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A Swift Kick in the....PART 3

Hello FOED Family! I am finally back with PART 3 of A Swift Kick in the...

This final part of this series has been in the making since I posted PART 1 back on June 18th. Ever since I started this series, I knew that I really wanted to take my time because this is such an important topic to me. Part 1 came to me pretty quickly and as I was getting nearer to the end, I realized that I still had so much to say, so I decided that this needed to be a series instead of just a single post.

In PART 2, I explained the first part of my triggered response, the PRAYER COMPONENT, to the darkness that can so easy overcome my mind in a split second. It is crazy to me that life can be going along just fine and glance in the mirror, one ill-fitting part of pants, one unflattering pic posted on social media...will start me on a downward spiral. It is such a slippery slope and, admittedly, I am not strong enough to pull myself out on my own. It is in those moments (which happen ALL THE TIME) that I have trained myself to pray as a visceral trigger. I pray for God to give me strength to fight the feelings of inadequacy/doubt/fear (insert most any negative feeling here _________) that I am feeling, and to give me courage and confidence to love myself for who He made me. I pray this for myself and for others who are struggling with those very same issues, at that very same moment...because I know that I am not alone in my struggles.

In a perfect world, that would be it. I could just pray for God to wave His magic wand and make all of the negative feelings just melt away. Well guess what? That isn't real life and that's not how it works. Prayer is the MOST important part of this for me because that is when I am the most honest and vulnerable with myself, and with God. I am admitting that I CAN'T do this on my own and that I NEED Him to help me to find the light that is so quickly slipping out of sight and into a sea of darkness.

This is where the second part of the trigger comes in, the PERSPECTIVE COMPONENT.

Over the last month and a half since I made the first post in this series, I have tried to be better about journaling. I will admit, I am not as diligent as I wish I were. My friend (and personal mentor) Matt told me years ago about starting a "One Thought Journal". Simply, it is a quick thought, or thoughts, about the day, what I am feeling at that moment, good things that happened, bad things that's whatever I need it to be. I open my Notes app on my phone and just jot things down as they come to me.

"How is that relevant Michael?" Bare with me, it will all make sense, I promise...

From the beginning of this series, I knew what I wanted to say about the second part of this trigger, the PERSPECTIVE COMPONENT, but I had no idea how to convey it in words. I prayed many, many times that God would give me direction, and He did.

He lead me to starting back with the "One Thought Journal" as a way to track just how often I find myself in this place where I am in need of perspective....aka A Swift Kick in the.... For me, it has been a way to practice what I preach and to hold myself accountable. After all, I can't very well blog about a practical life application if I am not applying it to my own life.

Whenever I felt the darkness creeping in, it triggered a prayer (Step 1) for myself and others. The very next action (Step 2) was to trigger myself to find some perspective. What I mean by that is that for however I was feeling at that moment, I was triggered to find a memory or a thought that far outshined the depth of that darkness. Now I know that when I get into a dark place, it feels like there is no light in sight, and we all know how lonely that place can be. Whether you believe it or not, there is ALWAYS a silver lining, or perspective, to be found...ALWAYS. You just have to make an effort to find it. For example, even on the darkest of days, I know that I am not alone....even if I feel alone, I am not. I am never alone. God is always with me. How do I know this? Isaiah 41:10 says "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." This is a trigger verse that I remind myself of when I feel like I am all alone and falling further and further down the slippery slope. It helps me to find some #perspective.

I am going to stop here for today. Hopefully that gives you a little insight into my process of trying to find #perspective. I will wrap up this series next time when I dive a little deeper and get more personal and vulnerable sharing my journal entires and trigger responses since I started this series.

Until then, thank you for hanging with me through this series. It has been many years in the making and my prayer is that by the end of this, you will have some practical steps to take when it feels like you can't walk any further.

Much Love,


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