Perfectly Imperfect

 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-talavera/carrot-coffee-egg-parable_b_1107628.html

Carrot egg coffee

I would like give a shout out to the infamous Chris Russo, spinning instructor of the stars in Niles Ohio. #blackboxspinning. Chris told the story about the egg, carrot and coffee bean one Monday morning, and I fell in love with the idea that I was one of these three nouns. I made a note to blog about this in the future and moved on. 

Which brings me to yesterday when I reviewed the story of the carrot, egg and coffee bean. Hopefully you read the link above and follow as I dive into the heart of this blog. 

I realized something when I read the article. I really was hoping I was the coffee bean affecting everyone around me with my aroma and taste. However, I am all three at different times. Depending on the variables in my life, I have been the carrot starting out hard and brought to my knees only to be soft and mushy. I believe God has allowed this to soften my heart. If I allowed you to see into my heart, it’s not always pretty, but I am still alive and breathing. 

I have been the egg: a hard outer shell with a liquid center that heat changed to a hard center. I am not proud of this state but again God uses every situation for the good of all. What the enemy wants to use to destroy your life with hardened hearts and mindsets, God sets free.

My deceased step mother would often say about people, “They are legends in their own mind.” That’s me with the coffee bean. I can only endeavor to impact others. I know that I am human. I realize that I fail daily but I know that being all three is what God wants from me because through the mistakes of the egg and carrot I will learn compassion.

The coffee bean is really the closest to perfection which is why I struggle with it. Sometimes I am tasty and aromatic and others times no so much. He uses all things to grow us good and bad. In a perfect world we could just be born the bean and be robots in the Kingdom, or we can suffer and learn what love really is and help others. Not changing who he made me and using me with my gifts, talents and faults at the same time.  

When I was in my 20’s I realized that perfection was making me miserable. I thought I understood it but honestly not until I gave birth 3 times and was worn down by the beauty of the chaos of life did see I the real truth of being perfect to the outside world: It was an attempt to show the world I was worthy. Why until I was 43 did I feel like I have to be perfect all the time? To be loved my family and friends? If I have to be perfect to earn their love, I may as well die now. It’s a futile attempt. It will never happen. I am perfectly imperfect. Not ashamed and honored to be broken in the circle of life. I am blessed and reminded by the people in my life that perfection is not ideal. God literally brings me daily situations with people in my life and myself that I see the struggle we carry with wanting life to go exactly the way we want it to go. 

As I am always honest here I struggle too wanting no discomfort in my life. I know on the outside it’s actually comfy to wear but at the heart of perfection are the ugly sisters insecurity, control and jealously. Control is perfection’s bff. Because we have all convinced ourselves that if we can control everyone and everything, life will be perfect. Perfect means no pain right? No it’s a lie and I’m tired of pretending that perfection is welcomed in my life. I am hell bent on teaching my kids it’s ok to fail. To get up and try again. I refuse to let perfection haunt my kids like it has me causing me to be an approval whore.

Am I not good enough?  Am I the only flawed person walking earth?  Here’s a thought: Maybe if I whore myself out and do everything for everyone perfectly and wear myself out people will love me, choose me. Right? Perfection is a mask we wear. It makes me feel better about myself. I don’t think perfection is a gift. Striving to be perfect  has given me so much anxiety in life that I simply have let it go. Doesn’t matter if I want my life to be perfect it or not. I fail every day. I am human and I wear this earth suit around called skin so why not embrace my imperfections and just be?

There is a fine line between accepting my idea of perfectionism and laying it all out and down and letting God show me the truth. I choose God. We are all born with a certain path but I believe that we don’t have to decorate our pit that we choose to live in with perfection. I am perfectly imperfect, and I want to tattoo this on my body to be reminded it’s ok that I forgot an appointment or a kid at school. Judgement comes from perfection, and there is only one judge and it’s not me.

So, friends, here is to letting go of the pain that perfection brings. Please stop listening to the voice in your head that tries to lure you into killing your soul to be perfect. It’s not from a good source. That voice in fact is not really you. If you can hear it how can it be you? Funny huh? Recognize the voice but don’t digest everything you hear it say. Chew on this perfection bologna and see what you come up with. You might think I’m nuts, but there is freedom I promise you on the other side of perfection.

Lets look at the word perfect what does it really mean? What does God say about the word?

Greek translation:

téleios (an adjective, derived from /télos, “consummated goal”) – mature, from going through the necessary stages to reach the end-goal, i.e. developed into a consummating completion by fulfilling the necessary process or a spiritual journey.

teleios: having reached its end, i.e. complete, perfect

This root (tel-) means “reaching the end (aim).” It is well-illustrated with the old pirate’s telescope, unfolding (extending out) one stage at a time to function at full-strength (capacity effectiveness).

Wow, so I am now even more convinced that God intended perfection as a means to an end. You’re called to work on your spiritual self as necessary stages but it a process. Sounds like when you take your last breath your life that is full of imperfection will then be perfect. So shout out to my soul sister Laurie who has taught me there is collateral beauty in the mess and life is a journey not a destination.

I want to thank god for my imperfections, lessons, and pain. I would still be 5 years old in pain and never would have escaped the torture of life. Life (God) knocked me over only to help me up. That is what life is about. Falling down and having the heart of forgiveness beside you.

Let me end on this thought:  Can we work on loving and forgiving?  Isn’t it harder to be pissed off all the time? It is for me. I choose peace and if you’re in my life and know me personally I am sorry for my imperfection. I may leave you sitting in the salon while I am spinning. I may forget my appointment to have my teeth cleaned. I may forget to leave a gallon of shampoo on the porch for you to pick up. I may tell you to come the house for an appointment when I really mean salon. I may leave you at school when I was supposed to pick you up. I may forget your swim suit when invited to a swim party. I may cut too much hair off and you ask me to tape it back on. I may yell at you and feel bad later. I may have expired food in my fridge and put it on your ham sandwich. I may not communicate with you as well as I should. I may not call you back immediately when you call. I may leave you out of a conversation or get together on accident. I may be pissed at you and judge you a few days weeks or months but eventually forgive. I may hate life for the moment when I am in pain. I may not like when you wake up and turn on the tv when I am trying to write, pray or meditate. I may swear (a lot). I may not close the cupboards. I may not visit often. I may not respect you as you require. I may still remember the pain you caused.  I may hold you to your word. I may be hard on you. I may gossip about you and feel terrible about it. I may screw up daily but I love fiercely and passionately. I will fight to the bitter end.  I am capable of seeing the truth and my faults. I will never lay down and give up on myself or anyone I love. I will hold you when you cry and cry with you. I will forgive my perpetrators and run the race with you and never leave you.

Side note: If you are not willing to work on yourself, I may set boundaries with you but it doesn’t mean I don’t love you.

Back to point. I am someone who you can fight with and still love. This is who I am. Take me or leave me; I won’t let it affect me. It’s ok if you don’t like me all the time. Chances are I don’t like you all the time but I love you. Readers, I would truly appreciate some feedback. Share some stories. Expose your heart. Take a giant leap of faith and be you. Spinning instructor, Chris Russo said just today “We are not always given what we want rather what we need.” God knows how to stretch you…..LET HIM.

 

Walk Away

Walk away walk away walk away…. This what I hear in my head when every fiber in my being wants to rip someone a new one.

I am growing in this area so this doesn’t always happen. While I used to have to have the last word, as I grow in wisdom and in years the impulse is much quieter.

I talk about heart break a lot because it’s a vulnerable subject that we tell ourselves is place too scary to visit and full of baggage we don’t want to unpack.

Well, I do. I’m tired of living a pretend life and not calling a spade a spade. Vulnerability means exposing yourself, and I am ok with that, but I have to tell you: YOU’RE GONNA FIND PEOPLE WHO WILL RUN FOR THE HILLS OVER THIS.

You have friends–really sweet friends–who will throw you under the bus to stay hidden and safe. This blog is for my brave warriors who venture out of the cave and into the light of adventure. You remember the conscious adventure. That is what this blog is about being conscious and I won’t EVER apologize for it.

If you’re reading this and you’re not comfortable being exposed and conscious? It’s ok. There is no judgement here just love. One stipulation: This is where I am and I’m not turning back. It’s ok if we have different opinions. This is called life, and we all better buck up.

I used to be the young mom when Julian was little, but now I am the older mom. At first, I didn’t even know, but at the first school party it became very apparent. But as I always remind myself I would not trade these years for all the gold in china. EVER.

When Julian was little he was bullied by some kids at school, and sadly it never stopped till he moved away and then came back. The first day the longtime bully Logan tried to pull some crap again. Except this time he got a whole new Julian. Julian learned that he was not the names he was called nor did he have to take crap from anyone. The bullying ended that day when Julian addressed Logan and gave him a piece of his mind. That day represented a mile stone for him. He became conscious that he was no longer going to let Logan let him effect him another moment.

Why is it that when bullies are confronted they cower? I’m so proud of him for not taking the abuse any longer. We have to teach our kids not to plant in our hearts what other people say about us. This may be a little shocking but even what we tell our kids about themselves. Sometimes we build these egos in our kids and when then get out in the real world no one else sees them the way we do and it hurts and all the praise and all the effort comes crashing down. I am not saying not to praise your kids just be conscious. I always come back to this mantra prayer: God, show me the truth of who I am. I am not perfect and there are things I need to work on to be more conscious. My friend Laurie used to have to remind me that life is a journey and not a destination, and that has gotten me through a lot of hard times. She is 10 years older than me and has a lot more wisdom and has helped me through some tough days. Happy Birthday love. Your truly are the sunshine I prayed for and I thank you for being probably the most Christ like person I know with your unconditional love.

Knowing that the moment the crap flies is not the end but just the next step in the journey and the end…well, that’s really just the beginning, helps keep things in perspective.

Keep your eye on the prize, loves. This life may seem long and arduous, but in the blink of an eye, it’s over. Forever is what really matters. How you treat people is what really matters. Having integrity is what really matters. I won’t even get into what doesn’t matter because God will show you in some not so easy ways. He loves you, but He is your daddy and He will discipline you. We all pay. Some people call it karma I just call Him God. Let go of what you think God is and ask Him to show you who He is; He will. He’s waiting. He is so patient.

I hope someday I don’t have to have the last word, be right, be judgmental, gossip, whatever it is that makes me flawed. I am just thankful for now I am forgiven.

The Broken Road

August 27, 2005.

When I married Trevor Berry, this was our wedding song. We chose this song because we both had very broken pasts. Almost 12 years later, this song makes even more than it did then.

Today, tomorrow, forever.

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through

I couldn’t see how every sign pointed straight to you
That every long lost dream lead me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms

This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
Yes it did

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I’d like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You’ve been there you understand
It’s all part of a grander plan that is coming true.

I love the moment when God brings life full circle and shows you truth.

I feel like we spend a lot of time in the past, which isn’t always negative. However, when you dwell in the past and won’t let go….well….that is a problem. Are you saying “yeah, but”? Do you feel like you have a really good reason for living in the past? Maybe it’s comfortable. I get it. it’s hard to forgive and move on. It hurts like heck. But guess what? Holding on to past hurts won’t protect you from future hurts.

Guys, I’m stuck here myself but I’m wrestling my way out because I don’t want to be planted in infertile soil anymore. But it seems like even as I’m trying to move forward … to let go of the pain … somehow I get sucked into a black hole.

Here’s what Peter says in Philippians 3:13 “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” Well, there you have it. Looking behind? Living in the past? It’s all a trick of your mind! Remember readers: The enemy attacks through your thoughts so if he can keep you distracted with your past hurts, then you will NEVER live in present happiness. Your life will rot away while you chase the ghost of the past.

Set your mind on the good of your life and stop focusing on the bad and the pain. We all have pain, but the ones who look forward, press on and forgive are set free.

There have been times when I have felt unloved and unwanted and because of lies I believed. Because of this I did some very foolish things. Please hear me: Even when you think no one loves or loved you, God does, and He is there protecting you from the enemy’s lies and manipulation…and from yourself, your own worst enemy.

Dear friends, bust the ghost of the past off and live in the present. Be conscious in present moment because it’s the only truth that exists.

Are there really mistakes in life? Really? If you live in the present then no mistakes can exist. They can’t. Every broken road leads us straight to freedom. If I would not have made all the “mistakes” in my life I would not be me. I earned wisdom through life experiences not a self-help book. I’ve grieved people, situations and lived through death.

How have your “mistakes” set you free? Take a moment to think about it. Maybe even write them down on a piece of paper and bury them in the spring. But bury them for good. Don’t dig them back up and relive the pain.

You are a warrior.

Let go and live in the present.

WHY?

Because the majority of all disease comes from dis- ease.

Because God didn’t bring you out of slavery to leave you entrapped.

Because living in past hurts ages you.

Because it’s exhausting being bitter rather than better.

Because God asks you to forgive so you can be forgiven.

Because the past is over and holds no power over you unless you give it power.

so those are just a few of the why’s and now here are a few of the how’s.

How do I live in present and let go of past?

Pray.

Ask God to show you truth and remove the obsession to hurt yourself over and over and over again.

In her books, Dr. Christiane Northrup discusses studies proving that guilt and shame produce a chemical called ILC. Science is now studying the adverse effects this chemical–these emotions—has in the fascia of our bodies. Your body records your emotional pain, and you live it out in a physical manifestation.

One way to get rid of the stored up emotions is yoga. Personally, when I push myself in exercise I always cry and never understood. Here is the answer: ILC gets released when you stretch the muscles. Northrup also says children who are abused take on their perpetrator’s shame because the perp has no conscious. Dr.Shefali teaches that as children we come here perfect and it’s the adults who mess us up. Bam there it is.

Do yoga. Meditate. Prayer and meditation are God’s plan for successful living. According to the Bible, if we can pray and petition and then shut up and listen, God will show us everything He wants us to do and more.

Do you have children? Do you want to give them everything to help them build beautiful lives? Matthew 7:11 “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”

He wants to see you prosper. Deuteronomy 28:13 “If you listen to these commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom.”

John 10:10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life”

I would really love to hear back from you.

Comment below

Start living your conscious adventure.

Looking For Love


Looking for love in all wrong places
Looking for love in too many faces Searching their eyes,
looking for traces Of what I’m dreaming of
Hoping to find a friend and a lover
I’ll bless the day I discover Another heart looking for love

Do you remember that song? Johnny Lee wrote that gem. I don’t know exactly why I love music so much, but I do. I have not heard that song in 20 years and yesterday it popped in my head and I can’t stop running the lyrics through the maze of my consciousness. I will always remember being a little girl and splashing water on my face to make myself look sweaty. I would wrap a red bandanna around my head and play the guitar to the radio in secret. I came from a religious home and growing up in the 80’s I was not permitted to listen to “devil music”. Of course, Hot FM 101 was the station of choice and I listened anyway. I think that was my earliest memory of wanting to be someone else, a rock star. I craved the attention and the reward of being so admired by others for my talent. The unfortunate truth is that I was not admired by anyone and I knew it. Actually I still know it. Why do we want the people in our lives to love and adore us? I can’t speak for you, but for me, it is about love. Through the years I looked for love in all the wrong places. I knew the sting of rejection but I still went after them, hoping and wanting to be someone’s precious whatever, like a stupid Disney princess. I wanted to be loved and adored. It’s all a lie. It doesn’t really exist. Why should it really? We are all human and we all fall short. Maybe you have a pedestal you sit on, but trust me I don’t. I am about as real as they come. I am 43 and I’m not apologizing for not being who you want me to be. I am me and I accept me. It has come at a cost, but I am brave enough to own it. Like Brene Brown says “I am not perfect but I am worth love and belonging”. Yup, that is me. Look how chubby I am. Look at my wrinkles. I hate these bags under my eyes. Why am I so swollen and why do I have these dark circles? I’m short. Oh my gosh! I’m so tired of the voices!! Lol No, but seriously the voices in your head that tell you you’re a loser. I’m so sick of her. I just want to love and be loved and this darn standard I have created for myself. I am so tired, literally exhausted trying to be pretty. What happens when the music fades?? what happens when your beauty leaves you? Who are you then? What are you basing your worth on in life? What is left??? YOUR BEAUTIFUL SOUL is what is left!!!!WHY CAN WE NOT SEE THIS? Where does this come from? The never good enough saga continues. I want to dedicate this blog to all my girls who are good enough but refuse to believe it and this Includes myself. You have the girls who own their appearance no matter what the size and look and don’t give a crap. Then you have the girls who act like they don’t care but desperately do and are miserable trying to figure it out. Then you have the girls who are obviously so insecure and don’t even try and hide it. Sweet girl, whoever you are, you are loved. God created you and has a specific plan for your life. Big, small, skinny, and yes fat. Wrinkled, smooth, tight, or stretched to hell. It doesn’t matter. The real fact is the moment you take your last breath your shell is just going to begin to rot. I know it’s a terrible thought. This ridiculous body is not you. You are not your skin. Your soul lives on and that’s what counts.Let me ask you this. How much time do you spend doing soul work? The average woman spends 55 minutes a day getting ready. That’s 19,360 minutes a year! That is 322 hours a year getting ready. Oh my gosh, are you serious? How much time do you spend getting your soul ready? I googled that and I’m sorry but there is not an answer. No one even cares enough to do a study on FOREVER.
We have this so wrong. Three hundred twenty two hours a year on superficial bull and what, maybe 5 min a week thinking about soul choices and lifestyles? I am not exempt from this, but please all of us need to see the truth and be set free from ourselves and the bondage we put on ourselves. I mean I do hair for a living. I spend 30 hours a week making people feel like they look good or are at least happy tricking themselves into feeling that this stupid, dead protein coming out of their skull matters. It does matter. I know. I just want the soul to matter more.
Question of the day? What are your hiding behind? What are you tricking yourself into believing? Have you fallen off your own pedestal? Comment below and we will walk through this together. Follow me on Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, or Tumbler at The Conscious Adventure.

Boundaries

boundaries-image

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    Life is a cycle of ups and downs, ebbs and flows, and sometimes there’s not so much flow. Humor always makes me feel better about the raw truth. The last three months I have had a tremendous amount of growth, motivation and enlightenment. But now readers, I have hit a wall. I cannot really explain it any other way than this. If you want to be better in body, mind, and spirit, you’re going to have to Work. I wanted to put this out there so when you’re down you can be easy on yourself and remember THE AS IS. Breathe life in and embrace the mask of your life for the moment. Then dig deep and be brave and courageous and get back on the horse again and ride.

    You all know I am a believer in Dr.Shefali and her work. This last week we have been embracing boundaries. The older I get the easier this becomes. I started about 6 months ago realizing that truth and boundaries are very important for my journey through life. Being the people pleaser that I am has led me down a road of lies. Making others satisfied and not myself takes a toll on the soul. The majority of people don’t set up boundaries due to fear.

    The mother of all lies that we tell ourselves is that if we set a boundary then our mother, friend, child or sister won’t love us or will leave us. Friends this is a lie. If the people in your life leave you over a boundary. I have some not so good news for you. They never loved you to begin with. I am so sorry to be so abrupt. I am struggling right now typing this because I really don’t want to hurt anyone. I know that you know this deep down and don’t want to listen to your real self but I feel prompted to remind you. Real love never fails. That does not mean real love is easy or does not want to abandon ship. What it does mean is that on the days that you have just had it with the world and on the days you do not want to talk or even look at your precious loved one, you stay and you fight. You dig deep and forgive time and time and time again, but with evolution, you set boundaries with your love. Let’s be clear, setting boundaries has to come from your heart and not your ego. I tend to at first to set ego boundaries. It’s my way of protecting myself.

    I will never forget the year I endured a bully named Traci at my school. Let me explain. Traci was a newbee to my school and at first I was thrilled to have a new playmate in the mix. My expectation of our tightly knit group was soon to be shattered. Traci decided that she didn’t like me and would call me names, belittle me, exclude me and the list goes on. My mother went to the principle and teachers for help. Mom tried to help but I guess it was the path I was supposed to take, maybe Traci actually toughened me up for the up-coming years of hard knocks? All I know is that I ended up sick that year with heart palpitations and bladder infections. My body couldn’t take the exclusion of friendship and betrayal. You know I don’t think I’ll ever forget what that felt like. I was so sad and lonely. I believed the lies she spread. So here is where the story takes a turn and I learned something about myself. You can push and push and push and I’ll take a lot but eventually….. I will fight back and you will feel my boundary. One day while on the bleachers, Traci was doing her normal crap and something happened. I snapped. I pushed her she pushed back and eventually ended up in an all out fist fight. I was about 50 pounds and she was about 120lbs. She was tall and I was short. Let’s just say that I lost the fight but won the battle. She never messed with me again. In fact, she wanted to be friends and I forgave her but set up major boundaries with my mother’s help. I run into Traci here and there and we are always cordial. I often wonder what she thinks of herself. I assume she learned her ugliness from her family life and if this is the case, I am sorry for her pain.

    The moral of the story here is don’t wait until your get suspended from school or end up with invasive ductile carcinoma to stand up for yourself and fight. There is that saying out there “fight like a girl” and I would like to change that saying to “fight like a warrior”. I don’t know what girls fight like but I’ll fight for the people I love like a brave soldier. You can only be bullied if you let the people around you affect you. You can only get sick if you let your soul suffer. It sounds simple and I know it’s not. Trust me. I have endured suffering like you. But there is a key to Pandora’s box and that is for you to unlock and unfold God’s mystery for your existence. It is right in front of all of us but it takes work. It’s not easy. Listen, abundant life is not given to anyone. Abundant anything takes a soul mission to figure out. It’s putting one foot in front of the other and working it out. The definition of endure is to patiently wait in suffering. That my loves is what God calls you to do. He calls you to patiently walk the road of suffering and stand in the as is of life. I think what matters in life is the fight and the ability to see the good in the ugliness. When I write this next line please know I am writing to myself. Please stop avoiding pain and pretend you’re not living in fear. Embrace the fight. Acknowledge the experience and know that it’s all a part of the plan…the good, the bad and the ugly. I will leave you with this. Have you ever messed up? I mean like royally messed up? I’m talking like it affects everyone kind of messed up? Well, I have and it’s the worst pain of my life. Hurting the ones you love the most is excruciating. In those cowardly moments you’re not a warrior at all you’re the polar opposite. You let others and yourself down and you cause turmoil beyond repair. Now, let me break this to you gently, you’re not alone. Part of the reason why you did whatever you did is because you were afraid of not being loved and afraid of people leaving you. This is the basis of all tragedy. If you want to get off the midnight train going anywhere, then please do. Kick yourself off, but realize that the answer to your question of how and why is simple…forgiveness to yourself and to others. Embrace the love and forgive, I promise you will be set free. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and fight for yourself and the ones you adore.


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The Man in The Arena

man-in-the-arena

There are many different paths we can take, but the end result is the same if we desire change. That is beautiful. It is generous. It shows me that I don’t have to save everyone with how I think their life process should be.  God is in charge, not me. Thank the Lord.  I mean that is an enormous load.  I have recently seen spiritual growth as not so black and white. I mean I really want a+b to equal c, but it just doesn’t usually work that way.  I’m sorry but just because I am learning about shame, vulnerability, inner child and ego doesn’t mean you’re going to see it today like I do.  It works like this. When the light bulb goes on in your mind and you can see that a person you love is suffering because their bulb (soul) is burnt out, you may have another bulb in hand ready to supply for help because you want to share the joy life really has but unfortunately they have to say yes to the invitation.  

Here is what I have learned.  We all have our own destiny, free will, and choices. It’s a shift in perspective that happens at a moment in time. Change comes down to this. Am I sick and desperate enough to not do this another day? Can I begin to love myself, my true self? We will all have a choice to take the call that God has for us.  When you have beaten yourself bloody and understand that you can’t do it your way and have real joy, then you have to try something else. Not because you’re not bright enough, but because you are blinded by independence. This is freedom.  It all boils down to the shame we live in, the abandonment we are so desperate to try and run from and the fear that pulses through our bodies at any given moment.  I’m not good enough is the underlying vibration of which we are all living. 

I don’t care who you are, if you let me break off the layers, being not good enough is the core reason we are all walking around broken. Brene Brown is a vulnerability researcher and author who says “You’re not perfect, but you are worthy of love and belonging”. I am determined to teach myself and my kids this principle. If I start when they are young, I hope I can teach them not to depend on other flawed humans for their sense of worth. If I can teach them not to carry and bury their perceived shame and to know that they are loved and that anything else they hear in their head is a lie, then Jesus can take the wheel.

You know I went years without reading a book or learning anything new and guess what readers? I was not happy. I was not happy because I was not living in the destiny God had set for me. Folks you are not going to get there watching The Walking Dead.   It took me all these years not to obsessively scour my home in Clorox and clean my floors on my hands and knees. I was a slave to perfection because I was caught up so deeply in the fear and anxiety of not being loved and accepted. By the way, I created that obsession when I was very young but I carried it through my entire life. I am just now improving. If I could control the dirt, I could control people.

Oh if you could hear my laughter. It is absurd. If I could have all the hours back I spent making my life “perfect”. It’s actually really sad to me now.  I could have played a little longer with my kids or read them a book, but no, I had to freaking clean the freaking floor! For what??????  I had to be perfect. It’s all a lie.   If you could learn this now how set free could you be and more importantly your children?  I have this drive to help them suffer, but not the way I have. Yes, I said help them suffer. Not push suffering and discomfort away but let them sit in it.  Be the suffering and embrace the call to truth and freedom that is in the suffering.  It’s not a plague. Your soul knows this. That is why it attracts suffering.  The real you knows it will take you all the way to the top of spirit.

This last 3 months, I have never felt more alive. I recently met a woman that we’ll call Sue. She is adorable and she’s the kind of girl you know that is just kind and sweet. Sue is the perfect example of what God can do with a soul that is desperate and wants change.  Sue told me about her life as an adult dancer. She was in the industry for 5 years.  She said it was like a black hole that sucked her in every time she tried to get out. Sue took shame and turned it into tangible honor.  We recently have been talking more and it has most often been conversations about my blog.  Be honest to yourself and bare your soul and be awakened and vulnerable about the shame you have lived. Expose it, let the light shine in and through it, and it will flee.  I PROMISE.

Let’s go back to lies for a moment.  Shame is the cousin of lies.  Shame has this funny way of wrapping you in chains.  Shame lies and tells you that you’re not good enough and you don’t deserve to be anything other than that which your past defines you. Brene brown says, “The antidote to shame is empathy”  Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Ok so Brene you’re telling me that relating to someone can kill shame? Relating to others in an arena similar to your own who carry the same ugly cross as yourself is the answer? Know that you are not alone and that you are cared for and loved.

I’m going to link this whole blog today back to one area in your life.  Lies…..please readers stop believing the lies you hear in your own head. “I don’t need anyone to help.”  “I can do this on my own.” “I don’t have a problem.” “Everyone ______.”  “I don’t know how to change, I’m too far in.” Lies, lies, lies. This is exactly how you stay defeated and powerless. If you want change, then stand up and fight!

Here’s some raw truth if you ask anyone who has overcome any issue in their life. I promise you they did not do it alone. People who try to change alone fail every time. why?? They fail because God created us to be relational, period, end of story. There is nothing more gratifying than a relationship that touches your soul.  When you experience true love, no matter what it costs the parties involved, this is healing.  This is how we change the world one love at a time.  Never give up!!! If you’re reading this and you want to change, I encourage you to take the first step and have a little empathy for yourself. Get ready to fight because shame will try and knock you out and put you back in the ring for another round of punches.  Stop decorating your pit and climb out.  We will be all waiting for you at the top throwing down ropes to help you.  You must desire to get out of the pit of shame more than anything. 

It will be arduous, but I promise, love and empathy will set you free. Being honest and truthful with yourself is honestly the first step.  If you’re vulnerable you can beat shame once and for all. You are worthy of love and you don’t have to be perfect.  Here’s to fighting for yourself and for the people you love. I encourage you, if you have loved ones trapped in the pit of shame, implore them to keep fighting. And as for you, stand in the gap and love them.


 

My Soul’s Garden

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The Garden of your soul

Have you ever maintained a garden? If you have you would be very aware of the hard work that is involved. Why am I talking about gardens? I’m talking about gardens because today as I was sitting still, I saw myself pulling weeds. My hands were dirty and cut up and they even hurt. The sun was shining over me and I could feel the sweat on my brow. My knees where callused as well. Yet there I was in my garden and in an alternate world. I was in my soul. What I experienced at that moment was the feeling in my heart of how hard it is to work on your soul. It’s so hard and painful that sometimes it would be easier to just quit and go back to being my old self. Except this time around for me, I know better. I have not always known better. I can’t tell you how many times I was on the right track in the right garden and I quit, I flaked out. I went back to my old self. Please if you’re reading this and you recognized yourself, don’t have fear. There is a way out and it’s through the trenches of your garden. Ask any farmer or gardener if they would reap a crop if they had allowed the weeds to overtake it. We all know the answer to the soul’s dilemma and, though not the most easy of choices, it is the correct one. Do I till up the ground and prepare my heart? Do I plant and sow a crop in my soul that has virtue and honor? Do I water the garden and quench a thirst for more truth and knowledge? Do I fertilize with teachings and righteous fellowship? The questions are almost endless when it comes to your soul. The obvious answer to each and every question is yes. Do the work and you will find the most raw, transparent truth you will ever discover. This is brilliant and true and you can count on it every time. Take one step forward each day and ask the Lord to show you truth. Be prepared though because truth can come as a shock to those who bury their heads in the everydayness of life. Truth can come in various forms but please do yourself a favor and seek the face of the one who created you and he shall give you the most conscious, creative, blissful, adventure you can possibly imagine.

Lies from within

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Take a few breaths and choose love! Abandon your fears and answer the call!

Take a chance on you. Leap into the light and face your fears. Embrace your journey and trust the truth inside. Trust, and be conscious, bold, fearless, and shameless. It’s ok Melissa to be you. You are good enough.

I have a very special cousin who came to visit this Spring. He lives out of town and therefore we don’t get to spend a lot of time together. He is a lot younger than me and still single which has allowed him to live out his amazing adventure with beautiful unbridled courage. He has spent this last year finding his soul and isn’t afraid to tell his story in order to inspire people to find their truth. One night while he was in town, we talked half the night and he left me with a question. He talked about a lot of “soul” stuff. He talked about Joseph Campbell, who studied mythology and how it relates to life. My cousin said to me, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek”. He then asked me, “What are you afraid of and what is in your cave?”

Wow, ahhh…… ok… It took me days to really know what the answer was. However, truth be told I think I knew immediately, but was too embarrassed to answer him and was much more accustomed to giving the response that I actually gave him, “Hmm, I don’t know.”

Let me be honest here because it took about 2 weeks of soul searching and courage to make this promise to myself. From that day forward I promised myself that I will not tell myself any more half-truths or blind myself with deception. I also asked God to please set me free from myself.

Drum roll please. What is in my cave is something very deep. It has many strings attached and many emotions involved. It has caused me soooo much bondage and fear. I refused to live in that fear another moment. MY FEAR WAS TELLING THE TRUTH TO THE PEOPLE I LOVE THE MOST AND TO MYSELF. Please let me clarify the type of lies about which I speak. I’m sure you all know the lies I am talking about. I lied because I was putting their happiness in front of my soul needs. I lied because I did not want to confront the truth. I lied because God forbid I tell the truth about how I really feel. The people I love may abandon me if they know my truth. I lied because I was lazy and exhausted emotionally from the internal struggle. I lied because it enabled me to stay stuck in my own self misery. I lied because it stopped me from launching into my destiny and saved me from a lot of work. I lied because it is who I had become.

Honestly, even at this moment I don’t want to send this out for the world to see. I don’t want to tell the truth about who I really am and who I have become. I am afraid and embarrassed.

The truth is that I learned to lie very early on in life because it made me into something I was not or at least I began to believe it did because the real me was not good enough. A child will start to believe the criticism when they hear it over and over again to the point where eventually they become it. Parents, be careful what you tell your child they are or are not. You have a lot more power than you know. You can use this power wisely or dangerously. You can only be picked over so many times before you believe that you are not good enough for anyone. Remember that saying your mother taught you? “Actions speak louder than words.” Well, let’s just say I understand this concept very well. So, I did the only thing I knew to do. I became what I thought everyone wanted me to be including what I thought I wanted me to be. I believed the lies of Mrs. Wolf, my 6th grade teacher, when she said that I would never be more than an average C student. That is a whole other topic that I will write about later. I believed that I was inadequate and did not do anything right and that I was inferior. So, as I grew up, I lied to make myself feel ok and accepted. I learned very quickly that I could become whoever everyone wanted me to be. The problem is that we all know lying is dark and ugly and it comes with a cost. I don’t know if I ever knew exactly why I did some of the things I did in the past until just now……like why I pounded alcohol. I got drunk the first time at the age of 12 and I mean hammered not just a little tipsy. See drinking for me set me free from the lies. I could actually be me. I did not have to do all the work of keeping up with the fake Melissa. She was out and free and alive. Except that this unclaimed reality ended around 2a.m. It always rolled around and I was always left with myself again and the harsh reality that I was still afraid and alone.

Laying the foundation

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I am pretty sure it all started as a young child with divorced parents. Details do not matter because we all have “stuff” we must overcome. The sad part of reality is that you don’t even know your losing yourself while it is happening. It Is so gradual. One day your picking daisy’s for your mommy and the next thing you know your drinking yourself into la la land or whatever it “is” that you do to mask the pain. What I am working toward in this blog is simple. You must work at chipping away at the exterior of who you think you are and get to the real child inside. Children are beaming with energy and light and so are you, you just do not know it yet. They know more than we realize or give them credit for. It is in this time of a child’s life that we seem to put them in boxes. All kinds of boxes. Control, fear, and anxiety are the ones I am the most familiar with that are deeply imbedded inside of me. As I grow, and chip away at the shell of my soul, I am seeing truth. Truth that I want to share. Nothing goes in vain, nothings is lost or broken if you do not allow it to plant in your heart and grow. Have ever had the nagging feeling that something just wasn’t right? That your relationship were not really working? You are yelling at your precious kids and deep down your angry at yourself and you don’t understand why? I want to be the best I can be a be the person God created me to be and if you want that too its very simply. You will have to surrender your heart and soul and know…. you will have to dig deep. You may even have to shut up and listen.

I waited my whole life for God to use me. I prayed—even begged—for God to
show me what he wanted me to do. Finally, a lifetime of prayers was answered on
April 6, 2006. My journey was set before me not by God’s voice booming in my
ear, but by a surgeon’s voice over the telephone giving me the incomprehensible
news that I had cancer.
Lord, I prayed, I’m not ready to go. I have a child, husband, sisters, parents,
friends, please have mercy on me.
While I felt a mixture of shock, numbness, anxiety and fear of the unknown, I
KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that God would turn this ugly cancer into
something beautiful. This was the true beginning of my journey, and I knew that
God was going to use my battle for His glory and to bring others closer to Him.
I wish I could say over the next year my faith was so great that I didn’t get scared
and angry, but I suffered many weak moments in which I felt that God had deserted
me. I knew then and believe even more firmly now that in those moments the devil
sought to separate me from my faith and God’s promises, and I had to put my
armor on and keep fighting.
God taught me through my battle with cancer that true health requires a strong
body/spirit connection. Healing must start on the inside. Dealing with the
brokenness inside was far more terrifying than surgery, radiation, and chemo, but I
l was learning that if I wanted healing, I needed to be obedient. God would lay out
the steps for me, and I needed to surrender completely and follow them one by one.
In this blog, my goal is to encourage you wherever you are in your journey, no
roadblock is significant enough to deter you from following the path God has laid
out for you. You found your way to this book for a reason. Whether you are
suffering from a physical ailment, a broken heart, a lifetime of abuse, addiction,
insecurity or any other issues, God wants to work those things for good in your
life. God wants to use your story to help others. Let him. What is God asking you to chip away today? Write it down or comment below.

The Journey Begins

I could tell you all the details of my life as a child,teen and early adulthood but for today the details do not matter. What matters is that what I have ultimately learned and what this blog is really about. I am going to take you though a journey of cancer, raising children, marriage and finding my true self. Some days the writings will be long and arduous and other days quick and tasty.

Here is the deal. If your sick and tired of being ________ (fill in the blank) and want to be set free then take this journey with me…… listen, I am not saying its OK if someone hurt your or left your holding your heart. I not saying that you have not betrayed yourself even. You may have to forgive yourself for some terrible things you have done consciously or unconsciously. what I am saying is this……..YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW YOU FEEL AND THE MOMENT YOU GIVE YOUR ENERGY AWAY TO ANOTHER PERSON YOU ARE GOING TO BECOME SOMEONE YOU TRULY ARE NOT DESTINED TO BE. If your are going to be the person God created you to be its gonna take HARD WORK. I wont try and convince you how to live but I will share who I am, how I made the choice to start this blog and how I evolved into who I am today. Transparency matters to me.

Now, take a deep breath. I will eventually give you some tools in your belt to live a mindful, present, conscious and vivacious life. God is the ONLY reason I am alive and healed and to God I give all the glory.
I will be discussing healthy living, food healers, holistic life approach and conscious living.