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.

 

 

 

 

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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

Breaking Away

Through these last several months, my journey hasn’t soley been about my health, but also about wellness- in mind, body & spirit.  In June, I was awakened to how bound by fear I was, more specifically, fear of Failure.  As of recent, another big one has been surfaced- one in which I am sort of embarrassed to even say- BUT I’ve got to be transparent, because anything left in the dark, will remain, but what’s brought to the light, will be dealt with. The Fear of Rejection.

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This one has haunted me, again, all my life.  So many of my reactions & responses to people I truly care about have been rooted from the fear of rejection- these reactions and responses I am oblivious to, I do it habitually not even knowing until someone tells me. When it comes right down to it, it is annoying. It’s like always trying to escape from something that just won’t budge. Being that it has been built in me, my every thought, word, body language and even actions come from it. It’s literally like being tangled up in something and it’s blinding- because you won’t even realize your working out of it, it’s second nature.
So to those that know me personally, I want to apologize, and please bare with me as I journey through this- this too I shall be free from!! 
This isn’t an easy feat- but I know God is my helper, my deliverer and my healer. I bet He’s waited for this day for me to see it, be tired of it and want to be free. Whew. Here goes to stepping on some more fear, FEAR WILL NOT WIN! 
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

Step on your fears, they’re stepping stones to your dreams

Some update as to my life in the last 2 weeks:
I made a leap of faith by choosing to do a detox, which I was scared to do, but I did it anyways. I made myself accountable to a couple of people, in which I was also scared to do. I broke up with food, meaning, I literally got rid of all the fake, perservative-filled, sugar-filled foods. This was the most difficult thing I’ve done, it took me by surprise how hard it was to do. I didn’t realize how connected I was to food!  I kid you not, I cried. Yes, I cried. I was scared to do this too, so many fearful thoughts ran through my head as I put everything in a bag for charity. I did it anyways. I knew I deserved this. You know what? I don’t regret it, and I am happier and healthier today because of it. Another thing that’s happened,  I chose to dream again. Yes, dream.  Upon having a deep convo with my friend (also my health coach), I chose to dream big. Maybe the dream isn’t so huge now that I’ve accepted it, but at first, I felt like I was so underqualified and undeserving that my goal at hand seemed out of reach!  I’ve also chosen to stand strong when people I love question my actions in regard to my health journey. I always used to be the person that cared too much about others oppinions. God’s approval is all we need! This also was a difficult choice. I cannot believe the amount of things that have happened in so short of time, and how much I’ve grown. Since making my first blog, and embarking on this journey full speed, I have lost 17+ lbs total and many inches. Since doing the detox and clean eating, as well as incorporating Zumba (my fav!), that’s where most of the weight dropped, about 10lbs of it! Why? Because I chose to step on that fear and used it to get closer to my goals. Had I not stepped out, I wouldn’t be as far as I am today. You know what else? Doing what’s right for you and feeling good about yourself enables you to show love to others. In the past, I was always a funny, bubbly person- when I wanted to be, which wasn’t all the time. Because I am loving myself, I can truly be a voice to other people. I am astonished at the people that are inspired by me- ME! This girl!
So, I say today, LOVE YOURSELF. do what you love. ACCEPT yourself.  Trash all the negative thoughts in your head and replace them with God thoughts, of how wonderful you are. We cannot be the change we wish to see if we don’t first work on our inner being. Do what makes you happy, and thrive on it. Stay focused and stand your ground.  Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Refuse to make self-sabotaging moves. Step on that fear that’s holding you back, do it afraid!!  Life is what you make it, don’t let it pass you by!
-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.

Freedom

While playing piano on Sunday, it came to me- I refuse to live the rest of my life living in fear.  I’m done being bound by these invisible chains that never allow me to move forward.
Just the other day, I had with my family what some may call, an intervention.  Definitely not expected and I’m pretty sure it was all planned out. There was a deep wound that goes way back, years and years in the making that has affected nearly every area of my life- the fear of failure, the fear of not being good enough.  Slowly everything began to click together. Why it has always seemed like my life has been on a treadmill- going, but not really getting anywhere.  Procrastination to the absolute maximum, even the easiest of things. Self-sabotage, waiting way too long and missing opportunities upon opportunities.  Knowing the right things to do, but never actually doing them. Starting and never finishing.  Believing everything was my fault. Words engraved into the depths of my being since I was young by parents.  Words spoken of lack, failure, a problem, never being good enough, a nobody, not worthy, not deserving of good things.  These were what have molded my reactions, choices, thoughts and words throughout my life. 

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This was a rude awakening.  I’ve gone through healing from my abusive childhood but what has still stuck with me is fear.  It’s as though all this time, I’ve been blinded and now a light has shined upon the very root of some pretty serious things in my life.  It is a horrible feeling to have all these dreams and goals yet, somehow, never being able to reach them. 
In light of my current goal: finding self, knowing that I’m deserving and worthy- I suppose this realization couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.  It is imperative that I know that I know that I know that I know that I am deserving and worthy of so many things, quite alot actually.  This fear goes real, real deep.  I am ready. I am ready for that freedom. I am ready for these chains of fear to be loosed. I am ready. This is the year I come out of hiding. Hiding behind those evil words. Hiding behind those filthy lies. I am so, so, so, SO much more!!!