In today’s western world, there is a very individualistic mentality that’s all about self-satisfaction. We think that once (fill in the blanks) happen, I will finally be happy. Those “fill-in-the-blank” words are usually very self-gratifying and lead to only very temporary happiness. As illustrated in the video below: true lasting happiness is only found when you serve others not yourself.
Another great point illustrated in the video below is not holding on to the past and the hurts and tribulations of the past. Rehashing the past doesn’t harm whoever did you wrong, it just harms yourself by feeding a lot of toxic thoughts and making them grow. So, as the infamous Disney song says: LET IT GO! This is a process and doesn’t happen overnight, but is well worth the journey! I can say this by experience now, letting go of the past will let you be able to reach your full potential in the present and make even your wildest dreams come true!
I feel like this video does an AMAZING job of expanding on all this and highlighting the importance of self-development. Hopefully it will motivate start your own journey!
There is SO MUCH stigma with mental health in society overall! This encourages people to isolate themselves when they are struggling because they don’t wanna look weak!
But you know what, “sharing is caring” applies JUST AS MUCH to kids sharing their toys as being open with each other about our struggles. We are all human, we all go through struggles or situations that we don’t understand. Someone else may have gone through those same struggles and seen the rainbow after the storm so can help you through it. If you’re an overcomer, let’s unite by paying it forward to help empower others!
TIME HEALS ALL WOUNDS! Like I mentioned in the new year post, everything happens for a reason. I feel like it’s a blessing in disguise that I got this experiential PhD which I didn’t exactly choose to take, but its the path God willed me to take to get me to this other PhD in this emerging area of neuroplasticity. There is this Steve Job quote from a commencement speech that summarizes this situation perfectly: “You can’t connect the dots looking foreword; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. Believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow you heart. Even when it leads you off the well worn path, and that will make all the difference.”
If you a struggling here are the steps I recommend you take:
Find a father of confession that you are comfortable with and try to talk it out with him. You might have to try a few until you find the right one. But once you do, STICK TO HIM! Don’t keep priest hopping! After all, the whole point of a father of confession is that they know you really well so that they can give you the best advice possible!
There is NO SHAME in seeing a therapist! But you need to proceed cautiously and choose a CHRISTIAN one. Furthermore, because of the uniqueness of the Coptic culture I highly recommend a COPTIC CHRISTIAN. You’re in luck because we have a COPTIC professional psychotherapist in our midst!
Find an outlet! I can’t emphasize how CRUCIAL this one is! So I used to be a HARDCORE emotional eater. It’s gotten ALOT better but I must admit it still comes back sometimes. When I started my masters, I realized that this outlet was getting me ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE! So I knew I had to look elsewhere, this is when I made the BEST DECISION I have ever done in my whole life and found the gym. Who would have thought that this girl who always barely passed gym class and would always be the last one chosen would become a total GYMAHOLIC! If this option looks appealing and you are on the same boat then I have one piece of advice for you: GET A TRAINER! When you join most gyms, they either have a few free sessions available with a trainer of your choice and/or some introductory package at a fraction of the cost. Give this a try! The same principle of father of confession applies here: you need to find the right match! Another option would be to try some of the classes they offer. Personally, I’m way too self-conscious for those! This is just an example of an outlet that works for me, again you need to FIND THE RIGHT MATCH! This could be running, playing organized sports (I know soccer is quite a popular one lol), painting, music and the list could go on and on!
Since my life is now overtaken by neuroscience, here is a more neurotheological approach by Dr. Caroline Leaf, this AWESOME cognitive neuroscientist turned to full-time minister.
So let’s come together and put an end to bullying and its long-term effects on its victims!
This video focuses on girls, but I’m sure there is also guy on guy hate out there. The BIGGEST take home message in this video is basically that jealousy is admiration in disguise. So instead of TEARING EACH OTHER DOWN, why don’t we BUILD EACH OTHER UP!
How AMAZING would the world be if it adhered to a “Love yes, Love yes, Bullying no, Bullying no” principle (#egyptianpoliticalreference).
It was a really hard transition to the masters and it took me the whole first year to adjust. The thing is, even though I had trouble finding God during that year, He was with me this whole time carrying me through it all. Because the summer following that first year is when he gradually brought all these amazing tools into my life which now have become an integral part of who I am today. My biggest life mantra (which might sound cliche but I’ve seen it time and time again!): EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON! Here is an Instagram caption I had awhile back that perfectly illustrate it:
“Although this year is not quire over yet, I have been taking a #retrospectivelook at it and my oh my has it been quite the #lifechangingyear. I feel overwhealmed with #gratitude for all the #blessings I have received from above. It is definitely much more than I deserve! During my first year of masters, I wanted to quit so many times and I totally hated it. But then during the whole four months of summer, I shadowed with a geriatrician at the #MemoryDisorderClinic in the #ElizabethBruyereHospital and I got to see firsthand how dementia affects patients and their caregivers and became intent in helping them in anyway I can. This is what really started to motivate me with my masters and continues two years later. I remember when I first got my acceptance letter to the masters program, I prayed that God uses it to let me grow and boy oh boy did He ever deliver! This #mastersjourney turned out to be all about going about it without knowing what you were doing and learning through experience and that is the #receipeforpersonalgrowth. My lab happened to move into the #BruyereResearchInstitute that next summer and this tuned out to be an ever bigger potential for growth. They offered so many #learningandnetworkingopportunities which really helped guide me in this journey. He knew how stressful it would be for me so he brought my #amazingpersonaltrainer @kristing_getinsideout into my life and boy did she ever change me life inside out. She’s such an #inspirational trainer and I couldn’t have gotten through these past few months without her. She always challenges me in the most loving way possible and keeps me accountable for my nutrition. Finally, He knew I would need a social life and he brought the awesome #SGSAgrads into my life. More specifically, He brought @oceanbreeze4ever into the #CopticOrthodoxChurch and I couldn’t have gotten through the past few months without her. #thanksgiving #retrospect #evreythinghappensforareason #overwhelmedwithgratitude #blessedmuchmorethanideserve”
When thesis defense day finally came, everything happened way too fast. It was only the next day when everything hit me all at once and then started the waterworks like I had never experienced before. I couldn’t stop crying of joy out of the relief and thanksgiving that IT’S OVER, IT’S DONE, the IMPOSSIBLE just happened. This day was the most life-defining moment in my relationship with God and made it SO MUCH stronger. If He was able to get me through that, then He could get me through absolutely anything!
Many people would continuously tell me how I have absolutely no place in academia, but LOOK AT ME NOW! I’m starting a PhD, in a VERY SUPPORTIVE environment and adjusting REALLY WELL, so TAKE THAT haters! My point here in the very wise words of Taylor Swift: Haters Gonna Hate! But don’t let ’em get you down, because you have one thing they don’t have and that is God Almighty by your side! Surrender to God and let HIM fight your battles. Remember after all that TINY David was able to defeat GIANT Goliath with ONLY 5 stones and a sling to the dismay of all those watching!
I would like to conclude this testimony with the verse that best summarizes this whole ordeal: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” -2 Timothy 4:7
HAPPY NEW YEAR (I know it’s a few hours early! lol)! May it be filled with many blessings, success and dreams coming true!
Which brings me to this …..So ‘tis the season (or more realistically the month) of new year resolutions. This year, I dare you to DREAM BIG and work on making those dreams come true ONE STEP AT A TIME! Wait a minute, that reminds me didn’t Jordin Sparks (winner of the 6th season of American Idol) write a song about that!
So, on an unrelated note, anxiety is kindda part of my genes. So, everything including things that may look trivial to my non-anxious counterparts seem like Goliathes to me. So as soon as I wake up, I listen to Fearless by Jasmine Murray and it brings out my inner David and makes me ready to conquer all the real and not so real Goliathes that will come my way!
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