The Abyss

I want something that’s more than a fear response. There’s a hole in my heart that bleeds onto everyone I come in contact with. The music flows through me, and it leaves me feeling energized and sad at the same time. I’ve wasted too much of this life being unsure of myself. And I fully realize the passage of time now ceases to impress me. Be still my heart in the dead of the night. Calm my fears and give me love when I need it most. I pretend I don’t, but please don’t let me fabricate my needs anymore.

Distracted by the background noise: wear the clothes, color the hair, stay in your lane. Be educated and smart, and do not falter in your decisions. The past comes back to be your friend, but only until it can desecrate all that is holy in its tracks. The pattern repeats itself, and I am back in my bed wondering what happened. How did I allow childhood’s grip on me make me yearn for its exact delinquency? Do not worry is the mantra; surviving the day is the choice. Our friends gaze upon our depression, and they know how much we long for home. Oh, how I wish I could go home. Nothing makes me feel, and yet everything reeks of the tightness of loss.

I think about previous encounters, and all the times I failed to express my true heart. It was confused by a need to win against my own restless rebellion. The lessons learned are not lost on me, but I would make them again if it meant it brought me to peaceful sleep. The angst inside doesn’t take a breather, but my faith sure knows how to take a hit. They say if you feel far away to draw closer. Does this mean we reel in before, during or after the mistakes? I need a guidebook, because clearly the concept is lost on ears that would rather walk five miles by itself but not take one second to breathe and be at one.

Sitting in the room and looking at all the familiar faces. I’ve met them all before in people I’ve known. One reminds me of my brother; another resembles a girl I used to know. But they all want one thing: affection. Lonely hearts know how to speak about pertinent subjects to heartache and isolation. They profess they don’t want it; it’s all a fallacy. The honest hearts battle for a feeling beyond fear responses. I’ll take my chance at the unknown; it will only cost me my sanity. It’s just the timing, I say. But I know the truth, and it cuts me in twelve pieces, like a charcuterie board paired with wine. Oh how I love wine. And yet I detest it, because it means I’m relying on chemicals to make me feel alive. What a way to die. Who knew living could cost everything?

The gentleman to my left sits in misery, and his fuse grows smaller by the minute. When he talks, it drips of solitude and desolation. He’s not truly happy unless he’s chasing the next high or controlling the situation at hand. Oh, how I wish he could be free and no longer at battle. I long for him to laugh again and be painless for more than a moment. The love for another goes beyond the depth of the sea, but we don’t say what we need to say because of selfish pride. The poems of old grip at our bleeding hearts, but we can’t relate because we are jaded and tortured. I knew him by name, and now he’s nothing more than a memory. The vanity of the now makes me want to throw up in my new clothes just to prove a point. If I’m partaking, I must be enjoying myself. That’s what I tell everyone else. My conscious tells me different, but it’s not glorified enough in our culture to matter.

Judge based on weight, clothing, actions, you name it. If it’s contradictory to me, I don’t want it. To that I say, you can go f*** yourself. I myself am a walking contradiction, and I mutter under my breath because it’s just that ridiculous. Why does it matter? Why is this a thing? Individuality is thee single most beautiful thing in the world, because it happens naturally without coercion.

Without individuality, artists wouldn’t be able to do their work, and freestyle would cease to exist. I come to, and the picture of front of me brings me peace once again, because it was orchestrated by an individual who had a voice. I have a voice, and I can choose what to do with it. There is no wrong path, unless I’m harming myself and others; then it’s time to regroup. I put on my shoes and realize the soles are worn down. Their tattered insides are a direct reflection of my broken heart. I love to make the connection and thrive on ascertaining the game plan. Let’s draw up our slow fade in a visual so we can be considered thoughtful until the story’s end.

I don’t know what I want my legacy to be yet, but I sure know that many don’t live long enough to find out theirs. And the thought frightens me. If I only had today, what would I do with it? Would I know something is coming, or would I simply go on my merry way due to youthful ignorance? I do believe I would get to come home, but as much as I talk about it, home seems like a faraway notion, and I like it that way. In the dead of the night, I reflect on the meaning of going home; of loved ones lost. I believe they are here, but my human desires betray me. I want them in the flesh. But they are the lucky ones. The salt of my tears is not enough to bring them back, as it should be. But the empty feeling can only be subsided by abysmal prayer and weak cries. It’s a start.

Thank you for giving me this gift of reflection. I don’t know where I start and you begin, but I know you are gracious beyond all measure. And today, that’s enough to calm my racing heart. Until the next day, when I have to learn it all over again. I want to, because the reckoning is wondrous submission. It means I get to fly and devote myself freely. I get to play with my dog, watch my nieces, and even get up and exercise for your glory. It may not be glamorous, but it’s breathtaking in its pure simplicity. The bed feels softer now, and I can go back to sleep. I will not be anxious or sad, because I know you have me covered. The realization is unfathomable, just as it was the day before. But I was younger then, and now I have yesterday’s wisdom. And that’s a gift worth sharing.

How Do You Feel?

Words can sting many years later. I vacillate between forgiveness and hatred, and I can’t climb my way out of it. Every visual leads me to the same place time and time again, and I crawl back into the abyss. Thinking on happier times and loathing the now. Because the now is messy, empty, and mundane. Sit still they say, but I’m either stilled by paralysis or in a love affair with leg bouncing. Anxiousness ensues; sadness is the attempt to calm it. It has the reverse affect, and then the cycle repeats.

The stomach turns and twists. The world spins on its axis; life moves on in its way. The loss of love abounds. Moments replay in my mind over and over and over again, until it makes me want to pull my hair out or start a boxing match with myself. Change the subject, QUICK! This is not a rabbit hole you want to go down. You must not shuffle your mistakes today. The feeling is forever, but it doesn’t have to be. Yet I sail into the arms of complacency once again.

Unearthed by the noisy banter of life. Too timid to say anything of value, but too stubborn to admit I’m flailing. Because saying it aloud would mean it’s true. It’s not a poor me moment, no, it’s much deeper than that. It’s a deep cut that opens itself to vulnerability, loss, depression, and worthlessness. You are enough, I say. I just wish I could believe it.

My mind goes blank and the anxiety sets in once again. What was I thinking, saying, or doing? I don’t remember. It’s like dementia for the young. It’s a game of hide and go seek I play. It makes conversations really fun. Sarcasm is my second language, but the first is understanding. Of what? You name it. I get it. Even if I haven’t been through it, I can relate. That’s what humans do, right? Or so I tell myself, just to add some value.

Filter your mouth and don’t say anything out of line. Be a hard worker and pay for your stuff. Don’t disagree with people without being prepared. Don’t change the environment or you’ll surely have amnesia again. Strong feelings, flat words. Only a few who get it. And the few are slim; most are gone by my own begrudging thoughts. Stay organized and you will survive. Fall into your own emotions and you will never recover. That’s the name of the game. Play it well, or your being will cease to make sense or exist to anyone. Like the dead air in the night or the sting of a good lashing.

Death happens in this life without fulfillment. The razor sharp pains alert me to the danger, but I go about my merry way. Smiling in public, ruminating in private. By now, I’ve lost track of the lines between both dimensions. Scan the room and panic. Search for imaginary friends and see the bottom of a hole you can’t escape. Swallow whole the passage of time and see zero movement. That’s the passing away of this lifetime, and I’ve experienced it. Chew on the thoughts and create scenarios that don’t exist. It’s better to fall into fatality than to shine in fake sunlight.

I’ve been down this lonely road before. Just last week I was on a beach, but I’m in purgatory. They say not to worry about anything. I don’t know if they’ve ever felt the way I do. Everything hurts and everything is sensitive. I try to explain it, but I’m at a total loss for words, ironically enough. Look for something you can’t see. You know how to do it. But can you do it alone? No, but you can try.

Say I’m too dark, but I don’t believe it for a second. This life is a combination of darkness and light. If I were more disciplined about it, I’d say the Bible told me so. But I have no religion, only a blind belief that God is my savior and will protect me at all costs. I know Him, but I’m not so sure He knows me anymore. Which I already know is a lie before it even bleeds from my contrite lips. So much banter I have, but the best one is when I make light of the darkness. Someone has to.

All the doldrums of the day have escaped me. I am safe on this page. I don’t feel safe in the arms of another, and I am not captivated by a stiff drink or a good cigarette. I want something deeper, but will I find it? I’ve found it before, but I have a propensity to lose things. There are parts I don’t want to reveal to myself, but they already know who they are. My body expressions give me away before I even open my mouth. Everything catches me by surprise, and yet, nothing at all. It’s the catch-all be-all. I know it by heart, but my mind plays a different story entirely.

My trust is rocked by the elicit nature of survival. I don’t remember being this numbed to the good things. Do I even know what the good things are anymore? That might be a lie, too. But I believe it because my brain is a merry-go round of strong emotion and pent-up frustration. If I say a word, said word has a direct correlation to those around me. And quite frankly, I’m unsure if I’m cut out for that kind of responsibility. Or so I tell myself, so i keep quiet. Quiet is reliable and somewhat mysterious, but it sure is tedious.

I’d like to say I used to run with the wind and go where life took me. In actuality, I did at one point in time. I can’t ruminate on the past, and I cannot stew about the road untraveled. Maybe in a parallel universe, I’m an entirely different person. Maybe I like that version better, maybe I don’t. I’d like to get to know her. I hope she’s more free and unafraid to take risks. I pray she falls in love with being in love with all things. I like her already. She exists, just like the strangers that inhabit my dreams. They are previous versions of myself and others, and they do whatever they want without fear.

I wear the clothing of uncertainty, and my vice is the potion of daydreaming. My desires fall on deaf ears. Is He even listening? Anger fills the air, as it typically does. It has a way of lingering and contaminating the joy with its disgusting agenda. The drink sits on the table, and I do not partake, for it will not fill. The food sits and rots; it will not satiate. Nothing will satisfy, and the visceral hunger leaves me barren.

Flight or fight. It teeters back and forth until my brain is at point A and my heart somewhere between D and F. The chains keep me at my bedside. I want to have some eccentric proclamation of faith, but I can’t get my tired and wired feet to be radical. The phrases stand out in my mind like a black cat in a white padded room. Some days I think that’s there I belong. Let me just commit myself to shirk the inevitable. That’ll do the trick, just like an author I once read about. The uneasiness of growth stymies me, and yet it energizes me to my absolute core. I let my habit of nervousness do the rest. It seems to help the madness.

I listen to the same song over and over again. The emptiness continues, but this time I don’t have to hide it. Because I am alone, just the way I came into this world. And that’s how I’ll exit. God’s there, but He knows my stubborn ways. He knows the phases I have to go through in order to see the light as genuine and real. And I can’t wait to see how it unfolds. But I’m terrified of the repercussions of being human and frail. I don’t want to rush from thing to thing; I want to FEEL. BREATHE. RELATE. Inhale, exhale, repeat. This is the hum of my daily struggle, and it buries me in the ground. But it’s there I get a taste of real humanity, and it’s there where I want to stay. Goodbye to the disarmament of my soul. Hello to the ending. It’s beautiful, and I can see it pure as day. The day comes to an end, and I can see. I can see myself outside of my body, and I am home.

The Race of Life

We can see the finish line

But it’s not our time

What is this life without love?

You used to fit like a glove

What happened to our zest?

Now we feel all but depressed

The pain endured is too great

What do we make of our new fate?

Everything is spinning

Your favor is worth winning

Why do we feel all the things?

And then nothingness rings

We squirm in our own skin

Where do we end and you begin?

We used to know who we were

Now it seems like a distant blur

The older we get it feels like

We forget how to laugh or ride a bike

The rinse and repeat phase of life

Don’t make waves or cause strife

And to that we say the hell with it all

The higher the peak the greater the fall

What do we live for anymore?

All this life seems like a bore

They say boredom is selfishness

Apparently they haven’t felt the high or bliss

Without the high you feel low

It feels like a devastating blow

If it’s not right you can’t force the outcome

The battle has already been won

And if you win the race set before you

Just know God has already ran it too

It always ends with Him of course

We want to scream until our voice is hoarse

Nothing is in our control

Our faces fall and we feel dull

Take in the fresh air before you

Darling, we can feel it too

We can’t be the only ones

To say I love you to a ghost, tons and tons

The memories lurk in our brains

We turn to the window as it rains

We ask what to make of this life

The pain cuts deep like a knife

Pardon the expressions

These are the daily confessions

If you are lost and confused

Maybe you need a new muse

Don’t give up on the fight

Keep going and when the timing is right

We will win the race set before us

If we only run through the pain and trust

Grief

Paralyzing anxiety that has lasted 4-5 days. Is that what grief and life event overwhelmingness feels like? If it does, I don’t want it.

If we are afraid to dive deep, are we really being honest with ourselves? It’s painful at times, but it’s worth the progress.

The human mind is powerful. It can send you into a whirlwind that makes you feel so out of control, you can’t even see straight.

It makes me sad to think many people, myself included, go through these ebbs and flows alone. We are never alone.

The brevity of life is not something to take lightly. Get the coffee. Take the break. Spend the time with your loved ones.

“Don’t let them see.” To that I say, vulnerability is conducive to breakthroughs and closeness. If we aren’t feeling our best, it’s the best time to open up and be real with someone.

Refrain from going through the motions, as tempting as it might be. Your mental health and level of engagement will thank you later.

Take deep breaths and know your life moves forward. You can participate in the direction, but God directs your steps. Just trust.

Jeremiah 29:11

Our Grandma, Our Friend

You helped us grow into who we are today

We wish so badly you were here to stay

But you have to go be with our creator

It’s only temporary; we’ll see you later

You loved to garden, your horses too

You never stopped loving through and through

When times got tough, you knew to pray

Noah was your prayer bear to keep you at bay

Sporting activities were your favorite event

Volleyball games were where you were sent

Basketball, football, you name it too

You would be right there cheering we knew

Your presence was known at every turn

We couldn’t wait to see what we would learn

Your knowledge of life and God

You would explain; we would smile and nod

We need you to know your faith kept us going

One day at a time is something worth knowing

Your phrases were our favorite part

You shared your wisdom and your heart

We feel so blessed to have known your love

We know you will be looking down from above

If we could make just one final request

It’s that you find your peace and rest

We will miss your absolute beauty and grace

Until next time when we can greet face to face

Don’t forget to stay with us, Grandma Jean

Your angel wings will be felt, not seen

Sweet soul, we love you so much

We long to hear your laugh and feel your touch

But we know to heaven you must go

Our love will continue to grow

~ Dedicated to Grandma, “GG” Albers ~

7/9/35-8/6/19 💕

To the Medium-Sized Girl

“Yes, I’ll take a medium. Thanks!”

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We aren’t small.

We aren’t big.

We are medium-sized.

Jeans are sometimes tight in all the wrong places.

We have waist gap but it fits in the tush.

We may have to go a size up due to our thick thighs.

Belts are an anomaly.

Leggings are our friend.

Big shirts are a subtle solution.

Food does have an affect on us.

We workout, but we never lose the athletic build.

Instagram models with stick legs are not relatable.

And if you think they are, you are truly blessed with a fast metabolism. You go, girl!

Thigh gap is not a thing for us.

Pulling jeans over the tummy is a necessity.

One word: jeggings.

Flattering clothing is part of the daily routine.

Another word: cardigans.

And another: flowy things.

Medium is just right.

And I’m perfectly okay with it 🤟🏻

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Where are you at in your body positivity journey? Perhaps you need some encouragement. Look up “Do Not Worry,” Matthew 6:25-34. You’ll thank me later.

“Do not worry about what you will wear,” it says. GOSH if it were only that simple! We get caught into the comparison trap, and it’s as though everyone else is on a pedestal and we are chopped liver. GROSS. I’m sure I wouldn’t like liver (never tried it, however), so I would hate to equate myself to that. No thanks.

First of all, I don’t know who needs to hear this: you’re awesome. I know that’s a platitude, but for the sake of the argument, it fits. Unlike me, in a size 2. Not.happening. And you know what? That’s okay by me.

Here’s the thing: I’m not taking this body with me when I’m done here. That means I get freedom and flexibility to not worry about my body’s humanly limitations while I’m visiting.

Some of the things we get caught up into are trivial and menial, but yet we do them. Is this societal? Is it ingrained behavior? Is it learned? Maybe a mixture of all three. The norm used to be Marilyn Monroe types. Let’s bring that back.

If you’re naturally athletic, you’re most likely going to have those curves. Big butts allow you to squat in volleyball. Muscular legs let you jump in basketball. Lean arms give you the chance to pump your arms in track. I could go on and on. The point is, beauty is intangible. Which means it can be interpreted in many forms. Think about your body: is that what most people love about you? The answer is probably no.

People love you for your heart and soul, and your presence in this world. They love you for how helpful you are, or how you rise to challenges and stay peaceful while doing it.

That’s our legacy. How did we love others?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss opportunities to love because I was being overly self-conscious, insecure, or commandeering. No, I want to take full advantage of the chances I have to love with my whole heart, holding nothing back.

Maybe you struggle with this. Perhaps you hold yourself back. Don’t succumb to standards. You’re too special for that. Start having positive self-talk and praying on it, and you’re already halfway there. The other half is action, which is the trickiest part. Once you master the first two, however, the latter follows suit.

Whenever you’re at in your journey, give yourself a hug and tell yourself you’re loved beyond measure. And for goodness sake, believe it while you’re at it! ❤️

Life Changes, Heart Changes

“Share your story here…”

These are the first words prompting each blog post. Our canvases are so unwritten; we have been given a gift of life. And yet still, we feel compelled to contrive the results to our liking half of the time. The other half, we wonder if things could be different. Peace is found in the in between where God is waiting for us.

Every day we are figuring ourselves out, and yet we might be feeling depleted by life’s demands. We can’t stress about the past, and the future is unknown. All we have is the present moment.

It’s real. It’s all very real. The ups, the downs. All we need is encouraging words, and yet they sometimes evade us in our weakest moments. We think we need to walk it alone, and that’s simply not the case. It’s a lonely road when we think we can do it all ourselves. Why do we isolate? Connection beats isolation every time.

Pride. Angst. Fear. These are all reasonable explanations for wanting to be an island. But one thing is true out of all of these reasons: We are NOT alone. In fact, we are the furthest thing from it. The gravity of this reality is powerful.

If we feel the pain & move beyond it, we can see the forces of change working in our lives. His grace is sufficient. The gut-wrenching lessons are meant to make us better. We can look back & see how God has changed us to be more like Him.

It’s such a powerful force of nature: The feeling of being closer to our Creator through grief, pain, sorrow, & truths we don’t want to face. I’d be lying if I said it is a pleasant experience. We learn through mistakes and heartbreaks. We can’t control life’s outcomes. God’s so much higher & much more composed than we could ever dream of being.

We can choose to be sad, yes. Or we can choose to channel the sadness into something beautiful, constructive, & ultimately part of God’s plan for His Kingdom. What more could we want from this life more than working for God’s goodness, grace, & love?

Wherever we are at in our journey, we can smile and know we are being held in trustworthy arms of mercy. God’s promises are worth holding onto in the peaks & valleys of this crazy, beautiful, awe-inspiring, unpredictable life. He is our hope.