Thankful Thursdays

If you follow me on Instagram (@naturaluphoto) you may know that on Thursdays, I post with the #thankfulthursday hashtag. Today’s post was sweet and simple, but as the day progressed, I realized I like to elaborate on something dear to me: having a support system.

We all have those moments when we think that we can do everything on our own. We don’t need anyone’s input. Everything has been just find with so and so before anyone came around. But then sometimes, the Universe graces us with a person (or two, three…) who completely changes our outlook on the world and is able to push us where no one has before. These can be family members, friends, coworkers, mentors, significant others, even complete strangers.  Their words and actions play a significant part on our lives and just like that, a seed is planted. We desire change. We are now motivated to do better. We see that our previous ways, were not the best we could do. So on and so forth.

I hope that while reading this, you have thoughts of those people who entered your life and made an impact.  And in turn, I hope that you are that person to someone else. We can live in complete gratitude of one another and make the best of ourselves and the world around us.

Be grateful. Be loved. Be the reason someone keeps going today.

Peace and Love,

Lindsey

Live In This Moment

Birds chirping

Wind blowing

Clouds creeping

The day is ending

All the stressors leaving

Finding peace and quiet

To calm your nerves

Live in this moment

Cherish this moment

And hope it never ends

[5.17.2018]

Finding Peace With Grief

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a struggle. Being sick can definitely knock you out in so many ways. I am finally starting to feel more like myself and am so happy that today, a day I have off, is a SUNNY day. This weather puts me in a great mood. I seriously need to live in a place that is sunny all the time (any suggestions?).

Anywho, ( yes, I love to say anywho and I don’t care what anyone thinks lol) I was going to focus on grief and forgiveness today. It seemed fitting as I went to a friend’s father’s homegoing this morning. It’s not uncommon, but I just feel like more and more people surrounding me are losing people in their lives. It is life, of course. We live, we die…maybe we come back and do it all again. I don’t know. Every time someone passes, someone is born. We still have to celebrate life.

We never truly think someone will just be gone one day. We take for granted every second we spend with someone. We are so in love with life, we just can’t expect it to end, but as sure as I am writing these words it will. Many times we never get to say goodbye. Many of us live in anger then regret those feelings because we didn’t share those words we always meant to. Everyone wants to heal. Think about how many people are on their death beds and want to apologize or see someone for that last time. They want to mend themselves as well as the others before they leave. Similar to “don’t go to bed angry”. That does a toll on your life.

I am supposed to be writing forgiveness letters to people ( particularly a few men in my life) that I am still hurting from. One, in particular, is my brother, who unfortunately is no longer on this earth. While I have written to my brother what seems like a million times and have thought to forgive him, I also wonder if I have forgiven myself in regards to our relationship. That pain runs so deep and it is affecting me to this day- in ways I haven’t even thought about. So, my therapist suggested a letter. For him, maybe I will write it and read it to him the next time I visit his resting site. The others, I’m sure when I am ready I will send it or read it to them too. One day. Each day is a step to healing.

I don’t want to leave this world in pain. I want to be at peace, knowing I have made peace (or tried to) with everyone I have personally hurt and forgiving those who have hurt me. We all deserve peace while we are here, not just in death. Maybe your peace is no longer dealing with toxic people in your life. Letting the negative energy that drains you go. Forgive and forget, forgive and let go. Whatever it is… I hope you find peace in any grief.

Have any of you written letters to loved ones who have hurt you? Letters to yourself even? Have you experienced healing from it? What other modes of healing do you practice?

Peace and Love to you all. Don’t forget to tell someone important how you feel.

Lindsey 🙂

Gratitude

“We fall down, but we get up.”

Donnie McClurklin

In this “next level” that I am in, I have been mostly focused on my inner self. I have “challenged” myself to do things daily to form better habits and to ensure that I am managing my stress, anxiety, and depression. Many of you know one or all three of those and it is not always a fun experience. Now all the things I am doing to help myself are not all new to me. I used to have a great morning routine (and evening routine), work out at the gym 4-5x a week, daily walks, eat healthy meals, get 7-8 hours of sleep, paint, journal, read, etc. I did all of this with 2-3 jobs consistently over the years. So what happened?

Life.

Do you ever feel emotional, physically, and mentally EXHAUSTED? Like no matter what you do, you just can’t get out of this?

The last 4.5 years has been a little rough. I was in a pedestrian accident and had knee surgery; my grandmother was put on hospice care; my brother died at the age of 33, only 7 months after being diagnosed with colon cancer; my family has been through so much pain and heartache, we can’t seem to heal from it. I have had more people I know die from cancer over the last year alone. My family drama never ceases to end and I always feel like I’m the one still trying to hold everyone together. Trying to keep peace and love in the air. If I’m silent about it, then I feel guilty.

With all of this and more going on, the hardest thing was losing my brother. That changed me forever. With that change, my anxiety became overwhelming. Everything triggers that loss. EVERYTHING. But in the spirit of my brother and the plea for my sanity, I had to make another change.

I had to remember (or find) my purpose again in life. I had to remember that death isn’t something we can escape and I am still here living and breathing (even if with more aches and pains). I AM LIVING. I HAVE LIFE. What would my brother or the others do if they still had their life? They certainly wouldn’t complain. They would be GRATEFUL for another chance. A chance that I already have.

Towards the fall of 2018, I began this new journey. I found a new therapist. (Side note: don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether you pay for it or you find a close friend or hell a stranger. Just do it.) I got back into a morning routine- this time with the help of Habit Nest’s “The Morning Sidekick Journal”. I journal daily with “Practice You: A Journal” by Elena Brower. I have started a NEW thing: Meditation (with guidance from the Calm app). I am on a 40-day streak! I am writing down 10 specific things I am grateful for daily. I am walking and exercising, eating healthy, sleeping BETTER. The list goes on. But with that motivation kicking back in. I also began this blog and let me tell you. This is not easy, but you have to WANT it. You have to be THANKFUL for your past experiences and you have to look forward to what is unknown. I am not an expert, I do not have it all together. I still breakdown (trying not to this moment), but I am so thankful for this time that I have given to myself. I am thankful that I do have a support system. I am thankful that I did acknowledge my feelings and that I acknowledged what my body needed. My motivation lies within me, but it is guided through my HEART. And honestly, that HEART is my brother. Whatever I do, I am doing it because he can’t and he is watching me so proud.

Whatever it is that you need, you find it and you never let it go. This is your life. You create your happiness and you create your sadness. Be thankful for your life and every second you have of it.

Peace and Love,

Lindsey 🙂

I dedicate this post to my brother, James “JP” Payne II. 1982-2015. He is always by my side.