Trust Yourself

I debated on exactly how in-depth I wanted to get with this post based on my own privacy, I suppose. After giving it a lot of thought for a few days I decided to just begin writing to see where my words would take me.

My thoughts begin with the word honesty. If you can’t be honest with yourself, how can you ever expect to be honest with anyone else? For those who know me well, they understand one value that I hold incredibility high is trust. It is impossible for me to be involved in a good friendship or even more so relationship without the feeling of mutual trust.

Your word is only as good as your actions.

Trust can be very complicated. It takes a while to build, but can be broken within a matter of seconds.

Throughout the past five months I have been dealing with debilitating pain. My body has felt trapped within a state that feels extremely unhealthy. I have felt fatigue, along with an assortment of chronic pain that has been capable of controlling my life both physically and mentally.  And at times it has. However, I’ve felt determined to overcome this sick feeling no matter how much it would take out of me.

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I had to trust myself. I would remind myself of this daily. There were multiple times I recall crying out to myself or some of the close people in my life… “Am I crazy?” I wasn’t even sure if I was asking myself or if I was waiting for someone else to declare it. I had to be crazy. I’ve felt physical pain before, as losing my mom took over both my mind and body for a while, but this was something much different. I almost felt in some ways like I couldn’t manage to function.

I knew something was going on with my body, I just wasn’t sure what it was. As I went from doctor to doctor, I would find myself in tears recalling the same story. I would read my journal to them where I kept tabs of what I ate, how many hours I slept, the medicine/supplements I would consume and what I was feeling. I took multiple tests where minor abnormalities would pop up but nothing explaining the deep and controlling pain I knew I was experiencing. It quickly became a nightmare.

I could feel myself losing patience; but that wasn’t even the worst part. I could also feel people, who meant so much to me, pushing away from me because it began to consume me. I wasn’t fun, I sure wasn’t happy and it’s very possible, it was quite difficult to be around me.  People at work began to recognize I was in pain. They would complement me with how well I was coping. They’d even make mention of my positive attitude and devoted energy to my work. But inside I could feel that it was fake and draining me. I was giving it all I could just to make it through a day of work. One day at a time.

Finally one night I was absolutely hysterical. I was crying out to my father and friend, “I am in so much pain, I can’t do this anymore.” And in spite of what they may of thought, I truly felt this way. I was losing hope because I was trying desperately to find some sort of answer and relief. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t happening.

Very shortly after that night, I think God heard my cries and answered my prayers. I met with an extremely talented and generous doctor. For once, in this journey, I felt that he actually wanted me better as much as I did. I knew he was determined to help me and lead me to recovery. Within a few long months he connected me with a very special lady. She was a specialized in the area he felt I needed to be connected in. He was right.

Within a month of my first visit with her I was getting put to sleep for surgery. I went into the surgery nervous, but anxious with some sort of excitement. I was looking for answers that I so desperately needed. My first memory after recovery was the voice of the sweet lady doctor. She held my arm and said “Randi, my dear, you are not crazy.” It turns out something had been taking over my body and was causing me intense and terrible pain. If they wouldn’t have found it, it would have only gotten worse for me and could have resulted in a lot of permanent damage that would have been devastating for me.

I am still recovering, I have a long ways to go, but I know now how important it is to always trust yourself. You know your own body and needs. Don’t ever sell yourself short by not acknowledging what you feel. Be your own advocate and fight with every ounce of hope that no matter what you are facing there are better days ahead. Healing will come for those who believe.

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Life is too Short

Lately I’ve been on this whole kick of ‘Life is too Short.’ And really, it can be.

I think because of both the many fortunate and unfortunate events that have occurred in my life at a fairly young age, I feel compelled to live every day to its fullest and make the most of my life. As wonderful as it sounds, it is actually a very hard and demanding task to complete. Not only can life be incredibly beautiful, but it can be extremely challenging as well. It is difficult to remain in positivity when at times there can be so much negativity surrounding you.

I’m starting to believe that awareness is the key.

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To start, become aware and acknowledge that your mind is powerful. Some of the most gifted and talented minds have taken nothing and made it into something. We can control the majority of what we are feeling and the way we behave by being in tune with our own minds. I come across many obstacles, both big and small, throughout my daily life. My approach towards tackling the obstacles varies based on what they actually are. However, I am fairly certain that I would not be able to overcome a large percent of my own personal obstacles without acceptance.

There are things in this life that seem unfair. I have several examples in mind. One that continuously occurs to me is sickness. I know several beautiful individuals that have battled severe illnesses that either left them in despair or led them to death. It seems like no matter how hard you try to comprehend something like terrible illnesses that happen to people all over the world, it just doesn’t make sense. And it probably won’t. Through a lot of hard work I have come to the acceptance that there are not answers for everything; especially the things we cannot control. Lucky for us, there are so many things we can control. So, let’s focus on that!

In today’s world we are blessed to have the gift of freedom. We are entitled to choices. As we know there were once days when having freedom wasn’t as easy as it is now. But right now, in this moment you are able to decide what you want to do and when and how you’d like to do it. You may choose your religion, your occupation, your education, your spouse and so much more. But not only that you can choose your church, your location, your school, your soul mate and again so much more. If you really stop to think about it, how awesome is that?!

So I have been asking myself a series of these types of questions lately. I have committed to take time to dig deep in searching my soul. I want to develop confidence that I will spend each day of my life the way I truly desire to. This process is just beginning for me and as I am finding out already it can be quite confusing. But in the end, I totally believe it is going to be worth it.

I have awareness of the power of my mind. I have accepted that there will be obstacles to come that I may not understand and I am ready to focus on all the things that I know I can control. I am working to have the confidence I encourage us all to have. Live life doing what makes you happy.

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A Tribute to Nan

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of you is your laugh. It was inevitably contagious. There was always a smile on your face, a cup of coffee on your desk and some sort of yummy treat in your hand. You were passionate, enthusiastic and determined. Most of all you were kind. In the years of knowing you, I can’t think of a moment in time that I ever recognized a mean bone in your body. Yet, I have all the faith in the world that if any stupid boy did me wrong or broke my heart, you’d let em’ have it. Your words, not mine. I loved sharing my stories and shoe fetishes with you. You were a sucker for a fabulous pair of heels. I don’t blame you. Your favorite outfit, a Red Wings jersey. You were so simple, but elegant. I always felt comfort and love in your presence. Maybe it’s because you always genuinely cared to know what was going on in my life. I am so thankful you made it to my college graduation ceremony. I will miss our frequent lunches at Focassia’s. Their lobster bisque was your favorite. It will hard to go back there without you. I know with all of my heart, the ‘Nut House’ will never be the same without you. You were deeply loved by everyone who crossed your path. And will forever hold a special place in my heart. You will be missed. But I remind myself of your faith and rejoice knowing that you are with the love of your life again, Howard. I hope you’ll go visit Hawaii again with him.

I will always love you Nan.

Please give my mom a hug for me.

P.S. I know you both will be watching over the stands on October 10th for the boys’ football game.

Nan

 

Be Vulnerable for the People You Love

Death is such a hard concept. I have learned something: no matter how experienced you are with dealing with the circumstances tied to death or rather how inexperienced you are with all of the emotions attached with the unavoidable, it hurts. Losing someone you love is painful. Watching others lose someone they love is also painful.

It is tragic adjusting to having a person’s physical presence to not. No matter how young or how old, when you lose someone it is impossible to comprehend why. Why now? Why did it have to happen the way it did? As human beings we are never ready to say goodbye. Change is not a comfortable feeling. Being forced to stray from a familiar routine is uncomfortable. It just doesn’t feel natural.

The past week has sort of been a whirlwind for me. I have watched people I love and care about suffer. The mourning and grieving has been from two different families, both of which are near and dear to my heart.

One family forced to putting their sweet loved one into hospice; forced with coming to acceptance that from this point on each day will be consumed with the painful wonder of if their loved one will make it through the day. The other family, waking up on Sunday morning to learn that their loved one has passed on to Heaven, a better place.

How is it that even if we have faith, we know that heaven exists and we also believe that all that belong in heaven are free from any sort of pain, it still hurts us. If death is unavoidable, why does it have to hurt so badly?

At some point in our lives we will all have to deal with people we love passing away and in time leaving earth ourselves; it seems to me it should be easier to cope with. Though, through my own experiences I can reassure you there is no easy way to handle death. It never feels fair.

After losing my mom I never imagined having the ability to be a part of other people’s loses. I felt so broken from my own loss that I thought I would never build the strength to be strong enough to comfort and grieve with others. I was wrong. Faith is such a powerful thing. With puddles of tears, sleepless nights praying, and time, I have found it within myself to do so. It doesn’t make it easy, but as I’ve said, I don’t think it can ever be easy.

trust in the lord

Someone I deeply care about is grieving this week. His heart is sad because he has lost a person he looked up to and loved. I have spent hours this week talking with him about all of his thoughts, feelings and memories. We have been put in a position to lean on one another many times throughout the course of knowing each other. But this week, it’s been different.

For the first time, I think he’s had a glimpse of what it feels like to lose someone you love. I would never wish this pain on him or on anyone. But we have learned how to grieve with each other. We have learned how to communicate about things that are never easy to discuss. And I have learned that when you care for someone there should be no pain you aren’t willing to take in order to give the gift of guidance and comfort through a difficult time.

For twenty-two I have lived through a lot of moments of darkness. I have had to deal with and experience many difficulties tied with death. I am very familiar with the feeling of losing someone you love. I live with it every day. This week I have been blessed to comfort two very different groups of people who are dealing with death; one family who is preparing to lose their loved one and another who has already lost theirs.

God is good. He puts us in the right places at the right time.

My advice: Never be afraid to be vulnerable for the people you love, it can be painful but worth it.

 

Wishing You a Happy Birthday

I stepped outside on my lunch today. The sun was shining so bright and beautifully. The air was still and for a moment I finally felt calm. I couldn’t help but smile because in my heart I knew today would be a sunny day. The sun is shining for you, because this is your day. Though I miss your physical presence more than my words could ever express. I know you are in good hands and that your soul is free. It’s free of any pain, negativity, panic, worry and heartache. It’s full of joy, laughter, pride and happiness. I want all of those wonderful things for you, I promise that I do. I try to fight every waking day to feel joy in my heart. I want to come to some sort of peace because I know that is what you want for me. Some days are easier than others. Today is a hard day. But I thank you, and I thank our glorious God for allowing the warm soothing sun to shine so bright on me today. When I close my eyes I can almost feel your arms wrapped around me. There is nothing like the feeling of your touch. There is no sound as sweet as your loving voice. Please know, for as long as I live, no one will ever take your place.

This is from me, mom, from the bottom of my heart, wishing you a happy birthday.

Birthday butterflies

Our Dreams Together

I had a dream about you last night mom. Well actually this is the 7th night in the row I’ve dreamt of you, isn’t that something? It truly is.

I love seeing your beautiful face in my dreams. I love the things we still experience together and the way it feels to know you are still there.

There is one part I don’t love; it is something I still struggle with. Though I am getting better. I know it is not worth the sacrifice of losing you in my dreams too. Maybe it’s you who is helping me. I can believe that. I think you enjoy our dreams together too.

The time is perfect between us just as it always was. We laugh and share our favorite stories with each other and you help me with the things I need your guidance with. But each time I dream of you, I lose you before I wake up.

It’s awful; I hate to replay the emotions of losing you. Living with the feelings each and everyday is hard enough. So I wake up and it sucks (I know you hated that word). But trust me mom it does and there’s no other way to put it. Because it is the reality and I can’t pretend. You’re not here but I already knew that.

And it is so beautiful out today. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and I would love nothing more than for you to make me my first cup of coffee for the day as you always would. I just want to talk to you. I want to tell you all about graduation approaching, we could possibility go for a rollerblade at the park together, and maybe we could have that dinner we never had the chance to… I get lost in these thoughts, the hope of them and then I realize I am dreaming again.

It becomes overwhelming quick. I need some fresh air. So, I walk outside and sit out on the back patio. Did I mention how gorgeous it is out today? I just want to feel you in my presence.

These were your favorite days. I take a few moments to just breathe and tears fill my face. My heart can’t help but just ache for you. But I remind myself that I will be ok; because you will guide me and give me the comfort I need day by day. You’ve proven that to me, even when it felt impossible. Many many days have felt impossible without you, but somehow someway I am still here and I am ok. I have become so strong and for that I know you are proud.

Going through the experience of losing my mom has taught me how important it is to stop and reflect. You should remind yourself of where you were, where you are and where you want to be. This strategy helps during the most difficult of times because it is a way to almost evaluate your life in a positive way. It is proof to yourself that you can and will continue to strive to move forward and make it through moments and days that literally feel impossible. Trust me I have been there. Please know by saying ‘move forward’ I do not mean move on. I actually firmly believe you do not need to move on to heal. I have come to the realization that I will never move on from my mom and nor do I want to. The thing is why would I?

I will move forward, as she would want me to but I will always carry her with me. She will always be a part of me, who I am and what I do.

One of the most hurtful things that people have said to me throughout this experience was referring to “moving on from my mom.” I am not an aggressive person (at all), but I will tell you there were a few moments where I could have slapped people in the face for saying this to me. I hope you understand.

When things become overwhelming quick for you. Stop. Take a moment, just as I did this morning, to allow yourself to reflect. It is healthy. Do something that brings you comfort; whatever that might be.

Maybe like me you enjoy stepping outside to feel the fresh air. There’s something about it that has always been very calming to me. I also enjoy exercising, writing or being around people I love when I am feeling this way. But be sure to focus your energy on taking a moment to reflect in a POSITIVE way and if you are going to do something let it be POSITIVE. I have been there, where I hurt so bad that I did not want to do anything positive. Rather I wanted to do things that were negative, things I had never done before. Don’t let that be you. It truly isn’t worth it and it does not make you feel better.

It is my hope to encourage you to see in yourself that you are one step further today than you were yesterday. Even if yesterday felt impossible…it was worth it because you made it here today and today is a beautiful day.

 

Good for Your Soul

One month from today will be my 22nd birthday. One month from today is also mother’s day. This will be the third birthday and mother’s day I have spent without my mom. One month from today will also be the day after my college graduation. And then I made it. Four years straight I buckled down and made it. The commitment wasn’t easy with the adversities I faced but it is finally really happening. So much coming up so very soon. It feels very surreal typing this.

It seems to me like I should have started to see the light right? I should start to feel some sort of weight lifting from my little shoulders… That’s what I’d hoped.

There were many times I recall asking myself “how can I keep doing this?”

The end of my college journey has been anything but easy for me but then again what part of the four years was easy. The past few weeks have been trying. I thought I could share with you a little bit of what I have been going through.

The past few weeks, I have been sick; very sick. One virus after another and mono. Dreadful mono. What a bummer and terrible timing. I was already over my head and exhausted finishing up my last overwhelming semester of college. At the same time I have been working hard to start off my career and become comfortable at a new job. Only one month to go and the past several weeks I have spent feeling hopelessly drained.

To start, two weeks ago I took a day off work. Yes; a full work day. For anyone who knows me, this is definitely not the norm. I slept all day long. My body was exhausted. It happened to be on a Friday and I ended up sleeping away the whole weekend. However, I still did not feel ANY better. From there things went down hill for me. As I am typing this post, I have still not been back to work but I hope to be after the following week.

I had to learn a couple valuable lessons these past few weeks. It was a little bit of a reality check!

People do have limits. Our bodies do need rest. And one person can only take so much.

Four years had come crashing down on me. I was anticipating a break, some sort of relief but was also scared for it. What happens when I slow down? Will I be okay? What will I do with my time? What will make me happy? The questions consumed my head.

And I miss my mom; oh I miss her terribly. And with it coming up on two years after her death, my 22nd birthday, another Mother’s day, my college graduation… all WITHOUT her it was too much. I was tired… my body was sick and I needed a break.

The real kicker is I am no good at breaks. They just haven’t existed for me. But this time something was different, I could feel it in myself that I desperately needed this break because I wasn’t willing to give up everything I had worked so hard to achieve. Of course giving up is always an option for anyone but it has never and will never be my choice.

butterfly dont give up

As we all know life is full of choices. We are forced to make decisions throughout the course of our lives. Some of those choices may bring us repercussions, satisfaction or even consequences.

That all said, a piece of my mother’s best advice was to always follow your heart and to be willing to accept wherever the place is that it leads you to. And that is the exact advice I decided to follow. Even my heart felt weak. All I could do was cry. I went to my doctor’s appointment and she asked me what was wrong. I replied something like every part of me hurts and it was the truth. Of course then I proceeded to explain to her medically what was going on with my body but it was confirmation to myself that I really did need some time to rest and refocus.

So what is the purpose of this post? It’s simple.

The purpose of this post is to reach out to the people who can relate to the feelings of not knowing when enough is enough. The people who don’t exactly know their limits (and I do not mean that in a bad way). I actually think it is a gift. I think that throughout each of our individual journeys we must take time for our mind, heart, body and self. I will be the first to admit, I am not good at that. But maybe together we can work on it.

I have made a new commitment to myself, I can’t wait to share it with you…

“Whatever is good for your soul, do that.”

I’d like to end this post by asking you what is good for your soul? What keeps you going and brings you an abundance of joy? Please share with me!!! 🙂 I hope this week you will take some time for yourself and enjoy whatever it is that is GOOD FOR YOU.

You deserve it!

Until next time,

Randi

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