The Three Kinds of Couples + LoveRESET Masterclass

 

Greetings Dear Subscriber!

I was thinking the other day.

How often we log into Instagram and Facebook and see the beautiful couple pics – holding hands, at a nice restaurant, with the kids, after church, someplace outside with a gorgeous background…

You know which ones I am talking about – the perfect looking married or dating couple with the perfect pics. Some have lots of emoji’s & mushy language.  Sometimes there are others with lots of TMI and oversharing!

But follow them home.  Things may not be as rosy in the real life as it appears to be in their offline life. Honestly, the ones who share too much, are more of a red flag because it appears that they are relationally insecure.  Why? Those who overshare need the outside validity that they are okay and that their relationship is okay.

There are three types of Couples:

The Cute Couple: The #Instacouple with perfectly curated, captured and posed “relfies” (relationship selfies). The validity of their relationship ebbs and falls based on number of likes & comments on social media. They are too busy adjusting the filter and coming up with the right #hashtag instead of working on their relationship. Instead of being in the moment of these carefully curated and crafted pictures, they are too busy posing and posting to be truly PRESENT in the relationship.  When the pics are done, they may not even be really speaking to or engaging with each other at all.  They are image and Instagram conscious, not internally conscious.

The Couple of Convenience: These are the couples who are together because of shared history — NOT shared vision, purpose, goals and dreams.  They may have lost or never had a truly deep emotional and spiritual connection.  They are together for materials, religious, and financial reasons.  The other person makes their life easier and they are “good enough”.  They are settling. They stay with the other person because of a perceived lack if they were not there – not because the other person actually ADDS to their life.

The Called Couple: These are the couples who are mutually aligned in purpose and who are each other’s equal on multiple dimensions (not JUST spiritually equally yoked).  Individually, each one comes to the relationship table already full (not thirsty), living fruitful lives and are emotionally ready for a real relationship. These are the ones who see their relationship as more than just about them, but for a higher purpose.  These are the ones committed to personal growth individually as well as a couple.

Which couple are you? If you are in a CALLED relationship, many blessings and let me know!  What are you doing to maintain at that high level?  If you are not in a relationship, where have found yourself in previous relationships and what are you doing NOW to be ready for the level of maturity that being in a CALLED relationship requires?

To learn more about these couples — Watch the video I created on this very topic (click here for the link) – https://www.periscope.tv/GetRealBeHealed/1OyKAQrqVYDKb

If you are not in a relationship and desire to be ready for a CALLED kind of Love, come be a part of a series of FREE Live Closed Mentorship sessions with me at bit.ly/LoveRESET.  I’m transitioning to a higher level of conversation about love for those who are ready to join me on this journey.  If you have cut the ties, done the work and are actively taking steps to walk in purpose, come check it out.  It’s totally free. Walk with me!

Love Tonika

Advertisements

It all started with a text….

He said something normal.  You responded honestly and innocently.  He said something else.  You replied.  He didn’t respond right away.  You wait. And then hours turn into days later…still nothing. Crickets. Ghost. No return calls.  Unresponsive.  You wonder what happened.

And now the cycle of drama begins.  The “what if” thinking.  The “whys”.  The analysis, speculation and pontification, re-reading the entire thread of text messages several months back, picking your brain for clues.  Going over and over in your mind all kinds of things that could be wrong, trying to figure out what happened to make him suddenly stop communicating.  Your emotions and mind run wild with a variety of scenarios – he has someone else, he is cheating, I made him mad, and on and on…

This is just one example of many, many ways in which our imaginations and unregulated thought life gets the best of us.  It is not only the case in romantic relationships, but in just about every relationship situation and circumstances — platonic, family, work, business, ministry – everything.

Someone doesn’t like or respond to your post on Instagram or Facebook.  They didn’t like/share/support or whatever.

Someone doesn’t respond to your inbox.

Someone didn’t speak to you.

Someone didn’t invite you to their gathering.

And the list goes on. What is going on here?  How can we overcome our tendency to go down the negative path of rumination and anxiety when things like this happen?

The root cause is VAIN IMAGINATIONS.

Vain imaginations start off as “they think I’m this or that, they don’t like me, they did/said this because of this/that, she did/said/posted that because of this, he probably thinks such and such because of what happened here, she stopped texting because of that, she doesn’t call me because of this…she didn’t like/heart/share my post because of she is…” and so forth.

Vain is defined as producing no result; useless. Imagination is the faculty of forming new ideas, or images, or concepts; the part of the mind that imagines things.

Putting the two together you have images, ideas and concepts formed from the natural mind that are useless and produce no results.  I would go as far as to say that they definitely produce results, just not the kind of results you want to see in your life.

Vain imaginations consist of mind movies, assumptions, downright lies, and wild fantasies that we make up in our minds.  We can never truly know or understand other people’s reason or motives behind what they do.  In a way it is prideful to assume that you know why people take certain actions that appear on the surface to be negative or that maybe they may not “like” you.  It also speaks to a certain level of immaturity and being overly focused self and personal feelings.

The reality is as previously stated, we cannot tell or know what persons motives are unless we truly operate in the spirit of wisdom and authentic discernment or revelation.

Secondly, most people, 9 times out of 10 are very preoccupied with their own lives and have not truly paid you any significant attention.  The fact that we engage in such endless mind chatter and negativity speaks to the fact that we still have growing up to do if we take things so personal.

Engaging in vain imaginations holds us back in five main ways:

  1. We lose our peace and clarity. How many countless hours of emotional and spiritual energy have been wasted trying to figure out why someone did or did not do something that could have been spent healing and ordering our own lives and working in our purpose?  How much chaos and negative mind chatter has this created?
  2. Keeps us “in our feelings”. Negative mental chatter generates negative feelings offense. We have often heard the phrase “feelings lie.” It is true.  If the thoughts that the feelings originated from are not based in reality and truth then feelings are not rooted in the truth.
  3. Forfeit authentic Kingdom connections and relationships because of negative mind chatter and being in our feelings. Taking stuff personal against someone that God put in your life for a particular season but because you are in your feelings, you sabotage and cut it off over a vain imagination in your head over a text message or social media.
  4. Fantasies in romantic relationships. When we allow our fantasies of our new relationship to run ahead of reality, it has the same effect on our mind and emotions subconsciously as if it were real.  Where the mind goes, the body follows. We let our fantasies run wild and it has only been one date. Allow things to unfold naturally without the extra fantasies. This requires prayer and intention.
  5. Delays and Derails Your Purpose. Whenever we are caught up in faulty thinking due to vain imaginations, we cannot flow in God’s purpose because purpose requires clear thinking in the truth.

Another key nugget on mastering vain imaginations is the power that we have to choose the meanings we assign to different situations.  We get to choose how we receive what we see, our reaction, the story we tell ourselves and the meaning that we assign to the situation.

In other words, if a person suddenly pulls away, or seems to be less interested in engaging with me on a friendship level, then I have the power to choose whether or not I want to spend days re-hashing everything in my mind, getting upset and psychoanalyzing everything trying to figure it out.

I get to choose whether or not I am going to get anxious and worked up because the man I was dating suddenly stopped responding to my texts and calls.

I get to choose whether or not I am going to “feel some kind of way” every time I see their post on social media or not.

I get to choose the story, the meaning and my response.

The trick is to choose the story, the meaning and the relevant response that is most uplifting, empowering and positive both to myself and to the individual in question.

In 2 Corinthians 10:5 we read that we are to cast down every imagination that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought to the obedience of Christ.  Until we can master taking ownership and controlling the story in our heads and the meaning, we will be forever at the whim of the vain imaginations that overtake our minds.

This week, I encourage you to be more observant of your thought life and the endless negative chatter.  Notice the times you suddenly feel sad or angry and you were fine before. It will surprise you when you realize the origin was a vain imagination.  Be prayerful and ask God to help you become more aware of your vain imaginations and to give you the power to cast them down.

Love,

 

TB

 

God is not holding what happened against you. You are.

 

Greetings Beautiful People!

When we are struggling with our issues and mistakes, we tend to do one of two things: 1) hold our selves hostage over our past mess and sort of stay stuck in the same place because we don’t feel good enough; or 2) we pretend that they don’t exist and try to rationalize it away with looking good on the inside but still feeling a little jacked up on the inside.

I was reading the Bible the other day and John 3:18 in the Amplified version stuck out:

He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation—he incurs no damnation];

No rejection.

No condemnation.

No damnation.

This has been a struggle for me quite honestly.  I’m guessing I am not the only one, but I have a deep-rooted desire to do what is right and to live right.  When I fall short of what I know to be right…here comes the thoughts:

“You shouldn’t have said that….you should did this….you know you were supposed to…”

And the list goes on.

Condemnation: the expression of very strong disapproval; censure; criticism; reproof; denunciation; vilification; to express an unfavorable or adverse judgment on; to pronounce to be guilty; sentence to punishment.

Self-condemnation is the blaming of oneself.  Let’s look at some signs that you may be caught up in subtle and tricky self-condemnation:

  • Feelings of guilt all the time
  • Feeling like you might not even be saved
  • Confessing and confessing, Praying and asking for forgiveness for the same thing over and over but still feeling guilt and torment.
  • Being too hard on self
  • Lots of self-effort trying to look good, say the right thing, do the right thing, look good on social media, flossing & fronting to appear put together.
  • Stewing & brewing over what you did wrong in a situation for an exorbitant amount of time.
  • Acutely aware of all of the ways you fall short
  • Always being reminded of where you have not yet “arrived”
  • Every area in your life where you feel unqualified and not good enough to serve God (because of your past or current situation) is amplified and magnified.
  • Social media can exacerbate this with the spirit of comparison and competition
  • Feelings of depression, oppression and shame
  • Living under a cloud of regret and blaming self.
  • Feeling inferiority, inadequate, not enough, and unworthy
  • Feeling like God doesn’t love you.
  • Feeling like nobody wants you, no one really cares/is thinking of you, and no one will love you and so forth

Probing Questions to prayerfully ponder as you look at your life:

  1. How can anyone walk in purpose, have healthy relationships, and live a truly productive, authentic life for God condemning themselves?
  2. Do you think Christ died on the cross for us to walk around believing and living like this? Is this the abundant life that we are to live?
  3. Does it make logical sense that God takes pleasure out of you feeling guilty all of the time?
  4. How much use are you to the Kingdom of God, your family, the people who are in need of your voice, your gift if you are bound up feeling guilty and condemned?

And the last question….

Who or what is the only entity that would love for you to stay in a state of perpetual low level guilt, shame and condemnation all of the time? (Take a wild guess.)

The old snaggle-tooth devil.

Yep. It’s time to break FREE!  God is not holding what happened against you. You are. How? By believing snaggle-tooth’s lies and entertaining these thoughts and feelings.  God is not the one causing this and it is not holy or godly to beat yourself up.  It is actually quite contrary to His grace.

Overwhelming shame, guilt and condemnation comes from the Enemy of Your Soul:

  • Revelation 12:10 – He is an accuser.
  • 1 Peter 5:8 – He roams about seeking whom he may devour.
  • John 8:44 – He is the father of lies.

If you are struggling with feeling guilty and condemned all the time here are five quick keys to remember and apply when those lies, the thoughts and the feelings start coming.

  1. Become of aware of what is going on. When those thoughts and feelings show up about something you have already genuinely repented and let go of and you know you are forgiven, shut it down immediately. Stand on the Word. In Romans 8:1 we read that there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.
  2. Know the difference between true conviction and devilish condemnation. When God convicts, you feel the disappointment, something is off in your spirit and He works in your heart to nudge you to repent. God does not bring the guilt, the shame, depression, obsessive thoughts, torment, and unworthiness.  All of that is coming from the enemy.  It is a lying spirit in diabolical opposition to the spirit of grace, love and forgiveness. It is very subtle and very deadly to your purpose and position in God.
  3. Know that you are a new creature and accepted in the beloved. Get rooted, grounded fixed and founded in the Love of God for yourself. You are accepted in the beloved according to Eph. 1:6. Build yourself up with scriptures, prayer and other books to build and edify your self-image, esteem and worthiness. The lower your self-esteem and sense of personal worthiness the more prone and predisposed you will be to feeling guilty and condemned for every mistake. Remember that you are new in Christ.  This means letting go of what you did in the past when you were ignorant, unaware, hard-headed and doing what you wanted to do.  To walk in God’s purpose, you must let go of what you did wrong.  God did.  Remember, He is not holding it against you.  He says in Hebrews 10:17 that He remembers your sins no more.  How come you keep holding on to what you did in 2012?
  4. Acknowledge that you are imperfect and will still make mistakes. As long as you are a human being living on this earth you will make mistakes.  You are still growing, healing, learning and developing.  As we continue to grow, we will slip up. Psalm 37:22-24 states that the steps of a good man (or good woman) are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way…though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down for the Lord upholds him…The issue is not whether or not you will fall, because at some point you will.  The issue is whether or not you will allow the Lord to uphold you or will you allow the lies of the enemy to keep you bogged down in guilt and condemnation.
  5. Keep a short, clean slate with God. When you do feel convicted or get that little sense that you said/did something against what you know is right, it is best to immediately and quickly ask for forgiveness. If it sits too long and you try to gloss over it, sweep it under the rug, pretend it is okay, justify/rationalize, the initial conviction can turn into condemnation, which is a steep price to pay for unresolved or un-confessed sin.

For me the biggest revelation on condemnation is this:  As long as I am living under condemnation, it is more difficult to heal the issues of my heart and receive grace.  Why?  Because condemnation, judgment and criticism from others and from myself creates the fear of being rejected, left alone and ashamed.

When condemnation is removed out of the picture, I can receive correction, healing and conviction from God while knowing that I am still loved and okay.  I can receive correction and wisdom from those qualified to speak into my life and who have my best interests at heart without fear of rejection and being condemned, judged or talked about.

This is why so many of us stay underdeveloped and immature.  We are emotionally weak because of the guilt and condemnation.  Then the minute someone says something in love to correct or help us, we feel so condemned and rejected.  We never grow past it, isolate from the very ones God sent to take us to the next level and then wonder why we can’t move forward.

This is what makes being delivered from condemnation in any form or fashion so profound.  It enables the full operation of grace to manifest in our lives in the deepest way possible.

I encourage you today to look deeply and begin to become aware of the subtle signs that the cloud of condemnation may be hanging over your life. Become aware of that endless, negative, accusatory mind chatter that forever reminds you every day of every shortcoming.  Ask for healing and revelation.

And the next time you find yourself asking God forgiveness for something again….remember – God forgave you the first time you asked.  Let it go.

Until next time,

Tonika Maria