Have You Listened to Yourself Lately?

woman-tagged-with-qualities-low-self-esteem[1]What are you saying to yourself? Whatever it is, you probably believe it–because that’s how it works. But it’s a good news/bad news thing. If you are engaging in daily negative self talk, those ideas help shape your self image. AND if you are engaging in daily positive self talk, those ideas help shape your self image.  We have done more damage to our self esteem than our enemies, our abusers, our haters, and our culture. We have self destructed—based on the self-insults  we have had in our own heads. Self talk is the discourse between your ears based on your world view and self view. It can manifest emotionally, mentally, spiritually, even physiologically. The words you use about yourself fuel your self-regard. Where is your fuel taking you?  Think about this: You have access to YOURSELF 24 hours a day, and your self talk can convince you to bypass opportunity, avoid risk, skirt around intimacy…BUT can also take you to the highest levels of yourself and help you attain your assigned purpose. If you do not learn to recognize that voice and shift it in daily purposeful ways, it will rob you of all you value and all you deserve.

Every day for at least a year, this woman (that would be me) said to herself, “you’re so stupid—you did it again,” “no one will love you if you don’t control your emotions,” and “you let everyone down because you are a fraud and you’re worthless.” Those words did tremendous damage to my heart and to my soul. Today I do mirror talk EVERY DAY (per my therapist): my five affirmations——
1. You are so fucking beautiful!
2. Your love is abundant and returned to you ten fold.
3. You make glorious mistakes and gain wisdom every day.
4. Every wound prepared you for this purpose you are stepping into.
5. You are kind and empathetic, and you are changing lives, starting with your own.

I encourage you to make your list of 5. Change it up. Be outlandish if you want. I know–it’s hard. But guess what? You don’t even have to believe it right away. Just stand at the mirror every single day and pronounce your worthiness TO YOURSELF. Over time, you will believe it.  Be ridiculous. Be celebratory! Be magical! You will be transformed, I pinky promise.

In truth and love,

Alinda

Dichotomies of Depression

Depression is saying “Sure!” and “Yes, Ma’am!” when your brain is saying “Okay” and “Whatever.”
Depression is forcing your tired and beaten body and soul out of bed merely because you know that to stay in bed is to sink into the abyss.
Or it’s not forcing your tired and beaten body and soul out of bed because the abyss is where you want to be.
Depression is listening to voices in your head that you know aren’t true, but the energy to fight back is tucked away in a place you can’t reach.
Depression is wanting to be happy but not knowing how.
It’s seeing all the beatify in your life and processing it in your brain but being unable to access it in your heart.
Or on certain really tough days, it’s being unable to see any beauty at all.

woman staring through window

Photo by David Cassolato on Pexels.com

Depression is the wearing of many masks.
It’s the playing of many roles and the detachment from many roles.
Depression is lukewarm.
It is the hopeless lingering in the darkness when you know the light is nearby.
Depression is wanting to ask for help but not wanting the world to know that you can’t do it on your own.
Depression is a liar.
Depression is not a refusal to feel joy—it’s the space between joy and your soul—it’s a chasm deep and wide.

Musings on my First Fifty Years

Birthdays are a great time to reflect, and after celebrating number fifty over the weekend, I have a few thoughts, for what they are worth. After fifty years on this planet, this is what I know:
If this isn’t the life you want, the life you think you are destined for, it’s your job to create that life. Listen to what God/the Universe is telling you to do, and then do it. Keep your eyes open for the path that is being created for you, and follow it, and be willing to do some foraging through the overgrown and tricky parts. Remove those barriers around your heart and feel that pain that you are afraid will kill you. It won’t; it will strengthen you for the all the love that awaits. You have to believe that the wounds serve a purpose. You have to believe that from those dark places, your light can shine brightest. The world needs your light. You must be willing to let go of people and things that threaten to stifle or distort that inner voice that says, “You are enough.” And you have to know that no experience, whether it be one of joy or sorrow, or triumph or trauma, is a waste. It is in your power, and it is in fact your responsibility, to give it a shape, to make it matter.

In Truth and Love,

Alinda

Letting You Go

I am responsible for what I write,
But I am not responsible for how you feel about it. 
I am accountable for the truths I tell,
But I am not accountable for your denial of those truths.

I own what has happened to me, 
and what I have done,
But I will not own what has happened to you or what you have done.

I am free to feel my shame,
But I will not chain myself to yours.

I can forgive you,
But I cannot make your amends.

I can walk beside you through my grief,
But I cannot carry you through yours.

I look into the mirror, and I examine my reflection,
And I leave you to gaze into your own.

I will one day look into the eyes of God and seek atonement for my sins,
But I will no longer pay for yours.

Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

Worth It

blog photo #15 advice for saleThe best things in life are free…

This is one of those sayings that we have heard many times, and we just accept it as truth. And the Beatles helped convinced us, didn’t they?

I, however, live in the “everything has a cost” camp, which at a glance, appears to be where all the cynical kids play. I am here to argue that we are indeed the hopeful campers. Everything that matters in life has cost me something. That’s in part why it matters to me. To prove my point, I’ll illuminate my top three.

My relationship with God is the most important thing in my life. I know that we Christians like to say it costs us nothing, and I agree that God’s grace is a free gift. But I’m talking about the choice, every day, to put my spiritual life at the forefront. To really examine what God/dess would have me do, and align my behaviors accordingly. It’s painful, friends. And costly. There are plenty of times I would prefer to shout at someone in anger or (this one is the biggie for me) keep score and seek revenge. Choosing not to engage in those behaviors is a challenge for people like me.

My children come just after God, and anyone with kids will tell you that parenthood isn’t free from struggle and sacrifice. Need I go on?

And my number three is the development of my nonprofit organization and my writing life–because they are intertwined. I’ve been writing since I could spell “writing,” and it is my saving grace. I can say this without fear of sacrilege because for me, the Divine is born in me through my words. When I set out to be a writer,  as you can imagine, I got nods and smiles and pats on the head. While some of my peers earned business degrees and went on to celebrate with gargantuan salaries,  and others followed a different bliss, maybe one similar to mine in teaching or social services (which I did for a while, too), I was fighting to find MY bliss and live MY truth, as I felt the Universe had asked me to do. I’m not suggesting that my friends aren’t living authentic lives; I’m saying that the predictable schedules and income and the safety those things offer are the things I had to give up to BE a writer–to step into my truest self and honor who I was created to become. I had to risk not making rent. I had to skip the summer trips to the beach. At one time I was working FIVE part-time jobs! I had to piece together a living that would keep us fed and also feed my soul. I had to eschew romance and instead choose the quiet solitude wherein I could hear the voice of God/dess whispering to me. My children paid for it too, which was at times painful to watch–its images full of triggers for guilt, questions, and self-doubt (the mommy’s Holy Trinity).

These are things I value most. And they were not free. I love my relationship with God. It is a highly personal one, and it is my compass in all earthly matters. My children are my heart. They have brought me greater joy than any other experience in life. And my time at the keyboard or notebook is filled with moments during which I am most fully alive. The price tag for all three was crazy high. But totally worth it.

What are your top three, and how much are you willing to pay for them?

Renewing Me

My New Year’s request to the Universal Spirit:

Open my ears to the voice of the Divine, who creates and nurtures. Let me hear Her whisper love above all the noise of hate and anger.

Fill my heart with so much joy and tolerance that there’s no room for doubt, fear, or judgment.

Silence my tongue of all things unkind or harsh, and instead teach me to speak only words that promote life and offer encouragement.

Pour peace into my soul that I might drink it until I overflow and I may share it with others whose souls are in torment.

Use my hands to wipe tears and my arms to embrace those who feel broken, so they may know the healing power of your grace.

Guide my path toward mercy and forgiveness, and walk with me, first toward myself, and then allow me to be a light to guide others there.

Touch my spirit with the fresh balm of gratitude, that I may always reflect who You created me to be.

Let me a blessing to all those who need one today and always.

To the Man who Stole My Childhood

To the man who stole my childhood,

I’m taking it back.

 

To the man who crept in on angel-soft steps,

You are the devil.

 

To the man who anesthetized my heart,

I feel joy, and I feel pain.

 

To the man who slithered through the darkness,

I’m turning on the light.

 

To the man who lied about  his love for me,

I know the truth.

 

To the man who hushed me with his violence,

I shout your name into the Universe.

 

To the man who stole our childhood,

We’re taking it back.