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Step Back to Move Forward

In this episode, Jeff and Terry talk about how feelings of discontent can interrupt emotional or spiritual growth in our lives. Terry explains what we need to know and what steps we can take to find the source of our unpleasant emotions and figure out what we can do to change them.


Terry: Being intentional about asking about first of all, stopping pausing, looking at your life and saying, okay, what’s leading to this feeling of discontent.

Jeff: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to another journey podcast, or we want to give you some very practical tips for your emotional, spiritual, and physical growth. And today I’ve got Terry here with me, Terry and Terry has decades of practical experience dealing with these kinds of things. One-on-one with.

Jeff: And so thanks for sharing your insights and just things have worked for lots of other people. Okay. Just before we get started, as we were getting ready to do this podcast, I was thinking back and it’s, it’s a little bit of a heaviness as I think back to the last 19 months 19 months ago.

Jeff: I sat down with a couple of gentlemen and we did a podcast and this was the day that everything was shutting down due to COVID. And our daughter had actually been two hours into flight Ethiopia when they shut down. International travel today, we’re sitting here and international travel just opened up again after 19 months.

Jeff: If I’m doing my month calculation correctly, it’s been a long time and I. Wherever we were at in terms of just sort of a heaviness or maybe a stuckness in our life, or just a need to get better. Wherever we were at 19 months ago has only been amplified because when you think about it, we’ve all been through.

Jeff: In this last season, and some of us have really been blown away by that storm, others have been touched in some way, but regardless everybody on the planet’s been through the storm of this pandemic. And so as we’re S hopefully getting better and coming through this, I think it’s good to even more so focus on our, our our growth and what we can do to just to get better and be better for the people in our lives. So we’re going to get right into this and answer a question. Or in this case, a. That came from a friend who is also a counselor and his comment was there’s a lot of people that are lacking in their spiritual lives. They’re lacking passion.

Jeff: There’s, there’s just a lack of joy and really a shortage of fruit of the spirit. And so Terry, can you talk to that a little bit and maybe start with for people that may not Understand what fruit of the spirit is. Maybe talk about that a little bit, and then just what we can do to it, to address that the passion and the joy, and just to increase those fruit of the spirit.

Jeff: Thanks. Right.

Terry: Well, and you know, fruit of the spirit is is a biblical term that relates to kind of how we, when we grow spiritually, we grow more and more in. The these characteristic traits of you know, P peace, patience, understanding all of those kinds of things. And as we’re doing that that’s not, that’s not something it’s almost intentional, it’s almost a side effect or benefit of, of the other things that we’re doing to grow spiritually.
Terry: Now. Growth, you know, we were talking a minute from a Christian biblical perspective, but a lot of people who are outside of the Christian faith also grow spiritually in one way or another. I mean, the question of spirituality outside of the Christian faith really has a lot to do with answering the same questions.

Terry: You know, who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life. Those are all kinds of spiritual type questions. You know, I feel like everybody kind of has to answer those at some point in their lives, especially. And if you haven’t done it yet, you know, when you get closer and closer to that day, when you’re thinking about your own mortality, those are questions that often get answered.
Terry: You know, as a nurse, I’ve worked with people quite a few times who were at the end of their lives and family members who were trying to deal with it. It’s something I see now as a therapist, You know, people will come in and say, I don’t know why I’m so stressed out and we’d talk about what, what just happened in their life.

Terry: And it’s like, well, yeah, they’ve just lost two or three family members in the last six months and due to COVID and you know, it’s like, well, of course you’re stressed out. It’s your body’s way of reacting to it. Let’s let’s process that let’s talk about it, but, you know, Even, even apart from that extreme, there’s still, there’s, there’s just a lot of angst out there.

Terry: There’s a lot of feeling like, you know, what am I doing here? What, you know, just that, you know, like the question that came up how was he, how did it, how was it worded something about just the real lack of joy and just the. Sort of that spiritual disconnect and yeah. Yeah.

Terry: Well, and that’s one of the things, I guess for that question I would really, and I, I really would go back to our journey material.

Terry: I was one of the authors of the material. And so going back to it, it just seems really natural to me because it’s like, well, that was, that was. One of the things we did in the material was we wanted to answer some of those kinds of questions and help people walk through. How do I discover what is, what’s a way to jumpstart my faith walk.

Terry: What’s a way to jumpstart my my relationships. Myself and understand myself, better, understand my relationship with other people. You know, people who are close to me, family members, and also my relationship with God, if that’s something that I want to do.
Jeff: And, and how important is that? Because regardless of where people are on their faith, continuum, we can all raise our hand and say, you know, we, our life is limited and.

Jeff: We will all die someday. So it’s, it’s definitely important thing to look at, but it’s easy to not because of the day-to-day things that we are all involved in and it’s kind of hard sometimes to step back and go, okay, deep breath. Let me look at the. Perspective of, of life and
Terry: why I’m here. Well, and what you say is really, really important.

Terry: You said the word step back, and that’s one of the things as a therapist, I see that people don’t step back. What happens is they start having these thoughts or they start having these. You know, th this, this unsettling feeling inside, and instead of stepping back and asking themselves, where is this coming from?

Terry: What am I, you know, what do I need to do about this? They get busy and I’ve heard so many people say, you know, I’m just busy myself all day. I just busy myself and I try not to think about these things. And then I’ll say, okay, so how are you doing. Well, not, we stay busy till we get dizzy to ignore those things that are important sometimes.

Terry: And so then our brain is still trying to process this, your aunt or your, your grandfather or your dad, or somebody died from COVID and you’re busying yourself, trying not to think about it. And so you lay down. Dead tired. And you try to go to sleep or you do go to sleep immediately and then wake up at two or three in the morning and you can’t get back to sleep because our brain is like, okay, well, you’re not willing to work on this during the daytime.

Terry: So I’m going to have to work on it at night. And so. Taking some time to step back and process those things as it is, is probably one of the biggest suggestions I can give. And what I like about the journey material is it gives you a chance to do that. To step back. There’s a whole bunch of questions. You don’t have to answer any of them in the book if you don’t want to, but at least process them at least think about them.

Terry: And one of the things I wanted to pull out from this, from the question that was. Is I want to go to, if you’re, if you’ve got one of our journey books handy, go to page 60 and you’ll look at kind of where the, it guides you through some things one of the things, and I’m going to read a little bit out of it.

Terry: One of the things that we talk about at that stage is, okay, now you’ve, by this time in the book, you’ve already gone through your strengths, your weaknesses, you’ve told your story, you’ve looked at your worldview and now there, now you’re looking at where am I misaligned? And that word misalign really comes in as a thinking about, am I doing more of my work and my, and then my volunteering and my family out of my strengths, or am I using my weaknesses to try to, to cover those things is a huge thing. Right? It’s a huge thing. And it’s one of the reasons people are strengths, right? And it’s one of the reasons that people tend to be kind of stuck because they’re, they’re stuck in this this part I’m going to read here.

Terry: It says you probably have noticed when your tasks are well aligned with your abilities, you feel more confident and capable. When there’s a lot of misalignment between the two tasks seem to take longer to complete and you struggle to get motivated to do them well. And I see that a lot, you know, people will say I’m really, really struggling with my job, or I’m really, really struggling in my family.

Terry: And as we get to looking at it, You’re not aligned. You’re, you’re really, really working out of your weaknesses and you’re struggling with that. And you know, there’s a couple of things you can do first. You can try to realign, you can try to find something new to do, or you can try to find out, is there a way I can use my strengths to do this?

Terry: Right, right. Is there a way I can do it by drop differently, maybe a little bit more intentional, only using my strengths to do it right. And I’ll give you one example real quick. When I was, when I, my brain doesn’t work very well to memorize, just lists of concepts and stuff, list of words. I know people who can do that.

Terry: And I, I I’m amazed at that. They can do that, but I don’t remember. Like vocabulary words very well. And so what I had to do when I went through nursing school and I had a lot of really long vocabulary words to memorize, what I had to do was I had to separate the words into their parts and, and learn what each part meant.

Terry: There was a lot of Latin and some of the words. And once I did that, I didn’t have to memorize the words. I could use the strength of my ability to reason. By then sifting through when, when the words came up on a test, I could separate the word and go, okay, well this piece that, you know, I could put it together and then, and then just know what the word meant.

Terry: And, and again, it’s, it’s figuring out what am I doing? W what do I, what strengths do I bring to the table? And we all have tons of strengths. Another thing you’ll see in the journey material is when you’re looking at the strengths is you’ll see this thing on multiple intelligences growing up. I think.
Terry: You’re either smarter. You’re not smart. Well, my brother was smart. I wasn’t smart. I realized that was way wrong. That that thinking was way wrong because he was smart in some ways, but I was actually smarter in other ways. And if my brother’s listening to this, I’m so sorry.

Terry: but anyway, that’s kind of what. I guess in answering that question, being intentional about asking about first of all, stopping pausing, looking at your life and saying, okay, what’s leading to this feeling of discontent. And then secondly saying, okay, what can I do about it? And if you haven’t got an answer to that one, Go to our website and download one of our books.

Terry: You can get it for a, you know, it’s there, it’s a volunteer kind of thing. You donate anything over a dollar. I think it is. You can download one of our books and start working on it with a friend.

Jeff: Definitely not in this for the money, right? No, it isn’t. It is, it is a way to, we do want to serve you.

Jeff: We do want to help and if you want to grow, we want to help along with getting one. get a couple of books and grab a friend and the material will help you together to just get into some deeper conversations. And yeah, I like, I liked this Terry because it really is. I think one of the, if we have two takeaways from this podcast it’s a, it takes some time intentionally to step back and that’s gonna take.

Jeff: A reboot of mindset, right. To really step back. And then the other thing is start looking at strengths. And I know we’ve talked about this before and we’ll talk about it again, but a lot of people just have a hard time looking at their

Terry: strengths. Oh, I’ve noticed that people have one. They have, they either have a hard time looking at their strengths or their weaknesses.
Terry: It’s usually not both. And it’s, it’s almost always either people are, have a hard time looking at their strengths because they don’t believe they have. Or they have a hard time looking at their weaknesses because they don’t want to look at their weaknesses.


Jeff: Yeah. And we want to work out of our strikes.


Jeff: So, yeah. Good stuff. Well thanks again for listening. And you can find out more about journey coaching at journey,, that’s journey, And thanks for listening. And we’ll talk again soon. Thanks. Bye.

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