No Normal After Trauma

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My date would arrive later. He would only be in my apartment for a few minutes before we were on our way. I had to prepare. So I got on my computer and began logging out of all of my accounts. After I had logged out of two –I stopped. I asked myself aloud, “What am I doing? Nicole, you need to back away from your crazy.” I logged back into my accounts and stepped away from my computer. But I did not put down my trauma. I carried it through the date, through the rest of my day and into the next.

You see, My Guy On A Buffalo was constantly going through all my texts and emails and Facebook. Looking, waiting to catch me in a lie, in some kind of betrayal. I had nothing to hide BUT BOUNDARIES, PEOPLE. BOUNDARIES. And this lives with me still.

My date that day has never given me any indications that he would do the same but the fear still lives in me. And it is alive.

A few years ago I took myself on a trip. I just needed to get away and really look deep into myself and reflect and make decisions. It was an amazing trip. A week after my return I met My Guy On A Buffalo. And the world was wonderful. And then my world was destroyed.

I am preparing to leave on another trip. For the same purpose. To do some intentional work on myself. To be in a new place, to make new choices. I have been really excited for this trip. Until this morning. Fear showed up. Last time I went on a trip I came back and was stolen. I am so afraid that I will return from this trip and the same thing will happen.

A part of me, the healthy side of my brain, tells me that is not true. It will not happen again. This is not a repeat. But the trauma in me…

I do not know how to be normal. I want to be. It is frustrating to think and deal in this way. But maybe it is not about acting, thinking, being normal… Maybe it is about accepting what is. That for right now, this is my new normal. And it is okay. It is okay in all its scary. In the hurting. In the healing.

I often feel crazy. And I know I cannot be the only one. So this is for you. You, who feels crazy and out of control. Who cannot seem to be normal after all you have gone through. I get it. I hear you. I see you.

Worthy is your name. Divine is your destiny. Healing is happening. Together, lets breathe through all of our un-normalness and walk into our fears. I just know something lovely is waiting on the other side

 

Overcoming Fear of Follow-Through

I have a huge fear of follow-through. You can read more about that here:

Fear of Follow-Through

 I have been trying to figure out how to overcome this fear and what I have learned so far is how complex this all really is. I cannot even begin to explain to you how frustrating this all is. I have struggled to know where to start.

Every Monday afternoon I attend an institute class entitled Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel. I love attending this class. It calms me. It centers me. I always feel the spirit.

This past week in class I learned something through the spirit.

We read in the Bible, in the New Testament, the accounts of the Savior’s time in the Garden of Gethsemane. This is where Christ took upon our pains, sins, weaknesses, temptations, our sorrows and our afflictions. Before, Christ could intellectual understand all we have and will ever go through but here, in this garden, is where He literally experienced every thing we have and will experience so that He would literally know how to come to us, to comfort us, to heal us. See Mark 14:33-36

The verses that spoke to my heart specifically were Luke 22: 39-44. In verse 42 we learn that Christ gave up His will to His Father. To us. He drank the bitter cup. He surrendered. And after He did so, help was sent. Verse 43: And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

Heavenly Father ALWAYS sends us help. But first we must accept what is. Often in life the bitter cup is before us. And when it is not removed we have a choice. Do we drink it? I know that when I do, help is always sent and I make it through. Not only do I make it through but I am lifted higher. My character becomes more refined. I become more compassionate and generous. And my testimony of my Savior is strengthened. There is peace in the middle of all that is hard. In the middle of all that I feel is wrong and somehow, all inside of me is made right.

In testifying of the Savior’s Atonement, Elder Neal A. Maxwell shared, “When the agony came in its fulness, it was so much, much worse than even He with his unique intellect had ever imagined!… The cumulative weight of all mortal sins- past, present, and future- pressed upon that perfect, sinless, and sensitive Soul! All our infirmities and sicknesses were somehow, too, a part of the awful arithmetic of the Atonement… His suffering- as it were, enormity multiplied by infinity- evoked His later soul-cry on the cross, and it was a cry of forsakenness.”

My fear of follow-through will be overcome through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I just know it. I don’t know how but I am surrendering the need to know how. I just know it will be done. It will be done as I seek the Lord’s inspiration and turn to Him in my weakness. I believe He makes all things right including my imperfect, false beliefs about myself.

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Fear of Follow-Through

I don’t dance around the perimeter of the person I want to be. I step in fully and completely. -Gabrielle Bernstein. This is my mantra for the day.

I have been wanting to do Beachbody’s program Hammer and Chisel since it was announced in July. Something about it drew me to it. I counted down the days until it was released in December. I ordered it the program a few weeks ago and have anxiously waited for it to arrive in the mail.

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When it came I was  so excited! I poured over all the material, read every word and began to plan my attack. I calendared my workouts. I planed my meals. So so ready…..and I didn’t start. The excitement was gone. I told myself I didn’t need to be excited I just needed to begin. But I didn’t begin. I thought maybe if I “prepared” more I would be ready to dive in so I went out and bought a new workout outfit. And……nothing.

I thought, “what is wrong with me?” I was so frustrated with myself and I knew it was time to get honest with myself. So I had a come to Jesus talk. Sometimes facing the truth about myself feels like the hardest thing. Because it is. And I do not have all the answers but I did come to some conclusions.

I have a huge, overwhelming fear of follow-through. There are very few things in my life I have seen to completion. And if I were to follow-through with this program in the timetable I have set for myself I would PROVE MYSELF WRONG.

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Meaning, I have carried these notions about myself that are not true. But a huge part of myself believes them to be true. That I do not finish what I start. I do not keep promises to myself. I am a letdown. I am a failure. I am not capable of success. I am worthless. And if I were to follow-through with the promises I make to myself- I would prove myself wrong. I would show myself THE REAL TRUTH. That I am amazing. That I am a finisher. That I do not give up. I persever. I overcome. I am a leader. I do what I say I am going to do. I am successful. I am capable of creating the life I want for myself. I make my dreams come true. THAT IS THE TRUTH. And I am afraid of it. I hold myself back. I stand in my own way. And I have not figured it out yet. I do not know all the reasons why or how to reverse it. But today….

I don’t dance around the perimeter of the person I want to be. I step in fully and completely.

That is what I am choosing today.

I freaking love being a Beachbody coach. It gives me purpose and an outlet for my voice. The past few weeks have been discouraging to me as a coach. A few people have quit. And I get it. But I am also so very sad. In my heart of hearts I wish that they would have not given up on themselves so easily. I wish they would have given themselves more time. More of a chance. BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I WANT FOR MYSELF and I AM FIGHTING FOR IT. It is hard. And it hurts. This business makes one come face to face with the false beliefs we carry about ourselves.

My fear of follow through, and all the contributes to it is NOT SERVING ME. Its not. And I am over it. Today I am choosing to do something about it.  Part of me is so in love with this strong, powerful body of mine. It does everything I ask it to do. It serves me well. But another part of me wants to hide from it. I feel it is not attractive and…I am embarrassed by it. So this journey of mine is not only to love my body where it is at but to gain confidence inside and out. To become stronger inside and out. To treat myself like I love myself. Because I do. I know that I do.

So I went to the little gym today at my apartment complex. I took my computer with me to stream Hammer and Chisel. And I was self-conscious because there were other people in there. And I had to modify EVERY move. And I had to press pause. And I cried a little. And I finished it. And it was so hard. All of it. But I showed up for myself and I feel AMAZING. I feel strong and proud. And guess what, it was fun! And I cannot wait to do it again tomorrow! Who knew that would be the end result! My date with myself was a success!

I dont dance

Taught my First Class Tonight!

I am on fire. I am a teacher now. Officially. And I taught my first class tonight! It was wonderful. I FEEL wonderful. Thank you Heavenly Father! Thank you for this opportunity! Thank you for my gifts and talents, for the opportunity to grow and refine them, for all of the experiences that led me here…well maybe not all. Lets be honest. I don’t feel that way yet! But thank you for MOST of them. I am happy to be where I am at now. It has taken hard work and the truth is– I am proud of myself. And I could not have done it without my Savior. He is making me whole. Slowly, but it is happening!

I am an institute teacher. Institute is a big part of the educational system within the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. To be an institute teacher one must have certain qualifications because all classes can receive college credit. So its a big deal! I am teaching the Mission Preparation class to students who are preparing to serve full-time (18 to 24 months) missions for the church. My responsibility is real!!! And I feel the weight of it. But I also know this is what I am supposed to be doing right now. I teach once a week and my class is an hour and a half long. And I love it. I am in love with my students. I want them to have everything they need and feel prepared. I want them to have experiences with the Atonement of Jesus Christ that they can draw upon for strength and testimony. I want them to love the Savior and have a desire to serve Him. I want them to feel that they are needed and important. That God has a work for them to do.

I was feeling disconnected and nervous before I taught tonight so I drew a card before leaving the house. This is what is said: I release my need to be perfect, and I center into my commitment to serve the world more love.

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I loved that it said that. It was the perfect thing for me to channel. I took it with me to class tonight and it became my prayer.

Also, In case you are unaware, I am now in a relationship. My status on Facebook says so. I am in a relationship with MYSELF. That’s right. I am dating myself. 2016 is dedicated to being my own best lover. One of the ways I am loving myself is through fitness and nutrition. I am treating my body like I love it. Because I do. And I am thankful for all the ways my body serves me. IT IS TIME FOR ME TO SERVE MY BODY. The program I will be following the next few months is Hammer and Chisel. I have been looking forward to this program since July. And it is here and I am ready-ish. So I am dating myself at the gym. And guess what? I am going to prepare for my dates with the gym like I would any other date. With excitement! And I am going to get ready for it like I would any other  date. Meaning, I am going to put in my contacts, do my hair, maybe even wear lipstick. I am purchasing a few new workout outfits so I feel cute when I meet my date, Hammer and Chisel, at the gym. And I am going to put my best foot forward. And I am going to be honest about my pain. And give all my troubles to my workout. And I am going to lift them. And put them down again. And I am going to rest. Recover. Repeat. Because I am worthy. I am loved. It is my responsibility to show myself this love. It is my commitment. I AM MY COMMITMENT.

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Today was just a good day. I needed one. Thank you Heavenly Father. Although it did start off rough. It is winter. Waking up is difficult for me. Leaving Huck is difficult to me. Yesterday I was talking with a cohort and she mentioned to me that I should go ahead and do what I need to do to have Huck become a service dog. This requires a lot of money. A lot. And training. And work. And I feel tired already -but my friend made some very valid points. I am going to think and pray about this. I am grateful my friend was bold enough to say what she said.

Today the boys and I made fresh pear and orange juice. They loved it and demanded that I bring my juicer every time. We also used the EZ bake oven again. It went better this time than last time but is still not my favorite thing to do. But they love it so why not?! I love those boys. They make me happy. We have fun together.

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Today I also talked through my goals with my Success Partner. If you do not have a success partner I recommend getting one. It can be anyone. A friend, spouse, mentor. Mine lives across the country from me. We call/skype regularly. We keep each other accountable and realistic to what we each are trying to achieve. Today she helped me to clarify and strengthen my goals for 2016. I am thankful for her. She is a prize.

I watched the following video again today. It always moves me to tears. I feel so much emotion over it. It make mes want to apologize to any and every one I have ever hurt in my life. Forgiveness is not the theme but it is what I feel from it. I hope you watch it and enjoy. And I would love to hear what you take away from it!

 

Back to School

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School started back up for me today! And I am so thankful. I have missed school. The morning started out rough. I didn’t get much sleep last night and my anxiety had been pretty high lately. I arrived at school early to spend time alone singing in the chapel. It grounds me and helps me to feel calm before I enter class. I made this my spiritual practice once a week last quarter. This quarter it works in my schedule to do twice a week and I am happy! When I left the chapel and headed downstairs to class I saw my friends and immediately felt alive again! I love my classmates! They make me happy and are a confirmation that I am in the right place.

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Class was great and boy did it stimulate my mind and my heart! After class I attended chapel. The first part of chapel we meditated to Christmas music! It was wonderful! And the sermon was beautiful. The preacher shared a story about a time in his life where he was so busy looking to heaven for help that he could not see that God was sending him help in the form of people here on earth. I was very moved by it. I think I often fall into the same thing. I am so busy watching Heaven for a miracle that I do not see the miracle Heavenly Father sends to me here on earth.

After school Huck and I went for a walk on the trail behind my home. I am so blessed to live in such a beautiful place!

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Glory be to God!

Dear 2016

I have decided to start dating again.

First step: Create opportunity for myself to even talk to a man! Haha. But true. You know its true!

So I am online. For a month. I have no problem with online dating but I will say it is making me depressed.

I don’t know. I just don’t know…

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What I do know is that the struggle is real and my confidence is low. And the only way to gain confidence is to create experiences for myself that will build myself.

Meaning, exercise the crap out of myself. Physical movement gives me strength. This is not about losing weight. It is about becoming stronger. And I need to take physical steps as well as mental ones to become stronger.

So for 2016 I am my own lover. And the gym is where I will be dating myself.

Over the next week I am going to get real with my goals and plan them out. To hold myself accountable to this I am hosting a 7 Days Guide to Goal Setting and Achieving group on Facebook. All are welcome.

If we linger

What a Day

Waking up early is hard. Ok. Waking up is hard. Especially in the winter. Because winter is hard. Even though I am exhausted and I think I am getting sick, today was a pretty rad day. Today the boys and I went to the library and looked at cookbooks. We found a pizza recipe we liked, made a grocery list, went shopping and then came home to make homemade pizzas. They turned out pretty good. Then we broke out the EZ bake oven. Let me tell you, there is nothing easy about that! We attempted to make cakeballs. They turned out pretty sad but the boys liked them.

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I was able to skype with one of my besties tonight. We were both blah and pretty uninspiring but I still felt reenergized after the call. I drank my Shakeology, which my body has been craving, as I watched the latest season of Teen Mom 2. I am all about that life. I love those women and maybe even follow them on Instagram. Speaking of Instagram. Here are my tops for today:

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Perfect for today. Thank you Bill Meme.

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#hairgoals

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Aerial and I. We are so much alike.

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And there you have it.

Tuesday Dec 29th

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Huck. I love my Huck and am so grateful for him. I have extreme anxiety when I have to leave him. It makes going to work extra hard. And winters are hard.

Things I say to Huck: “You are the leader of the free world. No, you are the free world.” “You are the master of your fate.” “You are everything good and wonderful and lovely.” “You are the greatest love.”

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Above is a selfie of me making a Starbucks run at work. Peppermint hot chocolate for the win. Work was hard. I am grateful for my coworkers who keep it light. Going to work today was extra hard because prior to work I had therapy. Naps should always AWAYS come after therapy. Not work. My brain needs time to rest. I love therapy. It is hard and challenging and at then end of each session I am emotionally and mentally drained. Another goal for 2016 is to make sure I always have a clear schedule after therapy. That way I can take a nap, a run or just binge out on tv. I need to give my mind and heart the time and what it needs to renew and repair.

The following are things I saw on Instagram that I loved.

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Seriously though.

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Always.

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I loved this. And feel it is me and it is probably you. It is one thing I know, I KNOW my ex can have no doubts about and that is my love for him. And maybe that fact that I am all over the place.

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Jesus.

Winter is Hard

I love Stephanie Neilson’s blog. I have read it for years. Stephanie uses her blog as her journal. I admire her way of documenting her life and I would like to do the same. So… blogging/journaling is one of my goals of 2016!

Winter is hard. Reruns of Project Runway and Teen Mom make it better but winter is hard. It is cold and dark. I feel sad and unmotivated. I feel like I have to work twice as hard to be on top of my game mentally/emotionally.

I am so grateful I have Huck. I am sure he is going stir crazy in my little apartment. I am so glad I have him. He helps to make my house a home. He is a wonderful companion. I worry about him when I am not home. I hate leaving him and often feel great guilt.

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Another 2016 goal is a bra goal. Yep. I have a goal bra. I used to be a 36DD now I am a 34D and my goal is to be a 30C. Hahaha. Most women lose weight in the chest area first. Not me. I seem to lose it there close to last. Other than fitting into my goal bra I do not have weight goals for 2016. But I sure do have STRENGTH goals. I want to be strong. I am starting Hammer and Chisel here soon and I am excited and scared. EEEk. So out of my comfort zone in the best of ways! I need to challenge myself in this way.

PicMonkey Collage

Today I  changed the bag in my vacuum.  I opened it up to discover how my dad rigged the last bag so it would last longer. He used a bobby pin and paperclip. I loved it so much. I laughed. It made me happy. I love my daddy so very much. I am grateful him and my mom in my life. They do so much to take care of me. I would not survive without them!

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And this is totally my jam right now!

Master, the Tempest is Raging

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on June 5, 2014

I am sad.  For days now.  Just so very sad.  And so tired.  I could sleep for days.  I think I need to. I think it would help.  My emotions are in my throat at all times.  Most of the time they surface while driving in my car.  I weep as if someone has died.  You know that cry.  You know that sound.  Maybe you have made it yourself.  It is a cry that is different from the rest.  It is scary.  It is alarming.  It comes in waves.  It stays true to its course, this emotion.  But when it is over it gently rolls out to sea leaving… not happiness… not joy… but some kind of peace and always, always a measure of gratitude.  Because in the middle of my hidden sorrows I find Jesus.  During the storm there is nothing else to hang on to.  No one else there.

Elaine Marshall said, “secret healing is not a single event. It happens as a process of living. You cannot simply take off a day or start tomorrow like a new diet and returned healed.  IT HAPPENS QUIETLY WHILE YOU FACE THE PAIN. It happens over time as you live, work, study and give to others.”

As of now I cannot imagine a day when I am healed. What will that day look like? How will I feel? I feel like I have lived in this for so long now but I am ready to live without it,

“Master, with anguish of spirit I bow in my grief today. The depths of my sad heart are troubled. Oh, waken and save, I pray!” -Master the Tempest is Raging, Mary Ann Baker