Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Looking back...

                             ...isn't what it used to be!

Rena and myself expanding the family business, woo hoo
I laid across my daughter Jessica's bed while she played songs on Youtube for me.  After a great day of training my friends who just joined the 90 Day Challenge some time with my daughter of the heart was just what I needed.  We had so much fun getting her family started on their new business and health venture, laughs were had, gratitude expressed and I had the biggest feeling of gratitude myself for being at a place in life where my friends trust me to join me and take a new direction in their life, take a leap of faith that they can have more, live more, love life more.

Old friends building new relationships, sharing in our goals to get healthy and gain financial success to support our families. What other job in the world could I hire all my friends so that we can all help others?  I used to be the biggest skeptic about network marketing, maybe I am just blessed to have found the one that cares, the one that helps me help others.  I don't know but I do know I am the happiest and healthiest I have ever been and have so much gratitude for that and for ViSalus giving me one more Challenge to face... My physical health challenge.  I love you ViSalus!

The beginning of a journey to self love, day one of One Love!
Jessica played a song I dedicated in January at the beginning of this journey while I packed up One Love and prepared to leave.  I dedicated this song to her and my two daughter in laws Lovey, Shawntice and my "WHY" Stella.  The song was "I hope you dance" by LeeAnn Womack.  Tears came to my eyes as I remembered the morning I posted that song in dedication to the young women in my life I love so much.  As I remembered sitting in my half packed living room, a half of a month into yard sales, just a few days after buying One Love.  Jessica looked at me and said... "we all thought you were crazy Mom, do you remember that?"  Hahahahahahaaaaaa I laughed saying... "oh yes, I remember that honey."  They all thought I was crazy, no one understood why I was just letting everything go, no one understood why I would by a travel trailer and let a nice Escalade on 22's stay at the dealership only owing 5 grand on it.  No one understood how I could sell everything I own in my front yard for a fraction of the price I paid for it and donate the rest to WEAVE, a local Sacramento charity that helps women who have been abused or attacked.

There were moments of doubt but one driving force inside of me, a desire to live
No one got it, in fact my oldest Son thought I needed to be committed, haha.  We can both laugh at that now.  I will never forget him saying... "Mom, there is no way I am going to let you leave Sacramento by yourself at your age and disabled with no truck to even tow yourself, I want you to see someone, this is crazy." The next day I changed my phone number, haha.  I only gave it to about 3 people and my Sons were not one of them.  You see, my Sons were not to happy about this idea of traveling around to strange places alone.  They knew I had never lived alone, they knew I was disabled, they knew I was afraid of the dark.  They knew I had been through so much with the recent adoption of their little Sister Stella and they thought I had snapped, they thought I had lost it and was maybe not coming back.  I understood where they came from on this, but I had to do what I had to do for me, for once in my life, for me I had to face my fears and change my life.

January 2012, I was crazy if I continued to live the way I lived then!
Jessica didn't understand either, she thought I was crazy but she insisted on helping me prepare for this journey.  Her and my nephew TT and my daughter in law Shawntice stayed pretty much till the end to help me sell it all, donate it all, load up One Love and see me off hoping the best for me, unsure of what was to come.  Jessica stayed at my house every day those last few weeks, she saw me waking up every morning between 3 and 4am.  Heard my Youtube "wakeup" play list playing as I wrote more of my book, journaling those last days of my life as I knew it.  I sat there in that empty house with not much more than a desk and the bed she slept in singing my heart out with tears in my eyes every morning.  I had no idea where this journey would take me, no idea what lie ahead.  I only knew I had to go, had to leave the life I knew behind me and go find myself, find my courage.  I had to challenge myself to face all the pain I carried for too many years, challenge myself to face the deep loss I felt over the adoption of my daughter and challenge myself to change.  My best thinking and actions had gotten me to that moment and a place of hopelessness.  If I didn't leave it wouldn't have been good.  The morning I made the decision to do this was proceeded by the realization that I didn't want to be here anymore, a day spent sitting in my living room alone all day planning my suicide.  At the end of that day of sitting frozen in that chair, crying, crying and more crying I realized I didn't want to die, I just couldn't find a reason to want to live either.  I decided that I needed to find a reason.  I remembered my therapists telling me 10 years earlier...

"You are the most dangerous kind of patient.. You can accurately self analyze.  You are one of the smartest people I have worked with.  You know you deserve love but you don't believe you do unless you are sacrificing yourself to others.  I hate to see the day you no longer have a reason to sacrifice yourself because you will have no reason to be here.  You need to learn to love you before that day comes."

A moment of clarity 11 months ago, a moment of "I gotta do this for me"
It wasn't until that moment 10 years later that I understood what she was trying to tell me.  I had reached that moment of having no reason to trust another soul, no reason to sacrifice myself to be loved because I had been used, taken from, robbed of my last ounce of hope in doing so and I wasn't even close to being a reason to continue.  I had no love for me and could no longer help others to feel loved.  Those words rung in my ears as I decided I had better learn to love myself and now!  While no one who knew me understood this decision and it went against everything I had taught them all to expect from me, I knew I had to go, go far away and go now.  I knew I had to go alone, had to learn to give up this control issue I had, give up this self hate issue I had.  Me having no truck to tow myself was the best part of the beginning of this journey.  I had to learn to accept help, ask for help and trust the Universe and my Creator to put me where I was meant to be when I was meant to be there.

Charlie and his family were the first to tow One Love, thank you so much!
As I said my final goodbyes with tears in my eyes a complete stranger hooked One Love up to their truck and off we went to my first location on this journey.  Sugar Barge on Bethel Island was my first stop of 6 locations that One Love and myself called home.  After about a month my Sons had my new number and had changed their attitudes about me making it out there alone.  In just that short month I had changed quite a bit.  My voice over the phone offered them much reassurance that I was okay and I was doing what I wanted to do.  I had their support and understanding for the rest of this journey as our relationships only grew stronger, healed from all that had happened between us over the past few years.

Having the respect and support of my Sons today fills me with so much pride.
Looking back now I am amazed, I can still feel the pain I felt those last days before leaving.  The fear I felt, the courage I held in facing that fear and sticking to my guns to do this.  However, I don't feel it all in the same way.  I no longer feel sad in fact I feel joyous, overly joyous for it all.  Today all the past memories that caused me so much pain are such blessings to me.  I see clearly that I needed to walk that path to find this one.  I know beyond a doubt that it all led me here and built the character of a woman who is fearless in the best ways today.  No longer the stupid dare devil who pushed the bar just to push it, today I am courageous not destructive.  Today I am moving mountains in my life with ease.  I realize I always had it in me, I was always the type of woman who could fix any situation, make the best out of the worst and take care of mine by any means necessary.  I was given the nick name "Bounce Back Bitch" by my friends for being able to bounce back from any situation quickly.  However, I did it all for others, never once for me.  This time was different than any other in my life.  This time it was all for me!

Semaj, I am blessed to have your support on this Journey, I love you baby
After 11 months out here so much has happened, a lifetime has passed in this short time.  My Baby Daddies called me recently to tell me how proud they are of me.  Amazed that I am learning so quickly each lesson I face.  They told me they are so impressed with how I am doing in such a short time what can take years for most to do.  I felt such pride in that moment hearing that from them.  Last night Jessica laughed the deepest hearty laugh as she exclaimed...

Jessica I told you I would never leave you, I was only finding me!
"We all thought you were friggen crazy Mom, but we all knew can't no one tell you nothing when your mind is made up."  then the laughter quited as she got serious and tears began to fall and she said... "I was so scared to let you go Mom, I didn't know if you were coming back.  I thought I was losing you, thought maybe you would never come back again." We both had tears in our eyes as we began laughing again.  Then she got serious again and said...

"Mom, when you die, losing you will be one of the biggest losses of my life but it will be the easiest to accept.  I know that you are happy today, truly happy and I will know when you go that you were living life on your own terms, living life in true joy.  I ask myself often if my Dad, my Grandma and my Aunt died happy or scared and I don't know and that makes losing them so hard to get over"

Learning life lessons together Jess, never forgotten, cherished always!
I replied... "Baby don't you dare waste one moment on regret when the day comes I get to go home.  I will come back and kick your ass if you ever use me as an excuse not to live life to the fullest reaching all your dreams and I betcha your Dad, Grandma and Aunt feel the same way right now.  Weather they were happy here or not when they left they are happy now and you need to know that in your heart!"

She laughed with tears in her eyes saying "Oh, I believe you would come back and kick my ass, I know you Mom and I promise I won't cry as much as I laugh at life if and when that day comes.  I am just glad you are getting healthier every day and get to stick around longer because I really need you here."

Looking back the only tears in my eyes flow from gratitude and joy!
These moments were so moving for me in looking back.  I sit in amazement this morning as I realize how easy it is to change our life, our selves.  It only takes the choice to do so.  The decision to let go of old beliefs and form new ones by opening our mind to the reality that everything we believed and lived by before only got us so far.  I know today that everything I believed was wrong.  I thought because I believed it, it must be true.  It was my truth then and it wasn't until I decided to open up to other truths that I learned that my truth was limited to my experiences and what life so far had taught me.

Today I have the respect and trust of my friends and family back.  I am blessed daily with new relationships that only support my growth, my success.  I am blessed to look in the mirror every day and feel pride, feel so much love for the reflection in the mirror.  I don't plan on going anywhere any time soon but know that if this life ended this moment I left at the best point of my life.  I left learning the most valuable lessons in life, learning to forgive myself and all others and love myself completely, unconditionally.  I learned that this is not the end, I learned that my Creator has walked this path with me all along and today I walk with my Creator hand in hand no longer fighting the lessons I came here to learn.  Today I am!

Blessed to be here, blessed to be gaining my health back, my self respect back and the trust of my family and friends.

I love you all from a place of knowing it only gets better from here.  From a place of sheer joy for life, honest gratitude for all those who helped me get here, believed in me all along and never doubted me while I doubted myself.  Excitement for my future, the relationships in my life, new and old.  Feeling  blessed to be blessed.

Have a great day,
One Love

I posted these words on January 16th 2012 on my Facebook page.  Reading them today I am so blessed to have stuck to these challenges I have faced and be here, I know how to stick up for me today.  So awesome to be here, this so rocks!!!  Not everyone in my life took these changes so easily, most of those who didn't are not in my life today.  I want you all to know I love you still!  I want you to know I forgive myself and you, we were both learning about life.  I carry no resentment, no more pain.  I only hold love for myself and you both.  Wish you the same happiness I hold for life today.  I was trying so hard to be right in life that I was dead wrong and see that now.  Thank you for helping me get to that place in my living room 11 months ago where I had the courage to leave it all behind and trust myself and God to get me here.  I love you all for that.

I have traveled a life time of lessons in just one year of this life.  I have faced my fears, I am challenging myself each day to go further in loving me, believing in me and every day wake up to the realization that this life is such a blessing, all of it, the good and the bad, all blessings!  I feel as if I have lived two lives, the one before this and this one.  The first one was spent avoiding healing, avoiding facing my fears, avoiding challenging myself.  That life was a long road of much disappointment, and pain.  The second one has been only 11 short months and in that time I have lived a whole lifetime of challenging myself to be a better, stronger better me!  I love this new life, I love me!

"I am learning how to say these things so bear with me please....

I am learning how to love ME, so please understand that I am not able to offer my ear, time, space or sanity to solve your problems or help you right now.

I am learning how to put myself first in life, so please understand that I fragile and cannot help you solve your problems and focus on my own.

I am learning how to believe in m

yself right now, so please understand that insulting me or putting me down makes that very difficult for me to do. If you care about me then save any criticism you may think you need to offer I am taking my own inventory and do not need help with that unless I ask you for it. If you don't care about me than go find someone else to pick on if you just need to get your jollies off by hurting others I AM NOT YOUR PUNCHING BAG AND WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO USE ME TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOUR SELF, I would also advise you learn to love yourself so that you don't need to hurt others to feel better.

I am learning to believe in myself and want to find out who I am. So please understand that who you thought I was is not who I am growing into now. I am sorry if that disappoints you or the changes I am making in my life disappoints or upsets you but this is not about you. This is about me discovering who I am. i have spent my life being someones wife, someones mother, someones friend, someones captain today I want to find out who I am and if you have a problem with that please keep it to yourself or find someone else to wrap their identity around you because I am not available this year.

I am trying to love myself as much as I have loved you, so please let me do so and PLEASE understand that does not mean I love you any less it just means I will be able to love you better once I love me the way I deserve to be loved. I need my space, I need my freedom, I need my voice to be heard.

If you love me please understand all these things and for a while be patient with me and if being there for me while I go through these changes in my life is hurtful or hard for you I understand that you may need to distance yourself from me and I am okay with that trust me i am.

Thank you"

I made the choice to stop carrying the pain, the secrets, the ugliness that festered inside of me back then.  That decision freed me of the prison I put myself in for all those years, we are all carrying guilt, pain, regrets, none of us are perfect.  Let it go, it is such freedom to do so!

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1 comment:

  1. I love your Blog JoJo!! Beautiful pictures, words, music..perfect!!