New Year, New Perspectives?

So warriors, I ask you – what have you been believing about yourself and your life that needs to be challenged and changed?

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Greetings Warriors!

This is officially my first blog post of 2019! This year has already flown by quickly – I can’t believe we’re in the beginning of February already! 

I am hoping many of you have started of 2019 well, have set your goals and started to execute them already. If you haven’t; it’s all good! I’m hoping you will consider doing this after you’ve read this post. 

When a new year comes around, it is very common for most people to spend it doing the following: trying to get our lives in order; making readjustments in our finances, our relationships and health. We set our goals, and then let the rest of the year flow on. Now it’s great that we do this, but my question is – how much of that time do we spend adjusting our perspectives and mindsets?

Walk with me as I dig into this…

The goals we usually desire to achieve are oriented around the areas that I listed previously; our careers, health and relationships. But here is the thing – our goals are essentially impacted by our mindsets and perspectives on life. There is no escaping this. So considering those internal thoughts and beliefs have such an important impact, why is it that we never take the time to review how we see and process things in our lives?

Having a bad year can determine one’s expectations for the following year. Some people may have an atom of excitement; hoping the year will be even better than it’s predecessor. But some may not even have a shred of optimism or feel inspirited for the year to come as life has beaten them down terribly. Their experiences have caused them to lose hope. 

Now, we will go through those seasons in life when we lose hope – in sickness and in health. Unfortunately, dealing with a chronic illness or chronic pain can leave you in an emotional and mental state that is crippling. Knowing this, it’s easy to understand how somebody can simply carry this mindset with them into their next year. 

As for me…

Over the last few months, I have taken out a lot of time to review my life and perspectives on everything. I dug deep spiritually, mentally and emotionally; God uncovered some things about me that didn’t look good. I started to realise that I carried more anxiety than joy and more fear than I did peace. I was in the position where I had lost hope and zeal for my future. The last few years were filled with so many trials and tribulations, that dealing with chronic migraine was the hand that suffocated my ability to bounce back in genuine hope. I had started to just accept and settle with the notion that I was sick – and that was the way I was going to remain. My mouth was saying all the right things, but in my heart, I started to doubt that things would ever actually get better. It just seemed like I couldn’t catch a break. I had gotten so used to seeing darkness all the time, that this was the new thing I started to expect for my future. From my perspective, life had only declined over the last 5 years and therefore probably wouldn’t improve. At all. These feelings didn’t develop overnight, but after years of struggling with being in chronic pain. The tricky part about all of this is, these feelings within my heart were so subtly embedded, that it took revelation from GOD to realise that this was how I felt. 

We can think we’re being real with ourselves, but not realise there are some cases of emotional baggage that we have hidden so deep within us; we don’t even realise they’re there. 

But God. Through venting to him in prayer, and hearing great messages in church, I started to remember the things that I had known all along; that I had a lot to look forward to; that my current circumstances were just that: current circumstances. I was reminded that my life won’t always be this way. It came back to my recollection that seasons change. That where I am now isn’t where I was 5 years ago – therefore where I am now isn’t where I’ll be in the next 5 years. 

After this reminder, I asked for God to show me how to have peace and contentment with my life once more. I started to accept and believe God’s promise to me again – that my healing will come and my chronic migraine will eventually pass. After all, it says in the bible that “what is impossible to man is more than possible with God”. However, I had to believe first to get this process started. If I refused to believe this, then I have closed to door to this being able to happen. 

The importance of belief…

Here’s the thing; when we truly believe something, it transfers from our heads to our hearts and vice versa. What we believe ultimately comes out through our words and our actions. What you believe about yourself and your life does ultimately have an impact on who you will become. I’ve highlighted this concept before, especially about self-fulfilling prophecy in some of my previous posts.

Keep in mind that this also works in reverse. Your actions and your speech can also influence what you believe about yourself and your life. 

Why our actions and speech matter…

Well as I’ve mentioned in the past, as a man thinks (in his heart), then so is he! Forget we are what we eat – we are what we believe! Our perspectives in life are under our control and it’s up to us to adjust them. This kind of stuff doesn’t happen overnight, but if we are active and consistent in monitoring our thoughts about ourselves and everything around us, then we can be en route to having a life that is filled with more joy than sorrow as chronic illness/pain sufferers! We can become the goal diggers who achieve anything that we focus on. But we have to make up our minds to make it happen first. 

Let me give an example…

Let’s use a fictional person – Adam. Adam wants to be an author, but is struggling with doubts that he will be successful. This hinders him; causing him to procrastinate on writing anything. Because he hasn’t written any books, he can’t publish anything. One cannot publish something that is yet to be written. Adam’s thoughts of failure are essentially at the root of his success not taking place. 

Having the belief that something can and will work out for you is where everything starts. If Adam holds on to the thoughts that he can achieve his dreams and follows it through with action (writing his material), the the possibilities to what he can achieve are endless. But if he chooses to hold on to the doubts and focuses on those more – then he closes the door; blocking his own success from coming to him, period. 

So warriors, I ask you – what have you been believing about yourself and your life that needs to be challenged and changed? What would you like to achieve or see happen, but are doubtful about? 

I could give you a long, cliche list of motivational sayings, but instead I’m going to leave you with something that resonated with me when I needed it the most. This is something I still draw on whenever I need it…

There was a season in my life when the time was coming for me to transition from a part-time (but consistent) job, to an agency job which didn’t guarantee me with consistency, but would have an open door to more money and more hours. I wasn’t entirely sure whether I should take the leap of faith into the agency lifestyle, so I sought out advice from my mum. I remember saying to her, “but what if it doesn’t work out?”. 

My mum simply responded to me, “what if it does?”.

Her response hit me like a ton of bricks. I was so focused on things going wrong, that I didn’t take the time to consider what it could be like if things did work out! It sounds so simple, but when you’ve become conditioned to the mentality that “things never work out for you”, you totally ignore the possibility of something going well for you for a change. After weighing it up in my mind, the joy and freedom that I envisioned was so strong that I had to give it a try. Of course, I also waited for confirmation for God before I jumped into it also. So before you say it, I’m not encouraging you all to make mad, unprecedented decisions without applying wisdom. However, I am encouraging you to not allow fear of failure to prevent you from trying altogether. 

So what’s the point?

Warriors, I share all of this with you to encourage you all to make a conscious effort to work on your perspectives this year. Life can get so much better for all of us regardless of whether we are sick or well. But I have come to learn that life getting better for us isn’t always dependant on our circumstances. Especially for those of us who are dealing with chronic illnesses and pain. 

Don’t believe me? 

Why is it that there are people in the world who have everything a person could ever dream of; health, money, great career, family, friends – and yet they have no peace or satisfaction with life? This is because the issues they are facing are internal. When it comes to dealing with issues that are internal, the external things cannot and will not always fix it. Sometimes this can come down to their perspectives, the way they view their lives.

Isn’t it interesting how the person who has good health can be just as dissatisfied with life as the person who doesn’t have good health? Again – it’s about perspectives!

This is why we must seek to change the way we view and process things on the inside of us. Once we make an effort to seek the beauty and goodness in life, we will find it. Once we find it, the external will then be impacted and changed to us because our perspectives have changed on the external (as a result). Through God, I am able to have the right perspectives that are allowing me to enjoy my life again, even as a person that is dealing with chronic migraine. 

So warriors, if you want to have a more positive perspective on life (yes I used the p word!), then it all starts with our speech and thoughts about ourselves and our lives. That is where it all starts, then it goes on to evolve. But let’s make sure everything is in alignment with each other. Don’t think something great about yourself but then speak something out of your mouth that contradicts that same thought. You can’t grow anything good from contradiction and confusion about yourself. 

Set your goals, make them happen and see a great change come about in your life this year warriors. 

“As a man thinks, so is he”

Proverbs 23:7

The choice is yours, but choose yourself over your sickness this year. That doesn’t get to dictate everything over your life – including your goals. That’s on you.

Until next time warriors,

Tasha M

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To Those Who Feel Like Giving Up…

If you’ve been going through a strenuous time lately and feel like you want to call everything quits, this is for you…

Hey Warriors, 

If you’ve been going through a strenuous time lately and feel like you want to call everything quits, this is for you. If you’ve had thoughts like you’re useless, your life is pointless and purposeless – this is definitely for you. If you have recently decided you’re tired of fighting and you just want to end it all, I want you to read this….

I know you’ve been going through a tough time, but please keep going. I understand exactly how you feel. Although your pain or illness might be different from mine, the impact that constant pain has on a human always conform to the same blueprint. I have been urged to remind you of this message; you are here for a reason, there is something greater on the other side of the struggles you’re currently facing. I say this because I too have had all of those feelings that I highlighted at the beginning of this post. However, we can’t always operate by our feelings. Why? Because feelings are fickle.feel like giving up 4.png They can also be manipulated. Sometimes our judgement of a situation isn’t accurate. We get so caught up in our feelings to the extent that we let them control us, instead of taking control of them. 

You have the power to push past all of those emotions right now. This doesn’t always seem possible when we feel so low, but it can be done. 

You are loved and your presence can enrich another person’s life. Maybe you’re the reason somebody else is able to make it through a difficult time. You could be somebody’s muse or inspiration. 

If you are feeling like you are losing grip of yourself and of life right now, pray. Pray to God for help and he will catch you. That is the only reason I am still here, able to type this message to you. Because I rely on God to supply me with what I need when I am running on empty. This is not blind faith, this is trusting and knowing that God is keeping me company in the midst of my dark times; giving me the strength to keep going. God loves you and is waiting in the sidelines – hoping you will turn to him so he can be invited into your life. You don’t have to carry the burden of what you are enduring by yourself. Give it over to God to carry it for you. 

 

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and loaded down with burdens, and I will give you rest.”, Matthew 11:28 ISV

 

When you come to God and pass all of your troubles on to him, he makes everything much more bearable for you. Have you ever heard of the saying “a problem shared is a problem halved?” The concept is quite similar here in the spiritual realm. You will find the peace that you have been looking for when you pass your sorrow and struggle on to God. 

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Some of you may have seen my posts or tweets last week, encouraging people to know that their pain is linked to their purpose. I wholeheartedly believe this. Frustratingly enough, this can be incomprehensible and crazy to accept. But let me use myself as an example…

A little while after I got sick, I became full of sorrow, anger and hopelessness. I couldn’t understand why on earth I was experiencing chronic migraine. I was convinced that I was going to face this problem for the rest of my life; which set me on a downward spiral. I began to question God about why he would allow me to go through this. I couldn’t see how this struggle would even be useful at all. From my perspective, it seemed like I was being made to suffer for no reason at all. Until that day – when I had hit rock bottom and prayed to God to take me because I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life suffering like this. God came to me alright, but not with the answer that I was expecting. Instead, he told me to create the pain warrior code and use it to be the light to those who are struggling the same way as I. To encourage people and let them know that they are not alone in this war. It was at that moment that I finally saw a purpose in my pain.

This is why I wrote that message last week, telling you all to find a way to use your experience to the benefit of somebody else. Let’s be clear though – by no means is this an easy task. You will get discouraged and yes, you will feel exhausted beyond belief physically, emotionally and mentally. On the contrary, you will also feel rewarded in knowing that you have reached out to somebody else who was in need.

Last week, I wrote in one of my tweets “there is strength in numbers”. In order to become stronger, we must encourage one another and stick together. Look at the bigger picture warriors; every time we help one person, that person goes on to help another; who then goes on to reach out to another and so on…

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Warriors, you have a purpose and you have work to do. You can’t give up on yourself. If you give up on your life, then you’re cutting off the lifeline to somebody else who is yet to be inspired and encouraged by you! Your life is so much bigger and deeper than just yourself. Your life is also about those who are around you and impacted by you. This is why you need to continue existing. But I don’t just want to encourage you to exist, I want to encourage you to live life. I’m not saying you’re going to find full contentment right NOW. I don’t promise that you will stumble upon contentment right at this current moment. But you will get there, one step at a time. It first starts with you taking the opportunity to say yes. Then you work towards it one day at a time. Slowly but surely, you will develop into a warrior who is not only enduring but is also empowered and ultimately, elevated. 

So tell me, do you still feel like giving up?

Let me know if this has encouraged you, warriors. Share your thoughts and opinions below. 

Until next time, 

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode

Take Time Out! #PainWarriorPepTalk

You are entitled to have a rest, don’t deprive yourself of something that is
detrimental to your wellbeing…

Greetings Warriors!

I haven’t posted a #PainWarriorPepTalk in a while! I am hoping you have recently had some better days (emotionally mentally) & some pain-free days also!

I haven’t posted much lately as I had the summer holidays away from work. Unfortunately, the new school year has commenced. Alas, I am classroom-bound again for this academic year *cue sad violin music*.

Before the holidays started, I had originally planned to get a lot of work done. Truth be told, I didn’t get much done at all! I was regretful once the end of the holidays approached. I felt like I had failed myself. However, my perspective changed once I reflected on what I did get to do over the summer; I spent quality time with my family and close friends. I don’t usually get to spend much time with my people during the academic year. This is usually because I am pressed for time, or don’t always feel well enough whenever it’s the weekend or a holiday from work. When I realised this, it had hit me that maybe I was being too hard on myself: as a person who deals with a chronic illness, I juggle two jobs (most of us spoonies struggle to deal with one!). Before the holidays, my body was already acting up and I felt run down. I needed the summer holidays to rest, recuperate and regenerate my energy. It was ludicrous to plan to use my time on holiday FROM work, to DO work! I’m not a newbie warrior – I know better than that.

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So why am I sharing this with you? To remind you that it is OKAY to rest. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. There needs to be time for everything;  including a time for working AND a time to rest. But make sure you don’t neglect the latter. Resting enables you to regenerate the energy you will need to get your next task or goal completed.

Now one can easily think “I already know this…”, but don’t consider this pep talk to be a new lesson – consider it to be a revision session.

We already know spoonie life entails our bodies constantly being under attack. You can’t control every aspect of what your illness does to you. However, you can control how much rest you allow yourself to have.

If we take the Spoon Theory into account, it is essential for us to recuperate and regain our spoons. We stifle our chances of having four/five spoons if we are always pushing ourselves on one spoon. This will result in us crashing in a way that is so disastrous, it will take longer to recuperate. Longer than it would have if we had just rested prior to our bodies feeling run down.

For those of you aren’t sure what the Spoon Theory is, the best way I can explain it follows;

The Spoon Theory is usually used by those who suffer from chronic illnesses or have disabilities. This theory was originally penned by Christine Miserandino: it uses metaphorical spoons in a way that can be likened to a meter. This meter measures how much energy an individual has to engage in tasks for that day. The quantity of spoons the individual has (0-5) indicates how much energy they possess. 0 spoons mean the individual has absolutely no strength to function: it’s a dreadful day. 5 spoons mean the individual is feeling quite powered & able to function to the best of their ability. Keep in mind that a person having 5 spoons doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t experiencing any pain at all. I have had many 5 spoons days where I am able to go to work and function to the best of my abilities – with the pain still present.

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Which brings me back to the point: You are entitled to have a rest. Don’t deprive yourself of something that is detrimental to your wellbeing. Also, stop making yourself feel guilty or stressed whenever you do take time out to rest. If you spend the whole time doing this, you won’t even feel rested when it is over. Thus you will only be returning, feeling just as rubbish – if not worse than you already felt before you had your break.

Take time out and make every effort to enjoy it. Do whatever makes you feel peaceful & tranquil. Whether that is sleeping, reading, watching television, rolling on the floor (providing that it doesn’t use up your spoons) whatever works for you! When you do, own it. Be good to yourself. Your body is already fighting you on everything else as it is. Your work, job or family aren’t going anywhere and they’ll be there when you have finished your break!

When was the last time you took time out for a break? Leave a comment and talk to me!

Wishing you well warriors! Until next time,

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode

Have you tried pain management or counselling?

Question Time! Have you ever tried pain management or counselling for your illness or pain? How did you find it? Comment about your experiences or interest 🙂👍🏾

It’s your life, live it!

It’s your life warriors. Try to live it to the best of your abilities. Nobody can live it for you!

So for this week’s #PainWarriorPepTalk, remember that your life is yours to live warriors. Try to live it to the best of your abilities. Nobody can live it for you! We don’t know how long we have left so let’s try to make the most of it. Don’t let your struggles manipulate you to believe that you are not allowed to have a life that you can enjoy.

I will be posting an article in the coming days to share tips with you on how to live your life to the fullest. After all warriors, we’re learning to live our best life yet! Keep an eye out!

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode

Good Morning & Good Week Warriors!

Hey Warriors! I am sending each & every one of you good vibes. Wishing you all a pain-free, flare-free & anxiety-free week! That’s right I’m daring to wish it & speak it over you guys. This week is yours, not your illness’! ⠀

The struggle seems endless. Keep going anyway!

Keep going. Remember that you are a warrior. That means you are a fighter.

Hey Warriors,

I think this week’s Pain Warrior Pep Talk is needed!

I know some of you have been struggling and feeling like things just won’t ease up. Like the weight of your problems are crushing you. Life can become frustrating when it seems like one issue with your health has backed off, but another has now reared it’s ugly head. Keep going. Remember that you are a warrior. That means you are a fighter. You were built to endure this war. Trust that a season will come where things will ease up for you  – whether it be a remission, a cure, or one of your problems passes. IT. WILL. COME.

There is a scripture that I often hold on to during my toughest days or weeks;

“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

This scipture came from a letter that was written by a man named Paul. He was an apostle who had faced many trials, tribulations, abuse – physical and verbal due to his faith in God. This quote in itself highlights the facts that as a believer, we WILL encounter situations and pains that will feel like we are being broken down, but we won’t be crushed. We won’t be destroyed by it. I have found this has helped me because I turn to God for strength when I feel like chronic migraine is weighing me down. Like everybody else, I also struggle. But I cannot rely on my own strength. If I did, I would have ran out of strength and given up on my life eventually. But it is God who continues to renew mine when I feel like quitting. Now I share this not to preach at people and convince you to get baptised tomorrow, but to be one hudred percent transparent about how I get through my tough times, and HOW it is that I manage to stay afloat and have the energy to encourage people. If I was to exclude my faith from this to suit people’s feelings – then that, quite frankly, would make me a fraud and a liar.

This is what keeps me going, I hope it will encourage you warriors. You can have an amazing future lying ahead of you. However, you’ll only get to see it if you keep on pushing and don’t give up. I’m in right in the middle of this struggle with you. Keep your head up warriors.

Until next time,

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode