Archive for April, 2012



According to Christian theology, the Old Testament is rich with glimpses of a promised Messiah. In fact, many Jewish people believe that there is still a messiah to come. The main difference is that the Jewish population for the most part, (excluding Messianic Jews), believe a Messiah has not yet come, and a few have departed altogether from the belief in an actual messiah as a man or ruler to come about, but other experts rather interpret the messianic prophecies through ideas such as a Eutopian society or other ways to explain the passages that seem to indicate a messiah will come. Some modern day Jewish people are completely unaware of anything to do with a Messiah at all. Christians, on the other hand, believe the Messiah has already come, only that he came in a way that the Jewish people of Jesus Christ’s era did not recognize him, perhaps because they were expecting him to come in the same fashion as all the other Jewish heroes -someone who would sit on the throne of David and break off the tyranny of their Roman oppressors of the day.

But to really unpack the glimpses of the Messiah to come, we must examine the Old Testament to watch the stunning unfolding of Jewish prophecy foreshadowing a Messiah that seems to fit the portrait of Jesus.

The prophet Isaiah revealed the manner of his birth – born of a virgin.
The prophet Micah pinpointed his place of birth -Bethlehem.
Both the book of Genesis and the prophet Jeremiah described that he would be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of the tribe of Judah, the lineage of King David.
The Book of poetry known as the Psalms foretold his betrayal, his accusation by false witnesses, his manner of death, (crucifixion -pierced in his hands and feet -even though crucifixion was not even a part of Jewish law at the time of this old testament writing as it still wasn’t part of their judicial system in the time of Jesus.) The book of Psalms even predicted he would not decay but would be resurrected.
There are even scriptures suggesting that he would be called a Nazarene (someone who lived in Nazereth).

Perhaps the most stunning scripture in the Old testament as a prophecy foreshadowing the messiah comes out of Isaiah 53:3-9, 12.

“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. He was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we were healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth, he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment, he was taken away, and who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence nor was any deceit in his mouth. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

Ok, let’s try and unpack this a little, as there is so much more symbolism and prophecy in the old testament that points to Jesus as Messiah.

Re: the virgin birth, see Luke 1:26-35 for confirmation in the new testament of the old testament prophecy.
As for his birth in Bethlehem, Jesus should not have been born in Nazareth since his family lived in Galilee. But guess what? There happened to be a census that required every man and his family to register in the town of his birth. Since Joseph (Mary’s husband) was a descendant of king David, he was required to take the long trip to Bethlehem to register for the census. Mary was with child as they set out on the journey to register for the census in Bethlehem. While they were there, she gave birth to Jesus in a manger. (Luke 2:1-7)

As for the lineage, there are 2 found in the new testament, one found in Matthew 1:1-17, and the other in Luke 3:23-38, indicating Jesus was descended from what was prophesied.

Jesus’ betrayal was foretold and fulfilled in Matthew 26:47-50, and again in Mark 14:43-49, Luke 22:47-53, and John 18:2-8. Judas, the one betraying Jesus, was filled with remorse after making a deal for 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus into the hands of the officials who would bring him to trial. Judas’s story is found in Matthew 26:14-19, and again in Matthew 27:1-10. This particular passage also is a fulfillment of a prophecy found in Zechariah 11:13 that Jesus would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. ( I encourage you to read the scriptures for further insight as I do not have enough time or room to unveil all of this in one blog! )

As for the false witnesses, while Jesus was on trial, the chief priests of the day had incited false witnesses to come forward and testify against him (Matthew 26:59-63), also fulfilling the prophecy that Jesus remained silent before his accusers, from the prophecy in Isaiah 53 above.

As for the nail scarred hands, and the death by crucifixion, the fact that the Jewish people of the day were under Roman occupation, they appealed to the Roman governor, asking that he be crucified under Roman law which allowed crucifixion as a form of punishment, thereby allowing the prophecy of his death by crucifixion to be possible. Without believing, and without knowing, they had a hand in fulfilling Scripture! Pilate, the roman governor, consented to the cries and wishes of the people begging for his crucifixion even though he himself, saw that Jesus was not worthy of such a punishment. But in an effort to gain the people’s favor, he released Jesus to be flogged and then executed by means of crucifixion.

Where it suggests that Jesus was assigned the death of the wicked (crucifixion) he was hung on a cross between two thieves (Matt. 27:38). Where it talks of him being despised and rejected, the very next verse, Matthew 27:39 says that those passing by ‘were hurling abuse at him’ and it goes on for several verses afterwards with their taunting and rejection and accusations, and mocking words.

Familiar with suffering? Not only was he flogged with whips with chunks of bone in them, and had a crown of thorns placed on his head, but he had spent the evening prior to his arrest in a garden, weeping with such turmoil at what he knew he was about to endure and experiencing the burden of carrying the weight of the sin of the world upon his shoulders… So much so did he experience this sorrow that he endured a rare condition that causes the human body to sweat drops of blood due to excessive stress and anxiety. (Luke 22:42-44).

The disciples had even arranged a place of burial for the body of Jesus after his death, not believing he would literally rise from the dead and return to them 3 days later fully alive! But ironically, they arranged a burial site from a rich man named Joseph, a member of the council, who had been waiting for the messiah, who allowed them to bury the body of Jesus in his family burial site!

Coincidence???

There are so many more signs and prophecies from the Old testament that give sufficient evidence that not only was Jesus the Messiah, but that he is part of the triune God, another point of contention between the Jewish belief and the christian. The Jewish people do bit claim to believe in the trinity, whereas Christians, believe along with Jesus when he claimed to be the son of God and that he and the Father were one, but also suggested another would come, the holy spirit, the third person of the trinity, sent as the comforter for those who believe that Jesus not only is Messiah, but the son of God.

Sadly I do not have enough time to give away the whole chapter of this book, indicating signs and customs performed in the old testament, and even today that are meant to be symbols pointing to a messiah.

Why don’t the Jewish people believe that Jesus is Messiah if there is so much evidence to support that he fulfills the old testament prophecies? Again, as I mentioned at the beginning, the Jewish people of his day, though ripe with anticipation for a messiah to come, expected him to come to deliver them from the Roman occupation, when God, through the Messiah who was to deliver not only Israel, but the whole world, was up to something bigger… A far larger plan was in place than what they expected, and their hearts could not embrace the grander narrative of what was beginning to unfold. I absolutely mean no disrespect whatsoever to the Jewish people! On the contrary, I am grateful to them for the introduction to the God of the Jews, the God that I worship, but along with Messianic Jews, who embrace Christ as the Jewish messiah and savior of all mankind, I embrace Christ as my messiah & savior as well! I would be happy to discuss this further with anyone interested! But sadly and unfortunately I cannot give away everything in one blog!!

Until next Monday, where I will unveil the mission of Jesus and the good news he was bringing to all mankind, you will simply have to stay tuned!!

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Verbal Abuse


Today I am continuing my latest blog series on abuse in relationships. Last Friday I blogged about Emotional Abuse, this week, I hope to unpack verbal abuse a little, which is a sub heading under the broader concept of emotional abuse, because verbal abuse affects us emotionally as well.

Before I get started, I want to discuss some basic rights we should expect in any healthy relationship, all of which are violated in a verbally abusive relationship.

These basic rights include:

The right to goodwill from the other.
The right to emotional support.
The right to be heard by the other and to be responded to with courtesy.
The right to have your own view, even if your mate has a different view.
The right to have your feelings and experience acknowledged as real.
The right to receive a sincere apology for any jokes you find offensive.
The right to clear and informative answers to questions that concern what is legitimately your business.
The right to live free from accusation and blame.
The right to live free from criticism and judgment.
The right to have your work and interests spoken of with respect.
The right to encouragement.
The right to live free from emotional and physical threat.
The right to live free from angry outbursts and rage.
The right to be called by no name that devalues you.
The right to be respectfully asked rather than ordered.

(Basic rights excerpt taken from The verbally abusive relationship by Patricia Evans)

Apart from the absence of the above list of items, how else can you tell That you have been verbally abused? Because verbal abuse is under the broader category of emotional abuse, many of the same factors play a part in verbal abuse. Verbal abuse is not only just someone raising their voice and yelling at you or calling you derogatory names, but can be much more subtle as well, involving sarcasm and criticism, put downs and manipulative, controlling speech, that if it has been a ‘norm’ for you all your life, can be hard to recognize and realize the difference between healthy interaction, and that which is abusive. You may think that verbal abuse is readily identifiable, but it can be very concealed, and the manipulation of it can even cause the one being verbally abused to feel as though they are the problem. Often times people don’t realize it is verbal abuse until it escalates and becomes more intense over time, or turns into physical abuse. Often, verbal abuse remains hidden and secretive from outside observation in the early stages of the abuse, often unnoticed by people outside of the relationship. They may even think the abuser is a wonderful person, because that is what is presented in the public eye, leaving the victim of the abuse isolated from outside support, and confused.

Here are some indicators that might suggest whether you are being verbally abused or not.

1. Does he seem irritated or angry with you frequently, even when you are not trying to upset him? 2. Does he tell you in some way that the way he feels is your fault?
3. Do you often wonder what’s wrong with you or why you feel so bad, but don’t know why?
4. Do you feel out of balance, caught off guard by her reactions?
5. Do you feel lost and aimless?
6. When you feel hurt and try to discuss your feelings with her, does she minimize your feelings, ignore them or refuse to talk about it, or outright blame you for something unrelated to what you are talking about to ‘knock you off course” to avoid taking responsibility for her actions?
7. Do you feel disconnected, isolated, confused, disoriented, or believe critical and condemning voices in your head that minimize and devalue your sense of self worth? Specifically messages of put down your partner has said repeatedly in the past?
8. Does he blow up at you and then pretend as if nothing ever happened, often seeming overly cheery later on without apologizing, or owning up to his behavior, as if nothing ever happened?
9. Does he apologize only when you are on the verge of leaving the relationship vowing he will change, but once you concede, he takes no initiative or action to correct his behavior and resumes his usual controlling and belittling behavior? Does he beg you not to leave?
10. You frequently feel frustrated, confused or perplexed by her responses when she doesn’t seem to understand your intentions?
11. She takes the opposite view on almost every opinion you have?
12. Do you feel like you are given double messages a lot? Ie. you express an opinion and the abuser takes the opposite position just to start an argument, or remain in a power position, only to hear the person agree with your opinion with someone else, and when you call them on it, they refuse to acknowledge it happened and blame you for making things up?

All of these things and more are indicators of verbal abuse.

Sometimes it is hard to believe that you are ‘not’ the things your partner accuses you of being because they are said so repetitively that over time you begin to believe the self-defeating messages. It may be hard to tell yourself:

I know that I am not critical.
I know that I am not competitive.
I know that I am not a bitch.
I know that I am not selfish.
I know that I am not ugly.
I know that I am not stupid.
I know that I am not always trying to start a fight, etc. because verbal abuse tends to diminish your self worth over time. So much so that you begin to believe it yourself and no longer need someone to tell you how worthless you are, because you believe it and tell that to yourself over and over. This is not beneficial nor helpful to anyone. You have innate value and worth and no one has the right to tell you otherwise or diminish your value. If someone has said these above messages to you, they are verbally abusing you.

If you believe you are being verbally abused, seek help immediately! It is likely to get worse not better. You need to get equipped with the right tools to help you not only build your self confidence and sense of self worth, but know how to address the behavior and require change to occur, and set limits on behavior that is abusive. If you feel fear about setting limits on abusive behavior, ask yourself why that is. What would happen if you set limits on the abusive behavior? Would you be physically assaulted? Would the abuse get worse? What is the reality of that fear? If you believe that you would not be ‘safe’, it may be time to break that relationship and get out, and seek counseling on how to break the addictive relationship cycle.

Stay tuned.. In a few weeks, I will have some answers on how to respond to the abusive cycle.
Next Friday I will blog about Physical Abuse. Stay tuned, as I will address how to break the abusive cycle in my blog on Friday May 25th. If you believe yourself to be in real and urgent danger, do not wait for my tips on breaking the cycle at the end of May, seek help immediately!

In the meantime, I hope and pray that you are not being verbally abused, and I pray for your safety and protection if you are, and for the strength to break the cycle and to build healthy patterns of relating to others, that you may enjoy real intimacy and respect within your relationships. Do not be deceived by the times the abuser is charming, and ‘intimate’. Real intimacy does not abuse. Real intimacy respects and cherishes the other always. Real intimacy involves the ‘basic rights in a relationship’ as mentioned at the beginning of this blog. If you are manipulated, if there are power plays, or control, aggressive and hostile speech and name calling, this is inappropriate in a relationship and harmful to the health of the relationship. The reality is, no relationship is perfect, and we all ‘lose it’ at times, or manipulate or control, but the question is whether it is habitual, the entirety of the relationship or is it as a result of a traumatic life experience that has brought harm to one or both members of the relationship, that is a mere season of the relationship, and when the trauma settles down, the relationship returns to a harmonious respectful flow, or is this anger and hostility a regular part of the relationship? I will eventually do a series on trauma as well, where I will unpack how trauma plays a role in changing our usual behavior, but for now, I am mentioning it only in reference to knowing how to identify between what is abuse, what is normal anger and what is happening due to a trauma induced life circumstance? A perfect example of how trauma can change one’s usual interactions I am taking from the newly released movie, “The Lucky One” with Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling. There is a scene in the movie when Logan (Zac Efron) comes back from the war, and is staying with his sister’s family, and his nephews come in the room to jump on him and startle him while he is asleep. But what happens is more than what they expected, and by the shocked reaction on his nephews face, you can tell that his reaction of jumping up and pinning hid nephew down on the bed in a choke hold is NOT Logan’s normal interaction with his nephews. This is an example of post traumatic stress disorder and how it affects someone’s usual interactions, and is not to be considered abusive. Being able to distinguish between normal and healthy anger in a relationship and abusive patterns, you may need some help to decipher that if you are unsure. I do not have enough time to get into that in today’s blog.

Remember, seek help if you feel you are in immediate danger!

If you’d like to look at a great resource, check out my one-on-one Boundary Development Program which will help bring control back into your life!

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If you have any questions on today’s blog or would like help on taking steps forward, I’d love to hear from you!  Post a comment below or visit my website and register for your Complimentary Strategy Session to discuss your situation in more detail.

Katie Meilleur – Certified Life Coach

Katie Meilleur: On Friendships


On Wednesdays, I blog about myself, my life, the things that interest me, what I’m passionate about, or current events in my life to help you get to know me better – who I am, and what I’m about.

So being that I’m up late working tonight (Tuesday admittedly), I thought I might get a head start on my Wednesday morning blog, since I will likely now want to sleep in – because I can! Lol!

What’s on my mind tonight is friendships… and how much I value them.

I have been lucky in my life to say that I have had many dear friends over the years. I am truly blessed for the friendships that have remained through time, and distance, heartache, sorrow and change. What I have learned is that it is during the critical moments of life that one learns who their real friends are. And I must say, I am overwhelmed by the amount of true friends that I have in my life, and I treasure those friendships dearly. Those moments of crisis test the friendship, whether it holds fast and endures, or is fleeting. Crisis also proves to pave the way towards a deeper, more intimate connection… When you can let down your guards and protection to let another person hold you up in a storm. Those moments are so powerful and bonding takes place. when you can unveil the depths of your soul to another human being and have your heart guarded and protected, cherished and kept safe, you have experienced having a genuine friend, the kind who are loyal and stick around when the going gets tough! A rare and precious thing to hold onto!

When you experience having a friend who loves you just as you are and is able to endure conflict and seek resolution and reconciliation, who loves you anyway, you have found a good friend.

Now I must admit, I’ve had my fair share of friendships that have broke my heart by betrayal or manipulation, or simply just walking away. This does not help when I myself wrestle with a fear of abandonment and betrayal. I have been betrayed, more than once, and being the kind of person that I am, who attaches deeply, and loves fiercely, and deeply, a broken heart is easy to come by.

As a result, I continuously use tools and resources to know how to find and develop safe relationships with people, learning tools to know what is trustworthy and what is not, and learning to develop the skill of grace… Determining who is still safe, despite their flaws or failures.

Forgiving for me, usually takes time when I have been hurt, and I have recently learned that I have used pain as a protection mechanism to protect myself and erect walls to keep people out who have hurt me. Ironically, these same walls keep new people I am getting to know at bay, until my heart overcomes another traumatic loss and the walls slowly come down as trust is built. I am either a sucker for punishment, or I know a secret that not everyone truly experiences – the joy of real intimacy and connectedness with others. This hope for that tender connection is what drives me to forge ahead in making and developing new and deep friendships. That, and knowing that I have really good friendships already intact.

Sometimes I find it hard though, to focus on the amazing friendships I have and not on the ones that didn’t fare so well. I wrestle with ‘what could I have done differently to change the outcome?’ if anything? All the while knowing that sometimes you just can’t salvage something you still cherish.
Other people have choices too.

I value friendships very highly in my life and feel that having a friend who ‘really lets you knows them’ is like having someone give you the rarest and most beautiful treasure, and you are there to care for, and ensure it’s safety. To protect and to value and to guard and watch over it. And when it is mutual, you have a good friendship.

Sadly, I know I am not perfect either and fail in this greatest of tasks sometimes too.

I wrestle with the concept of trust sometimes. What exactly does it mean? What does it entail?
For instance, in a circle of friends, you are hurt by one of the group of friends and are seeking support from others to overcome, to grieve, to heal, to seek counsel to make amends with the friend who hurt you? Is this a breach of trust? Or gossip? What if it is indeed a grave injustice? What if you work it out with those supporting you and reconcile with the friend who hurt you only to find out that they believe you broke their trust in you? What about the innocent failings when you let something slip to your closest friends that you were entrusted not to say from another friend who shared a secret with you, and in turn become the cause of someone else’s pain, where they receive that you are not trustworthy? I have come to learn that we are all humans and in need of great grace. To the measure that we accept the flaws in ourselves will we be able to have grace for others. I used to try to be so perfect. To not fail anyone, realizing that’s not possible. Chances are I will fail, and could fail just as big as someone who has failed me. I’m gonna work on being more gracious when people fail me. I have always promised my friends that I will make amends when I realize I screwed up. But I have blind spots too (called pride or self-righteousness) and sometimes it takes a while for me to realize my imperfection, my part in the problem. But when I do, I seek to apologize and try to make amends.

And to those I have failed at giving grace to… I sincerely apologize.

I have not yet stopped loving a single friend, past or present, whether they are still in my life or the season has taken a turn, or an offense occurred, I still love each and every friend I have ever had. This is how much I value friendship. But it is hard to stay in contact with everyone over the years, during radical changes in people’s lives. You get busy or they do, you lose contact, not intentionally, but it happens. And more and more distance creeps in, and soon you have only memories of a friendship you never meant to lose.

I have learned that some friendships are forever. Some are seasonal, but they are all blessings, intended to cause both growth and bring joy to our lives.

I think fondly of the deepest friendships I have and have had in the past and I treasure the connection. I value the friends who have been ‘soul mates’ to me, and have given me a taste of what heaven should be like – being known and understood and loved, just as you are… Being so close you can almost read each other’s thoughts, each other’s hearts. It’s something mystical, beyond explanation, to connect to someone else so much, that it’s like two hearts beating as one.

I love this quote: “A friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart.”

Friends enrich our lives and give meaning to our life. Isn’t it funny that at the end of our life we look back and evaluate what were the most important things in life, and realize how much it was the relationships that made our lives count, far more than the successes in business or the ladder of performance we climbed or the material treasures we accumulated in our lifetime?

I value friendships. That’s just me.

I want to leave you with a couple of my favorite friendship quotes though before I sign off! Hope you enjoy! And remember to treasure the friendships in your life! They were God’s intended gift to bring you joy!

“they are closest to us who best understand what life means to us, who feel for us as we feel for ourselves, who are bound to us in triumph and disaster, who break the spell of our loneliness.” -Henry Alonzo Myers

“oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort, of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” Dinah Maura Mulock

“I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself. Perhaps that is what being a friend means after all.” -Anonymous

“part of what friends experience is something that people who aren’t friends can’t know. It’s a code. It’s another language.” -Judd Nelson

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” -Walter Winchell

“you can be exactly who you are. You do not need to hide your thoughts or feelings, you do not need to perform. You do not need to do anything to be loved. Someone knows the real you and loves you anyway.” -Dr. Henry Cloud

To all my dear friends: This blog is for you! And I treasure you!


Check out my life coaching website for more information!


Two weeks ago on April 9th, we looked at a deep inward bankruptcy and our attempts to earn our way to God. We touched a little on the idol worship the nation of Israel was involved in that grieved God’s heart as it pulled away their faith and confidence and trust in him, shifting it to idols made out of stone, rather than dependence on the living God.

Today we are going to take a look at what kinds of idols Israel worshipped in the time of the writing of the Hebrew scriptures of the Old Testament, as well as taking a look at the idols of the New Testament era, and if we have time, perhaps I’ll give a few examples of modern day idols we worship today rather than God.

To understand idol worship a little more and how it was such an offense to God, we first should take a closer look at what happened when the nation of Israel was given the ten commandments by God.

What happened that day as Moses received the 10 commandments from the God of Israel, the creator of the universe, the God Christians believe in as well? The Israelites had agreed to enter a covenant with God, a contract, as it were, that consisted of blessings for obedience, and curses for disobedience. You can take a closer look at these blessings and curses in Deuteronomy 11 in the Old Testament. If we de-construct this to a modern day comparison, we can view this as a contract. If the two parties participating in the terms of the agreement are satisfied with the terms they will sign a contract including the consequences involved for breaking the agreement of the terms stated. we see a similar contract developing with God and the people of Israel. The people agreed wholeheartedly, wanting the blessings offered in this contract, and the terms seemed reasonable enough. As the 10 commandments state:

1.Don’t have any other gods before Me. (this is God speaking to Moses as he is giving the law he expects Israel to follow).
2.Don’t make any idols, in the image of anything in heaven, or on earth, or under the earth. Don’t worship them or serve them.
3.Don’t take the name of the Lord God in vain.
4.Remember the Sabbath (a day of rest) and keep it holy. You shall not do any work on this day.
5.Honor your father and mother that your days will be prolonged in the land which God gives to you.
6.You shall not murder.
7.You shall not commit adultery.
8.You shall not steal.
9.You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10.You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.

I read a quote once, that I absolutely love, on the subject of the ten commandments that I will share with you now, which at first, may seem to contradict everything that I am suggesting about some ‘standard’ that God has set, that we cannot attain to. But bear with me; I am taking you on a journey with me to discover what the heart of God for man is. Here is what Erwin McManus suggests on the subject of the Ten Commandments:

“The ten commandments are not heaven’s standards… They are not God’s attempt to pull us up beyond the human into the spiritual. The Ten Commandments are the lowest possible standard of humane living. Stop and consider what they demand of us. Maybe it would help if we just rephrased them in everyday language. Here goes: ‘hey could you stop killing each other? Oh, yeah, and by the way, could you not steal each other’s stuff? And it would be really helpful if you wouldn’t lie to each other and here’s a thought, could you not take other people’s husbands and sort of, like, keep your own? Upon reflection, these are unreasonable right? How could anyone be expected to live up to those? Only God could do that, right? Why don’t we get it? Anything below these standards is choosing to live like an animal, a barbarian. The Ten Commandments don’t call us to extraordinary life; they call us to stop dehumanizing each other. The law is the minimum of what it means to be human.”

When you look at it the way Erwin McManus puts it, it makes sense. Sounds like some good rules to live by to keep everybody happy and inherit massive blessings on top of it! Israel was IN! They agreed to the terms of the contract, little realizing how difficult it would be to follow. Little realizing that to God, this was more than a contract, this was His heart of love wanting to bless his people and have a close relationship with them. But as I mentioned in my blog two weeks ago, Israel strayed their commitment and affection from God to other things.

Some of the major idols in the BC (before Christ) era that Israel served were the gods of the Caananite people who controlled all the fertile valleys of the region at the time. The Caananites worshipped Baal and other deities that were known to be gods of fertility. It was natural to pray to these gods to hope for one’s crops to be good each year, as well as the very sexual content involved in the worship of these gods.

The erection of two golden calves in cult centers were also idols that were forbidden to be worshipped. These forms of worship were introduced from Assyrian and Babylonian worship that influenced Israel while they were in exile to foreign rulers.

“Israel’s calling was to the worship of the one true God. God’s election separated the people from unholiness and to himself as his special possession… God had chosen Israel and they were to worship and serve him only…the first commandment is to have no gods before God (Exodus 20:3). In addition, the construction of any images or the mention of other gods was forbidden” (taken from biblestudytools.com. )

Baal, according to the Caananite religion of the time, was considered to be the god of the rain, thunder, fertility and agriculture, and lord of heaven. In an arid land were agriculture was a thing of difficulty, it is no wonder people would turn to whatever God ‘specialized’ in the need at the present moment. Fast forwarding to the Roman and Greek culture that we are more familiar with in history, the same applies: pray to Aries the god of love, or to Aphrodite, the female sex goddess, or for peaceful journeys at sea, pray to Poseidon the god of the seas. Or Zeus, or Hades, god of the underworld. You prayed to whom you needed the most at the time.

Going back to Baal worship for a moment, back in the day, Baal worship consisted of child sacrifice, indecent sexual acts, and the reverence of creation over the creator. It would look a little like a bunch of people standing around the alter to Baal and burning a child on the altar, and then having a massive sex orgy, in the attempt to bribe Baal to bring rain and fertility to the land.

The goddess associated with Baal is Anat, like the goddess Ishtar, of love and war. She is believed to aid & support him in his conflicts and vindicating him in his losses. According to tradition, Caananites centered their worship around the male creator god, El, and his wife Asherah. Baal was the son of their union. Asherah was the chief female deity worshipped. Baal’s appearance was mostly in the form of a man with horns of a bull, carrying thunderbolts in his hand like his father. He would also appear in the form of a serpent. Asherah appeared mostly as an Asherah pole, a wooden figure depicting sexuality.

The problem the Living God of Creation had with these pagan idols was multi-fold. First of all, these idols were treated like household gods, in an attempt to get what they wanted, they would pray to the appropriate god, thus, treating all gods as a means to an end, out of selfish ambition. Second, these idols had turned Israel’s dependence and trust in God to other images of stone that were not gods at all, but mere idols and myth. God wanted his people to recognize that he was God over all, that HE in fact, was the God of creation, not El. That HE was the God of the rain, and the thunder and the water and all creation itself. Thirdly, creation itself was exalted higher than the God who created all things!! And finally, and most important, God loved his creation and wanted them to know his love, rather than exert their independence and trust in their own strength, or in fantasy rather than reality. He wanted them to know, according to Him, all other gods are no gods at all and have no strength or might or ability.

He alone is God. So here we have it… God is still trying to teach them (and us) to get it: He alone is God. “all other cisterns are broken cisterns that can hold no water.”

No other god, or created thing can fill us as He does. We were designed on purpose to connect to God, to be loved by God, to love him in return, to enjoy the community of oneness between us and the godhead, and to pass it on in the communities of our lives, our family, our friends, our community, our neighbors… Even our enemies, to extend compassion & love towards them.

Briefly, on idols today: anything we put our faith, confidence and assurance in MORE than God, is considered an idol. He wants us to rely on Him. After all, he is known as the Exer Kenegdo: “The One who comes through for”.

Katie Meilleur
Life Coach
http://www.freedomlifelove.com
#Freedom #Life #Love

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Emotional Abuse


I am about to start a 6 week series on the subject of abuse. I will cover emotional, verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, as well as workplace bullying and a final entry on breaking the cycle of abuse, the things you can do to change the way things are currently in a relationship you are in that you believe may be abusive. Today I will touch on emotional abuse.

But first, let us define emotional abuse. Emotional abuse can include anything that destroys your sense of self worth, causes anxiety, depression, fear of your partner (or parent, co-worker, etc that is the abuser), walking on eggshells, feeling stuck in the relationship, feeling like there is no way out, alone, isolated. It can include verbal abuse, such as name calling, and yelling, blaming and inflicting shame on the one being abused. It can include threats of violence if they don’t get their way, it can include belittling or attempts to control you. Emotional abuse tends to be looked at as the least important among the other forms of abuse, as there are no visible scars. But the emotional wounding it causes to one’s sense of self esteem and value runs deep. It can cause self-doubt, self hatred, feelings of being useless or worthless. None of which are true, because all of us are created with divine worth. Our sense of worth is NOT from any external source, such as the person you are in an abusive relationship with. If you used to feel better about yourself, and now you feel like you are weak and helpless and as if the abuser is the one belittling your worth, than this may be a sign that you are in an abusive relationship. However, many people caught in abusive relationships are actually repeating patterns from some sort of early childhood abuse, and may not even recognize you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, as your recollections of what “normal” is, looks like abuse. Here are some signs to look for to help you identify whether you are in an emotionally abusi e relationship.

Are you being emotionally abused?

1. Are you treated like a child? Do you feel you need to get permission before making even the smallest choices or decisions?

2. Are you being blamed for his/her problems? Do they make you feel responsible for their behavior, telling you it is your fault that they got mad and started screaming? Are you blamed for his or her drinking problems or inability to fulfill a dream in life? This is a prime example of a boundary issue -not taking responsibility for one’s own behavior and blaming or expecting others to be responsible for their bad behavior, projecting it onto you.

3. Are you treated as if you are “less than” your partner? Do they remind you and rub in all your mistakes? Do they look down on you if you make less money than they do or if you have a “lesser” degree in your education? Do they tell you how unattractive you are and that no one else would want you?

4. Do they make fun of you and put you down in front of others?

5. Do they regularly dismiss your feelings, preferences and choices, causing you to feel like you have no choice? Do they disregard your thoughts, opinions and suggestions?

6. Are they impossible to please? Do they complain about the way you run your life? Or something about your personality that causes low self-esteem in you?

7. Does your partner always have to be right?

8. Are you looked down on or belittled for your accomplishments, or your future plans? Do you feel like they are treating you like those things are unimportant? Even criticizing and discouraging you from doing anything different with your life? Do they tell you that you will fail at the goals you are trying to reach in an effort to control you and cause you to not believe that you can do it, to the extent that you shrink back and don’t even try?

9. Have you stopped seeing friends or family since being in this relationship? Do you feel emotionally isolated or cut off from outside supportive relationships? Are they jealous or get angry when you spend time with your friends? Did you stop seeing family or friends because you feel ashamed being in this relationship, even though you’ve complained many times about the way you are treated?

10. Are you accused of flirting with others or having an affair that you aren’t having by your abusive
partner?

11. Do they insist on getting their own way? Threatening to end the relationship if they don’t?

12. Do they punish you by withholding sex, or giving you the silent treatment or not giving you the affection you need if things don’t go their way?

13. Are you teased or made fun of, or do they use sarcasm to put you down?

14. Do they apologize when they are wrong? Or do they make excuses for their behavior?

15. Do they tell you that you are responsible for all the problems in the relationship?

If you answered yes to even half these questions, you may currently be involved in an unhealthy or abusive relationship.

The first step on the road to recovery is to admit that you are being emotionally abused and acknowledge the damage it has caused to your sense of self worth and self esteem.

A couple of questions for you to consider: Ask yourself why you chose an abusive partner? Can you ind the root cause? Can you trace it back to your childhood or see repeat abusive patterns in your life? Can you identify the voids in your life, the emptiness you feel and how this relationship fills them… Or doesn’t.

Why do you put up with the abuse? What are you afraid of?

Stay tuned for the full series, and see which of the categories you most identify with, as there may be more than one. Stay tuned for my last entry on tools to break the abusive cycle.

Also, if you’re interested in learning more about how to overcome abuse in your life, feel free to browse through the topics in my one-on-one Personal Development Program.

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If you have any questions on today’s blog or would like help on taking steps forward, I’d love to hear from you!  Post a comment below or visit my website and register for your Complimentary Strategy Session to discuss your situation in more detail.

Katie Meilleur – Certified Life Coach


You’ve seen the quote ”dance like no one is watching, sing like no one is listening, love like you’ve never Imagebeen hurt’… But have you spent much time thinking about it?

 I have it engraved on stone hanging on my wall and I noticed it yesterday… Especially the last line.

 Love like you’ve never been hurt.

 How is this done? For those of us who are the walking wounded, who have been hurt one too mImageany times to count, feeling like reaching out one more time simply might be the death of you -risking again… For what? Perhaps we need a little help to get there.

 Loving, risking, losing. Start over.

Loving, risking, losing… Again and again, stung by betrayal, abandonment, loss. Rejection.

 As the ice melts from my frozen heart, and spring has come to fill my soul afresh, I feel my wounds heal.I have been taught humility by my circumstance.Image

 The world does not revolve around me. I saw a friend, deeply wounded, and saw how she held onto love despite the pain she faced. I looked within myself and saw my inadequacy. I saw that I grappled with mercy and grace and judgments towards those who’ve offended me. How hard it was to let it go and set them free & embrace humility. My pride and resentment kept me trapped in a prison of my own making. Bitterness. I had been trying to forgive – wrestling with it, trying to let go of the pain, but the pain had become my only friend, and my protector. The ice around my heart began to form to protect my heart from further injury. I became numb. And broken. What used to function normally- the ability to love, felt frozen behind a wall of insecurity, fear of being hurt again, fear of loss and pain became my comfort. But in the hardening of my heart what came next was isolation.

 Man was not meant to be alone.

 I’d forgotten how to love at all.

Yet alone to love like I’ve never been hurt.

The secret is forgiveness. Not for them but me. Unforgiveness is like a poison you drink yourself.

 ‘Forgiveness is nothing more and nothing less than an act of self healing – an act of self-empowerment – no longer a prisoner to my tragic past, that I was finally free’.

 The above quote was taken from Eva Kor, a survivor of the Holocaust and the experiments of Joseph Mengele at Auschwitz 50 years ago, who was able to forgive her oppressors in the very place they took away her freedom, her innocence and her family.

 Forgiveness is a process as it takes time to heal, for sure.

But humility and recognizing our own weaknesses and sins can help us give grace to those who have injured us. Grace is a lesson I am learning. I have never been very proficient at it. Without being aware, I have battled with my own sense of self-righteousness and would cling to my right for justice, all the while knowing that mercy triumphs over justice. But still I held on to the ‘why me’, ‘it’s not fair’, victim mentality. It wasn’t my fault. So why did this happen to me?

 Now I see the error of my ways, my own pride and am humbled by my own vanity.

 How do you love like you’ve never been hurt? Without walls of fear or anger or pain or pride to protect you? I knew it in my head, but it needed to penetrate to my heart… Let go of the need to be in control. Let go of the pain and trust God with your heart’s protection.

Let go of fear and give it to God to hold onto. Perfect love drives out fear.

I saw myself in the garden of Eden, along with Adam and Eve, hiding themselves from God.

 ‘where are you?’ He called out to them?

 ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself’ Adam replied.

 So true. Our vulnerabilities make us feel naked. Our awareness of our sinful nature cause us to feel humiliated so that we hide. We feel alone. We believe we must defend ourselves and hide. Hide from more hurt. Hide from awareness of our own flaws. Hide from the effects of other’s sin against us.

 God was reaching out to them, but they couldn’t see that because of their own shame and independence from him. Unable to turn to the only one who could help them, they locked themselves in their independence and separateness from him, left to their own devices to protect themselves from harm, little knowing that their own efforts were causing them to open themselves to vulnerability in harmful ways. But deceived, they believed they were protecting their vulnerability instead.

 By holding onto control, we leave ourselves more exposed to harm and falsely believe our walls of independence -the belief that we can handle it on our own – will protect us from further vulnerability and further harm. But it is only an illusion.

 The only way to love like you’ve never been hurt, is to let go of our attempts to control the  outcome of events. Control is an illusion. I can’t control what others do or don’t do, I can only take responsibility for my own actions.

 Fear is not my friend. It is not a good protector. It blocks us from the ability to love.

 To love like I’ve never been hurt requires me to trust God with my pain, my fear, my inadequate ability to effectively protect myself, and believe that even when I don’t understand, that he will somehow work all things together for the ultimate good, if I choose to embrace the lesson to be learned from my experiences. 

 Instead of hiding in the garden afraid, respond to God’s question ‘where are you?’ with a new answer.

 I’m hurt Lord. I want to protect myself from further pain. I know that is independence from you & I choose to open up to you, to not hide, but rather run to you and let you embrace me, and bandage my wounds, and make me whole again. I choose to trust you with my heart. I choose to take down my walls. I choose to love and I choose grace and I choose forgiveness and I choose to acknowledge I am fallible too. I hurt people too. We are all on equal footing. I choose to repent of my own arrogance and self righteousness. And self pity. I choose to embrace love.  I choose to learn and offer grace. I choose humility.

 My friend and I are on a journey together. We are letting life teach us it’s lessons to learn. We are letting God teach us how to love like we’ve never been hurt. How to let down our habits and trained defenses and walls, and learn the healthy boundaries of taking responsibility for the only thing we Imagecan. Our own actions, our own behavior and responses and attitudes.

 To all of those who have hurt me in some way great or small, to all those i have hurt as well. Not only do I forgive those who have hurt me, But I repent as well. For the lack of grace, lack of integrity, lack of love, the walls, the judgments, the arrogance, my fear. I am fallible too. I know that now.

If you’d like to look at another great resource, check out my one-on-one Trauma Recovery Program which will help you move forward from betrayal, hurt, or loss!

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If you have any questions on today’s blog or would like help on taking steps forward, I’d love to hear from you!  Post a comment below or visit my website and register for your Complimentary Strategy Session to discuss your situation in more detail.

Katie Meilleur – Certified Life Coach

Box of broken treasures


 I’m feeling a bit under the weather today, as I have been all weekend. Sigh. 😦 So I thought today might be a great day for me to take an intermission from my usual writing and simply share a poem with you that I wrote about 10 years ago, during a very hard and difficult time of my life. I hope it encourages you!

Box of broken treasures

God and I took a walk together this afternoon.

Hand in hand, we took a journey into the depths of my heart.

It’s been quite some time since I have walked in this room,

And I’ll admit, I have not wanted to come here alone.

But this time it felt so safe and warm, with His hand in mine.

I felt confident walking beside Him, knowing He has all the keys to this place.

And He won’t abuse my heart.

His Father’s love, His arm of protection, felt so secure.

We walked towards one of the big boxes in my heart’s room,

And I was feeling squirmish inside, and felt like turning away.

But towards it we continued, and He turned to me and asked, (although he already knew)

“What’s in this box?”

The enormous cardboard box loomed in front of me, all taped up and bulging out.

I’ve never looked at it from this viewpoint before.

It looked as though someone had took all of its contents and jammed them

Inside the box in a huge hurry… that someone was me.

There were tear-stains on the box. More than I can count, or care to remember.

So many tear stains that it looked as though the box had been left out in the rain.

It was no longer a sturdy box, because the tear stains had ruined

The durability of the box.

Jesus was standing there with His big hand still in mine, and he knew.

He knew what this box represented to me. 

He knew that inside this box were the memories of good times and bad…

More bad than good.

He knew this box was marked “betrayal.”

He turned to me again, and said,

“I know. I felt it too.”

He let me stand there taking in His words that cut like a knife to my heart.

They reopened the wound that’s been there so long…

And yet…

When His words touched my heart, they were like a healing balm,

A gentle whisper, the warmest embrace.

His words cleansed the infection in this wound.

And He spoke again:

“You must forgive.” 

But the way He said it was so gentle, like He was telling me good news.

Like He knew it was the only path to healing.

And then we stood there for a while in silence,

As His heart probed mine.

And all the while, the contents of the box spilled out, one at a time,

No particular order.

Memory after memory began to surface to my mind.

As my mind recalled, my heart felt the touch of those memories in my life.

I felt the warmth of intimacy, the happiness of it…

Accompanied by the sting of betrayal immediately following.

The hurt that caused my heart to cease from desiring anything warm at all.

I felt the sting of broken trust, the desire for restoration.

The desire to stay angry, not wanting to reconcile.

The longing for intimacy, for this friendship gone sour.

I ached for it, and recalled the times we fellowshipped with God…

My favorite memories of all.

But these memories are all still painful,

When I hear the cutting words, the put downs, the manipulation I felt.

I felt taken for granted, and taken advantage of;

Anger and resentment at my compassion being aroused,

And played against me.

Have I ever had such a variety of highs and lows,

Longings, and vows to protect my heart?

But here I was with the Lord most High,

And He made himself a little lower than the angels as He stood here next to me,

Reasoning together with me, and relating to me, as though we were equal…

Though we both know we are not!

It’s been a long time since I’ve taken this journey to my heart.

This box in front of me is the biggest reason why.

But as we stood here, He said one more thing to me,

“Let it go.”

Holding on to this box myself has only been a hindrance to me.

And it’s kept me hiding from me.

His advice is good. 

Everything He says sounds good when I’m standing in his presence.

Ok Lord…

Here’s my box of broken treasures.

Will you hold onto it for me?

-Katie Meilleur-

 Nov. 21/02


Self compassion. What is it?

To understand this concept better, we must first understand the concept of self worth. For people who generally already have a pretty good sense of self esteem and who recognize that their worth does not come from something external, such as how you perform or whether you are accepted or rejected by the people you love, self compassion is a relatively easier concept to understand. These people have either taken in enough emotional object constancy from their formative years and taken in enough nurture and love from their parents at that crucial stage of development, that they have enough love within themselves to understand self compassion. Or, they have learned the tools to develop a positive sense of self esteem later on in life. And yes! Self-esteem can be taught, learned and appropriated!

It is for those who have come from a more traumatic background of neglect or abuse of any kind or who lacked the nurturing or a stable, consistent environment while growing up who will likely find this subject of most value. A stable consistent environment can include anything from receiving consistent messages of worth and value as a person, not by what you do or don’t do, but just for who you are, to having steady, consistent people in your life, to living in the same neighborhood, growing up with the same kids from your school to increase the sense of bondedness and connection. Kids who grow up with one parent who has several partners who come and go frequently lack the steadiness of knowing both parental figures will be there for them. When families move frequently to different cities, uprooting their kids and planting them in new schools every couple of years or so, even if it is necessary for work related reasons, the child learns to adapt, but not to feel a sense of consistency or attachment with peers, which is also essential for the stability necessary to build into a child a healthy sense of connectedness. Even those who grow up with healthy parenting can be affected by low self worth for a variety of reasons. No family is perfect, and you may miss out on one or two of the essential pieces necessary to build a strong sense of worth, as in the above examples. The nurturing may be there, but moving a lot can affect the child, or if the nurture is inconsistent, or a variety of other factors may affect one’s sense of self esteem. So the bottom lime is, everyone can benefit by understanding more about self worth and where it comes from. So let’s take a look at a simple definition of it, before we unpack how to build that self esteem by introducing self compassion.

Self esteem is a realistic and appreciative opinion of oneself. Realistic meaning an honest and accurate assessment of yourself. It involves having positive feelings toward the self. It involves the ability to know that you have worth regardless of external circumstances.

Trauma has a way of re-wiring the brain to de-rail one’s sense of worth. What then begins to happen is that a person begins subconsciously speaking negative messages to the self. “I am not lovable because I was abused” or “I can only be worth something if I perform well” or telling oneself messages like “I’m a failure.” “no one loves me.” “I’m worthless.” “It would be better if I were dead”, etc. These are a few examples of negative self talk. The more you listen to these subtle statements, the worse they become. A person can begin to self-sabotage themselves and give in to self pity, or reject love when it is offered by dismissing it with reasons and assumptions as to why it can’t be true that someone loves us. Why? Because we have re-programmed our brain to only listen to negative messages that we use as a wall to protect ourselves. That’s right! Pain can be a protector. So can anger and rage. Anger and rage turned inward on ourselves is deadly to self worth. The sad thing is, most of this is going on subconsciously as we go about our day to day life, battling depression, despair, or self hatred, not realizing where it stems from, due to a lack of mindfulness about what we are allowing our minds to dwell on. There is a lot of research on how our brains work, and in many studies revealing ways to by-pass the trauma centers of our brain to re-route as it were, by reformatting the messages the brain is taking in. I do not have the time to go into that further. But the point is, there is sufficient evidence that our brains can learn new messages. We do not have to stay in trauma forever!

The bible suggests that ‘ whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things” Philippians 4:8 NIV

This is good advice and wise counsel. Buddhism and Psychology also offer good tools for paying attention to what we are thinking about, called Mindfulness.

“Mindfulness is the practice of skillfully managing our attention and awareness. Attention regulation leads directly to emotional regulation.”

” Mindfulness is…knowing what you are experiencing WHILE you are experiencing it. Moment to moment awareness. Paying attention to our stream of perceptions rather than our interpretations of them… It is both knowing where our mind is from moment to moment AND directing our attention in skillful ways.”

The above quotes are from the book “The Mindful path to Self Compassion” by Christopher K. Germer, PhD.

The bible discusses this concept as well when it instructs us to “take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:5

Joyce Meyer teaches on this concept as well, to “think about what you’re thinking about” instead of carelessly allowing destructive thoughts to take up residence in your mind.

Before I get into self compassion, I must look at the flip side of the coin. There are those who dwell on pain and allow pain to be their protector. The same applies to self hatred. But, there is another aspect to take a quick look at. Studies show that the mind naturally wants to avoid distressful events and uses denial and all sorts of other coping mechanisms like projecting our distress on others, etc. The problem with this is that denial amplifies the problem. Seeking pleasure or addictions to numb pain are temporary fixes that inevitably make things worse for us later on.

“The ability to see things as they are, with acceptance, gets us through.” (taken from the book, the mindfulness of self compassion, Again.)

Suppression actually ends up becoming preoccupied by what is trying to be avoided, causing all sorts of anxiety, self hatred, depression, etc.

“New research suggests that establishing a new relationship with our thoughts and feelings, rather than directly challenging them, makes the difference. This new relationship is less avoidant, less entangled, more accepting, more compassionate and more aware. Leaning into our problems with open eyes and open hearts – with awareness and compassion – is the process by which we get relief…Resistance creates suffering. Acceptance alleviates it.” (The Mindfulness of self compassion)

Now acceptance is not embracing and feeding the negative emotions and coddling them and making them right at home where they can wreak havoc on our souls, but rather to take a look at what is happening in our emotions. I have had it explained to me to try and look at those problematic emotions as a cloud passing by in the sky. You watch it with interest, apply compassion, and allow it to move on.

“Self compassion is a form of acceptance. Whereas acceptance usually refers to what’s happening to us -accepting a feeling or a thought- self compassion is acceptance of ourselves while we are in pain… Self compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.”

“Mindfulness says ‘feel the pain’ and self compassion says ‘cherish yourself in the midst of the pain.'”

The bible, as does like every other religious teaching out there, the golden rule: To love others as you love yourself.

I invite you to practice kindness toward yourself. Give yourself grace for when you feel like you have failed at something. Every time you want to automatically criticize yourself, you are hurting yourself by engaging in self-sabotage. Some of you believe that is all you are worth. It is a lie in it’s ugliest form. We were all made in the image of God and are dearly loved by Him. We were all designed with dignity and incredible worth. My heart goes out to those of you who believe you aren’t worth much. My advice: If there are people who are contributing to this message of a lack of worth in you, that you separate yourself from them, at least for a time, to begin to practice self compassion and self worth, until you recognize that your value does not come from external validation, but that it is innate within you.

I could say SO much more on this subject… It is very near and dear to my heart. But I can only say so much in one blog.

Remember to think about what you are thinking about and extend kindness and compassion to yourself!

If you’d like to look at a great resource, check out my one-on-one Personal Development Program which will help you overcome this and other struggles such as depression, unhealthy thought patterns and so much more!

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If you have any questions on today’s blog or would like help on taking steps forward, I’d love to hear from you!  Post a comment below or visit my website and register for your Complimentary Strategy Session to discuss your situation in more detail.

Katie Meilleur – Certified Life Coach

Relaxing Easter weekend!


So… How was everyone’s Easter weekend? Mine was fabulous!! My husband and I have been complaining for quite some time now that because our work schedules are not the same, there are zero days in the week where we can just sleep in together and start the day slowly together, having quality time to just relax with each other! It’s been just as long since we’ve had the opportunity to go out for breakfast together, just the two of us, with the exception of our weekend away to Ottawa a few weeks ago with friends, attending an inner healing training conference, which by the way, will be an excellent tool to add to my coaching process! But I digress! I simply must say how refreshing this weekend was and how much quality time and rest we both had this weekend, with the opportunity to simply be refreshed and revived! Normally our Easter weekends are so busy, traveling an hour an s half north and then an hour and a half west of our place to make it to all the family events that are happening on the holiday weekends. And yes, although we did see all the family, somehow we managed to have some very spontaneous, fun, and relaxing alone time together. How many times have I now mentioned the words ‘relaxing, refreshing, and quality time’? I must have really needed the break! And I really think I did, because we have been moving full speed ahead with my coaching business, on top of all the other things we are both involved in!

Without any further adieu, let me fill you in on some of the fun, spontaneous, and relaxing events over the weekend! Friday morning, as it was good Friday and a holiday at that, we both were able to sleep in that morning and start the day slowly, after which we went out for a late breakfast togetherness which was simply like breathing in fresh air, and letting out the stress of our weeks, while enjoying each other’s company. After which, we slowly set about doing some miscellaneous things at home which we don’t ordinarily get much time for… For instance, reading! I LOVE to read! I buy books ALL the time. I’m fascinated at learning new things all the time and I confess, I’m a bit of a nerd as I especially enjoy reading non-fiction books about the subjects I’m fascinated by and curious to know more about. I got the chance to do some reading this weekend! I really enjoyed that! Then we set off to packing and heading to our first family destination of the weekend… Jason’s mom’s up north in Orillia, where we would spend the night in order to go to a spa the next morning nearby.

Le Scandinave!!!! A Scandinavian spa with hot and cool baths, saunas, steam rooms, relaxation rooms, hammocks, and a quiet, peaceful atmosphere! Don’t worry, I’ll include pictures! We had a couple’s massage, a healthy lunch in their cafe, and enjoyed the baths for the day. You can just stay there forever and enjoy it! It really is a slice of heaven. You can feel literally like time just comes to a complete halt, as you breathe in the beauty, the quiet, the tranquility, and dare I say again… The relaxation of it all! We spent the whole day there, having our dinner there as well. We left as it was getting dark and decided on a spontaneous pit stop at Dairy Queen for a blizzard, and sat by the lake in Barrie (en route back home for us), enjoying each other’s company and our yummy ice-cream! A romantic evening at home, and some deep heart to heart conversation to end the perfect day!

The next morning (Sunday) we opted to skip church since we were on a roll enjoying the rare opportunity to sleep in and start the day slowly together. Then we were off to my mom’s house, where my mom’s side of the family was there for a great big yummy Easter turkey dinner! Afterwards, we headed to the gym together for a workout at the gym we both go too. We came home to no hydro in our house, called the hydro company, after lighting some candles, and decided we would go out to see a movie. Another impromptu, spontaneous and unplanned event, which we really enjoyed. We saw the hunger games. I thought it was a great film. I was surprised. I honestly expected it not to be as good as it was. On the way home that night, I felt a pang of sadness pierce my heart as I realized the weekend was almost over, and we would be both returning to work the next day! That feeling of not wanting to let go of something so perfect, like it was not enough time… But I have learned, such is the case in a woman’s heart, the all consuming, never ending capacity to drink in moments of connectedness, intimacy and closeness… The vacuum of sucking it all in, only to want more and more and more. In the words of Stasi Eldredge from my favorite book, ‘Captivating- Unveiling the mystery of a woman’s soul’, she explains this well: “Aren’t your deepest worries and heartaches relational- aren’t they connected to someone? Even when things are good, is your vast capacity for intimacy ever filled in a lasting way? There is an emptiness in us that we continually try to feed…as we become women of substance, women who offer true beauty, we find our hearts grow in their capacity to love and be loved, to desire, to live… We do not always get what we want, but that doesn’t mean we no longer want. It means we stay awake to the unmet longing and wait.” It’s an incredible read! You should definitely check it out!

So this is me signing off, but just want to leave you with a couple of announcements and exciting news that also came up this weekend! I just want to share with you the exciting adventure of my coaching business ahead of me! I was just invited to go to LA California as a speaker at a coaching event in September! Such an amazing opportunity! Can’t wait! Just wanted to share my good news! And don’t forget to check out my website at http://www.freedomlifelove.com and sign up for the http://www.NoLimitsTelesummit.com web event and check out my tele class on the 4 stages of Boundary Development!

Hope you all had a great Easter weekend as well! Tune in to my blog on Friday to learn more about the Mindful path of self compassion!

Cheers!

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