Emotions In Motion

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It’s a common “fact” in society: women are such emotional creatures! We aren’t doctors, lawyers, engineers, any job description because we live our lives by emotion enhanced by the dreaded force of the female anatomy called hormones. Everybody agrees, men & women alike: men joke & complain about their wives to each other that they dread going home because “it’s that time of the month”, nudge nudge, wink wink, as if they have any idea what that experience is actually like, month after month until the next phase of life called peri-menopause and menopause hits, or as in my case, a hysterectomy in my mid 30’s. There are different types of hysterectomies however, & I was fortunate to keep my ovaries.  Women even use their hormones as a reason for everything..as I said, it is a common “fact”, right”?

Wrong. All humans are emotional, both male & female. Society for a long time conditioned the male to the strong, silent, no tears permitted or the showing of emotion, whereas it’s expected that females cry at the drop of a hat or fly off the handle in a fit of rage. Thankfully, times have changed and parents like myself are teaching their children that feeling all of your emotions is not only normal, it’s healthy,  and showing those emotions, especially tears, is not only acceptable it should in fact be encouraged, especially when raising sons.

My son, Noah, cannot stand to see me cry for any reason. He knows me so well, if something on tv is sentimental, he immediately looks at me & groans, “Oh, there she goes again!” and I then start giggling as I wipe my eyes. He is my only child, my living miracle and we are making our way together through the end of my marriage to his father, a new school year, his official entry into the world of being a teenager, puberty & the many changes we’ve been through since his father moved out. It has not been easy, it’s been hell. Challenge after challenge, constant change instead of a familiar, reassuring schedule, fear, uncertainty, anger…and the shedding of many, many tears by us both.

My marriage had been over for years but actually taking the steps to officially break up your family is not something on the top of your To-Do list, especially when you are the one who has made the decision to end the marriage; you are the one lying wide awake all night, wondering how you’re going to get your child through this process intact, how you’re going to have to dig deeper within yourself for strength you never knew existed for the sake of your child. You are the one that tells your husband of 17 years, it’s time to end this. There are millions of reasons why so many marriages fail & for this post it’s not necessary to go down that road. Separation & divorce are very emotional events that don’t resolve themselves in a week; it is a journey and the journey is a roller-coaster of emotions.

I met my husband almost 21 years ago, both of us in our mid 20’s. I was the epitome of the traditional “emotional” female because I did not know myself well enough yet, had not matured enough yet, to understand that I could actually choose to NOT live by emotion. It is not an easy adaptation because as humans, there is an emotional action to every emotional reaction..we are all emotional creatures whether we want to admit it or not. It is scientifically proven that a newborn infant thrives from being held, a brand new human being totally dependent on its caregiver to provide the single emotion that binds us all..Love. When the newborn is deprived of love, they do not thrive. I find this to be true for all humans in my personal journey thus far of my life, from every person I’ve ever met. We are born to love, to touch, hug, give & receive affection, feel happiness, joy, sadness, anger, despair. We are wired to be emotional and when our emotional needs aren’t met, we start to slowly die from the inside out; it actually affects our physical health as well as our mental & spiritual health. Children not only need to be told they are loved, they need to feel they are loved by both physical affection of hugs & kisses to seeing their parents & family members express their love for one another in the same fashion. We are the examples of life, of love, of relationships to our children by what we show them in our daily living in our homes. Children are like sponges, soaking up every word, said & unsaid, every facial expression, body language, the atmosphere within the home. If our children do not witness a positive, healthy demonstrative environment of love, they will not know how to reach their full potential of giving & receiving love in their future relationships, whether in friendships or dating. The experiences of our childhood are the foundation in which all of our future actions are based, mostly subconsciously. It is imperative that what you present to the world is exactly what you live behind closed doors in your home.

It took me a long time to realize I did have a choice in how I wanted to really live my life. I wanted to stop living by emotion yet fully feel every emotion. I accomplished this by making a conscious choice to give myself a new “me”, and my faith as a Christian was & still is my saving grace to not have my entire life ruled by emotion. I can have a day where everything is going wrong: the alarm clock didn’t go off, car won’t start, forgot to put the garbage out..and instead of getting agitated and angry, I take a deep breath, look up to the sky, and let it go.There is not a single day that passes that I don’t laugh or smile at least one time no matter how I’m feeling; that’s just how I am. I can have a day where I am completely, entirely “emotional”, where out of the blue, a memory, a song, a smell, hits me like a freight train to the solar plexus, and I can do absolutely nothing BUT cry. It’s actually healing, cleansing to cry all of the toxic emotions you’ve been holding in for whatever reason.

I have achieved a level of inner peace, contentment & joy that I never thought possible; of pure happiness, hope, excitement every single day. It is truly an incredible way to live! Unfortunately, since I am human, and based on my life experiences & personality, feel things on a deeply personal level. Having this awareness of myself has brought great clarity in dealing with others, because how I feel listening to a particular song may not touch you on the same level; everyone is wired uniquely within themselves on how they feel, act & treat people. Feelings are very personal; nobody else can have your feelings for you & nobody else’s reasoning can make your feelings unreal for you. Feelings have a mind all their own; they can be pushed down or bottled up, but not turned off; at some point, those feeling will indeed emerge, and I’ve found that the best way to handle this is to strive to maintain my personal peace. If my peace begins to feel ragged, I know the choices I’m making are wrong & that I must take action immediately to rid my life of the person or situation that is stealing my peace. Feelings & emotions don’t come packaged in labeled boxes, they intertwine, shift, grow & recede, sometimes all at once.

These past few days I’ve run the gamut from experiencing complete & utter beauty that fully touched every inch of my soul, only to be replaced by sadness, loneliness, remembering the trauma & recovery of my own full stroke from my recent prayer request for my friends’ Dad, missing Noah, thinking about the upcoming holidays, our first where the time has to be divided, which I dread completely and although I did not WANT to cry, tried so hard NOT to cry, I HAD to cry. I made it through most of the weekend without crying & actually had a great weekend..there’s that faith & inner peace coming into play, that choice not to live by emotion. I was determined to fully enjoy my time this past weekend and I did…until Sunday night.

I couldn’t sleep because I was in both physical & emotional pain; remember, our minds & emotions are connected to our bodies and one affects the other & the effects of my recent hospitalization still haven’t completely healed. I was tired from a busy weekend, but once the lights are turned off for sleep, everything that I was holding in had me in turmoil the entire night. I couldn’t even write, that’s how upset I was, & I didn’t yet know what the next day had in store for me. I gave up on sleep, and went about my Monday as usual but I knew that if just one more thing occurred, if I started crying, I wouldn’t be able to stop..and that is exactly what happened.

I made it through the appointed meeting that was the final straw for me intact on the outside, wrecked on the inside. I got in my car & cried the entire way home. I walked around my house, cleaning, doing dishes, laundry, taking a shower, crying the entire time. I went to bed, said my prayers and cried some more. I was alone; I didn’t have to worry that Noah would see me crying this hard, and I used the opportunity to cry it all out. Finally, I slept. I have my peace back wholly intact. I feel a bit bruised, raw, vulnerable, yet I feel better. My faith never wavers because God has never, ever let me down and I know He never will. I may feel lonely at times but I am never truly alone because God is always with me as He is with all of you. The miracles, the blessings, the sheer beauty of events have been increasingly abundant every day that passes. This motivates me to continue living my truth. We all have Emotions in Motion..when you allow yourself to really feel them all, it’s actually a humbling reminder of how precious every second is in our lives. It is even better when you share them, and I thank you for letting me share mine with you.

Peace,
~Jennifer~

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Phoenix Rising From The Ashes

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I am all of these things and so much more. How do you define yourself, restrict yourself, hold yourself back? Day after day, month after month..until one day you wake up and ask yourself..why am I so unhappy, so unfulfilled, so restless? Why do I have this spot of emptiness inside me that nothing seems to fill? Everyone has their own crosses to bear; this is called Life. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. It’s what we do with those mistakes, those crosses, that either keeps us prisoners of our own making or sets us completely, entirely FREE! Free to be who you are, accept and love who you are from the inside out that shines your personal light upon the world. Let it all go. Don’t live in fear of being hurt, rejected, ridiculed based on another’s perspective of you. That isn’t living, it’s existing and you’re missing so many opportunities to increase your joy! Surround yourself with positivity and love, let all the good into your life and your heart…that is what I call Living. I am the Phoenix rising in beauty from ashes. You can be as well. Peace ~Jennifer~

PRAYERS ANSWERED..THANK YOU!

Thank you to my co-bloggers that “liked” my prayer request..your action drove others to read my post & in a situation like this there can never be too many prayers.

I finally received an update last night that my friends’ Dad is actually home from the hospital & recovering well! Do you have any idea what a miracle that is? You do if you know anyone that’s suffered a stroke, especially the sudden fatal ones that rip a loved one away from you out of nowhere, perfectly fine one minute, physically gone forever mere minutes later. I’ve always believed in the power of prayer, and I thank you from my heart for yours..God hears every prayer, even the silent ones. He loves us all that much.

You saw in my prayer request that I’m a 3 time stroke survivor. I will address the many reasons behind these events in the future, as every moment of our lives are intertwined & cannot be explained in a few sentences.

I’ll never forget my first mini-stroke, called a TIA, tranischemic attack. It was a very hot summer day, and I was home alone as full-time Mom with Noah, nearing his 1st birthday.

I went outside to fill up the small plastic pool that’s just perfect for us both to play & splash in, cool off together. I had the back door open to always keep Noah in my sight even though he was happily busy cooing & laughing in his Exersaucer, perfectly safe and content. Moms receive the fierce instinct to protect their children the moment the pregnancy test shows you’re pregnant. It never leaves, it only grows deeper as time passes & never goes away.

I was filling the small pool when the first wave of dizziness & nausea hit. I ignored it, assumed it was the heat. It didn’t take long to fill the pool, but as those few minutes passed, one eye remaining on Noah, I felt a numbness strike the entire right side of my body, from my right eye all the way down my right arm, leg & foot. The vision in my right eye was blurry & I knew immediately something was very wrong.

The 5 steps from the pool on the patio to the opened door seemed to get farther away as I stumbled towards that door. I was no longer able to think clearly, my brain a complete fog, my heart pounding in my chest, feeling like I couldn’t get air in my lungs. I didn’t have the ability to feel fear or any emotion, because all that mattered to me in these minutes was somehow lifting Noah out of the Exersaucer, unable to use my right arm at all, get him to his crib for safety on the complete opposite end of the house, and having the phone with me to call for help.
I didn’t know what was happening, but I knew it was serious & I had to protect my baby.

I don’t remember how I managed to carry Noah to his crib, baby monitors placed all over the house strategically to hear every peep. I can say with certainty the guardian angels God sent helped me get him there, because my right leg wasn’t moving, I was dragging it behind me, big heavy happy baby & phone clutched as close to my chest using my left arm as tightly as possible, afraid I was going to drop Noah. I didn’t & got him to his crib, such a relief!

I called 911 as soon as I knew my son was safe. The police arrived in moments, and by then I was unable to talk. I was trapped in my body, unable to communicate, completely helpless & finally filled with fear that filled every fiber of my being. Who was going to take care of Noah? My husband was travelling, a salesman driving many miles weekly & was not close by that day. I survived a life-threatening pregnancy with Noah, would God really be so cruel to take me away from my son now, after everything we went through to be granted the miracle of his birth, big & healthy against all odds? Right before his birthday? No. I refused to believe that.

The police kept asking questions but my mouth wouldn’t work. I could hear them, I could see the words I wanted to say but they were stuck, jumbled. I could hear the sirens of the ambulance coming near & that’s when Noah began crying & screaming “Mommommommom here”, over & over. One of the policeman was a grandfather, & assured me he’d stay, take care of Noah until a family member arrived. My last full memory was the flooding of relief that Noah was safe. I woke up in the cardiac trauma unit in the ER later.

I underwent a battery of testing, an MRI didn’t show an active bleed anywhere in my brain or a blood clot/aneurysm, all excellent news. My ability to speak had returned, mind clear, numbness on right side of body gone but I felt confused, disoriented. I had not received any drugs to sedate me, only ones to bring down my blood pressure.

I am prone to forming blood clots due to a rare disorder I’ve had since a child. It
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Keep an Attitude of Gratitude!

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For all of us dealing with now downgraded Hurricane Sandy up & down the Eastern seaboard, remember this: things can be replaced, but people can’t. It’s awful to lose your car, home, belongings of priceless sentimental value, like pictures of loved ones. It’s overwhelming waiting days to get power restored, pump the water out of your flooded basement, waiting for insurance adjusters to cut you a check. You can be cold, hungry & temporarily staying in a shelter, relatives’ home or friends’ place. It’s stressful, sad, scary, uncertain as we are creatures of habit & familiarity. This time will pass, life will return to whatever your “normal” is..but the loss of a loved one can never be replaced. Look around you, be grateful that everyone you love is safe & unharmed. If you’re loved ones are in different locations, now is the perfect time to call them & say, I love you, have been thinking of you, I’m glad you’re safe. Decide to have an Attitude of Gratitude no matter what your circumstances are today. Love knows no distance. Peace, ~Jennifer~

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST

Dear world, I’m asking for everyone to stop for a moment and pray for one of my dear friends’ Dad, who suffered a stroke around 4:15 pm EST.
“Dear God, Almighty Father, I ask you boldly in Jesus’ name for your Divine intervention on my friends’ beloved Dad. Please send your mercy & guidance to all medical personnel responsible for his care, and wrap Your loving arms around this family in their time of need. Give them all of your love and support, discernment for treatment & faith that You are indeed with all of them right now. If there is any help I can give this family as a 3 time stroke survivor, You know I am ready to do so at any time should it be Your will.
In Jesus’ name I fervently pray. Amen”

Thank you for praying for this wonderful, loving family.

All my love,
Jennifer

Strangers Disguised As Blessings

“People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”

This quote is something that I have always been a firm believer in…that people are placed in our lives for a specific reason. It could be anybody…a stranger you pass in the store as you nearly miss slamming your respective shopping carts into one another that can result in either a confrontation of anger or a small conversation of mutual apologies, smiles & wishing one another a great day. There’s 2 distinct messages here in this reblog: what you do with the experience of the people sent into your life & how you view or react to the experience, the person, itself.

I love people. I love using my height to always help an elderly person trying to reach a product from the top shelf..the gratitude, the relief, the feeling you get knowing that such a small gesture actually had a positive impact on that persons’ day is such a feeling of warmth, of love. You walk away feeling good about yourself, your mind has stopped racing at the pace of your grocery cart to get the dreaded task done as quickly as possible, while thinking ahead to all of the rest of the minutaie awaiting your to-do list for the day. It forces you to slow down, take off your blinders of living in your own world and engage in this thing we call humanity…what many take for granted when just as many would kill to have the ability to even grocery shop themselves, let alone drive to get there and all the steps required in completing this necessary task. We must eat, yes? I feel like I live at my local grocery store, but even if I’m pressed for time, I always do the following while I’m there…

I park my car by the nearest cart return, so it’s easy for me to always place my cart where it belongs, not shoving it into the nearest empty spot (or most likely, the car parked next to yours). On my way into the store and on my way out, I scan the parking lot for customers, especially the handicapped or elderly, that look like they could use some assistance putting their groceries in their car or needing their empty cart returned. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to do this, and see, the simple fact that you stopped & asked if help was needed is usually accepted with gratitude. I say usually because I’ve had instances where my offer was turned down in anger, but that is what that person is feeling, not I, and it doesn’t stop me from offering the next time. That person is having a bad day, but at some point, they will remember the stranger that stopped to help them..it’s a ripple effect, like skipping a stone across a pond.

I can be just as frantic, just as stressed, just as hurried & focused at the grocery store as the next person, but I force myself to breathe, slow down & trust that no matter what delays occur due to helping someone, I’ll still get home in time to greet my son at the door every day after school, my top priority. I know this will happen because I have faith & confidence that it will happen, and I proceed accordingly.

I always seem to pick the check-out register that’s moving the slowest. A year ago, that would tick me off so bad that I would be the customer everyone else waiting gets angry at..big loud sighs, stamping my foot impatiently, getting increasingly annoyed as each minute dragged by incessantly. What did that do? It wasted my time, my energy and it put me in a bad mood. Why bother doing that to yourself for something that is beyond your control? The question I always ask myself is this:  in 5 years, 10 years, does this specific moment really matter in my life? The majority of the time the answer is a quick, resounding NOOO!! The rare occasions, such as pondering a major life-changing decision, if the answer is YES, I immediately draw back to think it through. I use my mind to weigh the pros & cons, but the final decision, always, comes from my heart. Some of these decisions, like ending my marriage, took years to not only implement but to accept as the inevitable. Yet once that particular decision was made, I knew immediately it was the right decision for me, because I felt relief, a weight lifted off my shoulders. I’ll address that topic another time and many others in the future, I’m sure.

I have met so many amazing people over the course of my life, moreso since I made a decision to not live by emotion, where every action causes a reaction. This decision has been a great blessing to me, has allowed people into my life on diffferent levels for whatever reason they were placed in my path. Technology of course is a great tool, if used with the proper intent, to meet great people, such as Facebook. I have a solid, personal relationship with almost every person on my Friends List, many whom I’ve never physically met due to geographic location, but due to common interests we forged a bond on a personal level. I’ve had the joy of re-connecting with childhood friends I haven’t seen in 30 years, friends from high school, my extended family that’s spread across the globe.. establishing friendships from mutual friends. I’m not searching for quantity, I’m searching for quality and I am truly surrounded by a group of loving, generous, supportive people.

I’ve had people come & go in my life, and I am certain this will continue, because it is meant to be that way for all of us. Think of all the opportunities you may have missed over the years because you instantly judged someone you don’t even know, dismissed them immediately, slammed the door shut & locked out any chance of that person coming into your life to fulfill their purpose! You’ll never know what you missed by reacting out of your conditioned emotions & personality.

Take a chance, open your heart, open the door to those who appear in your life. They have appeared for a reason, just as you have appeared in their lives for possibly the same reason or any realm of possibility. You have no control over the length of time this person is to stay in your life and vice versa, but there is definitely a reason your paths have crossed. It’s all about love, really. Love others more than yourself..not at your expense, but as human beings. Choose to love. I guarantee it will continually change your life for the better!

Peace, ~Jennifer~