Tuesday, October 17, 2017

#Metoo



The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” —Henry Thoreau
So, I believe by now that everyone is aware of what is going on with Harvey Weinstein and the “Me too” posts. I wasn’t planning on posting anything regarding this topic for a few reasons:  
1.     I recently made a post back in Aug. openly admitting that I was a victim of child sexual abuse. (http://jillian-meyer.blogspot.com/2017/08/reclaiming-life-after-abuse.html / )
2.     Although talking to a counselor on the topic previously I know that true healing will take time and much more work
3.     Since this all came out publicly and the coming forth of many of his victims it has weighed heavily mentally and emotionally on me, challenging me and resurfacing my past experiences, and draining my energy to focus on my goal to keep my eyes to the road ahead and not backwards.
After reading the above quote above I have decided to open up more and share about the struggles and healing that come from being a victim. This post is not for me, it's for anyone who has also been a victim. 
Shame:
In my years of protecting others from the damage they did I realized it was shame about what happened to me that kept me quiet.
Once I realized what had truly happened to me and that it was wrong I opened up to my HS boyfriend who forced me to tell my parents, who then sent me to counseling and then that same boyfriend would use my abuse as an attack to belittle me, saying some horrible things that I still carry with me to this day.
I decided then that I would never reveal the most personal parts of myself to anyone and in the very few times that I did I still felt the immense shame as if I was “damaged goods” or that I wasn’t “worthy of their love.” Going through life just hoping to be accepted, always fearing abandonment and rejection.
I tried to not only get over the damage, but make myself into a person that someone else would love and want to get to know. That the shame I felt was held in the idea that I was unlovable. That shame protected so many others, but not me. I used my feelings of shame to protect others from my pain and suffering.
The shame expressed itself in self-punishing habits like denying myself life’s necessities, seeking help, loving myself, anger, and bitterness. It dictated what I did and didn’t deserve. I deserved punishment; I didn’t deserve honor. I deserved criticism; I didn’t deserve respect. I deserved abandonment and rejection; I didn’t deserve attention or love. I was worthless for anything except sex and I was disgusting for it. I was disqualified for love and compassion and that I deserved to be abandoned. In my shame I abandoned myself.
Healing:
The greatest mystery of life is who we truly are. Now as I can remember the repeated accounts I also remember the resilient little girl behind the smiling mask. I was a chameleon who knew the world would not understand my pain. The burden of child abuse and survival is not something that anyone should suffer alone. I kept their secrets and did what was expected of me to survive the world that treats survivors as perpetrators. I was a chameleon to survive and to live again. I hid the abuse I suffered from people and from the world behind my smile. I smiled to say that I’m okay, that I’m one of you. I no longer hope for acceptance nor do I want to be accepted by people who would minimize or excuse rape and abuse. I do not want to be counted among those who are ignorant or ignore it. I will no longer hide. I know the world is cruel and I will live anyway. Now I take off the mask and reveal my true self, not just a survivor but a warrior, still alive, scars and all. My story does not end here but my true life and purpose begins here.
It breaks my heart to know now what that little girl, my inner child, went through all alone.
My mind is slowly revealing who I truly am. I am a survivor of child sexual abuse. I will no longer remain silent or hide behind the mask of a smile for anyone’s comfort. I am a survivor and I was a resilient child that grew up to still love deeply. They could not take that from me and they cannot have it now.
Telling yourself that you are worth more than what happened to you is difficult, believing it is even rougher. However, it is a mantra that must be repeated day after day and at time, minute after minute and I try to remind myself of this.
Strength in Numbers:
If you were abused and someone, anyone, didn’t believe you, know that I do. I believe you. I stand with you, and for you, in the small way I can. 
Speaking the truth after being abused takes incredible courage and strength. I am proud of you.  My story can be your story.
We can be victorious together as survivors. I am a survivor. You are a survivor.
We are stronger for having survived. We stand together triumphantly and move forward, bravely living abuse free lives.
If you have been abused or are currently a victim of abuse and have not yet spoken out, I urge you to reach toward a safe person and speak your truth. You too are strong and courageous and deserve to live an abuse free life. Stand with me, no longer a victim but a survivor.
Start today and make a new ending.

Jillian 

The Road less Traveled

How often we must bear the challenges of life;
The endless roller coaster between happiness and sorrow;
The constant ups and downs of daily strife.
And always the question remains .... why?

Life is not an easy road for most;
It twists and turns with many forks in the road,
Although always, and inevitably, we are given a choice ...

Do we turn to the right ... or the left?
Do we take the high road ... or the low road?
Do we take the easy path ... or the difficult one?

Decisions are not easy for those struggling for direction ...
And sometimes the many choices and signs become overwhelming.

While standing at a crossroads in life,
The urge is to take the most comfortable path;
The road with least resistance ...
The shortest or most traveled route.

And yet, if we've been down that comfortable road before;
Have gleaned its lessons in life, and learned from our experiences;

Do we yet again follow the known?
Or does our destiny lie in another direction?

The fear of the road less traveled is tangible and all too real;
It manifests itself in many ways,
And tends to cloud the issues that might otherwise be clear.

It is in these times of confusion,
That we must seek peace and solitude;

Time to contemplate on our life,
Our experiences and our choices past;
Time to look back, and reflect on what we have learned
Without fear or confusion.

For only each of us knows our own personal thoughts;
Our unique past and personal history;
The experiences that brought us to the crossroads we now face.

We can always learn a small degree from others experiences,
And yet ... no one person can walk in our shoes,
Others know not, the trials and tribulations faced in private ...

For each is individual ... unique ... and personal.

And that is why ... while standing at a crossroads,
Only "we" can formulate the decision for ourselves;
The true direction that lies within;
The choices we must deliberate on with clarity and wisdom.

For it is only through personal reflection,
That we can now choose our destiny;
... Our next adventure;
... And the future we will embrace.



Jillian 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

"What you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it."

I can't explain how badly I NEEDED to read this today. I have avoided email, social media and even conversations the last few days because I had a setback and I needed to get in touch with my goals and achievements again. I needed time to think, meditate, and forgive myself. I believe in signs and I couldn't be happier with this sign I received in my email today.

The greatest struggle in life is the struggle to accept, embrace and love ourselves, with all of our imperfections.  To be 100% honest about who we are, how we feel and what we need going forward.  To stop discrediting ourselves for everything we aren’t, and start giving ourselves credit for everything we are.  And to be aware that not everyone we love will agree with us every step of the way, and to be OK with it.

We have to learn to be our own best friends, because sometimes we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.  We love the idea of others loving us, and we forget to love ourselves.

What we must realize is that our greatest task is not about discovering self-love, it’s about breaking down the walls we have built against it.  When we have the courage to push through these walls – to know and embrace ourselves, despite our humanness, our flaws, and our rejections – we also open the door to connecting in more caring, empathetic, and intimate ways with others who are truly worth loving.

Which is why it’s time to…

1.  Start telling yourself what you love about yourself. – In your own life it’s important to know how spectacular you are.  You really have to look in the mirror and be kind.  Because what we see in the mirror is often what we see in the world.  Our disappointment in others often reflects our disappointment in ourselves.  Our acceptance of others often reflects our acceptance of ourselves.  Our ability to see potential in others often reflects our ability to see potential in ourselves.  Our patience with others often reflects our patience with ourselves.  You get the idea – you’ve got to show yourself some love first and foremost. 

2.  Start being one with what is. – Something that is really difficult, but totally worth it, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the journey of becoming your true self.  The most beautiful part of this journey is simply returning to the peaceful feeling of being.  This peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be. 

3.  Start focusing less on winning the approval of others. – Remind yourself that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.  And you don’t have to get permission to do it differently either.  Your time on this planet is precious.  As the saying goes, “What you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.”  Don’t wait around for someone else to give you permission to live. 

4. Start forgiving your past self. – When you confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with the light of your forgiveness, your willingness to wrestle with your demons in this way will cause your angels to sing.  It’s just a matter of accepting that sometimes good people like you make bad choices.  It doesn’t mean you’re bad; it means you’re human.  Get bored with your past; it’s over.  Forgive yourself for what you think you did or didn’t do, and focus on what you will do starting now. 

5.  Start making the changes you know you need to make. – Just because something made you happy in the past doesn’t mean you have to keep it forever.  If you want to see changes in your life today, you’ll have to do things that you’ve never done before.  Different input = different output.  Move away from the things that drain you and move toward the thoughts and activities that empower and fulfill you. 
    
6.  Start embracing the mistakes you haven’t even made yet. – To be successful in the long run, you must fail sometimes.  So don’t let the fear of making the wrong decision prevent you from making any decision at all.  And don’t let not knowing how it’ll end keep you from beginning.  When we act, uncertainty chases us out into the open where opportunity awaits. 


Oh how I needed this today! <3

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Selfless

“Selfishness is that detestable vice which no one will forgive in others, and no one is without himself.” – Henry Ward Beecher

With little or no effort, we recognize the ugly effects of greed and selfishness on our society, culture, and nations. The greed of others makes this world a less pleasurable place to live for all of us. We wish they would change for the sake of everyone. In some cases, we even unify and protest to pressure them to change.
All the while, our personal greed rarely goes challenged. Recognizing the negative effects of corporate selfishness is easy. But identifying our own selfish motivation is more difficult to accomplish. It is, after all, far more painful to discover and admit. Unless you have a wake up call. 
What has selfishness been within me? Jealousy, being angry and bitter, negatively impacting relationships, high expectations, unforgiving, keeping me from experiencing love, joy, hope, gratitude, generosity and hindering me from true contentment.
I used to be one of the most unselfish people. (I am not saying I was perfect and never had selfish tendencies but 8 out of 10 times I would always put the needs of others before myself.) I would go out of my way to make someone smile, I would give my last dollar if I knew someone needed it, I would give without expectations but that all changed for some reason.
I lost sight of how being selfless made me feel. I was content, happier, giving, lovable, had little to no expectations, I was grateful for people in my life and my life. I hate what happened to me! I suppose I was wallowing in self-pity and I became stuck in the quicksand.  
I no longer want to live a selfish life nor will I hold on thinking a kind act done owes me one in return. Every day I will give out love, hope, joy, forgiveness, and gratitude. It’s taken me some time to see this but I am really starting to believe in the energy that you give out comes back to you. Plant the seed and watch it grow. Smile and be thankful.

May we refuse to overlook the importance of selflessness. Instead, may we choose to pursue selflessness as the very means to achieve happiness—not just for our own sake, but for the sake of those we choose to love.



“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” 

~Jillian~

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

So much more...


We’ve all done things we aren’t proud of. Made decisions that we’ve immediately wished we could take back. Uttered words out loud that have instantly twisted our gut with a pang of discomfort and regret. We’ve all done things without thinking, or while only thinking of ourselves and no one else. We’ve all done things because they’ve felt good in the moment, ignoring what we know will be an unfortunate outcome.
Bottom line, we’ve all made mistakes. Sometimes we even repeat them. Sometimes not just once, but over and over again. And when that happens, it’s not difficult to start beating yourself up. To look at the wreckage that surrounds you, the one that you yourself have conjured up, and hate yourself for what you’ve caused.
It’s all too easy to go back in time, to pluck out those instances from your memory, and count them one by one. To revisit and replay them until they’re stuck in the forefront in your mind, instead of in the past where they belong.
No one likes to screw up. We all want to make the right decision, one hundred percent of the time.
But the truth is that what we actually need to be doing is forgiving ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made, not punishing ourselves for them.
What we need to really being doing is examining those instances, and ultimately learning from them. When we pull those mistakes from the storage of our memories, we can’t just chastise ourselves for the stupid things that we’ve done. We can’t simply look at ourselves in anger.
The world that we live in preaches perfection; we’re all under the impression that the only option we have is to succeed, that we need to do everything right the first time we attempt it. And our culture isn’t one that encourages trial and error, but rather one that pushes perfectionism with the only alternate being total failure.
But I don’t need to tell you that this isn’t the way the world actually works.
No one gets everything right the first time. There’s never been a person who’s lived on this earth who has gotten everything completely correct. Even those who seems to have it all figured out have made awful mistakes, ones that they probably thought would change the trajectory of their lives for the worst.
And behind every successful person is a path at least partly cemented with regret for what could have been, but ultimately never came to be because of a mistake that was made.
So instead of beating ourselves up over every stupid thing we’ve ever done, over every relationship we’ve sabotaged, every person we’ve hurt and every opportunity we gave up for something that didn’t pan out as well as we thought, let’s take the opportunity to learn something. Let’s analyze the situation and figure out where we went wrong. Let’s right our wrongs and apologize to those we didn’t do well by. Let’s mourn for those chances we missed and the roads we didn’t take.
But after we’re done with that, let’s put it all aside and move on. Let’s bundle up all of those mistakes and stash them into the vault of long term memory; we can’t, after all, pretend those things never happened.
But we can decide not let the mistakes of the past dictate the decisions we make in our future. We can’t let them define who we are as people, as individuals.
Because we’re all only human.
And while we’re at it, let’s forgive ourselves. Let those feelings of shame go. Let them leave your body in one big exhale. Don’t let the mistakes stick to your insides, don’t let the regret rot you. Exhale and release. Let go and start fresh.
Remember that you’ll most definitely make new mistakes. Because you’ll never truly be done with getting it wrong; no one will. Prepare yourself for those blips in your atmosphere. Be ready to let those things go once you’re done with them, once those mistakes have taught you the lessons you needed to be taught.
Learn and let go. Make right and then move on. Forgive and take a step forward.
Because you are so much more than your mistakes.




Wednesday, September 13, 2017

"The worst war in the world is the one that goes on inside of our heads when we are not confident in ourselves."


"When we doubt who we are it causes us to go inside of our head to think, rethink, and then to overthink about all of the possible outcomes again. The worst war in the world is the one that goes on inside of our heads when we are not confident in ourselves. It’s a process but we have to love ourselves as we grow, we have to accept ourselves for the human that we are today."

I have followed Sylvester McNutt on Instagram for quite some time now. Several of his quotes and poetry really stick out to me. I knew he had a few books out but The Dear Queen Journey - A Path to Self Love is one that I have really wanted to read. Why? Well, because I am on this new path of Self Discovery and Self Love! 

Sylvester also has several other books about Success in life and also books about Love which I may eventually read but for now this is the one that I picked (or maybe it picked me) because it approaches what I am trying to succeed. 

I am in love with his quotes and his way of writing which is basically poetry. If you have Amazon prime with kindle, this little guy is on Unlimited Kindle for FREE. You're welcome! :) 

Another thing I have been doing and I receive one typically every day and that is how I start my day. Lately, as soon as I get out of bed I have a new morning inspirational video from YouTube on a channel that I subscribed to: Be Inspired - Daily Motivation  So, my routine is to start playing it as soon as I get up and while I get ready. Depending on the length I may have to continue it once I get to work so I just plug in my headphones. 

I still have my affirmations throughout my house, in my purse and at my desk. They have been up for about 3-4 wks so I think it's probably time to update and change them out. 

It may be a gloomy day but we needed the rain. See the beauty in everything! Be confident, be bold and don't forget to smile. 

Love, 

Jillian 

Monday, September 4, 2017

“The ego is the false self-born out of fear and defensiveness.” ~John O’Donohue




The last few years have been life changing in not always the best possible ways but in the last 8 weeks I’ve learned so much about myself, things I didn’t have the courage to acknowledge before.
It hasn’t all been a bed of roses—some of the insights I’ve gleaned haven’t been that comfortable to see.
One of the things I have recently been reflecting on is the Ego and how it plays a role within my life. I have recently realized that when disagreements or arguments erupt in my personal relationships, it is often over the smallest things, which seem so important at the time. A prime example is something such as someone asking me to do something without saying, “please” or a text that I may take completely out of context.
Such a minor failing has the power to seriously irritate me, causing an argument to blow up out of all proportion—sending one or either of us into fits of temper tantrums that can end with one or both of us brooding and not speaking to the other.
Although we’re both possibly aware how childishly we’re behaving and can see our over-reactions, we are nevertheless at a loss to stop or change this process. Why? Because of our egos!
For the first time in my life I am seeing, experiencing, and understanding the ego play that takes place in every conflict I have. These insights are allowing me to unravel the true nature of my ego and its workings.
If I were to describe my ego, I would compare it to an irritable, barely containable caged monster on the one hand and an irate, screaming five-year-old on the other. And just like a child that doesn’t get her own way, she’s constantly throwing tantrums.
These tantrums take the form of anger, hurt, fear, defensiveness, exaggeration, frustration, self-preservation, insecurity, self-pity, and tears—all mixed with large quantities of drama.
In the heat of an argument, my five-year-old ego is very quick to feel hurt, so she reacts by jumping, stomping her feet, cursing, and defending herself. Then, just as quickly, the caged monster surfaces, rearing up like an angry giant, sword and shield in hand, ready to inflict hurt in return.
I literally see my ego self-rising up like a dark shadowy character, looming menacingly above my head.
Of course I know this ego play doesn’t solve anything—it only serves to trigger the other’s own ego defense games. Suddenly we’re both wounded five-year-olds, shouting and throwing ugly insults back and forth at each other.
Then, invariably, we have to argue about who started it and which one of us is right.
As you can imagine, these ego battles take up a lot of energy and are very stressful, not to mention emotionally draining.
I notice that when I’m in this heightened state of drama, my ability for logical thinking goes out of the window. I lose all connection to my grown-up self and I feel the adult receding, regressing me back to an insecure child.
I see myself adopting the same body language and survival strategies I used when I got into disputes during childhood.
Looking back, it’s obvious to me that my current over-reactions have a lot to do with how I was brought up or the relationships I have been in.
As a child/ teen, I didn’t have the awareness to recognize the surge of my ego during these altercations with my parents or relationships, when my very existence felt under threat. But of course, every part of me screamed silently in protest, including my ego.
Now, as a so-called mature adult, it’s quite disconcerting to visibly witness my conditioned responses popping to the surface during heated conflicts, especially when some part of me feels threatened.
These responses haven’t altered or evolved at all since my childhood. Sometimes it feels like I’ve never really grown up.
I still discover myself seething in the same helpless way to emotional triggers and feeling the same powerlessness when my will is challenged or when I feel controlled, as I often do during conflicts.
My ego rears up in anger and defense in exactly the way it did when I was a child/teen.
And yet, even in the most extreme spells of ego drama, I have found it difficult to be able to take a step back from my hurt, stealing a momentary pause from the heat of my frustration.
Doing these short breaks would allow my anger to calm, giving space for my ego to stand down. Then being able to recognize the reasons for my exaggerated reactions, understanding that a part of me was feeling threatened.
I’ve observed that my biggest over-reactions occur when a partner threatens what I deem important.
It’s utterly clear to me that my ego simply functions to protect the parts of myself I feel I must defend, secure, or guard, like my will, my way of expression, my beliefs and moral values.
My ego jumps up in defense of these values because of the importance I’ve given them, effectively giving my ego permission to react whenever these values feel challenged.
Amazingly, the truth is, these morals can only exert power over me if I allow them to. I can equally decide not to give them any power at all, which should gradually stop my ego’s need to defend them.
I know it will take time to break this pattern of over-reactions to emotional triggers, since my conditioned responses are almost automatic now. However, in conflict situations, if in one time out of ten I don’t react, it will certainly make a difference to my life and relationships, won’t it?
What a liberation that will be!
For years I’ve unknowingly been trapped in the same ego cycle of trigger/reaction, trigger/reaction that developed when I was a child/ teen.
Now, with the benefit of being able to witness my ego play in action, I no longer feel a prisoner of its games. For the first time in life, I am learning to choose whether or not to react.
These other insights around my ego will hopefully improve my relationships, as well as the relationships with family and friends.
The ego wants to blame others.
We have all become so accustomed to blaming other people and circumstances that we are often not even conscious that we’re doing it.
On the surface, it’s much easier to blame others, because it removes the burden of accountability from us and places it firmly at the feet of the other. However, although blaming others appears to be a quick-fix solution, in all honesty, it isn’t.
Believe it or not, blaming others takes away our control of the situation and passes it onto the other. It prevents us from seeing the whole truth of the issue and blocks us from fully understanding ourselves, which can keep us stuck in the same obstructive patterns of behavior.
For years I blamed people for everything that was wrong in my life. I blamed them for not being there for me, for not supporting me and for not being who I expected them to be. Spending so much time and energy blaming them, I wasn’t able to see my own part in the situation.
When I finally had the courage to stop blaming others, it came as quite a shock to me to realize that I was equally responsible for the things I was unhappy with.
It’s clear to me that my ego’s fear of admitting culpability kept me in blame mode.
I naturally progressed onto blaming my partner, because my ego makes it difficult for me to accept my part in a conflict that I am at least partly responsible for. So it’s no surprise our arguments escalated as they did.
Ultimately, we must all strive to accept responsibility for every action we take, even the ones we’re ashamed of. The more we’re able to do this, the stronger we become and the weaker our egos will be, gradually loosening the grip they have on us.

The ego covers up.

Another thing I can say about the ego is that it will do anything to cover up its mistakes, especially when it sees it’s wrong. Its attempts to cover up increase when caught red-handed, behaving just like a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
Maybe my actions as a child could be excused, but sadly, my behavior as an adult hasn’t improved—I still find myself fighting to deny the truth when I’m unexpectedly caught off guard.
My ego hates being so easily called out, so it must cover up and defend.
One of the hardest things for any of us to do is to admit we are wrong, because when we own up to being wrong, it automatically makes the other right.
And being wrong is something our egos cannot bear. As a result, we find it difficult to say sorry or to ask forgiveness, which exacerbates our conflicts.
I’m also recognizing that our inability to admit our wrongdoing keeps us stuck in our defensive positions, which allows our egos to fool us into fighting, justifying, and defending every point of view—a complete drain of our energy.
I’ve noticed, however, that when I see the truth and can openly admit it, surprisingly, rather than separating, the admission can bring us closer together, healing some of the hurt we created during our conflict.
So admitting that we are wrong need not be a negative experience, but can instead empower us, lessening some of the control our egos have on us

The ego wants to hurt back.

For me, one of the worst things in the world is the pain of feeling hurt, as I imagine is true for most of us.
Sometimes, the hurt we feel paralyzes us and we’re unable to fight back, but at other times, the only thing we can think of is how we can hurt the other person back.
Our egos trick us into believing that hurting the other will alleviate the pain we’re feeling.
I’ve realized that in all conflict situations, it is actually our egos that feel hurt. Again because some value or aspect of the image we have internally built up of ourselves is being challenged, threatened, or undermined in one way or another.
I’m ashamed to say that on many occasions, both in my childhood and adulthood, my ego has wanted nothing more than to inflict as much pain on others as possible, as a way of lessening some of the hurt it was feeling.
But retaliation is not the answer; it only adds more fuel to the fires of our egos.
Maybe I can be forgiven for saying that in my childhood, hurting others was an unconscious reaction to my own feelings of hurt. And in the recent past when I was still unawake, hurting someone who hurt me was my natural course of action. But now, with my increasing awareness, knowingly hurting another is not something I can condone.
In the heat of ego fights, when my ego rears up ready to defend itself, I know it will be hard, but as I am becoming more and more able to check myself before I go over the line with insults I know will cause pain I plan to pause before reacting.
I consider this a huge triumph over my ego, and something I’m proud of.
Every time I can stop myself from blindly over-reacting to a perceived threat to my values and can become an observer of my ego and its games, I know I’m taking a step in the right direction.
The more conscious we can all become of our ego play in action, the more freedom we will gain from our egos. Then, over time and with consistent effort, positive changes to our life journeys and relationships are inevitable.