Your thoughts are not your actual experience. You can say "I feel insecure" but really your thoughts are insecure. If you change your thoughts, you won't feel insecure anymore. More on this later...
A few months ago I had quite the revelation. How many of you have had the experience of struggling and wrestling in your mind, trying to solve problems and figure out the why's, the if's, and the but's of a situation, only to find the answer in a simple thought you had while you were nonchalantly showering. Yah, me too.
I've never been great with breakups and over the last 5 years, I've had some pretty bad ones. They were bad in the sense that it took a toll on my identity and I couldn't seem to figure out why. I dated one guy who I thought I'd marry, but he told me he needed to pray and ask God for a sign that I was the one, and when that sign didn't come, he ended things (for the second time). Looking back, I don't know why I drank the koolaid and believed this was in any way normal or the right way to go about dating, but how many of you also know, when you're in it, you can be very very blind.
After that, I was scarred. Very scarred. My mom ended up getting sick and dying, so I decided that the appropriate way of dealing with this pain was to date all the wrong guys through dating apps. I used hooking up as a means of numbing pain. Low and behold, that ended with more heartbreak, it was just suppressed (which I was an expert at doing).
Next up, I met a guy who I really really liked, but something was off. He was a Christian but struggled with some really unhealthy behaviors. Things ended, he got help and I plummeted more into a dark hole of dating wound and victim thinking madness. I forgot to mention that at this point, as well as during that relationship, I was an anxiety shell of a person who was swimming around in a pool of internal chaos and co-dependency, all the while convincing myself that I was close to God because Jesus was my Lord and savior, so I'm fine.
Well, que the last guy getting famous. All over the internet. Friends, more friends, strangers...a lot of people messaged me about him. New guys I would be talking to would mention him. "He's so amazing, you need to marry him!" friends would text me. How do you tell all these people that yes he's great but also you broke up for a reason? This is where resentment brews.
Resentment is a dark cloud that seeks to protect you through perceived validated justice.
The thing is, it's the devil's playground. You're blind and you can't see how it's sucking you deeper and deeper into confusion.
So there you have it - if you don't treat a wound, it gets infected. It festers and gets worse and worse. This is similar to what happens with rejection and abandonment wounds. I hit a deep low and the beautiful part is God met me there. I wish I could say that it was without pain, but it wasn't. I was alone and it was dark. I want to make this clear though - it was about to become the most beautiful place.
I remember crying and crying because I was just so tired of FEELING pain and FEELING wounded.
I was tired of rejection, I was tired of people leaving and not coming back. I was tired of crying over my mom and I was tired of crying over men who didn't treat me well.
I will never forget the night I was crying and I heard God so clearly -
"Kristina, you are clinging on to your pain thinking its the way to healing. Give it to me, it doesn't belong to you anymore. This is the cross".
That night I gave it all to Jesus. It didn't belong to me. He died so that I didn't have to cling to pain anymore. I was free...free to believe that I am enough JUST as I am. I don't have anything to prove, I don't need to change my history, I don't need anyone to accept me. I am accepted JUST as I am.
Approval addiction is a real thing, especially in dating. When you think you've been rejected by someone, it's normal to crave approval. If you put them on a pedestal, you forget they are just a human being, the exact same worth as you, regardless of the likes and the follows. They literally have weaknesses and strengths, just like you do. They are no better or worse. I was sitting in therapy when I had a massive revelation -
People don't reject you. They have their own experience, their own thoughts. You could think they 'reject' you one day, and 'approve' of you the next day. It's all based on their experience. So, what you perceive to be rejection is just someone's experience of you, which is constantly changing. It has no bearing or reflection on who you are, or your identity. None. Absolutely none. They didn't create you, they didn't make you, you don't live for them. If you remember this, if you realize that there is no approval that is enough to keep you going daily other than the inherent approval of God, the Creator, you will not be moved by rejection.
You can actually have compassion on someone because of what they are experiencing (this may take awhile but you can get there).
When you have the revelation of how God made you, and then died for you, you truly don't need to go around begging the internet or people for attention. You realize that someone's disapproval is because of their experience and that's their problem. Its really amazing to have this revelation. You are enough just as you are. God wants to bless you with all the good things where you're at. You don't need to change for him but you will change because He changes you. Ah, this truth is so good.
So my friends, my hope is that through this thinking, we can cultivate healthy relationships between men and women - TOGETHER. We can work to see that the opposite sex is worth compassion while also understanding that our identity must not ever be compromised or in someone else's approval of us.
I can't wait to share more dating and relationship experiences with you and have a little fun with it! I'm so excited to launch DTR LIVE in Newport Beach June 3rd! It's going to be full of comedy and fun, freedom from shame, some cocktails, some games, and probably some awkward convos. More details to come, but thanks for reading, much LOVE!
**Resources for those in crisis or looking for help are below, taken from the faith and wellness community https://www.facebook.com/notes/faith-mental-wellness-community-christian-mental-health/community-resources/1146933798720643/
- To find nearby treatment services, call 1-800-662-HELP .
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK
- You can text NAMI to 741-741 for NAMI’s text crisis line.
The NAMI helpline (U.S. based) 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email@example.com can help answer questions about mental health issues including:
- Symptoms of mental health conditions
- Treatment options
- Local support groups and services
- Education programs
- Helping family members get treatment
- Programs to help find jobs
- Legal issues (the NAMI Legal Resource Service can connect individuals with attorneys in their area but does not have the resources to provide individual representation)
They can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 am–6 pm, ET.
- You can also visit NAMI.org and click “Find Support” for resources in your area.
- Visit your healthcare provider, pastoral counseling (usually provided within a local church), or urgent care who may be able to refer you to an appropriate clinician or therapist (All state Medicaid programs provide some mental health services).
- If enrolled in school, check out your counseling department for free services to get in touch with a counselor.
- Research/visit your local Department of Human Services or Public Social Services to see if you qualify for state or federal healthcare if you can’t afford medical insurance to see a clinician.
- For those specifically interested in Christian Counseling check out PsychologyToday.com, Find a Therapist, and choose “Christian” in your filtered search for your area. Get on the phone with a counselor and see if they’re a good fit for you (relationally, spiritually and financially) .
- Also, check out the American Association of Christian Counselors and Find a Counselor.
- You can also try Faithful Counseling at https://www.faithfulcounseling.com
- TalkSpace offers online therapy services at https://www.talkspace.com
- Exercise, even if it’s a 15-20 minute walk outside each day. This is a healthy and proven way to relieve anxiety.
- Get involved in a support group either via your church (such as Celebrate Recovery), online or even look into your local hospital.
- When you’re too overwhelmed to read the word, consider plugging in your earphones and let the word be read to you, via Bible apps like YouVersion. Faith comes by hearing and by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17) This is still a filling of your Spirit which is so necessary.
- You may likely feel the resistance to engage socially, however try not to forsake fellowship and continue to surround yourself with like-minded believers who can be an edifying support system to you. Social support plays a defining role in our health.
- Create a worship playlist to uplift your Spirit each day and each morning.
- SAMe is a natural supplement sold in drugstores to help with joint pain but it is also known to assist in mood imbalances.
- If you ever find yourself in a Panic Attack (to get back in touch with your senses): Stop & Identify- 5 Things you SEE 4 things you FEEL 3 things you HEAR 2 things you SMELL 1 thing you TASTE
- Invest in a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy book to educate yourself on the workings of anxiety. This is often the same type of therapy used in treatment.