even though I was burned, I survived. I know that Your grace can heal the wounds of my past. I’m sorry that I started doubting myself. I admit I stopped believing Your power could make things new. But here I am offering my heart to You.

I need You to give me the faith to dream again. Please, God, revive my courage..

Jody K Young

Letter To A Lost Me

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While cleaning out things for my move I found a letter to my old self. Sure I’ll need this again soon.. Hopefully it helps you too:

Dear You,

Everything you need to be beautiful, successful, incredible, blessed, trusted, respected, honored, and happy are already in your life. It may not seem like it, but its only because you’re focusing on the wrong things. Anything birthed prematurely risks complications. The complications you’ve faced that made you stop believing are all things that you gave birth to too soon. Still, God was kind enough to teach you a lesson from that journey that made you better for His use. Don’t take life into your own hands. Control the part of you that believes you know better than Him. Trust that if you don’t have it it’s because you aren’t ready for it. Believe that if it’s on your plate it’s because you can handle it. Stop doubting your strength and testing grace. Don’t do what feels right, do what makes you better. There will be countless things that allow you an escape from your insecurities, don’t use them. Instead, see your insecurities for what they are: places where love can fill in the gap. Love yourself enough that the insecurities have to become beautiful.

Be patient. Once you reach your destination you will wish that time would slow down. Find something beautiful about life everyday. Look beyond the bills, the heartbreak, the dying mother, absent father, the wild child, and the failed dreams. See the beauty in having another day, another chance. Choose to no longer worship the way things should have been. Praise God for knowing you weren’t ready.

You’re going to lose yourself along the way. It’s inevitable. You won’t always do things right, but no one else does either. No matter what they say or how beautiful their lives look from your view, we’re all carrying a weight. Stop trying to see theirs it’s keeping you from balancing your own. The moment you realize that you’re lost you will hide from those who know you best. You will need them to remind you who you are when you forget. Their memories of your laughter will help you find your voice.

Watch out for “they” because they’ll always have something negative to say. They won’t always understand why you have to be so “much.” They will tell you it’s because you think you’re better than they are. They’re going to form a group and exclude you from it. You won’t understand it and it will make you pick yourself apart. Don’t. It’s not your sense of humor, your choice in music, your beliefs, or your struggles. Just be glad that you were brave enough to show your truth and have peace that it wasn’t meant to be understood by them. You only want people in your life who understand being connected to you adds “much” to them. You’ll feel like an outcast, but it’s okay. Great people are never fully understood just admired.

When you start to find your true identity people will still be looking for glimpses of the old you. Some will be unsuccessful, others will be content with learning the new and improved you. Have a memorial service for those who want to hold you to your mistakes and poor decisions. If that’s all they choose to see, then they shouldn’t be granted access to the blessing that is your journey.

This will be the hardest part: You’re going to lose people you thought could never walk away from you. As if you were nothing, they’re going to turn their back on you. You will beg and plead for a reason to apologize. You will comb through every conversation, moment, text, phone call, and encounter. You will look high and low for something that justifies being abandoned. Understand that you can only control your part. Insecurities ignored have symptoms. You can’t always fix those things with your love leave them to God.

You can love their brokenness, but only they can grant God the access to heal it. Do not think so highly of your love that you set it up against God. There are truly some storms only He can calm. A blood transfusion doesn’t heal the injury it only makes it easier to manage. When you give your love to another it should make life easier to bear. Your love may even save them from despair, but it can’t save them from life’s injuries. Some people are intent on hurting others, because it’s easier than admitting their hurting on the inside.

They aren’t evil. They’re broken. You don’t have to let them break you too though. You don’t have to lose yourself trying to save them. Be strong enough to choose you.

The moment you stop focusing on who God is in other’s lives you’ll find Him in your own. You will spend years seeing His hand on other’s lives and wondering why He has yet to touch your own. He has been with you everyday as consistent as the beat of your heart. You never knew He was there because He was born with you like the hair on your head. Others could see Him from the outside looking in, but because His presence was always with you, you took it for granted.

Find Him in everything You do. May every word out of your mouth be a reflection of Him. That’s how you will become a light that the world cannot diffuse. When your light burns for Him the world will have to take notice.

You will make it. You will be lost.

……and found.

Jody K Young

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ABUSE

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Yep, thats me!~ Black eye, cuts & bruises. All endured in the name of “love”. Thank God I got out, thank God i survived. I decided to write about an extremely important issue that effects many relationships and can help you identify if you’re in an abusive relationship. I’ve talked to several individuals that report their partner having a “temper problem.” Usually when I hear this description, I know there is likely more to the picture. Being in a relationship that has elements of domestic abuse may be hard to identify, especially for the individuals who are currently in the relationship. It is common for people to use denial and rationalization techniques to justify staying in an unhealthy relationship. An example of rationalization might be “she/he only hit me once, I know she/he was stressed out about work, otherwise it wouldn’t have happened” or denial, “my friends say it’s weird, but honestly who doesn’t yell and cuss out their partner every once in a while.” It is all too common that the abused partner grew up in a home with domestic abuse and/or had their self-esteem whittled away over time, in either case, the abuse can be normalized to many people who are in the relationship. Additionally, those who are the abusers are also more likely to have witnessed domestic violence as a child and this pattern as an adult can feel normal. I’m writing this month’s newsletter to dispel some of the denial, rationalization, and justification that may occur and promote education to help people identify if they are abusing or being abused by their partner.

Identification and Observations

Domestic abuse or violence can include physical and/or sexual violence, threats of violence, emotional abuse, and coercive tactics. Emotional abuse can be hard for outsiders to detect since physical marks are not left behind to cue others of the abuse. Instead, the recipient of emotional abuse experiences psychological (emotional and mental) harm, due to these attacks. Emotional abuse can be characterized by verbal attacks, with the intention to belittle, humiliate, mock, criticize, or intimidate with the goal of controlling their partner’s behavior. These verbal attacks can occur publically to embarrass or humiliate their partner, or in the privacy of one’s home. Neglect and psychological (emotional) unavailability can also classify as emotional abuse. How to identify emotional abuse? Commonly people who are the recipient of emotional abuse have low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, physical complaints (i.e. headaches), sleep and appetite disturbances, fatigue, dizziness, increased substance abuse, and weight change. Gastrointestinal and autoimmune disorders have also been associated with abuse. Be sure to listen for subtle cues that one is being emotionally abused; high conflict relationships can at times, tip one off to this occurrence.Physical violence is often called domestic violence (DV), which is the use of physical force. Physical violence includes sexual assault, throwing items, hitting, pushing, punching, burning, biting, pinching, assault with a weapon, choking, restraining, confinement, and kicking (think of any act that uses force). The impact on the abused is both psychological and physical harm. Physical abuse signs include bruising (face, neck, arms, legs, abdomen, or back), broken bones, black eyes, burns, wounds or bruises at different stages of healing, and swelling/puffiness in the face or around the eyes. Another sign that one is being abused occurs when the reported history of the injury does not match the current injury. The psychological response to DV is the same as stated earlier with emotional abuse, however there are higher rates of PTSD symptoms which include hyper arousal (i.e. exaggerated startle response and hyper-vigilance), avoidance of things that remind one of the abuse (ex. places, people, situations), and re-experiencing the abuse (ex. flashbacks, intrusive thoughts/images, nightmares). Many people may not meet the clinical criteria for PTSD, but they may still experience symptoms since PTSD symptoms are experienced on a continuum.

What Do I Do?

If you know someone who is being abused, you are being abused, or you are abusing someone, get help. This is not the type of situation that one can resolve on his/her own and the benefits of receiving help dramatically outweigh the outcome of not receiving help. Help includes telling a therapist, doctor, or start by calling a hotline for DV (1.800.799.SAFE) to receive more information on the resources in your community. Breaking the silence is a courageous and important first step. Tell friends or family so they can help support you and can help connect you to places/people that are trained to deal with abuse. There are foundations that financially help those who are being abused to get away, groups where you can meet others in the same situation, and lawyers that will help work for your rights (pro bono). The resources are out there and the wonderful part of breaking the silence is that you can start to protect yourself by reaching out to those who can impact the situation.As alone as you might feel, rest assured that you are not. In fact, 33 million or 15% of all U.S. adults, admit that they have been a victim of domestic violence (Harris Poll 2006). There are a lot of people out there that can understand what you are going through. Among adults, 39% say that they have been the victim of at least one of the following:o Called bad names (31%)o Pushing, slapping, choking or hitting (21%)o Public humiliation (19%)o Isolated from friends or family (13%)o Threats directed at the victim’s family (10%)o Forced to have sexual intercourse without consent (9%)Something important to remember is that abusers commonly use coercive tactics to isolate the victim from family and friends. I recommend staying connected to those that care about you because they can, and will want to help you! For an excellent source that provides detailed information on how to protect yourself, see: http://www.thehotline.org/get-help/safety-planning/If you know or suspect someone you care about is being abused, urge them to seek professional help. Be a person of support for that individual. All too often people ignore the signs of abuse and in a sense, they end up passively accepting the abuse by not communicating what they see to the individual that is being abused. Educating a person about their options without being judgmental, preachy, or overbearing can make a huge impact. I know several people who might still be in an abusive relationship had their family and friends not intervened. It is important to understand that there are varying stages of change that occur. In other words, some people are not ready for change, some may be thinking about change, and others are ready to act on change. The stage a person is in will dictate how receptive they are to hearing your thoughts on their relationship, as well as how open they are to receiving help. As a friend it is your duty to have the difficult conversation. Plant the seeds for change and educate your friend or family member about their options (no matter what stage they’re in). A common hurdle many people in abusive relationships experience is feeling trapped, whether perceived or real. A trick is to ask the person if it’s okay for you to tell them about some options you’ve learned about (this gives the person who’s experiencing the abuse, control of the situation) and this disarms defenses so that the information is wanted vs. planted on them (just think less resistance).If you are abusing someone, there are DV groups that can help. Many people feel guilt, shame, and sadness after they’ve hurt someone. These emotions can then increase stress, which sets you up to react with more anger in the future. It’s this cycle that you can break by changing your behavior, but you need professional assistance in doing this. Anger management groups and individual therapy are great places to start, but in my experience I have found that people really benefit from groups specifically designed for DV abusers groups that address the elements of DV. Domestic violence hotlines can help you receive help as well and get you connected to these groups/individual therapy. You can change the dysfunctional behavior by learning new ways to cope with anger. Be open to change and remember as you take a risk by receiving support, you will be helping yourself and the people you around you.In the state of California as well as many others, laws protecting the victims of domestic violence are not limited to heterosexual relationships. The police and judicial system have the capability and the responsibility to protect victims as well as prosecute abusers. If you find yourself in immediate physical danger at the hands of an abuser, call 911. There is simply no excuse for domestic violence.Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope that it was informative and can help motivate change. I survived & so can you!~

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Jody K Young

Been Shattered

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I’m so tired of trying to be strong. Every now and then I want to let the pain wash over me and set me free. I want to let the tears drown my insecurities and feel the sting of my neglected wounds. Every now and then I need to feel everything all at once. I need to feel the sunshine and taste the rain. I need to remember that it’s okay to not be okay.

I just want to be weak. For one moment I want to let it all go. In Your presence I want to feel everything I held behind this smile. At Your throne, at the feet of Your grace I want to expose the pain. I’ll take with me the love that burned my soul and the lies that stained my heart. I want to remove the filter from my heart that turns every possible truth into fearful lies. I want to remember what it’s like to take a person for their word. I want to feel safe being vulnerable.

In the stillness of the night I let the sorrow fall like rain over me. I admit that the beautiful cul-de-sac has turned into a prison around me. I give in to those moments. Head first I dive into the pain and I soak it up. I feel all the misery that once lived under the pseudonym of hope. I cave in. Not to the fear, not to the pain, not to the bitterness, or the shame. I cave in to the truth.

We’re told to believe that there is one signifying breaking point. The truth is that it takes way more than one straw to break the camels back. Little by little we adjust to the pressure of being strong. We strain, we tear, we stretch, but we refuse to break. We refuse to blink and let the tears pour out our fear. The disease we bear it. The death we can handle it. The trouble doesn’t scare us. The debt? No problem. The eviction notice won’t unsettle us. We take each of life’s blows on the chin.

How is it if He doesn’t give us more than we can bear, but we feel so tired? But didn’t we take on more than He ever asked of us? Our greatest weapon against trouble is faith. When will we learn to let go of the things we cannot control and trust Him to just be Him. We’ve got it all. All the things we want and so few of the things we need.

When was the last time you decided to stay true to you instead of the image?

Don’t let pride rob you of the beauty in the ebbs and flows of life. It’s okay to not be okay. Full submission to Him doesn’t require that you have strong will, it’s actually quite the opposite. It does, however require full trust in His. What profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36 KJV). Our first responsibility is to our own truth.

Are you willing to let His strength be made perfect in you?
I’ve been tired for more days than I can remember now. I’m so afraid of disappointing my small world that I’m missing out on Your great touch. I need more from You than I can ever get from them. Every time I feel like I’m on my last, You refill me. Still, I know my true restoration can’t come until I admit I’ve been shattered.

2 Corinthians 9:12 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Jody K Young