The Struggle

They say, “Love covers a multitude of sins…” and “Love conquers all.” “All you need is love.”

I’ve been a sick person most of my life… from the time I can remember, it all stems back to a moment from my very early childhood, when I got a severe kidney infection. The only thing I remember through the fog of a dangerous fever, was collapsing from pain while walking outside and waking up shivering and shaking in my bed. I have one little memory of being in a secluded hospital room with equipment around me. That’s it.

My mother told me she had argued with the doctors about the antibiotics they were putting me on. They were so strong, it would actually suppress my immunity. The fever was going to kill me. And so was the infection. My mother didn’t have an easy choice before her. The drugs would affect the rest of my life. The disease would have taken it.

And ever since that moment, I have battled sickness. That wouldn’t be the last time I’d end up in the hospital, battling for my life: Mono–or mononucleosis–the kissing disease. But I didn’t get it from kissing anyone. I got it from sharing a drink with a friend, who got hers from kissing a boy! Long story shortened, after weeks of illness, I developed a complication. I developed staph infection in my lymph node along my neck–how the hell did I manage that–and the swollen abscess grew to the point that it was applying pressure to the blood supply to my brain. All the weeks I had lain under blankets, my body had secretly withered away until almost no fat remained. When my mother saw me for the first time being carried to a tub, she broke down. It wasn’t her fault I’d gotten this way. She had been working so hard to build a business and a good life for us. Sometimes, the slow deterioration goes unnoticed, until it gets to the point of extremity.

But besides the physical ailments that come and go, and the struggle with health complications, I would say the biggest battle of my life has been living alongside depression. And one of the ways depression has taken liberties with me is through Eating Disorder.

Oh, the taboos we have in society. The taboo of discussing such a private topic. Never mind that Eating Disorder affects 30 million people in the US and has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Eating Disorders are good at being hidden. They hide in diet trends and restrictive eating habits. They hide in the quiet bathroom behind locked doors. They hide on the numbers of the scale that is obsessively stepped on. They hide in the thinning waistline, and even in the over-consumption of junk. It affects all sizes, gender, and race.

The common misconception is, that Eating Disorders are purely a manifestation of the pressure of society to live up to an unrealistic image and expectation. And while I believe this is a truth and a big problem, my experience has shown me that there is often another thing going on when someone struggles with this: the desire to inflict self-pain and the desire to control what happens to you. You see, something wrong had happened in my years of young womanhood. Eating Disorder took root in a mind that had lived alongside depression since early childhood. It found the soil there, primed. Some years ago, someone took something of me they had no right to. And after this happened, I felt so dirty, so ashamed, so worthless, and so lost. Because of the lack of control I had felt, I began inflicting pain on myself. I couldn’t control what I was feeling, so everything I ate would come back up. And after a while, it became better to not consume anything. I wanted to fade away. I wanted to disappear…

Until a couple years later, a little therapy, and a stubborn determination that I would not be admitted to the hospital and would go my own way–find my own way–back to Love. A helping hand, a life-preserver was thrown to me by a college friend and mentor, another by family, another by my most best friend turned husband, more friends since then, and the Love that created Me. And most importantly, I reached out and took hold of that which I found to be stronger–I reached out and took hold of myself.

Part of this journey I’ve been on is recognizing when I am struggling and to acknowledge the struggle, then find my way back to gratitude and peace with myself. I’ve overcome extreme weight loss and extreme weight gain–the irony in that one! But each time, although the journey was sometimes dark and lonely, when I made it back to the Light, I felt stronger! I believe in Me! And I believe in the strength of others to climb their own mountain top!

I’ve been learning so much about the gut-brain axis and the role of the microbiome on mental health. And I hope that one day, the information we find will lead to healing millions of people who suffer with mental illness and autoimmune disorders. My personal goal is to go back to school so I can gain the tools to not just help myself, but to also help others.

I’ve been fueling my body with what I believe is the best nutritional sources for a healthy brain and gut, and even though I still struggle sometimes, I have continued to see personal improvements over the past almost 2 years. There’s no such thing as perfect in the human life, and I’ve been embracing that and loving myself through the changes. This doesn’t even dive into the spiritual journey I’ve been on, for how can you separate the mind, body, spirit? You must also feed the right food to the soul.

I’m aware that others will judge this progress and think I starved myself to get here, and I can’t do anything with those thoughts. I’ll continue in My Truth knowing that I fuel my body to the best of my knowledge and understanding of nutrition and continue to love others where they are, no matter what they may think of me. I live in a place where my body craves the physical exertion. I have a simple routine that works for me. That is enough.


We may think because the vessel is cracked or broken, it’s unworthy of this life. Or we may question the Creator or Universe, why this vessel? Why this struggle? Why this pain? I believe you have to answer that for yourself. For me, the pain is not meant to destroy– it’s meant to build.

Some people think that affliction is only what shows up visibly. I can tell you, not always. There have been days when it hurts so much inside, the getting up is difficult. It’s not always a physical pain that manifests, although, it can and may often become physical in many forms. The brain is a powerhouse.

Life is full of mysteries. Ourselves may be the greatest of them. I’ve always been fascinated with the Human Experience. I always want to riddle people out, and learn about the motivation behind behaviors. And in doing so, maybe I’m trying to get to know myself better.

Sometimes, we self identify with our struggles, our affliction. We think we are our sad story. We become addicted and depend on this identity, to the way we feel. We’re “being true to ourselves by not getting better.” Who would we be without this…? Who are you? Who am I?

“To love others you must first love yourself.” -Leo Buscaglia

In loving Yourself, you are creating something, like being born again. You are allowing your vessel to be its full potential. You are being what You were created to be and partnering with the Creator to be something almost new. Maybe, a reforming of what already exists.

It doesn’t mean the cracks won’t still be there, or the shape is no longer dented. It doesn’t mean your illness will be cured.

I saw a quote the other day which made me stop and think. It said, “Physical fitness is the prerequisite to happiness.” And I didn’t quite agree with the statement. I thought–surely gratitude is the prerequisite to happiness–for without gratitude, I cannot focus on the good I have in my life. But I think I may understand it differently now. Physical fitness reflects something going on inside. And your physical fitness may not be the same as another’s, because we are not all the same in body and mind.

You have to want to get better, whatever better may reveal itself to you. Better may be the smallest of steps: Getting out of bed. Reaching out to a friend. Going for a short walk.

“Resting Sad-Face” 😀 A Work in Progress

Your body listens to your thoughts and what you say. If you believe, you are never going to get better, does it listen and behave accordingly? If you believe, this life is terrible, do terrible things not manifest?

Whatever the struggle is, hold on to the truth that what is sometimes necessary may also be difficult. We have the ability to grow through our hardships. Struggle is a part of Life. A beautiful life is not one without struggle. The beauty of Life is that it is.

You have to love Yourself, in whatever shape or form you come out to be. You have to embrace your struggle and believe in Yourself. Believe that life Is worth living for and fight for it. You are worth it! 💛

The Mirror


Next is the Magic Mirror Gate. Atreyu will have to look his true self in the face.
So? That shouldn’t be so hard.
Oh, that’s what everyone thinks! But kind people find out that they are cruel. Brave men find out that they are really cowards! Confronted by their true selves, most men run away, screaming!
-The NeverEnding Story

So, you know I make references to this book adapted into a great early 1980s movie, The NeverEnding Story… often. In this scene from above, you’d think it was never good to look into a mirror! Does the hero of the story make it through this mirror gate to speak with the Southern Oracle–to get the information he needs to save his world? Why does he see Bastion looking back at him through the mirror? What is this mirror about?

Have you ever felt like maybe you brought out anger in people–like maybe, that you were a mirror in their life–sometimes they saw what they were afraid to see and were hostile towards it… and therefore, hostile towards you. Or maybe they kept you at arm’s length? Sometimes, being a mirror will bring out the best and worst in others. But you have to know, it’s not you they are reacting to. It’s what they see in themselves.

Sometimes, people become the opposite of what they found very disagreeable and difficult in a past relationship. Divorced spouses become opposite of what they felt they were in their past marriage, even adopting some of the qualities they didn’t like in their previous partner. Children will strive to be different than their parents–to not make the same mistakes or to be someone better.

Sometimes we project the opposite of how we are feeling in life. Someone who feels no control in their life becomes domineering and control obsessed.

Sometimes, we project what we think others want to see. We project our insecurities onto someone, because we think that everyone will be or become what we most fear. We project onto ourselves what we think others must think of us.

Self evaluation is hard because you have to go there. You have to get deep within yourself. Is that not the scariest place of all? What lies beneath? What have you been hiding from the world? What have you been hiding from yourself? What do you see when you look in the mirror?

You first have to be raw and open with yourself. And when you are, that authenticity will flow outward. People will feel it. They’ll either be drawn to it or repelled, and that’s a good thing. If they’re repelled, they have their own inner work to do. This is not to say, you should be completely open and vulnerable to any and everybody. You should protect yourself from the harm others might willingly or unwillingly do…. “…Guard your hearts for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs


Perhaps, in putting some distance or reserving your whole self until someone has shown they are trustworthy, you may be protecting them too by withholding.  I don’t mean to imply that you should hide your True Self–the Truth of You. If you know the Truth of You, then there’s no hiding it. It’s not telling people everything about yourself. It’s living with a confidence, that confidence you find when you realize you are worthy of love and appreciation–you have love and light and a voice to share with the world. And when you love and appreciate yourself, that love will flow out to others. It’s not something you have to force. It just is. And you Are. Real authenticity is that knowledge of Yourself and the peace to let others be where they need to be. But first, you have to discover Yourself.

I think most of us aren’t really trying to hurt anyone. It’s our insecurities that act out–sometimes, even hurting those we most cherish. But when you find those people that you can let the walls down with and be vulnerable, beyond the facade and even the authenticity of who you are–when we open up the wounds for someone else to see–when you find that person or those people you can be safe with… that is a beautiful place to be.

Our inner self–who we are and choose to share–that I think is the Wellspring. We all know people we refer to as shallow or deep. But I think everyone is a well. When I think of a deep well, I think of cool clear waters that you dip the bucket into, where refreshment is found. When I think of a shallow well, I think of muddied and lukewarm waters–where the water is running dry, or the well wasn’t made deep enough. Now, I think we are all both. You may never get to know the depth of someone. They may never reveal it. When you look into a murky pool, you don’t usually see much. When it’s clear, you see the depths. Oftentimes–when the water is calm–you see yourself. If the water is clear, you see through your reflection and into the depths–the depth of you and others.

I think we are all reflections of each other.

Some may think there is no darkness within ourselves. I’m not entirely sure that’s true. I feel there is both Light and Dark. And to truly accept one, you have to accept the other. You have to get to know all the areas of your deep, to know You. And when you find some dark corner within yourself, shine the Light on it. What do you see?

So if you do decide to descend into the depths of your heart, I hope you find Yourself. I hope you see the Light that reflects on the surface. I hope you let it penetrate to the deep and embrace it. And by embracing the Light, you embrace Yourself. You reflect the Light. And by passing through our own Mirror Gate, we find each other.

Blessings. 💛

Dark Night of the Soul

Light grows more dim, The skin begins to crawl,
Darkness grows more deep,
Dark and then the fall.

Air gathers chill, Breath bears no call,
Dusk forebodes night,
Dark and then the fall.

Lonely cleaves to sadness, Fear catches all,
Hate strangles life,
Dark and then the fall.

Life longs for heaven, Death comes to call,
Hell holds despair,
Dark and then the fall.

Shade waits in the light, Evening shadows sprawl,
Dark lengthens in the night,
And swallows all who fall.


Sounds hopeless, does it not? If you truly know what depression is, you’ll know it’s more than sadness. Everyone who’s journey includes walking beside depression may have similar and different experiences, unique to their perspective. For me, depression is like a dark pit that I sometimes find myself in. It lies hidden, as I’m walking through life. Then suddenly, the dark hole opens up. Sometimes, I side-step it. Sometimes, I trip but hang on to the edge. There have been a few times that I found myself at the bottom. My depression episodes may be  triggered by an event in my life, a hurt experienced through a traumatic life event. It may be triggered by hurtful words or actions experienced from another. It may be the insecurities, the voice of Lone Lies, I let get inside my head that lead to my fall. Whatever the source, it gives power to a pain so intense, you feel like you’re drowning in it. Despair begins to take hold. You feel you are sinking or have sunk into the depths. It feels like, no one understands… No one truly cares… You are alone.

One of the most powerful metaphors to me, comes from a movie I grew up watching. I definitely plan on dedicating a post to this children’s movie based on a book called, The Never Ending Story. *Spoiler Alert* If you haven’t watched it, I suggest you stop here and find it. If you have, maybe this will bring this epic children’s movie from the 80s into a whole new light.

I won’t tell you how the movie begins and what leads to this certain point, but for clarity on the metaphor, know that the world of Fantasia is being devoured by this dark force called, The Nothing. This scared me so bad as a kid. When The Nothing shows up, it’s like a storm that boils into the area of the land. Everything is pulled into it, the people, trees, and sand… everything. Everything begins to disappear.

I’m pretty sure this may have been one of the reasons I was so terrified of tornado storms in Texas, and fueled the desire I had to study meteorology in college and want to chase storms.

Back to the story! The hero selected is Atreyu. The final hope Fantasia has, rests with a boy. This boy is considered a warrior among his people, despite his age. He is given The Auryn, a talisman that is 2 snakes intertwined and creates a circular shape, and told that it will guide and protect him on his journey.

I will revisit The Auryn, other parts of his journey, and the story’s symbolism. But to get to The Nothing, let’s fast forward towards the end of his journey. After much of the world is decimated, after he had been separated from his companion and had lost The Auryn, he begins searching a tumbling ruin he finds off the coast. Inside, he sees all the images of his journey painted in different rooms on the walls. He becomes aware of all the different stages of his journey. He then finds himself staring at a point he hasn’t experienced yet. As he stares at the final painting, he observes a great beast painted in the darkness of a den. He hears a growl and turns to encounter a great wolf-like beast, named G’mork, that has been hunting him from the beginning of his journey. Their conversations is as follows:

G’mork: If you come any closer, I will rip you to shreds.
Atreyu: Who are you?
G’mork: I am G’mork. And you, whoever you are, can have the honor of being my last victim.
Atreyu: I will not die easily. I am a warrior!
G’mork: Ha! Brave warrior, then fight The Nothing.
Atreyu: But I can’t. I can’t get beyond the boundaries of Fantasia.
G’mork laughs.
Atreyu: What’s so funny about that?
G’mork: Fantasia has no boundaries.
Atreyu: That’s not true! You’re lying.
G’mork: Foolish boy, don’t you know anything about Fantasia? It’s the world of human fantasy. Every part of it, every creature, is a piece of the dreams and hopes of mankind. Therefore, it has no boundaries.
Atreyu: But why is Fantasia dying, then?!
G’mork: Because people have begun to lose their hopes and forget their dreams. So The Nothing grows stronger.
Atreyu: What is The Nothing?
G’mork: It’s the emptiness that’s left. It’s a despair, destroying this world. And I have been trying to help it.
Atreyu: But why?!
G’mork: Because people who have no hopes are easy to control. And whoever has control… has the power.
Atreyu: Who are you really?…
G’mork: I am the servant of the power behind The Nothing. I was sent to kill the only one who could have stopped The Nothing. I lost him in the Swamps of Sadness. His name… was Atreyu!
As the ground shakes and the temple walls quake and split, Atreyu falls. He grabs a piece of broken stone that is a sharp shard split off from the tumbling walls around them. He stands ready to fight.
Atreyu: If we’re about to die, I’d rather die fighting! Come for me, G’mork! I am Atreyu!
G’mork roars and lunges out of the dark den for Atreyu. As his body hurls forward onto the boy, Atreyu stabs the great beast with the sharp stone into its heart.

I’m telling you, looking past the old technology and giant “Jim Henson” creatures, this story is epic. To me, G’mork is the voice of dark thoughts that enter, that give power to the Darkness. The Nothing is the state of despair, a place where hope isn’t to be found, where the Light is lost. Will you stand and defend yourself when the Darkness approaches? Will you let the voice of lies convince you, that you are Nothing?

Who is this Voice? Where does it come from?

At a point in my life last year, my journey went through a very dark period. It was during this dark period that I wrote the poem above. After experiencing another loss, I found out that a trusted friend had tried to hurt me. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Our insecurities, our voice of lies, were feeding off each other. I couldn’t hear the still, small voice that was telling me, I am not defined by my insecurities. And neither are they.

After making it through a hurricane and an immense state of fear I think the whole community was feeling, the voice of lies grew stronger. I started seeing a doctor after finding lumps in places I shouldn’t have, and clumps of my hair started falling out. This year, I actually had a friend ask me if I’d gotten a hair cut. Because my hair was pulled up under a hat, all my new hair was hanging out, brushing my shoulders. Because of the third loss I had encountered, and the physical symptoms that were manifesting, my doctor prescribed serotonin regulating antidepressants. What I later found out, was that on top of all the things going on in my life, there were a couple vital nutritional needs being neglected. There was a supplement I had been on for too long, and a diet restriction I had placed in my life that caused me to become deficient in an essential amino acid required to produce serotonin. My doctor told me there wasn’t a way to measure the serotonin in my brain. But after much research, I learned that most of our serotonin is produced in our stomachs. I will discuss these findings in another blog post, the importance of nutritional needs and depression.

The point of all this description is, that I had lost the tools I needed to defend myself. I became weak to the voice of lies. The lies that were telling me that all my friends were false, no one cares about me, I should just let go. I believed them. I had forgotten my Identity. I was lost. It was a dark and dangerous place.

I’ve read in a book called, A New Earth, that there is a Collective Pain that exists. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. It discusses the Pain and the Ego in great depth. I’ll leave that for the book.

There are belief systems that discuss the possible source of Darkness- the pain and the Lies.

In Buddhism, there is the Hungry Ghost, that represents the Poverty Mentality. It is depicted as having skinny appendages, a small mouth,  and a large stomach. It is never able to get enough because of its skinny neck. It is never able to hold enough because of its skinny arms. It is in a constant state of need and unfulfillment. Nothing can satisfy it. The voice of lies can lead us to this place where we can no longer see the good, the things to be grateful for. The darkness may become so great, that we no longer see the Light.

I was brought up to believe that there was a Great Adversary, the Father of Lies. In the story of this adversary, before his Fall from Grace, he was known as The Morning Star. But when he believed himself to be greater, no longer needing The Light of the Universe, and sought to exalt himself above The Creator, the source of Love, he was cast down to darkness and doomed to be separated forever from the Love and Light. And throughout the story of this being, he is always seeking a way to prove himself. He is driven by his pride and selfish desire, to bring others down to his state, that he is always “…prowling about like a roaring lion, seeking those to devour…”

Whatever the source of Darkness, I advise you not to reach out to it, whether you find it in yourself or someone else. The Darkness seeks to devour. We’ve heard of energy vampires. I believe there are people who have been so consumed by the Darkness, the pain they feel, the insecurities that manifest, the voice of Lies they hear, they become lost to narcissistic and sociopathic behavior. They feel they are trapped. They are in a place where they cannot see outside of “self.” They do not see or hear the voice of Light. They have become lost to their true selves. Do not become consumed by fear and pain. There is that other voice I’ve talked about; a still, small voice that comes from the Heart. Look to the Light it emits. Once you become aware of it, the Light illuminates the dark. Even just a small light illuminates the darkness around it. Even a small light inspires hope, like the star in the night sky.

At this point last year, I found myself in the depths of the dark night of My Soul. I had lost myself, forgotten my Identity. I questioned the sincerity of my friends and family. I felt so totally alone. But, there was still the Light. Luck would have a good friend reach out, unknowing of what I was going through. A friend, in the right place at the right time, was an Earth Angel when I needed a voice to call out through the dark. I’m so grateful to her and the constancy of my husband. I’m so grateful that I listened. It fills me with emotion to think on that period of time. I’m so glad that I remembered the Light. C.S. Lewis wrote, “To what will you look for help, if you will not look to that which is stronger than yourself?” You’ll hear me say this many times, sometimes we need a helping hand, someone to throw us a life preserver while we tread the dark waters. But ultimately, it is up to us to decide to hold on. Reach out for that hand. The night is always darkest before the dawn. The night always ends, and with the ending, the morning sun brings the light to illuminate a new day. Reach out to the Light in your Life. That Light shines awareness on the situation. It shines through the darkness of pain and insecurities. It dissipates the voice of Lies we hear. The Light that shines comes from Love, and that Love lives within us all. Always be Aware, and defend yourself from what brings the Darkness into your Life.

 It feels almost strange to say, but without the darkness, we do not know the Light. They seem to not exist, or maybe we do not understand them, without the other. I am always reading or watching history. I was reading about Richard Nixon, and came across something he said as he was leaving the Presidency. He said:
We think that when we suffer a defeat, that all is ended. Not true. Because only if you’ve been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain. Others may hate you. But those who hate you don’t win…. unless, you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.
Whatever your feelings may be of this President, he was a man who had gone down a dark path. He embraced the insecurities in his life. He was consumed by them. After the end, he was devastated. But in his parting words, we are reminded, that even going through the deepest night, we can find the Light.

We are not our insecurities. We are not our depression. It does not define us. It is not our identity. It’s a part of our story. It’s a part of our journey. And if we allow it, through the Light of Awareness, it will help us to become better people. “People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.” Book of Matthew

We do not have to succumb to the darkness of night. Behind the clouds in the dark, the light of the sun in reflecting on the Moon. The stars are there in the night sky. There is beauty that lies hidden in the dark. As you embrace your journey in life, embrace the Light. There is Light to be found in other people, and a Light to be found within Yourself.

Even in the darkness of night, may we hear the voice of Light.


Embrace the Suck

“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”
Jimmy Duggan from A League of Their Own

If you read my Post from Tuesday night, you’ll know that my husband was delivered a blow from the firm he works at. And that blow came at a really inconvenient time in our life. We’re taking a big leap into the unknown to follow a dream. We’re leaving a career of 12 years, a steady job, friends, and a house in a beautiful location to achieve something most, I’m sure, would think we’re crazy. You can follow my husband’s Blog to read more of his experience in this journey we’re embarking on.

Sometimes on this life journey, even if you tried to do the right thing and believe you did, hardship happens. Life isn’t fair.

The news came Tuesday night, and I spent a lot of time yesterday working through disappointment and trying to focus on the truth, that doing the right thing is still the right thing, even if it’s hard and the results kick you down. I focused on people and the broader view that can be gained when we start viewing life through another’s lense and self reflection. I also focused on not making light of anyone’s pain they’re experiencing in a situation, that the Light of awareness brings clarity and healing.

Today, my focus is now embracing the situation. I kept hearing Tom Hank’s voice from the movie, A League of Their Own, and I was reminded that: We knew what we were doing was going to be hard. Life can be hard sometimes. But, the “hard is what makes it great.”

So I’m telling myself today, “Embrace the suck.” It’s a phrase from the military that I believe originally came out of the Marines. It doesn’t mean, You have a Problem, Just Get Over It. A “sucky” or “sticky” situation connotes an image of say, mud. Now, if you’ve ever walked through an area after a heavy rain and there is a thick layer of mud you have to trek through, you would have noticed that the going was difficult. Lifting your feet up for each step was being met with resistance, or “pull”, creating a “sucking” sound. You don’t stop moving because it’s hard to move. You keep going to move through it. You keep moving until the ground is clear.

Another image comes to mind, and it has to do with struggle. Most of us have read stories or seen movies where some adventurer came across a pit of quicksand. And you find out that the more this person struggles, the deeper and faster they sink. A similar situation happens during the event of drowning. If you read an article that discusses what one should do if they find they’ve been caught in a rip tide, you’ll read that the advice given is to stop struggling against the current. To calm yourself and relax, take deep breaths and float on your back, conserving your energy. You ride the tide until it takes you down the coast and out of the rip, and then you swim to shore. I can only imagine the terror of the situation. But we’ve all been in difficult and sometimes frightful situations before. Sometimes the best thing you can do to not get overwhelmed in the situation is to embrace it. The Light of awareness brings clarity. Find your calm, breathe, and ride out the situation. As soon as opportunity presents itself, move!

Another quote I love is Ben Franklin, “Out of adversity comes opportunity.” Sometimes we move into areas that are difficult in life. We may lose a job or a friend may leave, or you may haven been the one that decided to move on. Moving on can be tough. Try to not lose sight of what comes with the journey in life. Be open to new possibilities that are waiting for you to realize. When something in your life changes, it might be that the change was needed to make room for something great, something you didn’t expect, something better than you could have imagined.

My husband and I had the opportunity after years of living frugally to go on a great vacation adventure. We went to territory no one we knew had been before: the island of St. Lucia. It was so awe inspiringly beautiful. As we took a cab across the island from the airport to our villa overlooking Marigot Bay, I actually cried because the scenery so struck me.

A lot of planning went into this ten day trip. And one of the things I spent time working through was proper apparel. St. Lucia is made up of mountain peaks, the pitons, rising out of the ocean in the Lesser Antilles. There is some steep climbing. It’s also tropical rain-forest. The rains move through fairly quickly in the afternoons, and some may linger in the evenings. But luggage is expensive and decisions have to be made. I decided my sneakers would have to cover the walks we would do because I was already bringing sandals and various shoes. My hiking boots would be left behind.

The first full day we were there, we wanted to get to know our little mountain that our villa was nestled in, so off we went exploring the paths that went up towards the summit. There were signs to point you on your way. The rains had come through and there were areas that it was pretty slippery and muddy. No problem was met until after about thirty minutes of climbing, we came to a sign that pointed to the right for a meditation and lookout point. I can’t remember the name, but we knew that’s where we wanted to go. But it became very clear after a short period of time that this was going to be very difficult. At last, we came to the last bit as the sign indicated, and all we had to do was climb up a sheer rock wall that had only little grooves to grab onto to lift yourself up. Shawn was strong enough to pull himself up. I was having to rely primarily on my leg strength, and as I started sticking the rubber of my shoes to the rock face, my feet kept slipping. After all the mud we had walked through, my shoes didn’t have the traction I needed to make it up. We were pretty high up and at this point, all I could think about was the image of myself in a mangled heap on the forest floor, and Shawn having to spend a lot of the trip sitting by my bedside because I had broken bones….. It was a good ways up, people! Just in case you were thinking that I’m an over-exaggerator. I do like literary description. But, we were at least 20 feet up a rock face that didn’t end at soft floor. There were rocks and a steep slope beyond that we had hiked up. Think, free-fall, landing on rocks, followed by rolling down a hill….

To the point! I didn’t make the climb and with much disappointment, we started to head back because the rain was moving in. As we were heading back down, we saw another sign. A sign that pointed in the other direction that seemed promising! So off we went in that direction to see what we could see. And the view we came to was spectacular. It was the view back down where we had come from, to give us a sweeping panoramic of the mountains of St. Lucia with Marigot Bay at their feet. We probably sat in that spot for a good twenty minutes as the rain was not in our location but was taking place down below us. We stayed and watched the rain clouds move through. Thinking about it fills me with emotion again.

I might talk more about this trip another day because the stories are long. The trip was a much needed break after having gone through one of the most difficult experiences in my life so far, the experience of loss. What I want to shed Light on is, there is no knowing what you’ll find amidst the hardships in life. What I want to try to focus on, and help people believe, is that no matter how hard life can get, there is always hope. When the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. And don’t believe yourself a failure if you need a helping hand. We all need someone in our life that can be there for us, a voice that gives power to the Light, earth-angels I like to call these people. Sometimes, all you need is a life preserver, a hand, a voice calling to you through the Dark. More on these earth-angels to come.

If you find yourself struggling to stay afloat, to take a breath, reach out to someone. And if you don’t see anyone, then please, reach out to yourself. There is Light within you, needing to be heard. You are not alone. Hold on. Help will come. Do not despair. Do not lose hope.

Life can be difficult. But if we hang on long enough, life will show us that it is also beautiful. Life is worth it. You are worth it.
Embrace it.


I’m Only Human

“Most people do not see the world as it is. They see it as they are…” Anna
from Anna and the King

This evening was hard. Tonight, when my husband came home, I found out that the company he’s worked for, for eleven and a half years (that’s including two college internships), is doing him an ill turn and hiding behind policy. My husband has a lot of respect for the people he’s worked with all these years. And when he decided it was time to do the bold thing and leave his career to follow his dream, he felt it was the right thing by his fellow employees and the company to let them know he was leaving as soon as he had made up his mind. So, rather than waiting until after the end of the year, when he had secured his very hard earned bonus (which is an integral part of our living), he told them a month before bonus distribution. My husband was told today that company policy is to revoke bonuses from employees who leave before the end of the year. This bad news comes at the end of the year, two weeks before bonus distribution, after he told the company he would finish the year so that all his clients would be taken care of and all his team would be trained and all his projects transitioned to the right team members. We were hoping for just a part of his bonus so we could transition in the best possible way to a new life. Today, I found out that my husband saved the firm a million dollars by staying through the end of the year. Today, I found out they wouldn’t give him even six thousand. Today was such a let down. Today, I felt like we were just a number. Today, I felt like all his hard work and integrity, that we, did not matter.

I remember what that was like, to hide behind policy. I used to work at a surgery center. And every time insurance and finances came up, and I had to explain why people had to pay for everything up front, despite having insurance, people were shocked at the amount of money that would need to be paid before services were rendered. “That is our policy,” I would say. Time and time again, people in pain, people that were scared of upcoming surgery, people worried about finances (this was during the 2008 recession), people became angry. But after so many times of being shouted at and tears, I got sick of saying, “That is our policy.” I looked at our patients as persons, not unlike myself, and listened. Sometimes I would pull them aside into our conference room to explain things from our perspective. But mostly, I pulled them aside to acknowledge them. The difference it made, most of the time, was something I can never forget.

As I struggle through the emotions of being so hurt, for my husband and for us, I’m trying to reflect on what I know to be true. Sometimes doing the right thing is hard. Sometimes hardship comes after doing what is right, that may make you feel you’re being punished. Whatever may follow, I believe it is always in our interest to do right by others, not just ourselves. After all, what we put into this world has an effect. There are passages that come to mind: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “You reap what you sew.” Even though it doesn’t seem to be working out for us at the moment, I can rest assured that the right thing was done by other people. My husband has integrity. At the end of the day, I know he did right. This man, with all his courage and care, I am so proud of.

So I am trying to focus on the future now. I believe even through all the hardships, good things are in store. I have to believe that. I believe that what you dwell on becomes your master. If you focus on the negative, it is sure to be.

But in the process of focusing on the positive, do not disregard the pain you or someone else is feeling. There is real pain and hardship in everyone’s lives. Awareness is the tool you need to heal and help yourself and others move forward. Awareness shines Light on everything.

As I’m giving this advice to myself and working through my thoughts and feelings, I’m trying to apply all of this to my experiential memory. I am telling myself, “Write down all the advice you would give someone going through pain. Write down all the advice you would give someone you feel has wronged you. Now, apply all this advice to myself.” Until you have mastered the art of overcoming pain and not returning “wrong for wrong” with thoughts and actions, then it is best to keep the words to yourself. Your actions have a far greater impact than anything you would say.

Funny. Here I am writing all of this down in a blog for myself and for the world. I’m working on taking my advice.

If you would say anything, let it be from a place of love or tenderness. The Light you shine through awareness, illuminates the Darkness. Feeling pain is a good thing. Pain lets you know that something needs changing. Pain brings the opportunity for empathy. To have empathy with another being is to be human.

I’ve said this before, but something I struggle with at times, is trying to see people as a point on a journey. Loving people where they are at. It doesn’t mean allowing abuse to myself. But I try to remember that behind anger, jealousy, manipulation, no acknowledgement…. is pain.

One of my favorite quotes comes from a great movie, Anna and the King. Anna, the school teacher from England, is mentoring the eldest prince. In a moment when the prince becomes aware that even though he is the son of a king, the king places respect and honor on the teacher and woman. Something that was extraordinary at this period in time. The prince asks Anna why his father has humbled him. To this, Anna replies, “Most people do not see the world as it is. They see it as they are. A good king needs a broader view.” Shawn has also reminded me, “You can only see from where you stand.” So as I ask myself, why would the good people at this company allow a policy to hurt us? Why can’t they circumvent policy and treat us as individuals? I am now trying to apply what I know to be true. What would I do in their situation? Maybe there’s not much I could do. It is difficult for anyone to self reflect, to be introspective. We’re all hiding some vulnerability. And self evaluation can be a chink in our armor. We might find a loose pebble or a crack in the wall that is protecting our vulnerability. Sometimes that vulnerability is a need to feel righteous. Sometimes it’s a need to feel secure. That vulnerability is always “self.” We all need a broader view, that takes us outside of ourselves. We need a view that stems from loving kindness, empathy, and compassion.

Don’t give voice or power to the negativity by adding to it. If you reach out to discuss a situation with someone, reach out to a trusted person and ask to keep the conversation in the Light. Give power and voice to the Love. It always helps me to forgive an offense when I see the situation in the Light, not in the Dark. Awareness brings Light. If light is shed on the pain the other person might be going through, it helps me to see past my hurt and empathize with the other person. And in this particular situation, it must really be hard to have to be the bearer of bad news. A company is made up of individuals. And all these individuals have their own story.

Everyone has a story to tell. I hope our story will matter. I hope more companies and organizations will remember that. We are more than the numbers that make up a group. We are human, after all.

A Still, Small Voice

We are weathered by life’s changing seasons,
and there is strength and beauty when you find peace in the storm.


Have you ever felt that your people started going through a phase where they either couldn’t handle your uniqueness, put out vibes that they felt you were a nuisance, annoying, or too much maintenance?
Did you start to doubt a mutual respect you thought you had?

Have you ever felt that you were only there when needed or necessary, to be put on a shelf like a bottle of medicine, lid screwed shut?

Have you been through situations where you doubted your sanity with someone?
They would say little things under their breath, or make comments about your lifestyle, what you ate, how you dressed, where you shopped for food or clothing, how your house was decorated….. and only said those things around you…. when no one else would hear? And then they would treat mutual friends in a completely different respect?
Maybe you felt like you were the charity case, like you weren’t exactly a part of “the club”?

Have you ever had someone tell you that you were too much?

Did you ever find out that a friend tried to hurt your feelings, that they actually went out of their way to “get you back” for what they felt was a wrong that needed retribution?
Have you ever found out that a friend said harsh things about you to another?

If you have been in any or all of the situations, You my friend, are not alone! These situations are shared across towns and cities, organizations and workplaces, friend groups, and family circles. And if we’re being honest with ourselves, we’ve probably participated in one or more of the above activities. As much as we may cringe to consider it, we may have been a source of pain to another.

People are complicated organisms. Not just in the way we function, lots of mechanics, moving parts, and chemical reactions, but also in a way that may make you pause and wonder. You may wonder about them and you may start to wonder about You. Someone’s actions may have you feeling like you need to question yourself, your Identity.

Self reflection is always a good thing. Self doubt…. I don’t know. Probably the best thing to practice in a “pause”, a moment you find quiet, is to stop listening to the little voice in your head that tells you, “You’re not worthy of love. You are too much. You are not enough. You are alone.” That is the voice I sometimes refer to as the Lone Lies. When I was a child, and didn’t understand what depression was, I referred to these times of sadness and feeling alone as, The Lonelies. The Lonelies were these periods of time I listened to the voice of Lies and believed them.

Try if you can, to listen to the voice of Truth. There’s another still, small voice, whispering. That’s a song me and my sister used to listen to when we were little kids. It went:

“I have heard a still, small voice… that’s whispering,

‘I Am, I Am, I Am.’

Have you heard a still, small voice… that’s whispering,

‘I can, I can, I can…’

If you’d only believe

If you’d only believe

If you’d only believe that there is Love.”

This is a safe place for You to reach out. Sometimes reaching out to people we know and have face to face interactions with is very difficult. There’s that Lone Voice saying, “You’ll be judged. They won’t understand. You’ll make them sad too. They will leave you.” Those are the Lone Lies we hear, “You’re not worthy of love, You’re too much, You’re not enough, You’re alone.”

If you find you’re in a place where that voice is getting too loud, time to shake it off. This is a safe place here. Reach out. There’s another Voice that the light is shining on: There is Love! You are Enough! You are Loved! You are Love!

Self reflection and awareness of yourself and others is always helpful. Don’t let what’s happened to you, or how someone has treated you, be an excuse for returning “wrong for wrong.” Let the Light shine through and illuminate the darkness.

I think it’s wonderful to be aware. Awareness brings clarity; to accept that which you need to be healthy and reject that which causes harm, to yourself and or others. It’s good to be aware of what affects you. And better to realize that you determine the path you take, mindful of the influence of your choices. We are the masters of our fate, and the sum of our choices. We are weathered by life’s changing seasons, and there is strength and beauty when you find peace in the storm.

The mark of maturity is when you stop blaming others and take accountability for your life. Strength isn’t in the walls we put up, it’s the Love we have in our hearts. Who is stronger, someone who closes themselves off to another human being that is hurting or seeking Love? Or is it someone who opens themselves up and takes a chance, though it may be risky, and they may get hurt? There is strength in vulnerability. But we should always protect ourselves from darkness, from toxic actions that may arise in ourselves or others, that may drain our Light. “Above all else, guard your hearts for it is the wellspring of life.” -Proverbs

Fear can be a powerful influence. Sometimes people put up these walls they hide behind, protecting their vulnerability, or they lash out, throwing grenades of hurtfulness from their fortress. It comes from a shared source we all have: Pain.
And most of us fear pain. This is not the physical pain we speak of, although it can manifest in very physical symptoms. What we fear the most at times, is the pain that strikes much deeper, pain in our Deep Hearts.

There’s all kinds of reasons people do and say things, including one’s self. Sometimes we let fear and insecurity cloud our judgment and thinking. We start imagining all kinds of things. It might help to remember, no one is perfect. We all have pain. We might let that pain lead us down a hurtful path, to ourself and others.

But, there is more than pain. There is beauty. There is love. There is You, beautiful soul. 💛

Be the friend you would love to have. Be the change you want to see in the world. Be the love you want to see in the Universe. Be You.