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Today I was literally up in the sky. Seeing the vastness of the puffy white clouds and the sun shining brightly was almost transcending. It puts me at awe how awesome our world is and how small I feel at times like this. Today reminded me that even when we feel small and disconnected that the world is actually a part of us (think of any time you’ve felt awe in nature and how deeply your body feels this awe during that moment). Our body holds even that which we may feel is greater than us. Take a moment tomorrow and let yourself feel the wonder of the world within yourself. Feel the wonder alive in you.
When we feel connected to that which is greater than us we begin to heal.
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“I have called you by name. And you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)
Valentine’s Day is an intentional day of saying, “I Love You.” The You, is your name. Its amazing when I think of my name, ‘Erin,’ I realize that there can be ten thousand more women out there that have the same name as me, but their ‘Erin’ means something completely different than mine. When someone says, “I Love You,” what does that mean for you deep down inside? Who is this ‘Erin’, ‘Katie’, ‘Mary’ etc., who is being loved?
Trusting that I am loveable is a daily challenge for me. I don’t really know why. It just is. Quite often this belief defines my understanding of others’ abilities to love me as well. Each person is able to love me as much as he or she can. But what really matters is can I love myself? When this answer is yes, all the ‘I Love Yous’ from others become more sincere and real because I trust that I can be loved.
Loving myself is a particular challenge when struggling with depression. I mean am I really good enough to be loved? Do I deserve love, even though I’m not perfect? OF COURSE I DO! But of course I need to believe this in myself for these words to be true.
That’s how faith has been a foundation in my struggle with depression. I realize that our Creator knows us. God knows us. God knows each and every one of us so well, that God recognizes that we need to hear those words whispered in our ears, every day, “I have called you by name. And you are mine.”
No matter who we are, we cannot exist without someone else. We all need love; we all need to hear our name called out, tenderly:
So on this day, and each day may you say your name with love in your heart and remember that even when it feels so empty, there is a God who keeps whispering your name. “Do you hear me calling you? Do you hear my whispers of love surrounding you and embracing you? The earth is full of love, just look around and notice the harmony of the songs of the birds, the squirrel gathering nuts, the trees opening their arms to offer a home.” ” I am the stranger who offers you a smile. I am the customer at the store who says thank you. I am your coworker who shares a cake with you. I am the song on the radio that says, ‘Never give up. Just trust in my love.'” With love, your Creator, God.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
There really is healing with honesty. -Erin
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“Sometimes we need our children to remind us that the world really is filled with wonder. And that someone is always watching over us.”-Erin
The first post I wrote, Little Black Shadow, about the early days of starting off as a young adult I made reference to depression, and my favorite excuse for my feelings, “Blame it on Boston.” That’s really what I did day after day, week after week. I just excused myself for what I was feeling by blaming my feelings on something else. And it was so easy to blame it on the city, the place I lived in rather than look in the mirror and say hey what’s really going on here, girl?
It’s not easy to write about depression in front of my friends. I’ve always wanted to come across as a strong woman who is fully able. Not as someone who was so lonely deep inside, so frightened and just plain empty. Even as I sit here and write this I wonder what they think of me? Did they ever notice?
Having depression is something that’s not just tough to admit to others, it is also tough to admit to yourself. The biggest risk, always being if I admit it to myself, will other people notice this about me? Will they think, I’m a mental case? Or will they try to help me feel better? I didn’t want a band-aide, I just waned to feel good about me again. When I finally was able to say it out loud, “I need help,” I was finally able to begin to heal. I had to be honest with myself, and stop worrying about everyone else, and how they’d respond.
As I write this today, I do feel good about me. Feeling good about me (because I’ve been honest with myself) has given me the courage to share these stories; and I now I really do know someone is watching over me.
To my friends out there. If you know of anyone who would maybe enjoy having a place to share their story, pass on my blog info. I hope to find a community out there, where women like me can help build strength in each other by discovering that they are not alone in this journey. Thank you!
Something of Interest to you, possibly:
There was an inspiring story written by a woman who did talk about some of the hard stuff about being a woman, but also how to find strength in ourselves. This was something that also inspired me to begin writing. It was an article in the Huffington Post by a woman named Glennon Melton.( Check it out if you haven’t already).
So my son is 2 1/2 years old now. He’s been a talker since he was able to mumble a word. He was never very strong physically as a baby, but I will say his mind certainly was always working. So today, I thought I’d share some tuna fish with him. He gave it a try. He took a bite and gently shaking his head, said, “Mama, I don’t really like this very much.” Now it wasn’t a, “I don’t like it.” or a famous toddler move of spitting it all over the floor, but a sincere, “Not very much.”
It reminded me of days in my life, when I didn’t have the courage to say I didn’t like something very much because I thought I could only say yes or no, and let things just go on by me.
That’s one of the ugly things about depression. It doesn’t really let you see the in-between, and then instead, the ‘yeses’ or ‘nos’ become a large pit of anger just waiting to burst.
I guess that’s why Our Creator, gave us little children to learn from. They remind us how to be human in the most basic ways. And they teach us that it is okay to have an opnion because what we feel does matter.