A Story of Love in the time of Grief

My grandmother was a master everything; chef, baker, limoncello maker, organizer, spot cleaner & storyteller.  She moved quickly but intentionally.  She had 4 kids- 3 boys and 1 girl. She raised 2 to adulthood and 2 she sent away to live with my aunt for many reasons, some unexplained and some understood, but it’s not my story to tell.

She made many choices based on the fact that my grandfather passed in his late 20’s, early 30’s and she was now a young, widowed mom, left with one son about a year old, and a young girl, my mom, who was maybe 13.  She was scared, lost, confused and who knows how many other feeling’s she had running through her body.

Luckily, when my parents met and got married in that small town of Italy and then moved across the ocean to America, they made it a point to send us over every summer.

And those were some of the best summers of my life!  Memories were born there and live on to this day.  The greatest memories! A time when every single family member was united in that alleyway of my nonna’s via. Via Vincenzo. Where we rode bikes for the first time and took turns up and down the via.  Where my Uncle Gino let my brothers ride behind him as he pedaled and they held on tight to his crisp white polo shirt.  Where I arrived on my nonna’s stoop late one evening to so much yelling because I was caught in a car I shouldn’t have been in and my face full of 5 o’clock shadow kisses.

Where I was finally allowed, at 15, to put on makeup for the 1st time; a light, almost nude, pink lip gloss.  Standing in my grandmother’s vanity mirror full of perfumes and lotions left from years past or brought over per her request. As my mom and grandmother stood watching me place one single coat on my lips and the excitement running through me as I  felt like a lady.

Meeting cousins on her stoop, sitting in that alleyway for hours, talking, laughing, and crying at the end of a long summer, knowing so many months-a whole year-would need to pass before we were hopefully united again.

Long goodbyes and surprise hellos.  Picture’s taken as we were all dressed in our prettiest and most handsome clothing, heading to celebrate an uncle’s wedding or with tears dripping down our faces as we headed to the airport for our long 8-hour trip back home.

Then there were the countless Sunday’s in those summer’s where extra tables and chairs were brought into the kitchen, spread as far as the bedroom door, so all of us, every family member that made up the Giancaspro’s, Miani’s and Rizzi’s, could sit and eat and laugh and talk all at once.

Arriving from morning’s spent at the beach, laying in the warm sun, snacking on focaccia, and lemon granita as a thirst quencher. After having spent hours jumping off rocks into the clear waters of the Adriatic. These are memories that will go on forever.  And although my little girl only got a glimpse of those forever memories, I know they’ve touched her in ways that will remain still framed in her heart.

I miss my nonna so much and our last goodbye was a tight hug, tighter than ever before and a, “Ci vediamo presto”, I’ll see you soon because I really thought we would.

Life is sometimes so confusing when the ones you love end up dying so quickly. But I am grateful that the memories were made and made from infancy to adulthood. I am grateful she lived a good life and got to see her children grown and settled and got to spend countless years with her grandchildren and meet her great-grandchildren. She lived & loved hard. She made an impact on this Earth. One that anyone that has had the grace to encounter her will remember her smiling face, her sweet laugh, and her soft skin.  For me, she will always be Italy.  She will always represent all the things I learned, loved and lived there.

I Choose Me

 

No one ever picked me
Chose me
Fought for me
Those that have
I stare at every day
Those that I yearned to
I hoped would every day

I chose them
I picked them
I fought for them

The minute I chose me
Stood up for what I believed
I was shown the door
Pushed out
Ignored

Only God has chosen me over and over
He has picked me up from dark corners of my mind
From crowds, I shouldn’t be in
From places, I thought welcomed me

My God teaches me to stay loyal
To choose me
Even when I was told I was not enough
Even when their love came with conditions

A God like this is for everyone
He will help you face the rejections
Feel the hurt
And learn the lessons

This God has taught me that enough is found in me
It is found in my waking up
My feet hitting the ground and saying, “Thank you for the sun I see rising before me.”
It is in my quiet time
My pen to paper
My tears
My laugh
My enough is in my child’s beating heart
It is found in Him
Who has given me the courage
To face the demons and not crouch down in defeat

My enough is enough for me
Not for you, you, and especially, not for you!
My enough was found in the first cry I let out being pushed out into this world
That was the moment I declared to be enough

Transform into your Light

Humans, listen up, we have a duty to ourselves. An obligation. The obligation being that we use all our senses. Every single one. Especially during this time. We all have a 6th sense. Some call it, that gut feeling. Some have automatic access to it, after years of practice. Some, are just not aware they can access it because in order to do so you need to dig deep. It’s there, trust me.


This post won’t be political, all I will begin to say is; listen to what your 6th sense is telling you. Listen to your intuition, your gut feeling, on all the things you are being asked or rather “forced” to do and ask yourself how it makes you feel? If you ask yourself that and the feeling that rises up is wrong or weird or makes you uncomfortable, go with that. Go with that feeling. Shut the damn tv off and listen to yourself.


I am telling you this because so many have reached out telling me they feel off. They are feeling like they are living in some parallel universe where everything seems upside down and backwards. They are telling me that this day to day they are being asked to live is not normal. It is not living.


This is not to say that we shouldn’t slow down, find grace, be grateful, etc. No, I believe in all of that. I believe that yes, we needed a bit of a punch to the face to do so. But that was at the beginning of this. I’m talking about now. What is happening right now is not ok.


At the beginning we were all lost. Every single person on this planet. Those in power and those of us listening to them. Now, though, things seem to have shifted. And in the shift, it seems that us, those that were listening are now questioning. Suddenly in our slowing down we have begun to use the part of the brain that likes to think out of the box. The part of the brain we don’t usually use because we are usually living in this fast paced, routine way, we never gave it a chance to think.


It is in the now, as the dust is settling, we begin to see that the lies are reaching the surface of this “war”. But what is this war? Is it really a war? Or is it something even bigger than that? Is it more a transition to higher ground, higher capacities, higher knowledge and they don’t want us to see it, so they keep feeding us fear? The answers to these questions are yours to figure out. I cannot tell you. I am simply here as a stop on the way up. Sort of like the toll booth lady. I’m here to tell you that you must start to think as humans and not as robots.


Have you ever had things cross your mind that seem utterly ridiculous and you immediately push them out thinking, no, no, that can’t be? That’s where our truths lie. When we start to feel uncomfortable or awkward because of something we think or believe in, that’s where your truth lies. The reason for the uncomfortableness is because we are taught this need to fit in. To be like the others. To fold your hands in your lap and listen and pay attention and don’t cause a ruckus.


Well I’m here to tell you that the only way out of this ruckus, is to cause a ruckus. So, instead of sitting there waiting for the news to tell you how to live and when to live and when to move about and what’s to come next. Why don’t you instead start living now. Start doing your own research and taking that thought that you think sounds ridiculous, those doubts that scare you, and start actually delving into your own research, into your own creativity of sorts on how to start living the next part of your life.


This here, what we’re being forced to do, is not living. But it doesn’t mean we can’t live and learn while taking precautions. It doesn’t mean we can’t ask questions and understand our doubts. It doesn’t mean we don’t still live in a world full of knowledge, where we can obtain that knowledge and make use of this down time.


People, stop following the masses. That is my message. Stop allowing them to make you feel useless and hopeless. Whoever the ‘them’ is for me, is not important. There are many ‘them’ in this scenario right now. There are the ‘them’ that are dressed in suits and stand in front of a podium, there are the them that dress up as family members and friends and mates pointing fingers at you all day long and for some, most of your life. There are many them and more to come but life is now asking you to start living for yourself. To stop letting the fear and panic stop you in your tracks.


Please know, I am not suggesting that the events taking place are not real, they are. More real for some than others. But so are so many other things and events in life. The event of your own life and transforming into the light you were created to be.


My final thoughts are this; begin using all 5 senses so that you can begin to access your 6th sense easier and begin to trust it. There is so much more to what we’re all living now-to this pain, this fight or flight, this panic, this anxiousness. There is a higher ground we can all access. And to get there you must begin with yourself. To shut out the noise and begin listening inward.

I AM FORGIVING

 

conquer fear

My mantra for today’s yoga practice was, “I am Forgiving”. I was going to change it to, “FORGIVEN” but I already know that and I wanted to be honest with myself. For a long time, I used to put the word ‘too’ after I AM when it came to the word ‘forgiving’. I used to act as a victim of being too forgiving. As if being forgiving at all is a bad thing. As if in being too forgiving I am holding everyone that has “done me wrong” accountable. However, I’m also holding on to something that serves me no purpose. It does not bring me joy or happiness or to a higher place when I am not forgiving. It actually brings me to a place of unrest and anger. It brings me to the parts of me that I am trying to shed.

It’s not to say that we shouldn’t get angry if someone has done something to us. However, I am also learning that everyone has a soul purpose. Gandhi had been beaten several times during his life. Two of those times were near-death experiences. However, Gandhi refused to prosecute his attackers because he saw that they were doing “what they thought was right.”

When we judge someone for having done something to us, we are creating what’s called ‘negative karma.’ We all have a journey here on this earth. In the Spiritual world, which is what we all are, spiritual beings having a human experience, our Souls are on a journey and the journey is to live a life free from judgment, hate, cruelty, dishonesty. So that we can reach our highest selves. The self that can be like Gandhi or Jesus, who too was persecuted but never let his enemies feel less than. Jesus understood what his journey was, what his soul came here on Earth to do. And he never once turned away anyone or from anyone. He was aware that one of his apostles was going to turn against him and yet, he knew that to reach his highest self and to reach heaven, his soul was meant to come here on this earth and teach humankind how to be more loving, forgiving, compassionate so that they too could reach their highest selves.

If you believe in reincarnation, as I do, then you believe that we continue to enter this earth in different lifetimes so that we can continue to learn lessons we may not have learned in a previous life. The lesson is always morally based. It is based on the morals of love being the highest part of yourself. And it is not easy to learn this. First, we must learn what that means-love. The word LOVE comes from the Greek word agape, which is the emotion of unconditional partiality. It is to be all-consuming, empowering, and lives in each of us.

So we learn that love has NO conditions. We do not love based on what we can get from it. It is not a purchase. Love is all-consuming; takes up the whole of us. And most of all, it is all encompassing-includes everyone.

We are hard to learn this lesson as we live in this world because there are so many things and people that have been prejudged for us. That is why hate and prejudice and judging still reside in full force around us. It is hard to come to understand exactly what Jesus and Gandhi and many of the great unconditional love givers of this world meant.

The second step, after defining what love is, is to understand how to use that love towards ourselves. We need to learn self-love. This is a crucial step in your soul journey. Loving oneself has many layers. As I mentioned before, our thoughts as we get older have been molded by those around us. By the programs, we chose to watch. The books we’ve read. The music we’ve listened to and mostly, the people we surrounded ourselves with. When you are learning to self-love, you must put down all that you think you know and all that you’ve been programmed to believe and undo it all and find your way to your heart. To the part of you that is still real and only yours because only you know what’s in there. The mind is very penetrable, the heart is not.

In finding our way to our heart we start by forgiving ourselves. Forgiving our self-judgments. The way we’ve spoken to ourselves. The way we’ve spoken to others. The thoughts we’ve had about people. Forgiving the notion that self-love is egotistical. Forgiving ourselves for taking however long it took us to get here.

Let’s recap:

Self-Forgiveness- Unlearning all the things you’ve learned so far. Making up your own mind about things. Sitting very still and quiet each day to filter your head thoughts from your heart’s truth. This can be done through guided meditation, morning pages journaling, or incomplete quiet, with your eyes, softly gazing at a still object or closed, for 10minutes.

Self-Love- as you begin to unlearn, forgive yourself and learn the truths of yourself by listening to your heart, the self-love will come in waves. You’ll have days where the waves will come one after another and you’ll feel immense emotions. Take this time to lean into each emotion and not run from it. Lean in slowly, face it and invite it in for some coffee or tea, as my therapist once told me, and have an honest chat. Other days it’ll be very easy because as you begin to face the things you thought were scary, you realize how strong you’ve always been. And you realize that it is in the facing of things that we heal and drop the story’s we tell ourselves. Face each day.

It’s in the facing of our fears that we conquer them.

Remember that this is a journey. There is no endpoint, just levels of clearer clarity. As we get clearer on who we are, our lives begin to have more meaning in the smallest things. We begin to slow down and find joy in the calm and quiet.

We begin to live from our soul and go on a journey of many lifetimes.

We Will Rise

I wanna say this
And I want to be clear about it:
We will get through this.
The reality is, we will, because it’s the only way to get to the other side of anything; THROUGH.

The ONLY control we have is WHO we are when we get there.

Will we be more compassionate?
More resilient?
More vulnerable?
Create more? Whatever your craft is.
Healthier?
Make better choices knowing we didn’t have much to choose from?
Will we be less jaded & more forgiving of ourselves?
Will we have learned what it means to go inward?

We will get to the other side of this.
But you have the best option in yourselves right now to take this FORCED TIME of slowdown to choose how best to use it.

We always have a choice of our REACTION to things. What will you choose?

Will you choose to forgive, especially now that we are all collectively going through something?

Will you continue to allow the opinions & “facts” around you; news, radio, family, friends, to change your views? Or will you learn to establish your own opinions through listening to your own voice?

You have choices even as the world during this pandemic has you believe you don’t.

You still get to get through the other side of this less jaded & more loving. Less robotic & more human.

You still have a choice on who you are, how you react, how you wish to wake up & go to sleep. How to spend your day.

We keep being told to stay indoors & oh my God everyone becomes short of breath, their mind spinning into a million scenarios. What now? What now that my routine is going to stop? What now that my not being busy is going to force me to think?

Only way out is through; through the fear, the anxiety, the pain, the feelings. There is no bandaid for this people. No escape. If you come to terms with that now, you’ll have a better chance surviving this less angered, less limited, less fearful.

If you need help in understanding or needing help on how to do this, message me.

I’m not saying it’s not hard or scary. I’m saying, face that scary bitch in the face & tell it who’s in control. Trust me, it’s not them!

This time is merely a transition to your higher self. A transition to a better world. It’s merely a transition. And transitions are always hard. Uncomfortableness is not our forte but we are built to transition & sometimes we just need help. Seek help, reach out. We are in this together & it is NOT ok to not reach out, especially now.

So let’s get to the other side of this- TOGETHER WE WILL RISE!

Sit with It

It’s so important to sit in the pain and many of us don’t. We don’t for FEAR we have to relive it over and over and feel that pain.  Our greatest challenge to healing is fear. We need to feel the pain to know we can walk through to the other side of the pain. To know that in the uncomfortableness we make it through. Running from feelings of discomfort only brings more discomfort because we are setting ourselves up to believe we can’t handle it.  We have allowed ourselves to believe that only good feelings are right feelings. Only feelings of love and positivity and comfort and joy are the ones we should be feeling all the time. However, the reality of many of us having even one of these feel good feelings all the time is slim to none.

We need to be in a constant state of working on ourselves in order to heal and be free from pain. We will not be totally free from pain and once you accept that, it is easier to understand that just because we are not free from the pain it does not mean we can’t learn to live with it, to have the right tools to cope with it.  Living free from pain is something God had wanted for us from the beginning.  

Going through painful times in your life and reliving them makes them seem real all over again. However, living with the pain, does not mean you need to relive the emotions and feelings that went with it.  

Everyday we judge ourselves. We tell ourselves we can’t do things or be in situations or walk through certain doors because we think we know we can’t handle it.  I say this and I say it once, we know NOTHING until we have actually gone through it. We can assume all we want but to know, to walk through, is nothing near what you think you know.  

Sit with it. Don’t wish it away.  Don’t pray it away. Don’t push it away.  Sit and pray that you are given the strength to sit there long enough to cry and maybe forgive yourself, forgive the other person and let go. I can’t promise you will.  Healing takes time. It takes letting go of this imaginary power you think you have by holding on to hurts and not forgiving people. Of letting go of control. Of trusting that someone else has this for you.  That if you just let go a little bit, it will release itself from you.

I can only promise that when you’re sitting in that pain and not judging it, not judging the why, the how, the, “what now?”, the, “why me?” that after you’re ready to stand up and join the world again, you’ll notice that a part of you was left back in that pain and a new part of you has been cracked open. A part of you you never thought existed. The small part of you that is stronger than you assumed you could be. The part of you that judged yourself before you knew you could sit in that pain.  The part of you that realizes maybe you can do this. Maybe you can rise from the ashes. The part of you that knows you will. You’re still a little scared but a part of you dares you to do it again. To sit in the other pains of your life because this feeling right here. This feeling of healing, of cracking open parts of yourself you never knew existed, you want more of it. You want more of yourself, this real self of yours. Healing becomes a journey. It becomes this journey you want to find out more and more about because you’ve spent so much time in pain that the healing makes you stronger and happier and you’ll want to share it with those you love. You’ll want to help others. And that is our ultimate purpose; to heal ourselves so we can help heal others.  

Losing my Religion

Screenshot_20200229-105105

Yamas (Sanskrit: यम), and their complement, Niyamas, represent a series of “right living” or ethical rules within Hinduism and Yoga. It means “reining in” or “control”. These are restraints for Proper Conduct as given in the Holy Veda. They are a form of moral imperatives, commandments, rules or goals.

Aparigraha- the final Yama about letting go & non-attachment. It means letting go even of the hurts & pains in your life.  Once you do, you are free.  Easier said than done.

It was when I let go of the pain of leaving my religion & the way it hurt me; the shunning, the guilt, the fear of living life with the only God I ever knew. And that God is a God that would not be happy about me leaving.

Letting go of the names I was called. The judgments made in my life. Ultimately letting go of every attachment I had to that religion, even attaching my life story at all with it, was my ultimate freedom.
We believe if we hold on to the hurt that we’re somehow staking a claim. But we are playing the victim when we don’t have to any longer. Sometimes decisions are made for us & we are too young to know the difference. Too ignorant, too involved, born into it, too accepting. It is not until we choose to begin to evolve into our true selves that we begin to make our own decisions and acquire our own beliefs that we ultimately are able to detach ourselves from the story’s so that we can let go.
Letting go is freedom. It leaves us free & light & without past burdens to bear.
We feel as if holding the pain we have some sort of control over it.

How does one ‘let go’.  It is about forgiveness first. We must first forgive those that were doing the best they could for us at the time.  Realizing they were working with the only things they were given and taught.  In my case, I forgave my mother a long time ago.  I understood many years later that she was making decisions on my life, like any parent would, to the best of her knowledge.  It was then up to me, when I became of age, to decide for myself. To ask myself if this is what I really wanted. I could have played the victim for a long time and stayed on to make her happy.  And so many of us don’t let go of stories and people and past mistakes because we are trying to not change the “flow” of our lives when in actuality there is no flow, there is just comfort.

We get comfortable in our roles, even though we don’t feel happy or a sense of contentment but we get into these patterns of making those around us happy. I was brought up to believe if those around me are happy, I’d eventually get to my happiness.  That by making those around me comfortable and happy it was going to make me happy. Instead, it never allowed me to see what truly made me happy. I never took the time to get to know me and to research the things I was being taught. I took others’ words for it and believed that this religion was my saving grace.  Even though every time I did something for myself, apart from what I was being taught, and felt good about it, I had to then be made to feel guilty and ashamed about it.

So I lived on this middle path of making those around me happy while I tried to suppress my own happiness. And I lived it for years.  Until eventually everything that is false comes undone and all that’s left to do is give up or pick up the pieces and try to piece parts of your self back together. It’s hard though to distinguish truth from false when you’ve lived a lie for so long. But with patience, prayer, practice on self-awareness and self-love, I learned the truth of myself. I learned that it’s ok to be me. That being me was better than I had ever imagined. I learned to love myself.  Something I had been taught was egotistical and wrong and not what God had intended for us at all. I learned that without loving yourself first, you can’t possibly love anyone else.

This was the greatest lesson for me and the one that brought out my creative, funky, funny and vulnerable side. Loving myself allowed me to not care what others thought about me any longer. It opened up the door for me to let so many people into parts of me I had kept at a surface level and be vulnerable with them and show them that vulnerability is something to be cherished. It is sacred. It brings unity & deep love. It’s humanity on its deepest and greatest level.

Through self-love and vulnerability, I learned to forgive myself and ultimately forgive others and finally-let go.

**Aparigraha**

Validate Yourself

validation

(quote by @hellooctober)

Stop seeking validation, meaning, understanding, clarity & love outside of you.
Validate yourself.
Find meaning in yourself.
Understand yourself.
Find the clarity you seek in your heart.
Above all, love yourself.
We often seek these things in people & places. In our past or hope to find them in the future.
The present moment, stillness, your breath, quietly listening to the words in your heart, it is all there. All you seek is there.

I recall the times in my life I’d read this advice, to look within me & I had no idea what it meant. I thought to find stability outside of me; job, home, family, a tribe, abundant materials & money, would balance me, make me happy, validate my existence. We are taught this, but these things are add-ons to your life. They are ‘bonuses’, if you will.
It’s when you begin to lose sanity & feel anxious even with all these outside things you quickly realize 2 things: everything you’ve been taught is a lie & holy shit, I’m fucked! Panic mode sets in. You begin calculating all the things you have; money, a home, a tribe, a family, a job. What’s missing? Then you start to think you’re ungrateful and feel guilty for not appreciating these things. And so, the ungratefulness on top of the guilt on top of the validation seeking is just a mixture of misunderstandings. We have been taught wrong, that’s all. We have been told all our lives that things outside of you, the things you possess and attain and succeed at, are who you are. It’s those things that make the whole of you and once you don’t feel whole after all these “things”, is when the real journey begins.
The journey of self-reflection. Going on this journey takes time, effort, resilience and most of all, presence. It takes for you to be present in every single moment of your life so you can pinpoint what is valid and what isn’t. How do you stay present? What does one do after they’ve lived their whole life trying to figure out their past mistakes so as not to do them again and living for a future that hasn’t happened? How do you stay focused enough to stay present? And isn’t it such a time waster if you’re not spending all of your time thinking about how to right your wrongs and do everything you can to secure your future?

Let’s get one thing straight, nothing and I mean, absolutely nothing is secure. Everything is impermanent. Once you figure that out, that’s when true presence settles in.
Impermanence means we all and all things have an expiration date and once that thought hits you, you begin to make the necessary changes to be more present. To live more fully in the moment, knowing that that is the only time we have. THIS. VERY. MOMENT. Even after just reading that sentence and this one and this one, it’s over, that is gone. The feeling you had reading it, is gone. All comes and goes in waves and it’s planting your feet in the sand that keeps you balanced as those waves come. Even then your footprints get washed away.

Staying present takes skill. It takes learning. It is not at all something you can start doing immediately and not lose patience with just as quickly. We live in a very fast-paced world around us and in us. Our brains are constantly moving to new thoughts or repeating the same thoughts over and over.

Start with a simple exercise, whatever it may be. Let’s take cooking for instance. Begin with staying present as you cook. Every ingredient you take out and start to chop or peel, talk to yourself and describe to yourself exactly what you’re doing as you’re doing it; “Opening the refrigerator. Pulling out the carrots. Taking 2 carrots out. Looking for the peeler. Found the peeler. It has a blue handle. Walking towards the kitchen sink to peel the carrots. Placing the carrot in my left hand as I peel with my right. Pieces of carrot skin falling into the sink.” This sounds ridiculous and time-consuming. However, how many times have we done something, cooked dinner and cut ourselves because we had our mind elsewhere or we burned the onions because we had our mind elsewhere or we just think of cooking as this huge task we just don’t want to do. Soon though, as you begin to really live in every moment, you realize how wonderful small things are. How from a few carrots you put a whole meal together. How staying present has allowed you not to think thoughts that you don’t want to think. Those anxious thoughts. It’s in the staying present that those unwanted thoughts eventually filter out and then go away. You begin to be able to control your thoughts because you are living in the very moment and there’s no room for other thoughts if you’re living moment by moment.

It gets easier and easier and no; you will not always be talking to yourself step by step about everything you’re doing. Eventually, you just start living more present. You realize that the past is gone and cannot be changed and the future is not promised, so corny enough, the present truly is like a present, a gift.

Learning to stay present is also done and encouraged through a daily meditation practice. You sit in silence with your eyes closed or semi-closed as you focus your attention on your breath. The inhale and the exhale. Your brain will go into other thoughts and you merely tell yourself what you’re doing to bring your focus back to your breath. You say to yourself “thinking” and once you label what you’re doing, you’re brought back to focus. And you’ll likely do this often throughout your practice in the beginning but eventually, you’ll settle in and you’ll find a meditation practice that works for you. There are so many, find what works for you.

In all of this, in all of these things, you will finally begin to realize who you really are as a person. You begin to see what things you like and no longer serve you. You realize that happiness is found in stillness and moments and understanding that nothing is permanent helps you enjoy it even more because you don’t want it to end. Impermanence also helps you understand that anxious emotions are not here to stay either. They too have a shelf life. Label your emotion; hurt, anger, confusion, anxiousness; and watch it float away. You’ll realize life is an ebb and flow of emotions and for each up there is a down and an up again. That you are only in control of your reaction to things, not how they turn out.

Validation comes from your heart. The thoughts swirling in your brain become fewer and fewer and eventually, it is your heart that speaks louder and you begin to listen more intently and recognize who you truly are and begin living those truths. And it’s in those truths that you understand everything outside of you means nothing if all that is in you hurts. And it’s in healing the hurt that you begin the journey to self-realization.

Tell Your Story to Live

I realized tonight that we need to write our story’s. If we don’t, they will consume us & stay in our heads & attach themselves to parts of us that don’t heal.

Story’s are meant to be told & not necessarily to an audience. Just maybe to yourself. Just maybe if you write it down & see the words is all you need to move on to the next story of your life. When the story stays in your head it becomes your only story & you don’t allow other stories to come in & be lived because they don’t fit the one you’ve been telling yourself all your life.

For instance, for 20 plus years my story was, I grew up Jehovah’s Witness.  When I left to figure out my own way to know myself and God without this organization, I found that I told that story a million times. I let it sit in my head for years. Telling myself I could never possibly love another God the way I was brought up to love God. And God could never love me if I move on from loving him the way I was taught to love him. That I could only be loved if I loved God the way the Witnesses told me to love him.

I told myself that spirituality meant going to church every week, loving your neighbor & putting & doing everything for everyone before yourself.  I told myself that loving yourself was ego minded. I told myself that meditation was dangerous because it left you open to things & Satan could enter & possess you. All these things. This whole story & all these sub story’s from this story had me stuck! I couldn’t move on to learn other religions or what spirituality really was. Or heaven gitnid, what meditation was. Or truly, who I was without this story. Who was I if I didn’t know this religion? Who am I knowing this religion?

This is what we do though. We stick to the stories in our heads and they seem so real because we lived parts of them but the other parts that get added on, they are parts we haven’t lived. They are the fears of the story getting told. The fear that once the story is out our whole jig is up. What then? Who are we then? What will others see us as then? Instead, what happens if we tell the story? What happens if we help someone because they too have a similar story and suddenly we find a connection. What happens if in telling our story we release ourselves from years of binds that no longer belong to us and don’t help us grow.

We need to stop dwelling on why we need to tell our stories and instead see what happens if we just tell it. If we just release it from our heads to paper. See if it’s so scary once the words are staring back at you. See if you can breathe better knowing they are out. See if there could be other stories you’re not getting to live because you’re still stuck on that one chapter in your life.

 

You Choose

I want to talk about ‘choice’.  Someone said to me recently, “I had no choice.”  She was referring to not being able to see content that she didn’t want to see.  My response was simple, “just unfollow them.”  You see, we do have a choice. We always have choices.  I know we may believe we don’t in many cases or around certain people or with where we may find ourselves now, but truly, we always have a choice. We can choose to stay or go, yes or no, the blue over the red, south side to north side, 2 bedrooms to a studio, kids to no kids, single, married, gay, straight, fiction or documentaries, blue eyes, green eyes, clear eyes. We have choices all the time.

We just get in the habit of believing that if we’ve made one choice we can’t possibly change our minds. Who says? Who has told us this? Someone growing up? Friends? Society? God? No. Goodness, no. The difference between realizing you have a choice and choosing to stay in the situation you’re in is fear. Everything is fear of change. What will happen if I change my mind now? What if it’s the wrong decision? What if I fail? What’ll happen is a lot of things. First, things will change and who likes to change? Not many of us. But what will also happen is growth and darn it, that’s life, we gotta grow or we stay stuck. We stay miserable and in bad situations with years of regret.

I thank God every day we have choices. That we have free will.  That we get to choose this or that path. If it weren’t for choices, we’d all be walking around like true robots, living these mundane lives and not recognizing any parts of ourselves.

Choices help us grow. Choices are what guide us to our everlasting. For me everlasting means ever-growing. That I never stop growing and learning about myself. So when I get to choose to stop believing what I’ve been taught all my life and choose my own path, I learn about myself. I learn what I like and don’t like and choose to live the parts I like.

I think that’s why we have so many choices, why we live in color because we were meant to make this life our own. We were meant to pick and choose what works for us.

So don’t sit there telling yourself you have no choice. You choose it all and even if you have to choose it in fear, you do that for yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.  If you allow others to choose for you, you will always live in regret. If you choose based on the happiness of others, you will fail over and over. It is ok to choose yourself over anyone else. It is the way life was given to us.