Saturday, May 6, 2017

It's Been A Long Year...But It's Always Worth It

Where to begin...

Its been a long year...

Many of you are probably wondering what an earth has happened to me over the last while and, quite honestly, I don't have an answer that many will agree with or even understand, but that's the point. I don't write for you to understand. I don't write because I owe anyone an explanation. I don't write because I'm concerned about what you may be thinking about me (although, sadly, many times I am). I don't write because I seek your approval or to convince you that you should share my beliefs and opinions. I do not write to change your values or your beliefs. I write to share my experiences and views. I write to share what I have learned that has helped me grow a little more. I write in the hope that I will touch your heart and enhance your empathy for situations that you may be unfamiliar with. I write because it's part of my story, a story which holds value and meaning to my life and I'd like to share a little of 'me' with you, in the hope that my influence can make even a tiny difference in this often dark and twisted world.

I don't ask you to agree with my words or my opinion but I do expect my opinion be respected for it is my opinion and, wether you agree with it or not, everyone's opinion deserves respect.

As I sit with my head leaned against my pillow, contemplating where to start the first thought that comes into my head is to share (which I have done many times!) that I am a highly sensitive person. I don't generally like to claim title to myself anymore as it usually invites a whole mirage of symptoms and issues that claim hold of my life that I don't warmly welcome but a 'Highly Sensitive Person' is just as it sounds and I try to see it as the gift that it is and not the "illness" that so many claim it to be. 

Unfortunately, with high sensitivity, that's one of the biggest obstacles we face...other people's opinions of ourselves often stick to us like glue. So when some of the most common phrases we hear in our lives involve statements such as, "you're too sensitive" or "you let things bother you too easily", "you need to learn to get over things" and, my all time favourite, "you're so emotional" we believe them and we begin to doubt ourselves and our abilities and fall short of truly embracing the gift that a highly sensitive person is here to experience.

It doesn't matter how many times in my life I have picked myself up from being run down by someone else's view of me, I continue to take the beating. Why? you might ask...because it's part of being a highly sensitive person. Words are not simply words. They cut so deep into my soul and become a part of who I am and what I'm made up of. That's why I never understood that little rhyme that we used to say to each other as children, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me". I felt it a stupid statement because names always hurt me. They hurt me more than any stick or stone ever did. I would take a punch to the face over a hurtful name any day. Don't get me wrong, that punch to the face wouldn't be a walk in the park either, but if I had a choice about which I'd prefer, I'd choose the punch because regardless of how sensitive I am as a whole, my heart is, by far, the most sensitive part of me.

Part of being a highly sensitive person includes a sensitivity for awareness that there is so much more to life than what we know in this mortal world. We are usually seekers of a higher power that we feel connected to on a deep level and once we become aware of that inner truth, we seek it with great determination and excitement for more than what we already have. Spiritual experiences can become so intensely euphoric that we can often feel like we are in another world altogether. On the other side, this beautiful awareness, when not being applied, can lead to a darkness so deep that it can overpower the beautiful light from within that intimately seeks goodness and love and leave the soul so empty, one can quickly lose sight of their value and purpose in this world and want nothing more than to escape it's undeniable entrapment of agony and loathing for oneself. It's why highly sensitive people are often known for being built with an internal compass. When darkness is near, our thoughts or intentions are off. When the light is shining from within, we are aligned with our higher power and are applying the tools that we have been so incredibly blessed with.

Many of you who know me, or have read my earlier blog posts, are aware of my previous diagnosis of, what the medical industry in our society refers to as 'Bipolar Disorder', a branch of mental illness that is so misunderstand and misguided that majority of people faced with sensitivities are forced into the only option known to us anymore...medication. We are placed on high doses of, very often, in my personal experience, negatively effective medication, for which we have no idea of the long term effects that WILL occur, in order to be accepted as "normal" or "functional" in our society. We are taught that feeling anything negative is 'bad' or 'wrong' and, if unable to be suppressed or repressed, but certainly not expressed, we must turn to forcibly hide it all away with medications help. 

Since coming into this spiritual awakening (as I like to call it), that has allowed me the realization that I don't have a mental disorder as I was taught but that I am a highly sensitive person (without the title), I also realize how incredibly sad of a situation it is to live in a society that views us this way. Having experience (very little but enough to have a valid opinion) with my personal compass lately, my eyes are open to how very important of a tool our emotions are in guiding our lives through this often confusing journey that God (or whatever Higher Power you believe in...I call it God, but would never judge you for your beliefs) placed us on. We are all so doped up on medication today, for far more 'disorders' than mental illness, that we've lost our ability to discover who we are and what our purpose is. We are literally in the day of walking blind,  ignorant zombies that we all meme about and think is so amusing. The truth is that it's not funny. It's so incredibly sad that for someone like me who is coming into this awareness, it's nearly impossible to direct my own way because most around me, my loved ones and my closest friends, think that I am completely delusional and living in a paranoid world. They continue to refer to me as 'sick' and 'disordered' and treat me as though I still hold the title of 'bipolar disorder' that society has so ignorantly placed on me and so many others like me. 

Going back to what I was explaining earlier, about how others opinions stick to us like glue, it is extremely difficult for me to keep solid ground and remember who I am and what my beliefs and purpose are. I far too often refer to myself as 'broken' or 'damaged' and scream out in absolute agony that "I want to die" or "I need help". That part is very true. I do often want to die and I very much need help. I too often feel like a prisoner in my own body and literally feel the urge to claw myself out of my own skin, but that isn't because I'm diseased or damaged in the way that society sees me. It's because I am so trapped in the voices and negative judgement that so easily confuses my purpose and forces me to a desperation of wanting to escape this ugly and confusing world that I too often become entangled in the myriad of beliefs and views surrounding me and I lose my ability to listen from within in order to guide me through this turmoil of uncertainty that we live in. Because the help that I seek is not often understood, and refused as legitimate 'help' by most in our society, it is extremely hard to come by and not included in governmental coverage (don't even get me started on the hit the money making mongrels of this world would take if they ever admitted to a healthier alternative to pharmaceutical medication that fills their bank accounts with numbers most of us can't even imagine) and for a single-income family of soon to be 7 people, there isn't much hope in forking out the dollars that could positively impact my health and the health of my family. 

It's a scary world to come into when you don't know which direction to turn most of the time and you are being treated as crazy and delusional by those that are supposed to be your greatest supporters. When loved ones are coming at you from every angle, accusing you of "screwing up your life", "negligent parenting" and "lack of regard for professional help" and informing you that they "can't sit by and watch any longer" you question yourself. Or when they secretly reach out and try to convince your husband, who is one of the very few who truly sees the effort you are making and knows the person you really are trying to be and stands by you, despite the constant highs and lows that seem to be tearing your family apart, that manipulation is all a part of your "illness", you doubt your mentality and you wonder if everything they are saying is in fact true. 

Don't get me wrong, I am fully aware that everything is done out of concern and fear and they just don't understand, but there's no denying that where fear exists, love cannot. And that hurts. And it doesn't just hurt a little bit. It hurts so deeply that it sets me back into that dark abyss that too often entraps my soul and I am unable to be the wife and mother that I know I was born to be. It causes me to doubt who I am and what my purpose is. It causes me to not only doubt myself but also to hate myself and the beautiful gift that I have been given, so much so, that I can't imagine taking another breath and burdening the beautiful family that I am responsible for guiding through this too often dark world into a better world, a world full of love and light and empathy for all. 

God sent me here to be that light. He sent me to be sensitive so that I can recognize when the world that surrounds me isn't how it's supposed to be and so that I can guide my family into the light and the goodness that He created this world to have. He sent me to make a difference and it isn't an easy task. I fail every single day to be that light in one way or another and I am working my ass off to be who He would have me be but there is so much negative energy and doubt surrounding me from every angle that it's nearly impossible to find my way. So I choose to separate myself from darkness when my sensitive little spirit can feel it, and trust me when I say, I can feel it a mile away. No, I can feel it from the other side of the world. I can feel it from the other side of the veil and most of the time don't even know why I am feeling it. I am constantly trying to get away from it...but I'm supposed to feel it, because it's my compass in knowing what is right for my life and what isn't. It's my direction and guidance in knowing if where I am is where I'm supposed to be. 

My world seems recently as if it has fallen apart. It often feels that way and I know that it seems that way to everyone around me. I have walked away from most of my family, my friends, and from what should have been my biggest support system, my church, because I didn't find within it the love and support that I needed and deserved. The light went out for me and it all turned to darkness. God led my path away from what was bringing me down and is guiding me into a better light where everyone is accepted and loved. There are no titles or restrictions where He is guiding me. There is no judgement or criticism for mistakes and there isn't expectation to be something I'm not or something I should be. There is no race to the finish line, no competition, and no punishment. There is no difference in race, culture, beliefs, gender, sexual orientation or standards. There is only love. And all we need is love. Because none of those things leave room for love and if we find ourselves in a place where love is overpowered by differences, then we aren't in the right place and adjustments need to be made and God showed me that. He opened my eyes to an understanding that was given solely to me, for me, in a way that would allow me to grow as an individual and become the light that He has sent me to be. He knows the best way for me to become that light and I have put my undeniable faith in His hands and, against all previous understanding, have followed His guidance and have felt great peace in this change. It doesn't make it easy. Walking away from everything you have ever known and facing a grand, new world that everyone around you tells you is 'wrong' is a scary adventure and can easily be confused, just as anything else in life, but the biggest difference for me is that I'm not scared to make a mistake anymore. I'm not scared because I believe the mistakes are what make us amazing and unique and help us learn and grow. I believe that God intended those mistakes to be made so why are we working so hard to avoid them? I know that I will be loved unconditionally, accepted for who I am and rewarded for where I am, regardless of where I stand and the choices that I make. God knows us better than we know ourselves, and each other, and only He can guide our lives to a place of refuge from the storm, away from all others expectation, criticism and punishment. 

One of the most important lessons that I have learned through this experience is that we are all individuals seeking individual lessons, healing, growth, experience, you name it, and not one persons answers can come from anywhere else but within. All we know is how to learn from others. We learn as children from our parents, as students from our teachers, as employees from our boss', as peers from our friends, as members of organizations from our leaders, as a society from the media and so on and so forth. What we're missing today is the knowledge that we have the answers within us...the important ones anyways. We came with the knowledge that we need to guide us in our lives and if we took a moment to step away from all of the outside noise and tune into what we feel in our hearts, we would have a much better compass to guide us along our journeys, whatever that means to us individually. For no two people are exactly the same, we may share many similarities, but we are all individuals seeking individual outcomes and therefor require individual paths in this life. That's a lot of individual for one paragraph but the point I am trying to make is that if we are all individuals, why do we assume (and I truly believe that to assume IS to most definitely make an ass out of u and me) that we have answers or truth for someone else's life? Why do we claim the right to judge and criticize ones choices and behaviours? Why do we think that because we have learned a certain lesson in our lives that everyone else should have learned it too or that it's even their lesson to learn to begin with? 

Many of you who know me know that I am a seeker of light and truth, I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I expect good things for this world because I believe in a higher power that will bring perfect order to our lives as I believe we've had it before. But first, before that perfect order can come, we are here to learn to maneuver our way through a world of cloudiness and confusion and to attain the biggest lesson of love unconditionally. Regardless of our myriads of differences, the ultimate goal is to love, and with love comes empathy, compassion, understanding and acceptance for all people. 

Please don't concern yourselves with the mistakes or wrong paths that you feel I am taking because I don't worry about them. Ultimately, as a seeker of light and truth, AS A CHILD OF GOD, I will follow Him and I WILL find Him, because it's instilled in me, but it won't necessarily be in the way that you would do it. It will be in a way that's right for me, that's meant for me. It's my journey and I'm trying to enjoy it because that's what I am here to do. I'm here to get messy and to fall and to learn to pick myself back up and grow through it all. My compass is guiding me and I'm not concerned for how far it will take me because, quite honestly, I don't want to live in a protective bubble anymore, constantly worried about making a mistake and losing my way. And in fairness, if God wanted me in that bubble, He wouldn't have sent me here to this crazy and dark world. He would have kept me perfectly wrapped in His loving arms where He could control every experience I have. But He didn't because He knows that experience, positive and negative, is what I need to grow. I'm ready to live! I want to live! I want to live so wholly and completely and know, with certainty, that no matter where my journey leads me, God is right there within me, loving me every step of MY beautiful way! 

I said at the beginning that it's been a long year and it most certainly has. I have allowed myself to be pulled into the depths of utter despair that are happening all around me, wether pointed directly at me by myself or others, or pointed at the world as a whole. I have allowed this to happen because I'm human and I err. I take in bad judgement of what this world is and what I should be at this point of my life. It's what I do. My husband once told me that I'm a magnet for negativity and you know what? He's right! I'm a highly sensitive person. I take in a lot of negativity. But I also take in love, light and goodness. The problem is, like most highly sensitive people, we hate the negativity so much that it's often all we can see. And the more we focus on getting away from it, the harder it is to run from. 

So, my to face it, embrace it, learn from it, and let it be a part of my compass. I plan to pick myself up from the last several years of being pushed so far down from the stressors of life that I've completely lost sight of who I am and what I'm capable of. I'm  going to live my life according to the dictates of my personal compass. I am going to fall, probably a billion more times in this life but I'm going to do my best to be okay with that. I'm going to walk tall because, regardless of what others may think of me, how unstable or sick I may be, I know that past all of the confusion that I am making my way through, with God as my guide, a brilliant light shines within me (and all of us!) and is meant to be seen and shared! My heart is open to love and I welcome all who want to be a part of it. If not, that's okay too but do me and my family a favour and keep your negativity away because my highly sensitive spirit can only handle so much before I have to let go and move in another direction. 

New beginnings seems to be a reoccurring theme that plays over and over again in my life. This is another one of those times. A time to start fresh with new beliefs, new values, and a new direction. A time to reflect on everything I do and say and ask myself if what I'm speaking or doing is actually something that I believe in or is it something that I've been taught to believe in along the way that doesn't really align with who I am? It's a time to ask myself what is best for mine and my families lives and then to act accordingly. It's a time to let go of all that does not serve me in my higher purpose and for my greater good. It's a time to realize that I am human and I don't have to be perfect right now. I'm not built to be perfect with all of the imperfections that happen around me every day so why would I put that burden on myself? It's a time to see with new eyes, with new lenses, all of the beauty that exists in this incredible creation that we live in, without the judgement and separation that we place on as blinders. 

God sees beauty in everything. He is perfect and is incapable of anything less. So it doesn't matter who you are and what you do because no matter how you see yourself and others, God sees you perfectly, and that is the free gift that was given us by the saviour of this world that we all seek in so many different ways. YOU ARE LOVED AND YOU ARE PERFECT IN THE ONLY EYES THAT MATTER! So live! Live as you seem guided to live and don't ever let anyone tell you that you aren't good enough or that you need to do better or be more! Be you! The most perfect you you can be without everyone else's opinion of what perfect is. And, above all, LOVE! Love others but, more importantly, love yourself! Because you are beautiful! God wouldn't create anything less. 

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