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Pac-Man and Faith

pac man

As long as we live in this world we will be faced with situations that can easily take us out of our peace.Many of these situations are due to the factor that we are reliving our past or frantic about the future and have skipped over the beautiful place called now. Now is filled with twists and turns, ups and downs, whirls and twirls, enough noise to make you believe that you are in the midst of an emotional tornado.

Thoughts twirling to and fro………

Storms may come on a daily basis and cause us to believe if this thing called faith is really worth it. Like why do I want to expend the energy of believing in something that  I can not see? This was how I used to feel with all of the things that took place in my life. When I left my academic position in Pittsburgh teaching Social Work, my family thought that I was crazy to leave that security for marriage and Ground Zero in Atlanta. I was not fully secure when I would speak to them about my decision and as a result, the mental and emotional tornado would wreak havoc on my life. Shortly after I would have the conversation with my family, my loving fiancee’would get a tongue thrashing filled with doubt and disbelief.

“Why am I doing this?”,  I would ask this question about twenty times. It felt like I was in the middle of a maze or labyrinth with no chance for escape.

Thoughts are persistent like our prayers, doubt is consistent like God’s promises yet we must make a choice to face the uncomfortable, live in the now, love ourselves, stop seeking approval,  and accept that our path is unique and God made. Could it be that you have reached the expiration of your dreams and it is time to come aboard and commit yourself to following what God has put in your heart to do? Is it time to separate from that leaching crowd that is sucking all of the entrepreneurial innovation our of you? Only you would know the answer to that.

The other day I chose to journal and while doing so, I began to think about the game Pac-Man and how I would play it to relieve stress. The game is much like real life where we encounter things that cause us to feel as though we are being chased with no options for rescue, still in the moments of pursuit, we find strength to conquer the ghosts, demons, troubles, and issues of our past and present.

The thing that I realize about this game was that Pac-Man was designed to have no ending – as long as at least one life was left. Such a profound statement and even more revelation. Trouble is not designed to end but we are designed to realize that we have one life and must make it count.  Then it clicked, just as the bible tells us, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” That time may not be today or tomorrow, but if we continue to believe in the love God has for us and the promises, we can learn to rest in what he says he will do for us and that is to bless and keep us.

There is no end to trouble but we have been given resources to assist us in dealing with the trouble we face.  It’s important to get clear that we are not to absorb time to seeking the approval of others because that can lend us to unnecessary emotional pain that we are trying to clarify within ourselves.

Two pain free ways that you can rid your life of the trail of emotions that comes with trials is journaling and Pac-Man. Journaling is a great way to get it out and free yourself so that you can move forward knowing that although the challenges are coming, you can break away and release. For me, my second break away was Pac-Man…..it was where I learned how to practice faith in the midst of distractions. Focus in the lifeline (fruit) and keep it moving.

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Book #6  is on the way stay tuned!

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How Young Adults Face Grief After School Shootings- Danita Ogandaga, GriefTalk

Just as Marysville- Pilchuck High School was preparing to begin the implementation of the share of their recently awarded $10 million grant  to address emotional behavior among high school students, on Friday, October 24, a popular freshman entered the school opening fire on the students and before killing himself, injured 4 and killed 1. Today, it was reported that one of the injured, 14-year old Gia Soriano died of gunshot wounds.

While the police are working through the investigation and policymakers are working to understand the policies associated with gun control and school administration, it must be understood that there are students, teacher, families, and friends who were left devastated by the tragedy that struck their school on Friday.

Senseless tragedies often delay grief and give way to grief. Parents and friends can not begin to process the perspective that the person that they love are gone. Rather, the focus shifts to the why in hopes of trying to understand and process the why. Knees shaking and trembling voices leave no comfort to this community who in many ways are doorsteps from the tragedies that struck this state months ago during the Oso landslide that killed 43 people in early March.

What can you make of sending your child to school with the thought that their lives may be in danger not from outside of the school walls but within and at the hands of their elected and most popular student or a son or daughter of an employee who was acting out a temper tantrum that turned deadly. It makes no sense. Grant dollars are helpful to prevent, but the seed of senseless crimes are sown privately into children on a daily basis creating rage and uncontrollable anger.

Making sense of the senselessness makes my head hurt because with all of the methods of human behavior, it is often hard to predict what causes someone to snap and take other lives with them. The holiday season have begun, and like the parents  who lost twenty children  and 6 adults on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, facing the devastating and painful milestone of holiday grief with Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, the wounds reopen.

Community trauma affects individuals differently and must be monitored to ensure that the well-being of everyone is respected. Giving people a pill and the 5 stages of grief  no longer suffices the pain because denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance do not function in a straight line.

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Grief is violent, exhausting, liberating, and above all necessary. Attempting to grieve the loss often gets cluttered with ensuring that justice is served for the life that was taken. Once can completely overthrow the other and can often result in unresolved grief.

Children may not understand that death is not reversible. You can not promise to got to bed and have your friends, family, or parent re-appear in the morning. Young adults may grapple with the factor of “Why them and not me?”

My prayers are that in the days ahead, the community will be comforted including the family of the young man who took and wounded so many lives on last Friday. That they will find peace and the courage to grieve in the days ahead.

Couple of things: GriefTalk offers specialized individual and group coaching. Complete this form for a free consultation with me .

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Satan’s greatest tactic against women is their identity. Dealing with the elephants in the room, acknowledging toxic relationships, and de-centralizing people, places, and things from our center are keys to having a resilient, ready to change life! 

Danita Ogandaga, MSW 

 

 

 

 

Take A Glimpse Inside The Book: 4 Important Tips You’ll Learn

  1. Denial is not a great strategy to develop in life. Unfortunately, most have settled for this sedation. Emotional resilience and faith in God guide you through life’s difficult truths.
  2. Create a life right where you are after you clean you closet! My favorite strategist, Seth Godin said it best, ” Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from!”
  3. Telling the “lizard brain” to shut up builds focus. All of us are born with the capacity to get it done. God reminds us that His strength is so perfect when we’re weak; yet we keep going. Making a decision to keep moving in the face of adversity and learning  how to choose your battles is key to your victory!
  4. Prescriptions can’t fix it all. Drowning our virtue in food, pills, shopping, sex, and swinging never made the case. Victor Hugo crushed it when he exclaimed, ” Virtue wears a veil, vices wear a mask!”

Order today here and access your free gift (an audio teaching of the book!)