Healing, Inspiration, Life

Inner Strength

Do we all have inner strength within us, no matter what we’ve been through in life? Or is inner strength something we have to develop?

What do you think? 

These two questions were brought to my attention after my post last week.

And, I replied:

I believe we all have inner strength within us…each time we have survived we have because of a longing to live, which is strength to me. I also believe that we become stronger as we go forward…and by going forward I mean we choose to live and not give up…and although we may not recognize the strength we have in ourselves as we go through the challenge we are facing, when the time is right we can begin to learn more about ourselves, and by learning more about ourselves we hopefully lean to love ourselves deeper, which also allows that inner strength to be stronger.

When I was 6 years old, my life changed suddenly. I changed from a healthy little girl, who was swimming state times in the pool, to a little girl who couldn’t crawl down the hallway. I was blessed to survive and recover from all that happened to my little body as a result of a horrible infection. But that illness changed who I was, and transformed me into who I am now. There were days when I would look at photos of myself before my illness, and wonder what my life would have been like if I never had been ill. That wondering, diminished my self worth; i.e., it took away from my ability to find meaning and enjoyment in my present life—we easily can take strength away from ourselves when we diminish our self worth.  But then I would walk away from the photo, and I would go about my day.  I wanted to LIVE, and that desire was stronger than any other. And nothing was going to get in my way to survive.  So even at 6 years old, I discovered that I had an amazing inner strength. And as I began to Live my life the way it was after my illness I began to recognize and accept that my life wasn’t split in two:  I was being unfair to myself to say, “if only” I hadn’t been sick then who would I have been? Instead, because I chose to Live, I had to recognize that  the experience of my illness is a part of my life and my story. The person I am today is who I am meant to be. And each day, I learn more about who I am. This is STRENGTH.

Being able to say, ” I am me. I am who I am meant to be today,” is STRENGTH.  And each day, that you remember this, and make this a part of your daily belief, You grow STRONGER.  Each and every one of us, grows STRONGER when we trust in ourselves.  And trusting in yourself becomes even STRONGER when you realize that you are where you need to be in life, But,  if you are uncomfortable where you are [within] yourself, then you need to make a change. And even recognizing this need for change, is STRENGTH.

  How about you? What makes you feel STRONGER or allows you to celebrate and care for your own Inner Strength? 

Your life is a GIFT. No matter what befalls you, if you choose to LIVE, you will always be STRONG, because you are giving yourself permission to survive, and this inner strength,  will grow stronger, the more you celebrate your life, and let go of the  “if only.”

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™ All rights reserved.

Please also visit my photography site: Photography by Bella Bleue.

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Connecting to the wonder we are, Life

When Love Hurts: Keep on Loving and Living Anyway

It’s inevitable that love and pain will dance together in our lives, no matter how hard we try to keep them apart.

A really beautiful woman, who I have been blessed to have in my life, now has Stage 4 Cancer. She  is a woman “full of grace” and absolutely amazing.  She is a warrior queen who rages against her battle with a softness and love for life, that breaks all boundaries of the kingdom of the “Big C,” and day by day she gently and powerfully conquers with another day of living life.  She often dresses up with a colorful scarf atop her head, that draws out the beautiful colors of her eyes, that sparkle every time she smiles. She reminds me that every day life is worth smiling about, even when it really sucks. And even more importantly, she has taught me: that even when life seems like it is trying to close its door on you, keep reaching out in open arms and gently say to it, “I’m still here. And I’m ready to receive you and accept you, even if what you are placing in front of me is not what I want because I WANT TO LIVE.”

And this is why Love and pain will always dance together. They dance together in this deeply real image of  my beautiful friend (our beautiful friends) moving in perfect rhythm to the music of life, while death keeps stepping on her toes and throwing her off balance every once in a while until it wins [in the literal sense]. It’s the deeper reality for those of us watching this happen: that at times Love Really Hurts.

Loving my friend brings with it a deep hurt: I know deep down inside that she is going to die: there will be an emptiness inside me when she is gone, and it hurts right now because her inevitable death seems so unfair because she is so good and she wants to keep LIVING.

And because I love her,  deep down inside my heart is that painful question of,”WHY?”

“Why if she is soooo good, and sooo loved, does she need to suffer? Why did she have to get sick? Why does she have to die at such a young age? Why….and the questions keep coming.

I know that I can answer these questions in a very spiritual manner…and connect to an understanding of spiritual, emotional and bodily suffering as a part of life, and a Creator and the Beloved who suffers with me, with her… and at times brings me great comfort…

But…that’s an answer that may only fulfill me, or still may not be enough…

And so I look deep inside myself and I feel it…and I listen to it. The sadness deep in my heart. The part of me that feels the grief. The inevitable knowing that one day, she won’t be here. The anticipatory awareness that others too are going to hurt. In other words, the parts of me that Love her. The parts of me that are LOVE.

And then the tears come slowly, but deeply. And then the quiet sobs, that make you hold your breath, because your body just hurts too much.

Then you get yourself back together. And you put your feet back down on the solid ground below you, and you move forward again.

And you remind yourself. She’s not dead yet. She’s still here.  And that she’s living life. And you’ve got to do the exact same thing: LIVE.

And the question is no longer Why, but HOW.

As I return to Love as a powerful force for living rather than for pain, I am able to learn from my friend. She is teaching me how to live my life by the way she shares  her love and welcomes and receives my love; and she teaches me to love life more fully by the way that she lives…

LIVING:

  • Embracing your own fragility,
  •  Being comfortable with questions that don’t have the perfect answer, or maybe even an answer at all.
  • Breathing & Smiling even when life gives you a hurricane when all you asked for was a little rain
  • Loving yourself even when your body is failing you
  • Loving others even when death is knocking on their door
  • Letting your body, mind and spirit weep from the pain with a good cry every once in a while
  • Connecting to your spiritual roots, and allowing them to nourish your spirit
  • Seeking out others to accompany on their journey, and inviting others to accompany you on your journey too

What would you add?

And Living and Loving is what makes you more fully YOU: When you LOVE: and allow all that is LOVE to touch your life, then you LIVE, and by LIVING a deeper more meaningful life—one that doesn’t stop loving because of fear of the pain—you become more fully who you truly are: you become more fully and deeply human.

—This is what I realize now that I have been able to step back from the pain, and going forward can embrace the beautiful reality of how my friend celebrates life through her ability to Love  Life and all that it is.

Below is the message I wrote to my beautiful friend, that I want to share with you.

*

May you always be blessed to know LOVE and to become more fully yourself each and every day by giving yourself the gift of Living life.

Blessings AlwaysErin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™ All Rights Reserved.

* If any of you would ever like me to write something for someone you love, or even for yourself with one of my images, I would always be honored.

Inspiration, Life

Give Yourself a Chance

When I was looking around YouTube last week, I came across this video by chance; and both during and after the clip I felt very moved!  Take a look and note what you feel, from  Britain’s Got Talent

Sometimes we need to experience something rather than just read about it. Your feelings evoked through your senses can bring forth deep knowings of your own humanity.

But the deeper message here seems to be what the title of this blog is, and what Susan Boyle states, “I’d never been given the chance before.” Life is about taking chances, chances with sharing yourself-your gifts. When I worked with patients in the hospital who were near the end of their life, I would listen to their stories, their life-reviews. Often they would share with me, what had meant the most to them about their life journey: usually they talked about their relationships, or about their days as a dancer, pianist, artist, basketball player, boxer, etc. Sometimes they would tell me about a broken relationship they wished could have been fixed; or they would talk about gifts they never used–“I was a marvelous dancer but never did anything more with it when I got married;” “I always wanted to paint a mural but never offered my talents;” “I always wanted to restore vintage cars but never had the time,” and so on. I listened and talked with them, accompanying each of them so that they could find healing, and die without regret.

Something else one of my fellow bloggers mentioned to me, that I wanted share with you; he writes at http://thechangeyourlifeblog.wordpress.com; (see comments). The courage found in Susan Boyle to take her chance at sharing herself was not the moment she went up on the stage, but the moment in her life that she decided to make the journey to the show.  We have to make choices to get up and make our life change. What is the moment in your life that you are going to make the change to move towards bigger and better things in your life?

You are living right now! Instead of missing out on your life and wishing it could have been different, live your best life with the belief that

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™

Health

Healthy Living is Worth Laughing About!

Yesterday, I was tickling my son. His laughter rang through my ears, and actually caused me to start laughing too! He loves being tickled, and loves laughing! It’s amazing how fabulous laughing makes you feel! When I was starting to feel well after my long bout with post-partum depression, I sat down and watched, My Big Fat Greek Weddingand I started to laugh! Until the laughter started, I hadn’t realized how long it had been since I last laughed! And at the same moment, I realized how good I felt! And I stared laughing throughout the movie. And it seemed that after I laughed that night, I was finding things in my life to be happy about again!

It’s amazing how easily and readily children start laughing. Its a part of who they are. So…we were all children once upon a time, thus laughter is in our blood-literally! Children are spontaneous &  often do things in life that, we as adults, wouldn’t think twice about! Put your chocolate birthday cake all over yourself and smile about it!

 

Are you smiling yet?! Maybe even feeling a bit like a laugh could come along?

I know when we are stuck in a rut, or feeling depressed, its really challenging to just read along and change your state; so do something intentional to change your state:

  • Turn on a movie that’s always made you laugh,
  • Go on YouTube and search for something funny
  • If you have your own little one, laughing along with them while you tickle them.
  • Go out with friends, who always seem to laugh about something
  • Play with your dog or pet

Whatever it is that you discover to make you laugh, know that by laughing, you are making yourself healthier!

Laughter encourages health:

  • Laughter relaxes your whole body
  • it boosts your immune system
  • it releases endorphins–your body’s natural feel good chemicals
  • it protects your heart–protects your blood vessels and increases the flow of blood
  • For more medical support on laughter’s good effects, check out:

Give Your Body a Boost-With Laughter by WebMD

Stress Management: Laughter is Good for You 

So do something really wonderful for yourself and Laugh-Out-Loud! LOL!

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue


Copyright, the blog, Bella Bleue Healing Health and Inspiration for Your Life

Life

I am Living!

Our children teach us that Life is worth stopping for, and worth taking notice of. -Bella Bleue

Look up into the sky; see the trees, and smile.

One of the most wonderful gifts in my life is my little boy. He has provided my life with such an amazing joy, and sense of awe. He reminds me to look at the world with wonder and appreciation. He has taught me to embrace a moment for what it is: a moment, and by doing so to find delight in being alive because I am Living.

Look under a bench and discover the earth.

I am Living! This very moment I am alive! I am grateful for this moment no matter what it brings, because I have been given this gift of Life. Bella Bleue

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue

Copyright, text and photos, the blog, Bella Bleue Healing, Health, & Inspiration for Your Life