Let It All Out

Hey guys 🙂

As I enter into a new week, I have put my armor on and I’m ready to kick some butt. 🙂

One thing I have done to help with that is I have started making a point to get back into church and make it routine. For awhile there I just couldn’t get seem to get it together and just go to church…an hour out of my week, and yet something as simple as going to church seemed like a challenge but I am determined to make that stop.

In the last couple of weeks I have started to dig deep and get back to basics. I long for a simple, uncomplicated life and that has meant keeping my inner circle as close to me as possible and the rest will have to make an appointment.

Self preservation is not a bad thing. ❤

Last week when I attended church, I managed to show up early for Sunday School before the main sermon. The topic that morning revolved around being born again, being saved.

This struck a chord in me and actually made me emotional. I had been so wrapped up in earthly, day to day junk, that I wasn’t feeling as spiritually in touch as I wanted to be.

I spoke up in class and asked how can I truly be saved when I am bound to make mistakes and falter? Do I just ask for forgiveness and continue to be born over and over again?

I said, I feel guilty that I have missed so much church. I feel I have let my church family down. I said, it’s not just my work schedule that makes it challenging to show up. It’s an internal thing…it’s me.

When we discuss being saved, I am never sure how to approach it or what to say. I feel I have a relationship with God and I certainly have faith and believe in him but I said, I struggle to come right out publicly and proclaim that I am saved or that I want to be saved and make that true commitment to God.

I mentioned the persecution I feel sometimes as I become more rooted in my faith and more outspoken about it. That lead to discussion that as we get closer to the day when God will return, the bible clearly states Christians will be persecuted more and more each day…

Timothy simply states:

2 Timothy 3:12

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted

 

I continued to discuss the fact that am not sure I am ready to go there yet. That I tend to sit on the fence when it comes to making something like being saved offical and so I feel behind sometimes.

I didn’t mean to hijack the class and I said as much but the result of me speaking up and allowing myself to be vulnerable turned out to be a much needed positive experience and great discussion among the class.

Emotional and overwhelming but truly cleansing in its own right. I received so much support from the ladies and they were happy I spoke up and they prayed with me. I didn’t even realize I had so much pent up emotion until that moment.

One thing I have realized is that on a subconscious level, I think the reason I had started to avoid going to church in the last few months is because it was striking too many chords within me and overwhelming me.

Also, I am not used to receiving that kind of support…I don’t know how to ask for and accept it and so it feels awkward to me. I walk through those church doors sometimes and think, I don’t deserve to be here…I am not a stand up Christian. Church reminds me that I am painfully human and sometimes I just don’t know what to do with that and so I hide.

But I am starting to realize and understand what church is really about. It’s not about being the perfect Christian or keeping judgmental tabs on each other. It’s about helping each other as we walk our path with God. It’s a support system, a safe haven and a social outlet with like minded people that I desperately need but tend to avoid.

Today, I managed to make it to church again (2 weeks in a row woo hoo!) and today’s sermon was great. Now that I am really starting to dig deep and allow myself to be open I am getting much more out of the sermons and Sunday School lessons. I am left full with soul food and it makes me feel ready to face my week as I know that’s when the devil works the hardest. He loves to beat us down and encourage stress and worry over the day to day.

It’s also a nice outing not only for me but for my fiance too. It brings us closer together as a couple. It makes us stronger.

I finally have a man in my life who also has faith and believes God is with us. We are able to rise above a lot simply because we hold God’s hand together and if one of us is down, we’re able to lift the other up by reminding the other that God will take care of us.

The uphill climb a Christian faces today and throughout history is real. For some reason, many people cast stones on religion…They associate the word “religion” with being radical, close minded, judgmental, self righteous, corny, out of touch, uptight and stuffy.

This is unfortunate and I am not trying to say none of that exists within the realm of religion…but Christian or not, there will always be someone pointing fingers…always… in fact we’re all guilty of it if we’re being honest.

We are ALL human.

There will always be good, evil and everything in between… more importantly there will always be wolves in sheep’s clothing no matter where you turn but that doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself and it starts with surrounding yourself with the right people instead of trying in vain to get people to see what you see, think what you think and feel what you feel…we need to stop focusing on that, myself included and turn inward and hold on to the people who are truly there to offer love and support.

Keep your friends and family close and your enemies as far away as possible. Don’t engage, don’t react and fuel futile fires.

Try saying that three times fast. 😉

I made that mistake just in the last month in one of my posts…it reeked havoc on my Facebook page.

People deleted me and lashed out at me…persecuted me…I had a strong, controversial/Christian opinion and when I wrote the post, I was frustrated and instead of just leaving it alone and turning the other cheek, I sparked one of those futile fires and promoted the wrong kind of conversation and energy…for that I feel remorse and have learned my lesson. I ultimately took down the post because it’s not my true goal to start a social media firestorm of that nature.

Does that mean I retract my stance? No. It does not. Could I have expressed myself in a better way? Definitely.

All I know is I am going to screw up and that day I did but the quicker I make peace with that and stop worrying about what other people think of me the better. I have never claimed to be perfect and I never will be.

I think that’s what non-believers need to understand. Being a Christian does not mean being perfect or living some prim and proper, holier than thou lifestyle. We all have free will and are free to choose our own path so maybe we all just need to focus on paving our own path instead of trying to pave someone else’s.

This has been a valuable lesson that I have learned.

There are many things going on in today’s society that I do not agree with. Things that make me cringe…things I find hypocritical and totally backwards… I am sure there are people who feel the same about me and my beliefs but the one thing I have realized about that is to just stay true to myself and walk the path that is right for me. Talk about that and keep my mouth shut about the rest because honestly, why waste energy on and argue with people who already have their mind made up. Why stir that pot? In my experience, it was nothing but trouble…a total waste.

The best thing I can do is keep promoting the positive example I strive to be. Continue to grow in my relationship with God, with my spouse, my family, my friends and my church. The rest will fall naturally into place and will weed out the people who don’t need to be anywhere near my inner circle.

Aim for simplicity, for peace. Sure, you won’t always get it right. You won’t always practice what you preach but I will leave you with this cliche –

If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. 

 

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Christian With Bipolar Disorder (Extended Edition)

Hey guys 🙂

I was reading through some of my older blog posts this evening and I noticed one that keeps getting hits long after I wrote it so in light of that, I thought I would expand on that post.

If you’re interested in reading the older post, click on the link below –

A Christian With Bipolar Disorder

In that post, I discussed some of the personal challenges I face in regards to keeping my faith strong while living with Bipolar Disorder.

Honestly, I didn’t think it was one of my best pieces but as it turns out it received great responses and more people were able to relate to this topic than I thought.

Living with Bipolar Disorder certainly has its challenges and stigma. Add a dash of faith in God and the challenges and stigma easily doubles.

In the past, I have talked about the persecution of Christians in today’s society. Not just Christians but honestly anyone who chooses to believe in God. Those of us who believe know that as time goes on, that persecution is destined to get worse.

2 Timothy 3:12

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…

Personally, I desire to live a godly life. Am I good at that? Not really if I’m being honest. I screw up all the time but one thing I can say with confidence is that I am a resilient person.

In fact, I believe people who live with mental illness have an edge in that respect. The internal battle mental illness can bring day after day…to the point some people would rather take their own life…and do… but there are also so many of us who have managed to survive that battle. In some cases multiple times.

I thank God for my survival. ❤

You know, I was reading some material about Freud and his take on religion. As if the balancing act was difficult enough, the father of psychology states that God is merely an illusion…

Image result for Freud

Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires…

 

It could be ventured to understand obsessive compulsive neurosis as the pathological counterpart of religious development, to define neurosis as an individual religiosity; to define religion as a universal obsessive compulsive neurosis…

 

 

The whole thing (religion) is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life… 

 

And my “favorite”…

I regard myself as one of the most dangerous enemies of religion…

 

It’s interesting to note that Freud was born in Austria to a large Jewish family. His nanny was a devout catholic who took him to church every Sunday. Aside from that, Freud fled Nazis persecution and died shortly before World War 2.

As I find with a lot of Atheists, they don’t believe yet are fascinated with the subject. In this case I feel Freud’s take on religion is entirely based on his personal upbringing. If religion was introduced from a young age and in turn rejected, there is a reason for that and from what I noticed, people who reject God seem to be bitter about something. I could be wrong but it’s something that has stood out to me over time.

Freud is indeed dangerous in this regard as he states himself. He is one of the most prominent figures in psychology. Most people take his findings/opinions as the “bible” truth.

As if the stigma of having a mental illness isn’t enough, we now have to deal with a man  who’s words carry much weight even to this day and work hard against the Christian.

Hmm, I wonder what words from men of the past also carry much weight even to this day.

The bible comes to mind but remember, I’m delusional so believe what I say with caution…

So let me get this straight, I have Bipolar Disorder and apparently an obsessive compulsive, infantile mental state on top of it simply because I believe in God.

There is more than one article out there that correlates religion and mental illness. This does not surprise me at all given the state of our current world. It’s much easier to write off Christians as mentally ill then to think maybe they have a point…or a brain for that matter.

This just ties in with the mass persecution I spoke of earlier. Most Christians simply want to live in peace. Most are not banging down your door trying to shove their beliefs down your throat. Most are kind and are not running around killing people over the matter and many (are you ready for this?) are not mentally ill.

In part, you can thank the media for promoting such stigmas.

It blows my mind that in a world that currently promotes and borderline forces you to accept all for who they are without question, Christians still get some of worst ridicule…and for what exactly? How can there be such a double standard?

Apparently, I can’t believe in God without my mental health coming into question yet I could certainly question the mental health of people who currently ride the massive accept all/no questions train.

 

Freud makes yet another quote which I will leave you with…

…Religion’s eleventh commandment is “Thou shalt not question”…

Interesting…

 

Take Care and God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Scoffers. Protect Yourself.

Scoffer – someone who jeers or mocks or treats something with contempt or calls out in derision.

I admit, I used to be one of those people in regards to Christians…

2 Peter 3:3-4

Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

The last days that Peter mentions must be here because this morning I decided to expand my reach by searching for Christian blogs here on WordPress. In the search bar I simply typed in “Christian” thinking I would find a string of Christian based blogs that I could reach out to and follow…

That’s not exactly what happened.

Here’s what did happen and in all honesty it made me sad and also fearful of what the world is coming to.

Now I should note that yes, I found true Christian blogs and that was nice to see but here are some examples of what was mixed into my search.

Titles such as –

  • Not Much Evidence For A Historical Jesus.
  • Personal View: Why I Don’t Believe In The God Of Evangelicals And Fundamentalists.
  • Most Christian Women have Poor Sex Life…Behave Like “Dead Bodies” In Bed – Bishop Dag Heward Mills.
  • Reasons I Don’t Like To Call Myself A Christian.
  • I Am Not A Christian

So I decided to be fair in this experiment and in the search bar I typed in “atheist”

*Warning: It doesn’t get much better from here on in*

  • Good God! (don’t you wish there was one?)
  • The Spiritual Quest Of The Atheist, In Six Questions
  • Everyone Is Actually An Atheist
  • Advent, My Way #9
  • Sermon By An Atheist

Now the thing is, just like when I typed in “Christian” and found a lot of atheist blogs, when I typed in “atheist” I found a lot of Christian blogs.

One thing I noticed about the atheist blogs which intrigued me was the fact that atheists seem to know the Bible quite well and even use Bible verses to prove whatever point they are trying to make…I am not saying this about all atheists but I have to question why some atheists are so interested in the Bible when they don’t believe in God.

The only reason as a Christian that I give atheists a remote platform here is because God warned us in the last days this sort of thinking was going to run rampant and it appears to be spreading like a virus doing everything in its power to destroy your faith, question your intelligence and lump you into a preconceived notion that people who believe in God are just “Bible thumpers” trying to cram their ignorant, religious agenda down your throat.

Just like there are plenty of good, honest people out there who believe in God and follow the word of God, I need to be fair to the other side of the coin and say not all atheists are bitter and trying to cram their beliefs (or lack thereof) down the throat of the Christian community. There are plenty of good people out there who don’t believe in God. Some of them are in fact my friends but it is not my job to dictate what path a person should take in their life. That is a very personal thing that only we can figure out for ourselves.

I like to keep things in my life as simple as possible so my suggestion on protecting yourself from this sort of thing is to simply not engage it. If someone does not want to believe in God that is their choice and God gave us free will therefore we need to respect that…on both sides.

I am not interested in debating someone who does not share my spiritual views. It is a waste of time and precious energy that I could be spending on myself and my personal growth as I walk with God.

What I am interested in at this point in my life is finding people who are navigating the same path to God that I am in the hopes that we can lift each other up in our faith. There is strength in numbers so why allow the non-believers (The ones who wish to harm us spiritually) divide and conquer our faith?

It is imperative that we protect our spiritual immune system. There is bitterness and contempt surrounding those of us who want to follow God and the word of God and it’s safe to say that bitterness and contempt is getting stronger and stronger everyday.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mental Break – In Progress Update

Hey guys! 🙂

I know it has been some time since I have written anything here. The main reason being, I have reached a crossroads in which direction I would like to take Mental Break – In Progress.

Technically, I have had this blog for over two years now. The original premise was to create awareness about mental illness in order to combat the stigma associated with it and also to have an outlet and connect with others through something I have always loved and that is writing.

About eight months ago now, I went through some serious life changes and in the process I felt it necessary to delete my blog entirely. In hindsight, I wish I had given it some more thought before hitting the delete button. Two years of written work gone. Just like that!

After considering my actions, I decided no, I don’t truly want to give up my blog so I resurrected it and made an attempt to carry out the original blueprint but something changed…

I changed.

The blog and it’s current format does not speak to me like it once did and therefore I have struggled to write on the topic of mental illness that once came so easily to me.

After much deliberation, I feel I now know the new direction I would like to take Mental Break – In Progress and although I am not looking to turn my back on the original concept, it’s time for that concept to align with where I am in my life today.

As mentioned earlier, about eight months ago my life changed, in the best way possible. On July 1st, 2016 I turned to God to help me for the first time since I was a child.

I was raised to believe in God and went to church from an early age. I said my prayers every night before bed and my father would read the Bible to me and my brothers every night after supper. This would go on until I was around ten years old when my parents ultimately divorced. You see, even though God was present in our home, so was the devil. My home life for much of my childhood was surrounded with mental illness and abuse.

My father was technically diagnosed with bipolar disorder but did not follow through with therapy or treatment. He did not believe that he needed it. My father was also abusive.

Before I go any further, I need to make it clear that I am not trying to say all people with a mental illness are abusive because that is simply not true. The abuse in my family’s case was primarily from my father, whose father and mother were abusive to him and most likely my grandparents parents were abusive to them and so on and so forth.

My mother also comes from a line of family abuse and found herself in a marriage with more abuse. Needless to say, this took a toll on my mother and did not bring out the best in her.

As I entered into adulthood, I would end up finding myself in abusive relationships and I would retaliate with abuse…not my finest hour to say the least but the biggest form of abuse I endured was self abuse.

My entire 20’s was spent in a downward spiral to nowhere and during that time, I lost my way with God. I turned my back on Him. I doubted the word of the Bible, that God was truly watching over me and I scoffed at Christians and organized religion assuming that every church going person, despite their choice of religion, was feeding into a fraudulent, flawed and political agenda.

Now in some cases, that is true and there has been more than one church over the course of time that fits that bill but there are also many that don’t but at that point I just lumped it all together.

Like I said, I turned away from God and I started to focus on things like astrology, tarot cards, numerology…New Age philosophy and the list goes on. I was extremely interested in those subjects and I practiced them. They were my new found spirituality yet at the pit of my gut, God still lingered (although He was a faint light at the time). The thought of a Higher Power still existed in my mind but I attempted to call it everything but God.

Needless to say, during this time, nothing in my life was going right and the self abuse continued to get worse and worse.

When I hit my 30th birthday, something started to change. Perhaps it goes along with starting a new decade of your life. When I turned 30, I cried and I am not entirely sure why. Perhaps it was because I was so far removed from where I thought I should be in life and really had no direction that is until I started this blog.

Oddly enough, being diagnosed with bipolar disorder is when I feel my life truly started to take shape. Many people use their mental illness as a crutch but for some reason, I felt liberated by the experience.

As I started receiving therapy and treatment, I started to notice something. I was changing in a positive way and the people I surrounded myself with were not.

Two years later I would call out to God to help me after finally having enough of the self abuse and the toxic environment I insisted on putting myself in over and over again. It turns out God was waiting for this moment because as soon as I called out to Him, my life changed more than it had in 32 years.

That same day, I left a six year relationship that was not serving either party well and I hopped a plane and moved back to my home town to be closer to my family who had recently in the last year moved back home as well. This would be the first time in nearly a decade that our entire family would be together in person and not spread over long distances and Facebook messaging.

I was prepared to live alone and find myself. I had jumped from relationship to relationship with mild success at best and I was tired of it. I wanted to find me and felt the only way to accomplish that was to avoid romantic relationships entirely.

God on the other hand had other plans for me. When I arrived home my brother introduced me to his friend “D”. D and I discovered we had lots in common and in a short amount of time we found ourselves in love and are currently engaged.

Now on paper it could be argued that I was about to repeat the same mistakes but because I had asked God for help, he not only helped me but blessed me with my soulmate and to be honest, I was beginning to think the idea of a soulmate was foolish and a bunch of fluff.

D and I were on a similar path when we met. We had experienced much of the same hardships in life and self abuse and we both were trying to rekindle our relationship with God and so we took each others hand and started that journey together.

Eight months ago, I would not have fathomed this was possible. I would have told you to save it for fairytales.

So why am I telling you all of this? What does this story have to do with my blog?

Well, it explains the new direction I want to take my blog and that is the direction of God. Just as medication and therapy treats mental illnesses, so too does the word of God. God knows we are suffering and He wants to help you. He didn’t have to help me after everything I had done (or not done for that matter) but He did.

God cannot help us if we do not ask but when we do ask – Wow! He responds in kind. You help yourself by admitting you need help and as soon as you do that, God is so excited to help you.

I want to continue down my new found path with God through this blog and it is my hope that not only can I spread the awareness of mental illness but also the spiritual awakening I am currently navigating. It’s not always going to be pretty. I will stumble and fall. We all do and it may feel like no one has your back but I am here to tell you, God does. You don’t have to agree and I can only speak for myself but I can’t hide anymore and I don’t want to. I want to explore my faith openly.

I hope you will join me on my journey and I look forward to seeing where Mental Break- In Progress 2.0 will take me. I plan to revamp the blog over time to reflect this new path I am on so if you would like, stay tuned for more updates. 🙂 ❤

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Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle