This is going to hurt

No one likes to suffer.  Most people will do anything to avoid pain, whether physical or otherwise.  The only thing worse than being in pain is seeing someone you love suffering from it.  It makes you feel helpless because no matter how hard you wish you could take it from them or feel it for them, you can’t.

This is a difficult thing, to watch them hurt, but sometimes pain is necessary because sometimes pain is part of the healing process.  Our problems don’t develop overnight, they are a culmination of repeated habits.  Yet, when the shit hits the fan we expect to be able to do away with the aftermath right away.  But things don’t work like that.  Sometimes, the pain is needed, sometimes the pain must be felt and when it can’t be avoided then we must learn to accept it.  Accept it and use it as a tool to learn.  Learn from our past mistakes and have the consequences of our actions burn so loudly that when the pain does finally stop we never forget what caused it in the first place.  This way we do not repeat our past folly.

Sometimes you have to watch the one you love hurt.  Not for your own good but for theirs.  It’s so temporary.  Once you see the progress being made and the healing begin, even though the pain is still felt you can rest, knowing that it’s just part of a process, a passing phase that won’t last.   You have to be able to watch the one you love die because what is dying is not them but only a part of them.  A part that they are better off without.  You must allow yourself to trust the process.

But when you have no faith, it leaves a lot of room for fear.  And fear, as we all know, is the real thief of life.


To ends and new beginnings

We are 11 days away from embarking on a new year.  Looking back, I’m not sure that I would have done anything different.  I feel that we always do the best we can with what we know and I learned a lot this year so I’m sure next year will be different in that I will be making less of the same mistakes.

I think this year has given me insight into what I actually want to do with my life, at least for the foreseeable future.  It also let me figure out what I don’t want to be doing which is just as important.  I feel that 2017 will be a great year of growth and less of a struggle than 2016.  For me 2016, at least the latter part of it has pushed me to let go.  It is not a giving up but a gentle surrender to the divine and its plan for me and my life.

I have a fairly large list of goals for next year but feel pretty optimistic about accomplishing them.  After all, I was finally able to conquer my sugar addiction, something I had struggled with for a while and tried several times to no avail.  I feel like me doing that makes anything else possible because there was a time when I thought it was impossible to do.  If I can do that…what can’t I do?  I also finally committed to this blog which I actually started over a year ago but didn’t publish or share any of it until fairly recently.  It’s strange how things fall into place when you stop forcing them.

Another big thing that 2016 has taught me is that persistence, no matter how scattered, if consistent enough brings about progress.  It excites me to think what else I can accomplish in 2017.  I’ve got quite the list of things I’ve always wanted to do and no doubt a push by my higher self to do the things I was born here to do.

There are still some core issues I have to work out, ones that have haunted me for years but I just got to take it one day at a time and do what I can from where I am and hope for the best.

I hope you all take some time to reflect on this year, the good, the bad, the ugly – think about these things and then let them go.  Don’t bring anything negative with you to the new year, let it stay in the past.  Forgive yourself or whoever else you need to and move on.

If you haven’t already set some intentions for the new year I highly recommend that you do.  Write it down and put a date on it and if you fail, then set another date, keep going until you get it done.  Fear should never be the sole reason that you do not do something that you want to do.

Enjoy what’s left of this year and bring your best to 2017.


Working for Love

Everyone is different, every couple is different, so you can’t say that this is what happy looks like because happy for one might be misery for another.  But for me a happy relationship is one in which I feel safe.  One where I trust the person I’m with, not just with being faithful but with everything else.

I’ve been married for 7 years but I’ve known my husband for 12.  We met when we were only 19.  It’s kind of crazy to look at it that way.  The person I was at 19 is so far removed from who I am today.  We’ve had our ups and downs like anyone else but what I’ve loved most about us as a couple is that no matter what life throws at us we always find our way out together.  My husband likes to say that someone’s true character comes out when they have to face adversity, well we’ve had our fair share and I’m happy to say that what hasn’t killed us has only made us stronger.  We’ve had our foundations shaken up a few times but we’ve always been there for each other.  No matter how bad or dire the situation we would keep each other’s hope alive.  I remember us laughing and commending ourselves on our “feast” of grilled cheese sandwiches after we had both unexpectedly ended up unemployed.  We’ve been down to counting pennies.  One Christmas in particular we were broke but instead of being miserable about it we decided to make the most of it so we went to Walgreens on Christmas Eve, about 10 or 15 minutes before they closed, we each had $20 which was a small fortune for us at the time and we made it a game to go around the store and get each other gifts without bumping into each other and seeing what the other person was buying.  We laughed about it for days.

We survived a very long year of him not having a driver’s license and then 4 of only a hardship.  He was there for me when I’d come home upset about a case.  He was there for me every single time I was crying over the things addiction had done to my family.  And I was there for him when it hit his.  We’ve comforted each other through the deaths of pets, friends, family members and dreams.  He’s been there for me when I couldn’t stand the sight of myself and I’ve been there for him when he’s felt worthless.

He calms me down when I want to explode.  He gives me space when he knows I need it.  He makes me sandwiches in the middle of the night when it’s too cold and I don’t want to get out of bed.  He supports me whenever I go diving into something new even if he doesn’t totally agree with it.  Our relationship isn’t perfect but it’s perfect for us.  He tolerates my music which is rather impressive seeing as how I tend to fall in love with one song at a time and play said song on repeat for days, something that would probably drive most people mad.

I could write a laundry list of things he does that annoy me but they are all little things that I don’t care to have fixed (don’t tell him that).  Our relationship works because we work.  When we have a problem we talk it out.  We each have boundaries and we make them known.  This is what allows us to push and pull each other towards growth without crossing the line.  I feel like there is so much more I could write but my goal was just to show you that good relationships do happen, they are out there and they are possible for everyone but they are something that require patience, resilience, perseverance, forgiveness, strength and above all love and respect.

When we met I don’t think either one of us was looking to go into anything long term, it just happened.  Looking back, I’m grateful for every shitty relationship I had before him because they gave me perspective.  If I hadn’t gone through them I would have never been able to appreciate him and have what we have now.  When I met him I was still heartbroken from my previous relationship but I stuck around because he treated me different.  He put me first and that is something that I had not experienced up until that point.  Feeling that contrast gave me hope.  When I ended my last relationship I knew what I didn’t want but not really what I wanted.  Meeting my husband showed me what I needed.  I’m not going to lie, I’ve cried plenty on his account but like Bob Marley said “The truth is, everyone is going to you.  You just got find the ones worth suffering for.”

So if you are having a hard time with relationships right now don’t give up.  Don’t give up on love, don’t give up on yourself, just give up on shitty people that don’t treat you the way you know you deserve.  And in case no one has told you…you deserve the best.


Ending Forever

This year has been a tough one for a lot of people.  It seems like there is an overall collective consensus to let go of what is no longer serving us.  On the surface it appears chaotic but it really isn’t, it’s just our lives shaking off what’s not needed to make room for what’s best for us.  I want to write this post to commend all of the women who have had the guts to leave their long term partners who failed to see their value and appreciate their worth.

So many fairy tales are fed to little girls of how we need to be saved by a knight in shining armor and once we meet them we ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.  For most people falling in love is easy.  However, maintaining that chemistry and connection long term proves to be more difficult.  I feel like my generation, at least within my culture, has been conditioned to tolerate disrespect, abuse and infidelity.  “The sanctity of marriage must be upheld” they say but what is sacred or virtuous about staying with someone who keeps hurting you?

You need more than someone who is supporting you financially.  You need someone who is there for you emotionally as well.  The problem is we like to hold on to yesterday and hope for a better tomorrow while we forget that life is happening now, today.  If you are being hurt now and unhappy more often than not, then now is the time to do something about it.  I’ve already blogged about second chances so I’m not going to go into that but suffice it to say that it is okay to move on with your life now, whether they are ready for you to do so or not.

The opinions of others matter not, especially when it comes to your relationship.  No one else knows what you go through; all the pain, the tears, the repetitive lies, the cold-hearted denial whenever you try to confront them, the long nights, the debating on whether you should stay or go and if you do go where would you go?  What about the kids?  And what if they promise to change?  Was this somehow your fault?   How could they do this if they really love you?

You question your entire relationship and your worth as a person.


When they say things to hurt you, when they do things to hurt you, when they make you question your own sanity and what you see and what you feel… that is not love.  It is not your fault.  It is not something you did.  You couldn’t have done it any different because that is all you knew at the time.  Don’t beat yourself up.  You are worthy of someone who cares for you fully, who respects you and treats you properly.  Someone who goes out of their way to make you smile.  Someone who no matter how angry they are at you still treats you like they care.  I promise you that there is a person out there who knows how to love you the way you deserve to be loved.  It’s just not them.

Mothers, we teach by example.  Staying in an abusive relationship, whether it be physical, mental or emotional, is never in the best interest of a child.  If you want to protect your children show them how you take care of yourself.  Teach your daughters that you do not stay in a relationship like that and teach your sons that it is not okay to behave that way towards someone they love.  Appreciate yourself, love yourself and respect yourself.

The immediate chaos, fear and uncertainty that comes immediately after you finally decide you’ve had enough will one day fade to nothing and you will realize that you are not only better off but happier than you ever were with them and those few months of readjusting everything in your life are worth the years that follow.  Don’t give up on yourself.

Whenever someone I care about tells me that they have or are leaving their long term spouse/partner I congratulate them.  I do this because I know it was not an easy decision.  I know it was not a conclusion that came over night.  I know it took months, maybe even years to decide and actually follow through.  I don’t ask you if you are okay because I know you are not.  How could you be?  But I also don’t worry about you because I know you are going to make it out okay.  I know that having your roots ripped out of the ground is only going to make for more fertile soil when you are ready to plant some new seeds.  I just hope that the seeds you plant are all your own and that your new partner (if/when you decide to try again) is an accessory to your life not a foundation.  The foundation should be all you.  Your last relationship should serve as a reminder as to why you should be able to stand firm all on your own.

We need to learn to love without attachment.  Be with someone because you want to be with them not because you feel like you need them and vice versa, your partner should be with you because they love you and want to be with you, not because they think they need you.

Once it’s all said and done, take some time for yourself before you go rushing into anything new.  You’ve been with them for so long that you now have to re-identify who you are as a person and that takes time.  Figure out what you want and what you don’t want out of your next relationship and know which ones are non-negotiable.

Date but don’t fall in love.  Coming out of a long-term relationship is rough, especially when it was an abusive one.  I think spending time with other people is a good thing (if it’s the right kind of person of course).  Let them show you how it feels to be respected, cared for and wanted.  Let them remind you of how awesome you are.  Do what you need to do to get yourself right again in your own mind.  Just be careful to not fall back into the same thing.  Life has a funny way of sending us the same problems or same kind of people until we learn what we are supposed to learn, so if you are supposed to learn how to respect and love yourself then make sure that you accept nothing less than someone who sees your worth and holds value to your heart.

So like I said in my opening paragraph, I want to commend the brave women who have stood up for themselves, if you are one of the many women I know who have gathered the courage they need to say “no more” and move one then I commend you and thank you for setting an example for other women and for future generations.  And if you are one who is still in these shoes then I hope you “find the courage to grow,” please know that it is never too late and just because you’ve been making the same mistake for years doesn’t mean you have to continue.


…cleaning out my closet

Because you wouldn’t listen when I tried to explain…

I get it, you were mad.  It’s one of the few things you actually forbade me from doing and I’m not sorry but I do want to explain…

You see a permanent mark on my skin, something sinful and taboo, shameful even.  But I see it differently.  To me this is more than ink.  To me this is a commitment.  A commitment to myself to honor my body.  To do something that I have been avoiding most of my life.  It is a commitment to stay in my body, to accept my body for what it is.  I haven’t always appreciated it or what it meant to have one.  I, for the longest time, lived only in my head.  I shunned my body and saw it more as an inconvenience, a prison that I could not escape from.  I abused it beyond reason so many times and in so many ways yet it kept on providing a place to house my soul.

To me this is a gift of gratitude for my body.  I guess you can blame Yoga & Jiu Jitsu.  They both found me at a point where I felt like I had no purpose or meaning.  I was empty and hollow, seriously pondering the reason for my existence, even with all I had in front of me I was missing something.  The Dark Night of the Soul had found me and the meaning of everything in my life came into question.  I was struggling not to fall into the abyss that kept pulling me closer and closer with each passing moment.

Yoga showed up and brought me back to life.  I was taught how to breathe by an earth bound angel who was just as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.  Almost if by design the universe put me in her meditation class and on the days I was there no one else was, it was like the divine had reserved this time just for me because it knew how bad I needed it.  I also went to asana classes when I could and I looked forward to the end where we would lay in savasana and for a few brief seconds everything in my head would stop, there was nothing, and I had never felt so good.  Yoga helped heal my sorrow and jiu jitsu brought joy back into my life.  I don’t think I knew it at the time but it was the start of me falling in love with myself.  For once my body was good for something and instead of feeling trapped in it I started to appreciate it and take care of it.  The violent nightmares I had always had also seemed to stop at this time.  Beyond that, both of these practices introduced me to wonderful people who I now consider family.

Looking back, it’s funny how both of them found me at the same time but I don’t think it was by accident.  I needed both Yoga and Jiu Jitsu.  Yoga pulled me out of the darkness and allowed me to let it go and Jiu Jitsu kept me from going back to it.  For the first time in my life I had to inhabit my body fully, actually live there and work with it.  In order to do yoga or jiu jitsu I had to anchor down into the present moment, even if it was only an hour at a time.

Jiu Jitsu also served to give me goals and motivation.  I wanted to be better so I trained more.  I struggled a lot at first. I had to let people into my personal space not just physically but emotionally as well.  All of it though served to teach me more about myself and it reminds me that I am capable of more than I once believed.

Altogether, I began to change, I started to see, I started to see me and it no longer mattered whether I had a purpose or not because I was happy.  I was able to stop searching and started living.  The mark on my skin tells so many stories and its meaning is far from singular but can all be summed up as my surrender to the divine and whatever it is that it has planned for me.

If that’s not good enough reason for it, I’m not sure what is.


Stop body shaming me.

Being a woman in our current society is hard enough as it is, why do people feel the need to make it harder?  Well meaning comments about weight and appearance, no matter how well intentioned, do have an effect on people but maybe not the effect you were going for.  You may be doing more harm than good.  Case in point, my mother (she’s not the only one but if you follow me on FB you can see it for yourself) likes to take any chance she can get to point out that I’m thin.  Too thin according to her.  She feels that I need to eat more.  This is so very frustrating for me because I have fought this battle for a very long time.  I have tried to gain weight on several occasions only to fail epically.  My body does not like to hold extra weight.  In order for me to meet my mother’s standards for what a “healthy body” looks like I would have to binge on processed food, sugar and alcohol and also stop working out.  Please tell me how that is healthy?  If I did that yea I bet you I could put on an extra 5 or 10 pounds but I would be unfit, lethargic and depressed.  If any good has come of this it is that it has forced me to find my own truth and learn what is best for me and my body.  I like eating healthy, I love fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, legumes all that shit.  I do not like processed, fatty, fried, oily, sugary, genetically modified, pesticide, hormone injected toxic “food”.   Yes, I have to admit a lot of it taste wonderful but I can’t deny the feeling  of regret that I get after I eat something like that.  My body does not like it.  Plain and simple my body operates better when I feed it whole natural foods and whole natural foods tend to not leave any extra pounds on your body.

I know I’m thin and I know that may not be the ideal figure for a woman in our society or in our culture but guess what, I’m not out to try and impress anyone or get anyone else’s approval on what my body should look like.  I love my body, every inch of it and no that doesn’t mean I think it is perfect or even to the level I would like to see it but I do love it.  It helps me do the things I like to do and I am grateful for it.  Any part of my body that I am not fully satisfied with is in all honestly is a part of my body that I have neglected.  Also, how I am now is not how I will be for the rest of my life.  Right now my focus is not on any number on a scale, it is on eating properly to support my body and keep it healthy on the inside.  Once I feel like I have a hold on this then I will worry about weight gain if I feel like it but if I do trust that it will be for myself, not for her or anyone else.

And while we are on the subject, I hate how everyone has such a judgmental opinion on women’s bodies.  I am not what you would call an exhibitionist but I also do not feel that I should feel ashamed of my body in any way (no one should).  I will wear what I want and if it seems “inappropriate” it is because our society has been conditioned to view the female body as a sexual object.  I don’t see why I should have to cover everything up because it gives you “uncomfortable” feelings.  Can we at the very least entertain the thought that when a woman dresses a certain way maybe it is because she likes it and it pleases her.  Yes, there are some out there who like to dress to impress and get attention but not everyone is like that and you shouldn’t automatically assume that just because you can see a bit of skin.  Our bodies are our vessels, we have every right to feel comfortable in them no matter how uncomfortable that makes someone else.  We are here only for a moment and they are not permanent.  Important yes, but only because they allow us to do things in this physical realm.  The female body has more uses than just procreation, it also nurtures the offspring that comes out of it, it provides affection and love and protects those it cares about.  We really need to get over our obsession with how bodies should or shouldn’t look.  Worry about what’s on the inside.  Is your body healthy on the inside?  Is it housing someone worth knowing?  I want to raise my daughter to love her body no matter what it looks like and I want to raise my son to see past physical appearances and to be able to stand next to a woman in a bathing suit without gawking at her.  Is this really that hard to understand?


A rift in our vibes

It’s hard to be near someone who vibes different than you…It’s not that I don’t notice you struggling over there, I do.  It’s not that I’m being insensitive to your perceived plights or that I don’t care.  It’s just that I am doing what I can do to keep myself up.

Sometimes the ones we love the most get into a downward spiral and all you can do is watch.  Watch, hope and wait for them to figure it out on their own.  I could try and intervene, I could say “hey, everything is fine” you just need to shift your focus and thoughts, stop thinking about what is wrong and be grateful for what is right.  To me it sounds simple but only because I’ve been able to do it before but there was a while, a long while, when I couldn’t.  There was a time when I blamed everything on life.  Everything was wrong and I was trying my best, my hardest, only to fall short every time, every day.  Things only seemed to get worse no matter what I did.  At that time if someone had told me it was a matter of my vibration, my thoughts and my focus I don’t think it would have helped.  A shift in perspective has to come from within.  I’m not going to tell you what to do about anything but I’m also not going to put myself in a position where you can drag me down with you.  Misery loves company and whoever has the strongest vibe is going to win out and if you are in a fury of low frequency thoughts and I am just getting out of my funk then I know I am going to lose so I will stay away.  I know you’ll come back up, whenever you are ready, I know you will figure it out.  All I can do is open up space and wait for you to join me.  I know that might sound selfish but I know and accept that sometimes I am not that strong, sometimes I cannot go down to “rescue” you without getting stuck in the muck myself.  On these days I will love you from afar and wait for you here.

I am responsible for my vibe and you for yours.  Ask me for help and I will be there but don’t pull me down to get my attention.  One of the hardest but most valuable lessons I have learned in life is that we are each responsible for our own happiness.  If you want help, come meet me  half way but don’t expect me to come all the way down to you when you call from below.  One day I may be strong enough for that but not today.

Keep this in mind when things are the other way around.  Some days I will be low and you will be high.  I will stay to myself until I find my way out because I know if I drag you down with me it helps neither one of us.  On these days ask me to meet you half way but don’t ever come down for me.  I will always find my way back up one way or another.  Challenges are what makes us strong and help us grow.