Tag: life

Your Journey.

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This is a book that I just finished.  I really enjoyed it.
It is probably really old. I am not sure when it was published, because I didn’t look. I found it in a huge pile of old books that were going to be thrown away.

I am sharing a few excerpts that I personally benefited from reading, but there are many many more that I have highlighted so you’re welcome for not making you read all of them.

I wasn’t interested in reading this because I felt lost. I really just like to learn about things that I don’t know about. I think it’s important to know why I believe what I believe and I like to have answers to questions that I have from wise, insightful authors.
I also like to challenge myself and am curious about  the diversity and foundations of other world religions and cultures.

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“In The Journey, you can investigate answers from three major perspectives—modern secularism, Eastern philosophy, and Christian faith—and form your own conclusions. If you or someone you know is engaged in a quest for faith and meaning, The Journey can help you find answers worthy of your time and commitment.”

If you are interested in buying this rather old, but still completely relevant book from 2001-
it is on Amazon for decent prices brand new and for —change (like change you can find in your car, change) for used copies.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Journey-Meaning-Trinity-Series/dp/1576831604

 

Stop Rushing.

 

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Simply ‘being all there’ and taking each day-

one day at a time.

If you think about it, rushing doesn’t really ever produce anything of best possible quality anyway.

Breathe deep, and take it all in.

This is something that I have to constantly remind myself of.

Whether we are tying shoes, washing dishes or folding laundry.

I try to do my best to take time to teach and explain to my little ones.

I remind myself that our job, is to prepare them to live healthy lives. Not lives without us completely but independent lives.

Just something that I work on every day.

Good Grief.

 

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The stages of mourning and grief are universal and are experienced by people from all walks of life. Mourning occurs in response to an individual’s own terminal illness, the loss of a close relationship, or to the death of a valued being, human or animal. (Psychcentral.com)

I used to run and hide from any kind of pain or uncertainty.
I knew that if I hid long enough, it would all just go away.
And every single time I resurfaced and saw that it hadn’t, it was my cue to reinsert myself into my induced, but functional, coma.

Before substances were my necessity, my best friend, and my only priority, they were my refuge.
Before they transitioned into chemicals that were killing me and taking over my entire life,
they protected me…….they were my safe place.

So today I am trying to sort through my emotions in dealing with a loss that is making my chest feel heavy, like I got hit by a semi-truck.
The kind of loss where I think that I can actually feel my heart breaking.

While I am still really beyond thankful that I am able to feel in the first place,
it can still be overwhelming to feel so much at one time.

But I am happy that I understand that it is normal to feel this way when experiencing personal loss.
Not only is it normal, it is OKAY.

My sobriety has taught me many lessons, but one of the most important lessons has been about happiness.

Being happy all of the time is unrealistic and unnatural.
You can’t always feel good. These expectations are ones that cannot be met.
Just as it is unnatural to always feel down, miserable, and unhappy.
It’s a balance thing.

Obviously, loss is a part of life, and grief is a part of our very real, very human experience.
It is okay to allow ourselves to feel sadness and to allow ourselves to recognize that we are in pain.
It is not wrong or bad to hurt and it is not a shameful thing to grieve for someone.

Today as I sit here I am okay with life not always being okay.
Is there a ‘right’ way to grieve? I don’t think so.
I think there are only healthy, and unhealthy ways to grieve.

I am able to feel and handle grief in a way that doesn’t negatively affect my wellness.
All for me, here is what that means: 
-I will not push the feelings away.
-I will not allow them to run my life and take over all of my thoughts.
-I don’t constrict myself to a time limit, I will grieve as long as my heart needs to.
-I will accept the feelings that come.
– And I understand that I am not ‘abnormal’ for having waves of sadness and a lot of tears as I mourn a loss that just might hurt for a long time.

We cannot change the fact that people will eventually pass on.

It’s just a tough fact of life.
It is a beautiful & painful process.

I know some of you who are reading right now might be grieving someone too.

Try to remember that we are left here with the gaping holes and pain.
But I believe that they are somewhere- and their spirit is alive and healthy, and near to us.
They are not hurting or sick anymore, sad, alone, or debilitated in any way.
They want us to remember them and to live a life that honors their memory by embracing the legacy that they left behind. That is how we can honor their lives lived here.

So I am going to try to do just that.

I am going to laugh, and allow myself to enjoy my life.
I am going to take my memories and what she instilled into my life,
and I am going to give it away to others.

She would have been okay with that.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
(Psalm 34:18)

Embracing You.

 

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As I grow as a woman I have learned why it is important to maintain a balance between who I am, who I am not, and what my personal goals are.
I try to just embrace who I am right now and she is pretty okay.

Life for me has become more about why I am here
rather than how I look while I am here,
or who I am not while I am here.

I think that finally figuring out why I am here on this earth
has helped me feel super comfy about who I am.
I have realized that rather than fighting myself to be someone who I am not,  and may not ever be, I am just going to love and accept who I am.

Over the last decade I have definitely eliminated a long list of things I am not here to do.
Things that are not my why or things that I was not put here to do.
(Mostly because I have spent a lot of time meandering about, living an aimless life.)

Here are some things that I have learned along the way: 

*I am not a people pleaser and If I am, I am a really bad one. It only makes you tired anyway.
*Looking to someone else for self-identity, significance, or approval will always put you on the wrong path every single time.
*I drifted further away from my true self using other people’s opinions of who I should be.
*Quirky and unique qualities are actually really cool, which is opposite of what cool people think.
*There are no such things as cool people, there are just people.
*Setting limits is a necessary part of wellness.
*Knowing our own limits is another big part of wellness.
*People appreciate authenticity and people who don’t are usually struggling with their own.
*Grief is personal, and as long as you are grieving healthily, you have the right to go at your own pace. Cry when you want, remember when you want and take your time.
*It’s not always easy doing the right thing, in any situation. Do it anyway.
*Life is bumpy at best, but not just for me, for everyone.
*Shame is something that will hold you back and keep you down. Stay away from people who like to remind you of your past, or who refuse to embrace you presently, as you are. Bye.
*If we say yes all of the time to everything, we aren’t really living our own lives, or using our gifts and talents what we are actually supposed to be doing. Think before you nod your head yes to everything.
*Sometimes other women (or people in general) can be hard to get along with some days. Sometimes it’s them, sometimes it’s you. Don’t take it personally. Let it go quickly, and move on.
*Love the people who love you, and love the ones who don’t. Most of the time you can find friends in people who you least expected.
*Last, no matter how you are doing it someone will want to tell you that you are doing it wrong.
Don’t let yourself forget all of the support that you do have, and all of the lovely people who are in your corner, because they are who matter anyway.

This is just a short list of some of the main things that have really helped me continue to move forward on this journey of sobriety and health & wellness.

 

 

So THIS is Love.

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When I began to believe that God did exist and I actually began to feel and see the evidence of Him in my life, the way that I experienced love immediately changed.

Unlike most other aspects of change in recovery from addiction (and underlying issues) this change was almost instant and didn’t require work.

No longer was it a word that I tossed around, or a word lacking meaning behind it.
I could feel it.
Although it is an over-used word these days, there really aren’t words powerful enough to describe what it feels like to experience love for the first time.

Self-Love was brand new to me.
For the first time in my life, I saw my own reflection in a new way, and felt differently about all of the circumstances that I had inherited and created for myself. 
I saw who I really was, and I embraced her.
For the first time, I could say that I loved me.
Not who I would become, not who other people told me I needed to be.
I loved myself, and it was enough to let myself embrace the things that were to come.

Feeling the Love for my children.
I had always loved them but something was different when I looked into their little faces, and seeing the brightness behind their eyes, celebrating their victories, soaking in the belly laughs, hearing their stories, cherishing the color pages, and even wiping their tears.
I could remember the moments.
All of it became something more than what it had been before.
I could finally see them.

Being madly in Love
for the first time.
I wasn’t in love with a persona, or who a person might possibly become.
I wasn’t staying for lack of better alternative or the sense of being needed.
I knew I was valued and appreciated, imperfectly accepted.
I was in love with someone who was already whole.
I could see this person for who they were and I didn’t want to change anything about them.
I wanted to be more because he inspired me.
I wanted to keep going because he pushed me.
I wanted to unpack my own baggage, so that I could be a whole person too.
I wanted to receive his love and to give it right back.

It all finally made sense. 

I had finally accepted love. I had finally let myself be loved.
I was finally able to give love away.

God’s love for me shined a beacon of light on what this life is really all about, about what love really means, how it really feels, and why it is all so important.

1 John 4:19
We love each other because he loved us first.

 

 

You Won’t Please Everyone.

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My blog is public for a reason.
I try my best to use my experiences to help other people in recovery.
I make my ‘work’ email available to anyone who might need it.
People contact me if they are interested in writing a guest piece for Discovering Beautiful.
Many people send me emails with networking opportunities.
Others just email me to update me on their progress in recovery or just to vent.
and I love and appreciate having the opportunity to connect with my readers.

But unfortunately, doing things this way also leaves the door wide open for people from my past to contact me.
This was a non-issue for my first couple of years in the blogosphere.

I know for sure that some of the people who I used/partied/ruined my life with do read the things that I write.
Truthfully, I am grateful for that.
Everyone deserves to live a healthy life and if I say anything to encourage that for someone else no matter who they are, or how I know them, or if I don’t know them….
that is awesome. That’s what giving back is all about.

But one person from my past (who I would prefer not to hear from)
has sent me several emails over the years.

He feels like it is really important to remind me in each one that I:
“Not ever forget where I came from.”
Well thanks for that.
I won’t.

I will be honest, this frustrates me more than it should, but I remind myself that
there are two kinds of people:

*People who have some unhealthy connection to a certain lifestyle and will never allow themselves to forget where they came from, who feel some sort of obligation to stay true to a certain way of life. They comply with some unspoken, mandatory code in order to belong to some non-existent club full of people just like them.
The person who sent me these emails (yes, plural. Apparently, it is of utmost importance that i not let myself for get where i came from.)  would only be happy for me if I was a 33 year-old mother of 3, driving an Oldsmobile Cutlass 442, listening to underground unreleased gangster rap, on my way to the laundromat.
Or maybe he wants me go buy my childhood trailer back from its new owners? Or maybe that basement I lived in for so many years is available, I really miss smoking pot all day and making bongs out of household items.

*and the people who aren’t afraid of and believe in embracing change and forward progress.
The ones who can look back and thank God that they had that particular life experience, but who are grateful that so much has changed since that time. These people understand that their roots are a small part of who they are as a whole. They are always with you but are just a piece of your story.

The truth is, when someone says something like this
with a negative underlying tone-
here is what they actually mean:

“You are doing great. You seem to be really happy and a lot different than you were. You are acting ‘better’ than you ‘really’ are, and the truth is, this doesn’t work for me.”

If I let every person who tried to hold me back win, I really would still be living in a basement somewhere believing that I didn’t deserve a GED, and wasn’t capable of doing anything else with my life because I had already failed.
I think that if someone like Jay-Z did the same thing, he might still be in the projects.
If Jewel did the same thing, she might still be living in a car somewhere.
If Eminem believed what others said about him, he just might still be living in Detroit working in a factory.

We don’t have to forget where we came from but we don’t have to let that place or that lifestyle be the base in which we live our new lives.
Certain things will always be a part of our story, but we are in no way obligated to any of it.

You really can’t write new additions to your story if you are obsessive about re-reading the old parts.

Not everyone is going to applaud or support the changes that you have to make in order to invest in your recovery.
It really is just another thing that you have to learn to deal with, but considering all of the hard things that you are forced to go through for sobriety, this issue is a small obstacle.

I am going to keep working and will keep doing my best to help as many people believe in themselves as I can.
If you are reading this, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t change or that you don’t have what it takes to make it.

 

 

 

Celebrate Recovery, changed my life!

Find a CR meeting! –>  http://www.celebraterecovery.com/find-a-group/

 

 

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