Gratitude

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The Path to Healing

So I just watched an amazing documentary on recommendation from my soul sister-my aunt! It’s called “Heal.” I watched it on amazon myself. I really recommend EVERYONE to check it out. So it got me thinking: I need to work on my pathway to healing.

I think I need to focus less on dredging up the past, focus more on the Now. I certainly need to start letting go of the anger associated with it. Guess what?! I’m only poisoning myself and my body. So here’s a few small things I’m going to start incorporating into my routine(some of which I’ve already started) :

1) Finding things to be grateful for each day. Trust me, they are there, no matter how small.

2) Spending more time myself and with my kids at the bookstore. So much more enriching than the TV, and good family time.

3) Keeping up this writing! I don’t share it all to Facebook but it really helps me get my thoughts and feelings out.

4) Recognizing negative thoughts as they come in, acknowledging them, and then letting them go!!!

5) Continue to carve out time for myself daily, that allows myself to better me. Whether it be at the gym, or some time to just meditate and give myself some quiet time, even just 10 minutes!

So some small changes to work on, but I think it’s the little things that add up over time. I think a healthy mind sets us up for an overall just healthier life. And I have a lot of anger, anxiety, and self doubts to push out, and I feel like I’m finally in the right place to do that. ❤️ I bet if this is something you struggle with too, you could find something useful in this. And don’t forget, check out that documentary!!!!

This ones for you

This one’s for you,

I really hate to give you anything at all

You took enough don’t you think?

My innocence, my confidence, any sense of security

But still this one’s for you,

To tell you all I couldn’t say

While you were busy spitting fire at all the progress I’d thought we’d made

But I was wrong-nothing had changed.

So here we go, the same old story

Go ahead darling tell them it’s all my fault

Like you always do,

People in your own world might believe you

Anyone outside, they know what you do

This one’s for you

This rock with a note attached coming for your glass castle of delusions

Victim? Only of yourself darling

But pour another glass & try to tell yourself that

The note attached goes something like this

This one’s for you

It’s for you my creator, you were supposed to be my protector, the one who loved me the most

Instead you taught me how harsh the world could be with the daggers from your lips

Another drink, another line, another guy

I’m not sure where I fit into this equation

other than to watch out for your other creation

But that’s old news now

What I’m here to say now is I forgive you

I forgive that you couldn’t be what I needed or wanted

I forgive you for having your priorities somewhere else

I forgive you for all the cruel words you said

And I forgive you for still believing it’s all my fault

I forgive you for turning your back on a daughter you grew in your belly, for choosing the drinks and the drugs and your denial over me

I forgive you for damaging my self esteem into a million pieces and watching as I scatter to pick them up, only to knock them back out of my hands as you laugh with your friends

I forgive all of this, and I do it for me

I’ll never have you back and for this I thank you

Thank you for continuing to deny any fault, it makes it so much easier to see the sickness I’m dealing with

Thank you for forcing my eyes open to see this toxicity was something I could never make work

Thank you for showing me everything not to do in this lifetime, I’m glad I could learn it from you

Thank you for showing your true colors one last time so I could save myself and my beautiful girls, they won’t know this kind of twisted mess

Thank you for finally giving me freedom to breathe and be myself without the terrified feeling of what would come next

So as you can see

This is the last one

And it’s for you.

The Turning Point

5.4.3.2.1.

Here come the walls. Falling fast around you like frail skeletons. There, behind them, is your past. Staring you right in the face, like an old enemy would. The past that you fight every day to forget. The past that, you knew, would eventually show up like this until you dealt with it. Old wounds return to the surface.

Looking back, I had mastered the art of living in denial. I always thought things would be ok, eventually, no matter what. Eventually, my parents would be all I want them to be. Eventually they would see the light and want to change. Eventually they would beat their own addictions and obstacles and realize all they would have waiting for them. And I managed to survive thinking this way for quite some time. To get through one more hard day that way. Denial is very real. Suppression is also, a very real thing. We try to protect ourselves that way. It’s amazing what our minds can do. But what I didn’t know then was, that eventually it would all come back and smack me right square in the face and beat me down until I had no choice but to look at it. To examine it. To figure out, what does this mean? Who are they really? Who am I really? And if I don’t like it, what am I going to do to fix it? And most importantly, how does this affect my kids?

Sometimes I feel like I’ve morphed so many times to keep my heart and mind protected that I don’t even know who I am. Other days I couldn’t be more sure of who I am. What I’m finding is, as with most things, the truth is somewhere in the middle. I’m proud of where I’m at in life. I’m glad I overcame and didn’t follow the footsteps of some around me. But I’m also tired. Tired of struggling to love myself. Tired of hating my appearance, tired of caring about my appearance at all. Tired of feeling like I’m always protecting myself in a way. I always have my guard up, and if you know me, I bet you would never think that. I honestly didn’t even realize how true it is until recently. I really don’t trust easily. Sadly, I keep getting reconfirmation of why I’m that way. And even more sad, it’s because I’ve allowed the people who have hurt me to stay in my life and continue to do it, over and over, because I kept hoping they would change. They won’t.

But not anymore. That part of my life, is OVER. I know now, they won’t change, but I will. I’ve made a very firm decision that I will give back positivity to the universe. I can only do that by cutting the toxic people who have stolen so much of that energy from me. The people who have filled me with all the positive energy I have, are the ones who should be getting it back. So this is my pledge. If you can’t stand by me, treat me with respect, and treat me like I’m worthy of your time, there’s the door, use it. Or actually, I’ll show you out of it. If all you can do is turn tables, if you don’t have accountability, you can’t have myself or my family in your life. If you want to add to my already low self esteem-take a match and go ahead and light that bridge up because I’m not taking it anymore. I’m not sorry. I won’t beg. I won’t chase. I may be sad, but this is what breaks the cycle, this Is how I protect my kids. This is how I make sure they don’t know the pain I knew. The broken promises, the constant disappointment. They won’t know. I will give it my all. Because they are worthy and they will always know it. I’ll make mistakes, their dad will make mistakes, because that’s parenting and that’s life. But this hurt, this hurt that only comes from feeling unwanted by the people who should make you feel most loved, they won’t know that.

So what I know about myself is this: I AM strong, and no matter what life throws at me, I WILL survive it. I may be tired, but I’m here, I’m showing up, I’m alive and I’m recharging. I’ve done it time and time again, fought my way through something I wasn’t sure I’d ever get through,WE ALL HAVE. I’ve done it with the help and support of all the absolutely amazing extended family myself and my kids have been blessed with. That’s what it’s time to focus on. We all have pasts that have shaped us and given us our nicks and the things that make us…well, us. So I say, don’t be afraid of it. Just face it, head on, two feet on the ground. I find our past to be similar to gravity, anchoring us, keeping us grounded as we remember what we evolved from. Throw out your past, and you might just lose yourself with it. You can’t just forget it, but what you can do is learn from it.

So embrace it, in all its beautifully painful messiness, and always remember, YOU and only you, hold the key to how you allow it to define you. Remember that you, yes, YOU, are so much stronger than you think. Remember that no one else will totally understand your truth, and that’s ok. Just keep living it. We all have our own stories, our own pain, our own journey in this life. Keep questioning things, Never settle. The ones meant to be, will show up & most importantly, they will stay. I promise. This right now may be your darkest hour. The walls may be crumbling now, but they will rebuild. The sun will rise again. & when it does, you’ll be even better than you were before.

To my 4 babies. (It’s hard to explain)

Sometimes, you’re just hit with emotions that are hard to put into words. I feel this way a lot when it comes to my kids. It’s so hard to put into words all the things they make me feel on a daily basis. But part of my New Years resolution is to say what I feel to those I love in one form or another, because the fact is we may not always get a tomorrow.

But I’m going to try. So, this is a letter to my babies, all four of them.

Phoenix- I may not have given birth to you or your brother Xhaiden, but you’re both like my own. Honestly, because of you I got to really realize how much I wanted to become a mom at the time we had Aria, and you helped me do that before I had my own. You’d leave our little apartment to go home to your mom and it felt so empty! I couldn’t wait to have little feet there all the time. You are the sweetest soul I know. And all your unique ways of saying things are really the best. You’re very blunt, and always in the nicest way. Hard to explain. You have an infectious laugh and a handsome smile. If I told you that you’d tell me, “I do.” Ha! I love you!

Xhaiden- You, my little man, are a handful and a half! You are so funny and so handsome. You remind me SO MUCH of your dad. Your hard headed and smart, and love to get into trouble. I’m so glad that meeting your dad brought you guys into my life, and I’m glad your mom shares you with me. A lot of times you’re here we have to spend some time doing some discipline, and I have to tell you sometimes it’s hard because your antics are funny, but we can’t laugh when you’re in trouble. I wouldn’t change a thing about you. I love you!

Aria- You beautiful girl, made me “Mom.” You are the first little one who called me that. I want you to know how you changed my world. The first time I laid eyes on you after a long labor, you made me laugh. You looked SO MAD that you were disrupted from your warm cocoon in my belly, you were forced out due to mommy’s blood pressure. Little did I know this would so be a clue to your personality. You are so very head strong, so very beautiful, and so very smart, and I can’t forget sweet. You don’t do ANYTHING you aren’t wanting to do or aren’t ready to do. Everything is in your time. I love it, even when it’s a pain in my rear. Your smile and laugh melt my heart. You showed me what unconditional, give my life, take a bullet for you kind of Love is. You gave my life a whole new meaning. Thank you. I love you!

Willow- oh Willow. My sweet sweet baby! You were the most unexpected surprise. One I wouldn’t change for the world. You have made me cherish the unexpected and believe in miracles. I want you to know how wanted and loved you are. We may not have planned to have you, but we are so ecstatic you decided to make your entrance. You got through the birth control Pill and me exclusively breast feeding your sister. She was only 9 months old when I found out you were on the way. I always tell everyone, “She was MEANT to be here, to do something.” You are my mommy’s girl. You have a smile that would light up the darkest of Rooms. You are mischievous, hilarious, so darn cute and also like to do things on your own schedule. So much so, you scared mommy and daddy when you were behind on your milestones and had to be seen by a specialist. But you’re perfect! You bring tears to my eyes daily because I’m just so glad you’re here. I love you!

I want each and every one of you to know you are my world. I wouldn’t be fully me without you. So I hope one day I can share this with you and you’ll understand just a little, what at times, is hard to explain.

Love, Mom. ❤️

3:49 AM (hold onto these memories)

Ever hear a song for the first time, that somehow takes you rushing through the memory reel of your whole life? I did today.

The song? New Years Day by Taylor Swift. (I know, I know,but I love her, ok?) One of the repeated lines is, “Hold onto these memories, they will hold onto you.” Little did I know this song would stay stuck on repeat in my head all. Day. Long. I haven’t slept yet tonight.

Memories are a funny thing. They hit you out of nowhere just from a smell, a familiar phrase, or even, for seemingly, no reason at all. Some memories forever haunt us, lingering just below the surface of our brain waiting to be rekindled, whether we’d like them to or not. Others bring us immense joy and we can’t wait to bask in them for as long as possible. We are also able to suppress memories that have hurt us in a harsh way, but from my experiences, they reappear eventually as well. Anyway, I’m getting off track of what inspired me to write tonight, on a sleepless brain.

At 3:49 AM, just as I had started to drift off, I heard my 19 month old daughter Willow begin to cry from the other room. I wait a second to see if she had woken just briefly, or if she needed me. I hear her cry again, louder this time. I drag myself to a standing position and make my way into her room across the house. When I open the door, the crying stops. She stands, grabs her blanket, and reaches for me. I smile. “Hi baby.” She nuzzles into my neck. I grab a diaper and we make our way back to mine and my husbands’ room. She says “Hi Dad” to my half asleep husband. He kisses her. She crawls back to me, & nuzzles into my chest, her head right under my chin. I can smell her baby scented soap in her hair.

Now call me crazy, but I’ve never minded being woken up by my babies. Don’t get me wrong, having no sleep, sucks. But I love the quiet moments when they lay with me and I can listen to their rhythmic breathing.

Tonight, I think of memories. All the ones she’s making, and all the ones she’s destined to have. I pray she has so many that she chooses to bask in. I pray I’m apart of some of those. I pray I’m apart of a lot of those, even. I pray I’m never apart of any she needs to suppress. I have those of my own mother, please god don’t let her ever know that pain. i think of how I want to shield her from any pain in the world. But tears come to my eyes knowing I can’t. So I nuzzle her, i kiss her. I soak in that wonderful baby smell and tell her how much mommy loves her. She’s sleeping by now, but maybe she can hear me in her dreams. She grips on tightly to my thumb, & I smile. It’s like she’s telling me she’s hearing me.

With every thumb grip, with every smile, with every nuzzle, my kids erase an ounce of pain from my heart. They give me hope. They make me want to be the best I can be. Not a day goes by that i don’t pray I can be everything they want and need. I know we won’t always get along, and sometimes they won’t like me. Some days they have, and will continue, to frustrate me to no end. But I hope they’ll always love me, and know I love them. I hope their memories of me will be the opposite of the ones I have of my mother. I pray we are never distant, never not speaking like myself and my mom. But for now, I have this moment, this new memory forming. She rolls off my chest, onto the space next to me. She stays close enough to stay touching me. I vow to cherish every late night wake up call I get from her. Every moment my kids let me hold them, is a gift. Before I know it, they will be embarrassed by my hugs and kisses and probably beg me to contain it in-front of their friends. I close my eyes to try to drift off to sleep.

Then I hear the song in my head again.

“Hold onto the memories, they will hold onto you, hold onto the memories they will hold onto you…”

One more kiss. One more minute of watching her sleep. Then I’ll close my eyes tonight.

Note: lowercase “i placed where the iPhone glitch changed it to that other weirdness. Ready for that fix soon!

Big little lies. No, not the HBO show or book.

What’s on my mind today? Lies. Such a small word for such a damaging concept.

The truth is, very few things bother me more than lies. While it may only take minutes or even seconds to tell a lie, it takes much longer than that to recover the relationship with whomever it was you lied to when it’s uncovered. & In my experience, it almost always is.

If you are lying, it’s because you’re trying to avoid the consequences of the truth. If your truth has such consequences you feel you need to lie, maybe take a longer look at your choices. The fact is lying is a symptom of a bigger problem. Always.

Now I feel I’m extra sensitive to lies. I am not a super trusting person to begin with, so if you lie to me…It’s going to be a long, long time before I can regain trust with you, IF ever. The irony in this? I’m also very quick to forgive. So usually I’m the one left having someone in my life I don’t trust, and though this IS my doing, my choice, it’s ultimately why I get so upset when someone lies to me. Once you lie to me, It leads me down a very dark path of wondering if exhibit A was a lie, did exhibit B really happen? It drives me NUTS. Life would be so much easier if everyone’s nose really grew when they lied, wouldn’t it?

Now I realize we are all guilty of telling little white lies at some point in life. Am I gonna tell Susan I hate her shirt if she asks? No, probably not. Which leads me to….

Sometimes we lie because we think we are sparing someone some kind of hurt. But a lot of times most people will tell you they would have rather just been told the truth. So what’s the right thing to do? The only way to answer that is to examine your own intentions.

So let me end my little rant and say, if you love someone don’t do it, just don’t lie. Whether it be a friend, a family member, a spouse or a child. Think about why you need to tell it. Is this really to benefit the other person? Or is it to benefit yourself? Adjust your actions accordingly if you can’t deal with the consequences of the truth. Don’t hurt someone you love, don’t ruin their trust, because if it’s anyone like me, you may not ever get it back.

The choice

I have about 1000 thoughts running through my mind a minute. I’m on a bit of a journey to self love and acceptance, and dealing with some things from my past. You know, that pesky life business. But for me, I think writing it down will really help me. And maybe someone, somewhere can identify with it. So, what’s on my mind today? Something that seems to be on my mind most days, but I’m working on it.

“You’re a horrible daughter.” “You’re an ingrate.” “You’re one of the sheep.” “You have no loyalty.” “Why don’t you just go slit your wrists?” “I feel sorry for Aria.” (One of my daughters) “oh please, you could of had it so much worse.” All things said to me by my mother, the one who carried me and gave me life.

Let’s try another set of quotes.

“You are kind and strong.” “You are smart.” “You are absolutely beautiful, inside and out Lainey.” “You are a wonderful wife and mother, all we could have hoped for.” “I’m so proud of you.” All these said to me by my amazing aunts, my grandmother and my great grandmother.

But can you guess what ones I hear in my mind every day? I bet you guessed right. My mother. Now let me be clear, my mom has told me she’s proud of me, but it’s usually followed by a pat on the back to herself, on what a “wonderful” job she did raising me. “In spite of you.” I’d always think in my head. And she’s only proud of me, if I’m conforming to her standards and not rocking the boat with my feelings. To give a quick background, (I’ll dive deeper another day) my mom likes things that numb her mind. Drinking, drugs, partying, and people of a like mind set. My mom had always been very much about herself, not what was best for her kids. Did she try? Maybe. She has her own demons. But when you’re in denial, you can’t fix yourself. She’s very good at manipulating a situation, she’ll make you believe the sky is purple if you give her five minutes. She’s funny, oh how she is funny. She’s beautiful, especially before the lifestyle caught up with her. But she’s cold, like when you breathe the first breath of winter air and it feels like a knife to the lungs. And when she’s done with you, used whatever it was she needed from you, you’ll feel it too.

What’s on my mind today, is why I let these thoughts consume me daily. Why can’t I concentrate on all the loving things said to me? The truth is I’m getting better at it. But it’s been harder since having my own kids. I look at them and think “how?” “How does anyone do that to their kid? I just want them to know how much I love them.” I think my struggle is similar to many others. I hate the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Words DO hurt. The marks are just unseen by the naked eye. But if you look closely, behavior will tell you. The multiple apologies for nothing, the constant second guessing of yourself, the need for validation.

But the first step to getting better, is talking about the problem. It’s embracing all the love you have surrounding you. My parents are absent for the most part, but I have amazing family members, a wonderful husband, and 4 beautiful, loving kids. I have two younger brothers, one which lives with her and doesn’t speak to me much, but I love him so dearly. I hold onto that, one day he’ll know. I also have 3 older siblings, from my dad, we only just met about 7 or so years ago. I also have a couple close friends, who I love. And a step dad who has taken me in like his own. I’ve got it pretty damn good, overall I’d say. How we feel, and what we concentrate on, what consumes us, is, for the most part, a choice, but it takes time to master.

So today, I choose love. I choose the people who make me feel my best, who choose to love me with all my flaws, and not make me feel bad that I’m NOT perfect. I choose to concentrate on their words, their encouragement. Their attributes that make them so amazing. I choose to see the family I’ve created. I choose to LOVE MYSELF. Even when it’s hard. Even when I don’t want to love the reflection staring back, I’ll choose to hear the words “You are kind and strong.” Because you know what? I am.

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