Tuesday, August 4, 2015

15 Quotes for When Your Heart Won’t Heal


1.     “And in the end, we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love , could heal our brokenness.” –Christopher Poindexter

2. “One of the most courageous decisions you’ll ever make is to finally let go of what is hurting your heart and soul.” –Brigitte Nicole

3. “Looking for peace is like looking for a turtle with a mustache: You won’t be able to find it. But when your heart is ready, peace will come looking for you.” –Ajahn Chah

4. “He said, “Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” –Roald Dahl

5. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. He rescues those who’s spirits are crushed.” –Psalm 34:18

6. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” –Maya Angelou

7. “In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” –Oscar Wilde

8. “In order to move on, you must understand why you felt what you did and why you no longer need to feel it.” –Mitch Albom

9. “When people show you who they are, believe them.” –Maya Angelou

10. “The truth is that it hurts because it’s real. It hurts because it mattered. And that’s an important thing to acknowledge to yourself.” –John Greene

11. “Love doesn’t hurt you. A person that doesn’t know how to love hurts you. Don’t get it twisted.” –Tony Gaskins

12. “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this and you will find Strength.” –Marcus Aurelius

13. “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” –Mother Teresa

14. “There are people who can walk away from you… let them walk. I don’t want you to try to talk another person into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you… Your destiny is never tied to anybody that left. And it doesn’t mean that they are a bad person, it just means that their part in the story is over. And you’ve got to know when people’s part in your story is over…” T.D. Jakes

15. “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” -Unknown

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gram




My Grandmother's house was always warm.
The orange-brown carpet was soft beneath my feet.
She served me like I was royalty,
Bringing my Chef Boyardee to the living room.
The television was at my fingertips,
Cartoons filled our days.
Bells were placed as knick-knacks,
And I would ring them loud and proud,
Books had their homes on the shelves,
I would open bindings and prepare to read,
Although the words were foreign symbols to me,
My imagination created stories of whales, foxes, and trees.
She would sit their patiently, listening to this new world.
My mother's Barbie Dolls and a teddy bear were my playmates.
The teddy had a nose that I would smash inside his head, just to see it pop back out.
My grandmother would smile,
Relishing in my simple joys.
Bungees were utilized as Barbie's clothes line.
Ginger-ale and Sunny Delight were kept within the cellar.
This house no longer stands,
But, I always felt at home within her space.
She held my hand and spoke with me,
and I loved her more than words could say.
She was soft spoken and always listened,
She made me feel unafraid.
Her feeble bones show her age.
Her smile is more dimly lit these days.
Her head is not held as high,
Her voice is even softer.
I love her even more each day,
Although my name often leaves her.
When she looks at me with confusion,
As if I am a familiar face within the crowd,
My name, she wants to say it, I can read it in her eyes.
I hold her hand and try to remind her,
Of the times we always had.
Still she is patient with me, the stranger near her bed.
Some days, she sees me and says how long it's been.
These days I cherish fondly, and hold on tight,
I love you, Gram, you are my hero, my inspiration, my solid rock.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Quiet


Quiet.
There is stillness in the solitude.
I venture through my dreams.
Quiet.
The melody rings clearly.
The droplets from my eyes
glisten in the darkness.
Hush.
Illumination is striking,
but it shows what should not be seen.
Masked feelings.
Sugar-coated words.
Sickness.
Quiet.
Life is like a show-tune.
You are on your own.
Stand tall.
Be brave.
Love without fear.
Words are easy.
Movement is where we fall.
Hush.
Quiet.
Listen to your voice,
to your thoughts.
Stay close.
The world around is rustling.
Hold tight.
There is something in the shadows.
Quiet...


Friday, October 3, 2014

BEAUTY IS YOUR JOB



I have a lot of friends that say things like, "He has made me feel truly beautiful for the first time." What I have to say to that is, that is a bunch of crap. No one in this world should have to rely on someone else to make them feel beautiful. Now, understand that this rant comes from a place within me that I didn't even really know existed until recently, but I find it upsetting and somewhat offensive that women do not have a better sense of their worth without a man affirming them.

I have never been someone that has great self-esteem. I don't look into the mirror everyday and see what I would like to see; I don't always love my body and I don't feel the urge to show it off, but I do know that all of this is the way God made me. I do know that no man in my life needs tell me that I am beautiful and no man has the right to tell me that I am not. Although it is nice to hear that I am beautiful, pretty, gorgeous, cute, adorable... etc, it should only validate what I already know.

In the age of the "Selfie," it is difficult to feel completely confident in ourselves when we see how "flawless" those around us seem to be. Ladies, the size of your boobs does not matter. The dimples on your ass do not matter. The straightness of your hair does not matter (which for some reason has become a societal decision that hair must be straight... When did this happen?). None of it matters. You are beautiful, but you do not need me to tell you this. You do not need a guy to tell you this; you are the only one that should have a say in this.

Back to the hair thing, when I was in 8th grade, I had my hair pulled back and the hair tie broke. I had an extra, so all was well, but a classmate of mine said, "Is your hair naturally curly?" I said that it was a bit wavy, but not really curly. She responded by saying, "Oh, so that is why your hair is so frizzy." Umm... What? I didn't take offense to this, because she didn't mean it in a malicious way, like a lot of my classmates would have, but it is something that has stuck with me. This was before I was told that I needed to go drink a Slim Fast (understand that I probably weighed, maybe, a hundred pounds at the time and did not need to "drink a Slim Fast," but this was after I was told that my freckles were ugly and I should probably buy some liquid coverup (I have learned to love my freckles and miss them when they aren't as noticeable, because of the lack of sun).

If you don't believe you are beautiful, you have already lost. You need to believe it without the influence of others, because people can be mean, but even the nice ones should not have to take on the job of ensuring that you identify as beautiful. This task is yours.

Stop talking about how your boyfriend has caused you to feel better about yourself. I have been there. Stop believing that your value can be found in how he perceives you. I have been there, too. If you rely on someone else to cause you to accept yourself for who you are, then what happens if one day they are no longer there? Everything "you" have believed about yourself comes tumbling down. Everything that has been legitimized gets placed into question. And your beauty is not something that should ever be questioned.

Your beauty is flawless. Sure, you might be breaking out like you just hit puberty; you could be losing your hair from treatment; you may be unable to lose that freshmen 15 from 5 years ago. Don't get me wrong, it is important to be healthy, which means different things to different people, but just because you may need to lose a few pounds (I do) or gain some does not make you any less beautiful.

There are so many things that are camouflaged as something other than beauty, but that is what they are - Beauty. You, as an individual, are stronger and more capable of loving yourself than you have ever imagined.

Love yourself. Don't rely on others to do it for you or to convince you of the fact. Your job is to know it without being told. Your job is to know it even when it is not verbalized. Your job is to believe that YOU are beautiful.

Now, go take a freakin' selfie.

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Million Reflections


In the 25 years I have been on this earth, I have broken several mirrors out of pure clumsiness. Basically, the 7-years-of-bad-luck thing is an endless shaming to my inter-most being. Immediately after destroying these mirrors, I often feel a sense of failure and embarrassment. I feel badly about not being more aware of what I am doing or mad at myself because I ignore the voice inside of me that is coaxing me to be more careful.

After the initial shock and discouragement, I notice the unfortunate mess that I have created and the thousands of reflections that now stare back at me. That's the funny thing about mirrors. When they break, they just create smaller mirrors. Each shard of glass reflects an image. If you look into it, you see yourself.

I have often seen myself in the brokenness; the image staring back at me is warped and a reminder of how I was not paying much attention before. I see this happening in my daily life, clarity vs. warped perception. In one moment, I ignore the warning signs and want to believe that everything is going well. But, then something usually happens and it all shatters. I realize that I don't have it all figured out; I am let down by someone or I even let myself down.

Some mirrors last longer than others. I have this beautiful, tiny mirror that was my grandmother's. It has extravagant detailing of emeralds and metal intertwining.  I remember admiring it as a child, afraid to touch it, truly believing that it was the mirror straight from a fairy tale. I didn't want to gaze into it, because I was afraid of what may happen. In one of my fantasies, the one that peered into the mirror would be trapped for all time. In another tale, I imagined it to be the mirror of the evil queen in Snow White. This mirror is special. Now, I know the mirror is not one that holds magical powers, but it is still something I cherish. However, it does hold some power. This mirror has stood the test of time, multiple moves, and my severe clumsiness.

This mirror has yet to shatter into pieces and is a constant reminder that things that are fragile must be cared for. We are all like mirrors. As strong as some appear to be, there are parts that are quite delicate and need to be treated as such. When a disappointment occurs, this could be when damage is done. When lies are told, imagine a piece breaking away. When a dream is not quite reached, the refection seems to be warped. What you see looking back at you is not at all what you were hoping to see.

Mirrors are weird. They are just objects reflecting light, allowing for us to see something that exists in tangible form already. How our eyes perceive the light is called Diffuse Reflection, allowing for our eyes to interpret the reflection that is occurring (it's actually very scientific in how our eyes are interpreting the angles via the pieces of light scattering and hitting different angles). However, comparing mirrors to our own brokenness and reflections, Diffuse Reflection is often interpreted by how we truly feel about ourselves. All of our shortcomings and self-destructive tendencies/thoughts all appear to be looking back at us.

We live in a very broken world where we are told to look, act, and be a certain way. If we do not fall into a certain category, we are shoved to the side and made to feel like we are not worthy of love, compassion, or acceptance of any kind. When someone lets you down, you feel as if it is your own fault for trusting them in the first place, as if you placed a standard too high for them to reach. As if you wrongly thought you deserved to be able to trust another person.

These are all forms of brokenness. These are all ways in which we break ourselves down, like we break mirrors. Some mirrors are meant to be broken, because they do not reflect us as we fully are. Some mirrors are given to us by others, reflections to how we should see ourselves. Fully loved, appreciated, whole.

If you find yourself peering into a mirror and see only a broken reflection staring back, get rid of it until you can have a perception of yourself that is more accurate. You are loved. You are cared for. You are full of purpose. If you have a tendency to break mirrors, like me, trust someone else to carry it for you or place it in a space that you know it will be safe. Listen to the inner voice that says how to carry it, when you need to. Be cautious with your reflection when you take it into the world, for there will be people around you, waiting to see it become warped, broken, shattered. Hold strong and reflect light where ever you go.



To learn more about mirrors, check out: http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/everyday-innovations/mirror2.htm

Monday, June 9, 2014

Game Shame

I own a lot of board games that I rarely play. It is weird that I, an introvert, find the necessity to own games and, truth be told, I actually enjoy playing them. Through my childhood, I was encouraged to play games and when I look around at kids today, I see them with Smartphones, notebooks (electronic ones), and other devices that have them glued into games like Candy Crush, Temple Run 2, and Coin Dozer. Games are embedded in us. We have access to them whenever we please and it has me questioning if this is why we are all so screwed up when it comes to human interaction.

Now, this isn't a blog on how eye-contact seems to be fading and grammar is dwindling (even though I believe this to be true), but it is about relationships and human connection. Recently, my friend has been talking to a new guy and it seems he is playing games with her. He says certain things to get a certain response and when she began to show me his communication with her, I realized that we are all part of multiple games that we never agreed to play. 

This all led me to an inner dialogue of questions... What happened to romance? What happened to talking? Why do we feel the need to send out communication in the hopes of a specific response? I realize that I sound like the stereotypical female, "Let's just talk. Tell me what you are thinking." But, when I feel trapped into a game of charades (a game I am not particularly fond of), I get a little... (one word. ::annoyed face:: Sounds like, beer-a-rated) irritated. I have never been very good at charades. 

When I told my friend what she should say in response to the new guy, she told me, "It worked!" Of course it did. We have been so conditioned to move our pieces in the "right" direction. If we think about it, we have different outcomes; we may be able to take a shortcut up Gumdrop Pass, or we may end up stuck on one of Lord Licorice's spaces, for a time (he is kind of a jerk). However, the goal is set - reach Candy Castle. In our case, it's win another person's affection. What has come of us that we are so broken when it comes to relationships? 

I am not saying that it is wrong for people to seek out companionship, but maybe it is wrong to manipulate someone into following a certain path on the board game. Maybe it could be more fun to make our own rules, or throw the rules out once and for all. 

No relationship is going to make perfect sense. There are going to be tough parts and there are times we will want a "Get Out of Jail Free" card, but life and relationships really shouldn't work that way. They need to be messy, because people are not perfect. There are going to be things that annoy you about the other person; there are always going to be reasons why your relationship should not work, but what it really comes down to is how far you are willing to work with one another in order to get to the end of the game together and how apt are you at seeing the reasons why you should work out? You shouldn't be trying to one-up the other person, constantly. Instead, you should be working on trying to make it to the end together. If you find yourself treating your significant other as an opponent, there may be an issue that needs to be addressed. 

I got Jumanji for my boyfriend for his birthday. We ended up playing it a few times and each time, I got out of the jungle and he ended up stuck. I prefer the movie's course of the game, that it is meant to be played together, all in, in order to get everyone out. We can learn a lot from games, but that does not mean we need to mimic them in every aspect of our lives and play games with the emotions of those around us (I really don't think Hasbro intended for this to happen). But really, it is your turn to decide how you treat those around you. Tag, you're it. 


Friday, June 6, 2014

Wisdom in a Coffee Shop

Throwback Blog:



I have made it a point in my busy travel season to use my time well. This means that if I have downtime between high school visits, I find a coffee shop to settle in and work on out-of-office stuff and organizing the information I am gathering from students and schools.
As intentional as I am on trying to use my time well, I do know that my life holds many interesting adventures and experiences and my time in the coffee shops have been no exception.
As an older man sat down with me (which is becoming quite common), he began to tell me about the recent passing of his wife. I could hear the sound of heartbreak in his words. The way they seemed to not easily slide off of his tongue was quite painful for me to witness.
He spoke of life adventures in the Peace Corp and how he never believed he would settle down based off how busy his life seemed to be. Nonetheless, he found his match and now that she is gone, he feels quite lost.
He said the house-work never seems to get done. As much as he does to keep his two-story house clean, there is always more to do. He went on to tell me about how he often drives from the busyness of the city to Delaware on weekends to get away. It isn’t that he does not like the area that he lives, it is just that his house seems quite empty and much too big for just him. However, he cannot fathom selling a house that became a home for he and his wife and children.
I must have looked like I was deep in thought about what he was sharing with me, because he asked if I have been hurt in love. I responded that I was uncertain if I have ever experienced the type of love he told me about. He grinned a half-hearted grin and responded, “If you are hurt in love, you hurt.”
At this point, my soul began to ache. I could tell that he was hurting. This old man had so many great stories, but it seemed that his happiness was absent. He told me that he had hurt a few women in love in his early years, but he had never been hurt until the woman that he married passed away suddenly. There are different types of hurt. Some are intentional, many are not. He had never meant to hurt anyone, but knew he had. He knew he broke a few hearts, he said with a chuckle, but the aching you have when you know you will never see the love of your life again is quite debilitating.
I took a sip of my coffee with no words of comfort to offer other than my apologies for his hardships. In sincerity, he stated that sitting alone in a coffee shop is not as fulfilling as sitting with someone that makes your heart happy.
Looking at the time, I knew it was approaching my next high school visit and that I needed to part ways from this gentleman that was challenging my thoughts on love and life and companionship.
I thanked him for sitting with me and for sharing his wisdom and story with me. As I walked away, I realized that I hurt. I hurt in my heart and in my stomach. It is interesting how someone else’s hurt can be contagious. I prayed that the hurt I was feeling took part of his hurt away. I hoped his pain was lightened in some ways. Although I realize he has a difficult road to travel, I could tell he needed to tell his story. He needed to share the memories with someone, even if they had not lived them.
Sometimes all we need is someone to listen. We need someone to care. We need to relive the good times through memories so they do not become absent like the love we may have lost. It is true, love can cause pain, but listening to this man’s story, the pure love he spoke of, may be worth hurting for. The words, again, that he spoke will stick with me, “If you are hurt in love, you hurt.”