Category: Ways to self-betterment…

Starting Point

Starting Point

Here’s a bit to get to know me; I hope you are able to relate to different parts of my own story and that I can help you to grow. I won’t give it all up at once, but we will start from the beginning…

I grew up in the small, corn-fed town in IN from the age of 5. My father served in the Army for 20+ years and my mother stayed at home to tend to the house and raise us children. Throughout my elementary years, I struggled to make friends and connect on the level most of my peers seemed to pick up naturally. My first friend wasn’t made until 4th grade, and even then she was more of an acquaintance. I was adopted into their group, which gave me more of a sense of community – but I knew I wasn’t necessarily the top pick for being invited to out-of-school hangouts. I was the child who was among the last chosen for teams, I was picked on during recess, and I was targeted to be made fun of due to my tendencies of keeping to myself. Some of my favorite times were when the teachers would allow me to stay in from recess and help clean the room or grade papers.

When I moved on to Jr High and High School, nothing much really changed. Every year – from 7th to 12th grade – I went in with the mindset that it would be the year that I grew out of my awkward, introverted phase (it never changed, if you want the short version). I had the same group of peers that I hung out with and I tried to blend into the back drop. I hid my body beneath large hoodies and unflattering jeans because I saw other girls as prettier than myself – they were, after all, dressed in the latest American Eagle and Aéropostale styles and wearing makeup that made them look like the models in magazines. When I tried to leave the house wearing makeup, my father would immediately tell me to wash “that shit” off my face.

Sitting in class, the “popular” group of girls would sit near me and giggle, talking loudly enough about their latest sexploitations and glancing my way to ensure that my face was turning red enough to appease their attempt at embarrassing me. Every time, they would succeed. The guys would throw glances my way just because the size of my chest and make derogatory remarks. With each comment, pointed question, and childish remark, I felt myself shrink more into the outside. I didn’t understand why my peers worked in such a hormone-forward way; yet, all I wanted so desperately was to be able to fit in, be invited to parties, and make genuine friends.

The genuine friends I did make were made during the last couple years of my high school career and I had them for a few years after. Even though we have all gone our separate ways over the years, the impact on my life that has been made by them are lifelong. These were the friends who helped me start my journey into truly finding myself. Some of the stories are triggering; my story so far is one of many ups and downs, heartbreaks, loves, abuse, and so much growth. I have struggled with anxiety, depression, not feeling good enough, and constantly running after how to make others proud of me and to love me.

Upon graduating from high school, I dove straight into what was supposed to be my College career. Through the months prior to classes starting, there was a boy who had moved in next door with his mother. My mind was fueled by experiences I felt had been left unfilled during high school, and I was very interested in what the girls had made me blush about for so long. I made it top priority to put myself in the way of this guy in hopes it would turn into some sort of “Girl Next Door” love story. I was unfortunately terribly incorrect with how my story was about to play out.

This teenage Casanova I fantasized over turned out to be a manipulating narcissist. Looking back now, I don’t know how a teenager could be so charming on the outside, but so insidious – he was like a spider. He lured people to him, tangled them in his web, and before they knew it, he was poisoning their lives from the inside out. You may think I’m being a bit harsh, but as of two years ago he’s sitting in prison for attempted manslaughter after a robbery attempt. Everybody has the choice to be a different person at the drop of a hat… Unfortunately, he hasn’t quite discovered that part of life yet.

And with that, I will leave a cliffhanger. Another story for another time. Another lesson to be learned.

For now, the one lesson I have learned, that I have found to be the most helpful of any, is that the only person who can fill your wanting to be loved is yourself. Before you can love anyone fully, you must love yourself; the same goes for accepting love. I have chased after my father’s love in relationships I have put myself in. His love has been there all along, and because I was so busy chasing his love for so many years – I have cheated myself out of loving me. Where I thought I was lacking his being proud of me, I had been the one withholding love from myself and creating false barriers that I thought I had to overcome in order to be loved. The lesson? Love yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Take time to acknowledge everything you have accomplished and take the time to celebrate you.

We all forget that we will all face adversity… no matter where we start out at in life. Even though one person’s hard may look easy to you, doesn’t make it any less hard for them. Each individual person in this world is going through a different type of experience. We each learn from those experiences at different paces; we either get stuck at the same lesson, or are presented with new lessons to be learned. It is our responsibility alone to choose what will help us grow to move on to new lessons.

My Spiritual Health

My Spiritual Health

At a young age, I was always able to pick up on how individuals were feeling or read the energy of a room and tell if something was “off.” I never really thought much about it and believed this was how everyone was because I was never educated about being empathic. Being around negative energy [lower frequencies] always left me fatigued and agitated without any knowledge as to why. Over the past several years I have been learning more about myself and the why behind the way I am being affected on a level different than most.

Being sensitive to the frequency of those around me has gone as far as to physically impact me in some cases. Water – I have found – helps to cleanse my energy from those whose energies I collect. My passion following this is working with the energies of other people and helping them to find peace within themselves. Being able to have recognition in this field has allowed me to learn how to set up boundaries for my own protection and successfully complete my license in Massage Therapy and Reiki Lvl 1.

Spiritual health is something I have been lucky in being able to work on early in life. A lot of this has to do with my being an inward thinker always looking for a deeper meaning and purpose; I have always been one to look at the bigger picture wondering how to heal the world. When I was younger, I tried to find spirituality in religion – but I found it to be prophecy with a misogynistic twist. In my mid-20s I started becoming more involved with yoga and would find peace in myself putting aside time for meditation or spending time in nature.

Connecting to myself on a spiritual level has brought me a lot of peace; I am able to separate myself from otherwise dramatic events and remain grounded. The world has become more still in a sense and I have been able to connect to my true self. Becoming this version of me has not been an overnight happening and I am working on me every day; but, I have been able to overcome my anxiety, depression, and feeling of being lost in the world. When connecting to the deeper purpose of ourselves, peace comes with it, because we are able to start weeding out what is and what is not meant to accompany us on our paths to our authentic selves.

My Mental Health

My Mental Health

Throughout my life, different events mixed with my genetics have caused me to see some very dark times. Both of my parents have depression, which is a mental disease of chemical imbalance in the brain causing a lack of serotonin. My own experience of clinical depression has caused me to feel disconnected from life, to isolate and question myself. The result of this has been finding myself feeling unworthy of opportunities and relationships that would otherwise positively enhance my life. On more than one occasion I have doubted my abilities, self-worth, and whether my life was worth living.

Choices I had made in the beginning of my adult life made me doubt my abilities to steer myself in the right direction. The choices I made consumed me, allowing the voices within to cause self-doubt and trick me into thinking I was too terrible to carry on because I would only cause grief to myself and others. To this day I occasionally struggle seeing light through the fogs; but through many downs, I have climbed higher up and it has become easier to see over the clouds. Unfortunately, there is no cure-all, but on the flip side every day is a fresh beginning. When you feel like you can’t do it anymore, give it one more try… There is a lifetime to give it one more try.

The journey I have taken this far has given me more bright days. By setting short-term goals that are achievable, I have grown more confident in the abilities I have. Through speaking to myself through love, patience, and understanding and taking part in activities I truly find joy in, my brain has been able to release more serotonin and balance out. Surrounding myself with positive influences has helped to lift my spirits and keep a positive outlook. When I am confronted with a situation of negative connotation, I look for the lesson[s] to be learned, rather than immediately jumping to the “why me” mindset.

Taking an active role in my life and being consciously present has helped me to find more joy in life. Performing daily tasks with passion has created little moments of joy and celebratory moments. For myself, having even the smallest moments of celebration (ex. seeing new roots sprouting on a propagated plant, completing household chores, etc.) breathes life into me and forces me to be present. When participating in life, it makes you feel quite alive! It connects you to the here and now; and disconnects from negative feelings – even for a brief moment – and allows a glimmer of light as a reminder there are things to live for.

My Emotional Health

My Emotional Health

When I was younger, many would likely agree I had passive-aggressive tendencies. Dealing with my emotions was not something I was taught to do in a healthy manner. Anger came easily to me and I would hit inanimate objects, become disagreeable, yell or scream at others, or just recede into myself. Most of the time it wasn’t even the situation presently happening I was upset at, but an accumulation of past things that had built up turning into a “straw that broke the camel’s back” event.

In elementary my mother stayed at home and my father was always working – or when he was home he would separate himself and do his own thing. The obvious takeaway is that my mother spent the most time with my siblings and me, which left me craving the attention of my father. My mother, at the time, had a positive emotional well-being. Thankfully, this was the strongest impact during the most crucial years of my development; unfortunately, the emotional knowledge I learned from my father was not the healthiest. Due to my having him built up in my mind due to his absence I tended to follow his lead when it came to dealing with my emotions.

This is where my unhealthy outlet for processing negative emotions came in; then, as I got older and my parents separated, my emotion process got worse. Being in the position of not understanding why the separation took place the way I expressed my frustration and hurt turned into resentment for my mother. The way my emotions were processed became me acting out, being disrespectful, and falling into the wrong crowd of people.

Through the years I have learned how to separate myself from situations and view them as a neutral happening. Being able to do this has allowed me to harness the ability to respond to situations rather than react. When I would react to a situation, I would cause a lot of grief for myself that was often accompanied with drama and pain. There was a lot of “why me” in my thinking, instead of taking the time to acknowledge the lesson I was supposed to be growing from. Responding to situations has elevated my emotional maturity and intelligence because of the opportunity to step back an analyze the lesson in the conflict; it has allowed me to turn away from people, places, and experiences not meant to be a part of my life’s path.