Embrace The Beauty Of A Scar

Embrace The Beauty Of A Scar

Embrace The Beauty Of A Scar

 

Everyone experiences pain in life at various time.  We all get hurt. We all go through some pretty rough times. In fact, some of you may be struggling with something painful right now.

Do you have any scars on your body?  A wound that ultimately healed up and left a scar?

If so, then you understand that despite deep cuts, healing can occur, sometimes leaving that mark or blemish.

Physically, most of us have dealt with some bloody wounds, perhaps from falling down, an accident, or surgery. I know I’ve used plenty of band aids throughout my life!

Emotional wounds

Emotionally, we’ve got some invisible scars too, right?  Emotional wounds are caused by all sorts of things, from a break up or divorce to an illness to mistakes made to losing loved ones, and more. But over time, many of those inner wounds heal up too.

It’s those emotional scars I’d like to talk about for a few minutes today. Those invisible scars that we tend to be ashamed of. Those scars that we think make us weak or failures. Those scars that hold us back from fulfilling our potential in God.

Scars as a reminder

However, I encourage you to begin to look at your scars from a new perspective.  View your scars as the reality of God’s grace and mercy to bring us through the tough times.  View them as a victory in yourself and in God.

See, life is painful at times.  We’re going to get cut more than once, and sometimes that pain is going to cause us to writhe in agony.  I’ve found myself in the fetal position writing in emotional agony more than once on this life’s journey.

And, I could have stayed there in that emotional pain. I could have allowed it to swallow me up, become bitter, angry, or hopeless. And at times, I did for longer than I wanted to!

But ultimately, I chose to “do the inner healing work”, trusting that God’s love and grace (unmerited favor) could help me get through.  That God’s goodness could ultimately heal that wound, leaving a scar to remind me of God’s faithfulness.

Just look at holy texts and read the stories of men and women of God who went through some horrific times. Some of them failed big time in the eyes of man. Some of them were lacking faith. Some betrayed their loved ones. Some suffered physical harm.

They could have gotten into self-pity and stopped in their tracks.  Rather, they sought God for healing and restoration. They hit the floor and began praying. Or maybe they meditated. Or sought counseling. Regardless, they allowed that pain to fuel their faith in God and in themselves.

And, so can we.

Pain as a pathway to joy

Whatever your past has been or whatever kind of trial or tribulation you’re going through right now, choose to view your pain as a pathway toward experiencing more of God’s grace and mercy.  More of God’s divine love. Pain as a pathway to healing, and ultimately, authentic vulnerability and joy.

I understand emotional pain, including things like regret, guilt, shame, hopelessness, anger, agonizing loneliness, abandonment, victimhood, and more.

I also understand better God’s will to help us heal, no matter how deep the wound.  Will it take time?

Yes.

Will it be easy?

Probably not.

But it will be worth you making the effort, because wounds and scars can remind you of God’s unfailing love and mercy for you, and THAT is something, dear one.  That is definitely a blessing.

People need you, wounds, scars and all.  If you stay stuck in your woundedness, you will miss out on opportunities to connect and share with others.  To impact others with your presence, your gifts, your unconditional love.

Because that’s what we all want, right? Unconditional love?

Ooooh, look at this scar!

Listen friends, God can take any wound and turn it into a beautiful scar.

My stretch marks? Ah, a beautiful reminder of carrying my angels in my womb.

My emotional scars? Ah, beautiful reminders of God’s unending love, grace, and mercy for me, even when I abandoned God. Even when I made poor choices. I blew it, but God redeemed me! Restored me! Not so I can boast, but so I can now turn around and help others!

What about you?  Are you letting wounds fester and keep you in misery?  The divorce? The addiction? The loss of your loved one? The job loss? The mistakes made? Those people that hurt you?

Turn it all over to God. To Love. To Mercy.

Allow God to help you THROUGH the pain.  As many have said before, pain is going to occur, but suffering is optional.  This means you can choose to work with God toward healing, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

You do your part, and God will do the rest.

If you need help, reach out. There are counselors, support groups, life coaches, pastors, spiritual directors, etc. that are more than willing to assist you in healing.

You simply have to take that step.

You’re worthy, dear one, of healing. And, healing on all levels is my prayer for you.

Allow your scars to encourage others who are hurting, so that they can heal.

 

{Need a healing?  Here’s some wonderful affirmative prayers to pray!}

 

Sometimes Darkness Leads To Dawn

Sometimes Darkness Leads To Dawn

Sometimes The Dark Really Does Lead To Dawn

 

Have you ever been through a really tough time in your life and wondered if you would ever see the light? Do you know others who wrestle with depression and all sorts of other negative emotions? 

Surely, we’ve all entered periods of time when sadness, frustration, depression, or even hopelessness has worn us out and left us a mess inside.  It is quite common to struggle sometimes on this journey called life.

What do you make of those times? Do you grumble and complain your way through them?  Do you whine and cry and give yourself a big pity party?  Do you numb or deaden your pain with anesthetics like alcohol, pills, food, sex, etc.? I mean, really…

Who wants to feel pain?

Pain is part of life, yet we squelch and fight it at the first sign.  But what if darkness and pain is an opportunity for us to grow spiritually?  What if there really are blessings that come from the pain and discomfort we feel while in periods of darkness? Would we have a different perspective when those times come?  Sure, we would.

The Dark Night Of The Soul

If you study some of the spiritual men and women of the past, many of them talk about how they entered a “dark night of the soul” and how utterly wretched those times were spiritually for them.  Their struggle was not against outward things, but it was inward- in the core of their being.  They talk about feeling despair, hopelessness, and emptiness.  They cried out for relief.  They wondered why they had to go through such darkness and pondered the meaning and purpose of life.   

The dark night of the soul can be a time of transformation. It is a time of stripping away the levels of pain, frustration, anger, sadness, mistakes, etc. one by one. It is allowing something greater to awaken the spirit within so that magnificent beauty can bubble up and radiate outward into humanity.

It is a time of discovering who we are at the very essence of our souls.

This is what Pema Chodron has to say about the dark night:

In the process of discovering our true nature, the journey goes down, not up, as if the mountain pointed toward the earth instead of the sky. We move down and down and down, and with us move millions of others, our companions in awakening …Right there we discover a love that will not die.”

The Dark Always Leads To Dawn

Just like the sun rises every morning after a dark night, so does LOVE rise after our dark nights.  Love is at the very core of every being on this planet. The problem is that multitudes do not feel that love nor let it ooze out of them into those around them. In fact, many people do not even love themselves because they allow layers and layers of emotional pain to cover up the river of love inside. 

Dear one, may we all view dark periods of life with a perspective that during those times we have something to learn. During the dark nights, we are facing our fears, regrets, hurts, and so much more in order to chisel through the hard layers of our past to find LOVE.

Pure, innocent, abundant, brilliant, unconditional LOVE.

Maybe we won’t be 100% lovey dovey after we’ve gotten through a dark night, but maybe we’ll have shed a layer of pain or ego. Maybe we’ll be able to love ourselves more, and others too. Maybe we’ll be able to let down our guard some and allow others in better.  Maybe we’ll allow ourselves to be more vulnerable with our partner, trusting that we’re safe.  Maybe we’ll forgive our parent(s), friends, siblings, etc. and begin connecting at a deeper level with them.

Are you seeking to grow spiritually?  Then you might expect to go through some dark nights on your journey, but fear not because pain can be a stepping stool to growth, freedom, love, joy, and a big smile. I have heard many people tell me how their shattered dreams helped them develop an inner strength and peace that they never thought they would have. I myself have battled the darkness and even though back then I didn’t believe I was growing, I can look back now and see the many ways I grew during that period.

And still today, when I’m going through a rough spot, I’m going inside, seeing how this can help me expand and grow on my path- not just for me either, but for others too.  After all, there’s a whole lot of people who need some TLC on this planet.

What Are You Struggling With?

Are you having trouble seeing your path because it is so dark?  Are you struggling with sadness, fear, depression, anger, frustration, disappointment, etc.?  If so, it might be that your negative emotions are nudging you to begin a journey within; a journey to emotional and spiritual healing.  I admonish you to endure the dark even when you are tired and frustrated, because the sun always breaks the night in all its brilliant glory and you too can experience a dawn!

 “The nearer the dawn the darker the night.”  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

5 Behaviors You Should Never Tolerate

5 Behaviors You Should Never Tolerate

5 Toxic Behaviors We Should Never Tolerate

 

“You’re such a frickin’ idiot! Is their something wrong with your brain?”

I know, right? How rude!

This type of verbal bashing, along with plenty of other toxic behaviors, shouldn’t be tolerated in any relationship. The reality, however, is that plenty of us allow some toxicity to rule the roost, whether by parent, friend, sibling, boss, or lover.

READ MORE AT ELEPHANT JOURNAL

Don’t Text Your Feelings!

Don’t Text Your Feelings!

Don’t Text Your Feelings:

Ask For What You Need

 

I express myself better in writing, especially when it comes to communicating how I feel. This might be alright for a blog or casual conversation, but when it comes to trying to communicate serious feelings to my partner, texting is not the greatest idea.

When I was in a toxic relationship, I could not communicate in person when I was having a problem. The thought of conflict that would come as a result scared the heck out of me.

I hated conflict!

So, I tended to text my strong feelings when I was irked or wanted to bring something up that wasn’t settling well with me, which never ended up going very well.  I won’t go into details, but I assure you that if you’re wanting to talk about something important, the best way to communicate that issue is in person – not via text.

Even if you are sweating, shaking in your shoes, and you stutter your words out, try to share your concerns in person. Let your partner know this is a struggle for you and ask them to be patient.

Healthy relationships are founded upon solid, open, and honest communication, so if you want a healthy relationship, you must put forth effort into learning good communication tools.

A very easy thing to remember is to start off your conversations with this statement:

“I feel….”  When you do this, you own your feeling.

Do NOT start like this: “You make me feel….” When you to this, you are trying to pin your emotions on your partner.  You are responsible for your emotions.

Also, try not to use the words “always” and “never” when communicating your feelings.  They are irrational words and hardly ever true when it comes to the topic you are addressing.  Safe words are “sometimes” or “occasionally”.

For example, you could say, “Sometimes you speak to me in a rude tone and when you do, I feel devalued.”

If you send that sentence in a text, your partner has no idea if you are angry, sad, or just matter of fact.  This is one reason it is not wise to text such things.  Face to face you can calmly state your feeling to your partner, which hopefully will prompt a calm response.

I found that taking some time to process things would help me to get an adequate perspective before I tried to engage in a conversation. If I just jumped right on texting when I was angry, (and I did) nothing good ever got accomplished.

Makes me wonder what we did when there were no cell phones.

Do your best to refrain from texting when trying to resolve issues. If your partner does this, sit down and have a calm discussion. State your wants and needs when it comes to conflict resolution and do your best at following through with your plan.

I wasted so much time texting my feelings and got nowhere.  Whole days went by text, text, texting! By the end of the day we’d be exhausted and nothing got resolved.  We simply put more wedges in the relationship.

“Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.” ~Anonymous

  1. Do you have a hard time setting up boundaries and keeping them?
  2. What boundaries of yours get crossed frequently?
  3. Make a list of your boundaries and keep them handy to serve as a reminder that you won’t allow anyone to cross them anymore.
  4. Here is a great lesson on setting boundaries by expert Pia Mellody: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bk_SG2QD4E

 

6 Tips to Consciously Overcome a Challenge

6 Tips to Consciously Overcome a Challenge

6 Tips to Consciously Overcome a Challenge

 

I am faced with a the opportunity to overcome a challenge. Without going into details, even though they are pretty juicy, I’m experiencing more difficulties than I’d like in life right now. Yuck, right?

We all know life doesn’t go as planned. No matter how many success books you’ve read, seminars attended, prayers made to your Deity of choice…. “stuff” happens. Pain, frustration, disappointment, heartache, etc. comes knocking at your door in some form or fashion.

Now, I could stay here in this challenging time and sob my eyes out. Point fingers at all those that I feel are to blame. Call myself every negative name in the book…but I’m not.

I’ve got an opportunity to explore this situation, allow awareness to come, and learn valuable lessons about how to overcome a challenge. After all, challenges always offer opportunity for growth.

So, today, let’s take a look at some characteristics that highly conscious people have when they are facing some sort of challenge or difficulty.

1. Never give up

My ego, or shadow, has had its way the past few days. Grrr. I thought I’d healed that sucker completely. (hee hee) The reality is that I still have a ways to go. But…. in the midst of a challenge, I can surrender the white flag or adopt the attitude to NEVER GIVE UP.

I may stumble around in the dark some, but I’ll never give up on myself. I will dust myself off and keep moving forward. Times can be challenging, dear one, but you have control over your mind, and therefore, your perspective.

  • Sadness will come.
  • Frustration will come.
  • Pain will come.

But you can consciously think, “Hmmm. There’s some valuable lesson I can learn here about myself, others, God, and life. What is it?” Then, start digging. Get real and honest with yourself. Resist the urge to point fingers at others. And…Never give up.

2. Overcome a challenge: Examine thoughts and emotions

Contrast and conflict in a relationship can be brutal. How many times have you had an argument and all the emotions that got stirred in you, YOU took out on the other person? Then, after the conflict was over, and you’ve had time to sit with yourself, you realize you projected some of your own “crap” onto your partner. You, as a conscious human being, realize that the contrast was meant to an opportunity for you to learn valuable lessons about YOU, and maybe heal some wounds, but in the moment, your mind was hijacked by your wounded little boy or girl.

Ugh, right?

Now, as a highly conscious person, relationship challenges (and any challenge, really) is your opportunity to crawl up into your mind and examine what kinds of thoughts are going on there. What kinds of emotions are you feeling? See, the reality is that underneath every negative emotion (or reaction) are “fear beliefs” that are begging you to deal with them. I like to call them “fear beliefs”, because at the very root of them is usually fear of some sort.

Fear of abandonment, fear that you won’t have enough, that you AREN’T enough, fear that you will fail, and so on.

In your challenging times, when contrast or conflict comes, fearlessly make a commitment to examine your thoughts and beliefs, and choose to EXPAND… choose LOVE, choose FORGIVENESS, choose COMPASSION, choose HEALING….

Find the belief that is causing the contrast, so that you can deal with it, and clear it!

3. Refuse to stay in the negative vibrational state

Challenging times usually bring you to a state where you are feeling frustration, disappointment, fear, anger, sadness, and so on. As a highly conscious person, make a decision to refuse to stay in that state. Oh, I know it’s not easy to just flip the script from sad to glad, but if you want to change the circumstances, change your energetic level.

For me, it’s tempting to allow the situation to get and keep me down at times. After all, I lived with a victim mentality for many years, and if I’m not careful, my thoughts will go right back to that sort of mentality.

But…. I’ve also learned that it is usually my past thoughts and beliefs that landed me right smack in this challenging situation, and it’s going to be my thoughts and beliefs that get me out. (Or manifest something different or simply come to terms with the situation and a place of acceptance. )

4. Don’t judge the experience as right or wrong

An experience is just an experience. It’s not necessarily a right or wrong issue. If you’re struggling with something, try not to judge the circumstance or yourself. No right or wrong here. You’re here in this situation (relationship issue, job issue, money issue, health issue) and it’s not about right or wrong. It’s about learning lessons about yourself, God, life, people, and so on. It’s about growing, evolving, expanding, and coming to a place where you can love yourself and others more. Yes, you can learn how to overcome a challenge!

You have a choice in what words you are thinking and speaking to yourself. What are you choosing?

5. Overcome a challenge: Give up on controlling outcomes

As much as I’d like to be in control, I’m not. When I try to control outcomes, I usually end up in a negative state of mind. Why? Because most of the time, it doesn’t turn out the way I want. So, I give up on controlling outcomes. This challenging situation?

Giving up on trying to control it. Oh yeah, I will believe for the best, but I’m not going to base my happiness level on the outcome. Instead, I’m going to align with God, with Love, and I’m going to reach for those things that make me feel happy. I’m going with the flow. I’m attending to my own emotional state instead of trying to control someone else’s. I’m believing that as I detach and let go of expectations and outcomes, my highest good will show up sooner or later. This is a healthy way to overcome a challenge for sure!

You may not understand what the heck is going on right now, but trust that as you focus on ease and flow, you’ll be alright. As you focus on these tips, life will work itself out and you’ll be better for it.

Challenges will come, dear one. And, you can learn to overcome a challenge easy breezy when you practice! Determine to consciously navigate them knowing that you can be gifted with insights, lessons learned, and a strength that you didn’t even know you had! And if they don’t go as planned this time, try again next time.

It’s progress we’re after; not perfection.

This life journey is full of opportunities to learn and grow on all levels. To overcome a challenge consciously can make you feel amazing! My prayer is that you embrace any opportunity for growth, and live a life that is marked with an ever-increasing amount of peace, wisdom, and joy.

Uncertain Times Call For Self-Care

Uncertain Times Call For Self-Care

I know. We are living in a time of uncertainty right now in America. I’d be telling a big fat lie if it didn’t concern me at times. Still, even in times where we don’t really have much of a clue as to what is going to unfold, we’re called to work towards embracing and radiating a spirit of community and love. Community, because we are all humans. Love, because that’s what we’re called to as Light Bearers, as sparks of lights only on this planet for a short time.

As I heard one woman say, the onion is being peeled and that has caused quite a few tears for sure.

I’m not up on the latest political details. It’s a LOT to keep up with. I have a couple of key people in my life who feel led to keep up and I get briefed every now and then.  It’s not that I’m not interested; I’m just not as interested as many others. And you know what? I’m great with it.

What I do know is that in these times of uncertainly, we all have the opportunity to work toward a better world, starting with ourselves. We all have the opportunity to NOT judge. To NOT engage with haters or those who simply love to spew hate or violence. Yes, we have a voice. Yes, we ought to stand up and speak for justice. Absolutely. But we don’t have to allow our souls to be so full of chaos that we’re walking around in fear or anger.

There’s ample opportunity to learn lessons in love. Lessons in peace. Lessons in wise words only when necessary.

Friends, as we wake each day, let’s not forget to embrace self-care and self-love. Let’s not let fear or anger consume us.

I’ve written down a few tips to help you remember to take care of you these days. To look at the bigger picture. We’re only here on the planet for a short time. Let’s do our best to rest and trust that no matter what happens, somehow we’ll be alright and Love will lead the way.

Limit your time watching television and engaging in social media

Listen, it’s great to get informed, but many people are wasting so much time watching the news hour after hour and scrolling through Facebook and Twitter. Come on folks. This can become an addictive behavior and before you know it, your anxiety levels hit the roof and no one wants to hang around you because all you do is complain about the world. Yes, have your fun on social media and technology, but keep your time limited.

Be nice

It’s not that challenging to be nice. It’s simply a choice. We can all do better here. Start with yourself. Look in the mirror, give a smile, and say, “Hey. I think you’re pretty cool!” Then, give the clerk at the coffee shop a nice tip and a big thank you. Compliment your partner. Call your mom and dad. After your co-worker goes ballistic about some new discovery at The White House, give him a big hug and say, “Dude! I love you so much!” Spread some love and Just.Be.Nice.

Become united

There’s a lot of talk about privilege. I get it. Plenty of white folks before my time didn’t rally and defend those who were being attacked. I’ll never understand this. It is time for all of us acknowledge that attacking anyone is not ok, for any reason.  Past or now. So, let’s band together, huh? In love. In light. In freedom for all of us to be who we are. Not sure what to do? Sit with it. Pray. Meditate. Don’t DO just to do. Do what feels right for you. March if you want. Call key people. Write letters. Attend gatherings. Every life matters. Period.

Accept what is

One of my best friends literally grieved for a week after the election results. She called me, obviously broken hearted. I get it and you know what? I gave her permission to feel all those feelings. I held space for her to be exactly where she was. I knew she wouldn’t stay there and I understood why she was there. Listen, it’s alright to feel what you’re feeling. Just don’t stay there for years on expect others to feel the same way.

Keep on living

Fear can paralyze. Anger can eat you from the inside out. But hey, we’ve only got today! So, what are you going to do? Keep on living; that’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to take care of you, embrace light, love, and some fun. Yes, give yourself permission to get out for some fun with your family and friends. Go on adventures. Start a new hobby. Just.Have.Fun.

Now, let’s continue to be optimistic and radiate love to others. The world can be transformed when we band together in love.