Odd One Out – A Poem

An outcast I am

A stranger to all

 

Unloved, unwanted;

Unfit to be a friend

 

I speak, but am not heard

I live, but have not lived

 

One of many but few

Alone but not alone

 

 

Too weary to fight

but carrying on still

 

Hopeless yet hopeful

Friendless but a friend

 

In a world I do not belong

I found my place

 

 

 

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Quiet Thoughts: Faith, Love & Persecution

I was born into a world of darkness, full of ills that I’d yet to know of. As a child, I spent most of my time in school, learning about the world around me. I met all sorts of people; some more intimidating than others. I was a sensitive child, and it wasn’t long before I realized just how cruel the world could be.

Many times, people have let me down. I was always searching for love in other people, but not just any kind. What I wanted most was a perfect kind of love. Instead, what I received was hatred; hatred so strong and loud that it drowned out any glimpses of love. I was called fat, ugly and stupid. When I expressed myself, I was called an attention seeker. I was even told to kill myself. Simply put, it hurts, but what pains me the most is that many have heard similar things.

When I sought help, I felt even more discouraged. I was told to stop feeling sorry for myself, and that others had it worse. Even upon hearing this, I couldn’t get myself to stop feeling unhappy. When it seemed all the world had abandoned me, all I could do was cry out to God.

In just a moment, I experienced the love that the Bible had talked about. By then, my mind had been plagued with darkness, but in that very moment, it was silenced. Some would call it chemicals. Some would call it survival instinct. The only thing I could call it is impossible.

Why, you may ask? Because an anxious, depressed mind such as mine was could never conceive such an intense feeling of love and peace on its own. Instantaneously I felt it was God speaking to me. Rather than this being a mere assumption, it was a natural, immediate response. If someone had asked me to explain it, I couldn’t.

This was the very moment that inspired me to explore my faith a little more in depth. Reading the Bible, I learned about the imperfection of humankind, and our common enemy. I’ve learned not to take things too personally, but rather to only concern myself with God’s will.

Now hearing news of how Christians are being persecuted in Egypt, I have to stop and think to myself. In this world, death is such a scary concept for many. Willingly giving up one’s life for anything seems almost absurd. Christians have the confidence, however, that in the end, it is good that wins. For all, in as much as death is the end of this life, it is the end of agony.

While Christians are currently said to be among the most persecuted religious groups in the world, we are surely not the only target. Sadly, senseless killing happens all around the globe.  As crime persists, we all become more and more eager to reach a resolution.

For now, I consider myself a sojourner. I am grateful for God’s grace, but also His justice. I pray to grow exceedingly in faith, even to the point that I may die in His name’s sake. I hope that someday, my words will touch someone else’s heart, so that they may also experience the love that I have.

 

Fear/Anxiety – Tips & Advice

Previously, I have spoken about my experience with agoraphobia. However, I have yet to tell how I overcame it. Below is a list of tips for those who are struggling with anxiety.

Please note that the advice which is about to be given is based on personal experience and not professional knowledge.

1. Learn more about anxiety.

When suffering from an anxiety disorder, it can feel as if your body is the enemy. Understanding anxiety can help you to stop feeling this way. If you suspect you have an anxiety disorder, schedule an appointment with a doctor, preferably one you feel comfortable with.

The internet also has quite a lot of information on this topic. Keep in mind that many struggle with anxiety and there is no reason to feel ashamed.

2. Keep a journal.

Writing is therapeutic. It allows you to free your thoughts, dumping all your emotions onto the page. It digs deep into your subconscious and reveals things to you. It can not only help you make sense of your anxiety, but provides a sense of relief. Keep in mind that it is not the only outlet.

3. Surround yourself with positive people.

This one sounds a little cliche, but for many, it is no doubt an important part of the recovery process. Having a friend or a group of friends who support you & are rooting for you to get better is a great way to start challenging your negative thoughts. Though it is impossible to control what everyone else says, having someone to support you can be enough to help you power through it.

4. Take care of your body.

Though not entirely a cure, getting adequate rest and exercise is necessary. While anxiety itself makes it difficult to sleep, there are some foods & teas that may help. Chamomile tea, for example, calms the nerves and makes falling asleep a little easier. Changing a few things about your diet will also make a difference. Eliminate caffeine, refined sugars & alcohol. See more here.

5. Don’t fight the feeling.

Breathing exercises can help soothe anxiety, if done correctly. Rather than trying to escape a situation that makes one anxious, it is helpful to doing a breathing exercise instead. It is a powerful tool which one can even use to overcome anxiety. See exercises here.

Spirituality is also beneficial for many individuals struggling with fear/anxiety. Though friends won’t always be around, knowing that God is watching over you brings a sense of comfort.

6. Say “yes.”

This is where things get tough. For those who suffer from anxiety disorders, it can be easier to avoid situations that trigger fear than to take chances. This is no surprise as anxiety disorders causes the individual to suffer from intense feelings of fear in certain situations, unlike that which one who does not suffer from an anxiety disorder would feel. But for some, the key to recovery can be as simple, and as terrifying, as saying “yes.”

*This means saying yes to the things you like to do that are beneficial to you (which fear prevents you from doing).

7. Seek help.

Find a professional that’s right for you. Trust plays a vital role in this decision as it can be difficult to open up to someone you barely know. Take your time. Get to know them and allow them to get to know you. Keep in mind that nothing you say can leave that room unless it involves hurting yourself/ others. However, please do not let this deter you. It is all apart of the recovery process.


Once again, these are tips I have found helpful during my own plight. My greatest advice for you is to do what works for you, as long as it doesn’t harm you or anyone around you.

Why I Don’t Wear Makeup

Happy Monday everyone! Yes, I know no one says that (unless you actually love your job, of course).

So today I want to talk a little about makeup. Around age 16/17, I tried to wear makeup. I found this foundation that supposedly helped acne. Naturally, I bought it, hoping I could appear to have clearer skin while actually working towards clearer skin. It sounded like a great deal.

Not long after, I stopped. After 16 years of seeing my bare face, makeup was a foreign concept to me. Even for someone plagued with acne and anxiety, I much preferred my bare face, simply because it was what I’d been used to. Looking back, I see now that it has built my character. I must confess, though, that I still hate it when people point out my acne. (It’s just one of those things).

I also remember temporarily dying my dark red hair once. One of my sisters told me how proud of me she was; that I was somehow “growing.” At the time it puzzled me, but the more I look at it, the more I start to realize something. All my life I’ve been told that the more I change the way I look, the better.

Now don’t get me wrong. In no way do I think I’m better than anyone who wears makeup or dyes their hair. But throughout these years, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing myself grow up to look like my parents, particularly my mother. Not wearing makeup has actually allowed me to challenge myself and work through my anxiety.

See, I may not always be what the world calls beautiful, but I am, in a literal sense, a work of art. It absolutely fascinates me how we grow to resemble our parents, or even our ancestors, yet never having to sacrifice our own individuality. For mother’s day, I just wanted to take a moment and reflect on this.

But more importantly, I’d like to give a shout-out to all the loving mothers in the world, even if it’s a day late.

 

 

Our Love, A Lie – A Poem

We were worlds apart

You didn’t quite understand

Said I’d give you my heart

But nothing worked as planned

Seems I’ve only fooled myself 

Thinking that I loved you

Now you’ve put me on the shelf

For all I’ve put you through 

I don’t mind anymore

We’ve gone our separate ways

I was so blind before

But I see clearer these days

Our love was tainted

Built on a throne of lies

The pretty picture we painted

Fooled our naive eyes

A Life Of Purpose

Earlier this year, I decided it was time to start reading my Bible more.

You see, I’ve considered myself a Christian my whole life simply for the fact that I believe in God. As a child, I only followed what my parents told me to believe in without reason, and that was enough for me.


Now here’s the thing. The older I got, the more miserable I became. People became cold towards me, and I became cold towards them. It got to the point where I began to question the very meaning of life. If you think no one really cares for you or that you are inferior to the rest, life simply becomes one big puzzle.

I was unhappy, and often times, I’d cry out for God’s help. I spoke to God when and only when I needed Him. That was not enough. It wasn’t until I reached my lowest point that I really began to see Him at work. This was when my journey to recovery began, even though at the time, I didn’t know it.

At that point in time, I had a strange spiritual encounter. I couldn’t understand it at the time, but it was enough to keep me going, even when I wanted to stop. I felt something that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I felt loved. Some time later, I decided that enough was enough, and with God’s love, I was able to overcome agoraphobia.

These days, I see a lot of hate directed towards Christians and even God Himself. Some wonder how a loving God could allow such awful things to happen. I don’t feel I can change anyone’s feeling on the matter as I believe religion is a personal thing; something that much be experienced to be understood.

However, I will say that terrible things do happen. For me, Christianity has helped me to come to terms with this, knowing that a better life is ahead. To neglect these beliefs would mean losing my purpose. I would either be forced to accept a scientific explanation of creation or stop trying to understand altogether, both of which would lead me to think that life, in the end, is meaningless.

I would have to convince myself that doing or having something will make me feel satisfied. In fact, it was for that very reason that I became miserable in the first place. Whatever I thought I lacked I wished to have. Whatever I could not do I wished to do. But in the end, I’m only human, and I can only do so much. It is through religion that I learned to accept this.

These are my personal beliefs. As I grow, I learn to share them in a more respectful way. Right now, I only wish to help others, whether or not they share my beliefs. Even so, I always wish to let God’s love be known, hoping that someday, it will touch someone else’s heart just as it has touched my own.