Friday, November 6, 2015

The Courageous Coward

Yep, that’s me!  Maybe you’ve felt the same way at times.  You do something really brave that makes you feel good about yourself and your mission, for a time.  And then the self-doubt sets in and you start second guessing your actions, your motives and even your sanity.   It’s an awful feeling.  It happened to me recently when I shared my story, in a video, and posted it on Social Media.  I know I did the right thing; I know that telling my story will help other women on their journey to healing.  So, why is it that after being so brave, I wanted to crawl under a rock and hide for fear of what others think of me. I suppose it comes down to the fear of being vulnerable, as brave as it may appear.  I suspect that pride may play a role as well.

“You can’t get to courage without walking through vulnerability.”  Brene Brown

So, I choose to march on through the fear and self-doubt, being a courageous coward, accepting that being vulnerable is scary but serves a purpose of helping others and myself.  I challenge you to do the same, because I promise that as frightening as it can be, telling your story….letting out those nasty secrets, will allow you to heal and will impact someone else in a positive way.  Yes, there will be critics, ignore them. They are the people who are too fearful to move forward in life and justify their inaction by criticizing other's actions.

“Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.”  Bree Brown,

Loving myself became easier when I realized that I’m not the same person I used to be. My circumstances are not the same, my emotions are not the same.  I did my best then based on my situation.  I do my best now based on the healing and forgiveness I’ve received. We all grow and change but we tend to hold on to things from our past.  Forgive yourself and let it go!  Move forward, one step at a time. Then tell your story because someone needs to hear it. Be a courageous coward!

Monday, October 19, 2015

But I Don't Want To Be Normal

My whole life I’ve struggled to be normal, but I’ve come to realize that there is no such thing as normal among people.  What’s considered normal varies between families, cultures and socioeconomic class, but even then no two people are exactly the same. So trying to be normal is like trying to be all things to all people, which is a maddening, useless waste of time, energy and emotion. Instead, I just want to be me; the me who never wants to grow up or grow old; the me who loves with my whole heart, regardless of the risk; the me who has learned to let go of the hurt, forgive and embrace peace; the me who is in fact happily normal based on how God has wired me to be.  Trying to be someone else is exhausting and depressing! 

God didn’t create us as Robot’s, expecting us all to act the same way, He made us to be unique. We are all born with a unique personality. We are all born with a capacity to learn and do great things.  We are all born curious about our world.  But, unfortunately, we aren’t all born into families that embrace and encourage individuality.  Many times, we are expected to behave like everyone else….aka, be normal. This can lead to a lot of guilt and shame. The same is also true in our School Systems, which is why many parents are choosing to homeschool their children.  I applaud these wise parents who understand that children should be free to learn and grow according to their unique personality, and not simply retain facts that will not serve them later in life.    

As  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

If the opposite of normal is abnormal, then let’s all begin to embrace our abnormalities.  Learn to color outside the lines, think outside the box, dance in the rain, march to the beat of your own drum.  Discover what makes you happy, and if it doesn’t harm anyone else, do It!  Maybe other’s won’t think you’re crazy, maybe they will applaud (even if only silently) your free spirit and maybe, just maybe they’ll want to try it too.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Is The Church Really Pro-Life

Facebook rants. Graphs. Statistics. Billboards. People, especially Christians, talk about the high number of abortions being preformed each year, but what are we doing about it?  If you’re Pro-Life, what are you doing about it?  We have no business talking about the high numbers if we’re not willing to help reduce them.  Honestly, I’m sick of hearing judgmental, hard hearted people sitting on their duffs, doing nothing and acting godly and self-righteous.  It’s time we became Pro-Active in preventing abortions and not just Pro-Life.

I am Pro Life and I had an abortion as a teenager! I’ve decided that it’s time to let go of my own guilt and shame so I can help other women do the same.  In my case, the pregnancy wasn’t terminated because the baby wasn’t loved or wasn’t seen as a human, but because the benefits of denying the child’s existence far outweighed the shame of being judged by others, especially in the church. The thought of others talking about her because of her daughter’s condition was more than my mother could bare. (How ironic that it was then perfectly acceptable for me to get married in a white dress a few years later.)  I am not alone, my mother is not alone, there are many women living with the shame and guilt of having had an abortion to save themselves and their families from the cruel gossip and judgement of others.  I would say that, although inadvertently, the church, or rather the attitude of the people in the church, is responsible for a large number of abortions being performed.  While many things, such as pornography, abuse, adultery, alcohol and drug abuse, can be concealed, pregnancy can not.  Why I got pregnant as a teenager is a story for another day, but for today, I’ll just say that it wasn’t from a loving relationship.

For women who have had abortions, it's time for us, the church, to stop judging, and allow them the freedom to acknowledge their unborn child and give them the freedom and a safe place to grieve and to forgive themselves.  For women who become pregnant,  it’s time for us, the church, to love and accept them and their unborn child. An unplanned pregnancy shouldn’t be consider a problem, it should be considered, as every child is, a gift from God to be loved and accepted.  

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Courage Plus Change Equals Freedom

Change is hard, really hard. Especially when it comes to personal change.  It takes courage. First, you have to admit the need for change and this is where many people get stuck.  We like our comfort zone, we know it and it’s predictable; it’s easier to stay in it and stay miserable than to work to make our situations better. Not that we don’t want better, we just don’t want to do the work required to make it better.  Instead, we want everyone else to change, meet our needs and make us happy.  Sounds simple, but it doesn’t work. What it does do is make ourself and those around us miserable.  

I finally got tired of being miserable, never being satisfied with my life and my relationships.  Tired enough to change myself and stop trying to change everyone else.  It’s not easy, it takes some serious, sometimes gut wrenching soul searching.  It requires admitting your short comings and then learning the cause of them. Learning why you are who you are is freeing, but it’s not enough so don’t be tempted to stay in that place.  Don’t play the victim card for too long.  It’s so easy to get stuck there, wanting other’s to feel sorry for you.  But, it’s a negative mindset and it doesn’t bring freedom, it’s just another level of being stuck.  I know because I played that card, until I got tired of being a different kind of miserable.  

Real change came for me when I forgave not only those who hurt me but also forgave myself for all the damage I had caused to others as well as myself as a result of that hurt.  Having been hurt doesn’t excuse the way we react to the hurt, it doesn’t excuse how we project our hurt onto others with our self righteous anger. You have to understand and accept that just as you acted out of your hurt, so did the person who hurt you. If you want to be free, healthy and happy, you have to let go and forgive. Then you can move forward to a more satisfying life where you can find joy and peace in all situations.  That is true freedom!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Letting Go

For many years I have journaled because I’ve heard that journaling is a good way to “get your junk out.”  While I agree with that, journaling for me was somewhat random, as my thoughts sometime are.  But now my writing has become more focused, not only to help myself but also to help others.  We tend to believe that our issues are unique to us only and that others wouldn’t understand or accept us if they knew the “truth” about the real us. But, that's simply not true. If only one person can relate and find comfort, if not freedom in my writing then it will be well worth the time spent.  Writing poems, such as, Letting Go,  is helping to free me from many years of living in fear, unable to form healthy attachments due to an inability to trust, living with anger and resentment consuming me, lashing out at anyone who didn’t meet my impossible to meet needs.  In my mind, I was not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough…you name it, I was not enough.  I faked my way through life, lonely in a room full of people. Can anyone relate?  You can’t accept love from someone else if you don’t love yourself.  I would wake up in the mornings determined to have a good day but negative thoughts would soon creep in, sending me emotionally into a downhill spiral.  I understood what had happened to me, the abuse from a very young age to the gut wrenching event, my “secret,” that happened when I was a young teenager.  It was an event that I took responsibility for until July 2014 when I revealed my secret and God whispered the truth to me. That was an amazing revelation, but understanding and knowing the truth is one thing, dealing with it and getting past the anger and pain is another.  But, once I was able to release the anger and the pain, I was able to separate myself from toxic people and associate with emotionally safe people and learn to trust.  I also learned that my happiness is my responsibility, not someone else's.  

I know that I’m not alone here, no one is perfect, nor without flaws or scars. I believe that everyone has self imposed limitations because of un-dealt with issues.  What are yours?  What are you holding on to that is holding you back from being your very best?  Forgive other’s and forgive yourself.  Let your secret’s out….start a journal, write poetry, scream, beat the crap out of your pillow, confide in someone you trust, find a good therapist….whatever works for you. Then let go so you can begin moving forward to be your best. But know that moving forward from where you are to where you want to be is not a “one and done.” In the beginning you may have to deal with it multiple times a day but as time progresses so will you, if you persevere.  It’s like learning to walk.  When you first began you fell a lot, but as you kept getting up you improved until you could walk without thinking about it.  Keep getting back up…never give up…never quit!

My mission statement consists of one word, Unwavering!  Synonyms include…steady, resolute, resolved, constant, steadfast, enduring, unswerving, unfaltering, untiring, unyielding, relentless, unrelenting.  This is me now; no more being held back or holding back.  

Letting Go

Why is it so hard to let go of the pain
It’s torturous and evil, hard on my brain.
The calm may be at the start of each day,
but rarely does it stay that way.
I sew, I paint, I write and I read,
but from out of the blue my heart starts to bleed.
They hurt me and hurt me until they were done,
They hurt me in more ways than one.
And through it all, they laughed at my pain, 
said I was insane.
But, they lied. 
And though they try to keep me down,
they won’t, I’ll not be their clown.
I’m free to choose to live my days,
to forgive their evil and sicks ways.
The joke is on them for I will go
to places of joy that they will never know.
They will never be free from their demented ways;
will live in their ignorance for all of their days.
I’m not looking back, there’s nothing to see
what happened back then won’t define me.
I’ll laugh and I’ll love,
get my peace from above.
What happens to them
is all up to Him!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Being Confident

Being Confident - Terri Day

I believe that to some extent we all have issues that haven't been completely dealt with, which leads to low, or no self-confidence.  Some more so than others. (I’m raising my hand so please don’t think I’m judging.)  The effects of un-dealt with issues can be devastating to our growth and success.  

As  Marianne Williamson said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world."

The problem is that when we don’t believe in ourself, when we lack the confidence to believe we can succeed, we are right.  Self doubt destroys potential whether it is in a relationship or business.  I personally can make a big ugly looming mountain out of the tiniest mole hill because of low self confidence with just one hint at being rejected. Rejection for me has always been an issue, one that began as a young child.  Therefore, rejection is a big trigger for me, whether it is real or imagined.  What I have learned is that when I do this, when I give in to this negative and errant way of thinking, it completely blinds me to the truth.  This in turn leads to negative thinking, such as, I’m not smart enough, pretty enough or talented enough. (Feel free to add you own negative thoughts.)

To get beyond my lack of confidence I had to dig deep and be honest with myself and with others about my shortcoming’s. Yes, that meant laying out the guilt, the shame and the pain, but it was then that I was able to let go and be vulnerable. Being vulnerable is scary but once you reach that place of vulnerability, you are free to be yourself with others because there is no longer a fear of being “found out as a fraud.”  That may result in some people walking out of you life, but if they go, chances are they weren’t meant to be there in the first place….let them go!  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Welcome to my NEW blog from Terri Day! 
Please check back for more postings from me...coming soon!