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Leaky Gut

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As people began to talk about their multiple issues during a support group meeting for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, I noticed that they all had digestive issues in common. Many talked about something called, “Leaky Gut,” “Candida,” “probiotics,” and how wheat was a big trigger. I had multiple allergies and intolerances and there was no way I was going to stay away from another food.

My son had been in to see a specialist and she told me that we should all get off of wheat because of how harsh it is for EDSers and that it may be contributing to malabsorption of vitamins in our food: specifically Magnesium. She also suggested that my youngest son, who was chewing on a paper airplane in her office, would benefit greatly from this, as well. I made a decision to cut down on bread in the house and add in some supplements. (Although, I felt I had no idea what I was doing.)

By the end of the year, I began experiencing Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Insomnia, and my other issues had grown worse: Anxiety, Depression, Andenomyosis, Chronic Pain, and now a wheat intolerance. I was already looking into Hyperactivity, Learning, and Behavior Issues for my boys and ran across a natural solution for those things.

 

 

I talked to my primary doctor throughout all of my issues. I asked him about “Leaky Gut.” He said that he wasn’t sure, but it “could be.” He suggested I go to a gastroenterologist for my new issue with wheat.

Gastroenterologist Donald Kirby, MD, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Cleveland Clinic says, “Physicians don’t know enough about the gut, which is our biggest immune system organ. ‘Leaky gut syndrome’ isn’t a diagnosis taught in medical school. Instead, ‘leaky gut’ really means you’ve got a diagnosis that still needs to be made,” Kirby says. “You hope that your doctor is a good-enough Sherlock Holmes, but sometimes it is very hard to make a diagnosis.”

Not all doctors make the effort to get at the root of the problem, and that’s what frequently sends patients to alternative practitioners. So…  what if Leaky Gut WERE the root of the problem causing all of these other problems?

My EDS specialist said that most EDSers have an issue with Leaky Gut because we are so sensitive. She also reiterated that eating wheat for us, is like taking a brillo pad to our stomachs. She gave me a list to work on.

 

 

I researched probiotics and was so confused with all the different kinds. Some said the best was in the way it is stored. Some said that it was the kind or how many strains were in it. Some said it had to do with how much you took at a time. I loved the information that came across in webinar for Perfect Biotics. I’m not a purchaser of their product, but the information was wonderful!

 

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So here, I had been struggling with these concepts and what was best for my family and I. And I ran across Dr. Axe. He said to “think of the lining of your digestive tract like a net with extremely small holes in it that only allow specific substances to pass through. Your gut lining works as a barrier keeping out bigger particles that can damage your system.

“When someone has leaky gut (often referred to as increased intestinal permeability), the ‘net’ in your digestive tract gets damaged, which causes even bigger holes to develop in your net, so things that normally can’t pass through, are now be able to.

“Some of the things that can now pass through include proteins like gluten, bad bacteria and undigested foods particles. Toxic waste can also leak from the inside of your intestinal wall into your bloodstream causing an immune reaction.”

 

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Dr. Axe talks about the many different symptoms caused by Leaky Gut: Bloating, Food sensitivities, Thyroid conditions, Fatigue, Joint pain, Headaches, Skin issues like Rosacea, Excema, and Acne, Digestive problems, Weight gain, Syndrome X, and more…

 

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I like Dr. Axe’s program because #1 not everyone is the same and it’s catered to you, #2 I don’t have to guess how to put it all together, #3 It’s the same thing that my specialist was talking about in changing diet and adding supplements, but exactly how. Feel free to let me know your experiences with Leaky Gut, Healing Leaky Gut, or the different programs to do so.

 

References from Dr.Axe: http://draxe.com/4-steps-to-heal-leaky-gut-and-autoimmune-disease/

 

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 Other Related Articles Include:

Antibiotics Kill

Digestive Health and Healing

 

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Magnesium Rich Foods

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Today, I walked into church feeling exhausted, my voice sounded tired, my muscles were tired. I began shaking during Sunday School and went for my emergency bag holding my Nuun tablets. However, later, after church, I laid there exhausted wondering how I could help myself. I realized that this time… I could. Recently, I’ve been finally learning to make and eat healthy foods to save me from a Magnesium drop. So, I began to make things to help my Magnesium levels to rise back up.

 

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First, it has been important to me to know what causes these drops. This helps me to know how I might be prepared for these issues instead of frustrated as I’m learning.

 

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#1 Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome– Because of having this particular connective tissue disorder, my kids and I are naturally deficient in Magnesium.

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#2 Sugar– Processed Sugar, Processed Sugar substitutes, and other Grains and Starches (that turn into sugar in our bodies) not only lower the salts in our bodies (which is not good for #1,) but also allows the bad bacteria in our bodies to get out of control. This can cause a big range of problems including bad teeth, liver problems, insulin resistance, obesity, high cholesterol, and contributes to cancer.

Our culture has been rising in sugar consumption by less than 2% yearly showing on this graph from 1822-2005. “It’s a remarkably straight line, increasing steadily from 6.3 pounds per person per year in 1822 to a maximum of 107.7 lb/person/year in 1999.”

 

 

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#3 Leaky Gut– Too much wear and tear on the stomach lining causes holes which leak food directly into the blood causing many physical issues including, but not limited to, autoimmune issues, major food allergies, and malabsorption of vitamins and minerals.

 

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#4 Hormones– Naturally, the last two weeks of a woman’s menstrual cycle causes Magnesium levels to drop which can normally cause headaches, bloating, low blood sugar, dizziness, fluid retention and sugar cravings.

On a grander scale, low Magnesium can ultimately lead to dysmenorrhea (painful periods,) preeclampsia, infertility, premature births, hypoglycemia, anxiety, obesity and diabetes.

 

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Here are some Magnesium Rich Foods that we are currently enjoying; most of which friends and family have gladly shared their knowledge and time with me… 

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Roasted Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)

Originally, I had been frying them, but since burning a hole in the microwave above the stove, I decided to roast them. 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

1 can Garbanzo beans
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Tbsp Paprika
1/2 Tbsp Cumin
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp salt

 

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This is one of the first things I began making. At first my kids stayed far away from it, but after I told them that it was mine… they began wanting it. I have to keep the banana out for one of my children, but it is an amazing source of Magnesium!

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Green Smoothie

1/3 Kale
1/3 Spinach
1/3 frozen Berries
1 Banana
1/2 Water (some use milk, but all use different kinds of milk in our household, so this is best for us. Almond Milk would be the highest source of Magnesium. Feel free to use ice if you don’t use frozen fruit.)

 

 

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Kale Chips

My son made these last week after a friend at church told me how to make them. We all love the taste, and they are super easy to make. I did notice that when I put them away in a ziplock bag or plastic container, that they would become soggy again. I then put them back in the oven. We left them out all night a couple of nights ago, and they were super crispy!

In a bowl, mix Kale leaves with a tiny bit of Olive Oil and salt.
Put them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

 

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And just adding Avacado and Spinach to your Salad is a great boost of Magnesium!

 

 

 

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This has been a fun learning experience for my family and I as we are changing for the better. I will add more as we learn more. I hope this encourages you today!

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Other Related Articles:

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Magnesium Deficiency

Treatments for EDS

 

 

Feel Your Emotions

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November, over year ago, I first experienced Fibromyalgia. I had a confrontation with someone at Bible Study and I didn’t feel like I had a voice in the situation. I was angry and became depressed. Within the week, I had insomnia and pain up my spine and over my shoulders so bad that no one could touch me. It was not only hard to experience those physical pains, but one of my main Love Languages is touch which left me feeling lonely.

 

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I worked with a friend of mine to find the best essential oils for me to help heal the inflammation. Within a month, I was able to get the pain gone.

 

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Doing the Dressing Your Truth program began to teach me that I am lovable and created beautiful in my own type. I began to be excited to be me and tell others what I had learned.

 

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In the process, I had friends that were angry with me for doing so. I began to notice a pattern in these confrontations and I would feel the pain severely again. Some of it was that I would turn to my sugar addiction and my body is already out of balance with bad bacteria causing Leaky Gut. Part of it is that I would revert right back to “Somebody doesn’t like me, I’m not good enough” thinking. I realized after the last time, that I’d had enough of taking my anger out on me.

 

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I began to go to counseling to learn to deal with my anger in a healthy way. And here I’ve been learning to set boundaries in my relationships, to be more patient with myself, and to use my voice.

 

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One of the things that my counselor has been reiterating is that emotions don’t last very long. If we don’t allow ourselves to feel our emotions, it turns into suffering.

 

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I used to stop myself from crying because it wasn’t a “positive” emotion. I felt that it was incorrect to be angry or to cry. I would still be angry, I just wouldn’t express it. Pretending that the feeling wasn’t there didn’t make it go away. My anger would then last for a few days, then I would get depressed for a few days thinking that it was my fault that I was feeling angry and it was wrong. Then would find a way to move on.

 

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But this weekend, my husband and I went out to eat at a buffet. Going out to eat is hard for me because so many things can knock me back down again. I got a lot of meat and found a few veggies that were not covered in sauces. My husband sits down with carbs. I looked at his plate and said, “I miss that.” He said that a little bit would probably not hurt me, but in this healing stage, I need to stay away from it. I also know that I wouldn’t stop with a little bit because I fear I may never have it again and go overboard.

 

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And I began to cry. This time, I didn’t stop it. I cried because of grief over the loss of my favorite foods. I cried because it wasn’t fair. I cried because I caused this damage to my body. I cried because I don’t know how long it will take to heal.

 

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And after a couple minutes of crying over my food, it was over. I took a deep breath and felt great! I didn’t not mourn for the rest of the day. I did not mope about it for the next week. I wasn’t angry with myself, depressed about it, nor did I feel the Fibromyalgia pain. I’m so excited that I’m learning!!! I’m getting it!!! It’s one thing to know what is wrong with you, or have the answer of how to get better, but accomplishing that task is so rewarding!!

 

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I know that without my vitamins and supplements right now, I would still and have crashed. I know that diet changes and exercise are crucial and I don’t have it down, yet! I know that I need to be especially careful around hormone changes. I know that what works for me, may not work for everyone, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t answers for you. I know that addressing whatever caused the problem may not be the only way to heal. Because all parts of the body work together, one thing can affect all the other. By praying, hoping, being willing to seek and find answers, and paying attention to my body, I was able to see the connection for me. I am excited that I am practicing feeling my emotions, learning how to voice them, that it is okay to do so, and that I’m getting this part!!! I am healing!

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Other Related Articles:

10 Things I Learned as a Type 2 with a Type 2: Sensitive Daughter

Climbing Out of the Canyon

Faith and Encouragement

Get Over It!

I Deserve to Be Loved

I Don’t Need Your Approval

Recovering Perfectionist Here

This Amazing Journey

 

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Mullein for Asthma

One of the very first herbs that I was introduced to is a plant that grows in our yard. It’s a soft-leaved plant called Mullein.

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My mother had been researching alternative help for my 2yr old son’s asthma. He would get a cold and it would turn into an asthmatic cough that we couldn’t get rid of without rounds of antibiotics, steroids, and breathing treatments. I began to wonder what strain these drugs were putting on his little body and I was worried for his future. We wouldn’t leave the house for a couple of months trying to help him recover just to go back out into the world for him to get something else.

Glass Teapot with Herbal Tea

We began putting Mullein leaves into a tea for him. At first, it did not taste very well, so we added juice to it. But now, at 5yrs, he drinks it super fast without added sugar. I also use this tea to help any of us in our family heal from respiratory colds.

Thankfully, we have also learned preventative herbs and are working on healing his body from the damage done by antibiotics, but I am thankful to have learned about Mullein. It has been a life-saver. It’s important to remember that not one herb works for everyone, but this has worked for us. There are many herbs that work to heal the same issue.

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Uses for Mullein: Ear Infections, Wounds, Hemorrhoids, Colds, Flu, Diarrhea, Migraines, Gout, Tuberculosis, Croup, Cough, Sore throat, Inflammation of the airways (bronchitis), Whooping Cough, Tuberculosis, Hoarseness, Pneumonia, Swine flu, Chills, Fever, Allergies, Tonsillitis, Colic, Gastrointestinal Bleeding, and Joint Pain. Mullein is applied to the skin for wounds, burns, hemorrhoids, bruises, frostbite, and skin infections. The leaves are used topically to soften and protect the skin.

Tinctures, capsules, lozenges, powders, and ear drops containing mullein are found in many health food stores.

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Other Herbs for Asthma: Licorice, Adhatoda, Ginkgo Biloba, Coltsfoot, Turmeric, Chinese Skullcap, Grindelia

Essential Oils for Asthma: Breathe, Clary Sage, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Frankinsence, Geranium, Helichrysum, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Melalueka, Myrrh, Owie Spray, OnGuard, Oregano,  Peppermint, Rose, Rosemary, Thyme, Ylang ylang,

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Where to buy bulk herbs:

http://www.starwest-botanicals.com/category/bulk-herbs/

http://www.herbco.com/c-2-bulk-herbs-spices.aspx

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Other Related Articles:

Antibiotics Kill!

Essential Oils

Herbs

Healing Infections, Sicknesses, and Cuts

Plantain for Stings

Histamine Intolerance

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Do you experience headaches after drinking alcohol (usually wine), eating chocolate, or cheese? Do you tend to sweat excessively at night, suffer from hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure) or excessive, long-lasting reactions following mosquito bites (swelling/itching)? Do you experience motion sickness or sea sickness? If you’re female, do you experience abdominal cramping prior or during menstruation? If you answered “Yes” to most of these questions, you may have a Histamine Intolerance.

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Histamine intolerance is a relatively common condition. Symptoms are usually similar to that of an allergy so they can be misdiagnosed or left untreated. Symptoms may include: irregular or rapid heart beat, bloated or cramping stomach, headaches or migraines, skin disorders such as psoriasis or eczema, asthma or breathing problems, and even anaphalaxis.

Healthy-Gut

 

Histamine is indispensable for the human body since it fulfils vital functions. For example, it helps to regulate the function of the gut and to dilate blood vessels when irritation is present. It is both produced in the body and taken in with food in various quantities.

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A histamine intolerance occurs when the enzyme Diamine Oxidase (DAO) is inhibited or deficient, and has trouble breaking down the histamine in foods.  The DAO enzyme is responsible for the break down of histamine in the body, ensuring excess histamine is flushed – without it your body builds up an unhealthy amount of histamine, which can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms after consuming foods that are high in histamine.

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High Histamine Foods can include:

  • Some fish such as: Tuna, Sardines, Mackerel and Herring
  • Some cheeses such as: Emmental cheese, Parmesan, Gouda and Gorgonzola
  • Some vegetables such as: Spinach, Eggplant and Avocados
  • Processed meats such as: Salami, Ham, Sausages and cold cuts
  • Wine (in particular red wine), Sparkling wine, Champagne, Dessert wines
  • Beer (in particular wheat beer)
  • Balsamic vinegar

 

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Many have benefited from eating a low histamine diet. Others have done well with medications. I prefer staying away from medications as medications can cause more stomach problems and deficiencies. If you can continue healing the gut area and get to the root of the problem, I believe you can heal. In the meantime, if these foods are a problem, stay away from them until you can find the answers you need.

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Other Related Articles:

Digestive Health and Healing

EDS Associated Issues

Magnesium Deficiency

It’s not fair!

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“It’s not fair!” My 5yr old son was throwing a tantrum. I asked him to do his chores, he refused, and now was missing out on the T.V. show that his siblings were watching. “It’s not fair! It’s not fair!” He continued. I can completely relate to this feeling.

 

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When I was 13yrs old, I gave up chocolate because I was addicted to it. A speaker at church talked about addictions, and I took to heart that scripture, “if your hand offends you, cut it off.” (Mark 9:43) In quitting chocolate, I noticed that my asthma attacks went way down. It was difficult. I proved that I had self-control and that it did not control me.

 

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When I was 16yrs, I noticed that my stomach felt like it had knives in it when I drank milk. I switched to rice milk, though, the colonoscopy results said “the beginnings of stomach ulcers.”

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When I was 18yrs, I began passing out and having severe migraines. I found a severe intolerance to Red Dye #40, and a corn allergy were the cause. Often these ingredients were together in products which made it easier to avoid both.

 

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And now, in my mid-thirties, my body won’t tolerate sugar. A little over a year ago, I began experiencing Chronic Pain and Fatigue, and other Dysautonomia/POTS symptoms. My body is very low on salts and doesn’t hold them anymore, so sugar sends me right back where I was over a year ago. It’s just not fair.

 

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This Christmas, they were passing around treats at church, and normally, I can refrain because they are pre-packaged. (Either chocolate, corn syrup, red dye or all 3.) But there were tiny muffin size home-made pecan treats… so I ate a few. Almost immediately afterwards, I felt light-headed. I went to the kitchen and took out my emergency Nuun tablets. It wasn’t enough this time. It was just not fair!

 

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Now, I have been learning to love myself this last year, but right there, I turned immediately to frustration at myself. But, if I truly looked at this situation with love, I would see how far I’ve come and be a little more patient in my learning… just like my 5yr old child in the beginning of this post.

 

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A year ago, I didn’t know why I was so exhausted. I not only have those answers of why, but how to heal. This is my first Christmas knowing how sugar hurts my body. It’s hard to cut out foods or change anything regardless of what that change is. And frankly, life just isn’t fair. It’s okay to grieve through it. We all have our own struggles. I’m realizing that the expectations I place on myself to “Get it right already!” are just as damaging as the sugar itself.

 

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I have learned to avoid harmful foods before. I have made healthy changes before. I can be patient with myself while I learn to change and be healthy in this new way. I have a wonderful support system that is ready to help me in the way I ask. I can use my voice and ask for help. I can change and learn at a pace that I’m able to handle. And… I can enjoy the accomplishments I’ve made this far.

 

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For more articles like this one:

Faith and Encouragement

Treatments for EDS

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I Have a Choice

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Recently, I’ve been becoming more aware of what I am thinking. I had already noticed a couple of months ago how my Fibromyalgia would flare up when I was angry. I began to be aware of how much throughout the day that I really am angry and how I deal with it. And just to clarify, anger is not bad. It tells me that something is wrong.

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Most of the time, I have dealt with the anger through calming down with one of my “comforts” or things that make me feel safe and then dealing with the situation in a good manner. But I become overwhelmed when something from outside my home demands attention.

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So, becoming more aware of my thoughts is helping me to understand that it isn’t that I become angry, it’s that I am overwhelmed. My personal boundary has been crossed. I am taking on too much and am overwhelmed. Then, the anger tells me that something is wrong. But is it really outside influences that I am taking on too much? Is it too much inside the house?

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I have realized how often in the day I say the word, “should.” “I should get my vitamins.” “I should take care of that.” “I should get dinner on.” “I should clean that… fix that… handle that.” “I should have done that.” The real culprit, for me being overwhelmed, is me. I am putting so many expectations on myself.

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I’ve begun to change the way I speak internally to myself. I speak out loud to contradict my thinking, “I COULD do that.” I notice a change right away in my posture. I feel like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I am in control of what I want to accomplish. I have a choice.

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I am not to be controlled by everything around me. I don’t need to allow other things that kind of power over me. I can choose what I’d like to do everyday. I can help my children, teach them, help them to get along, speak nice to them, pray with them, or hug them. I don’t HAVE to. I can choose to when I feel it is right for me. I can choose to take care of myself in exercise, eating well, taking my vitamins, and not adding too much on myself. I don’t HAVE to, but I can choose to when I’m ready. I don’t have to do extra things outside of my home including church, grocery shopping, hanging out with friends, doctor appointments, etc. I can choose to do so when it is right for me.

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And in doing this, I am finding it easier to not just love myself better, but others around me. I have been choosing to be critical of myself and others in the past without being aware that I was doing so. I am learning to be more patient with myself and others around me by changing my thoughts. You can do this to, if you choose. You don’t HAVE to.

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For more articles like this one:

Faith and Encouragement

Get Over It!

I Deserve to Be Loved

I Don’t Need Your Approval

Metamorphosis

Setting Boundaries Under Pressure

 

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