Tag Archives: legacy

In Over Your Head and Want to Get Out?

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness   (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

man performing handstand
Photo by Yogendra Singh on Pexels.com

Over and over. It seems never to stop. Just when life slows down, we repeat what has never quite worked for us. We say yes to too much.

It can help to know why we keep spinning in this cycle. Like a child playing Hide and Seek, if we do not know what to find, we cannot play the game.

9 possible motives to consider

If one or more fit, you will know what to change to find life balance. 

1. ImpulsivityWhen in doubt, don’t. If you are like me and most opportunities seem to be the right one, then pause. Not much in this world is going to change dramatically if we take the time to pray, think, and discuss before committing time, emotional energy, or money. 

2. Past trauma Physical or sexual abuse can teach us we have no boundaries over our bodies. Emotional abuse gets too little press. Its damage teaches us we have no worth and therefore it is appropriate to ignore our needs. Covert sexual abuse (sexualizing a child), and verbal abuse train us to believe that a flawed human’s opinions are the measure of who we are or will become.

One of my favorite promises was shown to me almost fifty years ago at children’s camp. A sympathetic counselor read Psalm 27:10. “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.” God the perfect Father heals our pasts by healing our tender inner child.

3. Place-holding We humans are generally easily transfixed by power or the spotlight. Check with yourself; is your goal for saying yes that people see you?  Trying to become everything for everyone for fear of losing status will wear us out in no time. 

4. Personalization– Take responsibility for what is not yours to carry or is out of your control, and you have found the fast-track to false guilt and anxiety. Perhaps we want to involve ourselves in a situation to a degree, yet must draw the line at owning external problems. It helps to remember “It’s Liam’s family,” “It’s Sally’s job,” “Not mine.”

5. People-pleasing Fear of rejection brings many of us to say yes beyond what is helpful. What is the worst that could happen if we draw a boundary and say no? Someone will be mad? That is more their problem than ours. They will either find other help and respect our right to choose, or maybe we are better off without them.

6. Guilt –  Misinterpreting reasonable personal boundaries as unkindness is more false guilt. Maybe this idea is spilling over from some unresolved past. Is there an internal condemnation perhaps from a legalistic view of one’s spiritual duties?  Guilt can lead to over-compensation regardless of its source.  

7. Projection A woman on Shark Tank started a business selling comfortable dresses to busy moms. The soft dresses are good for playing with children without requiring a wardrobe change for work. During the show, she explained her reason for the dresses is that her mom did not play with her as a child.

Applying what we have learned through hardship to encourage others is a great motivation. That is what I try to do every day. 

It is not so healthy to assume others suffer and feel as we do, thus projecting personal disappointments into situations. We try to resolve our struggle through “fixing” the happiness of others. This can push us toward over-involvement.

8. Building a legacy – Experiencing internal validation and value through helping others is not wrong. It is a natural, God-given result of good works. Yet are we satisfied? Committing to too much will repeat itself if our desire for validation from people does not come fast or often enough. Be careful. If you are hoping for a statue in your honor, you may end up covered in pigeon dung.  

9. Mistaken responsibility – Someone says, “You owe me.” Maybe it is true and the better part of valor is to repay a kindness. However, if you cannot you cannot. For example, maybe your child needs an operation, and the other person is asking for money. You may have to say no and reserve your cash for your child. 

Have you ever thought or heard someone say, “no one else is doing it so I guess I have to?” Whew! This is a familiar road to too many yeses and resentment. God has the whole world in his hands and does not need us to fill every possible empty position in our workplace, the church, or anywhere else. Burn-out comes from doing it all by yourself.

Do any of these motives fit you? Congratulations on your discovery! If you need assistance changing deeply held tendencies, consider a CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) professional’s input. 

Today’s Helpful Word  

Luke 10 40-42

 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”



NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.

It’s Obvious, Obviously. 3 Daily Practices for Building a Legacy of Integrity (Even on Social Media)

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2018 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

An ex-friend once trolled me on Twitter using a fake name. She miscalculated when she thought I would miss the obvious. Of course I knew it was her.

Trolls. Social media, while intended to join diverse worlds and connect friends, early became a pawn for gossips, rumor mills, conspiracy theorists, and opinions without facts. What struck me in the case of my ex-friend, was the wicked-witch style joy she found in trolling and shutting out the free speech of others.  If she could cause a website she did not like to shut down, she actually rejoiced!

Masked Bandits. Not everyone is vicious and calculating like her. However, plenty of people cause harm with their ignorance.  Behind the social media “mask” of no eye-contact,  voice inflection, or body language, those who would judge and rebuke make assumptions based on emotions, projection, or limited experience.

Cowards Perceived anonymity makes a coward bold.  Bragadociousness is a cover.  Anyone can say “I would have done differently” when not faced with another person’s challenge.  Identifiable false accusers will do almost anything to save face in hopes that someone, anyone will see them for who they are not – brave.

The above characters are people you do not want to quote if you wish to maintain integrity. Somewhere, inside the brains of people who relish  fleeting moments of power by being “in the know,” is a disconnect. Being proved wrong repeatedly does not faze them. I do not know about you, but making a fool of myself is something I try to avoid.

Do you want to bypass momentary flashes of power and gain actual respect?  LISTEN.

Each time you are tempted to think, “I know already” or “I don’t need to know,” pause and listen.  Grasp humility with all your might. It requires  less sheer will power to stop talking, stop moving, stop processing and listen when you know you cannot know everything about any situation.

By listening we gain insight we would not otherwise have.  Listen to your family, customers, friends, and those who would influence you.  Make mental or actual notes. These will help prepare you for daily practice number two.

Do you want to avoid dying the thousand deaths of a coward?  ASK.  

Proactively asking questions, maybe especially when it seems unnecessary,  opens windows into what lay beyond the surface.  Cowards avoid perceived conflict at all costs unless they know they can win.  Instead, ask for clarification when uncertain. Face difficult facts and take responsiblity when wrong. Exercising genuine interest in others and their points of view will leave you smarter in the end.

Ask the hard questions of a claim or situation to protect yourself and others.  Ask why and how, and follow the rewards if you wonder who is telling the truth. Look  at whole persons instead of moments in time. Be wise.

Would you like your legacy to be one of knowledge and strength of character?  DOUBLE CHECK FACTS and CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES. 

Question ALL marketing.  Look for scholarly journals on topics instead of believing what you see. Use Snopes.com and other fact-checking sources before repeating what you hear.  Do not panic when the “latest” sounds horrific. Wait. The facts will rise. Truth can withstand scrutiny. 

There is a reason the boy who cried wolf eventually could not find anyone to believe him. Too many words and opinions will lead to other people tuning you out. Save your voice for the most important issues. If you have something vital to say, it will be more effective if you have an audience left to hear it.

Not every idea is a good one. Not every good idea is a best one. Unless you are in a purposeful brain-storming session, not every thought is important to repeat.

It’s obvious, obviously

Not everything we read, hear, or believe is the truth.  By listening in humility, asking with genuine interest, double checking the facts, and choosing our battles, we leave the world of the petty behind and reach for integrity that inspires others.

Today’s Helpful Word

Psalm 19:14

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer


NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help are yours.