My Truth

Stability…

At work today I was listening to YouTube (as usual) and a TD Jakes clip played…

You didn’t get to pick what shaped your world. But you do get to pick what stabilizes it’

This to me is so timely and powerful. I have been looking for stability in my life for a long time. I’ve felt like I was white knuckling life got the last 20 plus years. All day. Everyday. Trying to control everything.

And what brought me the stability that I’ve been looking for? A little 12 Step Christ centered program called Celebrate Recovery.

I’ve found a new stride. My new normal. It’s a pretty happy place. Not without challenges. Not without struggles. Not without upset. That’s just called life. And because of that I’ve learned 12 stepping, living the 12 steps daily and by God’s Grace, I can cope in a new way.

Finding stability when life is always changing. Finding stability when the unexpected happens. Finding stability in an uncertain world.

No longer do I need to live in secret, silence or shame. No longer do I worry about what someone may think of my situation or of me. As a mother, sister or friend.

This stability that I thought was so far out of reach, wasn’t. And as I continue to let go of control and trust God and His plan for

my life, the more stable I have become.

And the more stable I become, the more I need to be stable.

Stay on this ride with me, the best is yet to be.

My journey continues…

Ps I painted the pic used in this post.

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My Truth

New off shoot blog…

Incase you were wondering…

I’m still working my program. And I have found my new normal for sure. Things are good. Hanging out and living in Steps 10, 11 and 12 is really nice but I am also keeping myself grounded by doing a second step study.

This is exactly were I should be. God has been preparing me all year to be exactly where I am.

Which brings up God’s timing. God’s timing is always perfect.

Never early.

Never late.

My recovery journey has grown an off shoot and I started a second blog to process and share about this part of my journey.

I will still be writing here. Recovery stuff is in my blood. It’s who I am now. It’s like I was bitten by a radioactive spider and it’s changed me from the inside out.

So if you are want, come check out my new blog and follow me there too. Smart (sugar free) Cookie

Stay on this ride with me, the best is yet to be.

My Journey Continues…

PS I am so grateful for everyone who reads, stumbles on, follows, likes and comments on my posts. Blogging helps me and I hope maybe it helps you too.

My Truth

🌻🌻🌻 Sunflowers and Me πŸŒ»πŸŒ»πŸŒ»

If you have followed me for a while you would know that things stir up in me in themes while I work on or process things.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about sunflowers 🌻. Sunflowers are my favorite flower which is funny to me because I don’t like the color yellow.

The last few days I’ve done some reading about sunflowers 🌻 and I wanted to share some amazing things that I learned and these flowers and myself.

People associate sunflowers 🌻 with positivity, joy, strength, warmth, power and happiness.

This reminded me of something I read many years ago….’a flower doesn’t think of the flower next to it. It just blooms.’

It has been said that a sunflower 🌻 is a symbol of God’s love. It’s a symbol can also represent the unwavering faith that guides the soul. It’s bright and bountiful that tracks the sun β˜€οΈ and seeks the light. This special flower 🌻blooms in the heat of the summer and endorses.

In Greek mythology Clytie turns into a sunflower 🌻 after grieving the loss of her love, Apollo. Clytie is always facing the sun β˜€οΈ, looking for Apollo’s Chariot to return.

Here are some other words that sunflowers 🌻 stir up.

🌻 Faith

🌻 Worship

🌻 Life

🌻 Growth

🌻 Serenity

🌻 Light

🌻 Focus

🌻 Grace

🌻 Joy

🌻 Optimism

🌻 Warmth

🌻 Gratitude

🌻 Hope

🌻 Driven

🌻 Loyalty

🌻 Peace

🌻 Love

🌻 Wisdom

In many ways, for a long time I have not bloomed. I was taking care of others and didn’t have the time or ran out of energy. Sometimes I’ve been comparing myself to others and while they bloomed, I didn’t feel worthy.

As I continue on this journey to serenity, I’m starting to feel comfortable in my own skin. I feel that a lot of words are who I am and I just need to keep my head up and keep seeking God’s will for my life.

My journey continues…

Ps I painted the pics used in this post

My Truth

What my phone says about me…

I listen to music a lot of the day. I love to hit random and see what happens. I’ve often thought about if someone listened to my play list, what would they think of me? Bouncing from 80’s punk to current Christian worship to show tunes to cover bands to everything between. Well everything between for me.

For whatever reason, I was looking at my pictures today. I started the day with over 4000 pictures beginning 3 years ago.

My very first pic is….

I love Friday the 13th because I was born on Friday the 13th

In May of 2016, I was just a few months into my recovery journey and learning about codependency. So there are lots of inspiring quotes and all of my early blog meme’s.

There are lots of family pics and present opening and dinner out during months with birthdays.

I have lots of nature pics, like of the squirrels who were running around the tree while I wrote out my step 4. Or a rain drop on a leaf. Pics of sunsets and clouds. Pics of flowers and butterflies too.

Pics of tree lines with the sun peeking from behind. Pics of the dog(s).

Screen shots of Bible quotes. Screen shots of painting inspiration and Tattoo inspiration.

Pics from events like a wedding and a graduation. Many scout camp outs. Lots of snap chat selfies.

And more recovery words of wisdom. Man some of these are gems!

I found I have pics of 6 people who have passed.

And I have pics of fun days like painting with friends and axe throwing with my work peeps. Pics with friends at concerts and out to dinner and CR training days too.

Pics of things I’ve used when giving a CR lesson.

Maybe I need to do this more often. Cause I don’t know what you may be thinking about me but this is what I learned about myself.

What my phone says about me…

  • You will find who I love
  • You will find what inspires me
  • You will find where I spend my time
  • You will find that I have a lot in common with my brother who passed 8 weeks ago when it comes to taking pics of nature. He just had a better camera =]
  • You will find that I love all things Recovery and CR
  • You will find I totally have a thing for hearts in clouds, rocks or leaves
  • You will find I also totally have a thing for owls and steam punk
  • And you will find, I have an eclectic selection of music

Now I have less than 4000 pics. I deleted some duplicates. And I deleted some things that seemed important at the time but are less important now

It’s been a hard 8 weeks since my brother died. Lots of ups and downs. Weeks ago I spent a couple of days looking at my brothers pic on social media and I’m glad I spent that time ‘with him’.

And I’m glad a spent some time with myself to discover/rediscover those things about myself.

My journey continues…

My Truth

Awareness, Seeing Things In A New Way

The thing about continuing to work a recovery program is that you (or me in this case) get the opportunity to continue to have a deeper understanding of myself. A new level of awareness. Healing even deeper.

This is the most stressful time at work and between Thanksgiving and Christmas has been a very difficult time of year for me personally and emotionally for YEARS. So in the middle of chaos and heart ache, I decided to do this work.

Crazy right!

Well, it has forced me to make time for myself. It’s made me practice some self care when I’m exhausted after a long day at work. To set aside time to read. Process what I’ve learned. Write about it. And have a weekly meetings about it.

I’m doing some work on grieving. I’m reading a really good book that has pointed out some things that has gotten me looking a things in a different way. About things I had not thought about in a long time but now thinking about them in a different way.

We are just at the thick of it. It’s just like that part in working the 12 steps….step 4 and 5. During that part, many people walk away because it’s hard. Its scary because you are afraid of being judged or embarrassed or feel shame around what you did or didn’t do. It’s pulling the curtain back and being vulnerable.

To be open enough to say those things out loud that no one talks about. Those things that may cause fear or judgement or shame and saying it anyway. And you know what happened when I did my step 4 and 5 with my sponsor…..ready, because when you haven’t done it yet, you don’t know. But this is what happened……my sponsor, loved me anyway. And every time I give my testimony, my recovery community, loves me anyway.

Crazy right!

So I am not afraid of hard work. I am doing the work. And I’m doing it, because I know what happens when the hard work is completed.

Which reminds me of Psalms 30:5

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor, a lifetime. Weeping may stay overnight, but there is joy in the morning.

So that painting….do you see a line of tress with the sun setting? Or do you see a guitar? Do you see both?

Don’t be afraid of working a program. Dig deep and see things in a different way.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not perfect, I don’t work a perfect program. I make mistakes, I sin. I disappoint others and I disappoint myself. But God doesn’t need me to be perfect or to work a perfect program. Everyday making the decision to walk in the right direction. It’s called progress. Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is what matters.

It works if you work it and you are so worth it!!!

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

It’s a season, not a sentence…

It’s been far too long since I have written. I have started many posts since my last one but are all unfinished thoughts. Not coming together easily. Which is how writing works for me.

I think I’ve posted about seasons before but I didn’t even go back and look. I write what’s put on my heart. Most often it’s what I need to hear in this moment. And the words just flow out of me. Sometimes so fast that I can’t type fast enough or catch that auto correct changed put to out (that one happens all the time)

So I love to refer to time periods as seasons. I’m in a season of waiting. Or I’m in a season of growth. Or I’m in a season of asking questions.

I love to refer to these times as seasons because it reminds me that these times are not permanent. They change. They bloom. And then they transform into something else. They are still. And then experience new growth. And they even are wonderful and warm and those seasons change too. But again not forever.

I have been in a season, maybe several the last few months. A season of contentment but still wanting more. A season of stillness but still wanting more. A season of what i thought was understanding and great communication but knowing something was wrong. A season of learning to ask for help and learning to accept it.

And now a season of exclusion and not understanding but trusting anyway. This is an opportunity to step back and let someone else work out their pain and hurts without my interference or influence.

And even with how hard this is and how much my heart is hurting,

I MUST remember this it’s a season, not a sentence.

I MUST remember that God is in control.

I MUST remember that while hurt people hurt people, healing people heal people. But it’s only when that hurting person seeks healing.

I MUST remember that what someone thinks or says about me, doesn’t make it true.

I MUST remember that recovery is about progress not perfection.

I MUST remember that 2 people can be in the same experience but see and feel things so differently.

I MUST remember to give grace when I love someone but disagree with them too.

My very first Bible study, 10 years ago now, was The Prodigal God. A 12 week study on the Prodigal Son. My brother teased me that it took 12 weeks to look at 21 Bible verses! But it was a deep dive on looking at everyone in the story. How was the Dad feeling? What was the other brother thinking when his brother returned. Anyway it was a cool study on relationships and feelings.

So I’ve been reflecting on how the Dad must of felt. Giving his son his inheritance and letting him leave. Not understanding or wanting this for his son. Not knowing where he was or what he was doing. Being concerned for his other son’s feelings. Did he watch every day for his son to return.

His must have known that it was for a season and not a sentence. And that seasons change.

My journey continues….

My Truth

Personal Boundaries…

According to Wikipedia ‘personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits.’

Codependency and lack of boundaries are in my experience good friends.

I may have had some boundaries in the past but allowed others to catapult over them and did nothing about it. Or I would move the boundary because I was not able, often because of fear, to even have consequences and then have to stick to them.

But I have learned how boundaries keeps me safe and ‘in my lane’.

3 years go, I had to learn how to set strong boundaries while I was afraid.

The man I was dating was on an out of control drinking binge. He was living down the street in a house of other active addicts. No water. No power. The owner of the house was in jail. While I was trying to save the man I loved, I put myself in danger. I witnessed terrible things and I was afraid.

When I reached my tolerance level (finally), I asked him to leave me alone in person, by phone and by text. I yelled, I screamed. And then unknowingly, I set my first boundary by stopping my behavior. I didn’t go to the house, I didn’t answer his calls and I didn’t text him back. It was hard but necessary.

And then it escalated.

I received 100’s and 100’s of text messages from 3 phones he had access to. At all hours of the day and night. I called the police and asked for help. Sadly there was nothing they could do…..yet. And the yet is what scared me the most. I called my best friend and told her that this is what lifetime movies are made of and I was afraid.

He came to my house at 5 am drunk and pounded on my front door. I called the police and got paperwork for trespassing for next time he comes. Next time, great.

More texts and calls. And I didn’t answer any of them. But it was still escalating.

He entered my home while I was a work. My son was home and called me. I called the police and drove home. I arrived just minutes after the police did. Apparently he had fallen on the walk to my house and had blood all over his face and hands. (And my fence and back door) I went and was issued an emergency protective order. But they couldn’t find him.

So now I had to wait for the PO to be served to him. And he would leave me alone and this would all stop.

More texts and calls and then they stopped. He then texted me and I had him violated and he went to jail. Then he called me from jail. 32 times. Another violation. He spent 31 days in jail and I was issued a 2 year protective order. Then he stood by my mail box and street corner for weeks after. But that didn’t violate my order. It was terrifying. I remember thinking about how this makes women go crazy and I would end up hurting him from the mental games and end up in jail. Thankfully that didn’t happen and he finally went away.

All this to say, this was the start of me giving myself permission to put down the fear, shame and feeling responsible .and understand the importance of creating personal boundaries.

So let’s talk about boundaries for a minute.

We need boundaries in all aspects of our life. Family. Work. Hobbies. Money. Time. I have found that having them actually makes my life easier. Allowing me to say no to some things that are not healthy for me in turn it allows me to say yes to more things that fill me up.

Once I found support with my 12 step group and a counselor, I gained some self awareness of what I am willing to and not willing to put up with in my life. Looking at situations in my life and identify area’s that cause hurt or upset or even where I’m spending time that is not for my greater good. And how to better contain those things.

This is what some of my boundaries look like:

  • separating myself from a friend or group of friends
  • not commenting on a social media on a sensitive topic
  • choosing to end and walk away from an argument gracefully
  • telling someone that I will not discuss something with them
  • telling someone that I will not tolerate behaviors and if they choose to continue, I will ______
  • being careful what and who I share information or feelings with
  • being careful who I spend time with
  • spending time doing healthy activities

Having boundaries I gained value and do not compromise my opinions. I have started to be able to make and reach personal goals which has been difficult to even create a goal in the past. I have learned how to say no and to accept no from others. I have become a better communicator. And I know to get advise from healthy friends.

You can share with someone a boundary, but you don’t always have to. Simply changing your behavior to match the boundary is enough.

Starting small and giving yourself grace is super important. It all takes time to learn how to do this after a life time of not. You build on success. It takes support, courage and practice.

My journey continues…