Some Self-Reflection this Saturday...

I caught myself thinking about the word, responsibility, after giving someone close to me a short  mini lesson about what it means to take responsibility for our actions. It's a funny be honest with you. I was trying to explain that taking responsibility for your actions does not mean simply stating the words, "I take responsibility for that." 

While trying to explain what is does mean in such a way to bring perspective, I found myself completely side-tracked by the word itself. There are two words in responsibility: Response + Ability (or able); meaning at we have that ability to change our own responses. It was at that point that I began an inter monologue- after realizing that I was actually giving myself a mini lesson. Isn't it funny when life does that to us?? Or does that just happen to me?

It seems I am the most knowledgeable in the areas where I need the most help. Go figure! 

The whole conversation started because this person (whom I will refer to as this person..haha) has had a bit of an attitude lately and nothing I said or did was helping the situation and I ended up being "infected" by the funk. Yes, the person's attitude was affecting, it was impossible to ignore...BUT... I could have easily taken responsibility to choose my response. 

I have learned (but not quite accepted) that when someone wants to be mad or upset, they will do anything and everything to suck as many people in with them in that boiling state. This person will say things deliberately meant to hurt others and then hope and wait for a reaction. If it is not an angry reaction, this person will just keep trying. If you have come in to close contact with someone like this... I will be praying for you... and if not... you are very lucky and should be thanking God with every breath you take. 

People like this can literally suck the life, energy and motivation from you down the the very core of who you are. I am one of those people that gets sucked in every single time - no matter how deliberately I make an effort to change my response. No matter how I change my response, I always allow the behavior to get the best of me and I LOSE it!!

It is like the movie, The Devils Advocate... you know at the very end, where Keanu's character decides to make a different choice after seeing where the first choice will take him...and then the story lets us in on the secret that the devil will play any angle possible to get you.

However, it is not like this movie in the sense that we do have other options.... we have the freedom to speak and the freedom not to speak. Sounds simply easy, right? WRONG!! It is not easy to stand completely silent when someone is throwing insults your way... It takes an extreme amount of self-control. 

Meanness is very ugly. 

I have a very different respect now for Jesus. I grew up going to church and hearing the same Bible stories to the point of numbness; however, learning to understand those stories through life will bring an entirely different meaning to them. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for Him to stand in the public eye and be torn down...and NOT say one word to defend himself. He didn't need to defend Himself because He knew who He was and so did those who loved Him. 

Although it would be a nice benefit to have the entire picture laid out right in front of me and to know WHY I must go through certain situations, I can have peace in knowing who I am, knowing that those who love me know who I am and taking the ability to change my own response when it happens again. 

If you would like to know where this is coming from.... well, I purchased a book on Amazon and I am taking some time to tackle some of the issues in my life that have plagued and debilitated me. I am not saying that a book will heal you from anything; however, it can bring awareness and comfort - and allow you to address things in your life that you might have not been willing to address if you could just stuff the junk to the bottom of your core  - hoping it disappears on its won't. 

That pain only gets worse over time. People do not simply "get over" it... So if you plan to tell someone to "get over it" as advice, please un-friend yourself from that person on your own... you will only cause more damage. Be living and understanding. However, if you want to help, ask that person what it is that is really bothering him/her and then offer to be a listening ear. Even if you don't want to listen... do so because you might learn something about yourself in the process. Most women (I can truly only speak for myself), do not want to be interrupted with the offer of a quick and meaningless solution. Most (again I can only speak for myself), just want to be heard. And truly heard..... Think about it. Why would anyone want there to be someone else to talk to and listen to them?? Not for the attention, and not for a reason to dump either (although, there are those out there that do want this)... Most want to feel like they matter in this world and that there is at least one person who cares that they exist.

I am not sure if many of you know, but I had quite a tumultuous childhood and I have struggled with other things in my marriage that have caused quite a lot of pain. So much so, that at time, I have felt completely hopeless. Pain, when not healed, can manifest itself in all sorts of ways - anger, depression, fear, insecurity, bitterness, and ultimately hopelessness. If you have ever made it to the point of hopelessness (trust me, I have), then your pain has probably gone through a transformation and manifested itself in several ways and in more than one time.

 I am no longer in a place of hopelessness, but in a place of hope. I know that I have quite a lot of pain to address and clean out. I often do not even know where to begin, but God does know where to begin. He reveals himself in the most inconspicuous of when you are giving someone ELSE a mini lesson on responsibility..HA!!  I am sure that many of you out there might read this and think I am crazy for talking abut Jesus, but I am not a preacher and I am FAR from perfect (beyond far). I will not be offended if you do not believe in God.. or your belief system is different from mine. I will not even claim to have all of the answers... or even attempt to try and prove that God is real... I know He is real because He is real to me... but that is another story in itself.

I am sharing this with you because I know that I can not possibly be the only woman out there dealing with the junk life handed to me as a child and that I am the only one with a mountain of insecurities that would make Mt. Everest look like an ant. This is part of what I am working on this summer and I would love to chat with anyone else out there that may be struggling with the same issues. I would love to hear your stories and read about your personal journeys. 

 I HIGHLY recommend this book by the way. I am very impressed with Beth Moore's writing style, her ability to find humor in anything and how open she is about her own struggles as well as those she writes about in the book. It is quite a good read!! I would have loved to do this as a group or book study... it is definitely one of those books!

Her book is called, So Long Insecurity and you can find it on Amazon. I even think you can get the Kindle version...maybe. Click HERE to check it out and if you happen to get it - let me know... I would love to get a book chat going!! What are friends for anyway?? haha... not just to drink and tell jokes I am sure...hahaha.

Have a very happy weekend!! I hope you learn something new about yourself...or someone else..haha!!


  1. thanks for the pep talk, michelle. i think i needed that as much (or more) than you! my mom recently read this book and told me i heeded to check it out, too, but that word "insecurity"sort of throws me, as i dont think of myself as insecure. i enjoyed your very personal post today, and been feeling guilty about not sharing my faith enough on my blog. we dont have to throw it in peoples face, but its nice every now & then to share all parts of who we are! loved it!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment!! I think a lot of use are in denial....hahaha...just kidding...

      I first thought the same thing. I am very outgoing and no one would ever guess that I am insecure, but my insecurities are not all superficial. Insecurity can come in so many shapes and forms, and that is one of the very first things that Moore talks about in the book.

      She states that there were so many people who said to her, "you are so tiny... what do you have to be insecure about?"... She returns with even "thin" people have insecurities and those insecurities may not always be related to weight. Insecurity can embed itself in the deepest part of our core and disguise itself as something completely different, depending on how we cope.

      Even if a person has no insecurities at all (although, I have yet to meet a stable person who does not struggle with some sort of insecurity), this book is great just for the mere fact that it will cause you to reflect on your own behavior and look at certain aspects of your life in a completely different way. I don't believe that we have to "be insecure" to have insecurities.

      My insecurity all stems from rejection and the fear of rejection. I was in several abusive situations as a child where the adults in the house did not protect me and often were the cause of my pain. This type of rejection has manifested itself in many different forms throughout my life. There are so many levels and definitions of insecurity that I think we all suffer from at least, one thing...

      Although, I hope I am not forcing insecurity into your mind..hahahah.... that would be counter-productive..hahaha.. if anything, there are a lot of stories that women can probably relate to that you might find comforting and/or funny...

  2. Thanks Michelle for sharing. It is amazing just by sharing your thoughts, struggle and your desire to change you are also challenging me to do the same. I will check out the book and I have to do a lot of monologue about many areas of my life.

    1. You are so sweet!! I hope we can all challenge each other in these areas. SO many people openly talk of wanting to lose weight...or what fun things to cross off the list for this summer.... me... I just want to lost the junk that weighs down my spirit...

      The book is great!! I recommend getting the journal as well. It causes you to slow down and reflect.... you might be amazed at what you find out about yourself as you answer and reflect on the journal questions... YIKES..haha

  3. My heavens Michelle, you just described the entire ugly situation that I went through this past school year. Every emotion, every pain, everything...unbelievable. I refer to that mean, ugly person who did all that evil stuff to me as "the evil one". I cannot go into the details here, but you must call me and I will tell you how ugly it was. I will need to buy this book, it sounds like this is exactly what I need to help with my pain. I cannot move on and I must do something. I have been to counseling for what she did to me and here I am...still grieving over it all. Thanks for this post and for the information about the book. Call me or message me on FB.
    Sharon Winter

    1. Awe sweet Sharon!!! You have had such a year!! Hang in there and I will definitely give you a call!!

      I had a conversation with a friend a few months back and one thing we both agreed upon is that "you" never truly just get over tragedy and pain.. you just learn how to manage the pain day to day. I have had several people in my life that have negatively impacted how I see myself and I have had some of the darkest moments sitting in my closet trying to give myself a pep talk.

      My insecurities, fear and lack of trust have been outright miserable at times and I have even turned down doing fun things or meeting people because I just didn't want to deal with the pressure. It helps to have someone to talk to. I don't, so I write, I blog, and I draw...hahaha... Ant time you need a listening ear, give me a call... If that pain gets ignored, it only turns to anger and self-doubt. I am not "healed" from my pain, but I am addressing it day by day and piece by pain-staking piece.

      I definitely think that these types of pain are far more difficult to deal with now that I am older than when I was younger. When I was younger, I had a world of seems to get in the way of that at times..hahaha

      <3 ya!! Message me on FB and let me know when I can call you!!

  4. Michelle, it is an honor to know you, to be your friend, and to be your sister in Christ. You have my heart!

    I know that I confided in you that a person was making my life MISERABLE over the last three years. But my responsibility in this really was limited to my response. You are right!

    I will head on over to Amazon! Thank you for the recommendation, your openness, and as always your friendship!

    I adore you... and love you girl!

    1. I so LOVE you, Katie!!! I thought about our chat while I was writing this... I thought about how supportive your hubby has been. You will LOVE this book!! I also got the mini personal journal when I ordered the book and I really love how using the journal causes me to slow down and reflect... instead of just reading through the book in one day. The first few pages of the journal topics might throw you for a loop!!! hahaha

      I hope you are doing great my friend!!!

  5. Hi Michelle!
    You are awesome! I love your openness!
    This is ONE of my favorite books by Beth Moore! This quote from the book changed my life...
    "The insecure person also harbors unrealistic expectations about love and relationships. These expectations, for themselves and for others, are often unconscious. The insecure person creates a situation in which being disappointed and hurt in relationships is almost inevitable. Ironically, although the insecure people are easily and frequently hurt, they are usually unaware of how they are unwitting accomplishes in creating their own misery."

    Why oh why do I sabotage my own life, time and time again!

    When I realized perspective changed so much! I have to CHOOSE to have a different reaction to so much! Friday night at home....AWESOME that means I can blog or watch a movie or make Kale Chips! No one to go to the movies with... OK I can go by myself! and the list goes on and on. I struggle still with insecurity, but I know can at least CLAIM it and move on...not wallow in it!

    I highly recommend Beth's BREAKING FREE as well! ....another life changer!

    Carmen Zeisler

    Exploring Elementary
    Fourth Grade

  6. I love Beth Moore ... and I love you and how frank and opened you are in this post. Thank you for your authenticity, your transparency, and your willingness to share. The part about not telling someone to "get over it" resonated with me because that's one HUGE lesson that I'm learning in my recovery from the drunk-driving collision. I have to keep telling my sons ... say it with me ... recovery ... now let's clap the syllables .... yada, yada ... because they want their real mom back and some days I'm still stuck at the scene trying to make sense of a senseless crash that has stolen five months of my life as I knew it.

    Thank you, thank you!


    1. Thank you, Barbara!!
      I had never even heard of Beth Moore before seeing this book and now I am hooked. She has an amazing gift to speak straight to the heart with love and humor - my kind of gal!! haha

      I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through and how difficult this journey of healing will be for you and your family. I am not possibly in a position to give any sound advice, but I will say that any healing must start from within. We only have the power to change ourselves; however, that is often the most difficult person to change..hahaha... Which is why we (meaning me here) probably like to "fix" everyone else...or at least think we can.

      You and your family are in my heart and I am here any time you need a listening ear. I would love to hear your story and discover how best I can be praying for you!!

      You are an amazing woman and a blessing to know!! Thank you so much for your words and for also sharing your story!! I find that when I hide, I lose out on the chance to be blessed by the strength and wisdom of those around me.

      <3 ya!!

  7. "Hi. My name is Lisa, and I suffer from insecurities."
    "Hi, Lisa."
    Add me to the group. I relate to so much of what you said so beautifully and eloquently. I do agree that we all have insequrities, and they manifest in so many ways. I went through a heart-breaking divorce and still live with the fallout from that 8 years later...always will.

    And, I taught with an evil person as well. She just retired and kicked me with her words on the way out the door. She may be gone, but in my head, she will never truly leave.

    I would love to get this book and participate in a book study. I think it would be so therapeutic!

    Thanks so much for sharing....sending a {{{hug}}} your way.

  8. This post is incredible. It is so true that we are taught so much through "teaching" someone else. He reveals Himself to us through the means that we are most likely to understand I believe and for teachers it's often through teaching. I am going to go and put that book in my my Amazon cart. I am so glad I stopped by today, I NEEDED to read this post.

    1. Thank you so much! I also learned so much about myself while teaching. Teaching is the best way to learn... I am glad this post touched your heart when you needed it. The book is excellent! One of my friends just sent me a video with Beth Moore and it had me laughing and crying all at once. I am glad you stopped by <3

  9. It has been MONTHS since I have visited your blog. What a gift for me to receive today as i read your post. What? Is this a teaching blog. Kuddos to you for your honesty. I have read Beth Moore and used her study videos in groups. I have encountered negative people and it is truly difficult. I am blessed to teach in a loving Christian school but, sometimes there are those who want to suck the wind out of you. God bless you on your journey and thank you for the post.

  10. I was in the same place you are with "this person" about a year ago, Then God gave me a gift. But I didn't know it was a gift at the time. He maneuvered a change in my life that I DID NOT want. I was miserable about it. The only thing good about the change was that I would be away from "this person". However, I was willing to continue to endure "this person" so I wouldn't have to change. So, God dragged me kicking and screaming through this change. A year later, the change has given me the perspective to see how much I was a part of being sucked in by "this person". Now that I am in a place where the dynamics are the complete opposite of where I was, I am a much happier person. Thank you for sharing your story so eloquently. It's always nice to know we are not alone. I use your graphics a lot, so I feel connected to you on a few levels. Thank you, again!

    Teaching With Moxie

  11. I felt so blessed when I read this post Michelle - it made me reflect on my own actions and how those actions, those responses pulled me further into another person's "fire" After reading this, I have been really looking at myself from the outside and trying hard to own my part in everything that goes on around me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I feel lucky to know you:)

  12. I really respect you for posting this, Michelle, and know it had to feel good to hit the publish button. You are so right, there are lots of us who have felt like you, many times throughout our life. I know I have spent years feeling sorry for myself. I use to think I was a bad person and God was punishing me by allowing certain events and situations happen to me. But now I know God love me and does all things for my good. Jesus did not have an easy life here on Earth so why should I expect anything better? As I have gotten older I can also see WHY certain things happened (I think) and have only made me a stronger, more spiritual person. I try not to get caught up in drama anymore. I'm not perfect, however, especially when the drama includes my children. Both have special needs. My 12 y.o. is autistic and my 14 y.o. has an amputation, is ADD and suffers from anxiety. Being a teenager is hard enough and when you add peer cruelty to that, especially when it is blatant, it is very hard not to get involved. Our attitude can either bring us down or build us up. And it is a choice, like you said. So we need to keep praying to make the right choices and remind ourselves of it frequently to check our attitude. As you said, we must take responsibility for our behavior. People do not look down on us when we do just that. I have found others have more respect for me when I own my behavior. Some do not, but I think that just tells us about that individual.
    Great post--I am so glad I found it! Thank you!

  13. Words can't describe how comforting it is to find others that feel like me. I'm beyond insecure- from childhood to adult! Some people can be so rude and hurtful that I really don't think that they understand how their words can affect a life.

    Here's something I was in despair over: This week my district had a Common Core in Action week where floods and floods of elementary teachers learned about common core. Well I wasn't in their group. Instead I selected for a small "think tank" group where we wrote common core lesson for C-Palms. While this is great for my resume I felt left out. All the teachers from my school posted pics together on facebook, went out afterwards, while I had to continue working to meet deadlines, and many, many, many of them didn't even say Hi to me in passing. While I had a smile on my face, excited to see a friend in the hallway, restroom or courtyard: I was ignored. I wonder: "Was my smile to wide?" "Did I do something?" I don't understand how just being ignored could hurt so much. Words can't describe how lonely I felt. I can't wait to read this book! I'm getting it today!

    24/7 Teacher Amy Harrod

  14. Good morning Michelle! :)

    I've been bee-bopping around the internet this morning looking at custom blog designers and such (found one that you designed and I LOVE it!!!)--when all of a sudden I stumbled upon this post by you. IT'S SO REFRESHING! I love hearing about Jesus from teacher friends, especially when He is doing a powerful work. Thank you, Michelle, for being so open and vulnerable! This is more of a blessing than you could ever know and thanks for helping to fix my eyes on Jesus this morning.

    Have a blessed day, Michelle!
    Little Miss Primary

    1. Awe, Erin!! Thank you so much!! I have been stressed about the fact that I have not posted in a while, but I am finding that more people may have needed to read this one...

      I love reading the responses and knowing that there are, in fact, other "real" people on the other end of the web..ha!!

      I have a feeling you might have looked at Katie's blog...but I do have others as well. I am currently working on 5 new teacher blogs and I always have fun getting an opportunity to bring someone's vision to life!!

      I hope to chat with you more often!!



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