ARE YOU LIVING WITH A SHAMEFUL SECRET?

DISCOVER HEALING FROM THE PAIN

T.D. Jakes, on his TV talk show, discussed how people spend many years of their lives managing their hurtful secrets.  Furthermore, author and pastor, Rick Warren stated, “You’re only as sick as your secrets.”

Do you live with an embarrassing secret? If so, read on to discover how you can experience healing from its emotional devastation.

IS THIS SECRET HURTING YOU?

Whose secret is it? (Ecclesiastes 12:14)  Does this secret belong to you or someone else?  No matter what, you can get rid of its emotional grip on you.

How is this secret affecting you? (Ephesians 5:12-15)  Life coach, Martha Beck, advises,“First ask yourself, and possibly an impartial adviser, whether the secret is harmless or destructive.”

Why are you carrying this secret? (Luke 12:2-3)  Your answers could include: “I’m afraid.” “I have to protect someone.” “I am ashamed.”   However, keeping any secret that harms you mentally and spiritually is never advisable.

HEALING THE PAIN

Pray about your secret God wants you to be healed from the secret’s devastating grip on your emotions.

  • Talk to God about your secret. Do this if you do nothing else.
  • Believe in God’s power to heal you from the hurt you are feeling.

Confide in someone else. Martha Beck also suggests confiding to whoever can be an honest, open, and positive source: A professional counselor, minister, or a trusted friend.

  • Share how the secret is making you feel.You do not have to betray someone’s confidence by sharing the details of her secret.
  • You should certainly tell someone your secret if you or someone else is in immediate danger or is the victim of a criminal act.

Have a meeting with the person whose secret you share. Here are some suggestions for how to release your hurt from the harmful secret that you share with another person.

  • Meet with the person face-to-face if it is safe to do so.
  • Speak to the person using only “I” statements such as “I feel…”
  • Avoid using “you” statements such as, “You made me feel…”
  • Let the person know you are now releasing the secret’s power over you.
  • The person may not be sympathetic to you or understand your feelings.  Expect it. This is ok.

Have a solitary meeting.  You may not feel comfortable having a face-to-face meeting with a person. The person may have moved out of your life or died. In these cases, you can try the following exercise alone.  If it becomes too painful for you, stop immediately. Seek professional counseling to help resolve this issue.

  • Sit while facing a vacant chair. In the vacant chair is the person whose secret is hurting you.
  • Talk to the person as if he or she was there. Again, using “I” statements, tell them how this secret has harmed you.
  • Let the person know you are now releasing the secret’s power over you.
  • Literally say, “Goodbye” to the secret.
  • Pray each day for help to let the pain go until you no longer feel victimized by it.

Forgive. Whatever method of release you use, the final step is forgiveness.

  • Keep in mind, forgiving someone does not let the offender off the hook.
  • Forgiving is God’s remarkable way of healing your hurt.
  • You must make a decision to forgive. You cannot base forgiveness on how you feel.
  • If needed, be sure to forgive yourself also.

FINALLY…

If your secret involves abuse with someone who may physically hurt you or another person, do not try these interventions. You need professional help. Please dial 911 for help as soon as it is safe to do so.

Help is available. We are praying for you.

 

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DO YOU NEED MORE LOVE?

4 WAYS TO EXPERIENCE OVERFLOWING LOVE

Do you ever feel that you need more love more? Does that mean you need to receive more love or do you need to give more love? Read on to find out more.My mom, who went to heaven in 2009, often prayed for everyone to get “more love.” Paul, the apostle, described my mom’s “more love” as “overflowing love.” Paul also prayed for his followers to discover a love that overflowed (I Thessalonians 3:12 NLT).

4 WAYS TO EXPERIENCE “OVERFLOWING LOVE”

1. Accept Love – You are loved. Do you accept God’s love for you? Best of all, God’s love for you is unconditional (I John 4:10). You don’t have to earn it or work to keep it.  It’s yours for all eternity. C. S. Lewis said, “Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.”

  • God accepts you as you are. There’s no need for pretenses with him or anyone else.
  • Be your authentic and wonderfully-made self.
  • Be grateful to God each day for His great love for you.

2. Discover Love – Fall in love with God. Loving God is the highest form of love that you can ever give. Discover how to love God with all of your being: heart, mind, and soul (Matthew 22:37).

  • Spend time with Him alone each day. Look for him in nature.
  • Talk and listen to him through prayer.
  • Learn more about Him through a study of the Holy Scriptures

3. Share Love – You share your love with family, close friends, and others. How do you show your love? Is it your way or God’s way? Pray for God’s help to show “overflowing love” with them and others.

  • Become less self-involved (Romans 12:10).  Focus on changing your own faults instead of others.
  • Practice becoming more accepting and less critical of your families and friends.
  • Try finding out how the other person needs love. How can you deny yourself to meet his or her needs?

4. Expand Love – Some people are easy to love. Others are not. For whatever reasons, loving some individuals can be a challenge for you. I believe the closest relative to “love” is “forgiveness.”

  • For some of you, the difficult process of forgiving must happen first (Matthew 6:14-15). After forgiving, your love can begin to overflow into the lives of those who have hurt you.
  • Others may never be capable of returning your love. But after granting them your sincere forgiveness, you will experience peace.

Finally,… It is God’s love in you that overflows to others.  Now, when I’m feeling lonely or unloved, I remind myself that I was not placed on this planet to receive love from others. My purpose is to share God’s love with them.

For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 NIV

We love hearing from you. Please click here for questions or comments. Thanks. God bless!

 

RECOVERING FROM FAILED EXPECTATIONS

Practicing Acceptance and Forgiveness

The fresh-baked cookie was loaded with chocolate chips. My daughter, Glori, tasted it expecting to be overwhelmed by its deliciousness. However, she was very disappointed. The cookie didn’t taste nearly as good as she expected!

Have you ever expected more from someone, something, or yourself, only to be left disappointed? Failure feels permanent. But given time, you can recover from its devastation. Read on to discover how.

FAILURES ARE INEVITABLE

SOMEONE – You naturally trust your family and close friends. You also rely on close relationships at church or work. You vote for the government official who will best serve you. Unfortunately, one or more of these individuals will eventually fail you.

THINGS – The car that first brought you joy has drained you financially. You had a great business plan. Yet, your business failed. The dress that looked so great in the store looks awful on you. Things can quickly fail!

YOU – You couldn’t make the relationship work. You can’t seem to kick that addiction. You’ve disappointed yourself and failed your family. Feelings of hopelessness and defeat can quickly follow self-failure. 

RECOVERING FROM FAILED EXPECTATION

The common denominator between all types of inevitable failure is “expectation.” You expected different results.

Try practicing these steps for acceptance and forgiveness to recover from failed expectations.

  1. Acceptance – Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God (Romans 15:7).

The closer you are to people, the more likenesses you’ll share with them.  At the same time, your familiarity can make it difficult to accept their differences.

Practice these steps for accepting others:

  • Accept the things you love about yourself. The more self-accepting you are, the more accepting you will be of others.
  • Accept the things you do not love about yourself. This does not mean you should allow bad thoughts and habits to go uncorrected. It means you should accept yourself as perfectly human.
  • Next, prayerfully start extending the above steps of acceptance to others.
  • Finally, permit your family and others to think and act differently than you.
  1. Forgiveness – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

God does not expect you to permit others to misuse and abuse you. But inevitably, others will offend you. They may never ask for your forgiveness. Still, you must forgive them.

What good will forgiving others do you? Forgiving someone is a gift you give yourself. It cures the poison that unforgiving injects into your heart and mind.

Practice these steps to forgiving others:

  • Take your focus off the person. Instead, decide what were their offensive actions toward you.
  • Honestly admit how the offensive actions hurt or angered you.
  • Grieve for your hurt, loss, disappointment, etc. Be sure to get help from others if you need it.
  • Next, put yourself in the offender’s place. Would you want to be forgiven? Then, pray for the strength to do the same to them.
  • Finally, be sure to forgive yourself if needed.  Too often, your harshest critic is you.

Finally, …

Most of all, remember, Jesus will never fail you (Hebrews 13:5).

We love hearing from you. Please click here for questions or comments. Thanks. God bless!

 

 

 

3 PROMISES FOR HEARTBREAK, HOPELESSNESS, & HUMILIATION

ENCOURAGEMENT FROM THE BEATITUDES

You may be experiencing a lingering heartbreak or feeling hopeless. Maybe you can’t get over a humiliating experience.  Discover how 3 promises from the famous Beatitudes is especially for you!

Heartbreak is the feeling of grief, sorrow, or overwhelming disappointment. Heartbreak can happen suddenly. There is little that anyone can say to you or do to relieve your initial pain from heartbreak. Time is the most effective healer.

No matter what is the cause of your heartbreak, learn to mourn your loss. Mourning is the healthy, first step to coping with any kind of heartbreak. “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

Hopelessness is a feeling of despair or inadequacy. It leaves you feeling incompetent, doubtful, and uncertain. Hopelessness often follows a series of disappointments and feelings of failure.

If you are facing a hopeless situation, stay faithful. If possible, remove yourself from negativity. If you can’t leave the negativity, renew your mind with positive affirmations and scripture. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)

Humiliation results from feeling ashamed and foolish.  Humiliation usually accompanies a public embarrassment instigated from others or yourself. Your dignity and self-respect has been wounded. Like heartbreak, humiliation can happen suddenly.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” If you are experiencing humiliation, hold your head up! “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10)

Finally…

Recovery from heartbreak, hopelessness, and humiliation can be a slow and painful process. Forgive whoever is needed and that includes yourself. Then, get back into the game! God loves you. He’s helping you right now.

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WEEK 4 OF OUR MARCH CELEBRATION

IT'S TIME TO PUT YOURSELF FIRST!

This is the final week of our March anniversary celebration! Thank you for joining “Team Transformation” for our first year. We are excited that God is blessing you and healing you each day according to His perfect will for your life!

“…and I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).”

It’s Time to Put Yourself First! (Published Aug 26, 2016)

Are you selfless? You probably spend a lot of energy making your bosses happy. You spend most of your time making your families comfortable. Without a doubt, you are a loving and caring person.

But there is a problem that happens too often with loving, caring people like us. We become so selfless that no “self” is left for us.

There is a better way to love and care for others. Start by putting you first.

You, body, mind, soul, spirit - a mind map for personal growth

Should you always put yourself first? Not literally. However, your spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being must become a priority.  By practicing excellent self-care, you will think clearer and have more energy to care for others.

Devote some time each day to care for your spirit, mind, and body. There is no one way to do this. You have to discover what best works for you.

Here are the 3 priorities for putting you first. 

  1. The Spiritual You– Start each day with prayer and meditation. Talk to God about your problems and concerns for the day.  Trust God for guidance with your tasks and decisions.
  2. The Emotional You– Whatever is going on in your mind drives your emotions.  Let go of past hurts and disappointments by practicing forgiveness. If necessary, find a professional to help you let go of emotional pain. Find a way to relax each day.
  3. The Physical You– Practice good health habits each day. Eat healthier. Get a regular exercise routine. Get enough sleep. Start by making small changes and set goals for yourself.

one woman with her eyes closed

Finally, …

You deserve to be your best self.  The people you love and serve will greatly benefit from a healthy and stress-free you!

Question: What changes have you made recently to take better care of you?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

WEEK 3 OF OUR MARCH CELEBRATION!

SHATTERED HOPES AND BROKEN DREAMS

For week 3 of our March anniversary celebration, I’d like to share one of our earlier posts that continues to inspire me. I often experience shattered hopes and broken dreams. However, for each time, God never fails to give me a new direction. 

He is also leading you through your time of difficulty or indecision. Don’t give up! Your steps are indeed being ordered by God (Psalm 37:23).

3 True Stories of Shattered Hopes and Broken Dreams

A young man has dreams of escaping the poverty he was born into. He uses his talent to break into the entertainment industry. His first performance fails. Now he is once again staring at the face of poverty.

A 52-year old, former teacher has invested her life in service to others.  Sadly, on this day, she is arrested for trying to do the right thing.

A young woman is engaged and planning her wedding. But everything changes when she discovers she is pregnant, and the father is not her fiancé.

Who are these 3 people? See below.

iStock_000038156316_Large

The young man is Tyler Perry. He is a contemporary film producer, director, screenwriter, playwright, author, and songwriter. Also a philanthropist, he has given millions to humanitarian causes.

The 52-year-old woman is Susan B. Anthony.  She’s best remembered for her role in the Women’s Suffragist Movement. The Susan B. Anthony amendment of 1920 gave all women the right to vote.

The young woman is Mary, Mother of Jesus.

We now see that great things can still follow shattered hopes and dreams. First, we have to recover from the hurt.

Here are 5 steps to help you heal from your setback toward greatness. These 5  steps are far from complete. But we’ve got to start somewhere. So, let’s get going!

5 Steps for recovering from the hurt

  1. Accept it. It is what it is!  Your plans failed. Your hopes are shattered.  It’s over. Admit to it.  Accept the painful truth. But don’t stop here. This is the beginning of your healing process.
  2. Mourn the loss. Your dream meant everything to you. Take time to mourn your loss. Cry hard! Talk it out with a sympathetic friend. Journal your feelings. Pray. Avoid artificial means of coping.  Alcohol, drugs, and food, will only temporarily numb your pain.
  3. Keep the faith. This is the part where you get to work on yourself. Forgive where needed. Spend time nurturing your spiritual being.  Susan B. Anthony grew up in a Quaker family. Tyler Perry is open about his faith. Mary- well, you know the rest of that story!
  4. Bounce back.  As soon as you can get back in the game, go for it! Keep repeating the 3 steps above while expecting your healing to occur. Speak positive affirmations to yourself. Ignore the voices of negativity.
  5. Start now.  No more procrastination.  Write out your goals and plans.  Work on them each day. You are stronger now. You are wiser now.

Use the steps above that work for you. Disregard any that don’t.  Whatever you do, never give up!

Remember this; You were created to share your greatness with this world. This is who you are.

For help with healing the toxic emotions that surfaces during difficult times, click here.

Question: Have you recovered from any shattered hopes or broken dreams? How so?  You can leave a comment by clicking here

References:

  1. Susan B. Anthony, http://www.pbs.org/godinamerica/people/susan-b-anthony.html.
  2. Mary,http://www.christianity.about.com/od/newtestamentpeople/p/marymotherjesus.htm.
  3. Tyler Perry, http://www.tylerperry.com

WEEK 2 OF OUR MARCH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION!

5 SURE WAYS TO BECOME THE "CRAZY" IN THE FAMILY

This is week 2 of our March anniversary celebration! To celebrate this very successful year, we are posting some of your favorite posts from our first year. Thank you for your calls, comments, emails, and helpful suggestions. Please keep them coming!

Our purpose is to bless you. Thank you again for joining this ministry of transformation. We urge you to share your stories of healing and of God’s love to the world.

We love you and wish you God’s peace.

5 SURE WAYS TO BECOME THE “CRAZY” IN THE FAMILY  (Published April 9, 2016)

With families, we feel love. Through families, we experience security. Within families, we have crazy. I confess. In my loving, secure family, I was the “Crazy.”

Happy family with dog . Child's style drawing

How to Lose Your Sanity in 10 Easy Steps, written by Lara Nemell-Barette, was recently posted on BLOGHER. The post is hilarious and true. It’s spiced with a few expletives, but, I related to every step! In fact, it’s the inspiration for this blog.

Take it from me, you never want to be the crazy family member. But, just in case you do, here are 5 sure ways to get there.

5 Sure Ways to Become the Crazy in the Family!

  1. Never say how you truly feel because you don’t want to hurt another’s feelings. The crazy ones are not always the screaming relatives who will tell you exactly how they feel. (They may be rude or unthoughtful, but not crazy). The crazy person is you or me trying to get everyone to love us by never expressing our true feelings. Stop that! Express your true feelings when asked! Defend yourself if needed. But remember the Golden Rule: “Speak to others the way you’d like to be spoken to.”
  2. Compare yourself to another family member. Maybe you look up to all the successful, high achievers in your family. Maybe, you are the only high achiever in your family and don’t understand why the others won’t get off their duff! Either way, if you’re always measuring yourself against someone else, you lose. We all have different purposes and callings in life. Start putting all your efforts into being the person you were created to be!
  3. Make sure everything you do is perfect (My Way or the Highway). It is not that anything we perfectionists do is ever perfect. It’s that we drive ourselves crazy trying to make it perfect. So, we’re always finding fault, procrastinating, making excuses, trying to outdo, regretting, etc. Start experiencing joy in what you do by giving it your best. Afterward, create time to relax and rest.
  4. Take care of everyone else. Spend every day making sure all the fully-abled adults in your life are taken care of. Rescue your grown children over and over. Keep trying to change your spouse or significant otherabo. Constantly lecture the addict. What’s missing here? Your life.
  5. Believe everything your preteen and teenage children say. If you never have to speak to a child, ignore this part. If your children and grandchildren won’t lie to you before you can blink, ignore this part. For the rest of us, accept the fact that our children may tend to give us their “version” of the truth. Trust me. Teachers are far too busy to make up lies about your child!

Our crazy is often rooted in generational strongholds of toxic emotions.  Click here to discover ways to break free of the harmful.

Question: Have you ever been the “Crazy” in your family?  How so?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Question: Have you ever been the “Crazy” in your family?  How so?  You can leave a comment by clicking here. (You can read my Comments Policy by clicking here.)  

 

 

WE ARE CELEBRATING!

March is SDT's One Year Anniversary.

This month marks our first anniversary as the Selma Dean Team, and it’s all because of you! To celebrate this very successful year, we are posting some of your favorite posts from our first year. Thank you for your calls, comments, emails, and helpful suggestions. Please keep them coming!

Our purpose is to bless you. Thank you again for joining this ministry of transformation. We urge you to share your stories of healing and of God’s love to the world.

We love you and wish you God’s peace.

TEAMING UP FOR EMOTIONAL HEALING: WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN OUR TEAM! (Published March 19, 2016)

A problem exists. Something has to be done!

The group forms to solve the problem. This group could consist of family members, athletes, employees, military personnel, or students. Each member commits to accomplishing a common goal. They become a team.

We, at the Selma Dean Team are bound by a shared problem: Toxic emotions and negative thinking. We also share a common goal: Live our God-given life’s purpose with our best emotional health.

Business People Cooperation Coworker Team Concept

Why join our team? Our Selma Dean Team members come from all the groups mentioned above, plus many others.

  • You are not alone. You may not realize it; others have struggled to overcome emotional problems similar to yours. Many have succeeded, and so can you!
  • Others can benefit from your strengths. Likewise, you can benefit from their strengths. The power of your individual weakness is reduced as you grow stronger.

Who is the team leader? Hi. I’m Selma. I assumed the role of the Selma Dean Team leader for two reasons.

  • First reason: I’ve been there. Now, like you, I am participating in this marathon of healing toxic emotions. (Read my story by clicking here.)
  • Second reason: My God-given purpose in life is to help you discover peace and purposeful living. Through my professional preparation and experience, I am prepared to lead you on this journey. (Click here to read my biography.)

Who are the other team members? Our list of team members starts with you. Here’s why:

  • You are probably reading this because you are interested in emotional healing. Welcome! You are now a member of the team.
  • You are becoming empowered through knowledge. Learn as much you can about healing your emotions through our weekly blogs and other resources. “Knowledge is power!”
  • You are discovering your life’s purpose. Freeing yourself of toxic emotions allows you to get rid of the clutter and baggage that has blocked you from becoming who God created you to be.

Are there other teams? Yes! There are different paths that will lead you to emotional healing.  Create a support team.  Keep searching until you find what works best for your specific needs and beliefs.

  • Visit your doctor to discuss counseling.
  • Explore online articles to learn more about your issue.
  • Seek out support groups and services that promote emotional healing.
  • Remember, your well-being is very important to us at selmadean.com. We love having you on our team!

Question: What are some ways that you can contribute to the emotional healing of others?  You can leave a comment by clicking here. (You can read my Comments Policy by clicking here.)

3 THINGS TO STOP AND START LIVING YOUR PURPOSE

Question: Where are the “normal” people below? Answer: None.

Growing up with parental addiction, childhood abandonment, and other kinds of abuse can cause lifelong feelings of inadequacy. From childhood, you search for the day when you will begin to feel “normal.”

If you’re still struggling with feelings of inadequacy and seeking to be normal, there is help for you. This includes 3 things you must stop to start a more peaceful and fulfilled life.

3 THINGS TO STOP AND START LIVING YOUR PURPOSE

  1. Stop Seeking Approval. Shirley Chisholm said, “I’m looking to no man walking this earth for approval of what I’m doing.” Unlike the first African American Congresswoman, you may have already wasted too much of your life trying to win approval and love from people. It’s time to focus on your God-ordained purpose. God created you. He is happy with who you are!
  2. Stop Seeking Perfection. As a perfectionist, you get the job done extremely well. You can easily see where others fall short, yet criticism from others can be extremely hurtful for you. Your imperfections are merely part of your perfect design(Psalms 139:14). Make peace with your imperfect self and resolve to focus more on your issues.
  3. Stop Seeking Material Gain. Multimedia’s unrealistic portrayal of success and happiness is based on having “stuff.” Too much emotional energy spent on material gain leaves less energy to fully pursue God’s great plan for you. Make seeking God’s purpose for your life the 1st priority (Matthew 6:33). You will experience God’s peace with energy to work hard for everything else you need.

Finally…

“Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don’t fit into boxes.” – Tori Amos

 

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4 WAYS TO HAVE OVERFLOWING LOVE

You are a loving person. However, do you sometimes feel you could love more? Is it possible to increase your capacity to love?

My mom often prayed that we would all get“more love.” I agreed while not realizing mom’s prayer request included me! However, later, as my love was tested, I definitely needed more love. Furthermore, to get there would require some actions on my part. Read on to see how.

Paul, the apostle, described mom’s “more love” as “overflowing love.”Like mom, he also prayed that his followers would discover a love that overflowed (I Thessalonians 3:12 NLT).

4 WAYS TO HAVE OVERFLOWING LOVE

Accepting Love – Accepting God’s love for you is the first step. His love for you is purely unconditional (I John 4:10). C. S. Lewis said, “Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.”

God created you and is very pleased with his creation. God accepts you as you are. There’s no need for pretenses with him or anyone else. Be yourself. Bask in gratefulness for God’s great love for you.

Discovering Love -Loving God is the highest form of love. We discover how to love God with our every being: heart, mind, and soul (Matthew 22:37). Fall in love with God. You fall in love with God just like you fall in love with anyone. Spend time with Him alone. Look for him in nature. Talk and listen to him through prayer. Learn more about Him through a study of the Holy Scriptures.

Sharing Love –The people dear to our hearts include our spouses, children, siblings, and parents. Included also are the others you choose to have close relationships with. Even when difficulties between you occur, you usually reconcile with the people you love.

Can you share more love with your family and friends? Yes. Sharing “overflowing love” to your loved ones is usually a matter of your becoming less self-involved (Romans 12:10). As we work through our own issues and faults, we become more accepting and less critical of our families and friends.

“Overflowing love” also requires finding out how your loved one needs to be loved. In what ways can you deny yourself to meet his or her needs?

Expanding Love – Some people are easy to love. Others are not. For whatever reasons, loving some individuals can be a challenge. I believe the closest relative to “love” is “forgiveness.”

For some of you, the difficult process of forgiving must happen first occur (Matthew 6:14-15). Then, your love can begin to overflow even into the lives of those who have hurt you. They may never be capable of returning your love. But after forgiveness, you will experience peace.

Finally, … “Every act of love is a work of peace no matter how small.”  Mother Theresa.

 

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