Stepping out of logic into Faith

“The opposite of faith is not doubt: it is certainty.”  Unknown 
Over the past 5 years I have spent a large amount of time and energy working toward life goals only to give up because they did not look the way that I had imagined them to be.  When I would start working on a plan I always had an idea of what the outcome was going to be and that I was on my own to make it happen. These beliefs were idea’s and agreements that I made for myself as I was growing up, they were based on my observations and experiences as I seen them through my filter.

Lets fast forward to the last 6 months of my life.  I’ve had the opportunity to live with my dad and have his help over the last 5 years while I was “growing up” emotionally while raising my 4 kids.  Six months ago we had a conversation and my dad admitted that he is ready to have his house back to himself, which I understand and by the way, I am thrilled to take this next step.

In this time, I’ve come to realize I have a lot of new actions to take for this to happen for me.  And you bet, I have a plan to make this happen, everything in my head is lined up perfectly.  Two days ago, I had my ex ask for the opportunity to have 2 of our 4 kids go live with him.  This throws a wrench is my entire plan, I depend on the child support as part of my income, of course I don’t want to allow this to happen.

Then this voice, not of me says, Renee, let him have his opportunity.  In that moment I realized this is more than just about me getting what I want, and having it go the way I think it should go.  So I made a decision right then and there that I will allow my ex this opportunity and I will trust in what is going to come.  I cannot see the outcome, in fact it looks even more impossible now, But it’s not about just me.  And Faith is not logical in any way.

Two days later I was offered an opportunity that would allow me to afford to move out.

Over the last 24 hours I have been digesting the series of events that have had to happen in order for all this to take place. I have been out of my comfort zone for the last 6 months, I’ve had to restructure my fiances, my attitudes and allow people in to help me.  I’ve had to drop my logic over and over and over again.  And in this moment, it all comes to me.

If you are overwhelmed worrying about the outcome, if you cant see the benefit in your actions, but somehow you know you have to keep pushing forward.  Keep going.  The answer is coming in a way you will never expect.  Keep doing the work, and let go of your expected outcome, this will allow you to leave room for the true miracle.

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Commitment, My Four Letter Word.. Sometimes. 

Ugh I am just so tired and I don’t want to write and I don’t want to do the things that I know I need to do.  I want to do the things I want to do. Life calls me to wash laundry, make menus and go grocery shopping, taking my kids to sports physicals and then practices, show up to Church and Meetings, help my kids with homework, help a friend when asked, go to work and do a good job, walk my dog and take him to the vet, fix my cars, cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning, enroll to school, keep writing, focus, focus, focus!!!

This is the life I have been blessed with, and isn’t it amazing that I have asked to be a Mother, a Good Employee, a Student, to have a relationship with God, to share my talents, to write, to run and work out…. And at first when I jump into these commitments, it’s new and amazing and exciting.  Then this weird thing happens to me where that newness wears off and it becomes a normal part of my life, and sometimes it becomes the thing I don’t want to do.  So whats my natural solution?  Find something New and shiny and exciting???  Well, sure I can add even more to my plate, I’ve been know to do that… Or even start taking what I have for granted and discrediting those people and places, I’ve done that too.

But there is this word called commitment, and it’s a word I find that requires action.  Commitment is not a Feeling for me, it’s me showing up to do what is important to me in my life regardless of what else is exciting.  Today I am not motivated to be committed to do what needs to be done, in fact the thought of it frustrates me, overwhelms me and makes me irritable.

Here’s the point, I know from my past that IF I cannot follow through and show up to to the Gifts in my life, I will never have true happiness.  The real reward is in pushing through the hard times, because I end up I sprouting a new perspective, and in turn my Joy in my commitments are renewed in a way that my Gratitude for them grows even deeper.

Commitment Equals Work.  Work Equals Action.  Action Equals Move To It.  Move To It Equals I Don’t Always Want To.  I Don’t Always Want To Equals Asking Gods Strength.  Asking God’s Strength Equals I Cannot Do It On My Own.

Even with an unsettled feeling I can still do what needs to be done.  If I allowed my feelings to dictate my commitments, I wouldn’t be accomplishing much and the people around me would be running away.  Life is easy to show up for when it’s fun…  It’s the hard work of focusing when I don’t want to that allows me to be committed.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Just Have Fun” Is that what I mean?

A moment of self compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life”. -Christopher K. Germer                                                 

A few weeks ago I was standing outside with a group of women talking about our relationship status, the Young Lady asked me if I was single and my answer was yes.  I asked her, “Are you single?”  She replied that she was sorta seeing someone.  Another Gal voiced up and said something along the lines of “Just go date and have fun”.  Now I know that I have no place to make a decision for anyone, or take anyone’s experiences away, but I had an sense that the Young Lady was in a very vulnerable spot in many ways within herself.  Imminently I had this loud thought in my head…. “Just Have Fun, is Never About Just Having Fun For Me” (not in the dating sense).

Why?!  Because my old ideas about that were, 1. Go one a date, 2. Be who I think that person wants me to be and 3. Then sleep with him so he will like me more. 4. Rinse and Repeat. Being a woman with little boundaries, low self esteem and a poor self image means I have no self control and every time I pursued that notion of ….”Ohhh I’m just having fun”, I gave a small piece of who I was away to someone that didn’t even deserve it.

I recognize that a lot of women don’t have my experience, but I do know that some completely understand.  Today I am on the other side of this old idea, if I wasn’t this wouldn’t be so heavy on my heart.  I think we women owe it to each other to have enough love to encourage and support a better version of… “Just Go Have Fun”. To me this should only mean; Go learn to do the things we are passionate about, the things that give us a genuine smile, bring out our creativity and most importantly leave us with a feeling of more value, positive energy and a full spirit when we are done.

“She could never go back and make some of the details pretty.  All she could do was move forward and make the whole beautiful”. – Terri St. Cloud

For me, learning to make my passions a regular habit was not always easy, some times I felt more lonely than alive. Today I recognize the lonely and sad days as the time in between my growth to let my soul fight out the old ideas. If you can relate to my experience and my truth gives you a small amount of hope, than I am forever grateful to share this with you.  And if you are out “Just Having Fun” and you leave feeling drained, sad, worthless or ashamed, then I hope you see that there is a new way to Just Have Fun!!!

P.S. My quotes are out of The Gifts Of Imperfection by -Brene Brown,  It’s a Great Read, highly recommend it!

Gifts in my DNA


Clarity is never revealed to me until after I walk through the Entire experience of change. I only understand that I need to change in the beginning, so I ask God, and in a very puzzle like way, I am pushed around by each experience and then I get one moment to see the picture.

Yesterday as I was going on my run, I had a moment of clarity, Renee this is who you are, this is the simplicity of your greatness.  Pushing yourself beyond your limits through this exercise is what you do, it’s been a large part of your life for many years.  In fact if a stranger were to ask a good friend of mine, what does Renee love to do?  Running would be part of that answer.  The thoughts kept rolling, what else is simply me?  Writing in my journals, I have a grip of them full of my thoughts, worries, greatest achievements and the progress of my life through each journal. If you look at the of my bed, I have stacks of inspirational, self improvement books, I read out of at least 3 of them in a day.  I have essentially every gift inside of me, everything that truly speaks to my soul is instilled in me, I don’t have to seek it out, it’s what comes naturally to me, and it doesn’t look like anyone else around me.

I have been trying on many hats over the years, I have been inspired by many family and friends to want to be like them and do what they do.  Truthfully I never find fulfillment in that, I actually get frustrated and down on myself because I cannot maintain who those people are and in turn I doubt who I am.  Drinking and using gave me the freedom to try and be that lady that everyone wants to be around.  Truth of the matter is, that’s not really me at all, I prefer my personal space and small tight group of friends.  The loud, party Renee is my alter ego wanting to branch out in the world, and while I enjoy that from time to time, I’ve come to learn and accept, I prefer my relaxed inward self.

It’s taken me a long time to get this level of awareness, and I have found a lot of freedom in it.  What it means to me is that no matter who I think I should be, or what level of success I think I should have, it’s already there to be built on.  It’s not the high profile job, being the life of the party, having all the coolest stuff, or trying to do what you do.  It’s solely loving the few amazing talents, those things that nourish my soul and knowing with out a doubt, I am the most beautiful me.

What are the things you continue to turn to?  How do you know yourself best and what your gifts to the world are?

Rejection.. Or atleast the fear of it.

Recently my oldest daughter had surgery (she is doing wonderful), during this process my ex-husband was around for the week helping to take care of her and our other kids which was wonderful and extremely helpful to all of us.  At the end of the week, my daughter was getting well and I didn’t need his help, so we went back to the usual routine but I was a bit caught off guard when I started feeling really sad and mad.  After I had my emotional melt down, getting the emotional energy out, I realized just how much I miss having someone in my life.  The emotional and physical presence of my ex hit me hard, I realize that from the gut of my soul, I really want a good man in my life, I truly do.

So then comes another light bulb… There is a man that I have a crush on, and in my own logic I am picking everything apart trying to find all the faults and reasons why it can’t work, therefor it can’t possibly be right for me.  Here is where I caught myself…  To much logic is a bitch, and no matter who the man is, my mind picks it apart, analyzing the situation to it’s death.  Here is the truth, these thoughts have nothing to do with men, they apply to what I really think about myself…  I am not good enough and my circumstances are just not right.

In the past it’s been really easy for me to take something worth while and flush it down the drain, mostly because that was all I really knew what to do, RUN!  I do have to say that in some situations, running away is the right thing, but now that I find myself around healthier men, the running away instinct isn’t helping me out much.  Now on a side note, all this being said, not every good man is the right man so sometimes parting ways is just part of the process.  Back to my point, I don’t like rejection, it hurts.  To me in the past it was just another confirmation of my own belief that I am still not good enough.  Today if I am not careful, my head will play that game with me.  But that’s bullshit.

I’ve heard time and time again that if you want something in life you have to become it.  And it never really hit me up until now, if I am looking for committed, loving, honest, financial stability, healthy, motivated, inspiring… I can’t expect to strive for anything less than those qualities within myself.  Well, to be honest, I am still developing a lot of these qualities for myself so even trying to date at a “higher level” still freaks me out.  Have you ever heard that saying, “Reach for the moon even if you miss you will still catch a star”?  Well I feel like I am reaching for the clouds and then falling in the mud.  It really is that fear of rejection that I struggle to let go of.  Even being in the mud is somewhat comforting, in this spot, I am comfortable not having to push myself to grow…. But then again, mud is mud and at some point, it weighs me down.

I read in a book that the faster we get through rejection, we get to a yes and can have what we truly desire… And you know what, today I actually believe that to be true.  Somewhere in the middle of “rejection” is growth for me, the opportunity to see my truths and find acceptance in change or appreciating who I am … and the ability to know I am perfect right now, today… Today I am just as God wants me to be and so is everyone else.  Which means I can look at myself with unconditional love and in turn look at you the same way and know that it’s not about rejection, it’s giving myself unconditional love as I change into the woman I really want to be so that I can have the man in my life that I really need.

Along the way, part of my journey is going to be disappointment, but if I shut myself down, these experiences will not be part of my growth, this isn’t permission to act recklessly, but to be open to the experiences necessary to get me to where I am going.  For me, I have to keep learning that “rejection” is not a bad word, it’s a term used to say keep moving forward, grow, this is not what is meant for you….  It also means I am living and experiencing life, that I am alive and opening myself up to feel.  SO as I have gotten honest with myself and realized my true desire to have a real partnership in life, I have to embrace what it is going to take to get there, including rejection.

I’m have only failed at parenting when I quit.

“There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be a real one.”   -Sue Atkins

Last night as I was sharing with my fellow friends about the ups and downs of parenting through sobriety.  I got a few reminders of the key points to sum up what really matters. First was this, “God has no grandchildren”, and second, “No matter what I haven’t given up.”  As you know, I have been on this journey with my kids, trying to help them along and heal from the past.  There are “skeletons” in the closet that have haunted my kids and now we are pulling those out, all the while life is still in session.

I think my worst fears are that I screwed my kids up and that my kids will struggle the way I did.  At times this drives me to want to control my kids behaviors out fear that if they don’t change “This”, they are going to suffer, and that confirms my belief that I am a bad mother.  But it doesn’t work, in fact it makes things worse for my kids.  It’s been a hard concept for me to learn that I am not their God.  My job is to do my part in setting an example in taking care of myself, showing them healthy ways to respond to life and how to show up and do the next right thing.  My kids are growing up so fast, and each one of them has their own life and will continue to become more independent.  They are going to have to struggle through situations and as much as I want to control that, It’s not my job.

Right now is a “tough time” I am unemployed and looking for work, it’s an emotional process.  I’m doing family counseling, my oldest son hit a wall with his attitude at school, it’s non stop trying to get past this point.  I’m in this place of “waiting” in life.  Waiting for that door to open, waiting for my kids to get through this process… When will it PASS? When will the door OPEN!!???  So naturally it’s easy for my head to say.. FAILURE!! And yet, at this point in my emotional sobriety I find myself fighting to show up, to take care of what needs to be done, to continue looking for the next job and to be present for my kids.. And it feels really good, in the midst of uncertanty I find that I have a sense of Serenity.  There was a time not to long ago when this situation would have shut me down, I would use it as an excuse to be angry and everything in life would be unmanageable, I could blame others for making my life harder and definitely have a great reason to drink and use… And guess which Four People are watching my reactions and could have the same nasty attitude at their mother?!

As a mom, I can see my willingness to keep going, to continue to improve myself and change my behaviors, and acknowledging that I have never quit on my family no matter how hard it’s gotten.  I have quit a lot of things in my life, but wanting to be a healthy mom and a positive role model to my kids have never wavered.. It’s been a journey, skills I have to continue to learn, ages and stages to adjust to, celebrating the small wins and pushing through when it gets uncomfortable.  Learning to let my kids be God’s kids, allowing them to be who they are meant to be in this world and stepping back and Thanking God for the Blessing to have the responsibility to raise them.

As parents I think it’s important for us to take a moment and realize, we are all doing our very best, and that’s all we ever do at any given moment (our kids too)..  And as we all grow and change, one thing will remain the same, we never gave up. 

Learning to Date

“… for I had always been interested in mankind-I was just taking them one at a time.” Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 548

Dating and relationships are an ongoing subject for me.  Like I said, I have been on a life long search for love and what it means to me.  Wanting a relationship to bring me happiness and value so that I felt worth while to someone.  Since I was a young girl, I have wanted to have a family, to be a whole unit and have that person next to me through it all.  It’s a tough find, nothing is guaranteed… And what I don’t fully know yet is… How will I know when I have found that person?   IS it an all knowing feeling?  Is it a progressive feeling built on a good relationship?  I truly am unsure what it is suppose to look or feel like for myself..  Wouldn’t it be great to know if someone walked my way and all the sudden I said… Yes that’s him…  Well I have seen and met some very attractive men… and my first thought is ..YES, that’s him, hahaha.

I guess there is a difference between dating and relationships, dating is the process of getting to know someone to see if its a potential match, and the relationship is what is built with a person that is potentially going somewhere.

“Sophia I said, Is it possible you keep catching rats, because you yourself are rat bait?”         Real Love in Dating: The Truth About Finding the Perfect Partner By: Greg Baer…. (Phenomenal read)

This quote sums it all up, If I am not willing to change who I am as a woman, IF I expect to find the IDEAL man, Then I myself must become the ideal woman to keep him.  This takes time, this take some powerful growth and a lot of going against my natural instincts.

My past dating habits have consisted of me surrendering my boundaries and truths to try and keep the relationship.  And up until this last year, I wasn’t even aware that these behaviors existed, that they were damaging me and the other person.  I’ve created these habits to an expert level… If I look a certain way I can get attention, If I create drama I can get reactions, I can turn on my charm to keep them from leaving, IF I sleep with them for sure they will think more of me…  I just wanted to be who I thought they wanted me to be.  You know, no man who is half way emotionally healthy wants me to be anything other than who I really am.

Learning to practice healthy dating habits is no different than changing other behaviors, BUT romance is a very common stress for me.  It’s a challenge for me to get rejected because I am not the right fit.. YES that’s a good thing, but that doesn’t mean part of me still doesn’t consider trying to fit myself in their box.  There is a fear of being alone and at times I feel lonely staying true to my values… And to be completely real, I still am learning more about what these values are, How to behave differently.  I am still 3 steps forward and 1 step back or vise versa.  What I am willing to do is keep trying.

Straight up, I love myself more than ever today, I am no longer in NEED of a relationship to make me happy, but like most everyone else, I want to have that unity for myself.  I don’t want to be alone in my life, I want that healthy great person to live life with… So what am I to do but work at being a healthy great woman, keeping learning more about who I am and put one foot in front of the other.

 

 

 

 

Meet Renee

Welcome to my life of love and insanity, where I have been on a life long search for true love and my sanity, and have yet to accomplish either so far ha. I am a single mother to Four of the greatest kids ever, I say that because they are mine. Two Boys 12 and 5, and Two Girls 11 and 9, all who give me unconditional love and at times bring me to the brink of losing my mind. I also am Four years into recovery from drug and alcohol abuse, as well as recovering my mind/soul from life long self defeating thinking, low self esteem and a lot of other issues.. Surprise! You see I am also a HUGE dreamer, which is not a bad thing, unless you lived a life of expectations in a distorted reality. I was chasing every single idea and emotion that cropped up, creating inner turmoil and drama around me. Imagine all who can relate and understand some of my absurd thinking and grandiose ideas. Using drugs, alcohol and all kinds of other compulsive behaviors were my solutions to continue to stuff my true inner self down, feel validated and hide behind my fears.

I am not a bad person, today I know for sure I have really come a long way (my crazy is far less frequent). My experiences in and out of my addiction have shaped my soul, I am not ashamed of who I am, I love myself today and continue to grow this self love on a regular basis. I take pride in taking care of my mental, spiritual and physical health. For a compulsive addict like me with four kids in tow, this is a God miracle. I get teary eyed when I think about how I feel today VS how I felt four years ago. I still live with my step dad who has been a vital part of my support. I am learning to enjoy being a single mother. I’m finally getting on Amazing terms with my kids dad/ ex husband… They All have the same Daddy, that was a win.  Now we are in a place to be able to focus on our kids and help them heal their pain while working toward a common solutions to move everyone forward.

I am a fighter for freedom from the insanity in my head that cultures like a nasty looking petri dish full of breeding bacteria. Change truly doesn’t come to me unless I am at a point to where I can be completely honest with myself and say, This does not work for me anymore I need to try a new way. Sounds pretty simple and at times it is, other times it’s a process of asking for help and learning to let go. Acceptance of the present moment, keeping things simple and doing the next right thing directly in front of me is my primary focus today. It has to be, otherwise I make it really complicated which impacts me and every one around me.

Taking the time to really get to have a great and unconditional love for myself is where my life currently is. It’s been my assignments to build a better connection to my Higher Power, find my passions… Oh and stay single, hahaha, I can’t wait for that blog. One of my passions is Writing,  it has always been my way of  expressing myself, this is just me, It’s how I can put my truest self out into the world. So as I venture into the Blogger’s World and share my experiences I want you all to know that what I have to say is of my most authentic self, my own perception of my world based on the way I felt through my experiences, this is why I am Blogging… Oh and plus, cause I want to.

 

Honestly in Love?

Romantic love is something that is very important to me, having a partner to share my life with through all the ups and downs is something I desire to have for myself.  After going through my last break up I realized that my ideals of what romantic love is were far off what really loving someone actually means… and not only that, but opening my heart up for the first time to really let someone love me.

I have been walking through this break up for the last six months and as time has gone by, I have begun to find a bit of clarity and healing…. The thing that baffled me though was the fact that I was actually so devastated by this event that moving on to the next relationship just didn’t even feel right.. Now for me that’s a HUGE deal.  I like to break up and move on.  So I have been having to continually ask myself a few questions.. Why the Hell does this still hurt?  Why do I think about this man?  Why do I still give a fuck?

So tonight it came to me, and here’s what I heard…  Renee, you finally let someone really love you, you entrusted a man with every part of who you are, you pushed against every ounce of fear and let this love exists.  And although it wasn’t perfect and it didn’t last, this was it, this is what real love is about.  DANG, that’s it, what I feel is a sense of loss of love.   This relationship was SIX months long, That Is IT!  So time is sometimes meaningless when there is love involved.

What was it that this man showed me about love?…. My idea of romantic love is temporary (just like most other things, I was on the search for a quick happy emotion).  Turns out romance is a part of the relationship, the rest is about loving the other person UNCONDITIONALLY.  Also, having their back when they TOO have hard times because they will, and they need my support just as much (it’s about 2 people’s needs.. who knew?).  I realized that I too must continue a relationship with myself and stay connected to my life (cause amidst the relationship and the new experience I became a bit lost).  Finally, I now know that Opening my heart up to another and putting my defenses down is one of the best experiences and it creates an honest, authentic connection.

Following the break up, I decided that taking some time to dig deep and work on myself would be the best idea for me to find happiness, and it has.  Jumping back into the AA program is my life line… And I also purchased a book called, “Calling In The One” by Kathern Woodward- Thomas.  This book was an amazing eye opener and helped me push forward into loving myself more than ever.  IF you are an addict, I recommend doing the 12 steps first and then the self help book because I believe I definatly needed my Higher Power through it all.

No, this last relationship wasn’t the long lasting love I intended it to be, in fact, this man has already moved on with his life into another relationship, which stings a bit, but truthfully I only wish happiness for myself and him.  I consider this to be an experience of growth for myself, some people really do open our eyes (if we a willing to see the lesson), in this case, this man really was a gift on my journey into a brighter, happier  and more fulfilling future.

Simply put, For Myself, I can say at the time, yes this was love.  It was the experience that opened the door for me into a newer concept of love.  It changed me as a woman for the better in so many ways.  The tools of the AA program pushed me through the pain of the loss, into a new perspective and better understanding of loving myself, my HP and the life I currently have today, even without Romantic love.

 

Acceptance of and Angry Adolecent

The greatest pearl of parenting wisdom I was told in early sobriety is, “The best thing you can ever give your kids is a healthy mom”.  I do believe that I have always been the best mother that I could at any given time with what my views and beliefs about life were.  But in reality, I had a major defect that really impacted my mothering towards my son… Okay so what came to light is that my oldest son triggers major anger in me.. Not because he is a bad child, but because when he was born I was extremely resentful towards his father and since then, my oldest had been in the center of my fears and anger around my ex.  Now that is a shitty thing to realize… Thank God I see it now, because now I can refocus the right kind of energy toward my son, the kind he always deserved.

So I spent his life trying to protect/control him instead of setting healthy boundaries and examples.  The relationship with his dad at the time was no prime example of mutual respect and unconditional love.  Looking back it really is no surprise that what I taught my son about love and self respect instilled some distorted perspectives for his own development.

Lately my oldest son’s bad attitude has become a point of focus and something that we are working hard to address.  With him being 12 years old he is at a very important point in his life where addressing these issues is vital for his long term wellness as an adult.  Recently my prayers for help were answered when I met with a family counselor whom I really feel like is a great fit and can help All of us, coaching me as a mother and helping my son through his struggles.

My son has a lot of reasons to cop resentments and throw his anger out on myself and his father, and in some ways rightly so…  But here is the real deal…. Living in anger is not going to help my Son.  He deserves to heal and be able to experience life to his very best ability.  So for me what does this mean?  Well from speaking with other mothers who are walking similar paths, as well as my own experience… I must do whatever it takes to support his healing every step of the way, own my part and continue my living amends to him.  It means that his healing will be an inconvenience to my day at times. I will be exhausted emotionally from holding my boundaries and helping him be accountable to his.  Set up multiple counseling appointments both for myself and him. Take new ideas from our therapist. I will continue to point out the progress and remind him that he is safe now and can trust me completely.  I have to tell him that we are working hard at this and that it is getting better.. And one day, I don’t know when, we will be though this.

Wanting to be a great mom has required me to continue to look at the possibilities that perhaps I have more to learn and absolutely need and want guidance along the way.  There are no guarantees that life is going to be easier for my son through this, but what I know today is that my son isn’t just an angry adolescent, he is a young man trying to find his worth in this world…  My job is to be able to embrace ALL of who he is and guide him to the very best of my abilities.  Today there is no guilt or shame that is going to reshape us, only hope and possibilities of change and growth to bring out the brightness that my son truly has to offer this world.