You’re Just in Your Cocoon

I once read a quote about the importance of knowing the difference in pace & place. I’ve also come across a few quotes about butterflies in my day. I’d like to make a comparison using these concepts. As always, I would like to remind you to remember that life is a journey. You are never going to live in the same moment or place forever, at least not until you die. Therefore, the place you are at is irrelevant. But, I have decided so is the pace at which you travel. You see, as the analogy goes, the caterpillar does not know he is about to become a beautiful butterfly. He knows no end after the cocoon, for all he knows it is death. The realization of what he will become is lost on him as he is transforming. 

So have no fear if you are still in your cocoon so to speak. You are still transforming. You are constantly learning, growing & changing whether you realize it or not. Think about it, when you see someone daily, you do not notice how they change as drastically as you would if you went a decade without seeing them & they have suddenly lost or gained 50 pounds, gotten gray hair, grown a beard, cut their hair, etc. So you may not see the changes in yourself. For after all, you live with yourself 24/7.

Everyone is in a different place in life. Some are still caterpillars on the ground, others are tucked away tightly in their cocoons, & yet there are those who have already become beautiful butterflies. Chances are, you won’t know where on your journey you are. So stop comparing yourself with others! Live your own life. & do not worry about the pace at which you are transforming. Everyones’ path is different, & people will spend different amounts of time in each stage of life. Do not stress over where you are at. If you aren’t where you want to be, be patient & continue to strive for improvement. Eventually you will emerge from your cocoon. Just keep in mind that even though you aren’t aware of the changes you are undergoing, they are occurring. There is a plan in place & constantly at work. No stage is unimportant & you are simply preparing for who you are to become. Also know that the struggle to be freed of the cocoon is going to be tough. This is also vital. A butterfly must work hard to break out of its cocoon, as this strengthens its wings. Without this effort the butterfly will be too weak to fly. So do not fear the struggle. Embrace it knowing that it is only making your wings stronger to soar away with in the future. Trust your path. Trust the time the road to maturity requires. 

Do not stress over where you are on your journey, or your “place.” & do not rush the “pace.” Growing takes time & preparation. Do not look at the butterflies in the sky & cry for not being able to fly. Do not look at the caterpillars on the ground & frown that they are dragging everyone down. Everyone, just like you, is growing & changing at their own speed, in their own way, from their own trials & tribulations. All of this is necessary to maintain balance. Trust the cycle. ❤

Learning to Let Go

Letting go is becoming all I know. I am learning to surrender to circumstances I cannot control. I have often told others to let go of things they can’t control. Tell them not to let it affect them, just shake it off or ignore it, it will only add stress to your life. Yet, this is a practice that I have struggled to put into place for myself. 

For years I have let guilt, shame, & fear rule my life. I cared so much about how I was viewed by others. I constantly degraded myself for not pleasing everyone, not realizing how many people actually did appreciate me. I was too concerned with those who didn’t care for me that I took for granted people who were grateful to have me in their life. The ugly truth of the matter is that you will never successfully satisfy everyone you come into contact with. It’s impossible. Think about it. If Jesus couldn’t do it, neither will you be able to. Hate to burst your bubble. #SorryNotSorry This realization was highly enlightening & freeing for me. I began to feel lighter. The burden of others’ negative opinions was no longer a gorilla sitting on my chest. I started to notice more positive things about myself & wonder why I wasted so much time trying to impress people who deserve to posses no portion of my attention. 

Time was my worst enemy. I judged myself & based my level of “success” on what I had or had not accomplished up to this point in my life. I hated the fact that I am 28 years old & still haven’t found a spouse or even someone to be in a relationship with. I was angry for having still not posted my poetry, most of which has never been read, in some form of book. I couldn’t stand the fact that I found myself back in school & have yet to start my career. I felt my  body clock ticking on having a child, especially given I only have one ovary. Just to be clear, I believe finding a husband comes before having a child, & thus I felt even more pressure in that area of my life. I felt myself aging, using my schedule & exhaustion as an excuse to refrain from exercise, but the reality is that I had such low self esteem that I wasn’t motivated to take care of my body because I didn’t believe it deserved to be treated or look any better than my mental state. 

I was recently reminded how important it is to take care of yourself. To set goals, break them down, & work towards them. Set target dates to accomplish these mile markers & reward yourself when you reach your ultimate milestone. My buddy recommended a book for me to read & a specific journal to help me break down my goals & work on increasing gratitude in my life. I will admit, I have not committed as much time as I should have to these materials, or at least not as much as I would have liked to. & I am certainly still figuring out how to utilize them. Yet, even this slight inspiration has made a world of difference in my life thus far. Three weeks ago I was in a very dark place! & I had been in that place for a few months. I thought I hid it well, but of course my mother saw right through it all. In fact, she is the main reason I noticed how much better I am feeling these days. She pointed out last week what a change she has seen in me, my whole demeanor. She used the term “fighter” to describe me & that gave me a new sense of power. I realized for the first time that I am making positive strides. I am cutting negative ties, setting goals, & working towards the future I want for myself. It is an immensely good feeling to realize that you genuinely ceased to care about the opinion of others who have belittled you & suffocated you for so long, when they are going nowhere themselves. 

I had once heard someone say that it is easier for someone to pull you down from a chair than you to pull them up onto it. It finally clicked with me that I had been letting others pull me down for so long. I am no longer letting that happen. I may not be able to pull them up to my level with me, but I am certainly not looking down anymore. I am vowing to only heed the wisdom of those more driven than myself. I’m not waiting for the new year to start my resolution. I can’t change the past & I won’t worry about the future. I will trust God’s timing, knowing that it is perfect & it is absolute. It is not relative to what I want, but I have to make moves to make it happen. You can’t expect things to happen if all you do is sit & wait. 

PSA: Check out the book my pal recommended for me (link below)

“Own the day, Own Your Life” ~Aubrey Marcus ❤

Choose to Live: God’s Plan!

As a freshman in college back in 2008 I wrote the following journal entry about committing suicide by overdose & alcoholism:

Too bad life’s not a fairytale, it’s a nightmare! Just when you start having fun at the slumber party, the killing starts. There’s blood everywhere. You know it’s yours, but what you can’t figure out is who caused it? You could blame the world, after all, it caused the pain. But, you know in your heart that it was you. You spill your own blood to pour out the pain, but it never goes away. More emotions emerge now than ever before! Of course your body can’t get rid of them the way it does the blood. They just keep building & building while your blood is thinning & thinning. Everything is a blur, where’s your prescription to make it all clear? Oh, there it is! You found it… but still… just a blur… oh well, better use that water to rinse away the impurities. & then… nothing… You have been cleansed! No pain, no emotions, no brain going in every different direction, even the blood is gone.
PEACE!!! You run to find a mirror, but the reflection you see is not you. Who is that? Where are you? Well, that depends… some will wake up to torture worse than anything they have ever experienced! Others will never remember what they’ve experienced, never be tortured again, & go on living happily for eternity. I hope to be among the group of “others.”

I was in a decade of my life where I wanted to die while I would still look beautiful in my casket. I self mutilated, I cried my life away. I prayed in earnest about 18 hours of the day. But, nobody knew that I cried myself to sleep every night. I dreamed of ways to take my own life, but prayed that I didn’t have to. 

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you & not to harm you, plans to give you hope & a future”

I believed this verse & held on to it with what little strength I had left. I was always taught that God created all things with a purpose; that he made no mistakes. If that holds true, & I am not a mistake, then I must have a purpose for this life I live. I had to constantly remind myself that God is all powerful. He controls everything, including my time on this planet. I knew that he could take my life at any time, in any way he so desired. So I reasoned the fact that I was still alive meant that I had not completed my purpose yet. If my purpose had been fulfilled, he would have no more use for me & I would already be gone. The fact that I was still alive meant I had some unfinished business here on this planet in my earthly, human, temporary body. I believe the choice is ours. We can choose to end our own life, but that is not what God wants. He wants us to live out the life he had planned for us, just like he wants us to chose to love him & follow his ways. 

1 Corinthians 10:13 

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

God will always be there, even when his presence can’t be felt. He will never forsake you. You just have to trust him, & most importantly, trust his timing, which is perfect! You do not have to know your purpose to fulfill it. God knows why he created you & he is working through your life in marvelous ways. As I’ve heard said before, “this world needs your presence, not your perfection.” The accuracy of that statement is astounding! We all have our flaws, but they are a part of God’s plan. He created every imperfection, every scar, every breath that vibrates the cells of your glorious being. Your existence is solely his decision, so don’t try to play God. Allow his plan to unfold. & when you die—on his terms—you can inquire with him directly regarding your role in life & how well you completed it. But for the time being, seek the patience to trust him. Choose to live! Every second of every minute of every day if you have to. Make the decision as often as you must, knowing that it may not stick the first time or the first 100 times. But, speak life into existence, make a real effort. Because, YOU deserve to be alive!

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Live like you are dying …because you are!

I was thinking about time again this past weekend. I heard the old country song “Live Like You Were Dying” & as things often do, it hit me in all the feels! The song is about a man who finds out he doesn’t have much longer to live, & so he chooses to live life to it’s fullest. Skydiving & climbing & bull riding, but also treating people, including his wife, better. It just got me to wondering though. Why should it require that kind of fear to jolt us into being a better person?

I mean let’s be honest here… We’re ALL dying! Some sooner than others, sure. You may not perish today, this week, this month, or even this year! But there’s no getting out of here alive! Regardless of what you believe about souls & what happens after death, your human, fleshly, earthly body will die. It will disintegrate, rot, be decomposed into mere molecules, atoms that make up the many elements of this extraordinary planet.

So why wait for tomorrow to live your dreams, to check things off your bucket list, or to become an overall better person, whatever that may mean to you. Work on controlling an addiction, seeking help even if necessary. Show compassion, empathy, kindness; not only to those you see consistently, but to even the most random of strangers. Remind your loved ones they are loved even when they may not be making it easy. Set aside time every day to practice a hobby. Also make time to relax, take in a deep breathe & enjoy the fact that there is Oxygen in your lungs. Take nothing for granted, be grateful for everything. If you are reading this post means you have internet, be grateful for that if nothing else. Start small & simple then build on it. Make a bucket list if you haven’t already, don’t worry if it’s realistic or not! Try to put some realistic goals on there & then throw on a few extravagant ones as well! You will work harder, the more lavish your goals are. If you think small, you aim small. I’ve always heard the phrase “shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” I’m honestly not sure who originally coined the phrase, but I think they were right. The higher you set your goals the higher you will aim & the harder you will work to attain them. That way even if you never achieve your most outlandish goal, you will at least accomplish some of the things you’ve always wanted along the way. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket either! Meaning, don’t make all of your goals about the same thing. Not just money & career driven, throw a few fun things on there as well, some lighthearted stuff to keep you young. Set small, attainable goals along the way to make sure you are steadily progressing not remaining stagnant. Challenge yourself, play games against yourself. See how many strangers you can make smile. Pick a number & set aside that much money a paycheck to put towards your most expensive goal. Don’t compromise! Push yourself! It’s good to be content in life, that is important for happiness, but not to the extent that you stop growing as a person.

Just remember that you will die one day. No one knows at exactly what second that will be, so why waste time becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be! You will not fear death if you live the life you’ve always wanted. Imagine, a life free of regret, guilt & shame. A life where you aren’t worried about running out of time to complete your purpose. But a life where you are satisfied, comfortable & confident in the decisions you make & in your actions. Live passionately my friends! ❤

Time is fragile, make it last!

3 weeks ago I wrote a poem about time. I wasn’t sure if or when I would post it. However, after the passing of yet another iconic artist today (Avicii-may he RIP), I figure it was fitting. So without further adieus…

Forever I feel like a record on repeat
Time is pendulum, back & forth it swings

Yet time only moves forward on this planet that we live
People pressure time & they beg it to give

As my words remain the same
Time is constant; doesn’t change

The older you get the quicker time passes & the less you posses
So when life slips you by, then you begin to stress

Without being God, you can’t slow it down
& all your fun moments swim by & you drown

You’ll rush life away
But you want certain moments to stay
You can’t pick & choose
Time won’t be abused

So try not to wish your short time away
Be fulfilled by each moment; let every second stay

Stretch time out, as long as you can
Marinate in the now, don’t focus on future plans

The present is all the time you are promised
The future isn’t guaranteed, so with yourself be honest

Enjoy where you’re at, don’t return to past thoughts
They can’t be changed, & your present will be lost

WHAT HOLDS ME BACK?

LIVING IN FEAR

I put up a brave façade, but on the inside I’m a coward. I am confident in many things, but not those that matter most. My confidence centers primarily on superficial matters.

I am, & have always been, comfortable with my appearance. I joke that I am “100% genuine, all original parts,” & for the most part that is true. I can admit I am a high maintenance girl. I love to put on makeup & dress up to go out. Yet, I am comfortable enough with my natural self that I walk around daily with my hair in a bun, no makeup on, rocking a t-shirt. Point being, I have no issue with my appearance & I have never contemplated plastic surgery or otherwise redesigning my body. I do love to decorate it though with tattoos & piercings, however, I do not consider this a true body transformation.

I am also brave when it comes to activities I do for fun. I am borderline daredevil material. I have tried everything from skydiving to scuba diving, riding every rollercoaster I encounter, traveling abroad alone, riding horses, & so on. I crave adrenaline rushes! I am all about trying new & exciting things.

This is all fine & great, but there is still something holding me back. Based on the previous information, most wouldn’t peg me as a scaredy cat, but that is exactly what I am; a person who lives in fear.

I am afraid I will fail in my future endeavors. I have toyed with copious ideas over the years regarding what career path I should choose for my life & I never seem to find peace. Everything I consider feels like a cop out for not writing. I have dreamed of making a living off my writing for years. Working on my own schedule from my computer in whatever remote location I so desire. Yet, I have always been terrified of putting myself out there. With many jobs the focus is not centered on you, it is about the work you do. Doctors get praise for saving lives, construction workers for building things, architects for designing, secretaries for assisting, etc. Most careers exist to make people’s lives easier in some way shape or form. They provide some service or produce a tangible object of some sort. Writing isn’t like that.

Writing differs from a typical job because it is an art form. Any artist, regardless if they are in the performing arts, studio artistry, or creative writing, understands what it means to put themselves out there & be exposed to high volumes of criticism. Whether you have 5 followers, 5 thousand, or 5 million, your fans & haters are watching what you do. Sure there are people who will love what you do & be supportive, but “haters gone hate.” No matter how many fans you gain, there will always be people that try to tear you down. The fact of the matter is it’s easier to pull someone off a table than it is to pull someone up on it. Especially if the foundation of that table is unsteady. I am the person standing on the table & my ego is the shaky foundation. It is already extremely fragile & unstable. The simplest remark can topple me off that table. People say, “You shouldn’t care; other people’s opinions shouldn’t matter to you,” & while that may be true, to be honest those words aren’t very realistic to me. No matter how hard I try to release my insecurities, I can’t. I’m scared to put my writing out there because I feel like people’s opinion of my writing is a direct judgement on me as a person. Particularly since the vast majority of my writing is extremely personal. I know this fear is irrational to many people, but it is crippling to me. Everyone is tortured by the fear of something & this is what affects me most. This & clowns, which are the demons that crawled out of the drain holes to hell.

So what are your thoughts? Share with me your fears & how you deal with them. I am open to advice, so shoot me a comment or email (visit my contact page) with your suggestions on how to let go of this terror that is strangling me, preventing me from pursuing my dreams. Share your recommendations on this subject & let’s help eachother out!

PS I hope to gain the courage to start posting some of my better, albeit more personal writing to my site soon so stay vigilant! 🙂