Motivation Masks

Motivation has many different faces. It can be born out of fear, happiness, anger, avoidance or sadness. Some causes of motivation are healthy, good, and even essential to experience. Some are unhealthy and detrimental to your well-being. If you stop and take a moment to see what motivates you, you could surprise yourself at what lies deep within.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~ John 14:27

The cause of why you make certain decisions, I think, is imperative in leading a happy and healthy life, meant to be lived with a great sense of contentment. Someone might be successful according to the rules of this world, but why they are a success, or the catalyst behind their success may have many different reasons and varying results.

Always striving for more and always wanting to find ways to do “it” better is not bad in itself. To feel that way because you’re running away from something or to feel nothing is ever good enough is harmful. I’ve learned you can’t keep running. Life will always catch up to you. You have to deal with whatever difficult and hurtful past situation is driving you away. If you don’t, it will keep returning time and again to haunt you until you do deal with it. Stand firm, look it in the eye and confront the ghost of your past.

Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. ~Ecclesiastes 7:10

I kept finding myself in unhealthy (in one way or another) relationships with men who were fixer uppers. It was much like buying a house knowing it needs a new bathroom or a new kitchen floor. Minor in your eyes, but when you go and rip up the bathroom floor you find black mold because the plumbing is shot and you fork over thousands of dollars to get it up to code. If you find this is your relationship, it will cost you a whole lot more than money.

Come to think of it… I wouldn’t recommend a fixer upper man or a fixer upper house.

In trying to evaluate why I made the same unhealthy choices with men, I found how I viewed myself played a huge role. My self-esteem was in the toilet. You can’t pretty up someone else (nor should you want to) when you are a fixer upper yourself. Before going and looking for a HEALTHY relationship, it’s really important to work on getting yourself healthy first. If you don’t, you won’t find your heart’s desires.

I realized, as I worked on myself, what I looked for in a relationship changed; what I expected a man to change, the qualities he should have changed. Where I looked even changed. All changed because I viewed myself in a different light. Praise be to God! He definitely had his hands full with me. Thanks be to Him.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.~Romans 12:2

This applies to all aspects of life not just in relationships. Why do you always want the latest iPhone, a new car, a better job, or even a better spouse? Take a good hard look at what is inside yourself and then reevaluate your own motives. I recently learned it doesn’t matter what happened to you in your past or what kind of relationship you had with your parents growing up. What matters is how you view yourself. I’m constantly reminding myself I’m a King’s daughter and a warrior. In the book “Girls with Swords” the author says, “being a warrior is a way of life and many of the battles they fight are with enemies unseen.” How many of us are at war with the critical voices in our heads? How many of us fight with ghosts of the past? How many of us don’t even know we’re at war?

Here’s the good news! Struggle strengthens us. Pressure makes a lump of coal into a diamond. Fire can refine and reshape us; it doesn’t have to burn us. And here’s the best part… water… water quenches the heat of the fire. Like the water of our baptism, being born again of the Spirit, it sets up and hardens us into the shape the fire molded us into.

We don’t have to drown in our struggles.


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