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21st June 2019

Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? Isaiah 53:1 KJV

The arms are the upper limbs of the body. They’re some of the most complex and frequently used body parts -Source

The arm can be divided into the upper arm, which extends from the shoulder to the elbow, the forearm which extends from the elbow to the hand.

Arms are always doing something in the bible:

Hosea 11:3 -Yet it is I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them in My arms; But they did not know that I healed them. 

Samuel 22:35-35 He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms

Proverbs 31:17 - She girds herself with strength And makes her arms strong.

Genesis 49:24 - But his bow remained firm, And his arms were agile, From the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob

Ezekiel 30:24-25 -'For I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon and put My sword in his hand; and I will break the arms of Pharaoh, so that he will groan before him with the groanings of a wounded man. 'Thus I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but the arms of Pharaoh will fall. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I put My sword into the hand of the king of Babylon and he stretches it out against the land of Egypt.

Psalm 89:10-- You Yourself crushed Rahab like one who is slain; You scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm.

Mark 10:16 - And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.

When I think of arms I think of 'carrying', that is carrying a baby, carrying a load, an armful of shopping. What are your first thoughts of arms? Do you realise that with an armful of stuff you are unable to do much else, other than carry what you have in your arms? which could lead to harmful decisions being made, unless you first put something down!

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This blog will look at what we hold, carry and refuse to put down. Measures will be discussed to change this habit. We will also find out what Lena carries around with her, and what she did to unload.Related image

A client told me that she had carried the burden of her parents' expectations around until her adult life, when she decided that she was going to be herself and not live up to anyone's expectations. I put it to her, that had she taken her parents' expectations as BEST WISHES she would not have had to carry what she called a burden, into adult life. My observations were not taken happily. I can understand her frustrations, imagine spending twenty or thirty years of your life trying to live a life that would appear fitting or pleasing to someone else? Only to be told that it was YOU who decided to carry that burden, no one had actually given it to you!

We tend to pick up or take statements from others and carry them around as burdens or an offense. You know the type of thing, a causal comment is made about weight, you run, pick it up and start to wear that hat. How long you carry that comment around with you is up to you. I use to make the statement 'I take offense to that' until I realised that I was actually taking something that did not serve me. Why do we do that?  Statements are just that, they become a burden when you take them and apply power. Don't take my statement lightly! Once power is applied, as mentioned earlier, it could have you carrying it as a burdenfor years.  You hear the stories from famous people, who tell us that they had a teacher that labelled them negatively, and they wore that label until one day they realised, that it was just that teachers' opinion of them and made the choice to wear that hat no longer. There are other stories in which we are told, that as a child they were encouraged and told that they could be anything they wanted to be. Both lead full lives, becoming the best they felt they could be. There are of course, other stories in which, having being told that they will amount to nothing, live their lives with that in the back of their minds, they go on to take menial jobs, (because they shouldn't expect much) they have failed relationships (because they feel themselves to be worthless) and like Eeyore (a friend of Winnie the poo) Their outlook on life is dull. Related imageEvery now and then, we have those thoughts that make us feel, less than. You know the ones, they have you remembering when you acted like a damsel in distress and unable to do anything right. Or when you just couldn't connect with your teenager as a father. Perhaps the memory is of being at a gathering and you just couldn't string a sentence together. Been there, done that.  However, I remember sitting in one of my MSc (Master of Science) classes whilst studying Counselling Psychology a discussion ensude, one of my class mates spoke about feeling 'dumb'. The lecturer quickly used CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) reminding her that she was a Psychologist and asking her if a Psychologist could be classed as dumb, she said 'No' he went on to alert her to the fact that she sat among her peers in a Master of Science lecture, which she had had to pass certain tests and interviews in-order to enter the course. He then asked her if she still felt dumb...She smiled and said 'No'. When feeling less than, we should take a second to observe how we feel about ourselves and then engage in some positive self talk, perhaps like the conversation that took place in my lecture. What has been said to or about us should also be observed and a decision made as to whether it serves us. Hurt feelings often come from the thought that that person felt a certain way about us and perhaps, not the words used to describe the feelings uttered. What do you carry around that should have been put down, discarded or dismissed as 'Well, that's their opinion'? I suppose it depends on who is being opinionated! mmmm again take time to observe how you feel, is your feelings centred around how that person views you, or is it around the words that were said? Arms carry, are your arms full, part full or empty of other peoples opinions? Do their opinion run your life? Lena felt that her parents would be disappointed in her if she left University to have a baby, so decided on a termination. What lengths do you go to, to ensure that someone does not think badly of you? Lena drinks her feelings away after a bad day at work, instead of speaking to her Boss or the HR department....Feelings of rocking the boat comes to mind. Again, she spent time worrying about how she will be viewed, if she voiced her opinion on the way she had been treated. Lena is a 26 year old well educated woman, why doesn't she leave? Again, what would her parents think or say if she did?Are you shouting at Lena now........You and I know what Lena should do but chooses not to........Are there issues in your life that you know you should change, but you feel stuck?....Contact me - We know that Lena carried the trauma of getting pregnant and having a termination, we know that she carries the stress of working in a toxic environment. Those are Lena's issues. Lena does not have financial issues as she lives far below her means. Lena does not have relationship issues, as she doesn't feel ready to enter into that type of partnership. In truth, Lena is in a deep toxic relationship with alcohol and her job. Both are no good for her!

One night, after a very bad work day Lena, heading for yet another bottle to be consumed alone, looked at the date on her phone and noticed that that anniversary was about to arrive in a few days. She knew that although she felt terrible right now, having drunk a bottle and half of wine, she would inevitably feel worst on that day.

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Lena sat in the dark sipping and contemplating her fate if she carried on this way. Lena knew her life would spiral into what she called 'not worth living'. Lena thought of her parents and what they would think of her being a 'drunk'. She felt that her employers didn't care about her well-being, as all they wanted from her, was to turn up on time and do the job of seven people, every day. Lena tried to find one person in her life that she could call a friend, finding no-one she wondered why.

She was lonely, sitting in the dark, about to finish her third bottle of wine. I can not tell you that Lena had a Ha Ha moment, became enlightened or just came to her senses, but she got up, throw the wine in her glass in the sink, turned the tap on and emptied the contents of the fourth opened bottle in the sink too. She turned on all the lights in her flat. Made her bed, picked up her dirty clothes and put them in the basket. Lena seemed to be a woman on a mission. She washed dishes, clothes and then showered. Lena stood in the middle of her now clean flat, with her hands on her hips looking around her, saying 'its time for a change'. We saw this type of determination once before, when Lena 'sobered up' in her second year of her studies. It will be interesting to see what she does next. We do get those bursts of energy, to change our lives, but often hit the first hurdle and revert back to what appears comfortable. You may find that dealing with a armful of stuff becomes comfortable, as when we manage to rid ourselves of them, we find others to pick up!

As you are aware I often have all these bright ideas to start a business, I will often be out of work and for all intensive purposes, would believe that my venture would work. (Maybe they would if they were given enough time to mature) I feverishly set about aiming for the moon only to find that my savings had ran out and the letter drawer had become full of unopened letters (bills). I think it is when my creditors begin to call, that I mentally abandon my empty arms and pick up the negotiating and the looking for any care job that will pay the bills. I now know that if I had stood my ground and continued to follow my passion I would not end up in the vicious circle of arm empty/full. I hadn't realised that when I was following my passion, although the bills still needed to be paid, my load was lighter, I hadn't realised that one can do so much more when they love what they do. So I could have, perhaps, gotten a part time job to cover immediate bills and needs, while following my passion. As I said, I don't do things by halves. I would get a full time job plus do as much overtime as I could in-order to pay bills and then mourn that I wasn't following my passion. What did your last burst of energy involve? Did you spring clean the house? Did you throw out unwanted clothes and de-clutter your home......Did you decide that you would stop a habit? Perhaps you decided that you would take that holiday abroad. Maybe you made bigger decisions and set about selling up and moving away? Whatever got you to get up and make a change, my advice is, stay with it...You will meet hurdles, but stick with the decision. As mentioned above, my hurdles would often be the rent, the mortgage, the food bill or debt. The hurdles would frighten me into taking any job available in-order to earn money......What are your hurdles telling or making you do? It is imperative that we silence ourselves at times of stress or hurdles and let our intuition guide us to the best course of action to take. In the case of Lena, what could her hurdles be? She goes into work after her burst of energy, enlightenment or a bout of common sense and is confronted by a shouting colleague who enjoys an audience, she is also given more work than she had ever been given to complete. Lena goes home that night and drinks herself to sleep....She may revert back to her old self. That particular date may arrive, bringing with it feelings of guilt, shame and worthlessness, Lena would need to find a way to ease that pain.....Her pain relief, we know is found at the bottom of a bottle. But as Lena appears to be on a mission to change her life, she called work and told her intimidate boss that she has a family issue that needed urgent assistance and that she will not be able to attend work for a least a week. Lena did not wait to be talked round, she also alerted her to the fact that she had sent an email explaining her need to take some time off and that it would also arrive via post. She ended the call and set about trying to find a 12 step program in her area.Image result for serenity prayer

It would appear that Lena did this in one quick swoop, she didn't stop to think....Lets re-trace her steps. After she had cleaned the flat and showered. Lena sat and wondered why she hadn't done this before. She then considered what it would be like speaking to her boss. All the the different scenarios ran through her mind. She wondered what her boss would say and whether she would be shouted at. At 05.15 that morning, Lena (had a mini burst of energy) and decided 'F*** this, i'm gonna call this woman, not give her a chance to speak, send an email and put it in writing then post it'  What do you do when you decide to make changes? We often start off with a burst of energy (At this point you get a lot done, in Lena's case, she cleaned) Then what do you do? Lena contemplated for about five hours before deciding what she would say and how she would feel speaking to her boss. It is often after the burst of energy that people self-talk themselves out of what they had decided to do. (Lena had five hours in order to do this) Perhaps, after your energy burst, you go to sleep. After a good nights sleep, you may believe that you are able to see things clearer! Often we wake with the notion that last nights' brain wave was a fantasy (negative self-talk) and you will have all the reasons why your change of heart to change your life will not work. It is here that you should do something that will ensure that, there is no turning back.....(Lena sent the email at 05.30 telling her boss that she will not be attending work for at least a week) Your no turning back could be as simple as telling someone (who will encourage you) what you have planned to do. Your task now is to keep moving in that direction. (Lena made her call and then set about finding a 12 step program in her area). In fact Lena did not return to her place of work, she remains on her 12 step program. Lena has decided that she will take full control of her life, she found that some of her feelings were a struggle, but also understood that she would have to get over those hurdles one day at a time. Thank Goodness for Lens's burst of energy and clarity, as the alternative could have been dire. We will drop in on Lena later, but for now let us consider our own lives and think back on the times we had decided to make a big change. Now, it is important to think about the urge to make that change whether they became a reality or not....Lets consider them for a moment............. What did you think of? My thoughts went to how difficult it would be to make that change today........Not impossible but difficult. Perhaps you thought of a change that you did make, and it worked out wonderfully or did not......The point is, at least you tried. Is there something in your life that needs changing, but you feel would be an armful of worry, stress and strain if you pursued it? Big changes can be seen as an armful, but as you continue to pursue it, your load will become lighter and lighter. In this blog we spoke about taking situations or the spoken word, making them into a load or burden (armful) and causing ourselves stress, we also have bouts of feeling less than as we take on what we believe, others feel about us. We were encouraged to change our thought patterns and re-valuate what has been said, to consider who we really are, whilst deciding why we feel hurt. You was asked, to what lengths you go to ensure that someone does not think badly of you? We went on to talk about those bursts of energy we get every now and then, in which we decide that we will change our world, (which may be our home, job or the wall colour in the living room) We then spend a few hours with the notion of change and begin to talk ourselves out of making that change, as we often feel that they will bring an armful of issues with may have to deal with...My advice was to keep moving in the right direction. As further bursts of direction will be sent to you, in-order to aid you on your path. Following your right path will inevitably lighten your load, even if you don't think so at the time.

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