Friday, September 13, 2013

Wanda Winters-Gutierrez: The Search For Peace

Everyone's Story is blessed this week to host author Wanda Winters-Gutierrez. You know how you just hop from one thing to another on the web? Coincidence or is there Something more behind the scenes where you land? I believe whole-heartedly that God brought me to Wanda's website, especially when I read about her brother and then purchased the moving tribute to him, THE MOUNTAIN MAN. When I invite guests to appear on this blog I ask that they contribute a piece that will help to uplift  one's spirits and show hope since I don't believe we can ever get too much of it these days. What Wanda sent is another prime example of God working and I hope it lifts you up as much as it has for me. Plus, check out Wanda's special Giveaway and an excerpt from THE SEARCH FOR PEACE: A WOMAN'S GUIDE TO SPIRITUAL WHOLENESS. She looks forward to seeing your comments.


Book Giveaway:Wanda is offering to two randomly chosen commenters a printed edition of THE SEARCH FOR PEACE and to one commenter, a copy of MOVING ON: AFTER A STORM. The winners will be announced here on Friday, September 20th, between 5-6 PM EST. For convenience, please leave your contact information within your comment. Thanks! 

 An Excerpt from THE SEARCH FOR PEACE:


AN EXCERPT FROM... THE SEARCH FOR PEACE: A WOMAN'S GUIDE TO SPIRITUAL WHOLENESS BY Wanda Winters-Gutierrez

As we move toward A Place Called Peace, or Wholeness, the people in our lives will be at a loss to figure us out. They will hardly recognize the ‘out of the box ‘ us. ‘What on earth has happened to them?’ is a common response to the new and different way we are handling our life and them.

What happen? It is quiet simple…the ‘hope’ in our spirit began to manifest in our soul and we became intolerant of our ‘present’ and decided to create our ‘future’. We got tired of living on the edge of everything and decided to jump smack dab in the middle and claim our best life. We got tired of ‘ lack’ and went after ‘more than enough’. Being tired of almost… we left…we may not have arrived yet…but we did leave.

We stopped thinking ‘I can’t’ and began to proclaim to the world, the universe, the angels in Heaven and all the demons in hell that, ‘Yes, I can! And Yes, I will! Furthermore, whatever any of you guys have to do to allow full access to the Plan of God or me…get it done! Either get out of my way, or start bringing the resources to me, because I WILL walk out my Assignment on this earth.’ And by the way, with these ‘positive core beliefs’ in place and fully realized, nothing and nobody will be able to stop you or even slow you down. You will be walking in The Dream, Girlfriend…with a Soul Set Free.

Some days, you will be so full of this revelation that you won’t even know yourself. Just who is that woman in the mirror whose eyes reflect the deep tranquil pools of peace in her soul and whose words radiate vision? Who is that full-of-confidence-creature who walks into a room and her very presence demands respect? Although she can speak ever so softly, her laughter is spontaneous and full of joy. Who is that? She has an aura of Royalty and yet at the same time love motivates her to ‘be kind to all people.’ Who on earth is that?

Answer: That’s you and that’s me…. ‘ That’ is our Father’s Daughter (or Son)… healed, whole and free…right here on this earth.

Now multiply ‘that’ woman by the hundreds, and thousands, and you will see millions of Women walking out the Call of God upon their lives. These women will bring healing and wholeness where ever they turn. They will come from every walk of life and touch every social and economic level of society. We are on our way girls and the world is about to take notice.

As this transformation transpires, some of the on lookers will not fully appreciate the changes they see in you. There are a number of reasons, but all of them basically boil down to the fact that since you ‘got out of your box’, ‘their box’ is not as comfortable as it use to be. You’re not predictable any more. You seem just ‘too full of yourself’ for their comfort. After all …up until now your life had been ‘all about ‘them’.

Their wounded souls can’t count on you to re-act like you use to. Once upon a time they could set the climate for your day by just a word, but now no matter what ‘agenda’ their wounded souls come up with, you just don’t buy into it.

As much grief as they try to give you about the changes, they are also jealous. They wouldn't mind having your freedom, but the price you paid seems just too strange. (Getting up in the middle of the night to write words from Father in your journal…paraphrasing the Bible and putting your name in it… strange indeed.)

Since their own box is still a fortified stronghold, they sometimes hide in it and turn into ‘snipers’. Snipers try to wound you just enough so you can be dragged back into the box they helped you create. You, back in your box, makes it easier for them to stay in their box. The thing we do if we are the least bit co-dependent is put our box inside their box so we can keep house for them. Makes things real handy… for them. Our best defense for the ‘snipers’ in our lives is no defense. Nothing we can say will change anything for them. ‘They’ are the deciding factor in their own lives, just as we were.

I remember as clearly as it were last week, the day one of my past ‘personal snipers’ turned from ‘aggressive’ to ‘passive aggressive’ and tried to hook me up one more time with feeling sorry for them. With tears they said, “Oh, I know I make your life miserable”. My answer surprised even me, “No,” I said in a calm clear voice, “No, you don’t, my days of misery are over”. And so they were.

I had better things to do than get back into that co-dependent box of trying to make ‘them’ okay. God had a Plan and I was determined to move my Hope of walking in that Plan into the Reality of my everyday life. I had a mind to renew…I had a Journey to take…and fooling around with ‘what-others-thought about me’ was, as they say, wasting daylight.


KEEPING IT REAL... MY STORY by Wanda Winters-Gutierrez  

When Elaine kindly offered me the honor of being a guest on Everyone’s Story I wanted to share a bit of my personal journey in hope that might inspire others to make quality decisions and learn to flow with freedom past boundaries and limitations into their own life of endless possibilities.

I began writing a half a century ago as a young teen because I needed to process my life into some semblance of order. Yet, I was near 60 years old, 58 to be exact, before my first book was published ... followed by an average of a book a year for the last nine years. All of them are well accepted and selling internationally. Along the way I have won awards, received fan mail, spoken to crowds and autographed more books that I can count. Looking back it seems that every book I write holds elements of how to move from a life of unmet needs, unhealed hurts, and unresolved issues into who God created you to be. Strangely enough even the two books co-written with my kitten Blessed Mickey Parker touches on...how to survive the worse and come out into a good-good place.  
I had a dream...I saw a woman in a basement room. She was very well taken care of, in need of no material possession, but seemed to be under house arrest. I saw her look wistfully through her high window to a bit of sky where a bird sailed full of grace and beauty. As she turned away from the window I could feel her painful loneliness for something she could not define.

I continued to watch from a distance, feeling sad for the woman, when suddenly I realized she was me. That's when I heard a voice saying, "The door is locked from the inside."

"The door is locked from the inside." So why didn't I walk out?

I was a dyed-in-the-wool people pleaser. My training began early. First with my family, then teachers, society, church, relationships, each sent messages, or outright told me, that certain actions, thoughts, jobs, attitudes, opinions, use of time, and certain clothes were unacceptable. In unmistakable terms I was given to know that stepping outside the 'tank' of 'our' value system was a risky and dangerous business.

I learned my lessons well. In trying to make other people happy I continued to shrink my world until I lived in a self imposed captivity... especially in my gift as a writer. Over the years I had jumped out of the tank now and then to create beauty and touch lives, but I had been unable to stay free and productive for any length of time. I was always second-guessing myself.

The tape of my 'training' about my writing ran like a river through my soul...."You only have an 8th grade education you can't be a writer... You have a learning disability... Who would want to read anything you wrote?...  all spoken by people I loved and who said they loved me. In essence my mind had become a bus and I was letting others drive it.

Because of the endless negative comments over the years about other areas of my life I learned to feel I should stop all unacceptable behavior such as having my own taste in clothes...make-up...hairstyle etc. My early years had laid the groundwork in my soul that created a magnet in me that drew narcissistic controllers. It was all I had ever known and it became a comfort zone from hell.

All I ever wanted was someone who would validate who I am.. to see past my limitations into my heart. What I saw in their eyes was none of this...the light I mistook for approval and validation was the narcissistic/controlling glow of how I could make their life work better, and how they can use me to further their agenda. One day, much like the prodigal son, I came to myself and knew it was time to start living the life my Heavenly Father planned for me.

In retrospect, I am not complaining. I have traveled this path to soul healing long enough to know that, as an adult I had helped create the mess I found myself in with my freewill, and I would have to cooperate with God to get me out of it by using the same freewill. Not an easy trip, but one I documented in simple to follow steps in my first book The Search for Peace:A Woman's Guide to Spiritual Wholeness.

As I set out to learn I soon discovered that there is no quick, painless fixes. But as usual even the decision to learn caused a great light to appear on my path as books, articles, FB Blogs, people and insights apparently' just happened' my way. A particular article by Merrill Markoe opened my eyes about narcissist/controller relationships: you walk a fine line...you need to 'SHINE" but "ONLY' in a way that cast a favorable light on them. Do not under any circumstance shine so bright that the attention is directed toward you and not them.

I was considered selfish and self-centered if I made a decision that is different from theirs. Over the years I have turned a huge amount of my money and life over to them just to prove my love and keep the peace. I learned that narcissist are people who cover up feelings of shame and worthlessness inflicted during their messed up childhood by doing whatever it takes to maintain the false sense that they are very special and therefore not bound by ordinary rules. This requires them to surround themselves with people who will constantly pump them up by agreeing with them about everything.

I had a serious 'wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee-moment' and realized that, I too, had..."spent most of my life as an admiring audience, acting as a vent for their anger, as a Fan Club President, or an incompetent maid for the narcissist around me. If I was not mirroring them, or praising them I was proving I was a separate person and thus threaten a narcissist fragile worldview. When I demonstrate that I have ideas they tend to totally reject them and take it as a personal affront."

As a Christian, the death of expectations removed the fuel that had propelled me forward for years. Gone forever was the dream that by treating them with kid gloves and loving them unconditionally would transform them. I had to face the brutal fact I wrote about in The Search for Peace: A Woman's Guide to Spiritual Wholeness.."I was not their Savior... Jesus was and I needed to let go." All those years what I wanted to think was 'compassion and long suffering' was codependency cleverly wrapped in a cloak of piety.

BOTTOM LINE:
According to Ms. Markoe the ONLY practical method for coping with a narcissist is ...

#1 Change your expectations.
#2 Maintain emotional distance.
#3 Stop trying to please un-pleasable people.

With all these insights tucked into my soul the journey continues and clarity comes. As I made changes low and behold a prolific writer stepped forth and embraced who she was created to be. Let me assure you it is the ONLY way to write...actually it is the ONLY way to live.

I am now 67 and these days I am freshly inspired to go beyond the boundaries of my weaknesses, to challenge the walls of my limitations, and believe in the endless possibilities that God promised me in... Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

I promise you... it is never too late.

Wanda's Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Everyone’s Story: Wanda Winters-Gutierrez, helping hearts and souls of the wounded (Tweet This)


Peace in a narcissistic-co-dependent relationship? See what author Wanda Winters-Gutierrez says (Tweet This)

#Giveaway for you or a loved one: The Search for Peace: A Woman's Guide to Spiritual Wholeness. (Tweet This)

Author's Bio:
Wanda Winters-Gutierrez specializes in creative non-fiction, inspiration, and memoirs.

She is known as a writer with a unique ability to draw the reader into the emotion of the moment. Because of her insight and spiritual understanding she has been able to touch the hearts and souls of wounded people all over the world.

She leads workshops, seminars, retreats, teaching meditation, meditative journaling, artistic and other creative classes. Her various endeavors are all geared toward setting people free from the un-met needs, un-healed hurts and un-resolved issues of their past and take them beyond to healing.

Her first book The Search for Peace: A Women's Guide to Spiritual Wholeness is being used in women's prisons, halfway houses, and shelters for abused women as well as a study book in churches and other organizations.


You can connect with Wanda at:
Wanda's website
Facebook
Amazon




A Note From Elaine:

In following professionals' advice, I've started an Author's Page on Facebook. I'd love for you to Like it at : https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElaineStock

Thanks ♥



27 comments:

  1. Thank you so much, Wanda, and Elaine, for hosting her. I think your message is so relevant for people today. Thank you for this opportunity. I enjoyed reading about your journey. I believe your story will touch many lives.

    clSwalwell@gmail.com


    In Him,

    Cheri :)

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    1. Cheri, I appreciate your visit and thoughts. Though the topic of troubling relationships isn't "light and entertaining reading," it's so necessary to get the word out that there is hope for many. I'm so glad Wanda is reaching out to all those who are hurting.

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    2. Thanks so much for the feedback Cheri. Really appreciate it, Like Elaine said,this is not "light and entertaining reading," but necessary. You are right, I have found many are on this journey to wholeness...so honored to be able to encourage others.

      Thanks again Cheri and Elaine hope you both have an amazing weekend full of Peace... Blessings, Wanda G

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  2. Wanda,
    Thank you for sharing a journey that many women have and are taking. It's a secret journey that few can express as well as you have. Yes, there is hope.

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    1. Nancy, thanks for your return visit. I agree--there is definitely hope and it's essential to remember this despite any grief or frustration.

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    2. There is Always HOPE Nancy...You are right too many times we travel this journey in secret loneliness... I wrote a book a few years ago called Family Secrets...and the subject of this blog is one of the Biggest secrets we keep. I believe the TRUTH we KNOW can set us free... it's time...and it is God's will! Thank you for your kind feedback.. Blessings Always, Wanda G

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    3. Thank YOU, Wanda! ;-))

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  3. Beautiful and inspiring. Thank you, Wanda, for your calming spirit.

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    1. Hi Sara. I agree. There's something definitely calming--and so encouraging--about how Wanda writes. Thanks for visiting today. Hope all's well.

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    2. Thanks Sara..it is my pleasure to pass on a bit of PEACE... Continue being BLESSED.God has so much more for all of us..

      And Elaine..Thank you for your continuing support...
      YOU make my heart smile, Wanda G.

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    3. Thanks so much, Wanda, for the kind words.

      What a strong, beautiful visual to hold onto that you've painted for us: God has so much more for all of us. Just the other day I was reading a devotional based upon Romans 8:28 (how things work together for good for those who love God) and the author points out that the road ahead of us will be better than what we presently see, even if we have to wait a bit more. That promise alone soothes me and I hope offers hope to all.

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  4. Elaine, this looks like something that I can definitely relate to. I am a compulsive people pleaser and have an extremely difficult time when people are disappointed in me, or mistake me. Recently I've been hurt by two different people that I thought were good friends, but I found that when my focus turned to my new granddaughter those "friends" found my life circumstances unacceptable. I think that I could definitely use some emotional distancing in relationships. Please enter me in your contest. Thanks for a wonderful blog feature!

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    1. Welcome back, Nancee. Your thoughts echo some of my experiences this past week while worrying about pleasing family as well as co-workers, yet having to stand on my own two feet to stand up for my health and welfare. It's sad and amazing how much guilt we must suffer because of this. I've read Wanda's posts several times now and each time she lifts my spirits with encouragement that with God all things are possible and yes, there can be peace in some relationships but better yet, peace within each of our very own spirits. Blessings, my friend.

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    2. Nancee thanks for your comments... I so feel your frustration...lived there for many many years.

      Like the post said.. I discovered that there was hope and a future for people like us... TOGETHER we can find Peace...no matter what. God has promised He will guide our steps and take care of us ...This is something I posted on Facebook recently...

      A Declaration of Faith... "God has restored (emotional) health and vitality to me and has healed all of my wounds. He has compassion on my dwelling and restores to me all of the fortunes that were robbed from my life. Good health, prosperity and God's tender care are ever-present realities for me to enjoy." Amen... FROM Jeremiah 30: 17,18

      Thanks Again Nancee...Blessing of Peace, Wanda G.

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    3. Wow, Wanda! Amen--so be it-- is right. ♡

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    4. Wanda and Elaine, thank you both for such moving comments. I truly appreciate the encouragement and inspiring words. I have placed Wanda's book on my wish list. I think it could be the key to helping me establish better boundaries! God bless you both!

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  5. Thanks Again Cheri,Nancy, Sara, Nancee, and Elaine..I so appreciate your comments, The concepts in The Search for Peace helps us understand WHY we are susceptible to these on going situations...AND shows the way out that God used to get me emotionally free, healed and whole. I tell my readers that they may find The Search an interesting read BUT it is in the DOING of the book and the principles laid out there that will take us beyond what we have been able to do before. (There is also a Workbook/Daily Devotional/Study Guide that goes with The Search....available on AMAZON)

    I don't know about you ladies but my codependency and rolling over to controlling people eventually took a toll on my body.. I had reoccurring pain in my neck, head, back and shoulders as if I were wearing an ill fitting yoke..(In actuality I was.. God did not create us to be in bondage to anyone! Or to carry the burden of another persons happiness).. I also suffered from lung problems... asthma symptoms unable to breath at times ...BECAUSE... even the air I breathed seemed not to be my own.. I lived and breathed to please others. Even when 'all was well on the home front' I walked on eggshells so as not to push buttons that would upset 'them.' ie Heavy Burden = Pain.

    For me I HAD to get emotionally free enough to , in some situations put space between me and the abuser... OR in other relationships, I got to a level of wholeness and intimacy with God that what HE thought of me was far more important than anything THEY thought or said to me. FOR ME it was a matters of life, or an early death..and our Gracious Father God helped me... NOW I am on a mission to help His other Beloved Daughters...We really can do this...trust me...if I did anyone can.
    Blessing to you all Wanda G.

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    1. Good guidance, Wanda ♡ Thank you.

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  6. Sounds like an insightful book that will help so many people, if not us - than someone we know. So many of us are programmed from birth to think that we have to do the impossible by pleasing everyone, it just can't be done. But -we feel the guilt of not being able to, none the less. The only person we should always strive to please is God, & he will handle the rest.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. It's always a pleasure to see you, Bonnie. You're so right on! If we can just focus on loving and pleasing the One who loves us without any conditions, then He will indeed handle the rest.

      Have a blessed day, my friend.

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    2. Thanks for your insightful comment Bonnie. You are so right... The Search may not be for every one... as I noted in the book... We all know someone who can be blessed by taking this particular journey.
      Really appreciate your heart for God...He is and always will be the ultimate Healer, Friend, Father, Leader, Guide, Husband, Lover ...moment by moment He peers through our pain and sees our potential...then leads us to Peace.

      Bless You Bonnie, and thanks again, Wanda G.

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  7. I enjoy this post a lot. To me there is only one person you must put all your faith in and please, that's God. I used to base all my actions on what other people expected, but now I don't. I make a conscious effort to do what I think is right instead. It's hard I know in today's society with all the changes in morals of what is accepted or not, but God never changes. As the mother of a young teenage daughter, this is something I am and have tried to instill in her.
    Blessings
    Katrina

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    1. Katrina, always a joy to see you :) What a strong foundation you're raising your daughter on. I've just begun to learn this necessary lesson a few years ago... as they say, better late than never!

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    2. Thanks for the comment and I agree with Elaine..your child is so blessed to have your wisdom influencing her young life.

      It takes some of us many years to learn these lessons ...and it is a journey. And Like I wrote in The Search for Peace there will come a day when you will meet the person you were meant to be....

      "On this journey you will meet, perhaps for the first time, a remarkably fascinating Lady, who knows who she is and where she is going. I know that Lady. She is quietly powerful, sure of herself, and full of Presence. She moves from a Center deep within, regardless of what is going on around her.

      When she walks into a room Peace happens. When she walks into your life you know things are about to change. Where she walks people know Royalty has just set her foot on terra firma. When she touches your soul healing comes. When she touches your spirit you fall in love with her King.

      This Lady is the real ‘You’, walking out your life as Father intended you to walk. You’re going to like this Lady, and you’re going to love where she lives…it is called The Peaceful Kingdom…in this Kingdom love rules and nothing is missing and nothing is broken."
      ~Wanda G. The Search for Peace

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    3. Bless you, Wanda, for such powerful and empowering words. Yes! We can be this woman, and with the forcefield of His Holy Grace surrounding us.

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  8. This wraps up another week on Everyone's Story and if ever I've felt His presence between our awesome guest, Wanda, and those who have visited the blog and left comments, this has indeed been a blessed week. Thank you, Wanda. And speaking of viewers, over a 1000 have visited since last Friday from France, China, Russia, Poland, Canada, the US, and many more--so exciting! I'm so grateful.

    Heartfelt thanks, Wanda, for your generous book giveaways. And the winners are...

    Nancy
    Nancee
    Cheri

    Congratulations, you three. Both Wanda and I will be in touch with you in direct emails.

    Hope to see you back!

    Blessings.

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  9. Thanks Elaine and to ALL the viewers and especially those who left comments .. it has been wonderful meeting and sharing with you. And yes has indeed been a BLESSED week! I would welcome future contact with any of you on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/WandaWintersGuttierrez

    Congratulations, Nancy, Nancee, and Cheri...I pray you are Blessed by the books.
    I will have them in the mail this next week! Take care, Love Wanda G.

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