Resisting Resignation.

I have views from Thailand and Belgium today, man, it blows my mind how many countries get represented on this site.

Also, yesterday marked my 9th week of not drinking coffee, after drinking it nearly every day for several years, my family is amazed I did it. It takes 9 weeks to either completely break or build a habit.

And I’ve not been feeling any healthier, honestly. Yesterday I woke up and had one of my mysterious gagging episode, with nausea and neck tightness and back pain. Best guess so far is GERD, but my chiropractor thinks I have pinched nerves, and it’s true, stretching my muscles does seem to help. More fun from having a misaligned spine for so long, all my internal organs got squished together, fun.

My church had a healing service last night, and I got some prayer, the lady must have had a word of knowledge, she prayed for my intestines, neck, head, and even brain, not the usual guess for headaches.

I know many people view Faith Healing as one of the biggest scams of the evangelical/Pentecostal/charismatic church. And I agree there are some real frauds out there, and you will always find frauds whenever anything can get you fame and fortune.

And I’ve never really been healed all in one go either. I’ve wanted it, but it’s not the path I’ve been given so far. Though that may change.

But I still believe in it. I’ve met people personally at my church who got healed, we get reports of cancer being gone and other problems too all the time.

One can believe it was all a misdiagnosis, but after the 20th time, you just start to find that a flimsy excuse.

God truly does heal. At my church we know it does not always happen right away, my pastor says he’s known it to be one or two weeks after the initial prayer, my mom’s read of it being 1 or 2 years.

It does not seem to matter too much. We know that the answer to prayer can be delayed, both the book of Daniel and the New Testament say so. For different reasons.

So, if you were wondering, no, I don’t feel 100% today. I feel better than yesterday, thankfully. Yesterday morning I woke up and couldn’t eat, today I ate a bit, usually it’s worse in the mornings and by night I can eat an almost normal meal, like Morning Sickness. Or else I just get so hungry I don’t care anymore.

Half my sick feeling is usually not eating, and I’m working on controlling that, but I am very tired of feeling this way, it all started about a year ago, the first time I had a gagging episode, but I’ve had nausea spells, cramps, and neck pain for most of my life.

I thought my spine realigning would make it better, I was already doing better, and I thought for sure, decreasing the amount of stress on my neck, head, and back would get rid of the tension causing my episodes. My sister massaging my back has often provided some relief, so I thought a professional, definitely.

Instead it was worse than before, I gagged longer, and felt really sick. True, it didn’t last more than 20 minutes or so, and my stomach felt better after a bit of massaging. My chiropractor even walked me through a few things over the phone that seemed to help, though my hunger still upset my stomach. Towards dinnertime I felt almost back to normal, and I actually ate a real meal. This morning I didn’t feel nearly as bad. Good, right?

I have a doctor’s appointment in a few hours to try to find out more about this problem, see the likely solution, and if I can make it better for myself.

I was told, however, not to rely on doctors or medicine, but that God would do a miraculous healing. Which I have been begging for, I hate doctors (not personally, just going) I hate medicine. I used to take pain meds almost every day while suffering stress headaches (which were actually misalignment headaches, in hindsight) and eye strain, and I got to where I felt I was taking it way too much, and it wasn’t even working that well, so I began trying massages, stretches, tea, heating pads, anything natural, and it worked, usually I can get an ache to leave in a few hours if I’m not hormonal (then it’s always harder) with the right treatment.

I always think too, what if one day you have no access to medicine? It’d be much better to know what else to do, wouldn’t it? What did people do before medication? Believe it or not, they were not generally unhealthier than we are now, they just had more diseases without vaccines, and when they need surgery it wasn’t available, so they did die ore, but they didn’t always suffer from the same infirmities more than we do. They had natural remedies that more and more people now are finding work better than medication anyway.

If anything, professional help has added problems to me, I never had jaw aches and headache because of my teeth before I got braces and my jaw line was changed, it still bothers me now, my chiropractor told me my jaw is also out of alignment due to my neck. OF course, no orthodontist ever brought that up, and I even went to one to consult for the headaches. No one said “Oh, if your neck is messed up, your jaw might be pulling on it wrong and causing headaches, sorry we didn’t tell you that before treating you.”

I mean, really, we should require neck evaluations before we make people wear braces or even glasses, because those muscles both on your teeth and eyes, and those things won’t fix all of it. The average Chiropractor visit is still cheaper than either an orthodontist or an eye doctor, figure it out Health Department.

I get it, chiropractors are seen as jokes by many doctors, I read one saying “Don’t ever let those buggers touch you above your neck.”

Well, mine is a full body health specialist, so he’s a bit different, he didn’t jerk my neck or anything crazy. But hey, it’s your fault if you don’t look up who you’re going to before you do.

What I like about the chiropractic option is it relies on your body’s ability to heal itself. Some doctors, bless them, do also take that approach, but many treat the body as a malfunctioning organ that they just need to pump with meds and alter with surgery, and replace parts of, and all that is never gong to work as well as what God designed. 3D printed bones still don’t come close to God’s original, you know why? Our bones produce blood cells, white and red.

I don’t want to get surgery, I can’t afford surgery anyway.

And I don’t want the option some physicians say “Just live with it.” I hate that response, especially from a doctor. I mean, it’s like “Uh, jackass, if you don’t know how to help me, can you suggest a specialists? A nutritionist maybe, don’t just tell me to live with it! What kind of doctor says that!”

Sheesh. Well, no one’s ever told me that, but I read stories.

I believe almost nothing is incurable. Just that cures for many things have been forgotten because chemicals and minerals solve everything now.

And let’s not forget how many toxins we put on our own food now. My family tries to buy healthier stuff at farmer’s markets, but we can’t avoid every pesticide and GMO.

Some people think that certain chemicals in the food are supposed to make us more compliant, I don’t really buy that, but it freaks me out that many food corporations require GMO products and pesticides in their food.

Luckily, where I live, if you’ve got a greenhouse, you can grow anything, all year round, so I don’t really experience the “out of season” problem even with local food, though it does ripen differently depending on the month.

Anyway, that was a tangent, but someone actually asked my about it in my French class, and it is related to health, especially digestive health, like mine, though digesting the food seems fine for me, it’s just eating it.

I’ve told my family that sometimes, for me, even eating is an act of faith. I can feel so ill, and be so afraid of immediately throwing the food back up, that I don’t even want to try.

Let me stress, that’s never actually happened, I’ve probably thrown up less than 20 times in my entire life, and only once did I throw up more than 2 or 3 times while I was actually sick. My stomach functionally seems to be fine, but I’ve always feared doing it. Like I see it as some kind of ultimate defeat.

I know, it’s strange. Throwing up can be a result of so many non serious things, like over eating, over heating, over exercising, etc. that it’s not like I should treat it as a sign I’m dying, but I loathe being nauseated. And this fear makes me do things to end up more nauseated, see how that works? The vicious cycle is again my real problem.

I hope I didn’t gross you out too much, I mean, this is my life, this is what I deal with. I probably don’t seem like that kind of person in writing, I tend to write with more confidence than I actually think I have.

Plus, up until the last year and a half, I wouldn’t have thought of myself as still having this problem, I thought I was over it, till I had to deal with it all the time.

What I really hate is how it steals my joy. I know a girl who’s been dealing with stomach problems for probably 3 years now, and she is still able to be happy and cheerful, at least at church, which perhaps is not saying much but it’s more than I can be when I feel bad. I can never hide it.

Still, and this is the most important part of this post, if you’ve read this far, thanks for listening to my life story here 🙂

but the most imporant thing, is I have realized I have certain blessings I never knew I had before, because of feeling so bad.

My family has been very supportive of helping me find new things to try eating and drinking to help. Paying for doctor visits, since my income is still under $100 a week, if that much. Massaging my aching muscles. Sometimes I’m not very grateful, but I shudder to think what going through this alone would have been like.

There are times I take out my frustration on them, but it’s gotten a lot less, it takes a lot more to really get under my grill than it used to, so I guess my patience has increased.

Another change has simply been I don’t get mad at God. I do get frustrated, I have times of asking Him why this is taking so dang long, why I feel this way, and of begging Him to tell me what to do–and sometimes, He does. God is the best physician after all. Nothing too elaborate, just to eat, to go to the doctor, to not go, etc.

I know for some people who live 20 years with the same problem the idea of going one year and getting frustrated must seem pathetic..or it doesn’t, because maybe at one time, they questioned it and were discouraged.

But honestly, for most of us, myself included, it never occurred to us to question it.

I never really found my stomach and neck problems frustrating, until I found out they might be fixable. Some of you know what I mean, once you know, it’s a thousand times harder to be patient. Resignation is such a powerful killer of restlessness.

And when God tells you to rest, without becoming resigned, it’s freaking hard.

Seriously, there are times I just wish I could give up on the idea of getting better, and try to cope. To say to myself “well, I know there’s nothing I can do about it, so I’ll just have to sit this one out, lie in bed all day, and that’s okay.” It’s not like it’s not tempting, isn’t it? Sometimes even emotionally, we’d like to do that.

But if the reality is, there is something I can do. I can try to find a way. I can believe there is a way, to be better, then aren’t I cheating myself if I resign myself to illness?

From dizzy spells, to stomach problems, to back pain, to skin problems, people accept stuff they don’t really have to live with. We think it’s too expensive, or too much work, or we’re just plain scared.

I relate to all of that. But I will say after months of suffering, you start to feel like none of those reasons are worth it.

So, yes, I’m still going to try.

One more thing, there is something that I’ve done, more because I had to or go insane with self pity, than because I just want to be positive,

But I had to start looking at what I could do.

Did I feel too sick to do everything I normally do today? Maybe, but did I manage to get schoolwork done? Did I write? Did I read? Did I make a YouTube video? Did I manage to run a short errand like buying apples or getting gas.

Most importantly, did I still worship God today? Did I read my Bible?

That’s the real goal of all this stuff, separation from God, and if I don’t give in to that, ultimately, it failed, even if I still felt like crap, but usually, I feel at least a tiny bit better after worship. Scientifically, it boosts your immune system, and I believe releases endorphins.

Anyway, this has been along post (I miss my word count, still don’t know hoe to use it on the new editor) so I’m going to end it here, I hope you got something out of it, until next time–Natasha.

As Good as it Gets (Aligning or Misalignment)

Well, I’ve had another eye opening week.

I didn’t mention this last time I posted, because I didn’t want to talk about it, but I was dealing with some contracted, tight and sore muscles in some hard to understand areas of my body.

Finally, after about 2 weeks of it, I was fed up, ready to give up, and I decided to get up and go to the Chiropractor. My first time ever, but my parents both went to him and liked him, so I went.

And boy was I sorry I didn’t go sooner.

Turns out I had a crooked tailbone, back, shoulders, and neck. My whole body was at a tilt, pushing my back bones up at an angle. Causing the lower back pain, leg pain, and rib pain I’ve had for years.

For extra fun my brain was getting constricted by the nerves, muscles, and bones at the base of my skull getting knocked off balance by walking for years with uneven legs and shoulders. A condition that can affect mood and the spinal cord…

Yeah, and I couldn’t point my feet out, but I’ve never been able to do that.

Since I was born I moved strangely, a lot of babies get spine injuries while being born. I never crawled right, and I used to walk crooked and bent over. I now stand straighter, but I couldn’t make my feet go straight. Made ballet class real fun. I never liked it.

I’ve never liked working out, and I never could run very far, or stand for very long without my back and legs starting to hurt a lot, and my feet.

People have blamed me for this in the past. My singing instructor thought I should stand still, but it was too physically uncomfortable. I was told I needed more stamina. But even when I was the most fit, it was never the same. When I ran I’d get a stitch must faster than most people usually do.

And I always leaned to one side. Turns out one of my legs was like an inch shorter than the other, just from muscles and bones being out of place.

I get frequent headaches and neck aches, that sometimes seem to cause gagging, and stress me out.

For ages I assumed all this was because I don’t take care of myself, or I’m not fit, or I have weak eyes…or I was just born that way ad couldn’t change it.

But turns out all of it is fixable, over a short period of time. After just two sessions, I can stand and walk in a straight line, I’ve never done that in my memory!

There are some drawbacks. Relieving the pressure and realigning my body has left me with soreness all over, and I got a headache from having my skull adjusted but my neck not enough. I feel better after the second visit, but it may take a few more to finish fixing it, and until then I am likely to still have pain and difficulty adjusting.

But it’s better to hurt because you are healing then because everything is staying the same.

I’m young enough to recover from all this before it created problems like bone loss, according to my chiropractor, but had I waited longer, these problems could have affected my ability to have sex and give birth. Maybe not fatally, but it would have increased the pain and difficulty. Perhaps even given me trouble getting pregnant.

It was scary to hear how narrow an escape I had from far worse consequences. But a blessing to have found a way to heal, far more than I ever thought I would.

I learned a lot from these visits. I am an inquisitive person so I ask questions, my doctors usually love me, an intelligent, informed patient is much easier to work with because they are trying to get better.

I freely admit though, I was terrified to go. I was afraid it wouldn’t work, and I’d just be in more pain and frustration.

And since your pain can linger a while till you’re finished adjusting, I still have to choose to trust the process, to trust my chiropractor, and to believe God guided me to the next step. The idea to go came to me after I prayed to unlock a door to healing.

I know many people are like me, afraid of doctors, I know what it feels like to be afraid to even find out what’s wrong with you, and afraid to hear that they don’t know. (By the way, Urgent Care is crap for anything not a basic, common condition, they’ve helped me with infections, but anything else remotely complicated I’ve had to get other help, so don’t take their word for it if they don’t have a solution.)

I have a phobia about doctors. But I am working on overcoming it.

I was kind of upset that God would not just heal me, miraculously, and with a few lifestyle changes. Specialists are expensive.

But I think I see why God chose to do it this way. There are some people it doesn’t bother to seek help, and they get frustrated, and God heals them to show he is higher than Medicine.

But for me, the problem is not wanting to put enough value on my health to spend money and time on it, something that runs in my family. My father has all kinds of problems that he found got better with a few changes. My grandfather died of a myriad of conditions that could all probably have been prevented if 30 years prior he’d sought out help, he had the money for it.

I also have a grandmother who is a bit of a hypochondriac, and I’ve had that too, it’s much better now.

The point is, I had some very destructive attitudes about my body and health. I inherited the DNA to have the same problems as my family, but most of them could be fixed with a little effort.

And paying $100 a visit for 5-6 visits is still way better than a $30,000+ operation that I might need if I wait. Do the math. I don’t have health insurance, for me this is as good as it gets for pricing.

Let’s talk about that, actually. I watched the Jack Nicholson movie “As Good as it Gets” yesterday (also known as the only Jack Nicholson movie I will probably ever like him in, we’ll see.)

30 Minutes on: "As Good As it Gets" | MZS | Roger Ebert

About halfway through that movie, Melvin, the MC, asks a question that kind of sums up what the film is about “What if this is as good as it gets?”

He has obsessive compulsive disorder. He says and does things with little self control and offends everyone around him.

Also featured in the movie are two character who represent the other aspects of that questions.

Carol, a waitress with a sick son who she can’t afford to take to a specialist, and his constant emergency room visits and fever episodes are for her “as good as it gets.”

And then there’s… I think his name is Sean. Melvin’s neighbor, who’s art career is just not taking off, his parents are estranged form him, and he gets beaten up, robbed, and left in a cast by some addicts needing their fix. For him, it starts to look like his miserable life of failure is “as good as it gets.”

The movie’s solution to this question is to basically say your problems will not go away, but you can take steps to make them better, and in the end still be happy, because happiness doesn’t depend on having no problems, but on surmounting the ones you do have.

One later scene, Melvin bitterly says that it doesn’t bother you that you had it bad, but that other people had it good, and the other two disagree, basically saying it does bother them that they had it bad.

In the end, Melvin starts taking medication and trying to change because he learns he wants to be happier, Carol is able to move on from taking care of her son to letting someone take care of her, and Sean gains confidence that he can rely on friends and his life will eventually get back on track.

The answer being “as good as it gets” may mean “as good as you choose to aim for is what you will get.”

There are some people with chronic conditions that can’t do anything about it, though it’s rarely ever hopeless, and usually there are solutions we just can’t afford…

But the majority of us just give up. We do what my dad once said of his problem “you can just live with the pain.”

I’ve said that to myself. I’ve bargained with it, saying “if the pain could just decrease to this amount, I could live with it.”

But that’s never enough, what I really want is to be better. To be normal.

but the funny thing is about this and my emotional issues I sought help for, is that my normal was never normal.

Just like my body has been misaligned my whole life, my thoughts and feelings also were. It’s quite poetic… of course I believe our spiritual and mental reality affects our body. There’s too many coincidences for it not too.

For me, it’s a new normal, of being normal for the first time. I may finally be able to walk and run without being in pain, to bend my feet out, to crane my neck, for crying out loud.

Ironically, I’ve been told I have good movement in my body despite these problems, but I was never as flexible as my sisters, and I moved more stiffly. I walked more like my dad, who always had aches and soreness.

Just like I may become the happy, strong person I hope to be, and maybe deep down, I already am, but I got jacked up by having a messed up parent.

But in the future I may actually become flexible, it was just this problem holding me back.

The real challenge is not to accept that is has to be the way it is. And if anyone tells you it does, don’t listen to that person.

Really, the Bible itself would suggest we are our own biggest obstacle to healing, those who ask and seek receive.

Even if the woman with the issue of blood had it for 10 years, she got up out of her house and went looking for Jesus, and she got healed. She didn’t say to herself “I’ll just live with it…until I die.”

Commercials always say “Don’t wait for it to become a serious problem, get checked out now” and while it is to sell products, I admit it’s sound advice.

It may not be feasible to do that in every area of life, not all at once, but over time. The person keeping you from having an abundant life may really be you.

I know that many of us have other people who crate obstacles for us, and I acknowledge it’s more of a challenge, but I don’t believe it’s impossible, you can get out of that situation.

Anyone who can read this post and has internet access can reach out for help, where there’s a will there’s a way.

I think I’ll wrap this up now, until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

A little Health Tip

Welp, had my first therapy session today, I think it went well.

Not much to report on that. Just setting up stuff.

I hear quarantine might loosen up soon for some people, yay!👍⌛⏰⏳

My mom has been following this doctor who thinks there’s a link between COVID and a vitamin D deficiency.  As evidence, countries with more sunshine and more people outdoors, like Australia, do not seem to be hit as hard.👌

California, despite being a major airport stop, has seen less of a spread.

Also, African people absorb vitamin D less quickly than Europeans, and they have been hit more with the virus, supposedly.

It’s not proven, but I’ve been seeing people walk around my neighborhood everyday because they’re going stir crazy. My sisters and I have done the same thing, so has my mom.

There’s something to the theory, I think. Any disease is usually rooted in some kind of deficiency, only a few are just caused by toxins in something, like Cholera.

So, hey, here’s a tip, take Vitamin D supplements and get outside if you can. They say 20 minutes a day is sufficient.

I wonder too, they think COVID came from bats, creatures that live out of the sun, which is where Vitamin D primarily comes from.

We think these things are coincidence. But some people eat bats. What you eat becomes part of your biology for a certain length of time. WE get vitamins from plants, but also animals. Iron and Omega 3’s are easier to get in meat, actually. So, you do get a small portion of Vitamin D, or at lest the healthy benefits of it, when you eat animals and plants that absorb it.

It’s one reason animals that live off plants are healthier for us to eat, and animals that eat rotting stuff are dangerous to eat.

The Bible gives a whole list of things not to eat, that I’m sure seemed arbitrary to the Israelites at the time. No pigs. What’s wrong with pigs?

Well, back in the day, pig meat had a parasite, I believe, that was harmful for human beings. There’s a way to cure it, but there wasn’t at the time, especially for people wandering in the wilderness.

Carrion birds, also a  no-no, for obvious reasons. Some animals have digestive systems that destroy the harmful stuff in rotting meat, but humans are not one of them.

The Bible, fun fact, also says not to eat bats.

It’s in the Jonah Veggietales movie, if you’ve ever watched that show.

Along with flies, beetles, gnats, etc. Flies are full of germs, they eat waste. Beetles can also eat dung and dead stuff. Gnats…I can’t explain that one, maybe they carry stuff like mosquitoes?

None of this was known at the time, you’d almost think God knew what was in the animals and bugs when he gave these orders.

Cows are allowed. Cows eat, if they’re fed right, mainly grass, which is very clean. Their excrement actually isn’t as full of germs as ours is, because of how clean their food is. Fun, I know.

Also sheep, same thing. Goats, same thing. And a few birds. And locusts are edible, locusts also eat plants…in case you didn’t know. Like grasshoppers.

You may also not know ( not many people even in church do) that quarantine is an idea from the Bible, as far as I know, it’s the oldest record of the practice, if I’m wrong I guess I’ll fine out later.

It was for people, but also for clothing, and houses that got infected. Before we knew that clothing and house s can carry germs. Even fever germs can linger for ages at the same location. People burn items that were around a person while they were sick.

The quarantine in the Bible went by weeks, I forget if it was 1, 2, or 3 weeks. But about the time it can take for germs to die out, or for a disease to become obvious.

Washing as a cleaning practice is also in the Bible. Washing after touching anything dead, and being unclean for hours or even days after exposure to something harmful.

We don’t know what the Israelites thought these rules were for. Every theistic religion has forbidden animals, and certain rituals.

But not every one has had those practices verified by modern medicine. There’s been reasons found for all of these things.

People have long treated gods like they were fickle. Why they demanded certain things, why certain animals were sacred, there are myths behind it, but never any practical logic.

Why is the Cow sacred in India? No clue. I’m sure there’s a religious reason, but if it has any practical applications, I don’t know.

Not there needs to be practical reasons for all rites, but it’s interesting how the Bible touches all the areas of life with its commands.

God did not tell the Israelites what germs were. I doubt they would have understood. They were often simple. Every nation had gods, they had to obey. The Israelites often abused God’s forgiving nature by disobeying Him because He would be kinder than other gods. Some of the prophets developed a sense of humor about it, realizing that they cannot help but fall back on God, though they know they are sinners and He is right to punish them, they also know He will forgive because that is who HE is, and there is no changing hat, no matter how much we act ungrateful for it.

Does that mean we can do whatever we want? Of course not. But our sin will never make God unkind, we change, He does not.

That’s good to remember right now. I’m sure some people think this sickness is God’s judgment. I don’t know.

It could be, for some people, it comes as a judgment. The acts of God tend to mean different things for different people, depending on whether they are right with him or not.

A though to ponder is, if someone knows they are not right with God, they will see any bad event in their life or the world as a judgment, even ones they cause themselves. I’ve known people like that.

Someone who feels they are right with God accepts suffering as something we just have to endure because we live in a fallen world.

I, so far, am finding it a time of surprising blessings by way of getting better acquainted with my friends.

Hope that it has some pros for you too, even if you’ve been hit with the really hard part.

Until next time, stay healthy-Natasha.

 

 

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Stuck in Groundhog day.

Groundhog Day. Funny how an ordinary holiday has now become the symbol for having infinite chances.

I think Jumanji turned that on its head though, by pointing out that we only ever have one life. The idea that we could have more is as bizarre as a video game.

Even if you believe in Eternal Life, like I do, we all still believe that what we do on this earth matters. You’ll notice that almost all people have a sense of this, no matter what they believe. We all feel like our days here are adding up to something.

The Bible says “So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12.

“Show me, O LORD, my end and the measure of my days. Let me know how fleeting my life is.”  Psalm 39:4.

Our days are adding up to something, but the Bible reminds us to not just mindlessly accumulate them, but to count them, and measure them, and see what we are adding up to.

We do get second chances, but as you all know, not infinite ones to redo our lives. Yet in a way it is true. Every day is a new chance to do the right thing.

The secret of Groundhog Day is time management. If you knew what would happen at any time in the day, you could do anything within reason.

But I am not a machine, I can’t plan my day out so meticulously. You ever wonder why you feel so stupid when you walk out of the house without some important item that you needed to do a major activity in your schedule? (Happened to me yesterday.) How could you forget that?

Teachers can be real hypocrites about this too. Because unless you are abnormally good at remembering stuff, everybody does that. Frequently. have you ever known someone who doesn’t forget that one thing, lose their glasses by putting them on their head, go into a room without turning the light on and then try to turn it off when they leave. We don’t always focus on everything as much as we want too.

And Teachers can be all like “It’s your responsibility, and you really should be more organized. Yada yada.” And you;re reaction is to apologize and feel really dumb.

And maybe you are disorganized. But often I’m thinking “I had the paper/item right there on the table and I walked out of the house without it.”

the real reason is we’re in a rush and I recommend getting everything together the night before if possible, but it’s not always possible is it.

We tend to give ourselves leniency on things that are really important, and beat ourselves up over stuff that isn’t. You ever notice that? It’s like we feel we have to pay retributions to something, but we are too scared to face up to our biggest issues.

But if Groundhog Day really happened, the kicker is, you couldn’t get away from yourself. So the only way to survive is to become selfless. Because in the end it’s our own selfishness and not our situation that makes us miserable.

And I think if you feel like you’ve been stuck in that cycle for a long time, you might really be fed up with yourself. And that’s okay, Jesus can fix that…if you won’t accept that answer, I can’t help you. I don’t know any other way to escape from yourself.

At bottom that’s what all those minor frustrations with ourselves are springing from, from our need to get out of ourselves and do something for other people, and feel like we are connected to something bigger than us in life.

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

Can I do the Honors?

I found out last week that I made the Honors list at my college, and this week I got admitted into the program. Nice!

I never planned to try for Honors, but it started to seem like a good idea, and then I got the letter letting me know I qualified so why the heck not? But I’m still glad I don’t base my identity on grades.

College is teaching me about two things: Self Confidence and Anxiety.

It’s easy to panic when an assignment is due and you haven’t done it. I was watching this YouTuber talk about their anxiety, and they said the definition of anxiety is a feeling of inadequacy to meet life’s situations.

I suddenly understood why the doctor told me I was suffering anxiety.

True Confession, my dad has suffered anxiety consistently for years. My grandparents have suffered it (some of them) and I’m sure other people in my family have that I don’t know about.

I think folks don’t always realize that our attitude toward life and ourselves is learned. If kids hear anxious words constantly, they will have anxious thoughts, unless they are that rare biological sport who is somehow different without even trying to be.

I was anxious growing up. The person in the video described it as feeling like people were watching them constantly. While as a shy kid, I had that, I mostly worried about losing control of myself.

It’s funny, if you know me now, you’d know I don’t seem unstable or out of control. People say I’m refined. But I chose to develop that attitude.

My anxiety did not start to go away until I became a Christian, and at first it wasn’t a choice. I know I always say it is, but the first few weeks, I didn’t feel I was choosing to be at peace, it was just flowing out of me. As a new believer a lot depends on what you do right by accident. I remember I would keep chasing that peaceful feeling whenever it started to drain, I would pray, I would read the word, I would worship, all to get in God’s presence and feel close to Him.

And there was nothing better I could’ve done. I built a foundation for myself that lasted me through the time when the good feeling dies away. And now, it’s like marriage, I don’t feel good every day. But I feel happier in this the I ever would alone; and I think it’s worth it.

Over the last six months I had anxiety return a lot like it was before I was a Christian. And that bugged me. Maybe you can relate, you think you’re over something and then boom, it comes back out of nowhere. And it gave me some bad weeks..months… I am still coming out of it. But in the end, I found out my faith was stronger.

And what God showed me through that struggle was that I am stronger, because of Him, then I ever thought I was or could be.

Now I am taking a Self Defense class that’s working me harder then I’ve ever worked in my life.

I want those of you who’ve been reading my posts consistently to appreciate this: I was feeling sore and stiff all the time and having a hard time doing things, and I signed up for a class where getting sore and stiff is part of the description.

I consider this to be a flat out miracle.  It makes no sense why I would do that, and furthermore why instead of making me more anxious, it actually is helping me to learn this stuff. And it’s showing me something else I didn’t know.

I always thought I was non athletic, weak, kind of out of shape. And while to an extent that is true, I am not getting killed in this class. I’m slower then some of the more fit people, but I am not blowing it, and my endurance is more than I expected. I think the reason partly is now I push myself to do better because doing well is important to me.

Back when I played volleyball, I just wanted to have fun and be automatically good at it. And a part of me always starts out a new class hoping I’ll prove to be good at it naturally. But God in His wisdom hasn’t given me that kind of Leonardo Da Vinci genius. Which is a good thing, because I have to try. I have to work. And I enjoy doing it. I enjoy proving that I am made of something stronger than I thought.

And I enjoy getting to prove everyone who ever thought I was a wimp wrong.

But all this is not just to brag on myself. I have a point.

This doesn’t have to be my lucky experience. This can be you to. I figure, I am not the only one who underestimates herself.

It’s easy as a millennial or an even younger person, to believe that you don’t have the chops to handle life. We’ve been told so much that we have no understanding of anything, I think we all believe it.

Many of us are naive it’s true, but naivete can be fixed. here’s the thing, we need to stop whining. I hear other students all the time griping about how things are going. Never in their favor.

I get it, we want to blame someone. That would mean people were wrong about us. IT’s not our fault we can’t do life.

But the thing is, you are probably way more capable than you realize. It’s a fact. human beings are amazingly resourceful. And though we do stupid and clueless things, we learn.

Teens and twenty somethings are terrified of getting it wrong. Relax. You’re going to. But that’s okay. Age isn’t the factor here. we all get it wrong. That isn’t what counts . What counts is if you get back up and try again. Immediately. Don’t slink away in defeat.

I do plenty of dumb things when I drive. But I do a lot more things right. I know that one mistake is all it takes to sink you. That’s why we hate making mistakes. But we don’t have the luxury of letting that stop up. The daring accomplish more than the doubtful.

That being said, I am going to keep moving forward.

Until Next Time–Natasha.

You’re allowed to rest.

We’re springing forward  tonight. I don’t know if every country uses daylight savings but I doubt it. Daylight savings means that twice a year we set our clocks back an hour or forward an hour, depending on whether it’s the spring or fall one. So 7:00 becomes 8:00 when we go forward.

In other news, I made salmon for the first time. (My favorite fish.) It’s pretty easy. And for those of my followers who pray, please toss one up for my extended family. A bunch of them just got the nasty flu that’s been going around. Ugh. I was lucky to escape it so far and I want to keep it that way.

I was surprised by how many people responded to my last post about Burnout. I knew it was a big thing, I just didn’t think people were that interested in reading about it. I didn’t even give any tips for dealing with it.

Which is mostly because I don’t have that many. But other sources do and I’ve heard a few over the past few days that might help you out.

First, rest.

It’s the obvious one. But we neglect it shamefully. Don’t be “on” all the time. Today I deliberately didn’t do homework or that much physical labor. I slowed down, read, watched a movie or two, played games with my family, spent some time outside before it started raining, and spent my time with God.

Which is the second thing, though I know not everyone can or will implement that. But one christian to another, please, do this more. Unless you’re better at doing it then me, in which case I take my hat off to you. Of course being spiritual is not a contest of favorites or superiority, but it is something you have to do on purpose. I find the best way to just relax with God is to worship. Music is a great stress reducer when you pick the right songs, especially worship ones. Surprisingly, I’ve heard that even non Christians find christian music relaxing or fun. (I recommend Bethel, Hillsong, Jesus Culture, Laura Hacket, and Jason Upton, to name a few. I also like Switchfoot.)

If you don’t want to do that, then even listening to regular music, if it’s happy or upbeat or soothing, often helps me relax. It can take my mind off the things that bother me.

Third, and this is a big one, let it go at the end of the day.

I used to do that thing all the time where I’d go to bed and start thinking about everything I had to do the next day. Or about all the things I failed to do that day. And I mean everything from controlling my temper to doing a chore. Even blogging.

I actually thought it would help to plan things out. I might be more organized.

But, surprising no one I’m sure, that never worked. I would forget the plans I made by morning; but I would certainly stress myself out in the meantime. That effect lingers.

If you didn’t do everything you wanted, or needed to do, don’t lose sleep over it. Unless you have to turn something in by tomorrow and absolutely won’t have time in the morning (and I mean if you have to rush somewhere, not if you want to waste time watching a show or whatever,) I would say don’t do it. Just go to sleep. Do something fun with your spouse if you’re married. But let it go. You’ll work better after a good night’s rest anyway.

Another tip is to read. Read something you like, something you want to read. Something that takes you out of yourself for awhile. But avoid books about self help or goals when you’re trying to chill. They are guaranteed to make you feel like you’re not doing enough. There’s a time and place for that written kick in the pants, but an off day is not one of them.

And go outside for goodness sake. Find a safe park or a garden, or your own back yard. Don’t take any electronics. Or keep it in your pocket if you do. Just enjoy it.

Keep in mind screens are stressful. Especially white ones. But even TV can stress you out further or at the very least not do any good. Unless it’s a really good movie that you like, TV usually does nothing to relieve stress.

That’s about all I know. There’s always diet and exercise habits, but I’m not an authority on those. All I can suggest is fruit and pleasant walks.

And I was talking about what to don on off days in order to relax, not how to fix your life. Though a little rest can go a long way.

Most of all you need to give yourself permission to rest and detox. Even if you can’t afford pampering, and can’t set aside a whole day just to take it easy, you can set aside time on one day to do something for yourself. Remember that you deserve a little me-time just as much as your kids, family, or friends do.

It’s okay to need it, really. Don’t think you’re tough enough to go on without ever taking a break. It’s humble to rest.

Until next time–Natasha.