Six years ago I held a belief that I couldn't draw. Though I enjoyed doing creative projects, I never once attempted sketching. Then one day I sat down with pencil, paper, and a drawing that my daughter had created in elementary school. I copied her drawing with some success, though it was very child-like.
From that day on, something magical began to unfold. I found an artist in me...hidden away. I continued to play...using paints, markers, whatever I could get my hands on...until my drawings improved.
One day a voice in me said "you're going to design greeting cards". I replied to the voice "how is that possible?".
Today my cards are in the finest gift stores in the area. I could never have imagined that. I still shake my head. Six years later, it still feels brand new, dream-like, exciting...
No one knows their true potential until they take risks to try new things. I thank God for the day that I looked at my daughter's drawing and said to myself "I wonder if I could do that?"
Here's another miracle. Jack detests anything electronic. He has stubbornly declared that he will not conform to the computer age we live in. Knowing this about him, I decided to buy him a Nook anyways. I was pretty certain that if he removed his resistance, it would give him hours of pleasure. Well, he's become addicted to solitaire. Welcome to twentieth century, Jack....
Most of have an impostor in us whether we're aware of it or not. We hide the parts of our self we think aren't acceptable. But it diminishes who we really are. We become someone were not.
The impostor I adopted for myself at a young age was Ms. Nice Girl. Ms. Nice Girl hides her true feelings...she's smiles a lot, appearing so accepting of everything...even when she's feels harmed.
A new revelation is coming to me... I'm describing my dad - Mr. Nice Guy (he was generous with others). Dad always had this great big grin on his face. It's generally what people remembered about him...his wonderful smile. But hidden away was something he didn't show the world- his temper. There was a raging inferno in my father. When his anger got triggered, he lost control. And when he lost control, he abused his children. He took his rage out on us.
I followed dad's footsteps with the abuse, only I did it to myself. I made everyone else more important than me which meant I made excuses for people when they caused me harm.
One of the hardest parts of myself that I've had to recover is my anger. I never thought I had the right to be angry even when someone hurt me. That's my Ms. Nice Girl.
Well, you know the saying "when you know better, you do better". I know better now. Ms. Nice Girl has taken early retirement...
“Like a Columbus of the heart, mind and soul I have hurled myself off the shores of my own fears and limiting beliefs to venture far out into the uncharted territories of my inner truth, in search of what it means to be genuine and at peace with who I really am. I have abandoned the masquerade of living up to the expectations of others and explored the new horizons of what it means to be truly and completely me, in all my amazing imperfection and most splendid insecurity.” ― Anthon St. Maarten
So here's more honesty- it was extremely hard to write and post my blog on Sunday. The process took 6 grueling hours...writing, rewriting, crying, pushing myself through fear, discovering a new strength... It was like giving birth; painfully hard, joyfully good and the million other feelings in-between.
The biggest gift in this is freedom of expression. I didn't know I was living in my own self-imposed prison- a prisoner to what I feared others would think of me. Not because I did something wrong. I've pretty much laid out my character defects for the world to see by being honest about my past mistakes. I was more afraid of being judged for things that were good in my life. It doesn't make sense until you see there is unworthiness behind it. Unworthiness either pumps you up TOO BIG or keeps you small.
My next challenge is not to step back into the prison. It's a familiar place- a place other people-pleasers can relate to- being hostage to others approval. Co-dependency is a painful affliction that I have worked on for years and yet, it still rears it's ugly head. But for today, I am just going to savor the victory. Tomorrow will take care of itself.
Codependents are reactionaries. They overreact. They under-react. But rarely do they act...
It's with a tentative heart that I want to share some things about myself that I have hidden away for half of my adult life. The reason for my long silence has been fear. But the burden of carrying these truths have become heavier than fear of telling them.
Eighteen years ago I had a miracle happen to me...an experience that I didn't understand until years after Eckhart Tolle wrote his book "The Power of Now". In his book he shared that in the depths of a depressed state, his ego mind disappeared, allowing him to live in a state of bliss and he continues to do so today.
I had a very similar experience like Eckhart Tolle described. It was on a day that the pain of my life was so great I was contemplating suicide. I was feeling empty, alone and defeated. I cried out to God in a way I never had before. I said "you have to do something because I have nothing left in me". I remember going to bed and waking to feeling a lightness that I never felt before. A lightness where there was no pain, no worry, only pure joy. It was like heaven on earth. I carried this feeling in me for several weeks. I tried to explain it to my (ex) husband, but he thought I had flipped my cork and didn't take me serious. I gave up talking about it because I didn't know what else to do with it.
But it was a big turning point for me. It was the first time I knew for certain there was a God. Not a God I tried to understand with my mind, but a God I let into my heart.. I began to see His grace at work... After a time, the bliss began to fade and eventually I returned again to the pain I had been living in. I grieved for months afterwards because I now knew there was something so perfect and beautiful, but it had moved out my reach...
I made a promise to myself and God that I would do whatever it took to return there. Thus began my whole-hearted commitment to recovery. I started to deeply care about transforming my life.
The second time I had a spiritual experience was right after my daughter died. Pain again was the catalyst that took me to the darkest place I had ever been. I literally crumpled to the bathroom floor, willing myself to die. As I was in the depths of deep grief, I began to have an out of body experience. I watched myself on the bathroom floor grieving day after day like I was watching a movie. I heard a voice within me for the first time...a voice that that reassured me I was going to be okay. I witnessed many blessings in the midst of the darkness. One of the biggest was learning to trust the wisdom of the voice I had discovered. Today, the voice is my companion, my guide...
After a few weeks, things again began to fade. This time I was not only grieving the loss of the spiritual experience, but I was in the throes of grief for my beloved daughter. My heart shattered into a million pieces, but I held unto the promise of hope like a drowning person holding a life rope.
The third time I experienced a state of nirvana was a couple years ago when I ended up in the hospital for a week. The fear of being hospitalized was so great that it took me to the darkness again, and again I emerged into the lightness...the bliss. After that, every experience I had in the hospital felt loving even though the hospital made so many screw-ups including misdiagnosing me. I didn't care!!! I would lie in the hospital feeling the deepest peace and contentment that you can ever imagine. Crazy as it sounds, I didn't even care about being released. I remember telling the nurse that my hospital bed was the most comfortable bed I had ever slept in. I'm certain it wasn't but in a state of pure acceptance, it felt that way. Weeks later, the bliss began to fade again. I sobbed tears of grief for months...I also got really angry with God. I felt He had given me such a beautiful gift , then snatched it away. It almost felt unbearable to return to a world that felt chaotic, busy, noisy... Eventually, I adjusted back to the old way of life again.
One of the biggest gifts that came of the last experience was the realization that I was living in world that was so out of balance...a world where people kept their lives busy so they wouldn't have time to examine themselves. And this included me. I began to slow down. To look deeper at my own flawed life...
So why have I been so quiet about my miracles? Some people have dedicated their whole life to achieving enlightenment. I get glimpses of it, yet keep it to myself. I have also been silent about my psychic abilities that showed up around the same time as the other miracles. I call it a "knowing". The knowing guides me when I do work with those who seek healing in my life coaching practice. I have the ability to look into people lives like a piece of glass, seeing things they don't see, things that block them from happiness. I have freely shared this gift over the years, but never called myself "psychic". Bottom line, I feared being judged. That's because I used to be one of those people who judged others who claimed to be psychic. The word "psychic" invoked an icky image in my mind. I have softened my judgment, but it's still hard to use that term.
So here's more truth- one of the biggest reasons I have been so quiet about everything. There is still a voice in me that belongs to my mother. A voice that says "who do you think you are to have these gifts?" This voice has plagued me my whole life. I learned early on to diminish myself in order to feel accepted. It has taken me almost a lifetime to come to the understanding that my mom was insecure and jealous of many things, including me. I still don't like that I know this about her (mom died a few years ago). I can see why I chose denial for so long. But I finally decided to be fair to me by being honest about what happened in the past. Mom would pull the rug from under me anytime I felt too good about myself. I would lose my footing. It robbed me of building confidence in myself. I later, began treating myself that way too.
The reason I can longer carry the burden of silence is that I need to take a stronger stand to be more real about who I am and where I'm at. It's still hard to talk about my mom without feeling guilty that I'm betraying her. But this really isn't about her, it's about me. Truthfully, I loved my mom a lot and after a lot of work on forgiveness, I am grateful for all that she taught me. What she taught me brought me here. And here is good. However, this morning I am breaking the old agreement we had. No more smallness...no more being quiet...no more beliefs about being less than.
I also am letting go of any attachment to what others believe or don't believe about me. I'm certain there are many who will never understand what I am even talking about and those who may judge. People can allow me to use my gifts to create change in their lives or not. For today I am surrendering all my concerns, claiming more freedom for myself.
The valuable lessons and wisdom I've gathered over the years is meant to be shared out loud. God gives us all gifts. Today I am taking more ownership of mine.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do..."
love the contrast between the flowers and the sky...
“I would rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I'm not."
“Before speaking, consult your inner-truth barometer, and resist the temptation to tell people only what they want to hear.”
The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don't know anything about”
“No one can create negativity or stress within you. Only you can do that by virtue of how you process your world.”
“A non-doer is very often a critic-that is, someone who sits back and watches doers, and then waxes philosophically about how the doers are doing. It's easy to be a critic, but being a doer requires effort, risk, and change.”
It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life...
“Scared and sacred are spelled with the same letters. Awful proceeds from the same root word asawesome. Terrify and terrific. Every negative experience holds the seed of transformation.”
Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.”
When you protect yourself from pain, be sure you do not protect yourself from love.”
“...until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and make peace with them”
“When you need to be loved, you take love wherever you can find it. When you are desperate to be loved, feel love, know love, you seek out what you think love should look like. When you find love, or what you think love is, you will lie, kill, and steal to keep it. But learning about real love comes from within. It cannot be given. It cannot be taken away. It grows from your ability to re-create within yourself, the essence of loving experiences you have had in your life.”
Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself. Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything...come with wholly empty hands... ”