“The Lesson In The Pain”

I find a lesson in everything…even in pain, and the last 11 days have been no exception. I’ve been battling severe sciatica. Some days the pain has been excruciating, other days it’s been manageable, yet throughout the last 11 days of being able to do nothing but rest and take it easy, I’ve found myself changing.

Life and all its’ little problems were still knocking at my door, begging to come in with all their stress and drama, but guess what? I didn’t answer the door. I left all that “negative stuff” on the front porch, knowing that it would soon go away if I ignored it…and it did.

Living with pain is a horrible thing, yet it taught me that nothing else mattered except my healing. The pain reminded me that I’m just as important as anyone else, and that this time was mine to rest and get well. And it taught me to let go of things quicker and easier…and be done with them.

I guess you could say this amount of pain for this long of a time changed my behavior and perspective on situations that bring me stress or are filled with drama. I see them differently and learned to quickly dismiss them, not let them bother me, and focus on what’s important: my family, my loved ones, my tribe and ME!

I’m on the mend and it’s been a long, painful 11 days, yet it wasn’t in vain and was for a reason: to learn another life lesson. And while my leg still hurts, I can tell you that my heart doesn’t. I can’t worry about what I can’t change in others, I can only change how I react to them.

And sometimes “no reaction” is the best “reaction” to someone trying to bring their stress and drama into your life.

Try it.

It’s a good thing!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

“I Wish You Enough”

A good friend of mine reminded me of this poem this morning. It’s a reminder to be grateful for both the good days and the bad; that without the bad days we’d never know what a good day was; that without feeling sadness we’d never know joy; that without a moment of feeling weakness we’d never know the feeling of strength.

Every day you wake up is a good day, and all the emotions you feel throughout it are a gift…a gift of life lessons; a gift to learn more about yourself; a gift to see your life as it truly is.

The “down days” happen to remind us how many more “good days” we truly have to count, and they remind us that it won’t be like that forever, just for that day.

Embrace every day, good or bad; embrace your emotions, happy or sad; embrace the lessons you’re being taught.

No one’s feelings are ever wrong, they just “are.” Sometimes there are reasons for the down days, sometimes there’s not. And that’s okay. We’re all human. Just be sure you don’t sit in those down days for long. Feel them, cry through them and let it all out…tears are cleansing our soul of all that we hold inside, and there’s nothing wrong with that…in fact, tears are our release, whether in sadness or in joy.

Feel what you have to feel and take those down days, be grateful for their lessons, then release them, let them go, and move forward into the new day ahead.

It’s a good thing. 

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

i wish you enough

“Write Your Life”

“Life is always changing, it’s time to turn the page; so the story continues and it’s mine to create. It’s all an adventure, my life is a song; I know where I’ve been, not where I’m going but I’m dancing along.”  ~Anne Dennish~

My life has been a series of ups and downs, adventures and restlessness, good times and bad, yet through it all I’ve accepted that it was meant to be that way. All those moments happened to teach me a lesson. They happened because I wasn’t living my life as I should and there’s times that the Universe steps in and whacks us with a two by four to “wake us up.” It stops us dead in our tracks to feel the pain and understand why it hurts. After all, we feel what we allow.

And when pain and heartache happen it’s because we allowed the behaviors that led up to that moment happen. We allowed someone to cross our boundaries and treat us in a way we shouldn’t be treated.

We lost sight of ourselves and in the process of caring for everyone else we forgot to care for ourself. We forgot to love ourself first, to respect ourself, to take care of ourself, and when other’s see that we’ve forgotten that, they cross our boundaries.

We have to draw a line in the sand that shouldn’t be crossed, yet maybe we should be drawing a line in the cement.

Broken hearts and pain don’t happen overnight. Sure, we feel blindsided when it happens yet when it does you begin to look at the behaviors that led up to it and suddenly you’re not so surprised or shocked that someone hurt you. You let them disrespect you long before they hurt you; you let them love you less than you loved yourself because their ego was larger than their heart; and you began to blame yourself and made excuses for them.

Losing sight of yourself and seeing only them strengthens their ego and robs you of your self-esteem.

But there’s hope in the heartache and purpose in the pain.

The hope is that the broken heart will mend stronger and the purpose in the pain is to teach you a lesson about yourself. It’s to bring the focus back onto “you.”

Life is always changing and the change is up to you. Your life is your story and you are the author. You create what you want.

Write your story well and if you need to make some edits along the way be sure they’re for your Highest Good.

It’s your story…

It’s your life…

Make it spectacular!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“You Have The Control”

You need to love yourself the way you want to be loved in order to know who should be in your life and who shouldn’t. All too often we think we’re not good enough for someone and we settle, or we allow them to treat us badly. We live in a life of being hurt and feeling bad about ourselves.

Listen carefully, you are in control of your life, and that includes how you’re treated and who you allow in your circle. Sometimes we feel so low that we believe we can’t change a situation or leave one. But you can…because I’ve done it. It took all the strength I could muster up but I did it and I’ve never looked back or regretted it. Taking control of my life and standing up for myself made me who I am today.

And trust me on this: “when you can’t find the strength, the strength will find you.”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

know the difference use this

“Love Me Through It”

love-you-through-it

The seas of life have been rough lately and I find myself trying to ride the waves. I’m patiently waiting for the swells to subside to a calm surf, yet it’s hard to see through the spray. It’s at that moment that I know I need to get a little help and advice from someone I can always count on to weather the storm with me: my love.

He’s one of the most no-nonsense, upfront and direct people I know. He doesn’t skirt around the issue; he attacks it head on. He doesn’t tolerate drama; he ignores it. And when he finds out that what he believed to be true isn’t, he moves on and leaves those people behind.

And he’s my “voice of reason” when I find myself in situations that mentally and emotionally drain me and upset me. He’s the guy that reminds me that I can’t fix anyone, solve their problems, or change their perspective. He’s the guy that tells me that he knows how much I want to help some people, but some people don’t really want the help, just the attention. And he reminds not to let “their” problem become “my” problem, because eventually it will become “our” problem. I have to admit it: he’s right!

So in the midst of a conversation this weekend with my love, one in which I asked his advice and “words of wisdom” about, he said something absolutely beautiful to me, and it’s what he said that prompted me to write this piece.

He said that while he can’t take away my hurt, he can “love me through it.”

What a simple, yet profound thing to say. We can’t fix anyone who’s hurting, but we can certainly be there for them to love them through it.

And I have to say, the hurt seems a bit less and the healing a bit easier when you’re blessed to have someone who will “love you through it.”

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~

abuse

“Drawing A Line In The Sand”

line_in_sand_rr_blog

Boundaries. I know all about them , write about them, and understand their purpose. Yet, I find myself having allowed boundaries to be crossed…. MY boundaries, that is. It happened without warning, yet it happened. I should have known that the feelings I’ve had in the last few months were my own fault, because I had set boundaries and allowed them to be crossed.

I don’t know if I’m more angry at myself for allowing it to happen or if I’m more upset with the person who crossed them. I was open and honest about my boundaries with them, yet somehow they got lost in the every day business of life and relationships.

Truth is, I have a hard time saying “no” and learning to do this, when it’s for my best interest, is a work in progress. I don’t like confrontation, and I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, especially when it’s someone I love. Yet I missed one very important piece to this puzzle:

“Why did I allow MY feelings to be hurt and why was I more concerned over someone I love when I should be loving myself just the same?”recite-1kfn7mb

Truth…an awakening…a slap of reality. Yes, yet another “waking up” moment for me, and I don’t like it. I allowed boundaries to be crossed that upset me, hurt me, and messed with my health. And I wonder if the other party knows this, because they should.

Everyone handles things their own way. Things that upset me may not bother someone else. Yet aren’t we supposed to respect and understand each others’ feelings? If someone tells us they react to something a certain way, shouldn’t we accept that as their truth? Or that perhaps they’re telling us that so we don’t hurt them?.

This was a difficult one for me to figure out, and it took longer than it usually does. I’m intrigued by what makes people tick, and that includes myself. I always tell my love that I’m probably one of the few people he knows that really knows herself well, and that includes my faults and my strengths. I’ll admit when I’m wrong, and ask for understanding of him when I need it. (Sometimes I think I make it too easy for him…what he can’t figure out about me I tell him! LOL!)

So, now what?

First, I need to forgive myself, because I’m mad that I allowed this to happen.

Second, I need to put the boundaries back in place, although the hurt and damage from them  being crossed is already done.

And third, I need to take a cold, hard look at my life to see what’s working and what’s not.

Why did I allow the lines in the sand to be crossed? Who and what is my priority? How did this mishap of crossing boundaries affect my family and my life?

Lines in the sand…that was my problem. I should have set a solid foundation of cement for the boundary. I thought I had, but sometimes when we worry more about someone else we lose sight of what’s best for us, and more importantly, we lose sight of ourselves.

And I’m guilty of that. And life is going to change. And feelings will be hurt.

Yet out of all of this, I know with all my heart that more wonderful things will come out of this lesson! Hearts will bond stronger, relationships will grow and flourish, and life will go on…even better than it was before the boundaries were crossed.

It’s a life lesson, and as much as I write about it, it’s a lesson I needed to learn. The Universe whacked me once again, waking me up to something important: I stopped looking out for my well being and what was good for me, even though I knew that someone else was causing me pain.

It wasn’t a mistake or something done out of malice, because I accept that it’s yet another lesson, another blessing, and another story to be shared to help and teach someone else.

Boundaries are not meant to be controlling tools; they are tools to protect us and let other’s know that we are to be respected. They are the simplest of ways to let someone know that what they do, what they say, or what they want, is not necessarily for OUR highest good… sometimes it’s just for theirs.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~