Chaos to Cheerfulness.

leap-of-faith

He said to me recently, “Leap, I’ll be there with a net to catch you.” Oh incredibly big those words are… “Leap… Catch you…” What? You mean… put trust into another human being with my heart? Does he not know the impact they make on my soul? Does he not know the impact he makes on me?

My heart screamed, “DO IT!” But my mind, body and soul slammed the breaks like a fully loaded logging truck, causing a 21 car collision with the rest of my chakras, organs, and emotions. Everything stopped; entangling into a mess on my life path.

Leap. Just jump already. Do it…

In that collision… that mess of chaos… clarity whispered gently in my ear “You can do this you know.”  The heart, strength of it all, pushed through saying, “You can do this.” It’s that little voice I listened to. I am jumping. Just call me a Love Lemming.

I can see the last two years rush me like a quarter back; ready to sac and tackle at the moment of faltering. All the negative things said to me, all the repetitive chanting from the abuser, echo internally. I never fathomed being able to ever feel this way again. I fought against the flow, the organic natural course… it seemed so foreign to me. Little did I know his heart was in conspiracy with mine; speaking directly waiting for the rest of me to catch up. To quote my conversation with him (* swoon * …him… * sigh * ), “I was very much convinced that I was broken.; that my “mate picker” was really, horribly calibrated. And that I should steer very far away from the idea of showing affection, like, love and want to another. Or accepting it in return.”  I only held these beliefs because of what was drilled into me by the past.

This belief is all wrong. All. Wrong. Anyone is capable of learning the art of love again. Actually, I don’t even really believe that it is learning that takes place.

Love is always there. It’s one of our roots, our core values. You just have to learn to trust yourself, trust others, and not become hardened to the possibilities. 

 

Sweet Twitch

Yep. Pretty much all of this.

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True story. I’m crushin’ just a wee bit. It terrifies me just a wee bit more than wee bit.

The One Thing You Need to Change to Accept Yourself

The One Thing You Need to Change to Accept Yourself -
copied from Tiny Buddha

 

Accept Yourself

“Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance.” ~Unknown

I quit Weight Watchers this week, and I have never felt happier.

To be clear, quitting this weight loss program was not an act of defeat, nor was it an example of me running away from something difficult or painful. Cutting ties with Weight Watchers was truly an acceptance of self.

A couple of weeks ago I had a heart-to-heart conversation with a friend. I was feeling really down and I confided to him that not only do I lack self-confidence in nearly everything I do, I also seem to not like myself very much at all.

A voice in my head pretty regularly reminds me that I am not smart enough, funny enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, or anything enough in this life, so why bother trying.

As I explained all of this to my dear friend, I noted that I would never treat another human being as badly as I treat myself. I am loving and kind to everyone around me, but inwardly I am a mean bully. As I was saying it out loud, the whole thing seemed kind of ridiculous to me, but I didn’t know how to stop hating myself.

It was at this point that my friend said something that changed my life; he said, “Take a hard look at the things you think you don’t like about yourself. You have a choice: either learn to accept them for what they are, or change them. It’s that simple.”

At first his advice infuriated me. How on earth was I supposed to accept my flaws? I have spent thirty-six years perfecting my self-loathing, it seemed impossible to undo all of that hard work.

Turns out, it was easier than I thought it would be. After I got over the initial angry response to my friend’s advice, I started soul searching. I made a mental list of the things I have disliked about myself for nearly my whole life and examined each one, starting with the issue that has caused the most distress for me: my weight and body image.

For as long as I can remember, weight and body image have been an issue for me. I remember weighing-in in gym class in middle school and noting that I was not as small as some of the other girls in my class, but I also was not as big as some of the others either.

Truthfully, I have always fallen somewhere in the middle and would be considered average, but in my head I was never the right size or shape; I always wanted to be thinner, sleeker, and more toned.

Since my early twenties I have been struggling with weight loss; I would join weight loss programs or get into exercise routines with really high expectations: “This time I am going to lose thirty pounds and look like a super model!”

Inevitably, I would fail each time. I realize now this is not because I am a complete failure; it is good to have goals, but I was setting my expectations impossibly high. I was aiming to drop three dress sizes when I should have been aiming to just be healthier.

Alone in my bathroom, I stripped off all of my clothes. I stood naked before the mirror and looked at myself. I mean, really looked at myself. I wanted to see my body and acknowledge what I didn’t like. I felt that by doing this I could see the real me and finally accept who I am, flaws and all.

Here’s what I saw: my body is not perfect, but it is certainly not bad, either.

Regardless of its flaws, my body has withstood many challenges: I gave birth to two children, I ran a half marathon, and I can rock the thirty-minute circuit at the gym like nobody’s business. I also have some pretty cool tattoos, and even though I am no super model, I actually think I look good naked.

When I thought about it, I realized my body was actually pretty awesome.

It was then and there that I decided I needed to take my friend’s advice: accept my body for what it is. Sure, it would be pretty cool to have rock hard abs or to look like a girl on the cover of a fashion magazine, but by comparing my body to some ideal, I am overlooking what is truly great about me.

And so I quit my weight loss program, and as soon as I did, I felt amazing. No more feeling guilty about what I did or did not eat that day, no more hating myself on weigh-in day (no more weighing myself, period!), and no more telling myself I am not thin enough.

I will still make strides to be healthy (regular exercise, healthy portions, fruits and veggies), but now it is just to be healthy, not to lose thirty pounds or look like a super model.

My experience in truly facing my insecurities and consciously deciding to accept myself, my whole self, and nothing but myself, was truly enlightening; and it was freeing.

I challenge you to do the same. You don’t have to literally get naked, but definitely do so metaphorically. Strip away your impossible expectations and look at the amazing person you really are.

The next time the mean bully in your head tells you that you aren’t smart enough, funny enough, pretty enough, or thin enough, challenge what you are hearing. Change your story. Instead of comparing your “behind the scenes” with everyone else’s “highlight reel,” yell back at the bully and tell him or her you are awesome because you are you.

It doesn’t matter what size you are, you are still worth loving; so be kind to yourself and start accepting your little imperfections. You might find that once you begin accepting those things you think you dislike about yourself, those flaws are actually pretty great. And you are pretty great, too.

Photo by Marcos Dias

Avatar of Francesca Harris

About Francesca Harris

Francesca Harris is a mom, an aspiring writer, and a lover of life. She works full time in HR and attends graduate school part time. In her spare time Francesca also writes a blog for a local newspaper where she gives her opinions about books, music, movies, and more. Follow her on Facebook to read more of her writing.

How To Fall In Love With Yourself

“Stand naked in front of a mirror for a long time, under unflattering light if possible. Trace the rises and falls of the little ripples on your skin — the scars, the dimples, the cellulite — and think about how much you try to hide these things in your day-to-day. Wonder why you hate them so much, and if this hate stems from somewhere within yourself, or as a result of being told all your life that it’s wrong to have physical flaws. Wonder what you would think of your body if you never looked at a magazine, if you never thought about celebrities and models, if you never had to wonder where someone would rate you on a scale of 10. Look at yourself until the initial recoil softens, and you can consider your features in a more forgiving frame of mind.

Listen to the music which makes you want to both sob and dance with uninhibited joy, and allow yourself to repeat any song you want as many times as your heart desires. Think of the person you are when you have your favorite song in your headphones and are walking down a street you feel you own completely, swaying your hips and smiling for no good reason — remember how many things you love about yourself during those moments, how much you are willing to forgive in yourself, how confident you are for no good reason. Try to think of confidence as a gift you give yourself when you need it, instead of something you have to siphon from every unreliable source in your life. Dance because the music makes you remember how much you love yourself, not because it allows you to forget the fact that you don’t.

Write a list of all the things you like about yourself, even if you think it’s a self-indulgent and narcissistic activity. Start as early as you like in your life — put down that time you won a trophy playing little league soccer when you were eight and then got an extra-large shake at the DQ on the way home, and don’t feel silly for remembering it. Try to understand how many sources in your life happiness can come from, how many things you could be proud of if you chose to. Ask yourself why you so tightly limit the things you take pride in, why you set your own hurdles for happiness and fulfillment so much higher than you do with anyone else in your life. Let your list go on for pages and pages if you want it to.
Touch and care for yourself with the attention and the patience that you would someone you loved more than life itself. Rub lotion in small circles on your elbows and hands when it is cold and your skin is dry and cracked. Make soup for yourself when your nose is running and curl up, with your favorite movie, in a pile of expertly-stacked pillows. Light a few candles and let their glow flicker against your body. Admire how gentle they are, how delicately their warmth touches you — wonder why you don’t let yourself do the same. Soak your feet in warm water at the end of a long day, until they have forgiven you for walking on them for so long without so much as a “thank you.” Listen to your body when it aches to be touched, and don’t be afraid to give it every orgasm that you may have been too ashamed to ask for in someone else’s bed.

Be patient with yourself, and don’t worry if a switch doesn’t flip in you which abruptly takes you from “crippling self-doubt” to “uncompromising self-love.” Allow yourself all the trepidation and clumsy, uneven infatuation that you would with a promising stranger. Try only to be kinder, to be softer, and to remember all of the things within you which are worth loving. Listen to the voice in the back of your head which tells you, as much out of sadness as anger, “You are ugly. You are stupid. You are boring.” Give it the fleeting moment of attention it so craves, and then remind it, “Even if that were true, I’d still be worth loving.”

- Chelsea Fagan, How To Fall In Love With Yourself (via seulray)

Stronger than myself.

I cannot express how much I really enjoy this quote. It was posted on my timeline (facebook) and it just settled into my mind. It’s perched there, like a wise old owl; knowing the strength behind it. I researched the quote and found it was from “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins. I will admit, I have not read the books, but I have watched the movies; so if this is a wrong quoting please let me know so I can correct it.

Fear. My whole life I have thought fear is what drove me. I thought it’s what made me who I am. Fear of not surviving. Fear of my mother. Fear of turning into my mother. Little did I know what was really working in my soul was really hope. Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for a brighter future. Hope. It truly is stronger than fear. 


I am thankful for my hope. I am also thankful for my fear. I believe, that even though one is stronger than the other, you cannot exist without the merging of both in your blood. Just like red blood cells need white cells to make the system whole; hope and fear entangle together as well. What defines the outcome of the person is which one they let rule their life. From this point forward, in an act of mindfulness, I am pushing my Hope forward a bit more.

So, moving forward with hope, one of my biggest “hopes” in life was to be published. That daunting task of actually getting my novel out of my head and onto “paper” (albeit, an electronic form thereof), has stalled me. It’s weighing on my shoulders. I am not under any time constraints, but I stress myself out with it. So, instead, I am going to focus on compiling and editing short stories and poems I have up to this point. Heck, I may even try to throw in some of my poetry.  My new hope is refocused into revamping the old to make it new.

Today, I am thankful for my creativity, dreams, hopes and fears. I am thankful I am who I was created to be, inner and outer layers.

I love when my dreams play hard to get. my passion finds it so damned sexy. 
The Universe and Her, and I #259 written by Christopher Poindexter

 

 

Show compassion and kindness.

 

 

 

 

 

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Home and true happiness.

I think I finally found my place in life. I firmly believe I have finally found my “home” to plant roots into. I just want to state for the record, I am very thankful for my abuser, I would never have learned to appreciate who I am fully. I love me and it took many years to get here.

 
I’m loving my job, coworkers, even the patients (even the violent/angry  ones who came back and personally apologized for their behavior). My coworkers are so appreciative, complimentary, and really respect what I bring to the clinic. I’ve heard, “She’s kind of awesome, think we’ll keep her!”, so many times in the last month of me being there, it makes a gal just bloat with pride. We have a Kudos board in the break room, one of my co-workers posted a kudos to me. 

I just… feel welcome and wanted. I don’t see leaving this company anytime soon. I can honestly see myself growing and moving up within. I can see going back to school; they offer tuition reimbursement. I can finally finish my degree.

I love the town. In the next year I will be moving to the town I work in. It has a huge CoOp market, it’s very hippie, granola like. They have art walks, movies in the park, great food locations and the people are just incredible. It reminds me a lot of Olympia, WA… and I LOVED living there. I can’t wait to relocate. 

I am working on repairing my credit. I have it mapped out in payments from now until the new year. At that time, my credit should be pretty damn clean. I am hoping I can look into a rent to own situation. I want some land and tiny place to build into my own.

My son is finally coming into his own. He’s so happy being home with me. He loves his job. He is changing into an incredible young man. I am more than happy to have him stay as long as he needs until he’s fully sufficient and has pride in himself as well.

I’m really, just happy. Finally, inside my soul to my outer shell, content and happy.


The only things I need to make it come to full circle:
A group of friends. I have made a couple of female friends here. I can only go up from this point. I miss my friends back home. I miss girls day at Olive Garden. I miss the connections. It is another aspect of me I would like to fulfill. 

I would love to find a right place to feel fully involved in spiritually. I need something open faith and spiritually. I would love to find something that I can meditate and learn from. I feel that portion of my life is lacking. I need to feel full of spirit. I am just not connecting with a Christian following though. I feel that being content comes from internal springs and personal experiences, growths, etc.

I ‘m not worried about weight loss. I am not worried about that. I firmly believe that once my inner realm is flowing smoothly, my outer realm will follow suit.