I Need your Real, your Raw, your Broken. (A Poem)

I’m sick of the fake

I’m done with the phony

This world is too small

I can no longer dwell in the shallow,

I’m done watering myself down

Done trying to be less

Or pretending to be more

Being a reflection of others

Instead of being me,

That shell has cracked open

My mask is off

The veil has been lifted

My eyes are all the way open,

Show me your broken

your real, your raw

Reveal your excitement,

your exhilaration,

Your bursting at the seems,

Bare your soul to me

and I’ll slowly show you mine

Let me see your darkness

I’ll fill it with my light,

Do not cage me

Roam with me instead

Meet me in the wild

Together we’ll soar into the heavens

And light fire to sky,

My heart is all yours

If You Just be you

And let me be me

This Love will set us both free

How I Emerged from the Cocoon of Codependency Destruction

My first real kiss became my first love, my first heartbreak, my first everything.

It was all so sweet and innocent in the beginning. We were awkward, shy, and just crossing the threshold of adolescence, the first time our lips tentatively came together. Our budding romance fizzled out pretty quickly, like most junior high relationships do. However, I never stopped thinking about him or forgot that first ember of love that began in my heart.

Two years later, we dated again and everything progressed. I started to let down my walls, and allow him to really take up space in my heart. Being in a serious relationship at that age is difficult and complicated, so we parted ways again. But we couldn’t seem to stay away from each other, and found our way back together in less than a year. Finally, we were both ready to fully commit. That was it for me. I was all in. I loved him fiercely, and without fear. The way you can only love the first time. He became my very best friend, and the center of my universe. I couldn’t fathom a future without him in it. I could be myself with him, and I opened up more than I ever had. I showed him my wounds, and his love helped me tie the pieces of myself together.

Every free moment was spent consumed with each other, and oblivious to everything else we were missing out on. We became completely immersed in each other’s lives. His family and friends became my family and friends, and vice versa. Somewhere along the way, we had lost our individuality. I think we both realized that, and retaliated against it in different ways.

I was offered an incredible opportunity. A trip to Europe through my school’s Art department. That was a dream come true for me. Italy was at the top of my travel list. I put in all the hard work to raise the money I needed. I was absolutely thrilled as I embarked on a two week adventure abroad. I had no idea my world was about turn upside down. While I was gone, the unthinkable happened. My love had betrayed me.

I’ll never forget the moment I knew. He called me while I was half a world a way, and he was crying because he missed me so much, and couldn’t wait for me to come home. It didn’t even matter what he said, all I could hear was the guilt in his voice. I could feel the words he wasn’t saying, deep down in my soul.

It took him a year to admit it. A year of deceit, confusion, and insanity. A year of holding onto an illusion I knew was no longer my reality. A year of mental instability, uncertain if I could even trust my own instincts. When the truth finally came out I was relieved, but irrevocably shattered. In a secret part of my heart, I had held onto the hope that I was wrong. No longer able to deny it, I didn’t know how to handle the anger or despair. How could the first person I ever loved, the first person I ever fully trusted, destroy me like that? What was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I enough? I blamed myself and internalized everything. My self worth started slipping away.

I didn’t actively seek revenge, but I was broken and no longer cared whether I hurt him or not. I ended up hurting him just as much as he hurt me, if not more. We broke up, and got back together several times over the next few years, breaking each other’s hearts over and over, in the name of love. We didn’t fit together anymore, but neither of us could stand the thought of the other one moving on.

At some point, I finally realized that I would never be able to trust him again. Worse, I knew I could no longer trust myself. My insecurities would always win in a moment of weakness. We had both become toxic inside the tumultuous relationship we were clinging to. I never stopped loving him, but I couldn’t be with him anymore. I needed to let him go, and find my way without him.

I was very unsure of the way forward alone. I had spent seven of my formative years defined by codependency. How do you disentangle from someone when you’ve grown together at the root? How do you know where they stop and you begin? Who are you without them? I honestly didn’t know who I was anymore. In losing him, I had lost myself.

I spent those next couple of years trying to figure it out. I attempted to fill the void in my heart any way that I could. I tried to find solace at the bottle of many bottles, in an effort to numb the pain. I made many terrible decisions, and broke my own heart a hundred times. I constantly tried to put someone else in that place, while simultaneously keeping them at arm’s length. I couldn’t bare the thought of allowing anyone to get close enough to hurt me like that again, but I didn’t like being alone. I’d draw someone in, and then subconsciously push them away if they got too close.

Many years of self destruction and heartbreak later, I finally figured out the underlying factor causing all my relationships to fail. In the midst of my second Identity crises, I realized that I had never learned to love myself. So, I took the time to find out who I really was. I put in the hard work to feel and heal my damage. I chose to fully accept myself despite my flaws. I forgave myself for my mistakes. I transformed all the love I had inside me, and redirected it back at myself. I discovered the things I truly enjoyed, and what actually made me happy. I stopped seeking external validation, and found approval within. I emerged from my cocoon of self destruction, and became the woman I was always meant to be. We all lose ourselves sometimes, but that’s an important part of our Journey.

Our Planet is Dying and We are Running Out of Time

Mother Earth is the only home I’ve ever known. I’ve loved her for as long as I can remember. As a child, I’d run through a field of wildflowers with the wind whispering in my ear, and feel her love radiating back at me. There’s something majestic about being immersed in her waters, or daydreaming beneath her trees.

I’m speechless when I take in the view of her breathtaking mountains, or admire the myriad of colors in her seemingly never-ending sky.

I feel a connection in nature that I’ve never experienced anywhere else. In those quiet moments, it’s clear to me that we are all connected. To each other. To the Earth. To all living things. I felt it at the zoo, when the Mountain Lion pressed her face up to my hand against the glass, longing for a caress. I feel it when my favorite Doe and her fawn watch my daughter and I play from the woods. I was in awe of it when a butterfly landed on me the other day, and chose to stay for a little while. There is something more to these experiences. I’ve felt it for awhile now, but that awareness is growing inside me every day.

I think about all the animals that have gone extinct due to what we have done to this world, and my heart splits open. We need to really consider what that means for us. They’re just animals you say? So are we. Fundamentally, we’re just animals too. What would happen to the world without humans?

The Earth and all her inhabitants would flourish in our absence. The forests would no longer be cut down, and the ocean would cease to be our garbage can. Endangered species would begin to thrive again. If we were extinct, we definitely wouldn’t be missed. However, we’ve been given a great gift that sets us a part from all the other animals. We have the power to think, change, and grow. The capability to problem solve, and work together to save the world; thus saving ourselves.

Some are waiting for science to solve the problem, and others are looking to the sky for answers; looking for another planet to escape to. Even if we had that option, that doesn’t sit well with me. We can’t just use her up, and leave her. That idea is exactly what’s wrong with society today. We take, and we use, and we discard. Then move on to bigger, and better. Always wanting more, more, more.

We get caught up in the rat race, and feel helpless. We stick our heads in the sand and pretend that everything is going to be fine. We turn a blind eye and try to convince ourselves it will all work out. I know I’m guilty of this too. I get busy, I get lazy, I forget my reusable bags or absentmindedly use a straw that I didn’t ask for. Yes, recycling, using a metal straw and reusable grocery bags helps, but we need to do so much more.

This is our last chance to save the planet. She has given us life and nurtured us, and what have we done in return? We’ve poisoned her and destroyed her. In so doing, we’re killing ourselves. We keep cutting down her trees even though they are our lungs. We pollute her oceans, lakes and rivers, as if her water supply doesn’t provide us with one of our basic building blocks of life.

We have to stop being so damn greedy and selfish and work together towards a simpler life. We were not meant to live like this. If we focus our energy, raise our consciousness, and come together as one, we can do anything. Look at all of the incredible things we have accomplished when we’ve united for a cause. One person can do more than they think. One person CAN change the world, but when we come together towards a common goal, our potential is limitless. So let’s do it. As individuals, and as a society. Let’s do absolutely everything we can think of to reverse the damage we’ve done, and give our children a fighting chance at survival.

Massive changes need to occur. Instead of cutting down trees at the current astronomical rate of fifteen billion per year, we can replace the majority of those items with hemp products. Hemp can be harvested in just four months, and produces four times more paper per acre than the average tree. The fiber can also be used to create a plastic alternative that is fully biodegradable. It can even produce an environmentally friendly Fuel! So why the h*ll aren’t we using this incredible, multi-purpose plant? The answer encompasses all that is inherently wrong with the world we live in. Money, greed, power, and corruption. It’s time to stand up for what is right, and fight for humanity.

“When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.” -Alanis Obomsawin

There are currently global climate strikes happening in 163 countries and counting. This week. Right Now. This is the perfect opportunity to get involved. There is also a United Nations summit on September 23rd to discuss the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate change. Major Political changes need to occur by the end of 2020, if we’re going to be able to reduce our carbon emissions enough to sustain human life. This is as serious as it gets. We are on the brink of total destruction if we don’t make extreme global changes.

There’s an election coming up, and I know that I’ll be voting for the only issue that really matters. None of the other sh*t will make a difference if we are no longer here.

We need to wake up before it’s too late.

Find out more about Hemp here:

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How I Conquered Infertility and Manifested a Miracle.

In my mind, Infertility was something that only happened to other people. I never expected it to happen to me. My first daughter was unplanned and very unexpected; therefore, I was under the impression that it would be easy for me. When we decided to have a baby, I assumed it would happen right away, but it didn’t.

Once I’ve made up my mind about something, I’m extremely impatient. I want it immediately. I need it. Now. Now. Now. Yesterday. The thought of it consumes me, and I’ll go after it with ferocious intensity until I get it.

I bought ovulation predictor kits, and started tracking my cycle that very first month. My best friend and Sister in Law were already expecting, and I intended to join them ASAP. I had already started to plan my life around being pregnant, and created my dream nursery on Pinterest. I made a list of names, and tried to imagine what my future child would look like.

After a year, I knew something wasn’t right. I had a meltdown in the Dr.’s office, and she referred us for some tests. We checked for everything imaginable. My hormones, thyroid, and ovaries were all functioning properly. My Husband’s sperm count was normal. We were relatively young and healthy, without any physical barriers. Ultimately, we received a diagnosis of Unexplained Infertility. This may seem like a good thing because there wasn’t anything “wrong”, but it also meant that there was nothing we could fix. We had zero control over it. We decided to keep trying in spite of the odds of conceiving naturally (less than 3% chance).

Anyone who thinks Trying to have a baby is fun, has never actually tried to have a baby. At least not for any real length of time. It’s the opposite of fun.

It’s crying on the bathroom floor after seeing that minus sign for the 21st time in a row.

It’s feeling like a failure.

It’s blaming yourself, blaming your husband, blaming The world.

It’s becoming angry, bitter, and jealous. Resentful of anyone who has what you want. Then feeling guilty for harboring those emotions towards friends, family members, and strangers.

It’s dreading Baby showers and birthday parties because they’re becoming to emotionally draining.

It’s sinking into a deep depression, and lashing out at the people you care about. It’s confusion over why your husband doesn’t appear to be affected, when you are dying inside.

It’s getting sick of trying…even when you’re not trying. It’s turning away from each other and wondering if you’re even meant to be together.

It’s losing all hope, and trying to make yourself believe that you don’t actually need to have another baby. Telling yourself you’ll be fine if you don’t. Convincing yourself to believe your own lies.

It’s listening to your husband say that life is good the way it is, and if you’re meant to have another baby you will.

It’s contemplating smothering him with a pillow for not wanting it badly enough. Couldn’t he see that it was killing you a little more each day?

He didn’t understand. We already had an amazing child, whom he loved like his own. He was okay not having another one. Although my first born is a perfect gift from God, the circumstances surrounding her creation were the opposite. This was my do-over, my second chance. I wanted to have a baby with someone I chose. I wanted to create a life from our love.

Finally, we decided to take the next step. When it came to fertility treatments, we wanted to start with the least amount of intervention and work our way up. We started with Clomid, which was supposed to cause me to hyper-ovulate and release more than one egg. All it did was make me crazy; legitimately unstable. I was even more of an emotional roller coaster than I usually am. We were going to try it for three months before moving on to the next step. After two, my husband said he would rather be in jail, than be with me on clomid. “Lock me up man, I can’t handle it”. Those were his exact words.

After that experience we took a little break. In the meantime, I did some research. Throughout this journey I had discovered so many people who had also been struggling. There were definitely more couples that had experienced difficulty than ones that hadn’t. Infertility has become a very common issue in society. Contraceptive use has played a major role in affecting fertility, and I had been using birth control for over half of my life. The other key factor preventing pregnancy is exposure to chemicals. There are very harmful chemicals in a lot of the food we eat, and in the products we use. I switched out all my beauty products and cleaning supplies. I threw out all the plastic Tupperware and replaced it with glass. I started to only buy organic produce, grass fed beef, and free range eggs. I refused to eat anything processed or packaged, and started taking a very specific vitamin regimen. I convinced my Husband to take supplements as well, and started making him breakfast every morning in an effort to prevent him from eating gas station junk. I felt as ready as I could be to move forward with the next step.

We decided to try two rounds of Intrauterine Insemination combined with Letrozale, and if we didn’t have success with that, we would move on to In-Vitro Fertilization. I was bursting with excitement and anticipation for our first round. I tried not to get my hopes up, but I couldn’t help myself. I was pretty devastated when it didn’t work. However, I knew we had another chance. If that didn’t work then the next option surely would. It was just cost us over $25,000. For our second round, we made sure to do an ultrasound to monitor my follicles and a trigger shot to ensure timely ovulation. I also used progesterone suppositories since low progesterone levels can prevent pregnancy as well.

I was pretty relaxed the second time, and I had a really good feeling about it. I started to see signs and synchronicities everywhere; which put me at ease. The day before I was supposed to test, I woke up from a very vivid dream and I just knew. I took the test, and held my breath as that second pink line slowly, but surely showed it’s face. I jumped up and down on the bathroom floor, ecstatic and relieved. I instantly sent a picture to my husband, who was out hunting. He raced in from the woods and wanted me to take another test to be sure. I laughed, but humored him. The second one was positive too. It was real. Our dream had come true. After the two longest years of our lives, we finally received our precious little miracle. I feel like I brought her into existence with sheer determination. I knew that no matter how many times we failed, I would never give up. The Universe always falls in love with a stubborn heart.

Letting Go of the One that Got Away.

When I was twenty years young, I met a man I thought was meant for me.

When our eyes met across the room, a thousand lifetimes flashed before me as I gazed into the depths of his dark, glittering pools. There was a flicker of instant recognition in my soul. I was drawn to him like a magnet being pulled by a force beyond my control. As we talked about chemistry, and biology; we placed our hands together. Electricity sparked between our fingers, resonating with the fluttering that started in my heart. When our lips met for the first time, a million shooting stars lit up the sky. He awoke a fire in me that’s never been extinguished. He was contagiously fun, and ridiculous. Just like me. I knew we had to see each other again.

This was when Facebook had just been introduced. It only existed in the college campus realm, but I found him. We connected and started to get to know each other through sporadic, lengthy messages. He wrote eloquently and I was intrigued by his intellect. Months later, he finally came to visit me. The minute I set eyes on him again, my heart was ignited; my soul ablaze. He told me the stars were lining up, and I could feel it too. He spoke my language, and we seemed to view the world the same way. When we were together, I believed in destiny and magic again. If he would have told me I could fly, I would’ve sprouted wings and owed the sky. I was completely enamored. I wanted nothing more than to spend as much time with him as I possibly could. Foolishly, I presumed fate would give me that. When he left, I thought it was the beginning of something that I had been dreaming of since I heard my first fairy tale.

Sadly, that wasn’t the case. He apparently was not as in tune as I had presumed. However, my idealistic heart refused to give up on my infatuation. I tried to pretend I didn’t care, but I’d get intoxicated and lose all control. I’d call him repeatedly and leave countless unanswered voicemails. He would humor me at times, and we stayed in contact as friends. We were brought together a few more times, like galaxies colliding as we crossed paths through space. Every time we separated, it hurt a little more than the last.

I kept waiting for him to choose me, but he never did.

We would engage in long emails and talk about how incredible it would be if we were together. He would always leave me hanging with the words, “Maybe in another life.” This only kept hope alive that we could still be together in this one. There were not many days that the thought of him didn’t cross my mind. I held space for him in my heart for far too long.

Over the years, we continued to reach for each other in the darkness, and help each other find the light. He told me he loved me once, and I finally spoke the feelings aloud that had resided in me from the start. I don’t know if he ever truly grasped how unconditional my love was for him, or how many times I let him break my heart.

One day, he completely cut me off. He said he couldn’t talk to me anymore. He needed space to figure things out. This time, I didn’t chase after him or beg him to stay in my life. I finally loved myself enough to let him go. I am grateful that he walked away because I don’t know if I ever would have.

Looking back, I can see why it never worked with anyone else during that time period of my life. In the back of my mind, I always thought that we would end up together. Once I had felt what I felt with him; even if only for a moment, I didn’t think anything else could compare. I had no idea how incorrect that notion was. People show you how they really feel about you with their actions. Words are meaningless without something to back them up. Did I truly love him or was I in love with the idea of him? I think it can be harder to let go of what might have been. If you never fully have the opportunity to explore something, you hold on to the possibility. It’s just a fantasy, and the reality probably wouldn’t measure up.

Literally three months after we officially parted ways, I met the man that became my husband. A man who saw me for who I truly was, and chose me from day one. A warrior who fights with me and for me, and continues to choose me. Every single day. In him, I’ve found the type of love that dreams are made of. A love that awakens the mind; brings peace to the soul, and runs deeper than I ever could have imagined. He is my true match, my best friend, and my soulmate. What if I had never been open to finding him because I was still holding onto someone else? When someone is removed from your life, there’s a reason for it. The universe knows exactly what it’s doing.

A Glimpse into a Writer’s Wandering Mind

Aliens, Trolls, and Centaurs escape onto the pages of a book, but what really goes on inside the mind of a writer? On the outside we appear spacey; distracted, forgetful, and unfocused. We are; just in a different way than it may seem. A writer is always writing, even when there isn’t a pen in their hand. We easily slip into a million different worlds on the edge of our consciousness. Think of all the stars in our solar system, and imagine each one represents a different idea. One is a thrilling murder mystery. The next is a tumultuous love story. After that there is a lusty romance novel. Maybe some super weird science fiction sh*t adjacent to that. There might even be some mermaids and Unicorns in the corner. The possibilities are endless. We aren’t checked out. We are checked into the chaos living in our heads. We feel things very deeply, and our experience with the world is complex.

I have a hearing impairment; which allows me to tune out the real world without much effort. I sink deep into my thoughts without even realizing it. I could see a weeping willow, and suddenly I’m laying beneath my favorite tree in my grandparents backyard. There is a cool breeze blowing across the lake; which gently rustles the leaves above me. The seemingly endless limbs sway gracefully, whispering the secrets of a thousand lifetimes. The drooping branches represent balance, and harmony. The trunk symbolizes strength, and stability. In its presence I feel connected to the earth; the universe, and my soul. It’s magical, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I caught sight of a fairy dancing among the fronds.

Where was I again? It took a split second to go down that rabbit hole. It typically takes a little longer to get me to snap out of my reverie. Please pull me back to earth gently when my head is in the clouds. I think of J.K. Rowling, and I wonder how often she slipped into the land of Harry Potter throughout her days. Perhaps she spent even more time visiting Hogwarts in her mind than she did writing about it?

As a lover of words; I sometimes find phrases that move me repeating themselves in my head like lyrics from a song. A line from a novel or a movie that touched my heart Twenty years ago will randomly pop into my head. A million beautiful phrases swirl around my cerebrum at any given moment, just waiting to be brought to life.

I can often be seen frantically typing on my phone; trying to quickly jot down a thought before it disappears into the abyss. Occasionally, the conversations I have in my mind might accidentally get spoken aloud. I can assure you, I’m not as crazy as I look. The line is thin though, and I definitely walk it.

The scariest writer is the one that isn’t writing. We are an intensely passionate group of people. If all of that emotional force isn’t being unleashed, we are literally bursting at the seams. I believe all artists share similar characteristics. Singers, Painters, photographers, and designers are all working on something the world needs. At times it may feel like we don’t have a choice. There is important work that must be done.

I didn’t write anything for years. Years. I can’t believe I didn’t explode. I’m not even sure why I stopped. Now that I’ve started again, the floodgates have opened and everything is pouring out. Creativity is a product of the soul, and you can only ignore the call for so long. Eventually the universe will line up all the stars just for you.

I know that I’m finally doing what I was meant to do, and I’ll never stop.

15 Things I need my Daughters to know.

Everything in this life is a lesson. I wish I could spare you any heartbreak or pain; but unfortunately you need that too. We are here to learn. Every step along the way prepares us for the next. You need the bad days to truly appreciate the good ones. However, I do want you to be able to look at whatever negative situation you are in, and ask yourself, what is this trying to teach me?

You can be both soft and Strong. I want you to be strong; physically, mentally, and emotionally. I also know that you have a heart like mine. You are already caring and sensitive. I want you to stay sweet and loving, but I don’t want you to let anyone take advantage of you. Not everyone has the same heart as you. You will save yourself a lot of pain if you understand this. This is one I hope you don’t have to learn the hard way.

Although you are beautiful, do not let that define you. You are already absolutely stunning. I honestly can’t believe I created such perfection. Do not let that go to your head. It’s much more important to be intelligent; to have a great sense of humor, and to be kind. People will always underestimate you, but that can be fun.

Always speak your truth. If something makes you uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to say so. If you’re angry; depressed, or embarrassed, talk about it. If someone hurts your feelings, tell them. The world needs less secrets, and more open and honest communication

Trust should always be earned; never given freely. Most of the people you will come across are not worthy of it. There are a lot of bad people in this world. I’m not going to sugar coat this. You need to know. Keep your guard up; Monsters often wear the mask of an Angel.

True friendship is rare. Support and encourage the wonderful souls you connect with. Lift each other up. The world is full of fake people. Find at least one person that stands by your side through everything, even your darkest days. A real friend will be honest with you, even if it’s a little mean sometimes. They will continue to stand up for you when you’re not around. Your very best friend in this life will be your sister; don’t ever forget that. Life may bring you down different paths, but you will always need each other. Never forget where you came from. Be there for each other; for everything.

Judge a book by its cover. This is the exact opposite of what my mom taught me. I love my mom, but I’m going to have to disagree with her on this one. She taught me to always look for the good in people, but sometimes it’s just not there. Don’t make excuses for bad behavior. People know exactly what they are doing. Pay attention to red flags. Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. If someone hurts you, don’t give them the opportunity to do it again.

Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s ok. Some people are going to speak badly about you, no matter what you do. Let them. Those people are not your people. The only opinion that matters is your own. Do you like you? The answer should always be yes. If you radiate that self-love outwards, the right people will gravitate towards your shining light.

Don’t be jealous of others. Everyone’s path is different. Keep working hard at chasing your own dreams, and crushing your goals. Whatever is meant for you, will be yours. Comparing your journey to someone else’s will only steal your joy. Instead, be happy for other people’s successes. Celebrate them and let that inspire you.

Never let anyone make you feel like you’re not good enough. You are magnificent, and I never want you to doubt yourself. If someone doesn’t see how incredible you are, don’t let that negativity get inside your head. Their battle is with themselves, not you. Stay humble, and realize that you’re not better than anyone else either. Don’t you dare ever try to make someone else feel small. Just keep trying to be a better version of yourself, every day.

Life is unpredictable. Things aren’t always going to go your way. I need you to know that it’s okay to start all over, just don’t ever give up. You can always come home if you need to. I’ll be there to give you all the love and support you need, and your Dad will help you make a plan. He’ll make sure you stick to it too, he’s really good at that.

Choose Passion over Security, Security is a lie anyway. This can apply to many things. Nothing is certain in life. Work positions are eliminated, marriages fail. Don’t stay somewhere just because you’re comfortable. If what you’re doing doesn’t make you feel alive, then it’s time for a change. Too many people are stuck repeating the same year 25 times and calling it a life. They are doing it wrong.

The person you’re with should make you feel safe, free, and magical. Anything else is a waste of time. The ultimate relationship contains a combination of both friendship and fire. They aren’t meant to “complete” you, because you are already whole. However, they should complement you; by providing balance, and calling you on your bullshit. They should help push you out of your comfort zone, and provide you with the support and encouragement to go after your dreams. Their love should only help you become more you. If you find a love like that, don’t ever let it go.

Gracefully let go of the things not meant for you. This one took me awhile to learn. I used to beat myself up over the slightest rejection. Always wondering why? I took everything personally, and I always felt like I wasn’t good enough. That’s not the case. If you don’t get the job you applied for; it maybe just wasn’t the right fit. If the person you’re interested in is ignoring you, just walk away. No matter how you feel, don’t chase after love. That’s not how it works. See your own worth, even if other’s don’t. Most of the time you’re just being redirected to something better. Be patient.

Our thoughts our more powerful than you can imagine. Positive things happen to positive people. You are whatever you think you are. Love yourself and believe that you are capable of extraordinary things, because you are. You absolutely have the power to create the life of your dreams.

We Accept the Love We Think We Deserve

I never thought that I’d end up in an abusive relationship. Not me. No way. I was strong, outspoken, and independent. I would never allow myself to be treated that way.

It’s so much easier to say these things from an outside perspective. Everything is more complicated when you’re in the middle of it. It wasn’t until years later, that I was even able to admit that it was abuse. There were good moments, and happy memories intertwined with all the bad times. Exhilarating highs, and devastating lows. As humans, we have a hard time letting go of the people we become attached to; even when it’s in our own best interest.

It started out the way any other relationship does. We met and there was an attraction; a connection, a spark. At first, I thought he was shy; quiet, romantic and sweet. He was older; more mature, and gave the appearance of a hard-working family man. I was not deterred by the fact that he had children. If anything, that only added to the appeal. I had no idea that all those first impressions were just a façade. I was young and naïve, and my pure heart always focused on the good in people.

Everything moved pretty quickly. Too quickly. Looking back, I wasn’t in a good place when we met. I was already on a very self-destructive path.

Perhaps he had been drawn to the damage in my eyes; like a moth to a flame.

I was lonely, and desperate to fill the void in my heart. I ignored all the red flags, and made excuses for everything. Maybe, he was just a little broken too? Maybe, I could help him; change him, fix him? Surely my love would be enough to do that.

I gave pieces of myself away, a little at a time.

In the beginning; I was motivated by love, but in the end there was only fear. I played right into all the mind games, and allowed him to be in control.

I told myself that the extremely jealous behavior, and possessiveness were signs of love. I convinced myself that if I could just prove to him that he could trust me, it would get better. Every time I gave an inch; he needed a mile. I allowed him free reign of my life. Unlimited access to my phone, email and social media accounts. I kept my clock out slips to prove what time I got off work. As someone who already had a tendency to self-blame, I accepted that everything was my fault. It’s hard to explain, but his manipulation had a seductive quality. He would speak softly, and hold me while he told me the things that I needed to change about myself. He was just trying to help me be a better person, he would say. I could be so amazing; if only I did this, or didn’t do that. So, I tried to be who he wanted me to be.

It was never enough.

He would constantly lie to me, and do things to ignite jealousy in me, on purpose. It was a sick and twisted game; and I didn’t want to play anymore. I was emotionally exhausted, and finally ready to move on.

Then, I found out I was pregnant. I didn’t know what to do. I was scared. I was afraid of being a single mom. I didn’t have a clue what to do with a baby. He convinced me that it would be okay, that we could do it together. I stayed for all the wrong reasons.

This is the point where things started to escalate, but I felt trapped. He attacked my relationships with family and friends; convinced me that they didn’t really care about me. He was the only one that did. I allowed myself to disconnect from all the people who really loved me. I was isolated. He made me think that I was crazy. He convinced me that I needed to be on medication; which only numbed me to the horrible situation I was truly in. If I was depressed or anxious, it was because of him. He told me I was worthless in so many ways, and I believed him.

I felt like I was nothing.

People often only think of the physical aspect of abuse, but it’s the complete mental and emotional break down of a person that leaves the biggest scars. The endless name calling. The consistent attacks on my personality and appearance. The destruction of everything I thought I was. It did get physical at times, but at that point I was already a shadow of the person I used to be.

If he knew he went too far, he’d show up with flowers and gifts. He’d put on a big show with real tears, and beg me not to leave him. He was sorry; he would get help, he would be better. If he was really desperate, he would involve his other children. They would all surprise me at work, and plead with me not to break up our family. He knew just what to say. He would pull at my heartstrings, and I’d take him back. Things would be good again for a while. I’d think I was happy.

Until the next explosion.

I was holding onto who we were in the beginning, and constantly trying to get back to that. It never occurred to me that I loved him for who I wanted him to be, and not who he truly was. The person I thought I loved didn’t exist. Every morning, I’d wake up and wonder what he was going to get mad at me for that day. I was constantly walking around on egg shells; carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. It got to the point where he was driving me to and from work, and would show up randomly to demand to see my phone.

I couldn’t breathe.

I think I finally realized that none of this was love. How could someone hate everything about me, but claim to love me? Ultimately, it was my daughter that gave me the strength to leave. I couldn’t handle the thought of her growing up thinking that the way he treated me was okay. I needed to break the cycle; for her.

As if sent from the heavens; I was offered a lifeline. An old flame had heard about my situation from a friend. He reached out, and slowly became my confidant. He told me all the things that I needed to hear. That I was beautiful, smart, funny, and kind. That I was perfect, just the way I was. That I deserved better, and that he wanted to be that for me. He offered me safety, and helped me escape. His love was almost enough to mend my broken spirit. Unfortunately; after what I had been through, it was all too much, too soon. I didn’t have it in me to give him the love he deserved. I ended up breaking his heart. Hurt people; hurt people. It still tears me up inside; the way I treated that wonderful man. I will forever be thankful, and I hope he knows I’m sorry.

I’ll never know if I would have eventually mustered up the strength to leave on my own, but that isn’t the point. I finally left for good, and never looked back. I’ve let this experience make me better; stronger, and wiser. Pressure will either turn you into dust, or into a diamond. The choice is yours.

The Journey to Self-Love

The Journey to Self-Love

How do we learn to love ourselves again? I say again, because we don’t start life with negative feelings about ourselves. In the beginning we are happy and filled with love for everyone, and everything; especially ourselves. The feelings of acrimony are learned over time. A lot of unpleasant things happen throughout our lives that create insecurity and self-doubt. Sometimes terrible things happen to us in our childhood that have the potential to completely derail our lives. Children are very resilient, and capable of moving forward despite trauma. It isn’t until we are older that we truly grasp the effect that childhood events have on us. Even though we had no control over the situation; we still feel shame, guilt, and embarrassment. In young adulthood, we are not prepared to deal with the damage. We engage in self-destructive behaviors in an attempt to numb ourselves from the overwhelming emotions, that we are not equipped to handle. We blast the music, experiment with drugs, and drown ourselves in alcohol because it’s “fun” right? Sometimes. Sometimes it’s just an escape from reality. It’s a temporary solution to a problem that isn’t going to go away on its own. We ultimately just make everything worse. People with unhealed wounds attract unhealthy relationships. We lose ourselves somewhere along the way. If you’re strong, you’ll claw your way back up out of the hole you’ve put yourself in, and fight for your life. Unfortunately, we often have to hit rock bottom before we are willing to do the difficult work of facing our issues, and begin the healing process.

So, How do you heal? First, you let yourself feel everything you’ve been avoiding for the majority of your life. Let all of those emotions wash over you. Feel all of the anger; the pain, and the sadness. It’s scary, but a necessary step to heal all the damage. Give yourself time. Allow it to knock you down if you must, but don’t pack up and live there. You have to get back up. Remind yourself that you’re a fucking survivor; not a victim. Forgive the people that tried to shatter you. Not for them, but for you. Forgive yourself for everything you put yourself through. Own your part in the decisions that you made while you were broken. All of it wasn’t your fault, but some of it was. Admit that you made some bad choices. Forgive yourself for being toxic to other people. Maybe even reach out and apologize to some that you may have hurt along the way. Hopefully, they’ll forgive you too. Then, you let it all go. You move on. Release all the shit that’s been weighing you down, and let yourself become the person you were always meant to be. Learn from it all, and grow. Put your energy into something that brings you happiness. Change your mindset. Remember that everything that happens in life is a lesson. Bad things happen in order to teach us something; to strengthen us, and prepare us for the next level of this life. As you heal and grow, try to find a way to help others. Transform your suffering into something good. Realize that the healing process never really ends, and it’s okay to be a work in progress. Things will trigger you; you may take a few steps back. Just don’t ever give up. Trust the process, and fall in love with the journey.

A Love like this…

I’ve always believed that love is the key to life. It’s what makes the world go ‘round, and it’s all we really need. My heart was always too big, and filled with so much love for other people, and not enough for myself. A lot of heartache and tragedy could have been avoided if I’d simply loved myself a little more. It sounds easy, but it’s an exremely difficult thing for most people. It took me 28 years to actually fall in love with myself. Before that, I was completely destroyed, and had to rebuild myself from the ground up. It wasn’t until I did, that I found someone else who could love me just as much. I found a strong man that could handle my chaos, my neediness, and all the fire inside me. Someone I could share my naked soul with; who didn’t run from the scars of my traumatic past. For the longest time I waited; thinking that Prince Charming was going to come rescue me. But life isn’t a fairy tale, and I was not a damsel in distress. I rescued myself and it wasn’t until then, that I was ready to meet a man who treated me like the queen I always was. A warrior who stood beside me, and supported me while I continued to heal and grow of my own accord. True intimacy is having someone who knows every little thing about us, and accepts us exactly as we are. Someone who loves us in spite of all our imperfections, and allows us to be unapologeticly ourselves. When we have a safe space where we can be completely open and honest about who we are, and what we want, the most amazing things happen.

Falling in love with him was unbelievably easy. It felt like finally coming home after a long, and difficult journey. The Buddhists say that when we meet our ‘soul mate’ we will feel calm, no anxiety, no agitation. The night we met was pure magic. We bonded over Tom Petty songs and more laughter than I’ve ever known. His presence calmed my soul, and I realized I could finally stop holding my breath. I’ve never had to fight another battle alone.

We are far from perfect, but the perfect marriage doesn’t exist. He’s Type A and a little OCD, and I’m a free spirit who just likes to have fun. He’s very logical, and I lead with my heart. Sometimes we balance each other very well, and other times things blow up. However, we always communicate, compromise, and resolve our issues right away. I’m not afraid to speak my truth. We may not always agree, but we always respect each other’s thoughts and feelings and find our way through to the other side. We often get so caught up in our hectic, day-to-day lives, that we forget how incredible it is that we found each other in this world. We lose sight of how amazing it is that after all these years, we still like hanging out with each other, every damn day. There honestly isn’t anyone else on the planet that I could spend this much time with!