Saying Goodbye to the Broken Heart

Right now, my life is in a wonderful place, but the season of struggle has made itself known on my doorstep. We all face seasons of struggle. This is the time to grow into something better; something greater and stronger. One mantra I live by is anything worth having will require a fight to obtain. If good things come easy, everyone would be exactly where they want to be in life. Only if it were that simple.

Currently, this season is showing me how far I’ve come. The old me would only be able to concentrate on the struggle, thus creating a snowball effect of depression and self-loathing. But the new me, the seasoned me, can only see the progress I’ve made and it is giving me the courage to continue to fight, to not give in to the desire to return back to an unhealthy coping mechanism.

Right now, I am suffering from a broken heart. I used to think that the reasons mattered. I would try to treat the symptoms of the broken heart versus treating the broken heart itself. Right now, I am learning to mend my broken heart. In order to mend a broken heart, I have to take it to the only person who knows how to heal such things, Jesus. He knows what it’s like to experience such pain and continue to genuinely love through it. This is the only course of action to accomplish my goal. My goal is to live in love and forgiveness and not discontentment and bitterness, thus these are the consequences of not mending a broken heart.

If you are living with a broken heart, please take these words to heart, “feelings are the ultimate liars“. While dealing with a broken heart, feelings will betray you every time. Lean into your faith, whatever that may be. The faithfulness of God continues to remind me that He is my Healer.

I must admit, I was beginning to give in to the pressure. But then I was reminded of WHO I AM and WHOSE I AM. I belong to the Creator of all living things. I am virtuous, kind, and loving. I am strong and courageous with the power of a loving God and 10k angels to back me up. I remind myself every day, every hour, every minute, every second of these glorious things. I remind myself that this too shall pass and I will be even better for it.

Thank you for reading my thoughts this morning. Have a wonderful day and please remember to pray for one another.

He Did What He Promised

I am so thankful for where I am in life right. I’m even more thankful that I can recognize that I have been blessed more than I could have ever asked for or imagined. (Ephesians 3:20)

This time last year, I was living in a small three-bedroom apartment that was infested with memories of the destruction that lead to my divorce. It seemed like no matter what I did, a bad spirit lingered throughout each room. Now, God blessed the kids and me with a much larger home, a large enough space to make new memories, and a new space to heal. Here, everything is new. There aren’t holes in the wall that force me to relive who put them there. Yet, I am surrounded by bright colors, large windows supplied with natural sunlight, and most important the presence of Jesus.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! -John 14:12-14

Living with a mood disorder is difficult for not only the person but the friends and family of said person. I fully understand that if I want to have a good relationship with my loved ones, I have to get this mood disorder under control and I cannot do that without divine intervention. There have been moments where I thought this disorder was going to kill me. There were other moments where I felt this disorder would keep me in a slumpy funk for the rest of my life, but now that has all changed.

I see the blessings clearer now. I am beginning to see more of my worth now. I am beginning to see the past in the rearview mirror and have hope for what lies ahead.

Our Father not only answered my prayers, but He went above and beyond to prove to me I AM NOT ALONE and I AM WORTHY OF HAPPINESS AND PEACE.

When we know simple truths about ourselves, it helps disarms the enemy from ever using it against us again. It won’t be easy and I know I will be tested, but I feel like if I continue to do what I’ve been doing, then it will continue to work out for my good.

Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”

Amen! I don’t know if I’m saving lives, but I do know that sharing the good news is a part of my life purpose. And I can do so through my blog. I’ve started two other blogs before this one. I wasn’t very consistent on the other blogs because I didn’t have a purpose to write. I would just write any and everything that came to mind. Yet, from the first day I created Healing with Harotian (previously called Harotioan Essentials), I knew I wanted to help people by sharing my struggle and the ways God has brought me out of it. I went into this asking God to be my partner in the creation and content of Healing with Harotian. And all He required of me was to give in to the desire to write, share my heart and mind with fear of judgment or condemnation, and in return, clarity, peace, and self-love, among many other blessings.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many other brothers and sisters.” -Romans 8:28-29

I believe this verse is talking about everyone. Everyone can show God’s love by being a blessing to other people. One of the reasons why I stayed in a dangerous relationship was because I honestly thought life wouldn’t be better than what I currently had. I had no idea that one day I would be surrounded with everything I have today; great friends, unity, forgiveness in my family, and good health.

I say all this to say, if you’re in the dark, keep going, keep believing, keep praying. HE HEARS YOU! He will answer you. He will guide you. He will never leave you. If you feel alone, it is a trick from the enemy. The best advice given to me a long time ago when it came to prayer was, “talk to Jesus like he’s the homegirl”. Knowing that I can have casual prayer with Jesus took a lot of pressure off of me. Thus, going to him when I’m in need felt lighter and easier. The Holy Spirit will teach us how to pray by guiding us to the truth. (John 16:13)

Thank you for reading my thoughts today. Please remember to pray for one another.

Ashley, Healing with Harotian

Transforming the Butterfly

Healing. Curing. Transforming. 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. -Romans 12:2

“…transformed by the renewal of your mind” What does God mean by renewing my mind? How do I renew something that has been implanted into my character for 36 years? Although the answer may be simple, it is extremely hard to accomplish. There are plenty of ways to renew our minds; meditating on scripture, practicing positive self-talk, and eliminating toxic people/things from our lives. Another way to renew our minds would be to surround ourselves with people who live by this scripture, that way, we have support when it becomes difficult. It’s not for the weak or the lazy. It’s for the determined. It’s for the desperate. It’s for the faithful. 

God has placed wonderful examples of what transformation looks like when He has had a hand in its creation. A popular example would be when caterpillars transform into a beautiful butterflies. Personally, caterpillars aren’t much to look at. They live basic life eating and eating and more eating. That’s the purpose of those little buggers, eating plants for the duration of their lives. Some begin to undergo metamorphosis to transform into a butterfly.

When I think of it, I can’t help but relate. Just think, caterpillars leave their comfortable lives to become something better. They sit still allowing the chrysalis phase to do its thing. No eating. No moving. Just sitting. The chrysalis phase can last from three weeks to three years. Either way, once they emerge, they are not only beautiful, but they can fly! Their world has gotten so much bigger. Their appetites have gotten sweeter. They transform into something they didn’t know existed. They allow nature to take its course. They trust the process. 

So, I think that is how we can renew something that has been implanted into our characters for years. We can trust the process. We can allow God to do what He needs to do because he wants our transformation to be more beautiful than we thought could ever exist. He wants us to FLY!

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. -Ephesians 3:20 

I don’t know about you, but I want to fly. I’m ready to fly. Good thing that I’m determined, desperate, and faithful. Thank you for reading my thoughts. Please remember to pray for one another. 

Best Love,

Ashley, Healing with Harotian

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Not to long ago, I was wallowing in self-pity, trying to figure out how did I get so far from God. One day I woke up and found His presence to be faint. I was lost. I was confused. I was carrying the world on my shoulders. ” How did I get here?”, I would ask. Once again I found myself begging for Gods love, begging Him to take this weight off of me, begging for Him to save me. I begged, “Father, please meet me where I am! Please forgive me for putting the world before You”. Once those words were said out loud, I then realized where the disconnect began. As many of us do, I drifted into what the world wanted from me instead of living in the truth of who I really am. 

The other day, my son and I were doing homework together. One of his spelling words was “hare”. He proceeds to ask, “Mom, what’s a hare?”. Once I told him it was another name for a rabbit, I went into the story about the tortious and the hare. I ordered it on my amazon audible app and we intently listened to the story about how (**SPOILER ALERT**) the tortious triumphantly defeated the hare because he was so determined, he didn’t allow distractions to get in the way of him reaching his goal. The hares problem was that he assumed he would win because technically rabbits are faster than tortious’, and because of that arrogance, he was convinced that he could indulge in those distractions and still come out on top. 

As I was listening, it hit me. I have been living my life like the hare. And God knew it. As I cried out to Him, the plan He has for me was set in motion for me to realize I have been living like the hare. I’ve been assuming that I have to be further than I am, thus pushing myself until I crash and burn. And when that happens, I lose. My mental state is on the fritz, my overall function becomes almost nonexistent, along with the desire to stay hidden from the world. Once I get to a place where I see a glimmer of hope once more, I start all over, working hard to get back to a place of peace. 

I never once considered to take it slow at a pace that suits me and that it is ok if my life is not in the same place of my friends and family. I now see that every step I’ve taken from the time I was born up until now has prepared me for this moment. There is no better teacher than life experience. Although I am only 36 years old, I’ve seen what this world has to offer. Maybe even too much. And trust me, it’s nothing to brag or be proud about.

Now is the time to be the tortious. Now is the time to take control by setting healthy boundaries to make sure we aren’t trying to live up to the worlds expectation. Throughout the story, the tortoise became tired and hungry, but he kept going. Fortunately, we have one advantage that the tortious didn’t have. Yahweh! When we get tired, when we became famished, when we feel the odds are against us, the answer isn’t to look for the world for answers, but look to the Word. 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

A couple of months ago as I was crying out for God to save me, He pointed me towards the story of the Samaritan woman. Once I obeyed, I was able to see that Jesus wanted me to sit at his feet, allow him to remove the burdens I was carrying from shame and guilt. As I meditated on that, now He is pointing me towards embracing my journey. Now that I think about, I’m not sure if I asked God to reveal what journey I’m on. The only thing I know is meditating on His word and listening to it as much as possible was transforming me, is transforming me. 

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. -Romans 12:2

It wasn’t until this morning that I realized the season that God has me in; forgiveness. People have been coming into my life that I thought I would never see again. Even though, people are also disappearing from my life just as fast. 

I recently had a conversation with my father whom I sore I would never talk to him again. I thought the conversation was going to lead me down a dark place, but it didn’t. We were able to be open and honest with each other, thus prompting healing to begin. I never hated my father. I just pretended he didn’t exist. Now I see that is a very unhealthy way to live. Somehow, after having a conversation with him, I feel lighter and now I get to practice creating healthy boundaries with someone that I have a lot of history with. I am able to live in the gray of our relationship instead of living in the black and white with expectations. I will be able to say, “yes, I’m mad at you, but I’ll talk to you tomorrow” versus “yes, I’m mad at you and I never want to see to you again” every time there is conflict. 

Slow and steady wins the race. We are all on our personal journey, whether if you believe in God or not. We live our lives like the hare by allowing ourselves to become distracted. We are all here to do something more with our lives, rather than filling the pockets of Netflix and Hulu execs by streaming shows and movies a million times a month. We could spend that time investing in ourselves, not allowing major distractions to detour us from answering the major question in life: why are we here? The desires of your heart are there for a reason. If there is something you’ve been thinking about doing and you cant stop thinking about it, then I think that is a great indication that you are meant to do that. Whether you succeed or fail, at least you wont be stuck with a “what if”

Jesus said, You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” -John 14:13-14

I asked for Him to meet me where I was, instead of expecting me to meet Him where He is, and He did just that. I asked Him to save me from myself, invading thoughts of hopelessness and negetivity. He did just that. I asked Him to help me get to where He wants me to be, that I can do so with a healthy mind and heart. And He’s doing just that. I want to be clear, I don’t want to make it seem that God is a genie in a bottle. He grants us our prayers because He loves us. He wants better for me. I was in a place undesearving of a princess of the Almighty God the Father. He wants different for us, but He also has to make sure we want it for ourselves. Thus, allowing us to get to a point where we’ve hit rock bottom and we need no one but Him. Allowing Him to do what He always promises to do, take care of me. 

He has taken care of me by sending people in my life who genuinely love me. People who are sitting at the sidelines during my race, cheering me on, no matter how slow I am going. I’ve been blessed with people who will tell me the truth versus going along with every bad decision I want to make. 

So now, I am the tortoise. I will embrace this season of forgiveness while moving at a pace that is healthy for me. I thank God that He wants to see me free from a unforgiving heart. I’m grateful that I am that important enough and loved enough. If He loves me this much, then be encouraged that He loves you all the same. 

Thank you for reading my thought. Please remember to pray for one another. 

Signing off, 

Ashley, Healing with Harotian


As I’m sitting on the edge of my bed, tears streaming down my face, all I can think about as my husband is telling me he wants a divorce is,  “why me?”. “What did I do to deserve this? God, where are You in this?”. I begged my husband not to leave. I begged and pleaded for him not to leave our family. I promised him, whatever I did, I would fix it. But it was going through one ear and out of the other. I felt abandoned. I felt embarrassed, but most of all, I felt ashamed. “What kind of person has two failed marriages before the age of 35”, I would ask myself. “What are my kids going to think of me? What will my family think of me? I’ll never find someone who loves me as much as my husband loved me. I must do everything I can to get back”, I would cry out. For months, I blamed myself. Two major questions I would ask God, “why me?” and “how can I fix this?”. I went to marriage counseling. I read what seemed like every book on marriage I could find. I allowed him to use me, placing me in compromising positions for his own benefit. My husband fooled me into thinking the breakup was my fault and there was still time to make him come home, I just needed to continue to preform my wifely duties, all while living his life as if he were single. The more time that went on, the more ashamed I felt. I was doing things for him that made me really uncomfortable, sometimes it would even be illegal. The last thing that shame would allow me to do is look beyond my own circumstances and see the grace in the situation. 

Prior to my husband leaving, he was physically, emotionally, and spiritually abusive. Every time my husband hurt me, I would cry out to God asking Him to change my husband into the husband that I thought he was suppose to be. I thought God was suppose to do what I asked of Him. I thought no matter what, God was for marriage and that He would do anything to fix it. But shame hid the truth from me. Shame had me convinced that the abuse I was facing at the hands of my husband was well deserved for all of my sins. Shame had me convinced that  I deserved every attack, every verbal beat down, every hateful thing done to me. 

That was almost three years ago. Thank God, he delivered me from such abuse. He taught me that what happened to me was not my fault, nor was it something I deserved. He is teaching me that I no longer have to walk around with a shameful heart. Sometimes I feel that I’m not good enough due to the things I have done. Sometimes, I feel that I will be alone for the rest of my life due to the things I have allowed to happen to me. But everyday, Jesus continues to teach me that that feeling ashamed is not my burden to bear. Shame is not apart of who He wants me to become. He is teaching me that what the enemy intended to harm me, God is going to use it for my benefit. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” -Genesis 50:20

We aren’t meant to live with shame. Shame is a tactic used by the enemy to keep us trapped, feeling hopeless and defeated.  Our Heavenly Father is not the father of shame. He is the Father of love, glory, and mercy. He cleanses us from our sin and saves us from ourselves. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

A year after my husband left, I had hope for the future again. He is helping me not feel ashamed or embarrassed. He is given me grace so that I can forgive my husband for the hurt that he has caused my family and I because he, too, is a child of God. So I end with this: “Following Jesus does not end our pain, but it does transform it. Although God never causes our pain or shame, he can use it for our benefit, for his purpose, and to help other people.” -Christine Caine, Unashamed 

Defeating Goliath

Hello Friends, 

Most people know of the story of David and Goliath. A biblical story, starring a young Shepard boy named David, who believed that with Gods help, the Israelites would defeat the Philistines, whom had a fierce giant fighting for them by the name Goliath. The Israelite army did not believe that Goliath could be defeated. But David did. A small boy with no military experience defeated Goliath with three things: a rock, a sling shot, and faith. All three defeated Goliath. At the end of the story, it was the Philistines that ran away in defeat because Goliath was their only plan they had to defeat the Israelite army. (1 Samuel 17)

Mental illness is my Goliath. For so long, I’ve been living like the Israelite Army; living in defeat. Thinking that there was no way out. Thinking that Goliath has defeated me and I have no where to run, becoming still in one place because Goliath wont let me move forward or move backgrounds. I’m not sure why I thought it has to be one way or the other. Before now, I never considered that there was a third option; trusting in God with what He has armed me with and leaving the results to Him.

My biggest problem is, I look around me, comparing my journey to the journey of others. I compare what they have been armed with versus what I’ve been armed with. I would complain about how small and insignificant my weapons were, screaming that it wasn’t enough to get me out of the hell I was living in. And no matter how many times God saved me when he turned nothing into something, I would still overlook the obvious; faith and trust in Gods plan.

My scripture for this month is:

“And I am certain that God who began the good work within you will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” -Philippians 1:6

This month, this scripture is important to me because no matter how hard things get, I have to remember that God will never forget about me and the work that he is doing in me is good. I know that I am meant to be apart of something large in Gods kingdom, we are all. I have to remember that I have to be David. I have to face my Goliath full on with what God has armed me with and faith in Gods plan. 

I have plans. I have dreams. And a lot of times I allow Goliath to stomp all over them. But not anymore. Recently, I have learned something that changes my whole perspective on this fight called mental illness.

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” -Margaret Thatcher

Thank you for reading my thoughts. Please remember to pray for one another. 

Well-Watered Woman

Hello Friends,

Oh how I missed thee? Every time I open WordPress and press that wonderful “write” button, I feel like I’m home. I miss writing so much. I miss sharing my ideas and experiences. I miss reading your words as well as you reading mines. Of course, I’ve allowed life to get in the way of doing what I love to do. Other times, I get discouraged; wanting to write and create, but not wanting to hear the sound of my own thoughts. In order to write, I have think about what I want to say and a lot of times, I want that voice to be silent for as long as possible.

Either way, I always find myself back to my first love; words! I greet you this evening with the intent to share something with you that I find myself clinging onto for hope, prosperity, and redemption. For the past few months I’ve lost my way. Anxiety and depression is more present in my life than ever before. In 12-step programs, they teach us that “depression is self-obsession”. Make sense to me. Anxiety is when we worry about the unknown. When I think about it from a rational perspective, it is a waste of time and energy.

I began making New Years resolutions, starting with putting more effort in my healing and adopting self-love and self-care. Having a family, it hard for me to think of myself. And when I do have time to treat myself to a little self-care, all I want to do is sleep. Tonight, I found out that is one component of self-love and self-care that I have not thought of. This component will not only help me love myself more, but it will also take care of the other ridiculous new year’s resolution I set for myself.

On three different occasions, God brought me to being the “well-watered woman”. This story is presented in John 4:4–26 of the Bible. It speaks of a Samaritan who ran into Jesus at the well near her town. She ran to the well to get a jug of water. Jesus spoke to her (which was technically taboo at that time). The key lesson that we take away from the women at the well is that, she had so much weight, she struggled with so much sin, she needed to be “cleansed”, made new and broken free from the strongholds that had a grip on her life. After Jesus took her burdens and her sins, she ran back to her village to tell everyone what he had done instead of keeping it to herself or believing it was just a coincidence.

What I love about this story is that she was a “nobody”. According to the world, she wasn’t “special” by all means. Matter of fact, they probably would have stoned her for even talking to Jesus. But just like that, he took it all of the weight of her burdens from her. She came for a jug of water, but left with hope, prosperity, and redemption.

Since God gave me three different signs, I believe my place is right beside Jesus at the well. I’ve cried out so many times to have Him remove my strongholds and afflictions from me, but tonight I was reminded that Jesus is the only one that can remove them and my love for him and myself will grow exponentially. I am reminded that it is not me who walks myself through the storm, but he that gives me the strength to walk through and survive. Not only does he give me strength, but he calms my worry and fear and refocuses my mind from the depression.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

—    Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

I love you all so much. Thank you for reading my words and continuing to come along side of me during this journey. Please remember to pray for one another.

Coincidence? I Think Not!

Hey Friends,

I’ve been using this automated voice to take over my podcast for a little bit. I hope you don’t. This will only be temporary. So, let’s jump right into it.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a daily Bible reading devotional in the mail. I always plan to use devotionals to help me spend time with Jesus, but it never seems to go that way. I usually find a way or an excuse not to take a few minutes out of my day to talk to my Him. So, when I received a the devotional in the mail, I was determined to sit down and commit to reading and studying for the next 30 days.

Day one was about the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman. If you are unfamiliar with the story, here is a brief synopsis: Jesus had stopped by Jacobs well to rest, when a Samaritian woman came to gather water for her family. Back then, it was unheard of for Jewish men (Jesus) to associate themselves with someone like the Samaritan woman. She was married five times and was then living with her boyfriend at the time she met Jesus, which was also very taboo.

“Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ v.9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.” -John 4:7, 9

This woman was a recluse of the town because of her lifestyle. She was accused of being a prostitute and was greatly condemned for her immorality. She chose to draw water at the very hottest of the day in order to avoid contact with the other women responsible for drawing water for their families as well.

After I read the devotional, it made me feel like God was saying, “Ashley, rest at the well. Bring all of your worries to My Son, Yahshua.” After that of course, I forgot to pick up the devotional pamphlet to finish the rest out the rest of the month. I wasn’t at all bother because I was sure of my instructions to “rest at the well”. Rest from the stress of the world. Rest from having to be in multiple places at once. Rest from treating self-care like its one more thing I have to check off the “to-do” list.

A couple of weeks later, I’m shopping at my local resale shop. They always have the best books. Anyway, I came across this Bible study called, Journey to the Well by Vashti M. McKenzie. After reading the first couple of chapters, I’ve come to the conclusion that God needed me to see this. I feel that He needed me to see:

“Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes fresh, bubbling spring within the, giving them eternal life.'” -John 4: 13-15

I know when I’m running low because I feel depleted and drained; when I feel I have nothing left to give. I think that’s what Jesus meant when he said “anyone who drinks this water will soon be thirsty again.”

One thing that I have learned during this journey is patience and faith. I have to have faith in order to keep going. Without faith and hope, what is there to hold onto? Many of us are going through our struggles alone for no reason at all. Bottom line: we all need each other, even the broken outcasts.

Jesus transformed the Samaritan womens life. She was ashamed and driven by her fear and her past. Yet, a person who should have nothing to do with her according to society’s standards, transformed her life by giving her hope, which turns in faith, which turns into freedom. It’s easy to become a prisoner of our own desires. For example, I so badly wanted to move on and heal from my husband, I allowed it to control my life. Everything I did was to not feel the pain weighing on my chest every day, but I was neglecting other areas in my life.

Like my brother says, “Ashley, everyone has something going on” and he is absolutely right. And while I’m on this journey of healing, I want to stop to smell and roses. I want to enjoy the scenery. I want to celebrate the good, the bad, and the ugly. And I definitely want to break free from the “woe is me” demon. If you have the same goals, then let’s work together to make that happen.

I would like to share a warriors story of infertility. If you’re kind enough to listen to her story, I ask that you please pray for her and her husband.

“Your (me) post made me reflect on my own muddled feelings about not being pregnant yet. Each month during the two week wait, I tell myself not to get emotionally invested, not to overthink EVERY weird feeling and mistake it for a pregnancy symptom. Not to hope, dream about due dates and outfits and life lessons I can’t wait to share.

In over 15 months now, I’ve been disappointed to the point of heartbreak, so I know NOT to do these things. But I do it anyway, every damn month. And every time I get my period I do into a funk. I feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick the ball Lucy is holding, only to jerk it away. Rinse and repeat one month later. Why do I do this to myself? I’ve heard ALL the messages on trying to reduce stress and take it easy, but that’s something my mind has never been able to get on board with. Like you, I have tried various techniques to try to chill.

It leaches out into the rest of my life. I am now apparently bitter when I hear about women being pregnant. I feel like my life is on pause because it could happen at anytime, and it feels terrible to live in this weird limbo of the unknown.” -Anonymous.

First, I would like to say that I am so proud of this woman for speaking her truth. Fear is running rampant in our hearts and in our homes, that it makes it feel impossible to share ones struggles. Secondly, I would like to tell you that you and your family are in my prayers; the God I serve is more than happy to bless you with way more than you can ever imagine or wish for (Ephesians 3:20). Do not give up hope. Take this time to learn about yourself. Allow this time to connect more with your partner. If not, connect with someone who can be a support for you. But whatever you do, do not become a recluse. Find support.

I love you all and thank you for listening to my thoughts. Please remember to pray for one another.

Mental Illness Made Me Selfish

Hey Friends,

Recently, I’ve lost my voice, literally and figuratively. It’s frustrating and heartbreaking to say the least. Story time: The other day, I lost a friend over personal differences. I can’t help but to wonder if this friendship is just another casual victim to the mental illness that plagues my life every single day. This wouldn’t be the first friend or family member that decided to give up on our friendship or has forced my hand to give up because of the baggage I carry. I don’t blame them. It’s hard to deal with a person walking out their mental illness journey. But, this person was very special to me and I thought I was special to them. That part doesn’t matter. What does matters is how can I find my voice in these situations?

When I find myself in these situations, my broken heart takes over and I lose my voice. I lose the ability to defend myself if there is wrong-doing. I lose the ability to see the situation for what it is and not take it personally. I lose the ability to take the relationship straight to God and rely on His wisdom. I become immobilized. My mind is taken over with thoughts of what I could have done different to either save the relationship or to avoid the pain all together. I lose discernment and common sense. My main focus becomes “making the pain go away”. I become overly sensitive and and defensive. I internalize the negative thoughts and feelings I have about myself and feel as though everyone else feels that same way. I spend hours, sometimes days, trying to dig myself out of this pity pit I seem to get myself into. My mind understands that this is not reality, but my heart and my body aren’t on the same page; which then, takes over my mind. I become useless, then ultimately selfish. I think of no one but myself. I function only to “feel better” as much as I can. Heartaches destroys me. I don’t think this is a normal human function. Hearts get broken everyday. Why does it seem that mines can’t handle everyday mischief? Why am I a professional track star when it comes to heartbreak?

I would rather die than continue to live life this way. I’ve tried everything; psychiatry, therapy, God. No matter what I do, I continue to find myself in a prison of suicidal thoughts and selfish coping mechanisms. It’s normal for people to think that this is all an act, or the fact I can help feeling this way. For me, this is furthest from the truth. If I would a trillion dollars, I would give up every last penny to not feel heartache for just one moment. No feelings of guilt or shame. No feelings of despair and hopelessness. FOR. ONE. MOMENT.

Thank you for listening and reading my thoughts. I know it’s not the cushy, motivational content but today I just do not have the strength. Love you all. Please remember to pray for one another.

With Love, Ashley

Podcast Ep. 2: Life After Narcissistic Abuse

So, you’ve left or they have left you. Now what? It is completely normal to feel that your life has been snatched for you. It’s normal to feel like you want to go back to the relationship, even after the last blowup that may have caused the separation. It is normal to suddenly get abuse amnesia and want to forget the bad stuff and look forward to the honeymoon phase, which is your abuser convincing you to come back by promising to do better and gift giving. 

No worries because you literally cannot help it. When we find ourselves in a cycle of narcissistic abuse, there are number of things that happens in our brains. It’s normal to feel like you aren’t able to make decisions or not being able to concentrate on anything longer than a couple of minutes. Our brains are responding to the trauma that you’ve endured and is trying to make sense of it. Your brain thinks your narcissist is a “drug” and now you are “detoxing”, due to the dopamine levels increasing during the honeymoon phase and decreasing during the separation phase.

The very first thing you need to do is reach out for support. Begin building a foundation of supporters that you can depend on. These people will help you find stability in this unstable moment in your life. For me, I first began repairing my relationship with God. During my relationship, I tried everything but God to help me get through what I was going through. I was skeptical about “God” because I believed the world when they told me, I could get through this myself. You may not believe in God right now. And that’s ok because it doesn’t mean that He has stopped working on your behalf. As Alcoholics Anonymous says, right now, choose a god of your own understanding. Some people choose to the Universe, others may choose Mother Nature, etc. And I’ll continue to pray that my God of Love, Compassion, and Understanding is reintroduced into your life.

the Bible says to: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31: 6

God also says that “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Right after my husband left, I was so mad at God! I didn’t want to believe in Him anymore. I wanted to give up on everything good I was taught about the Creator of the Universe. Shamefully, I would even curse and yell at Him. I blamed Him for what I was going through. Until, I learned it wasn’t His fault. During my healing and recovery, I realized the numerous signs Gos was showing me from the moment I met my husband up until now. He tried to save me. He tried to warn me, but I didn’t listen. I wanted to do my own thing.

#2 – If you can, you have to stop all communication with this person. If you have ties with this person, such as business or children, its important to act like a gray rock; bland, uninterested to what they have to say or what they have going on. I was told for a year and a half to do this and I didnt listen. I thought my circumstance was different. But, it ended up with me having to get an order of protection against my husband due to continued physical abuse after the separation.
#2a If you are currently in a situation where you are unable to escape right now, I would encourage you begin planning for an escape. Reach out to an abuse hotline to get information to your nearest women’s s shelter. Here is my town of St. Louis, we have a organization or 800.941.9144. Put together an emergency to go bag, which will include: important documents, a change of clothes, important phone numbers and people. Hid it in a place where they are unable to find it. So, if the next time they become violent, you can grab your bag and go. If you have children, do the same for them as well.

#3 Get couneling. Imagine this: the narcissist has been driving your car (you) for so long; abusing it by not keeping up with the maintenance, making sure it stays nice and clean, and making sure it stays in the condition that it was given to them or even including a few upgrades along the way. Now that you have your car back, its your turn to take the steps to get your car repaired. You were able to get it away from the narcissist before they completely killed it. Some of us that made it out are extremely blessed. There are many of us who do not survive; either we kill ourselves from the heartbreak and mind games or we become extremely mentally and physically ill, stuck in a prison of our own minds and bodies. 

My first year of liberation, it was so hard. There were so many days and nights I truly thought I wasnt going to makee it. I spent so much time, worrying about him and what he was doing. I spent so much time blaming myself for the toxicity that I allowed into the lives of my children. I spent so much time hating myself and sometimes God, trying to figure out what I did wrong and what I can do right so my husband could come home. As I stated in the last episode one, I was extremely confused because I didnt know why I wanted the abuse back. One time I even remember saying, “being with you hurts less than being without you”. How morbid is that? But then, my support system kept encouraging me, feeding me the truth because I clearly was still living in denial and not in my right mind. 

The truth is: it is NOT our fault, even if we stayed. Know that you did the best you could with what you had and how you felt at the time. Be kind to yourself. Work on forgiving yourself first, then the rest will follow with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Without Gods guidance, unfortuantely we are more prone to believing the lies and staying the situation. Also, have patience with yourself. Research states that it takes a person seven times to leave before they never look back. You may be on #1, #7, or #15. I encourage you never stop trying. Do not settle. You deserve so much more, whether you believe that or not. I’ve struggled with knowing what I deserve and what I dont. I just was recently in a situation where someone did something that made me uncomfortable and I had to question if this person valued my worth or not. I had to ask multiple people to get their perspective: I reached out to my spiritual mentor, and I even googled it. And amazingly, all of them said the same thing, which was “yes, girl! That was a complete violation and you need to run…RUN!” 

Right now, you are in a vulnerable place. Right now, while we are wounded, other narcissistic people can smell our suffering and they love it. You may have people coming to you saying they want to help you heal, and may even do things that show they “care”. Now is the time to heal. Now is the time to connect to people who can help you and be compltely honest with you. Not someone who is going to place you in the same predicament as your previous relationship.

If you have any questions, please do not feel hesitant to reach out to me. We can talk, we can cry, we can pray, or I can simply send you more information.

Thank you all so much for being apart of this journey with me. I love each any everyone one of you. Please remember to pray for one another!

Narcissistic Abuse is Very Real and You’re Not Crazy

Hey Friends,

Its official like a whistle! Im a podcaster. This is my very first episode and its raw, honest, and scary.

Please click the link below to take a listen! Please comment whatever is on your mind.

Thank you in advance for listening and reading. And too my long time followers, ya’ll the real MVP’s!

Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: Beware of Narcissistic Abuse: My Raw Personal Experience

First Podcast Episode About Intimacy

Hello Friends,

So, I have decided to test the podcasting waters. I have recorded a very rough cut of a subject that was on my mind one day; what is the true meaning of intimacy and how do we obtain it for ourselves without further damaging our lives and the lives of others? I don’t think my episode answers those questions in depth, but I do think it will start a conversation that would hopefully lead to healing and understanding.

Thank you in advance for your support and prayers. Remember, now more than ever, please remember to pray for one another and God bless each and everyone of you.

Until next time….

Day 5 of 150 Days of Psalm Challenge

Hello Friends,

Welcome back to 150 days of Psalms Challenge. Friends, today was a challenge. I have so many blessings coming my way right now, but I’m also battling my own demons. It’s confusing to be honest. My blessings are coming at a time that I feel undeserving because I find myself summoning to the desires of my demons. I have to remind myself that this is not my fight, but sometimes the weight of the world becomes too must be bear. Either way, I wanted to get that off of my chest. That’s my “whoa is me” moment for the post.

My sponsor says I have to work on being consistent and forth coming with my truth. Unfortunately, that’s the one thing that I suck at the most; consistency! I say that to say, I apologize if any of you have been waiting for a chapter five post, but I also believe that everything happens in Gods timing, so hopefully this comes right on time for someone. It did for me.

Psalm 5

O Lord, hear me as I pray;
    pay attention to my groaning.
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
    for I pray to no one but you.
Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
    Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness;
    you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.
Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence,
    for you hate all who do evil.
You will destroy those who tell lies.
    The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.

Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house;
    I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.
Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
    or my enemies will conquer me.
Make your way plain for me to follow.

My enemies cannot speak a truthful word.
    Their deepest desire is to destroy others.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
    Their tongues are filled with flattery.[a]
10 O God, declare them guilty.
    Let them be caught in their own traps.
Drive them away because of their many sins,
    for they have rebelled against you.

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
    that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
12 For you bless the godly, O Lord;
    you surround them with your shield of love.

When I first read this chapter, my first thoughts were, “Oh no, God is mad at me because I do wicked things and I lie and deceive! There is no way God can forgive me for what I’ve done.” But then the Holy Spirit lead me back to the first three verses:

O Lord, hear me as I pray;

    pay attention to my groaning.

Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,

    for I pray to no one but you.

Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.

    Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

The words that stand out to me are “hear me, pay attention, listen, I pray, cry for help, listen to my voice, wait expectantly”. I am the daughter of the Most High. I can cry for help and He will hear me and listen to my voice as I pray. Since the beginning of Psalm, the author has been asking God to destroy his enemies. The author isn’t God enemy. You’re not God enemy. I am not God enemy. The evil forces working against Gods Kingdom and anyone crazy enough to go along with the plan is the enemy. At once, I too was crazy enough to go along with the plan to be Gods enemy, but thank you Jesus that He loved me too much to allow me to stay His enemy.

In the chapter, I believe the author is definitely warning us against the type of people not to hang around and most importantly what behaviors to watch in ourselves. I love how much of Gods love radiates from the Authors words. I feel safe after meditating on this chapter. The Author says a beautiful prayer for Gods people in the last two verses. How amazing is that? The person speaking is really going through it with this enemies and he is still remembers to pray for us!

Thank you all for sharing my thoughts tonight. I would love to hear your thoughts on the Psalm 5. What is God saying to you? What did you get out of it? I love you all and please don’t forget to pray for one another.

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