I welcome all feedback and look forward to reading your comments. Please be respectful of everyone's voice. My intention is to create a safe, secure place where people can be completely vulnerable and express themselves fully without fear or inhibitions of being judged or criticized. I ask that you respond not react. Practice the art of mindfulness in your comments.
"When one experiences truth, the madness of finding faults with others disappears" - S.N. Goenka.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Trusting Our Truth

My dad signaled when he was about to strike. His round, hairless head turned a bright shade of red while his lips pressed so tightly together, they lost their color.  Like a gazelle looking up in a nature film my body became aware of an impending danger. It was when my Dad’s upper lip virtually disappeared and his bulging, eyes shifted from green to a devilish red – that I knew I’d better start running.  His glare was so frightening; I literally felt the wrath of God.  I ran with the same fierce, life-saving determination of a gazelle that spots a salivating leopard ready to pounce.  Nothing stood in my way from trying to escape his rage.  I turned over chairs, moved tables, jumped furniture - all with the gripping hope of making it to the door in enough time to open it. 

The few times I made it out, I hit the pavement and kept running without once looking back.  With tears streaming down my face and my body trembling, I managed to feel a moment of victory. My lungs burned as my pace slowed to a crawl on my way to a sacred spot; a safe place. Sitting under my shaded hidden tree, near Tom’s Party Shop, my head rested on my bent knees as I let the tears flow with the power of a tsunami hitting land.  The reality of my situation left me feeling defeated.  That fleeting moment of victory was completely forgotten. 

I rarely let my dad see me cry, resolute on not giving him the satisfaction.  When he hit, I hit back.   And I did all I could do to lessen the power of his contact.  I braced for impact.  I kicked.  I wiggled.  I punched.  I bit.   But my efforts proved futile.  I, like that slow gazelle, was always overpowered.    But despite my wounds, I somehow managed to walk away with my head held high, and with the confidence of a survivor.  

The early life lesson was that the world is a scary place.  

People cannot be trusted, which meant that we always, have to keep our guards up.  Who knows when someone will strike? Therefore, we must live life with the conviction that someone eventually will - even if that someone proclaims love and devotion.   Showing any signs of weakness will leave you open for attack, so live life cautiously.  And even if fear consumes you, never let anyone know you’re scared. 

This reasoning served me well throughout the earlier parts of my life.  I survived childhood, adolescence and young adulthood by self-reliance.  I almost never asked for help, and was reluctant to accept it when offered.  My appearance was strong, confident and powerful and it was a false fa├žade. Still, I was able to plow through life.  But I was removed from the world, keeping myself distant and watching with a skeptical eye.  This was my survival tactic.  It was when I was finally ready to thrive and not just survive, that my ideas about the world started to shift.

Looking back on those developmental years, it is clear how that time shaped my view of the world.  Feelings of inadequacy kept me in a perpetual state of fear, guilt or shame.  I constantly blamed others for my unhappiness, or pretended nothing bothered me.   I was ultimately afraid of exposing my true self because I wasn’t sure it was worthy of connection.  We all have this inherent instinct to connect with others because fundamentally, we know we are all One.  But before we can fully grasp this, we must find that connection within.  This becomes a challenge when we’re constantly told to look outside of ourselves for validation. 

Society persistently tells us that we’re not enough.  

We have ideals. We try to meet them because we’re convinced that there is a certain standard to meet in order to be “good enough.”  We need to be thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough, strong enough, successful enough – and have enough “stuff.” Eventually, we should get married and stay married  (with a partner of the opposite sex, of course), become parents & grandparents, have a house, a dog and maybe a cat – and then, if we live up to all of those standards…we may possibly be worth something.  And while we do all of those “shoulds” to be “good enough,” we have to keep serving a God who supposedly loves us unconditionally, but who will quickly strike if we break a condition.  Why would an all-powerful God create laws that must be adhered to, and then give us the option to violate them?  It has been argued that it’s a lesson of  “free will.

Let’s consider this:  How is “free will” free when that very will doesn’t even originate from us? 

“Free will,” by definition, means the freedom to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or divine intervention. 

The role of “parent” has been projected onto God.  The assumption is that a diety has needs.  He needs to control.  He needs us to follow his plan, and he has feelings.  He gets angry when we disobey, and he’s sad when we don’t praise him.  This magical man in the sky is constantly judging our behavior, and then he rewards or punishes us based on how he feels about what we’ve been doing - sounds a little like my father.  Is it too grand to believe the magnificent notion that God is not to be feared, will not judge, and has no cause to punish – and then, to recognize that this God does not live outside ourselves, but instead resides within?

We have been taught to look outside of ourselves for answers.  By doing this, we relinquish our own power.  We believe that we are worth less than the power who created us.  We deny our own experience in favor of what we have been told to think.  And when we do encounter an actual experience for the first time, we overlay what we experience with what we think we should feel.  We have forgotten (or perhaps never learned) how to trust ourselves.  Our inner truth has become so foreign that we barely recognize it.  Once we’re able to hold our values up against the light of public scrutiny and admit to ourselves, and to the world, how we really feel – without hesitating or breaking stride – then, we have reached a point of whole-hearted worthiness.

This reasoning brings with it openness and vulnerability.  Vulnerability, by definition, means leaving yourself open for attack.  This was certainly not something I was ever willing to experiment with.  Then, I began to recognize what happens when we expose our true selves – when we are honest and raw.  It is within this state, that a real connection unfolds – within ourselves and the outside world.  It is how we feel when an artist expresses themselves from an inner core.  We embrace that power of connection.  It goes beyond the physical, and transcends into something much deeper.  When we release outside expectations and instead, connect with truth – we move to live from a place of courage, compassion, clarity and connection.  We are free from fear and judgment, and we are comfortable with vulnerability. 

An identity built upon false pretenses – like a house of cards – is bound to collapse. Reaching this inner destination, we finally live in genuine Truth.  Life’s contradictions and paradoxes begin to vanish.  They are replaced with a beautiful sense of order, meaning, and purposeful simplicity.  We live synergistically, within our environment – we do not fight it.  Clarity becomes effortless, and our world perception has such precision, that everything makes sense, and our lives begin to simply fall into place. By releasing society’s expectations and understanding that true strength means embracing vulnerability, we see the world anew for the first time.

Have you experienced whole-hearted worthiness?  Has society, your inhibitions, fear, shame or guilt, prevented you from experiencing your truth?  I look forward to reading your comments.


marystidham said...

My search for self began because of my Catholic religion's prohibition of birth control. Suddenly I found myself questioning everything I thought I believed and who I really was inside. It was mentally exhausting and almost physically painful at times trying to sort it out. I realized the person I thought I was was a compilation of my parents and my churches beliefs, not mine. It took 10 years of deep thought and introspection as I waded through life's trials and experiences to find the person I really was. The serenity it has brought me was worth the long search. I didn't know anyone else experienced this freedom until I read your blog - another great benefit of listening to Pete!

SnapShotJon said...

I agree. Even those of us like myself who have never had to endure abuse at the hands of someone we trust are inducted into the cult of inadequacy nearly from birth. How can any of us who are taught by our churches, synagogues and mosques that we are not righteous enough, by our teachers that we are not smart enough, by our coaches that we are not athletic enough, and by thousands of advertisers that we are not successful, rich, satisfied or good-looking enough,ever come to trust our own intuition about something as important as ultimate reality? I have never met a truly happy person who has not made this discovery, who has not broken this poisonous cycle and learned who they truly are. It does my heart good to think that you are healing spirits by sharing your insights, and I'm grateful to Pete's radio show for turning on to your blog today. I will visit again!

Tritium said...

Nice Post, Val. Look forward to reading more.

MintyFresh said...

This felt like it should be two different posts. One about your survival and one about your connection (or lack thereof) to God. Either that or there needed to be more text on how the two thoughts correlate.

King Daddy Leeds said...

I do not envy you your path but greatly admire your strength and offer Congratulations on you destination.

This makes me see once again how lucky I was to be born to a Mother who had complete love and adoration for me and my sisters and a Father who while stern was by no means abusive.

Religion has and always will be used as a tool for control. Again fortunate enough to have a Mother that was not fanatical but full of inner faith and allowed us to chose our own path.

I do not believe in an all knowing entity but more of a collective consciousness of energy and knowledge that we all hail from and eventually return to over and over again. Just my path.

I began following you from hearing Patrick talk about his fulfilling weekend and saying wonderful and brilliant you are. He wasn't wrong I think.

Sandi said...

I listen to you husband's radio show when driving - and he so often raves about you (a positive rave)
I am glad I took time to read this.
For you it was your father - for me my mother - with belts and boards - unpredictable -
I highly recommend a little book "A General Theory of Love" - which is written by three insightful MDs who have studied how our brains develop as children - and how our limbic brain learns about connectedness. it was a powerful read - at times almost too hard to read because it reminded me of so much.
Being vulnerable can be hard - especially when we "instinctively" want to feel "safe" I think you are right when you observe that feeling safe comes from within - and from simply experiencing the reality of love in our lives - even at times experiencing it when another person fails to express it or express it in a way that is meaningful.
At times I experience what seems like an impossible chasm between me and the world - based on my feelings of disconnect that arose in my childhood - a chasm that keeps some part of my heart always protective - and dampens my capacity for deep intimacy and spontaneous joy. And at other times I feel such caring compassion, and a quiet knowing that we each carry our memories of pain and sorrow - and this opens my heart to people.
I think my point is that while we can and often do carry the deep influences of early experience - at the same time we do have the capacity to choose what we do with those influences - and to choose to love, to reach for understanding and forgiveness, and to use them to open our hearts more deeply
Thank you for your sharing

Jesse Payne said...

Thank you for this post! I have so many issues with trust that personal relationships suffer constantly. My lack of trust is connected to verbal abuse throughout my childhood, a guilt complex, a "fear" of god, and not listening to who I am... I wish I had read this years ago!

I look forward to future posts,

Rev Kate said...

Beautifully written and courageously shared.

I believe it is in our state of vulnerability that we truly "get to know' ourselves and therefore each other.

This state of vulnerability..the point found in between two absolutes (right & wrong)...is, I believe where the real truth lies.

Free Will - an interesting concept and topic for discussion. If it exists...part of the definition should be our understanding that we have the ability and freedom to create our own definitions for words....we live by these, they are very important but rarely do we stop to question the definitions and whether they work for us. For example I prefer to choose the following definitions:
Vulnerability - the place we connect; where truth can be found
God - the presence created and sustained by our collective energies; something we are all a part of

A book you might find interesting: Many Lives Many Masters by Dr. Brian L Weiss...offers a different perspective on you, your dad and your relationship.

Many thank to you for your wonderful sharing.

The Balanced Republic said...

A key point: your power comes from your center inside. It doesn't work to beg for it from the outside. The premise of looking for strength from somewhere else is already debilitating. And then it is downhill from there.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand when people blame religion for the awful behavior of their relatives. My parents were devout Catholics and the most hardworking charitable people I ever knew. A big part of that came from the influence of their Cristian faith.

I feel sorry for you but religion wasn't the source of your unhappiness and might even be the reason your upbringing wasn't even worse.

Rebecca said...

I very much relate to your truth. I wish I could heal as you have. You're a wonderful person and I am so glad to have read your words.

Vari Stunatu said...

Anonymous is making a classic error in logic. He/she is creating an argument that doesn't exist -and then arguing against it....If one has any skill in reading comprehension, he/she will see that Valerie isn't "bashing" organized religion.....did you even read the blog, friend?

I wouldn't mind if this anonymous poster was blocked from making comments. Opposing views are only productive when they are well-reasoned and based in fact.

This poster seems as if he/she is extremely bitter and perhaps has some emotional issues that need to be addressed.

Such (unjustified, incoherent) negativity is not welcomed here.

Please ban this person from commenting.

Judy said...

Came by after listening to Pete during the drive home...Enjoyed reading and will be back...

Anonymous said...

I was directed from Pete Dominick's twitter which said something about getting over religious brainwashing. The anti-religion crowd is boring and every bit obnoxious and ignorant as the holier than thou fundamentalists.

Love the part about "some emotional issues." People like to use accusations of "emotional issues" and molestation to try to shame others. Weird huh?

Anonymous said...

I will add that I found the post well meaning enough but utter nonsense.

Anything that uses the phrase "genuine truth" is ignorant. Try living "synergistically within our environment" when you're in a concentration camp. Try living with "purposeful simplicity" and see "our lives begin to simply fall into place" in a war zone, or unemployed in America. Or dealing with a medical crisis.

Your "whole hearted worthiness" won't even register as something that exists aside from a babbly new age phrase, much less something that should lead you to misery when not dealing with any of the above REAL problems.

Sorry but this isn't Genuine Truth, it is the deluded and rather useless perspective of an upper middle class white woman in America who, relatively speaking, isn't dealing with any real problems at the moment, probably never has, so has magnified the experience of having a mean brute of a father into a devastating crisis that led her to waste years of life on misery and finding "genuine truth." But that's not enough. It has to be "shared" too.

Whether it's known or not, the end result of this type of pap is to teach people to build up their misery and victimhood while their life passes them by.

I assume constructive debate is permitted here.

YogaVal said...

I will use the above comment as an example of the type of debate I’m not interested in having on my blog. I find that type of commentary far from constructive. My intention is to create a safe, secure place were people can be completely vulnerable and express themselves freely without fear or inhibitions of being judged or criticized. There is no place for this type of anger and judgment on my blog. I'm all for different perspectives and insights, but only done with pure and honest intentions. I review all comments before they are posted, and they will be deleted if they do not meet this specific and very basic criteria. Find a way to comment without harsh judgment and pointless criticism.

With that said, I will respond to parts of Anonymous’ comment that I believe require clarification.

He has made this statement that may leave people questioning – “Try living "synergistically within our environment" when you're in a concentration camp. Try living with "purposeful simplicity" and see "our lives begin to simply fall into place" in a war zone, or unemployed in America. Or dealing with a medical crisis.”

When I first heard this “new age” spiritual talk I, in fact, thought exactly the way he does - “What about the people living in war zones or those living in impoverished conditions?” The response given to me was simply this – “how do you know what those people are experiencing within themselves?” There are people who barely have anything, who live in the jungles of the Amazon or the slums of India, but somehow manage to live fuller, richer lives than we can possibly imagine. It’s not what life looks like from the outside, it’s what it looks like from within that matters. I have known many who live a life of complete luxury – basking in the comforts of an over privileged modern -day society, yet their hearts and lives are completely empty. Who are we to judge happiness by what we see? Recognizing our Truth translates into – understanding our power within. You can connect to that universal source/Truth within you and attain peace, happiness and joy – despite any outside condition. And, then life will simply fall into place. YES, in many circumstances, that connection is painfully difficult – but it is there for us, if we are willing to grasp it. And in no way does it mean that the privileged are better able to connect than the underprivileged.

As far as “bashing religion” is concerned – I’m sorry my husband painted that image for those of you on twitter. I am in no way ‘bashing religion.’ I agree that for many people religion serves a significant purpose. I applaud those who are “hard-working” and who are “charitable” in the name of religion. It is when we see ourselves as “less then” because we don’t believe or trust that we are worthy enough that problems begin to arise.

As far as the notion that this type of “talk” builds “victimhood” - well this is where I completely disagree. And instead I see it as doing the exact opposite. It is this “talk” that transformed my so-called “privileged American life,” into one of meaning, purpose, love and joy.

Nessa said...

Hi Val,

I found this post as another helpful tool for me to soak in and use in respect to my mindset and life. The way I seem to view my life, others and my purpose is not ideal in my view. I have always battled with self confidence on many levels and have been searching for the source or cause while trying to find the path to happiness within myself.

This past year has been my slow journey into digging deep and learning about myself. I became very ill and was told to make health changes. I did so. I changed my diet, lost weight, began exercising and started taking better care of myself. In that process I learned, that if I reach from within and truly want something, I can make it happen. I learned the importance of discipline. That discipline was strength. So I do feel better about myself, but still seek my purpose. I seek to find happiness in what I do, not just how I feel. I suppose that too will come once I approach the other areas of my life the same way I did my health. Thank you again for your post

YogaVal said...

I just re-read all your comments and I'm filled with absolute gratitude! Your added insights and life stories have brought the concepts from this blog entry to life. And as a result you all have created real connections - between yourselves and the readers. It takes such courage and strength to express yourselves with such openness and vulnerability. I appreciate all your words of wisdom and hope you all visit again to share your insights in the future!

This blog entry has been published on Elephant Journal - Visit -http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/08/trusting-our-inner-truth--valerie-vendrame/ -

Linda-Sama said...

"it is the deluded and rather useless perspective of an upper middle class white woman in America who, relatively speaking, isn't dealing with any real problems at the moment"

I teach yoga and meditation at a domestic violence shelter and I can tell anonymous (and I always love people who hide behind that online persona) that domestic violence is a "real problem" for upper middle class women, too. in fact, many times it's even harder for them despite their money because the perception is that DV is not supposed to happen to "those women", it only happens to women on the lower socio-economic scale. horse manure. so in many respects there is more shame about it.

I loved your post and am blogrolling you on my blog.... http://lindasyoga.com

Manda said...

I got very into this article before I saw the God-bash. It wasn't a personal offense, but something that really concerned me... You mentioned earlier in the article that you saw your father as a predator seeking out to hurt you, his prey. Then later when you mention God, you say, "ready to strike".

You seem very introspective and self-considering. Why did you choose those particular words?

I'll be honest, I expected the standards of society part to go somewhere talking about the self and attaining happiness regardless of our "check marks". The God bit seemed to come out of nowhere, and honestly felt a bit like it had been waiting to come out of you. While you've let go of anger for your father, it seems you may be projecting some of it onto God. Yet those who look to proselytize may say that you were given the tools to cope and come out to be someone hundreds of people consider worthy of listening to.

Separately, anyone who actually studies their religion the way one should, knows that you're never not supposed to seek answers in yourself. I used to be the strongest Christian-hater you'd ever meet. I said the same things as you, but the truth is that you're supposed to "give over" your power the way you go to your lover or parent when you're having a bad day and lean on their shoulder. Then they tell you it's okay, and that you can do this. They give you advice you may not have thought of. It's definitely not going to them and saying, "I give up, take over and make my decisions for me". I've tried that as a prayer. It didn't get me far.

It's very important that we focus our efforts to better ourselves. It's important to let go of the standards set by society for what someone who's allowed to be happy looks like and does. We're allowed to be happy, and it's in our control - even, we're the only ones that have that control. Thank you for the reminder.

Mommaria said...

Worthless thats how I feel day in and day out (some are better than others). I have three children and my biggest fear is that iam reflecting all these feelings on them. I am stuck in this rutt that I cant seem to get out off it was of my own wring doing. I feel worthless because of the worngs I ve done (lie, cheat, steal...) I feel ashamed like I am no good and will never be. I dont know what to do and fear for my children and how this will affect them so much so that ive contemplated if they would be better of with out me (suicide) and then I think of the trail of hurt I would leave and how that will affect them I am stuck in this vicious cycle everyday. I rather not speak to anyone I know and pretend like I am fine which makes it even harder.

Shawnp said...

@ momMaria:
Please realize, it's never too late to change!!! I happened on this blog today & it must have been for a reason because I have much to tell you & it's all positive!!! I don't know where you live, but there are people willing to help you, please seek them, they will NOT judge you. Asking for help is not a weakness, knowing you need it & not getting it is. Your children will always love & care about you no matter what, they will even defend you long after. So, please take from this that if you put steps in motion tomorrow it will go a long way. I just came back from visiting my boyfriend's mother who lives on the streets, she is 49, he is 31& he still loves her & wishes he could do more to help her even though he and his 3 sisters went into foster care by the state because of her 'lifestyle'. Suicide will leave your children scarred & with no one to take care of them as you do (some of the foster family stories I heard were awful) but if you ask for help & see it through, you can make it. Your children deserve your undivided effort (100%) alone in that you can make up for lying, cheating & stealing & one day forgiveness from those you have harmed will come to you. Inner peace will come from doing right by your kids & taking some time to learn about yourself.

YogaVal said...

@ Linda-Sama - Thanks so much for your support and insight. I appreciate it. I read your blog and absolutely Love it - I've added it on my blogroll as well.

@ Manda - looks like we're taking different paths to reach the same destination. Yes, it is important to focus our efforts to better ourselves - and which ever path works for us - is the path we should take. Mine isn't one of dogma or religion, but rather spirituality. To suggest that someone "should" study religion, as you did - is a concrete example of what I stated in my post. You're doing exactly what society does. Telling someone what they "should" do and setting a standard.

My belief is that God is within everything - including us. There is no separation from God - which translates into Oneness. Everything and Everyone is One. Like the cell within your body - it isn't separate from your physical body, rather, it is your physical body. I choose not to believe in a vengeful God who punishes. That is my choice. I am not, however, telling you what to think and I'm not judging your decision either. If it works for you and it's helping you on your path, I encourage it. I'm merely giving my perspective and my view. I appreciate you sharing yours.

@ MomMaria - I am left completely saddened by your comment. But by the same breath, I'm so incredibly grateful that you had the courage to write your deepest and scariest thoughts. It is evidence of your inner strength and power. I can deeply relate to your pain and struggles. As a teenager I had constant thoughts of suicide, and as an adult and mother, I struggled with much inner turmoil (read my post - Stepping Into Fear). Sometimes we have to reach a point of desperation before we make the turn toward the light. Maybe you've reached your point - and your ready to move forward and change your direction.

Brene Brown speaks about worthiness in this short video - it's worth watching - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Qm9cGRub0.

Also, there are many books I can suggest that can help you get on track to feeling less guilt, shame, or pain. Email me and I'll send you many references - valv1@hotmail.com. I also, highly recommend you talking to someone. Especially a professional. Therapy was what saved me. Finding someone who can listen to your pain and help you understand it, sit with it, and move forward is an incredible gift that will serve a lifetime. Please continue to reach out. It is the only way people can help. Do not fear - we all are here. We all will help lift you up. But you have to use your voice, and ask for what you need. Keep using that courage and that strength within you.

Jay said...

Your writing paints a vivid picture within my head. I empathise and sympathise with your pain. I too, used to be scared of my father when he was mad. I was hit with flaling(?) fists coming straight for my head and body. I would run off crying into my room, where I would wish to be somewhere else. A lot of those times of being hit are flashbulb memories for me.

I was also put down by my stepmother who never seemed to like me from the beginning. Telling me that I was stupid or I would never be able to do what I wanted to do in life. I always wonder if this is where my anxiety and anger comes from within me.

I have always been a loner with few friends. I exercise and read in order to escape life at times.

Your words are comforting to read and realise that so many of us have been through the same or similiar situations as kids. I appreciate your openness.

I look forward to future entries.

blackmangopit said...

I'm a survivor of childhood abuse and neglect and I too have a deept distrust of the world. I can relate to every last detail/word you wrote in this post. I am currently uncovering my own truth and it's a scary process in itself. When you have lived your whole life distrusting everything and everyone around you it's hard to learn new behavior. I can say I am in a much better place than I was a year ago. All it takes is one catalyst/event to start one on the healing journey. :)

Heather Worthington said...

Oooo, I love your post! So true! I love the statement:

‎"An identity built upon false pretenses – like a house of cards – is bound to collapse."

I would comment that I am learning that our identity can be build on the firm foundation of what God says about Himself, us and others.

Thank you,

Heather Worthington said...

I just read through the comments, and I too am greatful for people's honesty and vulnerability. I really appreciate and relate with YogaVal, marystidham, Linda-Sama, momMaria and Shawnp. And I wanted to add to the encouragement for momMaria, saying that God cares deeply about your heart, and wants to give you rest and peace in Him! You can read about how God has been doing that in my life, if you would like.

I too have experienced abuse and neglect from people I trusted and loved and thought loved me. I too struggled with feelings of "not good enough". My mom is my perfect mom, but she is not perfect, and she is not my Holy Spirit, but I thought that I needed her criticism to be a better person, even as an adult. God is teaching me to listen to Him and to believe what He says about me! And as is paramount in this blog, to listen to my heart (feelings, desires, longings, concerns...), and to ask next, God, what is your heart for me?

In my complete brokenness, Christ died for me so I could know Him (Romans 5:8)! If I am worth what He says I'm worth, I'm worth His very death and life! There is more, but that is the beginning and middle of my story, and the foundation of my life. It's something that I'm learning too that God is still teaching me, and challenging me to actually believe/live! As part of that, He is still revealing my brokenness so he can continue healing me! But even in my brokenness, I am whole...in Him! This is a mystery, revealed in Christ!


Heather Worthington said...

And just like some of you mentioned, it was when I saw my need and brokenness that I sought-out people who knew their own brokenness, who were seeking God and could point me to Him! And they weren't my pastor and I didn't find it in the year I read blogs on the Internet :), but they helped get me to that point :). The individuals I met in person also reflected God's character to me. My counselor and a class of women who were going through what I was going through, and the teachers who had already received healing, continued their healing as they comforted us with the comfort that they had received. And even the "most broken" among us strengthened us as God comforted them! Yeah for vulnerability and authenticity!

And that's not the end, it's the beginning of what I like to call (first time :) the respiratory system of my life. Just as our lungs filter air, taking away the deadly co2 and replacing with life giving o, so too can we filter the truth from the lies that enter through our eyes and minds, which get deposited and planted in our hearts. And we can examine our actions with our minds, which comes from the longings and desires of our hearts, and filter those back through our mind, again, disgarding deadly lies and replacing them with truth.

What is truth? Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the light, no one comes to the Father except through me." And he invites us! "O taste and see that the LORD is good. How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!" He invites us to Himself, and He is not religion, church or theologians, He is not our parent (good or bad), He is not our spouse and He is not our children. He is God, and He has a plan for us, despite and in our brokenness.

For anyone who wants living water, go to Him, taste and see that He is good, for he says to us:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Many people like the book of John to start, but I really like the book of Matthew right now, and Isaiah 61-wow. Next I'm onto Psalms.

Lastly, if you are looking for a book to help teach you some of the things I've written about, I am reading the book "Mending the Soul" by Tracy, and God is using it in my own healing, and others I've met.

If you know you're broken or in need in some way, know you're not alone :)!

In fact, Jesus knows our brokenness, and in fact created us with a need for Him. And in fact, he was broken for us, and his spirit is grieving with and for us!


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Cashier: ingon imoha mama ikaw na daw magbayad sa iya gpamalit. Ingon ko niya na katong bayhana di gyud to nako mama. Ana ang cashier na "Aw kadungog mn gd ko na gitawag nimo siyag mama, nag hug pa gane mo diba." nakapangatul ko sa ako ulo, wa ko kasabut sa akung gibati ni bayad nalang ko gamit ako credit card kay ulaw kaau og naisip naku nabiktima kog budol2.... Nigawas gyud ko dayon para pangitaon tong bayhana para ilagpot nkos impyerno. Nakita nako hapit na siya kasakay sa tricycle. Padung na unta siya saka, ako siya gibira. Sama sa pagbira nako nimo sa kamatuoran na joke rani tanan!
Hahahahaha. Peace guys! Copy paste pd para makabawi mo...... peace.

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