There are a couple of quotes that state something like, “Life doesn’t get any easier, you just get stronger or Life doesn’t get any easier, you just get better at handling the things you go through.” I would read these quotes and literally roll my eyes. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the part that says “Life doesn’t get any easier” because I want life to get easier. Don’t we all? Raise your hand if you want life to get harder and remain difficult. I thought so. Can we just get strong enough and learn enough and life gets better? Oh, wait, there is a thought. Life gets easier because we get stronger and we learn to handle the things we go through with accrued wisdom. -Nicole Jackson Yes, quote me on that.
You see, I am at this ebb and flow period of my life. This, nothing is happening, something is happening, but very slowly and we are going from 0 to 100 the next day or moment. I don’t like this phase of things. I imagine this is what being sea sick is like or motion sickness. I just want to get to my destination and BE STILL and ENJOY. I don’t want to ride the ups and downs of these sometimes humongous waves. Heck, I can’t surf or swim! Topsy turvy much? Yes. Much. This type of phase doesn’t work well with my anxiety and depression. What is a girl to do?
A girl is to hold on. For dear life. To her Creator’s unchanging hand. A girl is to cry, get upset, be happy, meditate, have a margarita or go to bed. However, a girl deals with this phase of life is how a girl deals…without judgement from others or herself.
Life gets easier because we get stronger and we learn to handle the things we go through with accrued wisdom. -Nicole Jackson
I don’t know if I will master the art of suffering, but I know that I have suffered a lot in this lifetime. My suffering is not to be compared with others. I don’t believe in who suffered more because as I have said my whole life, “We all have our own personal hell(s) to live through.”
Speaking of hell, I had a migraine last night that could be considered and EF4 if it was a tornado. It was a 9 on a scale of 1-10. As I lay on the couch in darkness, a lavender candle lit, I thought to myself, “Why do I have to suffer so much? I have suffered my entire life physically and with matters of the heart. I want this suffering to be over. I deserve more peace, love, and joy the rest of my years.” And then I said to myself, “You can endure this. You can get through this. This pain will not last forever. You just have to wait it out. You’ve done everything you could in the natural and spiritual. Wait it out. Think of things that bring you peace and comfort.” It took seemingly forever, but after a migraine that started with a suddenly stiff neck around 4pm and turned into a full blown migraine around 7pm, after 11pm I could finally sit up without the feeling of severe nausea. I got up from the couch and went to bed.
When I woke up this morning I saw this quote. How true I thought. Even though I get tired of suffering, it is better that I work with the suffering, instead of against it. Working against it only makes it worse. I get upset about the migraine, start to go into why and my heart rate raises. Blood pressure goes up and the pain worsens. I go into panic when what I am doing is not working fast enough. It only makes the pain worse. I let go last night and just endured. I have decided not only to not compare my suffering to others, I have also decided to not accept that I suffer more because I am stronger than others. Hell, I get tired of being strong. I am also weak in my suffering many times in private, but it is my God that is stronger during those times. God sends angels and earthly angels to help me through my sufferings. I am thankful and grateful for them. I may never know why we suffer more than others. I accept that it just is and this is why I cherish the simple things in life as if they were the most valuable because many times those are the only things I can focus on in times of suffering.
There is this saying: You have to learn to eat the fish and spit out the bones. It’s a secret to some and obvious to my bloggers, that my relationship with my mother can be described as turbulent. I am not ashamed of this. Many mother and daughter relationships are at it’s best, “complicated” and I speak on behalf of some of those women. Here is the post I posted on Mother’s Day about my mom and photos from my day as a mother.
My mom and I are like oil and water sometimes. Some say it’s because we are alike and some say it’s because we are different. At the end of the day we love each other. I get my strong value for family from my mom. I get my strong work ethic from my mom. I get my cooking skills, my creativity, my fashion sense & need to have a lovely home from my mom. The idea of the finer things in life yet making the most of your lot in life. I am a giver and will try to help everybody and will feed everybody. I get that from My mom. My mom has her own big personality and it gives us many laughs. My mom is the best because she’s going to put family first and she’s going to protect it. She’s going to come through and this is why we come through for her. I love it when I make her laugh and she says “Nicole, You’re so crazy.” That’s us. That’s family. That’s love.
I can’t express to you the power of meditation. There is a saying in my generation, “Get your mind right!”, but I am sure this meant something else in the beginning (lol). And in the church there is a saying that God is a “mind regulator.” What can you do without your mind? Nothing. If your mind is cluttered, filled with memories or trauma, an ongoing to do list, thoughts that provoke anxiety and depression, and if you can’t sit still, you need more than just prayer. You need meditation.
Meditation and Guided Meditation sessions are ways to empower you to regulate and control your mind. Every action, feeling, and word is formed in your mind before it ever shows up in your life. Something happens, you think about it, you feel, and you react or respond. When you begin to meditate you monitor the things that pop up in your mind, you learn to “take captivity of each thought” (found in the Bible 2 Corinthians 10:5), and you decide what to do with that thought. You decide to let it pass and redirect your thoughts to the present moment. One powerful quote or concept I recently learned is “You are not your thoughts, you are the observer of your thoughts.” – Eckhart Tolle
Meditation is powerful because you can “So as a man thinketh, meditates on, so is he. So he or she becomes or will have.” Meditation can help you manifest dreams and goals. Meditation can help you to rise about your lower thoughts and to “think on these things.” Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. -Philippians 4:8- The Scrolls aka the Bible. When you think on these things life is empowered and so are you!
When I began the journey to excavate my authentic self I thought it would be fun and adventurous to discover who I really was/am. It was. It was also shocking at times. It was like re-introducing myself to a self that I vaguely remembered. I felt disoriented at times. The feeling of shock and disorientation often happened when I admitted to myself the truth about what I thought and felt about things I learned or was taught growing up. It really bothered me at times admitting the truth about how I felt about my religion. It was a going against the grain. It was fear that God would “strike me down” and keep note of all the thoughts and feels I had about some rules, regulations, and doctrine. I was like, “Oh, you really don’t agree with that. You never did like that explanation. Nah, that’s not what that means. No, I don’t believe that.” UH-OH, you’re in big trouble. You’re going to be called a fake Christian.
I had to sit with this uncomfortableness as I made a decision whether to walk in ALL of my AUTHENTICITY, or partially or to hide some parts. Nod my head and go along to get along with the masses. The first thing Spirit gave me was to LEARN TO LOVE this old/new part of me by accepting that it is what it is. It is what I think and what I feel. Right or wrong by others standards, it is what I understand on my spiritual journey. “LOVE ALL OF IT. Get so comfortable with it, when you are called too modern or too out there or FAKE, you’ll be okay with it because you’ll have a peace about it because of your own personal relationship with the CREATOR and yourself.” So, John the Baptist…locust and honey-ish in the wilderness, yet at home. (LOL)
Recently, I read Dr. Martin Luther’s King theory on Jesus and my mind was blown to pieces and put back together again. It wasn’t very “Christian-like” to say the least. But, I loved that he spoke “his” thoughts and theory. I don’t have to agree and I don’t have to call him fake or a non-Christian because he had his own thoughts, ideas, and theories. Even if it did go against the Bible and Scholars.
Loving my authentic self empowers me to keep growing and moving towards my own goals, dreams, and destiny. It gives me POWER to walk my own journey and not to worry too much about yours. Oh, and to stand the criticism. I’ll uninvite myself, thank you very much. I was feeling kinda’ trapped in there anyways…
I had researched enough. I had practiced enough. I had thought about it long enough. I had stood on the sidelines watching and observing others. It was time to JUMP. TRY MY HAND AT IT. LEARN AND LIVE THROUGH THE PROCESS. RIDE THE WAVES. It was writing a book. It was putting it out there. It was learning to crochet, selling it, and doing festivals. It was working on a mini-series. It was taking sewing lessons. It was creating abstract art and putting it out there for the world to see.
JUMP. It’s scary. It’s nerve wracking. It’s exhilarating. It’s freeing. It’s fun. It’s faith building for sure!
How do you develop drive? I am not sure. But, for me it seems to happen when I remember I really want change. The desire to change my situation, finish a project, organize an event and marking things off my list seem to drive me. It pushes me forward and moves me to get up after a lag in motivation or just a much needed rest. Desire, I believe, give way to drive.