Conquering Giants

Five boulder rocks were towering in the photographs. She had stacked them while out on a hike. She called them “the five giants in her life.” They represented things like the divorce she was facing, financial ruin, terror about her past, horror about her present, and  trepidation about her future.

You’ve been there. You’ve faced giants. You may be facing giants now. But you are more able than you think to conquer your giants.

Maybe your giants are financial, maybe yours are health issues, maybe yours are troubled relationships, maybe yours are kids off track, maybe yours are depression or anxiety.  Perhaps your giants are injustice, betrayal, loneliness or Whatever yours are … if you can identify them, you can conquer them.

I love the ancient proverb that says if you identify the theif, the thief must pay back 7 times what was stolen. Giants steal from us. They steal our peace, our confidence, our security, our health, our joy, and most every other good thing in our lives.

I don’t know about you but I’m sick of giants that come and steal from us!  

I grew up with a belief system that said “stuff happens” and there’s just nothing you can do about it. Therefore, for most of my life, when I faced giants, I cowered and let them take me for a ride. NO MORE!

Perhaps one of the biggest giants of my adult life was losing my Mother. She was my everything! As a child I was terrified. Of the dark, of people, of going new places, of my dad, of animals, of fire, of being left … you name it, I was afraid of it. My Mother comforted me, talked me through things, and somehow convinced me that I could go to school, even though I was terrified.

She sewed my cute clothes when we couldn’t afford any. She did without many things so my sister and I could have things. She laughed with us, played with us and prayed for us.

In high school she was my biggest cheerleader. She made hundred of brownies every week for the band, she supported us as twirlers, she cried with us when we lost competitions, and celebrated us when we won.

As a young adult, she convinced me I could make it away from her at Bible College. She wrote me hundreds of letters, and saved money so I could come home often.

When my dad was declining into Alzheimer’s, I moved them here to my home in Dallas. so I could help her with him. Having her back in my home was like heaven on earth for me. When he passed away, we had a few years to do many special things.

When she took her last breath on that Sunday, I didn’t think I could take another one! Ever. But I knew I had helped hundreds of people conquer giants, and now it was my turn to use the steps.

Whether you are facing giants now, whether you remember a time you faced giants or whether a giant pops up unexpectedly, these steps will help you. Because you too can conquer giants!

Here are the steps to always be prepared to be a giant slayer:

1. Name them. Yes … name them. There is great power in being able to call them by name.

When I lost my Mother, it took me some time to figure out exactly what the names of the giants I faced were. Grief was obvious, but it was more than that. It was:

  • Loneliness (coming home to an empty house, not having her to talk to every night, no one to work in the yard with)
  • Emptiness (Debbie Boone, In her song, “You Light Up My Life” sang the perfect lyrics:

You light up my life
You give me hope
To carry on
You light up my days
And fill my nights with song

    She did all of those things, and then she was gone.

    What are the names of your giants?

Let me say that people are rarely giants. People create giant. For example, If you’ve been betrayed, the person who betrayed you is not your giant. The betrayal is your giant.

2. Believe you can conquer them. What you believe either places a ceiling on what is possible, or blows the roof off of any limitations.

People often ask me in my office what is the difference between faith, and what you believe. I actually say that they are the same in that if you believe positive things, that’s faith for good and positive things, but if you believe negative things, negative faith works too. It just works toward the negative.

I was in a training one time where they were saying that in any negotiation, the person who had the strongest beliefs for the outcome they desired would always win. At the time, we were getting ready to expand our inpatient treatment center to incorporate an outpatient treatment center is well. We were preparing to speak to some investors, and I thought, oh that’s easy, because I believe we can do this. Most investors are skeptical, at least until they do their due diligence. I knew my belief (faith) would be the greatest!

I never considered that their negative faith might be greater than my positive faith. Sure enough, one of the main men on the investment team had a son who had gone to outpatient treatment for his drug addiction and it had failed. He was convinced that outpatient treatment was ineffective. We did not get that investment because of his strong belief, but I still believed we could find investors who would believe in the possibilities. And we did.

At the time raising that money was a giant to me. But I believed we could do it, and that our treatment center would be very effective. Both things occurred!

I love Whitney Houston’s and Mariah Carey’s song:

“There can be miracles when you believe
Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill
Who knows what miracles you can achieve
When you believe, somehow you will
You will when you believe!”

What ever giant you are facing, believe that you can conquer it. You may have to stretch yourself, to believe but I promise you that these steps will help you become a Victor over your giant.

3. Speak to them. You may be thinking, now this is getting really weird. Speak to my Giants? Absolutely! I want you to speak to your Giants. I bet if you just sit quietly for a few moments and think about your giants, you will find their chatter is speaking to you.

When I lost my mom, the chatter of the loneliness spoke to me regularly, but particularly at night. I would hear things such as, “you’re just going to be lonely and empty the rest of your life.“ (No, not audible voices, but the chatter in my head).

I knew I had to speak to the Giants. You cannot just speak to your giants with your covers pulled up over your head and whisper in a pitiful way, “ I wish you would stop talking to me.“ You’ve got to get up, stand tall and confidently (no matter how you feel), and speak with authority and confidence.

I knew that my mother would not want me to live the rest of my life lonely. So I would stand up tall and I would speak confidently and say things such as, “ loneliness, you cannot have me! I know who you are, and I know you have come to steal my joy, to destroy my hope,  and to kill my potential. I miss my Mother terribly but you cannot have me!“

I’m sure if my neighbors could have heard me, they may have thought I had lost my mind. But I knew that if I did not speak powerfully to my giants, that they would strangle me and choke the life out of me.

Speak to your Giants. Tell them they cannot have you, they cannot control you. Tell them to leave you alone. Tell them to be quiet! Tell them to stop tormenting you. Speak powerfully (even if you are shaking in your boots!)

4. Don’t back down. When we are fighting Giants, sometimes we get tired. It’s OK to get help. It’s OK to get support. It’s OK to take a break from the battle. But do not back down!

As I was fighting the Giants I was facing when I lost my mother, there were times when I had to step away.

But I would tell my Giants that I was not retreating and I was not backing down. And that as soon as I caught my breath again, I would be back in the fight until I conquered them. 

Who can you turn to for help? Who can you turn to for support? What do you need to do to take a deep breath and regain your strength? Know in advance so that when the time comes, you can take breaks, all while refusing to back down.

Some people succumb to the Giants. It’s a choice. The Giants are not greater than you are, although they also seem to be. Tell your Giants that you will never, never, never back down! 

5. See things that are not as if they were. This is a powerful step that actually enlists the power of your brain, the worlds greatest computer, to join you in the flight.

Envision what things will look like when your giant is conquered. Do it in as much detail as you possibly can.

For my client that I mentioned in the beginning of the blog, all she could envision in the beginning was a ray of light on a dark horizon. Later she was able to add some trees, and then some other detail.

When you paint a picture for your brain, it becomes strategic and creative about bringing those things into being. 

Fighting the battle of loneliness and emptiness after I lost my mom posed real challenges for me to develop a picture in my mind. But somehow I was able to imagine hearing sounds of laughter in my home. Having people coming and going.

Shortly after that, my nephew asked if he could come and stay with me for a while until he found another place to live. Shortly after that, my nephew (in law) had an accident at work which required surgery on his quadriceps. He could not climb stairs so my niece and he asked to stay in a room downstairs for a while.

One night as I was going to the kitchen to get a bottle of water to set by my bedside when I got in bed, I could hear them in the TV room laughing up a storm. Then my nephew came in the door, and he is full-time entertainment, and I could hear all three of them laughing. Sure enough, at that moment, some of the loneliness and emptiness was filled.

What can you picture, see, or hear about what it will be like when your Giants are conquered? Spend time focusing on the vision, on the sounds, and your brain will begin giving you creative strategies and possibilities to fulfill it. 

6. Be grateful. I know that you are not surprised that this is one of the steps. If we had any idea how powerful gratitude is, we would all spend double the amount of time we currently spend in gratitude.

Why be grateful? Because the honest truth is, all of us sense a bit of fear when we are facing giants.

Whether it’s mild nervousness, or all out panic attacks, it is normal to have some amount of fear. But what we know about gratitude is that it brings our heart waves and our brain waves (and all of their functioning) into perfect harmonious rhythm. 

When that occurs, it is impossible for fear to exist.

Think about that! By the way, it does similar things with depression. So if your Giants have brought on depression, it must flee to in the presence of gratitude.

Now I’m certainly not suggesting that you try to be grateful for your giant. But there is something in your life that you can be grateful for.

In my process of fighting my giants after the loss of my mother, I certainly was not grateful that I lost her. But I knew the importance of finding something to be grateful for every day. I realized at close to the end of one day that I truly could not think of anything. But I knew that there was something.

It was a beautiful evening so I went out for a walk. As I was walking, a beautiful butterfly landed on my shoulder. I was so very grateful for that beautiful butterfly, and to be reminded that there is always something to be grateful for.

I know you’re not grateful for your giants, but what do you have to be grateful for? Have you received a call or a text from my friend to support you today? Did you see a beautiful sunrise or sunset? Were you able to laugh with a neighbor? There is always something to be grateful for. 

7. Remember the victory. Why? Because after you have named your giants, spoken to them authoritatively, remained in gratitude while refusing to back down, you will be victorious.

Likely, you will face another giant. So keep something before you that commemorates that victory will give you strength!

When I lost my mother, I was in the midst of a Coach Training. I wasn’t even sure how I could complete the training, but I knew she would want me to. She loved my Coach Trainings, and often cooked for the Coaches, and always came to the graduation dinners.

My Coach Trainings would run Thursday evening Friday evening, all day Saturday, and from right after church till nine or 10 PM on Sunday evenings. I had made it through the Thursday, the Friday, and the Saturday, but that Sunday morning in church, I remember telling God that I would need a real boost to make it through that day.

I walked into the training room right after church, and every student was already there. Most of them knew my mother well. It took my brain a moment or two to assimilate what I saw. Everyone knew that my mother’s favorite color was pink.

(If you ever came to our home you would know. When I was traveling worldwide, I gave her a budget and “must haves“ for a home. She was searching diligently, and while I was in Japan, she sent me all of the particulars about a listing.

From Japan, I put a contract on the home, and a few weeks later, I flew home for the closing. Immediately after closing, I left for Australia, and gave her a budget and a credit card to do what ever she wanted to do with the beautiful home. 

I came home to pink carpet, pink walls, beautifully covered pink living room furniture, and beautiful pink accessories. I would tell people when they came to our home to be prepared because it was pink. People would walk in the door and say, “Oh my God it’s pink!“ It was truly beautifully and tastefully done.

This is why everyone knew that my mother’s favorite color was pink).

That Sunday that I had walked into the Coach Training class, I realized that every single Coach had on a pink shirt. I burst into tears to see how they had honored my sweet mother. It was one of the greatest healing moments and one of the greatest giant steps in conquering my giants. 

I keep this photograph near because it’s one of the greatest reminders I have of my victory over those giants.

What can you use to remember your victory over your Giants? If you’re in the midst of giant fighting right now, go ahead and decide what will be your symbol or reminder of your victory. Why? Because you will be victorious!

As for my client, we have already conquered some of the boulders that represented her giants. And I am quite sure that the remaining ones are trembling because they have seen the others go down!

I know it’s hard, I know it’s often heartbreaking and a long journey. But you can conquer your giants, and emerge victoriously! Name your giants, speak to them, believe you can conquer them, never ever back down, be grateful, and have a reminder of your victory on hand!

For those of you facing giant now, my thoughts are with you! If you need any encouragement, feel free to message me. Sometimes it’s easier to fight Giants when you aren’t fighting them alone!

You can and will conquer your giant(s)!