Tag Archives: inner Child

Children Will Listen

How beautifully true the words are Children Will Listen, they kept playing over and over in my mind. Generally when we talk about children we speak of those that we touch in our physical world our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, students, friends, or just the child on the street.

As I sang this song with tears in my eyes recalling the words that Little Shanna has heard from me all these years. The words I have said about myself. The words she internalized and having no way to process or express, she attached these to her other negative secrets. (She asked that I use her real name.  I will not always, but today. I agreed, because it is important to her.)

Whereas my shield against the world, forged by my parents, family and friends has mostly been created with positive input, hers, due to my inner negative dialogue became a shield that was not much of a shield at all. Just awful awful scary untruths and half-truths. Words a five year-old should never hear.

It is no secret that since I was a teenager, I have had thoughts of suicide. I attempted it once, but the razor would not cut me. I do not take suicide thoughts, talk, or attempts lightly. I have had friends who have felt the darkness and stepped beyond trying to find relief. I will not judge them and I will jump to their defense if I hear anyone saying anything about someone who has attempted or committed suicide.

However, as I have said before, I have made a promise to my Mother that I will not kill myself as long as I have my faculties about me. I will reach out, call, do whatever I can do get out of that dark place where you physically, spiritually, and emotionally feel a pain that is black, completely absent of light, piercing every cell in your body. You just want the pain to stop.

Having said that, as she has watched from her corner of my mind, Little Shanna, has equated sadness with the need to die or to kill yourself. She does not remember the promise nor will she make the promise that I made with Mother. See has seen my misery and torment that words do not do justice, and heard my thoughts seen the pills in my hands, as I shook and yelled.  I just want to die.  She has heard it so many times.  I have to get her to trust me enough now to LISTEN and make the promise that we will keep each other safe.

Singing I looked over on my night stand and saw the monkey I bought her the first few weeks after she came out. He has been covered with junk since I came home from the weekend that I bought him. When she first let me know her secret, I felt sorry for her, broken-hearted. I considered it our secret. As the months passed I have pushed her farther and farther away. Angrily at times, blaming her for the mess my life is in. If she would have kept her secret to herself. If she would not act out. If she would…

Seeing her stuffed bear reminded me she is a child and reminded me of the feelings I felt for her when she first let me know what happened.  I began to be really penitent about pushing her away, even when she was being  a loud five-year old at inconvenient times. She is a child. Most children act out in the least convenient times.

How is she going to heal if the one who should love her most of all continues pushing her away with hateful words, wishing she were gone. How is she going to heal when her protector becomes her abuser?

If she cannot heal then we cannot heal, and if we cannot heal then I cannot heal.

I know that we both want to heal TOGETHER.

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Can I Have This Dance?

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When you live with an alter, especially when you are first realizing and learning to live. It is like getting to know a new roommate. This roommate, unlike a college roommate, shares everything you do, but is much more difficult to get to know. It is truly a trial and error.

I have been fighting Little Hope for a long time. Angry that she intruded on my life. This week I have tried to accept her more, and befriend her more to understand her. She has remained hidden most of the week as I have dealt with my feelings about her.

Today however, I went to my kitchen to do the dishes and start dinner and I could feel her. My anxiety level began to rise. The more I felt her the more anxious I got. Then I stopped and began to talk with her, calmly nurturing her. Reminding her of the fun times that she and Granny had in the kitchen cooking and cleaning. I reminded her of some of the details. She began to settle down. She then showed me an image of her dancing with a doll. She was happy.

I had music playing in the background. It was one of Enya’s songs. I asked her if I could dance with her. She liked that idea. I closed my eyes and hugged myself and danced around my kitchen. Tears streaming down my face. I think it was the first time she really trusted me.

After I danced I had an idea. I know that I like to write, and writing helps me to get my thoughts out. I wondered if it would help her. I asked her if she wanted to keep a journal. She did not know what a journal was so I had to explain that it is a book that we put our thoughts in to help us feel better. It would be her own special book. We can put whatever we want in our own journal. I explained to her that I would create a special place on my computer just for her journal, and anytime that she needed get something out, then she could tell me or she could type it. Though, I honestly I hope this will be a way that she trusts me enough to let me be out all the time. I will not go into the things she told me. Those are her secrets. If she gives me permission to write them on my blog I will, but until then it is her journal.

To some this might make me sound more crazy, but to me, I feel more sane. I feel like I am getting somewhere with her. At least today, tomorrow it might be different, she is a five-year old.

All I know is these forty-year old eyes are sleepy and going crossed from looking at this Mac most of the day except when I was dancing with myself in the kitchen.

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a wonderful night! ~Hope

Why I Blog and A Question

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One of the reasons I stopped blogging a few months ago was because I was so caught up in numbers.  Worrying about my stats daily.  Am I being boring?  What are my readers thinking?  Between that and Little Hope angry that I called her Hope, it just became too much.

Today I have thought about what drives me to write.  Mainly to get the thoughts out to calm me.  Others is to connect with others.  I hope my words do reach others, and somehow help them.  Even it is helps them, helps YOU not feel so alone.

Originally I had hoped to make money blogging, but I know my blog is not going to ever make money.  It is not about a money-making topic that brings people in droves.  Maybe down the road when I am farther along in my journey, I will visit that idea again.  Right now I want to focus on quality posts about my life.

This is the life I am living.  This blog is much more than a blog to me, it is my online journal.  I am going to treat it as such.  I hope as I do you do not get bored reading.  Gratefully, some days are boring.  I long for those days.  Days that I can say, “Today I cleaned house and cooked dinner.”  Of course I will go into more details, and talk more about what I am feeling.

I do have a QUESTION. Before my hiatus when I blogged at the bottom in visual mode it offered suggestions on blogs that I could pingback to, blogs that had similar subject matter.  I do not see this anymore.  Is there something that I need to activate to get that back or what?  I do not remember what it is called.  I would love to have that option again.  I think it was a great way to network in our blogging community.  If you know what it is or how I can get it back PLEASE let me know.  Thanks!

I hope you all have a wonderful night! -Hope

Changes in Me and My Blog

I have been thinking again, as I am developing, and redeveloping this blog. It is transforming, much like myself, I hope.

This last week I have made so great strides in fighting the demons of my past, what is that cliche…kicking butt and taking names? I want my life back!

As I had Enos in his kennel on my bed with me, I thought about “Little Hope”. She is the one that is hurt and injured, one of the things that we have discussed in therapy is controlling her. Confining her and letting her know that it is for her own good. As I do that she will calm and be reintegrated. Enos, does not understand that the crate is for his own good, but as I calming told him in his confined state, that I loved him and he was good, he did not fight the confinement as much. He had to learn that the confinement is not a punishment, but for his healing. It was a real epiphany to me.

So with all this time to think, I have thought about the schedule I have for my blog. I am going to change a few of the days.

Songs of the Heart Sunday: I find that this day is a day that I grow and express myself on so I will continue the Songs of the Heart, and faith building day.

Mutt’s and More Monday: There are some great pet blogs out there. I personally am a dog person, but there are other blogs that I follow that have pets that I have grown fond of. I want to feature one or two of these blogs every week on Monday, and share anything that I might find that helps pets, or will not help pets. I hope you will input your ideas here.

Tell All Tuesday: This has been a fun day for me to remember the good times and share them. I will continue Telling All.

Wordless Wednesday: I found dreaming of places to visit and writing about it too difficult. I am not there yet. I am jumping on the Wordless Wednesday Bandwagon. This will be the day I share my newest photos.

Try It Thursday: I love to cook. I love finding homemade cleaners, or things that make life easier. i like to simple crafts that I can do cheap. I am going to use Try It Thursday for presenting those golden nuggets that I find on the internet, and share them with you. I hope you will share the things you find!

Find the Good Friday: This will remain the same, finding the good in the world and sharing it.

Silly Saturday: Silly Saturday ain’t going nowhere! I need to laugh!!

Thank you for sticking with me as I grow!

Daily Post: Strength, Love, Courage, Faith, and Hope

Today’s prompt was about artists. If you read my last post you saw a beautiful painting by Simon Dewey that offers me a great strength and hope.

The artwork I am about to share brings me great courage strength and hope also. I look at it often. It was created just for me when I was going through my trials being diagnosed uterine cancer. That amazing friend Bec you hear so much about created it for me and my support team.

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The words: Strength, Love, Courage, Faith, and Hope. Those words mean so much to me these days as I struggle more than ever with anxiety and depression. I truly thought cancer would be one of the most difficult things I faced. Cancer was a breeze to me. I was able to keep a pretty positive attitude through it. Bec, had no idea, how much I would lean on this art and the words the rest of my life. This is my most treasured piece of art.

The last picture I want to show is one from earlier today from my walk to Narnia. As I mentioned I could not find the wisteria, but I found these tiny flowers. They are so pretty. I think it was appropriate that I needed to look for them, it kept me engaged in the now.

I debated whether or not to post the image because I want to hide behind “Hope” but there are dual purposes for sharing. One to share the art that I love so much, and two to let “Little Shanna” have her day that I show our real name. I will continue to go by Hope on the blog. That is what I am comfortable with. But I am giving her a voice for a moment, to say our name is Shanna.

Flowers of Narnia 6-27

 

7 Reasons You Should Compliment Total Strangers

Over the last twenty four hours I have worked extra hard at acknowledging and then dismissing “her”. There have been several times she has fought me tooth and nail. One of the things that she dislikes the most is me using the name “Hope” and not our real name, though I do that to protect us. She is afraid that I am forgetting who we are, and who she is.

I feel very weak through this whole experience. My Mother mentions “Bulldog” being gone or hidden, and that is how I feel also. Timid and afraid to be assertive. I am extremely indecisive, and the simpliest decisions are so hard for me to make. Just last night, my husband wanted to clean out our junk room. I almost went into panic mode. The thought of throwing anything away is too much, but were to put it other than the junk room was just as overwhelming. I did not want it moved. He needed it moved. So I focused on making my red bracelet. The one to remind myself of my individual worth (from a few posts back).

I noticed that if I worked on it in silence “she” would yell and scream for attention. I would try to focus on the red color of the thread, the feel of the thread as I knotted it, and focus intently on my counts. I would move my legs to rub Enos fur, but nothing would silence her. She would not be dismissed. I finally realized I needed sound to either drown her out or get her to be quiet. I turned on Disney Channel to whatever show was on, it had singing, and I could focus on it and on my bracelet and “she” could not get through. I finished my bracelet in relative peace.

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Today I had another Therapist appointment, and afterwards Mother and went to Lowes. I decided that I would add to my little garden. I bought a zucchini plant and a yellow squash plant, and also burpless cucumber seeds. This time buying the Miracle Grow gardening soil.

While at Lowes I was looking at the pots to plant my new treasures in, directly in front of the ones I wanted stood a heavy large metal ladder, obscuring them from view. Another lady came up about the same time as I did and made a comment about the ladder, and I smiled at her, and said, “I know right?” grabbed one side of it, which instinctively caused her to grab the other and we moved it out of the way. Her words to me almost put me in a puddle of tears on the floor. She said, “We can see who the take charge woman is around here.”

I thought I had lost that part of me. That was the best compliment I could have received. Her words were so simple, and yet they meant so much. She had no idea what I am struggling with, but it helped me know that I will be able to find me again, bit by little bit. It might be moving a ladder in a store today, and working my way up to the things I used to do and then some.

I read a blog today, I am copying the text word for word below because it is that wonderful, and the stranger at Lowes touched me so much today.

Ours is an increasingly insular society. Hop on the subway and you’ll see dozens of people plugged into their phones. Sit down in a cafeteria and you’ll observe dozens more absorbed by e-readers and magazines. Head to the mall and you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who wants to talk with, look at, or even open the door for you. And that’s fine: The people and activities we love always get prioritized above the general public. But here are a handful of surprising and compelling reasons why you should consider reaching out to strangers — not just to speak with them, but to compliment them.

1. You know exactly how amazing it feels when a stranger compliments YOU.

It’s always gratifying when your mom or boyfriend or bestie tells you that you have a gorgeous smile, or that you’re a knockout in that dress, or that your laugh is infectious. But when a total stranger takes the time to put you on pause and offer genuine praise, it feels utterly amazing. Compliments from strangers stick, linger, even alter our self-perceptions. Consider the power you have to offer that to someone.

2. The snowball effect is real.

The world is teeming with body-snarking. Don’t believe me? Turn on E! or TMZ. Open any women’s magazine. Log onto virtually any website that shows photographs of human beings. And while that kind of body-related smack talk may seem harmless and amusing, it snowballs. Compliments, admiration, and genuine appreciation can snowball, too. You can’t change how the world works with one compliment, but every little bit of positivity helps. Truly.

3. You never know whose crappy day you might transform.

Offering a compliment to a stranger is a gift, regardless. But since you’re reaching out to someone whose background is a total mystery, you never know how powerful your offering might become. That dude whose sweater vest you complimented? He could’ve been on his way to meet a blind date, and your words may have shored his confidence. That elderly woman whose nails you commented upon? She could’ve been feeling acutely lonely until you spoke up. There’s no guarantee, but your act of kindness could be a total day-maker.

4. Karma is real.

Even if you don’t believe in Karma in the original, reincarnation-related sense of the word, consider this: Those who pour nothing but negativity into the world are unlikely to be rewarded with gobs of love and kindness and success. Giving out compliments opens you up to receiving them. In fact, if you hand one out to a stranger and you might get one back right away.

5. You’d make your grandmother proud.

Being friendly with strangers is becoming an “old world” behavior, which means that it carries an elegance that most people find admirable. If you want to exude sophistication – and know that, somewhere, you gran is beaming at you – offer kind words to a stranger.

6. You might connect with someone totally amazing (or at least find out where she got her stuff).

Compliments are conversation starters. If the gal sitting next to you on the airplane is wearing a stellar necklace, tell her so. Maybe she made it. Maybe she got it on sale and will tell you where to grab one for yourself. Maybe it’s an heirloom from her grandmother who was the queen of something. Maybe she’s allergic to it and dying to find it a new home and will take it off and give it to you on the spot. Compliments are door-openers and can lead to fascinating conversations with marvelous people.

7. Tiny acts of bravery can lead to bigger ones.

You might not feel strong enough to quit your awful job or chop off all your hair or move to a new city. Not today. But bravery is like a muscle: If you stretch it and build it up, it grows. Speaking with strangers can feel daunting, but if you push yourself to overcome that fear, your overall bravery level will rise. Soon you’ll be going to movies by yourself, taking dance lessons, flirting with ease. And, eventually, leaving behind your awful job and spent city in your bold new ‘do.
Now listen: I don’t advocate handing out compliments to just anyone. If someone is giving you the Crazy Eye, or seems lost in a deep blue funk, or just throws off a scary vibe, then forget it. Use your judgment and select your strangers wisely. But once you’ve glimpsed someone who has a marvelously intricate hairstyle or an enviable pair of shoes, and once you’ve decided she/he is a safe bet, take a chance. It could lead to great, great things. For both of you.

7 Reasons You Should Compliment Total Strangers.

Gifts for Her

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As promised I went shopping looked for special gifts just for her.. After I pushed away the embarrassment that I was buying a toy for me, I looked at all the stuffed animals. I asked her if she saw an animal she wanted, and did not feel anything. I kept looking, walking the aisle. Then I saw him, sitting among several teddy bears. A lone stuffed monkey. My heart jumped with excitement. It was not George, but it could be his cousin. I knew this was ours.

We walked around the store, him in my buggy. Later on my trip I walked by the crayons and coloring books. We choose our coloring book. When we got home, we colored our first picture in years. It felt strangely nice.

The Fight

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We are bound together. She to I, her to me. Her experiences, my demons.

Last night ranked up there as a bad bad night. A really bad night. We had our first fight. It is so hard to tell which voice is mine and which voice is hers. Let me explain.

Though I have alot of gratitude for being able to live without knowing, there is a stigma attached to repressed memories. Are they real? Did the rape really happen? I have no way of proving it. My rapist is crazy now, cannot question him. Even if you could, would he admit to it? Why do I feel so overwhelmed that I need to prove it? Sharing some of my most intimate and painful details, needing validation, not from myself, from others.

I have no doubt of the reality of my memories, and though my first screams after the initial flashback were, “Please do not let this be a real memory”. It was was more of a plea to stop the memory, fear of what else might be remembered. When you feel it and see it, you have no doubt. You want it to stop, and pray that it never happened.

Others lovingly acknowledge the memory, perceived by them as possibly a false memory, as a real feeling and experienced as real to me. Lovingly is not used in lightly here, it was truly in love, and in honest support. They want me to heal. However, to me, I only heard “I do not believe you, it did not happen.” That is not what was said.

For me I only see it in black and white. Either it happened or it did not happen. If it happened I need to deal with it and heal, if it did not happen, then I AM crazy and where do I go from here? How do you heal from a rape that never happened? With a broken mind that plays games on you? How do you live like that? That would push me closer to the edge than I have ever been. I am already teetering and it scares me. I see the fear in my Mother’s eyes too. I guess that is why I need them to believe me. I NEED THEM TO BELIEVE ME!

This is when The Fight happened. Like I said I do not know whose voice was whose. This is all so new to me.

I wrote a letter in our letter journal. Angry, oh so angry. If she had only told back then. No one would doubt the memory. Why didn’t she tell!!!!! I know she was a child she was scared and hurt. But my life is hell because she did not tell!! I am having to fight these battles alone because she did not tell!! I hate myself because she did not tell!! No the abuse as not her fault, but she should have told!! That is her fault!! I need her to tell me why she did not tell!!

Today, I have promised myself that we will try to make amends, and be gentle with each other. There is so much blaming going on. I am going to Books-A-Million to get a workbook on working with your inner child. I am also going to go do something that I have not done in a long time. I am going to buy a stuffed animal. Hey, I might even make a trip to Cold Stone. I do not know if that is for her or me. But I think icecream is in order.

Alone

Something I am working hard on doing is gaining the trust of my inner child. How courageous and painful it must have been to hold in the secret for so long and not even tell me. I want her to feel safe.

Talking to yourself has always been a sign of weakness or the “crazies”. Talking to yourself in a younger version, as a child, parenting yourself–It is a foreign concept to me, but something healing about it too. I think that is one of the reasons I want to find George so bad. Yes, George means so much to me now, but to hold and hug George, would be like giving my inner child her security blanket. A gift from the adult me.

She alone has carried this burden. Yes, making my life miserable because she could not find her voice to share her secret so we could heal, but alone nonetheless. She just acts out in anger, depression, fear and anxiety, over eating, and chosing unhealthy relationships. Basically making my life a living hell until I would go to therapy and help us. 34 years that is a long time to suffer alone in pain.

In therapy last week, one of the activities we did was imagine there was a child there, one of the children that I teach at church. A five or six year old. This child comes up to me they had been hurt in the same way I was. What would I tell this child?

As I talked to this child, we realized the things that my inner child needs to hear, and she needs to hear those things from me. I need to get the trust developed so I can really talk her.

How do you talk to your inner child? For me I acknowledge my feelings, especially those that start coming out of the blue. I was feeling really anxious the other day, for no apparent reason and I acknowledged her, that I could tell she was worried about something and I told her we were going to get help for herand us. We were going to be whole. I let her know she was not alone anymore, she does not have to carry her secret any more. I am the adult, let me carry it. It was strange, the anxiety lessened a little. I do not mean ALOT, wow I am healed kind of feeling, but that crushing feeling was lessened.

When I first started going to therapy and they wanted to look into my past, I was almost defiant saying, “I had a good childhood.” I still stand by that statment to a large degree, but I think about how my inner child felt denying all she felt the last 34 years, her childhood was not good. She had alot happy times, but the all of her happy times were marred by what “he” did to her. I am grateful to her for letting me have a happy childhood and not remember, but I am sorry she carried that burden alone.

Karly’s Story

I mentioned last night reading the blog of a friend as she talked about her abuse and how her words resounded in my soul. I have spoke to her and she gave me permission to re-post her blog. I am grateful for her courage. She is an amazing lady.

I hope that as we come forward, it gives other victims the courage to do the same, so that they can start healing. I know my inner child is ready to heal, Karly’s inner child is ready to heal, and many other voices are ready to be heard and healed.

Here is Karly’s post.

“yes, it’s been a year since my last post. i’ve been putting off writing this post for many reasons, but i’m tired of excuses, and it’s time to tell my story.

let me add in a disclaimer here… this is a tragic story about what happens all too often to innocent children… sexual abuse. i have been seeing a therapist for a few months now, and i talked to him a lot about this. he is happy that i want to share my story, but he told me to be careful because many times we can experience “vicarious traumatization,” meaning that someone else may be traumatized by my story. that is obviously not my intention, so if this topic is too hard for you to stomach, i would suggest saving this post for another time.

after years of trying to deal with my trauma in many different ways, i have decided that face it head on, and learn to heal the wounds that were left on my soul so many years ago. i feel strongly that part of my healing process is to tell my story. there is a nine year old little girl inside of me that has been screaming in my head for the last 21 years, and it’s time to acknowledge her and let her speak.

you may be wondering why i would want to do this in such a public place. why would i want to share some of the most intimate and tragic details of my life with people other than my family? the answer is simple. i am pissed as hell. it makes me furious that little girls and boys have to go through this… to have your innocence and trust be shattered in the most traumatic of ways. did you know that 1 in 3 girls (and 1 in 7 boys) is sexually abused in some form by the time they are 18 years old?! let me tell you that statistic again…. ONE in THREE. i feel that as a society we don’t talk about it enough, which is also why i am sharing this here. it’s one of the “unspeakables,” which for me only fosters a sense of shame and guilt for the victims. if my story can help even one other person to start on their healing journey, then it is well worth any of the scrutiny or criticism that may come of this.

i was nine years old when i was sexually abused by an older, male cousin. it only happened one time, and for that i am grateful. i know others who have experienced abuse far worse than what i went through, but that doesn’t make what i went through any less traumatic. as a young girl i was not emotionally ready to handle what happened to me. i felt worthless and dirty, and i didn’t want anyone to know… so i kept it to myself for the next five years. when i finally told my parents i felt like i was somehow broken, but i didn’t want to admit that. i’ve always been the “strong” one, so i refused counseling, which looking back now, was a decision that i will always regret. i then fell into a dangerous and destructive cycle as i tried to “treat” myself, which really just meant i tried to pretend it didn’t happen.

pretending it didn’t happen just made everything worse. i was shattered into a million pieces on the inside, but i put on a happy face for everyone around me. i was an athlete, a good student, a good friend, but this little girl inside of me was always yelling at me to fix her, and i didn’t know how. i went to church on sunday, i went to early morning seminary* every day of the week during the school year, i went to mutual on wednesday, and i went to EFY and girls camp every summer…but it was all for show. i was angry at God, and because i was so angry, i felt unworthy of His love.

i was fifteen years old when i had my first drink, and over the next 11 years i fell into an awful pattern. my life would be going good and i would get spooked because i “didn’t deserve” a good life, so i would go out and do something to self-destruct. i also would attract, and probably even sought out destructive relationships, where i wasn’t treated very well at all. i did this because i blamed myself for what had happened to me, which in my mind translated to me deserving everything bad that happened to me… whether at my own hand or at someone else’s.

Now, i know it wasn’t my fault…well i guess i should say i’m starting to believe that it wasn’t my fault. i am at the very beginning of what i know is going to be a long and painful journey. i feel so blessed to have the family that i do for support and the counselor that i do for guidance. and i also feel blessed to have this outlet to share my journey. i know i set this blog up as somewhere to make and achieve goals, but i am so incredibly far from that. at this point, i am going to be focusing on doing a couple things every day that will make me feel better. i’m going to be trying to replace destructive thoughts and behaviors with positive thoughts and behaviors. i am also going to use this as a place to talk about counseling sessions, and any thoughts i have about what we talked about. i am taking my life and turning it upside down and i am excited for what is in store.

recently my sister came to visit and brought me a present… a piece of her art.

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i had seen her working on this piece over the last couple years and always liked it. i also always thought it was a drawing of her. when she gave it to me she told me that the girl in the picture, was in fact, me…that she has watched me over the years as i’ve fallen and climbed and fallen and climbed… and that she was proud of me. i love this picture for what it represents right now in my life. i have been in the valley of shadows for awhile now, but i feel as the girl in the picture right now. i feel i am climbing up into the sunshine and even though it hurts, it feels good. i know there are some mountains in front of me that i still need to climb, but i’m finally ready for the challenge.

*for those of you not of my faith, seminary is essentially an early morning religion class that lasts your four years of high school, mutual is our midweek activity, and EFY and girls camp are religious summer camps.”

Karly’s Blog can be found here: Journey To A Better Me