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February 13, 2018

February 13, 2018 Issue #143

Are you your own worst enemy?

We singles share a problem with everyone else on this planet. Too often we are our own worst enemy.

That’s a hard truth to face, but the person who does positions him or herself to do something about it. You can’t solve a problem until you know there is a problem. Here are some symptoms to look for:

  • Constantly putting yourself down;
  • Doubting your ability or skills;
  • Hiding or retreating from the world;
  • Giving up early instead of persevering;
  • Being unable to take a compliment;
  • Seeing yourself as a failure;
  • Hating the person you see in the mirror.
  • Ouch! We’ve all done some of those things, some time. Some of us are still doing them. Listen, single friend, the world throws enough obstacles at us without us adding even more to the mix. Despite what you may have been told, there’s nothing wrong with encouraging yourself and enjoying your achievements. The notion that it’s prideful to have healthy self-esteem is an attitude that should have died out with the Puritans. God tells us to love ourselves. We should follow his advice.

    Recognizing that you can be your own worst enemy is one of the most empowering truths you’ll ever learn. None of us actually lives in the world. We live inside our mind, where we create our own little world, based on how we interpret people and events. When we see ourselves as victims instead of strong, capable human beings, we’re hurting ourselves instead of helping.

    I realize this is a touchy subject, but it ties in well with Valentine’s Day. Years ago I finally broke free of this problem. I can tell you it will make a major improvement in your life when you do. So here are some thoughts on how to stop being your own worst enemy.

    ‘What? No new poem this month?’

    To get this issue to you before Valentine’s Day, I had to omit the poem for February. The poem is the most time-consuming part of Inspire-O-Gram to write, and other responsibilities took much of my time this month.

    If, like the poor guy in this photo, you’re too bummed out by that news, you can go to our newsletter archives and find over 140 poems from past issues. Just follow this link:

    Inspire-O-Gram back issues.

    Real-world hope for today — and beyond

    Hope is what gets you going in the morning. It’s what makes you want to get out of bed and see what adventure God has planned for you that day.

    Sometimes, though, your problems feel overwhelming. You can’t see any point in trying. You need to find new hope, a solid, lifesaving truth you can turn to every day.

    Hope for Hurting Singles: A Christian Guide to Overcoming Life's Challenges, my new paperback, is a collection of “heads-up’s” on problems you’ll have to face and the best way to handle them. You’ll get wise advice on things like:

    • Loneliness
    • Shyness
    • Rejection
    • Depression
    • Self-esteem
    • Fear
    • Bitterness
    • Peace of Mind
    • Faith

    Hope for Hurting Singles comes from over 40 years of experience in the single life. Why muddle through alone when you can learn from somebody who has already been there?

    This isn’t about dating. It’s about those emotions that drive you up a wall. It’s about a calm, peaceful, contented existence. Think that’s not possible for a single? Think again, friend! Whether you’re looking for that special someone or not, Hope for Hurting Singles will simply help you enjoy life more. And who doesn’t want that?

    Follow this link at amazon to look inside Hope for Hope for Hurting Singles. It’s $15.99 you’ll be glad you invested.

    Lounsbrough is February’s QOTM guy

    February’s Quote of the Month comes from pastor, counselor and writer Craig D. Lounsbrough:

    “The only reason I can’t jump in and engage life is that I’ve told myself I can’t. Yet I can’t helping wondering would happen if I told myself I could?”
    Craig D. Lounsbrough

    How often we singles limit ourselves. I don’t have a lot of regrets in life, but that’s one of them. I often gave up before I started because I thought I couldn’t do something. What things could I have done if I had only told myself: “You can do that!”

    Most of the battles we fight in life are fought in our own mind. Surely Satan is never happier than when he prevents us from living up to our full potential. Jesus called Satan “the Father of Lies,” and one of those lies must be “You can’t do it.” Of course none of us will succeed in everything we do, but we’ll never know unless we try.

    You are better than you know. You are smarter than you realize. You are capable of much more than you can ever imagine. The next time you doubt yourself, the next time you want to try something but are afraid, remember this Bible verse: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31, NIV)

    Valentine’s Day and other “crises”

    Valentine’s Day is one of the hardest days of the year for single people. Those who want to be in a relationship but aren’t experience a smorgasbord of painful feelings. We see all the TV commercials, magazine ads, and store displays, and it feels like a team of giant football players piling on top of us. It’s emotionally crushing.

    Time out. One of the unhealthiest things a person can do is let their emotions run wild. We don’t do it with our anger. We know if we punched our boss in the nose, there would be pretty terrible consequences. We know that if we cater to our lust with a stranger in a bar, that act will turn out dreadful. We know if we gratify our greed by buying tons of stuff on our credit card, we’ll be a prisoner of debt.

    So why don’t we manage our emotions on Valentine’s Day and during the other so-called “crises” in our life that we blow out of proportion? Sometimes, sadly, it actually feels good to feel sorry for yourself. But you know what? It doesn’t help things any. It only makes them worse. Sometimes we believe our emotions are the master of us, instead of the other way around. And sometimes we just do what we’ve always done because it’s easiest. I’ve been guilty of all of those.

    This Valentine’s Day, and in the future, put the brakes on the emotional train before it starts to run away. It’s only one day. It’s unpleasant, but not the end of the world. Exchange the usual drama for peace of mind. Celebrate yourself instead. Recognize your accomplishments over the past year. Bask in your progress. Remember that God loves you, so love yourself, too.

    Kindness is an all-important quality

    Kindness is a quality I learned from my parents. They were kind to each other, to my brother Dave and me, and to everyone they came in contact with.

    Strive to be a kind person. It's how you show love to others. Remember that every person is having a hard time of it, even though they may be putting up a good front. Even grouchy people need kindness -- especially grouchy people!

    Genuine kindness is such a rare quality in our world today that some people are shocked when you express it. They'll think you have an ulterior motive. Don't let that stop you. Be kind, even when you feel grumpy yourself.

    I tried to point out in this newsletter that's it's all-important to be kind to yourself. Don't pick at yourself. Don't put yourself down. Cut yourself a break. Treasure the love God has for you. It’s the compass that keeps you headed in the right direction: home to Him.

    As always, you have direct access to my email inbox by using our Jared-free contact form. What’s more, I, and not an assistant or robot, will send you a personal (not canned) reply. Try it and see!

    That’s our February issue. Thanks for reading.

    Until March,

    Jack Zavada
    401 Indiana Ave
    Streator, IL 61364 USA

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