Show Them Your Scars

(I encourage you to listen to this song while reading this.)

A couple of weeks ago I received a referral.  On 4/6 thScarse referral submitted a brief questionnaire.  I lightly reviewed the information and reached out to offer a time to consult about how I might serve them.  On 4/7 while taking notes at church, I randomly made a note that read, * use this with (name of the referred).  Days went by and I’d not received a response to my offer to consult.  I followed up to alert to my availability.  I received a response of apology that indicated they had not followed up because they had been hospitalized for suicidal ideation.  We set up a day and time to meet.  We met.  What was to be a 30 minute free consult became a 75 minute consult.  During this time, it became apparent to me why on 4/7 I made the note.

The person who referred this individual had no relationship with them.  They encountered this stranger in a public setting, overheard a conversation and offered my information.  Seemingly, this was what would be called a chance encounter.  It wasn’t until I spoke to the individual that it was clearly evident, this wasn’t by chance—-AT ALL.  I learned in our communication that on 4/7 is when she called a suicide hotline and as a result was hospitalized.  While she’d had thoughts before she’d never felt the way she felt on that day (she’d come to the end of herself).  She was able to not act on the thoughts for a number of reasons.  I shared that on that same day, between 11:30a-12:15p I made a note and starred it with her name on it.

I told her that I was being specific about the time because it was important.  I told her that not knowing really anything about her, her needs, nor if she was even a person of faith that would be open to receiving the information attached to my starred note with her name on it, that I made the note for her —- a stranger.   I said, I don’t know what time on 4/7 you were struggling with those thoughts.  I shared that I wasn’t sure what time she’d picked up the phone and called that hotline.  I went on to say, that I had no idea what time she arrived at the hospital.

I shared that, ‘something tells me that between 11:30a – 12:15p is when those things were happening.’  On that same day, at the same time, on another coast over 700 miles away, I (a stranger) was writing her name.  Two weeks prior to that, she met someone for the first time who connected her to me.  I connected the dots of this timeline.  Weeks before she would have thoughts  that could have taken her away from her children and family; an angel, in the form of a person was placed on her path to help change the trajectory of her life.  Another person, whom she had never met would pay attention and make a note on her behalf.  That person would then share that information with her just so that in her darkness of wanting to end it all, that she would know people had been dispatched on her behalf.

I shared that she’d not been forgotten.  I told her that He knows her name.  I told her that she was overwhelmingly loved with a never ending love.  I told her that while what she’s endured warrants the thoughts she had, that grace was working on her behalf.  I told her that she is a survivor (and his tangible evidence of this).  I told her that every trauma, every loss, every devastation, every situation, and every circumstance was with purpose.  I told her that while she didn’t think she had the capacity to sustain, that she  did.  I shared that though it seemed unbearable, I was certain that she could bear it.  I told her why I knew this.  I shared my own lived experiences, while different, still monumental.  I showed her my scars.  I told her that if what she’d already come through hadn’t taken her out that this present situation surely wouldn’t.  I gave her everything within me in those 75 minutes.

She said that so much of what I said she had heard before.  She acknowledged how affirming it was.  In transparency she disclosed how hard it is for her to surrender her control.  She asked how to do this.  I shared times where I’d had a similar challenge and how I did it and what the benefit was.  She was encouraged.  She is alive!

A parallel process of sorts was occurring.  It is so important that we are attuned to ourselves i.e. discerning, intuition, listening to our subconscious, etc.  It is vital, that we not hesitate or delay when we sense to call, connect with someone, or do something.  We can’t allow uncertainty, shyness, fear, awkwardness, history, etc. to stand in the way of that.

Everything has purpose!

Absolutely nothing is wasted!

People need you to show them your scars.  The scar is representative of your story.  Your story isn’t just for you.  There is no shame in having scars.  Don’t allow yourself to be bound by that lie.

The linked song says, There’s no shadow You won’t light up — Mountain You won’t climb up — Coming after me — There’s no wall You won’t kick down — Lie You won’t tear down — Coming after me.

I believe that in her shadow (darkness of thought), the connections, and my conversation shed light (gave hope in dire situation), kicked down walls (of isolation believing she was alone), and  tore down lies (distorted thoughts that caused her to believe that death at her own hands was an option).

Someone needs to know your story because their life is depending on it.  Get over  yourself and people.  Your story is a balm, a salve that has holistic healing agents within it.  Show them your scars!  ~MGc

Mental Warfare


In the military I learned about the different types of #warfare.  One of those types is psychological warfare.  In my work as a #counselor I often focus on helping people see how their #thoughts are infringing upon their mental state, goals, and livelihood.  Combining my #military, #clinical and #spiritual backgrounds, I find a correlation between psychological warfare, mental warfare (cognitive distortion), and spiritual warfare (war waged in the subconscious).

As long as our subconscious thoughts cloud our perspective it skews how we see our reality.  When how we see our reality is skewed that impacts our feelings, emotions, judgment, and actions.  We don’t live isolated so this impacts our relationships and how we engage with others.  Simply defined, psychological warfare is a strategy used by one’s opposition in an attempt to reduce morale, influence opinion, emotions, attitudes and behavior.  By now this should be sounding similar to you.  If not, I will go further.  Spiritually, the enemy is in opposition to the believer and described as our adversary.  The tactic used by this enemy is to devour us. Because the end game is to kill, steal, and destroy the war is waged in our mind.  Thus, we are to be sober ‘minded’ because we are what we think (i.e. as a man thinketh).  Had I really loved science, I would be able to articulate the next portion more phenomenally – bear with me.  Every thought we have produces (releases) certain chemicals in our brain i.e. dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins.  These chemicals impact your mental state, wellness, and can leave you feeling imbalanced and manifest as depression, anxiety, desolate, overwhelmed, etc.

As long as you have irrational and distorted thoughts you are not living maximized.  You are not living free and free indeed with abundance.  You could feel like you are walking around numb and in a funk and it’s all connected to what you are thinking.  What you are thinking is creating a chemical release impacting your entire mood.   If I were more versed in science, I would draw another parallel for chemical warfare,  here but I think you get it.

If you have thoughts in conflict with one another and with reality, there is a war going on.  You may not have recognized this as psychological warfare, but the gig is up.  From this read forward, you have the power, authority, and capacity to take hold of EVERY thought i.e. thought stopping and cause it to be subject (obedient) to truth (i.e. light).  You can arm (whole armor and/or thought arming) yourself with new thoughts (counters) and begin to think on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable.  As your awareness is now raised, you will be more cognizant of what you are thinking and you will begin to question it, challenge it; and if warranted, replace the thought with your new dialogue.  As you begin to do this you begin to change the narrative, the perspective, and how you experience life.  The frequency and prevalence of the distorted thoughts will be reduced, new chemicals will be released and you will be able to enjoy life more.  If after practicing this strategy consistently for 30 days, you experience 0 change then there may be a need to address the chemical imbalance with a physician recommended and approved treatment approach. ~MGc

Write in Pencil

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When given the chance, you should write in pencil!  This remarkable concept came when I was reading Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist. I’ve always considered pencils as boring.  If given the choice, I gravitate towards writing in pens because they are so exciting with all their color choices, gels, liquids, fine point, roller ball, and the options go on and on.

Yet, I realized that God writes in pencil.  When I came to this realization, I became motivated to write in pencil.  In reflection, I thought about how often in my own life I had written in pen and not allowed myself the opportunity to accept mistakes, shortcomings, and compromise. By writing in pen, I had subconsciously shortchanged myself.  Had I been writing in pencil more, I could have taken a note from the creator.  He writes in pencil more often than not.  He erases our insecurities, guilt, wrongs, and so much more.  He removes (or erases) these things as far apart as our minds could fathom. When a pen is necessary, I can see how He takes a big Sharpie and writes out loud to reiterate his goodness, his promises, forgiveness, compassion, grace, mercy, unfailing love, and so much more.  When given the chance, I’m going to write in pencil more.  It will likely be mechanical just to keep it interesting.

You Don’t Have To Do This Alone

From time to time we all have those periods in our life where we might struggle.  It may be a failed relationship, loss of a loved one, internal challenges with esteem, dreams deferred, or goals not met.  Whatever your “this” is, know that there are people out there to walk through it with you.   I’d love to walk with you in the role as a licensed clinical counselor; coach or mentor supporting your personal or professional development, and more. #counselor #coach #mentor #personaldevelopment

You don't have to do this alone