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Are you letting your junk build up?

Have you ever felt like there so many things going on all at the same time?

Then that one little thing sets you off and you reflect on everything that’s not going right.  What do we do with that? Do you deal with things as they come up or are we just continuing to stuff things and tell ourselves I’ll deal with that later? Yet later never comes!

I know from personal experience I have been one to stuff what I was feeling and then never come to address it ever again.  Either because I was afraid of having to go there and relive that experience or those feelings of being angry would come up all over again.  What I have learned on this journey is that by holding on to things in and never addressing them it begins to create a hardened heart.  It begins to take away from who you were called to be.  You begin to become complacent and believe that this new journey is a part of you.  When in reality it is taking the life out of you.  You become hopeless in the process and start losing the fight.

Like the rest of the world we are all struggling with some type of brokenness, wound or challenges in our lives.  The suicide rate continues to  escalate or people begin turning to things that they believe can numb or fix the pain.  Then to circle right back around and stay stuck in the same place we  started.

I want to advice you to change your thinking and change the lane your on and head towards the path of bettering yourself.  Remember we are all a work in progress.  Learn to deal with stuff along the way or kill the pride and ask someone to walk alongside this journey so your not going at it alone!  Two are better than one!

Take time today to deal with one thing that you can change and have control over versus the opposite of that.  Your worth it!

Carrier’s of Hope

Sandy Cortes

Breathing Hope One Life at a Time!

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What is your verdict?

Today I was convicted in how many times in my own life I have judged, condemned or looked down upon others. Whether they have done something that was not according to my standards. I have been quick to express my opinion, even when the person has not asked for it. Or I have turned my nose up at people. I know I’m not the only one in the world to do this, but the conviction I feel is real.

As I was sitting in class and was reading about different cultures. The chapter discussed about having self awareness when working with people and their culture. As a counselor I have to flow and know my audience and become familiar with their culture. By being open and understanding certain decisions and why they choose certain beliefs, lifestyles within their culture.

The more I read the more I was I raising my nose up as if I was better. I actually said, “Those people need to straighten up and that just won’t work for me”.

I had to quickly tell myself “Get over yourself”. In order for me to be an effective counselor, leader and friend, I have to be able to accept others no matter what”. By putting aside my own opinions, beliefs and not being bias. Or act as if I’m better than whoever.

A perfect example that comes to mind is with my Hispanic culture. Hispanics are known to be late. I’m not saying all hispanics so please hear me I’m saying in the Puerto Rican culture or community. Perpetual lateness has always been acceptable and this is one of pet peeve.

At that moment is when I realized, “What are you talking about sister? “You use to be late all the time and many times have been in a crisis situation that you couldn’t control not being late. I have also made poor choices throughout life that weren’t the best. I quickly said, “Sandy, get over yourself”. Just like that I had to shut down every time she tries to speak foolishness!

I was totally convicted by a book that I am reading called “What if we start over”, by Ricardo & Susana Rodriguez.

Here is what it said,”Keep in mind that by the way you respond to someone’s else sin you can either spark the process of restoration in their lives or create further pain and worsen the wound. Our words and attitudes are decisive. The worst mistake is to judge

My prayer today would be that we are quick to not judge or condemn. That when we do that we are quick to repent and ask the Lord to forgive us.

Jesus laid on the cross and indicated, “Forgive them for they know not what they are doing”. This is the same response we should have with others that we may not approve their lifestyle or decisions.

Let’s mimic Christ in this and ask the Lord to lead us to those who need that unconditional love and compassion as Christ has with us..

Carriers of Hope,

Sandy Cortes

Breathing one Life at a Time!

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Did you sign a verbal agreement on that?

contractsignedAs I was working with a client on her belief system. I had her identify what some of her beliefs were.  As we were working through some of the lies, we ran across one that indicated, “I’m not smart enough”.  So, I probed a little and asked where did this stem from?  She indicated to me, “I do not really know, but I do recall when I was a little girl I was always taken out of class and had to review certain concepts in another classroom by myself”. She had a slow learning disability and because of this memory she developed the lie, “She was not smart enough”. 

I recall a situation in my own life that I could identify the same lie.  I believed the lie because my stepfather would always tell me, “You’re not smart enough and won’t amount to anything.”  So, with this being my step father telling me, that knows me, then he is correct in what he is saying.  It was not until I decided to go back to school to get my undergraduate degree that I realized that this was not correct. I had to request my transcripts from my High school and a previous college I had prior gone to.  Once I received the transcripts, I was amazed at the grades that were on them.  I had called the school and asked them, “Are you sure this is correct, and are you sure there is not another Sandy Pagan out there?  The grades were all “A’s”.  

Our beliefs create patterns in our lives that can paralyze us. Our perception becomes our reality, our life experiences shape us in the good and in the bad.  Without even recognizing it we do not even realize why we’re acting a certain way.  Or why we continue to do the same things over and over again.  This is based out of our belief system. It is like we have signed a verbal agreement and are bound to it. 

Signed and said, “Yes, this is correct information about me.  By signing this agreement, it becomes a legal document in our minds that we feel bound to what it says.  I cannot tell you how many lies go through my mind on a daily basis.  It feels like torpedo’s being launched waiting to see which one will land and explode.  It can become exhausting trying to combat those lies.  Especially if you do not have truths to combat them with.  So the key is identifying the lies and combatting them with truth.  

So I want to ask you, “Are you living out what was spoken over you?” Have you signed the verbal agreement that makes it an official document that you’re bound to today?

Life Application

  • What is a lie that you have been challenged by and want to work on?
  • Create a truth statement and agree on that!

I want to hear from you, tell me what is a lie that you have been challenged by and want to work on?

And, YOU shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free! (John 8:32).

Carrier’s of Hope

Sandy Cortes

Breathing Hope One Life at a Time.

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INGREDIENTS

Have you ever marinated meat that required different types of ingredients? Maybe some of the ingredients you never heard of or have never tasted before.

This is how things can be for us in our lives. There is a time for marinating that has to take place. In order to help us grow and mature in certain areas. Yet fear of all those ingredients being thrown at us can be scary. Not knowing how it will all turn out.

Have you been that individual that has had ingredients thrown at you that has made you push forward or stayed stuck in 2018?

For 2019, I want to give you a word of encouragement.

I’m not sure what your gone through but I know one thing.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28).

Whatever ingredients that have been thrown at you this past year know it’s all going to work together for the good. Its marinating you for something great!!

WHY?

•YOU have a purpose!

•YOU have been CALLED!

•All of life’s ingredients that have been thrown at YOU, has been all part of the plan!

•YOU have a story to tell.

Sometimes we have to stare adversity in the face and tell it “This isn’t going to break me down, but will me stronger!”

Life Application

•What’s going to be your declaration statement for 2019?

•MARINATE IN THAT!

Carrier’s of Hope

Sandy Cortes

Breathing Hope One Life at A Time!

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STORY

What is YOUR story?

Have you ever spoken about it?

Have people heard of it?

Do you have it written down?

When was the last time you reviewed it?

Share your story, it was not meant for you to only go through it and be kept silent!

It was meant to bring encouragement and healing to others. To awaken those dead areas of hopelessness and birth hope in others.

Not sure where to begin?

Begin by journaling so that you can see how God has worked throughout the course of your life! Then share it, even if it’s to one person.

Sandy Cortes

Carriers of Hope

Breathing Hope One Life at a Time!

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Im starting with the “Man in the Mirror “

beautiful-black-blur-987627I like shopping for clothes especially when I see them on the mannequin and think, “That outfit is super cute”. So I try on the outfit and say to myself, “Girl, you look good”.  I walked right out the store with the entire outfit. I got home and put the outfit away for a special date.  When I find a nice outfit everything has to match from the makeup, down to the jewelry.  The special day came and I worked extra hard to do my makeup, hair and had jewelry set out.  So I pulled out my special outfit.

I looked at myself in the mirror and I was ready to take myself on a date. I started to put things away that I had used to get ready.  As I was coming out of my room I looked at in the mirror again.  Once I got into my car, I pulled the visor down to look at myself.  Then as I was arriving at my destination I decided to look at myself once more.  I am not sure why we do this but I want you to picture yourself standing in the mirror and turning to one side and then the other. Then walk away and come back and do the same thing again.

It sounds so crazy right, but it is something we do.  I noticed my dog has looked at himself in the mirror as well, its hilarious to watch because he startles himself and then barks.   Looking in the mirror is like verifying that we still look the same from the last time we looked.  There are many times we look in the mirror and are not happy with what we see.  We can easily even have people be our mirror and allow them to dictate who we are.

Have you ever looked in the mirror and were not happy with that you saw?  I know many times I have looked in the mirror and did not want to go back to be reminded of what I previously saw.  This reminds me of that song by Michael Jackson, “Man in the Mirror”.  This song is basically about looking at yourself and making a change.

The key line that stands out to me is “I’m starting with the man in the mirror and I’m asking him to change his ways, And no message could have been any clearer” If you want to make the world a better place.  You better take a look at yourself, and then make a change”.  Well what if we don’t know how to make that change?  Acknowledging that we need change in our lives but then what happens.  We have to work towards brining that change.

The word of God tells us of who we are versus having to go back to the mirror to remind us or dictate who we are.  By applying scripture, we have to retain and act on what we see and the mirror is not the source we should be using as our guide.  By reading his word it reads our lives and helps bring healing to our mind, body and soul.

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror” and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it–not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it–they will be blessed in what they do (James 1:22-25).

Life Application 

  • Are you looking in the mirror?
  • What is it telling you?
  • Are you going back for it to remind you of who you are?
  • Are you ready to make a change?

I’m starting with the Man in the Mirror on this end. By allowing the word of God to become illuminated in my life and letting it dictate who I am. His word doesn’t come back void. and it will bring that change.

Sandy Cortes, Carrier’s of Hope

Breathing Hope One Life at a Time!
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Where did that come from?

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One of the greatest opportunities I have is to coach people and get to know their story. I am all about getting into their world. I love getting to the root of things. Discovering the whys and hows.  In trying to figure why someone is acting out or are constantly in that situation.  When I see clients, some need someone listening or need help with their challenges. The greatest part of the job is figuring out how I can help an individual move forward and identify certain things. Everyone comes in with an area of their lives that they are not aware of.

I look for those blind spots. Which tends to be an area where it is impacting them in a negative way and that they cannot see. Similar to when you’re driving and do not see the other car as you were attempting to cross over into the other lane.  The blinds spots that are ignored can be dangerous in life. Some can be things that an individual does by hurting others and themselves. Knowing full well what they are doing or go unnoticed. Whatever that is it can cause a great deal of pain and dysfunction.  These blinds spots can hinder seeing things accurately and misjudge things.

As I work with clients I love when I see the light bulb go off. So many different emotions of either joy or hurt come.  It is such a beautiful thing to see that unfold. They begin to realize some patterns in their character. Some wonder, “How have I missed this for so long?”  As I was coaching the client with her belief system and helping identify some of the lies.  Gradually moving along into helping build some truth statements.  The lie I was working on was, “I have to put up walls because people will always hurt me”.  That client I mentioned was “me”.

A lot of the times I am the client and God is the coach.  Being bullied throughout life I had a problem trusting.  I was guarded and anytime anyone wanted to be my friend it was a bit foreign to me. As I began to allow people in my world they would leave.  I am not sure if the pain of someone walking out of my life out did being bullied.  I always kept people at arm’s length setting an imaginary line that if people got too close they were not allowed to cross.

That was a blind spot in my life and I never knew it was there.  I began to realize that I had built walls.  I truly believed that by having walls up it was a healthy way of protecting myself.  It was so hard to bring those walls down and allow people into my life.  I was doing it afraid, but I was doing it.  The light bulb went off and I began to see the blind spot in my life.  God began to heal those broken pieces inside of me and has been faithful in his approach.

He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them (John 12:40).

Life Application

  • So, what are your blind spots?
  • Do you have someone who is helping you along this journey?
  • Have things happen in life as you were crossing over you didn’t see the blind spot and were side swiped?

 

Sandy Cortes, Carrier’s of Hope

Breathing Hope One Life at a Time.