Communication – Learning to Speak Up and Speak Out

Family, Life, religion

I’ve been told throughout my life that I have a way with words. That I can transform them into emotions with elegance and heart. But I’ve just recently come to realize that I can only do this through written communication. When it comes to speaking out loud I can come off as a babbling fool.

So I’ve been trying to figure out why it comes so naturally to me to be able to share my thoughts and feelings when I’m writing, but struggle with forming a cohesive sentence when talking with someone face-to-face. And what I’ve come up with is when I write I am able to process my thoughts before they come out.

I’m literally able to filter the dumb thoughts or comments before speaking.

But I started to question what that means. Am I being more truthful when I stop and think before speaking, or when I just let things come out as my mind is still processing? In my heart I believe the filtered message is what is my honest thoughts, because when I speak poorly of others I feel ashamed and sad.

I’m not in a place yet where I have surrendered my life to God and can speak to others with no judgement. I know this is a place that I want to get to, but for now I’m still working on letting go of the past. I know there are steps that I need to take to get there, but I’m working on them one day at a time, a relatively new concept to this hardcore planner.

I need to put God back into my life as my top priority. Before I can fix my communication with others, I have to be able to speak to Him. Prayer is something that I do, but not with confidence. I know there is no “wrong way” to talk to God, but every time I do I feel like I am messing it up. How can I speak to others when I can’t even speak to the One who I know never judges me?

So I’m challenging myself to pray more often. And to pray out loud. And to find my outer voice and build the confidence I need to speak to others.

I, ashamedly, struggle with communication with my wife. I have always believed that I needed to be this strong, masculine person in her life who always had everything figured out and was always there to hold the family together. So I would bury my emotions. Deep down. And in doing so I pushed down the guidance that He was giving me. I pushed Him away and allowed the sin to fill the void. And you know which emotions seem to never be able to be pushed aside? Anger. And fear. And negativity.

But I don’t have it all figured out. I’m not SUPPOSED to have it all figured out. I’m supposed to share my feelings with others and I’m supposed to let God work through them and to help me process the things I can’t do on my own.

I’m not meant to be the strong, masculine person. I carry a lot of emotion. A lot of deep emotion. But I’m starting to learn that I need to let that part of me out. Because it’s who I truly am.

I need to cry more. And I need to cry to others more. I need to let those I love know I love them. I, just today, told my two best friends (hey guys, yeah I’m using all the words now) that I loved them and how much they mean to me. Did I just come to this realization? No, it happened awhile ago. But I was so fearful of running them off or being too intrusive in their lives that I never shared that with them. How ridiculous is that?

And do you know what happened? They told me they loved me back. And do you know what that does to a person?

Why today? Well, for one I listened to a service that one of them gave at their local church, and it was profoundly impactful. Guess what it talked about? Yeah, loving one another. Coincidence? I’m quickly learning that that word is one of evil. There are no coincidences. And two I’m learning that not speaking openly and telling people the things I am feeling is hiding a piece of myself.

I talked in my last post about how I can no longer communicate with people in my life, including my family. Do I want this relationship where I can’t speak to them? Absolutely not. Is it a permanent thing? Absolutely not. Once I clear my heart for good, I want to rebuild my relationships with all those in my life that I have hurt or that I struggle to speak with. But I need to be in a place where I am speaking with LOVE. I don’t want to live in the past anymore. I want people to know me, the new me, as a person of love, who walks a strong path with the Lord. Who does not speak ill of others and loves them unconditionally. And I know that day is not far away.

And I need to get to a place where I can speak to my wife the same way that I speak to my closest friends. It is so easy for me to share with them so much of my life and my story (and I do share, a lot). But I know I’m not being judged by them. And I know they have no reason to doubt the things I’m saying. And I know I don’t have to be a certain type of person for them.

I need to do the same with my wife. I need to let her in and share my emotions. Cry to her, and with her. Pray with her. Give her back a piece of myself that I pulled away from her so long ago because I was fearful of being judged by her and falling short of an expectation I put on myself, not one she put on me.

I know, I’m an idiot, right?

Wrong. I was stupid for so long but I am not the person I used to be. If you thought you knew me 6 months, 1 year, or several years ago, come and get to know me again. I’m not the person I was before and I’m never going back there again.

My wife and I spoke for hours this morning. And it felt so good to be vulnerable to her and to admit to her that I know I’ve gone about things wrong in the past but I want them to be different moving forward.

I am moving forward with LOVE in my heart. And I will be open about it.

I am working on building my communication with God and my wife. Once I get there I will be ready to start a NEW chapter with those I had to walk away from.

And I will continue to be open and share my life with those who are choosing to walk beside me on this path I am on. My community is growing; and it is truly such a blessing.

Dear God,

I know I have sinned and I know I will sin in the future as I am human. But I also know that Your Son died for my sins so that I can be forgiven. I ask that You walk with me as I clear my heart of the anger, judgement and fear and fill that void with love instead. I want to love ALL others, as You have done for me.

I pray that You please watch over all those in my life, especially those going through personal troubles. Let them find guidance and love through You.

I thank You, Lord, for being patient as I found my way back to You. And I thank You for bringing people into my life who taught me that it is okay to love again.

I pray to one day soon be washed away of my sins again, of my own doing this time, and walk anew on a path with a loving heart surrendered to You.

Please continue to look after my family and those I love and bring peace to their lives.



Let’s Talk About Something Serious

depression, Life

I know I’ve been away for a long while, and this time it’s been for good reason. Life has been a mess lately.

The world is not crumbling around me, but I am falling apart while the world keeps moving. Or I was. Or, I don’t even know which word to use. Anymore it seems like it all depends on either who is asking me, or what time of day it is. I wake up on a high, and crawl into bed at the end of the day on a low. Or vise versa.

And there doesn’t really seem to be any rhyme or reason to any of it.

Is life bad? Not even close. I am blessed beyond belief. But there’s this constant state of self-doubt, self-awareness, self-hate that I can’t seem to get out of my head for more than a few days at a time.

Right now? Right now I’m not feeling the best, which is why I’m finally putting this into words, while my emotions are on high alert. Why? Because I said stupid things to people who didn’t deserve them. Why? Probably lots of reasons.

So let’s talk about something serious. Let’s talk about the things people avoid talking about like the plague. Let’s talk about self-harm, suicide and depression.

Now, let’s get one thing straight right off the bat. I have never attempted to hurt myself before.


But that doesn’t mean I’ve never thought about it, or that I don’t think about it.

Because I have, and I do.

Do you need to be concerned? Absolutely not. I have things in check. I know my blessings outweigh the negative in my life. I have people in life that depend on me that I can not fail.

But there are days where I really feel like the world and people in it would be better off if I weren’t.

I am a 29 year-old, semi-successful (one of my flaws), male. “The world is in front of me.” I have a great family – a marriage that is better than most I have ever known, great kids who love me and make me proud, and a job that I enjoy.

But I feel like such a failure. I feel like the negative things I do in life way outweigh the good. I feel like I am constantly disappointing people. It seems like every day I am finding a new person to fail. To anger, to hurt, to bother.

But I push through each day. I, generally, keep a smile on my face.


This is what depression really is. Depression is feeling like you are achieving all of your goals, yet they still aren’t good enough. Depression is having great people around you, but treating them like garbage for fear of hurting them (isn’t that ironic?). Depression is not even allowing people to know the real you for fear they will see all of your flaws.

Don’t look at my scars. Just keep looking at the smile on my face. A smile holds a thousand truths, but it can also hold a thousand lies.


Let me tell you one of my least favorite words in the English language – “fine”. “Fine” is such a nasty word. It is meaningless. It is full of lies. It is full of pain, anger, fear.


“I’m fine”. If I ever tell you these words, just know that I truly am not fine.


“You have all this good in life, there’s no reason for you to be feeling the way you do.” “What reason do you have?” “What’s so bad that you let it take control?”

“You’re just being stupid.”

Yeah. I get it. And I know. But depression doesn’t care about any of the good. It feeds on the negativity. It grabs hold and doesn’t let go. It will let up some, but it never lets go completely.

It will wait in the darkness for its opportunity to drag you right back down.

And it does. Every. Single. Time. It feeds on the self-doubt. Feeds on the failures.

And grows.

To the point where there are days that I look at myself in the mirror and finally say “Yeah, I get it. It’s no wonder people don’t want to be around me. I don’t even want to be around me.”

About 3 years ago I was diagnosed as clinically depressed. I went through the whole thing of talking to my doctor, being medicated, everything. It was a low point in my life. There are certain things that I’ve only recently shared with my own wife. Some of the painful thoughts that have gone through my head.

If I were ever going to do something, I knew exactly how I would do it. There are points along the bypass where, if a car were to go off, there would be no coming back.

And I’ve had days where I have avoided the bypass completely for fear that I may actually do it.

Depression is not a laughing matter. It is nothing to joke about. It is nothing to judge others on. It is nothing to ignore.

Am I depressed right now? Probably not. But I know the beast is lurking in the shadows. It’s constantly there. Just waiting patiently. And I just feed it. I question all my decisions. I am more negative on myself than anyone else has ever been.

My flaws shine like the sun reflecting off a metal object. Blinding and overpowering.

I feel myself letting others down. Every day.

But I have to stop. I am a good person. I have done a lot of good, and will continue to do a lot of good.

I have a lot of insecurities. Shocker, right? I compare myself to others and wonder what I am doing wrong to not have what they have. I see something someone else has, or does for their significant other, or their children, and the first thing I think is “oh, I wonder if my own wife/family/children resent me for not being able to do those things for them.”

And it hurts. It hurts so much to work so hard and feel like you are still coming up short.

How do I compete with these people? I can’t. And I shouldn’t ..

I meet new people and instantly search for their flaws so I have a reason to push them away. I would rather be a jerk and hurt someone else, than to allow myself to be hurt by them. Because it’s happened. Pretty much every time I let someone into my life. They either just completely ignore me, or they walk out of my life, and cause a lot of pain and suffering in the aftermath.

So I put up walls whenever I meet new people. And I build them high, and thick. And I am a jerk, say stupid things, and push them away.

I set myself up to be depressed.

I so badly want for someone to just tell me “yeah, I want to be your friend” but I don’t even give them a chance.

I so badly want for someone to ask for a sledgehammer so they can start knocking those walls down themselves.

I want someone to say “yeah, you’re worth it to me”.

But depression doesn’t have to be all-consuming. And it’s not always a bad thing. The best thing depression has done for me is helped me to realize the blessings I do have in my life. I can’t give my children the world, but I can make sure they are taken care of and have all the right tools to succeed in life. And they love me for what I do for them and give them. I can’t take my wife out on regular dates, or to give her the house of her dreams, or the vacations she deserves. But she loves me anyways, even through all my faults. She sticks by my side and helps me through the good and the bad. I don’t make a lot of money, but I have a good job that I’m not miserable in, with people I like being around, and I am able to still provide for all of my families needs, as well as some of their wants.


What am I missing in life? Probably purpose. I don’t know where I fit in in this crazy world. I pile so much onto my plate in hopes that something will eventually jump up and say “Me! Me! I’m your niche!”. And friends. I feel so alone in this world. I feel like people don’t want to be around me. But it’s probably because I don’t give them the opportunity.


I have a good life. I know that. But I also have days of depression.

It doesn’t make me a bad person. It doesn’t take away from the good I have, or the good I’ve done.

It just means that some days are harder than others. And that I need to always focus on the blessings in my life. Because they are always there. No one is ever truly alone in this world. When depression kicks in, we just like to pretend that they aren’t. It’s easier to feed the beast than it is to fight back.

Always give life a chance. There is good in everything, and not everyone is bad or out to hurt you. People do care. Just because you don’t hear from them for awhile, or they don’t talk back right away, or write you back, or whatever, it doesn’t mean they don’t care.

Chances are, they just have their own demons they’re fighting that you know nothing about.