The Guilt of Moving On

“This isn’t about guilt or innocence. The point is, it’s time to turn a page.”

I messed up. I can see someone saying “we all make mistakes…no one is perfect.” True, but I messed up, and am having a hard time dealing with it. This will probably be one of the most transparent things I’ve written to share publicly. No…I am not going to serve some “piping hot tea”, but instead be very real about what I am currently experiencing.

A choice can be a mistake, but all choices are not mistakes…sometimes our choices are intentional. Let me explain…

If I check the weather and it says it will rain, and I think to myself “I’m not going to be out long, I can beat the rain. I’ll just leave my umbrella in the car.”, when I get caught in the rain with no umbrella, I can honestly say this choice was a mistake. I mistakenly thought that I would be finished before the rain came. Now if I know that I’m going to be long, and getting caught in the rain is definite, and I still choose not to grab the umbrella…well I just chose to get caught in the rain. This was no mistake.

My choice, was no mistake. I knew I was getting caught in the rain, and some days decided to dance in it. Never was I proud of this, but I allowed myself to stay in it. Several times, in fact, I tried to escape it only to return. Finally, I decided once more…no more rain, and I sought counsel to assure that I had accountability so that I wouldn’t return. I also sought counsel to confess and repent, so that I could be free and move forward. All of the above were accomplished, though I am not walking away from this unscathed…

In the process of me playing in the rain, my actions were hurting someone. I honestly never intended for this person to know my actions were affecting them, but our sins have a way of finding us out. Carrying the responsibility of causing someone else immense pain is a heavy burden to bear. Now I know many love to quote and argue that God has forgiven me, so I am forgiven…and I believe this with my whole heart. I have confessed, both to God and the person that I have wronged, and I am forgiven. Ironically enough, the person was pretty adamant about wanting me to understand that they aren’t angry with me. You’d think this would make me feel better, but it doesn’t…

While I am forgiven, and the person holds no grudge…they are still hurting from something that I chose to do. My choices caused and continues to cause them emotional and mental agony. So how can I say “I’m forgiven. Now I can move on” when I know things aren’t just that easily handled for them. It seems selfish to drag them in a pit with me, and once I am rescued, walk away and leave them in the mess I made. It’s not fair.

So now I battle with moving forward for my own healing and restoration (because I too was hurt in all this), and feeling guilty for actually doing so.

Normally there’s a lesson I have learned or a moral to my story…not this time. I ‘m sort of at a loss. So, If you’re reading this, please say a prayer for me. Thanks.


Anxiety Sucks…

So when I first started this blog, I stated that it would do double duty as a journal (of sorts) since I found it so hard to actually journal. This post is one that may or may not be beneficial to the reader…but hopefully beneficial for me.

So anxiety…I have it, and it is often triggered by specific situations and people. What I am learning more and more, and it was a huge lesson for me yesterday, is that my anxiety and the things/people that trigger me are mine. I take full responsibility for MY anxiety and MY triggers.

Yesterday my anxiety was triggered, and I responded as I normally do (in an unhealthy way). In an attempt to get a hold of myself I went for a run.

Sidebar: you know how on TV when people are experiencing some sense of stress and they go for a run and if fuels them? That’s fully what I was expecting to happen…it didn’t.

So I went for a run in an attempt to clear my head and rid my physical body of the affects of my anxiety. Somewhere in the midst of my run I realized I wasn’t trying to run the anxiety off, I was trying to run from it. At this point my thoughts changed…I was faced with the task of directly addressing my issues, which eventually led me to come up with some affirmations specifically tailored to combat my anxiety. Here are some of my takeaways from this run…

  • this anxiety is yours…you cannot hold others hostage to the responsibility of managing or preventing it
  • these triggers are yours…while they may be directly connected to specific people, or even the cause of what you experienced with specific people, they(the people) are not to blame
  • my present situations are not my past situations
  • my current relationships are not a duplicate of my past relationships
  • the people in my life now are not the people who hurt me then
  • I am loved and needed…but also wanted

As I ran, and these affirmations came to mind, I had to fight back tears, and almost broke down several times. I keep assigning what happened to what is, and it interferes with my ability to heal and be free.

Last night I surprisingly went to bed with little effort, but awoke (before my alarm) to that sizzling, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Anxiety. As I laid there I wondered what it was that was still holding me hostage…why, after my time of reflection, was I still anxious? I got up and prepared for my morning run. Normally when I run I listen to music. This morning I decided to listen to a sermon from one of my favorite preachers (Steven Furtick). I was looking…well actually I was planning to look for a good sermon to listen to, but the first sermon at the top of the list was one titled Why Am I Anxious…go figure. Of course I chose that one.

That sermon was ordained by God for me to listen to this morning at this particular time. It was so good and so relevant that I literally listened to it back to back. I was running the first time and wasn’t able to keep note of the things I knew I needed to be keeping note of. Some takeaways from this sermon…

  • Him: nothing changes until I do
    • me: I can’t expect things to be different if I’m doing the same things that I know cause me anxiety
  • it’s not what is happening that’s causing me anxiety, it’s how I am thinking that is causing me anxiety
    • nothing has been done TO me…I’m allowing my mind to take me to a place of offense, which triggers the anxiety
  • there are some ways in me that are making me vulnerable to the way things are and allowing me to remain anxious
    • it’s not all external…it’s mostly internal. I can’t (always) change the stimulus, but I can always control my response
  • what am I taking in? how full am I of what?
    • I’m certainly not taking in enough to make me emotionally/mentally/spiritually strong
  • what hope do I have to have peace, if I don’t make a place for it
    • I spend far too much time thinking (and in some cases obsessing) over the wrong things…my mind is often consumed with unhealthy thoughts
  • we have faith that we don’t feed, and then we don’t have access to the strength that we would have if we did feed it(faith)
    • your’e slacking…you’ve not been feeding your faith
  • before I change what i take in, I need to know what I take in
    • as much as I hate doing it, I need to take better inventory of my thoughts and disconnect more from frivolous or unhealthy stimuli (including social media, music, tv)
  • if you let the enemy in, and then pray for God to drive him out, it creates a cycle where you are creating your own state of mind that you are trying to pray away
    • this is so me…it’s exactly what I do. I need to stop.
  • some of the people we allow in our lives are draining our faith
    • as much as I enjoy and love them…if it’s causing me spiritual/mental/emotional weakness, I need to decrease (and in some cases cease) interactions

All of this was easy to hear…none of this will be easy to implement/change. I recognize I have a task ahead of me, but a necessary one, nonetheless. I’m exhausted…

If you’re interested in listening to the sermon on anxiety (I highly recommend), here is the linkĀ Why Am I Anxious