Monday, March 28, 2016

Don't let others define you, find and define who are


It didn't take me long to noticed that I was different then all the other kids in my school growing up. Standing next to my peers I felt like I was standing next to mountains. I never really fit in, not really. I remember having my lunch thrown around the play ground. I remember having knots in my stomach when I would have to go to school. The teasing and criticism were tossed around like a ball in the game of 4 square. Everyone had to take a swipe and it hurt. After school I came home and would be mean to my younger siblings as a way to cope with the frustration. What my Mom must have felt knowing that I was being treated this way! It took a while for her to figure out what was really going on as well.

I didn't know why being smaller than all my classmates meant until the teasing started. I was made to feel like I should be ashamed of who I was and that being small was a handicap. It really became unbearable. I remember putting my head down on the desk and crying. Other times I tried to carry on with my day like those words didn't mean anything. What I didn't realize was the wall I was building around me This wall has been around me for over 30 years! My mother tried to lift me up by saying good things come in small packages. All I could think was I wish someone would package me up and send me away.

This wall would surround me as I grew and went to high school and college. This feeling of not belonging. Sometimes I would get the courage to stand on this wall and fight! But, I was always defeated and retreating back inside. I am pretty sure I have had depression all my life and the cruelty of others just fueled the flames.

Critics followed me all my life. Some I even came to call friends. As an adult I still feel like this little girl sometimes. There are people who have tried to tear me down and tell me all the ways I am wrong or not perfect. Some just stopped talking to me one day or stopped coming over. A few ripped me to shreds verbally and emotionally. I still feel judged and tiny. I couldn't figure out why I was so down on myself and insecure. Then I realized it was because it was like I took each of these criticisms and made a collage in my mind. The tittle would be something like "All that is wrong with me."Anytime anything happened it became a trigger. Just thinking about what someone thinks about my messy house or that I still can't keep up with other people can send me into a downward spiral. When I am feeling this way I am really saying help, I feel overwhelmed or lost. Finding someone you can trust and talk to is very important to begin to figure things out and get help and support. It has only been the last few years that I really feel that I can open up again. I can share what I have gone through and be a comfort to others.

Good things do come in small packages, especially jewelry! More than this though, is that I am a daughter of God. I am not defined by what others see. I am not defined by what others say. Words of any kind cannot define me unless I let them penetrate my heart. Often we let someone's judgment of us have power to define us. Words only have the power we let them. I am only beginning to learn how powerful it is to believe, truly, believe that I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father. I have felt so much hurt and confusion for so long. But now I am focusing on me and my relationship with God. Who am I to him? If I pray and listen he tells me exactly who I am and I can feel his love anytime I want to! I have been reading and searching for what others can't tell me. You have been given things that is unique to you and the path you must take. I truly believe that!

I am still peeling away layers to break down this wall I have created. I have been thinking a lot about if where I am going in my life is the right path. What do I feel is my call? This is not a quick or easy discovery. It is an eye opening experience to see how much you have held onto all your life. Peel away those layers one by one. One layer is being honest with yourself. Another layer could be taking the time to find out who you are. Another could be things that happened in the past or fears you have about the future. The point is you just start realizing that you are complex and deeper than you think you are.

 Learn the art of not caring what other people say even if you may feel isolated for a while. Recognize when you are being unkind to yourself. We all do it! We can all recognize it for the lie that it is. A tree does not change being a tree if it is carved into. These alterations cannot change the make up of what is once was. It is still a tree. Like each of us, it has a story to tell and it can stand strong in any weather. I could let the very definition of mental health measure my worth as a person and carve a negative self image. By the worlds standards I am failing in many ways. There is something wrong with me. I don't fit a healthy person's definition of life but I am living life aren't I? Labels like "lazy', "unhappy", "stupid", "crazy" are like being put in a box of sorts. We think this is where you fit or this is where you belong. How silly our society can be and how easily influenced. To truly believe its okay to be who you are, you have to live it and love it! Live a life you love! You can!

Are you okay with who you are? Do you let what people say influence your perception of yourself? Maybe you need to dig deep to uncover where your insecurities lie? There is really no timeline or formula to follow. It is personal and healing takes time. You just have to willing to dig deep and really want answers. It can happen and you can be happy because it is your choice. You are much more than you realize. Find out what you are made of and where you are going. You are enough and you can keep growing whatever your limitations. For we are only truly limited by our thoughts and actions. I want to end with this quote:

“Stand a little taller and work a little harder and value a little greater"-President Gordon B. Hinckley

Monday, March 14, 2016

What can you do when the odds are against you?

I have written and stopped so many posts lately. Nothing seems to want to come out the way I want it to or that doesn't sound completely crazy. You don't want the ranting of a lunatic do you? I think not! Here is what I am giving you instead. This weekend I took a step back to try to make sense of what is going on in my life right now. The thought that kept coming to my mind is "Look how many times you have beat the odds and you can beat this too!

What does it mean to beat the odds? To me, beating the odds means that whatever it is that you are going through, all the signs seem to say it will be impossible to achieve. This obstacle in your way is too enormous to overcome. I can look back at my life and see many mountains I have already climbed and it was nothing short of a miracle! You could say I have beat the odds many times. Yet the odds continue still against me. As a little girl I stood strong while I was bullied at school. I never felt like I fit in. I struggled with fatigue and migraines. I believe I have always had depression even though I wasn't diagnosed until my late 20's.I struggled with school and keeping up. As a teenager I struggled to get out of an abusive situation. There were several wonderful people who gave me shelter and strength. Even my husband as a teenager broke his neck and heard a nurse say he wasn't going to make it. But he beat those odds because he is still here!

I moved from home to date my husband and felt alone and out of place. I still do some times! Several years ago I was diagnosed with Celiac and depression. Every day I am fighting the odds of depression or my Fibromyalgia winning. I may not beat those obstacles until my dying day but I still live courageously with them. I fight these mental and autoimmune diseases like a fierce lion! I also have days where I can't fight anymore and I can't get out of bed. We see people beating the odds everyday against cancer, or having a premature baby making it! Through it all I have miraculously made it through with the Savior by my side. He let me struggle within for the answers but if I allowed him to, he comforted me and guided my path.

I need him more than ever as I fight battles in my home. One of my kids has been diagnosed with oppositional defiance disorder or (ODD) Literally the odds are against me! Have you had to deal with a defiant child? Most of us can say yes to that! However with ODD it is a mood disorder and that person can be very unpredictable, like the weather here in Utah! I have been wanting to beat my head against a wall these last couple of years. I have felt ashamed and like a failure as a parent I kept asking what I was doing wrong.I sometimes isolate myself from other families so I don't feel judged or humiliated. I am exhausted and once again find myself treading in unfamiliar waters. However,when it comes to my kids I am not willing to gamble with the odds. I have to beat them!

Today I searched the Internet for someone else who is going through something like this. I am happy to say I did find someone! It is nice not to feel alone. I have however, because of trying to stay calm been holding in a lot of stress and now I am in the middle of vicious flare. It feels like I am in the water surrounded by sharks! How can someone beat those odds?.....

Underneath this water of emotions is more to explore. I have to dig deep and face my fear and whatever else is hiding down there! As parents we have to make tough decisions and sometimes I have had it!!My child pushes that button and I get angry. Anger is a form of control. The more I try to stay the calm the more I see other family members being rocked by anger. Anger has not gotten us anywhere. Anger is that last ditch effort to keep the control and it is an strong addiction like drugs or alcohol. So now we add addiction to our obstacles.

No matter what is before us we can't give up! Mental illness is everywhere. Most who suffer do it in silence. I used to think I couldn't say anything.The odds are against me once again or at least that is what the devil himself would like me to think. He is very tricky! When the odds are against you take some advice from Dory the fish and "just keep swimming!" No matter what happens just keep swimming! You have to dig deep within yourself and find the answers. Remember God is with us and we are not the only fish in this sea of trials and problems. We have each other and you have me! Keep working on that happiness blueprint to build the life you want and just keep swimming!

Here is a little clip of just keep swimming to give encouragement and for you to enjoy!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The art of becoming

When winter strikes I withdrawal into my shell. I tried to love winter this year but it didn't happen. I brought our outside plant inside as well because it can't handle the cold. I watched it all winter start to wither and dry up. I thought that it would die just like most of the plants that enter my home do. However, the last couple of weeks I have seen green again. I have watched it blossom before my eyes. I see its beautiful pink flowers again. It reminds me that life is a delicate balance. Sometimes we flourish and blossom and other times we struggle to stay alive.

The more I think about my illness or things happening at home the more I withdrawal from life and the more I start to wither away. Just like my beautiful plant. It is just for a short while and then hope shines through and I start to grow again. This is the art of becoming...

Becoming who you were meant to be
Becoming stronger

Each day becoming a better you

Maybe a better Mother or Father? Friend? Listener? Athlete? Artist? A better example? Blogger?

Our lives are a time of refining, experimenting, and growing. When we let life get us down and wither our self worth; we start to lose that sense of becoming. Growth is possible but it takes some time to learn and then grow. It is such a delicate balance! I see a pattern within myself when I start to lose energy and the house gets messy. Then relationships fail to bloom because they are not being nurtured. All I see is a dying plant that I cannot seem to save. I can't let it die! I can't let my children go down this road. Right?


I have to let them experience the art of becoming too. I can be their shining example. I have seen things change when I see what they can become. I become stronger. I become what they need. I become inspired. I get better and they get better too! I have seen it. Yet I go through this downward spiral when life gets too overwhelming. I retreat into that shell. It looks like it is all dying around me. Then it is as if I wake up, and know things aren't working. I start to nurture myself again. I become the nurturer. Again I stand tall and strong. I got this! The inspiration and light shines through and little by little I have become what I was meant to be. You are becoming what you were meant to be too.You know what? We are beautiful!

Maybe knowing that we all go through similar cycles can help us sooner. We become tired of dreams not happening. We don't want to listen to our inner critic or society anymore. We just want to soak up the hope and faith and become what he sees. God will show you, Be patient because the art of becoming can take a lifetime. Each new blossom is a step closer to becoming better and conquering that weakness or obstacle in our way. Don't you see you are growing? It is there within you! Underneath or inside you are



The question is who do you want to become? Can you see it? If not, it will come! Believe that you are becoming who you were meant to become. I hope that if you are in the dark now that you will allow the light to nourish you. Please don't wither away. I know things might be hard or seem bleak. Hold on! Hold on and wait to see your new growth. It is just waiting to spring up. Right now you are in the middle of becoming......... what? You need to fill in the blank here, but it can be anything you want!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

3 steps to an inward inspection and prevention plan

I don't want to fight anymore! I don't want to feel this pain. My mind tells me to give up and numb my senses with Facebook or Netflix. I sat in the school parking lot for almost 2 hours this morning! 2 hours I wasn't getting things done or playing with my toddler. 2 hours that I was fighting a losing battle. I asked my child what was wrong. What is your hardest thing for him at school? I even tried to give something to look forward to if he would just get out of the car and try! All I heard back was you can't make me. I can stay in this car all day.

I don't want to fight but now I feel caught up in a cyclone of emotions. It would be easy to lose my cool and demand that he go. Is my child really learning anything that way? They are learning that he can manipulate me or that trust will be lost if I call the principal and have them drag my unwilling participant out of the car. I have done that a time or two.

Things have been going so well and then, just like a pot hole out of no where, the defiance shows up. We feel the pain and bumps along the way. I know the wear and tear is already showing. Before I even see it coming, the damage is done! If my vehicle hits a vicious pothole I would need to bring it in for inspection. When my relationships hit a pot hole a inward inspection is also a necessary step. The sooner the better!

There are roads I travel daily that have many potholes. Every day I have to avoid them. Every day their are emotional, anger, self doubt pot holes. Every day I have to avoid those too! Most likely the damage to your vehicle would be damage to the tires or misalignment. There can also be premature damage to your struts or suspension. I know what some of these terms mean, but lets face it, I know very little about cars. All of these problems can have long term effects. Our relationship with our family members is the same way. We may not see the wear and tear until it is a very costly and emotional fix! You may need a whole new relationship alignment.

Certain prevention ,like keeping air in your tires or allowing enough room between you and the vehicle in front of you, can keep damages from happening. Preventing emotional outbursts and staying calm can go along way from hitting a pot hole that is coming. I would suggest 3 important steps toward this kind of prevention.
  1. If you have a game plan of how you as the parent will behave that can go along way in preventing emotional damage. If you have determined ahead of time that you will stay calm; then you are more likely to be able to keep your cool under pressure. As parents we often loose it because we are trying to keep control and are unsure how to handle a situation.
  2. Digging deep to find out what the problem really is. Ask why and what questions. What is so hard? Why do you feel like this? Etc....Like many vehicles diagnosis, it may take a little while to find out where the problem is.
  3. When your child is ready to listen have them come up with a game plan too. For example, we have a game plan for when my son comes home from school and has had a bad day. He wants to numb himself by playing video games. Instead we came up with a plan that he will draw or write in his journal. When he is ready he will come to me and talk. We are engaged in teaching them self government and how to recognize Satan lies. Instead of fighting with each other we call Satan out and recognize when he is deceiving us. It is amazing how much cooperation has grown in our home.
D&C 38:30
I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear."

I have no control over the days events but I could tell from last night that I would have a problem this morning with this particular child. It was still really hard but I feel much more prepared to handle these situations because I have done the above preventative measures. Luckily after such a rough morning my child came to me with tears in his eyes and said he didn't know why he acted that way and that he needed to recognize that those thoughts were not of God. With tears in my eyes I said "yes" and we were able to talk and realize we need a game plan for days like these too!