Woe is me: Woes of playing a victim

Sorrowful man
If you are justifying your present bad actions based off the event that happened in the past, then there are some woes your have to overcome.
-Xholiwe

Who is a victim? What does a victim go through? How does a victim become a victor? These are all questions that we may have different answers to, but an easy way for us to get to think about the woes (sorrow and distress) of being a victim. There so many stories about victims, but have you noticed that only the victors make a name of themselves. By definition a victim is a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of crime, accident, or other event or action. If you alive right now and have had some years under your belt, then somewhere along the way you could have fallen victim to something. This could have be something that hurt you, harmed you, injured you or almost killed you. What those events or actions make you go through can easily lead to sorrow, depression, pain and trauma. However, it is not in your place to stay there when there is a whole life you could live passed all that sorrow and distress. You could actually be able to use that event as a stepping stone, so rather than being a victim for the rest of your life you become a victor. We will look at some woes and be able to identify them in our own lives in this blog, and hopefully work on moving on pass them.

Unfortunately, I will not be giving you 10 steps on how to be a victor in this blog post for this particular reason. We first have to deal with the woes of being a victim and shifting our victim mindset. I have been a victim in some situations, so trust me when I say it is easy to be a victim than it is to be a victor. It is easy to throw the victim card to everyone that pushes you to be a victor because as a victim you are not challenged to change for yourself and others. I remember when my mother died and the victim card was my only escape. Clearly, I was not the first person that lost a mother, but it felt that way for a couple years and so I found out that the victim card was an easy pass for my bad actions, but not anymore. I don’t know what event victimized you, but we may have to have an honest moment that will push you to getting over the victim mindset. What is it that triggers you to play the victim? Is it when someone calls you out on some bad behavior? or is it when things don’t go your way? If you are justifying you present bad actions based off the event that happened in the past, then there are some woes your have to overcome.

If you and Eeyore (Winnie the Pooh’s friend) are starting to look alike and sound alike, Houston we have a problem. If all you do is complain about how unfair life has been to you, then we have a victim mindset problem. Understand that I am not disregarding those bad events that happened in your life because I too can not disregard what happened in my life. I am not telling you to not share some pain points with trusted family and friends because that is important. However, I would like you to understand the woes of playing the victim in your stories and how they affect your life. Woes being great sorrow or distress have a way of changing how we look at life, and we can all agree that we experienced some stuff that we indeed were victims. The sad part about this is that we stay victims for too long without addressing the woes that the event brought in our lives. It is great that we want to move on, but we can not move on healthily if we are victim minded. If we are victim minded, every other event that follows us as we move on will keep us in the same place. Therefore, there needs to be an entire mind switch that no longer looks at current events in our lives with a victim mindset.

Because you have breath, things will happen and what will be crucial is how you decided to view this these things. Can we talk about Joseph from the bible? He is a victor that made a name for himself with the help of God, but he could have easily been a victim and forgotten. Just think of how easy it would have been for Joseph to play the victim in his story. His brother threw him in a pit and sold him because they were jealous. Joseph had every right to play the victim, but the sorrow and distress that could have come from that would have not seen him through to be the second in command in Egypt. He eventually saved the same brothers that sold him because he chose not to magnify the woes of playing the victim. Joseph had dealt with other events that he never allowed to get him trapped in the victim mindset. He was a victim when he was accused of rape. He was a victim when he was thrown in prison for something he did not do, but we all know that he his story did not end in prison. His story could have ended in that pit or in prison, but he did not allow the woes of playing the victim rule his life.

What is it that you have fallen woe it that it has impaired you to live a much desirable life? Pity parties for one are no fun, sitting there brewing on the many woes of your current situation does not fix it. Woes such as depression, despair, heartbreak, dejection, sorrow and gloom should not be your norm. The life you deserve is the life that brings out the victor in you. The victor that looks at those events as stumbling blocks that helped them see the importance of standing up again despite the falls.

Sorrow and distress can change your life based on how much you invest in them. If you are constantly looking for a reason to be sorrowful or distressed then you will certainly find it. How about if you are tired of playing the victim and feeding into those woes what do you do? Jeremiah says this:

Woe is me because of my hurt!

    My wound is grievous.

But I said, “Truly this is an affliction,

    and I must bear it.”

Jeremiah 10:19 (ESV)

Playing a constant victim in your story in the long run won’t serve you. You may have to bear the affliction with grace and grow through it. You don’t want to be stuck playing the victim in every situation, all it brings is deep sorrow and distress. You want to be able to enjoy your life knowing that despite it all, you are a victor that overcame all that that the devil throw at you hoping he would keep you stuck.

In closing, I just want to let you know that your present woe can be your future victory. But your victim minded way of thinking might be what hinders you from seeing beyond that present woe. You are spending too much time reliving those hurtful events and constantly reminding yourself that you are a victim. Do you know you can relive those events and see yourself as a victor? You overcame! Be proud of yourself. You certainly took your rightful place! You continue to do so as you trade your thorns for crowns.

Much Love,

Xholiwe

Closed doors: Are they necessary?

It was closed for a reason, keep it closed and keep it moving.
-Xholiwe

Hey crowned Royals! Can we talk about how Portillo’s shut their doors on me a couple weekends ago? I was 2 minutes pass their business hours and they closed their doors on me. I remember saying I want an Italian beef sandwich to nourish my grumpiness and I decided to risk my life driving to beat the closing time. So I took off with hope and expectation that I will walk out of Portillo’s with an Italian beef sandwich, well that did not happen. I was welcomed by a closed sign and faces through the window clearly saying go away, but I was not going to just quit because of a sign and mean faces. I wanted Italian beef and was set on it, so I waved politely at the workers and nudged on the door. They did not even react to my actions and desperate need for food. The sign was up, it was closed, which meant that Portillo’s was no longer serving customers. However, I still thought of trying because maybe just maybe someone would see my desperate need for a sandwich. What ended up happening was that I left empty and disappointed, but it was not the workers fault and they were not obligated to open those doors for me. Also, lingering around in hopes that they would open the doors for me was a pure waste of time because I left without my sandwich. There is a moral to this story, I just didn’t plan to tell you about my disappointment and leaving you without a good word.

Moral of the story? Don’t go to Portillo’s two minutes pass their closing time and for the sake of this blog post keep the closed doors closed, there is a reason why they are closed. We all go through life experiencing closed doors, for most of us we get too curious to know what is behind the door and sometimes when we find out the hard way. I get it, because some closed doors don’t give us much detail, we didn’t know that the company we wanted to work for badly would file for bankruptcy and leave you out of a job. We didn’t know that the career path we chose would keep us miserable. We didn’t know that the people around us were really not for us. We just opened some wrong closed doors in hopes that it would be right. This is not where you beat yourself for opening the wrong closed doors, this is a place where you thank God that the closed doors were necessary for your growth and drew you closer to your destiny. I have had several closed doors and just like anybody else didn’t like that feeling of rejection, but now I look back to closed doors in job opportunities, career paths, relationships, friendship etc and I am so thankful. I quit aggressively nudging on closed doors that were closed for a reason and I would hope the same for you.

Closed doors can also be our past too, we go back to opening up past hurts and bruise the wounds that took us so much time trying to heal. Is it necessary? You are getting hurt over and over again because you keep going back to the closed door you have no business opening. It was closed for a reason, keep it closed and keep it moving. You can’t experience a great future, if you continue to live in the past. Understand that God will not close one door and leave you stranded. Trust that because that door was closed, God got a better plan. God is not a mean God that says “aha let me disappoint (insert your name)!” He knows what we need better than we do, so if a door closes there is a reason and as you continue to journey through life you will understand each reason for a closed door. God will protect you, he sees way ahead of us and can tell us;

  • it is time to close this door and move on
  • it is time to close this door for now, we may revisit it when we are more mature
  • it is time to close this door forcefully because it is dangerous and we refuse to listen
  • It is time to close this door because we need to be protected

Sometimes it does not have to take God to do the closing for you. You will be beat down and tired of trying to open this closed door that you personally decide to close it yourself. When you do so, realize that you did it for you and your better future. Celebrate yourself for loving yourself enough to close doors that are not fulfilling purpose.

Are closed doors necessary? Yes, they are necessary because rather than you staying stuck on that one door you get to a point where you challenged to grow and move pass it. Unfortunately, too many people stay stuck on a closed door in hopes that there is something there when God’s blessings for you already shifted and is waiting on you to leave that closed door. The doors God opens for you are one that no man on the face of the earth can shut, those are doors we should be seeking for.

I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

Revelations 3:8 (NIV)

My last word are that you should be okay with closed doors, be okay with keeping them closed too. It is not in your place to push on closed doors and end up disappointed. Like I mentioned earlier there is a good reason why God closed some certain doors that were not serving their purpose in you life, but rather these doors were hurting and discouraging. If you have been stuck at that closed today for way too long, I challenge you to walk away even two feet away and see what difference it will make for both your body and spirit. Remember this is all in the process of shifting from thorns to crowns! You got this!

Much Love,

Xholiwe

Healing is your responsibility: Emotional wounds

God’s touch has so much power that it can instantly make you feel better when you allow him to touch you where it hurts and heal you.

There is something about a mother’s love for her children that makes observing it for me so profound. I usually sit in the back pews at church just a two rows down from the pews filled with families. There is a mom who has three beautiful kids that I can’t help but observe her interaction with her little boy. Her little boy is so trusting of his mother that he usually runs to her when he is hurt because he trusts his mother will sooth him like she always does when he is hurt. There is one profound observation for me, one time the little boy was hurt physically and he ran to his mother, his mother kissed his little hand where he was hurt and the little boy ran off to play in a few minutes because it was all better.Oh how I wish healing from emotional hurt was that easy, kiss it and it goes way. Unfortunately, as we grow older and we start to lose the innocence of a child it gets harder to trust that we will be healed instantly by a simple act of someone else kissing our hurt away. As we grow older we have to be responsible for our own healing, not physically only, but emotionally and it may take a little more than a kiss on the hand to make us feel better.

Going back to my observation of the little boy and his mother, there is one thing or two the little boy teaches us. He teaches us that healing is not something we have to do alone. He also teaches us to trust in someone that truly loves us and wants to see us well again. In the same way, we do not have to try to heal alone, we have access to God who we can trust can help us heal from our emotional hurt. God wants to see us well again, but we need to realize that healing is our responsibility. We can not expect healing to come to us if we do not act upon seeking it. What use is it for us to want to be healed when we continue to nurse emotional wounds on our own? Rather than us nursing old wounds, how about we become honest with ourselves and come to terms with the fact that we need healing. I think honesty is our first step towards being responsible for our healing. How does one heal if they think there is nothing to heal from? We need to be honest that there are some emotional wounds that we need healing from. The second step would be accepting these emotional wounds caused you pain and you not constantly covering them up. Emotional wounds can not be covered up for so long before they start to show through your attitude towards yourself and others. It takes one trigger that can set off a perfectly covered up emotional wound to burst up in flames. How does this happen? Someone acts like another person that hurt you in the past and since you have not done a good job healing, you reaction to their acts still comes from a place of pain. You don’t believe? have an honest moment with yourself and think of the time you reacted to someones actions because they reminded you of someone else that hurt in the exact same way. Yes, you need healing and it is entirely up to you.

Why is it your responsibility? It is not like it was your fault any way, other people hurt you and they should come fix it and help you heal. Wrong, truth is that people hurt you one way or another whether it was their intention or not, but if you wait on them to come and make everything alright, you might wait for the rest of your life. If you are saying it is not fair, I see where you are coming from because you feel like you are left alone to pick up the broken pieces and heal all by yourself while the ones that hurt you move on with their lives. Your job is not to keep tabs on their lives, you job is to begin working on your healing.

Understand that the emotional wounds that have brought you to a place where you desperately seek healing will be the emotional scars that remind you of how strong you can be despite all the hurt. Healing takes work, and you need your natural effort to match the super natural efforts of God to help you heal. Since you are taking responsibility for your healing, here is what you are doing in the nature;

  • You are being honest with yourself about the hurt you have experienced
  • You are accepting the existence of the emotional wounds that were caused from the hurt in your life
  • You are praying; your prayers are aimed towards forgiving yourself, forgiving others, denouncing guilt, letting go of all the hurt that came with the wounds, seeking peace and comfort from God, asking for healing and restoration.
  • You are reading the word; the word that point to healing and let’s you know that God is a healer and all the promises that are in the bible serve as a reminder
  • Cultivating your environment; your surroundings should cultivate peace, the people in your life as you go through the process of healing should bring peace and encourage you to move forward. Be around people that pray for you and trust that God will see you through the healing process
  • Spend time loving on you: Do things that you actually love to do and be unapologetic about your choice to heal. It is so important to spend time with yourself and love on you as much as possible. Be your own crush everyday
  • Protect you peace as you go through the process of healing.

Here is what God does for you Super naturally;

  • He gives you undeniable peace while you go through the process
  • He listens to your prayers and gives you strength as you seek healing
  • He helps change your environment by allowing people in your life that will genuinely pray, encourage and lift you up as you go through the process
  • He speaks to you through his word reminding you that he loves you and that he can heal you from your wounds
  • Just like the mother that kissed her son’s little hand so the little boy can feel better, God’s touch has so much power that it can instantly make you feel better when you allow him to touch you where it hurts and heal you.

He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

Psalms 147:3 KJV

It is time to put in the work, if you want this healing you will need to be responsible for it all the way. God is a healer and he will not allow you to do this alone. His word already confirms that he heals the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. He will bind your emotional wounds once you give him the permission to do so. It takes a touch from God to make all things better!

It is time to get healed!

Much love, Xholiwe

Normalizing Hurt: There is liberty

When will it all get better?

Some time ago I remember having a conversation with my dear friend in the UK while I was hurting and I asked her, when will it get better? I remember saying that I needed to catch a breath, but when I tried to, it just seemed like I was under deep waters again. She quickly hit me with the word of God that served as a great reminder when I needed it right before I was out there thinking being hurt should be my lifestyle.

When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you.

Isaiah 43 v 2 NLT

Real talk though, have you ever felt that way too? That feeling where you feel like God just healed from some hurt and then soon enough some other hurt finds it’s way to you? You ask yourself why do I find myself in hurting situations and question if there is something wrong with you. Yup! been there and I know how it feels. If not dealt with, It does get to a point where you normalize being hurt all the time and if you don’t get out this mindset that normalizes hurt you may find yourself hurting all the time. Hurting all the time is not normal and if you are a child of God, you certainly will not have to constantly be on an endlessness hurt marathon.

As we journey through life we need to understand that hurt will come in many forms and how we approach it will determine how we will overcome it. I will let you know that if you want to play a victim from your hurt, you are well on your way to an endless hurting marathon. However, if you play a victor from your hurt, you are about to get through life with a better understanding that hurting should not be normalized. You will have the knowledge to look at hurt as a place of growth versus it being a death sentence. Do you know how many people die thinking that constantly hurting was normal for them. I am guessing a lot of people, unless you think other wise. Understand me when I say that hurt should not be normalized in your life. You should not get so used to being hurt that it starts to feel like a lifestyle for you. No one wakes up in the morning everyday looking to get hurt, but have you ever just thought about what environments you allow in your life that can easily get your hurt. The people in your life, are they people that encourage you and see the greater worth in you? Are they people that treat you well and speak kindly to you without hurting you? Are you able to speak up to them in a respectful way when you feel hurt by their words or actions? If your answers to all these questions are no, then it is most likely that this is where you are experiencing some of your constant hurt. When it comes to people we fall under the obligation to keep them around even when they hurt us because they are family, they are friends, they are co-workers and we forget that toxic is toxic. Day after day the people around you find ways to hurt you and eventually it becomes normal for you. In this case, I would like to tell you that there is nothing wrong with giving yourself permission to avoid toxic people and enjoy some peace for once in your life.

Truth is that not every person in your life or people you meet along the way are out to hurt you, but if you have normalized hurt, you will be looking to get hurt because it seems normal for you. Your normal has become crying all night, your normal has become hurting others with your words because you are hurting and isolating yourself in the fear of being hurt again. If you don’t cry, you will want to find a reason to cry, so what do you do? Go back 10 years ago to some major hurt and cry the whole night because that feels normal. I beg to differ, our hurt can either make us or break us and that solely depends on how we normalize it. Learning from your hurt and overcoming helps you realize that hurt is only but a stepping stone that helps you grow.

Some of you would probably tell me that you have been hurting since childhood and if you were honest with me and yourself, you would say you feel like it has been an endless series of hurt. Hear me when I say that I am not ruling out the fact that we all have experienced some major hurts in our lives. For some it may be death of loved ones, divorce, heartbreak, betrayal, rejection and the list goes on, but that doesn’t mean we should expect death, constant rejection, heartbreak etc in the entirety of our lives. We need to work on that mindset that has made us believe that it is normal for us to be constantly hurt that when we feel happy we get suspicious. There is freedom that comes from overcoming that mindset that tells normalizing hurt in your life is the only way you should live your life.

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

Romans 8 v 18-21 NIV

I love how the book of Romans in this particular chapter makes it so clear that we as the creation of God will be subjected to frustration, which in other words I can call hurt, but we are to liberate ourselves from it and experience freedom! It is possible to be liberated, but we have to put in the work. We have to decide that hurt should not be normalized in our lives and we should be seeking liberty from this type of mindset.

I leave you with these last words, you are not a victim of hurt, you are an over comer. I urge you to break away from the mindset that has made you normalize hurt that you don’t know any other way to live your life unless you are hurting. It is possible to live a life where you are not constantly expecting to be hurt. Let’s put in the work! We are shifting from Thorns to Crowns!

Much Love,

Xholiwe

Collectibles: Can Pain be a collectible?

Sometimes what we do is display our pain just like a passionate collector displays their findings.
-Xholiwe

It was not until I moved to the US that I discovered how collecting specific items was a thing that people took very seriously. Passionate collectors make it their primary mission to find rare collectible items for their satisfaction. There are several collectible items people choose to collect, items such as coins, chinaware, figurines, books, stamps, paintings, signed baseballs and the list goes on! Have you ever been around people that collect similar stuff? If you have never done so, I suggest you do because the conversation is full of passion and desire for the next item they plan to collect and display. I was graced with the opportunity to be around such conversations for an assigned project in college that involved me visiting an Antique store and I never thought doorknobs were that important till that day. There were two passionate doorknob collectors that shared their love for collecting door knobs that could not stop raving about door knobs and how they add character to a home. The antique store I visited had what they needed, a variety of doorknobs that they took the time to carefully study and share their thoughts on each one. While I didn’t have the interest to learn about doorknobs, one thing that was very clear to me was that these people were passionate and it would take a lot to convince them that the doorknobs to me looked like every other doorknob. There was nothing that screamed meaningful to me about the doorknobs and that is because it is not my thing and I did not share the same passion as they did for doorknobs.

To my knowledge, I don’t think I collect specific items, but I was thinking hard on collectibles this week and that is why I am writing on it. I will obviously be use collectibles to talk about collecting pain because pain can be a collectible too! Don’t believe me?! Find two people in conversation that are dealing with similar pain and reference back to my story about the two doorknob collectors.

How do we collect pain you ask? Well, for some of us it starts as early as our childhood and then over the years it piles up. We get to our adult years and we have been bruised and battered by the pains of this world. It is very easy at this point in our lives to even display our pain without even noticing we are doing so because it how been with us for a long time. Sometimes what we do is display our pain just like a passionate collector displays there findings. Pain is usually displayed through our anger, hatred, depression, bitterness and sorrow. And then we get around other people with similar pain and we share our pains like a crazed figurine collectors. Unfortunately, most of these conversations are not shared from a place of healing, but we still hold on to every pain because it feels safer to hold on to it rather than letting go. You become a hoarder of your collectible pains, just like any other collector, you have a tough time letting go because it is meaningful to you and no one felt what you felt right? I get it, I have been there too! I thought my pain was my trophy, but in actuality it was my prison. Truth is that it very easy to pile up on pain after pain if you continue to allow pain to dictate how you live your life.

Unfortunately, when we continue to be around those that are dealing with similar pain, healing can be difficult. In that case, we need to surround ourselves with those that want your healing and theirs too. What this does is that it encourages us to focus less on our pains and start to desire healing. All of us have dealt with pain, big or small it is still pain, but how we decide to deal with pain determines how long we will stay in that prison. When Jesus was on earth, he did not just heal people physically, but he also healed the broken. Jesus wants to see us healed and whole, but we have normalized pain that we find nothing wrong living our lives full of it.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalms 34:18 NIV

Rest in this verse that tells you that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted. People around you may not understand what this pain really did to you, but he know and he wants to save you from all of it, not some, but all! You have to stop treating pain like a trophy and realize that it is a prison you need to be set free from. I challenge you today to treat pain as a give away, all the pain you have collected over the year needs to be given to God. It is time to clear out the display of thorns and time to replace the thorns with crowns.