A New Reason to Smile

Like I said the other day, I think we forget sometimes, just how much power we have in creating the life we desire. Sure, there are a million things we can’t control, but the one thing we can control is how we think and therefore how we feel. I know it doesn’t always seem like that. Especially for anyone who battles with depression, anxiety or any other mentally challenging disorders. And I’m not saying it’s easy either, it’s not, but if we ever want to truly be content in this life, we must find a way to change the way we think.

That is the only way to change the way we feel and the negative belief system that has been ruling our lives. After all, a belief is just something you keep thinking over and over again; that doesn’t make it true.

You might be thinking, “Sure, that’s easy for you to say, your life is great!”

And I would reply, “Then, I must be doing a pretty good job of convincing myself it is!”

Hicks always says, “Fake it until you make it!” and that is literally what you have to do, almost every day.

Do you think I wake up every day happy and excited?

Well, I can tell you that is very rare.

For me, depression is like an evil villain lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce on my good mood at any given moment. I never know when it will hit me or what the trigger will be. The only thing I do know for sure is that its visit is inevitable.

Every day before I open my eyes, I take the first thought that comes to mind and should it be a negative one, I take a deep breath and say to myself, “Not today” and then I reach for the closest positive thought I can find. And I continue to do that until I have moved my train of thought over to something or someone that makes me smile.

If that doesn’t work (and sometimes it doesn’t), I may surrender to the moment, but as soon as I have a chance to release those emotions, I take it.

Whether that be writing, painting or simply taking a moment to blubber about it, we all need an outlet. I have a friend who whenever they get upset, they go running and I have another friend who whenever they get upset, they go for a drive.

The point is, we are all human and part of being human means that we are emotional beings. There is nothing we can do to change that.

And emotions are meant to be expressed. It is when they are not that we find ourselves spinning out of control.

Which is why having a support system or at least one person who knows you as well as (if not more than) you know yourself, is detrimental in winning the fight.

We all need that one person who is understanding and supportive, but also not afraid to call us out on our shit!

Something I think we all need every once in a while 🙂

The minute you turn from the ones who care for you, you surrender completely to whatever it is that is causing you to feel that way.

Whether it is a person, a problem or an illness, when you turn away from the world and crawl inside yourself, you are giving up your power to change your circumstance.

You become, the title of one of my favorite Perfect Circle songs – Weak and Powerless.

Maybe this will only last a few months, but there is always a chance of permanence.

Darkness in a world full of color.

The longer you spend in the dark, the harder it becomes to find the light.

Why?

Because every thought you think, results in an emotion and every emotion another thought that leads to another emotion…you get the point.

“when you are feeling insecure you start to think the way you are feeling. Then, you begin to feel the way you think and feeling becomes the means of thinking. When this occurs, the mind becomes immersed in the body and you begin thinking as a body and not as a mind; it becomes your state of being.” – Dr. Joe Dispenza

So when we wallow and believe me, I can be the queen of wallowing sometimes, we begin to validate the negativity we are experiencing.

The story we tell ourselves is incredibly important. It forms the way we see the world and ourselves. As well as determines what we attract into our current reality.

This was a huge revelation I had back in 2016 and it has been my savior over the past few years when it comes to pulling myself back from the downward spiral of emotions that can pull me away from my path.  I wrote a post about it that you can find here, What is Your Story?

Obviously, I have not yet mastered the art and perhaps I never will, but at least I’m trying.

And some part of it must be working, because I am seeing evidence of it more and more as time goes on.

Take for instance that last few months or even all of last year for that matter. It has been an emotional roller coaster for me.

My heart has been broken, friends have let me down and in many cases, I have let myself down, but despite the disappointments of the past, I am still going strong!

I have learned that although it is natural to feel defeated at times or get caught up in someone or some event in our lives, if we dwell in this place for too long, we may let something amazing walk right on by.

Life has a funny way of working itself out and it is way too short to hold on to the people who do not value you or cling to the mistakes of the past. This life is about moving forward, not backward.

Sometimes what we want and what we need are completely opposed to one another and that is just all there is to it.

How do we know the difference?

That is a tough question to answer, but I’ll give it a shot based on my own experiences.

First of all, you should never have to beg for love and/or attention from someone who truly cares for you, because to those who truly care it is something you will never have to question. Words are merely words and leave the lips of the deceitful just the same as they do from those with good intentions.

The difference is that those with good intentions validate those words with actions. We all make mistakes and behave in ways we are not proud of, so I am not saying you should dismiss anyone who doesn’t put you on a pedestal – that’s a bit extreme!

It is okay to give someone a chance to make amends, but be careful about letting them off too easy. The word sorry is over used and over appreciated in my opinion and it is again just a word. True amends are made by going the extra mile, not just apologizing for what you did wrong.

The day you embrace this knowledge you will find that you hold not only yourself, but everyone-else in your life to a higher standard.

And I assure you, when you least expect it, you will cross paths with someone you may have never seen coming, had you been too busy chasing after someone else.

And the same advice is relevant with circumstances too.

Just like people, opportunities will come and go in your life, you just have to try your best to ensure you are going after the right ones and not spending too much time trying to make the wrong ones into something they are not.

We are all in this together… some of us just weren’t meant to walk next to one another.

Image courtesy of suwatpo at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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You Matter

There are only a handful of people in my life that I have truly opened up to. And if you are one of those people, you know how hard that is for me to do.

The two things that hurt me the most are being lied to and being disregarded/dismissed. More so, when the build up of false hope and greatness proceeds being left behind.

From a very young age, I was made to feel as though I didn’t matter, I wasn’t important, to the one person who held my whole world in their hands. She walked away from me as if I never meant anything to her and as a result, I find it extremely hard to believe that I really could matter to anyone the way they matter to me.

I am not saying that is true, in fact I know  in my mind that it is not, but my heart is another story.

With every new friendship/relationship, I am constantly on guard. Waiting for the day they decide to walk away or hurt me in some way. For anyone who understands the law of attraction, you can clearly see how I am bringing this all on myself.

There in itself lies the challenge.

There is this emptiness, this worry, in my mind that never seems to go away. There is this constant state of fear that resides in the pit of my stomach. And with every failed friendship/relationship it grows larger.

And it is not so much an issue of self esteem or confidence, although I am sure many would argue as such. I know I am a person of value. I am aware of all my good (and bad) qualities and I am proud of the person I am today. So I can assure you there is something different at play here.

It is instead and inability to trust that the intentions of others are honorable.

And I am not talking about trust as in cheating, I have never really been the jealous kind and besides I am not just talking about relationships, I am talking about friendships too.

In the time I have been on this earth, I have encountered so many people who claimed to care for me dearly. Those who promised they would always be there and most of them are not here today. And many I would find out later were not the people I thought they were to begin with.

Two great examples can be found here.

Situations like these have arisen over and over again. It is a wonder I can still find the courage to open up at all.

I guess maybe somewhere down deep inside, hidden behind the emptiness in my heart is a hope for something more from this life and the people I share it with. A hope that drives the courage to face another day.

Perhaps it is what gives me the strength to keep moving forward, when all I want to do is run away and hide from a world that has proved to be so cruel.

One that dangles happiness on a string only to pull it away just before you grasp it.

Eventually, there comes a day, much like today, when frustration & exhaustion drive you to anger. And for me anger has always been the path to moving forward.

For in anger, there are no feelings of unworthiness, but rather that of animosity; resentment from ever being made to feel that way in the first place.

 

For those of you that have stuck around for all these years, stayed true to your word and accepted me unconditionally, thank you is simply not enough.

If it was not for you, I would hold no hope for the hearts of men.

Truth would seem like a fairy tale and love…well…I am not sure I’d know what that was.

And for those of you who have left me on the shelf, assuming that I would always be there…how foolish of you. I hold no desire to be part of your collection, nor will I tell you when I decide to walk away, but I assure you, I will.

In the end it is your loss I suppose, but I wonder if there will ever be a day when you hold remorse for the damage you inflicted on an already wounded heart.

A heart that was meant to be treasured, but instead, was treated like just a random acquaintance or notch in your belt.

This life is too short for any of us to spend our time wasted on those who do not see our worth.

Actions speak louder than words and words are not actions…pretty sure someone famous said that! 🙂

We tend to get caught up in the declarations & promises of others, but those are just words and if not followed up with actions then they literally mean nothing.

And with every disappointment lies a lesson, usually one of personal growth. Therefore, there is no other direction but forward and sometimes the only way forward is through forgiveness and reflection.

Both of which are not always easy, but they are necessary in order to begin telling a new story!

Embracing The Darkness

How can you truly appreciate the light, without embracing the darkness?

For is it not the contrast between that enables growth, change and the prospect of something more?

Throughout my life I have battled with depression as I have expressed here many times before. It is something that for me is always just below the surface, scratching to get out.

Most of the time, I keep it at bay with my writing; poetry mostly.

Which is why I am sure to tell everyone not to read too much into those words.

They are merely a compilation of hope, insecurity and fear that has usually already fizzled before my fingers ever hit the keys.

As I do with inspirational memes and random thoughts, I share them, because I know somewhere out there, they may be just the words someone needs to hear.

A voice to help them feel less alone, to let them know that even the strongest people can feel weak, neglected, and lost, to assure them that just when they think they will never feel loved again, that they will and if that love should fade, they will continue to find it again and again and again.

And I am not just talking about the romantic kind, those of you who have experienced depression understand that. For us, there are moments when all we can see is the darkness. All we can feel is the deep penetrating pain that for me is best described as the complete lack of love.

You honestly feel, even if only for a short time, that your existence on this earth is meaningless. You feel as though everything you have worked so hard to achieve and all the people whose paths you have crossed along the way, wouldn’t think twice if one day you just disappeared. So then, you begin to think about disappearing and if you stay in that place long enough, eventually you might.

I think we are all quick to assume we know the reasoning behind someone’s actions and it is usually rooted in our insatiable need to be offended. We all struggle, some more than most.

And many of us keep it well hidden. If not for the depth of my words, the majority of the people in my life would never know that behind these eyes is a lifetime of suffering.

They would not know that I am prone to believe that everything ends, that everyone leaves, eventually…or how deeply in my heart I wish that someone would prove it all wrong.

Nor would they know that for me, feelings of abandonment and uncertainty are the first to trigger the storm. No matter how much I try, there are somethings that I just can’t shake. But what is of the utmost importance, is that I do try. Over and over again, I try.

Because I know, that it is how we deal with these struggles that define the person we become.

The older I get, the more I am able to control the darkness, but every once in a while it takes me before I see it coming.

It is in those moments, that it must be embraced. For I know that after the clouds have cleared, I will rise anew.

Each time, I am stronger than the last and much more me than I ever was before.

The darkness takes me to a space I keep locked away from the world.

A dungeon filled with broken pieces that have not yet found their place and perhaps they never will.

Each time I fall, I seem to delve deeper.

Just as each time I rise, I seem to stretch higher.

And it is because of this that I am grateful for the darkness.

For without it, I would be unable to appreciate the light.

 

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

I haven’t yet, but I will.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about how when we were younger and a guy we were dating treated us well, we would instantly no longer find him attractive. And the ones who treated us like dirt, we fell madly in love with.

I mean what rational person behaves like that? You are basically screwing yourself from the get go!

And then we wonder why all of our relationships fail?! Really?!

Does it really make sense that someone you were originally attracted to for being a jerk would all of the sudden become the thoughtful person you originally pushed away.

Having been that way most of my life, I realize now that any relationship I have ever been in was founded on unrealistic expectations. All of which were not communicated to the other person.

I came to this conclusion a few years ago when I was doing some major rehab on myself. And I swore that I would make a great effort moving forward to stop expecting and start enjoying.

I also made the decision to stay single until I learned to appreciate the value in it. I was a serial monogamist for years, jumping from one relationship to the next without taking the time in-between to evaluate where the previous one went wrong and what I needed to work on myself.

It was not fair to the person I was dating or to myself.

I have learned so much about myself over the past few years. The most important of which is that my happiness should never be considered the responsibility of another. That has always led to co-dependency and failure in my relationships.

I have also learned not to take things so personally. I mean let’s be honest, people don’t always say what they mean or they may in the moment, but in the light of day, everything changes.

I am a very strong willed and sometimes stubborn person. Partnered with my independence and the magnitude by which I feel, it can be a lot to handle. It always seems like a good idea in the beginning, but it is never very long before the opposite sex turns and runs in the other direction.

I used to internalize this as there being something wrong with me. Maybe I was just unlovable?!

It took a long time for me to realize that was simply not true.

I am not unlovable, I was just not meant to be loved by them.

And I know this now because I have been loved and I mean truly loved. For all my faults, through all my mistakes, unconditionally, I have been loved. It was a very long time ago, which is perhaps why for so long I forgot it was possible to find that again.

I haven’t yet, but I will.

And until then, I am content.

I know now that I am cut from a very different cloth. I am not the usual run of the mill gal and loving me is not a task for the weak.

I also know in my heart that behind the scenes, everything is falling into place.

There is nothing I need to do, when the time is right, I know our paths will cross. And it is important that they do not cross too early. Have you ever met someone and thought to yourself that had the timing been different, it could have been perfect. But for one reason or another, one or both of you were just not ready for the intensity of what you shared.

As I am growing and becoming more myself, I am sure that person is doing the same. Meeting now could mean preventing ourselves from lessons we are still meant to learn.

And besides, the main focus for me at this point in time is staying true to myself. Something that has been a challenge in the past when sharing my life with another.

After all, we are no good to anyone if we have not found a way to be comfortable in our own skin.

It was a rarity and a blessing back then to have found someone with whom I could walk that path. We were so young and our love so strong that nothing else mattered. And although we have both chosen to walk a different path, he will always be the one who gave me the courage to be myself.

Our love is different now and in many ways stronger. He is not a lover, nor would I want him to be or could he be. The story of how we came to this place is a long one and I am saving that for the pages of my next book, but let’s just say that he and I have the same taste… in men. 🙂

The last few months have been hard. I have struggled with the same feelings of inadequacy in love and after the most recent heart break, I really thought I would never feel unbroken.

But I do.

Now, I do.

I have been fortunate enough to find the strength to pick myself up (once again!) and move forward. I have been able to look back on the situation and see it for what it truly was…not meant to be.

He was the first person, I found comfort in after a very long stint of being alone. I could see his potential, but he could not. He was important to me, but I was not to him. And you know what? That is not his fault and it is not mine. My feelings for him changed, as I changed. He changed me.

That was more than a month ago now and I can honestly say that I have no ill feelings. He was doing the best he could with what he had at the time and that is all I could have expected from him.

As I said before, I know now that I am cut from a very different cloth and loving me is not a task for the weak.

I have been loved and I mean truly loved. For all my faults, through all my mistakes, unconditionally, I have been loved. It was a very long time ago, which is perhaps why for so long I forgot it was possible to find that again.

I haven’t yet, but I will.

And until then, I am content just being me.

Silence

The silence thickens as the echoes of laughter slowly fade

I do not remember the quiet tasting quite this bitter

And it’s heavy now 

This feeling in my chest

Yet it is not like before 

Nothing is 

So I close my eyes and drift away to a place I never thought existed.

A place where I am no longer the fool

And there is nothing to be done.

Where the distance between happiness and loneliness grows closer 

Until I am all consumed by the sweet release of sleep.