A Goodbye of Epic Proportions

2015-12-31 11.27.13

Dear 2015,

Where do I even begin? You were good to me, I however…was not so good to you.

2015 will forever be referred to as “The Year of change and growth” for me.

I found HOME this year.

Both physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I then tried to sabotage it. I ran from it. From healing. I hid, lied, distracted, coped, and self medicated. For the first 6 months of you 2015, I was the most incomplete, disastrous, and self destructive version of myself that I had been in more than 18 years. Quite possibly ever. Through moments of lucidity, I managed to maintain my relationship with my girls, but understandably only by a thread at times. My own inability to deal, left them feeling  alone and deserted. I am not sure I will ever forgive myself for that. I am blessed however, that they truly are the most forgiving souls that I know. I have always, and will always be there for my children in every way possible. For those months though, I reeled in the wake of  the divorce aftershocks, and had no idea how to maintain being the strong and powerful role model I had always been for them…while dying inside. I finally came to terms with my own weaknesses, fragility, and shortcomings. And oh my hell were there a lot of shortcomings. And do I even dare discuss the coping mechanisms unmasked?!?! Far to many to count. One’s I now see in my own children. One’s that sadden me greatly.

The beauty of all of that though, is that I still found HOME. I didn’t navigate 2015 with poise, and grace. I didn’t tactfully seek healing. I stumbled, fumbled, fell, cried, screamed, drank, clawed, fought, and nearly drowned while finding my footing.

The moral however, is that I did find my footing. I am more aware now of my shortcomings than ever before, and I work daily to be honest about them, and correct them so as to not negate my hearts intentions while loving others.

I also found LOVE this year.  I knew from the moment I looked into his eyes, that I was in trouble. I ran from him too. For almost 2 months. I wasn’t ready for him. For all that he is. I did quickly however, find myself wanting to be ready. Longing to be the best version of myself for ME, my girls, for his kids, and for him.  I didn’t see him coming at all. Today, I feel like he and his love were my reward for standing back up and learning to thrive, rather than continuing to wallow in self pity and brokeness.

Regardless of how I handled most of you 2015, you were still good to me. You brought people into my life that have changed me forever. You taught me that I am worthy of love, and the forgiveness my children exhibited. I leave you now 2015, with a new found appreciation for the journey, and a fire in my gut to see the same self discovery, and healing for my children in 2016.

I’m sorry that so much of you is hazy 2015. I am eternally thankful for all that you brought into my life in these past 12 months….but I bid you farewell with a sigh of relief…and a genuine excitement for what is to come in 2016.

So, thanks for the memories Doll…..you will always be a special year for me. Even if I am replacing you with a new one. 😉

I am Me….and I am a Hypocrite.

Worthy

Another deeply personal post my friends. Bare with me, and remember that I am on the journey to find me. 🙂

I have had the ability to “see” people my entire life. And by “see” I mean actually see them for who and what they really are. Most times it feels as though I can see straight into their soul. I am not insinuating that it is some supernatural, or psychic type ability, just that it is an ability. I have no idea if that ability was birthed due to the various experiences I have had throughout my life or not, but none the less it is a constant and present thing.

I chose many years ago to use this ability for good, and attempt to help all who were open to receiving my help regardless of the cost. I have spent countless hours speaking with people, writing countless stories and blogs in an effort to help others, and many a sleepless night listening to those in need. I have made it my life’s work to love people past their brokeness, and more importantly, help them see and value their self-worth beyond measure.

That my dear friends…..is why I am a hypocrite.

When I see others struggling with feelings of worthlessness,  I usually attempt to combat that first. For nothing hurts my heart more than seeing someone who is precious and amazing, say that they are not worthy of being loved. Almost nothing makes my heart ache more.

And yet…..I have become fully aware as of late….that I AM THE WORST OF THEM ALL. I desire to serve, but refuse to allow anyone to serve me in return. I desire to lift up, and shake my head in disbelief when someone attempts to lift me up, or tell me that I am worth it. I mask the fact that I do not feel worthy of anyone doing things for me with pride and a stubborn spirit. In truth, I am stubborn. Some might say the most stubborn. But I have realized as of late, that the “prideful” behaviors I exhibit on a seemingly regular basis are nothing more than a mask to hide that I would rather be the one doing for others, than allowing them to do for me. Because to allow them to do for me, would be admitting that I am worthy of their love, devotion, and support.

I know all of this seems the artifices of my previous blog titled “I am me…and I am enough.” But in all actuality it is not. This is simply me recognizing the depths of my broken spirit, and seeing the recurring theme of worthlessness for exactly what it is. This is me documenting each revelation and new understanding in an effort to move past it once and for all. This is me….making an effort to not make a mountain out of a molehill, and look at myself in the mirror and be fully satisfied with what is looking back at me.

Because the “I am not good enough” that has plagued me since I was old enough to remember was a seed planted by the hands of my offender, and then watered throughout the years by others. Who though, has been fertilizing that seed? Who has allowed it to stay rooted within her soul, and essentially bare fruit within her own existence? Me folks. That’s who. I will not blame this powerful and negative force in my life, on anyone other than myself.

And so today….I will take my own damn advice for once. I will take off my hat of hypocrisy and accept that I am worthy of the love that surrounds me. That I should want to be whole, healthy, happy, and healed for me. I will stop using my children as my only source of inspiration, and in essence what I hide behind.

I want to believe that I am worth it. I will believe it. I will own it.

I WILL learn it, love it, and live it.

Period.

I am Me, and I am enough.

enough

A whirlwind of changes yet again, have left me embracing my own fragility.

Fragile is not something I would have ever been comfortable describing myself as before. Not completely comfortable with it now. However, I recognize that there are parts of my being that are tender, raw, and vulnerable. And for the first time in my life, I am coming to a place where I can appreciate that. The weight of having to be strong all of the time, slowly being lifted.

Embracing the damage that was done. Choosing to heal from it. As painful as it is, I choose daily to be better.

I choose to stare down the insecurities that plague me, and believe that I AM WORTHY OF BEING LOVED. Never having realized before, that I was hiding behind my own capacity to love, yet not believing that I was worthy of receiving it. The most painful realization has been seeing myself for all of the strengths that I embody, yet fully recognizing that beliving that “I am not good enough” negates those strengths.

It matters not, how I came to believe that I am not enough….it only matters that I choose to embrace that I am.

It matters not, how I came to believe that I am not worthy of being loved….it only matters that I accept that I do.

It matters not, why I feel alone in a room full of people on some days…..it only matters that I will choose to escape the loneliness, and learn how to live again.

Because……

I am enough. I am not perfect. But I am MORE than enough.

I am reminded of this daily when I see the love in my childrens eyes. When I hear my friends tell me they love me, and that they have my back….and I do not doubt that they mean it.

I see that I am enough when I hear the genuine joy escaping the lips of my children as they begin to laugh again from their souls. I see them healing. I see them loving. Without fear of rejection, or abandonment…they love. They inspire me to do the same.

And while my heart will likely always be closely guarded and protected, the courage I see within the children I have been blessed to have in my life strengthens me and uplifts me in a way I cannot do justice to with mere words.

So today I say, I am enough.

I am strong. I am love. I am blessed. I am me.

I am powerful. I am loved. I am humbled. I am me.

I am me. And I am enough.

Change is our only constant.

The changes that come with life are constant and consistent. The absolute ONLY thing we can count on in life is that there will be change. There will be small and subtle changes, as well as substantial changes that leave us questioning everything we thought we once knew. It is what you do after the reeling stops that defines who you are. It is who you become during and on the other side of these changes that will be your legacy. I desire my legacy to be one of love, wisdom, strength, resilience, and compassion. I will fail. I will fall. I will do things that unintentionally hurt others, but I will ALWAYS apologize. I will ALWAYS learn from them. And I will ALWAYS have a heart big enough to shelter those whom I love, and who have my back. So, regardless of the constant and ever changing things that make up this life…..I will ALWAYS stand up right in my convictions, and be humbled beyond measure to live in a world where I am able to feel the love that surrounds me daily.
I will fall….but I will ALWAYS get back up.

“I will not hide my face
I will not fall from grace
I’ll walk into the fire, baby
All my life I was afraid to die
But now I come alive inside these flames
I don’t need you to save me
‘Cause I’m a survivor
Yeah, I am a fighter”

Not only will I get back up…but I will choose to thrive instead of survive.

“From the ashes emerged a being more beautiful than the world had ever seen before, nor would ever see again.”

The progression of change…my journey to feeling, and healing.

Progression:  pro·gres·sion 1.a movement or development toward a destination or a more advanced state, especially gradually or in stages.”the normal progression from junior to senior status”

  • synonyms: progress, advancement, movement, passage, march; More

    MUSIC: a passage or movement from one note or chord to another.
    “a blues progression”
    “A movement or development toward a destination…..”
    There is not always a destination as we navigate the challenges of this life. Especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Which is beyond frustrating for those like myself, who need to have a purpose. A goal to work towards.
    So, I hold tight to the second part of the definition of the word progression. “a movement or development toward a destination OR a more advanced state, especially gradually or in stages.
    To progress to a more advanced state, gradually, in stages. To allow myself to accept the imperfections, broken places, open wounds, anger, debilitating sadness, sense of loss, and FEEL them at a level that shakes me to my core. To do this in stages, and recognize that without FEELING them….my soul will wane in the wake of this valley, and I will never fully heal, and therefore be a watered down and broken version of myself. Which for those who know me, and those who have read other entries in my blog, KNOW that that is NOT an option within my journey. I have been unshakably committed to being whole, healed, and the best version of me that I can be for many years now. To change that now, would be cheating myself, and only prolong the process. My desire to find peace supersedes any defense mechanism subconsciously put in place to protect my heart. Because in truth….my heart has been destroyed, Both by the actions of another, and my own actions. I move forward not looking to place blame, but to fully embrace the experiences, and resolve to learning from them.
    I will resolve to not only learning from my past, but fully accepting that I will be different as a result. I have been operating out of a fear of vulnerability, and that fear still plagues me. There are chosen few, so few, who I can let my guard down with. But those few remind me that I am human. That I do not have to be strong all of the time. Which is a very jagged, and bitter pill for me to swallow. My mind has said that to maintain my “bad ass” status, I must not let the world see me in my brokenness. Only allow them to see me afterwards, when the positivity and wisdom birthed from those times are flowing like a river of encouragement. But in reality….will it not be even more powerful to say “Yes, I am broken, and I am destroyed RIGHT NOW. I am human. I cry. I hurt. I think irrational thoughts about forever being alone, and I harbor fears of ever trusting another human being with my heart. But I WILL BE BETTER. I WILL be more. I WILL choose to love others, and myself. Just you watch and see.”
    So although it would be easier for me to hide behind my strengths, I know that I will only derive more strength from being honest about my weaknesses. I will take a dear friends advice, and embrace the delicate parts of my spirit that need to be held, loved, nurtured, and healed. I will get angry, and then I will get over it. I will mourn, and then I will allow joy to come in the morning. I will turn on songs that I know evoke powerful emotions within me, and I will let my tears flow, because I know that with those tears comes a cleansed soul. I will as I always have, lean on my Creator to lead me, guide me, refine me, and most importantly DEFINE me.
    I am merely the culmination of the experiences of my life to date. And today, I resolve to breathing deep. Riding the waves as they come. And knowing, that on the other side of this….I will once again be a force to be reckoned with in this world. And maybe, just maybe, as a result…..I will someday allow others to love me as intensely and as devotedly as I love them. Maybe, just maybe, this chapter of my existence, may prove to be my most powerful testimony to date. It is all about the journey.
    “From the ashes of a broken existence came forth a more powerful, beautiful, and passionate being than the world had EVER seen, nor would EVER see again.”~ Me 2007
    For those of you that are a song within my life…I say thank you. You will never know the weight that your love holds within my spirit.

A letter to my molester….a story of victory and healing.

This will quite possibly be, the MOST personal post I have ever made, or will ever make…..

Recent changes in my life have caused me to prioritize yet again, and I have resumed my focus in life to love, lift up, encourage, and help others move past their hurts and all of the consequences of those hurts.

I am no longer be a wife,  and navigating outside of that label is new and different for me. As you can see from many of my past posts, that was a huge part of my identity for almost 17 years.

But I am still a mother. A kick ass one at that.

I am still a daughter. Sister. Friend. Protector. Ride or Die.

I am still Unbridled and untamed. Honest to a fault. Wild and free. And now more free to be all of those things and more. More so now than ever before in my entire existence.

I was still created for a purpose, even though my purpose has been re-defined.

I am journeying to find the broken parts of me that were compromised for so many years, and explore them fully. Mending them, and restoring them to their full potential.

I am on a journey to find “Me.”

And where I am today, stems directly from where I’ve been.

So, I share with you the letter I wrote to my offender 7 years ago this year. It had taken me 27 years to write this letter. And I have never looked back.

I desire that those who read it, will see that there is always the ability to move past the pain, grab hold of life, and choose healing over brokenness.

My life is a living testament to that.

And the rest of my story….has only just begun. 🙂

September 21st, 2007

Dear Biological Father,

As I begin this letter, it occurs to me that we have come full circle.  It was exactly this time last year that we had our last conversation.  As you well know, I was deeply hurt by last year’s happenings.  Not an unfamiliar feeling from our correspondence throughout the years, but still painful at that.  While that seems like a harsh statement, please know now that “low-blows” or “cheap-shots” are not what this letter is about.  I also have no intention of using this letter as a forum for using you as my personal “Punching bag”. I turned 27 years old yesterday, and finally realize that I have simply come to a place in my life, where I cannot do this anymore.  By “this” I mean, harbor un-forgiveness, and suffer all the damage it does to my personal life.

I feel compelled to begin by telling you that I do remember.  I do remember the times spent throughout my childhood that you and I spent as father and daughter.  I remember lots of peaceful walks through the Santa Cruz Redwoods, where I learned how to track deer, and how to climb the massive trunks of the breathtaking redwood trees.  I remember bike rides, and fishing trips.  The deep sea fishing trip on the Great Lakes where I was sicker than a dog and still caught the biggest fish that day…..that story still brings a smile to my face.  I also realize that I was raised by two different fathers before the age of 10.  My Father, who was a good father.  A caring father and a man that truly felt blessed for the one precious daughter that G-d allowed him to have.  And the other man, whom I’m sure we are both equally thankful, is no longer a part of either of our lives anymore.  The first father, the father that I truly believe G-d intended you to be, is the man that I find myself mourning for all these years later.  You know that I had the most amazing step-father that anyone could have ever asked for, however that never did dull the pain completely for the loss of my biological father in my life.  You see, the statement made in your last email about “Not knowing you well enough to comment on what is typical of you” seems so unfair a statement coming from a man whose daughter was robbed of “Knowing you well enough” by his own doing.  I know that through your own time of self-exploration and counseling all those years ago, you found the “reasons” for your actions.  For that I am truly grateful.  You see I am not a selfish person, and have for years wondered and prayed that you were not nearly as tormented by what happened as I have been.  I would not wish that on anyone, and I only know what it was like to be the child in the situation, I cannot imagine the burden of being the offender.  I know, through a few of our conversations, that you have found peace from that situation, and feel as though, in most ways I have as well.  I have spent a lot of time analyzing what it is that I still harbor that keeps my un-forgiveness alive and well, and subject to triggering other ugly behaviors in my life.  I have come to rest upon the understanding that it is about so much more than the act of the molestation itself.  My issues seem to be more about simply the loss of you in my life.  That the choices you made, even after the most traumatic ones, all lead to the same place…..the place where our relationship is not healthy, never has been, and never will be.  I feel as though, I have never, and will never be more important than you, and your needs.  I realize that this may be completely incorrect, but, as I’m sure you would agree, I have never had the chance to know any differently.

Also, I apologize for allowing my deep-seeded emotional scars affect your wife recently.  Please convey my heartfelt apology to her for having been on the receiving end of my anger and resentment. I could go into all the reason why I felt hurt and angry that you would give me such funds as a “loan”, but you and I both already know them, and there is no reason to re-hash them. The “sacrifice” while honorable, also felt like a slap in the face. It was the only sacrifice I could ever recall my EVER father making for me, and as quickly as it was given, was asked to be returned.  I reacted out of anger, and resentment, and for that I apologize.

I write this letter, not as a sounding board for all of my reasons for ugly behavior, but, as a final release of all my un-forgiveness.  Also, to say, that I have truly come to a place where I can thank God for what I endured as a child.  As strange as that sounds, I know that I would not be the strong, compassionate, spiritually sound person I am today, had I not endured what I did.  I heard a pastor speak recently, and make a statement that was so deeply profound as he was speaking on spiritual gifts.  He stated that some gifting’s were given by God intentionally, and some were the product of “Enduring such a traumatic experience that it literally rips a whole in your soul.”  That statement rang so true for me.  My desire to continue the journey daily to become that which I was created to be, and to continue seeking the true intention for my life, is directly related to that hole in my soul.  I may never have learned how desperately I need him daily had I not needed him so early on.

And so I say, farewell.

Know that I move forward in Peace.
And most importantly…that I CHOOSE to move forward.

May 7th Photo-A-Day Challenge: Trees!

May Photo-A-Day Challenge: Trees!

Supposed to be trees today. So, you will see trees in the background. Lots of native foliage in fact to Boquete region of Panama where we were when I took this picture.

But of course, what I saw was the beautiful Indian woman. Working diligently to start the fire needed to prepare that evenings meal. Her and her family had traveled by foot for who knows how many days. She was doing nothing more than the same thing she does every day. And yet…I was enamored with her. Amazed by her quiet strength. Her subtle beauty. Her being.

I don’t know what it is about my soul that desires to walk with those like her, and every other culture. If able, I would have gladly strapped on a bag, and went home with her. Living where they live. Eating what they eat. Working as hard as they work. I vow to Someday….do exactly that.

Wanderlust consumes my very soul. And….I wouldn’t have it any other way.