Spirituality

Revisiting my #Momentsofjoy

Yesterday I wrote about my fellow blog friend’s idea of posting under the hashtag #Momentsofjoy, so here it is my dear readers. The story that unfolds is one I have never recounted before yet I hold it very near and dear to my heart❤

It’s a mixture of both sorrow and pain coupled with happiness and joy. Every ounce of it sprinkled with genuine love straight from my soul.

In 2010 my ex-husband and I were living in New Jersey, specifically at the home I grew up in from 1977 until 1996 when I graduated high school and left for college. In 2008 however, we found ourselves part of the financial and homeowner’s crisis in the United States having to negotiate with our mortgage company and begging them to allow us to short sale the house we had purchased in 2003. After achieving the go ahead to close on the property, we gathered our things and moved from Rhode Island to Northern New Jersey. My parents were living part of the time in Florida then. Where I’m from, we call them snowbirds. Retired folks that spend the winter months down South and the warmer months up in the North.

It was May of 2010 when my ex-husband told me quite matter of factly that he had put in for a job transfer back up to the New England area he was just given the news on the new location he would be reporting to that July! Mind you my dear readers, all of this was done without consulting me at all. I knew he couldn’t stand life in general in New Jersey. In stark contrast, I was in heaven! I was living in my childhood home, back hanging around with my many friends from my school days and having both of my boys attend the schools that I went too! It was a glorious time for me. I was also teaching dance at the studio that raised me and gave me the knowledge and opportunities for a professional dance career. I was living my best life up until that day he ordered me to start looking for a rental home.

In hindsight I can now see at that point how quickly I slipped into robotic mode, putting his needs before my own. Anyhow, I jumped on the web and reached out to a few real estate agents asking for their assistance in finding us a house to rent in just 2 months time. The pressure was on as we spent every weekend traveling up to RI from NJ to look at different properties. It was grueling and very time consuming.

In late June during one of these weekends we were shown the most darling beach cottage on a dead end road across from a private beach. Even though it was just a one bedroom Cape, it’s charm had all 4 of us immediately smitten and we signed a one year lease on the spot! I knew how special this property was and I wasn’t going to lose it! This picture captures the ambiance perfectly both in and around the cottage 🏡

#5 Nichol Ave. aka my paradise 🥰

In early July 2010, I think it may have been the 4th of July weekend even, my family of 4 along with our cat Moses moved from NJ to our new beach cottage in RI. I like to joke around by calling myself a professional nomad. I have moved over 20 times in my adult life and it doesn’t take me much effort anymore to move. I have whittled my personal belongs down to a few suitcases and a few boxes of keepsakes. At this time however it was still quite an undertaking moving 2 adults, 2 small children with our cat across state lines.

Paradise island

I must admit, our 1st weekend inhabiting that cottage was 100% magnificent! Quiet, peaceful and invigorating. I loved being able to walk right across the street to find unending opportunities for peace and happiness. Each and every day taught us new things like when the tide was going in or out, what kind of fish and shellfish was to be found at different points along Narragansett Bay. All of it delicious and right in our own backyard. The beach was really just for residents which made it very private and allowed me to feel extremely grateful for where I had found myself after two years of heartache. I don’t wish the hell I felt after losing my home to the mortgage company bank upon even my worst enemy. The powers that be made my life a living and breathing reoccurring nightmare until that final day when we dotted the i and crossed that t during the closing paperwork.

We enjoyed several months of bliss in that cottage as a family. Again, looking back upon that time I can see anything but peace for me personally. I was wrestling with my mental illness, the slow loss of reality that ended up leading to my suicide attempt in November of 2011.

You’re probably scratching your head dear readers like, hmmmmm she said this was supposed to be highlighting #Momentsofjoy? Yes, I digress since I still have regrets and reservations over this particular time in my life. I vow to my audience to always be authentic and real about any part of my life and this time is no different. The years of 2008 until 2013 were the hardest, most sobering and dark times of my entire life. Since this is the 1st time I have truly written about it, I ask you dear readers to forgive the perspective I have now which is still sadness and shame despite the beautiful gift that living there truly was for me. Even today.

I absolutely LOVED this beach cottage. I felt at peace there and I relished every morning when I woke up, window open to hear the seagulls cry, smell the saltwater air drench my senses and look out to sun spectacular sand! It was like living in paradise every damn day. I would open every window and practice yoga. It was marvelously grounding and filled my days with joy. When I’m asked what my happy place is, I immediately recall my beach cottage and its beach. Ahhhhhh, OM🧘‍♀️

Low tide

Even after the separation from my ex-husband I worked 3 jobs just to be able to afford the rent and utility payments there. I lasted almost 2 full years living there alone making all the money I could to keep afloat my dream home. To me, I was keeping the dream alive for not only myself but for my boys who were just 6 and 10 at the time. I didn’t want for them to see their mother failing even though in many ways I was.

These are the benches I sat on gazing out at the water and asking God for the answers🙏

In early 2012, I was forced to give up my paradise. I was blessed enough to have a friend offer his couch to me for the next 8 months while I tried to get my life back together. I took a job in sales working for a high end clothing line at that time. I spent my last day in that house taking pictures and sitting on these benches giving my hopes up to God.

Now, 8 years later I can say how much I learned about myself during that time. I’m not easily a quitter. I don’t take NO for an answer the 1st few times. My resilience fuels my passion for what I love and hold dear. I am proud of myself for how long I hung on even when I knew I would have to make a choice that I didn’t necessarily want to or agreed with at first.

In life, we do what we have to. We fight the good fight for as long as it makes sense. Nowadays, I don’t spin my wheels as much. I make smarter choices for my own emotional and spiritual energy and health. Everything in life is a lesson my dear readers. In the end, I don’t regret anything even though I wrote that I do, I release it with thos post and feel infinitely blessed to have had the moments of happiness and joy the beach cottage on 5 Nichol Ave brought me❤🏡🥰

Spirituality

My big day off

Phew, I have been on a roll lately my dear readers that has time moving at light speed! I’ve been so busy in the best ways. First of all, my oldest son Tyler, who had never visited me here in Dallas, came here last week for four days. Now he has my heart singing because he told me he wants to relocate here! His father, my ex-husband and I have been divorced for almost ten years now. I relocated out of state of Rhode Island seven years ago so needless to say, I haven’t lived in the same state as my children for a long time.

I have written before about how messy my divorce was but it stands to emphasize that my ex is quite ignorant. He has refused to speak to me for going on five years now. We share joint custody but I granted him primary placement because he is the more stable one in both finances and emotions between the two of us. He has successfully alienated my younger son Miles, who will be 15 in April, from me. I understand why things have unfolded as they have and I have faith that once he has more real life experience plus a few more years of maturity, he will come around as Ty has.

Ty and I out and about in the big city

I have never, and I am proud of this fact, spoken a negative word about their father to either of my boys. That is their Dad, part of who they are and their idol even hero in many ways. I know all too well how when one parent is always negative about the other, the incredible damage it does to not only the parent child relationship but the child’s self esteem. This being said, my oldest will be 19 in August and is well aware of how both of his parents differ in personality. I have become more free to explain my side of things now.

Having Ty here was wonderful. I was a stay at home mother for twelve years and my greatest role in life will always be Mom. Getting to inhabit that role again is just the best feeling!! Ty and I are very alike and we vibe so well off each other naturally,  it’s so cool😊 He loves to tell me how when he thinks about me, while he’s home in RI, all of a sudden I call and vice versa for me! I tell him that’s because we are so connected plus we are both empaths. We finish each other’s sentences and I can recognize how strong his intuition is, especially for his age. Ty is light years ahead of me when I was his age! He makes me so damn proud😁

This post is entitled “My big day off” though so let’s get to that😉

New purchase of a Himalayan salt lamp

I love it when I get a day off during the week. I had a few errands to run downtown which took up most of my afternoon. I don’t own a car, so I use ride share, Uber specifically, everywhere I go. Today however, my destinations were close enough that I could walk to each of them. I don’t know what was in the air today but I found myself bumbling around from each place to the next. I’m talking about walking the wrong route more than once, forgetting my bag at a stop and having to search desperately for a public restroom! I couldn’t get out of my own way🤪

In the late afternoon, I had Uber bring my partner to our favorite hole in the wall pub so we could have a stiff drink and an early dinner or late lunch depending on how you want to look at it😉 I simply walked there and met him. It’s so important to me that we have at least one “date” a week where we can be ourselves, no distractions and be the fun loving couple we are. Letting go of life’s stressors.

We kissed goodbye and I sent him off home while I went over to the dance studio that I have been taking dance classes at. Tonight I returned to tap after many years of attending a proper class! I think the last time I was in a class was when I was sixteen years old! I taught the standard half hour ballet, half hour tap to little ones for years but that is a different beast all together!

Laced up the ol tap shoes💃

I was quickly reacquainted with how mathematical tap is and how often the steps fall on the “and” count. Our teacher was old school and super Southern. A real character and I loved her immediately! She kept remarking on how good I was doing and adding, “just jump in once you get it!”

I know I am so hard, too hard on myself from being trained in such a serious fashion plus dancing at a competitive level that it altered my entire outlook on dance. Returning as an adult, a mother, someone who has been on a 10 year odyssey of spirituality and healing and a yogi for 20 years I can now fully embrace not only myself but my sheer passion for dance! I really honored little Maria tonight. I thoroughly entertained myself and was able to laugh a lot as I untangled the stickiness of remembering the steps! The phrase that kept running through my head was, “you can do it Maria…it’s just like riding a bike!” Plus, I was taught to never walk out of a class, no matter what. I still stick that that rule🙌

This is a 180 degree difference to the Maria I was when I abruptly quit my dancing career at 16. That young lady was extremely hard on herself, self harmed with an eating disorder and was entirely too serious about everything. Nowadays, I enjoy laughing at myself, being silly and actively intending on not taking life too seriously. I make it a point to remind myself throughout my day to relax, will _____ matter a year even a month from now? It’s a mindset and a real shift from where I used to be. Welcome abundance mindset 👏

It felt really good to have the awesome ladies I tapped with tonight tell me they enjoyed my upbeat energy, personality and tap skills. They each asked if I would return to which I responded with a resounding HELL YEAH!

I must give myself credit here for acknowledging just how much I have grown in a short amount of time. My partner and I discussed it during our meal together. Since unearthing repressed memories of sexual abuse in June that occurred when I was 5 and 6, I have expierienced two back to back spiritual awakenings that have significantly raised my internal vibration. I acquired a new job that I absolutely love, my dream job in so many ways. I am healing my inner child wounds and in doing so have reconnected and solidified my authentic self. The Maria I am today is the most comfortable I have ever been in life. 100%

23 year old me

Ty even told my dear friend and the owner of the boutique I manage that he never thought he would see his Mom this happy. She remarked on how evident my influence was on him during his formative years because of what a great young man he has grown into being. That is definitely the greatest compliment I could ever receive. Deciding to move to Florida, push the reboot button in life after the divorce was extremely painful and difficult for all three of us, my boys and I. Being a Mom and raising my sons is my hands down greatest accomplishment in life. The separation alienated me from not only them but some of my family and friends. Many people had harsh comments and opinions for a mother, who in their words, chose to abandon her children. Entrusting them selflessly to their father. I knew he was the better parent at the time. I recognized that and I acted accordingly. Period.

This is the cold hard truth my dear readers. I was so lost, numb to my life at age 33 that I really wanted to die. I attempted taking my own life more than once. I was presented with the toughest choice I have ever had to make but one that was also absolutely necessary. It was my boys or me and I had to choose me which was counter to how I had lived my life up until then all along. Focusing solely on myself was scary as hell (still is at times)and felt so foreign, downright wrong at first. Ten years later, I can say that I love myself, I believe in myself by being my own best cheerleader. Two values I could never own before.

Ty & I ❤❤

I feel this poem really hits on the vein of letting go, recovering perfectionism and obtaining real self love. It’ll always be a work in progress and I’m ok with that. Keeping my mind open, willing to always learn, laugh at myself and embrace all that life has to offer is where I’m at today😊

Control….or release of it😉
Spirituality

Love overflowing

My oldest son is here in Dallas visiting me my dear readers and I couldn’t be happier! Tyler is 18, turns 19 in August, and has grown into such a thoughtful, insightful and mature man. He really blows me away with his point of view on life. I must admit, he has his stuff way more together than I ever did at that age!

We are staying a block away from the hotel I work inside of in downtown. Last night I took him to see where I work and he was able to meet many of the people I see on a daily basis inside The Statler hotel. He was immediately impressed by the ambiance of the hotel with it’s rich history and background of being one of Mr. Conrad Hilton’s flagship properties. There is something to be said for cultivating meaningful relationships with the people you work with because many of them told Ty how much I brag about him and treated him like a king!

My heart is bursting with pride for how smitten my dear friend and the owner of the boutique I manage took to him❤ He has already asked me when we will get to see her again because he enjoyed her company so much! I must admit how fulfilling it is to see all of my hardwork pay off as a stay at home for the twelve years I was raising him and my younger son.

Miles may still feel not ready to rejoin our little threesome because of the alienation my ex-husband and my moving away has caused, yet I know it is only a matter of time. He will understand more once he has some true life experiences under his belt like his brother. Ty has been on his own for over two years now and works a full time job with a good company. He has confided in me that Miles feels angry and perhaps abandoned which is something I completely understand based on how the divorce played out. My decision to move out of state and restart my life must still be confusing for him while he still lives with his Dad. He was so young when we separated, only 5 years old. Miles didn’t get near enough alone time and attention from me. Tyler and I had almost four solid years together before Miles was born.

Being able to embrace my role of Mom is exhilarating and fills me with such joy and peace! I live on a ton of faith and hope because we live so far away from one another. Having Ty around me reminds me of the greatest and most honorable reasons to be alive. We have been through so much together and it is so refreshing to see what a sweet and kind man at 18 can be like. My boys are the two best accomplishments in my life and they make me so proud to hold the title of Mom.

Ty goes back to Rhode Island on Monday so for now we are enjoying every minute together as you dear readers can see in these pictures 🥰

Mother & son
Enjoying a laugh together
At the pool

This is the best gift I could ever have, the pleasure of time off work spent with one of my favorite and most loved people in this world❤

Mental health, Spirituality

Steadily climbing a mountain

One of my favorite quotes is by Sir Edmund Hillary, “It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” Today this quote really resonates with me. I am acknowledging and giving myself the gift of self love by recognizing how far I have come in only a year. My C-PTSD has been in remission for three and a half years. I have gone from being a mess upon the floor, sobbing and in a dissoactive episode to holding a management position at work while self publishing my own book of poetry. I’m really so very grateful and elated with how truly wonderful it feels to have inner peace and strength within my soul.

On Tuesday my team at work and I witnessed a near fatal car accident right in front of our window. It was the most horrible and terrifying scene I have ever witnessed. The sounds and visuals have left their scar on my heart. The gentleman’s truck looked like God himself crushed it with his hands and dropped it out of the sky onto its roof where it landed. My store is next to the freeway and the driver’s truck came literally flying off the road landing on its roof on the grass across the street from us. Airbags deployed, windows busted out and smoke billowing from it, the truck looked unreal. The five of us dropped what we were doing and immediately ran outside. Three of us called 911 while the my two other younger coworkers ran up to the truck itself. One of them had grabbed our fire extinguisher and used it to smother the smoke and kept a fire from starting. Her heroic actions really moved me. She later admitted that her own father had died in a similar situation so I felt it was a kind of redemption on her part in trying to save this man’s life. The EMT’S pulled him from his vehicle alive and consciousness which is truly miraculous given the circumstances.

For the rest of the day we all kept hugging each other. We used our nervous energy to clean our store to a like new condition. When I closed up Tuesday night I felt a sense of pride for how we coped with the days extraordinary and unusual events. I can honestly say when you witness such an extreme example of life and death in front of your own eyes, while in a job setting it changes your perspective.

Here’s what I took away from Tuesday.

1. Life is too short, each moment is a gift. I will not waste my time with frivolous worries about things out of my control. My time is precious, therefore I must prioritize accordingly.

2. I work with 5 very selfless people who I know have my back in a special way. That feeling is priceless both on a professional and personal level.

3. I am getting stronger. This same situation for my past self would’ve driven me up under the covers for a few days. Left me a puddle of tears and nerves.

4. I can do this……I managed and led people through a crisis. I continued to do my job in a professional manner despite the chaos. We all went back to work serving and assisting our customers.

All in all as I reflect now I can see myself steadily rising up from the ashes of despair and heartache. One foot in front of the other I climb. I keep going even though my mind is screaming “NO” and “you can’t do it”. I’m proving to myself everyday that the challenges I face are all preparing me for greater things. The best is still yet to come which is what gets me out of bed everyday!

I never thought I would achieve success again after so many failures. Attempting suicide, being strangled to within inches of my life on my previous job eight years ago, going through a hell of a divorce, surviving domestic violence and rape, losing touch with my children, being homeless, coping with my fiance’s health issues. The list is lengthy and not for the faint of heart.

Last week I made a life long dream come true all on my own. I self published my first book of poetry. It is available as both an e-book and in paperback through Amazon.com. I have created a small following here with this blog and my writing profile on Instagram called Emotional Musings.

I am currently working on putting together a book signing event here locally with family and friends. Sharing my success with those who have loved, supported and believed in me is such a blessing. It gives me the chills that I have so many wonderfully loving people in my life today.

I’m bursting with positivity and gratitude. And yes…….

I have survived and conquered over myself.

Living my motto, “Triumphing over trauma “.

Mental health, Spirituality

Keeping love alive

Does anybody have a “love hangover” today, the day after Valentine’s Day? I must admit to feeling some aftershocks from being shown so much love yesterday. From the moment I opened my eyes until the moments before I closed them, love was surrounding me and encompassing me in its warmth and glory. Yesterday was a magical day for giving and receiving love from my friends, family and even my customers at the store. Of course my fiance stepped up his game too by making me feel special, very appreciated and of course loved yesterday as we celebrated Valentine’s Day together. All in all I had awesome day!

I know I have written this before in previous blog posts but I must emphasize it again here. My mission in life is to always spread love and kindness to all I encounter along this journey called life. Especially those who need it the most, the downtrodden, forgotten amongst our society. Those who are homeless are a good example of this. I observe those folks getting treated and judged so poorly on a daily basis, it breaks my heart.

I have a confession to make here. About two years ago, my fiance and I found ourselves without a secure living situation. We were homeless for about three months while we lived in our car. We showered at our local YMCA, ate at food pantries and sometimes slept overnight on the beach. It wasn’t easy and the only positive part of it is that at least we were together. I can’t imagine having to bear that time alone on the streets by myself. Some days were better than others. Some days I was so terribly sad and depressed not knowing where we were going to end up and how we were going to rise out of the terrible spot we felt stuck in. Our cell service was cut off too so we became experts at finding and utilizing free WiFi in order to stay in touch with our loved ones.

I have seen life from different angles and perspectives. My experiences have shaped me into the woman I am today. I take nothing for granted and try to be as grateful for everything I have today as I possibly can be on a daily basis. Anything can happen at anytime that can shift one’s world, turning everything upside down. Believe me dear readers, I am living proof of it!

I like to tell others when describing my life that I have lived a few different lives during my lifetime so far these 41 years. My family owned a car dealership while I was growing up and we enjoyed an upper middle class lifestyle. Then while I was married, my ex-husband was a hardworking blue collar type of guy who usually worked more than one job which afforded me the ability to be a stay at home mother for ten years while my boys were little. Then I went through my divorce and found myself working three jobs to try and survive. As I began having nervous breakdowns that required me to be hospitalized so many times I found myself homeless for the 1st time. I couldn’t afford my rental house because I had lost all of my jobs one by one so I was offered a friend’s couch to sleep on. That experience was extremely humbling, complicated and difficult.

It took me years to rebuild my life after going through so much loss. I have a keen awareness of how much grief and loss can affect a person’s outlook in life. I was basically just trying to survive everyday, I was definitely not thriving. It has taken years of intensive treatment, therapy, healing and rivers of tears to get me to where I am today.

There is not one day that goes by that I don’t pause, allow myself some quiet time to sit and reflect on my past. I whisper Thank you God for keeping me going forward, pushing me even a millimeter more when I wanted to give up. For allowing some wonderful people to come into my life and inspire me to want to do better. For guiding me through the darkness until I could see just a small speck of light. For keeping my faith, hope and belief alive enough so I never quit. There were a few times I did consider ending it all. I thought those who loved me would be better off without the burden of worrying about me, the pain of the disappointment I felt I had become.

Yes dear readers, I have expierienced some very dark days. I have also had the pleasure of feeling some truly amazing moments too. I am grateful for all of it. Without the dark one cannot appreciate the light. Hold on tight to those you love and tell them how you feel. Don’t judge others for there but the grace of God go any of us. Be kind always and act as if God himself is always watching you (because he is) In the end life is short. Love is all that matters. Spread it generously to all everyday and keep love ALIVE💖

Mental health, Spirituality

The intense feeling of anticipation

Today is the day my dear readers!!! I am sitting aboard a flight that will take me to my son! I have been dreaming of this exact amazing moment for over 2 1/2 years. That’s a long time to wait patiently. This entire situation with my children and becoming estranged from them has almost broken me completely. It definitely tested my courage and beliefs. I have learned an entire new level of being patient and how fruitful the outcome can be! Once what seemed a long shot and something that seemed was never going to happen is now just a plane ride away! Be still my rapidly beating heart.

It’s also been about four years since I have traveled alone. I have been so consumed with caring and helping out others that realizing this fact caught me off guard. I have gotten into a very comfortable routine in these last three months on my new job. I realize now that I haven’t disclosed to you readers what I do exactly for my day job to pay the bills.

Three months ago I interviewed with Starbucks as a barista. When I was well into the interview with my manager she asked me if I wanted to be a Shift Supervisor since she was looking to fill that position as well. I immediately turned her down. I wasn’t confident enough having not been in the full time work force for years. I have spent the past three years caring for my fiance since his medical issues had gotten more severe. In every past position I held in retail, I had been asked to be part of the management team. I never actually thought I could do it and that level of responsibility kind of scared me.

Just two weeks into my journey as a Starbucks barista, the opportunity presented itself again. My manager was in a desperate need to hire a shift because one of ours was transferring. I decided to say yes and go for it. That was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The position is quite challenging and there have been days that I thought would break me yet I soldier on and even surprise myself with how well I am doing. Most people are with the company much longer before they get promoted. Timing is everything. This is my time and I’m beyond proud of myself that I just did it. The level of confidence and self esteem I have acquired by taking this position is immeasurable and priceless. I have toyed around with the idea of working for Starucks for years honestly. It wasn’t until they started to build our new store so close to my home that I took it as a sign from the universe, it was the right time.

This post is about connection and anticipation. These two examples of my reconnection with my oldest son and my decision to work for a company I have admired for years is all about patience and timing. Having a strong faith that everything I have wanted for years would work itself out took a leap of faith on my part. No action was required. Too many times, especially in our busy society we are forced to define ourselves by what we are “doing”. In both these cases I wasn’t doing anything but simply living my life the best way I knew how by putting one foot in front of the other in a patient and steady manner. I wasn’t attempting to make things “happen” by willfully interjecting myself or making demands on others. It was all about the timing.

I know it’s a cliche but, I believe everything does happen for a reason. God needs us to learn certain lessons in life before he moves us along down a new path. Remaining patient was a real challenge some days and I felt like screaming but I didn’t succumb to my anxiety or worries. In time, my son did call and I did get a good job. It’s all working out in God’s time, not mine.

I wrote this poem in the vein of all of these emotions as I process how long I have waited for this week to come seeing my son. It’s my time for reckoning. Peace✌

Ironic addition to this story……as I sit waiting to take off, the pilot comes on and tells us we have a mechanical issue. We taxied back to the gate and are now in limbo awaiting the final decide if our plane is safe for take off or do we all get on a new plane. More patience and more waiting is required of me. I got this😉

Mental health, Spirituality

Attempting to define patience

I usually feel this way every year at this time. I must admit this year, the feelings are all a little extra. Early January’s weather is partly to blame for this unease. So many truly amazing events are closely on the horizon to take place for me. My heart is beating a little faster and many thoughts are racing quickly through my mind. All of this definitely affects my creative juices as well and I feel I’ve been neglecting my writing. This is the perfect time to try and process it all…. so here it goes.

Early next month I will finally get to see and hug my oldest son! This is a major event over two and a half years in the making. So many intense emotions weigh on my heart. Mostly excitement but also a bit of anxiety which is an emotion I must constantly address daily. I have been so preoccupied with my new position at work that I have had to keep everything going on inside me at bay by doing some extra meditation and light therapy sessions. I have this reoccurring daydream of me running down that long airport gate hallway towards my boy and him picking me up in a tight embrace while tears of joy run down my cheeks. This vision keeps me moving forward yet does little in maintaining my patience for that day to arrive!

I looked up the meaning of patience. The word is defined as “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset“. Over these last two and a half years, I can admit to mastering the acceptance part. The not allowing anger or frustration part has proven more challenging. Anger is not something I have ever felt comfortable expressing and I still struggle with how to release it in a healthy way. I usually stuff it down deep and it will eventually come out indirectly at inopportune times. Mostly hurting only me but sometimes those closest to me, as is natural for everybody. I have always taken this emotion out on myself and blame myself for my role in creating the anger in the first place.

In the circumstances dealing with my boys absence from my life, I view it very differently. I know in my heart I have done everything I could to maintain our relationship. The blame falls squarely on my ex-husband’s shoulders and at some point in life he will reap what he has sown. Intellectually I understand that I have no control over him or what he does. My heart still breaks because I still haven’t been able to speak to my youngest son. All I have control over is how I respond to all of this. I must employ patience and also hope in order to survive this heart ache.

Good things do definitely come to those that can wait. Like Nietzsche said, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” My life is a living testimonial to this truth. All I have endured has most definitely made me a much stronger person. This too shall pass and the rewards on the flip side will be magnificent I am sure.

I also have another major project in the works that should by the end of this month come to fruition. The hard work, energy expelled and time I have given to this endeavor is about to pay off quite handsomely. My fiance and I are on the brink of some major life changes in a super positive way financially if all goes according to plan. All the sacrifices and struggles these past three years will have been worth it when we get to finally taste success.

In the meantime, these next three weeks are crucially important. I must maintain my patience, hope and faith. My first step in achieving this is to focus on my gratitude by waking up each day and saying thank you to God. At the end of each day I allow myself some quiet time to again say thank you God. My understanding of spirituality has grown tremendously during these past seven years and I will never forget what got me to this point. My belief and faith in a higher power that governs us all. The lessons that God put in front of me to learn from are priceless. By walking this path, guided by hope, I have almost reached the other side and I finally see that light at the end of this dark tunnel.

Events and circumstances such as mine have the potential to harden a person, making them bitter. As for me it has produced only a stronger resolve in my faith and gratitude. I lead by kindness and love because I know what hate does. I refuse to let anything that happens to me change who I am in my core. I am a healer, a lover and a friend to all. Learning to have patience has been and will continue to be a wonderful gift from our creator. Namaste my dear readers ✌

Mental health, Spirituality

My grateful heart

Since my last post, I’m happy to report that so much has changed for the better!! Two days after Christmas with the help of my ex brother in-law and my sister, my oldest son Tyler finally reached out!! We have been messaging and chatting every night since!! We have our long awaited reunion set up for next month which will include my family too. I haven’t gotten to hug him in over two years and my parents, sister, niece and nephew have been deprived of his company for over six years!

The last time my family has spent time with him he was a kid. Now he is on the verge of adulthood! He sent me a current picture of him that I can’t stop staring at. He really is my mini me in so many ways both inside and out. I’m beyond proud of the young man he is. My soul is at peace and my heart is bursting with joy.

This whole situation has taught me many invaluable life lessons. The two greatest being patience and perseverance in the face of adversity. Retaining my hope and faith that all would eventually work out is what kept me going daily. Living each day without any communication from my sons has been the worst emotional pain I have ever felt. My heart literally felt broken. Despite it all, I got out of bed every day when my brain was screaming for me not to. I sent numerous letters without a response. I prayed for the strength I required in order to carry on and keep trying to achieve my dreams. I was able to push aside the guilt all mother’s innately feel on most days to pursue my new career. Also, I launched this blog and my poetry profile on Instagram of the same name, Emotional Musings.

I firmly believe that my youngest isn’t too far behind his big brother. Once he sees him talking and visiting with me I think he will come around too. Divorce is terrible for any family. Parent alienation is both real and devastatingly traumatic for the children and the parent that is being shut out by the other parent. I agreed to divorce my ex-husband, but I DID NOT agree to divorce my children.

I’m really proud of myself because I didn’t allow the guilt and shame to shallow me up alive. There were days I didn’t think I would make it through. In the end though the saying, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” holds true. Again, I’m reminded of how strong I am. I have conquered over many situations and conditions, some even threatened to end my life for good.

I took one of those psychological quizzes today on PsychTest.com

Here are my results:

Both your right and left hemisphere seem to have reached a level of perfect harmony – rather than trying to dominant each other, they work together to create a unique and well-balanced “you”. Your spontaneous, impulsive, and free-flowing right brain creates an exciting and adventurous world, while your left brain helps you make sense of it and keep track of everything.

When faced with a problem or a tough decision, you’re not only able to break things down and make an informed and sensible choice, but you’re also not afraid to go with your gut when necessary. You tend to express your individuality both in words and actions, and although you’re perfectly comfortable running on a schedule or planning things ahead of time, there are occasions when you love to throw in a little spontaneity.

Your balanced outlook and approach to life creates a desire in you to not only understand the world, but to also take it in your hands and mold it as you see fit. With both your right and left hemispheres working together to guide you, you are able to understand yourself and life in general from so many wonderful perspectives.

So my dear readers, my message is to never give up. You are stronger than you think you are, even at your lowest points, there is always a reason to keep going. This too shall pass. Everything is temporary and tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. I am a lover, a giver and a fucking warrior. I believe in you. Thank you for following me and reading this blog. It is serving as a timeline for my children and I. I hope it also serves as a beckon of hope for you all who read it.

I’m very close to finishing my book of poetry that I am self publishing through Amazon. Stay tuned dear readers for more I information on the release date and how to download it. I wrote this poem this morning to reflect my grateful heart.

Mental health, Spirituality

Having myself a Merry little Christmas

This time of year used to bring me such joy and happiness. From November through early January I dove head first into decorating my home, visiting with friends, baking cookies, seeking out the best Christmas lights displays and watching my favorite Christmas movies. Since my divorce six years ago and my move away from where my children live, each holiday season has gotten tougher and I don’t participate in any of my traditional holiday activities. It’s simply too painful and I can’t bear the memories of being with my children in years past. The breakfasts with Santa, the shopping for presents, decorating the tree etc. just make me sad and yearn for those happier times.

At the request of both of my boys, they don’t want me involved in their lives any longer. We haven’t had any communication in over eighteen months. I also haven’t seen their sweet faces in over two years. Just typing these two sentences leave tears running down my face. Despite the swirling of my emotions, I get up everyday and go to work, smile and engage with my customers. Lead my co-workers and try my best to lend a hand where I am needed. This is something I’m deeply proud of because in the past I would’ve let this destroy me. I would have crawled under my covers and quit. This year I have decided to overcome my sadness by living my life to the fullest. Writing about it too is completely liberating because of the tremendous guilt this entire situation brings.

I’m also proud that however I have been feeling over these past six years, I have never once uttered a bad word to my boys about their father. I refuse to destroy their image of him. He is a huge part of who they are as people and I understand that. My own mother would tear into us as children with negative comparisons to our father and it used to make me feel so terrible about myself. I believe it’s emotional child abuse to purposely alienate a child from one of their parents. I have tremendous faith that one day my boys will see the truth and want to know me again. We have an unbreakable bond and no matter how many miles separate us I will always be there for them. They are the two souls on this journey that I love the most.

Recently I came across some of my old journals. I have used writing as an emotional outlet for processing and healing since I was a young girl. I’m so thankful that no matter how many times I have moved I always keep my old writings intact. I enjoy looking back and rereading my work because it’s a great way to assess how much I have grown and evolved emotionally from the things that cause me distress and pain.

This week has hit me harder than any of the last six years. I have recently taken on more responsibilities at work and that is a welcome distraction emotionally. I haven’t been sleeping well the past few nights because my mind is in overdrive between work stuff and all these memories. I don’t feel creative and I’m concerned that my passions will be neglected because of it.

I do however have this weekend off because I will be working both Christmas Eve and Christmas day. I’m actually looking forward to it. Making others smile and feel joy even though inside I’m crying. It’s opposite action for sure (a DBT principle coping skill) and my former therapist would be proud of my choice to triumph on over my feelings.

Here are the three poems that I found in that journal stuffed into an old bag under a chair in my apartment. I have come a long way emotionally from where I was when I wrote them. I’m stronger. I’m a survivor. I’m a fucking WARRIOR. Happy holidays dear readers. If I can do it, believe in yourself and you can too ✌💖

Anxiety, Depression, Grief and loss, Mental health

Gathering hope, one more try

I have overcome many obstacles in my life that I thought at the time would break me. Ten years ago, while I was still married, I lost my house in the housing crash of 2008. Even today I still struggle putting that experience into words that accurately portray how that felt. In the three years following that catastrophic event I endured a few more deep losses, the horrible death of my beloved cat, having to give away my dogs followed by my divorce that ultimately broke my relationship with my boys. Shouldering the blame for it all, now I realize just how naive I was to the pain and sadness I was truly feeling. I had to make some tough decisions in order to survive. The financial ruin is still something I haven’t fully recovered from. In true C-PTSD fashion, it has taken me years to heal from grief. At the time I wasn’t hopeful God had opened a window in response to the many doors that had been slammed in my face.

Today however, it is these experiences that have reshaped me. I had to construct an overhaul of my thinking in order to get out of bed everyday. The heavy seriousness of such stark change was absolutely suffocating at times. I attempted to stuff and swallow it all by drinking to excess, over exercising and restricting my food intake. I have a terrible knack for kicking my own butt and punishing myself when things go wrong in my life. My resistance to accept what was going on around me proved completely futile. Something had to change and the only thing I had control over was myself and my responses to the lemons I was receiving. I learned how to make lemonade by redirecting my thoughts and gathering hope where I could find it.

Throughout all the heartache, my faith in humanity was tested. I have some wonderful lifelong friends that put their arms of support around me and guided me back into the light. I’m someone that prides myself on being there for others and I don’t ask for help often. During these years my priorities shifted when I made the decision to wave the white flag of surrender. Swallowing that pride was one of the hardest and most fruitful choices I made.

There are many misconceived notions about what it means to be strong versus weak. We all go through dark times and our ego’s will lie to us by telling us, “I have got this.” I was forced to realize that I most definitely didn’t “have it” and I needed help. My friends uplifted,  guided and at times carried me through a time I was sure would destroy me completely.

People tell me often how strong I am. Most days I am proud of where I have come from and what I have achieved. Understanding what is truly important, what I need instead of what I want. My route to these realizations was a hard lesson to learn.

In the United States, we live in an over consumption culture fueled by the myth of the more you have the happier you are. In reality, I have learned this is false. Bigger, better, faster, more of everything is a sure fire way to disappointment because the emptiness we try to fill with those things provides a false sense of security. The depressing reality of materialism causes one to feel secluded, lowers human interaction and socialization. We must work more and spend less time with family and friends in order to maintain what we think we “need”. I believe this driving cycle is a self fulfilling  prophecy. We gain real happiness from our connection with others which is not something that can be bought.

Today, I don’t have many possessions and I live more of a minimalist lifestyle. The things I have lost can never break me because I choose to invest in relationships with the ones I love. I now understand that if I hadn’t experienced loss, I wouldn’t have gained hope and faith. It is the people around me that continue to support me, proving to me that as long as I keep trying and never give up the sky’s the limit. My dreams can become reality and I definitely have more than one try left in me.

image-55719301915260892.png