When You Feel Like A Failure

Feeling like a failure is probably one of the worst feelings in the world, wouldn’t you agree? There are days when I myself feel like a failure, where I wished that I would have done things differently in life.

I think to some degree everyone has felt like that, but what are the roots of such a paralyzing feeling?

  1. We lack a core identity or truth about ourselves,  as a Christian and follower of Jesus. My core identity comes from him and him alone, nothing else. And when I know who I am in his eyes and what I am in his sight. Nothing else truly matters in the end. Nothing can separate me/us from his love:

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38, NLT)

2) You are not your past mistakes: No matter what you have done in your past, it does not mean that the past has to dictate your future. Yes, there may be consequences for a past action, but the good news is, is that we can take extreme ownership of our actions, and decide to be a different person here and now. Furthermore, there is forgiveness in Christ and He can make you a new creation:

2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

3) Persevere: Life is hard yes, people will doubt you, they won’t believe you can change, they will want to see you fail. But you can’t let that stop you. You have to tell yourself, that you will choose to keep moving forward, every second of everyday. You will even have moments where you want to give up, you may even have  moments of break down. And I’d argue, that that’s okay, but then get up, dust off and keep moving forward.images

 

Letting Go of The Heavy Load.

Do you ever feel like you have to have it all together?

Do you ever feel like if you don’t have your act together 24/7, then you’re not measuring up?

I relate to both those questions, both in a physical and spiritual sense and for me they both intertwine with one another. In a physical sense if I’m not winning then I do not amount to much.  It doesn’t matter if it’s in Brazilian Jiujitsu or Crossfit. If I’m not submitting people and bringing home the gold medals, then I further down the mountain while losing the respect of my team and sponsors.

If it’s Crossfit, and I’m not hitting the huge PR’s in the gym, if I’m not making the fastest time in competition and make it to the podium. Then others are beating me out and taking that spot that I desired in my heart.   As an athlete, I believe that wanting to win is a right and healthy mindset, but when we put too much unhealthy pressure on ourselves, I think that we willingly put ourselves into a mindset of slavery that we were never meant to be in any way.

You see, performance should never determine our worth. Sure, we should have dreams and be motivated to complete those goals. The bedrock of our lives should be centered around the understanding that we are loved. Loved by God, our family, and friends. When our lives are based on our performance and what we can produce with our lives, then it isn’t loving. It’s a tireless effort to meet a standard we could never meet on our own.

When the love of friends, family, and even coaches is based on the way we perform. Then one might strongly consider that the problem has little to do with you and more to do with them.  If it’s a coach treating you this way, I highly suggest not giving them anymore of your time.

Secondly, this can esaily translate over to the spiritual mind set, in that if we constanly feel that we have to earn Gods love, approval and favor then we have a foggy perspective of who God is. As sch our view of God most be quickly cleared up. So often we feel that if there is a God, then we first have to clean ourselves up in order to even approach him.

That couldn’t be more of a lie, the truth is that we can come to him despite how many flaws we have or how dirty we think we are. God longs for you to come to him, you don’t have to carry around the heavy load that is in your soul. Freedom and hope are possible.

There is a vast difference between God desiring for you to better off then you were, out of a new desire to be less of the person you were yesterday and wanting perfection. God wants you to be a brand new creation, but he understands that you will fall down time and time again. He won’t stop loving you just because you fall or have a bad day. He will love you to the sky and back. You just have to let him.

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I Know…

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything, I’m still having a lot of ups and downs in regards to porn. But I’m not beating the crap out of myself each and every time. I find myself longing for love. Real love.

For someone to love me and tell me it’s going to be okay, that I’m not my failures. It just seems so hard to find. Yes, I know that the God, but I still long for a wonderful woman in my life. One who builds me up, encourages and fights for me.

The other night I was coming back from the gym, when I had the inclination to pray with the president of our college. We shared some things that were going on in each others lives. I told him about the longings that were in my heart. As he was praying for me he spoke something that I have never heard before in my years of following Jesus.

He said “I ask that you would send a wonderful woman into Brandon’s life sooner rather than later.” Wow.. Mind blown. While he also prayed that I would feel the Lord’s love deep inside of my soul. I had never heard those words spoken and claimed before. I have always heard loads of other daily cliches. And while I claim that promise in my life, I know I have a lot to do on myself, but you know what? I’m okay with that.

 

 

Fighting My Addiction Part 2

I believe that one of the hardest elements of fighting any addiction, be it porn, sex, food, drugs or what have you. Is actually believing that you can fight back against it. The truth is that when we have been bogged down by addictive patterns for so long it can be extremely difficult to believe that anything better can become of your life.

Being that I fight my own addiction daily (porn), there was a time when I deeply believed that I couldn’t break free from the grasp that addiction had on my life. So I basically surrendered myself to this addiction, believing that it was now my master. Eventually though, I became sick of looking at pornography and quickly realized that it was never really that satisfying as people made it sound.

And if we’re honest, we might very well say the same thing. We also have to remember that simply because people choose porn over a real person, yes very little to do with them actually  being “satisfied” and more to do with the wiring in their brains being so high jacked.

There are some therapists who claim that there are some people, whose brains will never be the same because of how much exposure they have had to pornography. While that might be true, it does not mean that things cannot get better. Far too many in medical/ helping professions have very little belief in faith and what inner strength and courage can actual do.

When I first started walking away my own addiction, it was the most difficult challenge I have ever had to face. Everyday that I fought the temptation grew stronger. There were many times when I had no choice but to get on my knees and cry out to God for help. There were many times when I would call a friend or spend lots of time in the gym. Anything to get myself through the tempting moments. Slowly but surely, days started to stack on top of one another.

By God’s grace, my desire to look at poronagraphy became less and less. And I began to desire a real relationship, with a real woman. Change is possible, healing is possible, hope is possible. You just have to be willing to commit to a daily fight. One that you will not win on your own.

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The Two Big C Words

For the past several months, there have been a host of horribly dreams that invade my sleep. Most recently, there has been a dream where I am diagnosed with cancer. I don’t know much about dream interpretation, but many claim that it is a manifestation of the sub conscious.

Be that as it may, the dreams (nightmares even) seem all the more real to me. When I first told this dream to a friend, they pointed out the fact that it might stem from the fact that I have a friend who has cerebral palsy and was recently diagnosed with cancer.

The thought never really crossed my mind, until they brought it to my attention. To be fair, anyone can be diagnosed with cancer on any given day. It doesn’t matter how well a person takes care of their bodies, sometimes things just happen.

My interpretation on the dream, perhaps, is that maybe I am the cancer. I mean this in the most non-dramatic way possible. In terms of a lot the relationships, there is the nagging sense that I’m always fucking things up some how. As such the logic that follows is that I am supposed to hide myself from society. Much like a diseased person would in the old testament.

Again, I am not aiming to be dramatic or cause others to feel sorry for me. The point is, is that this has been a great battle and difficulty for me. One that has been on and off again, for as long as I’ve lived.

The Second C: Control

With so many areas of life changing, or seeming to be that way. I have learned to not hold on so tight. Because people are not ultimately ours. Though I will add, that in regards to my personal convictions regarding the life and way of Christ. I do believe that we belong to each other and that we are created to share in life and give our lives to others.

But at the same time, we as humans have the choice to come and go as we please. Other times other elements to life take the front seat. But what happens when you feel like your on the outside looking in? Even with our own personal tasks, be it school, job, family etc. Relationships that we perceived to e long lasting and strong seem to be slipping away.

Wether that is true or not, remains to be discovered. What I am speaking of though, is the mere feeling or belief that people are slipping away. Perhaps if your like me, a sense of great panic sets in. And much like when a parent has to be separated from a child they do everything in their power to hold onto the grasp.

I’m the learning the painfully obvious truth, that friendships change. And sometimes you have to let people go, not because you want them to, but because it is their choice. That does mean that we don’t long for close, intimate relationships. This is why my faith and spirituality is so very important to me. Because I am told that there is a friend that sticks closer then a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

If you struggle with anxiety and panic, I want you to know that its not the end of your life. Your panic and fear do not define you or the sum total of your life. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to let people in. Never give up in the darkness.

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SEX!! (From a Cerebral Palsy Perspective)

Sexuality is a big area that takes up a lot residence in our lives, as humans we are sexual beings (creatures, if you will). It can raise much controversy among political and religious faction, let me openly state however, that I am a follower of Jesus and openly submit to Gods original design for sexuality. I am not one who can easily check his beliefs at the door. That aside, I am not here to argue and continue the endless cycle of stone throwing among people who believe differently then I.

Rather, my goal is to communicate openly about the desire for intimacy, relationship or whatever you wish to call it these days, as it relates to someone living with cerebral palsy. One might think that there is really no difference between one that has cerebral palsy and one that is able-bodied. While the desire is still there for both, it can be very different.

First, there is some misunderstandings for some regarding cerebral palsy and sexuality. I remember being in my second year of high school, and this chick straight up asked me if I could have kids. I looked at her puzzled and said “um… yeah” I remember wanting to say something snarky, such as “everything works just fine honey”. But I held my tongue.

Mind you though, she probably didn’t have rude intentions behind her question. She was probably generally curious, most people though, I believe, probably confuse cerebral palsy with being paralyzed from the waist down. Which I am not. There are several people with cerebral palsy (men and women) that are mothers and fathers, so the issue then is not that certain parts don’t work very well.

Another area that might come into question, is how people with cerebral palsy plan on being able to take care of their children. This is something that I have thought of as well, I even began to feel sorry for myself and think that it wasn’t possible. But it is, very possible. As long as the person is filled with the determination to make it work. I recently saw a video of a mother, who was in a wheel chair, she would gently slide her daughter across the floor while she was in her crib to feed her.

Another video I saw, was of a women who had much worse C.P. then I, and she would slowly get down on the floor to be with her child. So having the ability to be in intimate relationships (marriages) is not some far off desire one must try and reach out and grab, but how one gets there might be very different.

What I mean is that, when it comes to dating, marriage and sexuality, I find that it takes an extremely special person to enter into the life of someone living with cerebral palsy or any other condition. why? Because not ever one understands and is not willing to deal with what that all may entail. It’s sad but true.

Some people who have far worse forms of C.P. may in fact require more care from a significant other, and that is sometimes something that not everybody is willing to deal with. Which on the flip side of things can make the person living with cerebral palsy feel unwanted or undesirable, which then go back to feeling like a burden and ever so frightening suicidal thoughts.

This for some, may lead to seasons of feeling alone, as though they may never meet anyone. It also may cause some to rush into relationships that will only leave you to endure more pain. But I promise you this, if you can venture on the process of being comfortable in your own skin, the journey won’t seem so long. You’ll be fine with your own company, you’ll have more joy and when you finally do meet someone, the wait will be so worth it.images