A Letter to the Girl Who Doesn’t Believe She’s Good Enough

April 14, 2016

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Dear You,

I don’t know you personally, but for some reason you felt connected to me and messaged me seeking advice. You told me you hate yourself. You said you’re ugly, fat, make everyone around you mad, you’re not good at anything, and you’re always sad. You don’t know what to do anymore and you feel lost.

After reading that message I instantly felt my heart sink to my shoes and a responsibility to help you see yourself differently. I’m stuck trying to figure out how, though.

Our society puts so much pressure on young women. So many have made the subconscious decision that she is not good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough, successful enough, and so much more…

I wish society allowed girls to be themselves and love themselves uniquely. We are pressured to be like the majority. As a young girl, all you want to do is fit in. And when you feel like you’re different, you fall apart.

You look at your reflection and pay attention to the extra inch of skin, instead of the beautiful big brown eyes. You see a girl that you don’t want to see. You are tired and emotionally beaten from the lies that have been penetrating your soul for years. You can feel the bags under your eyes from nights of restless sleep consumed with intrusive thoughts you try to ignore. You see the girl across the lunch table eating a salad while you have a sandwich and feel guilty for the carbs you’re consuming that she isn’t. You’re scrolling through Instagram and come across a girl with a life you perceive as perfect. You can’t stop staring at her. You then begin to ‘Instagram Stalk’ her. Comparing yourself to others becomes an addiction.

Words have the power to define you. People will shoot words at you like verbal daggers, unconcerned about the slow, bleeding wounds they leave upon you. A daily flow of hurtful words and lies require a suit of armor to resist. Giving in lets them define you.

If these words aren’t coming from outside sources, they’re coming from within.

When it is all you hear, you begin to believe the lies. You’re ugly… you’ll never be anything… you don’t deserve anything. You give up, shut up, and fake happiness.

In order to overcome, believe in yourself. You have a purpose – a very big one. Don’t worry about what other people think. Their opinions don’t define you. The things that define you are your heart, passion, drive, and compassion. Nothing else really matters.

You’re better than the lies. Let go and love yourself. It is a long process, and won’t happen overnight.

Every night, look in the mirror and say “I love you.”

You’re beautiful and incredible no matter what. No matter what, you matter. Believe you matter, you do.

Love,

Jacqueline

I Let Go and Trust Life

January 9, 2016

I Let Go and Trust Life 

Today I surrender control, and I allow the part of Life that

is expressing through me to come into my life and guide me.

Today I let peace make all of my decisions;

I let love tell me where to go, whom to see, and what to say;

I let the part of me that is Life shine forth, creating joy in my life.

Today I have the trust to surrender control.

I let go and trust Life.

Affirmation: I shine peace.

– Gary Kadi

Inner Force

January 6, 2016

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We have an inner force and need to decide where it goes. We have the ability to impact someone’s life. We have the ability to love and a need to be loved. We have a desire to be good enough. We are good enough. We want to be better than our enemy. Our enemy isn’t human and invades our mind. We choose whether to allow it to control us. Within us is a thirst to change the world. Smallest actions cause change, don’t miss the opportunities. We worry about the future. Stay in the moment. What actually happens usually isn’t what we fear. Our inner voice controls our mood, behavior, outlook, and actions. Say ‘no’ when your gut says to. I often find myself listening to my human desire. Pleasing others is easiest but not always best. Listening to my gut has brought more peace into my life. Let’s choose wisely.

A New Hope

January 1, 2016

I laughed to my parents, “I am probably one of the only 18-year olds ready to go to bed at 8 PM on New Year’s Eve. But that’s okay.”

I’ve been sitting here feeling the need to write, but not knowing exactly what I want to say.

2015 was by far the craziest year of my life. I have learned and grown SO much.

To summarize 2015: I discovered I had suffered a significant brain injury from anesthesia, dropped out of high school, quit volleyball, was diagnosed with depression and PTSD, started a blog, and found God.

I came to a crossroads. I was totally and utterly lost. Life was knocking me down over and over again. Every single time I got myself back up to ‘normal’, a crisis would knock me flat on my face yet again. Time seemed to have stopped, and I had to find a new clock.

A year seems long on January 1st, but looking back, it feels like the alarm buzzed on December 31st before I was ready.

Life runs on a timer. Our efforts may run ahead or lag behind our heart.

Seconds turn into minutes, minutes turn into hours, hours turn into days… what we choose to do within the ticks of the clock define our existence.

Every second something happens.

In a second a child says his first word. In a second an innocent man is murdered. In a second a couple says “I do.” In a second a door closes and you may never see what was behind it again. In a second a heart starts beating. In a second a heart stops beating. In a second you make a decision that will change your life forever.

Our choices during each tick of our clock create our life and determine our future. We must be emotionally strong enough to learn something from every experience we’re given. NOTHING happens by chance. Looking back at our past and being angry that something didn’t go the way WE planned gets in the way of our ideal future.

Let’s step into our future by putting the broken parts of our past behind us, and use those moments to shape our future choices. THIS is what will make our future bright!

2015 has prepared me for whatever 2016 will bring. Although I still struggle with the paralyzing memories of my past, the new year is a new start. I am beyond excited to see what the year has in store for me. I am so proud of myself for what I have overcome and how I’ve allowed myself to grow from it.

There will be days when I think I can’t do ‘life’ anymore. There will be days I don’t want to get out of bed. There will be days the stress of life makes me feel like I’m going to go insane. There will be days I don’t want to talk to anyone. There will be bad news. Bad things will happen….

BUT I’m certain I will get through everything because I have faith. The bad days will make me stronger. They are hidden gifts. I can genuinely say that the days I thought I didn’t want to live anymore have made me the strongest.

The bad things that happened to me are God’s way of preparing me for the future and for that I am so incredibly grateful……

Thank you to everyone who has supported me through my new journey, and will join me in my new hope of 2016. Your kind words have helped me feel confident in moving forward on whatever path I am led.

 

xoxo, signing off from 2015!

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Faith

December 15, 2015

Trust that everything happens for a reason. Trust that everything will make sense in the right time. Trust that you’ll smile tomorrow. Trust that when mountains don’t move as you wanted, something more magnificent is in store. Trust that when you fall, someone will catch you. Trust that if your dream blows up, it wasn’t meant to be. Trust that a better dream is your destiny. It lies in the deepest part of your heart.

Tears running down your cheeks are healing.  There may be a reason for getting no answer. The mistake you made today is a lesson for tomorrow.  Trust.

The sun rises and sets every day. You don’t forget to breathe when you’re sleeping. Hearts beat without intention.  Trust your heart.

Without trust, you will forget how to breathe. Trust in truth.  Pursue truth.  Truth is the foundation of security that protects your heart. Find your verse and run towards it like a gale force wind.

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It’s Ok.

December 6, 2015

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I want to remind you and me… It’s ok. It’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to not know. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to be stressed. It’s ok to be vulnerable. It’s ok to be lost. It’s ok to be uncomfortable. It’s ok to fall. It’s ok to feel alone. It’s ok to be wrong. It’s ok to say yes. It’s ok to say no. It’s ok to just need to sleep. It’s ok to feel like you want to give up. It’s ok to not feel anything at all. It’s ok to feel absolutely anything you’re feeling right now. It’s ok because we are human.

Feelings are temporary. They come and go. They’ll come back, but it’s ok. Look for moments when you can make an impact. You can make an impact. I promise. It might be as simple as smiling to a stranger. We often forget that the simplest gestures can go a long long way. Look in a mirror and tell yourself you’re incredible. Because you are truly an incredible human being and this world needs you.

This index card is pinned it to a bulletin board in my bedroom. When my feelings deceive me, I look at it as a reminder that everything really will be ok. I encourage you to do the same.

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I encourage you to share this message with anyone in your life who may need to hear it. You can simply click Share This on one of the icons below.

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Sending you a hug through your screen,

Jacqueline

Wounds Make You Beautiful.

December 3, 2015

 

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I stripped my emotions naked; all feelings laid out in front of me. I wanted to refuse my emotions, because emotions are exhausting, and I didn’t feel like dealing with them. Processing your feelings is a long, draining process, like dripping acid on a wound.

But I forced myself to write down every single thing I felt…. Every…. Single…. Thing. Every negative, ugly, lie fogging my sight.

We aren’t meant to stay wounded. We are supposed to persevere through our difficulties and challenges in order to heal and add maximal value to the world….that’s living! By remaining stuck in the power of our wounds, we block our own growth and potential. We miss out on the growth they offer – the strength and wisdom we are meant to receive through them. Wounds are the means through which we enter the hearts of ourselves and other people in our lives. They give us an appreciation of life that fills us with gentleness, compassion, and a deep loving concern. They make us beautiful.

We need to eliminate avoidance if we want to reach our highest potential. It’s there and we can get there, but ONLY if we make the decision to do whatever it takes to heal the bruises received from falling along our yellow brick road. Even though pain or agony will knock us unconscious at times, we must wake up and keep trudging along. You’ll find your verse. The process is exhausting, but we will get through all the ugly wounds. A heart that can overcome the wounds will make you beautiful………..

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Everything Really Will Be Okay

November 18, 2015

  {Nov. 17, 2015} I made some hot tea and thought to myself, “It’s all going to be okay.” I wrapped my cold hands around the hot mug and felt the warmth soak the coldness away. I looked up at the stars and remembered that the world is much bigger than I am and there is so much more out there than my brain can comprehend. Then I turned to the moon and smiled knowing I’m not the only one mesmerized by its beauty at this exact second. One second can turn into forever. The second you cry, “yes” to the man you love down on one knee in front of you turns into forever. My heart fills with sadness thinking about the tragedy that occurred in Paris recently. In just one second the world changed forever. The second that first bomb went off, nothing would be the same. Many wonder how something so horrific could happen if there is a God out there. Without darkness in the night, would we be able to see the stars? Times of darkness help us see the light. The simple moments of pleasure are sweeter and the beauty this world contains remind me that everything really will be okay.

I’m Okay Today

November 16, 2015

I’m okay today. After 14 hours of sleep, I feel fantastic.

Yesterday was a different story….

It was 1:00pm and I was driving home from a wonderful lunch date with my grandparents.

My right leg slowly and unexpectedly started going numb. Then my heart rate increased. I started panicking. I pulled over into a random parking lot. I couldn’t breath. I was hyperventilating. My heart hurt from the intense crying. I squeezed my chest until the pain went away.

My brain processed what was going on, “You’re having a panic attack.”

I was by myself, no one to comfort me. I had to take care of myself and be strong enough to get through this one alone. This is the first panic attack I experienced without anyone around me. Another step along my yellow brick road.

I kind of feel embarrassed sharing this experience, but I know I’m not alone.

There is an orchestrated time for everything. All moments in life happen at a certain time for a specific reason. We have to be continually prepared to deal with whatever may be thrown at us.

Chemicals change in the brain after it is injured. Unfortunately, the need for excess sleep and chemical fluctuations that lead to panic attacks and more extreme mental health issues are common. I didn’t have panic attacks before this. I did have frequent anxiety about life situations and the future, but that instantaneously went away. Who can figure! Medical research does not know why. It is unpleasant and unpredictable, but real.

I know there is a divine design for EVERYTHING. Nothing is random. Although, sometimes situations seem to occur out of nowhere, they were designed to happen that way for a reason to prepare us for the future.

Life is a mystery. It is a giant game of Clue. Those wonderful moments when we solve one mystery we exclaim, “Oh! That’s why that happened!” Boy I wish that would happen more often!

But there will be more games… As attractive as it is to be physically tough, it’s even more attractive to be mentally tough.

I choose not to focus on the tears of challenges and defeats; I choose to smile because I have been placed on this journey to find my verse.

Sweet Ripening

November 4, 2015

If everything was a guarantee, we wouldn’t ripen. Possibility keeps me going. As frustrating as the unknown is, the future excites me. Not knowing what’s next makes me want to run faster. Curiosity makes me hungry, not wanting to let possibilities fall through my fingers like sand.. Hunger that excites your mind. I’m the type of person who wants to know everything about everything. I crave knowing the unknown like a pregnant woman craves chocolate. Once I can say I discern my future – fulfilling my verse will firework in my soul.  

Memory Lane 

October 28, 2015

  
Whatever you’re going through, whether good or bad, is for a purpose. You aren’t necessarily supposed to know why. It’s hard to forget about the past, I know that very well. Once we come to peace with our memories, our wings will open wider than ever and soar to places we can’t see right now. They will be beautiful. Memories can either hurt so good, but can be more painful than physical pain. Memories can be a photo of a loved one you lost, a friend you no longer see, or a certain day you want to relive. The memory can be a thought or a dream. It can be a building where you and your dad used to go to together, or even a smell. If it enters your heart, let yourself feel it. You may close your eyes and feel like you’re in that moment again. The emotions may swarm your heart bringing a smile or tear. Your chest tightens restricting your breath. You need to feel to heal. Memories are a blessing and a curse. Some moments we don’t want to remember. Both are important to move on. I hope I can find peace with my past VERY soon. I’m trying so hard to move on, but it’s easier said than done. Walk to where your trust has no boarders. You’ll understand why at the perfect time. Trust. 

Whispering Lies

October 17, 2015

  
Anxiety can be debilitating. It feels like a constant heaviness in your mind; like something isn’t quite right, although most of the time you don’t know what that something is. It feels like a burning acid in your stomach eating away the emptiness and taking away any feelings of hunger. It’s like a tight knot that you can’t untwist.

Anxiety feels like your mind is on fire; over analyzing every little, irrelevant thing. It is distracting. You can’t even focus on the moment you’re in. It feels as if your thoughts are running wild, spinning uncontrollably, bumping into each other along the way. Other times, it makes you feel detached, as if your mind has gone blank; mentally checked out. . You dissociate and feel as if you have left your own body.

Anxiety is a voice in the back of your mind telling you everything will not be okay, while your rational mind knows it will be. Sometimes the voice tells you you’re absolutely insane for being you and being you is a bad thing. Something is wrong with you and you should isolate yourself from everyone around you. It tells you that you’re a burden for having feelings. Feeling everything so passionately makes you a problem. Anxiety makes everyday tasks so difficult.

Anxiety is a liar, although its words feel so incredibly right.

Anxiety keeps you up at night, tossing and turning for hours. It comes at the most inconvenient times. Your body is exhausted, but your mind won’t shut off. It makes you tired during the day. You may wake up feeling anxious, and by noon it has drained all energy. You are forced to either struggle through your tasks, but eventually shut down and need to sleep the rest of the day. Some people don’t have the time to sleep because of life (kids, jobs, etc.). Anxiety is like a second job!

I don’t want my friends or family to help me when I have these feelings. I usually keep them to myself. I’m that stubborn person who thinks she can get through anything on her own. Anxiety calls me a burden, although I’m not. I’m human.

I don’t want to allow my anxiety to control me. I try to focus on pleasant peaceful thoughts. Anxiety is my enemy trying to distract me off my path.

I live life with my angel and this devil on my shoulders. A prizefight in constant battle for control.

When I am weak I am strong.

 

Living Through the Fear

October 7, 2015

  

Comfortably Uncomfortable

October 6, 2015

  

I heard a sermon this weekend that really made me think. We all want to feel like we’ve impacted someone’s life. We want to leave a legacy.

In order to be the cause of good things happening around us, we must develop our character.

Most important is to be STRONG and COURAGEOUS. This takes emotional strength. Being emotionally strong is the only way to get through hard times which WILL happen.

Emotional strength leads to compassion…. understanding… resilience…. wisdom…. love…. and so much more.

In the early stages of Navy seal training, men and women are taught that emotional strength is critical to even survive. They are trained to grow emotionally strong by being put into uncomfortable situations. They are taught that they have to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Being uncomfortable doesn’t feel good. Who would choose survival training over a luxury hotel?!

We build emotional strength by getting through uncomfortable times. It prepares us for a more difficult challenge. We grow through these times. Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable. Persevere through it. The result will be personal growth.

Remember….

It is not our past that defines us… It’s what we make of our future.

Torturing Memories

October 1, 2015

I’m lying in bed feeling anxiety take my breath. It’s painful. I can feel tears building in my heart. I want this feeling to go away. I’m tired of feeling like this… being stuck in my past… Not being able to move on from my old life.
I intellectually see the future in front of me, but my feelings live in the past.

I was starting to turn a corner until I went to visit a favorite teacher at my high school two weeks ago. Since then, memories of those days have been eating away at my soul. My panic attacks came back. I know it’s all part of my healing process. I needed to get over my fear of walking into the high school building, but I guess I’m not ready yet. My mind knew I would have to deal with the vivid memories of my days there. I ran into two old teammates and my volleyball coach. It was bittersweet.

I miss school and volleyball so much….

I feel as though my soul is trying to run away from my past, but memories are gripping my shirt not letting me run free. How do you fully break free of the past? It’s easier said than done.

I continue to ask for strength during these times, but the challenges keep coming.

“I’ve never met a strong person with an easy past.” – unknown 

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