Owning My Story

This morning I wasn't feeling well so I laid in bed a lot longer than usual, of course I played on my phone and I was on YouTube, I saw an interview with a singer I adore and I loved how real she was and she explained where a great deal of her music came from.. and how therapeutic it had been to write and sing those songs that ended up helping her to move on. It made me think of writing and how it has helped me over the years through one challenge after another.

When I first started writing in 2009, I did it to get my voice back after Andrey had raped me... I rarely wrote and I thought of it more as an online journal. I would think it was 'just' a blog... it wasn't until I had to deal with the pain of losing David that I really put my heart into my writing... still I would think what do I have to say that could ever reach someone else? Then last month one of the blogs I follow suggested that her readers share their older content on social media... so I started doing it, with it I started rereading many posts.
Some of them I would cringe at and think how could I have been so naive? Although my writing has evolved over time, many of them still touched me today, I can see how what I wrote could touch someone else, as it still resonated with me. We each have challenges we have to get through that we are so certain we won't be able to... I think it's important to own my stories and be real so that others that read my words will know there is a way out of the darkest times of our lives. I can honestly tell you, I wasn't sure there was many times over the past couple of years... but through this blog and many of you sharing your thoughts and feelings with me openly helped me to believe.

As well, it made me want to continue to open up... if others could help me, why could I not help others? This morning I reread a post that I wrote about a year ago and cried (in a good way)... I realized I am a good writer. In my own way I have the ability to reach out and touch people with my words. Is it scary to say that? It is because I am sure many people won't believe that, however; I have come to the point in my life that I need to own who I am .... Not everyone is going to like me and that is more than okay, I just need to be my best self and love me for who I am.
Fear does a lot of damage in our lives when we let it, the older I get the less I am afraid to be myself and say what I feel. It's a process getting there and do wish it hadn't taken me as long as it did... but I got there. Or I should say I am getting there, it is an evolution... learning more each day to get me to the next level. A couple of years ago, I thought about deleting many of the entries I had written but I decided they were a part of me, a part of my growth... and I am grateful that I didn't throw them away.

Besides, I was only going delete them to appease another person, then I read a quote that made me think, I knew then, keeping my earlier writings was the right thing to do... The quote went like this 'You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better.' What I wrote was what happened to me, my feelings, my thoughts... I was just owning my story. . . 
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Joy Is Within

 I have been thinking about this post for a while, I have wanted to pick a word that I could ponder and incorporate in my life for this year and beyond. I had some great words and last week when I started writing about it, it never materialized... then a few friends gave me suggestions and I would think, oh... that's a good one. Yet nothing would come to me when I would think about writing about it. I spent my Sunday relaxing and catching up on all the blogs I follow... I knew I wanted to write tonight and when I came in to sit down... the word Joy came into my mind.... it's been something I have been thinking about for a while..

I have not felt joy for a very long time and this is the year I want to change that, it all started with forgiving her... I have to say, it feels good, she is still there, doing what she does best but I don't care anymore... what I care about is changing my mind and heart so that I can feel joy again. I have been so wrapped up in what I lost, what I don't have and what I feel the future holds for me that I was unable to see that nothing is set in stone, things change.. that is a part of life. What is the point of me being sad and not feeling joy? 
After injuring myself in November to the point that I couldn't exercise, I used that as an excuse to question why? Have I not had enough challenges, trials, losses? What was the point of me continuing to take care of myself when it seemed like an injury could come along and take away the little good I felt I had in my life. Believe me, whenever I was stressed I walked, whenever I was sad, I walked... I used walking to avoid my feelings. After being injured I had to start thinking about those feelings ... they were pretty difficult to deal with, so I tried to ignore them and eat. 

However; that is not acceptable to me any longer, I can't use that as an excuse to not take care of myself.... I started taking care of myself by forgiving her and I have been working on my surroundings, slowly getting that together.  Next was the word and I know it is a bit late coming but it finally came to me and I realize it's not just a word I want for 2016... it's a word I want to give thought about for my life. The truth for me is if there isn't joy, what is there?
Every last one of us has challenges, things that can drain us emotionally, physically and spiritually... if we don't have something to hold onto to get us through that... how are we to believe it can get better. For me, it is joy... it is much more than happiness.. it's a feeling that is possible even when a trial is happening because I know that no matter how challenging a trial is, joy will be there again. Somewhere along the line I lost that ability to see that as I was in a place I thought I would never get out of... so I questioned how could I feel joy again? Joy never left me, I just had a hard time seeing it. 

I have decided that one of the ways I am going to bring joy into my life is each day I will either write something down that I am grateful for, talk about it with someone or I will take a few minutes a day to ponder something I have gratitude for... Sometimes it is the small things that bring the biggest joy... I learned a great deal this past few weeks by forgiving her... I learned that joy is inside us, we just have to look within...
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Freedom Is The Path I Choose

 Have you ever sat down to write something and been certain what you wanted to say, only to find that while you are trying to write something, it keeps going in another direction? This rarely happens to me as I get an idea, I start to write and it just comes out. Of course there are times it is more clear then others but I rarely struggle to get my point across. Tonight I struggled, I wrote a whole post and after I finished I read it and it was the most disjointed writing I have done in a long time. Usually I have one idea, this time I had two different ones that didn't really work with each other if that makes any sense?
Instead I felt the need to write about challenges, last week I wrote about how I was finally ready to forgive a woman who I don't even know personally that has gone out of her way to hurt me in any way she could through lies... truly forgiving her has helped me a great deal this week... when I thought about her, normally I would become angry and frustrated, this week I took her for what she was an insecure woman who has no trust, I actually felt sorry for her and I had pity.. how sad must it be that she isn't happy enough with herself that she feels the need to bring other people down?
Although I have a long road ahead of me, I am now on the right path... it bothered me that I had such difficulty getting passed the feelings I had for her when I have forgiven many people in my life that have hurt me a great deal... I intellectually understood that true forgiveness is really to free ourselves but for some reason emotionally I held on to the thoughts I had of her... thinking by forgiving her it was saying what she has said and continues to say about me is okay... Today I no longer care, they are lies and I  have no need to prove her wrong... the truth will come out and it won't even be by me. 

It was like when my ex step mother Ruth was abusive physically and emotionally to me and my sisters... when I forgave her and moved on, I no longer wanted to get revenge on her for the pain she caused me, I knew that it would come, I didn't wish it and I wanted no part in it... that is how I am feeling about that woman today... It was difficult for me to realize my part in this for the past couple of years, by holding on to her, I was drawing all her negativity and lack of self worth to me... 
I always thought I was so good at forgiving people, until she became a part of my life... and I took on that mentality that since she had wronged me and lied about me... I had a right to defend myself and prove to her that she was wrong... who cares what she thinks of me, she isn't going to change her mind about me, she wants to dislike me and there is nothing I can do or say to change that,  I can only change my mind... which I have done...

Although I don't need or want certain people in my life that have hurt me greatly... I choose to forgive them and have compassion for them even. If I could not forgive these people, who am I to expect this for myself? ... I am sure I have hurt someone a long the way in my life, I don't think I have done it on purpose but indirectly I am sure I have... I would hope that I could be forgiven too... I know some people will say or think that when someone goes out of their way to hurt you, that it's harder to let that go, I think it is needed even more then...  It honestly has brought about a path of freedom I forgot even existed and taught me that forgiveness is a form of love and a choice I make... 
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Soaring Above My Past With Forgiveness

The New Year always brings reflection, hope, change...  I was reading an article the other day and I saw the above quote, I have seen it many times before but it resonated with me in a way it never had before. I have talked about how important it is to forgive others, I can honestly say I have forgiven many people for the hurt and pain they inflicted on me or others I love... Yet there is one person that I have not forgiven until now, she has done more damage in my life than anyone I know, she has caused me a great deal of sadness and she continues to watch me, I know this as she accidentally follows my pages on social media. 
I continued to react to her for the last couple of years, until recently I decided that honestly she isn't worth any reaction, thought or feeling. It is not my place to judge her for what she does and doesn't deserve, it's my place to forgive her and move on. She has taken up too much time and energy in my mind for the past couple of years, I realized she was getting the drama she craved, I will no longer waste another moment of my time thinking about her.  She is nothing to me... for 2016 I am forgiving her and moving on... I suggest she does the same but that will be her decision. 
Saying all this, I took some time to think about that quote and how I needed to stop wishing the past was any different... I know that I had held on to that hope way too long, so long that it just depressed me. Just because something didn't work out the way it should have doesn't mean that it shouldn't have, it just means we all have our free agency and we just have to move on from decisions good or bad. Besides, the choices we all make have consequences, that is how life works. I don't want to be the girl who draws negative energy or drama, I am not that girl, nor do I ever want to be. 

I want this to be the year that I soar, the year I make positive changes that take me in a direction that will bring me joy. I have a couple of ideas in mind to get me there, this was the first thing I needed to do, until I REALLY forgive her and move on, I will never get to the next level... and I WANT to get to the next level, I deserve that and honestly so does she but that will be her choice. I am going to stop wishing the past could have been different, it isn't and no amount of wishing will change it....
One day, I will have the answers to my questions but today I am putting them away and moving on and learning the art of letting go... I have talked about it in the past, even thought I was ready to do it, thought being the operative word... today I am ready... I want to feel that power of freedom, it's a gift I want to give myself... I know I am ready because it is a gift I want to give her too... I hope she accepts it. 

I don't make resolutions in the New Year, I am of the mind that when I find something I want to change, I do it then... specific dates never work for me, I just have to do it... I alone hold myself back, it is a hard pill to swallow when I admit the truth, no one holds me back but me... Life is an ever learning process, sometimes incredibly hard but the truth is without those difficult challenges, we would never be able to become our best selves... I want the hard edges sanded off to soften me even if it's painful... because that is where I will soar.
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