Tag Archives: motivational

A beautiful perspective…

I don’t know what you tell yourself when you get upset with yourself, but I tend to call myself an idiot. I did so the other day when I lost my phone. I thought I’d left it at Little Angels while running off to another appointment, or in the car. So, while I realized I wasn’t bringing the phone, I didn’t see a problem. Only, when I returned, the phone was nowhere to be found.

The police. The cellphone store. Hours of arranging stuff. Putting out a reward. Then hearing someone found it, only to say it was with someone else, who said they didn’t have it.

I told myself that I wasn’t going to let someone get me down by keeping my phone. I’m in charge of my moods and all that. Then I told myself the South African police experience was interesting. Yet, by the end of the week I was starting to miss my phone and getting frustrated.

Then, when I was in Hangberg, someone approached me to say they did know who had it. Someone not previously mentioned. Then a long story from different parties about who really found it, who wanted to sell it, who kept it safe ensued. The SIM was missing, so clearly someone tried something, only to realize that iPhones can be locked. (I did consider putting the message “Cock blocked” on the phone, but instead put a number to call and promised a reward. I figured that would be more effective.)

I got my phone back. Yet, this week was a week filled with what seemed like obstacles, as were the last couple of months, so I started beating myself up about it. I could have prevented the phone going missing. I could have done this. I could have done that. I must still be in victim mode to set myself up for this.

Then, after I found the phone and had had some other breakthroughs someone told me, “It’s unusual to get a phone back, but then you’re a good person and good things happen to good people.” Huh. That’s one way of seeing it.

Come to think of it, rather a lot of good things happen to me. I’m just too caught up beating myself up for the bad things to notice. Not that I don’t enjoy the good things. Not that I don’t sing and dance around a lot. I certainly do–if life can be a musical, why not?! Eccentric. Perhaps. The way I like it? Absolutely. However, I still beat myself up all the time. People tell me my life should be a movie and I’m the most interesting person they ever met (that’s the most common thing I’m told). I tell myself I’m a royal F up. And as that’s what I tell msyelf, nothing else seems to penetrate. Until as of late. I’ve had a few moments.

Perspective.

The stories we tell ourselves reflect how we see our life and, thus, how we feel and act. How do you see your life? What stories are you telling yourself?

It’s not what happens to us, but what we make up about what happens to us that control our moods and reactions. It controls our experience. This experience right here called life. This gift. This tremendous thing.

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Whipped cream…

Do you have people in your life that make you feel like a million dollars? Or like a cup of hot chocolate with extra whipped cream and marshmallows?

I do. And I sure hope you do, too.

However, the trick in life is to make yourself feel that way. We all run out of steam some days (or, well, usually all days around four pm) and can do with a pick-me-up. A burst of happy energy. Like a kind word from those lovely people who have sunshine coming out of their behinds.

So what do those people do? Do they compliment us? Do they take us on magical or adventurous experiences? Do they make us sit down and breathe for a while? Take in the moment? Or chase us with a stick to ensure we live our passions? Whatever it is, it’s what we should be doing.

I am all for a cup of coffee when I run out of steam at four pm, but I need something more substantial to keep me going. I need to live my passions, go on magical (and wickedly wild) adventures, compliment myself, breathe in the moment and enjoy this thing called life.

If your life lacks luster…just add whipped cream…
See yourself as others do. For more of my poetry, check Instagram @themagiqueboutique

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Prayer…

A man walked up to me yesterday. A parking attendant at the beach. Told me he knew me.

“You taught me at the drug rehab center some years back,” he said. “You’re Maria.”

We chatted briefly–I asked him if he was still attending classes, but he said they charged now and he couldn’t afford it. It looked to me like he had relapsed. I had the child I raise with me, so I didn’t stay for long to chat–we were at the beach to run about and chase the sunset.

As we made our way back to the car, we met him again. And as I left, he stood staring after me.

This is not the first time, nor the last time this will happen. People know me. People have come up to me to ask me if I can take their children and raise them, if I can hire them, if I can sort out their husband who has taken their child from them, if I could please make way for a foster child, if I can get them off drugs, if I can get someone to help them with a child they raise… And yet, the requests I get are sporadic. The requests Liezl gets are non-stop.

Liezl runs the not-for-profit educare center I’ve been involved with for eight years now. The place where I met the kids I ended up helping to raise. The place that changed my life.

Sometimes, these requests warm my heart. Sometimes they break it.

We’re always fighting. Fighting for funds for a safe house for women. Fighting for funds to look after more children. Fighting for the right to build a larger center. Fighting to get me the right visa so I can stay forever with the kids. Fighting for awareness. Fighting for change. Fighting to help.

Often, we’re fighting for our own survival, too. We’ve been on so many journeys, ups and downs and roundabouts. We’ve made mistakes, we’ve failed people, we’ve cried, we’ve been too broke to mention…

And, today, I was thinking that maybe it’s time to stop fighting and start praying. You cannot help everyone. You cannot sink your own life to the ground trying to do so. But you can pray. You can have faith that things will come right and that you will thrive in the end. And that you will help those who are meant to receive it. You have to let go of the rest. You have to realize that you are not responsible for anyone, but you can become a vessel that helps when there’s a way to do so. And I believe, if you open yourself up to that, then you will indeed become a vessel of good, instead of one that’s constantly fighting the waves on a stormy sea–only just about avoiding becoming a shipwreck.

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Alight…

Sometimes a kind of glory lights up a man…

Sometimes it does. Sometimes we stumble upon those events that light us up like firework. Other times we don’t.

Truth be told, life can be hard. So hard. And we’re all looking to achieve different things, walking up staircases that, at times, seem endless. We feel drained. Our muscles need oxygen. We may resort to coping mechanisms ranging from binge watching Netflix to binge drinking alcohol to get through. But that only drains us further.

It’s at those times we need to remember that we don’t have to wait for the magic. The magic is already within us.

As we walk up those steps, we can turn on that magic. The song that makes us dance. The melody that makes us remember something out of this world. The clothes that make us believe we rule. The food that makes our heart sing. The friends who make us smile. The little treats that make our life worth living.

And the funny thing is, once we do that a kind of glory lights us up from within. We start to skip up the steps. And the magic we so craved, but could find nowhere, suddenly returns. Those magical events we thought had deserted us come back in abundance. And so magic comes from within and without.

It’s true what Steinbeck said–that sometimes we encounter people and events that light us up. But it’s also true that we are the light in our own life. And from time to time, we are the light that fuels someone else’s glow. We are the event that sets the night sky on fire.

Yours truly,

Dizzy Blonde

My poetic musings on Insta. @TheMagiqueBoutique

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Bruised bottoms…

There’s no fucking backup plan for falling in love. You fall. You stumble down some stairs, land flat on your ass and look up to someone who now appears as a giant before you. All other men, in comparison, ants. They lack the beautiful traits, the significant looks, and the commonalities the other man shares with you. They seem insignificant in comparison.

The thing is, you have to do it. You have to fall. You have to imagine that this man is better than all the rest, even if you know it’s an illusion. Because without that illusion, there are no butterflies. No tingles in your forearms. No longing so painful and so sweet a mere text messages makes you erupt in euphoria.

You want those feelings.

At the same time, of course, you need to be practical. This man, if any good, will end up your husband. He has to be able to express what he needs, while still thinking you’re some thinly veiled goddess. He has to be able to say the hard stuff and praise–generously–the good stuff. He needs to be able to build a reality with you where you are both happy. He will have to read the books you recommend about marriage, and go on a trip to Beijing even though he doesn’t want to. He has to get up at five on days you have a fever, to make sure you get breakfast in bed. And just like that, you have to do the same for him. You have to do things you’d never imagined just to learn to understand and aid this giant of a man. And that’s when it really helps to think he is a giant compared to other men. It helps to have butterflies in your belly. It helps to be seduced by his mind and body, heart and soul. It’s the fuel that will take you through.

But all of that can only last–the endorphin high–if the hard work is done.

And that’s why many people get off of the floor, dust their bottoms, and start climbing the stairs again. Because they aren’t willing to work. To learn. To compromise. Instead, the giant becomes a giant obstacle, hindering them on their path. Or the giant is uncompromising; unwilling to move.

Thankfully, for all of us, we’ve learned that falling and getting up isn’t too hard. Not when you’re on round twenty-five, or so. You’ve learned you can climb stairs, even in stilettos. You’ve learned you’re OK, even when you’re bruised.

And if nothing else, there’s coffee. Dark, divine, delicious coffee. Laden with just the right amount of honey to sweeten it and cream to tame the darkness. That coffee, served at an ungodly hour will kickstart you once more. Your internal engine humming.

There’s also tea. Drunk together with friends, who pat you on the back and give you another cookie. A sugar rush. Something to bring you back to the moment and forget your temporary insanity when you thought a mere man a giant.

Tea brings new adventures as souls set out on journeys together; discover new thoughts; decide to start up businesses; or go on spa weekends in the country. Tea is the glue that keeps souls together. And we all know when it’s time to put on the kettle and bake the scones.

Then, there’s wine and champagne when we are in need of a good giggle–bubbles bursting on our tongue and tickling our throat. Landing in our belly like butterflies. And as our mind ascends to a pink cloud, we look around and start seeing men. Maybe not giants, but men with potential at least. Men who wink at us and tell us we’re OK, even with our bruised bottoms. Men who’d be happy for us to fall for them–men who might even catch us as we stumble down the stairs on a giddy high. Men who would, potentially, consider doing the hard work. The push-ups that will give them the muscle that make us smile and lick our lips. The men willing to go the extra mile. If, of course, we do the same.

One day, you’ll meet a man who will remain a giant. Till that day, dust yourself up and brew some coffee–head to a friend for tea and go out for wine. Life. Feel it. Brewing inside of you until it bursts out in cascades of stars. Be a star. Glitter. Glimmer. Indulge in every moment. Drink the morning dew. Recognize it for the nectar that it is. Turn up the music and dance around the kitchen. Look out over the rooftops of Paris as many times as you need to get inspired. Run so fast you fall over and laugh uncontrollably with a runner’s high. Drive along the PCH till you feel freedom pump around your blood. Howl at a full moon. Set yourself free–scream with joy and jump in puddles–and discover the treasure right there at your doorstep. Especially if you’re in isolation–make sure that doorstep fucking shines.

At eight o’clock I call you

Waiting to hear your voice

Like a kid waiting for Santa 

Like a desperate woman pouring a glass of wine

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I escape the day’s harms

You’re no hero

No man in shining armor

A tad bruised 

A tad battered

Scarred enough to be a man 

Lost enough to be human

But with an inner compass

Looking for the light 

At eight o’clock I call you

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I escape the day’s harms

The truth is

I learned to walk long ago

Both in high heels and bare feet

Even with sneakers in obstacle courses

And even though I sometimes stumble 

I know that I’ll win the race

Celebrate another day ending

And the next’s beginning

And yet at eight o’clock I call you

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I escape the day’s harms

I can walk 

I can run 

I can pick myself up when I stumble 

I’m fine

I’m free

I’ll bleed and I’ll heal

I’ll laugh and I’ll move forward 

I’ll love and live and pirouette

Around the next corner

For yet another adventure

But at eight o’clock I call you

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I enjoy another 

Of life’s treasures

Yours truly,

Dizzy Blonde aka Maria Montgomery and yes, the copyright is all mine and all that.

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Filed under confessions, diary, Happiness, Insights, Inspiration, Inspirational, Love, Love-life, Motivation, Musings, Poem, poetry, Relationship, relationships

‘Tis the season…

’Tis the season…to be of service to others. 

I know many have had what we in South Africa would call “a hectic year.” Many are furious with the world…and with governments. All round, people have been struggling to “do the right thing.” Sometimes it’s worked, sometimes it hasn’t. And I’ve seen people lose their heads because they disagree on how to best tackle a pandemic that’s affected almost everyone alive today. Quite a few felt separated because of the US elections, too. People have been taking sides. 

Sometimes, it’s nice to shift your focus to what’s working and how you can build bridges with others instead of burning them. How you can stand together to help one another—even if you disagree on things. 

A lot of people are struggling, so let’s help them and ourselves by being of service—by going out of our way to do a nice thing. It’s easy to be kind, it’s harder to drive the long way around to do a nice thing. Being of service means you go out of your way to help others. 

However, it does not mean you hurt yourself in the process. I (and many people I know), have gone out of their way to help others at their own expense. That’s self destruction, not being of service. 

Point being, the coaching group I’m part of created a challenge for us to be of service—commit five acts of service in the coming month. It’s an open challenge, so I invite anyone who wants to spread the Christmas cheer to join. 

You don’t have to be rich, or be in the right circumstances, or have had an epic year to be an extraordinary person. So let’s challenge ourselves to be just that (even if we sometimes want to scream and kick and shout about travel bans, and the fear of being coughed at, or everyone’s opposing opinion). 

Merry ho ho y’all! 

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Turn them on…

Have you ever seen someone’s eyes light up? 

I bet you have. 

They see someone they love. 

They do something they love. 

And bam—there it is. The light. As if there are stars twinkling in their soul; the light shining through their eyes. 

It’s beautiful. And wonderful. And just totally amazing. 

Love. It’s what lights our way. Love.

When you next meet someone. Take a moment to see if you can find their light switch. And turn them on. 

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.se/pin/507780926739558786/

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Sailing bravely into the unknown…

A problem many of us face is that we are sailing away from one harbor, instead of toward another harbor.

What’s the difference you ask?

One is propelling you forward with negativity and, possibly, sadness.

The other is propelling you forward with want, need, love, desire…

Whenever there’s progress, we leave something behind.

We say goodbye to one job to find another.

We say goodbye to one partner to find another.

We say goodbye to one place to find another.

We do that because we want to upgrade our life, or because we are forced to by circumstance. But even when we know we are leaving for something better, there are usually good things we will miss.

You know why people stay in bad relationships? Even abusive relationships?

Because part of it is good. And possibly they can’t imagine something better due to their previous life experiences/thoughts about self/others.

It’s the same reason they stay in a place, in a job, or even in a relationship with drugs. They can’t imagine something better. They don’t believe. They don’t have faith.

To grow you have to leave the harbor. But more than anything, you have to sail toward a new harbor. Toward something better. Because it’s possible. Even if it hurts.

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.se/pin/507780926739522107/

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No excuses…

No excuses. I think I’m going to frame this and hang it on the wall.

To all of us, life happens. We all deal with circumstance that’s less than ideal. Sometimes it’s downright horrifying. But don’t use that as an excuse. Instead of being weighed down by it, move beyond it.

If I wake up with the mindset that there are no excuses, I get excited. If I wake up worrying about things, I get depressed.

We can either worry and moan about the things that happen to us, or we can decide on what we want and go for that no matter what. Going for it will keep us motivated and taking action that serves us. Moping, moaning and worrying won’t.

We all have choice to be the best we can be and enjoy all life has to offer. But we also all have areas of our lives that are fucked five ways to Friday. We have the choice to change them for the better. But it’s usually not until we’re at the stage of do or die that we choose to change.

Personally, I am going to do everything in my power to power up my life. And that means no more excuses.

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Waiting to get turned on…

I had a chat with someone recently who is “waiting for inspiration.” Let me ask you this: do you sit on a couch waiting for a hard on? Because it’s kind of the same thing. 

To get inspired, you need to take action. Consider someone who is living off fast foods and is 100 kgs overweight and hasn’t exercised in two years. Will they feel inspired to exercise? No. They’re lethargic from their eating habits, because they’re malnourished, and carrying too much weight around which makes them tired. Even breathing is difficult, because they’re so unfit. Likely they are also depressed or the very least fatigued for the same reason — if you don’t get the nutrients you need, nor exercise your body, you end up depressed. It’s a medical fact.

They feel like shit, so they have another cookie. At least that gives them a temporary feel-good. Simultaneously, they loathe themselves for eating the cookie. So they want to hide away from others so they can’t see their shame. So they stay inside, having another cookie. Then they want to punish themselves for their own stupid behavior. So they have another cookie. 

This is what’s called a downward spiral — you’re caught in a negative pattern that only makes you feel worse and worse.  

It’s a bit of a catch-22 for these people. To have energy, you need to exercise, but to exercise you need energy. You will NOT be inspired to exercise. Unless, one day, you realize, you could actually have a life. All you need to do is get off the couch and get going. Or maybe you have such a fright you decide to get a life. Maybe you have a heart attack. Maybe you realize you’ll never see your kids/nieces/nephews/grandkids grow old if you don’t change. Or maybe you just realize you’ll never do anything you dreamed of while sitting on the couch, gaining weight by the hour.

We all feel uninspired by one part of our life, or another. Our finances. Our work. Our fitness level. Our eating habits. Our social life. Whatever it may be. Likely fears, unhelpful beliefs about ourselves/the world, feelings of inadequacy and a number of other things are making us feel uninspired. And sometimes we’re lucky — we have a moment of inspiration, whether fueled by fear of where we’re heading, or inspiration for where we might get to if we only get going. If we get off the couch.

I asked a friend of mine the other day what made he change his life around. He told me he almost died three times. Actually, once he did die. Went to the other side. Had a near death experience. Still, even with that, even with seeing the divine and simultaneously freaking out about dying, he told me it was hard to change. Very hard. He had to fight. But what got him through was his son’s voice. His son needed him. His son believed in him.

I’ve been depressed twice and twice I’ve had a moment when things shifted. When the road to recovery became obvious. The first time I was seventeen years old and didn’t even know what depression was. I just knew I slept a lot, I had very dark thoughts, I felt funny and I shook a lot. Like, I’d be shaking when out and about. I think my period stopped too. I didn’t know what it was. But my friends knew, spoke to one of my teachers and set an ultimatum: I had to get therapy or they’d seize to be my friends. They actually stopped speaking with me. The lot of them.

The day they told me that, I remember standing by a bus stop wondering how to break it to my father that my friends wanted me in therapy. I was ashamed. I thought mad people had therapy. I felt like I was a fuckup. Like it’s one thing to fail a dance competition, but to fail your life? I felt humiliated. I felt like a bad person. I felt all sorts of things. But I knew I’d fight. I knew I had to do something. And at that moment the sun burst through the clouds. Literally. And for the first time in months I felt something other than what I’d been feeling. Maybe it was hope. I don’t know. I just know that something shifted in that moment. I’d made a decision to get well.

Ten years later I got depressed again. I never cured the root cause of the depression in the first place. I improve my confidence and hence stepped out of the depression, but I wasn’t completely healed. When events in life led me to once again feel like I had no confidence, the depression came back. A relationship had gone tits up. My grandmother (a.k.a. the one source of unconditional love I had) had gotten senile. I’d started studying again and meeting new people I felt shy and awkward — I’d learnt to cope socially over the years, but meeting so many new people all I did was sit petrified, trying to figure out what they thought of me; too paralyzed by fear to speak. I couldn’t find my path career wise and I’d put most of my pride — most of my confidence — in my skills and talents. I was always the smart kid. The talented one. And I was what…doing fifteen weird jobs instead of making it as a world famous director; eventually going back to study out of pure desperation.

And those were the thoughts going round in my mind — I was a failure at everything.

Then I spent a day in Malibu with friends, standing on the beach, realizing I felt nothing. I was surrounded by beauty and felt fuck all. That was a feeling I had a couple of times a day/week and it scared me like crazy. I was much more scared of that feeling — of feeling like there was no meaning to life — than I was of pretty much any outside factor. In short, I was scared of myself, of my own feelings. And standing in Malibu surrounded by beauty and feeling nothing really made it hit home.

That night I sat in a hot tub under the moon praying to God/the Universe for an answer — I’d read all the books, tried everything to become successful and not a single area of my life seemed to be working. What should I do?

The answer came to me: my life was my own and I could do anything. I didn’t HAVE to achieve anything. I could just be.

Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.

Paulo Coehlo

In that moment, my road to recovery begun once more. I learned to accept myself without having to do anything. The hole I’d felt inside of myself since I was a kid slowly started to disappear. I found confidence. By doing nothing.

I learned that I was my essence — my heart and soul — not my achievements.

Those were mine and my friend’s “sparks” — our moments of inspiration to turn our lives around.

I also believe you may find inspiration from faith. That if you truly believe you’ll be handed a moment of inspiration — a spark — then it will come to you. But you still have to engage your will for that to happen. You have to surrender to not knowing; to the idea that a path will be provided even if you can’t see it now. You have to believe you will find your spark. You have to pray every day. Have faith.

I also think you can change without that moment. It’s a decision. Engage your will. Sometimes outside events give you a reason — a source of inspiration — but you can just as well simply decide you’re going to do it.

So back to the story about the cookie man…

Even if you have that burst of enthusiasm, getting to a life where you’re no longer depressed and overweight takes engaging your will. You will need will to do this. That little burst of inspiration will not last forever. You will feel exhausted, not filled with enthusiasm when going for your daily run. You will feel bored by eating a salad instead of a cookie, because you won’t get a feel-good moment from the salad. (Just as when I was recovering from depression, I had to constantly work to shift my thoughts. I had many dark days and you feel like doing fuck all those days, or you simply don’t know how the hell to get through them. But I kept going. Until feeling good became more normal than feeling bad.)

That’s why acting from principle (I will do whatever it takes to live a healthy life) is a lot better than acting from feeling (I feel like shit, so I won’t move — I don’t feel like I deserve a life, so I won’t move — I am tired, I deserve a break).

That’s also why having a support network — people who show up to hold you accountable to exercise and eating healthily — is so important. Because if you don’t “feel” like moving, they’ll make sure you do so. And if they can’t make you, they’ll send you to a wellness retreat in the mountains where they’ll force you to do so. Structure has integrity — if you can’t change the structure in your life (your habits), then hire someone who will. Or put yourself in a place, such as a health retreat, where they force you to.

However, as your lifestyle improves, over time, so will your mood, your body and your inspiration. Changing your habits will lead to you becoming inspired. But it won’t happen over night. It takes time. It takes discipline. It takes some fucking will to get off that couch and decide you deserve a happy life. And you do. Deserve a happy life. We all do.  

Remember that: you are a beautiful soul. Even if you’ve lost your way in one area, or all areas of life. You can still find your way back to your heart and soul. The essence of your being. You just need will.

Think about it this way: you may need some whips and chains to take you to the strawberries and champagne. Not all pain is bad. Not all discipline is bad. So welcome the torture. It will lead to pleasure.

Do yourself a favor: if you want a hard on, go out and date someone who gives you one. Or, you know, give someone a booty call. Don’t stay on the couch waiting for it to happen. It won’t.

Inspiration comes by doing. The more you do, the more inspired you’ll become.

Yours truly, dizzy blonde. 

I get up in the evenin’
And I ain’t got nothin’ to say
I come home in the mornin’
I go to bed feelin’ the same way
I ain’t nothin’ but tired
Man, I’m just tired and bored with myself
Hey there, baby, I could use just a little help

You can’t start a fire
You can’t start a fire without a spark

Bruce Springsteen

I learned that the search for God is a Dark night, that Faith is a Dark Night. And that’s hardly a surprise really, because for us each day is a dark night. None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, and yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.

Paulo Coelho

And if you missed yesterday’s blog:

You’re a beautiful soul you know. You sparkle and glitter. You’ve got kindness and love twinkling away in your heart. Maybe you’ve fallen on the ground a couple of times. Maybe you’re still lying on the ground. Maybe you can’t get up…maybe you’re crawling. But you’re still beautiful. You have gold speckles covering your body. Divinity floating about you in a cloud. Maybe you can’t access that right now. Maybe your mind is broken. Maybe your body too. But your heart and soul are intact. They always will be. You just need to find your way back to them if your life currently isn’t true to them. If your life is not a reflection of who you truly are deep inside. Allow yourself to recognize that you are love. You are divine. You’re no less, no more, than the person next to you. Life shaped you one way or another. That’s all. Inside of you are still all the wonders of the world and some. You’re beautiful. And maybe I’m not great at telling you that, because, well, I’m more prone to kick your ass, but I still see you, you know. I see the miracle that is you. And that’s why I’m here. Not because you’re broken, but because you’re whole. Because you are a heart and a soul. All the rest is just the topping. Continue reading…

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Filed under depression, diary, emotions, Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation