Christian Life, Mental Health

Girl Stop Apologizing & More

Web_girlstopapologizing

Have you gotten your hands on a copy of Rachel Hollis’ latest book, Girl Stop Apologizing? Rachel lays out important actions she has taken to attain her level of success. In a world of people telling you to just follow yours dreams, Rachel explains that you can’t just dream, sit back and hope for the best. Achieving big dreams requires hard work, a plan, discipline, and sacrifice.

Rachel’s message is that we need to stop apologizing for who we are and how we are “wired.” We have to stop making excuses for why we aren’t succeeding and stop blaming others for our lack of progress. She shares what keeps her on track like her 10-10-1 rule, getting up an hour earlier than her family, finding a place to work that is not distracting, avoiding time-wasters like social media, eating healthy, exercising daily, creating measurable goals, enlisting help, being a hustler, and so forth.

I love Rachel’s personal examples and practical advice. If people put into practice just a few of her life-principles, they are sure to reap the benefits. This book is not about theology. It’s not about living a Christian life-style. It’s not even about being a mom. This book has a purpose and it hit the bullseye. Rachel talks about her personal health and fitness through eating, sleeping, and exercise, but she does not talk about taking days off. That was not the point of her book so I have no complaints for her leaving it out.

One of the stories Rachel shared was how she decided to forego resting at an airport, even though she was exhausted, so that she could work on her book edits. She mentioned that she was willing to sacrifice rest in order to meet her objectives. This story made me think about how many people out there sacrifice rest in order to be productive.

Many people have no idea that rest is an important part of increasing productivity. Medical research reveals that the brain needs days off in order to restore itself. Many studies even connect REM sleep to emotional memory processing (Walker & van der Helm, 2009). Professional athletes and trainers will tell you that you must take one day off a week for your muscles to rest and restore. The Bible even talks about how we should take a day off for sabbath rest (Exodus 20:8-11). Without rest at least one day per week, we end up being less productive on the other six days.

My encouragement is to read Rachel’s book and figure out how to apply it to your life. However, don’t become a “hustler” and neglect to take days to reset and restore in the process. Achieving your goals while being emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, and relationally healthy is what will make you a real success story.

 

 

Reference

Walker, M. P., & van der Helm, E. (2009). Overnight therapy? The role of sleep in emotional brain processing. Psychological bulletin, 135(5), 731-48.

 

 

Christian Life

Craving For Love

Blog_Craving for Love-2In her book, Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis writes about a conference she attended that impacted her life in a profound way. The insight she had about herself was realized when a speaker asked the audience two questions, “Which parent did you crave love from more?” and “Who did you have to be for them?” Upon reading that second question, my chest began to tighten, emotions began to well up, and I sat silently, thinking about my childhood. Growing up, I lived with my mother and two older sisters. I craved my mother’s love on a daily basis and tried to get her attention by misbehaving. Subconsciously I thought, maybe if I was mean to the dog, talked frequently, was overly expressive, or an all-star athlete she would pay attention to me. Then my mind wandered to my father. I never lived with him yet I always longed for his love and attention, on the rare occasion when I was able to visit.

As I continued to sit in silence, pondering my answers, these questions gripped my heart. Without a doubt, I knew I longed for my father’s love more than my mother’s. I knew this because of a memory that came to my mind of a time when I visited my father sometime during middle school. Shortly before this trip, I was in a production of Beauty and the Beast in a theater outside of Boston, Massachusetts. I wasn’t just a part of the production, I starred as Belle in this theater’s academy program. In my 12-year-old mind, this role made me special… it made me important… it made me somebody. I was so excited to show my dad the VHS recording of the performance so he could share in my glory and affirm that I was talented and special. However, after my father watched that tape, he remarked that it would be a “bigger deal” if I starred in a musical at a real theater. It did not matter that he was wrong about it not being a theater production. What mattered to me was his lack of affirmation. All I really wanted was a daddy who loved and affirmed me. I don’t think he intentionally tried to hurt me with that comment but the damage was done.

That was the last extended stay visit I would ever have at my father’s home during my childhood years. I was done trying to become the daughter he would be proud of. I was done trying to earn my parents love. The next few years would be spent searching for love through dating relationships that left me feeling empty and hurt. The only thing that could mend my broken and hardened heart was the love of Father God. This realization began when I was 15 and has continued to strengthen over the last 18 years. Therapy, pastors, mentors, books, and relationships have been instrumental in my growth but what transformed me the most was when I stopped believing the lies I told myself; lies that I was worthless, unlovable, damaged, and unintelligent. Ultimately, I could not have done this without replacing those lies with the truth. The real truth is, the word of God is the most powerful source of truth that speaks value and worth to each and every person. God’s love is unconditional and no amount of performing could make him love us more. Scriptures tell us that we are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), greater than all other created beings (Genesis 1:28), adopted as his children (Ephesians 4:1-5), created with a purpose (Jeremiah 29:11), gifted (1 Corinthians 12:8-11), and the list goes on.

When you read those two questions, what came to your mind? Whose love did you crave as a child? Do you have a story like mine? Whose love do you still crave? Who are you trying to be in order to be loved? I encourage you to take some time to ponder these questions and think about lies you have been believing about yourself: lies that say you are less than; lies that say you will never amount to anything; lies that say you need to be someone else in order to be loved and accepted.