Tag Archives: Healing

Healed ‘Cause It No Longer Hurts (and the New WOW)

I didn’t even know I was healed ’til that button got pushed again.

You know the button, right?  (Everyone has one.)

It’s the reminder button; the deja vu scenario that is a shadow of former pain, betrayal, abuse or loss, disappointment and regret.

It’s the memory of the place you survived and promised yourself, “Never again.”

You all know my QVC experience by now.  The big break that ended up being the first professional heartbreak of my adult life so wounded me that, though I lived practically across the street from the studio, I couldn’t drive by the campus.  For years.  And SHOP there?  Fuggetaboutit.

You’d think a year or two of that would be sufficient, but we’re talking DECADES.  To this day, I choose not to fund the place that hired me away only to drop me three months later, leaving me with a lease, a pixie haircut, and a severe crisis of confidence.

But from the experience itself?  Totally healed.  It is always the blip on my resume people want to discuss and a great source of stories to entertain others at parties.

Does time heal all wounds?

Perhaps.  If you let it.

My take on this is that if you learn a LESSON from the pain, it’s a silver lining that can help you avoid making the same mistake twice.

Fast forward to my toxic church experience (which came soon after the QVC debacle.)  You know this one, too, where my desire for purpose and to fulfill my calling in life was manipulated and abused by narcissistic “spiritual leaders.”

Well meaning people sometimes say, “How could you ever get sucked in to something like that?”  Hey, it’s not like it started OUT like the hell it ended up to be.

It puzzles me that people could be so smug to think they couldn’t possibly be lassoed in to something they later regretted…whether a business deal, a relationship, or any type of investment.

This just happened to be an investment of my very life.

The years that have unfolded AFTER have taught me so many lessons.  Primarily, that questioning is healthy; trust should be earned (not granted just because of position) and that when my gut screams, “No!” I should listen to it.

Most of the following years have been free of anything that even remotely smacks of the potential for control.  But I recently found myself in a gathering (I thought it was a professional, business networking group!) and it soon became apparent that there was a religious undercurrent that reminded me of the seductive beginnings of my long ago church life.

Instead of causing me anxiety or torment, the experience was necessary because it showed me just how healed I was.

Sometimes things come around again just so you can celebrate such a victory.  

I was fired up when I recorded this…

Going back to my church story, that good has come out of such bad brings me JOY.

And really, SO much good came out of a bad place.

Some of my dearest friends in my life were met at that toxic church.  Because THEY were real, they remain today.  People who have had an amazingly positive impact on my professional and personal life?  Yep.  Met them there.  All those scriptures that pop up just when I need them the most?  Also from that time…only now pure and not used to manipulate me or anyone else.  Which reminds me of a scripture (!):

Are you weeping right now or filled with sorrow?

Whatever has caused you pain can turn into the greatest life lesson; a tool to make you more empathetic and less judgmental.  It can give you wisdom that can save someone else from pain.  Remarkably, it can even end up being a source of joy.

‘Cause you’re not that person anymore.

May you find the joy in every little thing this week, my friends.

Love,
Brenda

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Making Your Vision REAL (and the New WOW)

If your vision for your life is something you just can’t shake, there’s one thing I know: You’ve got what it takes to bring it to fruition.

Let me temper that statement with a little special sauce.

I’ll keep it personal, but if the stiletto fits…

Some of my grand visions for me were planted in some rich soil called EGO.  This manure effectively fertilized the seed for these visions:  INSECURITY.

 I needed to be a successful, amazing, superior WHATEVER because on the inside I felt like a worthless, meaningless, nothing.

Sheesh! What a roller coaster ride of inflated-sense-o-self and inferiority!

Thank you very much, I no longer ride those waves of insecurity.  They sometimes beckon me with a free ticket to ride, but I’ve learned to say “been there, done that, gave it up for Lent.”

When you check your ego at the door and begin to love on yourself, your TRUE vision for you can emerge…and it is never unattainable, because LOVE never fails.

You were born for this.

Every gift, talent, resource, connection – you’ve got it.  And if it hasn’t manifested yet, it’s going to show up just when you need it.

What’s this “I don’t know what my gift is…” business?  Ha!

Your gift is the thing that lights you up and lights up everyone it touches.

And when it comes to VISION, yours is wrapped up in a bow made of your gifts.

For some practical VISION advice and the new WOW – here you go!:

We call this the WOW – the Word of the Week, but the feeling I got when I pulled that card was truly “WOW…”

I began talking about the sense of inferiority and how it can abort our visions for a happy and a good life.  To follow that up with the word HEALING and a sense that so many of you are holding yourselves hostage to the past…well, WOW.

Please forgive yourself.

Treat yourself as kindly as you do others.

Let those deep places heal so you can get about the business of living and loving and using your gifts.  The more you do, the more healed you’ll feel.

Love to you as you consider these things today – and thank you for giving me a place to use my own gifts.

In gratitude,

Brenda

xoxoxoxo

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Ode to a Fabulous Woman – and a Comforting WOW

The preamble to this week’s WOW is a tribute to my dear mother-in-law, Jeanne Viola, who went to be with God on Valentine’s Day.

IMG_1629

Though I spoke about her on the video, there are a few more things to say.

She was a devoted Mother. (By the way, you NEVER called her Mom.  I slipped a few times and you could feel the sharp intake of breath around the table at the error!)

My husband, Duane, always sums it up this way, “She was always there for me.”

She held the family together like glue. Christmas Eve was a sacred family event for her.  She expected everyone to be in attendance, to be on time (she’d tell you if you weren’t) and to eat their fill of her world-famous stuffed calamari.

Duane would ask her to hide some of it just for him.  I bet the others did the same!

Even in her late 80’s, she purchased and wrapped presents for each of her children, their spouses, grand-kids and great-grandchildren.

She was one of the first aerobics instructors in the area, a belly-dancer, a truth speaker and the epitome of strength…but at the same time, child-like in her love for porcelain dolls, presents and parties.

Here’s more about my beloved Mother-in-law, and the new WOW:

Let’s all take comfort in the Presence of the Divine this week.

You may call it Energy, or the Universe…I respect whatever you may call it.  I’ve learned that my God is big enough and not at all touchy about these things.

May you be wrapped up in a soft and warm sweater of love this week.  And for those of you with broken hearts, may the Presence of love take you a step closer to healing this week.

Love,

Brenda

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Broken Things, Mess-Ups and the Word of the Week

It was a week of lessens learned from broken things and mess ups.

My dear friend Cynthia had mentioned a quote that meant a great deal to her months ago, and I asked my sister, Shirlee, to create it in calligraphy.  As is her practice, she went over the top and made a beautiful work of art with these words:

“She took the leap and built her wings on the way down.”

I searched for the perfect frame to send it to Cynthia; it wasn’t a Christmas present, just an “I love you gift” – but I was so excited to carefully package it, imagining how it would touch her heart.

It did.  She sent me the loveliest thank you message.

But didn’t tell me until weeks later that it arrived smashed to smithereens.

She’s nice that way, knowing how excited I was to surprise her and knowing how disappointed I would have been that it didn’t show up in pristine shape.

But the rest of the story resonated with me as a lesson for the year’s end and new one to begin.

Cynthia went in search of a new frame to replace the broken one, and stumbled serendipitously upon a shadow-box with sparkly accents and room for the feather on the piece to truly show.  When she sent me the photo I could see:

It was meant to be.

IMG_3726It wasn’t what I intended or envisioned, but it ended up exactly as it should have been.

So I filed that away in my “Hmmmmm….” drawer and ran smack into a professional dilemma.

I marketing brochure I had instructed the designer to set up a certain way went to press and was instead COMPLETELY different dimensions than I had instructed.

I kvetched, moaned, grumbled and had this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, knowing that the larger size meant a bigger price tag – one that was over the approved budget.

It was Christmas eve, but I had to talk to my boss and get it over with.

His response?

I think it was meant to be a bigger size.

Meant to be.

There were those words again.

I am a perfectionist in many ways, and hopefully not annoying ones.  I am gleeful when it comes to nailing the details of work and creativity.  I love to envision a task and carry it out as planned, making it come to life!

Sometimes, despite my best efforts, it ends up something entirely different.

And I think the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me (and it turned out to rhyme):

When I have done all that I can, there may be more that’s not my plan.  Perhaps a fail is the only way to make entrance for the Divine’s part to play.  In that truth I can rest and know not to fret at the unplanned turn in the road. Not every outcome is up to me…

Sometimes some things are meant to be.

There have been much harder fails and breaks in my life than a frame or a work project. But when I look back over my shoulder, they all worked out as they were meant to.

My friend Renee has taught me many things, including Yiddish words!  And the one that describes the lesson learned this week is:  Bashert.  It means “meant to be” or “destiny.”

So while my take on the “Question Mark” word of last week was that “I am the CEO of my own life and the heroine of my own novel” (which I do believe is true), it was balanced by this life lesson that it’s not ALL on my shoulders.

There is a Power at work, greater than I, who can work all things together for good, fix my fails, improve upon my best laid plans and give me the peace of “bashert.”

Which is a perfect prelude to our new WOW to end 2015 and begin 2016:

When you think of your own healing, know that the broken things and mess ups can, in time, look like beautiful detours on the path to what is meant to be.

Much love to you, and thank you for taking these journeys with me in 2015…

xoxoxo

Brenda

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WOW! Word of the Week for 8.16.15

From support to healing to…what does this week hold for us?

Well, the pieces of the puzzle are building on each other very nicely.  In fact, almost as a foreshadowing, I used this very word (about to be revealed) in one of this week’s posts on healing:

As we meditate on this word, surrender – here’s a disclaimer:

Don’t confuse giving up with letting go.

I’m not in favor of anyone giving up on their dreams.  But I do know from experience that sometimes you need to let go of your “ideal.”

Blessings sometimes come to us in different packaging than we expected, and when we are so STUCK on how we think it should play out, we might take a pass on the very thing that would make our heart sing.

I’ve also learned holding on with white knuckled resolve is downright exhausting.  Let it go, she sang in Frozen.  Let it go!

Oh, shall we have a lyrical reminder?  (Did I just hear all of the parents out their groan because they’ve heard this song a little TOO much?)  Moms and Dads, feel free to skip to the bottom:

My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back, the past is in the past

Let it go, let it go
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on

The cold never bothered me anyway!

What I love is the FREEDOM that comes after you surrender.  Say goodbye to the past (and that perfect girl or guy, too.)

Just be wonderful you.

And when the storms rage this week, let’s go surfing on some amazing waves.

What are you looking forward to letting go of this week?

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The Journey to Healing (and a Return to Purpose)

A long time ago (it feels more like a lifetime ago), I truly believed I was fulfilling my purpose in life.

So unshakeable was this conviction that anything that dared to interfere with it provoked my outrage.  So self-assured was I that my path was correct, I missed my sister’s baby shower and several other key family events.  They conflicted with my church obligations and church (notice I said church, not God) was numero uno.

This in itself should have been a red flag, but when you’ve invested a good deal of time and money into something, you are most resistant to hearing that, ahem, you might be wrong.

Yes, this former life of mine was wrapped around church life; I’ve detailed it previously but as my life continues to unfold, I see new layers and shades that tainted my life and my perspective…and, in keeping with our word of the week, I see where HEALING has taken place.

I’ll back up again for a very heartfelt disclaimer: My experiences are in no way an advertisement against church attendance or membership. Everyone’s got their own journey and there are certainly some wonderful houses of worship that serve as places of refuge and community that meet deep needs for so many people. Oh, and there are SO many wonderful men and women who sincerely want to help people and do so in the context of their local church.

But when my church broke my heart, the last thing I needed to do was jump back into the fray. I tried, by the way – after all, it’s pretty much all I knew in my adult life.  But when I would visit a new place, I’d find myself sobbing hysterically during the music or walking out in a huff during the sermon. I no longer “fit.” And for me, in retrospect, that ended up being a good thing.

However, before it was a good thing, it was a tormenting thing.  Here’s why:  I was no longer “putting out” for God.  That sounds crass, but hey, I’d been a productive little soldier for 15 years; spent every waking moment either ministering to, counseling someone or otherwise trying to lasso someone onto my religious team.  All of a sudden, I wasn’t even going to church?  My self worth was at an all time low.  Something on the inside was broken and I felt like it could never be fixed.

Had I plugged right back in and gotten back to doing what I had always done for the previous 15 years, I might never have had the breathing space to question, deconstruct, assess, observe, reject and embrace what the REAL me believed. Not the me that I created to fit others’ expectations, but the real Brenda.  The college girl with purple hair and a penchant for the Clash; the 100-pound kindergartener who developed a sparkling  personality to withstand the taunts of her classmates; the high- school sophomore who escaped into writing and dreamed of leaving Buena, New Jersey one day…and so many other versions of me that I let die on the vine in order to become what and who supposedly spiritual people wanted me to be.

I took my leave from all things that even reminded me of my former church life.  I avoided many sweet people, because I felt like I had nothing to offer them anymore.

I was certain that not only did I lack answers for them, I had nothing to say at all.  About anything.

Pouring myself into my career to make up for the lost years (and finances) was a form of healing for me.  To enter into discourse with intelligent people; to rediscover my creativity; to make friends with new people untainted by a memory of who I used to be…yes, like a deflated balloon slowly filling with air, I was coming back to life.

And for several years, that was more than enough.

Except for the yearning.  Where was my PURPOSE?  Why was I HERE?

Would I ever know the joy of feeling like I was doing what I was born to do again?

After some years had passed, my beloved friend, Cindy O’Krepki, created an amazing blog, “Simple Pleasures Everyday Love.” Cindy and I had ministered side by side, even calling each other “the bookends.”  I was so happy to see her unique and lovely voice; her beautiful take on world burst forth once again. Good for her!

When she later invited me to guest blog, I was nervous, excited, fearful and hopeful – all mixed together.  She knew…

In the fragments of my broken self, there were yet  stories to be told – and in the telling would come healing.

I vividly recall her saying to me, “When you have your own blog…” and thinking, “WHAT?”

It was too huge a leap for me to conceive that a one or two spot guest blogging exercise could ever lead to something more.

What it did, however, was stir a yearning in me to do what I have always loved most:  encourage people.  Turns out, I did have something to say – though the message was far different from those long-ago days.  And that message – of LOVE, love, love – was birthed from a heart that actually NEEDED to be broken so it could be re-set properly.

Would I have ever chosen my particular wound?  Not a chance.  Am I glad it made me who I am today?  You bet.

You know what they say; your mess becomes your message.  There’s no testimony without a test.  Such phrases may sound  cliché, but  I can’t deny that within them lies truth.

So for this outpost to stir up my gift and use it again, I am grateful.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  It has been a long road to get here, but I am so glad to have found you.

And that hard and painful road you may be walking, even right now?  I promise you, if you continue to choose love, choose love, choose LOVE over fear, you will get to the other side and be a better version of you, with a story that can heal others (as it heals you, too.)

xoxoxox

Brenda

 

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