• Steps to Joy

    Email Sequence

  • The picture window of our lives

  • The rocky past

  • The 5 core human emotions

  • The (secret) sixth emotion

  • Dear |FNAME|,

    Thank you so much for trusting me with your concerns. I want to clear something up right now – there is nothing selfish about taking some time to focus on your own hurts. I believe that God created us to want to be whole, so just know that you are worth it. To us, and even more so, to God.

    Although I cannot sit down with you, I want to PRETEND you are right across from me.

    I pick up my small white board and draw a simple picture for you.

    I draw a big rectangle – a window.

    Let’s be a little cheesy and call it “the picture window of our lives”.

    Next, I draw a little stick figure person, looking out the window.

    That person represents all of us: me, you, and everyone we’ve ever met. It represents us as humans when we are born into this world. We are just looking out of that window with a smile. We smile because we look out innocently and see a perfect world. We look and those who we have met so far seem perfect too. They are just as they should be.

    Everything is exactly as it should be. Why? Because we know no different.

    But then at some point in our lives, something happens.

    Someone or something comes along and throws a rock at our window.

    To illustrate this, I draw a big non-descript stick person outside, throwing a rock at the window. I draw little cracks in the window from the point of impact.

    Suddenly the perfect window is cracked. The world looks distorted and unclear through the damaged glass.

    I believe everyone has experienced some kind of “rock” hitting their life window at some time or another.

    Everybody has a story.

    The “rock” might be the first time you heard hurtful words about yourself. It could be a parents’ divorce. Maybe some kind of abuse. It could be poverty or sickness or a natural disaster. Big or small, we remember the first rock that hits our life window. Some people have very few rocks that hit their window, some have many rocks of all sizes.

    We all know what happens when a rock hits a window. Even if it only makes a small hole, the cracks begin to spider web across the glass. The window begins to fracture. When our life window begins to fracture, our view of life gets distorted. Things that once seemed big now seem small and vice versa. Because our perception changes we begin to believe things about ourselves, others, God and life that aren’t accurate.

    Our thinking becomes skewed. |FNAME|, let me tell you something very important – we behave what we believe. So if our thinking is skewed in some area, it matters. It matters a lot.

    I think that has happened to you |FNAME|. It has happened to us all in some form or another. Your life window has some cracks. I know some rocks have been thrown at your window. I know they have affected you and you have been hurt.

    That’s all for today. Tomorrow, I’m going to tell you more about these rocks. Between now and then, take some time to think about the rocks that have hit your window.

    Want to share your thoughts? Just hit reply. I read every email I get and I’m happy to hear your stories and help as much as I can.

    In His Care,
    Darla France
    Director of Counseling and Teaching Services
    www.lifetouchmin.org

    P.S. I know we just met, but if you’re really hurting right now, I encourage you to take that first step and give us a call: (574) 269-7990 We would love to be there for you and just listen.

  • Dear |FNAME|,

    It is no small thing to be vulnerable with your feelings and life experiences. You have chosen a safe place to do this.

    Let’s get to work! Yesterday we talked about how we’re born with a perfect window, but it eventually gets cracked and damaged by a “rock”, and our thinking gets skewed because our vision is distorted.

    Did you get a chance to think back over your life, and maybe your own rocks?

    Many people look to their immediate environment. Maybe for you it’s the “empty nest”, a time of loneliness and change. Even though our children may not have the intention of hurting us, that feeling of loss as they leave home to live independently can be very hard. I’m also a mom who has experienced that empty nest feeling and it is a lonely time.

    Maybe your marriage has become cold and distant, even if you can’t think of any actual “thing” your spouse has done to throw a big rock at your window.

    That’s okay. It is still significant and it is still a rock. Although your spouse’s intention may not have been to grow apart, that space between you is still sending a message to you about yourself. He or she may not be aware of how powerful that message is, and unknown to you, there might be messages you are sending as well.

    But let’s go back a bit further than the present. Can you explore rocks that hit your window when you were a child?

    Those rocks may have come from parents or caregivers. They may have come from other children if you were teased. Sometimes they come because there is emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Let me ask you some questions that will be more practical and help you pin this down for yourself.

    1.) What messages did you receive about yourself as a child/teen when you were growing up?

    Messages can be said out loud like, “I think you’re stupid!” Sometimes they are non-verbal and given because someone ignores us or treats us differently than others.

    These sorts of messages (about ourselves) affect our self-image. In other words, “Who do you think you are?” as a result of those messages?

    2.) What messages did you receive about the opposite sex?

    Did people tell you or model something for you that gave you a belief about what to expect from men?

    3.) What messages did you receive about God?

    Some people say that God was never mentioned in their home. They believe that means that no message was given. But the adverse is true. No mention of God sends the message that He is not important or that He can be ignored.

    Those are pretty deep questions and I encourage you to do some thinking and write down your thoughts on paper. If you feel like you can, talk to your spouse or a close friend. If you’d like to share, I’d love to hear what you have to say - just hit reply.

    I will be praying for you |FNAME|. You are on a life-changing adventure and it will bring good to you if you persist. I hope you will still include me in your search!

    In His Care,
    Darla France
    Director of Counseling and Teaching Services
    www.lifetouchmin.org

    P.S. If you start to feel a little overwhelmed as you think through these three questions, know that it’s okay. Tomorrow I’m going to send you some information to help you understand the emotions you might be stirring up.

  • Dear |FNAME|,

    In my last email, I invited you to think about these three questions:
    1) What messages did you receive about yourself as a child when you were growing up?
    2) What messages did you receive about the opposite sex?
    3) What messages did you receive about God?

    I hope you took some time to explore those questions alone or to discuss them with a trusted friend.

    Working through these questions might have uncovered a lot of feelings that seem a bit overwhelming. If so, I want to address that today and assure you that this process is not a sprint. It is a marathon. You have all the time you need to learn and come to an understanding of truth. Remember that you are not alone. God is right there with you and He wants you to talk to Him about it all. You are right where you are supposed to be |FNAME|.

    I believe that no matter what culture or financial situation or intelligence, etc…every person experiences 5 major emotions. They’re not complex, so please just allow them to be simple.

    Here they are:
    ▪ Sadness
    ▪ Shame
    ▪ Anger
    ▪ Fear
    ▪ Happiness

    Think of 5 buckets, each labeled with one of those emotions.

    Some of your buckets might be full of those emotions. Others might only have a little bit in it.

    Many times when we feel overwhelmed with our emotions, it is hard to know which two or more of the emotions we feel. We often have the notion that we can only feel one at a time! Dividing them helps us understand that they are separate in nature and we can understand them better and deal with them better if we assign things to those emotions.

    Do you think you might begin to do that?

    Here’s what I suggest: when something happens, or you think of something from the past that makes you angry, write it down and put it in an angry bucket.

    I’m serious. Take a little strip of paper and write down the thing that makes you angry. Then put it in the angry “bucket”.

    Maybe your “bucket” is just a paper bag or in a file. We actually give people real buckets to put strips of paper inside when they come to us. It is THAT important.

    I know it might sound silly, but doing it will help you to:
    a) Understand and categorize your emotions (by knowing where to put them)
    b) Understand the source of these emotions (by identifying the thing that triggers them)

    It won’t keep you from having these emotions, but that’s okay. The point of this exercise is to understand the 5 core emotions we all feel.

    When feelings are all jumbled together, it is very hard to deal with them. Often we give up. Please don’t give up. You have come so far and I know God is helping you.

    So, give it a shot. Try assigning what you feel to one of these emotions. There are no rules about this so you can’t mess it up.

    In His Care,
    Darla France
    Director of Counseling and Teaching Services
    www.lifetouchmin.org

    P.S. Oh…one last thing. I sorta lied when I said there were only five emotions. Not really a lie, I just wanted to save the best for last :)

    There’s a sixth emotion, and a sixth bucket. I’ll save that for next time. You are a delight to God |FNAME|. You have become one to me as well.

    Until next time!

  • Hello |FNAME|!

    How are you doing with your five buckets?

    Remember I stated in the last email that there was a sixth bucket?

    It is called JOY.

    Joy and happiness are definitely not the same thing.

    Happiness is so different from joy.

    Happiness has a ceiling. That ceiling is based on what happens to us. Just like other things offered by humans like hope and love.

    Joy has no ceiling |FNAME|. It is not just an experience but an inner knowing that God is in control of all things. He is taking care of us through all the heartaches that this world dishes out.

    Joy is based on that deep knowing that God is going to provide for me no matter what happens. It’s an inner peace that results in believing He is in control. That doesn’t mean we never feel sad or afraid or any of the emotions I wrote to you about earlier. It just means that His Divine peace co-exists with those emotions. Sometimes His peace is so great that it even overrides those emotions. The more we trust Him, the more peace we have.

    I have suggested in prior emails that we sometimes believe “lies” about ourselves, God or others and other things in our lives. We know they are lies because they don’t align with God’s Word, the Bible. Where do those lies come from?

    I believe we pick them up as we grow up and experience life with people. We experience certain treatment from others or hear the things they say or do and we believe that it defines who we are.

    Remember that.
    Your past shapes what you believe.
    You behave what you believe.

    The good news is that for every lie we discover that we believe, God has a truth to counteract that lie. We must find it and know it and go through a process to make that truth a deep part of us. In that counseling process, we trade the lies we believe for the truth.

    Would you like to do that |FNAME|? I think that you, like all of us, are uncovering some lies you have in your life that you might like to replace with God’s truth. Those lies can affect your feelings deeply. They will also hurt your relationship with yourself and others. |FNAME|, I think that coming in to our office to talk face to face would help you a lot.

    Let me give you something else to do that may help. You can send it to me whenever you like. Here it is: When you think of the words that define who you are….what are they? Would you write them down? Let’s see if they are true or not.

    We truly care about you here |FNAME|. We want to be able to meet you and help you in even greater ways!

    It is a frightening thing to make that call to schedule that first appointment for yourself. I urge you to be courageous. When you call, our administrative assistant will be understanding, discreet, and full of warmth.

    I hope these exercises have gotten you thinking about your past and identifying some of the “rocks” that have damaged your life window. As I mentioned, we have a lot of other techniques we use in person, and it can be helpful just to talk it out with another person. If that sounds interesting or helpful, hit “reply” and I’d love to set up a time to chat in person.

    Let me leave you with this:
    One of the things about God that I love is that His “hope” does not have a ceiling. The kind of hope the world offers can only go so far. But God’s hope is endless. That is the kind of hope that He is offering you |FNAME|.

    In His Care,
    Darla France
    Director of Counseling and Teaching Services
    www.lifetouchmin.org

{"cards":[{"_id":"3828e720529d7b565f000019","treeId":"3828e6ef529d7b565f000017","seq":1,"position":1,"parentId":null,"content":"# Steps to Joy\n## Email Sequence\n"},{"_id":"3829de92cbe58e13f400001d","treeId":"3828e6ef529d7b565f000017","seq":1,"position":1,"parentId":"3828e720529d7b565f000019","content":"##The picture window of our lives"},{"_id":"3829e251cbe58e13f4000021","treeId":"3828e6ef529d7b565f000017","seq":1,"position":1,"parentId":"3829de92cbe58e13f400001d","content":"Dear *|FNAME|*,\n\nThank you so much for trusting me with your concerns. I want to clear something up right now – there is nothing selfish about taking some time to focus on your own hurts. I believe that God created us to want to be whole, so just know that you are worth it. To us, and even more so, to God.\n\nAlthough I cannot sit down with you, I want to PRETEND you are right across from me. \n\nI pick up my small white board and draw a simple picture for you. \n\nI draw a big rectangle – a window.\n\nLet’s be a little cheesy and call it “the picture window of our lives”.\n\nNext, I draw a little stick figure person, looking out the window. \n\nThat person represents all of us: me, you, and everyone we’ve ever met. It represents us as humans when we are born into this world. We are just looking out of that window with a smile. We smile because we look out innocently and see a perfect world. We look and those who we have met so far seem perfect too. They are just as they should be. \n\nEverything is exactly as it should be. Why? Because we know no different.\n\nBut then at some point in our lives, something happens.\n\nSomeone or something comes along and throws a rock at our window. \n\nTo illustrate this, I draw a big non-descript stick person outside, throwing a rock at the window. I draw little cracks in the window from the point of impact.\n\nSuddenly the perfect window is cracked. The world looks distorted and unclear through the damaged glass.\n\nI believe everyone has experienced some kind of \"rock\" hitting their life window at some time or another.\n\nEverybody has a story.\n\n The \"rock\" might be the first time you heard hurtful words about yourself. It could be a parents’ divorce. Maybe some kind of abuse. It could be poverty or sickness or a natural disaster. Big or small, we remember the first rock that hits our life window. Some people have very few rocks that hit their window, some have many rocks of all sizes.\n\nWe all know what happens when a rock hits a window. Even if it only makes a small hole, the cracks begin to spider web across the glass. The window begins to fracture. When our life window begins to fracture, our view of life gets distorted. Things that once seemed big now seem small and vice versa. Because our perception changes we begin to believe things about ourselves, others, God and life that aren't accurate. \n\nOur thinking becomes skewed. *|FNAME|*, let me tell you something very important – we behave what we believe. So if our thinking is skewed in some area, it matters. It matters a lot.\n\nI think that has happened to you *|FNAME|*. It has happened to us all in some form or another. Your life window has some cracks. I know some rocks have been thrown at your window. I know they have affected you and you have been hurt. \n\nThat’s all for today. Tomorrow, I'm going to tell you more about these rocks. Between now and then, take some time to think about the rocks that have hit your window. \n\nWant to share your thoughts? Just hit reply. I read every email I get and I'm happy to hear your stories and help as much as I can.\n\n\nIn His Care,\nDarla France\nDirector of Counseling and Teaching Services\nwww.lifetouchmin.org\n\nP.S. I know we just met, but if you’re really hurting right now, I encourage you to take that first step and give us a call: (574) 269-7990 We would love to be there for you and just listen. "},{"_id":"3829df8bcbe58e13f400001e","treeId":"3828e6ef529d7b565f000017","seq":1,"position":2,"parentId":"3828e720529d7b565f000019","content":"## The rocky past"},{"_id":"3829e353cbe58e13f4000022","treeId":"3828e6ef529d7b565f000017","seq":1,"position":1,"parentId":"3829df8bcbe58e13f400001e","content":"Dear *|FNAME|*,\n\nIt is no small thing to be vulnerable with your feelings and life experiences. You have chosen a safe place to do this.\n\nLet's get to work! Yesterday we talked about how we’re born with a perfect window, but it eventually gets cracked and damaged by a “rock”, and our thinking gets skewed because our vision is distorted.\n\nDid you get a chance to think back over your life, and maybe your own rocks? \n\nMany people look to their immediate environment. Maybe for you it’s the “empty nest”, a time of loneliness and change. Even though our children may not have the intention of hurting us, that feeling of loss as they leave home to live independently can be very hard. I'm also a mom who has experienced that empty nest feeling and it is a lonely time. \n\nMaybe your marriage has become cold and distant, even if you can’t think of any actual \"thing\" your spouse has done to throw a big rock at your window. \n\nThat's okay. It is still significant and it is still a rock. Although your spouse’s intention may not have been to grow apart, that space between you is still sending a message to you about yourself. He or she may not be aware of how powerful that message is, and unknown to you, there might be messages you are sending as well.\n\nBut let’s go back a bit further than the present. Can you explore rocks that hit your window when you were a child? \n\nThose rocks may have come from parents or caregivers. They may have come from other children if you were teased. Sometimes they come because there is emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Let me ask you some questions that will be more practical and help you pin this down for yourself. \n\n1.) What messages did you receive about yourself as a child/teen when you were growing up? \n\nMessages can be said out loud like, \"I think you're stupid!\" Sometimes they are non-verbal and given because someone ignores us or treats us differently than others. \n\nThese sorts of messages (about ourselves) affect our self-image. In other words, \"Who do you think you are?\" as a result of those messages? \n\n2.) What messages did you receive about the opposite sex? \n\nDid people tell you or model something for you that gave you a belief about what to expect from men?\n\n3.) What messages did you receive about God? \n\nSome people say that God was never mentioned in their home. They believe that means that no message was given. But the adverse is true. No mention of God sends the message that He is not important or that He can be ignored.\n\nThose are pretty deep questions and I encourage you to do some thinking and write down your thoughts on paper. If you feel like you can, talk to your spouse or a close friend. If you’d like to share, I’d love to hear what you have to say - just hit reply.\n\nI will be praying for you *|FNAME|*. You are on a life-changing adventure and it will bring good to you if you persist. I hope you will still include me in your search!\n\nIn His Care,\nDarla France\nDirector of Counseling and Teaching Services\nwww.lifetouchmin.org\n\nP.S. If you start to feel a little overwhelmed as you think through these three questions, know that it’s okay. Tomorrow I’m going to send you some information to help you understand the emotions you might be stirring up.\n"},{"_id":"3829e078cbe58e13f400001f","treeId":"3828e6ef529d7b565f000017","seq":1,"position":3,"parentId":"3828e720529d7b565f000019","content":"## The 5 core human emotions"},{"_id":"3829e39fcbe58e13f4000023","treeId":"3828e6ef529d7b565f000017","seq":1,"position":1,"parentId":"3829e078cbe58e13f400001f","content":"Dear *|FNAME|*,\n\nIn my last email, I invited you to think about these three questions:\n1) What messages did you receive about yourself as a child when you were growing up?\n2) What messages did you receive about the opposite sex?\n3) What messages did you receive about God?\n\nI hope you took some time to explore those questions alone or to discuss them with a trusted friend.\n\nWorking through these questions might have uncovered a lot of feelings that seem a bit overwhelming. If so, I want to address that today and assure you that this process is not a sprint. It is a marathon. You have all the time you need to learn and come to an understanding of truth. Remember that you are not alone. God is right there with you and He wants you to talk to Him about it all. You are right where you are supposed to be *|FNAME|*.\n\nI believe that no matter what culture or financial situation or intelligence, etc...every person experiences 5 major emotions. They’re not complex, so please just allow them to be simple. \n\nHere they are:\n\t▪\tSadness\n\t▪\tShame\n\t▪\tAnger\n\t▪\tFear\n\t▪\tHappiness\n\nThink of 5 buckets, each labeled with one of those emotions. \n\nSome of your buckets might be full of those emotions. Others might only have a little bit in it.\n\nMany times when we feel overwhelmed with our emotions, it is hard to know which two or more of the emotions we feel. We often have the notion that we can only feel one at a time! Dividing them helps us understand that they are separate in nature and we can understand them better and deal with them better if we assign things to those emotions. \n\nDo you think you might begin to do that?\n\nHere’s what I suggest: when something happens, or you think of something from the past that makes you angry, write it down and put it in an angry bucket.\n\nI’m serious. Take a little strip of paper and write down the thing that makes you angry. Then put it in the angry “bucket”.\n\nMaybe your \"bucket\" is just a paper bag or in a file. We actually give people real buckets to put strips of paper inside when they come to us. It is THAT important.\n\nI know it might sound silly, but doing it will help you to:\na) Understand and categorize your emotions (by knowing where to put them)\nb) Understand the source of these emotions (by identifying the thing that triggers them)\n\nIt won’t keep you from having these emotions, but that’s okay. The point of this exercise is to understand the 5 core emotions we all feel.\n\nWhen feelings are all jumbled together, it is very hard to deal with them. Often we give up. Please don’t give up. You have come so far and I know God is helping you. \n\nSo, give it a shot. Try assigning what you feel to one of these emotions. There are no rules about this so you can't mess it up. \n\nIn His Care,\nDarla France\nDirector of Counseling and Teaching Services\nwww.lifetouchmin.org\n\nP.S. Oh…one last thing. I sorta lied when I said there were only five emotions. Not really a lie, I just wanted to save the best for last :) \n\nThere’s a sixth emotion, and a sixth bucket. I'll save that for next time. You are a delight to God *|FNAME|*. You have become one to me as well.\n\nUntil next time!"},{"_id":"3829e1b1cbe58e13f4000020","treeId":"3828e6ef529d7b565f000017","seq":1,"position":4,"parentId":"3828e720529d7b565f000019","content":"## The (secret) sixth emotion"},{"_id":"3829e411cbe58e13f4000024","treeId":"3828e6ef529d7b565f000017","seq":1,"position":1,"parentId":"3829e1b1cbe58e13f4000020","content":"Hello *|FNAME|*!\n\nHow are you doing with your five buckets?\n\nRemember I stated in the last email that there was a sixth bucket? \n\nIt is called JOY.\n\nJoy and happiness are definitely not the same thing.\n\nHappiness is so different from joy. \n\nHappiness has a ceiling. That ceiling is based on what happens to us. Just like other things offered by humans like hope and love. \n\nJoy has no ceiling *|FNAME|*. It is not just an experience but an inner knowing that God is in control of all things. He is taking care of us through all the heartaches that this world dishes out. \n\nJoy is based on that deep knowing that God is going to provide for me no matter what happens. It's an inner peace that results in believing He is in control. That doesn't mean we never feel sad or afraid or any of the emotions I wrote to you about earlier. It just means that His Divine peace co-exists with those emotions. Sometimes His peace is so great that it even overrides those emotions. The more we trust Him, the more peace we have.\n\nI have suggested in prior emails that we sometimes believe \"lies\" about ourselves, God or others and other things in our lives. We know they are lies because they don't align with God's Word, the Bible. Where do those lies come from?\n\nI believe we pick them up as we grow up and experience life with people. We experience certain treatment from others or hear the things they say or do and we believe that it defines who we are.\n\nRemember that.\nYour past shapes what you believe.\nYou behave what you believe.\n\nThe good news is that for every lie we discover that we believe, God has a truth to counteract that lie. We must find it and know it and go through a process to make that truth a deep part of us. In that counseling process, we trade the lies we believe for the truth.\n\nWould you like to do that *|FNAME|*? I think that you, like all of us, are uncovering some lies you have in your life that you might like to replace with God's truth. Those lies can affect your feelings deeply. They will also hurt your relationship with yourself and others. *|FNAME|*, I think that coming in to our office to talk face to face would help you a lot. \n\nLet me give you something else to do that may help. You can send it to me whenever you like. Here it is: When you think of the words that define who you are....what are they? Would you write them down? Let's see if they are true or not.\n\nWe truly care about you here *|FNAME|*. We want to be able to meet you and help you in even greater ways! \n\nIt is a frightening thing to make that call to schedule that first appointment for yourself. I urge you to be courageous. When you call, our administrative assistant will be understanding, discreet, and full of warmth. \n\nI hope these exercises have gotten you thinking about your past and identifying some of the \"rocks\" that have damaged your life window. As I mentioned, we have a lot of other techniques we use in person, and it can be helpful just to talk it out with another person. If that sounds interesting or helpful, hit \"reply\" and I'd love to set up a time to chat in person.\n\nLet me leave you with this:\nOne of the things about God that I love is that His \"hope\" does not have a ceiling. The kind of hope the world offers can only go so far. But God's hope is endless. That is the kind of hope that He is offering you *|FNAME|*.\n\nIn His Care,\nDarla France\nDirector of Counseling and Teaching Services\nwww.lifetouchmin.org"}],"tree":{"_id":"3828e6ef529d7b565f000017","name":"LifeTouch Email Sequence","publicUrl":"lifetouch-email-sequence"}}