So, I've already touched on some of my history with going to therapy and having personal family struggles in previous posts. About two years ago this was really taking over my life, I felt like I was drowning in some ways, even though I knew I had the potential to be happy and content with my daily life... it was like I couldn't quite reach it. My fingers would barely get to the surface and then something else happened that made me feel like I was being pulled down further under the water again. I prayerfully, with much consideration and after many weeks of therapy (during which I wrote the last few posts before this one) I knew that taking medication was not right for me. I knew in my heart that I could heal myself and what I really needed was inside of me already - I just wasn't seeing it yet. Now, I want to put out the disclaimer that of course I am not critical or judgmental of anyone else who has or is taking medications to help with depression, anxiety, etc. I completely understand why, and with mental illness running in my family the way that it does I seriously considered it as an option for me, but in the end it just didn't feel like my answer.
After about twelve weeks of therapy I decided that it had done the work it was going to do. I felt a little better, like a bandage had been added to my wounds and it comforted me a little. However, in the back of my mind I was haunted by the thought that I would one day have to return. Something still hadn't changed that needed to, I hadn't really fixed the problem and eventually I would need to go back and possibly get medication later to help me. It felt like an inevitability.
During that time I was on my knees in tearful prayer most days and nights, begging to know how to be happy and have fun in my day to day life. I wanted to feel whole and complete, something I hadn't ever truly felt before. Even during the best times of my life I've often felt like something was missing, something was wrong with me. I would get balanced for awhile, only to get stuck in feeling the void again. I knew big changes needed to occur for the sake of not only my well-being, but the well-being of my family. I was becoming a yelling mom, a mom who reacted and even put my own issues subconsciously onto my children. I didn't want to be that mom, that person, and it didn't feel like me. It felt so wrong.
I have been part of a local chapter of MOMS Club for awhile as well and the friends I have made there, the resources they have offered, have helped some and alleviated some of the pressure. I live in a wonderful neighborhood with a great support group of other mothers and even though some aspects of my extended family life were struggling (and still are), my husband has always remained my biggest supporter and best friend. Many of my extended family members who were also struggling with the changes and issues happening, and all of the members of my husband's family, gave me added love and support as I needed it. Even with all of the support, I knew I needed to make certain decisions and actions for myself to get better, just talking about it and receiving love from others wasn't enough, so I tried a lot of different things and just kept trying harder.
I continued writing here and there for a book review blog, I tried doing my own creative writing on a consistent basis, I got into running (which helped me with coping on a physical and mental level), and I tried to invest myself more in my community and the positive relationships I had. I tried to have more gratitude. I felt like trying so hard started to pull me in too many different directions and just continued to actually distract me from the real problem, avoid what I really needed to do - which was to look within and chill for one thing. However, all of this trying lead me to a great discovery, one I know was of divine orchestration and has changed my view of myself, and everyone else too!
Have any of you heard of Carol Tuttle, Dressing Your Truth, Remembering Wholeness, or the Child Whisperer? This, my dear friends is where my journey toward more joy really began. The problem turned out to be that I did not truly know myself or love myself. I was too busy focusing on making my life not what it was at the time, on what I didn't want and didn't like, instead of focusing on what I actually did want and what a great life would look like to me. I was also very much on cruise control/survival mode and, as previously stated, not living in the present moment or appreciating it for the beauty it was/is.
(Squeaker & I post-haircut a couple of weeks back)
(Goose & I pre-haircut a few weeks back)
Through Carol's "energy profiling" system, I went on a very interesting and emotional journey in order to discover that I am actually a very naturally animated and buoyant person! I have an energy that I was born with, my own unique gift to the world, of being a cheerful and optimistic person! Wait... but I was depressed a lot of the time, feeling like I was drowning, etc. How does that make sense? Well, through many experiences in my life and from what I felt like I had been told by others I was constantly trying to turn that part of myself off. I did my best to turn it off anyway, as much as possible early in my childhood and then it just became a habit after that. Especially in my adulthood,I felt like I needed to 'grow up', become more structured and consistent, which are not my natural gifts. So, whenever I didn't do something like I thought I 'should', then I hurt myself emotionally and my self-esteem continued to plummet. The first time I went to therapy was during my freshman year of college (there had been some rough times before then, but I always picked myself up) and as I got more responsibilities in life I started going more frequently for longer periods of time. As life seemed to get more intense and heavy, I made it even more intense and heavy by holding myself up to certain expectations that just didn't fit me at all. I thought, subconsciously, that I had to change myself in order to become a better person and for others to love me more, even for me to love myself.
Dressing Your Truth is basically a makeover system from the inside out. Instead of deciding what I wanted to look like and put on myself or the way I wanted to be perceived by the world, I had to really know the truth of who I am. I had to accept myself and love myself, so I could live true to myself and then decide what I wanted to look like in my appearance that showed my truth. The dressing part simply and practically supports the self-love aspects and makes shopping so much easier! I could seriously go on and on about how much I love this information and work, but I will just save more details for a future post. However, I encourage all of you to click the link above (or this one) and begin your own journey of self-discovery and love!
What Carol Tuttle's work helped me understand, truly understand, for the first time in my life is that I am perfect as God created me. I am who I am meant to be and all of the life experiences I have are meant to be an option for me - an option to choose more joy and to love myself more, learn and grow as I am through joyous experiences. OR to choose more negativity, more doubt, to get myself stuck and feel bad for myself... to learn nothing, not grow, just feel like I must be flawed because if I wasn't then I would be happy no matter what. It's not always about being happy either, but simply about being content and fulfilled, happiness and joy can look like being at peace... instead of bouncing around dancing all of the time - which I let myself do a lot more often now too! In finding this sense of joy and peace I honestly no longer feel like going back to therapy or taking medication is an inevitability, I don't worry about it at all anymore.
I've decided it's like this - I did have all I needed in order to be happy inside of me all along (just like the movie 'Trolls' says!), so many experiences through my life and so many people in my life have tried to illustrate that to me in the ways I needed it. I was doing the best I knew how with what I had in order to have more faith, to understand how the atonement works for me in my daily life. But, it wasn't until I got a new teacher, like when you get a great new math teacher that just makes everything click in your mind even though you've looked at the same problems before and they never made sense until you got that new teacher, Carol Tuttle has been that teacher for me. She simply gave me new tools that helped me figure it out for myself and made it all make sense somehow. Like a good math teacher with a new perspective.
Since discovering this part of myself, my true nature and energy, the doors of inspiration have been opening wider and wider. It hasn't given me all of the answers all at once or made everything automatically easier, but has given me more tools to work with. It's a daily process of creating a new lifestyle, creating the life I want and choosing to focus on the positive - focus on what I want my life to be like and who I am meant to be, instead of falling into the familiar habit of focusing on what annoys me, what I don't want and what I wish I could change. I have the power to create my life, why not create one I love & admire? Why not become someone I admire by loving myself more, judging myself less and no longer trying to turn off who I really am? God made me this way for a reason and my path in life will be so much easier the more I try to be who He made me to be!
To wrap all of this up somewhat, I just want to encourage all of you & say that you can do it! Whatever 'it' may be. The process can take as long as you need it or want it to take. Look around you right now, what do you want more than anything? More cooperative kids, a more supportive spouse, to lose weight, to just be more happy, all of these things and so much more are within your power to create. Take out a peace of paper and just start describing the life you want, what it looks like, feels like, and who you are as God created you to be. Then go make it happen, live that life and be more of that person! You are an incredible child of God, a divine creative being with infinite potential. He wants you to have joy and created you to have it! Ask Him how, with a heart full of faith and know that the answers will come. They are already there - He's trying to give them to you right now. You might not find the same answers I did, or find them where I found them, but they are available and it is your life's purpose to find them - to live them!
I want to write more, I could go on for much longer with things I have been going through the last couple of years, but below is a list of things I am planning on posting about, when I actually do I'll turn them into links to those posts.
I guess we'll see what comes and how it all happens :) I love how open and surprising the future is, especially with me and my randomness! haha
- Considering homeschooling.
- Running a marathon.
- Appreciating that I am a mother!
- Becoming more whole - mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
- Expecting baby girl #3!!
- More on my Dressing Your Truth (DYT) journey & the 4 energy types.
I'm also planning on updating the look of the blog, pictures and whatnot. However, it's honestly not a huge priority for me right now since I've got 2 very active girls and I'm 22 weeks pregnant with another one. So, I hope you enjoy seeing what happens as it comes and don't judge me for being consistent at being inconsistent - which I am! haha
I love you all! Thank you for reading and being part of my life experience :)