Big Rona

Blog Post

Hi there. Before I get into anything, I wanted to address the massive elephant in our lives: COVID19. I send my deepest condolences to those that have experienced loss due to COVID19, my biggest vibes of health and healing to those battling COVID19, and my loudest cheer to those on the front lines helping the world beat this.

I am amazed that something like this has happened in our world. Watching the numbers increase dramatically is quite a bit mindblowing. We all are being impacted by the same, spooky thing. I hope that despite the devastation COVID19 has created, the world can unify together to fight it and come together as a collective human population to support one another. We are all in this together and there is a bit of beauty in that.

We can survive this. We must keep our heads up, our spirits higher, and our hope alive.

I think the answer to the fear that is running rampant is love. We need more love. I think in the midst of all of this we all need more love in our hearts, for ourselves, and for others. There is enough love to go around.

Since my time of isolation, I have been struggling with my value. I quickly realized I naturally associate my worth as a person to my productivity. And when that was no longer an option, since there is only so much that one can do in a small two bedroom apartment, I reverted back to my belief that my worth is connected to the shape and size of my body. I don’t know if anyone else has struggled with this, but I feel like while I have been in isolation my entire day is dictated by my next meal (it is truly the only schedule that I have in my day right now. LOL.) All of this made my mental space toxic and I realized my internal confidence was pivoting. This time in the world is weird and it is pushing us all to go through an emotional process. I fought to accept that, but I, too, realized I was being impacted emotionally.

The truth is, we all deserve love. We deserve love from every person in our lives. We deserve love from ourselves. We deserve all of the love, simply because we exist.

This concept is something that has been brewing within my mind for the entire month of march: are we, as people, inherently good or bad? Do our actions create our value? I listened to The Liturgists podcast. In the podcast, Dr. Hillary McBride brought up the concept that as a psychologist she believes people are inherently good. If people are inherently good, that makes me inherently good. If people are inherently good, that makes you inherently good.

What if we spent today (lets start small) believing that we were inherently good and we actively spent all day giving love to ourselves? Does a whole day feel overwhelming? (it does to me sometimes) What if for the next ten minutes? Close your eyes. quiet your mind. imagine that you are breathing love in and breathing love out. DO NOT question if you deserve the love. Just accept it.

Regardless of how you are feeling, you are worthy of all of the love (especially love from yourself).

I just want to end by reminding that we are all in this together. And that this whole experience is jarring, overwhelming, and it is okay that this process looks however it does for you. This is life changing for all. So, allow yourself pressure-free isolation. It is okay if you gain weight or lose weight. It is okay if you go on a daily walk or if you don’t. It is okay if you get things done around the house or if you only watch Tiger King. I just want to give you permission. The top priority is staying home and staying safe.

I am sending all of my love.

XO,

M

My Return.

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Hey blog world. Long time no see. In fact, over a year since I last posted on here. The last year has been the busiest year of my life. To name a few reasons why: I finished my bachelors degree, got married, and moved across the country. Looking back, I realized how challenging that all was. It took all of my time and consumed all of my thoughts. Unfortunately, that meant that writing had to take a back burner. If I am honest, though, writing stopped being easy for me before that.

In August 2018, I lost my job as an Administrative Assistant at a church that had rescued me. It was a bit of a mutual decision, and a bit not. During that time at the church, about 13 people stopped working there (again, some were mutual decisions and some were not). Everyone, employee, member, and anyone in-between was reeling from the changes that were at hand. More than that, a person at our church began to express themselves in new ways, which confronted a lot of people with their inner prejudice, judgement, strict opinions, and beliefs about God. The responses of members led to an outbreak of criticism for the church. I knew where I stood on my opinions of both the situations at hand, but I was not certain what posting those opinions online would do for my relationships or reputation. And that hindered what I felt like I could write.

I had always used this space, and my journal, as a place to help me filter through my thoughts and feelings. How was I supposed to do that when my thoughts and feelings directly pointed towards people in my life? How was I supposed to share what I was feeling as I navigated the icky feelings? I didn’t know. So, I let the fear stop me from my writing.

At the same time, I transferred to Humboldt State University to finish my bachelors degree in Sociology. Sociology is the study of society throughout the years and how it operates today. Honestly, it is not a subject for the weak hearted. Learning how society has written off different communities of people for years on end is a hard pill to swallow. My heart and mind became radically awakened by the atrocities of our country.

I know I didn’t go into clear details earlier about the problems within the church, I think that maybe one day I will. But the problems I was experiencing and watching happen within the church were actually perpetuating the atrocities I was learning in school. Which led me to feeling trapped inside the injustice and fearful of opening my voice publicly (or writing my words down into the internet abyss). I stopped writing, but I don’t want to remain done.

Now that I have covered why I stopped writing, I want to talk about why I am returning to writing. Someone I deeply trust told me recently that I am a writer. Instead of doubting them, I simply decided to believe with them. And if it is true that I am a writer, I believe it is my duty to write about the things that matter. Things that matter to me, society, and to Love.

Take this as your warning….

I can promise that my writings will not be perfect. I can promise that my writings will be educated, but that there is always more for me to learn and I can promise there will be plenty that I do not know. I can promise I will say things wrong and mess up. I can promise that I will talk about things that need to be talked about, even if you do not like the topic. I can promise I will try my hardest. I can promise I will lead with love, learn with love, and be corrected through love.

I am scared I will hurt people with my writings, by offending them, by upsetting them, by messing up. But, I feel it is my duty to bring light to the issues at hand, to give insight into what I am learning and feeling, and to spread education to all those that want to learn.

I want to talk about social issues, my own life lessons, and hopefully create a space of love and inspiration for anyone interested. Thank you for joining me on my journey.

XO,

M

2019: Marriage, Failing, & Young Living

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Well, today is January 14th…meaning we are two weeks into the new year…but here is my NEW YEAR NEW ME POST! (kidding…sorta)

We all know the gist…the new year comes around and everyone makes a bunch of resolutions that, more often then not, they do not see the fulfillment of. Yet every single year, so many people go through this ceremonial tradition of resolutions. The newest trend seems to be the “word of the year” thing. Instead of creating resolutions, people decide a word for the year and have that to set the tone for the year. For me, I think this process (of both resolutions and a word) is a really wonderful time to reassess your life and become a bit more intentional.

I started working on this blog post weeks ago. The potential of this post made me really think about what I want for 2019. I made a list of of the things that 2019 will hold for me: more connections, more hobbies, graduating college, and so many other things. But the more I have thought about them, the more they seem to have become filtered down to the most important aspects I want in 2019. It is really only three things, but they are good ones!

Marriage.

One of the really big things, for 2019, that is on the agenda plans potential adventures is the topic of marriage. Christian (the very handsome rockstar boyfriend) and I have been dating for over 2 years, and for us that had led us getting quite a bit serious (not an ounce of judgement if you and your partner need longer than that or less than or whatever your relationship choices are). We have begun talking about marriage and what the future looks like for us. We had some very serious conversations over the holidays and we have decided that this is our final year before we get married. (Disclaimer: we do NOT have a date. We are not even engaged, but we are very aware that our time of being unmarried is coming to an end).

I share this because one of the biggest things I want to do this year is really embrace this time before getting married. I want to use this final year of singleness to really get healing, to prepare my heart and life for the process of officially becoming life partners with someone. I want this to be a year of preparing and adventure. (I think I will write more about this later…about the things I want to accomplish, but that will come later).

Failure.

This year the word I chose for the year is Failure.

I know, that sounds so strange, but hang with me!

As a type 1 enneagram (if you have not done this personality test yet…you have to!!) I do everything in my power to avoid being “bad” or to avoid “corruption” or to not fail. Type 1 has an absurd moral standard and only see actions/people as either good or bad. There is no gray. Because of this thinking, I avoid doing a lot of things that I know I won’t be the best at. I avoid doing a lot of things that seem “wrong” because I do not want to become wrong. Because of this, I avoid a lot of life.

In 2019 I do not want to do that anymore. I want to intentionally embrace the failures of life. Failures are inevitable. They are not things that can be avoided. I want to intentionally do things that I feel like I fail at…painting, bowling, or challenges for myself (like my list of books I intended to read over Christmas). I want to accept my failures and know that they are a part of me.

I want to truly know that my failures make me who I am and are just as important as my successes. This word for the year is making me feel more brave and more adventurous…

which leads me to my third (and final) goal for 2019…

Young Living.

Deciding not to fear failure has pushed me to making a big decision…I have decided to become a Young Living distributer. Young Living is a company that sells all natural products, more specifically, essential oils. Essential oils are called the “life blood” of a plant. Basically, it is this oil that is extracted from a plant that is used to support/benefit one’s life. For example, you could use peppermint essential oil to help get rid of your headache. Another example is using the oil called “Peace and Calming” to promote tranquility in your mind, emotions, and life. You use these oils topically, internally, or diffuse them into the air. These oils have changed my life. I have contemplated becoming a distributer for months now, because I really believe in the products. I was scared, though, because I am afraid of what people will think and I am afraid that I won’t sell the products. With the encouragement of embracing failure, plus the extreme desire to make my life more natural and healthy that I am doing it. I will definitely be sharing more later, but for now…you can check out my new Instagram: @SmellyGalEssentials

I am very excited about 2019. I think that this will be a magical year filled with accomplishment and grace.

What do YOU want to accomplish in 2019?

XO,

M

Hello, Stranger.

Blog Post

Hi, beautiful readers, it has been some time. Far too long since I have written here. I could give you so many excuses as to where I have been, but that doesn’t seem as entertaining as the truth.

This whole blog process seems like a stranger. It feels foreign, writing my internal thoughts through the repetition of finger taps. I have missed it, tremendously. This was never my intention, to take a break, but life swept me up in it’s chaos.

The last time I wrote, my life was changing. I had the subconscious attitude to hunker down and survive as my life pushed and pulled me here and there. I wanted to show my strength. I wanted to show my ability to overcome. I wanted to show my bravery. So, I just faced it all head on.

Bravery is a beautiful thing, but sometimes it robs you of the power of vulnerability, the power of emotion, the power of mess.

Anyways, my life got flipped upside down and I was just trying to stay afloat in the midst of it. I lost my job. I no longer could see my immediate support system everyday. And I was no longer safe in a bubble of known conservatism. Having grown up in the church, I knew how the conservative side of America like the back of my hand. But, what happens when, in a way, I was pushed out of that safe bubble. Well, I began to discover new perspectives.

I walked, head held high, into a campus crawling with liberals, strangers, and challengers. I was pushed to the edges of what I believe, how I believe and who I am. These strangers that I walked the halls with, have sharpened me and watered me. They have created a new version of me that is more beautiful than the last.

Now, I am not saying that I have given up all my previous beliefs or radically thrown my moral compass out the window (even though I was given plenty of offers to do just that). I am just saying that the juxtaposition of my church-bubble compared to my new, daily, community of students has really made me find my own two feet to stand one. No longer am I accepting of a belief, lifestyle, or behavior simply because others want me to or because it was what I was taught, instead… I am discovering what I think.

The battle of this semester has distracted me from a lot of my hobbies and passions (like this blog). But I am back with a vengeance.

XO,

M

Crashing Over Me

Blog Post

Life is unpredictable. Sometimes we are laying in the sunshine and sand, content and managing everything super well. But other times we are being rocked and rolled, slamming into the rocks on the sea shore. We are constantly moving with the ebbs and flows of life.

I am the type of person that aims to accomplish. I aim to be successful. I feel great when I am successful. Often times success, to me, looks like handling my responsibilities completely and not feeling overwhelmed by my responsibilities. Which creates problems, since I am also the type of person that loves to accept more responsibilities. I am constantly inviting in more responsibility, making it harder and harder to manage it all, making me feel less and less successful.

When you have the perspective of success directly correlating to responsibility, I think it pushes us to hold onto those responsibilities too tightly. We cling to our responsibilities, fighting to hold onto them in order to prove to ourselves that we are worthy. We are looking for our worth to be proven.

Despite it being natural for me to think that my responsibilities are directly linked to my value, I think my thinking is wrong. I think that the two things are not remotely linked. I think each of us simply have innate value. And I think we are given responsibilities. But I do not think that our value has anything to do with our responsibilities.

What if I don’t hold so tightly to things that encourage the thinking that I must do in order to value myself? What if I accepted my innate right of value and used that to do incredible things?

What if I stopped holding my life tightly within my hands, suffocating each aspect of my life, but instead I keep my hand opened, allowing the ebbs and flows of life.

Tight grips are all about fear, open hands are about expectations. I want to live with more open hands.

This week I am learning, I am choosing, to open my hands in another area of my life. I am choosing that I am worthy, simply because I Am. I am choosing to trust the greater good, instead of my own plans. I am expecting incredible things from my life, not because of what I can do, but because I believe in it. I believe in myself and I believe in my future.

Is anyone else having to learn to let go and surrender? Is anyone else learning to love the ebbs and flows of life? I am…even when the wave crashes hard.

Thank you for reading!

XO,

M

Ignorance is Misery

Blog Post

So this past weekend I logged into my Facebook account and a video popped up on my feed titled Say “No” to Fat Acceptance. I watched the entire video, looking for the “punch line,” but there never was one. The video depicted an “overweight” man on an operating table and then flashed back to his life growing up. It showed him eating fast food, his mom “enabling” his bad habits, and him not exercising.

As someone that has struggled with her weight for her entire life, this video hit really close to home. I was instantly smacked upside the head with the shame this video was promoting. I reached out to the person that shared the video and tried to gain some understanding.

Was their intention to truly say “fat” is wrong? Was their intention to really say that society is accepting of “fat”? 

After the conversation, I was baffled by the scenario that I was in. I had never been hit with such dense opposition to something as unimportant as weight.

A few days later I was on my apple calendar (which, I am so proud of apple for recognizing this celebratory day) and saw the event “Juneteenth”. I have to be honest, I was super confused. After asking a few people, I finally learned that Juneteenth is a celebration of the freedom & release of the African American people back in 1865. This is their July 4th. Their day of freedom.

I, again, was stunned. I had no idea and instantly felt tremendously embarrassed and saddened that I didn’t know about such a momentous day.

As I processed my new learning, I recognized the similarities in these two scenarios.

Ignorance.

Meaning, the lack of knowledge or information. Or, being clueless. Or, putting your foot in your mouth (sometimes majorly) because you simply do not know better.

Ignorance sucks.

If I am being completely honest, the experience of the fat-hate video was one, out of maybe five, experiences I have had with total ignorance. It really hurt knowing that someone hated me so badly for something as unimportant as my weight. It really hurt knowing that someone truly thought I was wrong for my body. And then here I was, living and not knowing about such a momentous day as Juneteenth.

BARELY got a taste of what it is like to be face with ignorance. But there are all kinds of people that are faced with ignorance every day.

In regards to Juneteenth…I am lucky enough to have some friends that are teaching me. about the realities of being African American today. They are telling me the ways that they have to be humble, honor, and fight to be the people they are today. They tell me about their real and raw history (not the nicely framed history within the books I used to read at school). They tell me about what it is like to be an African American in society today: the extra conversations required, the many injustices they still face, and they correct my ignorances. I feel tremendously blessed to be extended the amount of grace they give me.

As someone that is eager to fix her mistakes, I am amazed to face people that are not.

I wanted to write this post to challenge each of you, lovely readers, to face your ignorances. Whatever it might be (sexuality, religion, race, weight, disabilities, gender, etc) get informed. Learn more (even if its hard)! Make mistakes (even if it hurts)! But always keep in mind that your little world of experiences are not all that is out there.

As much as it stings, it is always beautiful to be humbled.

What areas of life/this world are you learning about these days? Let me know in the comments!!

XO,

M

The Never Ending Possibilities

Blog Post

Recently Christian (the boyfriend) has been talking about wanting to accomplish his goals. He has goals and tasks to accomplish that he has been putting off for, who knows how long. But he has decided to begin to cross those things off the ever-growing list of life’s to-dos. Over the last couple of weeks, I have watched him accomplish these things that he has wanted for so long.

His are as simple as building a pedal board, to as intricate as editing youtube videos, and as deep as beginning to take some online training classes. I have felt really inspired to simply go after those things that I want.

Something I have always wanted to do was create more. So, I am slowly trying to do that. I had a friend get married and so I made her & her husband a gift as opposed to just buying one. I have two big canvases that I am going to cover & repaint this summer, or at least I plan to.

I have been trying to go after new healing with my body and my attire. I have tried new styles and different kinds of outfits. I have sent multiple photos to my stylish little sister asking if I am achieving the trend/style that I am going for. But, despite my lack of confidence, I have done it. I have knotted my hair, my shirts, and bought new pairs of shoes. I have rocked the over-sized graphic tees, but also have tried to find confidence in showing off my shoulders. I plan to make small steps to continue to find creativity within my closet.

I have wanted to solidify relationships. Strengthening the ones that are already blossoming and nurture the ones that are growing. I feel like I am going out to coffee with someone every day, which is exhausting at times. But I am trying to find the balance of connection with others and connection with myself.

I have wanted to fall deep in love with pursuing my spirituality, again. It is something that I have always pursued, even when the fire hasn’t been there…but it hasn’t been something that I am always in love with. I have begun to listen to podcasts, talk about spiritual things with friends, and have begun to mediate (fix my mind) on Love.

If I am being totally honest…another goal/dream I have is to figure out my relationship with food and exercise. I hate having to share that, but it’s true. My relationship with food has been a difficult one. I have learned, over the years, that I am an emotional eater. And I have an irrational fear of moving my body. I have fought for years to grow in my love for myself and my body (learn more about my whole story here!) and I have grown so much in that. But, when I think about my goals I think about how I want to get to a better place with those things. I want to feel good in my skin. I want to strengthen my body. And I want to fuel my body with good things. But, I am scared.

Another wise moment from Christian was when he told me to stop worrying about the what-ifs. I had this overwhelming concern about the working out and the learning to eat well. What if I fail? What if I am doing it for the wrong reasons? What if I mess up?

But, what if I succeed?

I think the point in crossing these things off of our lists is not about accomplishing, but I think it is about trying. It is about trying to go after the things in front of us. The things that have been nagging on us. The things that pull on our hearts.

What if I tried to go after these things? What if I tried to find a healthy balance in my eating and exercise? What if I tried to create more?

The other day I was talking to a friend that was struggling. She is battling an intense war for her hope and she was having a hard day. I sent her a video of me reminding her that the day was almost over and a new day would begin again tomorrow. A new day full of new blessings, new opportunities, and new hope. It was in that moment that I realized that each challenge, every single one, is contained within a single day. Each day we get an opportunity to have a different attitude and perspective.

THAT is our challenge. Our challenge is to just do our best each day. Our challenge is to pursue our lists of goals and dreams each day. It is about making small steps towards crossing those things off. It is not about accomplishing everything.

So, today I created. Today, I ate ice cream. Today, I was happy. Today, I fought against the afternoon grumpiness. Today I did my best.

So, What are you trying in your life? Let me know in the comments below!

XO,

M

Dennis

Blog Post

Hello beautiful readers,

How are you? How are you really? (Let me know in the comments below!).

I know that this blog post is multiple days late and I am so sorry for that but I have an explanation. My blog posts go up at sometime on Wednesdays, that is something I have tried really hard to stick with. But this Wednesday my church family got some devastating news.

A person that has been in our environment for two years went missing on Thursday. On Monday afternoon a suicide note was found. And on Wednesday, the search team found his body.

To say that this family is devastated is an understatement.

His name was Dennis. He was a sweet man that was super creative, a good friend, and a fighter.

I didn’t know him well, but I am still devastated at his loss. I didn’t know how to post a casual blog post on a day with such a loss. It didn’t feel right. And since then, I have questioned how to post about Dennis.

Loss is not something most people are okay with, and when it is the loss of a life…it is much harder. It is sad to never see that person smile again, or hear their laugh. It is sad to know they are no longer here on earth. But, there is also a great beauty in celebrating a life.

I think that each life has a calling to inspire, encourage, and push people to greatness. Dennis has done that, even after his passing. I have heard sooo many people talk of the inspiration that Dennis has left them with.

I want to listen more.

I want to judge less and accept more.

I want to listen to my internal voice more.

I think that each person that has interacted with Dennis is currently reflecting back on all the inspiration he brought to their life and it has been an honor to watch people grow from the man that Dennis was. Although, we all wish he was still here with us.

I wanted to write this post not only to remember Dennis, but also to talk about suicide. Suicide is no joke. If you (or someone you know) has suicidal thoughts…ask for help. I know that it might seem scary, but it is a fear worthy of facing.

You deserve life, so I challenge you to fight for it. Even if it doesn’t seem worth it…get help. Regardless of who it is from, get help. (Here is a great resource!)

I promise, things get better. Regardless of what you’re facing…there is hope and breakthrough can be yours.

(I am aware that this post does not solve your problem. but I want you to know that there is hope)

Let me know how YOU are really doing in the comments below. And thanks for hanging with me, despite my delayed post. I love y’all.

XO,

M

Love heals.

Blog Post

WOW.

I am shocked at the responses from last week’s post! (If you didn’t check it out…check it out here. It is all about my story with pornography & freedom). Thank you sooo much for the support and encouragement. It truly means the world to me.

After last weeks post, I really wanted to give some encouragement/hope to anyone that might be in the midst of struggle. (Whoops. I guess that applies to us all (; ) Life is hard and sometimes we simply need someone to tell us that it. is. possible.

Now, I know that some of you are not Christians and may not believe in God, but I also think that everyone is spiritual and desires spiritual growth. My desire in this space on the internet is to be a place where anyone, from any background, feels free to be. By this, I mean that I never want to push my thoughts onto anyone else…but I, too, want to make sure that I continue to allow myself the space to share what I feel needs to be said.

So, in this post…keep in mind that I honor where each and every one of you is.

Something that some of you do not know is that I work for a discipleship program. This is a spiritual program that focuses on working with adults to help them to heal emotional wounds, actively pursue personal growth, and urging them to connect deeper and deeper to God’s undeniable love for them.

Personally, I went through this program and was radically changed (you can read more about it here!) This program sees all kinds of people come through it’s doors: addicted, tormented, broken, hopeless, insecure, young, old, and everything in between.

I have seen LOVE heal each and every thing. I have seen LOVE mend the deepest of wounds. I have seen LOVE heal years of torment. I have seen LOVE show people to dream, love, believe. I have seen freedom from addictions. I have seen anger resolved. I have seen insecurities become areas of confidence. I have seen hope fill people’s lungs. I have seen dreams flood people’s minds. I have seen purity affect people’s lives. I have seen shame brush off of people’s shoulders. I have seen bodies restored. The healing, breakthrough, and freedom that I have seen in people’s lives is ridiculous (in the best of ways).

I do not know what you’re facing right now in your life. I don’t know what your past holds or what future complications you will experience. But, I want to say that THERE IS HOPE. Regardless of what it is…LOVE can heal.

I know that this is a little crazy…but today at work we replaced lies with truths. We went after the lies involved with comparison. For me, I was believing that that I was unworthy. After that, I apologized to God and to myself for partnering with that belief. And then, I was intentional to receive LOVE. After that experience, I feel so much lighter and fuller and happier.

(Now, that does not solve all problems. I have to continue to be intentional to stick with the new truth that I have learned. But, I have hope that this new truth can be maintained)

So, whatever it is that you are facing, LOVE is enough. LOVE  can heal. LOVE  can restore.

This is a short post, but one I truly believe in. Also, I just want to say that I am here for you…feel free to reach out. I would love to connect and encourage you.

What is the new truth you’re believing? Let me know in the comments!

XO,

M

ShameFree

Blog Post

So, let me be honest.

Each blog post I have written so far has been fairly easy for me to write. The amount of transparency and vulnerability has been easy to swallow. But, today I want to write about something that is actually a challenge.

I have tried starting this post about 7 times and I keep having the faces of my sweet family roll through my mind. Isn’t it funny how it is easy to be transparent with strangers, but it is far more difficult to be vulnerable with those that matter? (I promise family, this story ends on a good note!)

I want to start off with a disclaimer: this is simply my expereince. In no way am I trying to push a belief system or be the moral police for any of you. Be the best version of you, whatever you think that that is. But I do feel led to share my story.

WELL, here goes…

About a week ago I was sitting in a room with a group of spiritual leaders that I trust. We were talking about sexuality (and all things related). A question got presented about pornography and it was referred to as a man issue. I was instantly irate. Because pornography does not just affect men and I think that needs to be talked about more.

It affects women. It affects people. It affects me.

I think I was about 11 or 12 when I began watching porn. I think it started from curiosity, turned into fascination, and remained an addiction. It was about 7 years before I got any freedom.

For me, watching pornography and masturbating was a terrible act that reiterated all the self-hatred that I had been cultivating inside me for most of my life (see my blog post all about my story to know more about that). It became a form of punishment and self-absue.

Now, this is where I remind you all of the disclaimer above…you can obviously make your own decisions about your own purity. But for me, watching pornography was horrible. I felt terrible after, I had to hide a major part of my life from the people that love me, and I felt violated seeing those images. The experience for me was one of shame.

Overtime I became numb. I struggled to make true, vulnerable friends. I put up a wall with my family. My identity became solidified that I am worthless and I deserve shame.

I was like two people: the good christian girl to the public eye and the shame-ridden worthless monster behind my bedroom door. I hated living like this, but it felt like exactly what I deserved. I tried so hard to “be a better person.” And nothing I would do made me quit (or like myself anymore).

Long story short, I applied to go to a christian ministry school and was asked to attend their discipleship school instead. When I got that news I was devastated. I told my parents and they did not understand why I didn’t get in. They attempted to learn more both about the discipleship school and the reasons behind why I didn’t get approved to go to the ministry school.

I was terrified that my parents would learn about my battle with pornography from someone else. I knew I had to admit to this problem. I sat my mom down and with big ol’ tears streaming down my face (just kidding. that sounds too put together…I was a blubbering mess) I told my mom my pains, shame, and problem with pornography. I asked her if she still loved me, to which she replied “Yes. Of course.”

Okay, I know this sounds absolutely insane…But I swear…after talking to my mom I was set free. The act of bringing something to the light, having accountability with someone close to me, and receiving love within the darkest parts of who I am…it changed everything.

This is really the heart of this post: get vulnerable and bring things into the light! Let trust worthy people see into you. Let them see the pretty parts and the yucky parts of you, your life, your thoughts. Regardless of what you have done, or what has been done to you, or who you think you are…YOU DESERVE LOVE. YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE. 

It will be terrifying. It will be difficult.

but it is worth it.

Regardless of what your thoughts are about pornography…take away this: all of you deserves to be seen by trustworthy people. Even the parts you think are too ugly.

Being vulnerable, having emotional intimacy, changes lives. Allow yourself to be seen, heard, and loved.

After about six months, or so, of freedom from watching pornography, I began to struggle again. I fought off and on for some time. Vulnerability isn’t the cure-all fix to any problem. I had to make powerful choices about what I wanted in my life and who I wanted to be. I began to see that I deserved a pure love and deserved authentic intimacy. I decided that watching porn and masturbating was no longer an option in my life.

Because of love and because of powerful choices, I have freedom.

 

I will end with this…

My view on pornography is not just based on my faith. It has a lot to do with the fruit that it caused in my life. Everything that came from both porn and masturbating was bad. It pushed me to keep secrets. It pushed me to cultivate shame. It kept me from relationships. It reiterated the lie that “I didn’t deserve love.” So, I would say that it is really important to look at the fruit happening in your life. Surround yourself with things that bring truly good fruit into your life.

Thank you for reading and letting me share. Feel free to send me any questions or comment below!

XO,

M