Who’s Ashley?

smiley-face-question-mark_556117Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve read a lot of post about personal growth. I mean, it’s the end of the year, so I’m sure it is only appropriate for people to share how awesome this past year has been for them. I was trying to think of what I could write for a “2017 End of the Year Wrap-Up” blog, but honestly, I’m having a hard time coming up with a post. It’s not that I do not have anything great to say about this past year. It’s probably because it would force me to think about situations that I would prefer to not think about right now. My emotional and spiritual healing just isn’t in the place that I can share the ups and downs of 2017 and not cry uncontrollably while logging off. It feels a little pathetic admitting that, but it is what it is.

So, instead of letting you guys know about how my year has been (since I kind of do that on every blog post), I would like to share with top secret information about yours truly, only told to a selected few. Let’s go!

5 Not-So-Known-Facts About Me (Ashley)

I am an extremely private person

drkwgThis may sound crazy because I have shared so many intimate details of my life for you guys to read. Honestly, every time I’ve posted a story about what I’ve been through, I’ve gotten extremely anxious and fearful. Then, I think about how many people are going through the same circumstances. For such a long time, I felt alone. I thought that I was the only one going through a hard time; the black sheep. This past year, I’ve quickly learned that I’m not alone and the number of people going through turmoil is astronomical. The fear of judgment and anxiety is not as strong as my desire to help broken people, like me. So, I choose to push forward. Luckily, you guys have been awesome and supportive.

I Iove playing tricks on my husband and kids

pointinglaughingemojiI don’t play mean tricks, just “payback” tricks. For example, I love LifeSavers mints. Not just any mint, specifically, Wint-O-Green flavored. Shamefully, this addiction has caused a couple of cavities. Anyway, I love putting the mint wrappers in my husbands’ clothes and shoes. So later, when he puts on his favorite sweatpants, all he’ll hear is the soft crumble of the wrapper. And there are so many of them. I’ll put at least ten mint wrappers in his pockets. It’s awesome! He’s always so annoyed by it. Afterwards, you’ll find me snickering in the corner like, “Oh yeah, that’s what you get for not putting away the dishes, hahahaha” *evil scientist chuckle*.

I love all things Sci-Fi and Fantasy Entertainment

batman-312342_960_720I love reading comic books, sci-fi/fantasy novels, and watching DC and Marvel movies. Actually, my favorite superhero is Batman. I know, I know, it sounds cliche, but there is something about having a dark past and being able to turn heartache into saving the world, so appealing. If you are a Batman fan, you know that he loves his city unconditionally; good, bad, poor, rich, he saved everyone…without killing them! He feels all life is precious, no matter who you are or what you’ve done. I guess Batman was similar to a father figure since my own dad was absent. Batman was a huge part of my childhood. Like J. Cole said in his song No Role Modelz

First things first rest in peace Uncle Phil/For real, you the only father that I ever knew/I get my b***h pregnant I’ma be a better you

In this verse, he is referring to Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, who was a great father figure for a lot of fatherless, black children in our community. For me, it was Batman.

I love learning about History

4294118869_b34713c1a1_bThe majority of television shows I watch are about history; Vikings, The Tudors, Game of Thrones, Shaka Zulu, just to name a few. I love watching documentaries and reading about history. Anyone’s history. I love learning about other cultures by being aware of their past. When I was younger, I was very judgmental of cultures I didn’t understand. Now, I’ve controlled my judgment by learning about why people or cultures are the way that they are. It helps me “look through the eye of the beholder”. Well, not exactly, but it is a close as I’m going to get right now since traveling around the world has been put on hold. 🙂

I’m secretly a conspiracy theorist

cartoon-coloring-page-line-art-of-a-paranoid-guy-peeking-through-blinds-by-toonaday-505.jpgThink about it, if God can change my life…if He can create trillions of stars, hundreds of planets, walking-talking organisms such as humans, then why couldn’t he create extraterrestrial beings? Or Big-Foot? Or government conspiracy? I’m just saying, I think there is information that only the universe knows. As much as we (humans) like to think that we are the most advanced, superior beings ever created, in my opinion, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Again, this is just my opinion.

Thank you so much for taking the time to learn a little about me. Thank you to all of my followers, old and new. Each like and each follow inspires me to write reading material worthy of your time.

Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

How Fear Became My Guide

10 Steps for Overcoming the Fear of Making a Change

Fear can be scary. The uncertainty, the regret, the guilt…all of which can be partnered with fear. Those feelings are heavy or overbearing. They can make you feel numb and overwhelmed at the same time. This is probably why people give into the fear because it can be too much to bear. Have ever wanted to do something, but then thought, “No I can’t.”, “What will people think?”, “What if I fail?”

I’m here to tell you that fear can be your best friend. Sounds crazy, right? It’s not. Fear can be your guide to greatness.

Today was my husband’s Christmas party at his school. A few weeks ago, he told me that I should try to sell my awesome 100% all natural soy wax candles. At first, I agreed, until last night. Fear was hitting me hard. I began coming up with excuses as to why I shouldn’t take my candles to his party. I thought to myself that no one was going to be interested in buying my candles. I became so afraid that I almost had a panic attack. My thoughts were becoming louder than the truth.

That’s when it hit me. If I’m having this much fear from an idea that could improve my life and my family’s lives, then maybe this is something that I SHOULD be accomplishing. I mean, the worst thing that could happen is no one would purchase any of my candles and that is ok! I know my candles are awesome and honestly, they provide therapy when I’m making them. I love the smell of the soy wax melting into its silky substance and how the essential oils swirl in the wax before settling. So I made myself get up. It resulted in 4 glorious, relaxing hours making soy wax candles; prepping them to look awesome and appealing. Making sure that each scent was strong, yet soothing. Each candle that I crafted slowly took away my fear and replaced it with pride.

So, this morning we headed off to his party. I was cute (really cute *snaps*) but sweaty from my nerves being on ten. I was so nervous. At first, the other party-goers weren’t showing interest, but then my wonderful husband asked, “Hey, does anyone want to buy a candle?”

I sold out immediately. I repeat…I SOLD OUT! It was amazing. I look back and wonder, what was I so afraid of? If I would have listened to fear, I still would have been wondering how to pay my car insurance bill. Now, I have the money that we need.

I didn’t listen to fear, but I allowed it to guide me. Whatever it is that you want to do…Whatever it is that will make you dance naked on the rooftop if you accomplished it…DO NOT listen to fear, but use it as a guide to do better and become better.

Sometimes, God wants us to feel fear and sadness. He wants us to use fear, sadness, disappointment, and every other negative feeling, to become stronger than you thought you could be. Allow your negative feelings to turn into positive actions.

You are awesome. You are loved. You are wonderfully made.

“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” -2 Corinthians 7:10

Guess Who Was Nominated for The 2017 Liebster Award? ME!!!!

8948E1F7-669A-4A17-B756-BFF58463E0D4Dee Kay from The Immortal Arts Blog was kind enough to nominate me (yes, me!) for the 2017 Liebster Award. I am truly honored and thankful to Dee Kay for considering me and a few others blogs for this wonderful award. It is always encouraging when others recognize the hard work that goes into writing and managing a blog. Thank you!!

I would encourage you to check out his blog by clicking here. He blogs about all forms of art, including written and oral short stories, poems, singing, etc. Trust me, you’ll love it.

There are rules and regulations to become nominated. You can check those out by clicking this link Liebster Award Official Rules.

If you choose to accept your nomination, you must:

  • Create a new post thanking the person who nominated you, provide a link to their blog.
  • Include award graphic.
  • Answer the questions provided.
  • Make a new set of 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Nominate 5-11 upcoming or recently followed bloggers and share your post with them so they see it.

Below are my answers the questions that Dee Kay asked for his nominees:

1. What is YOUR story? Write it in less than 250 words.

My story is a long one, but 250 words or less should be doable. I come from a long history of mental and physical abuse that, for the most part, stems from mental illness going back as far as my grandparents. I suffer from a mental illness that makes it harder for me to get through life, but it is no different from any challenges that others may face on a day to day basis. For a long time, I was confused about what I should do with my life. It hasn’t been until recently that I have realized that my struggles throughout my childhood and adulthood are supposed to be a testimony to someone going through the same or similar challenges. I want to use what I go through to benefit others. Suffering never presents itself without a reward behind it. I’ve found that people like to give up when the suffering begins, but if you have enough patience to work through it and “get to the end of the rainbow” or “see the light at the end of thet tunnel”, then the suffering becomes a blessing in itself. My reward for my suffering is letting everyone know that things will get better with prayer, persistence, purpose.

2. What according to you has been the turning point in your life? Why ?

I honestly say that there has been a number of “turning points” in my life. I giggle to myself when thinking about it, because God has shown his grace so many times and so many times I chose to ignore it.  I would say, this moment, right now, has been the biggest turning point. I have made it up in my mind that I will longer allow depression, anxiety, lupus, and fibromyalgia to control my life and how I live it. I choose to live life helping others (I love helping people). Honestly, without this diagnosis, I wouldn’t have found my calling

3. If you are granted a wish to build a dream neighborhood, which 5 famous people (Past and present) would you choose and why ?

  • Ghandi-He would help me build and organize a spirtitual temple so people can have a safe place to worship, no matter what religion they are apart of.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr – He would help inspire the people in my neighborhood to come together to help maintain it for years to come.
  • Beyonce- She has the money and the fashion sense
  • 2pac- He would provide great music and vibe-age to any situation and/or celebration.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – For us women to have a little eye candy walking around.

4. What one message would you like to give to a teenager who is suffering from depression?

NEVER GIVE UP! Never allow anyone to convince you to give up. You will be so proud of yourself when you look back to say, “ I did it”, “I pushed through”. You are not alone. You are worthy of greatness. You are beautiful. You are wonderfully made.

5. If you have the power to change one thing/situation from your past, then what would it be and why ?

I wouldn’t change a thing. If what I’m going through or have been through, is preparing me for what’s ahead, I wouldn’t change a thing.

6. Name 5 movies that had a real impact on you?

Oohhh, yes. My favorite question because I love movies.

  • The Color Purple
  • The Pursuit of Happiness
  • The Lion King
  • Beaches “Did you ever know that you’re my heroooooo”
  • Loose Change: 9/11 Documentary

7. What is your take on WARS? Do you think wars are important to shape the world?

Honestly, I think if everyone smoked a little cannibus and had a meeting about their issues, wars wouldn’t be necessary. But maybe that’s the wishful thinking hippie inside of me.

8. What would be your final words to your loved ones on your deathbed?

Take care and protect each other with every fiber of your being.

9. Share an incident with us that was so overwhelming and touching that it still fill your heart with emotions?

Yesterday, I blogged about Jesus presenting himself to me. It was amazing because I was ready to give up and take my life, but His voice and appearance was so present, it brought happy, humbled tears. I’ve never felt anything like it. Please read Letting Go, Letting God

10. Write a letter to any of the following (500 words)

I know that things are confusing right now and I know that you are scared. Your mom is going through changes that you may not understand right now. Just know, that this will not last forever. Everything will get better. One day, she will no longer be able to say those awful things to you or make you feel worthless. Everything that she is saying to you is not true.

You are beautiful. You are worthy of love. You are going to grow up to be such a wonderful person. All of the pain that you are feeling, you will be able to use to help other people and make real changes in your life.

You are so smart. You are destined to become a great woman. If anyone says otherwise, ignore them because they are wrong. It may seem like they are right because so many people are telling you that you will never succeed. Don’t believe them. You are capable of becoming the writer and counselor that you want to be.

Believe in yourself, Ashley. It may seem like no one believes in you, but you have people that are helping you get through what you are going through. You may not see it or realize now, but there are people making sacrifices to help you. Stay patient, stay sturdy, and stay being you. You are loved!!!

P.S. Sex does not equal love. God will bless you with someone who’s going to love you beyond your wildest imaginations. Just so you know I’m serious, his name starts with a K 🙂

10 Questions for My Nominees

  1. How did you get into blogging?
  2. Was there anyone close to you that discouraged you from blogging? If so, how did you handle it?
  3. What inspires you to blog?
  4. Where do you see your blog in 5 years?
  5. What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a blogger?
  6. What would you say are your best personality traits?
  7. What are your (5) favorite songs? Why?
  8. If you had one wish to better this better our world, what would it be and why? (Describe in 250 words or less)
  9. What are your favorite (3) quotes that inspires you to get through hard times?
  10. What would you like to accomplish through your blog?

The nominate the following bloggers:

  1. Timeless Classics
  2. IvesTrendyTopic
  3. Understand546
  4. A Brave Mess
  5. The Bipolar Writer
  6. Rotimi Elijah
  7. The Anxiety Junkie
  8. Simofutet
  9. How to Beat Depression
  10. Lexx Speaks
  11. Speaking Soulish

I love all of my followers and your blogs. If I didn’t nominate you, please do not be offended. Nominate a blog that you love and spread the positivity.

Thank you again for nominating me, Dee Kay. Best wishes to everyone else who was nominated. I wish everyone could win.

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” -Oscar Wilde

Letting Go, Letting God

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To my readers,

I didn’t plan on blogging today. I was actually having anxiety about what I should post next, but I had an experience this morning that I had to share with you all.

This morning started out like any other morning. Now that I look back, I see that I was very anxious. I remember saying to my husband how today “just didn’t feel right”. I had a million thoughts going through my mind; things I had to get done, the people that I need to call, the 4-year old that needs me constantly. I started one of my many chores to help push through the anxiety. Ultimately, it became too overwhelming, so I shut it down.

I left my 4-year-old on the sofa with his iPad. I headed to my bathroom to brush my teeth and to get a little peace from my son’s increasingly curious questions. I started listening to a video by Joyce Meyer on How to Beat Depression. She began speaking about how God uses us to press through other people’s lives. I immediately felt so much pain and hurt lift off of me like a heavy blanket.  All of the pain that I was carrying from other people hurting me was instantly gone. It was like forgiveness, hope, and perseverance wrapped in a tortilla made of beauty. It was amazing. I truly wept. I never felt God’s presence so much in my life. It was like He was standing right next to me. I saw Him as clearly as I saw myself. I cried like a baby. I can’t remember a time where I felt so…child-like.

It was the most beautiful moment I’ve ever felt and I needed the world to know. Even if it reaches one reader.  If you have faith, if you seek God, He will answer! He will show up when you least expect it. He showed up while I was brushing my teeth. I had toothpaste everywhere, weeping like an infant. But I loved it. I loved every minute of it. I haven’t felt that much joy in…honestly, I don’t remember. Like I said, I’ve never felt anything like it. It made me realize that when you have the Holy Spirit guiding you, it becomes easier to hear God’s instructions.

Seek God and He will show up. Thank you for reading. I hope this inspires you to push through and know that all of your hard work is going to pay off. Your prayers will not go unanswered.

“Forgive anyone who has caused you pain or harm. Keep in mind that forgiving is not for others. It is for you. Forgiving is not forgetting. It is remembering without anger. It frees up your power, heals your body, mind, and spirit. Forgiveness opens with a pathway to a new place of peace where you can persist despite what has happened to you.” -Les Brown

Unapologetically Living Life

What does living your best life look like? Sometimes we have the tendency to live our lives for other people and feel like we have to apologize or be sorry for when we finally decide to live for ourselves and do what is best for us.

We shouldn’t have to apologize for living our best lives. We shouldn’t have to apologize for doing what needs to be done to make sure we, ourselves are happy.

Below is a list of actions that you should NEVER apologize for:

BEING YOURSELF!

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It takes courage to follow your dreams and not someone else’s. You may be in a situation where someone is making you feel like you have to live the life that they want you to live.

For example, I would love for my son to become an architect. He is so talented and smart. Instead, he wants to become a comic book illustrator. I want my son to live his best life, so I have to support what he wants to do with it. I want him to be himself and never apologize for it. 

Since tomorrow is not promised, be your best self today. You were born for a reason. You were born to shine. Shine bright baby, shine brighter than anyone ever expected you to shine. Blind the haters with your rays of awesomeness.

FOLLOWING YOUR GOALS

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Everyone has goals and aspirations. Follow yours! Do not mind the nay-sayers and haters. You will succeed because it is something that you want for yourself.

Remember, anything worth having is worth fighting for and your dreams are worth fighting for. So, suit up and get prepared. It may be bumpy, it may be challenging, but you can do it. You only get one life. If you woke up this morning, you’ve already accomplished more than so many other people. You are here, you are worthy, you are destined to be great. 

FINDING YOUR INNER PEACE

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I used to let people disturb my peace, but not anymore. Do you know anyone who has the ability to disturb your peace? I’ve decided that everyone that is known for gossiping or drama has been blocked from my phone. Why? I need my PEACE! I need to be able to go through the day without hearing the tragic news that one of these toxic people has caused for themselves.

At first, I felt bad for ignoring them. Then I had to realize that-that heavy, negative feeling that I would have when I hung up the phone was not worth it anymore.

You can’t expect people to change, you can only change how you allow people to make you feel. If you have to chuck up the deuces to get some peace, by all means, do it without apology. This is beneficial to you and you only.

TRUSTING YOUR GUT

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My gut has saved my life 8/10 times. I trust my instincts for almost everything because I feel like it’s the Holy Spirit guiding me.

If you feel like something is right, then go for it. Your feelings are your feelings and they are important. Your feelings should never be a sacrifice for someone who may or may not agree with your life choices. Learn to trust yourself and your needs and wants.

There will be a time where you would have to make a  life-changing decision. It will be easier to make that decision if you trusted yourself and your ability to do what is right for you and/or family.

BELIEVING IN A HIGHER POWER

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I love Jesus! I am a Christian. Nowadays, society will try to make you feel like loving Jesus is a bad thing. Some would argue that I am brainwashed by the church to give away all of my money, but those non-believers do not understand the relationship that I have with God has nothing to do with the church I attend or how much money I may choose to offer.

My relationship with God is 100% about my salvation and selfishly, help with getting through my life’s challenges, but I will address that in a later post.

We should all respect each other’s choices on how we decide to make life work for us. If you are Buddist, great! If you believe in the energy of the universe, awesome! If you don’t believe in anything at all, that is your choice. I will never judge you for your beliefs, just as I ask you not to judge me for mine.

My faith teaches me, that everyone will eventually learn about the grace that God has to offer, and I feel when He is ready to move in your life, that will be between you and Him. I will still love you as He instructs and I will support any endeavor you may want to follow.

Never apologize for having faith in something. If you think the lampshade answers your prayers, then by all means, pray to the lampshade. If that is what gives you the courage to wake up everyday to fight the good fight, then do it. Do you!

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Now, this list also applies to the a**holes. I say this with humor and all seriousness. I know someone who is an a**hole. They will say anything that comes to mind and not cares about someone feelings. If you are like this, you can still apply this to your life. Just know, you have to respect if someone chooses not to deal with you because of your a**holeness or if I choose to hit that good ole block button. It’s honestly my favorite feature on my iPhone, so don’t bring me any drama! 

“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself, comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the essence of beauty.” -Dr. Martin Maraboli

*Photos owned by Google*

Pain-Body? What the Heck Is That?

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Andrew was a troubled child. He was always getting into trouble. Why? At the age of 10, he began to witness his little sister get molested by their father. Andrew tried to tell other family members about the abuse his little sister was experiencing and about how his father and his uncles made Andrew watch pornography and drink alcohol. This trauma started a series of unfortunate events. He began acting out; getting into fights at school and at home, smoking marijuana, and eventually was expelled from school. His mom eventually sent him away to a children’s home for kids who have experienced trauma, but after a couple of years of being away, he came back extremely angry.

Between the molestation trial and Andrews family believing the accused side of the story versus his, he became severely depressed and engulfed with anger, indulging himself into more violence and eventually joined a gang to silence the pain. At age 16, his mom was at her wit’s end and gave up, packing up Andrew’s other brothers and sisters and left town while Andrew was at school.

After that, Andrew became homeless. Jumping from house to house, surviving by stealing and scamming for the next 4 years. Andrew did a lot of things that he wasn’t proud of, but he didn’t know what else to do.

Andrew developed a cycle that he was unaware of. Due to his trauma, a negative energy field called the pain-body was awakened in Andrew that would haunt him for the next 11 years of his life, taking over his body and mind.

When I first met Andrew, I immediately noticed that he was in pain. I didn’t find out until later why he was in so much pain. When I found out, I didn’t understand why he wasn’t able to get help with his issues and just move on. It was like he was addicted to being reminded of his past. He wanted to hold on to it. Andrew was also addicted to drama. I know a few other people who are like this, but it was clear that he needed chaos surrounding him at all times. He was fighting with his family, strangers, girlfriends, everyone.

I finally understood why Andrew was like this when I read “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. In the second chapter, Tolle describes The Pain Body.

What is the pain-body?

The pain-body is an unforeseen force that causes us to unconsciously seek pain over and over again. This is the perfect recipe for self-sabotage. It’s made up of accumulated pain in a negative energy field that occupies your body and mind.

There are 2 different kinds; dormant pain body and active pain body. Active pain body live in those who are deeply unhappy 90%-100% of the time.

What can trigger the pain-body?

“The pain body can be awakened by any unhappiness within yourself. It can take the form of irritation, impatience, a somber mood, a desire to hurt, anger, rage, depression, a need to have drama in your relationships, and so on.” -Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

For example, a child who won’t stop whining about not wanting to take a nap would be considered the dormant pain-body. Active pain bodies are vicious and destructive monsters that feed on your pain. Thoughts and feelings about your life become negative and self-destructive. Some pain bodies have the ability to drive a person to suicide.  

In Andrew’s case, the pain-body inside of him is awakened whenever he would talk to his father about his childhood or if he is reminded of his sister, whom of which has since passed away from a life of violence and drugs.

How does the pain body survive?

The pain-body is developed in the unconscious and that’s where they want to stay. It’s only purpose is to bring pain and grow from it.

“The pain-body wants to survive, just like every other entity in existence, and it can only survive if it gets you to unconsciously identify with it. It can then rise up, take you over, “become you”, and live through you. It will feed on any experience that resonates with its own kind of energy, anything that creates further pain in whatever form; anger, destructiveness, hatred, grief, emotional drama, violence, and even illness.” Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now 

Once the pain-body has taken over, you will want more pain. You either become the victim or the victimizer or both. You either want to cause pain or want to suffer from pain.

For example, at a very young age, the pain-body inside of me convinced me that cutting myself was the best way to escape the emotional trauma I experienced growing up. I thought, if I felt actual pain, then my heart wouldn’t hurt so much. It worked. Well not really. It was a very unhealthy way to deal with my issues, but at the time, every time I would put a blade up to my skin, I was unconsciously feeding the pain-body. Making it stronger with every tear and every stroke.

So, once it takes over you, you unconsciously want more pain. In Andrew’s case, the pain body has already developed from years of abuse and pain. He knows no other way to live. The pain body has not only taken over his entire life, but he is completely unaware of its existence. The pain-body has convinced him that pain and anger were the only emotions that he would feel and the only way to feel better is to cause even more pain and destruction.

How do I become aware of the pain-body?

Have you ever said something to someone that was hurtful? But you knew before you said it, that it would be a really harsh thing to say, yet you say it anyway? You’ve just awakened the pain-body inside of you. You’ve just given it the food that it needs it continues to survive in your psyche. The pain-body is excited now because most likely, there will be negative consequences to whatever you decided to say. Once those events occur, the pain-body goes back to sleep until the next time you decide to awaken it.

“So the pain-body, when it has taken you over, will create a situation in your life that reflects back it’s own energy frequency for it to feed on. Pain can only feed on pain. Pain cannot feed on joy. It finds it quite indigestible.” -Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

How can I get rid of the pain-body?

Become aware of the pain that you cause onto yourself and to others around you. Once you are aware, now you can make a conscious decision to not say hurtful words or make hurtful decisions. Then, you’ll starve the pain body, eventually forcing it to no longer exist.

I don’t think anyone wants to admit they enjoy pain. I mean, I wouldn’t. But it’s like overcoming an addiction; the 1st step is admitting that you have a problem. Same with the pain body.

“Just as you cannot fight the darkness, you cannot fight the pain -body. Trying to do so would create inner conflict and thus further pain. Watching it is enough. Watching implies accepting it as a part of what is at that moment.” -Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

When you become the “watcher” or aware, the pain-body will try to trick you into believing that your pain is a permanent part of who you are. The pain-body is even known to cause physical pains if parts of your body, but it won’t last long. As long as you continue to stay aware and present. At this moment, the pain-body will longer be able to control your thinking.

For instance, Andrew is now aware of the pain-body living inside of him. He is now aware of the pain-body, so he chooses to make a conscious effort not to say or participate in hateful acts. By doing so, he is starving the pain-body. It continues to try to convince Andrew that his life of destruction is great, but Andrew refuses to get back into the negative mind-pattern that he lived with for so many years.

To Summarize

-Pay attention to the feelings that you are having

-Be aware that it is the pain-body

-Accept that it is there

-Don’t allow yourself to think about it (easier said than done)

-Do not allow your feelings to turn into thinking

-Do not judge or analyze

-Do not identify with the pain-body. In other words, do not become the pain-body

-Stay present with the power of your own conscious presence

 

In the present day, Andrew is a work in progress. He has grown so much in the time that I have known him. Addressing the pain-body inside of him is changing his life in so many positive ways. He is now married to a wonderful woman and has three beautiful children. He determined to become a better Andrew.

If you feel like you have awakened the pain-body inside of you, just know that you can overcome those feelings of despair, pain, and anger. This is NOT you! You are NOT your pain or your past.

If you know someone who is struggling with their pain-body, encourage them to read this post or  The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I think one of our many basic instincts is to avoid people like this, toxic people. The truth of the matter is, we may have no idea what a “toxic” person is dealing with inside of their heart. It may take this post or Mr. Tolle’s book to open up the opportunity to change their lives.

“Scars mean you fought. Wrinkles mean you lived. Heartache means you loved.”  Matshona Dhliwayo

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They Tried to Kill Me!: How To Become Your Own Advocate

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Yep! You read it correctly. They tried to kill me. Who is “they” you ask? One of the major hospitals in my city. I went to the emergency room because I was having extreme pain, nausea, vomiting, and few other annoying symptoms that I experience a lupus flare.

Anyone who lives with a chronic illness knows that this process is very tedious and frustrating. I mean, who wants to spend a beautiful day cooped in a room, hooked up to machines that beep every 2 minutes while lying on a yoga mat they call a bed. Lord knows I love that I have the right to go to a hospital to get treated for any problems that I may be having. I fully understand that there are so many people around the world, including some of my fellow Americans in Puerto Rico, who do not have access to health care of any kind; just know I am explaining, not complaining. I digress.

So, the doctor immediately began treating me for the pain. I really can’t remember if I wasn’t paying attention or if he wasn’t fully explaining what was about to happen next. So, I really don’t want to blame him for malpractice if possibly, my thoughts were louder than his voice. I was in so much pain, that I didn’t notice the nurse come in and attached Ketamine to my IV (intravenous therapy). I don’t remember the dosage, I just remember what came 5 minutes after she left. I felt this high that I can only describe as the very first time I smoked marijuana. It was a familiar high. Five minutes after that, I began to feel a high I can only describe as a heroin high. Now, I have never ever in my life taken heroin. I’m just saying, based off of what I’ve seen in person, it felt how a heroin addict would look when they’re finishing that first injection.

In elementary school, when D.A.R.E. officers came in and told us, students, that drugs would kill us, I believed them. It has always been in my head that drugs=death. That’s a little weird to admit, but I’m sure it’s saved my life a few times. I’ve never thought about, dreamed about, or wondered a little bit about what those kinds of drugs would feel like. The strongest drug I’ve ever taken was Percocet 7.5/325mg, I even hate that! So, needless to say, drugs aren’t my thing. *Disclaimer: Marijuana is not a drug, it is a plant.* Sorry, I digress again.

This Ketamine high was absolutely horrific. First, my body felt like it was melting all over the hospital bed, I was so relaxed. Then, I started laughing hysterically like something was funny. No one said anything! I was just laughing, like, “Joker from Batman” laughing. Then, I began hallucinating, but that didn’t last long. Not compared to how long my body felt lifeless, like I was dead. Not to mention my heart rate went up. I was terrified. I’ve never felt anything like it. And the worst part, it only took away my pain for 30 minutes. 30 Minutes! I was high as a kite for almost 24 hours after that. Early, next day, I remember feeling like I was floating through space.

Come to find out, the nurse had the IV drip up way too high, so there was fluid entering my bloodstream faster than it was supposed to. So, instead of the medication entering my body at squirt gun rate, it’s entering my body at a water hose rate. Oh, and did I mention that I’m currently weighing in at 105 pounds?

This experience taught me so many lessons and I want to share them with you. Even if you do not struggle with a chronic illness, please use this as an example, even if it’s just for a check-up.

BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE

You know your body better than anyone! Medical doctors may be experts in their field, but you’re an expert on you. Below is a list of ways to help you become your own advocate

Ask Questions 

It’s true. There is no such thing as a stupid question. Especially when it comes to your health. No matter how big or small, crazy or sane, ask your questions, all of them. Gain as much knowledge as you possibly can so you can have a full understanding of what you are growing through.

Write everything down 

Keep track of all important documents and what you and your doctor discussed that day. Also, keep track of conversations that you may have had over the phone with one of your doctors’ nurses or supporting medical staff. This really helps if you have multiple doctors. If you’re like me, I talk to so many different people, it’s hard to keep track.

Keep a list of current/past medications 

Doctors are human, they make mistakes. One mistake that they can possibly make is prescribing a new medication that may counteract your current medication(s). So when they say, “We’re going to start you on (name of medication).” You can say, “Will it counteract any of my current medications?”

Know and respect your limit 

If they want to perform invasive procedures on you and you’re not comfortable, don’t let them do it. Express your concern. If you feel like you’re not getting heard, get another opinion.

Keep A Journal

 Write down your feelings. Write down your goals. Write down anything that you feel is in important for your recovery. That way, you’re not just keeping track of your body’s needs, but also your minds need as well.

 

I may have exaggerated a little. They really didn’t try to kill me. It was an oversight made by the nurse. Although, if I would have known the above and did a little research on my smartphone, that could have been avoided altogether. For now on, I’m making sure I know everything there is to know about the health care plans my physicians have for me.

 

“Oh, no, not I! I will survive. Oh, as long as I know how to love I know I’ll stay alive. I’ve got all my life to live. I’ve got all my love to give. And I’ll survive, I will survive, hey, hey.” -Gloria Gaynor

Need Fuel? 12 Inspiring Quotes To Get You Through the Day

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We have all bad days, don’t we? You guys know I have. One way that I have shared getting through difficult moments in my life is listening and memorizing motivational speeches and quotes. It helps replace my negative thoughts with positive ones. Since I’ve been practicing this, I find myself being more positive whenever a discouraging thought pops into my mind. Experts now say that it takes 21 days to form a habit. So, 21 days of replacing negative thoughts with more inspiring ones are definitely something that will help defeat depression in the long run. 

Some people believe that words are powerless, but we should know better by now that words have the power to hurt, heal, hinder, harm, humiliate, and humble. We all have heard the saying “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This couldn’t be furthest from the truth. Hurtful words having started wars, destroyed families, and has caused unimaginable pain.

We now live in a world where everyone’s words are being read online every day, all day. In my opinion, we have more social interactions online than in-person interactions. Think about it. We communicate a lot via social media, blog outlets, emails, and text messages. We have the ability to communicate with millions of people simultaneously in a matter of seconds. What a time to be alive, right? We spend a lot of time reading other people’s thoughts and opinions, good and bad. My experience with social media has been egregious. It is actually one of the reason’s why I decided to start a blog. I want to spread more positivity vibes online, since as a society, we spend so much time on here. I’ve noticed that there a lot of people who would rather spread more negative energy than positive energy, but that’s not what I want for our children and the following generations to come. I want them to understand that words are powerful; written, typed, said aloud; they are powerful. As human beings, we should uplift and help each other get through this thing called life.  Below are a few words by some really awesome people who figured out how to overcome the negative energy and push forward. Please judge the message, not the messenger.

“Once you choose hope, anything is possible.” -Christopher Reeves

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. only through experience of trial and suffering can the Soul be strengthened, Vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” -Helen Keller

“Getting better from depression demands a lifelong commitment. I’ve made that commitment for my life’s sake and for those who love me.” -Susan Polis Schutz

“A positive attiitude gives you power over your circumstance, instead of your circumstances having power over you.” -Joyce Meyer

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually fear that you will make one.” -Elbert Hubbard

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.” -Nelson Mandela

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” -Vivian Greene

“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and twice as beautiful as you’ve ever imagined.” – Dr Suess

“Never be limited by others people limited imaginations.” -Dr Mae Jemison

“Success is to be measured  not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” -Booker T Washington

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person and some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” -Former President Barack Obama

Ah Ha! There’s My Motivation!

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Recently, I’ve been pushed to the edge. So far so, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it back. Then, I was given a sudden reminder of why I’m fighting this fight in the first place; my family. It may sound a little cliche, but my children are the most important aspects of my life; emotionally, physically, spiritually. God trusted me to raise these beautiful people to value their lives and to serve humanity as instructed by God. But I can’t do any of that if my head is unstable. I’ll admit it. I’ve allowed people and circumstances to stress me out so much, I lost sight of why I was fighting. Now, after support from my husband, family members, and God, I was able to see why I NEED to fight.

I made a list of Daily Goals that I have to do no matter what, no excuses. There are only about 7 small tasks, but when I accomplish one, I feel even more inspired to accomplish the others. Hopefully, this will lead to my list growing with more difficult tasks that will lead to accomplishing my goals, thus getting the breath of air I spoke about in my last post Living with Depression. I know, once I catch the first breath after drowning for so long, I will be able to swim to land in no time and that moment….that moment is THE MOMENT! that will define the rest of this journey.

One item on my list is to listen to motivational speeches. It’s a way to get pumped up in the morning to start my day. When I’m in pain, I’ve begun a terrible habit of concentrating on that pain and the more I would concentrate on it, the more it would hurt. Then I would give myself excuses as to why I shouldn’t get up. Then…my mind would wonder to even darker places. It was a bad cycle. So, motivational videos help replace those negative thoughts. I’m too busy listening to what they are saying to listen to my own thoughts. Eventually, my thoughts will become those of the motivational speakers and I would no longer need to listen to them, well, maybe not as often.

I would like to share a video that really helped me get over a couple of fears I am having about moving forward. Take a listen and maybe it could help you as well. Sorry, I could only post the link that’ll take you to YouTube. Thanks for understanding 🙂

FIND YOURSELF MOTIVATIONAL VIDEO 2017

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” -Francis of Assisi

 

Side Note* I just became extremely overwhelmed while writing this. I began thinking, “what am I doing?” ,”whos going to read this?”, “people won’t like this”, “this is too much information I’m sharing.” <—– It’s these thoughts that confirm why I should continue to share my thoughts, as crazy as they may seem.  There has to be someone out there that can relate, right? 

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