Self-Honesty

I am an hypocrite. In fact, if many of us should stop and think about it, we are very hypocritical when it comes to being honest with ourselves. By extension, we become hypocrites with God and others because frankly, in order to be honest with God or others, you must first be honest with yourself.

I look back on some of the years I once deemed as the best of my prayer life. These were the years I spent talking to God about others and their problems. I never spoke to Him about myself beyond the face value stuff. Back then, I believed my prayer life rocked as I spent time loading on the godly platitudes, raising prayer requests and reciting all the lovely turn of phrases I had heard during service at church. I was a living-walking modern-day hypocritical Pharisee.

I look back now and laugh because I realize that in those instances I treated God as an acquaintance. I also spent a lot of time running from myself. But how could I be honest that I did not love all my neighbors? That there were some persons I truly disliked despite trying hard to find the good in them? How about areas of the Bible that I struggled to obey? How about church rules that I disagreed with and felt really strongly about? How could I acknowledge my struggles to myself much less voice them to God or anyone else? How could I bare my soul to God when I didn’t have the courage to bare it to myself? It was far easier to pretend that everything was hokey-dokey than be the sole representation of imperfection or voice of dissent. It was far easier to pretend to be the perfect Christian. Everybody else seemed to have it together, why shouldn’t I?

Those years helped no one. I know they certainly didn’t help me or my relationship with God. One of the reasons I love King David is because of his brutal honesty to God about his nature, even in moments when he is not quick on the uptake. It takes a lot to be able to acknowledge that you have messed up or that you were wrong or that you are not perfect and need help. Moments like those require you to be brutally honest with yourself and humble enough to make the acknowledgement.

Frankly, that’s the way I want to live my life. I choose to be an active participant in my life over the casual observer. I choose to be introspective and insightful. I choose to be more than the regular indoctrinated Christian. I choose to be honest with myself, God and others. I choose to live a life of honesty.

I would like you to join me in making a commitment to ourselves:

We will take the time to discover our true feelings and be honest about them to ourselves so that we can be honest with God and others.

XOXO,
Chañel.

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What Do You Say About You?

On my first solo business trip, I had several experiences that made me realise something integral. I’ve always spoken about the fact that I am interested in doing all the good I can before I die. Why? I am deeply interested in shaping what I will be known for. In my first solo week-long trip, I realised that your actions can say a lot about you.
One of the things, I am very purposeful in doing is ensuring that I sincerely thank whoever serves me. This, sometimes, resulted in me internally cringing when I realise that throughout the course of a meal, I end up telling the waiter/waitress, thank you for:

  1. Pouring my water
  2. Taking my order
  3. Bringing my order (multiple times if the meal has multiple courses)
  4. Asking if I am ready for the bill
  5. Bringing the bill
  6. Processing my payment
  7. Removing my dishes

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Not everyone is doing IT…

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As I was getting ready for work this morning, the Bible story about Elisha complaining to God about him being the only one in Israel who haven’t bowed to Baal came to me. What resounded in my head was God’s reply.

Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
1 Kings 19:18

We live in a world where sometimes it seems like everyone is doing IT and we are the only ones not doing IT. This I admit can be pretty lonesome especially when we begin to feel pressured to do IT. What is the IT you ask? The IT is all the things you know you shouldn’t be doing for various reasons whether they are societal or personal reasons.

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The Fears of Yesterday

All of us, as human beings, have tasted the frightening effects of fear. The sad part is that some of us allow the fear to dominate us to the point where we don’t even try the things we have wanted the most and thus, it cripples and prevents us from being the best versions of ourselves. One quote that I’ve kept constantly in my heart is”

Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

The first and only time I came across this quote was some years ago while watching the Hillary Duff movie “Cinderella Story”. I don’t even remember much of the plot of the movie but I have never forgotten the quote.

This week, I touched a milestone and found myself reminiscing on the fears I had to overcome to get to it. Today, I will be listing some of these fears  and telling why I have no regrets in moving past them.

  1. I feared losing my best friend: I eventually lost my best friend despite all I did to prevent it but you know what? I survived! While in the process of learning to come back from the abyss of emotional despair, I picked up a few lessons. Not everyone who comes into your life is meant to stay, some are just to teach you lessons and go. That was the role of my best friend. I also learned who were the persons in my life I could lean on for support.

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The Subject of Crying

Maybe no one told you that there was strength in your tears. – Kelly Clarkson

I used to be one of those females who believed that crying was a sign of weakness. Well, it should be the flip as crying doesn’t show that you are weak but rather that you have strength. It takes strength to show others that you are vulnerable. One of the things that have really struck me is that although tears show considerable strength, we tend to apologize anytime we become emotional in the presence of a group or others – especially if we don’t know them well. I had to ask myself: ” Why do we do that?  Why is it not okay to become emotional whenever we want?”

Here are a few reasons why tears, whether in public or private, are okay.

  1. Tears enable us to get in touch with our deepest feelings. Unless you’re putting on a really good act, eating onions, or acting in a movie scene, tears express the rawest emotions within. We have all had moments when a really amazing gift or gesture had brought tears to our eyes. We cry when we share moments of great elation with others. There are many times, I’ve laughed until I began crying. Tears are also an expression of grief at endings or the loss of those who are precious to us.

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Lift them cheeks. Show some teeth

Today I want to talk about one of my most favorite things to do in the whole world… If you said or thought  “SMILING” then you are most definitely correct! Whether a full or half smile, I just can’t seem to help myself! I just love to smile and you know what? This inability to stop this ability comes with the most amazing benefits.

  1. Smiling makes you more approachable People generally avoid strangers but if they need help, they are more likely to approach a person who looks nice and approachable. Studies have found that people are more willing to engage socially with others who are smiling. A smile is an inviting facial expression that tells people you are willing to talk and interact with them.
  1. Smiling improves your mood I’ve had cases where I started my day badly and even though I don’t feel like it, I put on a smile. You would be amazed at how many persons will respond to a smile and “good morning”. Within the 20 minutes it takes me to get to work, I begin to feel a lot better and my smile becomes totally genuine! This is because endorphins (endorphins are the same chemicals you get from working out or running, resulting in what is known as a runner’s high) released lift your mood.

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Lessons to live by

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Recently, while browsing Amazon for free books to add to my Kindle, I came across a couple of book titles by SJ McCoy that perfectly titled some of my philosophies in life. See the list below and the reasons why I believe you should make them your life philosophies as well.

  1. Love like you have never been hurt. Getting hurt stinks royally, that much I can attest to 100%. What stinks even more is when your inability to forgive the person who hurt you prevents you from getting and giving the love you deserve. Don’t let someone who callously hurt you in the past have a hold in your future because you can’t forgive him/her. The best revenge is to forgive, accept the lessons learnt then go ahead and find someone and love like you have never been hurt!
  1. Dance like nobody’s watching. I’m sure we have all watched that movie or seen a video where there is just that one guy/girl who is insecure about being themselves but then gets drunk and let loose (Katy Perry’s Last Friday night comes to mind). Don’t need a “MUST GET DRUNK” policy to loosen up. Learn to have fun. Be silly, be you. There is only one you and there certainly will never be another like you so be who you are and not who you think people want you to be.

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