Do you want to know how in the world you are going to survive this crazy, no-one gets it life of a prison wife? I’m proof it can be done, but… How about thriving instead of just surviving!?
Becoming your best you and developing great character traits, that is the core of what determines how you will weather this season in your life. Are you ready to thrive!?
I have been through years of counseling and have learned some very valuable lessons. One is that there is a natural flow to how things work, and your character development is no different. You may think that your character is set in stone now that you are an adult, that there is no teaching old dogs new tricks.
In my experience, however, you can absolutely retrain yourself ( or allow yourself to be retrained) and redirect your entire life! It starts with the things you tell yourself are true. Taking the time you have now, time that you are suddenly alone again, to improve yourself can only make his homecoming, and how you both do this time, an amazing thing. While it is not your fault that your spouse chose the things they did, that doesn’t mean you don’t have improvements to make that can be beneficial to the both of you through this trying time. Remember you can’t change him, but you can change your own responses and actions. Those changes can have a positive effect on him! ( Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives 1 Pet 3:1)
The flowchart for character looks like this…
Thoughts lead to feelings, Feelings become actions, Actions become habits, which become your character, your true heart beliefs. While you can’t control what thoughts cross your mind, you can decide how much control and weight you will give them by “taking every thought captive” (2 Cor. 10:5
). When we begin here, we can transform the lies that our thoughts and feelings can tell us into the truths God says about us and the world. When we believe rightly, we are better able to act rightly and therefore show ourselves righteous through Christ. When we are more able to see the fruits of Christ’s work in us, we are more confident in ourselves and the purposes God has for us.
Our experiences are shaped by our thinking. Even obstacles and conflict
have a value when we can see it. We develop convictions that will help us to feel happier and achieve more, regardless of the situation.
Consider these empowering beliefs that you can start using today to transform your life, even as a prison wife, through shifting your thinking.
I understand my potential
. You can achieve amazing results when you put your mind to it and remember God created you with a purpose.
Feel excited about reaching your true potential.
I count my blessings
. List each thing that you have to be grateful for. Remember to include the smaller items, like warm socks or tart cranberries. Remember to find joy in your circumstance, it’s always there somewhere! Expressing your appreciation reminds you of just how rich you really are. (Ps. 128:1-3
I learn from mistakes
. You can make setbacks work for you by focusing on the lessons that they contain. Flubbing one job interview can teach you how to ace the next one. (Luke 15:10
No one is perfect and “We are more what we do with our mistakes than the mistake itself
” –Jodi Utter
I find meaning in adversity
. Trials can be the most rewarding phase of your life. Know that you can emerge from any challenge with greater wisdom, faith and courage. Look back at the obstacles you’ve already overcome, and reassure yourself that you can handle what’s ahead. (James 1:2-4
I embrace change. Accept that life is a series of changes. Be rigid and you will break, be flexible and you thrive. Focus on the present moment, and prepare yourself to adapt to whatever circumstances come your way. Even if (or perhaps, especially if) you are like me and blossom in structure,
this is essential!
I dream big. Expand your wish list. Setting demanding but attainable goals helps you fulfill your purpose and therefore be more fulfilled yourself.
I practice forgiveness
. Lighten your load by clearing away any resentment you’re holding onto from the past. Set reasonable boundaries while you respond with compassion when others disappoint you. Pardon yourself too. (Mark 11:24-26
I give generously
. Sharing your blessings makes you more powerful and joyful.
“Generosity isn’t an act(ion) it’s a way of life
” –Chip Ingram.
It has more to do with your heart than your wallet. Volunteer in your community and speak kindly to each person you meet today. Buy coffee for your co-workers or give your receptionist a flower.
I take responsibility
. You are in charge of your life. Hold yourself accountable for the outcomes you create. Celebrate the fact that you have the power to determine your own future. (Ez. 18:30
I apply effort
. Figure out what “winning” means to you so you know what is worth working for. Give yourself credit when you’re making progress rather than comparing yourself to others. (1 Cor. 9:24
I leverage my strengths
. You have been given your own individual strengths and talents that you can draw on. Figure out what you’re good at and what you are called to do. Let that knowledge guide your choices. (Mat. 25:14-30
I listen to feedback
. Ask for feedback so you can enhance your performance and show others that you respect their point of view. You grow faster when you gather solid input that you can translate into action. (Prov. 11:14
I ask for help
. Expand your capabilities by building a sturdy support network. We are created for community living, needing help doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human. (Gen. 2:18
Even from the beginning of time, we were not made to do life alone!
I connect with others
. Moral support counts too. Surround yourself with loving and encouraging family and friends. Participate actively in your faith community. Join a club with members who share your interest in solar power or crocheting. (1 Sam. 20:42
I recognize opportunities. Stay alert for promising openings. You might meet a new friend while you’re standing in line to buy your morning coffee.
I try new things
. Be open to going outside your comfort zone. Go kayaking one weekend instead of playing tennis. Bake your own bread or knit a scarf. You may discover hidden talents. (2 Tim. 1:7
A right perspective of self and a positive attitude increases your happiness and productivity. Question your old assumptions so you can replace them with a new sense of certainty about yourself and your future. Adopt empowering beliefs that build up your confidence and prepare you for greater success.
Start today. You’ll be glad you did!