In the world we live in today it seems that anxiety and depression has been running a muck. No matter where we turn, we encounter people that are overly stressed and anxious about their everyday lives. I am no exception to this circumstance. In my recent time in the depression pit, I found five steps that are very helpful during those difficult times.
1.) Identify the source-Too often our depression or our difficult times are influenced and inflamed from outside sources. These sources could be difficult situations, difficult people or our own thought processes that leads us down a difficult road. In order to fully recover, we have to identify these sources and also identify the negative impact that these sources have on our hearts, our minds and our lives.
2.) Eliminate the source-Once we retrospectively discover what the various sources are to our depression, the next step is to eliminate that source from our life. By eliminating the source to our negative attitude and outlook, the sooner we will be able to heal and begin to lift ourselves out of the depression pit. Some examples of these sources could be the type of people that you associate with and the way that your friends treat you, holding your true feelings of a situation to yourself and not expressing them in a healthy way, and the thought process that you allow to fill our mind and guide your heart.
A great biblical resource that expresses this is Hebrews 12:1, which says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith."
3.)Look around- As we go through our time of recovery and we begin to eliminate our negative influences, we are then left will an opening for new influencers that can help shape our mood and our attitude. With that opening we should look around and see the various people and places around the world that are leaving a positive imprint on the lives of many. In order for this to take a lasting effect, it must start with the home. Look around your room, your office, your house and decide whether you are surround by images that impact you positively, allowing to carry around a attitude of gratitude.
The biblical resource that expresses this is Philippians 4:8, which says, " 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
4.) Shut your mind off- Another aspect of anxiety and depression is one's thought process. Too often, we do not control the tracks that our train of thought travels. We allow our train of thought to determine what we will feel and the mood that we will carry throughout your day. We lay in our beds and toss and turn, being controlled by would-be-could-be scenarios and worries of our responses to future events. In order to effectively gather ourselves out of the depression pit that we tend to live in, we must gain control over our thought process.
The biblical resource that expresses this is 1 Peter 5:7, which says, "6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
5.) Encourage yourself- I have soon come to realize that the statement, "In life your biggest cheerleader has to be yourself" is completely true. I can't expect people to give me support and to cheer me on until I am able to be my own mascot and cheerleader. Too often we look into the mirror and we are instantly discouraged at what we see and who we are. Sometimes this lack of self-esteem comes from what other have said about us and the lies that we are quick to believe about ourselves. Also, our lack of self-esteem may also comes from how we see ourselves and what we think of ourselves. When we have confidence in who we are we should cherish that and express ourselves in a healthy way. Encouraging yourself could be as easy as a pep talk in the mirror before you leave the house for the day to thinking positively about yourself and your abilities throughout the day.
Unique program helps women escape streets, transform lives - CNN
Unique program helps women escape streets, transform lives - CNN
An article by Anthony Giesick
Can the history of abuse create a desire in a person that will positively effect the lives of hundreds? Or will that same series of events send that individual down a familiar path, or this time as the abuser? Can a heart of gold be birthed out of a shattered past? These questions could easily plaque the mind as one reads of the abuse that many face daily.
Throughout the cities of our man-made society there is often a collection of young ladies that sell their bodies on the streets as a way of life and a way of making a living.
What causes these woman to chose this way of life? I believe that it could be multitude of things; such as addiction, the need to eat or feed their own families, or self-worth. With all of the various possible factors, I truly believe that the most common one is that the girls don't feel loved or valued outside of the profession of prostitution.
I recently read an article based in Nashville, Tennessee that shared the story of a few of these ladies as they journeyed through their difficult course into recovery. The program entitled "Thistle Farms" was started by Becca Stevens over twenty years ago. The program's was started to give these hurting ladies a place to live and a support group as they deal with their pasts, their addiction, and their losses in family and friends.
"None of the women ended up on the streets by themselves. And so it makes sense that it takes a community to welcome them home," said Stevens, who started the program in 1997.
Now, there are five residential communities in Nashville that house these ladies and provides them with food, clothing, personal hygiene products and most importantly a community.
As the community reached out to the ladies on the streets, the need for helpers and workers become more paramount. Over the years as ladies would graduate out of the program, they would soon be offered a job with the nonprofit business. The million-dollar company now employs 70 people, where two-thirds of the employees are graduates of the program.
One of the aspects of the Thistle Farms company is to create bath and body lotions and soaps that are now sold in over 450 stores. This branch of the Thistles Farms company allows the recovering women to have jobs, earn wages and make positive steps for a new and better life.
"I love thistles. Some (people) think of them as a noxious weed, and yet they have this beautiful purple and deep center. When we were going down to meet the women on the streets, that was the last wildflower that was there. So it made sense to name our company after it and remind us all that something to be discarded is (also) something to embrace and see beauty in. That's what we're reminding women: They are fully bloomed, wonderful gifts already." Stevens said in an interview posted to CNN.com
As it was said by Catrina, a graduate of the program in 2007, in an interview with CNN.com; "They loved me until I could love myself." With a smile on her face one could tell that she was happy with program, but more importantly she was happy with direction change of her life through the program as well as the loving supporting friends that she had made along the way.
Restoration is the act of returning something to it's former condition. In order to restore the self-worth of a heart-broken and love deprived person you must first see the value that the person had/has. That is the beauty of a nonprofit organization like Thistle Farms; all of the ladies that are there are loved and cared for. That simple act of showing someone who has lost all hope that they are loved in life changing. That life change will ripple through generations.
CNN.com article- http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/02/us/cnn-hero-becca-stevens/index.html
CNN.com video- http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2016/06/02/cnnheroes-becca-stevens-extra.cnn
If you have graduated from anything; high school, college, or any other type of school, then you understand the amount of work that it takes to be a success. I remember my graduation and how amazing I felt knowing that I accomplished a goal in my life that many are unable to achieve.
Just last week I stepped foot at my old high school once again, but this time it was to watch my youngest brother graduate. I was very excited. I was so excited I could barely contain myself. But really, why would you want to? I have seen my brother clock in so much time when it came to his school, both in the classroom as well as outside of the classroom. It is very exciting to see all of his hard work begin to pay off.
Two of my aunts on my dad's side of the family came out to celebrate with us, along with my brother's girlfriend and a few family members of her family. We got together before the graduation to eat and exchange gifts. When the time came, we all got ready and traveled down to the school. Man, it was PACKED! there were so MANY PEOPLE there that we had to stand. I wasn't upset about it though, I was just excited to witness this moment in time.
In preparation for the night my sister and I created a congratulations sign that we held up throughout the night. Anytime that my brother walked by us, we would through the sign into the air and hoot and holler in excitement, hoping to get his attention. Of course he ignored us.
It was a great night. In order to get a better idea of the night, please watch the video and leave a comment.
Anthony K. Giesick
Actions are taken everyday that help make this world better and I just want to share them with you.