Category Archives: bullying

Learning to Love Yourself

As I sit in my study, quietly, kids sleeping or in school, I start to try to find a before picture of my skin to show friends at an event how dramatically my skin has been transformed by Arbonne’s products. I searched for a family photo, selfie, professional……I searched and searched..then I realized something.

I do not have a SINGLE photo of myself, before Arbonne, that is unedited, untouched, or a fixed in some capacity. No selfie exists other then a quick eye shot, or the corner of my face. The kids Mom and Grantalways front and center so I could hide.

I don’t know if I am over-tired, over stressed or simply embarrassed, but this realization broke me today. I have been SO ashamed of myself for decades. I have hidden behind humor, make-up and photo-shop for as long as I can find on the hard drive.

Maybe it hits me harder because my 5-year-old will only go to school in a dress because SickBoyshe needs to look beautiful every day and warns her 3-year-old brother that if he wears his Super-hero cape to school, then people will laugh at him.

Maybe it is because I have never truly let go of all the bullying and name calling I heard growing up.

Maybe it was the professional photographer who said to me at 14 years old, “You have pimples on one side of your face and scars on the other; how am I supposed to get a good photo?”

I don’t tell you this in order foAccident 8r you to feel sorry for me. I tell you this because, if you have ever felt afraid to be who you are, If you have EVER been ashamed, as I have been, If you have EVER been told that you are Not enough.  IT IS JUST. NOT. TRUE.

Embrace your flaws. They make you who you were meant to be. This is ONLY ONE OF YOU. And your were created in the image of Perfection.worship

Learn to Love Yourself. This will transform your fantasy’s into a reality because there will be No More excuses. This will help you dream bigger, leap higher and stretch yourself wider then you thought ever possible.

Feel a tug? 5…4…3…2…1….FOLLOW IT.  It could be the path to the life you have always wanted.

You are perfectly designed as you. Love it. Cherish it. Share with the world. It Needs you too.trust journey

I am 30 Years Dead Today

Today I am 30 years dead.Accident 1

No, I am not making a joke about turning 30 years old, as I was already 5 years old the day I died.

Let me explain.

It was March 28, 1986, Good Friday and the family and I were on our way to Grandma’s house for Good Friday dinner and coloring eggs. I sat in the third row of the brown station wagon, driver’s side, next to my older sister. My younger sister and brother sat in the second row with Mom and Dad, obviously, in front.Accident 2

I fell asleep on the long drive just after my siblings and I ‘Care Bear Stared’ cars from driving too closely to the back bumper of the car. At some point the 5-point neon orange harness got uncomfortable to turn around in so the fun ended and I closed my eyes.

It was the intersection of Richards Grove Road and Route 32 the truck ran a red and T-boned our tiny car. I was asleep at the time, thumb in mouth and same hand covering half my face out of habit.Accident 3

The side window of the car had imploded into the car and shattered itself across my face with a force that pushed my left eye, under the eyelid, back into my head and aligned with my left ear. I was told that it looked like someone had sprayed my face with sparkles when they found me unconscious and still buckled in the back row of the car, as no bleeding had begun when my Daddy came to unbuckle me. Little did he know, that I was long gone, and already dead.

I died on impact. I went from dreams about Care Bear Cousins to a completely new place I could not have imagined. I was weightless, calm, warm and fearless. I felt as though I was at Home; the most familiar and safe place I knew and yet nothing around me was familiar.

There was a voice.

It was not an audible voice like you or I hear on a day-to-day basis, but more of an innate tone for which my ears were not necessary. I turned to the voice instantly with a desire to put a face to the voice.

A light. It was a light brighter than any lightning, explosion or sunburst I have ever seen. It didn’t hurt my eyes or make me want to look away but instead made me want to walk towards it. I did.

As I spoke back to this gentleman, he asked me if I wanted to stay with Him or go Home.

It was at this moment I realized I was in a word different from the one I fell asleep in an hour before. I started to hear commotion and my gaze went downward. I saw my tiny little 5-year old body lying on a stretcher along the side of a moving ambulance. I saw an EMT sitting in a chair while taking vitals and I saw the back of my Daddy’s head as he rested it on his folded arms against my side. There was a sheet or blanket of some kind covering my face and my father’s shoulders shaking, and his fist hitting the gurney caught my attention. I had never seen Daddy cry before.

I looked back towards the light and said, “I want to go Home.”

It was in the instant following that statement that I found my Daddy’s hand in mine and felt his breath and tears on my skin.

Then, there was Pain. There was pain along my entire body, in my eye, in my face. My head was pounding and I kept trying to lift my hand to take whatever was on my face, off. I wanted nothing more than to rub the ‘sand’ out of my eyes.

My Dad kept my hands at my side and I started to cry. Now I was scared. Now was in pain.

I must have passed out at this point because my next memory is waking up from my first surgery. There were bandages covering ½ my face, and they smelled. They smelled like cotton gauze, bacitracin and blood. I could not see out of my left eye and the bandage was tucked under my bottom lip in the most uncomfortable way.Accident 4

I had a frontal compressed fracture of the skull, broken nose and an eye they thought would have to be removed. Dad signed the papers to remove it immediately following the accident and returned to his prayer group. The doctors went in to remove the eye and as if Gods hand was present it moved directly back into its original place; 20:20 vision.Accident 5a

I was 5. I had just turned 5. Having a 4 year-old myself now I cannot imagine what my parents felt when this happened to our family. My near death experiences change me. Not just because I have come back from death but because of everything I had to face growing up as a result of the accident.Accident 5

I was bullied. I was ridiculed. I had multiple plastic, reconstructive surgeries for many years that followed to include one just after the millennial New Year to reconstruct my forehead.

As a child, I wore a hockey helmet to prevent my skull from caving back in after them pulled 50 pieces of skull bone out of my brain due to the initial injury of the accident. It was the Spring after the accident (about a year later) that I decided I would stop trying to make friends and stay inside at recess. Accident 6I sat in a hot pink bean bag chain in the book corner of my kindergarten class and played alone. While alone, I sang to myself. I don’t remember what I sang, but only that singing seemed to excuse me from hear the names the children called me; Monster, Scar Face, Ugly.

My teacher heard me singing and somehow I ended up agreeing to sing in the talent show coming up in a few weeks. More terrified to say no and disappoint her, then I was to sing, I caved and started making plans for my first performance.Accident 7

I sang Dumb Dog from Annie, with a good friend dressed as the dog and swaying to the beat as I sang, I looked at the cracks in the hardwood floor on the stage to my elementary school stage. I mumbled most of the song, but belted the crap out of the bridge when the time came.

I felt a warmth come over my body, I felt safe. I felt Home again.Accident 8

The moment the audience applauded, I remember looking up for the first time and feeling accepted for the first time since the accident. I was no longer being made fun of by my classmates, and I was instead being praised by more than just my family. I found a safe place and never wanted to leave.

 

Although I had found a safe place I will not lie to you and tell you that life was easy from that point. I faced long battles of depression, insecurity, debated suicide, suffered from anxiety and put myself in terrible situations that resulted in more emotional and physical trauma. I suffered a lot, but always found a place of safety on stage.

I often wondered why I was given a second chance at life when so many others are only given one shot and I try my best to live every day understanding that everything I have been through has only been part of the journey.

I just keep singing. That is who I am and who I know I was meant to be. I have never know in what capacity this would be or in what type of music. But today, 30 years Dead, I find myself given the opportunity to sing in our church’s Good Friday Service, which I have never been asked to do.

I cannot help but to feel as though this is my journey; to give back to the bright light and voice that gave my life back to me…not just on the Spring afternoon in March of 1986, but on Good Friday long ago, at Calvary.IMG_9158

Jumbled Thoughts

I logged on this evening, fully intending to write about how I was introduced to Baby-wearing and how it saved my sanity with my first-born.

However, recent events have changed my focus presently to just how fragile and short our lives are. Depressing? Maybe – but true.

In the last year or so, my family has lost a number of loved-ones unexpectedly. These deaths have been the result of cancer as well as other undiagnosed reasons. The point here is not to make you feel sorry for us, as all of us suffer loss, but instead to encourage you in a way you might not have been encouraged before.

We have no idea how long we have on this earth. I just hope, that in the time we do have, we are surrounded by those that love us and support our every move because of that love.

We also have no idea how many people we influence on a daily basis. Think of it like a ripple effect, and understand that when you have a choice to slow down and let a car in or speed up and pass them…..you might be effecting more then just how soon you make it to work.

I saw a friend battle cancer last year with poise and courage. He never strayed from his faith even through the pain, lack of answers and grim prognosis. I wish we could all have a brush with death as it seems there is some kind of magic in peoples eyes when hey come back from it.

In memory of this friend my family, secretly (well I guess no longer a secret), started the ‘Eudy-Up’ movement. It was our way of telling people to step up and do something good for someone else. We would pay for coffee for the car behind us or the groceries for the struggling family in front of us and then leave a card reading ‘Eudy-Up’ on it in his memory.

At any rate – this blog post will be short and I will return to a normal human status in a few days with a lovely post on baby-wearing.

Until then – hold those you love tightly and encourage those you might no know so well, to Eudy-Up and spread the strength, love, faith and support that those we have lost would want us to.

Peace and Blessings.

Ringing in the New Year

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Every year brings more lessons of the heart. I learn more about how to be a better mother, woman, wife and friend.

There are always ups and downs and always revaluations with the hard times. This time of year makes me remember those we have lost and how fortunate I am to have been blessed with the friends and family who are part of my life.

I always try to see the positive in things, as I m naturally a very happy and light-hearted person. However, this year brought on so much anxiety from World Events to things happening right at home. I found myself at times, struggling to simply go grocery shopping without being ‘on guard’ to those around me. It was an awakening like I had never had before and one that brought on instinctual ‘mother-bear’ reactions. (Some of which were not appropriate or loving.)

But the New Year offers hope that we can start fresh and in some respects, start over.  It gives us a chance to wipe the slate clean and start painting a new picture of what we want out of life. It is a time to set goals, to reflect on the past and change our path so history does not repeat itself. A time to forgive those that hurt you so that you can release the negativity in your life enough to start healing and moving on.

Surround yourself with those you love and friends who reassure you of a job well done.  Rid yourself of those who make you less then you are capable of being. Don’t surrender your dreams for anyone….chase them whole-heartedly with those that love you lifting you up with encouragement.

Love yourself this year. You are doing great things – even though the weight of the world may be resting itself on top of your shoulders. Be yourself.

You are special.

You are an individual, whom some may not fully understand. Don’t let their fear come across as bullying – love those who cross you so that they may get to know you instead of misunderstand you.

You are one-of-a-kind. You are loved.

May this New Year bring you more love, more happiness and contentment like you have never had before. God Bless.