Go with the flow.

I went for a hike today and I had an interesting encounter. The trail I did is what I like to call a “tourist hike”. Lots of pretty views on a mostly stone bock trail. Every uphill climb was a stair case, and some paths were even carved through the walls. With all that being said it truly is a beautiful hike.

Because this trail is populated by mostly non-hikers it can be difficult to pass by slower people who don’t always realize they are blocking the entire path. At one set of stairs I was blocked by two groups going horribly slow. When I saw an opening to pass I took it. I was polite as I wiggles in between them, but I heard one of them say to me “just go with the flow”. At the time I was slightly embarrassed, but did not say anything and zipped on up the stairs.

For the next mile or so I thought about the encounter. I did not feel like I was rude, if anything they were being rude not allowing space for faster hikers to pass without trouble. What bothered me was the fact that I was expected to slow down and limit myself.

Going with the flow is great in some situations. It is a rule of thumb I use when driving all the time, but I feel that too often we are expected to move with everyone else instead of pushing forward on our own and stepping out of our comfort zone. In this case I could have slowed my pace to stayed behind these two groups of people, and then my legs would be slightly less sore and it would have taken me a little longer. But how would that do anything to make me stronger?

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

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The hurt dissolves.

There are times that I think I have nothing more to say, but I know that is untrue. The good thing is that the hurt dissolves a little more every day. At times I wonder if it will every fully disappear or if it will morph into something else. There was once a time that I was holding on to each breath and praying for the tears to stop. Now each breath comes easily and the tears are rare, but I am not sure what direction my life should go.

Every day still feels like another failed attempt to find understanding. Although I know I have reached a certain level of balance, I still feel like I should have that “Ah ha” moment that pulls everything together. I am aware such a moment will never come, but it feels like my mind is forever searching for it anyway.

I am thankful for all the continued prayers, there are times I can feel them lifting my spirits and giving me strength. As much as I would love a greater sense of understanding, the truth is all I really need to know, is this is the path I am meant to be on and I will walk it with greater strength every day.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Stronger.

Getting stronger takes time, it takes confidence and it takes work. In the last year I have slowly overcome many obstacles, sometimes when I look back it shocks me to see how far I have come. I know the scars left behind are not completely healed, but time is always on my side.

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The people in my life played a massive role in every stage of my recovery and healing, but I am a visual person and there were a few things that have meant more to me than I can express. They are simple reminders that I typically carry around with me, they make me feel like I can get through anything.

The first are my personalized, hand stamped bracelets created by an amazing woman out in California. Her etsy shop is called Old Dog Soul. I discovered her when I was looking for bridesmaids presents and became obsessed with her work. I have purchased many bracelets from her since both for myself and others. I love being encouraged to be strong every time I look down. Often at the beginning, these letters stamped in metal held me together when I felt like I was falling apart.

My beautiful Grace & Salt ink inkDori is the second reminder. On the outside is stamped “Stronger”. On the inside are watercolored pages filled with words and memories. In the past I have always been a horrible journaler, but since my first inkDori showed up on my doorstep I love filling page after page. Knowing that a journal is always close by helps me to feel like I have an escape from reality if I need it.

These simple objects continue to mean the world to me as I rush forward into a new year. It never ceases to amaze me how God uses our connections to people and things to get us through tough times. I came across both the creators behind Old Dog Soul and Grace & Salt ink quite accidentally, and over time we have developed friendship. I feel so lucky to not only have their products in my life, but also them. I hope they feel the same way about me.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.


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Visit Grace & Salt ink on their website at graceandsaltink.co.uk 
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Brave.

For the past few weeks I have felt out of sorts. I think the anticipation of the year marker really terrified me. I have been so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love I have gotten over the past few weeks from friends and family. I got cards in the mail, encouraging comments and direct messages in varying forms. They say it takes a village, and I love the community that I have.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind.

The last 12 months was about being strong, and my friends and family were a huge part of making that desire a reality. Now I feel like I am striking out into the unknown once again as I work on being brave. There is still much I have to learn, but I feel well prepared and ready to take on whatever comes my way.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Within me.

All I want to do this week is curl up in my comfy chair and read or sit at my desk and write letters, journal or paint. I wish I could let the world pass me by and get lost in a dream land. Despite my best efforts my emotions seem to be more out of sorts than I hoped leading into the coming weeks. There are times I have to tell myself to stop, take a deep breath and allow myself to reset. I am taking things one step at a time and holding fast to the good moments wherever I can find them. There is so much strength within me, I just need to get better at harnessing it.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Weakness.

I have been writing an awful lot about friends lately. I like it. The people who are in my life right now are fantastic. To me, they are the definition of a kindred spirits. Historically my friendships come in waves. Often it feels like feast or famine, but currently I have reached a middle ground. I guess this is what happens when you allow others to take care of you and see your vulnerability.

For most of my life I have attempted to portray a strength and courage that I did not always posses. I have never liked feeling weak, but one of the many lessons I have learned this year is that weakness is not letting others in, it is trying to do it all on your own. Putting on an outward appearance of strength and hiding away your pain till it eats you from the inside out it true weakness. It is the people around me, my friends who over the past months that have made me truly strong. The ones that have prayed and let me cry and have simply made an effort.

True weakness is not knowing when to get help. True weakness is not helping when someone needs you. I am forever grateful to my friends, both old and new who have been there time and time again and showed me what true strength and courage is.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Unrealistic timetables.

Today is a day that I feel like I need to pull some inspirational words out of myself. I need something to remind me that I am stronger than the hurt that still lingers inside of me, that I have grown and changed for the good. A part of me was sure by now I would feel more confidant and healed. Ten months ago Thanksgiving and Christmas felt so far away. Now I find myself days away from Thanksgiving wondering how many more tears I will have to cry.

I know that we often set unrealistic timetables for ourselves. I know that I am capable of coming out of this tunnel so much better than I could imagine and that rushing through to the end helps nothing. Time and healing have to work their way though the process at their own pace. It is an uncontrollable truth.

Over the next month I am looking forward to so many wonderful things and I am attempting to hold on to that anticipation and not the discouragement I feel inside. Time with family and friends will give me a chance to feel encouraged and hopefully push me through this emotional slump I find myself in. Time will continue to go at its own pace, and I will continue to find my strength as I learn patience.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.