Love Abounds: Embracing Yourself in Love



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I wonder, how often do we actually embrace ourselves, all of our self? 
How much happier would we be if we decided to live our lives fully, not running from any part of who we are, but accepting and embracing all of us? What beauty could occur when we merge the pain that has caused us to rage, with the pain that has caused us to withdraw and be timid? What would we discover when we accept what we have been through, who we have been in the past, who we are now and the potential of who we have yet to become?
I can relate to running from parts of me. Running from memories that caused me pain, feeling stuck and paralyzed while attempting to hide from myself. Afraid of myself. Afraid of what would happen if I stopped being afraid. Fear of fear is a doozy, and kept me trapped in a viscous cycle. 
I have learned in order to be my best self, I must accept and embrace all of myself. The part of me that feels afraid at times, overwhelmed at times, overjoyed, delighted and stressed.


There aren’t any parts of me that aren’t worthy of love, compassion and support. Angry me deserves just as much time and attention as happy me. Stressed me deserves as much validation and compassion as peaceful me. Even in my darkest moments, I deserve respect and kindness. Oftentimes we are told we must consistently behave a certain way to receive kindness and love, when that’s simply not the case. God loves us always and in all ways.

Jeremiah 31:3
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.


God loves us when we are sad, mad, confused, hurting and heartbroken. There is never a time when our Father does not love, care for and empathize with us. We are His Beloved Children, and He wants us to love and treat ourselves the way that He loves and treats us. God wants us to run to Him, confide in Him, and take refuge in His love, at all times, not just when we have been on our best behavior and life is going good. When we learn to allow God to embrace all of us, and allow ourselves to be loved by Him, we can embrace and love ourselves. There is no need to be afraid when there is love, and there is no better way to live, than in love.
                                                           
1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Through the Storm, Rainbows are Found: My Journey through Postpartum Depression

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I have had 4 children in 5 years, including a set of twins. I also have had three different births, a c-section, a VBAC with an epidural and a VBAC without any pain medication. Each of my pregnancies and deliveries taught me so much.  I had always envisioned pregnancy and the postpartum period to be filled with bliss and peace. A time where I would be connecting with myself and my unborn on a deeper soul level, and while this connection did occur, I also suffered from severe morning sickness and a whole host of other health issues, which included postpartum depression after each pregnancy.

Because my pregnancies were fairly close to each other, it felt like I would get breaks from the depression, only to be hit with it again. My postpartum depression would come in waves and has been one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. It robbed me of my ability to connect with myself, with my family, to think clearly and make decisions. I lost my ability to reason, to remember and to be patient. Postpartum depression filled me with guilt, shame, and self loathing; as well as decimating my self esteem to a point where I was unable to feel like I was doing anything right or even able to look at myself in the mirror. I also suffered from Postpartum anxiety, intrusive thoughts and the desire to self harm.

My youngest child is almost two years old, and I am just now walking out of the dark forest that is postpartum depression, and into the full light of wholeness and healing. It has been a very long road, but one that I was able to walk and gain strength from. Taking medication for postpartum depression wasn’t an option for me, so I followed my inner guidance and intuition to take the steps needed so that I could heal.

Prayer, positive affirmations, mediation, rest, connecting with God and allowing His love to surround, fulfill and uplift me, yoga, tea, writing, and being patient and gentle with myself when my methods didn’t seem to be working fast enough, or at all, helped me to recover and have a deeper love for myself through this process. Depression is an illness. It is debilitating and can be quite destructive, but it is possible to make it through and become whole. It is possible to feel like yourself again, and to just feel again.

I am living proof, that the greater the storm the more beautiful the rainbow. I can now face any storm with the confidence that trouble doesn’t last always, and that through every storm, rainbows are found.

That Christmas Feeling

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With Christmas right around the corner, only 5 days and counting away, I have been reflecting on the way I feel this Holiday Season. 

This Christmas I feel content. Beyond content. I have four amazing children and an incredible husband, and I have all I could ever ask for. My family is all I have ever wanted. As a child, I grew up in a severely abusive household and suffered major trauma. Trauma, that I have had the pleasure of working to heal, and, grow me into a better person. 

Growing up, the holidays were a once a year escape from the torture that was my life. I was able to live in the magic of Christmas, surround myself in Christmas cheer, and insulate myself in the good tidings and well wishes of the season. I lived most of my life, from Christmas to Christmas. 
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In the present, I live for each intoxicating moment of the organized chaos that is life with children. I have a supportive husband, who’s love for me I can feel in the beat of my heart, and I know that his heartbeat mirrors mine. While reflecting on how I feel this Christmas, I realized I don’t feel differently than I do most days out the year, though this time of year is incredibly special.

 I don’t feel differently because each day of my life is filled with love, good cheer, family, intimacy, support, miracles and magic. I no longer live from Christmas to Christmas, because I live Christmas every day of the year, and that is a gift that is absolutely priceless. 

Peace Prevails: Affirmations of Peace

I am peace 
I am the peace I wish to see in the world 
I inhale peace 
I exhale peace 
My cells exude peace 
Peace is me and I am peace 
I am at peace no matter the circumstance
Peace is my place of rest 
Peace can never leave me 
My deepest desire is peace 
I experience peace in every moment
I am peace 
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Using Anxiety as a Tool for Self Awareness

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Anxiety robs you of your joy, disrupts your mental state and can wreak havoc in your life and relationships with family and friends. When you suffer from anxiety, simple tasks become extremely overwhelming. Anxiety, in any of its forms, is not fun to deal with, and can be very painful physically, emotionally and mentally. 

All of this being said, I have discovered that I can use anxiety and anxious feelings to my advantage, as a tool for self awareness. Viewing anxiety as a tool for self awareness and a benefit, instead of a hindrance, has helped me to move past moments of anxiety with gratitude and ease, and has enabled me to regain emotional stasis much quicker. I am providing my steps for using anxiety as a tool of emotional awareness, below, and hopefully they will prove to be beneficial in your journey of health and happiness. 

  • I acknowledge the anxious feelings or thoughts, and ask myself why I’m having them. This helps me to trace the root cause, for example, I may feel anxious about an appointment, I’m not worried about going to the appointment but after asking myself some probing questions, I discover that I am feeling overwhelmed with my current schedule and this appointment is just the icing on my overbooked day.
  • After discovering the root cause, I realize that my body is sending messages of anxiety telling me that I need to slow down and take a break. I then look to see if there is a way to reschedule the appointment for a less busy day, cancel or reschedule any other engagements or any other options for making breathing room in my schedule.
  • In the event that I cannot change my schedule in any way, as far as commitments go, I remove something else on my to do list, a chore or errand that can be done another day.
  • I commit to taking 10 minutes to myself to breathe and recenter.  I like to use affirmations to bring my thoughts back to the present and promote mental positivity. I go internal and talk with my body, mind and emotions, letting it know that I appreciate it speaking up to get my attention so I can give myself what I need. I also visualize physically releasing the anxious feelings and thoughts and replacing these feelings and thoughts with feelings of peace, safety and calm 

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Different situations call for different measures, but being patient with myself while I have anxious feelings and accepting them as a way to be more aware of how I feel, and as a path way to positive solutions, has helped me out tremendously. Anxiety has proven to be a wonderful teacher of self awareness. 

Why I Write

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From the moment I learned how to write, I have felt the need to write. To unleash and release my thoughts, emotions, ideas, reflections and opinions onto a page in the form of the written word. In some ways, writing is my preferred means of communication. When I write everything feels right. 

When I write, I am able to see different aspects and versions of myself. All of the multifaceted pieces of me and gain the perspective needed to appreciate all of these pieces. A perspective I might not have gained elsewhere or from any other source. 

Writing is my connection to God. To the divine world that surrounds us, but is oftentimes forgotten in the so called ‘reality’ that we find ourselves in. Writing is my solace and my sacred place, where I find healing. Writing is one of my favorite forms of self care. 

I have written myself through many hard and joyous times, and I have written myself well. Writing is as essential to me as the air that I breathe, and my soul feels peace and satisfaction in being able to share the pieces of me with you. Maybe, just maybe, my writing inspires you to write more, for fun, and just for the sake of writing, and all of the beauty and magic that writing brings. 

The Art of Surrender

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Let us face the facts of life on this earthly plane head on. It is not always easy and can sometimes be down right hard. There seem to be a billion and one things to do at all times, and not enough time or energy to get it all done. Humans are driven to continue to do more, be more and experience more at all times. While this is not a negative at all, the constant busyness and hustle and bustle of daily life, can serve to inhibit our connection to the Great Divine.
It is important that we slow down and surrender to feel the fullness of God’s glory in our day to day lives. In order to do this, we must let go. Let go of our expectations. Let go of the plan that we have created for our lives. Let go of our to-do lists. Let go of the million tiny and big thoughts that swirl through our minds constantly. We have to let go of the idea that we are in control. Let go of the notion that we have to be in control of every moment of every day.
We have to give ourselves permission to cast our cares unto the Lord. We have to give ourselves permission to surrender our desires, thoughts, needs, and wants to God, and have faith that He will do just as He has promised, and that He will take care of us. We have to remember that our true nature is love, and surrender unto that love. We have to give ourselves permission to slow down and breathe. Breathe in the security that is the Lord, the security that allows us to surrender so that we can be made whole. Surrender is a gift that we can give to the One who gives so much to us consistently and constantly. Surrender allows us to release the need to have all of the answers, all of the power, all of the control, in favor of allowing our Heavenly Father to take the lead.

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Because God is the epitome of good, of love, and of light, we can always be sure that surrendering to His will, and way, will only manifest good, love and light within our lives. Letting go, allows God the space He needs to work things out in our favor. We can hinder our own blessings and miracles by our desire to hold tightly onto things which we are not meant to hold tightly onto. We produce stress, and unwanted dis-ease, by thinking that we have to be God in our individual worlds and get it all right all by ourselves, when in fact, God wants nothing more but to ease our burden and to make our hearts light.
We cannot lighten a load that we refuse to let go of. Surrender is a constant process, we have to begin each day with a heart that is willing to let go and give to God. We have to make the conscious decision to let go of worry, anxiety, disappointments, irritations and the million other emotions and situations we may encounter, in favor of a lighter heart, a clearer mind, and a spirit that is filled with love and joy.


Let the Dead Leaves Drop: Autumnal Musings and Affirmations

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“Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop” – Rumi

With the arrival of the Autumnal season, the above quote from Rumi has been dancing in my head. Watching the seasons change and the leaves on the trees slowly evolve from green, to reddish golds, has put me in a contemplative mood of self discovery. Autumn is the perfect time to take stock of who you are and the things that you carry with you, from thought processes, defense mechanisms, habits and all sorts of other things, that may no longer serve you, and begin the process of acknowledging the lessons learned and releasing these old ways to the universe. 
What dead leaves are you carrying, that you would benefit from letting go of?  Oftentimes we don’t realize when certain leaves have died and no longer serve us in our journey. Our fear, anger, aggression and other negative emotions, may have served us during times when we felt that we needed additional emotional protection, but now are blocking us from receiving the love and positivity that we so deeply desire and crave.

Autumn is the perfect time of release, so the seeds of our desires can be planted and nourished with intention through the Winter, and bloom in the Spring. Autumn is an excellent time to make the conscious effort to take stock of our true desires, and ensure that what we desire inwardly is being reflected outwardly.

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Autumn Affirmations:
I reflect my inward light on to all those I come in contact with 
I release that which no longer serves me 
I welcome love and light into my heart
I am the change I want to see in the world 
I make room in my heart for love 
I make room in my heart for joy 
I send gratitude to past lessons 
I open my arms to receive my present blessings 
I send love and light to myself and to others 
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