Reblog: Trauma Is Not Your Fault, But Healing Is Your Responsibility

I have two good friends who are going through different forms of trauma currently. Speaking with them over the past few weeks has brought a lot of tears, some laughs, and many memories of times I have wrestled with inner traumas myself. As has become common, I came across a blog post written by Brianna Wiest on Thought Catalog and her words touched several topics in conversations I’ve had with these two friends over the past month. (Sometimes I wonder if the Ever Listening Web has implanted my mind in order to bring these treasures to my world…)

The entire post rang true on so many different concepts, but I especially appreciated Brianna’s quote, “We are not meant to get through life unscathed. We are not meant to get to the finish line unscarred, clean and bored.” Though we go through Life hoping for things to be easy, can you imagine if every wish you ever wished or every dream you ever dreamed came to fruition? No challenges means no changes. No failings means no winnings. No tears means no lessons. There are difficulties in my past that I still regret, but they have also led me to become a stronger, wiser, and more conscientious woman — and isn’t that the goal for growing older? To me it is.


What happened to you was not your fault.

It was not something you asked for, it was not something you deserved.

What happened to you was not fair.

You were merely collateral damage on someone else’s warpath, an innocent bystander who got wrecked out of proximity.

We are all traumatized by life, some of us from egregious wrongdoings, others by unprocessed pain and sidelined emotions. No matter the source, we are all handed a play of cards, and sometimes, they are not a winning hand.

Yet what we cannot forget is that even when we are not at fault, healing in the aftermath will always fall on us — and instead of being burdened by this, we can actually learn to see it as a rare gift.

Healing is our responsibility because if it isn’t, an unfair circumstance becomes an unlived life.

Healing is our responsibility because unprocessed pain gets transferred to everyone around us, and we are not going to allow what someone else did to us to become what we do to those we love.

Healing is our responsibility because we have this one life, this single shot to do something important.

Healing is our responsibility because if we want our lives to be different, sitting and waiting for someone else to make them so will not actually change them. It will only make us dependent and bitter.

Healing is our responsibility because we have the power to heal ourselves, even if we have previously been led to believe we don’t.

Healing is our responsibility because we are uncomfortable, and discomfort almost always signals a place in life in which we are slated to rise up and transform.

Healing is our responsibility because every great person you deeply admire began with every odd against them, and learned their inner power was no match for the worst of what life could offer.

Healing is our responsibility because “healing” is actually not returning to how and who we were before, it is becoming someone we have never been — someone stronger, someone wiser, someone kinder.

When we heal, we step into the people we have always wanted to be. We are not only able to metabolize the pain, we are able to affect real change in our lives, in our families, and in our communities. We are able to pursue our dreams more freely. We are able to handle whatever life throws at us, because we are self-efficient and assured. We are more willing to dare, risk, and dream of broader horizons, ones we never thought we’d reach.

The thing is that when someone else does something wrong and it affects us, we often sit around waiting for them to take the pain away, as though they could come along and undo what has been done.

We fail to realize that in that hurt are the most important lessons of our lives, the fertile breeding ground upon which we can start to build everything we really want.

We are not meant to get through life unscathed.

We are not meant to get to the finish line unscarred, clean and bored.

Life hurts us all in different ways, but it is how we respond — and who we become — that determines whether a trauma becomes a tragedy, or the beginning of the story of how the victim became the hero.

Written by Brianna Wiest and updated November 3, 2019. Find the original post here.


I have two big regrets in my life. The first is not attending my alma mater straight from the beginning of my collegiate career, and thus losing a full-ride scholarship. The second is writing a blog post about one of my past relationships in a rage of emotions. Though I do not regret what I wrote, I regret allowing hate and hurt control my actions and ultimately casting a shadow on my character. I do not regret writing the post, but I regret publishing it.

With this in mind, I also believe healing must occur when we are at fault. Healing must happen to forgive one’s own actions, learn from one’s faults, and move forward with more care and kindness. Sometimes we lose control of our emotions, but it is our responsibility to clean up after the wreckage and assist with healing those who may have gotten in our way.

Both the victim and the warlord need healing to better the world.

All the best, my friends,

Reblog: It Takes Losing What You Were Settling For To Remember What You Deserve

I think it’s a natural occurrence to look back on your life and marvel at the changes over the years. Though there may be some changes you would like to reroute to their original path, most changes have probably been for the better. It is normal to want to strive to be better and do better and become better in all areas of your life. Some may argue that is the very concept of humanity — to grow into our own perspective of better with every passing year.

With that in mind, I was perusing one of my favorite sites to pass the time and came across an article by Raina Naim who discusses how loss can change us for the better. If you’re someone who has been following my blog over the years, this is one of my key beliefs also. I am a firm believer that when you lose something it is only because something better is about to take it’s place. I know of a few friends out there who need to hear this message, and Raina says it beautifully…


It takes loss to make us realize what we deserve.

It takes heartbreak to make us realize the kind of love we want.

And it takes falling in love with the wrong person to make us realize who’s really right for us.

It takes losing what we had to realize that it wasn’t what we really wanted or needed. It takes losing things to realize that we can do better. We’re destined for greater things. We’re meant to be with better people. We don’t deserve pain. We don’t deserve to suffer. We don’t deserve to settle.

Many things in life make us settle for things we don’t deserve. Maybe it’s loneliness, maybe it’s a lack of self-love, maybe it’s peer pressure, maybe it’s family traditions. It can be a lot of things we’re unaware of doing but we’re just conditioned to be a certain way or do certain things that we frankly don’t know why we’re doing it or who we’re trying to please.

Which is why losing things is the best wake-up call. It’s the beginning of you transforming your life. It’s the beginning of your self-awareness and your soul-searching journey to unlearn everything you’ve ever been told and listen to your own voice.

It takes losing people to find yourself.

We sometimes eat lies when our hearts are hungry. We believe that mediocre things are the best. We hold on to people who don’t respect us. We tell ourselves the lies we want to hear as we bury the truth because we just don’t want to live that kind of reality. We don’t want to wait another month or another year. We don’t want to start over. We focus so much on what we want that we end up forgetting what we deserve.

We sometimes spend our lives fighting for people who only hurt us and disappoint us. We fight for people who don’t fight for us. We fight for people who break our hearts because we think we’ll never find that feeling again or this chemistry or this vibe again. But it’s only when you fight just as hard to let go that you realize you deserve more. You deserve better. You deserve someone who doesn’t break your heart and call it love.

It took me a few years to get over certain losses in my life but when I look back now, I realize that every loss brought me closer to finding myself. Every loss taught me what I truly deserved. Every loss reminded me that there’s something greater to be gained.

Written by Rania Naim on February 8, 2019. Find the original post here.


There is nothing better than losing some and gaining more, friends. Looking back, my life has been full of little losses than have resulted in my greatest blessings. Even the “big” losses grew bigger than have imagined! I would not trade any of my past tears, grief, or heartache for happy moments because they’ve brought me to where I am right now… and that’s a pretty amazing life to live now.

All the best,

Reblog: Millennial & Married: What I’ve Learned Six Months In

My church began a new Bible study today and it is called Married People Connect. As I’m sure you can guess, this study is for married couples and involves small table groups of varying aged couples to offer insight, advice, and encouragement for strong and happy marriages. G and I were both excited for this new step in our marriage and look forward to growing together with fellow members of our congregation.

This new study also brings e-Zines to our emails full of inspirational blog posts, vlogs, and date-night ideas. The most recent e-Zine included the following article written by Forrest Fyre, and I thought it was not only well-written but also on-point for my own marriage. As a millennial, marriage has a different look than it has for any other generation, but it also brings the same difficulties that all marriages face. I loved the honesty this author portrays over his young marriage, and couldn’t have said the words better myself. Enjoy!


In the summer of 2017, I made one of my boldest decisions yet. I committed myself in holy matrimony to the most beautiful woman I have ever known.

My heart was happier than ever before. I couldn’t have been more sure. And yet, the Millennial inside of me was wondering what on earth I was doing.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned six months into marriage as a Millennial. I think they’ll be helpful for others going into marriage as well.

1. I am a 24 year-old guy.

This is just a fact. Marriage hasn’t teleported me to a distant world where I am a wise old sage. And thank God it hasn’t! It’s been only a year since I graduated college. I have no business acting like I know everything now just because I’m married.

But I have learned so much already. I do feel myself maturing. Remembering my age has served both as a way to show myself grace and a reminder of my need to keep learning.

2. Getting married early is not normal for Millennials

It’s been fascinating to look at what other people my age are doing and feel how “against-the-grain” being married has been as a millennial. However, I’d say that I fit the Millennial stereotype pretty closely.

I work at a tech start-up in Boulder, CO. I love traveling, music, social media, and all that other “hipster” stuff. In fact, what I find to be different about being married is not what I’m into, but that I always have my wife to do it with.

Many millennials suffer from the pressure to portray the “best” of their lives on social media. And why? For others to see. I almost feel as if there is this awful mentality that “if you don’t show yourself looking good doing it, it didn’t happen.”

Not every Millennial fits this stereotype. But being married has freed me from this pressure. Everything I do is shared with my wife. There’s no need to prove anything to anyone. If I have the memories of living large with my wife, that’s good enough for me.

3. Marriage doesn’t solve all of your problems.

Don’t look at marriage as a solution to your problems, but as an opportunity to serve and love, despite your problems. I tried my best to refrain from thinking of marriage as a solution, but I still found myself thinking of it that way.

The truth is, I don’t have less problems since being married. I just have different problems. The reality is that I am responsible for the person I bring to my marriage. I cannot expect my wife to be responsible for fixing my flaws.

If you go into marriage thinking it will solve your mistakes, habits and addictions, you are setting your spouse up to be nothing more than a tool for your own, selfish ambitions. The first step for me was to realize what my problems were, and take ownership for them.

Marriage is not the solution to these problems. But it is helpful to have a companion to help reflect what’s hard for me to see in myself and support me in growing in those challenges. It was hard at first to get used to working out my problems in the presence of my wife. But I’ve realized that it helps to have honesty and trust with her in the process.

A helpful perspective we’ve had in our marriage is this—expect the other to bring their junk to the table. Desire always for them to grow from it and be willing to serve and love them despite all of it.

4. I’m selfish in ways I never recognized.

Selfishness is almost always at the root of an argument. The hardest, but most honest question I still trying to ask myself during fights is, “how am I being selfish in this?” Why can’t being humble be as easy as being stubborn?

It’s rare that I find myself not being selfish in some way. And if I’m not, the next question is, “how can I be more patient?” Or “how can I forgive and forget better?” I never knew I was so selfish about little things like home decor, food storage and grocery shopping. Thankfully, we are always learning how to argue more efficiently and with less unnecessary low-blows.

Fun fact I’ve learned: Being the one who gets out more words in an argument doesn’t make you more right.

5. I am 100% free to be myself.

Since getting married, I still go to the skatepark. I still dream big. I still rock climb after work. I still make it to social events and enjoy late-night live concerts. Marriage hasn’t put a pressure on me to change who I naturally am.

The best part is that I have a wife that loves doing most of these things with me. The key is we were honest to each other before we got married. We fell in love with our real selves because we chose to be our real selves.

Marriage has prompted me to constantly better myself—as a husband, listener, encourager, and a provider. That’s nothing different from what I’ve already felt through dating. Neither of us expect to be married and never see any change in the other.

6. Friends are important.

When we got married, we found it was tricky balancing married life with friend time. We try to be as intentional as possible about pursuing time with our mutual friends. It comes down to being OK with not having certain evenings together.

I’ve learned to prioritize my time with my wife first. Then intentionally establish time with my friends. It’s easier to become isolated from people, so having a conversation to set expectations and boundaries around time with friends was really helpful.

7. Work as a team with your finances.

As newlyweds, my wife brought good budgeting and saving skills to the table. I brought survival tactics, which were not very helpful. We came from two very different financial lifestyles. It was rough getting our strategy figured out at first.

Thankfully, we have figured out some ways to be a team. Talking with others we trust and those with experience about handling finances has been super helpful. I recommend starting a budget first and then creating a plan to pay off any debt you may have.

8. Plan your meals.

This one should have been more obvious to me. But after both being single for the last six years, we are both painfully disappointed with how quickly food disappears.

We are still learning our way around meal planning and grocery shopping. Nailing down a meal strategy will help us have more food, consistently and at less expense.

Cook together as much as possible! It’s healthier and good for building patience with each other. Also, the outcomes are usually delicious.

9. Comparison kills.

Comparison is a thief. It robs you of joy while you waste time wishing you had something else. Marriage is a dangerous area to allow comparison.

When it comes to comparison, we’ve had to draw a line in the sand. We are just as capable of comparing ourselves to others as we have ever been. And we are aware of the danger in that.

One night, we talked through some of the areas we felt like we were struggling with comparison. We made mutual decisions on where the two of us stood. We agreed to be content and confident in our personal decisions and have felt much better ever since.

I recommend being intentional about voicing any comparisons you feel so you can battle it out and remove it together. Feeling confident about your decisions as a couple is the best. Be sure these conversations don’t get overlooked early on.

10. Save water, shower together.

Pretty simple. Shower together. It’s fun and saves water.

Written by Forrest Fyre on December 26, 2017. Find the original post here.


For all my married couples out there, what have you learned throughout your days/months/years of marriage? My readers and I would love to hear your advice as well.

With you and for you,

Reblog: A Short List Of Things Worth Doing For Self-Care

On Friday I talked about what I believe self-care truly means and how ugly real self-care can be. This might mean taking a good, long look at yourself and finding solutions — whether easy or difficult — to fix the issues prohibiting you to be your best you. Figuring out those solutions can be a chore in itself, but making habits to better yourself is hard too. Want some ideas on small steps you might be able to take? Angelo Caerlang over at Thought Catalog came up with an awesome list of thing worth doing for your self-care. Take a look!

1. Getting enough hours of sleep.

Your brain is sharper when you are not sleep deprived. I totally get how hard it is to achieve 7-8 hours of complete rest every night, but once you make a habit of sleeping early, you will notice a positive shift in your behavior. You will wake up the next day less irritated and more of like a functioning human being. So set a consistent bedtime every day and train your body to stick with it no matter what.

2. Writing down your thoughts and feelings.

Journaling has changed my life for the better and I 10/10 recommend it for everyone. There is something very therapeutic about writing everything that is living inside of you. The clean, empty spaces in your notes seem like an invitation for you to understand the way you think, the way you feel, and the way you handle different circumstances in this world. Journaling is a way for you to look back one day and see how much you have evolved as a person. It will be a proof that you survived your toughest days. The words that you wrote will be an inspiration for you to keep going.

3. Working out every day.

I used to hate people who talk so much about health and fitness. But recently, I’ve realized that if there is one obvious thing that makes me different from them, it is that they look happier than I am. Apparently, when you do exercise, your body releases this thing called endorphins which happens to be the chemicals that help you be happy or whatever. So I tried working out for a few days just to check if it’s true, and girl, have I been feeling lighter and more stable lately? You bet.

4. Going out for a walk.

A good way to declutter your mind is to go out there and sync yourself with nature. By taking long walks, you get to hear your thoughts really well. You can make unbiased decisions about the little issues that bother you. The ground beneath your feet will remind you that the best things really come for free. You don’t have to necessarily fly on the opposite side of the world just to figure out how satisfied you are with your life.

5. Weeding out negative people.

If people have been scheming and talking poorly about you when you’re not around, it’s probably best that you detach yourself away from them. Nobody deserves to feel like they’re wasting their time hanging out with the wrong ones. You shouldn’t hold yourself back from going after what you want because you’re waiting for someone to catch up with you. Time plays an important role in your growth. It’s okay to separate ways with those that are only causing you to slow down.

6. Buying books and actually reading them.

Reading helps you become more sympathetic. It’s a chance for you to know and experience what it’s like to be in somebody else’s shoes. It provides you with valuable information that you can use in the future or even in your day-to-day life. It’s nice to sit down, drink a cup of tea or coffee, and do nothing but read. Life doesn’t always have to be wild and crazy. Sometimes you also have to learn how to calm your mind and be still.

7. Allowing yourself to eat the food that you want.

There are better ways to lose those extra pounds other than starving yourself. You aren’t going to live for eternity and I’m pretty sure that you don’t want to look back someday regretting the times that you deprived yourself of good foods. Go ahead and stuff your face with that meal that you want. Give yourself a break and have a cheat day. There is a time afterward to burn those calories. But right at this moment, allow yourself to satisfy your cravings.

8. Accepting that some things just don’t work.

You can like somebody so bad but if they don’t feel the exact same way, what’s the point of chasing them? The right person will smoothly sweep into your life. Stop banging your knuckles on the doors that won’t open. Some things just don’t work. And the sooner you accept that truth, the more chances you have in finding someone who can actually fall in love with you.

9. Defining what’s important to you.

You will not be blindsided by anything or anyone once you have a concrete idea of what truly matters to you in this world. Your priorities are your guide when the road in front of you is fuzzy. Life may bring you to different places but if you know who you are, you will never be lost. Nobody will be able to take away your voice or even silence you. And no fear can shake up your foundation.

10. Having quiet time.

Maybe the reason why you can’t think straight is that you’re afraid to tune out the noise around you and just be alone with your thoughts. It’s true that confronting your problems is hard. But if you keep running away from the devils that haunt you at night, you will never feel one hundred percent at ease in your life. Embrace the quiet times that you get once in a while and use it as an opportunity to solve some issues from your past. Learn how to be okay on your own. Because in the end, the only one who can truly help you and save you is you.

Written by Angelo Caerlang for Thought Catalog on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Find the original post here.


So what do you guys think? What is self-care to you? I would love to hear how you strive to become a better version of yourself.

With you and for you,

Reblog: To The Best Friend Who Cut Me Out Like I Never Existed

I have gotten into the habit of reading some awesome blogs over the past few weeks. As someone who is trying to grow her blog into something more, learning what sparks interest for both readers and myself seems the best route. During my wind-down time each night, I scroll through WordPress, PuckerMob, and other mass-writing arenas to find new and exciting pieces that catch my eye.

Unfortunately, all credit for this little thinker goes to my mama. (Shout out!) She sent me a link to this article written by Gabby Elizabeth on PuckerMob knowing the topic is near and dear to my heart, especially as I busily plan my wedding. The author is writing a letter to that old best friend who simply disappeared from her life. Actually, she is writing an open letter to any best friend who has left someone’s life. We’ve all been there. We’ve all struggled with feelings of betrayal and guilt and confusion and anger and sorrow after someone we cared for has left us, sometimes with no explanation.

Any relationship is work. And the loss of a friendship will bring about differing views on both sides. As some of the commentary on this article reference, some phrases in Gabby’s open letter make her into a victim. Yes, sometimes that victim-mentality is a result of the end of a friendship. Both sides will have opinions on the “break up.” There’s always two sides to every story. Yet I think there is a lot to say that Gabby is beginning to be at peace with this new lack of a friendship. We each go through grief differently, and if she needs to go through denial before coming to contentment, then all the more power to her. I’ve been there; I’ve done that.

For me, I’m thankful for this open letter and found it calming. Perhaps you also need to know there are a lot of others out there who have triumphed through this same scenario. Here you go, friends — read this and find some solace. Personally, I want to thank Gabby for putting many of our thoughts into words.

To The Best Friend Who Cut Me Out Like I Never Existed

Growing apart from anyone is hard, but growing apart from a best friend is one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. I am able to forgive you. I have new best friends who have showed me some of the most incredible friendships I could have imagined. But I still think about the past, it’s not easy to move forward from.

There’s a lot of things that I can do when I think about our time as best friends. I can question if our falling out was my fault. I can blame myself for it. I can be nostalgic and miss you dearly. I can even get angry that you seemed to want to lose our friendship.

But here’s what I can’t do.

I can’t devalue all of our memories, they were wonderful. I can’t take away from the friendship we had, or act as if it never happened. It’s not possible. You were a huge part of my life and you helped shape me into the person I am today.

I’m not mad at you anymore. I don’t have bad things to say. It’s beneath both of us to hold on to any bad blood. But I still can’t help but wonder what happened. What was it that made you let go of the person you called your best friend? Did it hurt you to throw me away? Did you miss me?

It seems like a lost cause to have any hope of getting your side of the story, and I can accept that. But when I look back at my life, just know that you are still the reason for some of my favorite memories. I can still smile at the things we did, and the way we were. I hope the same goes for you.

I don’t know if you’ll ever see this, but I hope that you will because I need you to hear this:

Thank you for being there for me when nobody else was.

Thank you for helping me break out of my shell.

Know that I still treasure some of your advice, it’s always in the back of my head.

And that I still talk about some of our memories. They’re too incredible to not share.

I look at old pictures a lot. More than I should, probably.

Our friendship meant the world to me….

And your betrayal was the hardest thing I have ever went through.

I never will understand your reasoning for letting go…

But I don’t think you’re a bad person…

And I want you to be happy.

I miss you, though.

Written by Gabby Elizabeth for PuckerMob on Friday, May 11, 2018. Find the original post here.