The Grave Blanket

Well Good Morning from a freezing cold North Central Ohio. The weather alerts sounded proudly yesterday as the indicator of a winter storm moving in. I have to say I was a bit excited because it has been almost 5 years since I have regularly participated in the extreme cold climate. I had become spoiled in AZ but being here, experiencing what I have experienced, I have to say I know I am right where I belong at this moment in time.

So onward through the treacherous cold, yesterday I started the grave blanket for my brother’s birthday. I will be quite honest I had been putting this off, even to the point of getting snappy whenever my parents tried to talk to me about it. But in true fashion to this journey, I made a decision, and started the prep work for the blanket.

I had recently received permission from my neighbor to allow me to cut branches on his evergreens so I could present some life to the grave. So I suited up in true Ohio fashion. I donned my car hart coveralls and jacket and slipped into high rain boots, a stocking cap and work gloves lol. I had work to do and this work is part of my process.

I grabbed the wheelbarrow and multiple size sheers and began the much dreaded walk of starting something, or rather to me, admitting something, that my brother wasn’t coming back. As I got closer to the trees I suddenly felt a wind but it was a warm, comforting wind that brings back a flood of memories. Suddenly I knew without a doubt that I wasn’t alone. Now I’m not talking about ghosts and goblins, no I am talking about the presence of God, the eternal peace. It was like I was getting a message that it is ok, you can do this, I am here to help you.

With that sense of comfort I carried on about my tasks of trimming trees. When I finally felt resolve in the progress I had made, my Dad and I parked the wheelbarrow next to me for easy access. My dad swiftly walked away after helping but I want him to know I understand the signs of his pain and he too, is not alone.

As I work tediously on the intricate weaving in and out of chicken wire, my mind started to uncover some hidden gems. I was recalling what I have been learning in my faith walk and I was subconsciously applying the steps to defeat my strongholds. Yes this part of my grief is a stronghold because I am aware and now the healing begins.

Inspiration swept over me that I now didn’t see death in creating this blanket, no I was celebrating his life. I was remembering with each branch of the tree how he was so much like the branches. He was always veering off in different directions but it was just to create more life in others. He struggled like the tree struggles to stand in the harsh elements of the weather, but he did as long as he could. He was a great man and this grave blanket is a way to honor my brother with the gifts and strength that God has given me.

I finally feel proud of my brother for all HE was and all HE accomplished. I capitalize “HE” because I am speaking to the person he really was not the person whom drugs took control. He was a man of God and I will honor my Lord and Savior by doing what he is calling me to do…..Embrace the Process!

The Family He Left Behind

I have debated with myself for a while and prayed about what I am getting ready to write. Not only have I soul searched but I had to put myself in the forefront. Let me explain..this is my journey, my outlet…so I am doing this for me and my healing.

As we all have read by now my brother, at 40 years of age, died on Sept 30, 2018 surrounded by family, he slowly slipped away to the promised land. That in itself is hard, when it is unexpected, but the reality is we all expected it but that doesn’t make it any easier.

See my brother has been doing drugs for most of his teenage years all the way through his adulthood. It wasn’t just doing the harsh chemicals itself that took a toll on my family, it was the division of loyalty it created. My parents had a “child” that so desperately needed their help, but in a situation that was impossible to control. There were so many things that have happened in my childhood as a result that I put up walls that would be impossible for anyone to scale.

The sleepless nights that my family endured were pure agony. As an adolescent, having to find resolve, I just dismissed the problem and distanced myself from my family. Yes, now at 39, I see that this was the exact opposite of what I needed to do as my position in the family dynamic but I was young and well cocky.

The nights turned into days of wondering if and when my brother was going to wise up and show his strong will that he tucked deep inside. Instead of doing this he graduated to harder drugs to numb the pain, most of the pain which was self inflicted. So he became the infamous Jekyll and Hyde with the increasing demand of the drugs on his body. But true to the form of any addict, we as a family dug so deep to relish the moments of sobriety only to be let down again and again.

As time went on the dependency took a turn for the better and Jeremy was able to get away from his weakened state to find beautiful sobriety based in faith. He was so alive, that new Christian alive. The very thought of his life turning around was so glorious even to those who continued to have walls. There was an undeniable hope for the long run. But that didn’t last long enough.

Life circumstances took hold of my brother and the pressure was to great and finally he succumb to that patronizing voice in his head. The agony was all back and it was coursing through our family like the life blood veins in our body. But this time was bad. This time there were no more chances, or as the doctor said ” there is no light at the end of this tunnel.” Those are words that puts fear coursing through the bodies of even the strongest. This was permanent! Outside of how dire this situation was we as a family had to decide to stop the life support. This is when it all changed.

As my family prepare for the worst and fear the future, a future without my brother, we began to crumble. Each and every one of us kids and parents all reacted in a different way that denotes our ways of coping. I am the youngest but I am also the one with no kids or husband so I felt it was my duty to step up and be strong. I knew decisions had to be made and I respected my other siblings and their time to grieve with their family, that this was not even a question. However I forgot I was already so wounded from my separation that I started to fall back into old patterns.

I have been working so hard building my diligence to be the vessel God is using me to be but caring for those and yourself with great loss is not a one man job. I have felt as though it was up to me to make all the decisions, to be there for the weepy days, for the days of guilt in its purest form. But slowly I was crumbling inside.

I didn’t have time to grieve because I felt needed. This is an old pattern of performance. I always thrived in a situation whereI could cast me to the background and shift my focus to those I deemed more worthy than I. Then I started to realize that is not this journey, this journey is to break the cycle.

I wish I could find words to describe the pain and pressure this position of office holds. I have realized how under prepared I am for this because I am quite sure there is no pain greater than the loss of a child. But I have realized that I too am a child, a child of God. He would not have put me in this awful situation without the opportunity to set things straight in the place where my road started to curve.

This is a big job but now that I have finally accepted that I am not supposed to have all the answers, at least I am in uncharted territory, but I love to learn! So now I will learn, laugh, love and live to be the light that I was designed to be.

The Pup Edition

We all have something in our life that brings us comfort through the good and the bad. Whether it is an old toy or a favorite outfit there is no shortage of everyone stepping up to find comfort in their time of need.

For me that comfort is the love of a dog! Yes, I know, most people love dogs I mean love them and all their characteristics but I feel as if my love and hope for them is almost on their primal level. I not only appreciate what they have to offer as a companion but I value what I feel that they feel when I am around a dog. It is like nothing else in the world matters because my world is not perfectly in sync with the dog’s life. I can feel my awareness heighten from my sense of smell to a new visual perspective. I am suddenly one with the pack and I am on a adventure.

I had a dog..have a dog, named Thunder. He is a sweet rescued Great Dane that is currently residing in AZ with his human Dad. I am at peace with this because I know that my boy is being loved and cared for in the same way as I would do it if I were there myself. Don’t get me wrong it hurts to no end to not be able to cuddle with my boy right now but no the less I know he, like myself, is serving a greater purpose.

I can say that there has been no shortage of dogs in my life since I have been back to Ohio. I have got to be around so many different animals but just like humans there are certain dogs that have been very impactful in my healing. I am deeming this the Pup Edition diving from my head that is in the pack, not even thinking about why I am going into depth about a creature that cant read….but people can read!

The first amazing duo I want to talk about is Yoda and Chewbacca…aka Yoder and Chew Toy lol. Yoda is a sweet high strung pug that has a genuine innocence about him despite his senior years. Yoda has a mind that bounces to the beat his body displays. To put it bluntly Yoda is all over the place. I am so sure his human family will agree when they read this haha. Despite the bouncing behavior of Yoda he is tapped into a child like innocence that consuls with the gift of play. The perfect diversion when my mind is in the clouds.

Now Chewbacca he is a whole other ball game. He is a sweet princess-fied chihuahua with a gate like a slow waltz but the heart of a lion. He knows his place in the pack and has no problem stepping up when a reminder is needed. Like any great leader he is an observer. He carefully takes in his surroundings as if to know where his worth can be utilized the most. When I start to think Chewy isn’t paying attention, he surprises me with the warmth of his comfort. I would like to say in my journey I see Chewy having the instinct to care for the broken, but refuses to hold back his love and affection. Chew Toy may be little but he holds a big place in my heart.

There is one fella I get to see on a regular basis; the basis of resonating. See this sweet retriever is named Buddy, he is the dog of my late brother. Buddy and I have a lot in common, we are both confused and broken souls. We know what it is like to have something one day and the next day it be gone through no choice of our own. We are orphans in a sense so our bond surpasses that bond of necessity. Together Buddy and I have worked on our health, we have worked on our issues of trust, we have found time to have fun and we have found time to learn despite our tired demeanor. Neither one of us have forgotten where we came from, our loyalty will forever lie, but we have moved with the world. Buddy will forever hold the special gift of the optimist.

Finally this last guy I just recently met him, but boy of boy is he special. You know that special when you meet someone for the first time and you can immediately know the impact someone or something has on the people it is surrounded by? Well I would like to introduce you to Tank. Tank is a mix Shepherd breed that has the heart of a pure bred champion.

The first time I walked into my friends house ,she ask me if I have a fear of dogs then quickly laughing as she remember who she was taking with. There was no time for thought, no time for predetermined action, no instead there was….Tank. This bundle of joy bust through to me as if he could smell his need to reach me. He had an innate instinct to know that I was scared, not of him, and I held behind a facade but he was breaking through. See I resonate with Tank. He has a very solid exterior but yet has no concept that his exterior might intimidate people…just like me. But just like me Tank has the discipline of a fighter, the respect of a love filled heart, the obedience for outcome and the swagger of confidence. Tank is me on four legs lol. This amazing dog has a very special place and a special gift,,,the gift of self reflexion.

So I know that was a lot of words to talk about dogs, but come on….it’s DOGS! If nothing else let this entry be a reminder that we are never alone. Whatever may hold your heart in a bond that surpasses explanation, let that serve as your reminder. There are always beauties in this world that are specifically designed to resonate with us to our very core. These are things that are to be utilized to help us withstand and to grow. So find your comfort and be reminded we: we all have the capacity to serve.

Change of Plan

This afternoon I am a bit late to the game but none the less I showed up!

I wanted to start off by saying I had planned a specific writing for today but well as you can remember every time I start to plan, the plan changes. So In true form of the respect i have for the initial writing topic I want to take a pause. I am recognizing that I owe the next topic its own special focus in my mind and my writing.

Today is a push through it day. It is the lull in the wind, leaves all fallen to the ground, dreary clouds kind of day. On top of the ominous weather conditions I am coming down with a cold and it is zapping my complete energy. I had resolved to take to the bed for the day when I realized that no one but myself was accountable to take that step and be productive. So here i am, my version of productive lol.

I think I want to deem this as a self love day. A day that I am recognizing that my body and mind are calling out to me for some much needed rest, to recuperate. Don’t get me wrong I don’t feel like I’m on death doorsteps but I do feel very aware of what is happening and the growth I have come to love that endures through these difficult days.

Expectations are often thrown out the window on these days or if they don’t they should be. When your body starts to feel abnormal to the point of physical pain, you need to listen to it. Our bodies call out to us whether through indigestion to bad dreams…they are constantly talking. The talking in my body is saying “Shari….its ok to just be rest today.”

Though nothing today is prolific by any means I just need to document for the days that I am struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel to just stop and let go. What is meant to be will happen, you will face it and time will go on. I do not need to worry about the outcome of every facet of my life. I need to stop measuring my success to the success of the norm..I am anything but norm.

I would have never stopped to realize I was internalizing so much because I never valued myself. Today I value myself I an pushing through what feels like fingers that weigh 10 pounds each…..but I’m doing it.

I am fighting everything in my head that is playing fetch with the dog while a squirrel walks up. I am just very tired. But I am doing it.

FRAGILE: Handle With Care

I like everyone else have my good days and bad days. Now let me start off by saying that these bad days are not “patterned” bad days but reality bad days. They are the days where my vulnerability is higher than others, the days where I feel the weight of the world cashing down on me because of circumstances that are linked to grieving.

Yesterday felt like a day of defeat. I found myself in a whirlwind of emotions mostly because I am realizing that I am not as strong as I would like to think. The time where my past, yes my past, catches up with me and forces me to analyze what is right and what is wrong.

The day actually stared off quite well, I was feeling alive, trusting in the Lord for things to go according to his purpose. I did my new normal routine where I would take my walk of replenishment and face the day. While on my walk, I stopped to talk to a man that I have passed on the trail many times. I try to make a point to smile and say hi to those who are also walking but that was not the extent this time. This gentleman seemed to be beckoning me and I knew in an instant that it was time for headphones to come off and ears to go on.

This amazing man started the conversation so very innocent as too asking me the length of my walk and the consistency of my efforts. We exchanged some health informed tidbits then the conversation took a turn. See he was bold enough to ask me how my faith was and with a smile I responded with the answer of “strong and growing” this is where it all changed.

He began to talk about his faith and his belief coupled with some struggles he himself was facing at such a late age in his life. My compassion and empathy began to sore because I could feel his pain and confusion. I could tell that he thought he would be more secure in his thought process based on his age but in fact he was very fragile, very vulnerable, and wanting comfort. So I just let him pour his heart out and watched tears flow from his eyes right in the middle of the trail head. His struggles, his insecurities were so apparent and so much in line with some of my struggles so I awaited patiently for him to finish because I had realized this was in fact a divine appointment.

When he finished I found myself resonating his grief and unmet expectations to the core of my being but I was alive with a word of comfort. Not only was I there to provide comfort and understanding, I was there to give myself a message since I was allowing God to use me for his glory. I don’t want to go into specifics of this conversation so that I made properly provide anonymity to this individual, but you can it was an image that everything all of us encounter from faith,relationships, struggles, family, loss and gain. It is much like I have said before, we all have the same journey, just different stories.

I found myself coming alive utilizing the words that my depths of my study and trust had revealed. I was able to instill hope and understanding. An understanding that surpassed the surface but not so deep that it wasn’t relatable. I was careful to listen quickly and speak slowly allowing time for the Lord to speak through me. It was an amazing experience that left me praising so loudly that I had tangible evidence of God at work in me. Some time after our encounter I left feeling so alive.

Now one thing I have learned first hand is that every time there is a victory there is a new enemy assigned to attempt to defeat the feelings of love and growth that accompany the victory. Let me tell you this time was no different. But what was different was the ability for my mind to not only recognize this but a chance to make this attack count but another chance to grow.

My attack came in the form of my past. Something that I had been hanging on to a bit too tightly confusing myself of hope through endurance. This time the amount of defeat I felt at simple little words that were making me face a harsh reality that was so profound, I gave into the defeat.

I contacted my bestie that I know is the type of person that will not bash a person but in fact help me to see the core of my problem. I align myself very specifically because I do not want the ways of he world to trump my faith that stands strong in a foundation of love and kindness, rebirth and renewal. No, I don’t look for someone who will tell me what I want to hear, but rather the words that are guided by God. Sometimes these words are comforting but other times they are smack me in the face, why didn’t I realize this.

The revelation that was laid before me was so profound but not deep. They were words I needed to hear despite the pain they caused. The words were spoken in a manner that I could tell without a shadow of a doubt, were God approved and ordained. The amazing thing is it wasn’t a lot of words but words of cut to the chase.

The words I was listening to showed me that in fact my base problem was I didn’t love myself. I didn’t think I was worthy based on circumstances to love myself and it was something I hadn’t done in a long time. See I always stepped up to be that person that was there to help others with their problems with the profession of how much it helps me to help other. Now I do love to help others but I was doing it at the expense of not dealing with my own insecurities. I was letting people push me out then reel me in causing more grief then I could imagine.

After a lengthy talk and so many tears I realized how right she was. This was my time to understand myself while being used as a vessel…this is completely possible. But the fear oh the fear came over me to the extent that my heart dropped to my stomach and it felt like my brothers death and my break up compiled into one catastrophic event…I felt physically ill. I’m pretty sure this is was resound must feel like.

I graciously allowed my friend to point out, through her own instances, that we needed to learn to love ourselves if we were to be used properly, effectively and create growth that we both desperately sought. Her words were so God sent that I could feel the love behind what typically would have felt like a berate in the past. I could tell the words were what I desired but desired with fear and trepidation.

After several hours of the tears and the choking because of the tears things started to make sense. I needed to set the boundaries in my life if I was going to live my potential. I was not going to be used for someone else’s shameless gain. This was my time to be selfish, as the others in my life had been doing, if I wanted to make the change once and for all.

The new perspective this light of life was showing me was a new fight being born altogether. My fight was now a fight for me, for survival essential to growth. Yes, I will admit this part of my journey scares me because there is no one else in charge of me except God in me. I realized very quickly this wasn’t going to be easy but it was essential for my progression.

Today I look back at the events of my yesterday and realize they were exactly that, yesterday! I was able to see the highs and the lows but I still woke up this morning. Not only did I wake but I woke anew with a sense of revival. I am going to continue to push forward understanding the set backs to come, but the set backs are meant to urge me forward.

I hope with all my heart and soul that in some capacity you were able to resonate with my tough day, understanding how fragile we as humans are. Despite what we feel in our core there is always a new day around the corner to apply the revelations that happen to us all. For now I will love the hard lessons and dig deeper to find my place and my peace once and for all.

The Sea Was Deceiving Me

Throughout my life, in times of trouble there seemed to be only the thought of one thing that calmed my soul…the sea. I needed to figure out why this particular element of the earth was calling out to me so strong, why it had such a grip on my life. It wasn’t until I stopped thinking about this reprieve that. I received my answer.

As a kid there was something about the water that was so peaceful to my healing. It was a place that was so vast that my troubles seemed to pale in comparison. I didn’t get to visit the sea as a kid but that didn’t stop the beckoning.

Ever since I could remember there was almost a magnetic pull to the point that I would create jokes to cover the longing my heart had to be at the waters edge. As I got older it seemed so obvious to me that my jokes of being a direct descendent to Poseidon was actually a marker of something way greater.

I grew up in small town Ohio USA. I was located in the central portion so the wonderful Great Lakes were never far away. In particular Lake Erie was the closest and it rang with many great memories of freedom and solace to my heart. I wanted to spend as much time as I could there just so I could marvel in the majesty of the great works called the Great Lakes.

As I got older the lake was simply not enough to satisfy my craving. I found myself dreaming of much bigger bodies of water like the ocean. When I finally got to experience the ocean for the first time I honesty can tell you that I felt like I was home. Whenever I was there my worries and troubles seemed to fade but the call to take me to greater depths of the water was stirred to the point that it was consuming my thoughts. I thought I understood why this was happening, it was so obvious the sea was a place of relaxation my heart needed to be at ease. I never put much more thought into this theory until it actually became a driving force. I found myself to the point of tears because I wanted so badly to be a part of the water. I wanted to experience all the mysteries it had held and despite the mysteries I was aware of I wanted to have the peace the sea beckoned for. Something was off! Why was I feeling a call to be a part of something I as a human was never intended to be? Why was just being at the water not enough but wanting to be a part of the water made me feel complete?

As an adult I got to experience the ocean and all its vastness many times over. Each time I knew of the opportunity to go I was alive with anticipation, I felt complete. I would research and analyze all the best spots to be so I could get the most out of the beauty. When we would arrive at the ocean, from the minute I would step put of the car I had a magnetic pull over me to come closer. It didn’t matter who was with me or around me I would go off literally being pulled into a direction that my emotions were finding satisfaction.

One day when I was walking along the beach in La Jolla, San Diego California that something felt very different. I was in a new territory that I had never seen and tide was low so I was able to walk further then I had ever ventured before. I thought for sure this would satisfy my craving until I walked up on a man sitting on the rocks that would typically be submerged. This man was not doing anything other than sitting there looking out. At that moment it was like I could feel his distress and the contemplation that was running through his mind. Every being in my body was telling me this man was lost and the sea was offering him some perspective. While observing him from afar I felt and noticed so much anguish. I can honestly tell you it felt like he was contemplating his place with the sea before he took his decent into the murky waters and rushing tides to be home once and for all. Of course I don’t really know if this is what he was thinking but perhaps it was a wake up for me to realize what I had been contemplating. I moved past that spot just allowing him to have his time but a new seed was planted in my head.

From the moment of this siting on to today I started to view the sea a bit different. The sea was still calling to me but it suddenly had a darker more ominous look about it. The place of serenity now became a place of final resting. It got so bad that I openly said that I didn’t believe in taking my own life but if I ever did I would just walk out in the sea and never come back. What??? The sea was to be a final resting place for my weary bones, this was so concerning.

Ill be honestly I never put much more thought into the sea until I hit my extreme lows. I needed to figure out why my pull of peace now became a pull of something greater than me. It wasn’t until that fateful day that I started to see what was happening.

My thoughts of the sea were as I described early, revering, majestic and all consuming. It was a place that I didn’t have control but the control it had on me was completely acceptable. See I put the sea itself above the creator of the sea. Instead of feeling pulled and loved by my maker I felt that way about one of his creations…totally displaced my priorities.The sea didn’t just form out of no where so why in the world was all my attention on this and not God?

My eyes were starting to open as what order I was worshipping in my life. I started to understand that instead of the sea beckoning me it was actually taunting me. It was being used as a vehicle to misconstrue my eternal devotion. To simplify, the sea was being used to draw my attention of reliance so I didn’t need to seek help in the right way. The water didn’t hold the majesty the creator did, another revelation.

I began to dig deeper in my walk to discover how easy the enemy uses something we love so much, that we actually covet physically, to pull our hearts and minds away from God. This wasn’t my nature to accept what was right in front of me as my end all beat all, no it was time to make some change.

My change started with this journey that has brought me back to the place of my childhood, the place where all the feelings that the sea was covering up for me. Since I was realizing what was going on in my life this was the time for healing I had prayed for and the time of great reveal.

In these great revelations I suddenly seen the sea for what it was, an escape. Not just any escape but an escape from reality. I had put the call of the sea at the top of my list in the fight or flight mode. When I was scared or upset the voice of the sea was so loud, calling me to come home. Was this God or was this a temptation to not deal with the real issues? I was flying.

Today I have a different view of the sea and with that view I am noticing the call becoming muted. Suddenly when I seen the waters as a draw away fromGod but to something I can see, the diversion had been perfectly planted. I don’t want to be diverted from God because he is in fact the one who made the sea.

I know that we all have things in this world that draws us in, but is it the visual stimulus we are drawn to, the distraction, or are we projecting our problems on something that by itself cant solve a single problem?

I know that in my instance something so beautiful was making me realize I was still feeding into the problems of the world and listening to the wrong voices in my head. I have no need for the sea without God and simply put, the sea wouldn’t exist without the maker of heavens an earth.

I would like to challenge you to dig deep and analyze that peace you get when you see or feel something. Is that peace real or is it fleeting? Is the draw to something or someone feeding into the anxious feeling when you are not in its presence?

I am not a descendent of Poseidon, I am a decedent of God who has made the waters to provide something he knew I would need. The need still lays on him to show me what he has created, not the creation itself. I am and will continue to find my rest in the place that God has guided me to. I know this isn’t easy but it is necessary.

I still love the sea but hands down I love and trust God more!

Not Just a Hobby

As many of you know that have been following my blog, life hasn’t been easy…but its been essential. The essential part is the season of learning, growing according to my purpose. Growth is something that even in the flesh hurts so bad at times to the point where I feel like I could honestly lay down and well die. But this isn’t my journey I am not meant to die yet, I am meant to live and live loud.

While going through a lot of these highs and lows I have found that what was once a hobby of mine, one that I thought was insignificant, came to the forefront of my healing. What I am talking about is as I have done in my past…my writing.

My writing has always been something that has brought me comfort because in text I can articulate the feelings that I cant necessarily say to someone else. It is my sweet release, but this isn’t how I always looked at it. I was often stumped on what to write feeling like I needed some great epiphany to happen in order for it to be worthy to write about. See I thought that my writing was for me…again I was wrong.

What seemed like an innocent outlet for me is proving to be inspirational not only to myself but those who read. I have had so many messages come forward of others that I never considered their struggle, find solace in the words of my mind. This is probably hands down the most awesome feeling I have ever felt.

I started to see views change ,again, not only in myself but those involved in my life one way or another. To be honest even going back and reading some of my old posts have gotten me through some of the hardest most unproductive days of my life. When I find myself stuck in the whirlwind of my mind I can sit down let me fingers go to work and I find myself delivered from my own misery.

The key is to be productive, to keep moving. Movements are so essential to even the circulation of our blood. When the words strike, instead of making excuses not to write I push through and write….I took a step to move and the motion takes me to the next step.

Aside from this being my hobby it is also my gift. No, not a gift I found under a tree, but a gift to help others who can relate. Everyone needs to know they are not alone despite what the fear and darkness dictates. We are humans that are made to interact, to respond, to love and to learn. If I would holdback my “hobby” then someone may take their last breath thinking no one ever cared. Well guess what, I care and I am going to show you through my words

The loving nature I have in my heart is what I am discovering as a rare commodity. So many people get caught up in the day to day of life forgetting there is a whole world that exists outside their circumstance. Think about it, how in the world are we going to be able to relate to another if our stories aren’t being told. This doesn’t mean a well thought out plot that takes you through a series of emotions to provoke a particular outcome, no, it is to relate.

Our stories are pretty much all the same. We struggle from sadness, famine, abuse, neglect, shame, suffering, pride, revelation and so much more. The difference is the particular nature of our troubles. Those troubles become less hard to bear when we get to hear the words “I completely understand I have been through something similar.” This is not a tool of comparison but rather a tool of empathy. We all just want to resonate then the burdens start to lighten their load.

The way that is so apparent that I am being used is through the maturing of these gifts that have been instilled into me. My choice or my will is to decide if I do something with these gifts or do I selfishly keep this all to myself? I choose to share.

I know that each and everyone of you has capabilities of something that stands out among the normal. Whether you are a listener or a speaker, your words have meaning and a lesson. I know we often don’t have enough confidence in ourselves to think we can make a difference, but I am here to tell you…your words may make all the difference. There are no words too big or to small to reach a specified destination. These words or actions are our defining character, the true depths of our hearts.

Today I would like to challenge you to dig deep and take a look at your “superpower.” Not only do I want you to think about them but find a specific situation in which you can execute this special gift. With some practice, understanding and confidence you can change the world…..just like I am trying to do.