The Then & Now of My Timeline

“I think you travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there.” ― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I was the most "in shape" I had ever been in. 
I was in the gym every day and beers in hand every party available. 
I was known to be the first one on the dance floor and the one who struggled to make it out of the party in one piece.
I was the blonde dating the gym buff and was known to be "completely off limits" 
I was the girl who was now "taken" yet would walk around hearing rumors that I wasn't the only one. 
I was warned but was told that "those girls were just jealous and I was over reacting" 
I would see photos and was told "every man does this, stop being stupid"
I would sit in conversation, next to my partner, where women were talked about and defined as "foxy" as I would have to sit in silence and assume my duties later 
I counted calories, tanned annoyingly, and would feel shame as I missed the gym or "ate too much" 
I would spend hours ensuring I would out dress and our look the other "foxy ladies" at the party 
I would be ashamed as fights broke out and boys were threatened due to looking at me or speaking to me when my own partner chose to not utter or act as I existed the entire evening 
I would go home from these parties that were full of liveliness and music to a place of turmoil 
I would drink until I knew I could make it past the late evening hours of what was to come- ashamed, upset, depressed, silenced and utterly misunderstood, unheard and completely lost. 

This first picture makes me cringe. 
My pictures throughout this time of my life are full of drunken nights, nice outfits, heels, makeup and late nights arguing and an unending cycle of numbness intertwined... 

 I want to forget, I want to not feel the "yuck" and the remembrance of the, oh to familiar pain in my gut and the energy rush to let it just leave my body in a second hurrying so I don't have to let the film roll in my head ....  each photo brings me to what happened before and what happened after and none of that is displayed in these photos. 

It wasn't allowed to be. 
I didn't want it to be. 
I wanted my life ... to be as it appeared in photographs 
But than other days .... I wish those photos didn't exist at all 

But .... they are parts of me
Parts of the woman I am 
The girl I was 
And the moments I now use to express how I so Deeply resonate with others pain . 

I didn't walk around with a bruise on my face, though many many have to conceal this as they step out of the door, which breaks my soul that such worthy souls have to conceal their gifted beauty, at the hands of abusers 

I looked like a "normal" college student- tired, hungover, in shape and recklessly wild but was dying inside who was in a very toxic dark lifestyle and in a very abusive relationship. 

I was enmeshed, entangled, alone, depressed, confused, unaware of my worth, unable to find my voice and completely feeling like being alone was worse than being mistreated, controlled, manipulated, silenced, abused and forced to compromise my own body. 

Abuse does not "scream" at you within our society ... at times, it's quiet and it is deadly. 

It can be among our most successful, our most talented and for those who look as if they "have it all together" .

But .... if you ask, if you pay attention and if you have soulful conversations... you can get a glimpse into the darkness behind close doors. 

Everyone saw .
Everyone knew . 
It just took me .... realizing I was worthy of not living in the darkness. 
It took loved ones, loving me, standing beside me as I continually fell trying to navigate my way out of the dark, finding the light and not being able to stand in that spot for long due to feeling I belonged in the muck, as they let go of my hand and stood back as I took a hand to the darkness again... 
they didn't step in with me they were relentlessly and consistently handing me lights, reminding me they were there when I was ready and who continually took my hands and assisted in reminding me how worthy I was of the light. 

Today .... 
I am a healthy woman 
Living in my light 
Choosing to step back into the darkness only to heal and set some Shame down and pick up forgiveness, awareness and the ability to take my resiliency factors with me to share to other women 
I am not in the best shape of my life 
I'm getting some curves and I'm learning to love my body in different forms and in all forms 
I treat myself and workout when I'm feeling it 
I am pale and my hair needs to be dyed 
My fingernails are chipping and I've not wore makeup this entire weekend 
But I am free 
I am a healing woman 
I am capable of loving myself 
I do love myself 
I have listened to my soul and allowed feelings to flow 
I've believed in myself and my dreams and achieved some of them 
I am learning and growing daily
I'm open to love, adventure, listen and gain wisdom and support 
I am able to humble myself 
I have many healthy coping mechanisms 
I cherish my solitude and my singleness 
I listen to my feelings, allow them to be heard, and I aid them when I feel weary 
I have grace with myself 
And I surround myself with light, love and those who see me , as I am, and empower me to not give up on my goals and who assist and encourage my healing and my listening to myself 
I am free of toxicity
I am a healthy Woman 
and the strongest WITHIN that I have ever been in my life ... 

So hang with me for this last piece .... 

As I read today in "Claim your Power" by Mastin Kipp this resonated with me on a profound and passionate burst moment type of a way ..... 

"Your stories and behaviors from the past might make you want to run away and hide, take comfort in a safe box of caramel corn, or stay in bed for months, but now is the time to have courage. Remember, as Joseph Campbell says,"every feeling is bliss.." "Campbell was referring to finding a long-term sustainable bliss, which can be found only by doing the inner work, overcoming our patterns and excuses and finding our true cores.... when I take my clients through this journey, they readily admit they would rather do almost anything else rather than feel their negative feelings. I mean anything else ....They'd rather stay in a commit suicide than go there. They'd rather stay in a toxic relationship than go there. They'd rather burry their faces in a pan of brownies than go there. Bottom line: they want to go back to the safe and to the familiar. You know what thats totally normal. Totally human... Remember why you are doing this- not just to heal yourself but to help others heal as well."

"Before you can claim your power, you must go through the eternal rite of passage of saying the course, even though your Sps want you to run away. You have to have courage. You have to allow yourself to go further than you have before. Today, we take the leap from spiritual entertainment to spiritual growth. It's a big leap, and I'm proud of you.
So let's do this. HUNKER DOWN AND BE BRAVE." 

So... yes I feel all types of yuck about some really hard and difficult memories of my life . 

But I refuse to not use those moments to make me sink and shrink because girls and women just dressed up this weekend, went to the gym this morning .... and got out of a bed and put on their clothing early this morning with a gut that aches a soul that is hard to explain. 

So .... for you ladies . 

I'm going to be hella brave. 
So that I can heal and so that you can heal as well. 

Fierce love . 
Don't know who all of you are 
But I'm here to tell ya .... I get it . 



Sending love, 
The Soul Grind


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