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.

 

 

 

 

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.

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

Unsaid

As odd as it may sound, I am a very trusting person (even tho I only fully trust a handful of people), in that, I believe others to be as I am- who believe in the best even though they know the worst in you. You can present me with the craziest, wildest, most horrifying thing and I will never look at you differently because it’s never my job to judge. I am also a person of my word, when I say I won’t say anything, I mean it. When I tell someone I trust them, it is because I believe their word.  I hate for promises to be broken and I only commit to what I know I can keep. I am a very loving person. Unfortunately, most people do not have the same heart & love as do I. Even more unfortunate, is when you find out that you’ve been outted by the person you least expected.  Yup. It’s a crusher but when you know you have a choice to make- avoidance or accept it and learn from it. Oh how I wish I could have taken the easier route!!!   Things happen in life so we can learn from them, and if you’re hard headed (stubborn like me), that often means learning the hard way. 
So what am I learning? The true meaning of silence is golden.  In short, my life shouldn’t be as open as a book as I’ve allowed it to be…  Because, frankly, words can be turned, flipped and switched (just like the childhood game of telephone)…. Not necessarily by the person who opened their mouth, but the person to which those ears who heard belong to!!  Oh Gossip. You are so juicy, but you cause so much trouble & death to many friendships!   Sounds a lot like the apple Eve ate in the garden of eden, huh? Or really, sin in general. Sin feels good but in the end?  Well, let’s not go there, shall we?!  The truth of the matter is, it all comes down to our mouth. We hold the power of life and death in our tongue. That for me, is a new realization- am I unknowingly self-sabotaging by sharing things with the wrong people? Perhaps.  So, here’s to selective sharing from here on out!
Until next time,
Amanda

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

The Real World

There’s something to be said of those who have a lived a full life. 100 years.
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This morning I was thinking, wouldn’t it have been a shame to live for so long and to not have accomplished much of anything in life? How many barriers and road blocks did she have to overcome just to get to her goals & dreams? She grew up in a time when women’s rights were fought for, what she had and the positions she held in life- she fought to be there. She never gave up.
Today we live in a world where many things are done for us. Think about it. We don’t have to search high and low for something, just Google it and you’ll find what you’re in search of within seconds. Need a quick answer? Text or instant message someone. Need to speak to someone right this second? Call their cell phone, most likely using your own cell phone! Most people nowadays find house phones an inconvenience and a bill that we can do without. Starving? Pop it in the microwave- yeah, believe it or not, there was a day when those didn’t even exist! On the road and hungry? Go to a fast food restaurant, they’re everywhere. However, not when my GG was growing up!! Food back then was ate naturally. Milk didn’t even have any additives because it was FRESH & would go bad within days. It’d be delivered on your doorstep by “the milkman”.
What does that mean? It means that those that have gone before us had to work twice as hard as we do now if not more. Yet, “life sucks” or “FML” are words one will hear in this generation today. What’s worse, is those who could actually teach us a thing or two, shed some light and give us some wisdom on life- (which is really, anyone older than us) is that we don’t want to hear it, we’d rather walk away in disrespect. Becoming a generation of people who think we’ve all got it in the bag, yet wonder around aimlessly with our eyes glued to our phones. Because, apparently, the answer to all of life’s questions is found in a thin electronic device. Not an actual person with memories and knowledge. Not a human who has probably gone through something similar to us. Oh, and most definitely not someone that has a heart filled with passion and cares. Nope. Apparently words on a screen from a person we don’t personally know on facebook is worth more to us than face to face interaction filled with real emotion. I am guilty of this, trust. When I’m “bored” you’ll see me check my phone, EVEN in the presence of someone standing right in front of me. I know I’m not the only one, because it’s been done to me too. When a virtual conversation, comments, likes, follows, re-tweets, pins, DMs, and snapchats are more important than the person or people right before us. Missing opportunities to get to know and learn and make memories from/with our actual friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances , workout partners & neighbors.
Perhaps the reason why some had the blessing to live a long life, is because they took the time to invest their time into others as well as others choosing to invest their time into them. They gained the secrets of life by listening to those who had answers that they didn’t have themselves. No, those answers can’t be found on Google. Not the one’s that your heart and soul are in search of.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned through my GG going home, is that we can’t make it on our own, we prosper when we help others prosper. To be much more alert to my REALITY. Sure, social media is great, but when I’m in the presence of a person or persons, I will strive to respect the person(s) and take in the moment. Those moments come only but once. Don’t let something become a missed opportunity for something temporary.
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