Relationships–Redefining Relationship to Self

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I’ve decided that I need to enter a new relationship—with myself.  I think everyone needs to learn to have a better relationship with themselves.  A co-worker mentioned she needed to step away from the desk today so I told her to go and take a break.  She immediately replied, “I’m salary I don’t get a lunch or a break.”  I wasn’t in the mood to argue but I realized that we have a fundamentally different view of work.  I saw in a split second that unhealthy expectations are immediately present in the work environment.  Being salary doesn’t mean you don’t get a break.  It means that you are paid for X amount of hours to do a certain job in a certain time.  Me, I get paid for 40 hours.  That means that anything over 40 hours decreases my hourly wage and it is encroaching on my time.  Or, more simply, I am not paid for anything over 40 hours. 

Anything over 40 hours is on my time and I am allowed to put in my time and be done with work.  I don’t owe any explanations and I want to be clear that anyone in this situation—the same applies.  Being a salaried employee doesn’t mean that you are at the whim of the business—although that is what we have let it mean.  I have always looked at it as a matter of time management.  Because of my neuroses and control issues, I have always been incredibly efficient at time management.  If you aren’t able to complete your work in 40 hours you either have too much work or you aren’t spending your time correctly.

No one should have to work for free.  No one should have to work more than eight hours a day to prove their worth.  And in this day and age, no one should have to forego a break or eating just because they hold a certain position.  We are all human.  Where the new relationship comes in is right here: I don’t need to prove my worth to anyone, I don’t owe anyone more than what I have agreed to, and I don’t need external accolades or points to be considered successful.

Learning to set boundaries is one of the most important forms of self-care and self-love.  It is a matter of doing what is right for me.  It is listening and honoring what my mind and body are telling me.  And quite frankly, I don’t have to stay where I am not valued.  I read a quote today that said, “I am the CEO of my life.”  I no longer feel comfortable allowing people to determine the course of my life based on what they need or what they think is right.  Living this life is about recognizing what is right for each of us and what we are meant to do with that—what we can share with the world.     

Sunday Gratitude

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Today I am grateful for taking care of my family.  I’ve been extremely preoccupied lately and I took the time today to pause all of that.  I woke up early, I journaled, I did some research, I was able to write for a bit, I took care of the animals, and made breakfast for my family.  I spent time meal prepping for the week (part of my Sunday routine) and I do this because the health of my family is important to me.  It’s also important that I keep myself healthy so I can continue to be there and provide for my family.

Today I am grateful for every sign that I am in alignment with my purpose.  While I was in the kitchen I was listening to Lives and one of the topics was about communication—which is what I had been journaling about when I woke up this morning.  The little reminders always keep me going, especially with the distraction around me gets overwhelming.

Today I am grateful to have the ability to create healthy things for my family.  One of the Lives I was watching discussed hunger and food disparity and how we discuss these topics.  I understood from the language we use that we are perpetuating a circumstance that is within our power to fix.  The way we speak to each other about socio-political issues determines how we react to it and how we address the problems.  In my world I am fortunate enough to make decisions to keep my family healthy through the foods we eat and the activities we do.  Everyone has that right.  It is our job to make sure no one has to struggle for it. 

Today I am grateful for an abundance of time with family.  I don’t think I have been able to shut down for a few weeks now and I am feeling the weight of burn-out.  My family is too because we haven’t been doing what we normally do and we’ve been on the move a lot.  This weekend we have spent some time detached from the projects around the house and not focusing on what “has to” be done.  We even got to have dinner with my parents—which leads to my next one…

Today I am grateful for memories.  My mother prepared a roast with some potatoes for dinner.  When we walked into my parent’s house it smelled exactly like my grandmother’s house when she used to cook the same meal.  It brought me right back to my childhood and all the times we used to spend at my grandmother’s house and it reminded me how long it has been since we’ve had a family meal like that. 

Today I am grateful to just be.  I have a million things going through my head—and that isn’t an exaggeration.  My brain is constantly on overdrive and always picking at things I should be doing.  Things I could be doing.  And then I get so anxious that I can’t decide on what to actually do.  I’ve often thought that in order for a day to be worth anything or to be deemed productive, I had to be working off of a list and checking things off.  But these are unique times.  I’m not letting myself off the hook for working toward my goals, but I am going to let myself off the hook and understand that I took on a lot with the projects at home, I am working full time, I am a mother and wife, I have a house to take care of, I have parents and siblings that I need to communicate with, and I am working on my business.  Sometimes I have to just accept where I’m at and be ok with it. I can’t keep juggling all of that every day and not drop something.  And that is ok.  I am surviving, my child is loved, my marriage is strong, my parents are healthy and cared for, and no matter how slow, I am making progress.  Breathe.  It’s ok to just breathe.  For today, that is enough.    

A Little Motivation

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It’s good to feel good—Gabby Bernstein, Super Attractor.  We don’t often realize what the situation will look like on the other side, especially as we are going through it.  We all have periods of unrest, discomfort, uncertainty, even pain, confusion and defeat.  It’s incredibly difficult to move when you have the pile on you and you can’t see the way up.  It takes a lot to reorient yourself, but it can be done.  This is normal.  We have to learn to see this as our burial—which is planting.  In these situations, we are being planted for growth.  Beautiful things come from that. 

While the weight can feel immense, we are laying our foundation.  We need that foundation to be sturdy.  Remember that we are wild and that we are meant to build that for ourselves and we can trust that the decisions we are making are the right ones.  We are brought into alignment with what we are meant to when we follow our inner knowing.  We are meant to follow our own path and not what we are told to want. 

Lately I’ve had the overwhelming feeling of shedding layer after layer, finding an identity I always felt but was too afraid to share.  I’m tired of hearing that what I’ve done is enough and that I can’t do anymore.  The urge to perform, to be the exhausted worn out person, proving how hard I’ve worked to be deemed worthy—that narrative no longer serves.  It no longer interests me.  I’m not crazy and I don’t need this self-induced cage.  None of us do.  I need the wide open to create the paths I’m meant to blaze—we all do.        

We don’t need to settle for good enough, or to be grateful for the limits someone imposes upon us—I don’t want to settle.  I am not grateful for the scraps of existence people throw my way and being expected to call it a life.  I AM grateful to have the gift of life and the ability to make it my own.  I am grateful for creativity and the ability to share my gifts.  That is a gift we all have.  We are always going to be the villain in someone’s story—don’t be the villain in your own.  The world is tricky enough to navigate without adding our own negative inner asshole (as Jen Pastiloff calls it).  So just know that no one gets to qualify your dreams as worthy or good enough—they are for you to fulfill your purpose—it’s your job to see it through.  No one else’s.  Keep going.

Kindness Versus Understanding

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I have seen an endless slew of posts talking about kindness recently.  It bothers me—like irrationally bothers me.  It’s not that I disagree with being kind, but I feel we preach it as a value and people don’t ever look at why they are doing it.  We continually shout, “Be kind” as if that is going to erase the fact that we compete and treat each other like crap.  We are searching for something more—and I don’t believe that kindness is the result we are looking for.  Not really, at least.  Being kind won’t provide the type of fulfillment we need.

I feel the kindness we preach is false.  I truly understand the point people are trying to make which is simply be nice when you have the opportunity—which is all the time.  But I feel this absolves some people from personal accountability and it allows people to forget their shared responsibility to each other.  The kindness we talk about is highly performative to make people see you in a certain way.  And kindness is an action not a behavior.  Kindness doesn’t come freely.  There is always motivation behind being kind.  We aren’t taught to be kind, we are taught to appear kind.  I believe what we are really looking for is understanding.

When you take the time to know, to feel, to see, to experience something outside of your perspective, you cultivate a shared knowledge.  And it is easier to be kind, genuinely kind, when you understand.  Establishing understanding involves empathy and shared humanity.  Can kindness include these things?  Of course it can.  Is it important?  YES.  Bot as a goal or a value, kindness falls short.

We evolve kindness when needed.  Like stopping kids fighting, picking up a dropped pen for someone, giving a compliment or encouragement.  Understanding is deeper and it takes more.  Understanding gets to the root.  It creates better systems because the human is front and center of decisions.  It embraces all.  Understanding can foster kindness—but we need to understand.       

When we understand each other, we can genuinely say, “I see your experience and I see how it got you here.  I see what you need because of those things.”  The world needs more willingness to be seen at this level, at our core.  The more you are willing to express what we need, the more willing other people may be to show what they need as well.  We see how much more we have in common. 

By all means be kind.  Take the time to smile at someone who seems to be hurting.  Take the few extra minutes to help a co-worker understand an assignment.  Take some time to have a conversation with a friend who seems to be struggling—or take time to celebrate their wins.  But do all this with the goal of understanding what it took to bring them to that point.  And then try to understand the next person.  And the next person…and understand them as you understand yourself.

Love, Love, Love it All

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I woke up thinking about self-care today, specifically taking care of my body.  I’ve been seeking comfort in the activities I’ve been choosing, trying to cope with the chaos around me.  No matter what I’ve done, I’ve felt tired.  And it finally dawned on me: this is more than just physical exhaustion, it’s mental exhaustion.  Exhaustion to the point of confusion, no clarity.  I find myself aimlessly trying to fill my day rather than being productive.  So I have to stop and go back to a point where I am not as overwhelmed. 

I have tortured my body, spun myself in circles never really achieving any kind of energetic release.  I have said horrible things about myself. I have drawn blades through my flesh.  I drank myself stupid.  I swallowed pills.  I tried to kill you.  I wanted the hurt to go away but I never realized it was my soul looking for something. 

Tonight I change the story.  I let the water flow over me, cleansing in its own right.  I feel the weight of my body.  The number used to bother me.  Now I know it just means I’m alive.  I’m connected to the earth by my weight. 

My frustration and angst were mainly self-induced.  I deserved more.  But I thought it made me arrogant to demand more.  I thought lax boundaries made me likeable.  It drained me dry.  I deserved more.  I expected others to give what I gave.  I deserved more—even if I had to give it to myself.  So now I wake up. 

It’s ok to love—and necessary to love myself.  It shows others how to love.  I have the ability to turn everything around.  It’s all about choice.  I can change the story—by loving myself.  Small miracles every day.  New brave choices every day.  Relaxing into life and letting what is meant to happen, happen. 

As fall hits, I am shedding and releasing and creating space for self-care, creativity, and dreaming.  What I’ve done to myself was misdirected energy.  I can’t change anyone else but I can work on myself.  There is freedom in mental clarity.  Rachel Hollis says, “Make peace with the fact that you don’t know what the future will bring.”  All we can do is direct our energy according to what works for us.  So live in awareness and be present—I am trying every day. 

This means learning to be comfortable with the person staring back in the mirror.  I will no longer squander the beauty of my life: my mind, my body, my soul.  I am loving I all.  Sometimes that’s letting things fall apart rather than clinging.  Believe in the magic of not giving up.  The magic of little things. The magic of existing. 

Shame Spiral

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The truth is I am at a point in this story where I have stalled.  I know what happens next.  I know what I need to say but I am feeling the shame spiral reliving the stories.  So let’s talk about shame for a minute.  I have lived with intense shame my whole life and I have lived with guilt that was shameful all of my teen years into present day. 

Shame had been the defining point in a lot of the decisions I made.  Shame defined me for a long time. It’s one of those things that creeps along in the background, always ready to spring.  It’s vigilant for those moments where you’re uncertain and falter a little and then it runs forward laughing screaming, and berating, “I told you you couldn’t do it.  You never should have even tried. Sit back down and keep your mouth shut you idiot.”

So what I’ve done over the last few days was try to reconcile that this is simply part of the story.  That certain parts of the story will add to it but they don’t mean that IS the story.  I think we all feel these moments of shame and I am working through how to make sense of mine.  Typing out my story has helped me see these things in a different light, but I still feel shame in how I interpreted some of those events.  I guess the shame has coupled with regret on some level, because we all see at some point that we are responsible for our own bullshit.

When you spend years telling a story in a certain way and the narrative changes your world gets a little rocked.  Sudden realization of what really happened is jarring because you still can’t do anything about what happened, but you now know that things may have been different.  And even that is challenging because you can’t change that either. 

Shame is a universal emotion.  How we deal with it is unique.  I am choosing to share that I am feeling shame right now and I am also choosing to pause.  I don’t want to let my emotions dictate what happens next.  And that is a new way to look at my history with shame.  Small steps we can all remember when we find ourselves in a shame spiral.    

Sunday Gratitude

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Today I am grateful for my health.  I haven’t been feeling the greatest lately—my anxiety has been high and I’ve felt on edge for no reason.  I’ve been especially hard on myself and I have been pushing and pushing and I appreciate that my body has been putting up with my shenanigans for the last few months.  I am alive, I have my health, I have my purpose.

Today I am grateful for how tired I feel.  I put in a ton of work today, fixing things around the house, painting, taping to get ready to paint, prepping walls, laundry, meal prep, organizing my laundry room, and taking care of my son in the process.  I am grateful because I was able to do all of these things.  Just last night my anxiety was so high I didn’t fall asleep until after 3AM.  I woke up at 7AM and I jumped in to everything that needed to be done choosing to not wallow in the horrible feelings from the night before.

Today I am grateful that time slowed down for me.  I’ve been going 110 miles an hour for the last few weeks trying to get everything done and I thought it was making me efficient and proactive—accomplished even.  All it was doing was increasing my anxiety and reaffirming my control issues and my inability to truly relax.  Not sleeping last night threw me for a loop but I was able to focus on one thing at a time today and I feel like I accomplished more than I have been.

Today I am grateful for my son and his constant reminders to let go and have fun.  He has acquired my love for books and he has been begging me to spend time with him at the book store (I got to pick up a few more books this weekend) and to read him stories.  Honestly, it’s one of my favorite things in the world.  He helped me sand some walls and he helped me pull up tape and he helped me bake some chocolate chip banana bread yesterday as well as some roasted chick peas today.  This kid has an endless curiosity (as most kids do) and I am so fortunate to witness his process as he figures out the world.  It is pure joy.

Today I am grateful for a weekend of learning to assert myself and taking the time to do the things I needed to do.  I’ve been allowing myself too much leeway to float through decisions that needed to be done.  At the same time I’ve been too rigid about how things need to look in order for me to move forward…with anything.  I’ve felt like I was having a mental breakdown this week so I took some time this weekend to decide that I wanted to really cook and prepare for the week; normally I only prepare breakfast and lunch for myself but this week I added in snacks, a healthy dessert, and some sides as well.  It may have been routine but after the week that just passed, I needed small bits of familiarity that I could change as I saw fit.

Today I am grateful for self-care.  This evening I knew I needed some time to decompress and relax.  I took a wonderful shower—without my child busting into the room like the Kool Aid man—and I even got to do some skin care after.  Self-care doesn’t always look like that for me but I needed something to rein in the anxiety.  I needed to connect with my body in order to ground myself.  And it was wonderful.  I even did a little foot massage at the end to reinforce the grounding.

Today I am grateful for the week ahead.  I have more stories to share, I get to explore new avenues for my work, and I am taking steps to actively participate in my life.  I try to be cognizant of that most days, but I have gotten swept up the last few weeks so I am setting the intention tonight to continue to be patient with myself, to stay present, to joyfully make decisions, and to work with what comes my way.

Have a wonderful week!     

I Didn’t Know What You Would Do

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After the experience with the counselor I literally had no clue what to do.  It felt like no one really heard a word I said and that everything I was going through was in my head.  So I pretended everything was ok.  I still had contact with my ex because I was friends with a lot of people in the same group.  He became increasingly cruel and abusive and I became more and more withdrawn.  I hated myself.  There was one girl from the group who genuinely seemed to care and she couldn’t make sense of what was happening either so we developed a deeper friendship. 

We spent weekends camping at her father’s trailer and getting drunk and laughing like the naïve teenagers we were.  One weekend I was puking on the river bank and she handed me her sock to wipe my face and she asked me what was going on.  I couldn’t even find the words but I knew if I kept going like this more and more people would know that I was not ok.  I wanted to cry but I smiled and told her I was going to be just fine. 

The next weekend I was at her house this time and I found some travel bottles of whiskey and I drank more than my 90 pound body could handle.  I nearly blacked out but I played it off as just a night of fun.  In reality I was doing anything to erase myself.  When I woke up the next morning, I knew I didn’t want to exist anymore.  For all the times I had cut myself I never really contemplated death.  That morning I didn’t even care.  I took some aspirin at her house and said to myself, “This is how I’m going to do it.”  I had read a book that you couldn’t take pills all at once because you would just throw them up so I took a few at a time.  I forced myself to take a few pills every 30 minutes.   By the time I went to bed that night I had taken over a full bottle of aspirin.  I told my parents I loved them and I went to sleep.

About an hour later I woke up feeling nauseated and dizzy and knew something was happening.  I ended up making it to the bathroom and I started throwing up.  I vomited every hour for the rest of that night and woke up and got ready for school the next morning.  I knew I wasn’t sick and I was so mad that I had woken up I was forcing myself to go through the routine.  My mom pulled up to the school and I started crying.  I told her I didn’t think I could make it through the day so she let me go in and get my assignments and I went home. 

I vomited for the next three days with more and more time between, knowing it was from what I did.  My parents thought I caught a bug.  I missed three days of school and on the third day my friend reached out to see what was going on.  She actually told me she wanted to make sure I was alive because she didn’t know what I was going to do.  I spent that time sicker than I had ever been, my muscles straining, my nerves becoming damaged in my back from the effort, my throat raw and my brain vacillating between damning myself and knowing I was going to have to start over.  I told myself that I had been kept alive for a reason because there was no way I should have woken up.      

For two years after that experience I stopped cutting and I stopped drinking.  I focused on school as an outlet.  I always did well academically so it was an opportunity for me really direct my focus and take some more challenging classes.  I figured if I couldn’t control what was going on around me I could focus on something that I enjoyed and that might help me figure out what I was going to do in the future—especially since I made it through all of the hell I put my body through. 

I’ve seen kids in this generation expressing their opinions or talking about their difficulties and I was always inclined to brush it off as typical teenage crap.  Or I found myself angry that these kids were trying to be so adult so young.  It was a leftover instinct from my own trauma of being brushed aside when my mental health needed the most attention.  I’ve learned that age has no bearing on experience.  Sometimes youth is the best teacher.  It’s a reminder as I raise my own son to always validate and try to understand his feelings no matter how I perceive the situation.  I also learned that sometimes we have to be our own support system and that it is possible no matter what situation we find ourselves in.  Sometimes we are meant for something bigger than we can see.  It just takes some time and some clarity to bring it to light.   To be continued.    

Do You Have Any Visible Scars?

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Continuing where we left off…

After I cut for the first time I was careful to hide what I had done.  After a few weeks I slipped.  I was washing dishes in the sink and rolled up my sleeves and my mom saw the cuts.  I remember her seeing it and asking what had happened and then making up some ridiculous lie.  I knew she didn’t believe me for a second.  She looked devastated but we didn’t continue the conversation—and I understand that now.  Honestly I was completely grateful at the time because as upset as she was, neither of us were prepared to have a conversation about mental health.  What ended up happening was I got better at hiding the cuts.  Apparently not good enough.

Roughly three weeks after I first cut and probably two weeks after the second time, I got called out of gym class.  A counselor walked me into her office and asked me what was going on with my wrists.  I made up a bogus story about doing gymnastics and stretching the skin on my wrists and scratching them.  Again, I knew this woman didn’t buy it.  But this time around I was pissed.  I felt like people were trying to take away something that was mine, the only coping mechanism that I had.  In hindsight, I know this woman was doing her job and reaching out to a kid who needed help.  I just never wanted to admit that I needed help.

By this point I did anything I could to appear extroverted and draw attention away from any possibility that something could be wrong.  When I was on my own I kept hating myself and hurting myself.  I got creative and cut where people couldn’t see and where it was easier to hide.  I even learned how to cut with minimal scarring after I read an article about what would leave a scar.  I used to take tacks and push them into my fingers because that was quicker and easier to hide.  It worked for a long time.

Once I entered high school, I did let up for almost a year.  Maybe it was new things, new distractions, new people.  But the urge came back after a horrible experience with a group of friends and an ex-boyfriend.  This time I cut and my sister found out.  She demanded I go get help.  I spoke to a guidance counselor at school and he referred me to the school social worker who referred me to a counselor. 

The office looked like the waiting room in a pediatrician’s office.  Books and toys littered everywhere.  The only thing missing was the tacky clown paintings on the wall.  The counselor was a medium height, medium build, shoulder-length blonde haired woman.  The first meeting went well.  She gave me a blank journal and gave me some prompts to work through anger, anxiety, and self-loathing.  The second session she asked me about my previous cutting and wanted to know if anything I had done had left scars.  I told her yes.  She asked to see them so I walked across the room and showed her the scars from my earlier cuts.  She looked at them and looked at me and said, “oh, those aren’t that bad.”

By this point I’m almost 15 years old, I’m lonely because I just lost an entire friend group, I have the wherewithal to know what I’m doing isn’t normal, I gave in after two years and sought help, and the woman who is supposed to be helping me just told me that what I did wasn’t that bad.  She dismissed what I had done to my body as not that bad.  I went to one more session with her and she sat me down on the floor and told me that we were going to play games today because she needed a break and didn’t need to talk.

Let me tell you what I learned from that part of my experience:  you don’t need a visible scar to prove that you’re hurting.  And let me tell you when you have any kind of scar, there is no qualification that makes it “bad enough” to be worthy of attention.  We all hurt and we hurt in different ways.  When you hurt bad enough to take it out on yourself, there isn’t a need for someone to tell you it’s bad.  I learned to own what I was feeling.  Yes, it would still be many years after this point for me to integrate and understand that lesson, but when I learned that it was ok to feel what I was feeling, I cared for myself more and I didn’t let other people talk me out of it.  I learned to sit with my feelings rather than cut them as a physical substitute for the emotions.  I did all of that in spite of people I was supposed to trust telling me I wasn’t damaged enough to warrant help.  To be continued.     

Pain Is Better Than Nothing

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I was 13 the first time I cut my wrists.  Until I typed these words, I could count the number of people who know this on one hand.  Looking back I see the drama of it all and I recognize it as a poor coping mechanism.  But the events that brought me to that point were all too real and painful to my adolescent brain and I lashed out at myself because I had no other visible or viable outlet at that time.

I fear sharing this story because I hid it for so long that I became protective of it; it’s my story and it was something I had complete control of in my life.  I didn’t want anyone to interfere or tell me that the way I felt was wrong.  The emotions of early teens are complicated enough and I was tired of having them dismissed.  I felt like everything I was going through was ignored or downplayed because the people in my life were also going through things.  Or maybe I kept what I was really going through quiet because I thought their issues took precedence over mine.

My siblings are older than me by quite a bit—the closest one to me is eight years older, then ten years older, then fourteen years older. So in my early teens they were all knee deep in the throws of adult life, and life was not easy for them.  I chose to keep quiet about myself because how could the challenges a 13 year old faces compare to the real life shit of an adult?  I had convinced my brain that I didn’t need to bring any more “stuff” to the house.  So I took care of it myself. 

For me that started prior to 13 as many of my perfectionist tendencies really began to solidify early in school.  I’ve always had an independent streak (fine, stubborn) that inclined me to do it myself.  Couple that with large age gaps in the home and it’s a recipe for a child to struggle to keep up and prove were they fit in.  And that is exactly where I was at.  I started trying to prove myself early in so many ways.  I wanted to be right and I wanted people to know that I knew what I was talking about.  In reality, I think I just wanted to be accepted.  But because of the age gaps, I didn’t have that closeness to my siblings as a child and because I was a neurotic know-it-all mess, I didn’t really have many friends.  Don’t get me wrong, my siblings and I actually all got along fairly well but we butted heads a lot.  And I did have a small group of friends that, in hindsight, I simply wanted to take charge of.  I could talk to people but I couldn’t get close to them.  I spent a lot of time alone or giving homework answers to other kids only to be ignored again the next day.

So, being lonely, feeling out of control, having the need for perfection, and seeking approval, attention, and an acknowledgement of my accomplishments created the perfect storm of self-loathing and hatred in a hormonal teenager.  That’s how it started.

I can’t remember the exact final trigger, but I remember walking home from school that day and knowing that I was going to cut myself.  I remember the feeling of frustration I felt and knowing I had to get it out of me.  When I got home, I walked into the basement and took a razor off of my dad’s work bench.  I went up to my room and grabbed a clean towel from my closet and turned on some music.  It was completely melodramatic but it spoke to me at the time.  I knelt on the floor and spread the towel over my legs and pressed the razor into my wrist.  It felt like time stopped.  I didn’t hear the music anymore and nothing and no one was around to stop me.  I drew back the blade.

The instant I saw the thin line of blood well up on my wrist, it felt like a gigantic exhale from my body.  Everything I had been holding onto completely went away.  I cut again.  And again.  And again.  Then I switched wrists.  I eventually lost count of how many times I cut that day.  But when it was over, I felt lighter than I had in years.

It took over a decade for me to stop hurting myself in that fashion. There are more pieces to this story, but I want anyone reading my work to know that I have been to the lowest of the low.  The journey to self-love and self-acceptance is NOT an easy one.  However, if someone can come from hating themselves so much that they would draw their own blood for fun and still learn the importance of their being, then anyone can. 

When I speak about the importance of learning to hear intuition and connecting with spirit, I am speaking an entirely different level of truth.  Some days are easier than others, but that is the forefront of my work; learning to make peace with your truth is key.  Learning your worth, your purpose and expressing it is a goal I have for everyone.  Trust me, no matter how bad it seems, there is always a way to the light.  The secret is that the light is each of us all the time—we just have to learn to access it.