Anxiety, Brave Art of Motherhood, Broken, Burn out, Discouraged, Exhausted, Journey, Life, Rawness, Stress, Trials

Changes Are Powerful

Revealing All Sides of Them

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach

I am popping in to say I am still here. Last week ended up crazy busy because Kiddo stayed well enough for me to in fact paint the inside of my house while my husband was gone. I am so happy I did because I have a “real” confession to make, my house was filthy.

When I began to tear it apart to get into the crevasses and corners you do not see on a regular basis, I began to see stuff that made me cringe. It truly broke my heart because Kiddo is highly allergic to this kind of dust. It makes me wonder how much our own home was contributing to her sickness?

Well, it is clean, updated, and fresh again. As we were making these changes we were both excited because we like change. Change breathes life into whatever it is you are changing. It to us is not a bad thing because we love it, however, to my husband he was not impressed when he came home to my freshness and change.

He hates change, but I was to be able to paint and make over rooms in my house in the past. I suspected he was not happy this time though because when he came home from being away his silence was deafening. I was not able to get everything I wanted to be done because he was not gone long enough, so he did not see what I have envisioned yet. I was not able to get the trim painted or put up the special signs I am going to make. At this point, I have decided to wait on painting the trim as I think this will truly be too much change. He needs to sit on these changes for a while.

I have an immense “raw and real” confession to make, this rejection hurt me to my core. I do everything I do to keep our home running efficiently while both he and my daughter spend more time sick than they do well. I run them to their countless doctor appointments so I can stay on top of their health issues and so for me to do this because it made me feel good was beyond disheartening.

I got extremely upset Saturday night and had a complete meltdown. I was yelling and screaming (not my finest moment or one I am proud of), but it was because I was tired of hiding my hurt and exhaustion any longer. I was tired of hiding behind my mask that says it is okay you hurt me again. Unfortunately, I crushed my sweet daughter in my rant because it started with her and I arguing with each other over my not willing to go to Washington DC for Veteran’s Day, but that was not even what had me upset. I was upset with her dad and his stubbornness to see these changes were important to me and that I needed this for me to find my happy place again. She didn’t know this. She only saw my emotions boiling out of control to the point they erupted like an out of control volcano.

I told you this to share my deepest and real feelings which I hide from behind my mask, the mask that says I have it all together when in full disclosure, I have nothing together. As my husband told me the other night in my fit of anger and yes rage at one point, I have become psychotic and I need help. This is only his perspective. I, however, stand on the truth of my own emotions. Unstable is the least of my problems. I am however over-worked, over-burdened from carrying the load for both of us for so long. I am exhausted both mentally and physically and depressed for the lifestyle we are living in now and will continue to live for him to be happy here. What he does not realize, understand or see, is that if I was as unstable as he believes me to be, I could not continue to carry the unbearably heavy load I carry to ensure he has a happy life while he struggles with the burdens of dealing with his own PTSD.

I am not sure how it has happened but since 2012 I have tap danced around my husband’s war triggered PTSD and anger. I have walked on cartons worth of eggshells to keep him happy. We stopped doing things we enjoyed as a family. We stopped attending events that were crowded because that was an anxiety trigger for him. Now both my Kiddo and I have found (as of this weekend that crowds make us both nervous and uncomfortable). I knew change upsets him so I make few “big” changes so he will not get upset, but my friends as I have found years later, giving in to all of this is not healthy for you as an individual. Your attempt to help them all the time is actually enabling what will become bad behavior and behavior that can, in turn, cost you everything. Everything meaning your happiness, your identity, and your life. 

Be careful how much of you, you give away to others. I have done some serious soul-searching over the past couple of days as I was on a personal quest to make changes within myself to find “me” to be truly happy again. Now I find myself at a crossroads because if my husband hates change to the point of me writing my deepest and rawest heart out here, then I have a much bigger problem of making changes within my own heart. He is not going to like the personal changes I make within myself because he will feel the effects of some of those changes.

So this is the question I am left with … do I continue my journey of self-discovery at the cost of everything, that meaning my marriage of almost 25 years and my family? How much is my need for change worth to me?  

Please forgive me as this post is deeply personal and I am writing from my rawest moment this morning. I am at this moment of pondering this simple quote written by Rachel Marie Martin in her book, The Brave Art of Motherhood,

“Be brave,” says my spirit. 

“Wait,” says fear.

“Have courage,” says my soul. 

“Not yet,” says worry.

“Dare,” says my heart. 

– Rachel Marie Martin 

The Brave Art of Motherhood

Where does this journey take me? Where does God want me to be in five years? How do I regain stability in my life again? All of these are questions I have and still need answers to. As I continue to find my way in life, I will continue to write about them as it is my deepest desire that if my heartache can help someone else to know they are not battling their own battles alone, then all of this pain will be worth it in the end.

 

 

 

Book Promotion, Brave Art of Motherhood, Challenge, Encouragement Today, Journey, Life, Motivation

Be Happy Where You Are

Encouragement Today

Today’s Encouragement is to inspire you to find joy and to believe in the story you are living at this moment in time.

“Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you are living.” – Rachel Marie Martin, author of  “The Brave Art of Motherhood

Your life may have taken some turns you did not plan for, but it does not mean you can not find peace within your circumstances.

Have you set your dreams and your goals to the side for what has altered your life?

Did you change college plans and now you find yourself altering your hopes and goals to meet the changes you made?

Did you meet someone in your life when you least expected it, and you decided to get married and now your life plans changed?

Were you happy with your job and did not foresee making any changes, but your boss came to offer you the chance of a life time career and now your goals are changing and you were not prepared for it?

Did you or your spouse get in an accident and you sustained injuries that will prevent you from achieving the goals you set for your life?

Are you a service member who sustained injuries due to a deployment and upon returning home, you had to figure out what a new life would look like? Now your hopes and dreams feel like they will never be reached or attained?

My friend, it does not matter what changes have taken place in your life, all that matters is that you are able to look at where you are and are able to, “… find joy in the story you are actually living.”

What is important is that you do not get lost in what you feel you have lost, but that you can be happy where you are now.

Lastly remember,

You are… enough and it is okay to be happy with where you are now.
Bondage, Book Promotion, Brave Art of Motherhood, Broken, Challenge, Discouraged, encouragement, HL&E Designs, Journey, Life, Real, Signs, Weariness

Believe In Yourself Today

Today, I want to encourage you to, “Believe in yourself.” This simple phrase has kept coming back to me since this past weekend, and the time has come to share it with you as well.

Do you find you struggle with…

  • Thoughts of self-doubt?
  • Lack of self-confidence?
  • Lack of trust for others?
  • Believe lies you tell yourself?
  • Struggle with fear?
  • Struggle with anxiety?
  • Struggle with feelings of worthlessness

These are strong and powerful emotions and if they are not contained and corrected, over time they can become damaging and even destructive. I want you to consider as you read this which of these emotions do you struggle with? How long have you felt them? Why do you believe them and what has prevented you from breaking free from the power of their bondage? I would also like for you to think about if any of them trigger other emotions within you and what do you feel as you experience them? 

I know as I evaluate this list I struggle with lacking self-confidence which I know is triggered by the power of fear. If I was to evaluate why and what caused it I would have to look back at my childhood. I lived in a home with my single/divorced mom from the age of 5 to the age of 14, when she married my dad. I grew up in a home with a family history of a perfectionists and if you did not do everything just the “right” way, then it was not done correctly.

As a result, everything I did, and it did not matter how big or small it was, I would doubt myself and tell myself it was not good enough, it was not perfect enough, so, therefore, it did not measure up to the “perfect” test. As a result, I live my life today believing whatever I do is never done the “right” way, so therefore it is never good enough to meet the standards I was raised with.

The toughest test I had to pass was when my dad died. My husband was deployed overseas for a short deployment and my dad was in poor health, so I decided to go home in case something happened while my husband was gone. Unfortunately, my greatest concern came true. Thankfully my mom and I had discussed the “what if” scenario leading up to this time because she knew she would not be able to handle his passing well.

This turned out to be the understatement of the year. While we were making funeral arrangements with the funeral director, my mom became very sick and instead of going to the flower shop next to pick out our flowers for the funeral, I had to take Mom to the Emergency Room, at which time they admitted her into the hospital. All I could think of was what am I going to do now?

My dad died the other day, my mom is now in the hospital, today is Saturday and his funeral is on Monday. I was unable to get her doctor to commit to me that my mom would be out of the hospital in time to attend my dad’s funeral, and I had to finish planning it in case she was, but also be prepared to change all the plans if she was not. What was this going to look like for someone who struggles with a lack of self-confidence? How am I ever going to finish his funeral and get everything “perfect” to meet my mom’s expectations (because she told me countless times his funeral was going to be done perfectly)?

My lack of self-confidence ran away with me, fear held me hostage, and anxiety consumed me and somewhere in all of this was the fact I missed my dad and was grieving his loss, but that had to go on the back burner, because I had a small window of opportunity to finish planning his “perfect” funeral for my mom.

I remember so clearly that feeling of helplessness because I lacked the self-confidence to make the important decisions for fear of making a mistake and messing up. This runs my life still today. As it was, I did finish the arrangements, I got mom out of the hospital with two hours to spare before his visiting hours were to begin and I did the “best” job I knew how to do. It all came together and my mom has very few vivid memories of the details for all the medicine she was on at the time. It just means today she cannot find fault with anything I did or did not do.

Other examples in my life where I struggle are writing in my blog because everything I write has to be “perfectly” written. I struggle with being a wife and a mom. I find I must do everything the “right” way or it isn’t done properly. I try to keep my house orderly and as clean and tidy as I can with being so busy. I try to keep the yard neat and presentable because it is an outward reflection of our family. I try to keep up with all the health needs of both my husband and my daughter because this is important to me.

All of this is done with an expectation that is unrealistic for me to maintain because I lack the self-confidence it is all done right, so I just keep trying and trying and when that fails, I try harder. I understand this is seriously faulty thinking, but it was how I grew up and what I learned to believe.

I have been telling myself a lot lately, it is a good thing my mom isn’t around because if she ever saw all the shortcuts I make in my life now, I feel she would be disappointed in me. I have had to learn through the craziness of life that survival is more important to me than perfectionism. I have had to force myself to come to terms with the fact perfectionism is not healthy. No one can possibly live up to the standards I have spent years placing upon myself. I have a long way to go and I am sure if you were to ask my family if I have conquered this they would loudly say, no, but I am determined to bring a sense of self-confidence into my life.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Do you struggle with deep down and often times hidden emotions that lead you to where you are struggling today?

My friend, I have hope for you. You do not have to live in this bondage any longer. You can choose to change this game and move past it. You can learn a new way of living and be happy with who you have always wanted to become. You can break the chains that have held you captive. 

The first step to making this change is to identify the leading cause for everything you have experienced and identify why you have not allowed yourself the freedom before now to flee from it.

I want to share this quote from my friend, Rachel Marie Martin’s new book, “The Brave Art of Motherhood”. There are many life lessons I have learned by reading this book, but this quote is the one I am going to use for this blog post.

The lesson I have learned through examining my own life is that I have allowed fear to have power over my ability to change what I did not like.

“Fear is a stifling voice of the unknown. It takes self-confidence to muster the courage to unearth the fears holding you back. It takes faith to examine the fears and replace the fallacy of most fears with truth.”  – Rachel Marie Martin 

I have learned fear has stifled my self-confidence and I lacked the faith to break free for the bondage it held me at. I believed all the faulty thinking and believed I had to live this way and accept it even though I did not like it.

My friend, you do not have to do this either. You do not have to allow fear to hold you captive to the things you struggle with. I want you to examine your life and determine if the power of fear is the holding you back from living your life to your fullest? Has it held you back from following your dreams and achieving your goals? If it has, please take the time to first, 

“BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!” 

Secondly, I want you to tell yourself that you will not be controlled by fear any longer and that you will battle those lies you have believed for years and in the end, I want you to believe and have the faith you will rise above it all and stand taller and stronger than anything you have allowed yourself to believe in before. 

Lastly, My Friend, I can not emphasize this concept enough…

“Believe in Yourself!”

*Disclaimer – if you would like to purchase the above sign, it is available for purchase on our HL&E Designs FaceBook Page (via our VIP Group page, to access this group you simply like our HL&E Designs page and request to join our VIP Group) or you can access us via our Instagram Page @HL&E Designs. Links to these pages are available along the sidebar. Click on the link and you will be able to place an order at that time as well as pay for them too. We accept PayPal via hlandedesigns@outlook.com.

 

 

Book Promotion, Broken, Burn out, Challenge, Courage, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Hope, Journey, Joy, Life

Finding Joy In Your Story

Encouragement Today

img_3243As I begin to write, I am uncertain what it will look like today.

My thoughts are so scattered and are all over the place. How do I tame them enough to round-up the words I need to encourage someone today?

Let me try by taking a small step in this direction. I am a founding member of this amazing book launch for “The Brave Art of Motherhood” by Rachel Marie Martin.

For 10 years she has encouraged and inspired mothers through the brightest and darkest days of motherhood. She has inspired me for years through her blog, Finding Joy, and I am not only encouraged by her, but I am blessed to be a part of her launch team.

As I read through her book, I have found myself inspired to think beyond my comfort zone as well as sparking a series of emotions both joyous and fearful. However, overall it is giving me the courage to make some changes I have been wanting to make in my life, but did not know how or when to make them.

img_3242-2I found today’s encouragement from a quote by Rachel Marie Martin, that has given me the courage to keep moving forward while trying to find some joy in where I am during the difficult month I have had.

“Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you are actually living.” Rachel Marie Martin

It is my hope and prayer today that if you find yourself in a difficult time or situation, that you are able to, “…let go of the picture” you had in your mind of what you thought life would be like and instead, “…learn to find joy in the story you are actually living.”

There is no better time than the present to do this.

Start today my friend. “Find the joy in your story” and know God will use everything you are going through to encourage others as you go through day by day.