“The New Year Revelations”

2017-blog

I gave up on making New Year resolutions years ago, and replaced them with what I call my “New Year’s Revelations.” It’s all the things I learned throughout the year that I will carry into the new year with me, in the hopes that I don’t make the same mistakes. In other words, my New Year’s Revelations are my “waking up” moments of seeing the truth in myself and others’, of learning from my mistakes, and learning more about myself.

I use New Year’s Eve as my time of reflection back onto the year that is about to end. I look back at all that happened, good and bad. It’s a time to count my blessings of the year, and to be sure that I had many more gains than losses. It’s a time to look back at where I may have fallen short and try to understand why. It’s a time to look back at relationships that ended with honesty and respect, and of letting them go. It’s taking my accountability for the ending, and moving on with no regrets and no intentions of ever going back.

It’s the night I say good-bye to all those people, places and things that no longer serve my highest good; that didn’t bring out the best in me; that caused me stress and heartache; that took advantage of me. And then I look at why it happened. Did I allow boundaries to be crossed? Did I allow their behaviors that hurt me? Did I put myself in a situation that broke me in two? And when I can answer that with an open and honest truth of “yes,” I can then begin to understand and see the lesson in it.

I learned many things this year, and I’d like to share a few with you. These are my top “waking up” moments, or “revelations,” if you will:

  • I learned that the old saying “keep your friends close and your enemies even closer” is an absolute lie! Nothing good comes from surrounding yourself with people who are negative and toxic, manipulative and untrustworthy. If you think you’re an enemy of someone, or they are an enemy to you, definitely keep them far away!
  • I learned that the other old saying “you always hurt the ones you love” may be truth, but not such a good idea. Trust me, hurting the ones you love will not serve you well.
  • I always knew how precious life was, especially having survived breast cancer, yet this year after losing some very special people in my life I’ve realized just how precious it is. No day is promised, and if you have a chance to spend time with those you love, do it! You may miss out on a chance that you’ll never get back.
  • I learned to say I love you to the ones’ I love more often, and to hug them all tighter.
  • I learned that if something seems too good to be true, most often times, it is.
  • I learned that if I do anything for the wrong reasons, I’ll soon learn those “wrong reasons” the hard way.
  • That no matter what anyone says, I will always be a dreamer and will always dream big! Why would anyone settle for less
  • And my biggest “revelation” was that I need to stand up for myself more, speak my truth always, and walk away from people or situations that are not good for me.

All in all, the past year has been filled with more “ups” than “downs,” and while a few people have had to leave my life, a few more amazing ones’ walked in. I know for sure that when you get rid of anything negative or toxic, you open the door to the positive coming in, and that’s what I did this past year, hard as some of it may have been.

As I close out 2016, I say good-bye to a few close friends and family that passed on, and I know in my heart I now have some amazing guardian angels watching over me. My heart has hurt over their passing, but the joy and love that they left me with has helped me through

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RIP Tom Contreras  1956-2016

I’ve said good-bye to a few friends who were no longer welcome in my circle, yet they taught me what true friends are…and aren’t. I’m grateful for the lessons they taught me.

And as I get ready to welcome in the year of 2017, I look towards it with the promise of more dreams to catch, more life to celebrate, and more adventures to begin. I look forward to another year with my love and all the joy he’s brought into my life, and to another year of our life together growing as one.

To all of you, I wish you adventure, dreams come true, love, light and all the good that you are willing to receive. Happy New Year and may your “New Year’s Revelation” be your guide into this New Year of 2017!

Live your life to the fullest…live your life in love…live your life!

And make it absolutely amazing!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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Happy New Year from my love and I to all of you!

“The Wrong And The Right”

“The wrong person wants something FROM you;
the right person wants everything FOR you.”

~Anne Dennish~

It doesn’t matter if it’s a budding romance, a committed relationship, a marriage or a friendship, being with the “right” person is key to its’ success and happiness.

We all have a choice of who we surround ourselves with, so please, my friends, choose wisely. Don’t allow the “wrong” people to drain you of your energy and self-esteem. Surround yourself with the light of the “right” person; the one who see’s you and all that you are and all that you can be; the one who supports your dreams and ideas; the one who wants only the best for you.

Choose the people who want all the best for you.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“Clearing Out The Clutter for 2017”

It’s only a few days before we say “good-bye” to 2016 and welcome in the New Year! One of the things I find myself doing once the Christmas festivities end is to begin a mission of “decluttering,” and one thing I’ve learned is that “clutter” makes for stress and imbalance. Now, I’m by no means a “neat freak,” yet this time of year is almost like “spring cleaning” for me. It’s an opportunity to clean out the clutter from this past year to make space for all the “new” things that the upcoming year will bring.

It’s a good time to clean out drawers, go through stacks of papers, and donate things that someone else may get better use of. It’s also a great time of year to clear out your inbox and re-evaluate your friends list on social media. It’s time to surround yourself with positive people and clear out the negative ones. It’s time to get rid of that stagnant energy and replace it with exciting and positive energy.

Make this upcoming year one of new beginnings, exciting adventures, and dreams come true!

Close out this chapter with love and begin this new chapter with promise!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Sad Souls”

 

I sometimes see and speak with  people who seem to carry such a sadness about themselves and their lives. I call them the “sad souls,” and I understand where they’re coming from because I was there once myself.

They are the ones with a sadness so deep that they don’t know how to get out; they don’t understand that there’s always a way out and a path up.

They are the souls who have been hurt, abused, and been broken to  a point that they believe they can never be healed or whole again, that the damage is irreparable. They are the ones whose hearts have been broken, souls have been torn to shreds, and the ones who evil preyed upon.

They are the ones who have been taken advantage of, the ones who have been used, the ones who have been tormented.

And you know what my opinion is of them?

They will become the strongest, the most trustworthy, the ones who will take their experience and use it to be sure it never happens to others. They will be the ones who are gifted the ability to change themselves and change the world; they are the fallen angels who will rise to grace and dignity; they are the souls that bear the greatest hurt yet possess the most strength to overcome it.

Yet they don’t always see that…until they are meant to.

“Sad souls” are born to become “strong and happy souls,” yet the only way they can become this is by living the trauma, healing from it, and rising above it. It is then that they possess the greatness that they were gifted with at birth: the gift of “chance.”

They have to the chance to heal, to change, to discover, to become strong, and most importantly, the chance to change the world and those in it, including themselves. They are the believers, the optimists, the dreamers, and the fallen, and when you combine all of those things, you will see the soul that was meant for greatness.

“Sad souls” were gifted sadness for a reason, and that reason is that they were chosen for this purpose in life, because a Higher Power knew that the journey of their recovery would bring strength and goodness to them and to the world.

“Sad souls” were not born to be sad for eternity; they were born with a purpose of sadness that would breed greatness. They were born to be sad to learn, to experience, to heal, and to fly to a level of integrity and wisdom that would become a gift to those that surround them…and inevitably, would become a gift to the world.

There’s always hope…if you just believe there is!

Wishing you love, light and happiness,

~Anne Dennish~

“The Perfect Christmas”

Christmas is fast approaching and the countdown is on. Final decorations are being done on and around the house and wish lists of gifts are being bought. It’s another year of making the “perfect Christmas” happen for your family and friends.

Yet is all this preparation what makes it perfect? Will you and yours remember the decorations and gifts? Will you remember the table and the meal?

Or will you remember the “imperfections?”

Will you remember the year that mom’s arm got caught inside the turkey as she was taking the giblets out? Will you remember the year you broke your arm on Christmas Eve only to wake up to a new skateboard the next day? Will you remember the year the entire family had the stomach virus and all camped out in the living room? Will you remember your sister running down the stairs on Christmas morning only to miss the bottom step?

You see, it’s the “imperfections” that make it perfect. It’s not the matching Christmas pajamas and the family Christmas cards, it’s the family. It’s not the beautifully set Christmas table with a delicious dinner, it’s the people who sit around it.

While “perfection” can be captured in a picture, it’s the “imperfections” which are captured in your heart. They become the stories shared and passed down to other generations. They become the tradition of storytelling and the legacy for our children.

As years pass, so does the idea of the “perfect” Christmas, and as we grow older, we begin to realize that what means the most is the memory of the “imperfections” and the loved ones who were part of them. Life changes, children move away, and sometimes the many faces that once sat around our table are no longer with us.

But their memories are; their stories are; and their love always surrounds us.

And sometimes we forget that. I see so many people writing about their sadness in missing the “old days,” yet I think that is such a waste of energy. I know that there are those I’m missing, yet I choose to embrace the memories as stories to share with my children. I choose to embrace this time, these loved ones who are in my life now, and who will be around my table this year.

Memories aren’t meant to bring sadness, they’re meant to bring joy! And for those feeling an ache in their heart, please try and remember the love, the joy, and the memories of those not present this year. They gifted you with all those things and more.

Take a moment during this busy holiday time to remember the “imperfections” of Christmas’ past, and look forward to the “imperfections” to come!

After all, the “perfect Christmas” lives in your heart.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“A Girl I Used To Know”

This is the story of a girl I used to know. In fact, I’ve known her all of my life. I love her adulthood 1with all my heart and I want to share her story with you, because it’s important…and she’s important to me.

I  remember  her in the early years of her life…she was funny, smart, and focused on her goals in life. She longed for love and a family, yet she was one of those girls that wanted it all. She had a passion for life that it was almost unnerving, yet I always believed in her, because she believed in herself.

When she was in high school she had a hard time believing that anyone noticed her. She was quiet, and a bit reserved, but I loved her. She was a great friend, and was always there when I needed her, yet at the same time there was always a sadness that she seemed to keep hidden, but she couldn’t hide it from me.

We graduated high school and went our separate ways to college. She found her way out of her “high school shell” that first year, becoming editor of the literary magazine, trying out for the school play, and becoming a DJ on the college radio station, which she loved. I knew then she was meant for greatness.

But the second year of college found her home, working full time and going to community college. She still was positive about everything, and in time, transferred into another college by her third year. It was here that she met “the one.”

She told me all these wonderful things about him, and soon she announced her engagement. They married two years later and with that came the stories she would confide in only me: the infidelities, the nastiness, and the way he degraded her. Yet, in spite of her misgivings, she married him.

The marriage seemed to be over within the first few months, yet she believed that marriage was for a lifetime, for better or worse. I was beginning to hear more of the worse than the better.  After two years, she was pregnant with their first child, and for the first time in the last few years, I heard hope and joy in her voice. And I thought that maybe this was the key to fixing their problems and making him love her.

Time would prove that this wasn’t enough for him, and all her babies that followed would never be enough for him.

We lost touch for a few years and even when we did speak, it was as if she lost herself. She only spoke of her babies and how much she loved being a mom. That was her only source of happiness. I felt like I lost a part of myself when I spoke to her because the joy in her voice was only because of her kids, never of her. She sounded like a robot, programmed to speak and behave a certain way.

And I would soon find out why this was, because that is what abuse does to you. It programs you in to behaving a certain way to keep things calm and keep things hidden. But abuse can finds its’ way to your door, whether you leave it open or not.

I felt terrible when I realized what had been going on for years, and the tone of her voice coupled with her body language proved it all: she had died within herself. She became nothing. The only thing that brought her back to life and kept her breathing were her children.

abuse-1Why was I so blind? Why hadn’t I seen what now seemed so transparent?

It’s because she didn’t want me to; she didn’t want anyone to see, because if they saw, they would see how stupid she was for allowing it all,and she didn’t want that. So she made it all look perfect; for her neighbors, her family, her friends, even her children.

Yet it wasn’t perfect; it was killing her and no one saw that it was. No one could see her, so no one could save her, and for awhile, that’s how she wanted it.

And then she broke open like a river that had been dammed up for years; for over 30 years she had been told she was stupid and worthless, ugly and fat, that she sounded like an idiot when she spoke, and that she was not worth anyone’s time or trouble. And she believed it.

She told me that she didn’t mind the bruises and split lips, they would heal. And she knew the pain of those would go away.

Yet she told me of the scars of emotional and verbal abuse and I knew she would hold these a lifetime.

She said that it was her fault; that she knew what made him upset and shouldn’t have done those things; she blamed herself for every bruise and every split lip. She blamed herself for the hateful and hurtful words. And she blamed herself for being a stupid woman, because only stupid women allow themselves to be abused.

I tried to reason with her, but to no avail. But there was a glimmer of hope. One day she called me and said that she was going back to college for writing courses, and that she joined Weight Watchers to lose the last of the baby weight, and that she had joined a gym to work out. Over the course of a few months I began to see my old friend come back to life; she was becoming stronger, her body and her mind. Suddenly she was laughing again, and that funny girl I knew was back to being funny. The friend I missed for all these years was beginning to shine through, and all the damage he did seemed to be fading  away.

And so one day she told me she asked for a divorce. She knew it would be the hardest fight of her life, but this time she was ready. She wrapped her babies tight in her arms and had him leave. It took a handful of restraining orders, a dozen or more calls to the police, but she did it.

I was amazed at how she made her life look. She got up in the morning, worked out at the gym, and came home, cooked breakfast, made lunches and got all those kids off to school. During the day she did laundry, cleaning, cooking and baking for them. They sat down as a family every night. They took their showers, did their homework and went to bed.

And after the last child was kissed good night, she went outside on her deck…and let the tears flow. She cried for the loss of a marriage, cried for the loss of a family and cried for all that he had done to her. She cried for what was in front of her as a single mom, and for what was behind her as an abused woman.

But she never let her children see her cry.

I was proud of her because I know none of this was easy. I watched her fight her way up from below the bottom and rise to the top. I watched her get back her strength and self-esteem. I watched her learn to laugh again. And I began to see her learn to love herself again…but that took time. Slowly she tried, and with each day that passed, she began to love herself more.

Many years later I see my friend as this woman, who despite the odds, finds her strength and beats them. And to this day, I know she fights every morning she wakes up. She fights to make a difference in the world, a difference to her children, and fights to find something good in herself.

I know to this day she struggles with her self-esteem and finds it hard to take a complement.  She’s working on knowing that she’s worthy and lovable, yet it is something she works at day to day.

Most people don’t know of her struggles, and that she fights every day, but I do. I know that it was her struggles that gave her her strength and I wish everyone knew that about her.

She spent the last few years doing what she loves: writing. She’s been a journalist, an author and a lyricist, yet throughout it all she’s never lost sight of her children and trying to help everyone else. She spends her days trying to make a difference in this world, and I wish with all my heart that she knew that she makes a difference to everyone she meets.

Most that know her see all the goodness in her, yet they never see her pain. She hides it away, yet it’s there, although not nearly as much as it used to be.

She’s been in a relationship for the last two years and seems to finally have met someone who really loves her. Yet I wonder if he understands just what the abuse had done to her, that no matter how much he loves her, she still would struggle with her self-esteem. I wonder if he knows just how much a complement from him means to her, and the smallest of gestures makes her heart melt. I wonder if he knows how important he is in her journey of loving herself.

Time will tell, and as she tells me now: “the scars from abuse don’t dictate my life today, but they have made me who I am. I’m stronger because of it all, yet it will be a lifetime struggle of not letting those scars resurface. It can be a struggle every day to love myself and believe that I’m worthy and of value. No one can do that for me. I have to do it myself.”

I’m so glad this girl I used to know has come back to life, and come back with a passion. She’s never played a victim, and always seems to be a survivor. I’ve missed her for many years and hope that she will always stay as strong as she is now.

I pray every day for this girl I used to know…because that girl is me.

~Anne Dennish~

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