Love Every Inch!

Today I met a medicine ball during my workout. My trainer introduced us and he said some interesting words. He said I could use the medicine ball to get rid of pent up anger and frustration. I was instantly intrigued.

My trainer went on to explain today I was going to be throwing the ball at the wall. I could picture him there if I wanted (not a chance) or if I was angry at someone or something I could picture it there and work out my frustrations. I thought that was an awesome idea.

Since I have so much anger/shame that has turned inward, I can be kind of intense sometimes. I am well aware of it, have been told that, and have wanted to change that for sometime. Until I realized that I had the power to release all this shame myself, I had no real way of dealing with this deep seated anger. I had no idea that it was my shame that was causing most of the anger and reactiveness. It has been very eye opening and healing to understand where the brunt of this firestorm comes from.

My anger comes out in many ways, but the most frustrating way for me that it comes out is anger or aggravation at the people I love.  I used to bottle of my feelings so much and it would build and build and build that I would take it out on random people. This mainly happened when I was single and didn't have a lot of coping skills yet, plus I didn't have a significant other to project those reactive feelings upon. My immediate family felt the brunt of it during that time, for sure. Ugh, what a mess when I think about it.

Now, I feel my kids get the brunt of my frustration and I really don't like it. It's something I desperately want to change, yet, seem to struggle with each month. While I can see much progress and offer myself grace time upon time again and always apologize to my kids when I am being reactive, it still hurts and I worry the affect it will have on my kids. Maybe some of this resonates with you. My hope in sharing my story is ultimately to help others. Maybe seeing how my anger presents, you can take a deeper look at your own insides and reflect on how to best deal with whatever baggage you have left.

Anyway, getting back to the medicine ball and my workout.... When I was throwing the ball at the wall I pictured the word SHAME. I thought about the ugliness of it, the  years of pent up anger and frustration and I thought about freedom from it. How it no longer has a place inside. The shame needs to get out.

Needless to say, this was very liberating since I am really not angry at people, even people in my past that have hurt me. I've dealt with it and processed it and feel I have healed from it. It was liberating to realize that *I* can own my fear, frustration, shame, embarrassment, negativity. Nobody does those things to me anymore but I turned them so much inside over the years and had such negative talk about myself that it is literally taking YEARS to undo all that damage. I am just at the beginning. 2014 was like an epiphany for me. I have held on to so much negativity in the midst of overcoming a lot of obstacles. I didn't see it. It's like I was working at so hard at succeeding and overcoming that I missed healing the deep, deep insides of me.

I focused so much on the outside, losing weight (then gaining it back), and placed my happiness meter on what I looked like on the outside that I didn't see the hot mess on the inside, even though I knew, deep down, that it was there. When I gained weight I had deeply depressed feelings and I cannot even begin to tell you what I thought of myself. It all goes back to all the negativity during my adolescence and really never getting over that. Instead of being angry at other people I blamed myself and hated myself and all of that hatred turned inward and was unprocessed because even though I eventually forgave everyone else I never forgave myself. Enter SHAME.

I have no idea if this is making any sense, but the point of all this is that I am OK. I am better than OK. I have overcome a lot. I have healed a lot. But my focus has been misguided all these years because I never got past hating my adolescent self and anytime I lost weight I liked myself better, and tied my feelings about myself and my self-esteem to what was seen on the outside. With all the weight I have lost I have regained so........ So you can see that if I focus on that alone that no wonder I have felt like a total failure for the last 30 years, even though I have accomplished much.

If I am not happy on the inside, no matter what I look like on the outside, I'm still not going to be happy. I have to understand why I am unhappy to begin with.

That means I have to feel feelings. Yuck.

Not really yuck, but unfortunately, I can either feel my feelings or drown them in something else and I'm kind of tired of drowning them. I'm tired of being reactive and angry. I'm tired of feeling shame over something I don't need to feel shame about. I want to understand and overcome this process.

So throwing that medicine ball at the wall was quite therapeutic. I need to focus my anger and frustrations in other areas, not myself. Exercise is a great way to do that!

It's time to love. It's time to take care of myself. And it's time to thank this body that I have been given and fall in love with every. last. inch.

Because when I do that, I am not going to be able to tear myself down ever again.

Whew. Lots to chew on.

Take today and love on yourself. All of you. Every last inch. Thank your body for everything it has endured. Don't hate it. Start to embrace it. I say start because it is definitely a process.

The cellulite on your it.

Saggy it

Saggy boobs......what have those boobs done...I have to remember that I fed 2 babies from those boobs. Pretty awesome. Love it.

The butt and thighs with cellulite on it? Well, they may have very well carried children for 9 months. Love it.

Stretch marks...try growing a 8 pound human inside your tummy and see what happens. Love it.

Think about it.

A process well worth following through on.

What is a part of your body that you literally hate? My task to you today is to find how that body part has gotten you through this life. Supported you. Never let you down.

Think about it and let me know what you come up with!

Fight Back With Joy - a Review

I have had the privilege of reading Margaret Feinberg's new book, Fight Back with Joy. I am excited to share my review with you, but more importantly,  I'm excited to share one of my favorite authors and speakers with you!

Last year, Margaret was diagnosed with breast cancer and embarked on a journey of diagnosis, surgery, treatments and much more, as she describes in her new book, Fight Back With Joy.

I have talked about Margaret on my blog before. Everything that I read of hers is just fresh to me. I've grown up on a lot of wonderful, godly women and their bible studies, but there is something about the way that Margaret writes and speaks that just reaches me. Hearing her share stories from the Bible always brings with it a new perspective.

This book was so refreshing because even though Margaret was sharing her private story, it wasn't every gory detail about her cancer diagnosis. Margaret used humor as only Margaret does, telling her story and how early on she and Leif made a commitment to face the future with JOY, no matter what. Margaret only gave glimpses to the gravity she might possibly be facing with her diagnosis. However, she shared plenty in the book about the her and Leif's fears, the surgery and subsequent treatments and how each of their relationships with Christ was strengthened through this process. Margaret is real about the ups and downs, the trials and strains on friendships. She discusses how she processed her feelings and how in every way she turned to God as much as possible for Him to guide her and for Him to be the gauge for how she should be reacting to things. I was very impressed with how she dealt with and handled her journey.

Intertwined in each chapter is a connection to a story in the bible. Something that helped her through a difficult time, something she felt would help deepen the story of each chapter.

Along with Margaret's journey, there is Leif's journey, the caregiver. At the end of the book there is a wonderful reference section that helps people going through the cancer journey to make their load lighter or a little clearer. Leif even gives some tip and suggestions on being a caregiver but also knowing how to take care of yourself so you can be the caregiver.

This book is an easy read, written in Margaret's down to earth musings about God and life and of course, JOY.

This book is for anyone affected by cancer or not. It is encouraging, insightful and helpful. It is also inspiring to see someones journey and commitment to look at a cancer diagnosis square in the face and trust God in those matter what.

Check out THIS promo video to hear more from Margaret about the book! There is also a fabulous Bible study that you can order and this video gives you a peek inside the Bible study!

I hope I've given you a glimpse into a book that will make it on your must read for 2015.  If you've never read anything by Margaret, then definitely start with Fight Back With Joy....and then ask me for my other favorites!

Click on the AMAZON and BARNES&NOBLES link to buy the book NOW!

HERE is the link to purchase the 6 week bible study!

Enjoy! And let me know what you think!

Here's To 2015!!!!!!

Happy New Year!!!

We have had a completely relaxed Christmas and New Years season. At times I was bored, at times I was really  rested, but most of the time I just enjoyed the time. The time with my kids (although we have had our moments). My husband took an entire week off of work during this time and it was awesome!!! He works from home, so he is usually here, but he is very disciplined and stays upstairs in his office during the work day. It was nice not seeing him go up the stairs every day.

We didn't hang with a lot of family or friends. We had a very quiet, relaxing season. I obviously needed the rest. And even though I am ready to get back to my routine and have the boys back in school, I have to say I am loving the ages of my boys right now because they are independent, but still need me, sort of. Ha! But all in all, they can occupy themselves, or we can all just hang in the living room. We can play games (successfully, if you know what I mean. We actually can complete a game to the finish). We have sung karaoke, the boys have played on their new toy, the Xbox. I have tried to read ( I have so many books, I'm overwhelmed with where to begin), we have watched movies, laughed, cried, ate and slept. Its been good.

As much as I am looking forward getting back into our routine, I am not looking forward to the 6-6;30 AM wake up call on Monday. Nope. That's going to be brutal.

But at least I have caught up on some rest, spent some time with my hubby and kids, reflected on the past year, looking forward to all the positive changes coming in 2015 for myself, and my family. This weekend we are getting together with close friends and it will be nice to entertain. I didn't get everything done I had imagined I would these past two weeks. I did continue to work out (yay me!). I haven't gained any weight over the holidays (yay me!) And even though making permanent life changes can be challenging, sometimes you just have to count your small successes and focus on the positive instead of looking at the big picture.

When I try and look at the big picture instead of living day by day, I get overwhelmed, sad and depressed. And a few days ago I was there, for about 24 hours. I am thankful for forgiveness, for small steps forward, for do-overs and grace.

Here is to 2015! May it be everything you want it to be and more.

What are some of your goals for 2015? I don't do resolutions, but I have goals and as a family we have goals. I'll share some of mine if you share yours!!!

Happy New Year and God bless!!!!


I have found some very encouraging, uplifting, healing blogs that have kind of helped push me forward in opening about my recovery from addiction with food. Disordered eating, whatever you want to call it. These blogs or Facebook pages encouraged me to look at myself as OK just the way that I am.

The one that has currently had the most positive impact you can find HERE!

From these social media outlets, I even started following some plus size fashion pages. Recently, I've started wearing different clothes. I found that even though I was heavier than I was two years ago, I wasn't nearly as self-conscious in my clothes as I used to be. Whereas before, I had to make sure that the outfit I was wearing was flattering and I had to make sure there weren't any bulges sticking out. (there are ALWAYS bulges, c'mon!) But if I believed they weren't there, they weren't there. Ha!

That's why in the past when I lost a significant amount of weight, even though I was still large, I felt like I looked acceptable on the outside, looked good in my clothes, and therefore, I was "happy". Inside I was still a hot mess.

I have always been meticulous about the way that I look and wanting to look my best on the outside. I grew up with a family that looked meticulous at all times. It didn't matter what was going on inside the house, when the Douberly's stepped out, well, we looked like we had it together. So, even though I don't care about looking perfect now, I have used looking good on the outside as kind of my mask for a long time.

Whenever I have lost weight in the past and gotten semi-close to regular-sized clothing, it never failed I would head over to Lane Bryant thinking  how happy I would be that I would be rid of this store once and for all. Part of my shame in being fat is having to shop in specialty stores.

 Of course, eventually I would regain the weight back and there I would be.....back at LB shopping for my 22/24. *sigh*

There is nothing wrong with having to shop specialty stores. Back in the day, when I was much younger, there just wasn't the choices available like there are today. It was kind of an ordeal to find fashionable clothing that fit when I was a teenager. Don't even get me started on shopping with my mom at Proffits Department store in 1982.....

The thing that I have realized is that I was the one who heaped that shame and guilt upon myself. I, again, was adding shame and guilt to something that no one was doing to me, I was doing to myself. Ugh.

What created the shame in the first place? When you don't let people in and you look meticulous on the outside, it is hard for someone to understand the depth of shame a person holds within them. I take responsibility for allowing shame to grow and build in my life, but it didn't just "pop" in my head to feel shame.

It was carefully taught.

The adults in my life when I was an adolescent were key in also contributing to the belief in myself that I was less than. There is really too much to write. I was also bullied by my peers because of my weight (they didn't call it bullying back in the day....). Even family. Loved ones with good intentions spread shame. I took it in, I allowed it to shape me. I believed it.

I have rehashed this junk with people over and over again. It doesn't accomplish anything. It's done. Over. What I allowed it to do to me, however, wasn't. What I have also learned in therapy this past year and a half is that anger turned inward turns into shame. Ding! Ding! Ding! Talk about eye opening.

Anger with no place to go but in, equals shame, guilt and self-hate.

 I certainly heard many other positive things about myself from my peers and the adults in my life. There were many positive experiences in my adolescence, to only focus on this junk would be unfair.

I guess my pain didn't have anywhere to go or I didn't have the tools to get it out so it went inside and my shame ended up being seen on the outside. And it's been haunting me for 30 years.

Even though I know and feel responsible for my eating habits since the time I became an adult, for years I turned what happened in my adolescence and allowed it to shape what I believed about myself.   My 30's came the first true spiritual freedom, first experience of the freedom from food, lots of healing....just no way to make it last. The cycle would win again. Heaping more guilt, shame and self-hate. Confirming all those negative beliefs I had about myself. Yes, you are a fat slob who will NEVER change. No one will EVER love you.

So, even though the 22/24 still haunts me, I've gotten so much more comfortable in my skin the past year and a half. I have learned that all the messages that pop into my head are not ones I need to be meditating on. I have learned to accept myself (for the most part) as I am right now without self-hate and shame. I am surrounded by people who love me and accept me. When I expose myself on this blog, I get acceptance. And part of why this journey is continuing, is able to exist, is the people around me. Encouraging me. Loving me. Helping me. Accepting me.

I guess it's kind of like hearing truth instead of lies. When you hear truth there is no shame, there is no fear. There is love. Acceptance. A kind of nodding your head in agreement moment with people, rather than ringing of the false, conditional statements from the past in my ear one. last. time.

I might even be close to saying this:

The past is past. Thank God.

The present is pretty awesome.

I think it's time I accept the 22/24's of my life and live in the current moment in all this love I am surrounded with. It's time to accept not push away. It's truly the only way to make permanent, lasting change begin.

Next post I will discuss the biggest factor in helping me love and accept myself.... stay tuned!

Freedom, Slavery and Insults.

Photo credit: Katie Lloyd Photography

I've just started sharing my journey that I have been on for a while to get healthy....not just physically, but mentally. It means I've shared a lot of things I have never shared before out in the open. Thanks for coming along.

Since sharing my goals and wishes last post it has been a bumpy road, when things are going on emotionally, it's harder to keep that 'one day at a time" focus. Especially last week. I enjoyed cake and other treats, and I tried to stay neutral about it, but there were too many things going on in my head.

I'm not surprised that it's been tough. I'm not surprised by the mental attacks in my head regarding myself, my body and what I eat. It just gets exhausting. And I don't think most people who don't have "ED" (eating disorder) or what I like to call disordered eating.... really get this part. It's hard to get in an addicts brain and understand what they allow in and don't allow in.

For me, and I can only speak for me, when you have lived in shame most of your life, it's just like a really bad habit. And if you have been in this habit for so many years it's difficult to just "snap out of it". I really wish it were that easy. After my last post I felt almost invincible....I felt like I could do it. We could do this thing. I have accountability. I have support. I have truth on my side. I forgot that I still have to start every day over and live in that day. It's easy to get mentally sidetracked. Sometimes, I have help with the mental fight, other times I am  mentally fighting against myself.

Then some drunk guy passing me in a truck verbally insults me while I'm in a parking lot (with my husband) after enjoying a date night out. That happened about a week ago. I haven't been verbally called out on my weight in years. It's embarrassing, horrifying and degrading.

I would like to say it didn't throw me for a loop, but it did. I would like to say it didn't hurt, but it did.

And, I would like to say the truth of God's love for me and how He views me and my mistakes wasn't shaken, but it was.

So, why does it surprise me, after years and years of not hearing any verbal insults thrown at me because of my weight I get that. 

 I'm not surprised it happened because I think this getting healthy process has a BIG spiritual component to it and that was just spiritual warfare. My mind was getting mentally strong, I was believing in myself, I posted the last post and felt warm support and it felt safe. If Satan can't get me to hate myself then he will use the next. best. thing. Public humiliation.

A catcall attached with an insult.

 In public.

It's kind of like I get the nerve to open up my messed up stuff inside my head in order to heal and Satan hurls something else at me to stop from moving forward.

 I look at myself and remember everything that I have done. The money I have spent to lose weight. I remember the  weight I have lost in the past and how it has crept back on, once again. And  then I look at an unflattering picture and I allow that picture to change how I view myself. It eats away at me.

That's why I'm sharing it, because it's been inside my head for days now and it has discouraged me and I allowed it to make me feel less than. I have emotionally eaten on it, definitely. The only difference is I don't shame myself now. I just try and understand the why behind it.

I'm also sharing it because I know I am not the only one with the struggle. And once I put it out there, I will be reminded that I am not alone in this struggle.

That's really how I get better. Feelings are going to happen. I'm going to feel sad, angry and upset at myself and others. I just have to figure out the why of using food to cover up those feelings. For the most part, I was just sad...for days. I felt defeated (which I did not need to). I was overcome with self-doubt and feelings of this journey being too daunting and overwhelming, I mean, how many times have I been here? Who am I to think I can do this??? Huh?

I forgot to live in the moment and take one day at a time. I allowed the negatively to take over, but only for a little while. I then process the hurt. I remember I am not alone, I never have been. And  as long as I keep going, I can only move forward. It's a temporary setback. I remember all the good I have been doing, mentally and physically. And I put one foot in front of the other and keep moving on.

My mind could go either of two ways...I can believe a lie or I can believe the truth. And today I am believing truth.

"ED" wants me to believe the lies. "Satan" has a few good tricks up his sleeve. But I have the power of the universe behind me with some pretty amazing people backing me up. And if I choose to focus on that, instead of the lies, then ED doesn't win this time.

For me it's not really about counting calories, burning them off in exercise and getting fit. In the end, I may not look like a fit person to you, but if I have a fit, healthy mind, then there is a peace there that can't be understood if you have never struggled with shame. What I keep hearing is, that when I get the fit and healthy mind, the body will follow.

Then I will be able to look at myself and find love no matter what is hurled my way. To be comfortable in my current skin. To walk confidently. To not listen to drunks on the side of the road. To look at the unflattering pictures and remember how blessed I am instead of how alone and isolated I feel. To remember the family, friends, and loved ones around me that love me  and support me in spite of my failures and setbacks.

Those outnumber any insult hurled. Any attempt of Satan to make me go back to where I was. It's not going to happen this time. I may take two steps forward and one step back, but as long as I keep going and learn different ways then I am a success.

This is the life of freedom.

"So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law" Galatians 5:1

Getting It All Out.

 My church had a women's retreat recently where the focus was on freedom. I led a breakout session at the retreat on Saturday, along with a few other women. But for the most part, Friday night and Saturday was a time of worship and a time in the word and a great time of just refreshment and healing.

My breakout session was on freedom from the bondage of food. It was quite difficult being a large person leading a session on being free from the bondage of food. It felt, well, hypocritical. But, I was loved and accepted by those present and I explained in my session where I was in my journey and it was honestly the best thing that I could have done for where I am. That's kind of what led to my last post. Even though I have dealt with what happened in my pastor's office when I was 16 years old long ago, I had never openly shared it with the world. And it needed to happen.

There is a lot of "stuff" inside of me that I have never let out. I have spent the last year and a half in the best treatment/therapy that I have ever had. As a therapist myself, I believe in therapy and there is nothing wrong with saying you need it. My weight is one area of my life that I. can't. control. Which, I have found is quite common (Look at Oprah, girl has got it together but can't stay a size 8, not that she needs to, but you see what I'm sayin'). Or we control too much (anorexia and bulimia...or more mildly with over dieting and exercising to stay a size 6). So, it goes both ways. Disordered eating doesn't really have a preference it's just when you're really, really fat or really, really skinny people can see it more. Some people are really good at hiding their disorders.

I have spent the last ten years diligently attempting to get to a healthy weight and I haven't succeeded.    There. It's out there. I said it.

Most of that time I hated myself and the way I looked. If I lost weight I was "happy" and liked the way I looked, even though I never made it anywhere near a goal weight. I lost a lot of weight.....but.....I had a lot of weight to lose, so.... I would lose, gain, lose. repeat.  I was depressed and got to the point of being so sad and depressed about the way that I looked that it spurred me to change. What I have learned in the past year and a half is that you can't hate your way to a positive change. Let me say that again YOU CAN'T HATE YOURSELF INTO A POSITIVE CHANGE. Yep. And I have about 30 years of hate to undo. Wow. It's my hate. I own it. I've had medical interventions in order to reach a goal weight and had initial success, great success, only to slowly re-gain. Enter more shame, guilt, self-hate and failure. *sigh*

Not only have I had to come to not hate the way I look in order to change I really had to embrace the way I look. The reason for change had to come from something besides what was on the outside. Because being a certain size on the outside isn't going to necessarily make me happy, even though that's what I've focused on for so. many. years.

It's about acceptance. Love, not hate. Being able to say I'm beautiful. You can tell me I'm beautiful 10,000 times and it doesn't matter if I don't believe it.... It's about trying to see myself like my husband sees me. Like my kids see me. Like Jesus sees me.

 I'm to the point where I want to stop procrastinating and move forward with a plan.  I have a birthday coming up in a couple of weeks and next year at this time I want to look different. To finally begin a journey with love and acceptance and move forward to healthy living because I just want to be healthy, move freely, have energy to keep up with my kids...all kinds of things make the list not just the fact that I could be smoking HOT as a size 8. That's really not the focus, it  can't be. That's kind of like the icing on the cake. It can't be the end all, be all. I'm more than that. I'm so much more than just a pretty face. I always have been.

I want to stop procrastinating now that I have worked on a lot of this "head" stuff and while taking it one day at a time still hold myself accountable to eating clean, 80-90% of the time, eating whole foods, working my body out in a healthy way (which means I don't have to kill it, I just have to move it 3-5 times a week). All this while giving me grace when life happens. Understanding what eating in moderation means. Living with the hard feelings. The sad feelings.

So yeah, I may be a mess for a while. There's a lot of stuff in here that's not  pleasant or fun and it either comes out and gets processed or I drown it with food. It's really difficult to explain in a paragraph, but if you stick with me long enough you will be able to experience the ups and downs of recovery. Because that's what it is. It's a journey. And there will be ups and downs.

Just like walking into that retreat with anxiety about sharing about being free from food's bondage and wondering if I was going to be laughed out of the room, writing this post leaves me feeling exposed and "out there". But I went ahead and did that breakout session and great things came from it. Instead of being laughed out of the room I was loved, accepted and affirmed. It was crazy. It was healing. The retreat was healing. Jesus is healing.

 It's very healing sharing your scars and realizing that people aren't going to reject you but offer you support. For too long I have rejected support and built walls and kept people out. I still do. I have a long ways to go. But just writing this blog post helps. It is healing. Putting it out there.

So, I want to be free from this junk so if that means putting it out there I'm going to put it out there. I'm the only one who can choose to let it go. It just may mean seeing all kinds of parts of me you haven't seen before. Hopefully you can love me through this process.

More to come..... (eek!)

On healing from past hurts....

So I got into a Facebook argument with a friend from high school last week. What's new, right? That's what Facebook is all about it seems these days, right?  ha. No, this was pretty interesting. I didn't mean to get into a Facebook argument.

I went to school with this friend since 4th grade. We graduated from high school together. There were 12...13, maybe of us altogether in the graduating class. Independent, fundamental baptist church. My friend wrote a post about our childhood and tagged me in the post. He was remembering a lot of good people (and they were). My friend didn't know that his trip down memory lane and my subsequent negative comment (which was only party negative) would lead to the equivalence of  him yelling at me in his response to me. He was basically telling me to get over it and stop raining on his memory lane parade. Or at least that's how I interpreted it. I commented back "sorry" and he said "OK". Then I decided I wasn't "sorry". I felt what I felt and I wasn't sorry. So I deleted my sorry. He deleted his 'ok' and his rant, but left my comment. We have since discussed and ad a great conversation (via Facebook messenger of course ;-) ) love my life long friends. I really do. 

But at the time he didn't know the stuff that I had processed in therapy that week. In essence, in his comment he was telling me to get over it. I mean it's been 28 years. He may have just been talking about the fundamentalism and legalism we grew up in. I was talking about abuse. Not sexual abuse. I want to make that clear. But spiritual abuse. Abuse in power. I had processed some deep shameful stuff that I had never processed before just a few days before. So I'm thankful for Tim. 

So, listening to my friend take a stroll down memory lane discussing other people was fine. We had some great memories with some great people. It wasn't all bad. At all. I guess the timing of his post with the timing of my processing just clashed, but it was really a good thing and quite beneficial, because it was really good for me.

No one may really understand this or me or why I feel the wayI do and that's OK.  I've processed some heavy stuff the past two weeks. I have never, ever written anything down about the spiritual abuse I encountered growing up in a independent, fundamental baptist church and shared it. Ever.

Yesterday I led a breakout session at a Women's conference. I told a group of women who do not know me one aspect of spiritual abuse that occurred when I was beginning my senior year of high school and it was done by the the pastor I grew up with in childhood . It was an abuse of power on his part and it should never have  happened. This abuse has a critical role in my shame with my weight. I have never shared anything like this with people who were not super close with me. 

Today, what my pastor, Aarron Schwartz said, most likely in passing,  hit me straight between the eyes, was that when people abuse spiritually, it is usually most likely because of a boundary break. I would agree with that. Not surprised by that. What he said next, took my breath away. Those who spiritually abuse, for the most part, are not bad people. But because of broken boundaries, they take on or don't have the necessary boundaries they need so they hurt other people because of it. Wow.

And I think that's exactly what happens in churches where there is no accountability. The Pastor takes on way too much power and before you know it, he thinks he needs to save his flock. And so he takes on too much responsibility and before you know it he is taking on the role as 'messiah' and rescuing and then there is anger, disappointment, and hurt when people don't respond the way he wants them to. And everything gets warped. It was just warped power. The end. And it hurt innocent people. And that is sad.

Anyway, this needed to be written for me. I think it is part of my continued healing. Some may not get it. That's OK. It wasn't written for you.

I have forgiven long ago. People will be held accountable for their actions. Why this has taken so long for me to let go .....SHAME. And I was the one holding onto it. That's why. And that wasn't my fault. Because I didn't put that shame there. But I am responsible for putting it to rest and walking in freedom.

Some people think I"m broken.
A prisoner of the past.
What they don''t understand is that healing takes time.
Because even though I am whole
 and even though I am free,
Shame has its own calling card,
 Shame has its own address and name.
Shame likes to take up residence in a broken person's soul,
And even though that person isn't broken,
Shame just doesn't seem to know.

Until The Light breaks in and The Door is opened
And memories are brought to light
And the broken is reminded
They had no part in the hurting
No, they were just an innocent one standing by

When you're sixteen or seventeen
You trust the adults in your life
And if they tell you you're pretty
Then you believe them when they tell you a lie.

You were pretty. That wasn't the lie.
It's OK to not feel fondly
Of a place that heaped shame
It's OK to mourn
And it's OK to feel sad
Maybe no one else experienced it,
But you did. That shame called your name.

But now there is freedom
And now there is light
You have told your story
And it shines in the light
Go and be free
For you have always held the key

I have no idea if this poem makes any sense but I just wrote it this afternoon. Along with this blog post. The more things I put to light the less hold they will have on the inside. And I want ALL the stuff  that has been holding me on the inside to finally come out. I want to experience freedom like I have never experienced it before.

Thank you for listening.