"A Global Movement of Positive Energy!"
It's the beginning of a New Year and while I do not make resolutions because I set goals for myself daily, I do give each New Year a motto that I hope to exemplify in the way I live that year. For 2015, my motto is to be fearless. The simple and obvious definition of fearless is "lacking fear", but its synonyms are where I get my real inspiration: courageous, bold, lionhearted, heroic, brave and daring are the attributes that resonate the most with me.
Anyone who knows me knows Lion (his real name is George, but Lion is the name that stuck). Lion has been with me for many years and he has seen me through the most painful and scary times of my life. When I found out I was pregnant at the age of 19, Lion listened to me without judgment. When I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and bedridden, Lion was my pillow. When I experienced my first real heartbreak, Lion caught my tears. He's moved across the country with me and he has been on every trip I have ever taken. I am thirty-three years old and not ashamed to admit that I sleep with him every night.
The past five years have been exceptionally difficult in my life. I ended a dysfunctional marriage and later found out my daughter suffers from mental illness(s). I have always known something wasn't quite right, but my world turned upside down as she inched closer to adolescence. Eventually, diagnosis were given and treatment plans put into place, but there is still this huge question mark on her future. The daily struggles are only made worse knowing that they are punctuated by a giant unknown. I have felt weaker than I ever knew possible, I have felt tiny in a huge new world that I don't understand, and I feel daily like I have failed. But, every night, I go to bed with Lion under my head and every morning I wake up with Lion in my arms. I guess it isn't surprising, that between the scary situation I was facing and an ever-present lion in my life, my thoughts turned toward wondering how I could have the courage of a lion.
In 2014, my motto was "to live courageously". I felt broken down and timid, more like the lion from the Wizard of Oz, than a king of the jungle. I knew the Wizard was a fake, and I've never been one to ask anyone for help, so the last thing I'd consider courageous would be to ask for courage. I also knew that courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes, courage is the still quiet voice inside you that says "get up and try one more time". If I was measuring courage by that definition, than I was certainly very courageous every day. I may not have reached my goals for weight loss or certain ways I hoped to become more independent, but my quiet courage helped me make many difficult decisions for my daughter. It got me a promotion at work. It got me a new car and it laid the foundation for a new business venture. In thinking about becoming fearless, quiet courage is a necessary step in the process and I can see after writing this that I succeeded.
Enable Positive Change and Break Through...
When our backs are pressed against a wall, two main choices may cross our minds: 1. Curl up and die. Give in. End the fight. Or, 2. Make an irrational decision that will make us feel less suffocated and more secure as quickly as possible, not necessarily concerned with the possible consequences.
Having had my back pressed against what feels like a brick wall behind me and a boulder in front of me, pushing me even harder against the wall, I have responded to my "pressing" situations with both of these reactions. Each time I have made decisions based largely out of fear of the unknown, or for the need for the pressure to be released immediately, I have regretted it.
Writing Your Love Story...
About me, I'm not, by any means, a hater of Valentine's Day. I love flowers, candles, candy, cheesy cards and awful, corny, gigantic displays of balloons. I love having an excuse to do something nice for someone I love. That's what Valentine's Day is to me- an excuse. Because, really, I strive to show the people in my life love on a daily basis- not one day a year because it is expected of me. This Valentine's Day is different. Writing an article focused on love has been excruciating, no matter how I've tried to spin it.
About five months ago (five months to the day on Valentine's Day, to be exact), I suffered a breakup. And I mean suffered! I was heartbroken. Watching a relationship unravel and ultimately end knocked the wind out of me. Admittedly, I went a little crazy. It is in the times when I am pushed past my breaking point, when it all seems an irreparable mess, that I learn the most about myself.
Seeing Beyond Self-Doubt to Create the Life You Deserve...
I have been filled with self-doubt these past few months. Personal struggles, past struggles coming back to haunt me and what seems like an endless battle to effectively create positive change and forward movement in my life have consumed me. Feeling very inadequate, unworthy and incapable of change, I escaped to the only place I know at times like these: my journal.
Rather than lend my pen toward the things in my life that were burdening me, I decided I would only allow myself to write about positive things in my life; goals I had reached (no matter how small), all the times I kept on going when I wanted to give up, and times I stood up for myself when I would normally back down. To my surprise, the picture my words painted amidst so much turmoil was not one of sadness or despair. What unfolded before me was my story of overcoming-- of resilience. I still have a long way to go and although it is messy, it is a beautiful mess.