VideoSince I Was Paralyzed Three Years Ago! 😎🤘🏻

   I Love My Life

I’m so glad I didn’t end it when I became paralyzed 3 years ago! I was really, really close to doing just that…. 😳 but I stuck it out and I am so thankful that I did! I realized I can still do everything I used to be able to do, I just have to figure out a different way to do it.

I started a business to help me financially if anybody likes beef jerky it would sure help me out if you could go to my website and buy a bag my website is jerkybiz.org

 

😎

#NeverGiveUp

Click This Link To See The First Steps I’ve Takin Since I Was Paralyzed 3 Years Ago! 

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Xx  M

This Depression Thing

The whole issue with this depression thing – it has sucked all life out of me like some soul harvester.

This past year has been one of the most relentless struggles I’ve had to endure. It gets worse each day I aimlessly trudge through my daily dosage of hours like a walker. And I don’t see an end in sight.

I feel like I stare at an hourglass in front of me. Glossy-eyed and lost faced, watching each grain of sand tumble through the bottleneck , building up the mountain in the chamber below that represents time passed.

The sand falls in slow motion.

Maybe you can relate?

shades_01I don’t see the sunshine. I’ve had this gray film over my life. It is a sunny, bright, 82º outside my Norfolk, VA apartment. I can’t see it. I don’t feel the warmth in my soul. I keep all the blinds shut. It’s not the kind of depression where you can simply open the blinds and the gray is gone. That doesn’t work. Our friends will suggest it…to open the shades and let the sunshine in. But those who don’t live with it can’t ever understand that just doesn’t work. It’s a fog of war. It stays.It permeates the skin and sinks down to the core. It’s a wave that has to be ridden.

I’ve been riding the crashing part of the barrel for months.

I have no drive. It’s really hard to continue when you feel so hopelessly apathetic. I get so sick of looking at the hourglass and longing for sleep. If I feel inspired to do something I change to something else before I finish what I started. So many things left unfinished. I wander back and forth in my apartment sometimes feeling that I’m going crazy. Most people that don’t live with this affliction would quickly suggest to exercise. All the other articles and advice out there scream that, but how can you bring yourself to that if you can’t even walk across the street to the beach on such an ideal day?

I’m numb and I don’t feel happiness. I don’t feel the happiness that other people feel when it’s sunny out. I should. I want to feel it. I want to feel “normal”. I want the chemicals in my body to react like that. I don’t want to be numb anymore. Catatonic. Zombie-ish. I’m trying to blog it out because journaling is supposed to be the best form of therapy for depression. It hardly is for me. It’s not cathartic. I’ve had an impossible time dragging myself to type this post and hardly feel any form of relief or healing from doing so. Getting a buzz from drinking (exactly the opposite of what I need to be doing, I know) used to give me a tinge of happiness. Now, that doesn’t even work. I’ve lost all interest in all things: writing, drinking, walking on the beach, reading, drawing, sex, photography, being a dad, friendships. I’ve thought a lot about dying. Not being suicidal, but just as a quiet way to end the mind numbing hourglass watching.Quote_gray_001

I fail at relationship. I isolate. I drive people away. I drive myself away from people. I isolate myself from those who love and care about me. It makes me drive those away who love me. 

I’ve lost a foothold in my faith. I used to find peace when I read the Word and prayed early in the morning. That has been sucked away too. I don’t have the same happiness that I see on other believers’ faces, like when I used to go to church. I want that simple happiness of just waking up and being happy. I know they have their own problems, and sometimes that smile is just plastered on, but I just want to feel the Spirit move me to happiness.

*    *     *

How does your depression make you feel?

Maybe all this strikes a cord. If it does, please remember: you certainly are not alone.

 

Thought Someone, Right Now, Needed to Hear This.

to_the_world_001

“To the world you may be one person.

“But to one person you may be the world.”

I remember when I’ve been in the throws of my Specter, and consumed with such hopelessness and misery I believed no one else endured. That depression demon who is currently being held at bay in his cage of Lexapro and Abilify, but can attack at random times with a sucker punch to the kidney, leaving me without the breath for life. It’s at those times that one person can change your life. They are there. You just have to find them, reach out to them, and hold onto them. They will be there. You mean the world to them.

If you’re wearing the other pair of shoes and know of someone who needs to be reached out to. Use this post as an excuse to do so. You may save someone’s life.

wh atma y me an s2 m3

Being mentally ill with depression means that people may not always get me. I’ve come to accept that.

I’ve also come to accept that it’s okay.

A lot of the times I don’t even get myself.

A.

Lot.

I guess “understand” would be a more accurate word.

It’s like trying to explain to somebody what May means to me, except it comes out sounding like this post’s title looks.

They may never understand what it feels like. And I’m happy that they never will. I would wish this on no one.

There’s so many things I’ve never understood about myself for years, and have only begun to within the past 5-10 years of my life.

A list of un-understandables in my life has been:

I don’t understand why I feel sluggish all the time. 

I don’t understand why laughing feels so forced.

I don’t understand why I want to be alone all the time.

I don’t understand why I don’t want to do things.

I don’t understand why I am always so tired.

I don’t understand why I see grey when it’s brightly sunny outside.

I don’t understand why at 42, I can still sleep until 1:30 on a Saturday afternoon.

I don’t understand why I set my alarm for 5:00 am and hit it until 6:00. 

I don’t understand why I think of suicide

I don’t understand why I pray to God to take me home in my sleep.

Over the years I have come to understand why though.

Depression.

A severe, deep-seated depression.

My Specter.

Picture 5

[SOURCE: https://indisposedandundiagnosed.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/this-is-what-chronic-illness-looks-like/comment-page-1/#comment-1817]

NOTE: This image is the original idea of Cass and her site at the above link. Check it out and give it a Like!


So for me, the new significance of May is about raising awareness of mental health. And in my case, severe depression and suicide. It’s about taking a chance, stepping out on a scary ledge, and talking about my mental condition to others.

Lessons Learned: Some Things I’ve Learned from My Depression

I would hope that you would take these things and hold them in your heart. Don’t forget them. Remind yourself of them. And learn from your mental condition.

A list of understandables in my life is:

  1. I have a condition, not an illness. I am not sub-human. I am not sick. I am an extraordinarily strong person because I survive through things other people can’t imagine having to deal with. I live my life a little differently than others because I live with affliction.
  2. I am perfectly imperfect, and that’s perfectly okay. I’ve learned to forgive myself and accept myself. I have a hard time believing the phrase, “I don’t let my mental condition define who I am.” I know what people mean, but I think in the end, depression has set some life parameters that I have to (or choose to) live by. If I don’t abide by those…rules, I start to hear Specter’s rusty cage hinges creak and I feel him scratching on the walls of my soul.
  3. What I feel is valid. I am not crazy. I may be a little broken. You may be a little bruised. But don’t you dare let anyone tell you you’re crazy. Don’t you dare let them make you feel that way. You. Are. Not. Crazy. Real talk.
  4. Only I will take care of myself. I must take my meds. Daily. I must eat healthy. I must exercise. Meh. I’m working on the last two. Have
  5. Strive to be empathetic and kind. You know why. You have struggles other people don’t know about. So do others. I remember a time my Lexapro had run out and I couldn’t afford a refill. I had been off it for about four days and I could feel the dizziness set in from withdrawals. Then the bottom fell out. Specter’s claws were dug so deep into my shoulders I could feel them carving at the bones. Someone put their hand on my shoulder and sat with me. I was in tears. I was choking my words out in a dark chair in a dim corner. He made a call to get me my medicine. That’s why.
  6. Be a servant when you can. Help others when they’re down. People have helped me when I’ve not deserved it. Free of charge. Pay it forward.
  7. Exude grace. Strive to give others the benefit of the doubt.
  8. Have grace on yourself. Learn to accept grace yourself. Be gentle on yourself. We beat ourselves up so much each day. Allow yourself forgiveness. See #2.
  9. People do understand – surround yourself with those people. There may not be too many. But you know what? That’s just about the right number anyways. Find your devout warrior supporters and cling to them. Share yourself with them. Open yourself up to them. It is empowering. It is healing.
  10. My God loves me. Me and God. Ahh, yes. For such a lifetime I’ve bashed myself for not measuring up. Engorging bucket fulls of self criticism, guilt, and shame for never feeling like I measured up. Never earning my dad’s approval, or my Father’s. All. Those. Years. And I got it wrong. His scars are enough to cover my soul. His Grace is the way to my healing. His forgiveness is the magnetic north to my moral compass. SOso many times I fail. Flat on my face. He’s always there to pick me up and hug me with a gentle, warm smile.

Now…Let’s take back our lives and make this our new fight song! This one’s for you Niki.

“Cry Thunder”

Time after time as we march side by side
Through the valleys of evil and the torturing souls,
Night after night, for the glory we fight,
In the kingdom of madness and the tales from the old

Death by our hands, for the higher command,
As the darkness surrounds us hear the cries as they fall
Fire burning steel and the tyrants will kneel
Hearts burning stronger with the power of the sword

Set sail for the glory,
Pray for the master of war (pray for the master of war)
Sunlight will fall by the wastelands,
Endless rise for the heroes before

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Titans of justice, fearless we stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command
Blessed by the union, freedom of man

Reckoning day, for the demons we slay,
With the force of a dragon we will conquer them all!
Chaos still reigns devastation and flames
For the ultimate glory when the legacy calls

March on
Through the hellfire
Blazing for the darkness beyond (blazing for the darkness beyond)
Nightmare return of the thousands
Giving rise to the heroes once more

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Titans of justice, fearless we stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command
Blessed by the union, freedom of man

[Solos]

Unholy darkness,
In the eyes of broken dreams,
Outside of the wasted and torn,
A land of tears still remains
Soldiers of destiny calling,
And the fallen will rise up again,
Conquer the forces of evil and fight to the end

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Titans of justice, fearless we stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command,
Saviour of nations, freedom of man

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Warriors defending,
One final stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command,
Blessed by the union, freedom of man

Blessed by the union of man
Cry thunder!
Yeah yeah

I Want to See What You See | Poetry

Poetry_do you see what i see_001.jpg

Camera lens of happiness, to take away the grey

Cuz sunshine’s there, I see it, it’s just a million miles away.

Camera lens of hopefulness, to take away despair

The never ending fog of war, the loss of will to care.

Camera lens of energy, to take away the apathy

The never ending lethargy, the sits inside of me.

Camera lens of healing, to take away the pain

Cuz sunshine’s there, I know it, even through the rain

Keeping My Brother

TRIGGER WARNING: This post mentions various forms of self harm. Please, my friend, do not read this if they are triggers for you.

My brother cuts…

…he also burns…

…and drills…

He has been living with me for a couple months now. He has no where else to go. He, his wife, and his family are going through the darkest valley they will probably ever go through.

There were things that were done that cannot be undone. Continue reading “Keeping My Brother”

About This Map

20160421_104910.jpgMany of you know I survive through clinical depression. And though I am 42 (as of this writing) I’ve struggled with this Specter since middle school. Many of you know all too well, the impact it has had on my life and those around me.

I feel pushed by the Lord everyday, to be as open as I can about it – feeling alone is the worst feeling in the world.

I don’t want anyone to feel like that. No one should.

I feel pushed to face the darkness, and encourage those who deal with the same demons. To talk about my experiences with those who have lost loved ones to this affliction, and may be themselves, pressing on through the awful quagmire of hopelessness.

So about this map…Having blogged for almost two years, I am thinking of creating a series of short stories about several heroes and their struggles with mental illness.

I wanted to share the beginning of their world with you.

I wrote a short story on stonewalling in relationships, which inspired me to begin to branch out with my writing.

Name Change

Hello there. Welcome to this little gathering placeI’m glad you found your way here and I hope that you are able to take something away when you leave.

Some background

This post is not a typical one of mine. It’s not common to the past few that I’ve recently added. In fact it’s about as atypical as the ones I’ve recently written.

I’ve been in a bad way for about the past year. I’ll call these months the Dark Age. I don’t know if I’m coming out of them just yet, but I am blogging again. And that in itself is a huge step.

I’ve been apathetic.

I’ve been suicidal.

I’ve been drinking.

I’ve been living it up Netflix style every night with a party for one. Shades drawn. Door locked. A catatonic lump amassed on the tan leather couch that has become my safe spot. I don’t know if I’ve been particularly withdrawn because I’m a heavy introvert, but I have felt awkward and inept in social settings – yeah I don’t really dig those. I’m a big red X, Delete button kinda guy on those MS Outlook happy hour invitations I get once a month. Yeah buddy, cut my knees off and call me shorty – that’s me.

My posts have been increasingly dark and graphic. I’m like that anyways because that’s how my depression manifests itself. Actually, it’s not that they’ve become dark and graphic. It’s just that that’s ALL they are nowadays.

I used to do Saturday night funnies because they used to make me laugh.

I used to laugh.

I used to create these little phrases of hope in PowerPoint and post them. I used to write poetry regularly because I had it in my soul. I haven’t had those intuitions in a hot minute.

40+ pounds lighter and several years ago, I used to get up at 4:30/5:00 to exercise. Now I don’t even care to walk across the street to the beach for a stroll. It’s all I can do to come home, get changed, and plop myself on the couch where I mutate for the rest of the night.

Eating popcorn and Fringe binging.

I don’t have energy for a relationship, but have been in one for the past two years.

[I tried so hard to reach for the stars]

I feel like a failure and that I let people down every day just by being alive. That’s how depression does.

[But I failed you all]

I haven’t even played Rockband until just recently. Forced myself to.

Yeah lately, I haven’t had hope.

I’ve not been hopeful for my life.

I’ve not had “hope through Depression” like the subtitle to my site says.

It hasn’t all been suckwad

Ironically though, I have been productive in small areas of my life. Don’t know how THAT’S worked out, but it has. I earned a merit raise at my job during December’s rounds of performance reviews. I’ve been taking graduate courses for almost the past year…trying to complete a certificate in my job field. I have a beautiful daughter who I spend as much time with as her mother allows me to. But I swear, most days it’s the most I can do to drag myself out of bed after hitting Snooze for 90 minutes, wiping the sleepy dirt from my eyes, and getting in the shower then heading to work.

Soooo anywho, that’s been my life for the past, longest time.

Sass’ – the catalyst

A fellow blogger, a friend, commented recently that:

I think even we, with our own Specters, forget how overpowering they can be and that we don’t want to glorify when it happens. We just want to be honest about it. And in that honesty comes bravery, even if you don’t feel it.

I sent her a quick thank you for the impact that her statement had on me over the past 24 hours, particularly when she said, “we don’t want to glorify when it happens”.

That got me thinking about the title of my blog-

surviving the specter

Hope through Depression from a survivor of suicide. “Specter” is the personification of my depression.

It got me thinking about rethinking that phrase, particularly that little word, “hope”.

What’s in a name?

I haven’t had hope.

I haven’t portrayed hope.

I haven’t sought hope.

So I think it best that I modify the name of this little gathering place.

surviving the specter

Hope Surviving through Depression from a survivor of suicide. “Specter” is the personification of my depression.

Lyrics courtesy of DragonForce, The Day.

We are thrilled to introduce our newest member, Chris from Surviving the Specter

Surviving the Specter is a fighter.
Surviving the Specter is a fighter.

Survivors Blog Here is breaking out our best disco moves. Daniel has his well-worn Saturday Night Fever white suit, to match his personality, shirt buttoned to the top. He can’t get down like Travolta for fear of splitting his pants. The team is offering support for Daniel to “do the splits” Robert looks quite distinguished in his white suit and the splits, no problem. Why you ask? We’re excited to announce Chris from Surviving the Spector www.survivingthespecter.wp.com has joined our team. He is honest, funny, raw and leaves you waiting for next post.

Chris’s talent includes poetry, humor and writing. His site is laid out nicely, topics are easy to find. Chris has recently reconnected with his faith. He’s challenged everyday to leave negative feelings behind to move forward with a positive attitude.

Chris blogs to share and offer support. Comments provide important feedback the good, bad and ugly.

Welcome from the Survivors Blog Here team!

www.survivorsbloghere.wp.com

🙂 M

 

A Letter From Home: Dear Sara

A Letter From Home: Dear Sara
A Letter From Home: Dear Sara

Dear Sara,

I’m at the park watching an old guy feed bread crumbs to a flock of pigeons.

He’s like God throwing manna to the Children of Israel.

It’s magical.

Sometimes I think all of life is magical but growd-ups don’t wanna talk about magic.

They say magic is for kids but if you ask them how come they’re alive, they don’t know what to say.

Ok, so I got a question:

Let’s say one-day u meet someone an’ this person sez they got lots a love for you but somethin’ don’t feel right.

But you wanna be loved and the person seems straight up. An’ you love ‘em back.

But there’s shadows you can’t explain, and the shadows look familiar.

But you don’t want to lose the love so u try to pretend like the shadows ain’t there when, bam!

Them shadows gets bigger an’ meaner until everything is black like it was for Robby when the shadows sliced his soul.

So you try to talk about it cuz maybe it’s all in your head so you say, “I’m scared cuz

I think somethin’ ain’t right.”

An’ the person says you don’t know nothin’ an’ you’re too suspicious an’ maybe it’s cuz you don’t know what real love looks like and maybe them shadows is love.

An’ the person says; “Bad people see bad things in good people.”

So you go, OK. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I imagine lies and meanness cuz I’m bad.

An I think, “Everything about me is me is wrong….”

An’ then I think, “But this all feels so familiar…”

So one day I come home an’ I see somethin’ terrible…I see this person doin’ bad stuff with a little kid, an’ I say, “Wow! That’s wrong!”

So right away this person says I’m a hater that ain’t got no gratitude an’ I didn’t see what I seen an’ I need to remember that most folks don’t even like me an cuz I’m judgmental an I’m not allowed to be judgmental cuz makin’ judgments it’s wrong.

An’ I think, “This feels so familiar an’ so confusing.

An’ I think, “If everything is good then nothin’s bad and that can’t be right.”

 So now I’m thinkin’ it really is me, cuz maybe I’m full of shadows, cuz maybe I’m a hater an I got no room to judge things cuz I’m the one that’s wrong.

But ain’t it wrong to do sex stuff with a little kid?

 So here’s my question?

Do you got this stuff figured out?

Is it always wrong to judge and ain’t there some things that’s wrong to do?

Love,

Bobby

Once a Victim Now a survivor

“one must break with one’s past to embrace one’s future. It is never an easy thing to do. It is one of the distinguishing characteristics between survivors and victims. Letting go of what was, to survive what is.” ― Karen Marie Moning, Darkfever

Survivor Award

Robert Goldstein, one of our resident writers, nominated me for the, Once a Victim Now a Survivor Award.  Rob also has a website named, Art by Rob Goldstein.  Rob is a powerful advocate for the rights of the mentally ill and homeless.  He speaks from his personal experience with the mental healthcare bureaucracy in America and the stigma our society still holds.  Please read Rob’s fine work and enjoy his artwork. Continue reading “Once a Victim Now a survivor”

We’ve Been Liebstered!

“We are sun and moon, dear friend; we are sea and land. It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other’s opposite and complement.”
― Hermann Hesse, Narcissus and Goldmund

liebster award
We’ve been Liebstered!

We recently received our first award here at Survivors Blog Here from Rob Goldstein. Rob’s blog,  Art by Rob Goldstein, is a collection of writing, poetry, art, and photographs that support his theme of living with dissociative identity disorder (DID) and the right to full access to health care for people with mental illnesses.  Rob’s many works give us a close-up view of the struggle with DID and the challenges of health care for chronic illness.  Rob’s talent and honest forthright approach humanizes this struggle by bringing it out into the light and showing us the face of a spirit that strives to live a normal and productive life, to gain acceptance by dispelling fear and judgement, and to educate us with a gentle touch and calm tone.  Thank you Rob! You are an inspiration and a true Liebster in the WordPress community. Continue reading “We’ve Been Liebstered!”

STICKS and STONES by Topaz Winters

One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered. ― Michael J. Fox

Rose and Stone
“I sometimes pretend I’m a Phoenix” – Topaz Winters, from Sticks and Stones

 

It’s my pleasure to bring you another poem submitted by Topaz Winters. Her poem takes us inside the maelstrom of a wounded spirit stuck between feeling the reality of unrelenting anguish from abuse, trauma, abandonment, and the dream of love and life as first imagined. The journey to healing is never swift or without setbacks captured in the line, “I sometimes pretend I’m a phoenix.” Topaz’s advocacy for survivors and awareness is greatly appreciated.  Topaz offered her poem as a tribute to the readers and authors that know abuse and trauma all too well. Thank you for your continued support, Topaz.  And now, dear reader, I submit to you, Sticks and Stones by Topaz Winters. Continue reading “STICKS and STONES by Topaz Winters”

The End of War

This is a repost of a chapter from one of my short stories.  It wasn’t very popular as far as likes, comments or views. It seems counter intuitive to beat that old dead horse again here.  I replay it because much is said about post traumatic stress disorder in service members but it’s not well understood by the public.  It can manifest years after the event as the memories suddenly drift in like a cold breeze through a forgotten open door.  Internal dialog of scenes long forgotten play out when and wherever they will – triggered by a thought, sound, a vision, a taste or smell. Continue reading “The End of War”

Suddenly Alone

Survivors Blog Here is pleased to welcome Guest Contributor Heather at The Starting End.   Heather was first featured here with her poem, “Night,” a look into the grip of restive dreams.  She spun waking dreams in the reader’s mind with a soft touch and vivid imagery.  Heather’s talent at expressing love and life through poetry and prose is a masterful stroke from the artist’s soft sable brush. 

Today we want to share Heather’s personal insight into her eventual discovery of a new life after the unfortunate loss of her husband in, “Suddenly Alone.”  Recovery from trauma and loss can take years.  Each person is different and must take whatever time necessary to come to grips with the truth of their life’s story.  At some point we realize we are no longer walking our path looking over our shoulder but lightly afoot, eyes forward to a new horizon with untold promise of brighter things to come.  Please enjoy, “Suddenly Alone,” and visit Heather’s website. You will understand why we are so excited to have her as our guest.

A special thanks to Randstein for writing the beautiful introduction.   XO M



SUDDENLY ALONE

Suddenly alone, we find ourselves. Be it from divorce or perhaps death, the chapter of our lives that we never read in our imaginary “Book of My Life” now puts on an unknown page. Continue reading “Suddenly Alone”

Midnight Letters by Topaz Winters

I would like to introduce to you, dear reader, a gifted young lady that I’ve followed since I began blogging.  Topaz Winters is a young novelist, singer, and song writer whose contributions to the world’s music, literature, and poetry is indicative of an ancient and wise soul.  She works tirelessly at her passion for the arts while balancing a busy life.   Recently, She dedicated her poem, Midnight Letters, to the writers on Survivors Blog Here and our readers.  Continue reading “Midnight Letters by Topaz Winters”

I Remember That Day

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Veterans
I REMEMBER

In flames and rivers of blood they lay,

With weary eyes, they saw their fate.

As the chaos of war reached for their souls,

Courage bid them rise and fight that day.

When the battle raged and wounded fell,

Death threw open the burning gates of Hell,

And good men carried the Brave away.

Remember Our Veterans

A Walk With Eternity

“We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

The Journey

 

I promised myself long ago that my life would be a walk with eternity.  I didn’t pray to be spared sickness, heartache or any dark moment life can bring.  When those dark moments found me, I never prayed for the light, a cure, a way around.  I prayed for strength to carry on.   Continue reading “A Walk With Eternity”

Strong Beauty

Delicate flower

Affectionately nurtured

Fostering strong beauty

What have I learned this week?

  • That I have to be my own steward and treat myself with kindness even when I don’t  feel I deserve it.
  • I have to be mindful of the thoughts I keep company with.
  • I have to remember that breathing is necessary to life.
  • That sometimes things aren’t as bad as they feel.
  • That being different is okay.  

What have your learned?