Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within


2 Comments

Your life on a radar screen


radar-41443_960_720.pngToday’s forecast is clear with a minimal chance of precipitation.  The temperature is 70 but with the wind chill may feel like 40.  I suggest a light jacket and an umbrella just to be safe.  There is a small craft warning until your storm blows over.  Take all necessary precautions while traveling to ensure your safety.

Sounds like a weather warning doesn’t it? What if in fact it was a “life event” warning? We have all participated in bad weather drills at one point in our lives.  Stooping down with hands overhead in a windowless hallway pretending there was a storm approaching.  Some finding the drills to be pointless and unnecessary, while other’s are totally focused on learning how to overcome what could possibly be a life changing event.

I didn’t expect my storm.  I will admit I had some warning, but it wasn’t clear to me at the time.  The alarm that sounded was not loud enough for me to hear.  I had no time to take cover, to place my hands over my head to protect myself from the shattering glass.  I was not given access to the blip on my radar screen.

I wonder how different my life would be if I had been given access to see that storm coming.  How would I have reacted to the weather fluctuation in my marriage if I had seen it for what it was?  More importantly, could I have reacted?  In that moment was I strong enough to have proceeded in a positive way?

Our fearless weather forecasters don’t always get it right just as we are not privy to our future, that is part of the magic of being alive!  We count on them to give us a heads up on the approaching storms, but they can’t always predict them all.

Our life storms are no different.  Surviving a loss also means being able to adjust to our surroundings and deal with the fallout of any destruction our weather pattern may cause.

We have to remember that though a storm may bring destruction, loss,  devastation, and worry, re-birth is just around the corner.

A man walking through the water with the waves parted.

.

So, what would your radar screen look like?  Would you have cloudy with a chance of rain? Sunny skies but low temps? Windy and warm? Cool and Calm? Storms approaching with the possibility of moving forward?

My map is looking pretty active, I will embrace and accept what lies ahead.  I invite you to share yours.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

5/19/16

Related topics/posts

Trust In You, Lauren Daigle

 

 

 

 

 

 


4 Comments

Sometimes You Just Need A Little Outside Help


friends

I’m in control; I’ve got this; This is my problem; I will handle this on my own; It’s no body’s business; No one will understand; I can’t ask for help…

In a perfect world we can handle our lives on our own.  We can be in control and ready to face what lies ahead, but in reality we can all use an extra hand.  Can we ask for it? Can we admit when we need it and can we take it when it is given to us?

Lately, I’ve witnessed others in my life who need the help, but don’t necessarily want to ask for it, even being frustrated that they need it.  My feeling is, take it when it is given to you.  It may be hard and you may at times feel helpless but that is when you should let those who love you swoop in and take over.

Those three stages I mentioned, I’ve been in and I’m sure it won’t be the last time.  I asked for it, I’ve admitted when I needed help and I’ve taken it when it was graciously given to me.  Sometimes it was easy, other times extremely hard but knowing that someone out there is waiting an willing to offer you the hand I find very comforting.

In my trial (divorce) that comfort wasn’t always in the form I needed. My friends and family were very helpful but biased, I searched for an outlet where no one knew me nor I them and I couldn’t find it.  I needed an escape a safe place to share my feelings.  That is when this blog was born.

I wanted to connect with others who were feeling exactly what I was.  To share my grief and listen to those going through similar circumstances, all in the hope that we could support each other.

Today I am not only proud but extremely thankful to have shared with, talked with, and cried with those of you who have followed my posts.  And I am elated that in less than two weeks I will finally be meeting my girl!

The day I saw her comment I felt so many emotions, I knew I needed to do something, I needed to find her, talk to her, and do what I could to let her know I felt exactly as she did.  No one is ever alone, there is someone out there going through what you are and feeling the same.  God never meant for any of us to walk this world alone he has gently placed each of us in others lives.

I’m so thankful and blessed for the life he has given me even with the bumps and valleys I had to walk through.  I know I am who he meant me to be and I wouldn’t be here without all the people in my life.  Without you…I would be nothing.  Thank You!

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

3/27/16

Related topics

Without You, Clare Bowen, Sam Palladio

 

 


14 Comments

The Power of Stress


stressI’m back!!!  It feels like forever since I did my last post.  I’m sorry I was gone for so long but life was weighing me down a bit and I needed to focus, well I tried to focus anyway.

In a couple of past posts I mentioned my health was not that great and I’ve also talked about how stress can make you sick.  Well, I’ve been finding out lately that I totally underestimated the power stress has over the human body.  Unfortunately it looks like it has taken me three years, five neurologists, and roughly $25,ooo.oo to be told that my divorce has possibly made me sick.

This isn’t a topic I’m thrilled about and I’m even embarrassed to speak about it, but I feel it is extremely important that reader’s know how crucial it is to seek help even if you don’t think you are suffering from emotional stress.  Anyone who has been through a trauma, be it physical, emotional, or mental is at some point going to suffer some ill effects.

I don’t want to whine or bore you with the details so I’ll just give you the short version.  The last three years I’ve been dealing with constant pain, and I’ve been tested for everything including MS.  The good news (I like to pick out the positive) that we found some  minor things that I will need to follow with easy remedies like taking a baby aspirin every day.  I’ve sampled a buffet of meds along the way and we finally found one that took the pain level from a 7 down to a 4, which is awesome! but I was still looking for a concrete answer.  My final and next step was to seek out information on a chronic pain treatment program.  I was pretty upset knowing that we would never find the cause of the pain but if we could somehow treat it or eliminate it that would be the answer to my prayers. So off to the consult I went.

After telling my life story AGAIN in an exam room the doc very gently scooted his stool over and said “I’m gonna tell you some things you don’t want to hear”.   First, he said the amount of wine I was relaxing with every night is excessive for women, (why is it different for women than men??) and that it can make the nerve pain worse.  Ok, so step one ditch the red wine.  (Done!) Ok, so then he asked me if I thought he could give me an answer for the pain, I told him all I was after at this point was treatment but if he could shed some light to go right ahead.  That’s when he said that he thinks its stress and anxiety induced nerve pain, or nerve damage caused from STRESS!!

All I heard in my head was that I was causing my own pain…oh I was so mad at myself, but I needed to remain calm so I didn’t cause myself any more pain, that would be counterproductive.  I tried to think back to other times when I had stress in my life, to see if I remembered feeling any physical pain.  I couldn’t come up with an instance but I did remember feeling tired and sick.

Think about it, people who are grieving or upset generally end up feeling sick.  Some people have stress induced headaches, others stomach ulcers, some have panic attacks.  When our bodies cannot handle the anxiety it doesn’t know what to do, so it comes out in other ways.  For me it attacked my nerves.  Not feeling well, produced stress; medical bills produced more; no answers and fear of scary disorders produced even more.  I thought I had taken care of myself by seeking counseling after the divorce, and I was getting regular check ups, one of which showed high blood pressure for the first time.  If I look back now that is most likely how my body first started responding to the anxiety and stress of my situation.

Ladies, and gents I ask you to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, don’t ignore signs and symptoms of emotional stress especially if you are feeling physical symptoms.  It can be anything from a headache, stomach ache, feeling anxious, fatigue, etc.  Google emotional stress symptoms and a long list will pop up.

I am hopeful that the chronic pain program will be beneficial to my pain. We are also looking into vitamin levels and I’ve already had to begin supplementing two of them.  Between that and staying away from the red wine I am sure to be on the road to recovery, however long it may be.  I’ve begun to implement ways to decompress and teaching myself how to relax.  Things like yoga videos, and walking the dog on a nice day have been beneficial so far.  Lighting aroma therapy candles, and relaxing with chamomile tea at night have also been helpful.  There are many ideas for relaxation online, next on my list is guided imagery a few nights a week just to learn how to breathe without being stressed! relaxed frog

Ok, now that I got all that off my chest, It feels good to be back at the laptop sharing my words in the hopes to inspire or just let other’s know that you are not alone!  We are all in this together! 🙂

Has stress had a long-term effect on your health?  Please share.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

6/16/14

Related Links/Blogs:

Emotional Stress Causing What Health Problems

The Effects Of Stress Overload

How Stress Effects Your Health

Sick with Worry: How thoughts affect your health

 


Leave a comment

Extra, Extra, Read all about it…..the eBook is PUBLISHED!!!


It’s done!, It’s Done!, It’s DONE!!!!

After two years of writing, while living through it, I finally have the eBook completed and published.  I have to say it is an amazing feeling and I certainly understand why it takes so long for books to be complete.  This is just a simple 30 page eBook and it took me almost the entire day  just to upload it to the publishing site.  A print version will be available very soon for those of use non-computer savvy people.

I need to give some shout out’s here, first to my editor…Christopher Woodside I can’t begin to express my gratitude for all the work you did on this project, not only with the editing but also with getting me through some really rough times.   Asking you to edit the book seemed  logical to me because you saw me through each and every word on those pages.  I will be forever grateful.

Second goes out to Tracie Louise Photography for providing the cover pic at a very reasonable price two years ago when this project was just a glimmer in my eyes.

Next I need to thank David Hall Page for your generous, fabulous, sweet yet comical forward.  You are also someone who has gotten me through some “crap” as you put it and it means a lot to me to have you part of this project.

Finally but not in the least my family, friends, and spiritual advisors…you all know who you are!  But if you want to see your name in print I’ll throw out a few, here goes:  Michelle, Susan, Chuck. Rachel, my lovely children, Mom, Daddy, Michael, Phyllis, Elizabeth, and my awesome co-workers.

So without further ado I proudly announce

eBook Version:

Out Of The Chrysalis:  Free To Fly  (click link for purchasing information)

Out of the Chrysalis : Free to Fly

Paper back print version:

Out Of The Chrysalis: Free To Fly (click link for purchasing information)

Out of the Chrysalis : Free to Fly

 


8 Comments

Emotional Glacier


small-iceberg-wFrozen:  It’s the beginning of March and we are still being gifted by mother nature with ice and snow.

Frozen: The Oscar nominated song Let It Go, in 2014, a hit for little girls everywhere.

Frozen:  The Disney Movie which defines Love as: “Love,” the character states, “is putting someone else’s needs before your own.” The definition is not only key to the story’s surprising climax, but also biblically solid. For the Scriptures tell us, “Greater love has no one than this: than he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Frozen: Webster defines it as, frigid, very cold, obstructed by ice.

It’s amazing how one word can have so many different meanings.  So why am I stuck on this very cold, sometimes debilitating word?  Because in the last few years I have had many circumstances where I felt, or wanted to be frozen.  There were times during my trial when something would happen and the result would cause me to feel trapped and out of control of my circumstances.  In those moments I was literally frozen, in that I was not able to do anything to change the outcome.  I was physically and emotionally frozen.

Lately, I feel like I am stuck, I”m sitting on a very large piece of ice in the middle of nowhere, an emotional glacier.  It’s strange because for a while now I have not had any issues with releasing my feelings but for some reason I find myself wanting to hold things in again.  We all know that holding in feelings is never a good idea and that came to pass for me last week.  Now that I can see it though I am committed to working through whatever it is that I am holding on to.  From the lips of a very dear woman “It’s OK to not be OK”.

The last few days I have been trying to figure out what it is that has me trapped on this current glacier.  Other than the obvious, there is an anniversary (not mine) that does seem to be at the forefront of my mind.  It’s something that  I knew I would never be “OK” with, but something I thought I had moved past.  Divorce is truly the death of a relationship and unfortunately for me, I am still in mourning.

 

I know I have made a lot of progress in my healing but then I have these surprises creep up on me and throw me right back onto that glacier where I have an emotional explosion!  The hard part is not to feel like I’m right back at the beginning.  I need to put all those other explosions behind me and just focus on the one that has me on this current block of ice.  Also hard, is to let it all out; finding someone to confide in and tell all of this too.  I have been through three counselors since my divorce; they keep leaving, maybe I need to look into that! (ha ha)  Most importantly though is recognizing when you are feeling isolated on the glacier before it’s too late and you are piled up high one on top the other before the damn breaks.  let it go

In the words of Disney’s Frozen….LET IT GO!  Let it all in and then let it all out.  We have to remember that tears are healing and it’s OK.  Keeping in mind also not to be angry with yourself when you get to these moments.  My first reaction was how angry I was at  because I am still holding on to some of these issues, but then I realized its because I haven’t let them go from my heart.  They are still there because they still cause hurt, and I need to face them in order to release them.

I have been living in the biggest storm of my life, there may be nothing harder than this.  It is going to take time, patience, understanding, love, faith, and hope to guide me towards being healed.  I have no idea how long it will take, or if I ever will be completely over everything that I went through.  For now I know that it’s OK for me not to be OK, and I need to let other’s around me know when I am feeling that way.  It’s not healthy to be alone on that block of ice, the more people I let in and the more I talk about it, the quicker that ice will melt and I will be free of it.   I have to admit when I first pictured myself sitting on a glacier and it was melting away, I felt panic!  What if I”m not ready?  What if it melts and I drown?  Well, the people around, us, those helping us, will be our life jackets.  They will make sure that we are safe to swim and they will lead us safely to the shore.

Do you feel trapped on your own emotional glacier?  Respond in the comments.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

3/2/14

Related topics/blogs

Let It Go, Frozen

Dream Glacier, Tony Crisp

Let It Go, momofthreelivinginbfe

Seeing Emotions, Enchanted Heart

 


6 Comments

don’t panic


dream-butterflyThe caterpillar has just realized that she is trapped in her cocoon until she is ready and strong enough to fly on her own.  What do you think is going through her  mind?  I’d like to think she is calm, relaxed, and reflecting on what her future will be like once she is transformed.  Perhaps she closes her eyes and in a calm voice whispers to herself, “don’t panic”.

They are only two little words, 8 letters in total but when I speak them or hear them there is no calm in my voice.  Recently after a Chinese dinner I opened a fortune cookie.  I’m usually very excited to see what lies ahead, but this time when I read those two little words my pulse began to race.  All I could think of was why?  Why should I not panic?  What do I have coming that I will want to or need to panic, and how long to these Chinese fortunes last?

Life is full of bumps along the road and hills to climb and panicking through them will only make it harder to survive.  I thought about the past few years and wondered if there were any situations where I did panic, and I was able to think of a few.  When I look back on them now I can see that being in a panic mode did not really help me to resolve anything.  Then I looked even further back into my marriage, to an incident that if I would have processed it correctly, I would have seen what was happening then, instead of six years later.

When we panic we over-anticipate things which can make it look to us like we are over reacting.  That is what happened to me.  Instead of calmly looking at the situation one piece of evidence at a time and focusing on the facts and what I was seeing, I panicked.  I went into a OMG mode and I missed clues,  over looked facts, and ultimately that led me blindly into the false explanation that I would soon accept as truth.  Those emotions can cause you to look at things irrationally and at times you may even become fearful and hysterical.  I had immediately imagined the worst but because I was in that rushed surge of emotions, I convinced myself that I was wrong.  The emotions that panicking brought out of me were crazy, therefore I discounted it all.  Since then I have learned to trust my gut feelings and I know now that if I want to really hear them and feel them I have to go through difficult situations in a calm manner.

I can’t go back and change that moment but I can certainly learn from it.  I can let that moment go and make sure that in the future I pause before reacting.  Storms come and go in our lives just like in the weather.  At times we get a warning and other times they just drop out of the sky.  It is important that we have our emergency response system working properly.  At the first sign of trouble, or when the first dark cloud rolls in….pause….take a deep breath and whisper “don’t panic”, I’ve got this.  Then try to focus on the facts and what you need to do in order to grow, change, or move forward out of the storm.  Learn what ever life lessons are coming from it, accept any changes, and take pride in knowing that you have survived it.  As the storm passes, spread your wings and soar!z_p18-The-butterfly

I do not even want to imagine how many dizzy butterflies there would be if every caterpillar went into a OMG panic mode when they emerged from their cocoon.  Don’t be a dizzy butterfly….take a deep breath….close your eyes…..and whisper “don’t panic”.

Have you panicked and it altered your reasoning?  Please share in the comments.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

3/17/13

Related Links/Blogs

Need You Now, Plumb

Word to the Wise, Poetic Journey

Day 7-13 Flying In and Out of Control, The Presence Project

Panic, Tiny Moon Girl

Across the Bored


Leave a comment

A bigger life….The Butterfly Life


Did you ever wonder what would happen if the storm you were living in suddenly began to subside?  Our storms of life have to eventually come to an end just as the recent “Perfect Storm” did.  It came in with a vengeance, ripping apart homes, cars, leaving people stranded and without power. In the blink of an eye it left a path of destruction and was gone.  I think a lot of us can compare our personal struggles with that very storm.

Some were prepared and other’s decided against fleeing their homes; forecasts were predicting what was to come, however other’s chose not to head the warning.   The storm left a definite path of destruction and  some scars that will take time to heal.  That is no different from what I went through in  MY storm.  I can continue comparing the destructive path of that storm with the destruction that my divorce left, OR I can focus on the strength and courage I gained while riding out the storm and where it has gotten me today.

I guarantee you that anyone who was in the eye of the recent weather will someday tell their story of strength, courage, and will to live.  It is very easy to lose sight of those things when you are living through or grieving over something terrible that happened.  It is usually not clear to those suffering that during the phases of grieving they are really growing and beginning their transformation.  I’ve seen signs along they way that I was healing but at times I still lacked the confidence that I was truly on a path toward my future.  Recently I was asked where I am in my grieving process and I had to stop and think.  I was surprised at how long it took me to reach an answer.  When I finally got it and spoke it out loud I did it with a smile on my face.  Sounds odd I know, but it showed me how strong I really have become.    At this point in my process I am in the “snap my fingers Hell No phase”! The “why did that person think they could do that to me?” phase.  I felt as strong as ever when I answered that question, along with feelings of hope that I am that much closer to having the wound healed.

It’s amazing, all I needed was one simple question to make me see the path I am currently on, the path to my future.  Just as the caterpillar when it breaks free from the cocoon realizes that it is on its way to a bigger life, the butterfly life.  I like to think that I am just beginning my butterfly life.  I can honestly say for the first time in a long time that I am HAPPY.  I can see possibilities ahead.  I know life is not perfect and I”m sure I will come up against a few rain showers here and there, but I’ve survived the “Perfect Storm”, I can survive anything after that.

I am ready to discover all of the capabilities that my new path has to offer.  I know what it feels like to be in the eye of the storm and cling to hope.  I also know what it feels like when the storm takes a horrible turn.  If I am faced with a storm again I will always chose hope rather than focusing on how bad the storm can get.  It is the hope that has gotten me where I am today.

Do you have a story of hope you can share?  Respond in the comments.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly 11/1/12

Related photos:

Storm Survivor

Related Blogs:

Surviving the Perfect Storm

The Storms of Life