This installment is about how do we encourage ourselves? When no one is are..when everyone seems like the enemy…late at night when the house is asleep…How do you lift yourself up? I had never really thought about it. But as I did I started thinking about what I do to keep my head up. A good number of my friends don’t think I have “bad” days. YEAH RIGHT!!! I fight every minute to be positive. It is a choice. I am very human. Things get under my skin; I get nervous, scared, down, & anxious. I choose to handle it differently.
At first I thought my self-treats (Starbucks, sushi, Pandora beads) & push through attitude were the answer to the question of how I encourage myself. But it’s not. As I listened to the next sermon in my encouragement series by Dr. David Jeremiah I realized what I “REALLY” do. He outlines it perfectly, and in fact the concepts are very simple. SOLITUDE. SCRIPTURE. SONG. That’s it! nothing more, please nothing less.
When the world is on your neck or you feel like you have been fighting way too much find yourself a place of solitude. It can be in plain sight or not. I get under several of the blankets my mommie made me. Sometimes I sit in the shower (while it’s on). Other times I drive to a park & sit in my car. When my son is at Boy Scouts I will sit in the church’s sanctuary & listen to Ms. Linda vacuum.
In 2000 I met a nice enough through my then bf girl that I called friend. Well I later found she was dirty & he was filthy. They began dating under my nose. He broke up with me 2 weeks before final’s week of my senior year at Bowling Green State University. I was devastated. My ex-bf, who I left this guy for, had to come to my aid, so did one of my mentors & one of my dearest friends, Cam.
As I muddled through the next weeks…months I found myself at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp as a Cabin Counselor/Dance Assistant. This camp was gorgeous! One day the kids had a “free day”. So they had the counselors scattered throughout the camp. My post was in the woods behind the dance studio. This was the worst post in my mind. Later I found it was the greatest place for me. No one came that way for hours. I was back there alone with my journal, a pen & a book by Iyanla Vanzant. I didn’t have a portable radio. So I only had the sounds of nature. Those hours alone in the woods made for my breaking point of the depression I had spiraled into.
This time in the woods was not just quiet. I had a “word” of encouragement with me. This is the second element to self-encouragement, SCRIPTURE. For those that are not religious don’t worry this can still apply to you. Arm your self with a book of affirmations. Iyanla Vanzant has many to choose from. I, of course, encourage you to pick-up the Bible first. Any version works, but find the one that speaks to you as you need. Go to those SCRIPTUREs/affirmations as you are in solitude. Meditate on a “word” that will pull you through. Post it in your office/home/car/phone to remind you that whatever that thing is, isn’t bigger than God or you, because He is on your side.
Then once you have found that place, & that word get yourself a SONG! I love music, so I have tons in my mental music arsenal! When Allie McBeal was on TV America just loved the theme music that played in her head. What’s your theme music? When you’re down, what music is playing in the background of your mind? Sometimes I wished there were word bubble above our heads so people could see what we we’re “listening to” in our minds. I always chuckle in the summer when I’m have a “cute day”. Because when my foot hits the porch *Brick House* instantly plays. LOL!!!
But seriously, I always have a song playing in my head, it’s no different when I’m pressed against the wall. The play list goes a little like this:
- Survivor by Destiny’s Child
- Encourage Yourself by Donald Lawrence
- Hello Fear by Kirk Franklin
- Fly by Nicki Minaj
- For Every Mountain
- Meet My Need by TD Jakes
- Hate on Me by Jill Scott
- Blessed Assurance
Keeping yourself encouraged is fairly simple. Don’t waste your energy on negative thoughts or behaviors. Detach yourself from the issue & find SOLITUDE, even in a meeting (in your mind). This does not mean to run & hide from those that love you. You may have to take a few hours to yourself. Remember, you are going to need them when you come out of SOLITUDE! Once in your in that place meditate on a SCRIPTURE (affirmation) that will life you from that mental mess. Then sing a SONG. It doesn’t have to be gospel, religious or the-like. It should be positive & motivating to keep you going!
As I close I leave you with this, when we are down &/or out God should be our 1st go to person. If He doesn’t send someone to hold our hand, we have to hold our own. Go ahead do that right now & see what position your hands are in. Looks like you’re praying, huh 😉 Need I say anymore? Have a blessed day!