The key to assertive behaviour is security, which comes from knowing who you are. Those who are insecure are passive or aggressive in behaviour and are driven by fear. They have agendas that are motivated by wanting to be accepted and above all loved. Those who are assertive are confident in who they are and their lives are driven by passion and desire.
We know that we communicate in verbal and non-verbal ways. We often look for the signs of what is not being said and we try to 'read between the lines'. I have noticed that we only seem to be interested in what a person is saying if it is going to directly affect us and at times we ignore what a person is saying because we can't be bothered or we don't know what to do with it. We may even interpret a persons behaviour as a bad habit, looking for attention or just wanting to be disruptive.
How we behave is a key indicator of what we are trying to communicate to those around us. At times when we think a person is seeking attention it is actually a cry for help. Can you think about purposefully wanting to hurt your self or wanting attention for no reason. Those who are branded as 'attention seekers' often feel that they are invisible and alone. So, even bad attention is some attention but they don't have the language to communicate this truth so they behave in a disruptive way.
On the other hand some feel insignificant and feel that no one will understand how they feel or what they are going through so they hide. How can someone else understand them when they struggle to understand the pain or struggles themselves. They hide their faces, they hide their scars.
If you notice a change in behaviour with those who you do life with or if you notice that a person appears withdrawn or overly seeking attention; can I encourage you to investigate. Don't poke and prod but show you care, show you noticed. My guess is they are screaming for someone to take note, to led a hand. You don't have to be a person who has the answers, you just have to be the person who heard the cry and saw the behaviour for what it is rather than for what it was.
Have you ever been a room filled with people and still felt alone, have you ever experienced not being understood, have you ever struggled to explain something that was simple in your head but impossible to do with words?
Today, take a moment to not judge the behaiour but take a moment to STOP, LISTEN. Behaviour is a universal language. Each of us want to be acknowledged, accepted, understood, loved - we want to belong.
Stress is a necessary and healthy part of our human function. Most of us would agree that stress is not always visible but is real. Stress begins in our thought life and progresses to influence our brain and body. When our body carries prolonged stress we often will get sick as our immune system gets weak.
If you regularly experience stage 2 or 3 of stress; seek professional assistance. We can’t live in the future for it is the unknown for the most part. We may set goals and make plans but we must have flexibility within those plans. We can’t live in the past for once it’s gone we have no ability to alter the outcome.
I encourage you to live in the present; it is a gift you can give yourself as you guard your heart and gain self-control. The mind controls the brain and the brain is directed by the thoughts of our mind and the desires of our heart. When you have an event which you know is going to cause you stress, ensure you eat a balanced diet, exercise and get rest before, during and after the event. This will assist you to be resilient.
Can you imagine the emotions of Mary, as the chosen young lady who would be the mother to Jesus? Often when the Christmas story is told we hear a lot and even through songs about Mary, the Shepherds, the wise men and of course Jesus. Has there ever been a Christmas song written about Joseph, the man who was appointed to stand in the gap on earth as the father to Jesus? Can you possibly imagine His emotional and mental anguish at what was going on, imagine what he endured?
God didn’t just choose Mary to be the mother of Jesus, He also choose Joseph as the man who would stand in the gap and be a father to Jesus. Joseph was the dad who would love, teach, guide and provide for the one who would save the world – Jesus. Joseph was no ordinary man, for like Mary, Joseph had a heart that was dedicated to God. As a parent, I simply can’t imagine the pressure he would have felt guarding this child that was entrusted to him.
As God is the life giver each person has a purpose and we are all capable of being world changers through love. This Christmas I would like to take a moment to honour parents, guardians and those who act the role of a parent around the world.
Even thought Christmas is one of the most enjoyable, challenging, busiest, lonely, overwhelming, joyful, grateful…. times of the year. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus; a precious gift from God our Father who created us. It was the birth, life, death & resurrection of Jesus that was going to change our lives for eternity. Jesus was and is the gift that keeps giving, it is through Him that we experience love, joy, peace, hope….all we have to do is ensure we not only receive the gift but daily engage with this most precious of gifts that we may have life. This Christmas take a moment to reflect on the gift of Jesus to build a relationship with Him.
Has there ever been a moment in your life where you didn’t know fear?
What was that like?
For most of us fear is a reality and it comes in various forms. It does not discriminate! It strips us from the ability to enjoy freedom and live life with purpose and passion. Some fears work in groups like shame and guilt. Others stand tall and are like shadows that linger in our hearts and minds, while some others are like sand in the shoe felt as irritations that keep getting in the way of peace and freedom to be your self.
The thing is when we don’t take control of the fear or don’t understand where it came from or are too scared to deal with the cause of it; it eventually becomes a friend. Not a friend that you want to keep necessarily but one that never seems to leave your side because 'it' believes fear is your friend.
I would say that one of the main causes of the beginning of fear is insecurity. It stems from some form of loss that you may have experienced. The loss can also be interpreted as a lack. This loss/lack has the ability to grow based on how well you feed it and nurture it. The place it first takes root is in your heart and then gradually into your mind and before long it can cripple you physically.
Fear doesn’t need fertilization (just like all weeds) it grows in any place that it can latch on to. Fear creates worry, anxiety, nightmares, panic, terror, agitation, tension…..
Each time we react to the fear rather than dealing with it, it grows momentum and can and most often does take over our life. Soon, we go from living to surviving to existing. When we spend too much time in the mode of existing at some point people can possibly contemplate suicide. I have come to realise that the goal of fear is death.
My encouragement to you is look at what fears you have in life. How is it stopping you from living a life with purpose and passion? What dreams do you have that the fear is holding you back from? A fear can be killed and the only way to kill a fear is to deal with it with understanding and love.
Is today your day to acknowledge your fear, to name it and to deal with it?
The soul is the innermost part of the human being, one definition calls it the intention centre. I thought that was a great definition. For it is out of this that our thought process, character development, attitude and thinking take place. It is the very thing that drives our
This part of the body is what the Bible calls the heart for it out of this 'intention centre' that our living takes place. Therefore it is important to guard it, for it is the wellspring of life. The things we should guard our soul from is fear, shame, guilt....the thing that protects the soul is unconditional love, acceptance and belonging.
How do you guard this valuable asset - the soul?
I have heard many people over the years say that love is over rated. Some even struggle to define what love is. Many would say love is just an emotion. What about you what does love mean to you?
I believe that passion is a emotion but love is an action. We all strive for love from the moment we are born till we die. When we don't get it; we have a ache deep within our soul. An empty feeling. Many struggle to define love out side of feelings.
So, what is it that we want? Why is love so important to us? Let me try to give you the best definition I have found about what love is. It is found in the Bible, one of the most ancient manuscripts and a book trusted by many. In 1 Corinthians 13 it states that "Love is patient & kind, rejoices in the truth, it always protects, always trusts, always hopes & always perseveres." I would like to draw your attention to the description of each word -
Patient - having or showing the capacity for endurance
Kind - having or showing the desire to do good
Protects - to defend or guard
Trusts - to have confidence or to rely
Hopes - to believe or desire
Perseveres - to maintain or persist with purpose
Rejoices in the Truth - Delights or is glad in honesty & integrity
I encourage you to consider those in your life that you say you love. I know I for one fail many times in loving those in my life in this manner all the time. But, when I love those in my life without expecting anything back in return I don't have to be envious, boast, be proud, dishonour, be self-seeking, get easily angered, keep record of wrongs or delight in evil.
If we can love outside of looking what is in it for us, we can be free because there is no expectation of disappointments. To love in this manner all the time is a hard task, but those who have expierienced this kind of love would say that love has everything to do with our state of being. Keep in mind that we get what we give, not always in the same way or to the same measure.
Do you know the meaning to your name or why your parents choose the name they did for you? In many cultures names are picked because of specific meanings behind it. They most often than not, when the child is born the pet names get introduced.
So, what's in a name? Does your life reflect the character or meaning of your name? In the Bible we read that God or Jesus changed the names of people and the course of their lives changed. I am not suggesting you change your name, but I am suggesting that you consider the meaning behind your name.
Your name was given to you at birth, not because it reflected who you were. It was too early to tell who you would become. It is not how we start the journey that counts but how we finish it. Yes, how a person start impacts them and it leaves a mark on the individual and can even determine how life is lived. However, how we finish leaves a mark on others.
So, how will you be remembered or more importantly what will you be remembered for? When your name is spoken or uttered what emotions are stirred amongst your family, friends or colleagues? Your name will only make an impact based on your behaviour. Does your behaviour speak volumes about the person you are or hope to be?
Most mornings I have a bit of a debate with myself, how long should I stay in bed before I get up and face the world or before the world faces me. You see, I am a afternoon person. I find my body functions best in the afternoon. My problem in the morning is not that I have to wake up, but that I have to get out of bed and take a step. The difficulty is physical pain experienced when I get my legs to move, most often it improves as the day goes. Although rest is a key in managing the pain, I have more to gain from movement and rest than rest alone. I can’t just think of my legs, I have to consider my whole body, every part is important and works together to get me through the day with the assistance of my mind and spirit.
Every part of me has equal importance and must work together for optimal performance. Getting the body, mind and spirit to work in unison is the key towards optimal health. Each part needs movement, rest and pleasure. Staying in bed is not going to achieve this. I know this is the truth, but the fact is, I don't often feel comfortable taking that first step in the morning. The first step is the problem, so I have to coach my self as the only thing I have control over is my mind. I can't control my pain but how and what I choose to focus my thinking on will influence how my brain responds to my pain.
I have to make a decision to bring my body, mind and spirit into agreement. This union creates peace within and gives me willpower to sit up, stand and take that first step. I know if I want to live out my dreams I have to get out of bed, this propels me to move, to see the world outside of my bedroom. We all have choices, what we have to come to terms with is what is the best choice. Facts have merit, but truth is undeniable.
Have you ever considered why some people who are told they will never walk again defile the odds, it is because their willpower to live, to achieve is stronger than their desire to survive. I am not saying it is easy, but what I am saying is the choice is mine. I have to accept and acknowledge that I have pain but I don't have to stop dreaming or living.
Our willpower is our ability to push through or stand firm with courage and determination. It comes from knowing who you are and whose you are not to mention knowing that God is always within hearts reach to inspire and strength us to pursue our dreams. Is it time to realise your dreams and live life to the fullest? Seek the truth, beat the odds, make a difference in your life.
I have been thinking about the people in my life and the influence they have or had in my life, as well as the influence I have had in their lives. I am grateful for those who have seen my capacity and encouraged me to expand my potential. To those who have stood by me and supported me.
Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something. How often do we think about the people in our lives and how they affect us. Having influence on someone is about supporting the person to reach their full potential. Some influences can restrict our potential or hinder our capacity to reach our potential. These are unhealthy influences, if you are experiencing unhealthy influences in your life, it is time to review the people in your life.
Imagine being able to support someone to be all that they can be and not taking the credit for it. The influencer is the supporter, the person being influenced has to do the work. However, together they achieve more, learn more and are able to expand their capacity.
Take a moment to look at the people in your life. What kind of influence are they having in your life, what kind of influence are you having in their life? Do you know your capacity or have you realised your potential? Most often once you reach your capacity, you realise there is more room to grow and your capacity is greater than you ever realised.