I Promise That You Are Growing,
Even In The Dark
To be human is to understand that life is going to meet you with circumstances that will bury you deep within yourself, with things that will hurt to acknowledge, with people who will fumble with the way you feel so deeply. And to be human is to understand that life is going to meet you with opportunities that make your chest well with gratitude, with things that will make you want to live again, with people who will hold even the most damaged parts of who you are and kiss them softly, folding them back into you a little less bruised, and a little less broken, than they were before.
To be human is to understand that you have the capacity to be the person you have always hoped to be, that you don’t have to surrender yourself to the person you were when you were navigating your sadness, or your confusion, or how lost you felt in this world. To be human is to understand that you don’t have to hang your mistakes along your spine - you are strong enough to forgive them, to do the hard work, to confront what is heavy within you. To be human is to understand that you are strong enough to set it all down, to let it go, to call it by it’s name so it can no longer control you.
To be human is to understand that happiness isn’t a constant. But to be human is to understand that neither is sorrow, or grief, or heartache. To be human is to feel it all, to welcome the lessons that come with the dark days, to welcome the softness that comes from the lightness of what saves you. To be human is to try, with every inch of your patchwork soul, to be proud of who you are. To care. To heal. To be your own home, even on the days you don’t like yourself, even on the days where it doesn’t come naturally.
To be human is to grow in the ups,
and to grow in the downs.
So keep growing. Keep growing.
If you don’t know
how to say 'NO'
when you need to
your body will
say it for you in the
form of illness.
The world will not be destroyed by those
who do evil, but by those who watch them
without doing anything.
My hope is that you won’t choose to vote for
a president who is a bully.
My hope is that you won’t choose to vote for
a president who gaslights and confuses people.
My hope is that you won’t choose to vote for
a president who uses showmanship tactics
over honesty, sincerity, and ethics.
My hope is that you won’t vote for
a president who tells you what you want to hear
and not what you need to hear.
My hope is that you won’t vote for
a president who creates the illusion of safety
and certainty on top of a sea of lies.
My hope is that you won’t vote for Trump.
Signed with tremendous hope,
Stop breaking yourself down
into bite-size pieces to serve others.
Stay whole and let them choke.
Your feelings don’t arrive to harm you.
They arrive to lead you back to you.
Follow them. They know the way home.
The overgeneralization of
a happy, optimistic state
that results in the denial,
minimization and invalidation
of the authentic human
"It could always be worse"
"Everything happens for a reason"
"Stop being so negative"
"If I can do it, so can you“
"There's always a positive"
All of the above statements are examples of clichaic things people say to someone struggling & are just a few examples of toxic positivity.
Here's the deal, homies - sitting with the pain, frustration, sadness of others can be difficult.
To not say something to make them "feel better" is almost impossible.
That said, these statements often feel invalidating & not helpful to the person on the receiving end.
Learning how to hold space (allowing someone to have their process without injecting yourself/fix it statements/or being overly positive) is a huge gift that will change your relationships.
There are times for encouragement & there are times for just listening.
Learning the difference will improve your relationships across the board.
Taking time out of life
to heal trauma
can feel like you
are swimming upstream
against the current,
while everyone else
is floating downstream.
I know what it feels like to go against the grain.
To swim upstream.
To choose to fly solo when everyone else is following
To be seen as “weird.”
To be misunderstood.
For a while, it felt like I had nothing to show
externally for all the inner work I was doing.
No guarantee that I was actually getting somewhere.
No clear vision on where I was headed.
I had to keep trusting the feeling I had inside of me;
that inner knowing.
Flash forward many years later and this is what
the experience taught me:
• You will be misunderstood and misperceived.
• You will shift tracks as you break free of the box of
who society told you that you should be.
• You will outgrow people.
• You will also gain new people.
• You will find yourself and speak your truth and
set your true self free.
Keep swimming. It’s worth it.
I have learned I can survive
just about anything so long as
I am occasionally allowed
a few quiet moments to myself -
time to restore my spirit,
to mend my wounds, to regroup.
A little me time and I can deal with
anything the world sends my way.
Spiritual bypassing (or whitewashing) is the cancer
of the spiritual world.
It’s the act of using spiritual beliefs to avoid facing or healing one’s painful feelings, unresolved wounds and unmet needs.
It is a state of - Resistance.
When we turn away from our pain or away from
“wherever we are”, we abandon ourselves.
Authenticity is the highest state of being for the spiritual practitioner.
We resist the very thing we are trying to avoid and so, we guarantee that it will come up in our realities again; only it will come back bigger next time.
In fact in the years to come, authenticity will become the replacement for enlightenment as the true goal of spiritual practice.
there is a shift happening.
the world’s people are waking up
from the spell. do not be distracted
by negative agendas, false news,
low frequency foods, low frequency
entertainment, nor by any of
the demons busy at work.
transformation is under way regardless,
within you, right now as we speak,
and as you read this. it is real.
trust it. honor it. nurture it.
cultivate it. protect it.
the shift is happening now.
note to self:
don’t let your empathy
and desire to see
the good in everyone
blind you from seeing
Nobody wants to remember trauma.
In that regard society is no different
from the victims themselves.
We all want to live in a world that is
safe, manageable, and predictable and
victims remind us that this is not
always the case.
In order to understand trauma,
we have to overcome our natural
reluctance to confront that reality
and cultivate the courage to listen
to the testimonies of survivors.
(Bessel van der Kolk)
'Not My Secret' childhood sexual survivor self portrait:
A childhood sexual abuse survivor by two adult men speaks out about her experience as an adult after fighting for more than seven years for the justice she deserved.
It took her until she was 40 and had a child the same age she was when the abuse began to comprehend the effect it had on her and across her life.
In that moment, she knew it was no longer her secret, but his - and that her words had power.
often start off
as parent pleasers.
Learning how to love
& value yourself
is the holy grail
If you’re not speaking your truth
in order to keep the peace,
that’s not actually peace… it’s fear.
I've heard a lot of people who struggle with codependency describe themselves as "peace keepers/makers“.
I won't even try to deny I've played that role many a time throughout my own life.
But folks, today I am calling bullshit!
Being able to use your voice, take a stance & even rock the boat are skill sets that are vital to being a healthy, whole human being.
Next time you are tempted to agree for the sake of being agreeable, check your motives.
I highly doubt you are truly neutral 100% of the time or honestly even 50% of the time.
What will happen if you speak up, stand up & say what you need to say?
I'm not saying it's easy, but neither is suffering in silence just to be accepted.
Love that is "earned" by your self forfeit is a facade, my darlings.
The beautiful irony…
Just because the world is hurting
so much right now does not mean
you have to carry that.
Protect your energy. Rest.
Connect with your pain. Hold yourself.
Find safety inside your body.
Show up when you feel full and protected.
Your energy matters.
It’s important right now that every empath turn their pain into their superpower.
The way I do this, is going back to the parts of me that are constantly triggered by intensity, overwhelm, inappropriate boundaries, chaos, toxic behavior.
All of these things trigger a younger version of me who does not know how to navigate these circumstances.
Once I take the time to nurture myself, and validate those emotions and experiences, I can show up in day to day life more guarded and aware, KNOWING it is not my responsibility to carry the pain of the world inside of me.
I believe empathy is one of the greatest gifts
Right now, as there is so much turmoil, we can become flatlined by the intensity of the world if we are not careful in what we absorb.
Again, empathy is a beautiful gift. Please, at all costs consider what it looks like to protect it, honor, and preserve it so that you have an intimate connection with yourself.
Most importantly, I believe Empaths (because of their ability to feel energy around them) can see things that need change, advocate for healing, articulate the unspoken narratives that so many oppressed and marginalized experience every day.
This is most beneficial if coming from a centered
and balanced place inside yourself.
Truly, empathy is a gift.
The problem with the world is
that the intelligent people are full of doubts,
while the stupid ones are full of confidence.
Don't worry, you're not crazy.
Your intuition is just on point
for sensing the bullshit vibes.
it is not about faking calmness
when you actually feel turbulent emotions.
it is about accepting what has come up
without adding more tension to it.
The healing process is similar to
healing from frostbite.
At first you may feel more pain.
You may find yourself thinking…
"this isn’t working, this feels worse."
You may want to stop the process
and retreat to your old ways.
But the pain means you’re healing
It won’t last forever.
The process of healing is NOT easy.
When healing from anything, the pain often gets worse before it gets better.
The process of waking up, of coming out of a state of numbness or denial about whatever you’re dealing with is really painful.
It’s why your brain and body made you numb to it - so you could SURVIVE.
I want you to know I see you and I’ve been there.
I’m still healing, I’m on this journey with you and I am still stopped in my tracks by the pain of personal development from time to time.
You’re going to want to quit. You’re going to feel like “now is just not the right time.” And “I should wait until I’m more motivated or it’s easier.”
It will get easier but ONLY if you go through it and don’t retreat. Every time you go back to the cold you have to start the whole process all over again.
This is the number one thing I wish people knew.
It breaks my heart when I see people stop the healing process because they get into more pain.
I of course honor where everyone is in. This is a marathon not a sprint, but I’ve learned the only way OUT is THROUGH.
You can do this. One step, one day, one meal, one hour, one minute at a time. These moments string together and start getting easier.
Wherever you are on this journey I believe and see you. You got this.⠀⠀
PS - I also still love you if you choose not to heal right now. Healing is always available for you.
You can take a break and time out. That’s the beauty of self growth, you are on nobody’s timeline but your OWN!
(Amanda E. White)
going to stay skeptical
about people who
advocate for known
I reserve my sympathy, empathy, and
despair for those who are sick and
for those who have died because
they were misled, lied to, or ignored.
Wear a fucking mask.
(Mary L. Trump)
Make no mistake, this was not just reckless behavior,
this was a demonstration of a wanton disregard
for human life.
President Trump has become a symbol of his own failures.
WHAT MAKES THERAPY A SAFE PLACE
- Your therapist is open to feedback.
- You feel listened to, wanted,
valued and validated.
- Your therapist offers challenge gently
and is open to getting it wrong.
- It is never suggested that ways of coping
are 'wrong', or something you must get rid of.
- Body awareness is present in
the (virtual) room.
- You are never made to feel like your pain
or trauma is your own fault.
- You feel able to go at your own pace,
When we’ve experienced trauma, we may have lost a connection to our true selves.
Reconnecting can be frightening and may not be something that we feel able do alone.
Therapy can be a safe space where we feel 'held' while we do this work.
We all need different things to feel held and trauma-informed therapists bring their own unique personalities to the work.
Yet there are some fundamental aspects of a safe space that we should look out for when we are choosing who to work with.
Experiencing trauma can mean that we lose the ability to feel safe within ourselves, and this makes it difficult to differentiate between safe and unsafe environments.
We don’t always trust our own intuition and may struggle to speak up when we feel uncomfortable.
A safe, therapeutic environment is not like the clinical, intellectual therapy spaces that you see on TV.
My job as a therapist is not to psychoanalyse you and tell you where you are going wrong. This can cause shame and may make you retreat further. Therapists should have an awareness of cultural contexts and oppression.
Trauma therapists know that building trust and establishing a safe relationship is just as important as any work we do to address traumatic memories.
In some cases, creating a safe space is the sole focus of our work together.
Sometimes this is enough, it is all that we are able to do for now, and is a huge shift in itself.
Your therapist is aware of how trauma is stored in the body and will adapt to your reactions.
They will mirror and validate your emotions, but will also know when you need them to be slow and grounded in order to keep you safe if overwhelm and panic ensues.
You may feel a deep sense that they are in tune with what you need.
This in itself can be difficult to experience at first, if you’ve never experienced it before.
Importantly, your therapist is a human just like you. They may have expertise in this field, but they are not the expert on you. They get things wrong, but must always be open and receptive to what you are telling them.
A safe space is at its most basic - a relationship between two humans.
Sometimes, it is the relationship itself that helps us to heal.
(Lee McKay Doe)
We need to teach the next generation of children
from day one that they are responsible for their lives.
Mankind’s greatest gift, also its greatest curse,
is that we have free choice.
We can make our choices
built from love or from fear.
People will label you,
it’s gonna happen!
Sometimes they’ll make
you better than you are
and sometimes they’ll make
you much worse than you are.
None of it is real.
Hold your own, baby!
Don’t lose yourself in characters
that other people create for you.
It’s not your fault that they hurt you.
But it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to heal
and not keep hurting others.
Unhealed trauma turns some people
into monsters and others into warriors.
Become the second kind.
Let fire cleanse & rebuild you vs.
destroy you. Let pain create &
empower you vs. enslave you.
It’s not your fault that your parents didn’t love you enough, or well, or at all.
But it is YOUR responsibility to learn to love & parent yourself, so you don’t keep perpetuating the same hurt.
It’s not your fault that your ex lied, cheated, controlled, manipulated, disrespected, abandoned, neglected or abused you.
But it is YOUR responsibility to heal + empower yourself and not continue to abuse yourself, or become a version of your ex to another person.
It’s not your fault that you didn’t get better opportunities or education growing up.
But now that you know better, it’s YOUR responsibility to educate & discipline & train yourself, so that you can create the life & opportunities you do deserve.
Yes, “He / She / They / Life” did all this to you...
Now what will YOU do to and through yourself,
this life? That’s where your power is.
The chain of suffering, shaming & blaming, unworthiness and all the undeserving hurt in your life may not have started with you.
But it can STOP with you. You may not have had the first word over what your life has become.
But you do have the present & last word over what you make of it.
So take responsibility for your healing, just like you’ve taken it unconsciously for your pain.
Take responsibility for your happiness & wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional), just like you’ve taken it for years for your misery.
Take responsibility for creating, rebuilding & loving your life, no matter what or how or when or who tried to destroy it.
As my younger self would say: The world doesn’t owe you anything. You owe the world the most alive, creative & empowered version of you.
You owe the world & others a different story than the one now hurting you.
You are the alchemist who needs to turn your pain into more reasons to keep loving.
You are the living lab where creative change begins to happen.
Nobody else can save you but yourself.