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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Widen Your Horizon

Being the new year, I decided to do an instagram clean-up (myheart_in_ink) and I couldn’t help but be astonished at how far I’ve come not just physically, but mentally and spiritually over the last 8 months.  Life is definitely NOT the same. Eight months ago, the things I’ve tapped into were not even a question, let alone did I even BELIEVE that I was capable or deserving of these things.  I am beyond grateful for how far I have come in this journey to wellness & as each day passes, that fire, that passion within keeps burning more and more.  Now, I’m to the point of truly having goals that are far to reach, but are not impossible whatsoever.

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Through this journey, I’ve had many question and doubt but my life is far too important than to choose to stumble on what others think I should and should not be doing. This, after all, is my life- following after God’s heart. So, if I make a mistake, that’s a learning opportunity and a chance to get better and try something new. I even lost a few people along my journey, and I’m 100% happy with it. I learned a hard lesson a few weeks ago, not everyone in your life is for you- sometimes those “haters” are the closest to us. Sad right? But truth. When you begin to move in and towards your purpose, those “friends” will fall away- because you’re progressing, doing something right, and they’re not.

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It is so foreign to me to even have someone jealous of my progress. It sounds wrong!  Thing is, when you have a vision, you’ve got to go for it anyways, no matter who says what.

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So, with that said- here’s what’s been on my heart the last week and a half-
My passion for dance has ALWAYS been there. I began dance when I was 3 1/2 years old- ballet, tap dance, gymnastics. Somewhere along the way, life happened, the good and the ugly, I got older and insecurities set in, belief that I was not capable of greatness was engraved in my brain and that love got buried- almost to the death of it. Junior & senior year came and I took 2years of dance. I choreographed our dance for our group final & our dance teacher begged me several times to join the dance team BUT I had to turn it down due to my parents.  So then, I graduated- and life got REALLY bad- I spiralled down real quick doing anything and everything, my life was without boundaries or sound judgement- because I just didn’t care anymore, I believed my life was pointless. I became an object, something to be used but never a keepsake.  My view of men was so messed up and I began hiding behind my weight so I wouldn’t get all those looks and whistles. It disgusted me- but that disgust was rooted in bitterness and unforgiveness. I was angry and I took the victim role, I was broken. Gaining and gaining, all the while being controlled by fear.  Sure, I accomplished a few things over the years, but it was like fighting tooth and nail with myself. New mindsets would never stick because who I was told I was (a failure) was too engraved in my brain.  Many people gave up and said I was a lost cause. Only one person stuck it through, and I gave her hell, lemme tell you!  My best friend, my pastor, my big sis.  Several times in the past, I had the typical “I can do this” spurts and they were progress short lived because I was still chained by fear. I didn’t believe I was worthy of anything great. I believed I deserved a life of complacency, a life on a treadmill- going but never getting anywhere. I was afraid to try. Afraid to dream. Afraid to fail.  Dreaming made me want to hyperventilate!   Then I turned 28. Everything within me was awakened and I felt an urgency to move, to go forward, it was time to come out of hiding. I didn’t know what it all meant at first, but I knew I had to run and never look back. Zumba was and still is a legit answer to prayer- but as the months passed, it became more than that. My passion for dance came Alive again. As if my passion for it wasn’t enough, I went on an all dance-type movie binge one night about 2wks ago, right before Christmas. It was then that a new dream was birthed. I don’t just want to be a size 14 or size 12…. That no longer is my tentative end goal. I want a dancer’s body. Yeah. I said that. No, I don’t want to be a size 4. What I am saying is that, I want to be fit. I want to be able to move with agility and grace, to be sharp on my moves, and my endurance twice as what it is now. I want those toned arms and abs. Yeah, that’s a lot for someone who was once pushing 300 lbs- but it isn’t impossible. That, my dear readers, is a miracle. That I am finally able to dream that big & to believe it’ll actually happen.

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Every time I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror, I ask myself “who is that girl?”…. My mind is changing but at a slower pace then my body is. I’m getting there!  Sometimes I still think I’m much bigger than I am- but tonight I saw my old pics in a different light- “wow, I WAS a lot bigger there!”, that is a step in the right direction & yes, I’m proud of myself for finally seeing the change rather than being highly unsatisfied with my amazing progress.

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So, this passion is woven in my veins- it’s not something that will go away. What I thought could be true a few months ago, I have realized and accepted as truth. Part of my purpose is wrapped in this passion- what 2015 holds for me, I believe, is a year of being fearless, having courage & love. What all that entails- I don’t know yet, but I’m moving full speed ahead, I know that if I thought that God blew my mind in 2014, then 2015 is going to be an explosion!

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I am fired up and by the end of 2015, I’ll be looking back, as a completely different person. Ever changing, moving forward, living fearlessly.

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Until next time,
Amanda 😘

What if…

Late night thinking when I should be asleep…
My journey isn’t a temporary journey, it’s a permanent journey. I’m a lifer. I’m in it for life. This isn’t a diet or “let’s do this until I get smaller.”  NO.  As I get closer and closer, stronger and stronger, healthier and healthier- I ponder on the “what if.”
Many of the people I follow on instagram (myheart_in_ink) have weight loss success that began as complete unhealthy & obese people.  Now, they are coaches, nutritionists, teachers or trainers. I can’t help but think, what if that was meant to be my future all along?  What if that fire that burns within me isn’t just for now? Because it isn’t and I know that my goals have changed because I finally believe that I can reach even further longterm goals. This is beauty. Beauty because I once was that girl afraid to set any goal because she feared she wouldn’t be good enough anyways, she failed in her mind before she even took a step. It took a lot to get here. It hasn’t been easy and yes, I still have fears but I’m not afraid to envision myself as a really fit, beautiful inside and out, confident woman of God running after God’s heart. I’m in progress.  I’m not afraid to see myself so confident that I do not care that all eyes are on me, waiting on my direction. I’m not there yet, but I’m closer than I was when I woke up this morning and that means something.  The thought isn’t as overwhelming as it once was.  What if? What if I was so chained down by fears, blinded by unbelief,  addicted to self-comfort and fake smiles that my true calling was hidden, better yet; buried beneath it all?

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The mind truly is a battlefield, we truly do fight fights no one knows nothing about and its with the person between our ears!   Obviously, all of this isn’t visible, it’s all what’s in our heart and head. 
A few weeks back, God showed me a dream that I was giving birth and I thought about it for several days after, until suddenly God said “your dreams are being birthed”. Then I was reminded of what He showed me 2 months ago, and it all clicked.  No, I don’t know EXACTLY what’s ahead, but that’s the beauty of trusting God. In July, I felt as tho I was taking a leap of faith, stepping out onto water, the unknown. I no longer fear the unknown, I just go, trusting that God is clearing my path, with just enough view ahead, while He holds my hand. I am OK with that and I am at peace. I know that it has gotten better and it does get better from here! Keep going, whoever you are and whatever your path is. You’ve got what it takes!
Until next time,
Amanda

Walk In Faith, Head Held High

As a few weeks have passed since the near death of my sister, here are some things that have transpired-
She spent a week in a hospital and she’s doing better. Without delving into details, let’s just say that my faith is still up in believing that God is going to flip her life around. It is only a matter of time, that lil girl is backed up by way to much prayer for her life NOT be eventually changed. I am accepting everything as is, but my faith is on where she’ll one day be, despite the current circumstances.  Speaking with my mother has gotten ALOT easier, not to say that it’s fun or enjoyable or that I even agree with all that she says- but easier as in, I have successfully dropped the hedge over her head, accepted her as she is, faults and all. I spoke to her today and her beliefs are slightly more “religious” or “strict” then those of my own…. I had the PERFECT opportunity to try to prove my side, or correct or even to just get irritated. The whole point of our conversation wasn’t to disagree, it was speaking of my sister. So, I took the higher road, accepted what she said and just kept with the conversation. Definitely an accomplishment. The last few weeks haven’t been the best, but they have been full of hope and new insight with an opportunity to get even closer to Christ and to become more keen to His voice when He speaks.  I’d say there’s been alot of clarity and understanding of things that I didn’t “get” before.  Through the help of the Holy Spirit, I’m able to see my sister’s situation for what it truly is, even when she says one thing, it really means something else. I am finally beginning to see what God meant when He said it was time to come out of hiding. There are things that I’ve dealt with in my life that I can see in my sis and nail exactly what it is and know how to stop it. Now, whether or not she takes the advice or not, is entirely up to her, I am only the mouthpiece!    The other day, there was a bit of an uproar… my father is very frustrated about this situation and he was expressing his frustration about it to me. However, that moment put me back years- it was a real life childhood flashback. Everything I ever felt when I was a kid getting yelled at, became real, in my 28year old body. Through this experience were definitely tears, panic and fear but most of all I had to confront him about how he made me feel. In my step-mom’s words, “break the trigger”. Forcefully, I let those words out and the remainder of our conversation was significantly better. After all that, I HAD to take a stress break, what did I do? I went to my Zumba class and danced that yuck off, came back and ate with the family, feeling relieved! 
All in all, it has been tough, but it has been a growing season.
In the tough times of life, it’s so important to remind ourselves (or a friend will remind us for us!) that we must keep our faith! Keeping our faith in the storms of life is so important because if not, we can lose our joy, our light, our shine, our umph.  Realize that storms pass, and it’ll all be alright soon. Keep your head held high, remembering that this battle is already won by Christ. Don’t look at the negative in it, seek out the positive, where do you see God working it this? Where do you see the bad beginning to turn for the good?  Be thankful for tiniest of things in this time, for they’ll spark your joy. Thankfulness and praise are key to keeping your faith up!!!  You can’t be in faith if all you allow yourself to see is negative!      Until next time,
-Amanda

Words: either life giving or to death- choose wisely!

No one can make you do it. The only excuse holding you back is you.

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I was the girl who had a sea full of excuses, and those excuses were rooted in fear. I didn’t want to try because I thought I couldn’t do it, because I thought I’d fail anyway, because I believed the lies inside my head. I allowed the unknown to leave me complacent in life, unbeknownst to me, literally BOUND by fear. I believed I wasn’t deserving of good things, of treating myself as one who deserved the goodness of life.
Despite my beliefs and relationship with God, I was still tangled up by the lies and roots of all I was ever told as a child. Never tell your child anything negative about themselves- YOU are molding thier definition of self. It’s the most difficult thing to break out of and rebuild, don’t do it. Love your children no matter how many horrible things they do. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS believe the best, have faith, let your words be full of life, love and encouragement. I know what it is to be bashed by your parents words. It’s horrible.
So, today, choose life, not just in how you live, but in WHAT you speak. It begins with our thoughts, not everything that runs through our brain is true! Some of it is rooted in fear- fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of success etc etc… The battle truly begins in our mind, and IF we can filter out the negative, then what comes out of our mouth will be life giving. Whether it be words and beliefs of your ability OR to a loved one. Our words are so vital to our success or failure. If you don’t believe in yourself from the beginning, then you’ve already failed. You ARE capable.
You ARE smart. You CAN do whatever you put your mind to. Believe that it’s possible, and for myself, I rely not on my strength, but God’s. It is truly through Him that I can do anything, and He is the ONLY reason why I’ve been able to do this. So, so, SO many times my thoughts got in the way!!  I prayed that God would send help my way, not just his supernatural strength, but people. People that are hands, feet and mouthpieces for God- He sent me 2 people. How do I know that they’re Heaven sent? Because I didn’t know either of them before I began the journey to a healthy me. I began the journey, I prayed and there they were. I’m so thankful for them, I can’t even begin to explain!  Ha. Well, until next time,
-Amanda

Your passion is on the other side of your fears

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We fear the unknown. What our human experience has yet to endure, areas yet untapped, an area that we can’t control because we know nothing of what this unknown beholds. Perhaps, perhaps we are meant to relinquish our control of “life” and just go.
This goes out to those afraid to try, to those so afraid of failure that they’ve already hit failure just because they never tried. This goes to those that tried to control the future by thinking up what could happen and just get scared to start. JUST LET GO.  Scary isn’t it? Like stepping out on the water, what if you fall? Who cares! If you do, that’s ok, at least you can say you tried, and you can get back up again! I speak for myself, I have experienced all this, I have felt all this, thought all this. After months of breaking into the new me, I am finally at the point of not being afraid to fail. Our failures are part of our success and failure is what we learn from. Life should always be full of learning, we’re never to old to learn something new. So, if I fail, eh, who cares, it’s  not gonna stop me. When a baby is learning to walk, how many times do they fall before they get it right? When they do get it, do they take off running or take ONE step at a time? We adults can learn something from babies. They always get back up no matter how many times they fall- tiny in stature but full of determination and focus to eventually walk!  So, let’s conquer our fears, step on em, use them to your advantage. That’s what I’m doing, one step at a time… and it’s working!! Until next time,
-Amanda

Dear Old Self

I have since parted from your actions and immature ways, however, you seem to have left your mindset of failure and fear here with me.  I have been using it this whole time because I didn’t realize it belonged to you. So familiar this mindset was to me, I didn’t realize how debilitating it has been to my life.  Causing much unnecessary chaos, stress and doubt in life. 
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It’s time, old self, that you take your mindset back.  I want to not fear goals, I want to know that no goal or dream is too big for me.  This mindset is all you have known, and it used to be all I knew too.  This mindset has kept us linked together and it’s way past due that we sever our ties. So, take your exceptance of complacency, your file cabinet of excuses, your inconsistency, your will to control something except for yourself, and your treadmill of going and never getting. I’m done with it.  I desire to finally move forward. 
This is the year that I treat myself for who God says I am, not for who I used to be and what, you, old self deserves.  I am deserving, I am worthy of the goodness of God. I am deserving of the ability to dream, the freedom to make a goal.  You know what else, I AM CAPABLE!!!!
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Sincerely, the real me.