The Devil is a Lie: The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing is My Thoughts

So in some of my posts you have read about me finding the courage to make a change of pace and place. You have read about my intentions to do something positive for myself and others. You have read about how I have been in a state of hope and happiness.

The months leading up to my trip to Spain, everything that happened I felt was because of God. No matter what got in the way, I NEVER doubted that He would come thru. While my visa was a long and annoying process, I never doubted that I would get it on time. While I had to accept the fact that I would be leaving my family and friends for a period of time, I never doubted that God would lead me to a “new” family (i.e. the people I would meet and have the opportunity of not only just knowing, but getting to know them truly).

When I made this decision to change. It was not for the sake of needing to get away for a little vacation. I established some life-changing goals that would expect hard work and diligence. With intentions to get a Master’s degree, learn new languages, experience different cultures, and hopefully one day be able to contribute to or establish my own non-profit organization…I knew that this change would be no easy triumph. I knew I would have to give all of myself.

So here is why the devil is a lie…

Week 1: After what it seemed like 24 hours of traveling. Once I touched down in Spain, my feet decided to swell up in a major way. This had never happened to me when I had traveled in the past so I didn’t even think to consider precautions when embarking on long trips. It took me about 5 days of swimming and icing my feet to get them back to a state of not being excessively swollen or in pain. But honestly, due to all of the walking that occurs here in Spain, I think they are in a constant state of the swells. But at least there is no pain. (1st week of no exciting activities during the weekend).

Week 2: I came down with a cold that I caught from one of the children who live with me. I got exactly what she did, including a fever. Fortunately, my will to get better sooner than I could get worse worked, and I was without a fever soon and able to get back to my everyday activities. (2nd week of no exciting activities during the weekend).

Week 3: Food poisoning and diarrhea!! Probably the worst because I also had a small scale fever. Going from hot to cold every couple of hours, and not being able to keep my bathroom visits limited. Then to top it all off, I was suffering from some womanly issues AND also pulled a muscle (I guess my body felt it needed to teach me a lesson for walking to much and not stretching beforehand) in my thigh which took 50 hours to heal.

And ever since, it has been an on-going thought of “am I getting sick” with constant episodes of getting that tickle in my throat when one of the kids cough or I forget to put on slippers when walking around the house.

So, on top of handling school (which is no breeze) AND handling a new job with a new boss (sometimes I am not even sure if they realized how difficult things were for me initially, with being sick, considering I always tried to push through and do the best I could, with no complaints) and their high (yet understandable) expectations and responsibilities that I had never been acquainted with…

As you would imagine, there were several moments through this all that I began to feel discouraged. I began to question my choices and the decision to take on such huge responsibilities. I began to doubt myself and my capabilities to accomplish so many things. I was feeling as though my ‘journey’ was all a mistake and I began to ponder other alternatives to relieving some of my stress and maintaining my sanity, even going as far to consider that I might be forced to quit my job or return home altogether.

Then I had to snap back to reality. Have you ever heard something similar to ‘when you are on a path to righteousness the devil will try to trick you up’. My mother would remind me of this often, especially throughout this period of my life. Especially before I began my journey. She told me that if things seemed to go wrong or take unexpected turns, don’t think that they too are signs from God that it is time to turn away and end your journey. She told me, when you are trying to do something great and beautiful, the devil will try to deceive you and make you think that you are not meant to do such things.

2 Corinthians 11:3 — But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

I made the decision right then and there to do my best to find balance in my life. Something that I promised I’d continue to do once I reached my foreign destination (but seemed to have been thrown off track from all the chaos that is ‘new transitioning’). Soon thereafter, I had a gym membership which offered a swimming pool, yoga, and massage therapy. I also went out and bought me some candles so I could do my own little personal yoga sessions from home to the sound of my favorite and inspirational tunes. And don’t forget not forgetting to take my daily vitamins, and drinking plenty of water and hot teas for antioxidants. I also promised myself that I would do my best to keep my business and personal lives as separate as possible.

Yes, a major part of this process was allowing for myself to fully be immersed in the culture, which meant becoming acquainted with families and residents in Spain (or wherever I traveled to), so that I could gain insight and understanding into their way of life. And thus, this made it a business situation as I was gaining knowledge and doing “research”. But I was also spending quality time with these adults and children, and sharing deep and sincere parts of myself as well. And I found that trying to balance the business and personal all at once was becoming stressful (on top of everything else I had on my plate), because when things weren’t always so easy, it was difficult for me to keep from taking things personally considering I had established such personal relationships with some of these individuals.

It is nothing wrong with finding a balance and keeping parts of yourself to yourself…making sure that certain days and times are specifically set aside for you and your spirit(ual growth). Not allowing business and pleasure to become one… a blur.

Don’t let the wolf (devil or devil’s advocate) in sheep’s clothing trick you up. That is his objective in life. To keep you from fulfilling something great and beautiful. To keep you from believing in yourself. To keep you from following your stars… the life and good deeds you were pre-determinedly meant to sow. It is crazy how quickly he creeps up on you and into your thoughts. The devil is a LIE. The more you realize and accept this, the easier it will be for you to push through the hard situations. When has the devil ever tried to trick you up. Do Tell Nicola….

The Maggot Dream: Thoughts that Overwhelm & Empower

Dreams… successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. Those that I either anticipate or fear are my involuntary dreams.

I have had dreams that I could not wait to revisit again, such as meeting that mysterious man, or woman (Heyyy, what can I say? That’s what dreams are for!…J/k), who made me feel important (seen), beautiful and wanted, and sometimes bring that “happy ending” (if you know what I mean), which had me awaken to the most pleasant and sensational feeling pulsating all over my body. Or the delectable spread of my favored nourishments that I always seemed to be torn from, just as I was about to take my first bite (i.e. I was awoken from my dream).

But I also had those dreams that frightened me right out of my deep sleep. There might be ones where someone was trying to kill me. And I can never forget the time, after I had decided to take this “journey” and change up my pace, where there were about 4-6 maggots crawling on the windowpane.

Dreaming of these little clear-ish, white caterpillars can be interpreted as one having incorrect feelings or emotions towards someone or something. And they can also be indicative of the fact that you need to confront the thoughts and rid yourself of guilt or regret. On a positive side, they can also show ones will power to get through any hard situations at any point in life. Dreaming of these revolting critters certainly shows one’s anxiety and fears that are tormenting them round the clock in their wake life.

After the maggot dream, I was initially worried when I awoke and immediately searched for answers about what these dreams could mean. And after I learned more, I was able to relate these distressing dreams to my conscious life. Instead of being fearful of the dreams, I allowed for them to empower me. I have always been “tough” and able to overcome the negative aspects and events that occurred in my life. Even while some events have been more difficult than others to overcome, I have never allowed for myself to give in to desolation. And though the decision to embark on this solo mission to self-discovery is the biggest and most terrifying choice I have ever made, I know I am capable. Perhaps those maggots (I know it’s disgusting) are exactly what I needed to see to remind me that the strength and courage has always been inside of me, even through my darkest hours.

I believe that our involuntary dreams open the possibilities to our capabilities to embrace our voluntary dreams, or the deep conditions or achievements that are longed for. Aspirations are those that may or may not be feasible or practical, but are thoughts that I take pleasure in fantasizing about throughout my waking days.

My involuntary dreams gave me the courage to encourage my voluntary dreams (i.e. daydreams) to live carelessly and audaciously. They have enabled me to think bigger than myself. Instead of meditating on and accepting that I was crazy or a seriously disturbed individual (because let’s be honest, we can all be a little crazy and disturbed at times. It’s what can contribute to us being colorful, mysterious and unique). I believe our dreams are our inner most deepest feelings and thoughts speaking to us as we sleep. While they can be deemed a state of abstraction or blurry trances, to me, they can sometimes be more easily decipherable than when attempting to weigh our options, consider a solution, and resolve a problem when in our conscious state (i.e. awake).

A Love Letter to My Thoughts: I’m thinking of you. Listening to you. At times I can’t completely understand you. But I know you are there. Waiting patiently, and reminiscing with me. Remembering those feelings of both gaiety and gloom. Believing in my ability to consciously exist with you, even when I may not always be aware that you are so discretely speaking to me. I appreciate you. You guide me accordingly. You console me unreservedly. You reveal things to me that I never thought possible. Sometimes I find myself blaming you for the disconcerting images and negativity that emerges within me. But it’s me, and my fears and insecurities that overwhelm you. And for this…I express my regrets to you. And I promise you that if a time comes where I may feel a lack of hope or an imminent despair. I will allow for you to do what you do best. Dream… With Devoted Love, Nicola

Have your dreams empowered you? Do Tell Nicola…