YOU MADE IT

For too many of us, 2017 lived and breathed pain. The most pain any year has breathed yet.

I haven’t even been able to find words to express. What do you say to the year that hurt you the most? To the year that landed you in the hospital twice because you couldn’t take the pain it was causing you anymore? To the year that brought a man who abused your innocence? To the year that taught you that when you think it couldn’t get any worse, it does.

You know, I’ve been scared to write because I don’t want to blow away your New Year’s confetti with a few sad sentences. But here I am writing, not for anyone else, but for myself. Because writing the rawness that is my heart is the only earthly thing that makes sense of my non-sense.

As soon as the clock turned midnight, I found myself letting out a wailing cry. That was my first human instinct. A physical wail of simultaneous relief and grief. My subconscious screamed, “YOU MADE IT.” That realization made me feel like the Hollywood sign was replaced with the word PROUD and I was looking straight up at it. But – also while I was in that moment staring at the sign, pain took away the pleasure and that sign went to ashes and all I felt was aggressive anger.

I see now that anger is the most important layer of the grief process. If you can’t feel anger, you can’t experience the full reality of what happened. If you don’t feel the reality of what happened for what it is, you can’t begin to understand the important lesson of it all. And if you don’t learn the most important lessons in life, what’s the point of living? Will you ever grow?

I was grieving the pain I endured last year. The anger was the physical release of the pain leaving my body. The peace I experienced after was the mending of the broken places my soul was letting go.

Most of the year I was holding my breath in a continuous inhale because I learned that the second you exhale, reality hits you the hardest. You know that feeling when you forget to breathe, you hold your breath without even realizing it until someone jolts at you, “breathe” because you’re in a moment so captivating that breathing seems unimportant.

I just laughed because as I’m typing this I literally just realized I was holding my breath. I contradict myself sometimes. That’s another thing I’ve learned, you really do have to practice what you preach. You can’t tell people one thing and then not do it yourself.

I began to live in that never-ending inhale this year. When you forget to breathe, you’re so distracted by the numbness, you don’t even realize your face is turning purple.But you avoid the pain of the exhale, and at that time nothing else in the entire world matters. The numbing suffocates the pain. Who wants to live in pain?

I found myself in a home with no hiding spaces. I couldn’t hide from myself any longer or I was going to die this time.

I walked into my only option, my soul, and I laid down. I laid it all down.

I closed my eyes and saw what it looks like to be protected. I saw the times when situations of the year could’ve turned out so much worse. But they didn’t because I was being protected. I saw the most beautiful woman who is still here because she chose to stay. And because she found the strength to stay – she came out a warrior, beaming of light.

I woke up and my exhale caused the earth to quake because the fact that I’m still here proved to the devil that he isn’t stronger than me. My path has the brightest light upon it.

There are going to be so many distractions along the way, but you keep going because you have to. You have to because the world needs you. You tell yourself the world needs you and that keeps your heart beating. And your love keeps the world’s heart beating.

I am ever so grateful for where I am right now. I am someone who I like to know.

2018 doesn’t know what’s coming for her.

Here’s to the best one yet.

X

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11 NIV

I love how it says, “for those who have been trained by it.” You have to be willing to allow Him to train you. This year was the first time I embraced that. But I always say my pain has been the greatest lesson AND blessing. Because I wouldn’t be who I am without it.


What Is One Sentence You Wish You Heard Everyday?

What is one sentence you wish you heard everyday?

A few weeks ago I asked this question on my Instagram page. I copy and pasted all of the responses in the exact order I received them. I want to share this with you. I don’t really know what to do with it. It’s so powerful. I wish I could say these truthful sentences out loud to every single one of you, every single day. But I exhale my breath of a prayer out into the air and hope with everything in me that someone will feel it.

I’m proud of you

You’re all I want and more

I am proud of you

I’m proud of you

Your feelings are valid

I’m so happy we met

Trust God, there’s a reason for your struggles

You’re allowed to feel

You are lovable

You are loved, beautiful, and worth value

You are worth it

Life is better because you are a part of it

You look beautiful

You’re doing just fine, everything will fall into place

You’re worthy

I love you, beautiful

I’m proud of you

I’m proud of you

This too shall pass

You are enough

You don’t need to hide or change yourself anymore

You make me feel so much better

You matter

Don’t give up

I love you

I’m proud of you

I know you’re trying

Your cancer doesn’t scare me, I’m not going anywhere.

I appreciate you.

I love you

I love you

You’re not a burden

You’re appreciated

I wish I heard never give up, instead of I told you so

There is a place for you here, you do not take up too much space

It’s going to be okay

No matter how tough today gets, you can make it through because I believe in you

You’re special and I mean it

You are loved

You are loved

I’m here for you

Don’t worry, I’m here for you

I love you

You’re beautiful

No matter what happens today, God is in control

You are worthy of love

I believe in you

Don’t give up

You mean the world to me

I miss you

I’m proud of you

Your soul is beautiful

You are loved

You are lovable

I’m proud of you

I love you

I’m here for you

It’s not your fault, you didn’t ask for it

You are enough for me

You’re appreciated

You look beautiful

Thank you for all that you do

I appreciate you

You don’t need to be perfect to be beautiful

You are worth it

Nothing that happens to you can touch your worth as a human.

I’m proud of you

You are loved

You won’t be alone forever

I am proud of you

I see everything and I still love you endlessly

You are strong

You inspire me to be a better person

You’re going to be okay

No matter what happens, you are going to be okay.

I wish I had someone who would tell me everyday, “You’re beautiful” and mean it. Maybe if I heard it everyday I would start to believe it to be true, if only from one person

How is your heart today?

I love you

God will never fail you and He is for YOU.

I believe in you. 

You can do it

You’re not a mistake

You are worthy of love

You’re beautiful

I love you

You are worth so much more than what people say about you.

I trust you.

You are truly beautiful

You are worth something

Take a deep breath and just remember that you are seen and heard

I appreciate you

All that matters at the end is love.

You are enough.

You are enough.

This too shall pass. Never give up

You deserve to take up space in this universe

I’m not going anywhere

You are capable of doing everything you want and no one has the right to judge what you do or stop you from doing it

You’re not a failure

You aren’t alone. You can do this.

I love you

You are good enough

You are good, loved and worth it.

I’m proud of you.

You’re worth it.

I’m proud of you

You are a good mom

I’m proud of you. You’re trying your best, and that’s good enough.

You’re doing a great job

You can do it just keep trying don’t give up.

You’re not a monster.

I’m proud of you

I’m glad you’re my sister

You’re amazing

You are brave.

You are loved, valuable and your presence affects lives for the better.

It’s ok to not be ok

I am here for you.

Love yourself and be kind to yourself. You matter.

You don’t need to find love, for you are love.

I love you and life wouldn’t be the same without you.

You are loved

Let me live every moment with you

I know you’re doing the best you can. It’s okay to have a few bad days. I’m supporting you.

Everything’s gonna be okay.

Even so, it’ll be alright.

Thank you for being here

I love you and you got this

I love you

You’re smart

God is working on it

I miss you

Your hard work and passionate effort does not go by unnoticed. You’re doing great.

I love and accept you anyway.

Even though you’ve been through a lot, you will make it through this.

You are important to me

You’re enough.

You deserve happiness

You’re doing great

You are capable and it will happen.

It will be okay.

I love you … I wish I could hear it from someone other than myself, self love can only take you so far, sometimes I want someone to love me in way I can’t love myself. I never got to hear the words those words growing up and I have heard it very few times as an adult

You make me smile every time I see you.

You are brave for simply trying.

Your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed

Thank you for all that you do

I’m really proud of you

I know life is tough, but you can do this. You are doing it.

You are beautiful

I’m proud of you

You are loved by soooo many people

I appreciate you

I appreciate you!

You’re beautiful.

I care about what you have to say

You, yourself are doing amazing!

You are fearfully and wonderfully made

You are beautiful

Hey you’re fine, it’s fine

You are worthwhile.

I love you

You’re doing a great job

I’ll do what it takes it make sure you’re taken care of

You are enough

You are so capable of overcoming whatever hurdles come your way today; I believe in you.

Thank you for being part of my life

Just breathe. You’re worth it. 

You are beautiful. People will always have their opinions it’s up to you what you listen to

You’re doing great, keep moving.

Keep trying, you’ll get where you need to be in time.

You are important and beautiful.

You’re not okay and you keep hiding but it’s okay for now just don’t stay in that place to long

I believe in you

Are you doing alright?

You are forgiven

You inspired me to keep going/ do the thing/ say the stuff…..

Everything will be okay

Thank you for being brave, for being who you are because that’s what the world needs.

I want to work things out

Thank you.

I love you so much

I love you

I love you mummy

I appreciate you

You’re gonna be okay

You’re not alone on this

The beauty of someone else does not mean the absence of your own.

You matter.

You are worth it.

You are enough. 

You are loved. 

You are strong.

“I’m proud of you.”

I’m so glad to have you in my life

You’re gonna be ok

You are loved.

You mean the world to me

You are good enough

I believe in you.

I love you.

You are enough.

I hear you. I understand

I see you and you matter

You are good enough.

You can do hard things.

I love you

You are beautiful. Every little thing you do makes me smile. The sun it self gets jealous at how much you shine! And that’s why I love you.

I initially took a break from social media to completely focus on my healing. For the past three weeks or so I’ve felt this tugging on my heart that it was the right time to share again. I’ve resisted it. I’ve tried to ignore it because I convinced myself I was too weak to start again. But here I am, typing away on my laptop with a rhythm I don’t know if I’ve ever felt.

A few months ago, I started to feel the weight of other people’s pain more than I ever have. I read stories and responded like it was my responsibility to fix a thousand broken hearts all on my own. The world’s pain became my pain, on top of the pain I was already feeling from my own situations I had no control over.

It is not my job to make someone’s pain go away. Or on an even larger scale, (which to be honest I do feel sometimes) the world’s pain.

All I can do is throw love out and let Love do the rest.

Being head-over-heels authentic was something that came easily to me at the beginning of my journey. More recently, I have curled up in a ball and hid from sharing my truth.

I signed with a modeling agency in New York City at the end of August and the eyes of society came glaring in on me. I felt that my ability to share my truth was looked down upon. I honestly felt a loss in my life not interacting with my Finding My Verse community. As much as you may feel I have helped you, you have given me hope in my darkest days.  I stuck my foot in the door before it was about to slam shut on my face.

I will write again and trust that I’ll know when and what I need to share. I threw my dust covered hands in an ocean and shouted that I’m ready to let go. The salt began to heal my wounds and soak up my doubts and here I am. I’m here and that’s enough.

During my absence from social media I got to the point where nothing was helping. I came toe to toe with the edge of a cliff. And that’s where the voice within me whispered the word “silence.”

“Jacqueline, you need a period of silence. You will find healing in silence.” I was going to talk therapy twice a week for three months straight and I got to a point where I felt like it was making me worse. I left feeling more anxious than I did when I walked in. I saw memories in my dreams more vividly. Shouldn’t therapy make you feel better over time? I don’t think talk therapy is for everyone. It’s not always the answer.

I needed a break from anxiety. I needed a break from pain every single day. I was so worn out. You don’t even know. And I needed peace.

I was fighting for myself for so long and nothing was working. But it wasn’t my fault, I knew that. I knew I needed peace as much as anyone. I was fighting as hard as anyone. I decided I had to choose to be selfish if I wanted to be okay. I think being self-focused to heal yourself is actually one of the most powerful acts of selflessness.

Letting go has been blindly throwing myself backwards in a trust fall, but no one is physically there to catch me. I just have to trust I won’t get hurt to the point I can’t move. Somedays, I did believe I couldn’t move and I stayed in the same place for a long time. That was uncomfortable. But eventually I found my movement again. I do every time. Because that is who I am.

I’ll never hit the ground hard enough to break every bone in my body. And if I do break a bone, it will heal. Bones always heal with a little time and a boatload of love. Like a ton of love.

Blindly leaning backwards is the only way I’ve found healing. I release my balance to lean into Love. And that is exactly what ends up hurling me forward.

This is what it took to discover what healing means for me. To become familiar with the language of my soul. To be okay with not being okay all of the time.

Healing is the most beautiful gift I have been given. My healing is my beauty. It is a textbook to life that no mastermind could teach me. It brings me to discovering who I really am.

Pain is the blessing that leads to the lesson of knowing what it means to be a human who doesn’t live for herself. But rather, living for the greater good of the entire universe. That is why I am here. To lead every single soul that steps into my Verse, closer to Love.

The more I learn to accept that not being okay is temporary, the less I feel threatened. The less not being okay has the power to threaten me, the stronger I become.

I am not broken because I feel every single emotion more strongly than most. I am not fragile because I have been broken more than most. My ability to feel is my power. I care and breathe out love without even being conscious of it. My ability to love is like my ability to breathe. My soul does it without a second thought. My breath never gives up on me, so I will never give up on myself.

This is what I’m learning.

These are the words letting go is giving me. These are the words I string together to believe in myself. I’m really, actually, finally believing in my own words!

Let go with me. Grab my hand and let’s make a trail together. We’ll walk until we reach the end of our path.