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Tag: personal development

Letting Go To Grow

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As much as we all dream of meeting our potential, it will not come without sacrifice.

Photo by Simon Harvey on Unsplash

Sacrifices that we, as people on a mission, could never dream of until we are faced with them. When we think of success, we tend to think of a precise line. Success is anything but linear. When we pray for success, it’s not that our prayers go unheard, it’s just that we are responsible for our next steps.

This is where it gets tricky, though;
Sacrifice, never seems like sacrifice in the moment. I have found that sacrifice usually presents itself as ultimatums, and impossibility.

As an example: In an earlier post, I illustrated the fact that in order to move, I had to do the impossible: I had to choose between my two dogs in order to move to my new apartment. I had to move in order to get a fresh start, mentally as well as financially.

I was unable to make that decision at an earlier time, and as a consequence of my indecision, I was faced with it again.

It was time to decide, would I do the unthinkable in order to get a fresh start, or would I stay where I was, because of my resistance to change?
It was not easy leaving my chihuahua behind.

This pain we are asked to face, I believe is why we sometimes stay where we are, even if change would be good for us – because we aren’t willing to lose. In turn, we also forfeit our right to choose.

Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash

I can’t blame or shame anyone for that. Letting go of anything – routine, our children, our parents, our habits, at times even our entire identity, is devastating.

There is no manual for letting go. There are no easy ways; there are no ways to avoid the pain of letting go.

As humans, we are wired to choose pleasure over pain – that’s the way our brains are. Our brains are also geared toward habitual ways of being, like drug addiction. Nobody wants to let go of something that makes our world easier to deal with – even if it causes us pain and ultimately, death.

We know that resistance is futile. We know. We only let go when it’s time to, and it’s never the right time to say goodbye to a friend, lover, or family member.


Success looks nothing like our daydreams.

Photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash

If I could paint a picture of what the road to my potential looks like, it looks an awful lot like indecision, on top of a mountain of self-reflection.

At best, there is recognition and pats on the back. At worst, it’s a whole lot of facing ourselves – our demons, our loneliness, maybe even the fact that we aren’t as nice and charitable as we see ourselves.

That, my friend, is the cross we must bear. When we are pondering pursuing our potential, when we are thinking of our art being published, when we imagine ourselves on the shelves of our local bookstore, or on our local news, we must then ask ourselves what we are willing to lose in order to make our dreams a reality.

This is my question for you, dear reader,
What are you willing to lose, or choose?




In the comments, you can feel free to tell me about some of the choices you’ve had to make to get where you are. What was the impossible choice, what was the outcome? I’d love to hear from you.

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Welcomehomehealing.com‘s Logo, credit goes to the Author: Esmeralda Marie

I love you.
Welcome Home.
You’re Safe Here.

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On Language Surrounding Chemical Dependence

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If you are suffering, or have ever suffered from the cycle of addiction, I love you. I hear you. You are worth so much more than what you realize.

You are not ‘an addict’. You are addicted. There’s a big difference. 
Your name is not “junkie”. You are who you say you are. You are the paths you travel and the hands you hold.

Chemical dependency does not have to erase the core of who you are, and it should never define you.

Letting go is much harder than what we, as fellow flawed humans, have given you credit for.

As a person involved in the sphere of mental health, I’d like to say personally, before anything else, I will do my best to not let your personhood be buried under the weight of the stigma.

Paying Homage to Caregiving, and Being Taken Care Of – Part 1 of 2

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On one hand, living with a disability or chronic illness creates so many barriers; nearly all of these vary or are contingent on a plethora of routes and lives lived up to this moment/up to the onset of disability.

On the other hand, supporting someone with a wide variety of needs, such as someone in a wheelchair, or a loved one who is meeting the passage of time – that’s no walk in the park either.

It is difficult to be the helper. It is also challenging to be the one who needs help. At some point, we all will be fortunate enough to understand both perspectives and their respective realities.

If we are in this dynamic, we might find ourselves feeling guilty for what we can or cannot offer the other, both may feel inadequate or undeserving of the other at times, and because it feels as though we are on opposite sides of the fence more often than not, this can also mean we are prone to forgetting what a sacred relationship we’ve been given.

In my life, out of all of the other relationships I have witnessed or been part of, there is no greater relationship in which two people are more able to give and receive love than that of the caregiver and the loved one to whom care is given.

I have been fortunate enough to see both sides of the “helper/helpee” coin. I’ve needed help, and I’ve been there to help others as well.

One thing that I see most often from people who have Cerebral Palsy, a Traumatic brain injury, or another illness is their struggle with allowing themselves to receive the assistance they deserve.

For some, it may be a matter of pride, modesty, or sheer self-reliance; for others, and I suspect for all of us who have had to look to others for support, and in harsher circumstances, survival, the issue is a matter of much more than surface-level traits. With this in mind, I’d like to express my perspectives on what it felt like to be in each place drawing from my own, perhaps limited, but no less truthful experiences.

To the beloved well-meaning caregivers:

You’re doing the best you can with the tools you’ve been given. These resources are often limited and scarce, and it is you, the advocate, nurturer, and lover who often bears the brunt of your family member’s/patient’s/client’s frustration. I see you. I personally thank you. You are doing God’s work.

If I may, I’d like to remind you that the resistance to your help isn’t out of stubbornness or a desire to be contrary: Resistance is often just a big word for fear. Fear of being of too much, fear of being seen as more of a taker than a giver, fear of facing the prison we sometimes find when seeing our atrophied legs or degenerating muscles, or our declining mental health.

We know we’re difficult to be around. We know you’re tired. We feel that. We know we’ve been in eleventy-seven different moods by the time night falls. We know, no matter how much your good heart denies it, that sometimes we ARE the reason you’re burnt out.

We want you, our caregiver, to know its okay to be tired, and yes, we know you’ll never admit to this because you dont want to hurt our feelings or cause us to feel as though we’re a chore to be dealt with.

Sometimes that makes us, the loved one you’re taking care of, sad. Not because you’re doing something wrong or because we are ungrateful, but because we want your life to mean more.

We don’t want to be the reason you’re held back. We love the quality of your care and of the neverending reach of your love; so much so, that we would also love to share the gift of you in your entirety with some other well-deserving people too!

We often feel as though you’re chained to us by unfortunate circumstances, and we forget that you’ve chosen to care for us because you love us. Sometimes we need to be reminded that you’re here by choice, not because you got stuck with us. Remind us that we didn’t get any less cooler just because we need you more than before.

I’m willing to bet we both forget why God placed you with us: because you have more than just the capacity to love us best. You’re also really good at it, even when you think you’re falling short.

You know just how we like our coffee, pancakes, and sometimes you have to put us to bed or remind us to eat, take our medicine, or tie our shoelaces. You manage to do these things without making us feel worse about the fact that you’re probably the only one who cares enough to do these things.

Let’s not forget your remarkable and convincing arguments on why we’re not the burden we see ourselves as: It is a core belief system you’re working with when helping someone who is disabled in some way.

Speaking from the perspective of someone who is disabled but also works as a volunteer crisis counselor: There’s so much pain involved in asking for help than one might realize. In a sense, it is similar to a collapse of self.

Asking for help is more than just succumbing to percieved weaknesses or afflictions. Oftentimes, grabbing the hand of someone who reaches out to assist you says a great deal not only about one’s level of trust in the person, but of their trust in the world as well.

If I grabbed onto someone else’s lifeboat before I found yours, and the last person tried to drown me under the guise of saving me, I’m going to think twice about accepting your help, even if you’re trying desperately to drag me to shore. Re-establishing trust/building rapport/showing me your intentions is important.

Asking for help is revealing to you that I am a vulnerable human being. It is giving someone access to a wound we would really not like to be shamed for.

There’s a reason no one likes unsolicited advice and hovering, though the intent is to help. Sometimes it communicates that a person may not have enough faith in the bond that is shared, or in the abilities of the person you’re advising. After all, if you’ve told me I can come to you, will you keep giving me advice, or would it be better to let me explain to you what my needs are, and then you help? How can you help if you don’t know what my needs are? Jumping in to help can tell the person that you doubt their abilities; ultimately, you don’t trust them. They will respond in kind, even if you’re intent was the opposite.

Asking for help is an art, just as much as giving it is. Trust that the person you are caring for will come to you after you’ve built a bond, and they will come to you; otherwise, it can come across as nagging, harassment, a sales-pitch or manipulation.

See? All of that is required before someone can comfortably depend on you, especially if they’re disabled and need to keep boundaries in place more so than another.

TLDR, if we bite back, we’re scared. It’s not that we don’t love you, it’s probably just that we’ve forgotten that you love us.

On ‘Eating Shit Sandwiches’

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Dust settles…

We packed what we could and left.

Our first venture with an air mattress didn’t go so well. In our first go-round with balloon beds, we slept comfortably enough but would wake up two or three times a night. The air had vacated its dwelling place inside the mattress and decided the floor could hold us up.

We got a new one and saved our backs. For the most part, it’s holding up nicely; I didn’t wake up on the floor as I did with the other one. These past few nights have been kind to us. Both of us are grateful and humbled by the scenery, a good night’s rest, and the gift of the weather’s unpredictability.

I’ve neglected everything in moderation. I now fall asleep at normal hours, and I wake up before noon. Before, I was completely nocturnal. I’d be wired at 4. A.M. – watching the sunrise should never get that old.

We still hold hands, even when we’re asleep. (July 2014)


The water here is different. Showers feel as if you’ve gotten cleaner. Soft water has a tendency to keep your body slick. In contrast, hard water slaps the residue from my outermost organ (if the skin is still considered an organ, anyway). Yes, hard water and soft water is a thing. I didn’t know that until a few years ago.

An address is the furthest thing from my mind, even though the fact that I’m writing about it says otherwise. I’d be lying if I said I was in a rush to get one. I’m not in a hurry, and this town isn’t either.

What a change.

As for me and my family, we were only able to leave with one of our animals. Letting go was hard, but we made the right choice as far as those kinds of painful choices go. It’s funny when we first moved into those duplexes, we were asked to choose which dog we would keep.

In the past, I was unable to make such a decision. It’s like picking a child, and though we all have those we gravitate toward, letting go of the one you don’t think could get their shit together always seems wrong. At the time, we could afford to pay to keep both, and it was the right choice for that timeframe.

This time we were faced with that choice again.

Banjo (left) Annie (right)

(It’s too cold here for him, too noisy, and we decided it wouldn’t be in his best interest to live with us). If there’s such a thing as a good parent, or parents, I believe it would look like the parent who puts the interests of the child before their own wants and anxieties. We wished we could take him with us, and we were going to, but our judgment stepped in, and everything worked out.

We opted to have an older couple adopt him, and they were more than happy to oblige; they said they needed his energy around.

We couldn’t prevent our pain and we couldn’t hold our back our tears. Before that day, I hadn’t touched a cigarette in years, let alone smoke one. Yet, when we brought him to his new parents, I took the one I was offered without so much as a second thought. I said goodnight to him, though nothing would quell the sharp pain we both felt.

My heart kept pulling me to his new home. I could say nothing; it was in the middle of the night. I gently tapped the part of the house where his room was and tried to ignore the fact that I probably looked as if I’d gone mad standing outside of the duplex. I told him goodbye and reminded him (and myself) that I wouldn’t bring him somewhere I thought he would come to harm, and that this decision, though devastating was the best I could do at this time.

My wife still misses him fiercely, but now that we’ve arrived we both agree that this would not be a sufficient place to house him, he’s nervous enough already. I hope he’s well. He never liked the rain, and so far, it has rained more often than not.

Me and Banjo at Bedtime – 2018

As I write this, I realize that this blog has become more about the conscious art of letting go than anything else I had intended. I’m okay with this. I hope you are too. I’m not the type of person that can write a niche blog, though it is wiser and perhaps more lucrative to do so. (I don’t care if you do, do your thing)!

It is true, isn’t it? We teach what we need to learn. I have never been great at goodbyes or letting go. I have trouble processing them, but the more I realize they are often inevitable, the less I suffer.

Pain can’t be avoided. Choices have consequences. Thinking through our fears and shielding our eyes from the terrors of a life lived well only works for a short while.

Letting go of my dog, Banjo, taught me everything about the pain of goodbye and marching forward after a decision has been made. Sometimes, there is no choice less shitty than the other.

Sometimes choice demands you to shed skin, to lose everything to gain something better. Sometimes you need to decide what part of the shit sandwich you’d rather eat, knowing that whatever side you choose will undoubtedly rip your heart out.

We do the best with what we have in the shed, and the tools we are given are all we have, so we might as well learn to build a home when the first house gets burned to the ground.

I love you.
Welcome Home.
You’re Safe Here
.

Nosedive

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I’m excited about what lies ahead. In a few weeks I’ll be starting over.

I’ve become comfortable with uncertainty; it’s even a bit thrilling. I’ve always known that nothing is certain, but this time I feel it on a soul level.

My motivation, and my stubbornness have carried me this far. Not only that, but my faith and absolute determination to not take no for an answer.

I’ve had to sell nearly every item in my house, publish a patreon, fight tooth and nail to not let greed get me down, forget that pride exists, and loosen my grip.

Nose diving into my life with reckless abandon isn’t so scary once you’re off the ledge.

I’m in awe at how I’ve surpassed myself and my expectations of myself as well.

But, a one-man-show is never a one-man-show. I could do nothing without the help of God and the people who have been there to catch me as I was free falling.

An invisible army is still an army.

Elephantiasis is a thing I learned about.

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Good morning,

Whatever kind of morning you’re having, I appreciate you being here with me.

Ringing true to my word and promise to you, I took the leap – learned to fly, and recorded a thirty-minute video of my self talking both directly and indirectly about what personal Hells gave birth to Welcome Home Healing.

So if you’d like to watch, feel free to comment on this post; otherwise, if you don’t have thirty minutes to spare and are expecting perfection, I won’t waste your time.

I am both apprehensive and a bit embarrassed by it, because I’m aware that I can brush up on my speaking skills, and that being vulnerable, though noble and effective opens up doors that we sometimes don’t know we want to remain closed until the truth is already out there.

Additionally, I did post it to Facebook, because everyone’s pretending there. To me, it is too large a platform to be able to afford authentic feedback. I am fortunate to have you (writers, artists, philosophers, rant-spewing dual-awareness humans who may just be broke enough to be humble). – 🙂

That was a joke, by the way. Maybe not all of us are starving artists, but you get the gist.

There were snails on my door this morning.
I love you.

I’ll be posting poetry soon.



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