Today is Day One of Jeff Goin’s Intentional Blogging Challenge.
I’m taking the opportunity to jump back into writing and blogging.
I’d been discouraged by my home page malfunctioning and procrastinating on getting it fixed. So, I just installed a new theme because I knew I’d just put off doing it again and put off writing.
The first day’s assignment is “Know What Your About”
I almost took the easy way out and just put my About Page here. (If you haven’t read it, it’s still is worth reading if you want to know about what I do.)
And the instructions were as follows:
The best way I know how to do that is to write a manifesto. Just draft a few hundred words answering the following questions:
What’s the problem? This can be with the government, the world, or some niche hobby.
What’s the solution? What do you propose we do to fix this problem?
What’s the next step? What is the one call-to-action you want to leave people with? Tell me them to do that one thing.
What’s the problem? I think there are many and that they are overwhelming. I talk to people about their physical health, about their addictions, about their broken relationships, their uncertainty about who they are and what they will become.
The problem that keeps me up at night is anxiety and fear. I work with folks in the counseling office and on the phone for coaching appointments all week who are stuck, afraid, confused, anxious, hurt, discouraged, hopeless.
Who are trying so hard to keep it together, to keep going, to keep up.
The first 10 years of my counseling career I specialized in marriage counseling and sexual addiction and pornography addiction.
These days I think the disconnection, isolation and anxiety caused by the pervasiveness of being online and social media is an even worse threat to the emotional and spiritual well-being of individuals and families.
I also have shifted my practice to work more with individuals.
People who are creative and artistic, writers and musicians, who struggle with insecurity and fear of putting their work out there.
Young adults who are searching for their calling, their career, their spouse.
Leaders who are overwhelmed by stress, the pressure and expectations their jobs and responsibilities place on them. Who feel isolated and ashamed by their struggles and depression.
I also love to work with individuals and parents who struggle with perfectionism and procrastination.
Fear, shame and the pace and rhythm of life make us all vulnerable to self-medicating and coping in physically and spiritually unhealthy ways.
Emotional struggles – loneliness, depression, rejection, abandonment, anxiety, addiction, guilt, anger, shame – all disconnect us from what we were designed to experience – an intimate life with God and others.
A lot of people have heard God loves them but they feel disqualified from God’s love because of their past – what they’ve been through or what they’ve done.
Sometimes the hopelessness and overwhelm of the present impairs our ability to experience God’s love. Pain and trauma also distorts our ability to give and receive love. And perversely, your ability to rest and give yourself permission to stop, to breathe, to take the time to look at your life, your patterns, rhythms and habits can be broken when in this state.
So, what’s the solution?
I believe the solution is a person, a relationship with our creator God through the son He sent Jesus Christ. The solution is also reconnecting with our selves, our best selves, our souls. It is in being present, connected and intimate with others. To let go of our addictions and striving and performing and experiencing and practicing an emotionally, physically and spiritually healthy rhythm of life that enables to stay connected to God and others.
The Bible says that Jesus came full of grace and truth, to show us who God is and His love for us.
If you’ve grown up in the church, the balance of grace and truth can be very hard to navigate.
Grace and Truth are not two rabbits to be chased, they are two sides of a coin called Love.
The solution to so many of life’s pain, stress and struggle is the reality that
“You are loved.”
I know that may sound cheesy and it can be.
But it can also be everything.
The Resistance says, “You are loved” is cheesy.
It knows that love is the most powerful thing in the universe.
I think it’s one of the main reasons the universe exists, God needed a place big enough to manifest it.
The Resistance knows that love transforms.
That love heals.
Love connects, adopts, brings near and accepts.
Love reconnects what’s lost.
It also gives life and hope when what’s lost won’t ever come back.
The Resistance knows love sees and knows and forgives.
And because love does this, it frees us from shame and hiding.
It knows that love redeems the past.
That love restores what was lost.
Love brings rest and safety to the weary and wounded.
That loves brings light and beauty and hope to sickness, desolation and devastation.
Love makes us brave. Love tells us we are enough.
With love, the Resistance and Fear die.
Because of this, the Resistance will fight for its life when you try to learn to love, to find love or try to love again.
It will try to isolate you and talk you out of it.
That’s why Love requires others.
What’s the next step?
Change, healing and rest are difficult. Trying something new, even though you know you need to, is scary. Sometimes, it’s not scary it’s discouraging because it’s something that isn’t unknown, it’s getting back to something you used to have and your frustrated or ashamed at how far off track you’ve gotten.
I encourage you to follow this blog or subscribe. I share what I’m learning as a dad, husband, friend and counselor here. Writing helps me do what I do better; most of what I write can be tagged “Memo-to-self”. I hope it helps you know you aren’t alone and encourages you to face your past, your present and future.
This blogging challenge has encouraged me to post my first blog series on overcoming fear, on getting unstuck, on bridging the gap from where you are to where you want to be. It is based on a keynote talk I did last Fall and Sunday School lesson I did for church.
It will be helpful if you want to make changes in your physical health, relationships, career or education path and especially if you struggle with procrastination and over-thinking; it will help you develop an action plan to overcome your fears of starting.
Kind of like this week’s blogging challenge.