Falling in Love With My Authentic Self…

Every year, I find myself evaluating my life’s journey as my birthday approaches. This year will be the last year in my thirties. I don’t think 40 is that old, now that I’m sitting so terribly close to it. I look at all the things I have experienced over the last 300+ days of my 38th year and try to evaluate all the ways I could have been a better person, while quietly celebrating the times I am sure I did my very best.

Looking back I see the mountains I have had to overcome.

Dissolving the lens I once used to look at myself, helped to initiate a sudden series of revelations. Removing this lens allowed an opportunity to meet my true self. At first, I began to see who I had always been. The innocence that I thought I had lost, resurfaced, reminding me that it had never left. The curiosity, I used when exploring my world as a child, gained intensity. The biggest inner transformation occurred when I decided to accept all of my mistakes.

Mistakes are allowed!

I mean all of my mistakes, the big ones, the small ones, the consistent mistakes, and my future mistakes. I forgave myself with the most simple of intentions. I recognized that I was already forgiven, the only living soul without sin, the man with a flawless record, had not only forgiven me, he painfully & selflessly sacrificed his body without deserving any of it. He took my lashings, he bled for me. He wept for me. He died for me.

Worthy of this kind of love & sacrifice.

If he could forgive me, then it would be a “perfect” thing for me to also forgive my past transgressions as well as any future transgressions. I thought deeply about his physical sacrifice, the pain he endured on my behalf. All so that I could be saved, and instead of choosing to live within this gift of eternal blessings, I was choosing to live in the physical pain of sin. He knew long before you & I were ever born that ALL humans would need this absolute forgiveness. I started chipping away the deception I had lived in most of my life. The idea that I wasn’t enough. A lie! The idea that I was not created with a purpose. A lie! The idea that I was set to live out the path my mother had cleared for me. A lie! The idea that I couldn’t be a messenger for God because of my sins. A lie! The idea that my soul was lost or confused. A lie! I began to rebuke the lies. I began to tell myself the truth. I began to love myself, not in a selfish way, but in the way I could finally see my soul as not being perfect, but as a soul that was formed and yet still worthy of His only son’s sacrifice. You are worthy of forgiveness and that was why such a huge sacrifice was necessary, a perfect sacrifice for a multitude of sins.

Covering a multitude of sin…

With a large dose of truth & pure light I began to forgive myself… I noticed that I was no longer just a blossom, but a beautiful bouquet of self-love.

I will write my own story.

This past year has awakened me in more ways than I ever thought possible. Each day bringing new & welcomed challenges, as well as a new level of self-awareness. Becoming self-aware unlocked some deeply buried potential. This higher-level of awareness began to absolve the negative lens I had used to view my life. Looking back now, I can clearly see that this had been the singular lens in which I had been looking through while trying to find purpose in my life. It is difficult to find your truth and your purpose when the view is covered in lies (the negative lens).

Vision blurred by deception.

I became acutely aware of boundaries I had permitted to be crossed and broken, I became aware of my detachment from the meaningful parts of life, and learned of the places in which to apply necessary boundaries. I searched myself for all the pain and injury from my past that I had allowed to reside in my spirit, and began to write eviction notices. I had carried them all for far too long. Childhood trauma, you can leave! You are evicted. I don’t need you. I can take care of myself now, as well as I take care of my own children. (This required a lot of forgiveness and a huge release of carried resentment that I felt as it physically detached from my spirit.) I grieved each time I evicted past injuries. I had to intentionally set aside time to forgive the people that I felt had taken advantage of my kindness, my innocence, my goodness! I had found that I had subconsciously held onto this pain for most of my adult life as justification for my own errors. I had been living life like some sort of weary traveler, loaded down with negative feelings, thoughts and emotions.

In moments of despair, remember you are already saved!

I now have a greater understanding of myself & that there will always be things that I encounter that I will try to hold onto, and I can at times be better served by just relenting my control. If you are like me, you may try to control most things in your life, so to release this control can be very challenging. Learning to let things go can be a painful exercise, understanding that we are unable to direct specific or certain outcomes can be comparable to cutting off one’s own leg. I had to figure out where my ability to change things began/ended. The moment I became aware of myself and the parameters of my influence. I began to better understand and give proper respect to the outermost boundaries of my influence. This helped me relinquish the control I once held onto so tightly. A firm grip is not long lasting. My firm grip would soon lead to the loss of any type of grip allowing moments for everything to spiral out of control. I’d find myself completely exhausted, waking among the aftermath of the storm, I had created.

Aftermath…

I didn’t know how to find me, and instead of broadening my search, I kept looking in the same old places. I kept looking for me in other people. No one knew what I was looking for or that I had felt I had been a missing person. It was easier not to explain my search… not to ask who they thought I was? Secretly, I would search my surroundings and people I had been around to find what I alone had been hiding. Who am I? What did I want? What was my purpose?

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For the longest time I couldn’t distinguish between the things I’d done to please others versus what I actually wanted. I know I’ve made decisions in the past prescribing to a life that is better for everyone. These decisions however wise, left me feeling proud and yet confused. Some passing moments or events would cause me to question my motives. It was only when I would seek the stillness and the quiet that I could realize my purpose. I’d realize my heart. Some memories swirl tirelessly there. Kept guarded internally, so I can keep them safe. The heart/soul, is a vast container of all that is good, it holds everything that is dear, it also contains and provides love.

My mind can often be confused by the sacrificing of self, (My flesh). It is only when we have removed the flesh can we discover our spirit. My soul will seek to understand His will, my self will seek to understand my own will. When I relinquish control now I do so confidently knowing that my purpose is to fulfill His will and not my own. Remarkably, with this understanding you realize nothing brings greater spiritual fruit. My own happiness grows through acknowledging my spiritual purpose. Love Abides in me and I am in Love with who “I Am”!

🥳 39 years young!

Praying for peace during these uncertain times! Remember, you belong, you have a purpose and know that you are loved! Thanks for reading!

Recipe:People Pleaser, Yields 1

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After watching the above YouTube video the following thoughts emerged. As I continue on my journey of self acceptance and self love… I dig much deeper into my childhood and realize now that there are very specific details that helped make me into a “super people pleaser!”

Want to know how one becomes a “super people pleaser?” Here is a short list of things that I have personally identified as common things people may have experienced or endured, which increases the likelihood of becoming a super people pleaser.

Ingredient #1] stress on the mother during pregnancy. This is said to release more cortisol levels for the unborn child. (Some have also said that this can create emotional disregulation because the unborn child is receiving too much of that stress hormone in utero that it literally messes with the design of the brain.)

Ingredient #2] place him/her in an environment that is strict and also stingy with positivity.

My mom and dad… What a long story. First of all, bless their hearts. I know that they were doing their best! I can honestly say that now after being a parent now for over a decade, & looking back at my mistakes in parenting. It’s not an easy job. Anyone that says otherwise is in denial. Trust me!

Ingredient #3] praise the child only when they do exactly what you want them to do.

Growing up I was constantly told to listen. I grew up with a very authoritative dad & my mom was just enough of an authoritarian that whatever she demanded, we delivered. She made sure that we listen to her and that we weren’t allowed to have our own opinions on things like food or clothing, anything really. We were always told “you’ll take what you can get & like it.” A seriously dangerous mantra from my childhood, and I just realized this is the reason I have a hard time making decisions for myself now in my 38th year of life. Doing what I want to do seems like an action for royalty, not me. If you treat your children like peasants they will expect bread crumbs, but will settle for any piece of the crust when it is presented. It will not matter if it is their piece of the pie or not they just want more than crumbs. They want to believe that they are worth more than crumbs. This idea that they aren’t able to make decisions for themselves leaves them listening to others needs and wants while suppressing their own. Ignoring the voice that makes them unique and authentic. This idea that they are unable to access this voice and be heard has been ingrained into their brain as if to know that the voice/desire to have what they want is there, but it is out of order. The child continues through life looking to everyone else for the answers and listening to “these so called answers” even to their own demise. Because their core value or belief of who they are rests on the belief that “you are only a good kid if you do what you are told.”

Well that was enlightening. Illuminating for myself even.

2020 has been quite the ride. We have been diligently working on remodeling our home. We are nearing completion and have redone every room of the house. I will be posting photos soon of all the changes. I will be very happy to complete this huge project, it has been a difficult one.

Happy Holidays everyone! I’m praying for a peaceful 2021!

How I Define LOVE…

I heard this week on a YouTube Channel that “Love is not an emotion or a feeling, but just the lack of hate.”  It was something I couldn’t let go of.  I kept the thought rotating on the spit in my mind like a huge chicken roasting on a rotisserie… A chicken I had just named LOVE.  Thinking, oh when I am done roasting this thought, it will taste so good for all who choose to eat with me.

The thing is the longer I think of it, ponder on it, the more love I feel.  The longer I get lost in my memories, the more I am directed to moments that I received care, received compassion and forgiveness.  These are all actions that have made me feel loved.  How do I show love?  Do I show love to myself, and do those I do love know that I love them?  Is love sacrifice?  Is love pain?  Is love just good feelings and happy thoughts?  Is love tears of joy or sadness? What if it were more simply described for all of us?  I can sum it up in three words.

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I believe I can be a caring person, a forgiving and compassionate person.  Can I be those things to someone who irritates, frustrates, or ignites anger in me?  Why do some people cause us to react negatively?  If I am a loving person, can I react like that to anyone?  I have to be accepting of everyone, no matter their background, political affiliation, educational level, financial situation, no matter what.  I have to accept everyone to show love.  So if I am to love everyone, I must hold judgement of everyone?  I must accept each and every person on this planet in order to LOVE.  I have to love murderers, and rapists, and pedophiles, and hookers, and white supremicist, and terrorists and even the boogie man, I have to accept ALL?  Oh my! No wonder there is so much hate in the world.  It is so much easier to judge and only accept the things we like in others.  What if we could heal all of those things with LOVE.  Thinking of this creates a nice picture and maybe my internal drive of perfection is taking over, but doesn’t it take you to a utopia?

Want to know love?  If God is love, here is the description of LOVE. Sounds like an unachievable perfection, doesn’t it?

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Anyone that has lived longer than 5 years has experienced an unloving moment, has learned not to trust, not to hope, to be rude, to be impatient, to tell a lie.  We were all born with a root of evil and a spirit of love.  How do we release ourselves with this entangled root of evil.  Where do we find the ability to release it from ourselves.  We have to know GOD.  I know most of us that chose to go to Vacation Bible School when we were younger or maybe even forced to go; had to learn a scripture.  John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

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If I dissect this one scripture, I can discover so much.  I have repeated it so many times in my life, and yet I have never actually looked at the scripture as a key to living forever.  “The WORLD” = each of us!  All of our sins, our misconducts, our flaws, all of us.  Every single one of us make up THE WORLD. He LOVES us (the world) so much that he sacrificed perfection, for us.  His SON = perfection.  The only perfect being ever made was sacrificed for our messed up, imperfect lives.  Once we believe in LOVE, we have EVERLASTING LIFE?  Wait, what?  What does it all mean?  He should have chosen quality over quantity, right?  We do! What am I missing, what have I been missing?

If God can give up his most beloved and perfect masterpiece, what is holding me back?  I want to love and yet I can’t even get over myself.  My insecurities keep me fearful.  I can’t speak the truth, afraid of others reactions.  I have built a prison and I should be living free in the spirit.  His Spirit.  Even now while I am mulling all of this over while I am writing I am considering the responses I might get from people who might label me a bible thumper, religious freak.  Honestly, I consider that an insult.  I believe in God, but don’t categorize me as one of THOSE people.  Look there it is, that ROOT.  Rearing it’s ugly head again.   I know everyone has an opinion.  Maybe we shouldn’t!  Once we require an opinion we should pray for the Spirit to lead us to the correct one.  I know that this sounds a bit like the rantings of a lunatic, but what if they aren’t?  What if they are from Him, and he is using some misfit teacher who has failed multiple times in marriage and who has had to fight to keep everyone that is close to her as a messenger of LOVE.  WTH?  I can’t even believe I just wrote that.

My brother and I throw ideas, revelations, scriptures back and forth to each other; through text messages.  He sent me one that said, “Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit.  Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness.  For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness.”  I bring this up because I began writing a blog to vent my thoughts and to help others that might be experiencing life the same way.  I kept looking for something to make me feel better, something to make me look better, something to make me appear perfect.  All of those things were selfish and my actions were coming from the root of sinful self-interest.  I watered that root until it had nearly taken hold of every fiber of my being.  I saw nothing wrong with my endeavors, nothing wrong with what I was seeking.  It was for a better me!  Society tells us that is what we should all be doing.  “Don’t stop yourself, indulge!”  “BUY MORE! LIVE MORE! BE MORE!”

My message is this, That root of sinful self-interest can never get enough and it has been planted inside each of us.  Have you ever actually dug a root out of the ground.  It is quite the job.  It is not like we can just find it and pluck it out.  We must work it out, and realize why it had been planted there in the first place.  Without it, we wouldn’t have the need to look for LOVE.  I still don’t know how to rid myself of the thoughts or the shameful places this “root” takes me, but I know I can no longer feed it.  I must acknowledge that it is there and find the spirit that is of LOVE and water & feed it, to show this “root” there is no longer any room for it to dwell inside of me.

Do you know why I must accept this “root?”  If I can’t find it in myself to accept who I am and understand what I am capable of, and love myself in spite of all of that, my love for others is only coming from a place that only serves my self-interest.  I am only loving so that I may be loved.  I have to forfeit that idea of romantic love. My ideas of fairy tales can not be my description of love.  I must accept all the parts of who I am, the dark and gloomy parts, the weak and scared parts, the indulgent and insecure parts or I will never be able to have love for others.  It will all be artificial.  Be real with yourself!

I have heard from several people in my life that I am not judgmental.  Immediately, when I hear this I think… “Yeah, I know I don’t want others to judge me so I don’t judge others.”  People living in sinful self-interest, can’t handle shame.  I didn’t want to impart my honest remarks on how others chose to live their life, what if they decided to be honest about my choices.  That would bring shame and that would hurt my feelings.  My precious ego wouldn’t be able to survive.  Can we grow without honesty?  I think I cleared that up last week.  I believe no growth can occur without honesty.  Love rejoices in the truth. Start LOVING this week by being HONEST with yourself and be led by the SPIRIT, not grounded by the ROOT of sinful self-interest.  Teach others that it is ok to love the messy and messed up.  BE the change this world needs to see by spreading truth,   without judgment.239b2aeb45415859920af6834f9b22e6

My definition of love is this…  It is releasing your needs, and helping others.  It is accepting the mistakes and misfortunes of others.  Love is not about YOU, it is about His Spirit.  His Spirit is in each of us, so when we accept that we are all imperfect yet truly loveable, we are truly loving ourselves.

Do not SEEK love my friends, seek to TEACH everyone where it can be found.  We all have it, someone might need to water and nurture it a bit more than others.  I will leave you with this to think of as well.  A bit of wisdom spoken by my dad a few days ago.  When asked “What is the cause of human suffering?”  My dad said, “It’s real simple, we must love our neighbor!”  I think the world needs a refresher course on what love is, then we need to show love to each other.  Love does meet the requirements of a four letter word.  But this word isn’t dirty or shameful, it isn’t evil or self-seeking.  It is a word we all need to become better acquainted with, and it is a word that should most definitely be felt by each of us.  It should be felt growing inside each of us.

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Have a great day! Love, Michelle