Life is an incredible symphony of experience and regardless of how happy, content and optimistic you are, there will be dark days to confront and endure. It’s natural. It’s normal. It’s part of being human.
For many, the natural inclination in these dark moments is to focus on being “strong”. To fight; withstand; push through; conquer. But the natural fact is that you are already strong enough to endure anything and your body, your mind and your soul are resilient enough to make it through even the toughest, darkest situations. You will breathe, you will awake, you will continue and you will overcome.
It’s not strength you need — you are already strong.
So, it is not strength you need to summon on those dark, dark days; that is a quality inherent within you. Instead, there are five pillars of light that can help you find your way through any darkness; five flickers of grace that can ease the burden of any situation. These assets are also in your emotional tool-box and I believe it is these qualities that you are wise to search for within yourself, when the road seems most unbearable:
The first step in healing a situation — really healing it — is to allow yourself the opportunity to be honest. Firstly, be honest about how you feel. That means all of your emotions, not just the ones on the surface or the ones that are socially acceptable. By acknowledging and confronting everything you feel, you take the power away from your emotions. They can no longer control you.
Secondly, be honest about your own actions, choices and intentions that may have contributed to the current situation. This can be hard to do, as we are often taught that that there is a “right” and a “wrong” and we have been encouraged to judge ourselves and others if the “right” path is not followed. However, if you can be honest with yourself about your past choices, you open yourself up to a new level of understanding.
If you can find the grace to forgive others for their actions, you can truly set yourself free from pain. Deepak Chopra teaches us to “forgive others, not because they deserve it, but because you deserve it.” Forgiveness does not mean you condone someone’s actions or intent; it does not excuse someone for their behavior or pardon them from all consequence. Instead, forgiveness is the intimate act of accepting what was, and what is. It is a powerful surrender to the fact that what has happened cannot be changed.
Forgiveness for others is often encouraged but remember, it is just as important to forgive yourself — for the emotions you feel, the actions you take, the words you say and the choices you make. You deserve your own mercy. Please offer if freely.
If you have a religion that inspires you, turn to it. If you have spiritual belief that resonates with you, embrace it. If you have an intimate connection to magick, or nature, or energy, or a more practical belief in the intelligence and fortitude of humankind, summon it. As Plato said, “We are twice armed if we fight with faith”.
There can be a purpose, a reason, for any dark experience. Drawing upon faith can either reveal that purpose to you, or help you design one that will carry you forward.
Gratitude is immensely powerful. If you can find one thing to be grateful for, for just a few seconds, then it is a few seconds that you are not living in the darkness. In those moments of gratitude, your body will respond, your emotions will begin to heal and you will open yourself up to wondrous new solutions and opportunities.
In times of great challenge, you are certainly not expected to be grateful for the “big things”. What is important is the ability to find something to give thanks for in a way that resonates through your entire body with truthfulness and conviction. “I am so grateful I had the self-control not to hit that guy!” or “I am grateful for the pain, for it means I have loved” or “I am grateful that the children are being taken care of and aren’t here to witness this.” There is no judgement on what you are thankful for; your sincere gratitude is what counts.
Too often, we shy away from vulnerability in our darkest moments because, somehow, it has come to be regarded as the opposite of strength. But the truth is that if you can allow your pain, anguish or suffering to be fully revealed in a safe space, then your experience becomes so much more authentic. This in turn makes your personal insights deeper, your connections with others (and yourself) more truthful and your eventual healing more profound.
Most importantly, being comfortable with your own vulnerability allows you to ask for, and accept, help from the healthiest sources — unconditionally loving friends and family, wise mentors or trusted professionals.
Dear Unicorn Moms,
I know that I am not the only one out there, that struggles and constantly feels exhausted. One of my favorite “Unicorn, Truth-Bomb” Mom’s Kristina Kuzmic, recently put a video out about this exact topic.
I am one of these moms. I ride the struggle bus, I am exhausted, and I am scared of messing up, EVERY DAY! My family is going through a struggle that I wouldn’t wish on any parent, step-parent or guardian. It’s exhausting, and I second guess every decision I make. I question whether, my pursuant of our situation is the right thing for this family or if we are causing more damage. I must put a lot of faith in my God, that he’s guiding me to make the best decisions possible for my family. I feel like I’m holding a rope that’s burning from both ends and that I might break out in uncontrollable tears at any moment. However, I also know, that like any good mother… we fight back those feelings of falling apart, to put on a good front for our family, to show how strong we are, that we “Got This” – that they don’t need to worry about anything, because “Momma has this handled” – well guess what??? Momma doesn’t know what the holy hell she’s doing. BOOM! There it is… I am blowing up our whole secret, most of us have NO IDEA, WHAT WE ARE DOING… and those of you that have it all figured out, you deserve a freaking metal, and please swing by my house and shed some insight for me, because I would love the help. Instead, I’m going to continue making split moment decisions, hoping they are the right choices for everyone, and making sure my son and step daughter are well provided for, fed, clothed, bathed… and hope that even when they are raging mad at me, and throwing tantrums or refusing to hear me, that one day they will look back on all this moment to moment chaos and realize, I truly did my very best for them, and that I loved them with my entire heart every moment of every day despite the struggles. Let’s face it, that’s all any of us can do as parents, we have one job, to love and care for our kids and make sure they have what they “NEED” (not want) in life to make them successful human beings. Moral of this rant, we need to stop comparing ourselves to moms that look like they have it all together, because everyone one of us have struggles… and we need to stop mom shaming when we think a mom is not doing it right… she might be holding on by a threat in that moment you see her. Offer any help, to a fellow mom, if you know she’s struggling, most of us moms are too proud to admit we need the help and would love for someone to just come to the rescue without us asking. Take care of one another, this mom thing is HARD, raising humans is HARD, and we all need someone to help us sometimes.
~ Hot Mess Unicorn Mom
OMG, HE’S SO CUTE!!!! NOW!
Everyone comments on my son’s beautiful skin, his adorable curls. But I ask you this–what about when he’s 25, and his skin gets darker and his curls get tighter… what if he’s wearing baggy pants, maybe a hoodie or a baseball cap… will you lock your car doors or cross the street if he’s heading in your direction? Will you embrace and welcome him when he’s a full grown black man? Will you value his life the same way you value mine [as a white woman] Or like his Dad’s… [a black man] who gets pulled over for “following too closely” (at a stoplight) or for doing 3 miles per hour over the speed limit. Will you smile and take his ID and insurance card like you do mine? Or will you ask if he has warrants before even asking for his license, like his Dad? Will you make him get out of the car to check if it’s stolen? Will you shoot him if he gets an attitude… or while he’s handcuffed? When you see him on the street with his black friends, will you feel the same as when you see a group of white men? Will my son still be cute to you then? Will his life be as precious to you then as it is now, while he’s deemed harmless and not intimidating? Think about the human beings you are judging. Think about them being someone’s sweet baby, someone’s brother or sister, someone’s nephew or niece. This is not about just Police. This is about all of us and how we shape our opinions and views of the world and its people. Our children are watching. I have the privilege of knowing some selfless, brave and admirable police officers. I respect them and trust them with my safety and that of my family. I know that one bad egg doesn’t ruin the whole dozen. This is a real, systemic problem that has started at home for each of us. Human beings need to be held accountable, police are no exception as they too, are human. So when you scroll past the inevitable stream of media regarding another white officer shooting a black man, or any ethnic, religious, or LGBT group that’s been targeted by hate crimes, I ask you to look inward and pay attention. My son needs your love not your ignorance, your compassion not your judgement. Have courage to stand next to someone who is fighting this very real battle for understanding, hug someone who is struggling from the pain and injustices they have faced. You might think, it’s not you, it’s not your family… but what if it were? Would you still stand by silently and let “someone else deal with it” or would you do everything within your power to change it for someone you care about?
We’re going to start a “Feel Good Friday” – I don’t really know yet, what that’s going to look like every week, but I can assure you, it’ll be something that makes me happy. This week, I’m choosing music. Here are a few of my radio blasters these days. Enjoy!
Jax Jones – You Don’t Know Me
Duke Dumont – Ocean Drive
Mr. Probz – Fine Ass Mess
Yuna ft. Usher – Crush
Tritonal – Stranger
Lost Kings – Phone Down
Dirty South ft. Rudy –
Find A Way
R.LUM.R – Frustrated
We all have the potential to fall in love a thousand times in our lifetime. I think it’s easy when you’re young, you hope that this person or that person will be the right one, the one you are going to love forever, but this is almost NEVER the case, usually because you wish something up so much in your head that you turn it into something it’s not. The first guy I ever loved was someone I knew in the seventh grade. We talked about boating and spending the summers on Lake Erie; he was my first ‘real’ kiss. The last guy I love will be someone I maybe haven’t even met yet.
All of these loves count. Then there are certain people you love who do something else; they define how you classify what love is supposed to feel like. These are the most important people in your life, and you’ll meet maybe four or five of these people over the span of 80 years. They are the ones that will tear your heart apart and they are the ones that will put it back together. They are the ones who change you with each of their encounters. I feel like I’m in the middle of one of these loves now. This love is changing my life every day, it’s changing my perspective sometimes for the better. This love is teaching me patience and tolerance. This love is testing every last nerve I have and makes me feel like I’m going insane.
Then there’s one more tier to all this; there is always one person you love who becomes the definition. It usually happens retrospectively, but this person is the end all, be all to how you love and view love and accept love. This is the person who unknowingly sets the template for what you want love to be, the person who defines your understanding of love and they are inherently different from anyone else. They’re often the person you happen to meet and in your first encounter you know you really want to love that person. They are the one you will spend the rest of your life, controlled by how you feel about everyone else. The person that you never stop wondering about long after they are gone.
I’m finding myself getting more and more excited everyday about the pending adventure ahead of me. I don’t mean the great adventure of life… C’mon – I’m talking about VACATION!!!!!! I’m so excited that I get the opportunity to skip town and take a road trip with two of my VERY BEST, LIFE LONG friends. We are headed to the Great Lakes, Lake Erie to be exact. I love being near the water, there’s a calmness that comes over my Pisces soul whenever I’m near the water. I find myself centered in what I’m meant to be, and a stillness that radiates serenity over my mind.
I feel like these last few years, I’ve lost my sense of adventure. I’ve gotten so siloed in my life, that I haven’t really branched out and had any real experiences. I used to take a vacation to a new place every year for my birthday. Being a winter baby, it was always exciting to go somewhere warm and put your toes in the sand and soak in all the vitamin D the sun could give you. I haven’t taken a real vacation like that in 3 years. I know life changes and priorities change and finances changes once you decide to start a family, but I feel like I’ve let the obligations of life over shadow the joys in life.
I have decided to make a new commitment to myself. To find my sense of adventure again. To find new places to explore and to give as much as I possibly can to my young son.I want him to have the same sense of adventure and desire to explore as he grows up. I need to set a better example of that for him now, so that he sees that there’s more to life than just the 4 walls of our home or the boundaries of the city in which we live.
XO ~ Lo