Feelings: Friend or Foe?

One of the definitions of “feeling” is an emotional state or reaction, and in its plural form: a susceptibility to impression. The Merriam-Webster dictionary offers the following: feelings, emotion, affection, sentiment, passion mean a subjective response to a person, thing, or situation; and, “feeling” denotes any partly mental, partly physical response marked by pleasure, pain, attraction, or repulsion. This post is based on that little (yet powerful) word referring to our response to our “feelings”. The word is subjective.

Subjective — relating to the way a person experiences things in his or her own mind; based on feelings or opinions rather than facts.

How often have we heard others make comments like these, or we’ve thought or spoken them ourselves:

I hate how this feels. I love how this feels. I don’t know how I feel.

I feel unworthy. I feel helpless. I feel hopeless. I feel lost.

He makes me feel so unlovable. He makes me feel like a loser.

She made me feel stupid. She made me feel like I was a bother.

I felt like they never had time for me. I felt like I had no future.

It feels like no one cares. It feels like no one sees me. It feels like no one would ever listen to me.

I feel like I could take on the world. I feel so empowered. I feel like a million bucks.

I feel so old. I feel so young. I feel so ugly. I feel so pretty.

It makes me feel so vulnerable. It makes me feel so uncomfortable.

It makes me feel like a winner. It makes me feel like I’m nothing.

I feel like I have my whole life before me.

I feel like I can never overcome my past.

I feel like everyone else knows where they’re going, but not me.

Did you feel the rollercoaster of emotions, of feelings? We’re up, we’re down, we’re spinning around. I had a friend that used the expression, “like a box in the wind,” to describe uncertainty. And that’s just it. When we aren’t grounded within ourselves, we are likely to listen, consider, think and then eventually, believe what “they” tell us. And who are “they” anyways? Anyone outside ourselves, including the culture, the media, teachers or coaches, friends or strangers, parents or family members. Everyone busy telling everyone else how they “ought” to be or think or respond.

How unhealthy is that? It’s like giving away little pieces of the most valuable part of ourselves, our ability to think and make decisions for ourselves based on reality, not subjective or fleeting feelings based on circumstances or imaginations. People will have opinions, to which they are entitled, but we can’t allow other people to define us. Just because they try to doesn’t make it so. By the same token, our past does not define our future. Both of these have the potential to lock us into positions and places not based on reality, derailing what we were truly meant to accomplish, feel, and believe.

Certainly, feelings are an important part of being human. They are a gift. How magical it feels when love is present in our lives. How grateful we feel when we are blessed with unexpected kindness and goodness. Likewise, it is normal and important to be aware and feel concern when danger is looming or feel the heat of a hot stove warning us not to touch it. But to base our self-belief, dreams and futures on mere feelings, which can sometimes be fickle, and sometimes, be liars, is to allow ourselves to be robbed of our best, and the hope of what can be, the hope of who we can be.

If you’re one of the people who’ve been stuck in a place where someone else’s negative and untrue words or behaviors have invited you, it’s time for you to get “unstuck”. Get on up, and start dreaming again. Start believing for something more, something better. It’s not what “they” say. It’s what you say, and it’s what God says about you. Even if it’s hard, have faith that there is more for you waiting up ahead around the curve. You only have to be willing to take the first step, and then the second, and so on.

You were created for a purpose. What is that purpose? It’s your dream, it’s your life–choose to get on up and move forward. Your true life is waiting.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

 

 

 

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Leave This World Better…

“Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it.”  -Wilfred Peterson

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Destiny’s Women: Dreams Do Come True — Are You Living Your Life on Purpose?

April McCallum is the founder, writer and publisher of Destiny’s Women,™ a blog “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

 

“Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity”  –Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Tell us about Destiny’s Women… 

The tagline for Destiny’s Women summarizes its purpose: “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women™”  As you can read in the Purpose Statement, the goal is to Advocate, Empower and Reform

Destiny is the inner purpose of a life that can be discovered or realized.  That encapsulates what I want to express to women: you are of value and your life has a purpose.  But, it’s not just about what you do.  Most importantly, it’s simply and profoundly about who you are as a woman, as a person. 

The bottom line is: If you don’t see a way of escape because you are living under some form of oppression (circumstance, bondage or mindset) that keeps you from living your best life–don’t settle!  I have heard so many women say, “It’s my life, that’s just the way it is”.  That’s a lie — There is hope.  Enter: the dream for Destiny’s Women.

“While there’s life, there’s hope” –Cicero

What is your passion?

AM: I am passionate about life, people and destiny, among other things I value.  I love to communicate about real life issues through writing, art, advocating and networking. And, to cross-pollinate or collaborate for meaningful purposes in order to make a difference.  With Destiny’s Women, that involves discussion and calls to action about the things that keep women oppressed and from living in freedom–from anything that hinders a woman from reaching her dreams and living her God-given destiny.  

How has your passion fueled your current dream?

AM: Destiny’s Women serves as a catalyst to spark a desire for women to be liberated and set free. It speaks to hope and challenges them to live their own life on purpose. It is also a call to those who will join in advocating for the life, freedom and destiny of women.  

Destiny’s Women has also provided an opportunity for some of my favorite interests to intersect—advocacy for oppressed women and girls, communicating truth (the key to freedom) and creativity, to name a few. It is a privilege to join my voice with others for women and girls imprisoned by oppression.

When your dream for Destiny’s Women grew wings–what form did it take in becoming a tangible living breathing reality?

AM: I wanted to find a simple yet widely accessible vehicle to carry the voice of Destiny’s Women. That vehicle came in the form of a blog. Community is at the heart of its purpose and the content serves that community. It is part information, part inspiration and part challenge.

I love that apart from statistics and data, it also allows voices on all sides of the subject to be heard. From those who advocate and intervene on behalf of others’ freedom and those who have found creative ways to share information or use their voices to raise awareness, to the women who have lived with various forms of oppression and broken free and women who share success stories that will serve to encourage others who aren’t quite yet there.

As your dream began to unfold, did you feel support from those around you? 

AM: Yes! I have had overwhelming support from all of my “sister friends” both near and far! We love to discover, understand and hear about others’ journeys.  Women find healing and relief in telling their own stories, and in the process, others are challenged and inspired–they find encouragement and hope for their own lives. And of course, it is an avenue to raise awareness, provoke thought, and invite people to get involved in the areas of justice, compassion and advocacy.

Once you step out and start living your dream on purpose, it brings a real sense of stewardship, greater focus and intentionality. It crystalizes things and shines a new light on possibility-thinking. I love that.

How is Destiny’s Women impacting the lives of women?

All in all, our stories (women’s stories)–our lives–are interwoven. That’s why the heart of the matters discussed resonate so deeply. Their brokenness is our brokenness. Their suffering is our suffering.  Their hopes and fears are our hopes and fears. And when we hear stories of our sisters who have found their freedom, healing, voice or success, the light shines just a little brighter for us. We want the opportunity to experience our own freedoms, joys and celebrations because we see it is possible for others.

“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” –William Jennings Bryan

If you had to pick a couple of things that were the most challenging to your dream becoming a reality, what would they be?

AM: Many of the issues discussed are extreme in that they can impact lives in permanent ways.  That can go either direction—extremely positive or extremely negative. They speak to women’s realities whether through hardships (cultural or gender oppression, poverty and war, illness and disease, etc.), by their abusers (violence, sexual abuse, forms of exploitation, etc.), or self-inflicted/internal bondage (addictions, wrong mindsets and self-image issues) — and the various things that hinder them from living their destiny with freedom and purpose.

So, it’s the challenge of getting your heart and head around these very big and very real issues, and condensing them into bite-sized pieces so that people can be affected by them to the point of action.

A potential challenge might have been the victims’ vulnerability. There could have been a lack of transparency or willingness for women that needed to share and speak with their own voice, to get involved.  But that evaporated as soon as I stepped out. The road truly does rise up to meet you. I found that women wanted to express, share, reach out and touch others with their stories.  There’s healing in that process. They wanted to know that their oppression and hardships were not lived in vain. Overwhelmingly, women want to make a difference—they want their voice to be heard and their life to count.

Choose a couple of words that describe how stepping out and taking a chance on living your dream with Destiny’s Women make you feel.

AM: Celebratory. Grateful. Expectant. Purposed.

When you started imagining your dream’s potential—did you have any idea where it would take you?

AM: I am on the journey like every other woman who has said yes to her dream. It has already taken on even more verve and sparkle than I could have ever imagined in the beginning. One of the special things about dreams is they aren’t just for our own benefit, they are meant to be shared.

I believe that dreams are placed in our hearts and minds for a purpose, but we have a choice whether we take hold of the wings, or not. The more we invest ourselves, the more we are able to withdraw. In other words, the dream gives back

What advice would you offer others who are in the imagining stage of living on purpose?

AM: Once you know with certainty that this seed–this little dream–has been dropped from heaven into your heart for a reason, turn up the heat in the incubator. Fan the flames. It’s your dream and purpose. It’s a part of your destiny. Keep it alive–and whatever you do, keep dreaming!

When you know it is real and worth investing your life in–even if it’s only meant for a season—wrap yourself in it because it is yours.

Pray. Feel. Imagine. Research. Listen. Learn. Plan.  Invest time brainstorming–talk with people who champion your dream and understand the concept of living on purpose.  And then start creating. Take the necessary steps to take your dream from the “storyboarding stage” to putting hands, feet and a face on it, essentially, bringing it to life!   Your heart is already there.

Since you decided to take a risk and “go for it”, what are some of the ways your life or perspective have changed?

AM: A natural by-product of tipping your toe into the water and “going for it” is that the whole ocean seems to open up to you. New doors of discovery and opportunity suddenly seem to appear—a part of the grander purpose I’m sure. When you breathe, the air seems just a little bit sweeter.  It’s wonderful.

Once you’ve gone there and lived to tell the story so to speak, it’s more likely that you’ll be willing to take that risk again. Because the secret is, with the risk comes much reward, but–we have to be willing to take that first step.

The greatest reward of investing yourself by living on purpose, is that you’re not only investing in yourself, but in countless other lives–it’s that positive ripple effect. The women I have communicated with–met along this journey and have been honored to share in their stories–have blessed me.  Just by saying yes, being available to follow my dream and living my life on purpose—they have invaluably enriched the tapestry of my own life!

Destiny’s Women is for all of my sisters who are oppressed and deserve to live free, happy, purpose-filled lives, the “angels on earth” that advocate on their behalf, and women who are already living out their destiny, inspiring hope and loving life!

Are YOU living your life — on purpose?

© By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women

(Photo by Sam Mugraby)

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©Destiny's Women™ is a blog founded, written and published by April McCallum -- "Championing the Life, Freedom and Destiny of Women" Creative Commons License
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