Acceptance

Maybe I have had this for a lot longer

But it was dormant

Obtainable

Deniable

The cause, however, of much issue

The roots, miles deep

And even though, I have survived through my own life

I has been hard to keep happiness by my side.

It is no wonder that I had to “fake it till I made it” through most of my life

Just a smile, but inside, I am wishing I didn’t have to speak.

My heart will give and give and give

Until I am left empty-handed.

I never thought much of it, I just assumed that was how life was

That this struggle I battle inside my own head was just a life-sentence

I recently had to come to some acceptance

I had to choose to remove the eye mask and come to the realization

THAT  I  NEEDED  HELP .

I had to realize that I have spent years trying to do it on my own,

Trying to make this “depression” go away on its own.

I only kept self-sabotaging myself, over and over.

The expected self-reaction, always disappointed and frustrated with myself.

This is a season stripped down, of all the added things

Keeping up with only the bare minimum

So that I can face this head-on

And focus on healing that hurt little girl that affects my daily choices

It’s time for some major self-care

It’s time to do some deep cleaning, time to scrub the walls and the floors

All the corners and cracks.

To be successful, I have to admit that I need a little help.

I have to accept that not only do I deal with anxiety, but also depression.

I will be okay, I will overcome this

I wish I could say I won’t need help for the rest of my life,

Only God knows and only with God’s help can I do this.

The first step to freedom, is Acceptance.

 

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Fear

My relationship with fear

life long

I despise you

The cause of many passed opportunities

The cause of so many anxiety attacks

The cause

But also my protection

I remember you used to warn me as a teen

You used to warn me, hanging over me and twisting my stomach

Calling attention to yourself but I never knew why.

I didn’t understand or know who you were

I only knew the feeling of impending doom

That by the end of the day,

I’d be beat

Beat by the fists of his erupting, volcanic anger

Paired with the taste of leather and,

Belt buckles to my purple-welted thighs.

Always my fault.

But it wasn’t.

Though at the time, I was convinced it was my fault

No perfect child was I

But fear stood by my side, became engraved like a shameful tattoo

Somehow you tried to help me, but it never worked.

On days I felt your presence, it only ended badly

In tears, even though there’d be hours of apologies

Still.

Today I realize you were nothing but a poser.

A fake.

You were never there to “protect me”

Only there so that you could dig those gnarly nails deeper into my very being.

So that you could become stronger as I grew weaker

You nasty little fool.

Years and years and years and years and YEARS

Living under your control, my every move and decision,

Every interaction, Every thought.

Until eventually, I began healing.

I began to slowly realize who you were and how much you had consumed me.

As though you knew you were losing strength and I was rising,

You’d attack me.

Throwing me down to the floor with panic attacks, anxiety and depression

Hoping I’d stay on the ground, long enough to erase all the progress I’ve made

Yeah, you used to win.

For years.

This last time though??

Nope.

By far the hardest blow you’ve thrown

Only because I’m on the cusp

The cusp of something greater than I’ve ever been able to be

Getting back up is difficult, but God is on my side

Something you seem to forget,

You can NEVER win against God.

The reason I write this is because I want to break your power

To weaken it even more, one must expose you

I choose to help erase the stigma

Feelings of shamefulness because of the depression

Feelings of embarrassment

All in attempt to cause isolation.

NAH.

You WILL NOT WIN.

Because, today, I CHOOSE TO WIN.

Success is mine.

You are not.

God has not given me a spirit of Fear, but of POWER, Love and a SOUND mind.

Today I’m winning.

 

 

 

 

Self-Care

Life got too chaotic

Tried to keep up

I couldn’t

Lost something that I knew God had already closed the door to

Still, I was shook to my core

Ignorance was my friend

Then, like clockwork

Panic set in

This time, it was historical

Like an earthquake no one ever expects

I was caught in a trap that I couldn’t get out of

its’ aftershocks sent me spiraling down

Into depression

Loss for want,

Loss for focus,

Loss for ability.

Fear crept in, whispering

“what if it happens again?”

The very thought flooded my eyes with more tears

But deep down I knew I had help,

I knew that I had God’s Favor and Grace

It was just up to me to force myself back up

out of the rubble,

Out of fear’s underground shelter

I did what I’ve known best through the years

Like a fighter in the ring who took a hard blow

I slowly got back up

Each day gets easier,

I have begun to pick up the pieces

Today, I’m winning

Self-care, my professors said

First and foremost, is ME.

This is self-care.

Prayer is my self-care

Perhaps saving me from my old self

Awakening new avenues within that never used to exist before

But it’s time

It’s the season

Today I awaken a new level of focus

Awakened levels and avenues, and thought processes

Keys to who I am today to who I will be tomorrow

Self-care they said.

Self-care will keep the anxiety at bay

Success in hand.

Today I’m Winning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

So We Meet Again

It has been over four months since I last wrote, I sort of fell off the grid there, didn’t I?!  Well, alot has happened since the beginning of 2016.  I made a very difficult decision on NYE to cut ties once and for all with a certain somebody.

Since then, I have gone through a surge of emotions from anger to sadness & was tempted to start talking to someone else but this particular person has been in my life for years, so they don’t deserve to be a rebound. They deserve a whole me, a ready me. Yet, here April is already in mid shift and I find myself, still, not over that OTHER person.
Maybe it is all of the “could haves”, “what could have been”, “if only”….  But recently I came across a song that couldn’t have been more perfect, talking about all of the “if only’s”, but sadly not in this lifetime.  Maybe it’s because this time last year was when it all began. When my world was shaken & for the life of me, I still don’t know why I chose to let my walls down for them.  My walls are so thick, one can almost sense they are present. But this person- got through. It wasn’t even just a little bit, but slowly through the months, he crept in further inside my heart & in the end, there was nothing to show for it but wasted time. Wasted months & an ignored God. My God. Because he broke through so much that I began to not care. I chose it all, I take my 50% blame in the game I played. I am not an innocent victim, I am the one who let him into my life.
So here I am, in the midst of repair & regaining my relationship with God day by day. Each day does get better, but some days he still crosses my mind.  Here, another point in time through the years is this other person I’ve always known- but again, timing is off. Maybe not ever.
Honestly, I am at a point to where, maybe I should give up on this “waiting game” maybe, sadly, love isn’t for me. Maybe. Because that is what I see, demonstrated through all the relationships that have fallen away.  Maybe…maybe I am just too hurt.  Maybe, I must forgive myself first & learn to let go, to forgive & move forward. Yes. That is exactly what I need to do. 
Until next time,
Amanda

Unexpected

At the start of 2015, I had hopes this would be a year of courage & fearlessness. I can’t put the pieces together just yet, but I’m sure somehow, all of what 2015 gave, that those 2 are there…I hope! Ha.
One thing I can say, is I never expected to say goodbye to the people I had to & I most certainly never expected to have the close relationships that I now do.
Sometimes the unexpected is better than what we actually expected. I can’t quite come to peace with the pain 2015 brought but I have to believe that there is blessing in the unexpected.  This year has been a whirlwind sending me into inner-self adventures, to find the peace within. Having to search deeper than before, finding the Holy Spirit as my inner solstice. My constant, my balance in my pain.
2015.
It’s made me tired. It’s made me weary. It’s made me forget the important things. The biggest distraction of all came this year & I can’t tell you how many times I tried to severe ties. I gave up trying to get rid of someone who clearly wants to be a part of my life.  Yet, somehow, still, I always reach back to my one true constant. God.  I can’t understand any meaning to this madness but one thing I know for sure, I sure in the heck am NOT who I was in the beginning of 2015.  Wiser, more attentive, quieter yet crazier, stronger not weaker.  By crazier, I really just mean that I’m more free. I don’t hold back.  I’ve come to the acceptance of people being two-faced & me just not caring anymore. I refuse to hide something that’s good just because of the talkers. Nah, I’m good.  The opinions of those who pretend to like you are like dust. Meaningless.  Am I over it all yet? Of course not…. But that’s only because the story is far from over.   Many blessings have come this year, goals have been met, prayers have been answered but only through the unexpected.  I am grateful, thankful yet still, am counting down the days that this year is over. Is that a bad thing? No. Because I know life will always give me things I don’t expect but we need those things. Those moments. Those people. Those beginnings & endings. Life is all about growth, what better way to grow then through the unexpected? It’s all worth it. No matter what. It is. Eventually, the pieces come together & you realize what you wanted/needed/asked for has finally come. Through a really unexpected package.  Then, once it’s clear to you, be thankful & expect another. Roll with the punches. It’s life & we’re strong enough to handle what comes our way with God by our side.

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. 

Age told her so

*María’s* life began to change. She loved her life but before she knew it, she had a new life that very few knew the details of. She learned quickly to keep her circle tiny & She knew that both worlds couldn’t possibly coincide. Stuck between wanting what was right and behind the thought of settling, that “it would do” and that although not ideal, she was willing to go through the drama to have what she wanted. Because this woman, almost ALWAYS got what she wanted. She had a way with her words that seemed to change things in her favor.
She was listening to her age telling her that it’s gotta happen sometime and maybe all of the items on her list weren’t all that important and she chose to ignore the red flags time and time again because she wanted to be wanted. She so badly wanted to be loved like all the others experience. She was envious and refused to let the thought that “maybe she just wasn’t meant for it” could be true or that “maybe she was never meant to be loved that way” “maybe she was never meant to marry” “maybe she wasn’t good enough”. Hmm… Good enough. Isn’t that what we women struggle with in our minds? We’re consumed with the lie that we’re not good enough, or not deserving of such things? That maybe we’re not “cut out for it” or “love isn’t meant for us” when all we really want is to finally be held like everyone else. So, holding hands with compromise, we lower our standards and begin to accept what used to be unacceptable to us. We begin to break our own rules because, maybe we CAN have it, IF we just give in a little. Yet deep down knowing that it is all so wrong, we push it aside and accept what should sicken us. Slowly somehow dying, our spirit gasping for air- yet we go on. Because age has told us and when all our friends are getting married and having children, yet here we are, still waiting.  Waiting….
When she was once very content in her singleness, somehow one person changed all that and she began to want more than just “waiting”. She wanted what was next and she wanted to make it happen for herself. Disregarding the connection her heart made along the way. Then, she realizes that it’s not too late to back down now, because the real thing is around the corner and she is still entertaining the decoy only her heart might be farther in than it was before. She has a choice to make.  She prays that God would protect her heart but she still hasn’t let go of it, she is still trying to take matters into her own hands if only she’d become fed up & choose to wait just a little while longer. She IS enough. She IS deserving. She IS meant for this but the work must be in God’s hands, not hers. She must surrender it and let go, once and for all.

Arise

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I’ve fought through hell. I’ve fought LIKE hell. To hell (metaphorically) I’ve once been, mesmerized by it’s flames, dancing with wolves with laughter, carelessly while unbeknownst to my once teenage self being devoured from the inside out, beginning with my heart, hitting every organ inside, oh how many times death attempted its final capture. Then- I WOKE UP.  I saw truth, I saw light, I saw hope…. even though there was nothing. I had to start fresh, like a blank canvas, a chunk of clay, an empty sheet of music- waiting to be written.  I had nothing, but my heart knew that life was better in the unknown. So I grew and I broke, time and time again. Those flames came to play many times but each time I came out stronger, with more assurance than before, more determination than before, more anger against this fight for my life than before.  I’ve learned and I’ve healed, trial after trial. Every moment that I found myself on the floor in a pool tears, “Why is it always something?” I’d always ask. Yet time and time again I heard the same thing “what you have gone through, are going through and will go through, you are going to help those women & girls who have experienced the same thing or are experiencing” 
So some how all this is not just for my betterment- but for others. To somehow be chosen to go through everything one can possibly experience, yes I have wished it’d stop, how many HUNDREDS of times I’ve wanted to stop and turn around. How many times those wolves in those flames seemed so much better to my flesh, that kissing all my perseverance goodbye seemed so easy to do- so many times.

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Now, I am living and operating in things that have never been. Things I’ve only prayed about, things only asked for but were just hopes. “The greater the call, the greater the devil”, they say.  Well, crap!  2015 started off with a bang, then the blows came in, one stronger and deeper then before. This last one? OH MY DEAR LORD.  I am not going to lie, I was willing to lose it all- EVERYTHING.  There’s far too much to lose this time around, basically, if I gave it all up- I can guarantee there’d be no going back. I am not over exaggerating!  We all will fall for one reason or another, but it’s God’s strength that enables and empowers us to get back up. Life gets hard. I contemplated staying down, but here and there God called out to me in different ways. He kept reminding me that His hand was held out to pick me up in His strength.  Then I remembered the hell I’ve fought through to get to where I am, how many lives stand in balance if I trashed it all, the precious relationships God has given. Then the fire that tried to burn me alive suddenly became flames to reignite my soul.

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I found strength, I remembered God is with me through the fire.

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I stood up with determination, laughed and said, “ha, that was a good one, nice try- I’m out” and walked away.  Was this a test & did I fail? No, falling never means failing, it’s whether you get back up after the attack or not.
I won. End of story.
Until next time,
Amanda

Don’t Wait!

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I used to say “I’m patiently waiting”, but today it hit me- why should I be waiting? Waiting around…. Aka loosing precious time that could be used to develop oneself even more so. Why should I be in hopes for something that I really just like the idea of and really just can’t wait for some things that really aren’t as important as we as humans make it out to be.  How can I truly enjoy my single season by LIVING it if I’m waiting?  Why wait? Perhaps it’s just me, maybe I am the only one- but I love the ability to make last minute plans, agree to anything I choose, and to stack my appts/plans back to back without ever having to worry about if that will work for someone else. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe God did not intend for me to be alone, He’s got someone for me, but that is not the season that I’m in yet.

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I am in the “love thyself first” season- so why should I let this time escape me by waiting for the next season? I also believe that if I spend time waiting & not living, then I’ve put this season on pause which ultimately means that this season will last longer and longer. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t want to take any chances. What I do know is past experiences with potential mates- in that, I wasted precious time, I was not in the realization of the blessing that being single is. It only comes but once!  I was in a rush to be with someone and was more than willing to settle for 5th best or 2nd best. I’d rather live and let that door open on it’s own and enjoy all my friendships. I’d rather be surprised. I’d rather be in a mental/spiritual state to enjoy the process when it comes- because that too, only comes once. At least for me and my future spouse it will only come once- “for better or worse, in sickness & health….til death do us part” 
So I won’t wait, I refuse. I vow to LIVE, to enjoy, to be in joy, to love myself, to pursue my passions, to inhale the beauty that God has placed in my NOW life.

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Until next time,
Amanda