Adversity

Bullying is WRONG on Every Level

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A new music video by the amazing group BYU Vocal Point released on their YouTube channel on 2 May 2017, appropriately illustrates the effects that being bullied can have on an individual. The video is an excellent a cappella cover of “You Will Be Found” from the musical “Dear Evan Hansen.”

Often when the topic of bullying is discussed, it is about a student bullying another student or students on the school campus. However, that is not the only place that bullying occurs. It also occurs in the workplace, in the public square, oftentimes in secret, and sadly, it also occurs within the walls of churches. Regardless of where it occurs, the point is that it is wrong.

For What Are We Protesting?

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Trump Election Protestors

I am just going to put it out there, and people can like it, love it, or ignore it. They can like me, love me, or hate me for saying what I am about to say. But, here it is!

I am so fed up with all the nonsensical rhetoric, temper tantrums, whining and crying that is going on because the candidate that some people had hoped to be our President is not the one who now sits in the Oval Office. I cannot wrap my mind around and even pretend to understand what people hope to or think that they will carry out by all of their protesting and messages of hate that they are posting throughout social media channels, in particular, Facebook. The bottom line is that they are solving, and will solve absolutely nothing by their behaviors. Whether people like it or not, Donald John Trump is now the 45th President of the United States.

Yes, we are supposed to be the United States of America, but instead, we are acting more like the “Divided States” of America. Never in my young 58 years, after living under the direction of 11 Presidents, starting with Dwight David Eisenhower, have I ever witnessed such turmoil, mud-slinging, and undeniable hatred, as I have seen with this entire election process. When Barrack Obama was elected President (twice) people did not respond in such fashion, so why now?

Honestly, I know kindergarten children who act more mature than some people are behaving at this moment. Some people need to grow up and act their age and not their shoe size. Some people need to stop and think about the message that they are sending to the young generation now and the generations to follow. When the current “video” is played back, the message that will be conveyed is that if we are angry or disagree with an issue, the best way to resolve our grievances is through boycotting, protesting, and outward displays of hatred.

I want to set the record straight that I did note vote for Donald J. Trump for President. Nevertheless, as a citizen of the United States of America, I will support him as the President and Commander in Chief. Barrack Obama was given a chance to prove himself, and I believe that the very least that we can do is settle down and show President Trump the same amount of respect and give him an opportunity to prove himself. Hoping and wishing that he will fail is a ridiculous way of thinking.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are all in this together. Continuing to fight against one another will solve nothing. Continuing to spew out obscenities and hatred toward a person who you may not particularly like or agree with will solve nothing. We need to work together and resolve our differences peaceably. Remember that “Together We Stand, but Divided We Fall.” In my humble opinion, with some of the erratic behaviors that are taking place, we are showing the world that we are not as united as we once were and should be now. And believe you me, the world is watching!

All I am saying is give President Donald John Trump a fighting chance. Don’t be so hasty to write him off as a failure. Again, he was not my candidate of choice. Nevertheless, I will give him the respect that is due him as President of the United States, and I hope and pray that everyone else will do the same.

The Unstuck Record

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Depressed Woman

If I were to describe my life up until now, the two words that I would use are “stuck record.” You are probably asking yourself how a person’s life can be compared to a stuck record. I cannot speak for anyone else, but looking back on my life, there were several things that caused my “record” to become stuck.

As a child I lived in an extremely dysfunctional home environment filled with some very unhealthy and dangerous behaviors. Those behaviors eventually carried forward into my adult years. Knowing of no other solution to cope with the problems that I faced in life, I continued to exhibit the behaviors and practices that had become ingrained in me. Thus, I remained a victim of my circumstances, and because of my unhealthy practices and behaviors, I became addicted to drugs, found myself in environments and unhealthy relationships that were abusive, and I used sex as a tool to boost my self-esteem. I lived my life caught in a vicious spin cycle of repeating the same practices and behaviors over and over, perhaps expecting different results each time, but in reality, my life became nothing more than a cycle of insanity. It was obvious that living my life in that way was not serving me well, but alas, I was hopelessly stuck.

In order to get unstuck, I had to start taking complete responsibility for my actions, and realize that only I could pick up the needle off the “record” and substitute that worn out “record” with a different one. Not only did I need to change the stuck “record,” but I also realized that a change in the music choices that I had become accustomed to listening to was also in order.

You might ask, “Was it easy to get rid of my old music collection and start building a new one?” Absolutely not! However, if you want the “record” in your life to become unstuck, you might have to go through your collection and throw out some of the old music that you have listened to – some of the old behaviors and practices that have made your life toxic and miserable – and start building a brand new library of music that will help move your life forward. The heart of the matter is this, YOU are the one who must make the decision to quit being a stuck record!

Starting Over Again – A New Music Collection

Ways to Get Unstuck

Throughout my life, my behavioral patterns and attitude have been based on an unhealthy and poisonous music collection. The “music” that I was listening to created a realm of negativity in my life, and was literally destroying me.  I had sold my heart and soul to toxic “lyrics” that either my mind was filled with as a child, or that I had stored in my memory as the years passed. I discovered that I could not get a new “music collection” until I had completely removed the old negative and toxic lyrics that were playing over and over in my mind. I had to retire the old artists that were enabling unhealthy behaviors which caused me to devalue myself, as well as relationships with other people.

I will be the first to admit that it is not easy to deprogram myself from listening to old lyrics that have never helped me in my life. Albeit, in order for me to develop a “normal,” healthy life, I know that I need to get rid of the old records and CDs in my life, change my environment, and revolutionize my way of thinking about myself and others. In order for me to evolve into the woman who I am meant to be, I need to throw out the old music collection and start a new collection – new friends, thoughts, attitudes, gestures, and ideas – that will help me to develop a new character within myself. I have to start listening to new artists whose song lyrics will help me grow physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

There are three important keys to starting a new music collection – honesty, open-mindedness, and a willingness to do so. The million dollar question that begs an answer is, “How eager are you to start listening to new artists that have better ideas and words of wisdom to impart that you have not been able to obtain before?”

Karlyn Kay Stebbins
April 10, 2015

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

I have a double major in sociology and psychology and a minor in communications. I was before a licensed addictions counselor in a treatment center up until recently. Due to a drastic series of some life-changing events, I now live in Hawaii and I am going back to school for my master degree in sociology.

I am a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter day Saints and have been a member since 26 March 2011.

My interests are furthering my education and spending time with my partner and her friends and eventually becoming active in the LGBT Community here in Hawaii, and doing some addictions counseling work within that Community. I love to read, write, and hang out at the beach.

Start Being A Victor

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More Than Conquerors
I just read something that has a very profound meaning to me personally. What I read was, “Life becomes easier when you learn to accept the apology you never got.”

You may ask me, “Why is that such a profound statement?” and “How does it relate to the life experiences that you have had or are experiencing at this moment?” The answer is really quite simple. I am a victim of severe childhood sexual abuse which included being forced to watch satanic rituals performed by my father and his minions. I know that I will never get an apology from my father or any of his minions for the trauma that they have caused in my life. Nevertheless, I can choose to stop acting like a victim and eventually become a victor through my Heavenly Father by accepting the fact that no matter how gory the experiences might have been, He has a purpose and plan for my life. He is the One who can turn the gory experiences and the details of those experiences into something beautiful which will ultimately bring Him the glory.

I have found that it is no longer necessary for me to have to bear the burden of all the past experiences in my life, nor do I have to live with feelings of guilt, shame, and remorse. It is time for me to stop being the victim and to stop focusing on all of things that I missed out on because of being robbed of a “normal” life.

I need to abandon the old attitude that “the world owes me something,” because the truth of the matter is that no one owes me anything. However, I do owe it to my Heavenly Father to live my life as an example of what He can do in and through me. I know that He has a work for me to do, therefore I no longer have the time to act like a victim, nor do I have the time or energy to live my life in the shadows of others. I realize that now is the time for me to start being a victor and accepting myself for who I am in spite of my inadequacies and deficiencies, and come into being the Real Woman that my Heavenly Father wants for His glory and His victory.

It dawned on me that I am the master of my destiny and that life is exactly what I make it. I can make it tough on myself by continuing to not accept myself and my situation, or I can start owning up to my responsibility and being the Karlyn Kay Stebbins that my Heavenly Father expects of me. He has seen me through so much in my life and has delivered me. I now realize that I am more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus, and I CAN be a victor instead of a victim of earthly circumstances and Satan’s purposes.

Karlyn Kay Stebbins
8 April 2015

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

I have a double major in sociology and psychology and a minor in communications. I was before a licensed addictions counselor in a treatment center up until recently. Due to a drastic series of some life-changing events, I now live in Hawaii and I am going back to school for my master degree in sociology.

I am a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter day Saints and have been a member since 26 March 2011.

My interests are furthering my education and spending time with my partner and her friends and eventually becoming active in the LGBT Community here in Hawaii, and doing some addictions counseling work within that Community. I love to read, write, and hang out at the beach.

We Are Not Lone Soldiers

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Lone Soldier

Don’t ever think that you are a lone soldier on the battlefield in the midst of a war with the enemy encircling your camp, the ammunition supply almost depleted, and communications down. Soldiers are never sent into battle alone. They always have other soldiers in front of them, behind them, and fighting right beside them. Help is never far away.

Likewise, we may at times feel that we are all alone and that no one has ever experienced some of the same things that we have experienced or are experiencing in life, but rest assured that is not necessarily the case. No matter how rough and arduous our road may seem, it is a guarantee that there is someone, somewhere, whose road is a lot rougher and arduous to travel than our own.

We need not go through life thinking that we must fight the battle alone. God has promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us, thus we are never alone. In the heat of the battle, when it seems that all hope is gone, and there is no one whom we can call on for help, He is our very present help in time of trouble, and He will send His angels to protect us from the front, from the rear, and to walk right beside us. The communication lines between us and Him are always open. Let us always remember that the battle is not ours, but the Lord’s.