Life Happens

From the Heart of Grace Waters…

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Silent Tears

Sometimes you just hurt. Not that surface kind of hurt, but that deep-down, soul-wrenching, unexplainable hurt. That hurt that seems to invade every facet of your life until you find yourself drifting through each day, pasting on the appropriate smile, and saying just the right things. But that pain deep inside is there as a constant reminder that things really are not as they seem. I have been there. “Where is there?” you may ask. There is where you silently cry as your significant other sleeps beside you. You soak the pillow with your tears, feeling lonely even in your togetherness. As you cry, your body shakes as you try to control the sobs from breaking free and disturbing their sleep. I mean, they wouldn’t understand anyways, right? There is trying to describe to someone you love how you feel, attempting to rid yourself of this vast feeling of going nowhere and mattering to no one, and them responding, “Well, you have a good life, right?” as if that makes what you are saying and how you are feeling null and void. Yeah, they missed it. Or, maybe you search through your mind polling the many phone numbers in your phone, but not one catches your attention as someone you can call and have them talk you out of this lonely place. 

I mean, when you look at the surface, life is great, right? You have everything you need and some things you want. You have a loving partner, maybe family and friends, even some children sprinkled in there. You are the one everyone depends on to encourage them and be there for them, but sometimes you want to shout “WHAT ABOUT ME?” On the surface, you have it going on,  but no one knows you’re struggling with being a hamster running around the proverbial wheel of life, seeming to get nowhere, but running because that is what you were told to do. The days spent building up others’ dreams while you see yours collecting dust on the shelves are tough days, but you grin and bear it. You have no choice, right? Working a 9-5 you hate because your family has to eat, right? Pushing others to be great when you want to give up. Yeah, I know what “there” is. But even with all of this that no one ever sees, you manage to make life look amazing. 

That is because even with all of that, it really is. Even with the soul-searing pain, at least you can still feel. Even with the loneliness, at least you still function. Even when it seems no one on earth understands or cares, there is still One who knows just what He is doing every step of the way. Maybe you are in the place I described. It is a ROUGH place, it is, but it is not the end. You may feel like giving up. Been there. Suicide has crossed my mind several times. That is not the answer. That is only hurting others because you hurt. Next up, getting in a car and just driving…disappearing like you see in the movies. Yeah, that would not work. Eventually someone would find you or you would just get tired of running from yourself. Well, maybe if I turn my back on God who doesn’t seem to care anyway, and I just do whatever I want, that will change things. Nope. Same issues just masked by “good times” which are really camoflauging empty moments. 

Sometimes just acknowledging the feelings is the first step. Acknowledging that you are broken and hurting, feeling unnecessary and overlooked, seemingly unproductive and thinking you can be easily replaced, yeah, that is the first step. Unfortunately, this may be a journey you take alone. It may be the roughest journey you ever embark on, but in the end, if you can acknowledge it, you can beat it. So, yeah, maybe there will be a few nights, weeks, months, of tear-soaked pillows…Maybe your phone will become useless as you can’t figure out anyone to call, but in the end you win. Let the silent tears flush out the bitterness and the hurt. Allow yourself to be in the moment, and know that as long as there is a tomorrow, there is another chance for things to get better from here. It has to get better. It just does.


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I Am Enough.

For years I struggled with low self-esteem and with a persistent feeling of people rejecting or not liking me. Now, I know where my feelings of rejection came from–I remember vividly the day I was taken from my mother’s home, then placed in my Aunt’s home, only to end up in foster care. I remember thinking that I must have not been good enough, pretty enough, smart enough…just “anything” enough because no one seemed to want me. Then, I remember going from foster home to foster home, and ending up in a home where I never felt I belonged or was accepted. So, my insecurities years later were no surprise, as frustrating as they were. These insecurities and thoughts led me to not really have friends or close acquaintances throughout the years. I did not trust anyone; Nor did I think that anyone could really care about me. Besides, I did not want to open a door to possibly getting hurt. Even now, I think about the fact that I never had that “best friend” that many people around me have–that one you have known for 20 years and gone through many of life’s changes with–the one who knows ALL of your deepest, darkest secrets, and loves you just the same. Yeah, I missed out on that, and sometimes that hurts, but my childhood was just different from many others.

So rejection, fear, abandonment, low self-esteem, and this feeling of not being good enough constantly bombarded me through the years. At some point, I learned to open up enough to let people in, but even then, a small part of me would be looking for the slightest reason to run away. Then, when I finally had a few people who seemed to like me even a little, I began to cater to them, and I slowly lost me. I thought that if I was exactly what they wanted, if I never caused strife, if I did what they wanted, laughed when they laughed, thought like they thought, if I became their mirror image, then of course they would not walk away from me. Somewhere in those thoughts, I believed that I was not good enough to keep the right people around. So, I became a wallflower, always around, but hardly noticed–afraid to do anything that would make people walk away from me. I became a shadow of my shadow’s shadow, lost somewhere in the dark waters of unrealized potential and untapped dreams. For years, that was me. Then something changed for me. I got tired of being overlooked and of being someone else. The stress of trying to be liked, and people still walking away even for trivial reasons, and the realization of what is inside of me, caused a quantum leap into a new dimension.

I don’t remember the exact moment, but I know that one day I stopped caring about who liked me, who wanted to be around me, who was there one day and gone the next. I remembered that before the lost hopes and dreams, before the truncated childhood, and before the hurt had a chance to burrow into my heart, I used to believe…I believed that I could be whatever I wanted to be. I believed that I was lovable, beautiful, necessary. I believed that I did not have anything to prove to anyone but God. I remember years ago when I believed in me. I wanted that girl back, so I brought her back to stay. The reunion has been bittersweet and lonely, but it has been worth it.

Maybe you are now like I was, lost in the cacophony of noise brought on by trying to be everything else to everyone else, and maybe you are just now realizing that you lost yourself. Maybe you forgot that it is ok for you to speak up and express your opinions without fear of being discarded. Maybe you have gotten so far off track in trying to be “just right” for everyone else, that you don’t even know if you can get back to being who you are supposed to be. Maybe, just maybe, you have forgotten how to breathe and appreciate the amazing entity that is you. Maybe…but I have good news for you. As long as you’re alive, it is not too late. Now is the time to pull out every bit of power left in you–to stand up and no longer have to slink on the sidelines. This is the perfect time to rediscover who you are, and allow yourself to appreciate your quirky inconsistencies and even your insecurities, and even in that understand that it is those things which make you the priceless jewel that you are.

Life has a way of turning things upside down, but it also has a way of turning things right side up again, and sometimes that is up to us to do. Are you tired enough yet of being someone else? Then it is time for you to stand up and declare that, “I Am Enough”.

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A Journey of Self-Discovery

In a year, many things can happen. Births, deaths, job changes, business opportunities, and so much more. For me, it seems that 2016 flew by, and as I reviewed my year I was not totally satisfied. Part of that was my fault, but some things were just beyond my control. One thing that ended up being a great thing, though the process was not always fun, is that I got to know a lot of things about myself. These were things I learned to love about who I am, but I also learned some things about me that I needed to change so that my new year could be effective. So, we will start with the not so great. In 2016, I learned that I could be self-centered and passive aggressive; I could be self-loathing and in many instances I lacked confidence. I learned that I sometimes went too far to get others to like/love me, and I often put myself on the back burner trying to please everyone else. I learned that I shied away from attention because I did not want to be rejected, and I did not believe in myself, because it seemed others did not believe in me. I learned, in 2016, that I had a heart, but it had been misplaced. I learned that I did not want to be that way. But, in addition to the negative, I learned great things about myself. I learned that because my heart is so big, I have so much love to give. I learned that my insecurities, while not always warranted, kept me from being arrogant and prideful. I learned that my uniqueness, honesty, and the essence of who I am, attracts those people and things that are necessary and a blessing in my life. I even learned that my intuition is usually great, and that it is ok to keep moving forward rather than getting stuck in my past. In 2016, I learned to let go. I learned to be me. I learned that though I am not perfect, I am beautiful, necessary, and valuable just as I am. I have things that need to change, but that is one of the best things in life–the fact that we can change. The past year was one of self-discovery. So, maybe your year was not everything you wanted it to be. Maybe things did not happen as you thought they would, but it is up to you to be better in this year. 2017 is an open door that only you can choose to walk through. Be better. Love yourself. Let go of negativity. The best really is yet to come.

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Take the Bitter with the Sweet

I had an interesting conversation with someone earlier that really opened up my perspective and made me take a deeper look at myself. I was engaging in conversation with this particular person about some items I wanted to purchase from him. After a little back and forth, he said to me, seemingly out of the blue, “Why are you so demanding?” At first I was insulted, but then I responded with sometimes it’s necessary when you need to get things done. His response was to explain to me that what I referred to was assertiveness, not demanding. His question to me was relating to seeming snobbishness at times and possibly arrogance. He told me that perhaps it is a coping mechanism to keep people from getting too close. As I was listening to him, I wanted to deny what he said, but my maturity required me to listen for truth. As he spoke, I realized that unintentionally, I may have been exactly as he said. I may have erected walls behind a facade that kept people out, and at the same time kept me a prisoner behind the walls. I thanked him for talking to me about what he saw, and for helping me to see me from an outsider’s perspective. I remember a time when I would not have been able to do that. Before this time, I probably would have written off what he said as nonsense, and refused to acknowledge that there are some things I needed to work on. What he said was bitter, but the outcome was sweet. It made me be more aware of my behavior towards others. What walls have you erected that keep others out, and at the same time keep you bound? What things do you need to work on that are keeping you from getting to the next level in your life? What changes need to happen for you to be your best you? Embrace the bitter, and look forward to the sweet. You can only go further if you are willing to be and do the best that you can be and do. Now is a good time to look at yourself. Go on…I won’t judge…I will celebrate with you. 🙂

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Who Are You?

I thought I’d change things up a bit and let you all in to a private, public moment I had some time ago…poetry is something I also love to do but do not do as much as I would like to anymore, however, I hope that you can enjoy the poem below:

Who Are You?

Who is that woman staring back at me?

She seems sad,


and confused.

Why does she stare at me in such a way,

as if I could step up,

take her hand,

and lead her through her pain?

Why does she look just like me,

with the same caramel color in her eyes,

and the high, smooth cheekbones?

Why do her lips seem to curve,

almost in a perpetual smirk, just like mine?

Alas I realize that I’m standing in front of a mirror,

and that smirk and those eyes are really mine,

so it’s up to me to pull myself out of this moment.

So began that slow journey,

that uphill climb,

to get back to a face that I recognized,

and finally when I looked again in that mirror,

which had previously been my enemy,

I found a friend that reflected back to me,

a sparkle in the eyes,

a smile on the lips,

and someone who truly looked like me.