Gateway to the New Beginning

What does staying in the same place do to us mentally?

I have a perfectionist, as well as a black and white mentality. I strategize and think logically about everything. I plan and overanalyze everything. However, I have been known to be impulsive and spontaneous with things at times. But when it comes to things that need to be done, my mind is endless amounts of wires scattered that are just trying to find the outlet they belong. I think logically; it is all I know how to do. My wife, on the other hand, is not this way. She is very free spirited. She doesn’t come up with why something won’t work out, she doesn’t make plan A, B,C, etc, like I do. She just freely does what she does and trusts the process. As for myself, I am constantly talking about a plan A, B, C, etc. It gives room for there to be a fall back incase the previous plan doesn’t work out. In overanalyzing things, it sometimes does prevent someone from moving ahead. I am extremely intuitive and I have always been able to foresee ahead. Walking into the unknown is not something I can do freely. I don’t embrace a lot of change. Frankly, I am not a big fan of much change. Not that I don’t choose to grow or remain the same, I just struggle with certain change. Change is needed and it can be very good. My wife tells me often to trust the process, to just have faith and believe. But due to how my mind is wired, I struggle with that. I struggle with walking into the unknown. Just like she is wired to be free spirited, my mind is wired to be logical and strategical. . But, I would say that in many ways that I have grown and tried to follow her lead as much as I can with trusting the process. She has taught me so much about faith and what it means to walk into the unknown and learn to let go of the inability to see ahead with every little thing. Lets say that you are at a job for a couple of years, but you get offered another job that pays more and is better. What would you choose? Sometimes we can be hindered to believe that we might as well just stay in what is familiar, because what if something doesn’t work out. At least with the job that you’ve been working at for years is secure. What happens if you aren’t that good at the other job, what happens if you lose it, etc? Your mind can go in a lot of different directions. What is the base of this? It is security and stability. It is rather simply put. Many times, many of us do not like change to begin with. What happens if you had experiences where you just didn’t have security and stability? You somehow want to find that in the ways you never had it. In return, you choose to remain in what is familiar, comfortable in ways, and secure. It is stable, and it is exactly what you want. But will you ever progress in remaining where you are. It is a rhetorical question; hence the reason for no question mark. We will never progress and move ahead if we just stay in what is familiar. Through my wife’s free spirit, I have learned to have more faith. That is exactly what faith is- it is walking into the unknown and trusting that all things will work together for good.  It doesn’t mean  that is a free pass to be reckless and careless either. But if you hinder yourself from taking chances, you may very well not get the things you could get if you put yourself out there a little.

 

“Nothing is predestined,, The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings”. -Ralph Blum

A week ago today was my birthday. I had this originally supposed to be posted yesterday. So technically yesterday made a week. I apologize for the inconsistency with this blog. Life has been a little hectic. But I decided to dedicate this week to new beginnings. After all, we all need to start over and let go of things in order to grow. I have never been the type to announce a birthday ever before. This week I am going to do a theme on new beginnings and the importance of change. I have been the type to always hate being the center of attention since I am young. I never liked presents or being sung happy birthday right before I blew out the candles. It always made me extremely uncomfortable.` I don’t even disclose that my birthday is approaching or I say nothing when the day arrives. I go about the day like it is any other day. It always just.. was. However, this year is a new beginning. While I will always be the type to never like being the center of attention, I will never want a party for my birthday, and maybe I won’t be excited about it, this year was a new beginning for change. Why? Because unlike every other year of my life, this year I acknowledged it and I reflected on my year with how much I have grown mentally. I have done that since I was a kid. I was never a normal kid. I never wanted anything materialistic, I never cared about presents, parties, a cake, or hanging out with people. Since I am young, I have always been the type to reflect on my year, to look ahead to when I can finally be the age that matched with my mind, to be an adult, to list out what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be, my goals, etc. Most kids aren’t thinking about their adult years at 8 years old. But, I was nothing of a normal child like I stated above. On my 8th birthday I sat and reflected on my life, my visions, what I saw in my future, my dreams, my goals, and what I wanted to be. I set out a plan on my birthday of 8. I was doing it even younger than that. As each year passed, the more I set out plans and the more I strategized what I had hoped to accomplish in that year. What I got materialistically wise was never of significant value. This year was everything different and everything new. That is why I want to dedicate this week to talk about new beginnings and change.

 

This year I have hope for a future. I have more hope this year than any year of my life. I have made a plan of the things I want to accomplish, pursue, change, grow, and progress in. I always make more than just a plan A; I go above and beyond and make plan B, C, D, etc as mentioned above. This year shed real hope and real life. This year is the first year as a married man. Last year was so incredibly different on my birthday. Last year on my birthday I went about the day as if it were just an ordinary day; just like I always have since I am young. As much as I can foresee, I never envisioned being married a year later. To be quite frank, I never envisioned being married at all. This year on my birthday I spent it with my wife. I was in my head some of the day. It is usual for me to remain in my head. But I was so abundantly grateful to have her beside me. Her presence was by far the best gift I could have ever received. She truly was and is the best gift I have gotten so far. Through my wife I have grown so much. I have learned so much about forgiveness, letting go, kindness, joy, and so on. Through her I see my potential as an individual. She doesn’t highlight the negative. She always keeps her eyes fixed on the positive. I am so eternally grateful to have someone that can help me grow in those areas that I need growth in. I have grown a lot from last year. Recently, I saw someone I haven’t seen in years. This person acknowledged where I am in my life and how content I truly am. And before I could ever even acknowledge her; because I always do, they said that a lot of where I am is due to my wife. That my wife shaped me into the man I am and still becoming. Her believing in me is priceless. I couldn’t agree more with the statement of me looking mentally better now then ever before. People we surround ourselves with can ultimately either build you up or tear you down. Either people are for you and rooting for you and want to see you win, or they are against you. My wife has stood beside me even when we were friends. She saw potential in me when I couldn’t see it in myself. She guided, grounded, supported, and encouraged me through the doubts. I rose above the ashes and conquered so much because of her. Through my obstacles really did lead me to new beginnings. It led me right to my wife.

This year was a year of mental growth more than any year ever before. I have always reflected and was hard on myself because of the perfectionist and black and white mentality I have. I never think I am pursuing and accomplishing all that should be done. In life we are in constant competition of who graduated college at what age, who got a higher salary, everything is just competition. My mentality is I am all in or I am uninterested. Therefore, I have been my own harshest critic. This year is most certainly the best year so far. It started off with my wife after all. It taught me so much more than I could ever write. Gifts never meant anything to me ever before until my wife. My piece of advice- find a new beginning and don’t ever stop finding ways to grow. Find a gift that cannot ever be replaced. Embrace change, let go of what you think you know, trust the process, and don’t allow fear or just walking into the unknown hinder your potential for success. Stop comparing yourself and competing with other people. They do not and never will have your story. The person that completed college at 24 and you are still in college at 30, doesn’t make them any better than you. It never will. Get to where you are going, no matter how slow or fast you go. Close the old doors, open some new. Welcome new change, welcome new opportunity.

 

 

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Cleanse.

Saturday:

Today we were active all day, but we are doing a detox cleanse. I broke my fast at 3:30 and my wife fasted till 2. We started our fast at 6 last night. We have remained active throughout the day and have drank a lot of water. We did the fast to cleanse our body of toxins because groggy and fatigued. I, for one, always feel incredible when I fast. When fasting, it gives you other things to think about besides food. You gain focus when fasting. I have actively done intermittent fasting for over a year. Although I stopped for some time, I picked it back up for the most part. I like the way that fasting gives me mental clarity. We are doing the cleanse till Monday morning.

Angebel’s corner.

Thanks to Jason, I was introduced to Charles Bukowski. I have fallen in love with the way his work has awaken my writing senses. He’s a mad man. I want to be a mad woman. I never want to hold back ever again when I write.

“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead”

On Tuesday my husband talked about the things we do to recharge. He also tapped into some of the things I deal with mentally (anxiety and depression). I also deal with PTSD.

Mental health was a taboo topic growing up. It was forbidden to talk about depression because it led to be being accused that you weren’t a believer. As I got older and told people about some of things that happened to me, they always asked if I went to counseling. “No” was always my response. I’ve seen a mixture of the raised eyebrows, a jaw-drop, or a ‘trying really hard not to show any expression’ look.

I encourage counseling. Do not let anyone discourage you from it.

Overall, my hope is found in Jesus. Jesus is my anchor. Only truth and stability that I have experienced.

When the motions of life, and- mental health come crashing in, seek truth.

With love,

Angebel

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Happy Mental Health Awareness Month.

While we are more into the end of the month, we are still in it, so let’s talk about it. It shouldn’t have to take May or Mental Health Awareness Month to talk about mental health.

There are over 200 mental health diagnosis. The symptoms to them range from the unnoticeable to all the most evidently clear.

It all comes down to self-care.

Many take any “support” they can take. Self care includes cutting out people that do not care for you. Not everyone is for you. Self-care is regular therapist visits, healthy coping methods, and self-love and respect.

It is so very important and completely necessary that you have at least one coping skill. Lets face it- we all need a coping skill no matter what walk of life we come from, if we have a mental health diagnosis or we don’t, etc. Find a healthy coping skill to release your energy into. Many people, including many of those struggling with a mental health diagnosis, fall victim to drug and alcohol dependency or even another type of addiction. The problem is that we don’t learn healthy coping skills and wind up utilizing unhealthy things to fill some kind of hole.

Take care of yourselves!

-Wishing you a life of health,

Jason & Angebel

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Find Your Courage

“Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it.” – Tori Ames

Today is recharge day. This week’s topic is healing, so I want to just take a moment to say that recharging is healing. It doesn’t matter how much you like or dislike social interaction, it doesn’t matter what you do, or what your life is like, we all need to recharge. We all need to take time for ourselves to be alone. Being in my solitude I come up with the most solutions. My brain never sleeps. I am trying to come up with new ideas, resolutions, something new to learn. My brain is wired that way. In my time alone and solitude, I do find healing.

Let me say this to you: Healing does take courage. So after the other post that mentioned the analogy of us starting out as plants, let me remind you that we do need to dig deep down to find it. Sometimes recharging puts things into perspective. And most certainly do we have to do the hard work and dig; sometimes a lot deeper than other times, in or where the healing needs to take place. I would like to remind you that it is okay to water your own plant and it is okay to nourish your plant. Not only is it okay, but it is completely necessary. Do not be so wrapped up with things, people, etc, that you neglect your entire being altogether. There is a line between selfishness and neglect. Do not forget to take care of your well-being. Healing takes place where courage leads the way. Have the courage to do so and start by taking care of yourself.

 

 

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Where Healing Begins

I will be discussing this week on healing. I would like to point out that I have mentioned I am pursing to be a neuropsychologist. It seems like such a big word. Ive actually been told so recently how much hard work involves with this career choice. As for me, the brain and its functions are something I am so extremely passionate about. Recently, there was a week about personality types. I am most definitely sure that a majority of my career choice is due to my personality type. As an INTJ, I do excessive amounts of research. I am all about logistics and solving things. A neuropsychologist is all about finding solutions. My passion derives right there at the roots. I will be doing something I am passionate about. It is a job where you never stop learning. I cant think of a job that I would be more passionate about and learn so many things on a daily basis. As an INTJ, a career field in which you constantly are learning new things is such a refreshing thing. What some neuropsychologists don’t do is focus on the parts of the brain to see the actual roots. Many scientists, rather more than a majority of science believes that you cannot ever truly heal from a mental illness. I don’t think I can change the entire world. Maybe, perhaps, I can change just a little. I am not a follower, I have been a leader. And I hope to change this system into believing that there is true healing in mental illness recovery. I chose this career because I want to be different. It seems like that is the root of my life-different.

“Sometimes you don’t realize the weight of something you’ve been carrying until you feel the weight of its release”

Is healing possible?

First, let me tell you that the answer is yes. Imagine us all starting out as plants that we need to be planted in an environment where we thrive. But imagine being planted in an environment where we were not given the proper nourishment. If we are around toxic things, we start to grow roots that are unhealthy. We start to wither away and wilt. In return, the plant does its best to stay alive. However, maybe it turns to unhealthy nourishment in order to survive. Not getting its proper nourishment, but still getting by, it continues to survive, but not truly live. When we face issues that we do not know how to deal with, a mental disorder can occur. But, lets look at the word disorder. When something is disordered, we fix it. Your mind is a puzzle. Your pieces were shaken, they were scattered, but they were not lost.

I believe in two kinds of mental disorder occurrences. Some mental disorders are a resort of trauma, dysfunction, and abuse. Some mental disorders are a chemical imbalance. Some of us didn’t experience any kind of abuse, neglect, or traumatic event(s) in our lives, yet we still face the hardships of mental disorders because of the chemical imbalance in our brains. For those of us who have experienced the spiraling effects of an illness due to trauma, something has been disordered in your brain. You were planted in an unhealthy environment. You were not given proper nourishment or care. You grew with roots attached to you that have only added on more roots. And now that you are an adult you don’t know how or even where to cut the roots. Where did it start? And it may require a lot of digging, but once you find the root, thats also connected to many other roots, that most certainly is when healing takes place. I believe so. In order to get to the root of the problem, it takes a tremendous amount of courage and strength to endure the damage that has taken place.

As for the other part, I believe unlike majority of people that even those with a chemical imbalance can overcome their mental illness as well. If you’ve ever been to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or even many therapists, they will tell you that you cannot ever get better. Really, they say the only end result for mental health disorders is simply: management. A psychiatrists job is where it is their duty to prescribe medication. They believe that is the only way for you to manage your mental health. To the science aspect, once shifted has been shifted, there is no room for growth. I am not entirely sure how the roots would be solved for healing to take place in a chemical imbalance. Yet, still, I believe there is a resolution to this unfixed problem.

Where do you start?

This has got to be one of the most difficult things that you will solve in your life. It requires a lot of digging, a lot of old wounds, maybe even experiencing things all over again, remembering traumatic things, etc. But, the only way out is through. There is no such thing as healing being easy. But in the end, it will be worth it. To dig from the ground up, it requires you to do things you have never done. Let me go back to us starting off as plants. Maybe this is where you will start- going back to where your roots are, and reflecting where they still are right now. Are you in an environment that you currently thrive in? Are you flourishing? Are you growing? Are you repairing? When we experience things that create toxic roots, we must cut the roots. In order to live and not just survive, we need to get out of the environment in which we are not able to grow. Nutrients are vital in order for us to not only survive, but to live. But we don’t just want any kind of nutrients, we should want the right kind. Be a gardener and weed out all of the toxic roots.

Be a gardener and weed out all of the toxic roots of the garden that no one else tended to nourish.

Let me go back to stating how our minds are puzzles. When you have a puzzle in front of you, you try to piece together the pieces that fit right. Like mentioned above, your puzzle was shaken. That puzzle of your mind was shaken. But the good news is; it can be put back together. There are psychiatrists who will tell their patient that no matter what they do, no matter what goals they have, etc, that in the end without medication, they are basically nothing. Imagine hearing that. Just envision that for a moment. Imagine having hope for goals, being something, being someone, imagine trying to rise above what you know and strive to become better. After all, shouldn’t we all be striving to be better? That should be the goal in life. You should never stop growing, learning, and wanting better. You should never settle. But the system will tell you that without their bandage that you will continuously relapse. That you will ever only manage your symptoms but as far as healing, it just is not in the cards for you. With medication, you can live a normal life with symptoms still coming out, but you will never truly be able to overcome it. When you place a bandage on something, does that bandage heal the wound? No, it simply just covers it. While medication can be extremely beneficial to some, telling someone that in order for them to function properly in society, they need medication to succeed in life. Imagine how detrimental that is to someone who is trying to piece back together their life and has hope.

How important is support when trying to recover?

First and foremost, we all need support no matter who we are or where we come from. I do not want to sound redundant as in repeating the same things over and over again. But the plant analogy really makes a lot of sense. If you are in toxic soil, please, do yourself a favor and uproot yourself from that environment. Easy? Many times, no. Worth it? Absolutely. In order to grow, we need nutrients to do so. Many people wonder why it feels as if there is a weight on their shoulders; just like the quote above. And many reasons can stem from the environment you are currently in. Find someone who plants seeds of life. Someone who wants to see you flourish, grow, and stand tall. When you realize the outcome of getting out bad soil and replacing it with good, finding people to lift you up, you wont ever settle. You never should. Support is extremely vital for everyone in this life. Overcoming a mental health disorder through the agonizing weight of that, support most certainly is needed. And sometimes we may fail to realize that no support is better than toxic support. Many people in this life fear being alone. But whats worse is being around people who feed you things to make you wilt. And surely, there is no healing with someone constantly tearing you down. A mental health disorder is already a battle of your mind. So don’t you understand that someone tearing down your mind even more than the battle you face within you every single day is most certainly worse? The good news is- you wont always be alone. Find a network of support or at least one person who you can trust. Focus on your healing. Expecting a plant to grow in toxic soil is no more ridiculous sounding then to expect anything to blossom without proper care. We all need support, yes. But don’t be sucked into thinking that you would rather have toxic support then to have no one. Remember- start at your roots. Cutting off roots of toxicity is where it begins. This is the root of digging down to weed out everything. If you perhaps to have a network of support or a significant other whom you trust, lean on them in hard times. After all, believe me when I say, two is better than one.

 

Unity & the damage of expectations

Love As It Has Been Experienced

I can say a lot of people enter relationships and more so marriages without the knowledge of what unity really is.  Many people enter marriages even with a distorted view on what a union really is. At one point or another, we have all faced disappointments in life. It isn’t only when we are children. We don’t ever really outgrow having expectations of others. Above all else, unfortunately our partners will most likely experience the most with that. Our partners, specifically our husbands or wives are for life. When we have expectations, we expect our partners to fulfill them. When they fail to meet our expectations, we become disappointed and bitter, and ultimately it leaks out havoc into our union.

Say you interpreted love in a healthy way. Your parents loved you, they prioritized their union, you witnessed honor, respect, value, sacrifice, and unconditional love. Your mind will likely process that and have expectations like you experienced. What happens with that is that we expect things to happen so quickly when in reality, marriages are all based on time, experience, and true growth. If you perhaps grew up in a single parent home where you had nothing to refer back to. Your perception of what marriage should be is more so an idea rather than anything you encountered. And a truly difficult way to have an idea on union is when were abandoned, neglected, abused, or grew up in the system. With that type of life, you grew up with no protection, no stability, no security, no common ground, no one who had your back. You were too busy trying to make it to understand what exactly a healthy union is supposed to look like. You enter a union with no example of what love actually is.

How Do You Unite?

I would like to point out that we interpret love the way we experienced it. Whenever you felt loved, that is going to in turn respond to how you turn it into every relationship thereafter. If you grew up in a household with both parents, they loved each other unconditionally, they valued, honored, respected, trusted, and truly had each others backs, you had an idea of what a union should look like in a healthy way. All couples go through storms. There is no couple that is somehow untouched. However, the couples that remain side by side, hand in hand, walking with each other, guiding each other, and carrying each other, those are those ones where hard times happen, but they go through the storm together. 

 

Together.

Wanna hear a truth? YOUR expectations can damage your marriage.

Unity is understanding that it’s only the two of you. You become one flesh with your husband or your wife. Not your parents, not your siblings, not your children. Not anyone else, despite what they’ve done for you. The purpose of marriage is two coming together, in a sacred covenant. No where does it say we become one flesh with anyone else but our husbands and wives.

As husband and wife, we made the vow to walk through the journey of life with this person for the rest of our lives. When a storm hits, comes a fork. There’s a huge crack in the road that creates a fork. The fork in the road is either: go separate ways OR create a new road together. Sometimes we need to go against the hardships and instead of turning away, let the hardships bring you closer. This is the journey of you and your partner for life. It is truly mind blowing to realize that once we say “I do”, it should be a priority to keep that foundation of the union together. No where does it say that you become one only when things are good, when you’re seeing eye to eye. The point of becoming one flesh means that person and you are supposed to be for life. Unfortunately, this society will up and leave for the smallest things. When hardships come throughout your journey, couples many times do separate and become distant till it hits the final blow. By no means does this mean that you have to stay and endure abuse. If your spouse is unwilling to change, that does not mean that you should continue enduring it. That is extremely unhealthy for your own well-being.  By coming together, I mean that you should be fighting the hardships together as a team. You should know that no matter what, your partner is your teammate for life. They have your back no matter what. Far too many times, struggles make couples go their separate ways instead of joining together and clinging onto each other.

Unity takes effort. It takes two. We must build together a union. Your unity is something that you absolutely have to take care of and guard. You have to be on full alert, making sure it’s being fed health. In order for there to be growth in anything in life, we must nurture it, water it, and feed it to grow. It is as if you have a plant and expect that not giving it the proper care will make it grow. Without nourishment, nothing will ever grow.

Unity is the evident intention of marriage. Disunity is a rebellious act.  Choosing to not unite with your partner, is only fooling you. You’re one flesh, remember?

“Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste…” – Matthew 12:25 Hence the different types of personalities, not everything about you and your spouse will be the same. But, one thing SHOULD be the same: the goal and the mission. Put together the things in common and the differences too.

Choose unity.

 

-Jason & Angebel Castellani union-of-hearts-not-hands-does-a-marriage-make-and-sympathy-of-mind-keeps-love-awake-quote-1d24db7532c437a7eb1fef61f7a88713923cf543cc0153e5991b5c76a885118b6--quotes-marriage-marriage-lifeunnamed-3