Recently I have seen how I have the ability to bring negative energy into a room when I am down. I have always known this to be a fact but I have been seeing it more and more over the past few weeks. The people around me avoid me when I am in a mood. I have always been said to wear my emotions and thoughts on my face even when my mouth remains shut. As a result, I have suffered a lot of mental exhaustion and have had conversations that took a lot longer to have than needed. I have honestly (contrary to how it may seem) been tired with this fact about me.

I can even go as far as saying, when I am in a mood or feeling a certain way I want those around me to ask what is going on a million times before I actually answer or I want them to be down in the dumps just as I am. When that does not happen, I often go deeper into the way I am feeling because they are not acknowledging or caring enough to be just as sad, upset, mad or bothered as I am. This is not something I am proud to admit, but it is the truth so I am going to state it and own up to it.

I have conversations that could have been saved had I spoken in the moment what was on my mind. I have been bitter or upset in spaces where I should have been happy because I let the weight of the world crash against me so heavily I could not focus on anything other than the many shards of my life on the ground around me. Too many times I have let my thoughts get the best of me, the result of that has been me hurting those around me who have done me no harm. The result of that has been missing important moments due to my anger or frustration. The result of that has been me losing intimate time with the ones I love because I was too whatever to tell them what was going on.

The greatest suffering I have faced because of this, has been pushing away the people who genuinely love and care for me.

This has happened time and time again. It was old the first time and it is old now. Every time I find myself in a mood, I think about what will come of it if I keep things in and do not share. I think about the negative impacts and implications, yet I still find it hard to let myself be free from my own mind by sharing in the moment what is weighing on me. Yet I keep the same habits and feel terrible afterwards (as always). Then I find myself apologizing moments after. But the cycle must end, I have decided it ends tonight!

I want to be free from myself and from my thoughts that fester or that come from overthinking. I want to be free from pushing people away then expecting them to come back, that is not love. I want to be free from old habits existing in new spaces. I want to be free from me...the me I have always been. Although I want freedom, I realize that it comes with a price. I have looked at the numbers and counted the costs. Here is what I have decided is a fair price:

1. I will no longer be silent when I feel a way about something

2. I will no longer make someone ask me a thousand questions before answering

3. I will no longer say "it's okay" to things that bother me -- because it's not and as a result I am not okay

4. I will no longer let thoughts ruminate in my mind until I turn into a negative Nancy

5. I will no longer hold things over my own head to punish myself

6. I will no longer care more about others than I do myself (to a healthy extent)

The way we love others is directly affected by two things, the first being the way we see Jesus' love for us/the way we think He loves us and the second being the way we love ourselves. I confess that I do not always feel or see Jesus' love for me, therefore I do not love myself as I should and I am only able to love others as I love me (which as we have seen, is not much/to a certain extent). The bible says we love because Jesus first loved us, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us." 1 John 4:18-19.

I have been loving others and letting my thoughts build one off the other in fear. Fear that I will lose them, fear that they will get tired of me, fear that I would just be there to be put up with, fear that I am not enough, fear that I am replaceable and my greatest fear being I am not worth it (whatever it is). I have not been loving myself, receiving God's love for me nor loving others the right way due to fear. As we see in the scripture above, there is no fear in love because love casts out fear, I need the Lord to shower me with His love that it would cast out every fear listed. That I may love others and myself the way I am loved by God. He loves me without condition, with no end, without limits, without standards, without works, without deeds, without force, without restraint, but with joy. God loves me just because. As good as that sounds, it is also a bit scary, because that means I have to love myself just because and that I have to love others just because. In some cases that can be hard, but it sounds worth it, I want to know it is worth it.

I will leave us with a prayer,

God, You are the great I am. You are the Alpha and the Omega,
beginning and the end. You know me better than I know myself and for that I thank You. For that I ask that You would help me to trust You more than I do now. I ask that You would help me to see myself the way You see me. That I would begin to see I am worth it, whatever the it may be. I pray that Your perfect love would cast out every fear I have in my heart when it comes to loving myself and those around me. I pray that I would abandon the lies I have believed to be the truth of how You love me and that I would adopt the truth of how You actually love me. I pray it would be a journey I would be willing to take with You, that I may see You in my life and feel Your love and see Your love for me more and more each day You breathe a new breath into my body. Would You keep me close to You and would You meet me in the time I set aside to read Your word and pray. Lastly God, would You expand my heart that it may be filled with Your love for me and for myself that I may share it with others without limits, without conditions, without care and without fear.

I pray and ask all of these things in Jesus' name,