Hello friends! How are you doing this fine first Friday of Spring? I'm basking in the thought that Spring is here and that means more sun.
I'm not going to waste any time in getting to the heart of what I want to talk to you about today because this has been a WEEK! But I've learned so many lessons from it I don't know where to begin.
I don't know about any of you, but I have struggled with keeping my mental health in check lately. And I mean really struggled!
I feel like I've sort of been just limping along and getting through each day, but by the time I get home in the evenings, it hits me hard. I start to question everything I did throughout the day, everything I said to people. Was I too harsh, too snappy, too cold, too this, too that? Basically, I'm questioning 'Was I Enough Today."
In my head and in my heart, no matter how much effort I put into it, the answer to be honest is no. I was not enough.
Now I don't mean in the trauma-based sense of feeling like not enough (because that is also a major roadblock I'm trying to overcome) but what I mean is this - did I give enough of ME that aligns with my purpose, my passion, and my soul's desire to serve others? And sadly, that answer remains 'no.'
So maybe you are feeling that way too. Like you're not living your purpose or serving others with compassion and the love that you know aligns with your calling and your passion.
Can I ask what has you stuck? Why you feel like how you are living is not fueling enough of your spirit to make you happy? I honestly want to know. I feel like by sharing our stories truthfully we might help others to feel a little less alone on their journey too.
I feel like I'm in the middle of a major transformation on every level. I'm on the other side of menopause now and it has honestly turned my whole world upside down. I think I had read enough and talked to others enough that I had prepared myself for many of the physical changes that would happen and I got through that part pretty easily at first.
What I didn't expect was the roller coaster ride of emotions that sometimes come rushing in all at once, or the wild influx of negative self-talk that makes my self-esteem plummet in a matter of seconds.
It has adversely affected my self-worth and because I always want to be transparent and open and real with you all, I want to share that this week was one of the lowest points in my adult life, and about midweek, I had a breakdown, and I fell apart.
It started with my husband showing a memory reel on his phone of the last few months of our life together. What started as a wonderful trip down memory line, ended with me in tears and asking him how he could still love me when I look the way I do.
I didn't even recognize myself in those pictures and it scared me. I let the extra weight I carry now on my face, the frizzy, dry, brittle hair, the overall puffiness, the blemished skin - I let it deeply affect how I felt about myself and it crushed me that all I saw was an overweight, middle-aged hag reflected in the lens I saw in those pictures. But what hurt me the most was how sad I looked, how lifeless my eyes seemed, and how so very far from joyful I felt.
I realized that I had been carrying this weight, this burden of not feeling like enough, feeling like I was losing myself, and feeling guilty that because I was hiding behind my fear of growing older and not knowing who I was anymore, I stopped giving of my myself or sharing the parts of me that my husband especially deserves the most.
I know he is trying to understand the changes I'm going through the best he can and he has been supportive and loving and so gentle in loving me through the hard days lately. When I fell apart this week, he did all he could to hold space for me to cry and vent and break down, then try to piece me back together the best he knew how. But for the first time, I realized that I couldn't even hear him anymore as he tried to tell me I was still beautiful to him, he loved me no matter what changes I went through, and that he would always, always be here, for better or for worse. All I could hear were my own thoughts screaming into the darkness that I was not worthy of his love. That he could do so much better than this woman I have become. I've failed him miserably because I don't feel like myself and most certainly am not acting like the woman who promised to love him unconditionally for the rest of our lives.
By the time I went to work the next day, I felt a little better, probably because the influx of nasty negative menopausal hormones had subsided a little, but I was determined to listen to motivational podcasts and words from others that might uplift my spirit a little and help get myself back on track.
I felt that all too familiar tug from the universe saying, "You can't stay here. This place is not your home. You know what you need to do. So get up, girl. Get up!"
I started listening to Lewis Howe's Podcast 'School of Greatness' a few weeks ago and it has been a game changer. I think I first found him when he was a guest on my favorite podcast 'The Mel Robbins Podcast.'
So this week's episode was on 3 fears holding you back and he started talking about paying attention to the signs and synchronicities around you. I had instant goosebumps just hearing that phrase because I feel like there have been so many signs and synchronistic events lately for me, but I've chosen to stay stuck where I am and say, 'yeah that might have been a sign, but who is going to want to listen to me while I'm falling apart myself.'
And I don't know what happened to me about halfway through this breakdown, but I started to realize that I don't have to be on the other side of all of this before I can help others.
What I am beginning to understand is that my pain and my Trauma were meant to lead me here today so that I can better serve you by sharing my pain, and my scars and turning them into a purpose that can show you that you can make it too. So that you know that you are not alone and that you too, can heal and become whole again. Like I've said before, this is not a one-and-done healing experience. No meds, no shot, no cure, no superpower antidote to make it all go away. Actually, that's not true - we DO have a superpower antidote, not to make it all go away, but the power it holds is the strength and determination, and belief to know that we CAN get through this. We've dealt with the hard stuff already so now holds the space for us to heal.
I just heard on a podcast this week that said we have to get lost in order to be found. So I'm choosing to look at this a different way - I'm scared right now because I'm more lost than I've ever been. I found myself suddenly pulled back into the past facing my traumas as I'd never faced them before.
Don't be surprised as you go through life changes like going through menopause, as you become an empty nester - as your life just a little more time for yourself when these things arise and come out of nowhere to knock you back down.
Maybe you thought it was over. that you'd done all the healing you could. That you'd dealt with most of your issues as YOU had kids and hopefully did a better job than your parents did. and then wham... here it is again.
For me, it was one of my adult children telling me I was not the mom I should have been as she started therapy and blamed most of her issues on me when I had been nothing but present, loving, and understanding in my eyes.
Turns out, my own demons from the past were still preventing me from being as emotionally mature and available as I might have otherwise been.
So, here I am, at 53 years old, still trying to figure things out.
Now we have time to step back and deal with parts of our trauma in stages - we can be a beautiful disaster without having to take time for everyone else now.
So maybe it's our turn now.
And perhaps, this time, we have no choice but to face it to grow.
I heard someone say this week that we were all sent here with a contract to fulfill and a perfectly crafted curriculum to get us to where we were meant to be in life.
Every single one of us has a different blueprint and different life lessons and learning experiences we were meant to live to help us learn, grow, improve, and heal to help others. It's hard to hold on when you are in the midst of the storm - some say it's the ebb and flow of life. And it's exhausting trying to fight against it, isn't it? So why are we trying to fit our life story into someone else's storyline? Why are we trying to duplicate the blueprint someone else is meant to live? It's no wonder this feels harder than it needs to be. we weren't meant to live someone else's story.
And we are EXACTLY where we are meant to be! Nothing happens unless it was meant to - at least that's what I believe. It's easier to understand that concept when we are talking about relationships, jobs, money, kids, etc. but what about trauma?
Does that mean we were meant to face that pain, destined to survive that horrifying experience? I'm not saying that all of you will feel this way and certainly NO ONE DESERVED IT. Let me get that point straight right now.
But let's give ourselves a little credit here. Those traumas weakened us in those moments, didn't they?
How many of you thought you might not survive? Or maybe didn't want to picture a future where you did survive.
Maybe you considered ending it all to escape the pain.
The point is, you fought with your life to survive, and you are here today because you pushed through the impossible and even if you are still fighting, you are still here. And you will make it out of the dark.
I think we need to honor our younger selves because even without the tools we know now and without anyone else to save the day, we somehow got ourselves to where we are today. And that is a pretty remarkable feat knowing what some of you went through.
But let's also be vulnerable and authentic when speaking to our former self - the one that despite all the progress we have made - still needs to be healed.
My purpose in this season of my life is to create meaning from the Trauma.
You wouldn't be the person you are today without it.
It was never okay that it happened, but it DID happen. So now what do we do with it? We tell it that it holds no more power over us. We turn our pain into purpose. And we help others get through their journey too.
Even when you are trudging your way through this healing journey, each time you heal another tiny fragment, you expand, you grow, and your consciousness is enlightened to a new way of life and a new perspective.
So keep asking the questions, keep evaluating, and keep healing, but focus on the love, the light, and the purpose for your pain.
I am a mosaic of fragmented pieces of beliefs, traumas, happiness, sadness, pain, growth, love, experiences, and a beautiful mess of life lessons that create my spiritual, physical, and emotional being.
And this is my profound revelation of the week, lol - we are not the sum of ONE giant healing experience.
We will heal millisecond by millisecond at a time. I've been waiting for one experience, one sentence, one feeling that tells me I'm healing. That I've forgiven and can move on.
But I'm learning that it will be a constant practice every day of moving towards that goal and learning along the way.
Sometimes we fall from Grace and we don't measure up - because we are human. Forgive yourself, but don't make excuses.
Own up to it. And DO better.
As I said earlier, I've been failing my husband lately. I can choose to use menopausal emotions and mood swings as an excuse, but it's not fair. I'm still making choices to be snappy or drag him down too even when it doesn't feel like I'm always in control.
If that's the case, then I need to GET in control, because I refuse to take it out on him and steal his joy.
He deserves so much much than this version of myself. So do my kids and grandkids.
But do you know who else deserves it? Someone else deserves that apology? It's the person it's affected more than anyone else.
That person? It's me!
I feel like I've been stuck in darkness and have a hard time getting out. I claw my way to the top and feel like I can do it. Finally! Then I sink back down and start questioning how I'm going to find the strength to get up again.
Now that darkness serves a purpose that we must eventually face - but we can't stay there. We can't keep dragging ourselves back there even if it feels more comfortable there.
Do an emotional mind dump.
Sort it out.
Question your beliefs for youserlf and then recreate new ones as you go.
In doing so, I see that because of my trauma, one of the areas of my life that were affected the most was my belief system. It was shaken to its core to be honest, and it continues to be week after week after week because of everything going on in this crazy world and I feel like every time I turn around, there is someone else telling me what to believe. pushing me to believe that it's the only way to think or to believe.
And I've had enough.
In my prayers and while meditating lately, there has been a shift in my prayers and even the language I use when going deep with my thoughts and feelings and seeking guidance for my next path to healing.
The voice I hear is more personal now. Softer. Quieter, in ways I don't know how to explain.
But it feels like I'm on the right track to rediscovering that part of myself that I had been so intimately connected to once.
So I guess I'm on the search for a different type of spirituality within me.
And I'm on a quest to discover all I can until I find the truths that resonate in my spirit, not in the words that others try to make me believe are the truth.
And I don't care anymore who that upsets.
This is my journey, not theirs. And no one else can speak that truth for me.
It is mine alone to own.
So while I'm an emotional mess some days, I also feel stronger than ever before that I'm on the right path. And that I'm being forced to seek the truths in what's happened in my past, and learn those deeply personal, gut-wrenching lessons so that they may change me in order to grow into the person I was always meant to be. Whether anyone else understands your journey does not matter in the least. It doesn't feel that way at the moment though, believe, me, I know it doesn't. It's terrifying to face your past and know that no one else is coming to save you. You might have support but they cannot fully understand your thoughts and feelings and emotions that Trauma is evoking. I've been scared to lose others in my life that will not understand or accept me once I start telling my truth. But I can't fear anymore because THIS exact feeling and fear is what has kept me stuck. Why I'm afraid to use my voice to heal. I'm questioning everything now, maybe for the first time in my life and I'm doing it with eyes wide open this time.
Maybe you are asking the hard questions and seeking the same answers:
What are my values? My beliefs? What matters most? What do I feel passionate about? Who do I want in my life? What legacy do I want to leave? I want to become a deeper person than the answers on this piece of paper and I will not stop learning and growing until I make that vision a reality. Embrace your strengths and weaknesses and incorporate them into who you want to become. Reinvent your interests. What do you love to do? What did you use to do that brought you the most joy? Why aren't you still pursuing that passion? I desperately want to get back to that joy and rediscover those passions.
Playing the piano and writing music, longing to become a musician whose words would heal others was one that passion for me. My fingers on the keyboard took me to another place altogether and saved me from losing myself entirely in the midst of my Trauma.
So why did I ever let it go? I don't honestly know. But I do know that an integral part of who I am at my core is missing because I left it behind. What are you missing? What did you trade for your trauma instead?
Sometimes we feel broken after that experience happens and a part of us died. We see ourselves from that moment forward as broken pieces of our former selves instead of understanding that we are still whole, despite the lies, or the persons, that tried to destroy our self-worth.
I want to share an analogy I heard from Lewis Howe on that same podcast that shifted my mindset and focuses this week.
Think of a 3-legged dog - they don't care if they are broken, they don't feel less than, they could care less that they have 3 legs instead of 4. They are just as happy, joyful, loving, and compassionate. They are perfect just as they are. That trauma tells you something is missing, but that is your STORYLINE telling you you are no longer whole!
YOU ARE STILL WHOLE - despite feeling like something is missing. Traumatic - is the event happening.
You can bring an event with you into your future - that story - we believe it and that story is what's holding us back because it plays on repeat like a song in the background. We sometimes aren't aware it's still playing and controlling our thoughts and feelings that you aren't enough. The story is a LIE - we need to tear up those pages of that story and pen a new one!!!!
NOW!!!!! Don't waste another moment on not feeling enough. How do we solve this? How do we turn our breakdowns into a breakthrough? Talk to someone - shame breeds in the dark. Find someone to trust to talk to. Your spouse, a friend, a parent (an emotionally healthy one), a therapist - you tell them how you feel, and it will make you feel better.
You will notice that their reaction is very different than yours. Because they see the whole of you, and not just the broken pieces of your past. I admitted my deepest shame and fears and darkest thoughts I was having the other night to my husband and cried as I poured out my brokenness onto him. What did he say back? He told me that he had the strength to carry me through this. That he loved me even on my darkest days. That he would stand with me in the storm and we would figure it out together. And the comfort those words brought me I couldn't begin to explain.
But then he did what I'm asking you today as well.
He asked the hard truth.
He asked me how long I was going to let my past define me and lie to me instead of choosing to leave it behind and move forward once and for all.
I didn't know how to respond honestly. I knew this was that moment we face in our lives - whether to remain in the past, or whether to face my demons and move.
I let his questions sit in my heart and settle overnight and the next morning listening to the podcast, I heard him talking about our fears and asked what it was going to take to make it from breakdown to breakthrough.
And there a was. Staring at my reflection in the mirror of my soul. Facing my past and having no choice but to move or lose it all.
I heard Lewis say on the podcast that 'We must knock down the old building (our old self) to make room for the new.'
This reminds me of the song "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."
What if we tear up and jackhammer that boring, broken, cracked concrete gray, dull parking lot, (our former self) and we start building brick by brick a new us - a more whole us - a healed us - a brand new paradise in its place! How cool is that?
The trauma wasn't your responsibility, but how you are going to heal from it and move forward to build a life different than the cards you were dealt, is!!!!!!
You will have to get messy. You will have to hurt. You will have to bleed. But you WILL move forward.
But it starts with just one choice - to remain stuck and blame everyone else, or to say I want something different and take the first step into your new self, into your new life!
WAKE UP CALL!
So let me end this week's podcast by saying that I am so freaking proud of you for joining me week after week and putting in the work it takes to change.
I know your life hasn't been easy, and the cards you've been dealt have sometimes sucked. You've faced more pain, more trauma, and more awfulness than anyone should ever be asked to endure. At times, I've felt like that too.
But, here's the thing. We have the opportunity to open our eyes and hearts to the possibility that our pain does not define who we are. It does not define our wholeness and healing either.
What happens from this moment of awakening and moving forward is now MY fault. MY responsibility!
You are the artist of your life.
We can either remain tethered to the Traumas of our past and never take another step forward to change.
That choice is 100% yours to make.
But we can also have a profound breakthrough as I did this week and realize that every single day moving forward is a gift from the universe.
We get to decide what kind of art and colors and energy we want to create and put onto that beautiful, messy canvas that will become the greatest project we will ever work on -
That project is Yourself.
And you get to say who stays, who goes, how you live, who you love, and you get the chance to start over and make your new self as whole and as healed as you want to be without any limitations as you become the very best version of yourself that is possible - if you just take that first step forward.
Every Single Step Towards Healing Counts.
I hope you'll take that first step with me today.
Please know that while the journey will not be easy, it will be worth the wait, because I believe in you.
You've got what it takes, and so do I.
Together, we’ll make it through, day by day, and piece by piece. Until we’re
restored. Healed. And find Joy in the Journey once again.
I hope you have a great week.
Hang in there and know that you are loved from here to the universe and
Until next time.
I’m unconditionally yours.
All my love,