April 21, 2013
I love going outside and standing underneath a blooming tree and looking up. It’s so magical! Today it looked as though the Redbud’s were embracing each other with glee saying, “We’re here! Spring has sprung!”
Wishing you all a splendid Sunday filled with comfort and gentleness.
April 17, 2013
I am finding myself… wanting to be present in this space more.
I am finding myself… wanting to write stories and overall just write more. This is new to me.
I am finding myself… dreaming about possibility.
I am finding myself… happier than I have been lately.
I am finding myself… really liking this happiness thing.
I am finding myself… liking myself more.
I am finding myself… happiest in a pair of rolled up jeans, a colored t-shirt and long sweater with my lime green Keens on my feet. It’s the outfit that made me feel comfortable in my skin.
I am finding myself… listening to more music than I have been. Happy, mellow, calming music.
I am finding myself… wanting to broaden my horizons when it comes to the books I choose when at the library.
I am finding myself… happily doing yard work that was neglected for far too long.
I am finding myself… pushing myself to keep going when the defeating part of my mind says, “Quit! Stop fooling yourself!”
I am letting myself… be more of who I really want to be.
I am trying to… notice the smallest of things that bring a smile to my face so I can focus on them more rather than focusing on the negative.
I am trying to… not hate myself so much anymore. It makes me sad.
I am trying to… accept the thoughts of, “This is what makes YOU happy. Who cares what someone else may or may not say to you!”
I am trying to… honor and respect the nature lover that I’ve kept hidden away for far too long. That side of me can not be a victim of the, “You can’t do that. Stop fooling yourself.” thoughts anymore. It is too important to me.
I am trying to… not be my own worst enemy anymore. It’s too much work and to tiresome. It doesn’t suit me anymore.
I am going to… try and be in this space more and not put unrealistic expectations on myself of what I should or shouldn’t write here. Or that it has to be a big, long, poignant post with an agenda.
I am going to… smile and be giddy whenever I see a beautiful, vibrant red male cardinal because they bring me joy.
I am going to… also keep smiling every time I see the Downy Woodpecker too, even though it’s bringing harm to the tree outside my window.
I am going to… keep loving that rascally rabbit who loves to antagonize both of the dogs.
I am going to… embrace me.
February 18, 2013
The picture below is an example of the pictures that I’m drawn to taking. The ones that tend to capture the simple beauty that is nature. The ones that speak to my soul To some, this may be nothing but the frozen ground covered in weeds. To me, it is calming and nurturing to a secret place deep within my being. It makes me stop in my tracks, take a quiet moment and think. Think about “Why is the sun only shining on one corner of this area?” “How did the center stay frozen when the surrounding areas thawed?” Simpler thoughts of, “This is beautiful.” “This is what I need to enjoy more and focus on more.” Hurtful thoughts of, “Why don’t I let myself enjoy this more?” “Who am I fooling by being drawn to this?” “Who is going to cast judgment upon me for being so happy finding this little frozen patch?” “Why don’t I encourage this in myself more? Allow myself to connect in a way that makes me happy.” I have always believed myself to have a connection with nature, so why was I depriving myself?
This morning, I stepped outside of my typical “routine.” A “routine” that is more harmful than helpful. More hurtful than healing. A “routine” of staying in a place that I fool myself into thinking is safe when in actuality it is slowly killing me physically and mentally.
This “routine” is waking up. Getting out of bed and then sitting on the couch while staring at the computer for hours on end. I sit there and live vicariously through others. I sit there in envy and jealousy wishing I had what others have. Throw fear in somewhere and you have what I have deemed, The Triplets. The Triplets let me sit there and beat myself up while harming myself with the choices I make and thoughts that I have. How is that a “routine?” Now I’m sure you are starting to understand why I put routine in quotes. Instead of sitting there hurting myself, why don’t I get up and change it?
So back to this morning, I made one subtle change that brought about a pretty big revelation. I still partook in my normal wake-up “routine” of being sedentary while on the computer beating myself up. Then thought hit me while discovering this new blog from this woman who has a connection with nature and herself that I yearn for and downright crave.
“Instead of being jealous or envious of her, do something to make some type of connection with nature that will nurture your soul!”
I put the computer down. I opened my blinds. And while I didn’t quite make it outside, I shifted my focus TO the outside. I laid there on the bed with my head resting on Wilson who was doing the same thing I was about to do. Stare at what was outside my window. The view was the same as it is every day, but today it was different. Today I noticed the way that the branches of the trees twist and wind their way towards the sky. Reaching for new possibilities. Today I noticed that my neighbors have some type of fireplace or woodstove after noticing the wispy tendrils of smoke billowing in the sky towards the sunshine. Today I noticed. Today I nurtured for a fleeting moment.
Instead of staying in the moment, I ended up grabbing my journal. Yet again, something that is so simple and so easy for others to make part of their routine. Something I so desperately crave and yearn to make part of my routine. I grabbed that journal and wrote. Five full pages of sudden realization just from allowing an affirming, positive thought enter my realm of possibility rather than negative, paralyzing thoughts of doubt and self harm.
Thoughts and feelings about this connection that I feel that I have with nature but don’t let myself believe is true. Thoughts and feelings about the self harm that I inflict on myself. Thoughts and feelings about how my choices are slowly killing myself inside and out.
What ended up happening could be compared to a snow storm. At times the thoughts were soft, fluffy and gentle hitting upon my skin. Then at times the thoughts were like the snow that has a bit of ice mixed in. The kind that stings when it hits your skin because of, well, the ice as well as the wind that may pick up and give it force. However, in the end, it made everything look beautiful once the clouds cleared.
The thoughts made me stop and think about how much I really DO feel connected to nature. It made me realize how many of my hopes, dreams, beliefs and daily activities connect to nature in some way. Even if I’m not in its embrace every single day for longer than five minutes. (That horrific revelation would be due to the extreme fear and depression I’ve been combating. No, it’s not fair to the dogs either.) When I think back to my childhood, a lot of the good memories are connected to nature (outside in the garage during the winter with Dad cooking Clam Chowder on the woodstove, canoe rides around the lake, hikes at the nearby park, trips to the beach). Who I wanted to be in life was connected to nature (loved the few agriculture classes I took, wanted to be a Park Ranger ever since I laid eyes on one, wanted to go to college for Natural Resources originally). The times I think about my religion/spirituality, it is really, really connected to nature. What I believe in to be right for my health (food, health & beauty products, medicine, etc.) is connected to nature. Even the music I really connect with and enjoy has connections to nature. While in my nature haze today, I realized that I am so drawn to more acoustic driven music because to me it seems more connected with nature. (We won’t talk about lyrics to the songs I really connect with, can you guess?) The times that I think about the true, authentic me are somehow connected to nature. Nature balances me. Nature centers and calms me even when it is at its wildest.
Even after all of these great “A-Ha" moments and realizations, after all of the nurturing and believing I was allowing, I told myself it was all a lie. All of it was false hope and I was full of S%@$. I was just lying to myself. I went back to my version of self-harm. I sat there and told myself that the reason I didn’t have a real, true connection with nature was because I am too fat. I told myself it is because I am too out of shape. I told myself it was because I didn’t have the right thing to wear or that I wasn’t artistic enough. (As far as being artistic, I equate that with being able to sketch or paint amazing pictures, yet another lie.) I was telling myself, “You feel a connection to nature?! The only connection you have with anything in life is your fat ass connecting to the couch or bed.” “You can’t have a connection with nature. You have to be skinny, dress just so and know absolutely everything there is to know about nature. You don’t know jack!” I started to wonder and believe that I was just being foolish and unrealistic in thinking I have this connection with nature. Oh, and my newest lie that I’ve resorted to telling myself, “You’re too old!” “You’re too old to change.” “You’re too old to become the authentic you.” “You’re too old to begin any kind of true connection with nature.” People, I’ll be 33 in May. Seriously?! I’m not too old! Am I?
I’ve realized both today and as of last week, that nobody has outright told me I can’t do any of these things. Yes I was picked on in school since a very young age all the way through high school for who I was or what I wore. Yeah, my parents have said, “You shouldn’t do this, you shouldn’t do that….”, but it was never to the extent of what I tell myself. I have no one to place blame on, but myself. However, if I start blaming myself now, how am I going to stop the abuse?
It is far past time for me to go hug a tree. It’s time to let Nature teach me and guide me. It is passed time for me to go answer Nature’s call.
February 6, 2013
I have wanted to write so many posts since the beginning of the new year, but I feel so lost. Lost for words. Lost for actions. Lost in thoughts. Just straight up lost.
I had hoped to be in a much better frame of mind by now. Have a pretty decent plan of action to get my life in order. Start living. Yes, part of me thought maybe I could just make it all happen and fall into place by just thinking about it. The more realistic part of me knew that it wasn’t going to happen overnight or all at once. Both parts of me had hoped to have at least taken a step forward, not backwards. I think things have taken a step back. Not cool self, not cool.
I’m tired of this garbage frankly. I’m tired of myself. I’m on my last nerve. I’m probably on a lot of people’s nerves at this point. That may be why I feel a major disconnect in both my online life and my physical life. It may be while I’m pulling away. Part of me wonders if it’s just the drama queen/attention finder that has taken up residence within me. By the way, I despise her. I don’t like drama OR being the center of attention, so why do I feel like that’s all I want? That’s not good. That’s definitely not the frame of mind I need to be in to move towards a more authentic me. Not where I need to be to get where I want to be.
Today I find myself processing all of this a bit more rather than just dwelling in the darkness. I’m trying to find the motivation to get out of this. It’s way out of reach. At least it feels that way right now. I was surprised when my wee inner elf/gnome/faerie (haven’t decided exactly which wee little creature it is as of yet.) said, “You need complete quiet. A couple of days without online access and influence. You need to sit with music, your Bible, a journal and two books that you know you need to be inside the pages of. Two books that you know will change you. Books that will show you change is worth it and not as scary as you’re convincing yourself it is.” Guess what? I’m resisting. I’m taking the easy way out. I’m avoiding. Um…hello? Cristen? Where has that gotten you in the past? Exactly where you are now. The pain and suffering will be easier to swallow if I’m working towards positive change rather than the pain and suffering of worrying about something that most likely would never happen. Fearing a made up worse-case scenario that plays out like a horror film in my mind seems much more painful. Who wants that?? Not me!
I told myself that I was going to trust my inner voice in 2013. I truly do know what’s best for me and I truly know what I need to do for myself. I need to believe that. I need to trust in myself. Last night I realized that I am a strong person. Much stronger than anyone gives me credit for, but why care about what everyone else thinks? That’s another thing that hasn’t gotten me anywhere but here. I am strong. I need to give myself much more credit. I told myself that I was going to persevere. I need to stick to it. This HAS to happen.
I’m only on my 2nd month of the year. There’s no need to give up. I need to push. Push through that steel wall that I have put up. Push through the fear. Fight for myself. My Mom fought for me. She thought I was worth it. There were so many times it would’ve been easy for her to give up on me. To stop fighting. She never stopped fighting. She never gave up. Then why should I? I must be worth it! Her life was cut short. I’m still here. There’s got to be a good reason why. I need to work towards finding out what it is. Fighting for the positive will have much better results than the path that I’m on right now. I need to stop wasting what little energy I muster up on the losing battle. Because that’s honestly what I’m doing. Losing. My life is NOT worth losing. Where is losing going to get me? It’s going to keep me right where I am. It’s definitely not going to get me anywhere near what I truly want and deserve to have in my life.
Time to tape up my hands and find my fighting stance!!
December 31, 2012
See ya! Adios! Kiss my ass! I love you! I’m dumping you! Don’t come back. You were ok. Eh, you had your strong moments. Yeah, you taught me a lesson or two (or I lost track of how many).
Honestly? You were confusing! You had me feeling like a yo-yo. Up and down, Up and down. I think I went around the world a couple of times too! That could explain some of the dizziness I experienced this year….
I grew in some ways I was beginning to think would never happen. For that I am grateful. (Yes grammar police, I did just start a sentence with a preposition. Get over it.) I met some amazingly supportive and encouraging people. Albeit, I met them online but it still counts. Those Joy Sisters have been freaking amazing! Becoming a part of that group and having that experience has been a definite highlight of the year. Those girls are the best bunch of therapists ever! Free at that!
Me and God, yet another go around on the yo-yo. I’m glad that I’m ending on a upward slope there. Still a lot of talking and learning to be done, but I want it more than ever before. That God, He’s good stuff! I have proof!
Biggest growth spurt? I’ve actually learned to like myself! Yeah, this is where the roller coaster comes into play. Up and down. Sometimes minute to minute. Loop-de-loops. There were a few times that made me want to puke. I think that’s always going to be a work in progress. I think that’s the norm for a lot of us. All I know is that I’m not as bad or damaged as some people made me feel. I’ve learned that when they make me feel that way, it’s not only me that may have things that need to change.
Yeah, the year took a nosedive after I left my job. That right there was complicated. It could’ve been handled differently, but it had to happen. That place was making me despise myself and God. It made me go against so much of what I believed in. It made me question myself and a lot of my core beliefs. I felt I was wrong for who I was and what I believed. There is no amount of money in the world that is worth feeling the way I was starting to feel. I was convinced that I was a horrible person as well as being on the fast track to Hell. I kid you not.
The financial part of my life has gotten bad. Scary bad, but you know what? It’s ok. It’s been very eye-opening and was probably the second best lesson I’ve learned this year. (Did I mention that I’ve actually started to like myself?) It put a lot of what is important in life into perspective. I hope part of 2013’s plan for me will let me put some of what I learned into action.
Distance was placed in a number of relationships and that’s ok. Distance was placed into one relationship temporarily. It allowed me to put some other stuff into perspective which made me realize that I had to have that relationship back in my life. It was worth it. Once that relationship was back, it allowed me to finally let a lot of past baggage go in regards to that person. We have a better understanding of each other, a better relationship. So, yeah, distance is good sometimes.
All-in-all, 2012 doesn’t sound like it was a horrible year for me and in a lot of ways it wasn’t. I just find myself ready to be done with it. It was a hard year. A damn hard year. As I said earlier on Facebook, I’ve been through some rough stuff, but for some reason I feel like this year was the worst. I will say I brought a lot of the negative stuff on myself, but I sure as hell learned a lot!
As far as 2013 goes, I hope it lives up to the giddiness I feel inside when I think about it. I hope it lives up to the expectations I’m starting to have. I want 2013 to be a good year. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but I just want to continue on this upward swing that I feel like I’m on.
With all of this I say: Ciao, Sayonara and lastly Do widzenia!!
Dear 2013, I can’t wait to see what my year of threes will bring! I just hope whatever it is will be positive and happy. That’s all.