Snap out of it! Really?

A good day ūüôā

Have you ever said to yourself ‘come on, just snap out of it?’. ¬†I have. ¬†I say it every now and then, or words to the same effect, but if you’re anything like me, the words themselves seem to have little to no effect in the moment.

Having being challenged by and overcome depression and anxiety for over 20 years, I can sincerely say that this and other phrases, said by either myself¬†to myself, or said by others to try to help me, create no lasting helpful foundation to setting a person free from their ‘bad or hyper’ moods.

But is it the words that create the shift? ¬†I don’t think so. ¬†I’m still trying to sort out how to consistently create that shift when I begin to feel ‘off’ my game and there are good days and bad days, truth be told.

What I do think, is that somewhere along the line, between the point of conscious decision to set ones’ self free and actually feeling that freedom, there is a shift. ¬†For those of you who are right into the mechanics of the brain, it seems there is a chemical imbalance that occurs that needs to be rectified. ¬†Having lived for 3 years on chemical mood stabilisers, I am well aware of the side effects of these drugs as well as the positive and¬†negative¬†impact they have upon your mood.

There is a certain necessity to help create this ‘shift’ but I am not convinced that it needs to be forced by either ‘telling ones’ self to get into line’ or¬†by using chemicals to cause the imbalance to be stabilised.

And perhaps a bigger question is this: ¬†is there a natural time frame in which a person’s psyche can actually re-stabilise itself, when given permission to take that time? ¬†And are we forcing a ‘mood shift’ because it’s the best thing for the person or because it’s the best thing for those around them? ¬†Hmm…perhaps these questions are for another day ūüėÄ

Having been ‘drug free’ for nearly 10 years now, I can also say that there are other ways in which to re-stabilise one’s mood. Of¬†course, my personal conviction is that spending time with God, allowing him to show me my true identity and letting his love wash over me on a regular basis, has been the best and most long-lasting ‘therapy’ I have encountered. ¬†And I have tried a few!¬†However I have also found cognitive therapy to be a very stable and productive way to assist a person struggling with moving into a more positive mindset but this kind of help is usually reserved for people who are having a consistent battle with stabilising their moods. Ultimately how each person learns to deal with serious mood imbalances is a very personal journey and there are many ways in which to find relief and resolve.

These days, I would classify myself as someone who is free from anxiety and depression and the stranglehold that it had over my life. I am not living with my head in the clouds however. ¬†I realise that every now and then, I succumb to thought processes that despite my best efforts unravel my capacity to overcome and I become overcome. ¬†But days like these are now few and far between and so like most people, I would say I fit into the ‘normal’ category, alongside those who just have the occasional down day or week and somehow find the light at the end of the tunnel ūüėÄ

So how do I transition from unstable moods to stable moods these days? ¬†Well I look at how others have done it. King David, well-known for his emotional outpouring of his heart, says in the Psalms, ‘My soul will magnify the Lord’ and many other phrases, often telling his soul to be still, to be courageous, to stand up, etc. ¬†He is clearly doing what we all do – telling himself to ‘shift gears’ so to speak. Often his writing begins with the ‘woe is me’ stuff and a fair bit of whining can ensue! ¬†But he always comes around, changing his focus and shifting his eyes (his focus) back to his God.

I believe that the first step is to recognise that we are having a moment.  Or a day. Or even a season.  Acknowledging how you feel makes you feel very vulnerable however the empowerment that can flow from that initial acknowledgement is outstanding.

Accepting that I need help (and of course whatever help you end up choosing is an individual opinion) is paramount to opening myself up to the realisation that 1. I am not perfect, 2. I am in need and there is a way to get help, and 3. I am not alone.  This realisation, for me, is the first step toward progress because it allows me the permission to seek help and get better.

As to the journey that follows, well I can only speak to my own experiences and say that it has been a long one but a progressive one. ¬†But it didn’t begin until I let myself become vulnerable and acknowledge that I was in need of help. ¬†From that point on, despite some setbacks, I can honestly say it’s been a continual move forward.

Ultimately, I am of course just sharing my heart about getting out of that rut that we all find ourselves in sometimes. ¬†I’m no psychologist or expert in clinical things or even in offering therapy to others. ¬†I’m still learning, still growing, still pushing road blocks out of my way. ¬†It’s a daily process. ¬†I’ll be doing this the rest of my life. ¬†I’m ok with that ūüôā

I hope that my thoughts give you some feeling of encouragement and connection today. ¬†Know that you are not alone. ¬†Know that you have permission to acknowledge where you are at right now and if you are having some kind of struggle, be it just a bad day or a consistent season of imbalance in how you feel, go and speak to someone. ¬†I promise it will help. ¬†Better still, look up, look to God and give him the opportunity to take your burdens and set you free. ¬†It sure did the trick for me ūüėÄ

In love and honour,

Miriam

To be known by the Father

My desire is to be known by the Father.

I am coming to the realisation that to be known of man bears no consequence on that final day. To be known by millions or even thousands has no relevance when I will stand before my Maker.

Will he know me? Gladly I would throw away all that I have worked toward that I may be confident in knowing that I am known by the One who loved me first.

Is it the desire of The Lord that we make the most of who we are on this earth, that we may increase in capacity to do his will – to love and to serve each other that more may know of his great love?

Of course. He says to go in his name and make disciples, heal the sick, set the captives free.

But do I need a following of fans in order to achieve this? Do I need statistics that prove my value to the world? Do I need a bank balance or a spreadsheet that reveals the popularity of my music to prove the revelation of my heart? Do I need to record another track to show my devotion to my faith and vocation?

No.

I need but one thing. I need the tangible and pure presence of God in me and on me. I need a revelation of Christ and a revelation of who I am in him, will flow so strongly that all around me will know of his truth.

I need but one thing. To abide in him and he abide in me. All things flow from this place. All else is striving for my place that has already been won.

Working in the opposite spirit

So I am sitting here, and have been for a good 40 minutes or so, feeling sorry for myself and fuming over something that really should not cause me any more effect than a frustration that should burn out quickly, because I have no control over it.

So why am I so burned up?  My cheeks are still hot and my heart feels heavy and dejected. Why?  What button did this situation press to cause me to still be sitting here stewing in my own self pity?  And more importantly, what am I going to do about it?

The issue at hand really¬†isn’t’ relevant. ¬†How it makes me feel and what I choose to do about it, is.

It made me feel disempowered and unimportant.  Funny though that with all the understanding I have about how much I am loved and approved of, by both God and man, that something so simple could unravel my self-esteem so easily.

Lately I’ve been pondering that verse that says ‘may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight O Lord’, (Psalm 19:14). Hmm, methinks an hour ago the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart did not reflect this prayer.

And so now that I am intentionally working at ‘working in the opposite spirit’ – choosing joy over melancholy – I have to face the fact that an hour ago I paced up and down like an angry tiger, giving air to some pretty colourful language and allowing a darkness to overtake my valuable time as well as the position of my heart.

A bit sobering you say? ¬†Yep. ¬†I believe in facing that which causes us to become ‘less than’ – that which brings out not the best in us, but the stuff that we really don’t want to admit is there. Yes it hurts, but a wound must always be cleaned and attended to lest it fester and infect the whole body.

In John 15:3, Jesus says ‘Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you’. ¬†Because of salvation, we are already made clean, including all that is within us. ¬†I know that in the sight of God, I am whole and holy. ¬†But my choice of reaction today belies this fact. ¬†So how do I come to terms with the reality of my actions and the knowledge that despite the truth of Jesus’ words, I still find myself falling into less than desirable mindsets and behaviour patterns?

I do all that I can to come to a place of repentance as quickly as possible.  I do not desire for my heart to be hardened or for my words to plant seeds of discontent, bitterness or self-pity in my mind.  I desire to live in a way that brings joy, hope, love and acceptance and I believe that it begins within.

So now, an hour and a half after my unsavoury outburst and probable overreaction to a frustrating but not impossible situation, I have a choice to make.  Let it go or let it grow.  Right now, at 10:45am, I feel very little difference in my mood, but as I choose to let it go, I know that at some point I will realise my mood has shifted, coming into alignment with my choices instead of my reactions.

Release Your Song God – prophetic song for the nations

So I was just practicing the songs for worship this morning, preparing my heart for Sunday’s corporate gathering and as sometimes happens, I found myself playing with a new melody. ¬†At first I was just fiddling with the unusual¬†cross-pollination¬†of pentatonic and major scales and then words rose up into my mind from my spirit…Ancient of Days…

Immediately my senses became alive with the knowledge that Holy Spirit desired to release something. ¬†Often this ‘something’ comes out as a song from Him to us, but in this instance, as has been a¬†prominent¬†thing of late, what came was a prayer to release the Song of the Lord over our land. ¬†I’ve been getting quite a bit of song about the nation and the surrounding lands and so thought that I should activate this prayer and release it for you to¬†participate¬†in.

I was seeing our country, Australia, however I noticed that Holy Spirit did not prompt any words that would indicate any particular nation and so I realised that this is a song for all people to sing over their own nations. ¬†He is so efficient ūüėÄ

So, as usual, this is a one-take recording, on my¬†iPhone, sitting at my very overly resonant upright. ¬†I’ve added some ‘atmosphere’ because it was so much fun to create ūüėõ ¬†I would suggest you give yourself about 10-15 minutes to listen and respond.

I hope that you are blessed by today’s offering and that Holy Spirit releases a revelation for you, that as you listen, you are able to encounter The Great I Am. ¬†This is my prayer for you.

Release Your Song God – prophetic song for the nations

Love and Blessings always,

Miriam Miles