When the going gets rough… Tie a knot and hang on!

When the going gets rough… Tie a knot and hang on!

This last week I’ve reached another point in my life where I started doing some heavy emotional work. In the past, when I have attempted doing Trauma work, it’s looked a lot like this:

“I’m freaking the hell out! I can’t do this! I’m a failure, why am I even trying? Relapse, get sober, act out on self harm, get back on track, feed into my eating disorder…….” The list and the cycle could go on and on.

I’m grateful today that it does not have to look like this when I’m walking through hard things. Don’t get me wrong- it’s not always graceful; but today more often than not, I’m able and willing to not only be open and honest about where I’m at, but also ask for what I need with out causing some major crisis.

When we have lived a life of hell, or even been through a major difficulty in our lives, we learn ways to cope or not cope. Some are healthy and some are not- but they obviously work for us- why else would we continue them?

This last week I have experienced days where I’m emotionally exhausted by noon and want to crawl back into bed. At times I have allowed myself these “adult time outs,” but I don’t allow myself to stay in bed all day. (Some days we may need that, it is what it is. It’s not “bad or good.”) Working through any kind of abuse is hard! More often than not, we have become accustomed to these “blocking beliefs” about ourselves. Some we created in our own minds as a way to explain what happened, some are placed there by others. Either way, the emotional work takes a lot of time and energy to begin to heal.

For me, it’s not just about realizing that what happened to me is not my fault… It’s retraining my brain into a new way of thinking and believing. I cannot tell you how many times a day I’m having to replace negative self talk with loving and compassionate self talk. Or how many times I have to give myself permission to feel what I’m feeling, rather than stuffing it. Our minds are powerful things and they pick up beliefs quickly. Our words have such a big effect on us and those around us.

There was a study done by Dr Emoto on the effect our thoughts have on us. He froze water and looked at the comparison of water in a jar that said positive things, IE: “Thank you, I love you, VS negative things: I hate you, you make me sick.” See the picture below: credited to Dr Emoto

Water Crystals  Masaru Emoto

Our Body is made up of 60-70% water… imagine now the power our thoughts and beliefs have on our mind and bodies.

I’m grateful for the work I have done and will continue to do. It’s just another step in moving forward with my life and owning it! It’s not always easy and most days lately have been emotionally draining… But what do we do when we are so spent and ready to give up? For me I see two possible options: I can continue down the shame cycle, belittling myself and everyone around me, or I can take a step back, take an emotional break, do some self care and hold on tight. Emotions come as waves. Sometimes it feels like a hurricane, but the feelings always pass. Feelings do not have that much power unless we give it to them. It’s taken me many years to learn and understand that concept and to apply it to my life.

No matter what you have been through in your life- You are worth it. You are worth happiness and love. Why? Simply because you exist. Life is hard at times and we go through hard things, but in my experience, it only makes us stronger. Not only that, but we then have the beautiful opportunity to share our experience with others who are where we once used to be. It empowers us, it helps us grow and we can soon see something positive come from the pain we felt that would never end. Who can you help today just by sharing your story? I hope at least one of my readers can find peace and hope in sharing mine!

You are beautiful! Don’t give up, you are so much stronger than you see!

Get back on the Mat

Get back on the Mat

Over the last year, I have developed a LOVE for Yoga. When I first started going, it was just to get away from the house, something fun to do with friends. Over the last few months specifically, I have gained a passion and found a freedom in it. I am still learning, and what I know is only from my own experiences and listening to my teacher. I’m using yoga as an example for the bigger picture.

Earlier this week, I had an experience where I felt fear and I wanted to run away from it. (This is how I used to deal with feelings, I ran. But today I choose not to run, rather walk through those emotions, even if they are uncomfortable.) ┬áMy fear then was: Fearing that I would backslide if I allowed myself to feel what was coming up in that moment, which was not having my voice heard. Shortly after, I then had a conversation with a friend on a different subject and somehow I came to the conclusion: “Maybe it’s just time to quit Yoga for now.” I was so quick to let that become my answer to how I would deal with my fear. Again- I would run. Once I realized this, I talked to my Yoga teacher about it. After a few different conversations and being able to realize what was really going on with-in me, he left me with a simple piece of guidance. He said “You have had time to reset and breathe, now it’s time to get back into the pose.” My interpretation: Get back on the mat. You can choose to look at this phrase in whatever way helps you connect to it most. Essentially, when we fall down, we have three choices. One: stay down, Two: pretend it never happened (denial, not taking accountability, ignoring..) or Three: we can choose to get back up. That power always lies in our hands.

How many times in life have we fallen down? Whether it is making a mistake, beating ourselves up, giving up, self sabotaging, and even at times, being brought down by the hand of another. Everyone has experienced falling down, it’s a part of life. But what can we learn from it? How can we use it to empower us, to help us grow?

No matter what life throws at us, we always at some point or another have a choice to get back up, to use it to our advantage. For some of us it may take years. For me personally, It took me many, many years to reach a point where not only did I finally want to stand back up, but I wanted to live. I wanted to thrive. It takes what it takes and there is no right or wrong in it. I truly believe that when we are ready, the change naturally begins to take place and the next thing we know, we are looking back on the last few months and seeing how far we have really come.

It’s okay to fall down. It makes us human. So often we believe that if we fall down and especially if others witness it, it makes us weak. It makes us failures. This is what our society is telling us- but is it truth? Only you can decide that for yourselves. For me, these experiences are usually not so pleasant, but boy do I learn. How many times have those who are successful today, failed? How many times did Thomas Edison fail at making the light bulb before he finally succeeded? Each time, he got back up and because he never gave up, we now have light in our homes.

Don’t give up because you fell down. It does not make you a failure. This life is full of ups and downs, but you have the power to make it into a triumph. When life gets hard, when it knocks you down hard just remember- take a breath, reset and when you’re ready, Get back on the Mat!

Finding Hope

Finding Hope

Hello fellow readers. I created this blog as a way to express my feelings, but more importantly in hopes that you, the reader, may be able to find strength and encouragement in my stories.

This life can be so exhausting at times. We are always rushing, trying to reach perfection and seeking approval from others. Not only do we create these challenges for ourselves; but life adds it’s own set of struggles or trials if you will. At some point in our lives, all of us have experienced pain. Whether it comes in the form of abuse, drug addiction, loosing someone we love, death, tragedy, natural disasters, depression, suicide, eating disorders, self harm… the list could go on and on. Many of us live in silence with our pain for one reason or another. Sometimes we are forced into silence, other times it may be out of fear. What ever our reason is, it keeps us stuck. It keeps us in a place of fear, panic, trying to control everything and “what if?” Someone once told me that out of our greatest pain and our greatest struggles, come our greatest lessons, blessings and strengths. The first time I heard this saying, I was a teenager and an angry one at that. I disregarded it thinking it was not true, thinking; if you knew what I have lived through you would understand why this can’t be true. But like usual, I came to learn over the years that I was wrong. Why? Because out of every single hardship or struggle I have endured, whether it was brought on by my own doing or because of others choices; it made me stronger.

I’ve spent so many years of my life in fear, in being a victim, self-pity, anger, resentment, or just plain miserable. What I did not realize then is that it is a choice. I did not have choice in what happened to me at the hands of others, but I had choice in how I responded or reacted. It took me years to accept this, because when I did, that meant I had to take a hard look at myself and stop blaming everyone around me, to take some accountability.

I want to share with you some parts of my story. The things I have lived through are not WHO I am, but rather helped mold me into the Woman that I am. I am not my story, it’s just a part of the life I’ve lived.

My first memory is at age three. I remember feeling scared, confused and alone at times. I did not understand what was happening to me. I thought it was my fault. The sexual abuse I went through started at age three and went on for many years, by many different perpetrators and in many different forms. By age nine, I needed an escape. I was filled with so much pain and guilt and shame. I blamed myself. The sexual abuse only grew into more abuse; physical, emotional and neglect. I needed an outlet. Thus began my long road of addiction. I started with self harm at the age of nine. By the age of eleven I was cutting multiple times a week. The next two years I felt like I was living hell on earth. I was being raped multiple times a week by my friends brother and step-dad and forced to watch other abuse, not being able to stop it. For the longest time I believe these two years broke me. I believed for so long I was damaged and “un-fixable.” My teenage years consisted of continued abuse, leading into getting pregnant and loosing my baby girl at about 4 months along. All of this I kept secret. I dealt with it all alone. By the age of sixteen, I started using drugs to numb the pain, to escape. Still continuing in self harm and also acting out on an eating disorder. At seventeen, I was homeless, emotionally unstable and using heroin. By nineteen I wanted to die, and I tried. The day I woke up in the hospital, I was livid. I hated the Idea of God and even questioned it, but what ever it was that kept me alive I hated with a passion. Looking back on this today, I am so grateful I survived. I’m so grateful I lived. In that moment though, I had a choice to make and I knew it. I could continue on living a life of drug addiction, misery and pain, or I could choose to do something different. Thus began my Journey of recovery and finding hope and freedom.

This is the Cliff notes version of my life. I could add more but that was about the gist of it over and over and today I choose not to focus on the past. I will share my story in hopes that it can bring someone else hope, to help them know that they are not alone and that they can live a very successful and healthy, happy life. I would have never thought my life could ever look like it does right now and I’m not talking materialistic things. The freedom I have today is beyond what I ever would have dreamed of. Don’t think I don’t have problem today. I still have challenges I get to face, some on a daily basis; but the fact is today, that I show up to life. I function in society. When others hear my story for the first time, they can’t believe I’m the same person. Today I choose freedom, today I choose me. I used to hate myself so much and believed that I was so unworthy of love, happiness or freedom. Today I know that not only am I worthy of these things just because I exist, but so is everyone else around me.

We are all worthy of love, we all deserve happiness in this life. No matter what you have been through, how hard your experience has been, You CAN find hope and a reason worth living. You have so much strength inside of you that you do not even realize. This life is not meant to be lived in fear, pain or struggle. Yes, we still go through these things, but it does not have to become our identity. It does not have to become our life. Imagine how many people you can bring hope to just by sharing your experience. Just by letting them know they are not alone. We spend so much time as a society focused on the negative, on what’s going on in others lives and comparing ourselves to what we see others portray. It’s not reality. Our Society has become so Ego driven, fake and based on the illusion of perfection. We are not this. We are human and we make mistakes, and it’s okay!

What makes you happy? Really think about it. If you were the only person in this world, what makes you happy? What gives you purpose and a reason worth living? Find that passion, live it, breathe it. Be the change.

I hope this post can help at least one person. Please check back in for updated posts, stories and inspiration. This is meant to uplift and be encouraging. If you post comments, please respect that. Lets help each other rather than tare each other down.

Namaste’

hope