Feel It to Heal It

Night before last I had a nightmare. They are rare these days, but they used to be so bad and so frequent as a child and young adult that I would refuse to sleep. I used to wake up in fear and ready to fight.

My early life was extraordinarily traumatic. I don’t share many details for fear just hearing about my survivorship will traumatize others. But not sleeping would create chaos for me in day to day life. It took years (and some luck) for me to learn how to give myself the psychological safety and physical comfort by body needed to sleep.

A huge part of my healing journey came when I got very honest about what I needed in my home and in my intimate relationship. I need to sleep next to someone I trust with my physical and emotional safety. I found him. I love him. Together we have created a home that is beautiful. There is no yelling, no physical danger. We have food, heat, a soft bed and loads of love for each other. I am safe. He will protect me with his life. I am blessed.

This year we bought a house. Another dream come true. I have not lived in a house since I was a child in foster care. I knew it would come with some “large” emotional feelings.

Each time I step up in life, into a safer space, I move through what I call “large” feelings. As joy fills my world it always comes with fear of loss.┬áThis is what my nightmare was about. Fear I would lose him, our home, and all of the safety that brings us peace.

I spent all of yesterday haunted by the nightmare. A day filled with manageable but very real panic attacks. And a heavy heart. And a little anger that I am doing so well, and everything is good, so why does this pain invade me?

This is the life of a survivor. Maturity has taught me to accept the nightmares. The feelings are only temporary. If I continue to allow myself to feel my feelings without allowing them to turn into self destruction, there is more growth and joy on the other side of them.

I breathe. I listen. I trust. I write it out. I share with another trusted soul. Doing so makes room for more joy and goodness in my heart.

Am I grateful? Absolutely. It’s not grateful in that “hey you should journal as a morning practice” sort of gratefulness. (Dont get me wrong, I do count my blessings.) My gratefulness is much more hardcore. Gratefulness in the form of a punch in the face. Abrupt, undeniable, and mean.

My life is beautiful. And I feel it.

A Love Letter

I believe it was the writer Richard Bach who wrote…

We teach best what we most need to learn.

This explains why I try to teach you that you have value in the world. I remind you that you have agency over your own body. You deserve good things. You need to do the work that is required to attain those good things. Joy can be found in this world. You are beautiful.

I desperately needed to learn these things myself. Sometimes I need to relearn them. Teaching people about their beauty and agency keeps me aligned. Thrive on, my friends. We are in this together.

Image of Ducky from lips to lips to collar bones, with red lipstick and a slight smile.

10 Things I Love

It a photo of my grinning face from my nose down, with a close up of Ragnar, my orange cat, resting his little head on my knee.These are a few things that are bringing me joy at this moment. I have made a pact with myself to buy nothing in the coming year that is not an absolute need, so let’s see how this series of “things I love” changes as the year evolves?

  1. Drinking vanilla cream loose leaf black tea out of a wide mouth mug
  2. Throwing soft blankets over my old couch and sinking in deep
  3. Continuing to beat the ass of cancer, yup we found more again this year, but I am doing ok
  4. My Woodland Journal where I sort my thoughts and plot world domination
  5. My bamboo bread slicer that makes homemade loaves of bread go further than when I would sloppily saw away at them
  6. Being partnered in business with people who are ethically sound and strong enough to provide health insurance for my employees
  7. Doing back bends on my yoga ball
  8. My simple, lightweight, forest green corduroy shoulder bag
  9. My canvas boots from Sketchers
  10. Organizing the event space in my Conway store in anticipation of the joy we create in that space in the coming year

These links go to my Amazon associates account and I make a tiny kickback when you use them to make purchases. It helps support my blog. (Thank you so much!) You can also see what I am lusting after on my Amazon wish list. (I love reading other people’s Amazon wish lists!)