Is the baggage from the past getting heavy? Put it down! Baggage from past relationships, trauma, and childhood gets carried into the present until it is dealt with. This emotional weight strains a person’s mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational health. Can God make a way to leave the heavy baggage behind? Yes. Here are six steps to take to lighten the load.
- Agree with God that there’s a problem from the past, and confess it.
No one can overcome an issue until they acknowledge it. There’s a reason for every feeling—anger, joy, or bitterness. God’s word for “agree” is the word “confess.” To confess something means to agree that it is true. When it comes to baggage that is bothering an individual, they must recognize that things have gone wrong – either done to them or done by them – and agree with God or “confess,” that they have happened and affected them deeply. (more…)
Can anyone ever completely figure out love? No, because the mysteries of love and how to make it work baffle even the most well-intentioned individual. From parenting to marriage, friendship to business relationships, most find their best efforts often fail, and disappointment finds its way into their most valued sphere of life.
Why is this? It all comes down to a basic orientation in how one views themselves and others. In other words, since Adam, people have been looking out for number one, which is the surest way to destroy a relationship. People tend to think of themselves first instead of the relationship itself. They are trying to get what they want instead of seeing the needs of others. And because of this self-orientation, they destroy all chances of getting what they want and need, which is love. (more…)
The holidays are supposed to be the season to be jolly. But for anyone who comes from a toxic family, it can be painful. Is it possible to prevent the emotional pain of spending time with family members? Yes. Instead of fear or fighting, it can be a time of comfort and joy.
Begin by letting go of any unrealistic expectations. For example, it is unrealistic to think, “It would be wonderful to spend two weeks with my ex-spouse, kids, grandkids, and our pets all in one house. What could possibly go wrong?”
It is more realistic to set boundaries by limiting time spent together, learning to say no when necessary, and discussing plans beforehand. Communicate boundaries in a way that is firm but respectful. (more…)
What are some of the elements of building a solid friendship?
Strong friendships withstand the test of time and are authentic. One must take down their mask that hides their true self from others. A relationship that is real includes both a person’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s essential to be open, vulnerable, honest, and sincere with others. And share struggles with a friend. When individuals share their struggles with grace-filled friends, they find that they accepted regardless of their faults, and they experience the joy of acceptance.
Friendships do not happen automatically—they must be cultivated. It’s easy to lose friends by neglecting to stay in touch with them. Spending time together is required; as often as possible, keep in touch with each other. Make the phone call or text to initiate getting together with each other. After all, friends are committed and devoted to one another.While it is a natural tendency to withdraw from others, it can often become unhealthy. Taking a break from people is fine occasionally, but isolation is deadly. Remember, solitary confinement is one of the worst punishments devised by mankind. (more…)
When someone is in recovery, how do they begin to restore relationships of those hurt by their addiction? Life Recovery Step 8 says, “We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.” Making amends is a requirement in recovery. Yet, the person offended can choose to accept or reject the amends and restore the relationship.
Remember the Parable of the Prodigal Son? When the prodigal son moved home, he had to make amends. He left home to find his freedom and hurt his family as he made this choice. He didn’t handle that kind of freedom well, though, and “he wasted all his money in wild living” (Luke 15:13, NLT).
No doubt, as the prodigal son headed back home, he rehearsed what he would say. He may have identified what sins he had committed against God and his family, then he confessed it. Finally, because of his betrayal, he saw his unworthiness, an accurate picture of himself. It was no longer about him; he no longer cared just about himself. He was ready now to see the reality of his condition. (more…)