Healing, Spirituality

Maybe LIFE really is All about LOVE.

Sometimes life is extremely challenging, even when it seems there is no reason for it to be. It’s the kind of challenge when something just feels off inside you. Maybe it’s that your heart just isn’t happy, and you don’t know why; maybe you’re feeling lonely, even though you saw your friends today; maybe you’re feeling sad, even though the sun is shining; etc.

We are all looking for ways to make ourselves feel better. But no matter what works, we all know feeling better, comes and goes. It is a natural rhythm of Life to have ups and downs, and a plateau every now and again. It is easier to share the good, than to allow the bad to have a voice. Because it is easier to share with others that you are “put-together,” and can handle anything that comes your way. Otherwise, you assume, others will think you are weak, even though they are putting on the same mask as you.–Life–our everyday making it through–has created us to believe that we always have to be strong on the outside. But our real LIFE—says You are human just like me, and me, and me, and me…and we all feel a total arrange of emotions.

So maybe we all just need to be a little kinder to ourselves: Allowing ourselves to be really who we are: beautiful and broken, broken and beautiful. Maybe strength is really about giving ourselves permission to be honestly who we were each created to be, rather than being the “well-put-together-all-the time” persons we think we need to be or ought to be. Maybe LIFE is really all about LOVE–accepting yourself, and accepting others; choosing to forgive and allow yourself to be forgiven; welcoming the Sacred into your life, whatever you call it God, Universe, Spirit, Beloved, etc., so you always have someone to share your journey with.

Love Life Quote

Yesterday, I was having a difficult day. Everything, seemed to be overwhelming me, and no matter how hard I tried to keep my spirits up, I just couldn’t get out of my funk. But then I remembered something as I washed the dishes, I had forgotten to talk with God. So I did. I just said, “I’m having a hard time, and You know how I am when I feel this way. If there is anything You can do to help me feel just a bit better…” A little later my husband called me, and told me the thing I was worrying about, I didn’t need to bother myself with any longer, and then suggested I take my son to the playground.  His reassurance made me feel a bit more at ease. When we got to the playground my son ran around, until he planted himself at the sandbox, with a bunch of little boys. I sat down next to another mom. She was very welcoming and friendly. When we got in the car to go home, I realized I was feeling better.  God had listened to my prayer and gave me the phone call from my husband, and brought me to a playground where there was a kind mother to share with and feel listened-to.  I experienced Love from God, my husband and this mother.

I wonder what kind of world we would live in if each of us gave each other the gift of Love? Maybe these hard days wouldn’t be so hard. And maybe we’d all realize we are all just as human as the next person. Just maybe being “put-together” would mean you are a person of many feelings and emotions, but most of all you are a giver and receiver of LOVE; instead of being able to do it all, have it all, and always be happy.

Yeah, I wonder…how about you?…

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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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.

Discovering Strength, Inspiration, Life

Life’s Unexpected Travels

Lately, I’ve been needing to remind myself that some of the turns and twists that I am faced with in life, are not just to fault me, or disrupt my feeling of balance. But these twists and turns are an invitation to discover something else about myself…

How do you make sense of unexpected disruptions in your life?

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

Discovering Strength, Healing

Transforming Your Brokenness into a Beautiful Masterpiece

“I don’t need this boo-boo any more. Take it away!” So there you have it, getting rid of hurt, pain, bruises, bumps and everything else is as simple as saying, “Take it away:” and then it is gone. I only wish it was this easy!

When we are 2 1/2 we climb on play sets, jump off stairs, climb up on chairs, drive our toy cars and trucks around the yard…we bump our legs, go on our way, and think nothing of the marks that are left. We just keep moving and living life. Until we stop and notice. And then we think to ourselves, where did this come from?

This is true for us as adults too. Sometimes we let the boo-boos, and the hurt keep happening over and over because it becomes so routine, an every day occurrence that we accept as part of life. Or maybe it’s just that the painful things that have happened in our life, have become such a part of us, that we don’t know how to imagine ourselves or our life any differently. Or maybe we don’t believe that life could be any different: “I just got dealt bad luck or I don’t deserve to be happy…this is my destiny.”

But the truth is, YOUR LIFE CAN BE BETTER! and YOU CAN BE HAPPIER!

When I was finally able to name, that depression is a part of my life I began to heal. When I was not aware of my depression, and often in denial of it, it had power over me.  When depression was in control, my moods were based on the direction depression wanted to take: sad, lonely, unmotivated, feelings of worthlessness, anger, etc. Basically when depression was in control, I wasn’t a person who really wanted to wake up in the morning, and happiness was completely out of my reach.

But!

When I finally hit my lowest of low, and had to force myself to take control—for the sake of my baby and husband—who I love very deeply—I had to actually say out loud, “I have depression,” so that I could begin to heal.  There is great power in Naming* what we feel or are experiencing in life. When you can do this for yourself, you take the power away from the disease, hurt, etc. and instead of being the victim, you become the conqueror.

The more I openly admitted that I have depression, the less control it began to have over me and the way I feel. In fact about 6 months after I started my therapy, I was smiling again and even laughing out loud! I realized during those 6 months that ” I am me. I am wonderful, amazing, and I deserve with every ounce of my being to be HAPPY! I decided that depression was no longer going to define me. I now define myself and own my feelings. Depression doesn’t get to have control any more.

But, I don’t suffer from depression, so how does this relate to me?

We all have different reasons we are broken in some way or another. If you are writing about it, you already know that by talking about your brokenness or by reading about others’ brokenness– that might be like your own, you are releasing the control the hurt, the pain, the anger, the betrayal, etc. and instead are replacing these negative feelings with love, connection, peace… In other words, when you begin to accept and know that you have places within your being that are broken, you can begin to heal these places and be proactive about feeling better about you.

Can I be completely healed by admitting to myself and others that I have broken parts within myself?

I don’t know if any of us can ever be completely healed from our brokenness (If anyone knows differently please share). I know for me, that depression still tries  to sneak up on me or puts out its net and unexpectedly catches me in its hooks….but because I have become aware that depression will do this to me I can say to it, ” I don’t want to feel this way;” and then I can begin to work towards healing instead of falling into its bottomless pit. I’ve learned that to just tell myself, get over it and move on doesn’t really help me. What I need is to take some time to be gentle with myself: and offer myself compassion. If I need to cry for a bit and let out the frustration or sadness I now let myself do just that. But afterwards, I say I know I want to be happy, and I don’t want to feel this way, so I can maintain being me, and not let depression be in charge. Then I turn on a good song, eat some ice cream, go for a walk,  go outside and visit my flowers…whatever I need during those moments to take care of me.

When you are feeling broken, are you able to show yourself compassion and love? What do you do to treat yourself with gentleness and care?

As you go through each day and begin to love yourself more—to actually get to know yourself better, and be in control of your life, rather than letting the brokenness in, you begin to see this really wonderfully created individual in the mirror…and you discover that the masterpiece you were looking for is YOU.

May you be blessed with the joys of discovering yourself—the amazing, wonderful, fabulous YOU!

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

Related Articles:

Emotional Literacy

*Naming feelings is something I was taught in my education in Psychology as well as in Pastoral Counseling/Spiritual Direction…it has been very helpful in my own life as well as the lives of people I have shared counseling with.

Blessings.

Connecting to the wonder we are, Discovering Strength

Your Beautiful Beauty.

Thank you for your beautiful beauty
For the light that shines through your very being.
Thank you for your wisdom
Your inner strength that propels life forward
because you touch this world with the gift of you.

Thank you for your sharing heart
the one that shares stories
the kind you didn’t think you could
when experiencing the world
when you were in pain.

But now that pain is blossomed into a painting
full of color,
inspiration,
truth.

And joy has filled the broken crevices of your being
A healing light shines forth from you.
And has graced the world that we are making sense of.

Thank you for all that you are,
and all that you are yet to become.

Blessings to you,
and deep gratitude too.

Thank you to all of you who have graced my path of life and taken the time to read, comment and join me in this journey.

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

Healing, Relax

Leave worry for tomorrow

So last night I couldn’t sleep. It was one of those nights when I had my mind worrying from one thought to another.

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Every time I told myself to just relax something else would pop in my mind.
I bet we’ve all had nights like this!
I don’t even remember how I fell asleep but I somehow did an hour and a half after I put my head on the pillow.

What do you do to help you fall asleep when you are being a worry-wart?

I found two ideas of wisdom I wanted to share. I’m certainly trying to remind myself of them:
1. From Martha Beck, “Take a Load off”, in the Oprah Magazine. Martha Beck shares,
“Instead of fretting about getting everything done, why not simply accept that being alive means having things to do?”

Okay, I’ll work on accepting that I have things to do in life just because,

BUT

That doesn’t make the worry disappear..
So I found this quote:

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of it’s strength.– Corrie Ten BoomClippings from My Notebook

“Worry empties today of its strength.”
Okay so I get the formula now:
To be strong in myself I need to let go of tomorrow’s worries today, and just accept that each day there will always be something to do.

Sweet dreams tonight.

Blessings, Erin

Copyright, text, the blog, Bella Bleue

Discovering Strength

There is Healing from Honesty

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 Shadowabout 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).