Category Archives: Souls Revealed Challenge

Soul Revealing Questions: Chapter 9

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I can already tell you, without even reading through this set of questions, that I am going to be disappointed. A few weeks ago, I would have loved to just be done answering the questions from this book. Now that I’m on the last chapter, I was hoping for quite a few questions so that it took me some time. Unfortunately, there are only three short sections… 


 

  • Are your family and friends supportive of your goals? Do they encourage you? Do they put down your efforts?

My family is extremely supportive of my goals, though they have not always been. They don’t encourage me when they see something that will lead me to hurt. At the same time, sometimes their lack of encouragement is the very thing that leads to that disappointment and hurt. 

As for my friends? Most of them are family. The others, what very few that I have, are very encouraging whenever they are around. At the same time, many of them turn out to not be true friends, so how can I say that they are supporting? Half the time they end up causing me the most trouble…

  • Who are some of the people you know who have obtained similar goals? How did they do it?

My coworkers. My ex. He relied a lot on me for support and help. I’m not entirely sure how my coworkers did it, though I know most of them do not have teaching certificates so their path to success may have been a tad easier than mine. *yay for politics*

  • How do you handle setbacks? Do you assess the reasons behind the setback and address those issues?

Isn’t that part of the reason I started this blog? If I write about my setbacks, I can more easily analyze them and determine the best plan of action. Though I must admit, when they first hit me, I’m pretty much a mess. Normally emotions range from 1) really angry to 2) really sad. Then I get my act together and start processing. 


So that’s it… That’s the last Souls Revealed post! Maybe I will have to find another self-help type book soon. In the meantime, I’m going to read a nice piece of nonsense fiction because I have not picked up a novel in quite some time! 

Soul Revealing Questions: Chapter 8

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I have missed writing on here, though it’s only been a few days. So here goes another question/answer post. This is the second-to-last one, and I am hoping to finish both of them tonight, so stay tuned…


 

Money Tree

  • What is your belief about money?

Save it. As much of it as possible. It’s not worth the stress in your life and the danger in your life that frivolous spending and irresponsible saving can lead to. As for money in general, it stinks! Let’s face it, no one would do an honest day’s work if they didn’t have the motivation of money, but it also makes people jealous, envious, and plain old evil. 

  • How does your family handle money?

See above? I mean, I handle my own money my own way. What they do with their’s is their business.

  • What are your money goals?

Right now I’m trying to save for a safer winter vehicle!

  • How much stress does money cause in your life?

None. Until you get one of those huge bills for some doctor’s appointment or other function. And then you realize that it would be lovely to know how much these tests and crap would cost you before you go to the appointments…

  • Do you live beyond your means?

Never. I was raised to live below my means so that I never have to rely on a man (or anyone else for that matter) to save me from my own debt. 

  • Do you impulse-buy or do you evaluate your impulses versus your needs?

There are moments. Impulse buys are very rare in my life and I make sure that I have enough money to do the impulse buying before going out with a wallet full (okay, maybe not entirely full) of money to spend. 

  • What do you do with money? Do you tend to save, spend, or invest?

Uh, I earn it? And then I spend it? As to the second question: yes, yes, and yes!

  • When was the last time you checked your credit? What is your score?

Never. Why check it for no reason? Besides, people look at how many times you check your credit and it can give you a bad rap if you check too many times. No idea what my score is, not that I’d care to share it on here for anyone to see. 

  • How much money do you spend on personal care- hair, nails, etc.?

I get my hair cut about once a year, maybe twice. For less than 30 bucks each time. Every now and then I’ll buy a one dollar bottle of nail polish and do my own nails. (For the record, we should not ignore the fact that I do spend money on hair shampoo, own fingernail clippers, etc. It’s not as though I live like a bum, but I also don’t spend on hair dye, french manicures, etc.)

  • Do you have outstanding debts?

See above? 

  • How much money do you need to feel comfortable?

With the way society is today, I need more than you might realize. I know what I can live on comfortably, but there is always that fear that health insurance will go up, some idiot will wreck into my car, or some other “natural” disaster will occur that will require me to have a ton of money. 

  • What are your retirement plans?

Considering I just started my first full-time job, I have no retirement plans. Though I do have a 401K and some investments to save money for the future…

  • How would you handle an unexpected life change (like a job loss)?

A job loss? I’d cry! Who cares about money, I’d just be devastated! I work my butt off at my job and I love my students and coworkers so much! As for money, my family can always support me if they need to, but I would go back to my previous employer if I absolutely had to. 

  • Are you willing to provide financial support to your partner?

Erm, what partner?

  • How do you feel about being supported by a partner?

Again…. see above?

  • What is the best money advice that works for you?

My dad always told me three things:

  1. Never owe anyone anything that way you can live independently and with less stress.
  2. If you plan to use credit or checking accounts, make sure you have all of the money already saved so that you don’t have to worry about paying interest or defaulting your account.
  3. Choose a career that pays well, but choose one that you love first. Then you won’t hate money so much and you will be provided for by yourself without needing anyone to support you. 


I would put some additional thoughts here, but I hadn’t expected to find these questions about money. Now that I think about it though, I did read a chapter about finances…

 

~Me

 

Soul Revealing Questions: Chapter 7

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Apparently I’m meant to be on a writing roll today. This is my third (?) post, and I have not tired of t yet! It’s keeping my mind off of things, namely science, work, and death. Lovely…

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  • What don’t you like about yourself and your life?

At this point in my life, I’m pretty content. I don’t like things that have happened, but I’m mature enough to realize that I can do nothing about those situations now. The only thing I can do is control how I react to them or let them affect me now. 

  • What would you like to change?

Sadness in this world. It’s too sad and people are too mean. But I know I have no control over this…

  • What do you believe are your greatest strengths?

I am a great listener, and sometimes an even better teacher. I feel like I’m also good at being a friend, but I know that sometimes others will disagree with me about that idea. 

  • Are you open to a life change at this time? How hard would a change be for you right now?

I am sort of open to a life change at this time, but I just recently went through some huge life changes. I think another huge change would be hard right now because I am still settling into the idea of these other new changes. It would be great if I could accustom myself to one thing before another popped up. 

  • If you are considering a life change, how soon would you want to start working on that change?

I most definitely will not be the one to instigate the new life change. At least not yet!

  • What are the top two life goals that you would like to pursue?

I want to teach (yay, I’ve made a lot of progress with this lately!). I also want to find love (I have found this in my family, but not so much in others who I have not grown up around).

  • What could be your potential roadblocks?

Other people. For sure.

My own fears are probably the biggest issues. 

  • What are the biggest concerns to you that could threaten your plan?

I love challenges, but mental ones. I hate physical challenge or emotional challenge. These things can rip me to pieces in an instant. So my biggest concern? Not so much with teaching, but with the other goal… my biggest concern is being hurt. Hurt so badly that there is no way for me to heal. 

  • Who do you know who can inspire you?

My parents and others I know who have found the type of love that I would like to one day have. They’ve already taught me a lot about relationships. 

  • What will be the financial cost of attaining your goals?

No financial cost. If anything, I will earn more money by teaching. 

  • Will you need to seek help? What would the best possible way of getting help be?

Yes, I always will need help. There is no great goal in life that can be achieved alone. I think I’ve already made this clear, but I will look at relationships around me, talk to my parents and family for advice… as for teaching, I will continue to expand my knowledge base and watch my coworkers in their teaching environments. I have a lot of growing to do in that area, but the major part of the goal is accomplished!

Soul Revealing Questions: Chapter 6

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I’m having a hard time staying distracted right now, so I am going to try to complete some more of these questions. Then some homework or another good book sounds good, but whatever I do, I need to stop thinking! Thanks for understanding (whoever may be reading this that understands). Even invisible support is appreciated. 

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  • Describe how you have stepped out on faith.

I used to think Faith was a silly thing; we all went to church for Sunday School to memorize this book and these passages that I never thought I would relate to or use in my entire life. It was like someone wrote this novel, just like any other novel, only longer and more confusing. I guess as a child, I didn’t really believe in the Bible. I believed in God and prayed more often than I have done at other points in my life, but I sort of stepped out simply because I never stepped in.

As a teenager, my life changed a lot. At some point I started praying for so many negative things to get better that I felt selfish and just stopped praying on a regular basis. I still believed in God but I questioned what was happening in my life and why it had to happen, especially to my family. At that confusing point in my life, I took a step back from my faith because I didn’t understand anything going on at the time and was entirely confused about every part of life. 

  • How do you look at your life?

I’ve come to realize that life is a learning experience and if I don’t treat it as such, I will spend my entire life questioning things that have happened in the past for no good reason. It’s important to understand why things happened in life, but it’s more important to be able to understand that they did happen and to keep on living until the reason brings itself to light. 

At this point I also feel like my life is all about helping others. Sometimes I feel selfish when I think about myself and my own problems, but for the most part I am giving to others. The only people who I don’t give to as much as I really should is my family; they are all much better at giving than I am, though I am trying to get better around them. I guess by the time I am done spending all day giving, my give has run out and I need to rely on my family more than ever. 

  • Do you pray?

Constantly. Though I have to say my story has changed in reference to this subject. As a kid, I would say the same prayer every night right before bed. My parents taught me the prayer and it stuck with me. Even when I was a teenager, I would still say this same prayer with just a few extra thoughts or wishes added to the end. Sometimes I still do this…

Now though, I find that by the time my head hits the pillow, I’m zonked. There’s no energy left in me or thoughts to be able to put together into a full sentence, let alone a prayer. Sometimes my prayer is as simple as “Goodnight God, watch over everyone for me.” Other times it is longer and more specific to what is going on in life.

Lately, as I am trying to regain my independence and find my strength again, I have found myself praying at completely random times. At work, in between my classes. At night or in the morning during my travel to or from work. The only real consistency that my praying has is 1) when I have the chance to go to Church and pray with the rest of the congregation or 2) when something bad has happened to someone who needs as much prayer as they can get. 

  • Do  you have a spiritual relationship with God?

I guess that really depends on what you consider a spiritual relationship with God. I’ve already established that I pray and look to him for explanations of things that humans cannot explain, look to him for help in which decisions to make, etc. So if that’s what you mean, then yes. 

And since we are on this topic of “depends what you mean”, I think my biggest issue with Christianity and religions in general is that it is more complicated to be religious than to be a teacher! A teacher of a very difficult subject! I am never going to remember the definitions of all of these terms and meanings, especially when most of them mean at least two different things for at least two different religions. Just saying… I’m smart, but not that smart.

  • Describe how your faith has been easily wavered or increased over time. Give details.

Life makes it waver just as easily and fast as life makes it increase. Give details you say? Well any time one bad thing happens or one extremely good thing happens, my faith has been known to change. I am getting more sturdy and confident in my faith as I grow older, but since I am still young I still have a lot of that wavering and increasing. Luckily, over the past few years, I have felt the love of a person who truly loved me, I have done good for others, and I have grown within myself; all of these things have led me to see that God does do greater things than anything I had imagined before. Which is why my faith has increased so much recently. A few years ago, this would not have been my blog. This would have been the one that I rolled my eyes at and skipped over; not because I never took God seriously, but because people who spoke about their religion and beliefs were outsiders in my world. They were the people who could get you in trouble or into an argument without you even realizing it. (Sorry to those people now. I know I never did anything necessarily “bad” to you, but I also didn’t consider you anywhere near the person who I would become friends with because I judged too soon. I’m sorry.)

  • Do you call on God only when there is a crisis, or do you have an ongoing relationship with God?

Both. I am more likely to call on him during crisis, but I am also very aware of the fact that he is always around. It’s sort of like some of my friends; I know they are there but I don’t talk to them every day. I know that I should not be comparing God to friends, but he is a friend in his own way. 

  • When you’re in the middle of a crisis are you able to surrender to God?

At some point, that’s the only choice I have. But I am so headstrong that I always think I can handle things on my own or find the help I need in others who are here, those who can hug me or talk directly to me and give me a sign or a message that is not as much left up to interpretation as God has been known to give. 

  • Have you faced a health crisis, and if so, how were you able to work through it?

I had mono when I was a teenager. I guess I wasn’t in too much of a crisis, but it was a pretty big deal to me since I was too stubborn to want to miss school or work. I was able to work through it because of the Internet, because of friends, because of family, and because I was still young. Since that was one of those confusing and hectic times in my life, I am sure I relied on God a lot too. I just don’t remember exactly who I relied on during that time (since, what do you know, I was always very tired and forgetful!)

  • What gifts do you believe God has given you?

He has given me so many things. I think I just need to make a list…

  1. My family
  2. My animals (and my love for them)
  3. My maturity 
  4. My stubbornness (no, not always a good gift, but one just the same)
  5. My strength
  6. My personality (I’m not sure I could stand myself if I was someone else…)
  7. My talent and my love for that talent (teaching)
  8. My love of reading
  9. My business-like approach to my personal life as far as finances, decisions, etc. 
  10. The experiences that I have had in life (and more importantly, the lessons I have learned from them)
  • How do you plan to have your gifts work to help your family and friends?

They already are. I am now able to help my family financially. I am able to rescue animals because I have the maturity and finances to be able to support them. God also gave me my unconditional love. I have been influenced in such a positive way by my family and friends; I have “used” that gift to make me the person I am today. I have used my personality to connect with others and touch lives (even in the smallest ways). I could go on and on… Most importantly, I have learned to teach and I am so dedicated to it that I have already been told that I have changed students’ lives. That is the biggest blessing of all, to hear a child say you made their life better. 

  • What would you like to bring closure to?

It seems to me that this book has asked this question more than once… And again, I would like to say that I need closure with my past relationships (family, ex, and friends). Though the more I live, the more closure I receive. 

  • What are you most grateful for?

See all of the talents above? Thank you. 🙂 

Soul Revealing Questions: Chapter 5

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I finished reading the Souls Revealed book two days ago, but have only had time to type up the questions so far. I’m not sure what made me decide to finish reading all in one night, but I did. Now I have about five chapters worth of questions to answer and absolutely no time to answer them. So here goes, with Chapter 5. Let’s see how much I can get done!


 

  • Have you experienced being attacked at a critical point in your life?

That depends on what you consider an attack. I would say yes, since my life has been changed for the negative at really pivotal points. Having family drama as a young teenager when I’m trying to figure out myself and my own reactions was a bad time for me. Also starting my first full-time job (which required a ton of my focus) while losing my best friend and fiance is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And for whatever reason, these were critical points in my life as well as bad parts.

  • How did you feel during and after that experience?

Alone? Confused? Sometimes I’m still not sure…

  • Did you abandon your dream?

I have not abandoned my dream of teaching since each of these events has happened. In fact, both of them led me to be a better teacher because I have more time to put into my classes and students. Additionally, I find that these amazing kids that I teach lift me up instead of tearing me down like the other people had done. 

  • What lesson did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I need to trust myself more, but that I always do the right thing no matter how much it hurts. Try forgiving your fiance for breaking your heart and killing some of your dreams; if you can do that, you can do just about anything.

  • How much time do you spend working? Is it often during evenings, days off, weekends, and/or holidays?

It depends on the day and my mood/what I have going on. I often put in 9-10 hours during the week, at least 2 hours on weekends. I hate having papers on a huge pile to grade, so I’ll do them evenings, weekends, or days off as well. But I love my job, so what’s the harm?

  • Who did you surround yourself with during tough times- cheerleaders or naysayers?

A mixture of both- those who felt pure sympathy for me and those who wanted to say I told you so. The thing is, these people are important to me whether they are positive or negative. The negativity didn’t help nearly as much as the positivity, but there were only small negative moments. 

  • Were you able to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel? Were you in a fog?

Definitely in a fog. There is no light when you’re surrounded by a black cloak. It’s okay though; even if I didn’t see it then, I see at least some of the light now. 

  • How do you think it prepared you for your next life crisis?

Hmm… I guess that depends on what life crisis occurs…

  • Give an example of leading under adversity.

Teaching even though your heart is broken and you are feeling completely unsocial. Still being able to help people who are even better off than you are without judging or holding grudges. 

  • Are you a spontaneous person or do you need to plan your time based on a schedule?

I have moments where I am both of these people, though I find that my spontaneity is often a choice that ends in negativity. 

  • What do you consider to be quality time?

Any time spent with my loved ones. Some is of better quality than others, but all times are important. 

  • What is your typical day like?

Wake up, eat, dress. Do work, come home, study, watch TV with the family, go to bed. (This is my typical work day…)

  • How can you eliminate chaos from your life?

Be organized. Think before you act. Trust those who show they can be trusted. Pray. Hard.

  • Provide 5 ways in which you can seed optimism in your life.

Make a book of positive quotes- refer to it.

Attend Church and truly try to get something positive out of the lesson.

Make a playlist of positive songs that are encouraging.

Surround yourself with those who have positive attitudes, are great supporters of you, and are always around to help.

Learn from your mistakes so that you can be less fearful of events in the future. 

Soul Revealing Questions: Chapter 4

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I haven’t had the chance to write in quite a while now, or so it seems. But tonight I am able to thank God for Christmas Break. I know, it is something that everyone takes for granted (or maybe does not get to enjoy at all), but this is a big thing to me right now. I recently started suffering from headaches at work and have been extra stressed when trying to stay caught up and rest my head. 

Now things should be slowing down for a while, at least for the night. Which means I was able to successfully read the next chapter in my book. As always, the questions from the chapter (and their answers) are below. 

Enjoy!

~Me


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  • What are you holding on to that you believe needs to be healed?

My past relationships. My past experiences. For the most part, it feels like I have healed from them and moved on, but there are moments in my day or in my life that remind me of the past and things that I wish I didn’t still feel so affected by when just thinking about them. I think my failed relationship is a huge thing. I know, deep down, that I didn’t fail. Yes, maybe I could have done a few things differently, but for the most part, the relationship failed because I would not change myself for someone else. I know this, and yet it is hard to move on from this fact and into my new life while still knowing that my love is still there; it’s just clouded by hurt now. That, for sure, is the biggest thing that bugs me to this day. 

  • What issues in your past are of particular concern to you? Are you comfortable sharing your past experiences with others?

I think you just need to see above… Yes, for the most part I am comfortable sharing my experiences. The funny thing is, it’s easier for me to share these experiences with people I know less rather than those that I know well. It seems that those close to me are always more judgmental simply because they care more for me and want to help me decide (or do) what is best for me. Sometimes this is appreciated; other times it just seems like an opinion that works to fog my own opinions. 

  • Do you use drugs or alcohol? How does this impact the relationships that you have with others?

I do not. I don’t use drugs or alcohol, and I have perfectly good reasons for both (not that I should need a good reason). This fact has ruined multiple friendships for me, though I do not regret that fact much. Here’s the thing: my grandparents (most of them) were alcoholics at some point in their lives. Some of them sobered up and got clean, but others did not. I’ve seen the way that alcoholics can treat others. No, before you ask, I don’t think that it’s entirely the alcohol that makes a person bad, however; I do not think it helps to bring out the best in people. For this reason, I choose not to drink or be around people who drink. Some people understand and others just think I’m a stuck-up idiot who is too naive to take any part of the “fun” in this world. So, relationships have ended on this issue, and it seems silly to me from this perspective that I considered them relationships (friendships really) to begin with. Especially when they could fall apart so easily…

  • How comfortable are you with your body?

I have my days. I used to be a skinny stick and now I am just not. I’ve matured and grown and rounded out to say the least. Most days I am comfortable with this and can find at least three things about my own body that I truly would not change for the world. But when you’re surrounded by people and a society that thinks that you are obese (though in my eyes, the BMI calculator is a load of crap), it can be hard. I will often take someone shopping with me not just because it is more fun that way, but also so that I can get a second opinion on the clothes that I choose to buy for myself. And I do it so subconsciously, that I’m not sure I even realize how much of an issue my body image can, at times, be for myself. 

  • What pattern would you need to incorporate in your life to improve your health?

This is hard. I don’t really exercise. I mean, I do plenty of walking and standing/moving at work every day, but I never have the time to do things that are truly exercise related. I just run out of time! During the summers, I am better at trying to stay active, but during the school year I have to work so hard and rest so much to keep my mental health at its peak that I do not have time to run two miles (not that I can do so anyway…)

  • Describe your closest friends. Are you just like them or do you want to be like them?

I consider two people my closest friends. One lives across the country right now and is barely like me at all (case and point: I never would have moved across the country for a job!), and the other is my sister. Even her and I are similar but so different. She’s the caring, nurse-y, mom-type and I am the serious, official, worrisome teacher type. We do have a lot in common, but the thing is we have so much difference in us that we are definitely our own unique person. Some traits in both of my friends I would like to pick up, but I’m not jealous or envious of them for having stronger traits than I do. I see that my sister helps others at home (with chores) a lot more often than I do, but I also realize that I spend all day helping kids to become better in the classroom. I think we are similar but in different circumstances. And for the record, I am proud of both of the women that we have become. 

  • How vulnerable are you to pressure from your peers?

I used to be extremely vulnerable to peer pressure. Now? Not so much. If people have nasty opinions about me and I find out about it, yes, I get upset. But that doesn’t mean that I bow down to them and do whatever they say. I used to do that, but it’s not me anymore. I have become more confident in myself as an individual over the past five years or so, and I am not afraid to stand up for something when I believe it to be the right thing. 

  • How much do you rely on your friends’ opinions?

This I do a lot. I value so many different things in this world: nature and technology, arts and the sciences, family and friends… it’s not always easy for me to make decisions that require me to choose between two very amazing things. And yet it seems like most of these decisions are simple, every day things, like what to eat for dinner. I do take other people’s opinions into account when making larger decisions as well, but I am less likely to allow them to influence me when I am trying to figure out some big part of my life. 

Soul Revealing Questions: Chapter 3

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I am finding that I am enjoying the time off of work. Though I feel like I don’t really know what to do with myself since I have all of this free time, I am truly enjoying it! I have actually had time to catch up on sleep, watch some movies, give my pup attention, and spend time reflecting on my emotional and spiritual state. I know that many people do not take time for themselves emotionally, but I need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and recollect myself every now and then.

This evening my sister and I put up our tree for Christmas. Since the family has allergy problems left and right, we chose to use our artificial tree this year. It is also pup’s first Christmas, and I was scared that he was going to freak out about the tree. Possibly try to attack it; maybe pee on it? Who knows. In any case, we put the tree up without any lights or ornaments for a day or two to make sure that he wouldn’t ruin all of our decorations. Instead, we found that, at least tonight, he was scared to death of the fact that we built this giant tree right in our living room! It was pretty hilarious to say the least. Even though I dislike that he is always so scared of things. Hopefully this is a sign that, even after yesterday’s awful Thanksgiving, Christmas will be pretty good this year. My family all deserves a great day together.

In the meantime, I finished reading the third chapter of my book, so here are the questions that correspond:

  • What are your most vivid memories of growing up?

Most of my more vivid memories are of myself and my family camping, playing sports, and having a good time. It’s not until later in my childhood that I remember more negative things: the struggles that I had with kids in school, the amount of pressure that I placed on myself to be as perfect as possible, the struggles with my friends and family when I was a young teen, etc. It’s funny that some of the most vivid memories in my mind involve tiny little incidents that other people who were involved cannot remember now. It really shows me how perspective is different for each person. 

  • How were you treated as a child? Were you treated fairly?

I believe this answer depends on who we are talking about or the location that I was in at the time. My parents and my sister treated me amazingly. I didn’t realize it then, but they always did whatever was best for me. My sister especially looked out for me, wanted to grow up to be just like me, and loved me unconditionally. Other family members also cared about me and treated me mostly decent, but they didn’t understand my anxiety or my fear of being away from the parents and sister whom I had come to trust and rely on so much. Friends in school were amazing at first; I used to be so popular. When I became one of the most successful students in the school, I also became the highest-ranked student in my class. That was when people started treating me unfairly. Everyone wants to be the best, and apparently the only way to do it is to put down the person who is ahead of you at the time. 

  • Is there a history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse in your family?

Yes, but I’ve never been abused by my immediate family. My mom was abused in more than one of these ways as a child, but I don’t know many details. The only other thing that I know about it and understand is that her parents were also the grandparents that I have discussed in posts before. They were the ones who ended up emotionally abusing me when I got a little bit older. If they hurt me as badly as they did, I cannot imagine how my mom made it out of her childhood as well as she did. She’s a strong person, that’s for sure. 

  • What part of your childhood would you change, given the chance?

I’m not sure that I would change any of it. I didn’t end up where I am today out of pure luck or just by chance. Everything that I have been through has changed me in some way. I’m proud to say that I was bullied and overcame it. I’m glad to say that I overcame my fears of going to college by finding a scenario that worked for my needs. I’m proud to say that I have moved on from the people who treated me badly. The only thing that I wish would change is that I would be able to forget a little easier. Not forget completely, just a little bit better than usual. If I couldn’t already see the difference that my past has made in my life, I’d wish that I hadn’t experienced all of the hurt, disappointment, and abuse that I had to go through. And yet, I know people have had it worse.

  • What are your survival techniques?

I cry. I’m not scared to admit it. I hate crying in front of people because it always feels so awkward, but my body has no problem letting my emotions out with physical means. A lot of times, most often when a loved one dies (whether it be a person or a pet), I will dive into my homework for hours at a time and distract my thoughts by focusing on some kind of academia. I also find that writing helps a lot. If I hadn’t kept a journal and diary as a young child, I wouldn’t have made it through all of the bullying. I would have been a much angrier, much more messed up child. Even now, writing helps.

  • Have you received medical attention for mental illness or stress?

Yes, but I’m not sure why that is a bad thing. I was born this way and I have found ways to manage it to the best of my ability. I have simply sought medical help so that I could accomplish all of my goals in life, not because I could not handle myself, but because I wanted to be more, achieve more. It’s not bad to seek help of any kind, and I wish more people would realize that. Seeking help for me wasn’t a downfall or a bad judgement call; it was a coping mechanism and something that I needed to do. It’s important to let other people in, at least under certain circumstances.

  • What is your main concern or worry about your life?

I always fear being hurt emotionally. I worry that I’ll never overcome that feeling and that my friendship/family connections will grow no farther than what they already have done. I fear that I give up on myself emotionally at times, especially when someone has a problem with me for some reason. 

  • How do you manage your time? Do you find you can do it efficiently? Do you procrastinate or waste time?

Agendas, planners, calendars, and an innate sense of time management. I’m not sure whether my parents taught this skill to me or whether I picked it up on my own, but I am super organized. Some days I do procrastinate, but I’m so efficient every other day that, when I get a week or two ahead in my work, I find it’s okay to take a deep breath and read a book for a little bit before diving back into the tasks on my list. 

  • What do you consider to be quality time?

Spending time with my family. Any one of them, at any time, in any place. Being able to laugh and relax. Not having to worry about the realities of a job, relationship drama, or other things that I cannot control. I even consider sitting here typing to be quality time. Quality time can even be with oneself, so that you have time to process all of this emotional nonsense going on in your head. 

  • Have you been in a violent relationship? If so, explain. 

Yes. As stated above, my grandparents were pretty emotionally abusive. That to me is the same thing as violence. Besides that, no. I’ve never been beaten, put down, or completely ruined by anyone whom I loved and held near to my heart besides that. 

 

I sometimes get the feeling that all of these posts are a little too personal, but I need to put my thoughts somewhere, so unless the questions get too much more personal, I will continue to post them. I am finding that many people have been following my blog this week as I continue to write more and more of these posts. Maybe, just maybe, they are helping others to see that they are not alone. And if that could happen to just one single person, my writing all of this personal stuff will be a good thing. 

Please, if you have anything to say about any of my posts, comment below. I know that I changed my theme the other week and my comment buttons at the bottom of my posts are no longer very big, but they are there! So Comment! 

Until next time,

~Me

 

Soul Revealing Questions: Chapter 2

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The more I read this book, the more I feel like I was destined to read this book right now, at this point in my life. I no longer care that it wasn’t written for an audience that includes me. Instead I’m focused on soaking up the advice and letting myself heal after my recent breakup. Curiously enough this set of questions is geared towards a person’s biggest struggles.

What doubts do you struggle with?

I doubt myself. I doubt my ability to do basically anything that seems like a struggle during any particular situation. I don’t always doubt myself, don’t get me wrong; but it’s a lot easier to doubt yourself when you are stressed or when others act like you cannot succeed at the simplest of things. 

Explain significant past hurts, misunderstandings, and grudges that you feel are holding you back.

My grandparents were first. At least that’s how I remember it. Sure, when I was younger, I lost friends, had fights, and did normal child things with other kids in school. But the hurt that I remember most vividly is that which my grandparents gave to me. Shortly thereafter, and because of that interaction, my aunt, uncle, and cousins also hurt me. Without going into details, I can tell you that it was one of the biggest emotional slaps in the face that anyone can probably ever experience. It’s so difficult to go from having a nice, close-knit family to having three people in your life who you can even trust a fraction. That experience shattered my trust, my independence, and my confidence in myself for many, many years. 

Then there was the first time I truly liked a boy. I say boy because we were both still young to act like adults. While we weren’t “dating”, he chose Thanksgiving day to tell me that his parents allowed his ex-girlfriend to move in with him (I don’t remember the reason), and he could no longer speak to me because it made her uncomfortable. This too hurt. I had just started trusting again, only to be sideswiped again. 

Being bullied in middle school is one of the greatest misunderstandings and hurts that I have ever felt in my life. It’s nothing like having a huge set of friends whom you have spent years with only to turn around and have no one. Actually, it’s worse when you have no one but everyone else also puts so much extra effort into treating you like crap because of your grades, your kindness to your teachers, etc. It’s not as though I was doing anything wrong; from the way I understand it, people were just jealous. 

Most recently, again once I had begun to trust people for the first time in quite a while, I met a man. He was amazing and sweet and caring. He taught me to trust and love again. After just over a year, we got engaged. Less than 2 years later, he broke up with me. I made some mistakes in my tone of voice when speaking with him at times, I admit that. No one is perfect. But we were both aware of my issues and I was working to make them go away. He too had issues, to the point where he couldn’t control them at times. Or something… I’m not even completely sure. But the biggest hurt now is that we didn’t have some huge falling out. Things didn’t go horribly wrong. To this day, I still cannot say that I do not love him. I do. But he has a new girlfriend now and I am finding it extremely hard to be the friend on the side. It’s been tough, and I’m trying to let go. But every time I think of him (which is almost constantly), I cannot let go of the pain that I feel or the fact that I do not want to give up what was supposed to be my future, my whole life. 

What past hurt do you believe is your greatest barrier?

The most recent, for sure!

What is the most vulnerable part of your life?

My emotions. I even took a test online the other day (one of those stupid ones that ask ‘What is your age’ or some other nonsense). This test questioned “What is your biggest struggle?” My answer was that I was too lovable. Point proven… I love too much, too deeply, and too easily. Until I get hurt; then I pull back for a while until I’m comfortable taking the risk that it will happen all over again. 

What could someone do to make you able to talk about your concerns, anger, weaknesses, pain, and struggles?

Prove to me that they can be trusted. Prove to me that they truly care. Mostly, just show me love. I don’t require much, and I’m often very open about my situations. It’s my anxiety that I don’t like to talk about. 

Who do you believe has disappointed you or told you a negative story about yourself in your lifetime?

Many people. (See above for those who have hurt me most.) There are always people telling me I shouldn’t do one thing or another. My family is much better at keeping me supported and positive, but I think that there are times when even they have said something negative about me. Maybe not large stories that are negative or make a lasting impact, but negative things that are barely impacting my life at this point. 

Is there a relationship that you believe should be mended?

Right now, yes. In time, I will see that everything that has happened recently happened for a very good reason. Then I will know that it’s okay to just let some people go. I may never stop thinking about the relationship, the person, or the things that occurred (I’m very bad at forgetting), but one day I will understand it at least. 

That’s all for now. Happy Thanksgiving!

~Me

Soul Revealing Questions: Chapter 1

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I know that I have posted a lot lately, but I just finished reading Chapter 1 of Souls Revealed, and it ends with a few questions that I figure I ought to answer (since I’m trying this whole answer questions on my blog thing).

Here goes…

  • What are the emotional, material, and spiritual needs in your life?

Emotional- I need to feel loved and cared for. This often requires that I am not alone for long periods of                                            time and that I have people in my life who I can truly trust to support me in all things. I                                                    often feel the need to make others proud of me in order to feel happiness and success. 

Material- My biggest material needs are food, water, clothing, shelter, and a car. I require the car to go                                         to work each day, food (& water & clothing & shelter) for the obvious reasons. It also helps,                                            since I am a teacher and love learning, to have paper, writing utensils, textbooks, and books                                          in general. Would I say these are needs? No. But I am used to having them in my life, and                                               sometimes I think I take them for granted. 

Spiritual- I need my family. While this doesn’t sound spiritual, it is. My mom is extremely spiritual, and                                         she helps to remind me of the things that are important in my spiritual life. My dad is a great                                         inspiration because he reminds me to go to Church on a more regular basis. Both of my                                                   parents set good examples for me of how Christians are supposed to act. My sister is the                                                  greatest example of someone who always does things for others. She inspires me to be a better                                       person in general. I also feel that, while it is not a need per say, this blog is extremely                                                        important to my spiritual life. Being able to read other blogs about religions and positive                                                thinking/actions is an amazing thing in my life. It also helps me to sort out my emotional and                                        spiritual feelings when I wrote posts such as this one. 

  • Where do you go to meet those needs?

                    Church, home, work, and my back yard. Church, for obvious reasons spiritually and emotionally.                                 Home, because I get most of my material needs from there. My family is also there to support me, and I                       can find some quiet time to collect myself spiritually and emotionally before venturing out into the                               world again. Work, because my students set great examples that make me want to be a better person.                         Also because my job allows me to strive to be a better example for the kids, and of course, because I get                      paid. My back yard, because it abuts a field; a big empty field that is so peaceful, quiet, and relaxing that                    I have the perfect opportunity to sit and think while looking out on the countryside. Nature in general is                      a great place to go I think- at least spiritually and emotionally speaking. 

  • Who provides support to you? Who can you rely on in a moment of crisis?

My family. Even my dog can give comfort when I am feeling like being alone but cannot stand to talk to                     anyone. Actually, I am finding it harder to rely on my family at all times and for all crises. I think this is                     mostly because I am growing up, but I also attribute this change to the fact that I got used to speaking                         to someone else about my problems when I was with my ex-fiance. At that point, I relied on him to                              support me at all times. Now that I’ve lost that part of my life, I also feel lost when it comes to emotional                      things. Maybe that’s because it’s hard for me to get over the end of an engagement (something I never                          thought that I would experience), but also because I lost my main source of support at the same time. 

  • Who do you look to in order to share the truth about your life?

                      A diary. I let friends and family in to some parts of my life, but I don’t think anyone knows everything                        about me anymore. 

  • Describe your emotional stability. Are you at your tipping point? Why?

I’m definitely not completely stable right now. It gets even worse when you consider that having anxiety                    to begin with makes me emotionally unstable on a fairly normal basis. I don’t think I’m at my tipping                          point right now; I think I may have already been there and come back from it. At the same time, since                         I’ve lost what I thought of as my future, I’m quite a bit of a mess right now. 

  • What does it take for you to trust?

                  It always takes a lot. The first thing is that the person I am trusting me shows that they trust me first.                        Even then I over-think everything and struggle to trust. Sometimes I even distrust my family, but that’s                      because of past events as well. I used to trust everyone and anyone who showed me respect; now I have                      changed to stop myself from being hurt so that it does not happen again. 

  • When have you chosen a life of less?

                 Now. When I was a teenager. Especially when deciding whether to return to school to get my Masters or                   not. I believe now that I may have made the wrong decision then. My responsibilities now take away                           much of my relaxation time. I find I’m not focused nearly as much as I should be on my emotional and                         spiritual state of being. 

  • What are you the most fearful of in your life?

                    Being hurt again. That should be clear based on what I said above…

  • Are you bitter? What are the circumstances?

                  I don’t think so. I mean, every now and then I get angry at a circumstance or a person involved. But I                        don’t walk around seeking revenge, blaming others, or ruining my days by thinking about the past. At the                  same time, I’m never satisfied with giving up on any situation, and I have a hard time letting go of people                  I did love who stopped loving me or hurt me. In some ways, I feel being bitter would be better than                              whatever it is that I do when I get hurt.

  • How comfortable are you with yourself?

                   I know who I am. I am used to the person that I am. Do I wish I were someone different? Yes, sometimes.                   But that feeling often lasts for only a second or two before I remember why I am the person that I am and                  that, if I were any different, I could be worse off than I am now. It may not always be sunny and green                        grasses on my side of the world, but it could be worse from another perspective and I do not even realize                    it. 

  • How do you express yourself and your needs? How can you improve?

                 Which needs? Emotionally, I often cry when I get frustrated or lost with expressing myself. People who                        know me well know I need help when I am crying. And I don’t do it only when I am sad. I don’t really                         express my material needs. I am fairly independent and take care of myself. Plus I don’t need a lot of                           things that other humans could live without. It’s fairly obvious, especially in today’s world, that a shelter,                   food, and water are needs for any humans. 

I am sure that I can improve when trying to express myself because I am so easily emotional about                             anything. I cry when I’m happy, angry, or sad at times. Instead of allowing this expression to speak for                      me totally, I need to at least combine it with words (or not cry at all) in order to ensure that everyone truly                understands what I am discussing and talking about. 

  • What values are important to you? How do you incorporate them into your life?

                   Respect. Honor. Trust. Compassion. LOVE. Kindness. Privacy. Family. Intelligence.

*Respect is incorporated into my life because I show respect for everyone I am around (even strangers)                       and expect respect from those who I choose to spend my time around. 

*Honor- Same goes!

*Trust- See the discussions above. It’s very important for me to trust people, but I don’t do it easily.

*Compassion- I show compassion a lot of times regardless of whether others show it or not. 

*Kindness- Same goes!

*Privacy- I try to take time for myself on a regular basis in order to regroup and breathe. In addition, I                        find that privacy is extremely important so that less drama occurs in my life. 

*Family- See all of the above. We spend a lot of time together!

*Intelligence- I’m a teacher. Need I say more?

*LOVE- Yes, it’s capitalized for a reason. This is the reason that I live my life the way I do. This is                                   where my happiness comes from. This is why I bother to trust anyone to begin with. Love is the most                           important thing in my life and that will never change!

Well, I had intended to write more than this, but those questions took me much longer than I was expecting. Until tomorrow I guess!

~Me

“Almosts” Aren’t Enough

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Let me just say that, of course, I had no time yesterday to write the post that I was planning on creating. Of course not. Life always seems to get in the way of the way that I feel life should be, and I’m just going with the waves as they crash into me… Sometimes I’m lucky to float on the top.

Since it is Friday, I actually have about 48 hours to get some things done. In between exercising with the pup and cleaning the house, I’ll be doing homework and trying to get some relaxing done. Since I like to eat my dessert first, I decided I would write a post tonight and focus on the “less important” stuff tomorrow.

The book that I mentioned in my last post is getting sort of interesting, and I figured it was time to go back and finish reading the first chapter. Here goes the first activity:

Think of one of the most significant areas of your life that you would like to see change. You must be honest about your feelings and where you are at this stage of your life. Allow yourself to complete a list of “at least” statements that come to mind about your current situation and jot them down as a sentence. Write a statement about any area of your life.

  • Job-
    • At least I enjoy myself most of the time.
    • At least most of my kids like me.
    • At least no one can see my stress or anxiety there.
    • At least I don’t always feel like the odd-man-out.
    • At least I try my best at everything and admit to my failures.
    • At least I don’t have to drive an hour to work each day.
    • At least I don’t work on the road or have to travel often.
    • At least it’s better than my last job.
    • At least I get paid more than I used to.
  • Health-
    • At least I’m not as overweight as I could be. 
    • At least I don’t drink alcohol or do drugs.
    • At least I don’t smoke.
    • At least I get 8 hours of rest each day.
    • At least I know what I cannot do (physically).
    • At least pain is temporary.
    • At least it’s genetic.
  • Finances-
    • At least I know how to watch my spending.
    • At least I (could) have more money than others.
    • At least I can pay my major bills.
  • Love Life-
    • At least I don’t get hurt.
    • At least there’s no opportunity for someone else to hurt me.
  • Family Roles-
    • At least the house stays clean and things get done.
    • At least [someone] knows that I am grateful [for what they have done for me].
    • At least they know I love them [regardless of how much time I have to spend with them].
    • At least I’m not entirely alone.
  • Habits-
    • At least my habits are not as bad as other’s.
    • At least I don’t do anything illegal.
    • At least I’m accomplishing something.
    • At least (after I’m done with school) I will (hopefully) have time to spend on my hobbies.
    • At least people can tell when I’m upset [since I don’t say it out loud].

So, there’s my list. I’m not sure what this means. The book says to go back and re-read the statements (which I have done about 3 times now). Then it says to see if I notice any patterns. Uh… sort of? But I’m not sure how to say them in words!

Then the book tells me to keep reading… what lovely advice that is! I was hoping to read the first chapter and then stop. (haha that was a joke!)

Until I have more to say…

~Me