Always try to remember…that whatever comes your way has been sent to make you who you were meant to be.
And that everyone else around you has their pain to feel inside them as well. Just as you also will have your joys and pleasures to comfort you and also teach you who you really are.
Think of your life as a journey…that is a destination in and of itself. And that you have a purpose to be here.
For it is in the sharing of our own uniqueness with each other that we help each other through our painful times and make each other’s joyous times more special.
~ Graham Thicke ~
?My sweet and gentle tribe,
May the magic of the holidays be upon you… Tis the season to be with family and friends, basking in the treasures of shopping amongst bows and laughter, fireplaces glowing, Starbucks mocha lattes, making snow angels, bundled with UGGS, scarfs, and puffy bright coats. It is my favorite holiday of the year! The lights of the houses, Christmas trees, and city lights are so magical to me. They become a winter wonderland of beauty. Years ago, as a child, I would just stare at the twinkling lights, thinking they really were magical and offered me hope, peace, and the belief that one day I would be rescued from my abusive controlled home environment. I guess that’s why Christmas was my favorite holiday, as it signaled signs of love, hope, grace, and forgiveness, those special traits and behaviors I never received as a child or even remotely as an adult. It was unfortunate I couldn’t recognize those gifts of love even if someone were to flash them in front of my face with shimmers of glitter. What did they feel like or even look like? I didn’t know. Consequently, I used to wait all year for Santa to come down the chimney, not that we had one, but then, Santa was magical so it didn’t matter to me. 🙂 I wished with glee he would bring me a new set of parents that loved me for me, instead of ones who had impossible, unachievable expectations, which seemed to disappoint them, trigger anger in them, rejection, and impose mental, physical,
and emotional anguish. Therefore, I chose, instead, to live in a fantasy world during the holidays. I would build castles in the snow, pretending I could escape through the secret tunnels I had built inside of them. The fairytales were my escape and became my fake family. I would dream about being Cinderella, having a Fairy Godmother who would offer me one night of opportunity to meet the man who would save me from my parents’ cruelty, always believing, hoping, and praying he would come for me, with or without my glass slipper or boot. He never did. As it turned out, I had to save myself instead. I am the real heroine of my own life and continue to be. It’s a choice I made long ago in order to rise up out of the misery from my past traumas, assaults, traumatic brain injuries, and physical anomalies. They still haunt me, as I am still writing about them. But in writing to you and sharing my pain and how I overcame so much loss, I hope in some small way, it not only assists in my healing, but also in yours. I know there is no fairytale ending in life except for the ones we choose to make happen for ourselves. WE must be proactive in ensuring our present and future is a purpose-driven result of how we respond to it and mindfully set ourselves up to live in the glow!
How we walked through the fire is just as important as how we walked out of it. Christmas IS magic if you believe in it fully and completely. It is a time of love that transcends our despair, depression, hopelessness, and thoughts of suicide. God’s love is greater and bigger than the universe. YOU are a miracle and pure love. Allow yourself to believe in YOU. God’s spark is inside of you just waiting to glow through the cracks of your soul’s shattered glass. I know this because I have been transformed by it. I hope you choose that for yourself as well. It is a daily walk and choice to be joyful when joy is not the gift you see upon waking in the morning light. Yet, despite what I feel inside, I choose joy in my soul, because that is what lens I wish to see the world through regardless of my circumstances. There is no perfect moment, just moments that are perfect for you if you choose them to be. It’s all about perspective! Please join me in this glorious celebration and find those precious gifts that remain deep and dark within, still trying to find their way out to the light during this season of love…
In retrospect, the traumatic events I experienced, having had no control over them, still leave me feeling slightly stranded like the doll on Misfit Island in Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Although, NOT a victim to the tragedies that have befallen me, I still have doubts and second guess myself when making critical decisions in my life. This bothers me greatly, not that it happens often, just when I am in pain, sleep deprived, dealing with migraines, confusion, stress, and/or financially overwhelmed. This type of chaos must be dealt with head on. I have learned over the years
positive strategies to offer clarity and de-stress my inner spirit in order to let go of these doubtful situations that lead me astray and debunked my joy from glory into a sizzle. A few recent doubts that have challenged me and have kept my mind hostage, are questions pertaining to my success versus failure as a writer. Will my writing be good enough for my readers? Will I leave a big enough footprint in coaching others through their healing and recovery process? Will I publish my memoir to my satisfaction or will it be more like to my perfection? And, will I instill light and peace in those who still walk in darkness?
Writing is my joy and brings me inner glow. I derive such passion, knowledge, excitement, vision, and contentment when I write for myself and for others. It clears my mind and heals my soul. It is one of the most greatest gifts I was given and I savor every word I share with others in hopes it heals, brightens, opens hearts, and challenges inner spirits to climb higher to evolve into a more beautiful, brainy, and bold person.? My deepest gratitude has been in forgiving those who have caused me extreme scarring from my past and present. Forgiveness, the unity of grace and humility, is healing, yet sometimes fails to relieve the mind of those dark memories befallen me. There are still triggers, however, from PTSD that haunt me and overshadow tiny pieces of my happiness, which challenge me when trying to blaze a trail, that hopefully will leave behind a golden legacy in supporting others with trauma or abuse. It’s not easy to dismiss other people’s behaviors of hatefulness, anger, mental, physical, and/or emotional abuse that still plague one’s mind from the past, knowing people still offer some of those same disturbing behaviors of their own when their triggers get pushed or they can’t control their environment as they choose it to be.
The holes left in my heart, in retrospect, are still a little raw and haven’t been fully filled due to fear of being known intimately, of continued betrayal, or feelings not being reciprocated. Inasmuch, I still believe Love is the answer that heals the soul and spiritual brokenness of past and present.❤️ After all, the “present” is a gift, and we tend not to recognize how valuable this gift of time is that is given to us each and every day we have it.? We make lists
of “things” to do, instead of lists of “people” to share our time with who may never be with us again in the blink of an eye.? We keep busy, extremely busy with things we claim are our “priorities”, that leave us little time for our friends and neighbors to share coffee, conversation, and/or connection with. We have no idea what battles people are fighting each moment we co-exist with in our world such as colleagues, church members, and people we call “friends” whom we collide with on a daily basis. We are so tunnel vision, we have no concept what others around us in reality are surviving instead of thriving. And, if the truth be known, who cares, right? You would be surprised to learn how others choose to gift their time weekly just to be your client, your church helper or committee member, your patron, your neighbor, or caring friend when YOU need them. Yet, somehow you can’t afford to find the time to give them your time back in return. Giving isn’t about money. Giving is about extending your time and hearts to others. Giving is a reward in and of itself. In giving, we not only bring joy to the ones we share it with, but to ourselves as well.
Giving can be a grand gesture all by itself. During the Christmas holidays, giving financially is a gift many people offer to share their love in ways to show their holiday spirit in some form or another. Non-profits and organizations that are supported by monies during the holiday season by donors and volunteers are grateful if not downright elated by those individuals who come forward to give and support the disenfranchised and their families, so they too can be blessed during the holidays. Some individuals give because they are important in the community and want to ensure they are doing what is right, traditional, and best as is rendered by the status quo in society. No one wants to disappoint others when their title in the community warrants an expectation of goodness. In truth, however, we also give money to organizations, non-profits, and those less fortunate to “feel good” because we are helping give to charity. Truly, that is a gesture of goodwill and in giving we bring joy to those we give to, as to ourselves. Yet, some people still tend to give out of guilt because they need to showcase their merits of community goodwill for name sake only. Either way, giving is the heart of the season, so bring it on! With that in mind, you may find, especially during the holiday season, organizations and non-profits might prefer more than your money. It is your time (Salvation Army ringers), clothing sorters, food distributors, and/or volunteers to assist with the various needs throughout the community, which can be the best gifts of splendor without a dollar sign on them. PRICELESS!! In this way, everyone can share in the magic of giving!? 🙂
Consequently, whichever way you decide to give, whether it be through time, money, volunteering, food and/or clothing, it is how you give it that warrants the gift as the greatest gift of all. If the gift you give is not done with love, than why are you gifting it, right??? Love has great significance when we give to others. If we give because we are expected to, it changes the
meaning of the gift from sincerity to expectation, which leaves a feeling of emptiness for the giver. In comparison, a joyful giver carries with them a cheerful heart, and with that brings requited love and giving. It’s unfortunate, but people do need financial assistance, clothing, shelter, food, medications, counselors, medical doctors and facilities, etc., due to trauma, low socioeconomic status, abuse, PTSD, and addiction. Yet, in the spirit of Christmas and every day, people also need love, kindness, compassion, empathy, and friendship that’s born of truth, honesty, integrity, and forgiveness. These positive character traits exemplify a change from the status quo of those individuals whose behaviors continue to demean and project punitive, patronizing, sardonic, and angry personalities. I’ve come to realize now and during the holidays, people in society need a healthy moral foundation to live on, not just on Sundays, but every day of the week. People, I have found, seem to function out of haste due to time constraints, anger, because they can’t have want they want when they want it, frustrations, from overtaxing their pocket books causing clients to suffer for it, and irresponsibility, when it comes to doing what’s right, and justifying it when they choose to do what’s wrong. The good news, is God sends angels disguised as people (believe it or not!) who we rub shoulders with, although sometimes we choose not to recognize them as such, and may dismiss them when they come to call. That is why we should always share goodwill to strangers regardless of title, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, financial status, ego, fear of the unknown, fear of being known, societal norms, and/or traditions. WE are not here to judge others behind their backs or in front of their face. We really are placed here for serving others. Nothing more, nothing less. That is what Christmas is all about. And, that is what Christmas means to me…✨
God, in His own gentle way, sends us signs to marvel our lives with gifts of love that we may miss if our hearts are not open to receive them. As it is, living in a small town, I find myself shopping online instead of in stores, going alone to Christmas markets now, unless someone surprises me to go with, and sitting at coffee shops by myself instead of with friends. This is not how it used to be, yet transitions cause one to rethink your lifestyle, your friend(s), your family, and who you let in and/or out of your trusted circle. I am all bundled up and no place to go, so I seek out other ways to find Christmas magic.❄️ The signs of Christmas are not found in presents under the tree. No, not at all. They are tokens of God’s greatest love for us as He reminds us of the joy in giving to others that heals our shattered hearts and minds.?Inasmuch, I remind myself, life goes on with or without me, and like a star, I choose to seek out God’s gifts of splendor and glow into the next chapter of my life not knowing where the trail may lead…
And, as Christmas joy appears on many of the corners in downtown, I am delicately aware, as all of us who have walked through the storms of trauma, we’re never quite sure if the storm is over, if it is going to be over, and if it is over, is it safe enough to come out and live “normally” among those who know nothing about trauma and/or abuse? What does that even look like? And, when we finally do walk out of the turmoil, confusion, and suffering we have been brought to our knees with, we realize we are no longer the person we used to be. We have emptied our souls like a fountain all over ourselves and others who were kind enough to listen to our despair ten fold. The shattered glass of our hearts we find crushed beneath our feet, cuts us as we try to move in any direction. We feel stifled by the air we breathe. And if we speak, our voice may be filled with anger, poison, sadness, and hopelessness instead of the magic of the season we wish to feel inside. We are dying to live and yet, inside still wish to die. It is perplexing how the mind’s trauma can be rescued from suffering, or can it? The despair and depression from past blows blind us, and for most of us, we feel nothing. Being numb is like death. I would rather feel frozen, pain, loss, or anger, than nothing at all. We are fearful of the very people who supported us during our worst times, due to the thieves of betrayal whom have allowed mistrust to enter and inhabit our compass. Needless-to-say, people with PTSD are fearful and possibly paranoid of those individuals who know too much about our lives, as they can pull the rug out from under us and abandon us, so our perfectly safe haven we have spun for ourselves like cocoons begins to mirror past memories, which have been carved into our severed minds. So who are we now I continue to ask myself? Where is the Christmas magic during the confusion, the illusions, and the tears, when nothing seems like magic at all?
The people you thought were your family, are no longer available as such, and those beloved ones you thought were so dear have sought out others for their touch. Who knew life after the storm would be so complex, jumbled, and chaotic. The life I once knew is gone. Even now, going on nine years after my second traumatic brain injury, I have had shoulder surgery for a severe tear in my capsule, with six months in bed to recover and heal. I abandoned the possibility of ever working again and realized my career and personal identities were stripped from me. Just like dominoes, additionally, I lost my rental home, my chances of ever owning a home again, I forfeited my high finances to a meager income, and even more sadly, my dreams of ever having a family. I realized with clarity how quickly circumstances can become exponentially driven by uncontrollable forces. These cards dealt me were not my wishes come true. No, not one of them. It was as if I had spun into the Devil’s Triangle at sea and was spinning out of control. When you are in the storm, it is one of the most vulnerable places to behold. Your mind cannot make strategic decisions. Predators prey on you who feel and hear your signals of desperation and fake their sincerity of assistance until you are caught in their web of fate. Narcissists will prey on your vulnerability, letting you in their life, helping you, confiding in you, giving to you generously until they know your weaknesses from which to barter with. When your mind is in a whirlwind, not understanding the circumstances that tragically have surmounted so swiftly in front of you, it shuts itself off to the world and cannot respond. At least mine couldn’t and still may not do such a terrific job at it. It fumbles for processing and finds confusion instead. The files aren’t available and my brain sits on over load until it “boots” backup again! I will sit like a “deer in the headlights” not understanding what to do as someone lays out a plan in front of me, not hearing a word they say. My brain can’t process the overwhelming nature
of what has just happened to me for the one millionth time in my life. The choices people make really are not a reflection of who you are, but of who they have become. You have no control of how others behave nor treat you. All you can do is respond with love, grace and dignity, hoping love conquers all. That is the spirit of Christmas as I see it. This is love and grace at its most vulnerable manger, whereby only goodness overcomes all.
It’s simply amazing what the mind can do when salvaging one’s brain in order to save the resilient spirit in our soul in order to fight on. I continue to fight the fight of injustice done to me and to others like myself. I believe somehow our soulful spirits find each other because of the signals we send out to others who are like minded and end up gravitating towards us. As an empath, the energy during the holidays is massive and quite the load to carry. I feel people’s pain and sadness, like the walking wounded, even though they are selling their hand made wares of crystal ornaments, jewels, or wines. I sense the hardship of their journey and the reality in how their hearts are tender during this time of pain and bewilderment. As exhausting as it is to love one another, I am love, just as each one of you are pure love.? And, just as signals are tokens of who we are in that moment of time, Love is much the same. It plays a powerful role during this holiday season and sends out tokens of its own charm and magic. I am reminded of God’s great love through the birth of His son, Jesus Christ, who was born in a humble manger during a peaceful night where the angels of heaven sang joyously. The signs or tokens of Christmas are given to us through the sparkling and magical lights on Christmas
trees, houses and downtown delights. When all was dark and fast asleep, as the great star that lit the way for the three wise men, bringing frankincense, gold, and myrrh, the dark, overshadowed by light, was a sign of hope to the world. The bright colors of reds, greens, and yellows, plus the smell of cookies baking, hot cocoa in a mug, and gatherings with friends from afar, are tokens of the joy and celebration that comes with Christ’s birth. The caroling of songs and beautiful hymns, children playing, people praying, and opening of gifts are filled with glorious angelic singing from the heavens above. These are the signs of Christ’s Love and of His coming! Let us rejoice and be filled with an abundance of joy and God’s amazing love!?✨
The Lord Himself will give you a sign…” Isaiah 7:14 NAS
“Signs of Christmas abound during this glorious month of December, announcing an event that changed the world, one heart at a time. The word sign derives from Latin signum meaning “mark” or “token.” Follow the signs of Christmas to discover the true meaning in the Nativity, for they are marks or tokens of His coming. Token is defined as a keepsake, something kept in memory of the giver. What are the keepsakes of Christmas?
Consider the lights of Christmas, twinkling on evergreen trees, blanketing houses, decorating towns and villages. In earth’s darkest hour, deep in winter’s midst, the light of Christ bursts forth as a mark of hope.
Look at the vibrant colors of Christmas. Reds, greens, golds and silvers invoke a festive spirit. Inhale the smells of Christmas, fresh evergreen boughs, cinnamon-laced apple cider, brown sugar cookies baking, Christmas-scented candles flickering in the night, all little tokens of joy.
Listen to the sounds of Christmas. Heavenly carols, children laughing, presents tearing, people praying, bells ringing … they all herald His coming, the coming gift of Love to our world. These are signs of love.
A mark is a visible trace of something on a surface. The signs of Christmas are merely the visible traces of a great mystery, of the kingdom of God arriving one Bethlehem morn as our King was born. The Lord has given us signs to lead us to His quiet birth.
Enjoy these signs of Christmas, marks of hope, little tokens of joy and signs of love. Be still and look beyond them, too. Take some time to welcome Jesus into your world this Christmas.” (Signs of Christmas)
In contrast, however, let me be very clear, the enemy is out there, especially during the holiday season! We can’t escape the predators of this world. They seek the vulnerable, the disabled, the children, the young, the elderly, the disenfranchised, and the run aways. They want to own you, control you, abuse you, and traffic you out for greed, power, and just pure evil. These people are psychopaths, sociopaths, and have degrees of personality disorders that cannot be redeemed by man. Yet, we can choose to walk above them, away from them, beyond their reach so these predators are unable to attach themselves and steal, violate, abuse, control, and corrupt others, if we change our behavior in how we live the status quo, especially during the holiday season. This is the time when those vulnerable are at risk being taken away in the chaos of the holiday cheer! So many festivities, gatherings, parties, holiday music, Santa sittings, meetings with friends, etc., we forget who we are watching, shopping with, and our focus is elsewhere. Our noses are in our phones, window shopping, grocery shopping, and festival markets instead of being alert and noticing our surroundings, people watching, who is following us, and/or our children. Leave your headsets at home and don’t jog with them! Be careful where you park, eat, party at, and gather at. Never GO ALONE!! At Christmas time, we must be vigilant in assuring there are safe zones, safe houses, rescue missions, run away shelters, homeless shelters, abuse shelters, and churches to go for help and assistance if needed.
Predators are lurking in the malls, in the parking lots, watching you with your arms full of packages, your head in your phone, texting, not paying attention to your surroundings! Please beware of anyone who needs help to their car, van, especially if they are disabled. Do not trust anyone that wears a police or fireman’s uniform, or any uniform. Ask for their badge and officer id information. Anyone can purchase an officer’s uniform and pretend to be one. Run if anyone approaches you that you don’t know, and always, always be confident in yourself when making panic decisions. Never, ever trust anyone you don’t know!
?For those in my tribe, and followers who haven’t felt the abundance of love or the magic of Christmas in your life, let me know how I can support you through my coaching in bringing joy, laughter and love into your small neck of the woods. Please reach out to me on my website. I am always here to listen and offer a hand if you feel you are alone or troubled. The holidays are difficult, especially if you are alone, as stress runs high, as does, depression, loneliness, and thoughts of suicide. You are NEVER ALONE! Reach out to friends, family and loved ones if you feel you need to talk to someone during this holiday season. There are people standing by via phone to help you as well.
?Choosing to live in the glow is by choice. Let your heart and mind be open to the possibilities of love, especially in loving yourself first. Make this a Christmas holiday to remember…? Do it for YOU! Wishing my beautiful tribe, friends, and followers the Merriest Christmas and New Year’s 2018 HOLIDAY EVER!!❄️ ?
?In Light and Love,