The Space In-Between: The Silver Lining of a Toothless Smile

There are countless ways, every day, we have an opportunity to do something we feel called to do, having no clue of how far that act will carry on into the life of someone else. This story begins with the blog I wrote in May 2014, “Top 5 Lessons Learned from Losing my Two Front Teeth” written with hopes to shine some light (and laughter) on the loss of my two front teeth. Since I referenced Brene Brown and her book, “The Gift of Imperfection” in my story, I tweeted it to Brene, fingers crossed she would read it. Not only did she praise me for my strength but she graciously re-tweeted to it all her followers! As a result, a number of people around the world found my story and reached out to thank me for my vulnerability. Talk about a “Gift” coming from my “Imperfection”. As I always say, people tend to show up as Silver Linings in our life. The story below was written by Kim Haller, (@xperiencelife22), a 43 year old Denver Resident who is one of Brene’s twitter followers that connected with my toothless smile.

“Just a over two months ago I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and came across a post from well-known speaker and author Brene Brown with a link to a blog entitled “Lessons Learned From Losing My Two Front Teeth.” I was immediately intrigued as I myself lost my two front teeth to a softball injury in the late 1990’s. I clicked the link expecting mostly an interesting read – it turned into something much more meaningful. After reading the story twice, I was struck at how Carlyn turned a traumatic injury and healing process into something positive and fun! Since my injury, I’ve felt embarrassed- like I was abnormal and have tried to hide the fact that I wear a partial. Carlyn’s story touched something deep in my heart…perhaps it was time for me to have a change in attitude as well. After all, my missing teeth are a part of me, part of who I am. Just for kicks, I opened Carlyn’s Twitter profile and was amazed to see she lives in Denver! I mean, really – what are the odds?!? I sent her a message and shared that I was also missing my teeth. She immediately suggested we meet and take a picture of our toothless smiles. In a total out of character response I said, “I’m game!” We made plans to meet the night before she got her permanent bridge, the last night she would eat with her teeth out.

I’ve been wearing a partial for 17 years. The dental work is very expensive and I’ve lacked motivation to make it a priority. Only now I realize that I held a deep belief that I wasn’t beautiful before I lost my teeth, so why bother to get them fixed. On the day before we met, I took a toothless selfie and sent it to Carlyn. Her response – “OMG UR AMAZING – & Beautiful!” and that part blew my mind. I’ve been journeying towards accepting that I am beautiful – her response was like the final flip of the switch, I actually began to believe it and to accept it in my own heart.

Not a risk taker by nature, meeting Carlyn in person was very much out of my comfort zone. However, my anxieties were put to rest as she greeted me with her big smile and hug. After just a few minutes she no longer felt like a stranger. Her vivacious spirit and love for life are contagious! She suggested grabbing $1 tacos around the corner, which gave us time to get to know each other and eat good food, her’s with her teeth out. As we were getting ready to leave, I did something I’d never done on purpose in public – I removed my partial (my temporary two front teeth)! We took a beautiful picture both toothless and with teeth in!

I left that evening feeling inspired, accepted, encouraged and filled in my spirit.
Anais Nin said: “Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
Carlyn is no longer a stranger, but a friend. A friend brought into my life by the space in between my two eye teeth 🙂 Her arrival in my life has indeed helped open a new part of my world. We’ve only known one another a couple months, but I know we will continue to be less stranger and more friend…
Thank you, Carlyn for the courage to share your story. It has inspired in me the courage to share mine.

There is a lot to learn from this story. First, I learned that by gifting the world with my story, I received the gift of amazing friendship (s) in return. What if I had allowed FEAR to hold me back from writing my blog? Would we have met? Another beautiful reminder is that we connect with people for a purpose & it is always on time. I had no idea the transformation process Kim had begun only months before our meeting and I’m honored to be a part of her journey. Finally, just like the act of living true to myself pushed me into the lives of those that were meant to read my story, the same can be said for the small act of encouraging another and how it can (gently) push them outside their perceived limitations to take on challenges they never thought possible. I thank Kim for surprising me with this beautiful- and vulnerable story. However, I am even more proud that through this experience, she is realizing that only her mind holds her back her from being the version of herself she wishes to be. Telling ourselves we “can’t” is a sure way to feel unworthy and keep us from accomplishing a goal. So… I was amazed when Kim, someone who is a tad shy and working hard to shed some weight, decided to sign up for my HIKE MS event, a hike up Keystone Mountain (over 10K ft in elevation) to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis, a cause close to my heart due to a personal diagnosis 16 years ago. There were a couple hikes to choose from and Kim chose to do the 2 miler route believing this was all she could handle. But through the encouragement of me and my awesome team mates, not only did she conquer the 6 mile route, she did it all by herself, never giving up on what she knew, deep down, she could achieve, no matter how long it took her, no matter how hard it seemed!

Cheers to the Silver Lining of a Toothless Smile!

Giving = Receiving

“For it is in giving that we receive.” ― St. Francis of Assisi

I love helping others. I especially love helping others without them asking for it. It fills me with joy to take the initiative and choose to make a difference. Whether I surprise someone with a smile, or simply give because it feels like the human thing to do, many times my soul feels called to be a part of a change that another person wishes to create. Sometimes I make an $18 donation to a bike ride or race, sometimes it’s reaching out to offer support because I feel when an individual need extra TLC. For others, it means spreading their word of a mission or passion while even better, connecting them together with a friend working towards the same end result. It’s all about intention and my intention is always: LOVE.
It's Not How Much You Give

This brings me to an email I received this morning from my friend, Russ Bates. Russ & I met in 2009 at the MS 50 Mile Challenge Walk in San Diego, CA. This 3 day event raises money and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis. MS is near and dear to me due to my own diagnosis in 1998 and for all the incredible friends I’ve made over the years (my strangers to friends, my silver lining) that either themselves live with it or fight to help on behalf of a loved one. Russ was a member of the Crew Team. He assisted setting up the course, delivering luggage, water, all the behind the scene work that made the weekend possible. You see, Russ’s wife, Nancy, was diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS in 1994 and passed away in April, 2006. He participated in 8 Challenge Walks to support her. Nancy went from a lively young woman to being bed ridden, but never lost her strong will and positive attitude. She never let MS get the best of her. Every year she rocked her smile and cheered on the walkers along the route. It was knowing their story, his love & commitment to the cause, even after her death, that called my spirit to support him.

For the past 3 years we have been in touch via Facebook. He constantly cheers on my crazy endeavors and I check in to see how he is doing. You see, Russ has had major health issues for the past few years. I can’t make him strong and healthy but I can try to make him smile. A few weeks ago, after reading a link he posted on his page, I realized I could possibly help Russ a little more than I had in the past. Here is his own version, his story, that he sent to me as a THANK YOU Today. I’m honored to share with you…

My friend, Russ Bates

My friend, Russ Bates


Strangers into friends…

“When you first meet someone you never know how they are going to affect your life. Such was my initial introduction to Carlyn Shaw. We knew of each other from a previous event in which we had both participated, but were officially introduced at an organizational meeting for San Diego’s Annual 50 Mile Challenge Walk for MS in 2009. I was smitten with her effervescent positive attitude toward life, even in the face of having a potentially debilitating disease from which (as for now) has no definite cure. That years walk turned out to be very special for me as it turned out to be my last, after 8 years of participation. Carlyn’s enthusiasm for life was on display all that weekend as her team of walkers provided humor, fun and friendship for everyone. Later that year I moved away from CA and lost touch with Carlyn.
We reconnected on Facebook in 2011 as she was traveling across the country, on what I jokingly called her “Stranger into Friends, USA tour”. We have not seen each other since our walk days, but we do maintain communication on FB to this day. Her various posts are always uplifting and positive, even as she deals with her own daily trials.
Over the last 3 years my health has had several major downturns (a stroke & 2 heart attacks) yet Carlyn has continued to post messages on FB that lift me up and always make me feel better about myself and my situation. After my most recent heart attack this past month (June), I realized how lucky I was to still be alive. Immediately I felt the need to go see my family (my Mom and Sisters in CA and my Daughter in Seattle). I had a fear that I may never get another chance to see them.
Being extremely broke and with no extra cash in sight in order to make the trip, I turned to a site on the Internet (GoFundMe) designed to help people raise money for any need they might have. I shared my story on FB and almost immediately Carlyn popped up and said she would forward my story and request to her friends. She literally did so and within 12 hours I had already raised more than half of my goal ($800) through responses from her good friends, most of which are the result of her Strangers into Friends efforts. I don’t know how to repay her other than to say THANK YOU and continue to spread the good word about her efforts to spread friendship and love throughout the world. She is a great friend and someone that I am truly blessed to have met.”

An enlightened perspective from Jeff Maziarek in “Spirituality Simplified”

“Remember that every cause you initiate leads to an effect. So, when you give from the heart, you set energy into motion that must in turn find its way back to you in some form. I say in some form, because there is no telling how or when the effect may show up.”

Choosing to share his page with others made complete sense at the time of sending.
1) I suggested $10, a small amount but when added up makes a big difference. Plus, who doesn’t love the awesome feeling we instantly receive knowing we helped someone in need (I know I sure do!)
2) Money is tight for me right now. I knew that alone I could not fund his trip. The idea literally popped into my head that I had a chance to REALLY make a difference if I shared his story rather than simply donate $20. And, usually I simply donate. But good thing I listened to my intuition… because it was right! My awesome friends/family together donated $510– FAR MORE THAN I EVER IMAGINED! – for their own reasons, Portia, Rabiah and My Mom, Susie, chose to carry the torch and keep the ripple in motion. I love them so much for their selflessness. I can’t begin to describe the pride I felt in their contribution, knowing they were touched by his story and my effort to support him. AND…I’m thrilled to say not only did he accomplish his goal but his flights are booked and he will leave from Kansas to see his family very soon.

The point of this post is to highlight that GIVING = RECEIVING. Not only will Russ visit his family… but now his family receiving in the hugs they will share. Not only did my sharing of his letter come from a place of hope & love… but the end results surpassed my expectations! Not only did it make me happy inside just knowing I extended a little extra help to him… but receiving this email, validating my simple effort even that much more, well friends, THAT is the greatest gift of all. LOVE & FRIENDSHIP. And… WOW, what a PERFECT display of Strangers Turned Friends helping each other. Like I always say, we are ALL connected… somehow, someway. 🙂

Today I challenge you to think how your giving is being received. How will YOU create a ripple effect? I’ve shown that it doesn’t take money to make a difference. Sometimes it’s a matter of stepping up when you feel called to do so. Not being afraid to stand out for someone else. If your intention is to spread love & light, I promise you, that love & light will be received. Sometimes from strangers meant to be friends.

Namaste Friends, the light in me bows to the light in you. 🙂

Stand By Me: A Song and a Smile.

I’d like to introduce Jenna Goodhand, from London, Ontario.

Jenna Goodhand, beautiful both inside & out

This is how she chooses to describe herself on her ABOUT tab on her Facebook Page:

Every day is the best day of my life and I can’t wait until tomorrow! ♥♥♥
In general I just want to live my life to the fullest in a way that doesnt cause harm to any other living thing. If I can use my life to make someone elses better then I have accomplished what I came here to do.

Yup, in a nutshell, that’s Jenna!

Jenna and I’s journey began via her Twitter Page (follow along!) At the time she was completing her Program as an Assistant for ISES – Institute for Social and European Studies, in KÅ‘szeg, Hungary.

From the start, our passion for helping others and sharing stories connected us. Whether is was skype, a facebook tag or an email to “The Sunshine Squad” we made sure we brought smiles to each other in our weekly banter. Over the last year, she and I have both grown into the women we are today. We’ve both been though our own mucky waters, silver linings and unexpected shifts in life.

The Cup of Tea I shared with Jenna one morning.

Even though I was in the Carolinas and she in Canada, our common mission to make sure that everyone knows they are a someone, that each day, ordinary people are recognized as being extraordinary, fueled us to cheer each other on, in both good times and bad. We both really believe in the good in people. We believe in the power that one person can make a difference every day. Jenna is a beautiful example of the influence one person can have on another. In a positive way ♥♥♥

In life, Not only is timing everything. But, consciously choosing to make the most out of a moment during that time is what really matters. And Jenna not only captured the moment as a video, but this morning, I woke up to her sharing the moment on my Facebook Page.
And now I choose to share it with all of you.

It reads:

“Carlyn since I’ve met you every stranger I’ve met I’ve meant to share with Turning Strangers into Friends. Today I got a video to capture my most recent experience 🙂 While waiting for a good friend today I met this man. His singing was wonderful to listen to while I waited so I thanked him and asked if he could play Stand By Me. Afterwards he told me that a few months ago the apartment he was living in burned down. He moved into another apartment but the landlord wouldn’t fix the heating so he wouldn’t pay until she did. Instead she evicted him. He said for the first time in 65 years he is homeless and has no work. Now he is playing music until he earns enough money to buy a bus ticket to get him to Ottawa for a job and apartment a friend has set up for him. Wonderful soul and I’ll always wonder how he made out ♥”

Click below to watch the video

A Promise Made Possible

 

Me & James hanging out in San Diego

 

I always say, “People = Possibilities”. This is a beautiful example of how the journey of two strangers that met in 9th grade gym class… became the journey to two friends with a mission to share my story of MS with others.

 

It was 1992. Freshman Year Gym Class at Eastside High School. I was wearing blue shorts & a white shirt. He was wearing blue shorts &  a white shirt (picture your uniform… yikes!) BUT- this is where James Glover and I first met & became friends.  Over the next 4 years,  He & I passed “secret admirers” notes in class as our inside joke (which I guess is not so “secret” anymore) 🙂 .

 

We graduated. Then went to College. We literally went from Passing Notes to Exchanging Emails (funny to think this is when we all got our first email addresses!)

 In 1997, while attending Indiana University, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Even though James was the University of Tennessee- he was ALWAYS there for me when I needed to talk about MS or any other life issue.

We continued to grow up. Our friendship grew stronger.

He and I share a passion for pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone- so by 2003, we were both living in Southern California (totally unplanned- but totally perfect) He in LA, me in San Diego. For the next 7 years, any chance we could cross paths; we did. As James’ career as a TV Producer in LA evolved from The Tyra Banks show to Dr. Phil, he’d say to me, one day I am getting you on TV to discuss how you’ve chosen to handle your MS Diagnosis”. It seemed the more involved I became speaking out about my MS, the more James supported my mission. He promoted of all my fundraising initiatives and success stories – and IS the reason our High School friends know my story.

Do you have a friend that provides unconditional support– no matter how much time has passed or distance has come between you?

 This is James.

 As it would turn out, James and I both moved back to the East Coast this year.  He to NY. Me to NC. I decided to pursue my passion Turning Strangers into Friends. He got a job as a producer for the Anderson Cooper Day Time Talk show. And again, James promised.

And then..it happened.

 On Tuesday, November 29th at 9 PM I got the call… and Wednesday, November 30 at 11 AM I was Big Apple bound. Why? James, believes in me, my message and shared it with his staff. I was invited to appear on the Anderson Cooper show! The segment featured Meredith Vierra and her husband Richard Cohen, sharing their story of working and living with Richard’s MS diagnosis. Not only was I able to hear his story in person, but he of mine. It was truly incredible. This reinforced my knowing: our stories connect us all. (plus, as a TV Broadcasting Journalism Major: I heart Meredith Vieira! )

Plus, the opportunity to fly to NYC, my own hotel room, getting my hair and makeup done as if I was someone famous…really made the experience – epic.  But, the best part: knowing James love for me and my story made it happen. If I met someone on set who knew James, I made sure they knew we’d been friends since high school! Our days as “secret admirers” in the hall transformed into present day “secret admirers” of in roles we continued to play in each other’s lives. 

 

Celebrating with James Glover and Meredith Richards, both Producers for the show.

 However, this story would not be complete without mentioning Meredith Richards, the Producer to whom Jame’s pitched my story and who inevitably, had the final say as to whether I would be selected as a guest. Not only was I grateful to thank her on set… but even more grateful to meet her as a friend the night after the taping to celebrate all of our success.

This blog serves as a small gesture of my gratitude for James. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my story with others living with MS. My hope is someone newly diagnosed or feeling helpless hears my story & it gives them hope for their own future. But, most importantly, thank you for being the same friend to me today that you have always been, since the day we met in gym class. 

CLICK BELOW and watch.. my version of “recording” my appearance! 

We’re In It Together

This is Annie….

Annie and her best friend, Marissa

….but before I share the story she emailed me, I want to share with you how she and I are connected.

On the day before what should have been the 21st birthday of her best friend, Annie found herself crying and reflecting on the tragic loss of Marissa merely one month prior. Marissa had recently died in a car accident and now Annie sat alone, on a day she should have been planning a celebration with her. For whatever reason, Annie decided to Google on her phone,  “people who lost best friends and how they cope”… and up popped my website and the first Blog Entry I ever posted.  (See Happy Birthday, Margaret Stewart ). This story talks about the loss of my best friend at age 20 in a car accident too.  Annie wrote a comment on my page- and in that moment I knew i had to reach out to ensure she didn’t feel alone. Annie would later write to me, ” I knew I had to comment on it. I just felt the need to say SOMETHING…I felt as if at that moment I was truly being connected in some way. And even if you never did respond back, I am still happy I came across your blog. You seemed to be so real and genuine. It was just very nice to read especially being in the emotional state I was in I also lost my best friend the same way.”  I truly believe Annie was meant to find me and we have stayed connected ever since. And… it just so happens she lives in the same city as my Mom, so one day we plan to meet.

Now that you know how Annie and I connected, this is the story she sent me last week

“So…last night as I was walking to my friend’s car from a night of dancing, I passed by this obvious homeless man and a younger guy. When I used to live in NY and we’d go to the city there were homeless people everywhere, and my mom would occasionally give them money. However, I have been skeptical whether or not some people who do that- especially those I’ve seen in SC walk around begging-  are genuine. I really didn’t know. This man was sitting on the street, minding his own business, but for some reason I decided to stop.

It was pretty chilly last night, very windy, and to see this man sitting there in the cold upset me. At first I said hello and basically told him I didn’t have hardly ANY money, just some change, but I would really like to help. The old man obliged. I still was wondering, could he be sitting here just to take people’s money?? Is he really homeless? He started to tell me stories of the many jobs he’s had in his life and that he work hard his entire life, but couldn’t continue the labor he was doing. And now, he was on the street and it was too cold out..

Annie always wears her smile

Then the younger guy sitting near him told me that he is a in fact a teacher at the school the homeless attended many years ago. He asked me to read the back of his t-shirt which said, “we’re in it together, we’re all one.” That is when it really hit me!!! I immediately thought of you, Carlyn,  and your ‘Strangers to Friends’ group and how much GOOD you do for people, opening our eyes to those around us. I began to tell him as much as I know about your mission and both men seemed to be extremely interested. A friend who was with me had been standing there the whole time, and somehow ..we began discussing nationalities and ethnicity and he said, “in the big scheme of things, I don’t care , I’m just HUMAN.” And I thought to myself wow, that is so nice…such a togetherness to it.  I then told the guys that I honestly don’t go up to complete strangers…never, ever. but, something inside me just told me to do it.. and I listened. I guess, because deep down, I really wanted to.

Talking with those men completely filled my heart up with love. I proceeded to go through my purse and scramble up all the change I had, and gave it to the homeless man. I actually felt quite embarrassed that I couldn’t give him more.  However, to see his face light up was an indescribable feeling. I began to get teary eyed, at that point trying not to let them notice ( I was embarrassed!)  The homeless man then thanked me and told me how happy he was that I gave what I had. He told me that he felt in his heart love will come my way, that doing good for others will come back to me. That was such a special moment to me that I asked him if I could give him a hug, but before he could answer, I went for it. Hugging him made it complete.

Carlyn, you have truly inspired me, and I know many other, too, and I want to share this story with others. The little that I know about your Strangers To Friends mission – I knew I should listen to my heart and take the risk.”

This truly made my night. Thank you for what you do. ♥

Love,

Annie

Bumps = Blessings: Find Joy in the Journey.

In preparation for a week long writing class, I was given writing assignments. For these assignments, I was provided meditations aimed to clear my mind of the not so nice voice blocking the path to my inner wisdom.. Each assignment is meant to overcome a road block, whether it’s to tap into my imagination or draw out pain that shadows my source.

My First Assignment: answer the following questions. 

1) Who has wronged you, hurt you? What did they do? When transpired?  How has it adversely affected the direction and quality of my life?

2) Write down the name of the person who did this and next to it write down the words “I forgive you” and what you forgive them for.

It’s interesting to notice what’s coming up with this assignment. The first names to pop into my mind are guys who have hurt me over the years. It’s a fairly easy task to travel back to the age of 16, the first time my heart felt like it was trampled.  Next I fast forward to how feeling abandoned played a role in future relationships. He promised me I could trust him. Instead, he turned around and vanished. Again, the age of 20, when the shift from ‘for now’ to a possible ‘forever’ scared him away, at the exact time in my life I needed him the most. This brings me to the ripe age of 31. Painfully, I learned the lesson of how to let go of someone whom I loved, dearly. I had to be honest with myself and admit he had no intention to assign the role of  me as priority his pedestal, There wasn’t a future for us. He didn’t day dream. Together, we didn’t plan. We existed in a state of having sex and having fun. No matter how hard I tried to climb to the top to evolve what we shared, it simply couldn’t reach the role of being desired for who I was. But then again, I had to recognized that letting go didn’t claim, defeat.

The definition for “hurt” literally means: to feel pain.
That’s where this exercise gets a tad tricky! While writing about the people who me, I can look back and not only acknowledge but accept it was never about, me. It was them being true to themselves, too. In the midsts of the hurtful chaos, I never imaged one day I’d be “thankful” for the opportunity presented for me to use as self growth. In fact, they helped me to learn, some  of life’s most valuable lessons.  I evolved from my experiences of being hurt, in the most positive ways.. I’m stronger. I have more confidence in myself. I trust in the process.

It’s almost impossible to sugar coat heartbreak,
Learning through heartbreak is mentally, spiritually and physically… tough. It can stir up an array of emotions, from anger and jealousy, to deep despair. We assume a new label. We aren’t the gal he’s dating. We aren’t the girlfriend. For some,  you’re no longer the fiance. There’s a new role. It might be the “other woman”, the “ex” or perhaps… just a “friend”. From this shift, new boundaries emerge from with. We discover both sides of compromising and how putting their needs before our own is  disservice to our truth. We discover how powerful it is, to say no. We have to embrace to wave, though wobbly at times, eventually we hold our head high.  It’s the ebb and from from Bump to Blessing. At the end of the day the hurt I experienced was a catalyst to the joy I ultimately received. And, deserved. Through the people who showed up next. The experiences I chose for myself. The freedom of no longer living in “love limbo”.  Though it ‘s easy to point fingers and blame another for our pain, it’s actually just as easy to bow down with grace and thank for for the gift to learn to let go. This is the human experience. I truly believe we can know the power of perspective without experiencing both the sweet, and the sour. In order to appreciate requires being open to understanding. Rather than refer to the other as hurtful, we thank them for the rejection, knowing it’s meant to serve as a redirection. Perhaps a new friend. A new adventure. A new version of ourselves.

Have I forgiven everyone who’s hurt me? The answer is… yes.

When something doesn’t go my way with someone else, I know it wasn’t intentional. In fact, I can look at a lost love and say, “I recognize you are a good person, I am a good person, but ultimately, we are not good together.”  Do I get mad at someone for not wanting what I want? No. I can’t. I know I have been that person to others, not being able to meet them where they want me to be. Do I instantly feel this way? No. It still hurts. However, the more lessons I have learned through, the easier it became. If I give it time and grace, the “silver lining” shines through the dark tunnel, and all is revealed.  Some people don’t want to hear, “everything happens for a reason” or ” something positive comes from a something negative”. But, from my personal experiences, I know this to be true. And acceptance is where forgiveness is born

A few examples of how lost love became a found purpose:

  1. one break up lead me to study London for a semester overseas.
  2. one inspired me to fulfill a dream of backpacking Australia.
  3. one encouraged me to spend quality time discovering my creative passions (including writing) and spend more time with myself.

Most importantly the way I reacted to each situation catapulted both my confidence and faith. I pulled myself up from my bootstraps, giving myself permission to allow a bump to become blessing, without shame or regret. Following my heart was a spring-boarded my ability to tap into my heart center and follow my intuition, while heightening my awareness, parting the clouds so my spirit could shine. .

In addition to my emotional gifts came the “new” friends who emerged as a “gift”. I can honestly say from every man I have ever had a serious soul connection with shared a committed relationship with, I actually have a female bestie as a result. Some are friends of him, some were the “other” girl at one time and they are no longer together, some I met after the fact but we shared him in common. These women are what I call my “party favors”, the synchronistic Strangers To Friends with founded in vulnerability, a story shared, and we both stepped up to the plate to hold space for each other.

In order to take the steps towards forgiveness and heal our heart, we must sit with our emotions, no natter how hard it is and how alone we feel… and move through them. Feel the anger, feel the sadness, feel the hurt. Eventually, if you allow yourself, you will come back to joy.,

3 Steps To turn a Bump into a Blessing:

  1. acknowledge the situation
  2. admit the situation
  3. accept the situation

 Once you forgive and let go, you regain your self worth and sense of power.
Forgiveness = Freedom. 

I’m who I am today from the insight and wisdom gained from people along the way

My recommendation:  pull out a piece of paper, a journal or cozy up to your computer. Do this exercise for yourself. Acknowledge who has hurt you. Examine the role you play in the hurt you feel. And choose to move towards the process of forgiveness. Visualize a nest step for yourself. If you could have any blessing from your bump, what would it be? Oh the flip side, if you have moved past the bump, write the blessings you’ve experienced. Acknowledge your growth and all you’ve gain. Your might be surprised from your insight!

Remember, our baggage is beautiful, Our scars are our unique stories that shape us, individually, into our magnificence. There is is beauty in the journey. Though the road might feel bumpy, it’s only after we move past them are we granted the blessing of joy.