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!

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!

Freedom does not come FREE!

low section of man against sky

Did you know that you were born free? That you were not created to be bound by your hands, your feet nor your mouth! You were created to fly high and soar over mountains! You were created to stand out! To Shine! And most importantly to GLITTER! What do all of these things have in common? They are things that should not be hidden in the dark. They should be set out for all those to see and for the world to appreciate.  Why then do people lose their sparkle? Why do nuggets of gold grow tarnished and are thrown to the side in reckless abandonment?

So many things in life cause our souls to tarnish and our hearts to grow hard.  Many are caused by the circumstances of life, the pain inflicted by others and the pain we continue to cause to ourselves. We cause ourselves PAIN? YES! ABSOLUTELY! We cause ourselves pain when we choose to not move on, to take ourselves out of a bad situation, when we don’t listen to that small still voice inside of our heads and when we don’t listen to the wise counsel of others.  Pride often gets in our way and hinders our advancement to the mountaintops.  What then shall we do?  In order to break the chains of circumstance, betrayal, lies, deceit and misery, we need to look inwards to see what we need to do in order to be the catalyst to be our own fire that will melt that chains that entrap us.  WE can be our own blacksmith and WE can hammer away at the iron that holds us down and prevents us flying like HE created us to. You were meant to soar, not slither nor glide.  Soaring takes accuracy, wind, speed and endurance. Most of these things you need to be able to do on your own and the rest comes from HIM.

As I have been walking on this journey, I learned so many things about myself and realized I had so much to unearth! I had been underground for 36 years and it was going to take some effort to be fertilized and grow.  It was not going to happen overnight, but it was going to be a process.  A process of reflection, insight and hard work.  I was going to have to dig down deep, if I wanted to reap the rewards.  Do you have to work hard? NOPE…not at all…..not if you want to keep doing the same thing over and over again….expecting the same result (see what I did there).  Did you read the title? Freedom does not come free! It comes at a cost and often it costs us our pride and the things that we thought were most crucial to our existence.  Once all of those have been stripped down and washed away…then and only then can we truly be free.

Freedom has to be constantly worked on, you cannot become free and just leave it at that.  You have to constantly turn inward and ask yourself if you are becoming bound to someone or something.  You have to be honest with yourself and honest with others.  Freedom can be a dirty business and often we need the help of others to get clean.

I know that for some people the unspeakable has happened to them. That they have fallen to the hands of abuse (physical and mental), lies, corruption, torment and pain.  However, you can still be FREE! Who the son sets free is free indeed! You can choose to take that initial step into freedom! Come join me on the journey to freedom! Will it be easy? Nope…but it’s so worth it.  To see a world that glitters in gold and when you can find the gold dust amongst our fellow weary travelers is an amazing sight to see. I am a firm believer that our journey is not in vain and that it gives us authority to speak to others who have been or who are on the path that we are or have traveled.  Your journey is not in VAIN! It’s the roadmap that others need, in order to find their way to the top of the mountain.  You hold the key! Will you choose to turn it or will you wear it around your neck as adornment and use it as an excuse that you rings in the ears of all those around you? It’s your choice! You can either choose freedom or choose to stay shackled! What will it be? What will be your freedom’s song? What will you sing from the mountaintop? It doesn’t matter what tune! Because not matter what, it will still be a beautiful melody that calls those around you home.

Sing with me! I AM FREE…..but the question lies in whether you will choose to be!