Monday, October 6, 2014

Just Ask Joyce: “I feel so used up and defeated. How do I turn my life around?”

Q: “I stumble over myself all the time. Not in the literal sense, but in tripping over past mistakes. Why can’t I learn from my experiences? My dating relationships seem all to be headed down a one-way street… going the wrong way! I feel I’ve been used up emotionally and sexually. I’m deflated, defeated, and drained. Life seems to have little or no purpose. I just go through the motions of work and routine and obligations. But I want a family and a worthwhile life of my own. How can I turn me around?”

Joyce: Your story is not unlike many I hear — stuck in a “here” when I want to be “there.” At first inspection, I see a major obstacle in your path — YOU. To evaluate your life journey, you must first learn to find out who you are, how you got where you are today, and where you need to go from here. It doesn’t sound as though you like who you’ve become. If not, what aspects of “you” should you start to change? Here are some things I would consider doing and changing:

  • Don’t give the best of you away. Often in our relationships, we find ourselves giving up “everything” in order to keep a catch on the hook. When we spread our heart and soul and purity around, there is no reserve left when the real thing comes along. A person can find herself emotionally bonded with too many hurtful people of interest and trapped in a self-made prison. Reserve your best for the concrete commitment.
  • Adopt some standards. If you don’t make rules for your life and set some boundaries to protect yourself, your heart will keep an open invitation for annihilation. My rule of thumb and one of my Joyce’s Quotes for the Day is, “If you don’t set standards for your life, no one else will let you.”
  • Set some goals. Having a focus in life will anchor you to a purpose. Whether it’s to move to a new city and get a new start, change jobs, get a degree in another career setting, or take a trip for a change of scenery, set a goal that you can achieve. It is important that you make multiple levels of goals: Short-range, long-range, and even far-reaching goals. Accomplishment is an important aspect in positive positioning in your life.
  • Dream big. Don’t be afraid to shoot for the stars. Another one of my Quotes for the Day is, “When a dream speaks, someone breathed life into it.” Whether the “big” dream comes to fruition or not, you will experience positive events you didn’t expect along the way. Relish in those moments.
  • Respect your gut radar. When you sense those warnings such as “Do Not Enter” or “Wrong Way,” you will begin to preserve something very special — your self-love. It’s one thing to be self-centered, quite another to be self-respected. If you don’t respect the gal inside you, you’ll soon learn the tough life lesson of how quickly others will disrespect you. I’m not sure which hurts more, quite frankly. It’s hard to tell when all those kinds of emotions co-mingle. But I do know that the hurt continues until you decide you are someone worthy of respect.
  • Don’t dance with the devil. Carefully choose the people who will be a part of your “new life.” Invite positive influencers in and avoid the naysayers. That can be tough, I understand, when some of those negative folks include family members. Again, it involves setting boundaries for how controlling these people can be in your decisions and activities. You can respectfully distance yourself and still honor those you care about. But, be selective about whom you invite on the dance floor of your life.
  • Set a start date. So, when do you begin? How about NOW? There’s no better time to redirect the wrong turns in your life. In the words of Albert Einstein, insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” The biggest challenge in reshaping your life is making the decision to do it and setting the date to begin.

You can do this. It won’t be easy to uncover the “real you” inside because there appears to be a lot of debris piled atop of your emotions. But don’t give up — she’s in there somewhere. Get your GPS standards set, find your start date, then pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and enjoy the real purpose God has ordained for your days. And never forget one of my favorite Just Ask Joyce Quotes: “Today is the first day of the best of your life.”

Change your life … NOW! Write Joyce Oglesby, Family-Life Fitness Pro™, at I’m here to help! Check out my books and other resources today at Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and get connected to great family nourishing ideas!

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