Happy Monday, Love Bugs! I pray that your week has started off on a good note. I hope you enjoyed a restful Sunday and that today, you are feeling lighter and that your heart is open to what this day has to bring. As I mentioned in my Sunday vlog, this week we are going to take a step back on our journey to Self-Love. As I sit here quietly reflecting on an inspiring message I received last week, it dawned on me that we skipped an important step in the healing process. Something I should have addressed BEFORE we jumped into things like positive self-talk and body image practices.
Last week, I was having a conversation with someone about their step-son. For the sake of discretion, we will call this step-son, Sam. Sam is a man in his mid-30's who is married, with 2 children, and struggling with depression due to a sense of abandonment. Sam's biological father was not a presence in Sam's life when he was a child. While the father is nearby and able to communicate now, the damage caused by his absence during Sam's formative years has been devastating to Sam and has created a road-block in his ability to be a husband and father to his own family. Fortunately, Sam is seeking therapy to work through these emotions - and I trust that this form of treatment will help provide Sam with the tools, terminology and perspective to help him move forward with his life. You see, what helped Sam understand that his journey to healing had to start, was coming to terms with what it was that needed to heal. He needed to sit with himself, hear the cries from the pit of his stomach, and allow the devastation of his father's abandonment to truly be felt. Once the full range of pain is acknowledged, the steps toward healing can not only start...but they can be effective.
Like miss Iyanla Vanzant says, "We can't heal what we can't speak." We run away from our pain, afraid of facing it head on because we feel weak or powerless in it's presence. So we numb; we drink, do drugs, get into abusive/reckless relationships and situations, and fail to address the truths about our own reality because we cannot face the truths of our past. I looked back at my journal entry from 1/8/17, and wrote down all of the things I had to LET OUT of that pit in my stomach. Some were things that I had already said out loud in therapy sessions, but others were things I never spoke of -- to anyone. In efforts to honor this process, and to be transparent with you...here is what I wrote:
*I am scared of men around my children, because of the abuse I endured as a child.
*Because I learned at a young age, how to keep a secret about something that was happening to me -- I now cannot stand to be in a space of confusion, lack of clarity or lies. I want to know the ugly truth, because that is the only way I can trust.
*I overthink, over control, over analyze and afraid of surprises, because I do not trust.
*Men are unreliable, this I learned from my dad.
*I am not good enough, unacceptable and unworthy of love; my own father didn't think I was worth staying for.
*My husband will cheat on me and leave me, because that's what men do.
I had to SIT in the devastation of every single one of these sentiments, allow my heart to feel the pain, give it sound, write it down, whatever it took! It just needed to COME OUT!!! It needed to be said!! It could NO LONGER stay in my gut, holding my heart and spirit hostage, controlling my every thought and every fear. I was tired of it. I wanted to be free from it and live a life of peace, reclaim my true position in life, and be an example of love and grace for my children.
This is what I am asking of you this week. LET IT OUT!!! We cannot allow these sick and ugly sentiments to live in our bodies anymore. Something miss Iyanla Vanzant also said was, "Feelings buried alive don't die! They fester, and show up as something else in our bodies and in our behaviors." How is it showing up in your body? Weight gain? Weight loss? Hair loss? Fatigue? Overworked? What about in your behavior? Do you lash out at people? Are you critical of others? Do you have a short fuse? Do you isolate yourself? Do you shut people out? Do you use humor to hide your pain? Are you numbing yourself so that you don't have to sit with these sentiments screaming out in your mind? This is what we need to address, love bugs. We need to let it out, so we can be aware of how these things are showing up on our lives and what we need to do to heal. We must do the work.
This week pick an outlet for your freedom expression. Write it down, tell someone whom you trust to hear your story, hike up a mountain and scream it out at the top of your lungs....whatever you're comfortable with. The point is to give this pain SOUND and a LOCATION where it can stay. I've done a little of it all. I've written it down, I've shared with a therapist or someone close to me, and yes...I've even hiked up a mountain trail to say it out loud and allow the deepest and most sorrowful cry from the depths of my soul to come out -- the point is that no matter which outlet you choose, you must LET IT OUT and LET IT STAY THERE:
-When we write it down - we can close the notebook and walk away from it, giving us time and space in between the pain and our bodies/minds.
-When we tell a trusted person - we open the dialogue with someone who can empathize, hug, cry, and pray with us, allowing space and time to move onto healing.
-When we SCREAM IT OUT into the sky above - we release the pain to the heavens above, and transfer the weight of the pain onto something bigger than us.
The point is, to let it out and clear out space in your mind and body to replace it with healing practices like positive self-talk and body devotionals. We are like a flower vases, we cannot just clean the outside and avoid the dirt and debris that's still inside. We need to clean out the inside as well, so that when looking into the glass of the vase there is clarity, cleansing, and a preparation for roses of love and peace. This is going to be tough, I will pray for your courage and strength in picking out the outlet that would work best for you and that your heart is filled with the courage it is going to take to complete this difficult, yet necessary, step in the journey to self-love.
P.S. If you want to share your pain verbally, but have no one to turn to with a compassionate ear to listen, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will gladly schedule a one-on-one visit with you via phone and support you in this important step.
Be strong, love bugs. Your future self deserves to live, let's usher in the healing.
Peace & Blessings,