Michele Corgiat
marriage and family therapist
by Michele Corgiat on August 23rd, 2017

Remember when you saw one of your elementary school teachers at the grocery store and you were shocked to know that they didn't live at the school?  There is something disappointing about finding that your teacher is human, has a life and needs that don't revolve around you when you are 6 years old.  As you got older,however,  you may have had deeper disappointments that involved more heart ache.  Maybe it was by a teacher, a relative, a friend, a mentor or even a pastor! Unfortunately, disappointment seems to be a part of life.  We place these expectations on others to always do the right thing.  But indeed...they are human!  They easily fall off the pedestal  that we place them on and then we find ourselves surprised and hurting.  This is exactly where the disciples found themselves in Acts 1.  Jesus had just  ascended up to heaven and the disciples are left to figure out what to do next.  They go to prayer and then address the betrayal by their friend and fellow disciple, Judas.  Peter says , "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus - he was one of number and shared in this ministry."  Judas had shared in their ministry! He had walked along side them, eaten with them, witnessed miracles with them, and served the Messiah with them.   I can only imagine the grief and disappointment they felt regarding Judas.  Even though they are trying to look at it through their intellect, there hearts must have been hurting.  If you look further into this chapter, Peter continues to propose that they need to replace his place of leadership and start throwing out some names.  They again, take this decision process back to God because they know they can't make this choice without God's direction.   So how should we deal with the hurt and disappointment by others?  
  • Acknowledge your hurt.  Don't just try to move on like nothing has happened.  
  • Go to God for direction and to help your heal.  Ask him to help you cope with this hurt.
  • Pray for the person who has caused you hurt.  When we can find a place of empathy in our hearts for others, we often become less angry and realize they too are broken people.
  • Forgiveness.  Remember that forgiveness is not about making friends again, it's not about the other person, it's about you being able move forward. 
I'm not going to deny that disappointment in others stinks and it's not always so simple to move on from.  It is, however,  possible to find healing from those hurts, and sometimes even restore relationships and trust.  

by Michele Corgiat on August 21st, 2017

     Have you ever found yourself glancing at your reflection each time you pass by a mirror?  It seems almost like a natural reflex.  We don't believe ourselves to be prideful or vain, but we do stop to fix an out of place hair, or notice a blemish we didn't see before or may even scowl at the person looking back at us because she doesn't meet our expectations of what we think she should look like.  No matter the reason, however, we looked... It's seems so natural to catch a glimpse of our physical self.  Why does it become  so difficult  to look at our true self in the mirror?  The self that may have emotional wounds and scars.  The self that seems unbearably uncomfortable to focus on .  Is she not worthy of attending to?  Or are we afraid of the pain that this attention will cause?  
During my early 20's I worked briefly at a convalescent hospital.  It was big news when we had a new resident that came to us under the age of 45 years old.  She was admitted for wound care caused by a post surgery infection.  Part of this care was to leave the wound open but packed so that nurses could clean it out daily.  As I passed by her room one afternoon, she called me in to look.  It was seriously gross and caused me great discomfort to even view.  I couldn't imagine the discomfort she was enduring but quickly realized that this was the price she paid in order to find health.   We too, must endure the discomfort that self-reflection can cause in order to find emotional, relational and even spiritual health.  We too have to experience procedural "cleaning" in order to rid ourselves of the infections within our lives.  Whether it's negative or shame based thoughts, unhealthy habits, unforgiveness, or pridefulness, we are need of facing the infection  so that it does not destroy us.  
     


by Michele Corgiat on August 19th, 2017

I have a habit... as I know many do.  One of the first things I do in the morning is get out my electronic device and check my email, Facebook, news, etc.  I'm not even out of bed, but I am preparing for a stressful day because of what I am looking at online.   I am commonly met with news of  tragedy, violence, hurt, rhetoric, and frustration.  Although my body may still be waking up, my mind begins to race, and my emotions become ajar.  I feel anxious, angry, and downright emotional.  I then lie there and ask myself, "why did I do this to myself?"    The answer to that is actually pretty complicated.  

We live in a culture that loves to be afraid.  How many have paid your hard earned money to go to a scary movie?  A whole bunch of you did!  The horror film industry raked in $413 Million dollars in 2012!  We tell ghost stories as children at sleep overs.  As adults we are always planning for the worst case scenarios.  We live on fear.  We are being shown graphic issues by the media that brings the worlds ugly into our lives and our fearful natures feed on it.  Some become emotionally motivated to take a stand, while others want to go back under the sheets and hide.  For those who are taking a stand, they often mock and criticize those who don't. Social media has blown up in the past year over these issues.  Families not speaking to one another, friends have walked away from lifetime relationships. Life is hard enough without walking away from the people we love and love us because of politics, social views, or differences of opinions let alone fear.

So people....Let's get a handle on this!!!!  Let's walk a different path.

I choose to flee from the fear.  My emotions tell me I need to "fight or flight" when I'm fearful. Maybe I need to stop listening to the fear and start listening to the facts.  
  • Fact: Political Rhetoric has been happening for what seems like FOREVER.  Why are we really getting our panties in a bunch because our current President tweets?  Is it stupid?  YES.  But do I need to get emotional about it? NO.  Do we have a president that everybody likes?  NO.  Did everybody like the last president or  all of the presidents prior? NO.  Does somebody like him? YES.   Has he made some political moves that people don't like?  Yes.  Could he make any decision that will be healthy for our country?  Only time will tell.  There seems to be a whole lot of criticizing and finger pointing between parties but that too is not a new development in the political field (go see Hamilton).  So again, do I need to get fearful? NO.  I will not be unaware.  I will not be naive.  But I choose not to fear the unknown.  I choose to not attack others with different opinions than I. I choose to love my neighbor.  I choose to love my friends and family.  I choose to most importantly, love my God and follow his leadership. 
  • Fact: There are some crazy world leaders with nuclear capabilities.  There have been crazy leaders for at least the past 2000 years.  (Read about King Harod some time.  He was pretty crazy) There have been nuclear capabilities for the past 70 years.  I choose not to live in daily fear because should something happen, I DON'T HAVE CONTROL EITHER WAY!!!!!  Take it as it comes and have some faith.  I personally believe that should I die, I will be in far better place. Whether I die from old age, falling down some stair (totally possible for me), or from a nuclear or zombie apocalypse, my destination will be the same. I don't necessarily want to die in the next several days, but should I, I know it's part of God's bigger plan...and who am I to question God?
  • Fact: (this one may get me into trouble) Racial tensions, crimes, prejudice, and injustices are real but NOT by everyone.  We have been watching the emotional tensions build and explode.  I read and listen to people rant about the injustices and I know that for many, their experiences have been upsetting, unjust and sometimes tragic. Let's, however, not generalize to "all whites" , "all blacks" , "all hispanics", "all middle-easterners" or "all cops".  Let's stop the finger pointing and get to some core issues.  In social science, we look for trends and patterns in behavior, cultures, and social influences in order to attempt to predict behaviors. Research is showing us that a common thread to many of the issues that seem to be plaguing minorities is the disintegration of the family unit.  NOT AN EASY FIX!  But, if we can be targeting our energy and resources toward the problems instead of fighting and fearing the symptoms, maybe we will have more success in finding peace and strength within our country or at least, within our homes.
There are so many other issues to fear but I choose to look at the facts and not get wrapped up in the emotional draw of these situations.  Honestly, media likes to pull on your heart strings and emotions.  Be wise when listening to the news.  Remember, their ratings are based on you not turning the channel, so they will feed your fear as to hook you into their programming.  It's not personal, it's business.    

I invite you all to join me in making a few key choices.   Choose wisdom over the emotional tsunami's that come our way in today's world.    Choose faith,  choose hope,  and choose love.  

by Michele Corgiat on May 6th, 2016

Recently, a pastor at my church began his sermon by reading a passage from "The Secret".  A wildly popular book that came out within the past decade, in which readers were told that they were the center of the universe and the world could not exist without them.  It reads like a worship song, however it is not towards God, but towards the self.    Oprah Winfrey touted this book as a new philosophy of life, however, it is actually a really old thought.  A thought that originated in the beginning of time.  We each battle within ourselves the yearning to do "what's right for me".  We avoid things and feelings of discomfort, demand to be pleased by others, and struggle with  NOT being the center of the universe.  It is our sinful nature that we battle.  Eve was a great example in Genesis 3 when the serpent tempted her to eat from a forbidden tree.

“We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,[b] she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

We are not unlike Eve in our quest to have our desires met, have wisdom, and be worshiped by others.  We see...we like...we want....and we get, no matter the consequence.  Take a look at our credit card debts, sky rocketing mortgages, and demands we place on service providers we come into contact with.   Let's then consider the trend of the "Selfie" and the desire to go "viral" on social media.  We want to be followed by others only "because" of who we are.   

I know that this may stretch you a bit, but imagine with me, if you will, a life where we are not focused on what "I" can get for "myself" but what God desires for us in serving Him and in turn, having servant hearts towards others.   CRAZY!!!! Right????  And what would happen in our world if we all began to worship the true and living God instead of fame, riches and glory for ourselves.  It would be UNIMAGINABLE!!!!  The blessings that God would bestow on us would be indescribable.  BUT WAIT!!!!  This is not out of our reach!  It's not impossible but we have to make a choice.  Just like Eve had a choice, so do we!  

What do you choose?


by Michele Corgiat on November 18th, 2015

As you may remember, going back to your early Sunday School days, the children of Israel had been slaves to Egypt for approximately 400 years.  They lived a life of submission to the Egyptians, where the Israelites were used and abused and shackled by their keepers.  Upon being freed from slavery, you would think that they would have rejoiced and glorified God with every miracle he provided.  God’s chosen people would instead, accept God’s grace and provisions only to doubt Him when life became difficult, yearning to go back to the old life of shackles.  

Fast forward thousands of years.  We still struggle with these doubts and lack trust in God.  He delivers us, shows us his mighty power, provides for our every need and rescues us from slavery of sin.  How often do we choose to go back to the sin that shackles us? Why do we struggle?

Familiarity.  We are attracted the known versus the unknown.  Although our life without God is a mess, it is what too many of us often know as our normal.  The new path that God is leading can seem scary. But God has made you a new creation.  You are not who you used to be and have no business going back those old places. Let’s start by talking about the physical places that you go.  Does a recovering alcoholic have any business going to hang out in a bar? NO!!!  Then why do we go back to unhealthy people in our lives, places that foster a negative attitude  How about those emotional places we shackle ourselves to?   Whether pride or self doubt, control or shamefulness.  Those old places that feel too familiar are not where God desires for you to reside.  

Fear.  “You are asking me to do what?!?!?”,  can be our response to God’s calling on our life. The familiar has a comfortable draw but the comfort is short lived.  It doesn’t take long to remember why we fled from this life of slavery.

Life is hard.  We live in a broken world and we are broken people.  As much as we would like to pretend that we have it all together, on our own, we are lacking.  We instead try to ignore the difficulties and avoid our pain by shackling ourselves to an addiction, lifestyle choices, or unhealthy coping skills.  These are all shackles that envelop our lives and steal us from living a life of freedom in Christ.   

Stubbornness - In order for God to mold and make us into the individuals He wants us to be, we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable.  God may need to shave off a piece of you, mold another area of your life, and take off a few inches of “old man”.  In our pride, we often become resistant to his molding.  We believe that we can do it “our way” and that everything will work out just fine.  We are being self centered and stubborn. That rigid, dig in your heals attitude will end with shackles on your ankles and mired deep in the muck of sin.  

If after reading this, you are beginning to identify the shackles that are holding you down, the answer is Christ.  He holds the keys to your and my freedom and He desires for you to find victory in Him.  You may have to claim your victory daily, and the struggle of letting go may seem like a fight for your life...and it is...but it is sooooooooooooooooooo worth it!





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