Searching for the non-existent fault

Every day you amaze me.

With the inner feelings of why?

Why do you love me?

I am so bad.

I make so many mistakes.

I am always fighting.

When I think I’ve really made you mad, you surprise me.

All that exudes is peace.

Deep inside I can’t imagine how someone like you is actually real.

So I search.

I search for a fault,

for a secret,

a second life,

your mistakes at hiding.

I search because

All I have ever known is

Disappointment and rejection.

I fight to hold these walls up still

Because I somehow think that

Someone could never love me like you do,

because I somehow think that there has to be something wrong.

As the days and months go by,

my fight to uphold this wall

is slowly disintegrating.

Your unwavering love is like a warm bubble bath.

So soothing.

The exact ingredient I need.

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Perfect

In this moment

Cuddling in your arms

There’s nothing I would change,

Nothing I want more of,

Nothing I want less of.

There is no hurt.

There is no confusion.

It’s perfect.

Perfect the way I breathe you in

Perfect the way you hold me tight

Perfect the way your face rests against mine

Perfect the way we breathe

In sync

In harmony

In peace

In love

Perfect.

And nothing could ever replace

What I feel inside my soul

The way that I know

That I don’t want this to change

That I know that it won’t change

That this, I want until I breathe my last breath.

In your arms

In your embrace

With the beat of your heart I can hear.

Perfect.

Through ups and downs, I still know

There will always be potholes

Always be cracks in the road

Always be traffic jams

In the road of life…

But with or without you,

That is life in a nutshell.

So I choose to share this road with you

Because, in an imperfect world

Full of chaos

Full of pain

Full of drama,

I still get those moments with you

That are perfect.

Priceless.

Endless.

Irreplaceable.

Perfect.

Let go

I had just left the theaters from watching Finding Dory & I was thinking of the moral & summary. When all of a sudden, a memory of a text I had sent to a friend earlier flashed back to my mind. The ending reading, “but once it all ends, it hurts like hell.”  The thought crossed my mind immediately, is that what you think letting go is? That if you actually ‘let go’, there will be pain & lots of it??   
Ok. Whoa. Wait. Stop the car, slam the breaks. (NOT LITERALLY)
In a crazy, unintentional chain of thoughts due to a MOVIE, I had unlocked a door of my very own flash backs. All the flash backs of rejection- time & time again, no matter how hard I tried even as a child, my efforts to “control” other people’s acceptance & love for me failed every single time. I would change myself or act accordingly to their liking & it would only work temporarily. Eventually, who was meant to be lost, was lost.  Who I never fought for is still here, to this very day.
In my mind, somehow letting go meant there’d be pain & I didn’t want pain. Because I know pain too well. I flashed back to life as a child when I had no control over anything. What was done to me, what was said to me & what was said about me, how I was treated, how I was raised, who did what & who said what, who blamed me for faults not my own, who molded my personal identity as a child, the teachers who’d said horrific things or the kids who didn’t like the color of my skin.
I could not control any of it, I still can’t. The past is the past. All of that is just a part of me. How I was treated by people could not be controlled.
So somehow, I came into this cocoon of my own protection with walls painted with pain thinking that holding on keeps the hurt away, but day after day, year after year, it’s still the same. Only I’ve tried to gather prisoners through the years & tried to “make” things happen because I had no control as a child. Crazy, right? Oh, but we think this way, we do! We just don’t stop to think of what we’ve done, ignorance is only bliss for a time until we’re forced to face reality.
Then, in a still small voice, I hear “It’s okay, you can let go. You don’t have to hold on to them anymore, those moments of the past. You couldn’t control what happened, none of it is your fault. People choose how they want to treat others & it wasn’t your responsibility to make them treat you lovingly.  Let go, it’s OK. Not even I, God, can force someone to love me or to pay attention to me even though I’ve sent my son to die for them. I get no gratitude from most, but I am not a puppeteer & my creation are not my puppets.  You aren’t alone in this, it’s okay to finally let go now, Amanda. How people act is out of your control, just be OK now.”
Wow. I never once thought of it that way, that God gets treated worse then we do & He knows it & He won’t force us to love Him or even to believe in Him. Wow.
So after a spiral into the past & stuck in a deep, deep place- all because of a movie & a text message- I found the root of my inability to let go.
Here’s to letting go & burning that cocoon with all of those stupid pain-painted walls!!!  (Haha)
Until next time,
Amanda

Breathe Again

It has been months since I’ve set out to write but I must say that it has been an interesting & busy few months. Being that it is nearing the end of the year, I have begun to reflect on all 2015 has brought. It’s had alot of heartache, but it has also had a lot of long awaited answered prayers, a growing into self, & letting go of meaningless stresses.

I feel as though I’ve been coasting along lately. From family tragedies to break ups, to crazy experiences, to betrayal, to healing, closure, love & forgiveness. I haven’t been speeding OR on pause. Just coasting. Rolling with the punches & accepting that God desires to use me despite my many, many, many, many shortcomings, mistakes & imperfections. Perhaps I judge myself too harshly. Expecting to be better all the time but I’m not. I’ve learned to speak less, share less. Listen more & to be extremely selective & attentive.  To listen to my spirit, when God whispers something to me that ultimately changes a situation or person from night to day, or something about a person but to know when or if to tell them. I’ve learned to not forsake that inner discernment, that inner “knowing”. I’ve learned to be in the moment, to just let things happen as they do, no expectation or anticipation. To be open to anything, to any adventure, any opportunity. To flow. I’ve had to let go of things, thoughts, judgments & people for my health. Some things & people in our life are just there to add more anxiety to our lives.  Worrying is a killer.   Not everyone cares like they appear to, not everyone is genuine with their words to us.  In fact, most actually don’t care & if we aren’t wise, we’ll share our hearts with mouths of running water & cold hands.

Through it all, I still see God remind me of His undying love for me. Tiny moments that remind me God is working & although the road may be tough, His blessings, His favor & His grace follow me. NO MATTER WHAT. I think the person that looks down on me the most is MYSELF & I’m not afraid to admit it because I know I’m NOT the only one. I know we all share similar struggles. I refuse to stay quiet about my imperfections & struggles because someone out there needs authenticity. They need raw truth. They need to know they’re not alone. They need to know someone cares because they can relate. They need to know that they’ll get through it. They need to know that they’re gonna be ok eventually.  This is why I write. This is why I share. Compassion & the Love of God are two things that I know I can give easily.

So I say to you, dear reader, flow. Remind yourself to breathe. Life is a learning experience, so might as well enjoy the ride!  As my good friend always tells me “just Relax Amanda.”   Then, I remember, “oh yeah, that’s right. Relax. Less stress. Don’t worry.” And I put my shoulders down & breathe. 

Peacekeeper

This morning I set out to let everyone have their sides & even though I knew the details of another, I refused to add it to my relationship with the other. If no one else does it, then so be it, I’ll be the first!!  It is not worth it in life to let pride have it’s win by refusing to forgive.  Unforgiveness is lethal. It is NOT healthy. It’s death hidden in the heart slowly devouring us!  We miss out on important moments and blessings.  So I say, it stops with me. No more distance. No more he said she said. No more judgements based on another’s false accusation. We’re all human & as humans we’re not perfect. We say and do things we regret, we decorate our “storytelling”, we sit in our pride when we should reach out.  So many times I should have reached out, but no- I didn’t, because I was being my Italian stubborn self.  See, I’m guilty too!! 

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Time is not in our control, our loved ones could leave this earth at any moment, whether we were at peace with them or not. Time does not wait for forgiveness.  From an example that I witnessed, I would hate to know that someone I hadn’t forgave yet had passed away. Because the person I am, I would die inside knowing I didn’t make peace with them.  So, as 4 years have passed since the riff with my grandmother (NOT MY GG), one of the first things I did as I arrived at my GG’s celebration, was to go talk to my grandmother. To make amends. To be the peacekeeper.

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I have seen the pattern of unforgiveness, grudge holding, bitterness, avoidance- whatever you choose to call it- I’ve seen it & I’m sick of it. 
My GG was a role model to many, many, many people, one of which was her healthy lifestyle. She lived life & she moved on. She never held herself up in the past, she ALWAYS lived in the moment. Always. Every single picture I have seen of her reflects her living in the moment- enjoying life as it came.

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Health isn’t just the physical body & food, no, no- not at all!  It is emotional health and mental health- far more important than physical, in my opinion!  
Today wasn’t easy by far, but it needed to happen- what’s necessary is often what’s difficult.  Had I not done it? I would have missed out on a lot today, and I wouldn’t have grown to be a better person because of it. 
So what do I intend on doing now? Attempt to keep in contact with all of my family more (there sure are a lot of us!)  Of course, it must be reciprocated but at least my effort will be there! 
Until next time,
Amanda

Like A Clanging Symbol

WHAT MATTERS MOST
“Love others as you love yourself”
How can I love others like I love myself if I’m always so hard on myself? Is that really love? But love is patient…. If I’m hard on myself, how is that using patience & equally, how is that loving myself?
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If I truly loved people how I loved myself up until now, my goodness- I’d be no good!  Love would NOT exude from my being & my representation of Christ would be horrendous!  But I do love people. Perhaps, I love others MORE than I love myself?  I am certainly more patient, forgiving & understanding to everyone than I am to myself. So what does that mean? Does that mean that I’m not truly loving Like God commands? Does that mean that all my efforts are like a clanging cymbol because I lack the agape love for myself? Oh my goodness. If this is true, then I have some loving to do!!!!!!!!!!  

Streets

Late nights
Street lights
Walking the line & and say you’re fine
Going through to get through
Laying down
Opening up
Paying out
For money that’s not even yours
Hiding not to get caught
But to be caught may be your answer out
Do you want out?
As if happiness is found in giving away what you wish was still yours
Don’t play that game
I know you wish there was more
More than this rugged life that caught you up
Being controlled
As if bruises were equal to the amount of love you get?
When did black & blue become the definition of love?
When did blood become ok to spill,
“Because I care” they say.
“Because you’re mine” they say
“Because I love you” they say
“Because I’m all you got” they say
“Because no one else wants you” they say
“Because you deserve it” they say.
When?
When did pain equal love?

I can think of a time.
A man innocent
Took the blame
Did it anyways
Betrayed
Slandered
Wrongly accused
Mocked
Spat on
Beaten
Beaten so badly that the flesh on his back was torn
Nails straight through his hands and feet Stuck on two pieces of wood.
Dying.
Dying to save
Because that was the time that blood spilt equalled love
FOR YOU.
He took the beating so that you didn’t have to
Because He saw your beginning from end
Sending His son to rescue you.
If ever love equalled pain, it was on the crucifixion.
He took it all so you could be free
So you could have more
More than the streets
And Hotel doors
Dirty beds & dirty sheets.
Sleeping on floors
More.
Because you are more.
Because God loves you and planned to save you.
Do you want out?
You can be free & forgiven.
Cleansed & restored.
No judgement given
Open arms with an open heart
Understanding and comfort
Peace and wellness.
Let this be the last time that love was black and blue to you.
You are beautiful.
And you are loved.

28 things to be thankful for, for 28 years.

1.The highway. God bless the human being who took the God idea of a highway/freeway and turned into a reality. You have helped billions of people, whoever you are, Thank you.

2.The hair on my head, for keeping my head warm and adding to my authenticity.

3.For the people who have made it possible for others to know the truth about “natural”, “GMOs”, scientific recreations of so called healthy food… thank you.

4.For the ability to speak, to have a voice.

5.For a brain, fully functioning.

6.Technology, to reach and help people from all over the world. 🌍🌎🌏📱

7.For happiness and joy.

8.For my lungs

9.For endurance

10.For a healthy heart

11.For Grace, mercy and forgiveness

12.The endless second chances

13.To be a daughter of the King, a new creation, adopted into royalty 👸👑💎

14.For Holloween 2005🎃👻💒

15.For those who know wayyyy too much about me-
God placed you in my life, and I’m so thankful.🔐

16.For Ezekiel, “Zz” 💜😇

17.For my parents, no matter what, God made you my parents for a reason and that, I am thankful for.

18.For life. I used to to think this world would be better off without me, but my life is needed to change the lives of others. I adore my life.

19.For all the hardships, trials, brokenness, confusion, delusion, heartaches, headaches, storms, deserts, mistakes, and even all the people that have hurt me somehow. I wouldn’t be who I am today, I wouldn’t be the fighter that I am, I wouldn’t have the strength or the knowledge that I have gained if it were not for all those times and all those people. You have pushed me to where I need to be, and because of you, I can reach more lives. 💪💔

20.For God’s hand of protection and His angels.

21.For the ability to walk, to run, to jump, to dance.🏃

22.For Zumba! May God bless Beto, the founder of Zumba, because he has brought light to so many lives thru Dance. Thank you. So. So. So. So much.

23.For my health journey- more than just my health, but the road to discover and accept self, and the ability to help others get on their journey.

24.For my fingers. If without my fingers OR my hands, I would not be able to make beautiful music for God. ✋

25.For a musical ear. 👂🎶🎶

26.For nature- the ocean, the color of the sky, the uniqueness of the clouds, the beauty of rain, the art of lighting, the warmth of the sun, the trees, the mountains.. 🌴🌲🌳🍃🍁🍂🌿🌷🌹🍄🌵🌞⚡🌊☁

27.For my workout shoes, without them, I couldn’t dance away! ;)💃👟

28.THE BEST FOR LAST- for the people in my corner during my health journey, (and some way before it began.) For those that have rooted for me, encouraged, that remind me of the important things, for your friendship, for your TIME, for your EARS (listening to me sometimes endlessly talking!), for your life, for your patience, for your smiles, your hugs, your laughs, advice- Shara, Tony, Sonia, Edilcia, Linda, David, Vanessa, Julie, Adriana, Grace, Sam, Elisa, Pati (step mom) & Grammy (Donna Forbes). Thank you.

Awakened

Sunday I recieved some pretty crazy news that left me in shock, my sister almost died Friday night. All I could think, was, “my God, I almost lost my sister, I almost lost her.”  My mom was there to pray that night, and I couldn’t help but be thankful.
Now, before I go any further, let me explain something.
Growing up wasn’t easy, my dad was abusive and my mom was always the bystander, even sometimes lying to save herself… and in turn I’d get beat. So, needless to say, there’s been alot of bitterness and distrust built up for my mom. My brother and sister are significantly younger than I am, my sister being the youngest.  So, through the years, I’ve done my best to forgive her for alot of selfish and careless things she’s done, but whenever something new would happen, ie- marriage #2, 3, 4, 5 and all the in betweens, plus the fascade she carried of being this “oh so holy person”, that bitterness would flare up and I’d be disgusted with her.
A few months ago, I got an accidental phone call, a friend accidentally called the wrong Amanda and I received news that “my mom passed away”, before I came to my senses of “wait, why is my friend telling me this?”- My heart had sunk. After the mix up, I was surprised that I actually felt that way, I was thrown off! So, since then, I’ve occasionally thought, “what would happen if my mom really DID die? Would I be satisfied with the way our relationship is?”  Today,  I was finally able to answer that question with confidence. No, I would not be ok, I’d feel like crap knowing that I held all this over my mom’s head and never once bothered to give her credit for all the times that meant the most.
My senior year of High school, I had decided to buy some weed from a person I never bought from. I decided to smoke it before school, alone. THAT WEED WAS HEAVILY LACED. I don’t know with what, but I thought I was gonna die. I remember the feelings so vividly even tho it was so long ago. I was freaking out and I remember being outside, by myself and I looked up and yelled “God, help me, I don’t know what’s going on with me, help me!!!!!!” Guess what?  My mom shows up alot earlier than she was supposed to. I tried to hide my panic but I was so gone, I didn’t even realize I left the lighter sticking out of my back pocket and my mom saw it. Then I broke down, and told her what was going on. She ended up praying for me and took a hammer to the lighter and burned the rest of my weed on the cement floor all while praying. Then, she handed me an orange soda, and said, “here, this will make you feel better.” When I got to school I felt significantly better, and I remember that whole day felt like a dream. Do you know what else? She didn’t tell my dad. I believe my mother’s prayer is what changed things. The same goes for what happened with my sister, if my Mother wasn’t a woman who knew how to pray and call on the help of God, I believe with all my heart that my sister wouldn’t have made it through what happened to her. 
This whole experience has awakened me to realize that although my mother hasn’t been the best, and has made countless mistakes, she has still ALWAYS been there for me.  This isn’t easy to come to this conclusion, but it’s the truth. No one is perfect, and everyone screws up- but God never holds it over us, so why should we? We’ve been given grace to live and to have eternal life in Heaven, when rather, we’re all sinners, deserving of hell… but God sent Christ, Christ died on the cross, an INNOCENT MAN, for all of mankind. He died to save us, so we could be free, with forgiveness of all our sin. So, I felt guilty for acting as if my mom wasn’t deserving of my forgiveness, as if I’d never done anything wrong. Trust!! I have had my share, and I STILL mess up. I’ve always been able to love people no matter what, but with my mom, it was different. So, I had to step back and realize, that I hadn’t fully been loving as I should. So, I am slowly pushing that bitterness out, and making myself communicate with her. Afterall, now is definitely a time to have peace and be in unity, not just because we should, but for my sister’s sake.  She needs all the support she can get, only positive vibes.
My sister, by the way, is doing better, but still in transition, this is only the beginning of a process of change for her. I love her to pieces, I’d be so torn if she died. She’s a fighter, that girl, I pray that she’ll realize that. Until next time.
-Amanda