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Getting Rid of the “Shoulds”

Image result for seize the day dead poets society quote

 

 

As I sit here I am squished between a toddler and a hesitant dachshund.  It makes me realize how important it is to appreciate the moments we have in life and not look towards the next best thing.  Often we get caught in the if only, next time and the I will do this when moments in life.  We don’t realize that in order to live our best life, we need to do it right now. We cannot wait for the next chapter to turn, because each page of a book makes it worth reading.  We need to harness the hear and now…..not the I can’t wait until when.

The above has been me for the last thirty-seven years of my existence.  I am always looking towards tomorrow and never do I appreciate today.  I look towards the future and neglect the hear and now.  I always live my life in a forward motion, but don’t appreciate things until they are over.  I recently celebrated my thirty seventh revolution around the sun. A good friend asked me what I wanted in this next year and what I hoped for.  I thought what do I want?!  I have no idea! What should I want? What should I plan for? What should I want to want? Do you see the commonality in those sentences? The word is “should.” My whole life has evolved around that very word…how should I look, what should I wear, how should I act, what should I say..etc..etc.etc. You get the point.  It might appear that the last thirty seven years have been a farce, because in reality I have been doing everything the world said I “should” do.

What if we took out the “shoulds.” This last year has by far been the hardest, most challenging and earth shattering year of my life.  I had to take out the future and only live in the here and now.  My world came crashing down and I couldn’t live in the when, but only the minute, the hour or the day( if was feeling really good).  My most cherished sister friend told me one day, what if you take out the “shoulds.” What if you live each day in the present and only do things that bring you joy.  What if you took a pause from the “have to” and only do what sparks love in your heart.  I was perplexed and aghast.

So what if we raised our children this way? What if we told them that we don’t always have to do what the world says we “should” do. What if we taught them to appreciate the here and now.  What if we taught them to do the things that spark joy in their hearts.  What if we taught them to think with their hearts more often then their heads.  Would the world fall apart? What would happen? Would society end as we know it? I don’t think so. I am a firm believer that we all have joy in our hearts.  That we all have an inherit passion to love, help, and show grace. It just gets lost in the “shoulds.” Because when you “should” do it, is so much different then when you want to do it.

How do you teach little ones? How do you pass this wisdom down to their little hearts? You already are.  They are watching you under the microscope of life, but unfortunately we are so busy with the “shoulds” that they can only see us using a telescope because we are so far away from the present.

This is my challenge to you.  Take the “shoulds” out for one day. Just one. And see how your life changes. How does your heart feel? Mother Theresea once said, “if you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” My theory is this: if you love your family by taking out the “shoulds” you will find the passion that lies within each one of them, the innate love that exists within and the joy that is bursting at the seems to get out.  I challenge you to PAUSE….look down and see all that God has created.  Stop living for future and appreciate today.  PAUSE…REFLECT…..AND BREATHE.

I would love to know if you decide to take this challenge on and how it changed you? Let go…Carpe Diem!

 

My New Year’s Resolution

 

A new year always brings about a sense of urgency and maybe even a sense of despair.  Why? I think in our heart of hearts that we look longingly of what could be and not what has been.  We wish for a future that is not what is happening in the present, but we often don’t change what we are doing in the here and now.  What is this gibberish I’m speaking?! Well….what have you done in the present, to actually make a change for the future? The future will not change itself.  A unicorn will not drop out of heaven farting rainbows and dropping pixie dust.  All kidding aside…what steps are you taking in order to ensure that you will not be the definition of insanity? (doing the same thing over and over again…expecting the same results).  What have you done to change the future to ensure that it is not the same as the past.  You don’t need a new year to do this! You just need the here and now! Take a stand! Say YES! Kick some ass and take NAMES! You don’t need a new number at the end of the year to be Fing AWESOME! You just need YOU!

So how do you start you might say? Well, what is the one thing that you do not what to do? The thing that just popped into your head after reading this…well that my friend is your first step.  That is the mountain under that carpet that you keep tripping over and reason that your future will stay the same as your past.  Have you ever seen a train back up or have you seen it switch tracks? It’s time to pull the lever and go a different direction. I am not saying that what you are doing right now isn’t working, but is it resulting in God’s best for you? Are you in the land of milk and honey that he has promised us? Are you reaping all that you can from what is, what was and what is meant to be? You will never know until you make a change and say YES LORD! I hear YOU! I hear YOU and I want YOUR best for me! Because His best is something that is unimaginable for our mind to decipher! It is that great! I never could have imagined the amazing husband that he had planned for me….not even if I squinted really hard and thought as hard as I could! My mind could not perceive it, because I did not think I could deserve such an amazing person or that this person even existed.  God blew my mind beyond my wildest dreams and he could do the same for you.  He keeps doing it! Over and over! He wants to please and support us. He wants to show us love, but often his love is not in the same direction that we are going.  He gave us free will, but often our will not his will and our will takes us down a rocky path that he didn’t have planned for us.  He doesn’t abandon us, but puts people in our path to break our fall and often guide us back on the path he created for us.

I’ve had two main “spirit guides” in my life that God has given me in my time of need.  One was a person that makes me cry when I think of her and all that she was and all that I miss. She was the epitome of freedom, love, adventure, kindness and truth. She spoke truth over my life and those that were blessed to be in her presence. She was one of God’s greatest gifts to me and a gift that he took away too soon (in my opinion).  She waited for me at the end of every finish line (physically and metaphorically) and I still look for her now and I can feel her presence in the depths of my soul.  I can feel the love she had for me and the love I had for her.  It has not left, but just morphed into the metaphysical.  God put her in my path in order to change my future! HE did this! HE made the here and now a possibility.  He took a lonely, lost, confused and battered sheep and placed it with a Shepard to steward it’s heart and comfort it’s soul.  HE provided a pasture that the sheep did not even now existed and a life that was beyond it’s imagination.

The second person he brought into my life is my “Pocahontas” my guide down the river of life.  The person who has guided me down rocky rivers and who has helped soothe the turmoil in my soul.  A person who speaks truth to what is and provides a catalyst to what could be. HE did this and continues to do this! He never stops interrupting the wind and often turns our boat in a different direction! BUT we often resist the wind and try to go in a different direction.  Instead of sailing with the wind, we go against it.  We try to go our own direction and we wonder why our boat will not sail quickly like the vessel it was meant to be.  Well…in order to sail like we were created to be, we must first set sail from the harbor, go with the wind and throw out the extra weight from our vessel.  We cannot reach our destiny, if we don’t empty our cargo hold.  We need to throw caution to the wind and pull up anchor.  Set sail for new adventures and ride the wind into the future! That is how we change the present! We go with the wind and not with ourselves.  We feel it’s breeze on our body and we accept what is and the direction that it is taking us.  Can you stop for a moment and rest? YES! God built us for rest, reflection and breath! However, the more detours you take will determine your ETA to your destination.

So what will it be? Stay in the present or set sail for the future? A future filled with sparkles and glitter or whatever makes you smile.  It’s time! You know it is! BUT it also means that you need to make a change. Grab a hand and your heart, because you will need a crew to sail your vessel.  Someone to spot the rocky shores, someone to look towards the horizon and someone to help empty the cargo hold.  We were not meant to do life on our own! That is lie! We were meant to do it with a crew! He has chosen our crew, but often we don’t want to accept who HE has chosen for US! I know I didn’t! I thought of every reason why I should say no! I thought of every reason why it wouldn’t work! I thought of every reason why we couldn’t be FRIENDS! I thought of every reason why I could not let them in! THE real truth is that I was protecting my heart and I did not want them to see the JUNK in my TRUNK! I had been sitting on my suitcase for too long and it was busting at the seams! Stuff needed to go because if not I could not continue on the adventure HE had planned for ME! Was it tough? Hell yes! Did it SUCK? Ummmm yea! It’s supposed to! Do you think a marathon is won by skipping and dancing along?! Maybe for some, but for most it is done with sweat, toil, tears and hard work! It’s time to get sweaty and maybe even throw up a little bit.  Because as a wise women once said, “it builds character.” SO go forth and build some CHARACTER this year and race across that finish line and hug the people he put in your life to cheer you on! They are not there by mistake, but were put there for a purpose.  Don’t neglect them or forsake them.  Give them a chance with your heart, you won’t regret it!

My resolution for this year? Love more, forgive often and throw grace out like confetti! Now go ahead and feel the wind….there is a storm coming and it’s time to set sail! For the seas of tomorrow will not change, but the seas of today will become tomorrow.  Don’t let another starlit night go by with your ship in the harbor.  It’s time to use your vessel for what it was created to be! AND that’s something Fing AMAZING!

The Darkness Gives Life and Growth

Do you every wonder what your identity is? Who are you? Whose are you and what are you meant to be? Are you meant to be silly? Joyful? Sad? A giver? A servant amongst the servants? Wealthy? What if I told you, you were meant to be all of those things!! But in order to reach them you had to truly become your one true self.  You would have to fully strip yourself of the person you thought you were supposed to be and become the person He meant for you to be.  You would have to be stripped fully naked and reborn.  Sounds awful right? It is…..but my friends it’s also all so beautiful.  There is beauty in the struggle, as well as there is strength.  In order to grow you have to be fully stripped of everything that is holding you back.  Bad habits, hatred, guilt, lies, darkness, and greed.  You have to strip yourself of the skin that you have been wearing since the day you were born and clean yourself of the social bullshit that has been clothing you all of these years.  You have been covered in lies…lies that tell you who you are supposed to be, instead of who you ought to be.  Lies that tell you, to look alike…instead of standing unique in your own divine purpose.  Lies that tell you that you are not beautiful, but the truth is that you were created to not only be beautiful, but to shine.  Lies that tell you that you are not good enough, but the truth is that you were destined for greatness! Lies that tell you that you could never climb that mountain, but the truth is that you were meant to sore…not walk!

So with that being said how does a caterpillar turn into a butterfly and how does a seed become a flower? They struggle..they stand towards the light and they push through.  Not because they were told that they have to, but because they know that they can.  They were created to do so and do so they do! They do not listen to the lies that are around them! They know they are beautifully and wonderfully made! They know they were created in His image and they know they were destined to do great things! Do you want to know a secret? So were you! You were created by a master craftsman and you were created to go out and conquer the world! However, you can’t conquer the world unless you conquer what is going on inside your own head! You have to stop the darkness from seeping in! From telling you lies that are not true! Are you perfect? Who is, but have you ever seen an ugly butterfly.  Butterflies were meant to struggle, break free and sore among the clouds.  And so were you! However, in order to do this you have to embrace the struggle  and embrace the SUCK! You have to realize that it is in our struggle that we find strength and life is all about the struggle.  For it is in our struggle that we find peace.  Peace?! Yes, peace….because after the struggle is over, we realize what we were meant to be and what we are still destined to become!

So pick up your shield! Pick up your sword! Tie on your belt and get ready for battle! You may get a few scars along the way, but those scars are the road map to your life.  They tell a story for all to see and they give you authority to tell your story to those who need to hear it.  They give hope to the hopeless and love to those who did not even know they needed it.  Get ready to sound your battle cry! Because it’s time to go to war! This war is not against flesh and blood, but against the lies and darkness in your own head! You thought you were fighting those around you, but in reality you are fighting yourself! You are fighting to break free of the lies that have held you down for so long! The lies that told you, you were not good enough! That you need to be a certain way in order to be happy! The lies that force you to act a certain way! ENOUGH! I say ENOUGH! It’s time to shine like the fucking unicorn you were meant to be! God does not create mistakes! He creates masterpieces! Sometimes we stray from the artwork we were meant to be and it’s time to be restored! Restored in His glory and through His glory!

Get ready for an amazing ride, because things could get ugly, but even a seed is cracked and dirty before it blooms.  Do you trust me? You should because this ride is going to be amazing! Hold on, grip your sword, put on your big girl panties, because it’s time to do some epic shit and nobody has time for a broken nail! Let’s do this and let’s do this right! Say it with me…I am good enough, I am pretty enough and I am one bad ass motherfucker! I bet you didn’t know that God liked to curse….he doesn’t out loud, but that’s what thunder and lightning were meant for.  To cleanse, to break the silence and to get the attention of those around you. To break the picturesque landscape with a death defying bolt of lightning.  Something capable of giving life and taking it away.  So that is God.  God gives and he takes away, but the shedding of life is in the eye of the beholder.  It could seem like God is being a strict Father, but in reality he is loving us in the way we were meant to be loved.  Faithfully, loyally and truthfully.  He’s restoring us to the being we were meant to be and turning us into the person we will now become.  Because life is not about being easy, it’s about the struggle and the strength we gain from climbing up that damn mountain.  God didn’t create mountains to drive through, he created them to be conquered and climbed up! So start walking and start thanking God for the struggle! For he is creating a person that will shine with the light of his glory and that will be a magnificent masterpiece that embodies the person he knew you could always be! Get off your ass and work, because there is no rest for the weary and there is no strength in the wake.  Hunger and struggle will make us the people we want to be and that realization will save humanity for the life sucking lies that go on daily around us and in us! So now what? I told you before! Stand up, pull your sword out of its sheath and get ready for battle! Because there is a war going on around you, but it’s not what you thought it would be! It resides inside of you and you are falling darkness to the lies.  Lies can kill you. Destroy you.  Incarcerate you.  Break free and fight! Flight with all of your might, because strength will be found in the struggle and the struggle with give you strength!

Ask God what you were meant to be! The answer might surprise you! For me, I am called to Love right now! How ironic! Because often I am caught up in the bullshit of my own one track and obsessed mind. He’s calling me to be present, to see, to embrace, to throw of my sack clothes and to look at those around me.  Not to turn inward and hide, but to share my struggle with the ones who need to hear it and to love them regardless.  He’s given an only child and self-centered person one task…and that is to become Love.  And you thought God didn’t have a sense of humor.  Go ahead…it’s your turn! What were you meant to become and it might just be for a moment, because in truth…life was meant to evolve and change with the seasons. Like leaves fall off of a tree (leaving it naked) and sprout again for another season. Grow with me! I’m giving you a challenge, not an order! Because growth is what life is all about! I have to go Love…because that is the moment I am in right now! Love myself, love others, love the moment and love this shell of a person that has been fighting herself her entire life.  Now that’s a challenge I am willing to take on! Who is with me!

Dream Chasing

Do you dream? What do you dream of? Is it a land far away or a place that is close to your heart.  Do you ever wonder what they mean? Are they a place where days crash together into one big dark mess or are they the pieces that lead to our future? To be honest, I have no idea.  I often wonder how thoughts come into our minds while we rest.  How everything seems so real, but yet so far from the present.  I often ask God to speak to me in my dreams, to show me things.  But then I get scared.  What if he shows me something that I don’t want to see! What if the truth is what I don’t want to hear! What if he wants me to do something that is beyond my comfort zone! Then I back away and think….I’m good, forget about that request.

I often dream that I am flying.  Soaring, diving and sweeping over the land.  Do you know in order to fly…that you have to fall.  Even birds know that you have to jump at some point because if not they would never leave the nest.  What nest are you living in? What leap do you need to take?

silhouette of person walking
Photo by Subham Dash on Pexels.com

I often wonder the same about myself.  What’s next? What do I need to do?  Often the thing I am most resistant to, is the thing that I need to do the most.

One of the things that I have been putting off lately is running.  I really want to do it, but I know it’s going to hurt.  I have been away from it for so long, that the thought of starting again makes me cringe. I use to be able to run miles with no problem, but now I have no idea how to even start.  My mind keeps reminding me of where I once was and it deters me because I am not at that place right now.  I am at the beginning.  The place where you have to push through the pain, in order to get the reward.  My least favorite place.  The place that requires energy in order to overcome your thoughts and force your body to move.  Everyday I say that I will do it tomorrow, but tomorrow hasn’t come yet.  To be honest, I’m a little prideful.  I don’t want anyone to see me running so slow…stopping…catching my breath.  I am embarrassed.  I need to jump! I might fall, but  if I don’t…I will never get the feeling of flying.

What have you been putting off? What do you need to overcome? Some  how tomorrow needs to become today! But how? That’s something I am still working on myself! I suggest you put it out there to the universe, because once it’s out it cannot come back and it makes you accountable to your words.  So I am going to run before the weeks over! You heard it! Not it’s your turn! Put it out there and give it an end date! We got this! I know it sounds simple, but how many things are you waiting to still start! Tomorrow isn’t promised, so don’t let your days run out!

Freedom comes in submission

When I was younger I did whatever I could to please people.  I always tried to be the best and act the best.  I never shared what was going on inside my head or identified what feelings were going on inside my body.  I just existed.  Don’t get me wrong I felt emotions.  Sadness, frustration, anger and loneliness….I felt them all.  I felt them sometimes until them consumed me.  I felt them as they almost submerged me into asphyxiation.  The world around me was never the wiser.  They had no idea what was happening in that head of mine and sometimes I didn’t want to be there either.

Fast forward to now.  Fast forward to the present.  Fast forward to my journey to freedom.  As I went along on this journey I sought help.  I had to.  I had no choice.  The emotions that I ignored for the past 36 years had come back to haunt me.  They had never gone away. They were just buried down deep for a long winters rest.  Waiting for the day to sprout.  Waiting for the day to be recognized.  Waiting for the day to be identified.  Waiting for the day to be validated.  They had piled up on top of each other, until my heart was busting at the seams and no more emotions could fit.

As I sought help, I heard the same thing over and over again.  I have what they call a “flat affect.”  Every professional that I met had the same conclusion.  That my exterior did not reflect what was happening on the inside.  My outside stood firm.  It had to.  It didn’t know what else to do.  It had been doing it for so long.  I didn’t even know what emotions were happening inside of me because now they were all a jumbled mess.  My anxiety was the pure creation (a cyclone if you will) of many years worth of unvalidated emotions.  My anxiety has always served a purpose, but this time it was screaming for help.  This was going to take more then a band-aide to fix.  This was going to take some deep down messy and soul cleaning work.

My body shut down.  I went into a “season of rest.” Me! The person who goes one million miles a minute.  The person who plans out the entire day! The person who plans out how each scenario should work.  The person who likes to control everything! I was forced to “pause.” I was forced to hit the reset button.  I couldn’t plan.  I couldn’t even think past what was happening in the moment.  I had to stop.  I had to do what I had been ignoring all of these years.  I had to validate all of the emotions that had gone unvalidated.  ALL OF THEM! I had to make a timeline of all the important events in my life and go through EVERY emotion! It didn’t take hours….it didn’t take days…it didn’t even take months.  I’m still layering it off piece by piece.   And as I do my burden becomes less.  It’s one less stone that is weighing me down.  As I identify it, it becomes a star that helps me navigate the night’s sky.

When I submitted to this “season of rest,” I did so with resistance.  I did so kicking and screaming. It was when I truly paused and fully submitted that I understood why I had come  here.  I had to come to the end of myself, to truly find myself.  I had to be exhausted, beat down, worn out and bedraggled.  I had to want something more.  I had to want to change.   I had to realize who I was and Whose I was.  My old self had to die.  It had to die, in order for my “true self” to be resurrected. The self that God always wanted me to be and the one that the ones that I hold dear, always new I could be.

God promised me, that this journey would not be in vain.  That it would give freedom to not only myself, but to my family.   It would unlock the shackles that had been set there hundreds of years ago.  It would blow the trumpet of war and a battle would wage on to save those who come before me and after me.  It would be a song of freedom and redemption.   I had been redeemed! I had been redeemed because I CHOSE to be! I CHOSE to submit to the PAUSE! I CHOSE to not fight it! I CHOSE to embrace it! I CHOSE to rejoice in it! I made a choice.   What choice will you make? Will you fight against it, until you can fight no more.  Or will you submit? Society has taught us that submitting is weak, but my friends that is LIE! A lie out of the serpents mouth! Submitting is not weak! It leads to freedom! It leads to a life that is free of control! A life where light dances off the walls and shines glimmers of hope into the brokenness of the world.  What do you need to submit before the throne? My friend I know it won’t be easy, but it would not be an adventure if it was!

I release you!

white and red plastic heart balloon on sky during daytime

In the last couple of weeks I have jokingly called myself the “Pied Piper” of anxiety. I’ve had countless students and parents in my office and do you know what always comes up…..anxiety. Dark….smelly……dirty…..ANXIETY! I decided a couple of years ago that I refused to hide in the dark and that I would use my anxiety for GREATNESS! You heard me…..GREATNESS! I would overcome, I would defeat and I would share my story with others.  No longer would I hide in shame about my anxiety! No longer would I minimize  it! I’m not going to lie….when I decided to do this my anxiety actually got worse.  It did not want to let go! It had made it’s home and I would have to fight to get out from it’s grasp.

For so long I had told myself, I have anxiety and anxiety defined who I was.  I was no longer a person, I was a person with anxiety. It was my persona and often even my excuse.  It wrapped itself around me and became infused and charred in my DNA.  I never thought I could break myself free of it, but just exist, hide and control it.  Do you have something you like to control? Maybe it’s not anxiety.  Maybe it’s depression or some kind of dependency.  You try to control every aspect of it, but the truth is….if you don’t bring it into the light (and continue to hide it in shame and darkness), it is actually controlling you.  You think that you have the upper hand, but in reality it is pressing down on you and controlling your every breath.

So what do you do?   How do you move on from a life that has consumed you for so long and has become who you are? Maybe you just say goodbye…that’s what I did.  No really! I wrote my old self a goodbye letter and gave it permission to move on, because I did not need it anymore.  You see, the self we release served a purpose somewhere down the line.  Maybe it was for self preservation, the result of trauma or wall we built up for protection.  Whatever it’s purpose, it can still be released!

My Letter to Myself:

Dear Capable Jen,

I want to thank you for all that you’ve done for me and I want to say sorry for everything you had to endure.  You had to learn to be strong and hold in your emotions in order to survive.  You had to endure a childhood that lacked the nurture that you craved and that left you feeling abandoned and sad.  You were taught ideals that were not true and you learned things by watching those around you.  Many of which, were lies.  You put on a smile and sucked up your way through life. 

You were strong when you heard the pooping of the alcohol in the morning, when your mom wouldn’t play with you, when she didn’t want to spend time with you, watch you play or just connect with you.  You were strong, as you watcher her hallucinate and come to her worst.  You dealt with a verbally abusive father, who filled your head with lies and tried to control you with his fears.  You took care of yourself when they abandoned you and did everything an adult would do, when you were still a child. 

You smiled as you were made fun of, teased and tried to fit in and were lost.  You worked hard at school and were always the optimal employee.  You strived for the attention of men and the praise from those around you.  You held strong through a verbally and emotionally abusive marriage, that left you abandoned again. 

You have endured so much and I wouldn’t be where I am without you.  However, it’s time to let you go.  I’m safe now.  I have people who love me for me, an amazing family, have forgiven my parents and have a deeper relationship with God.  It’s time for you to leave and let amazing, beautiful,, funny, and caring Jen move into and fulfill the destiny God has for her.  I’m fine now.  I need you to leave my backpack, because it’ time to give you up as I walk up the mountain.  I need to finish this journey as Jen.  The new Jen.  The Jen who loves herself and who is ENOUGH!.  Who doesn’t have guilt, to please people, and who strives for the glory of God.  The Jen who is kind to herself because she has done nothing wrong. 

Father God, I ask that you take capable Jen by the hand and cover her with your feathers.  Give her the love she so desperately needed all these years and take her hand.  Fly her into heaven.  Take good care of her, because she has endured so much! Capable Jen, go and be free! Don’t worry about me.  You have done your job and now it’s time to fly home.  To a home you always longed for and never got.  Father God, I release capable Jen to you and ask that you take all of her with you!  

Now here’s the hard part.  After you say goodbye….it’s time to forgive! To forgive those who have hurt you, to forgive yourself and maybe even forgive God.  Because it’s when we forgive, that we encounter true freedom! Freedom from our oppressors and freedom from ourselves!

Trial by Fire

firewoods on fire

Often we find ourselves on the brink of disaster and ruin, but we trudge through the muck and keep going.  Why? What keeps us going? Is it the belief that it is for the greater good? That our struggles make us stronger? That we need to keep walking and the journey will get easier along the way? I think it’s all of the above.

As we walk or trudge along on this journey called life, we can choose to complain about our sore feet or we can choose to dance as we climb.  Often I dance through life with a song in my head that only I know the beat to and no words exist to go along with the melody.  It’s just my song and it’s there for just me.  That’s how our journey is sometimes. It’s meant for just us, but that does not mean it cannot change your family or make generational changes.  When I first started this journey God promised me that he would make a generational change and that the dark seed of anxiety would stop with me.  So when I stood alone in the darkness and my feet did not want to carry me any further, I often would look inside and keep walking for those that will come after me. I refused and still refuse to pass this down to my children! It has and will stop with me!

My husband and I decided awhile ago that we wanted to make generational changes in our children.  We love our families, our beliefs and our traditions, but we wanted to parent differently. And that’s OK! It’s OK to be the barrier breakers, the change makers and it’s even OK to stir the pot once in awhile (I give you permission).  Just because it has always been, does not mean it has to persist! I refuse to be told that my anxiety is generational and I will not let it be an excuse for what I do or do not do! It will not be my crutch, my band-aide or my shackle.  It actually is what catapulted me into my journey to freedom.

How can this be? How can a positive come out of something that is so negative? Anxiety has been that nag, that dull ache that we often notice.  It goes away and comes back, but it’s never that bad…so we just go on with it.  We don’t realize that it’s building up inside of us.  We think that we are controlling it, but really it is the one controlling us.  Piece by piece it breaks us down and piece by piece we loose ourselves.  Until we get to a point where our foundation is unsteady and it only takes a small wave to send us out to sea.  That is what happens when we rest our foundations on shaky ground and never take the time to repair them.  Sometimes we need to come to the end of ourselves to find ourselves and this is not necessarily a bad thing.  It’s a BLESSING! A blessing that we never would have arrived at, if we did not have to be rebuilt.

Being rebuilt is a slow, agonizing and often painful process.  But it’s also so BEAUTIFUL! You get to decide what you will look like, who will be a part of your process and how you will unveil the newest masterpiece. Being sent into the fire is a GIFT, even though we will get scorched and burnt because we were meant to rise from the ashes.  We were meant to be reborn and to evolve.  Did you ever think that tragedy was meant to TRANSFORM us and allow us to rebuild.  To rebuild our hearts, our minds and maybe even our bodies.

Are your feet feeling hot because the fire of life is burning beneath? Take a deep breath, look to the heavens, smile and keep walking! Yes, it might hurt! Yes, you will have to work for it! Yes, it might me agonizing! But if you never experienced tragedy, you would not know the sweet taste of victory, love, and grace!

Remember you are LOVE! You are LOVED and are meant to LOVE! However, you cannot love, if you don’t love yourself first! Every dirty, singed and ash ridden piece. Each piece serves a purpose and each piece is part of the beautiful MOSAIC called YOU!