Open Up

Some people will tell you, you’re not enough, not worthy.

They are wrong.

You are beautiful. You are good enough.

Open up. Be vulnerable, even if you get hurt. Don’t sign yourself up for getting hurt. But don’t close yourself off from everything real because it risks the sting of a broken heart.

You have an undeniable boatload of potential.

You are eons of life stuffed into a small carry on that people want to stuff in a box and ignore. They’re afraid you’re brilliant.

Be brilliant. Be you.

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Choose Struggle, Choose to Create

Pain is a given.
No one in this life will escape without hurting.
No one enjoys pain. No one orders up tests or trials in this life. No one jumps up and down in line, hoping they’ll get selected to have another trauma or misery, scar or issue to add to their life.
Doesn’t matter.
Pain is a given.

Within this pain, we have two choices. As always, we have to choose.

 

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ONE
Denial. Bury your head in the metaphorical sand. Seek distractions. Never live in your own body, in the present moment. Don’t work on your issues. Don’t face your demons. Never face your secrets. Hide. Avoid. Refuse to believe. Push others away. Refuse to grow, work on your failings (because we all have our failings).

TWO
We do the work. We struggle through our challenges and fail we may, but we get back on. We let go of what has died. We move forward to what we need. We learn from the past but leave it there. We take the punches as they come, and we figure out how to work around them, hit back, or turn everything upside down and create our own arena of war. We face our demons, our failings, our mistakes. We learn from them and we learn how to destroy shame, turn it into something brilliant and vibrant.

If we choose option one, all we feel is the pain of this life.
If we choose the second option – yes, we’re going to feel pain. But we also get this spectacular, miraculous, gorgeous, chaotic, mess of joys and peace, possibilities and these amazing experiences we never thought possible.

We always have the option to either create or destroy our own life.
Pain is never an option in this life. It’s a given. Why not go through pain to grow, change, and become, so we can then experience joy, peace, and the ability to thrive? Passiveness isn’t going to get us anywhere. No one enjoys treading water, playing the waiting game. No one enjoys hurting for nothing. Well, no one enjoys hurting, period. Gather your hopes, dreams, touchstones and friends. The pieces of yourself that anchor to your very soul. Pain will come regardless. But please, don’t allow it to rule your life. Live through it until it breaks open to magnificence. This life is livable if we choose to stretch past what we think we can do.

 

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Never a Dragon, a Lotus, a Hero

 

To watch someone you love, suffer

That is the worst pain

To have ever known.

 

I have lived through abuses of every kind.

Horrors little children should never know

Memories I’d sell for bubble gum houses

and storybook bedtimes.

Pain that sears through my heart and mind,

Memories in my muscles I cry for

Physical scars,

Emotional scars,

Scar tissue growing stronger

and stronger.

 

But watching someone I love…

These tears hurt worse, somehow.

Somehow they burn

and twist

Until I can hardly breathe

And I loathe watching you go

Knowing you need help

But not knowing how

or what I can do.

 

I know you are strong.

I know you are the

bravest soul I’ve met

I know you can slay your own Princes

and befriend the Dragons lurking

deep inside and all around.

I know you don’t need me

for these things.

But I wish.

 

I wish I could keep the pain from you

I wish I could swipe it away with my tears

or my arms or my words

I wish I could absorb everything

and make life,

fair.

For you.

 

All I can do is hurt with you

Try to help

Understand

Be a shoulder, an ear.

Lend a hand.

But I know I cannot brandish your sword

for you

Not that you need me to.

Not that you aren’t stronger than me anyway.

 

I still wish.

It still hurts worse, somehow.

And yet, I know.

 

I know my scars

Brighten my lips when I know joy,

More brilliantly than if my skin was smooth,

Memory free.

Peace is only found when I

know it is so slippery a prize

after it was ripped away

and I stole it back, one drop of blood

at a time, one struggle at a time.

But I know peace, is the point.

I know joy.

I feel it until I am bursting.

 

I see so many others

sleepwalking.

That’s what pain does

shakes you up

awakens you to your awful state

state of misery or confusion

state of contentedness or settling.

Once awake I knew how to fight

even though I didn’t.

The pain ended up helping me

in a sick sort of way.

It showed me how to fight.

How to stand.

 

I know the horrors of my past

and they know me.

We laugh in the face of the horrors

Climbing through my windows,

Edging into my room

at night, trying to frighten me

with their newness and unknown.

I laugh because this scar tissue

Sees them for what they are.

They are whispers in the dark

Compared to the hideous trumpeting

of my past, my forever scarred words,

lashing into my skin with the blade of no knife.

These new nightmares are cotton candy

and daydreams I spot in the clouds

Compared to the devilish landscapes

lurking in my then.

I know that all that I have suffered

All I have hurt

It lost.

To me.

Without these villains

I never would have

Become.

 

And I know

Your tears will spill and leave.

Your fears will charge and back down.

Playing chicken with you will not work.

I know you will grow scar tissue of your own,

Small battles counting down the time

until they help you slay your next villain.

You will shout in silence

Sob into your pillow

Scream at every smothering glance.

You will find the words to stand your ground

Disperse the hordes that challenge your might.

 

Yes, you will hurt.

And I will hate every moment of it.

I will help you however I can.

I will stand witness to all the snares and wounds

failures and confusion.

I will hurt with you. I promise.

But I know.

You will win, too.

I know you don’t need me to fight these battles

for you

But I will always, always

be here with you.

I will gladly accept these lashings

if it means to stand by your side

As you suffer into Becoming.

 

I still wish you didn’t have to suffer.

It still hurts worse, somehow.

Worse than anything I can remember

suffering inside my own skin.

And yet, I know.

There was never a dragon, never a lotus, never a hero

without suffering to overcome.

 

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by Daphne Shadows

If Life Was a Street Sweeper

It has been a painful past couple of weeks.

One hit after the other. In all different categories of life.

But I will tell you what. Sometimes pain has a way of cleansing you from the inside out. It’s like a fire that burns away all the cobwebs and dust, cleans the gunk that was stuck in the corners, as the flames flick off the outer shell you didn’t realize you’d developed.

 

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Like the new pink, soft skin that grows after the scab has fallen off.

Clears up your perspective.

Shakes loose old habits or beliefs you didn’t realize you’d clung to.

I was planning on doing some fun research into the Egyptian Scarab beetle or Rafiki from The Lion King for my next post.

Sometimes life sneaks up on you in the form of a street sweeper and knocks you off your feet.

I kinda stood around dazed only to realize I wasn’t standing, I’d landed on my bum on the sidewalk and the leaves had already started falling on top of me like an all natural Fall coffin, before I’d become aware of it.

 

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I feel like, if life was a street sweeper, it would have a crazy huge bumper with some wicked sign on the front, plastered atop a smirking smiley. There would definitely NOT be anyone behind the wheel. But I imagine a sweet smile plastered to the back.

Because aren’t we typically better off once life has knocked us off balance?

I am currently dusting myself off, enjoying the Fall leaves about me (yes, I know it’s not Fall, don’t worry I didn’t hit my head), and just glanced the smiley on the back of the truck before it turned the corner.

I’m fairly certain I’m still in Kansas but don’t quote me on that. I don’t know what street I’m on, because hey, life typically doesn’t tell us where it’s going to drop us. There are no tornadoes, small dogs, or sparkly red shoes, so I think it’s safe to say I’m conscious.

The question always lingers at this point. Where to now?

 

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Bad Habit

I get overwhelmed.

Overstimulated.

 

Then I lose myself.

To a jumble of masquerading shades and low vibrational, angry, shouts and growls clawing at me from the inside out until I can barely remember how to breathe.

I hide inside myself before my brain even realizes what’s going on.

It’s a habit.

 

It helps the pain win.

Pushes along the absurd idea that this is never going to end. I will never find a way out.

I will never be good enough.

Strong enough.

 

It’s a bad habit.

A learned behavior.

Conditioned behavior.

A symptom.

Side effect.

Take your pick.

 

This isn’t always the ‘why’ behind me going quiet.

This time it was.

 

47 Truths People Would Tell Their Younger Selves

If you could go back in time, and tell yourself up to five things, what would you say?

While I’m a big believer in having to live through our trials, pains, and sorrows in order to learn, grow, and become who we are today – I read this question in an email and it immediately captured me.

I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.

So I asked a handful of people I know what they would say…

 

I’d like to play blog tag with EVERYONE WHO READS THIS POST.

Oh yeah.

Challenge thrown down.

I’d love it if different people could copy and paste this post – and add onto it, wisdom from the people in their own lives. Let’s see how many truths we can accumulate. Don’t forget to link back to me so I can see too!

Also, if you’ve got some answers — throw ’em at me in the comments section! I want to know.

 

 

Laura,

  1. “Love yourself as you are, but always strive to become better.”
  2. “You’re beautiful and worthwhile and priceless.”
  3. “You are a daughter of a King [God] and are destined to be a Queen. Act accordingly.”

 

Reta,

  1. To my fifteen-year-old self: “You don’t know everything, you’ve got a lot more to learn about the real world. Much more wisdom to hear.”

 

Tannis,

  1. “If I had something to tell my younger self, it would just be that I wouldn’t change a thing. I have no regrets. My life has had the same ups and downs that every person does. But, I wouldn’t change who I have become. And, the best part, I have the three most miraculous children in the world! Just keep driving yourself forward every single day.”

 

Rose,

  1. “My feelings matter.”
  2. “I am special and deserve to be loved and nurtured.”
  3. “There is help out there for kids in abusive situations.”
  4. “I was right when I wondered if families could be happy, supportive, and loving.”
  5. “I can be truly happy and someday I will meet a wonderful man that loves me for who I am – and I will have a beautiful family of my own and have the opportunity to be the loving role model I always wanted.”

 

Anonymous,

  1. “It get’s better.”

 

Anonymous,

  1. “You don’t really have to grow up in all aspects of life; most of your best times will involve being silly and childlike.”
  2. “Yes, I know it sounds foreign right now, but you CAN learn to meditate.”
  3. “You are who you are and that’s okay. You can still be a wife and a mom. Most people will still like you and the ones who don’t won’t matter. You’ll miss out on a lot of peace if you wait until you’re 26 to realize this.”

 

Alisha,

  1. “Don’t date that guy.”
  2. “Go to class.”
  3. “You’re not fat.”
  4. “Say ‘no thanks’.”
  5. “Don’t waste your time.”

 

Martha,

  1. “Be more attentive in school. Now I understand the true importance of history! It’s a composite of everything we are – and a true path to whatever we will be. What, with all the warnings of what to not do again!”
  2. “Study Orwell more in depth. His 1984 is today! Are we in a time warp? Will we ever learn? And if we truly did, would we have the courage to change?”
  3. “Keep God’s commandments and follow without question!!!”

 

Chuck,

  1. “Go into baseball with Don Drysdale with the chance to pitch for the Dodgers.”
  2. “Do not get married at age nineteen.”
  3. “Do not start drinking.”

 

Kevin,

  1. “Don’t sell your 1967 Mustang fastback.”
  2. “Buy that house even if at first it will be hard.”
  3. “Save money for a rainy day.”
  4. “Don’t take that first pain pill.”
  5. “Most of all, I would beat it into myself to put my kids first in everything and to show them support in everything they do.

 

Anonymous,

  1. “Be courageous.”
  2. “Don’t allow my fears to sway my dreams.”
  3. “When I meet a church member, listen with my heart. Better decisions will follow that knowledge.”

 

Jim,

  1. “Career, financial, and investment advice.”
  2. “However, most of the wisest counsel I would like to give myself, I needed to learn through experience.”

 

Tiffany,

  1. “Just because you do something differently than someone else does not make it wrong or the wrong way of doing something. It’s your own way!”
  2. “Always keep an open mind.”
  3. “Never make an important decision based on emotions.”

 

Lisa,

  1. “This Earth is not our home. Our home is with God. Stay focused on your Eternal goal and not the worldly experience.”
  2. “Stand up for the things that you need and believe in.”
  3. “Don’t stress over the little things. God is there to help you through any trial. He will make the pain lighter and easier to handle.”
  4. “Love yourself, shine your light.”

 

Daphne Shadows,

  1. Stop hating yourself. If you don’t, this bad habit is going to grow until it’s taken over your identity.
  2. Stop allowing others to choke the life out of you with fear.
  3. Hope. Believe. It gets better. So much better.
  4. I would read “Invictus”, hug myself, and whisper in my ear, between you and God, you are the master of your fate, you decide your life. No one else. Not anyone else. Not ever.
  5. Get to writing stories you want to write! Enjoy it. That’s why you do it. If there’s no passion, there’s no life.

 

 

Invictus 

by William Ernest Henley

 

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

 

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

 

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul.

 

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I am feeling quiet inside today.

As if a peacefulness has unrolled its yoga mat inside me and got to work.

It’s a calmness.

A beauty.

 

It is also quite strange.

For me, you see.

 

It allows me to remember all the sweetness, while acknowledging the scars.

Just because there is darkness in here, doesn’t mean it’s all I have to offer.

 

There’s also a pain in my chest.

It keeps speaking up.

I’m okay with that too.

That isn’t all there is.

 

By Daphne Shadows