Tag Archives: gratitude

Co-Dependency: Sitting in the Suck and Gratitude

Co-Dependency: Sitting in the Suck and Gratitude

What a difference a year can make. One year ago today, I was living with my husband of 10 years and our two children in a nice house. We had great neighbors, good careers and while our marriage was struggling, I thought we’d see it through. The first five years of our marriage were great, but the second five – things started spiraling. Addiction and alcoholism… he always said he wanted to get help. He’d go to counseling for awhile, but eventually, things would get busy and it would get pushed to the back burner, and then *shocking*, another relapse. I thought we could get back to where we were the first five years of our marriage. I always hoped that we would.

Until one day in the spring of 2018. Everything changed in an instant, and there was no fixing it – no more hope. I’d always said that domestic violence was my no-go. You don’t come back from that – put your hands on me once, and it’ll be the last time. I meant it.

Fast forward to today. The kids and I moved. I don’t think he knows where we are. I hope not, anyway. Through some investigations, I found out that he told some of his coworkers that he was going to put a tracking device on my car. I found pictures of other women on a flash drive. Did I mention that I was really sick for months, requiring hospitalization, a home health care nurse, specialists… and three specialists now believe that he was poisoning me? POISONING ME.  After countless tests they all told me, “there’s no medical reason why you were so sick”, and have all come to the same conclusion. Looking back, it makes sense but boy, is that a bitter pill to swallow. (If The Lifetime Channel would like rights to my story, have them give me a call).

I’ve come to realize that I had no idea who he really was, or rather, who he became. Ten years of marriage. TEN YEARS.

At the time, I didn’t realize how bad things were. I didn’t realize how much I was walking on eggshells for fear of “triggering” him to drink. I took on all the responsibility of the household – bills, cooking, cleaning, shopping, working two jobs, pick up and drop off of the kids… all so he wasn’t stressed. I put my needs on the backburner. As though it was my fault when he drank… my responsibility to maintain his sobriety.

Amazingly, it’s actually easier being a single mom of two kids than being a single mom of two kids and one grown man-child. I don’t worry about holes being punched in the wall when he’s drunk, I don’t worry about having to clean up a bathroom floor covered in pee because he was too wasted to hit the toilet. I don’t have a near panic-attack when he doesn’t answer his phone and has the kids. It was so bad, but it got bad slowly, and like a frog in boiling water, I just hung in there. I trusted that if he just got to the right therapist… if he just got the right treatment, it would be okay. We’d be okay. The thing is though, that I wanted it more than him. He never wanted it. Our insurance would have covered treatment – inpatient and outpatient – 100%. I made the calls, the referrals. He never really wanted it… he’d go for a bit to appease me… I just didn’t see it.

Regardless, I have so much to be thankful for.  I have a solid, amazing support system -my friends rushed from their workplaces to the scene that spring day, and have never left my side. They’ve attended court dates and hearings, they’ve cried with me and have sworn like sailors with me. They’ve given gift cards and wine and took my kids when I was exhausted. My extended and immediate family is incredible. The kids and I are in an apartment and the bills are a challenge, but I can pay them. I’m not getting child support and I don’t ever expect to, but for now – we’re safe. We’ve been protected, I’m sure of that. I had an incredible divorce attorney who kept me focused from his attacks against my integrity and character.  The prosecutor and victim advocate in the criminal case were both phenomenal. I am so thankful.

Sitting in the suck is so important. Probably not the most eloquent term, but that’s sure what it felt like. Many nights I would literally sit on my couch and allow the waves of grief and loneliness to settle in. Grief over the loss of my marriage, the loss of my (our) future plans, the loss of my children growing up in a home with two parents. Grief over the loss of their innocence – they were so young, and they saw and heard way too much. In those moments, it would have been easier to just sit and scroll mindlessly on my phone, to drink a bunch of wine or to somehow occupy and distract myself. But… I knew I had to feel it. In order to get past it, I had to sit in the suck and feel the grief and pain, and allow processing to happen. This will not control my future, and the only way through the pain is the hard way – to feel it.

The kids and I have all benefitted enormously from counseling. EMDR therapy is incredible – I’ve been able to break through the co-dependency and see it for what it really is. I can relive the events that happened that awful spring day without the physiological symptoms welling up. The importance of a support system and the importance of therapy cannot be underscored. If you’ve been through trauma, if your kids have been through trauma – get to a good therapist. It might not be the first one you meet – my first therapist said I was “fine”… I just had “hope”, even though I told her I don’t feel “fine”. It wasn’t “fine” for someone to allow themselves to be controlled and shoulder every responsibility for the household. The second therapist agreed with me, and we delved deeper, and EMDR was a good option. It’s cliché, but truly, there is no shame in seeking help.

The past year has been incredibly hard, but I can see light now. The kids are doing great. I love our new town and the people. The divorce and criminal cases are both resolved, the protection order case will be soon. And while I don’t know if I’ll ever be with anyone again, I’m doing my best to heal, move forward, and set a good example for my kids. We’re going to thrive… there is no other option.

-Elaine

I Wondered..Why Me?

I Wondered..Why Me?

I found myself yelling up at God.  Pointing up to the ceiling …. “YOU!  You did this!” “How could You?!” and in the next breath, with tears running down my face, “Why God, Why?”   There’s my boyfriend who had just taken his life and here I stood.

Devastated.

Confused.

Angry.

My heart ached.

My tears fell.

My soul hurt.

And nothing made sense.

I knew, like I KNEW, that God had put us together. There is no way I would have met this man otherwise.  My prayers were answered when he came into my life.  It was a miracle.  That’s all I can say.  A miracle.  So WHY?  WHY oh WHY would God have this happen?  I had no answers.

What seemed like hours …were only minutes.   I stood there yelling to the heavens.  Pointing up, still.  I continued to question God, to yell at God.  The God of the Universe.  The God of ALL.  The God who knew far more about me and my life than I could possibly ever know or thought that I already did know.  And I was yelling at Him?  “Why ME?  You knew I was coming!”  I shouted.  “You knew I would find him!  You picked me to find him.”  “WHY!?”

I was furious.  Furious that my boyfriend died.  Furious that here I was all alone.  Furious that God picked me to find him.  If God knows all… well then He knew I was going to be there that day, right?  Then He picked me, right?   Tears.   Anguish.  Upset.

And just as fast as a flash of lightning hits a flagpole. I was struck by the Holy Spirit.  My crying changed from tears of maddening rage to honorable blessing.  God picked ME.  ME!  He picked ME!  A powerful chill ran through my bones.  I was God’s miracle in David’s life….his channel of love.  I was picked because I was the one who would take care of it all.   I was God’s Warrior.

I had a sense of gratitude.  Don’t you see…. Why Not Me?  Out of the people who could have loved this man, out of the people who could have honored this man, out of the people who could have made a difference in this man’s life and who would turn this tragedy into something good.  God picked ME.  Why Me?  Oh darling…. Why Not Me?

Your God Girl,

Tracy

Reconstruct Your State Of Mind

Reconstruct Your State Of Mind.

Imagine for a moment that we lived in a world where people actually understood that the words they speak go forward to create their future.  In that world there would be very little complaining or negativity and how peaceful it would be.  If you were to ask me what I thought was the most important lesson for you in this book my answer would be for you to fully understand that your words, thoughts, feelings and actions create your future.

What we spend our time thinking about, talking about, listening to, looking at, reading and watching all have great bearing on what is created in our lives.  Understanding this gives us great power.  If your current circumstances are unsatisfactory it is well within your reach to change them.  All you need is a little reconstruction coaching.

HINT: If you think it, if you speak it-

 IT WILL COME TO PASS

 

Direct Your Thoughts

Start to direct your thoughts to what you want more of instead of spending time thinking about what you don’t want more of.  Stop complaining about the things that aren’t working.  You have to acknowledge the things that aren’t working so that you can correct them; however, there is no need to complain to everyone about them as this will only create more of whatever the problem is.  The first step in this process is to merely become conscious about the words that you are speaking.  Are you grateful?  Do you constantly complain?  Are you always talking about what’s wrong?  Do you speak ill of others?  Do you praise and acknowledge people?  Do your words inspire people?  Do your words hurt people?

Once you have a clear picture of the kind of talking you are doing you can take actions to alter it.  Begin to sprinkle some gratitude into your speaking, talk about what went right for the day, make an effort to see the good in situations and speak about that.  You have the ability to direct your life and your future by directing your thoughts.  You can change your whole outlook on life by simply changing your speaking.

Fake It Till You Make It

In the beginning, doing linguistic surgery on yourself will be extremely uncomfortable as your thoughts will still be the same old moldy ones from the past and your new words will seem stupid.  This is where you fake it till you make it.  Feelings follow thought so direct thought — direct feeling.  After awhile your new thoughts will turn into new feelings.  For instance, you will start to talk about how successful you are and pretty soon you will feel like a success and then the circumstances for you to become a success will materialize.

Remember the movie ‘Field of Dreams’ when Kevin Costner’s character built the baseball field and he just kept saying it would work.  Everyone thought he was crazy and he just kept right on saying it would work and it did.  Real life is actually like that for those of us that understand Universal Principles.  You begin by speaking what you intend and then you start moving into the thoughts, feelings and actions that will bring it into being.  Lots of times in the middle of doing this you will appear to others as stupid and they may even feel sorry that you are so committed to what they think is a pipe dream.

Think of all the success stories you have heard, they all started out as an idea that had no background of obviousness.  Somebody had the thought and they backed it up with feelings and actions and they brought it into being.  So can you.

An excellent way to push yourself into new thought patterns is to do affirmations.  Find or write affirmations that talk about how you want your life to be and then spend a few minutes each day reading them.  I have been doing affirmations since I was 12 years old and these days I spend 20-30 minutes a day doing them.  I have included some of my favorites in this book.  An affirmation is a statement that affirms what you want to have happen.  As in:

-I am healthy.

-I am successful.

-I am losing weight everyday

-I am grateful.

-I leave behind old states of mind

-I create a future unlike the past

Saying or reading affirmations is a great way to re-train the mind into thinking things that will move you forward into a prosperous, healthy future.

A Little Gratitude Goes A Long Way

There are so many things to be grateful for and yet most people demonstrate very little gratitude for anything.  Expressing gratitude is the quickest way to bring good into your life as what you praise naturally increases.  In addition to changing your speaking and thinking, practicing gratitude is a required component for rejuvenating your life.  The very act of gratitude is regenerative to the soul.  For those of you that aren’t sure what gratitude or being grateful actually mean here are Webster’s definitions:

Gratitude:  a feeling of thankful appreciation for favors or benefits received; thankfulness

Grateful: feeling or expressing gratitude; thankful; appreciative

When you find yourself in a bad state of mind start mentally listing the things that you have to be grateful for and yes there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.  Taking the time to think about what you are thankful for instead of thinking about what you are suffering from will allow miracles to occur in your life.

I remind myself to practice gratitude daily by making a list every night of what I am grateful for.  You can even be grateful for things in advance to help bring them into being.  I was grateful daily for my weight loss long before it manifested itself.  I keep a gratitude journal in my bedside table and I make myself write something in it every night.  This is another discipline that I force myself to practice and there are days that I don’t like this one either.  On bad days I feel hard pressed to get to gratitude so on those days the list is short, however it is still there.

Practice some gratitude and I promise that your acts of thankfulness will return to bless you many times over.  It is also a great idea to teach children the skills of being grateful as early as possible given that they are our future.

From the Inside Out

True and long lasting change will occur from the inside out and must begin as an idea.  Once you have the idea of changing you begin to put a plan in place and the workable plan includes changes in thought patterns, speaking, surroundings, company that you keep, feelings that you have and behaviors that you practice.  The first change occurs inside you as you begin to see yourself in the new way.  As you see yourself newly you begin to speak and think differently which will cause you to take different actions.  Inner behavior starts to change and as a result outer circumstances will follow suit.

It doesn’t work to try and start change from the outside in.  If you changed your outer circumstances without reconstructing your state of mind the changes wouldn’t stick.  You can only rejuvenate your life from the inside out as your current circumstances were brought on by your current state of mind.  Therefore, if you want to change your current circumstances you must first change your current state of mind.  Remember that creation occurs in the unseen (mind) and manifests itself into the seen (reality).  In other words, whatever you are creating in your mind with your thoughts and feelings will bring itself into manifestation.  If you think you are unworthy and poor you will create that.  If you think and feel fat and unhealthy you will create that.  If you have the power, why not just create yourself as a success?  A fit and healthy success that is.

Some of these ideas may be new to you and may seem a little strange, however I promise you that they work when properly applied as I have been actively using them since I was 12 years old.  I encourage you to do your own research and give them a try; it certainly can’t hurt to be positive and grateful, right?

~Noelle

**From Noelle’s book, “Practical Change…8 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Life”

Find Gratitude During The Holidays

Happy holidays everyone!

This time of year can be stressful for many people.

Today I am grateful I am home with my family and not in the hospital. Yesterday I was in the hospital with pneumonia and a blood clot. Thankfully my body was breaking it down on its own, the doctors gave me some anticoagulant to help it along and gave me the green light late last night to go home.

Even our darkest moments can are usually are blessings in disguise, whether we see it or not just depends on our perspective

While I was in the hospital, I became very scared. It was a time of self reflection for me and I realized some reservations holding me back in my everyday life. The biggest scare of the year has helped me shed things I was unaware of and get back to being me. I am grateful to spend Christmas with my children, and that I am here another day. No more reservations or second guessing myself. I know who I am and what I need to do to keep moving forward, so that when the time comes ( albeit I hope not anytime soon) I can close my eyes with no regrets. Much love to you all!

Always be unapologetically true to yourself,

-Ali Heikke