A lesson in Forgiving

I wrote this while I was pregnant with Maria. I was really hurting, suffering, miserable, depressed… all for nothing. Simply because I couldn’t let go. I didn’t have the guts to post it because in reality… I just couldn’t forgive. I couldn’t let go. If there is a lesson learned from my sweet baby girl… it’s to let go and let God. To live and move on. To forgive and find peace. She has helped me find that. So I’m ready to post this.

I like to write because it’s hard for me to express verbally what I’m feeling without getting too emotional. I get lost in my emotions and thoughts that I can never really “say” what I want to say. Writing allows me to share my thoughts and feelings in a way that I still get all emotional and cry baby about everything, but I can re-read, re-think, re-write and really FIND the words I want to express.

I’m going a little deeper than I thought but this topic is something that I really, REALLY struggle with.

Forgiveness.

Forgiving others.

Forgiving yourself.

It’s not easy. But it is worth it.

There have been times in my life where I just didn’t understand why certain things had to happen. I’ve struggled with “letting go and letting God” for fear of the things I’ll have to face in the future. If the struggles I’ve had have been as difficult as they have been, then how much more will I have to go through to reach the potential I need to be at???

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson

To reach our potential, to become the person we know we can become takes responsibility. Responsibility for ones self, our actions, our words, our thoughts, our whole being. That includes our feelings towards others.

I’ve played the victim card. I still play it all the time. It’s like my Ace. I use it every chance I get. It’s a mindset we’ve been taught.

“It’s not your fault, you’re poly that’s what you do.”

“You’re just like your dad.”

“But he hurt you. You have the right to be angry, mad, annoyed, ect.”

We are taught that we are a certain way and there is no way around it.

But is that true????

The greatest difference between man and animal is our ability to think beyond the “self”. We can separate from ourselves and analyze what we really think. Or to think if what we think is really what we think.

When an animal is acted upon it acts a certain way. If you get to close, it might run or attack. It simply reacts.

When a person is acted upon, we can act a certain way but we don’t have to if we choose not to.

If you hit a person, they might hit you back. They might stand there. They might run away. The biggest difference is that the person can also THINK about WHY they react and DECIDE TO CHANGE. We can reason with ourselves, with others and think about beyond what is happening.

Now what does this have to do with forgiveness and our potential?

Our ability to forgive others directly affects our potential.

How effective would you be if someone hurt you in a way that just hearing their name made you furious. Just thinking about them put you into a rage so menacing that you couldn’t concentrate on your work. The person isn’t even THERE and you have given them the power to affect you in a way that you become absolutely unproductive.

Or what if someone hurt you in a way that when you saw something that reminded you of that event it put you into a depression. Constant crying, self loathing simply because of a memory of something that happened maybe years ago.

“But they hurt me so bad…”

“But it’s not fair that I’m hurting and they’re not!”

“But why do I have to feel this way/go through this/ect?”

“WHY ME????”

I’m going to tell you straight up, that I have NO IDEA. I don’t know why the burdens you carry are the ones you carry. I don’t know why we have to go through struggles we face. I don’t know why people hurt others. I don’t know.

But I do know this.

Forgiving isn’t about saying “it’s ok”. Forgiving is saying “it happened, and I’m still ok”. I love the quote by Oprah:

“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.”

Life sucks sometimes.

There’s nothing you can do about that. But you can change your perspective. You can change the way your react. You can decide how you want to be REGARDLESS of how the world is to you.

Victor Frankl, infamous Holocaust survivor. Went through unimaginable horrors, saw terrible things, yet realized that he had a power that NO ONE could take away, but himself. He had the ability to chose his thoughts. He didn’t just react and become bitter, angry, full of hate. He chose to let the past be the past and become his greatest self.

But that’s what makes life so beautiful. Like the song Let Her Go

Well, You only need the light when it’s burning low,
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow,
Only know you love her when you let her go.

Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home.
Only know you love her when you let her go,
And you let her go.

How much greater is your joy when you’ve felt sorrow?
How much greater is your love when you’ve felt pain?
How much greater is your success when you’ve been through failure?

I’m not suggesting that we have to beat ourselves up and take ourselves to the lowest low before we can feel the highest high. But what I am saying is maybe forgiving gives us the greatest pleasures in life because of all the sorrow, pain, hurt, anger, hate, ect that we have felt.

Maybe forgiveness is our way of learning that we can become our best self REGARDLESS of our past.

My past is not perfect. I’ve hurt a lot of people and have made so many mistakes I’ve forgotten how fearless I used to be.

To trust again takes courage.

To love again takes faith.

To forgive and forget takes more strength than a thousand army men.

I struggle with this on a daily basis. To forgive myself, my spouse, those who have hurt me, my family, ect. But each day that I do, I recognize that I’m furthering my potential, reaching my highest self and loving myself the best way possible.

I poured my heart out in this piece. Not because I needed a message to be heard, but because I needed a message to be learned. I needed it. More than anything else. Thanks for letting me share a piece of me with you.

Woo hoo! Im free!

WAY back in the day. When my biggest worry was what I was wearing to school the next day.

 

Advertisements

6 weeks

This Saturday baby Maria would have been 6 weeks. I usually do ok but I still have my moments of sadness and grief. I have so much time on my hands now I’m not exactly sure what to do with it. We had prepared ourselves some free time to take care of a new born and without one we are a little unsure of what to do.

I have had lots of nieces and nephews and neighborhood babies to hold and love and that always seems to make me feel better. I have always loved holding babies even before I had my own. They are just so sweet and precious and perfect and cuddly and everything else that’s wonderful.

Having family members and friends who weren’t/aren’t able to have children, I have always had an appreciation for my fertility. Also having family members and friends who are on bed rest because of the toll that pregnancy takes on their bodies, I have appreciated my “easy” pregnancies as well. Baby Maria has given me a new appreciation for my own personal trials and struggles.

We stayed at a host families home in Virginia who’s daughter was diagnosed with leukemia when she was like 2 or 3. They had a book made for her about her journey. As I saw the picture of their sweet little girl with tubes and things in her body and loosing hair or gaining weight because of steroids and being put through scary things I could never imagine, I became so grateful that my sweet little girl didn’t not have to suffer. We watched The Ultimate Gift and my heart ached for the sweet little girl with cancer. Baby Maria didn’t have to suffer the pains of this world. She received her perfect little body and was needed elsewhere. I am so grateful to have had the chance to carry, love and hold her, even just for the short time we had.

I feel that my trials are hard. Life hasn’t been kind to me but The Lord definitely has. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs and I am grateful for my “downs” because they have reminded me to look up. I don’t appreciate them in the moment and have my days of “why me”, but in the end or through the sweet tender mercies of The Lord, I am reminded that I am never alone.

My amazing friends gave me this perfect gift:

20140522-081922-29962769.jpg
I bawled my eyes out after opening it. Josh has a key chain with their names and symbol as well. A perfect little reminder of what forever will be like for the both of us.

I can’t begin to express how blessed I feel even in trials. I have always felt alone and carry burdens that I can’t share or express freely like I do with Maria. Yet this trial alone has helped me feel my Fathers love and my Saviors love and even the love of those on the other side. I am so grateful for my sweet Maria and all those who have helped me remember, celebrate and love her. For those who share with me their burdens and remind me that I am not the only one to those who let me hold their babies and let me have a small piece of their heaven, thank you. I’ve learned so much in the past 6 weeks and have grown so much closer to my little family.

My sweet Joshua… Poor guy had to deal with my emotional battle the last few days of tour and a few days after. Yet, he supported me, loves me, doesn’t think I’m crazy, and still tries to make me the happiest me possible. I couldn’t imagine going through this with anyone else.

6 weeks has seemed like forever. Yet I can’t believe how quickly time has gone by… When I see a baby around the same age my heart breaks a little thinking of how big my Maria would have been if she were still alive. But I know she is still here, watching over us. 6 weeks may have gone by and who knows how long we’ll have to go, but at least I know forever is where I’m headed.

Monday Reflections

I’ve had a weekend full of crying and writing, not sure what to do or where to go or even what to think.

Last week was a great week. I finished my first week of 100 days of running. 94 more days to go! I completed my flush and I seriously can’t believe I did it. I went back to school and at least I won’t be failing 2 classes. I felt great and almost like a new person with the goals I reached and the success I had in making new habits. But it didn’t erase the hurt I still feel inside.

I’m totally not okay. I’m a huge emotional mess.

I realized this when I finally allowed myself to tell someone “I’m a huge mess and I’m going crazy! I’ve started crazy things like running everyday and doing a gallbladder flush”. I realized the truth in these words.

If you know me, you know I am NOT athletic. In any way shape or form.

I’m not a healthy person.

I hate the gym.

I hate exercise.

I hate even THINKING about anything healthy.

Being married to a health guru, I’m seriously sick and tired of what is healthy for me, what I should or should not be eating, how to stay active or have more energy and blah blah BLAH.

But I ran everyday last week. For HALF AN HOUR.

I completed a gallbladder flush. Something I needed to do 3 years ago and couldn’t because of how disgusting the drinks were.

I went to the gym every night with Joshua.

I ate clean for 4 whole days. No meat, no candy, NADA.

What. Is. Wrong with me!

Then I realized what I was doing. Thanks to my sweet baby girl.

I’ve been in a bad place before where I moped around, begged for death and hated life.

I don’t remember much of the first 8 months after my son was born because of postpartum.

I remember crying almost hourly for a whole day and multiple times a day for weeks because of a difficult trial I’ve been through.

I know what it’s like to feel so much self hate, take so much self abuse, that I didn’t want to live any more. At all. Life did not feel worth it.

And I do not EVER want to be there again.

I could not let myself feel that way again. Or be in at state of mind or “place” as I call it.

A few weeks before baby, I let myself “go there”. I beat myself up for past things and was just really in a bad place.

After I realized my sweet Maria was gone, I couldn’t believe how unhappy I let myself be.

What more could I ask for in life??

I have an amazing husband, 3 healthy, happy, beautiful kids, a wonderful home in a great neighborhood, I’m healthy and fine, I get to go to school, I have awesome friends and life is just great.

How selfish am I to keep bringing up past issues and things I can’t change when I could have been celebrating life and living in a way that would show the ones I love that I love them.

I needed to change my thought process.

I needed to change my habits.

I needed to make a change so unlike me, that I could rewire my head. Just so I don’t “go there” again.

I decided on running because not only was everyone doing it and could keep me accountable, but it was so out of my comfort zone, so not something I would do. It’s been great. I feel great. I can think about things and cry and let it out all at the same time. Instead of concentrating on the physical pain, I think of the emotional pain I’m going through and have been through and I simply let it out.

I’m still trippin out because I actually did the gallbladder cleanse with a 3 day clean eating. Something I told myself I could never do. I totally proved myself wrong! It was so empowering, even if it didn’t work and I didn’t have a single gallstone release. I did it. I actually did it!!

I have been a huge mess. My house is a mess. I can’t think straight half the time. I forget things a lot. I look like I’m out of it half the time, and I probably am. But I’m okay.

I’m okay cuz I’m not okay and I’m okay with that.

I’m doing things to rewrite the things in my head. Or to rewire since I don’t want to allow myself to go back to the same motions and ways of thinking.

Life can be hard. But it’s okay to do hard things.

I don’t have a choice, other than to keep going. There is no options. You either live or you don’t. I choose to live.

Days and minutes can be hard. I still cry and let myself feel that pain and sorrow.

It’s been almost 2 weeks since we buried her. It feels like an eternity yet I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by…

We leave for New York in two days and as excited a I’d like to be because I’m going I can’t be because now I can…

I know I’m feeling guilty because I can only go since she is not here but I just wish she were here…

I know I just miss the physical part of having a baby because she will always be my daughter and she will always have a special place in my heart. I will always miss her until the day I can be with her again. I feel her presence all the time and I know she is constantly with me.

Saturday night as I ran in the dark I felt afraid. But I wanted to reach out and grab her hand because I knew she was with me, watching me and protecting me. I was probably scarier to everyone around me as a dark figure with big hair running in the dark, but it was comforting to know I wasn’t alone. I know now I’m never alone. I have my angel. My sweet Maria.

I feel different, I look different and I see things differently. I feel like I’ve lost something and I know people see it… But I’ve also gained more.

I’ve gained a new perspective on life and how short it really is.

I’ve gained a new love for my husband, my children, my family, my friends, even those who I don’t really appreciate. (I don’t really hate anyone I’d just rather they fell off the earth. And I’m pretty sure you know who you are. 😝)

I’ve gained an angel, one I love dearly and can’t wait to see.

I’ve gained a greater testimony that God lives, His Son is my Savior and that They have a plan for us all.

And I’m trying to gain a new habit of running and being more active.

All thanks to my sweet Maria. I love you 😘 I miss you, everyday I miss you more.

Day 4 / emotional roller coaster

Yesterday was day 4 of my 100 days of running and the first day of my actual flush.

I felt like crap the whole day. I did ok with clean eating (minus my IHOP trip the night before) but I just wanted a burger. I seriously was tired of fruits and veggies and apple juice. I wanted a number 1 from mcdonalds, LARGE with Dr Pepper. I needed to eat a big breakfast because I would start my fast at 2pm. I went to school so instead I just ate my whole first class. I failed my Spanish test miserably and ended up eating the whole time. I still wasn’t full because it wasn’t what I wanted to eat.

Yoga felt great. I felt like I could move more. I felt more strength in doing the moves and it was just really nice to feel flexible. At least somewhat flexible and not like a board. On my way home I began my fast and as soon as I get home here’s soup and bread for me on my doorstep from a neighbor. 😞 I seriously love my neighbors, but this seriously had me rethinking my whole endeavor. Instead I decided to use it as my first meal after the fast. A simple soup lunch.

I was busy the rest of the evening and I had Naa make dinner because I knew I’d eat something if I did. I nearly did so many times… But I held strong!

I ran before dinner and man did it feel great!! I have been taking it real easy these last couple days but today I pushed myself to really run. It was awesome! My time wasn’t much better but I felt great. I was SUPER slow and probably looked like an idiot running barely faster than I walk. I realized my original shoes were hindering me. I’d get blisters and would be so sore after all over my feet and knees. I wore my vibrams and man did the difference feel like night and day! I had been running wrong and shifted my weight over to the front of my body and let my feet fall but not pound into the ground and the pain and soreness went away! Took me like 10 min to figure that out but man it felt good.

20140425-104033.jpg

I noticed as I ran that it was easier just to see a few steps I ahead of me instead of looking straight and thinking of how far I still had to go. I counted just the two steps I needed to take to get further and that seemed to push me more. Knowing “One Step At A Time” was how I needed to take it. (That was my jam this run, thank you Enrique and akon!)

I took my first Epsom salt at 8pm. Wasn’t as bad as I thought. Then another one at 10pm right before josh and I hit the gym. I did some weights because my lower body strength is 10x my upper body strength and I really want to change that.

20140425-103848.jpg

After the gym and after my kids were in bed I took my grapefruit juice and oil at midnight. Talk about the most disgusting drink ever.. Ugh. I nearly gagged it back up but it stayed down.

20140425-104435.jpg

Before my kids slept baby Na’a hugged me and said “I love you mom” then turned to lay on my stomach and said “I love you tummy mom”. I looked at her and said “oh Naa there’s no baby in there, she came out already”. She looked at me confused and said “aww baby crying”. I wanted to start bawling thinking about the new born cry I love so much and wished I was able to hear. I wanted to cry thinking of if my baby Maria did cry in my womb before she died. What if I hurt her and caused her pain and suffering before she died… Did I make her weep?? I know I won’t know til I see her again and I know it doesn’t matter cuz there’s nothing I can do or could have done I wish there was. I cried in my run because I missed her. I cried watching the NILMDTS video remembering how good it felt to hold her. She fit perfectly in my arms. I could have literally held her all day… I will never forget it. If I do, I have pictures to remind me.

With the fast I knew emotions would come up. I was angry, annoyed, happy, sad, depressed and hopeful all at the same time.

I spoke with my mom too yesterday and she said “I was looking at your pictures and you look different. You look like you lost something.” My husband said this morning I look different as well, but I’m not sure in what way. I totally wear my emotions on my sleeve, even if I’m trying to hide them people always know. I miss my baby Maria. Even though I know she’s with me all the time, she’s a funny, bright and happy girl, but I still wish I had her here with me. I’m broken with a piece of my soul taken with her. That’s ok. I know it. The world can tell. And I’m ok with that.

I run to make a change in my life. I’ve always wanted to be a runner. Now I know I need to start now or I never will be.

I’m doing this flush to get rid of the crap I know I’ve had for years but have never gotten myself to do it. I know I’ll need do it if I don’t do it today.

I blog to keep me sane. I blog to share my experiences and thoughts about life. I blog to remember and rewrite what’s in my head. I blog to get it out.

I’m making a change because I miss my little girl. I wouldn’t have changed if she were still here. I would have gone through the motions of having a baby and done what I’ve always done. With Maria gone I feel different, incomplete, as if something’s not right. I’m making changes to “make things right” or at least make them bearable. Things aren’t the same without her. I’m not the same. And that’s why I needed to make this change.

For my Maria.

Day 2 / missing my Maria

Yesterday was a little harder for me. I had a hard time with my “run”. I biked the night before and just finished my yoga class, which completely kicked my butt. I did yoga the night before for 20 min and felt great but at my yoga class I felt like a block of wood. I seriously could not move. During my run, my legs hurt and were sore afterwards. I didn’t feel anything the previous day so I’m going to blame the bike. Lol.

I struggled with clean eating. I had a kashi bowl of cereal with 2% milk and lots of carrots and apples. I also had the other half of my go-dough. I did have a salad for dinner which I complained about on my fit_auntylala IG. I did have a protein bar later in the day but other than that it went ok.

20140423-103429.jpg

I say I struggled because it was a hard day emotionally. And I’m an emotional eater but I pulled through! I went back to school and people didn’t know about baby. They all knew I was pregnant and would feel sorry for me the longer I was pregnant. Probably because I looked like a whale and waddled everywhere. Seeing them again, I saw the excitement and anticipation grow as they walked towards me. I felt horrible having to burst their bubble and let them know the baby we were ALL waiting for didn’t make it…

I noticed that has been a pattern in this particular trial. Not that my own sorrow wasn’t painful but seeing others sympathize and empathize for me always got to me.

I felt bad for my midwife knowing the news she would have to tell me. I could sympathize for her knowing it was difficult having to come in to tell a mother that at 40 weeks and a day, her baby was gone and there was no explanation.

I couldn’t control myself telling my husband our sweet baby girl was gone. I actually did such a horrible job telling that he misunderstood me and didn’t realize what was happening until our delivering midwife came in and said “baby is gone, there’s nothing we can do but wait for you to have her”. Watching him weep over our baby girl and knowing I couldn’t comfort him in anyway was extremely difficult. I knew he was the only one who missed her nearly as much as I do.

Telling my children wasn’t easy either. Although we had talked about stillborns and miscarriages before, I never imagined having to tell them about our own baby…

I wept at the thought of telling family and friends that the sweet baby I “was still pregnant with” would not walk with us in this life. My ROC family who watched me grow from the first week we found out to the year end show, all were anticipating her arrival that morning after our assembly. Little did they, or I, know that my sweet angel was with us, but not in the body that she was given.

I knew this cleanse would bring up emotions and that my run wouldn’t make it any easier. I had other things come up and felt like crying my eyeballs out. I didn’t cry at the time and once my head cleared I was able to see the flaws in my thinking. I was able to feel my emotions and let them go. I was able to find clarity in the fog.

I still miss my baby. I cried for her last night seeing my 3 kids watch a movie. I knew she should have been in my arms with me. Instead I held baby Naa and I slept next to josh. He likes the floor and I don’t but I needed to be next to him so I just dealt with it. I wished that my baby was here and that I could hold her but instead I’m grateful for the ones I do have.

20140423-112243.jpg

I feel her often and I know she’s always with me. That’s why I decided to do this fitness journey. I felt her push me and prompt me to make a change. So here I am, going on day 3. Here’s to a better today and a better Aunty Lala. Thank you my sweet baby girl… My Maria.

20140423-112540.jpg