Wildflowers: Knowing vs. Believing

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[this is the post I refer to]

I’ve written about the little girl who still resides within my heart. I’ve written what it felt like to open the door and release her from the prison that I contained her in. I’ve shared what it felt like to have that rusty, heavy cell door scrape along the floor of my heart.

But where did she go after I freed her? Where did she find herself after I told her how worthy she is? How loved she is? How much she is loved by God?

She has had the freedom to walk out of that cell; that prison I built within my heart. She’s had the ability to walk among the wildflowers that grow in the garden of my heart. But why has she still sat there, cowering in the corner of that cold, dingy prison cell?

She hasn’t believed it. She’s known the truth, but she hasn’t believed it. She’s been so conditioned to my hurtful words, that she doesn’t know any different. She’s grown comfortable with the familiarity of that cell. Even though the scent of fresh blooms ride the breeze that flows through from the garden outside the cell, she’s been too fearful to step out into the unknown.

That damp, dark floor of aches seems to have brought her comfort. The chill in the air seems to have become her friend.

So, while the freedom lingers in her view, as the door swings in the breeze— she knows joy. She knows what awaits her, when she finally decides to take that leap of faith— and walk among the wildflowers with Him. O the joys that await her when she finally, completely lets go. And lets God.

A letter to 12 year old me.

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Dear Twelve,

I’ve not forgotten you, do not worry.

I remember that day you chose to wear that t-shirt. You know— the one with the giant head of a pig on the front, wearing a straw hat and chewing on a strand of hay.

You wore it without thinking anything of it. You liked it. You liked the way it fell just past your bottom. It was comfortable. And it fit just right.

But you didn’t like that comment. This age can be so tough, dear Twelve. I know you know that. And I know you remember those words, because they’re burned into your memory— the memory that we share.

Thirteen didn’t forget it either, nor Fourteen, Fifteen, and Sixteen definitely didn’t. Sixteen couldn’t handle it. She let it break her.

Can you blame it all on that one comment? Of course not. I know it was a combination of things. A mix of words, actions, looks, and events. But this one comment is an example that certain memories can stick with you, and can have a huge effect on your life…if you let them.

Those words were something like, hey Jennifer, you wore yourself on your shirt today. Followed by a chuckle.

Lovely.

Now, Twelve, I know I didn’t have to remind you of those seemingly simple words. You remember them well. In fact you laughed along with them. You kept yourself safe with the shield of your laughter. But behind the shield, another little piece of your self esteem crumbled.

I need to remind you that they are only words. And the person who said them had no intention for you to hold them close for years.

You are more than the negative thoughts and words of others. Let yourself shine. Let yourself be you. You are beautiful, not based on others. You are beautiful because of your heart, and the beauty you see in everything. Take care of you, Twelve, and everything else will fall into place.

rescue

My head, in a painful fog.

My heart, in an aching war.

Alone, out in the darkness.

This blade within my core

is severing all my joy.

It’s strange to know that I

am my own assailant.

Every twist of this blade

that made me feel vacant,

was initiated by me.

I’m unable to console

the emptiness within,

when I’ve lost all the control

and the will to start again.

If I am my own assailant,

can I be my own amazement?

My own rescue in disguise,

telling me to rise,

and combat all the lies

that I weave within my mind?

If we have the strength to be

our own cruel enemy,

then surely we are strong enough

to rescue and to rise above

the pain we put upon ourself,

replacing it with love.

-Jen Kessler

regarding emotions

Her emotions become chaotic,

She’d wish she was catatonic.

‘Cause the concealed pain

Revealed on this emotional train,

Is often far beyond her grasp.

Her control will never last.

Her eyes will bleed of tears,

Familiar through the years.

Her voice will spew of hate.

Words she can’t relate,

‘Cause she doesn’t mean them.

Here in this cycle once again,

Hauntings of her past

Confuse her present task

Of staying steady,

And emotionally ready

To give and to receive

The love she thought

Would always

Leave.

-Jen Kessler

Going Solo: Why You Should Go to a Movie Alone

I pulled my debit card out of the ticket machine, and retrieved my ticket as it spit out. I slid it in my jacket pocket, adjusted my purse strap on my right shoulder, and made my way to the concession.

As I stood in line, my first thought was everyone is staring at me; they all know I’m here alone.

I was sandwiched between a cuddly couple waiting in line in front of me, and a father with his two kids behind me.

Giggles filled the atmosphere.

“Can I help who’s next please?” I didn’t hear this.

“Can I help you?” The girl behind the counter called out to me. Her disapproving look on her face told me that she’d been calling to me a few times more than I realized.

Oops, I thought to myself.

I continued looking up at the menu board, and felt such a sense of freedom standing there. I could order anything I wanted. No one was waiting for me, except for the impatient girl taking my order.

I took a deep breath, inhaling a sense of peace. I tucked my hair behind my ear, and gave her my order of popcorn and drink.

When I arrived in the theatre room, I scanned the rows of seats. There were many available, with only about twenty people waiting for the movie to start.

I can sit wherever I want. I exhaled any embarrassment that I mistakenly felt.

Juggling my fountain drink in my right hand and my overflowing popcorn bag in my left, I made my way up the stairs to the middle row, and walked across to the centre.

Though it was in a public theatre, I found it peaceful seated there alone. It was like it would be at home, on the couch, except with a huge screen.

I walked out of that theatre feeling renewed. Though, the movie didn’t turn out to be a favourite of mine, the experience was.

This was about four years ago now. I think I’m due for another, as I miss it…

Going to see a movie alone is so freeing.

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I’ve met countless people who claim that they could never see a movie alone. And even I was one of them. But I am telling you, it is so good for the soul. It is so freeing for the soul. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, give it a try sometime. You just might like it!

Benefits of Going to a Movie Alone:

  • You can pick whichever movie you want, with ease.
  • It’s liberating
  • Sit wherever you like
  • Enjoy some “me time”
  • It’s empowering
  • Learn to be alone (if you’re not used to it)

Sincerely + gratefully,

Jen

Vulnerability: How I freed My Heart + Found Myself

It’s a strange thing, vulnerability. Like shedding a layer of your skin off, and exposing the world inside of you, it is both refreshing and uncomfortable. The perfect mix of confidence and insecurity. We think that we are alone in the fact that we have a dark, maybe even ‘strange’ world beneath our surface. We think that we should never let that part of us see the light of day. Suppress it. Neglect it. You keep pushing away that piece of you that you believe is so unworthy.  There’s that piece that might’ve even been haunting you for a large portion of your life, because you’re so ashamed of it. You think if you keep it to yourself, it’s not true.  It’s easier to just ignore the tough emotions that we’ve dealt with in our lives, and try to forget them.

But vulnerability is so much more than any of this. It can be healing. It can be healing for not only you- but for others as well. We’re all fighting battles. Most of them, we are completely unaware of. Have you felt worthless for years because you didn’t get the support you so desperately needed as a child? Have you been blaming yourself for something, and it has been devouring you? We all have something. Most of us have a version of ourselves that we are not proud of.

We have all been a small child, and that little girl or boy still lives within our hearts.  For most of my life, I locked mine away. And every so often, she would cry to be let out; to be set free. Every time she tried to get out, or screamed in agony, I’d yell back. I would push her arms back through the bars of the prison cell that I had built inside my heart. And I’d add another lock on the door. Again and again, I would turn away from her, and give her my back. I’d walk away from that cold, empty cell in the corner of my heart– that cell that holds the girl I once was. And I’d cry for her. With every piece of me that had fallen away, I would cry for her. Then she would be quiet and I would ignore her again, until the next time that she wept and cried out in agony.

I spent much of my teens and twenties resisting everything I was. I created this mask that covered my foundation; everything that made me who I was as a child. With everything I had, I pushed that little girl far back inside of me. I hid her so well that even I had a hard time finding her on the day I decided that I missed her. Whatever it took to be friends with certain people, I devoted to becoming. I suppressed so many aspects of myself.  I suppressed them so well, that they created a pool of sadness within my heart. And I was drowning.

I have graduated highschool, and been to college, while having grown up in an unstable, alcoholic atmosphere. I have loved and been married. I gave birth to a child. I have been divorced. And I have loved again. Of all of the experiences I have been through, the toughest, by far, would be in loving myself. It has been tough, mainly because I haven’t felt worthy. I could say that I wish I had known this piece of information years earlier, but then I wouldn’t be who I am today. And now that I’ve discovered more of whom that is—I quite like her.

Imagine what doors would open, if we were sincere about who we are. Imagine how inspiring you could be to someone who feels lost, or alone. Imagine the lives that could change for the good of this world.

I have never felt more freedom than when I unlocked that cell. I will never forget the sound of the rusty door scraping along the floor of my heart as I swung it open and walked across to the corner on the other side, where I saw the shadow of a little girl, curled up on the floor. With whispers of past hurts, regrets, and tears, echoing all around me, I held out my hand, as the frail little girl slowly lifted her head to look at me. I felt her icy fingers in mine, and helped her to her feet. Brushing her hair away from her face, I looked into her deep, beautiful, innocent eyes. And I told her that she was amazing. I told her that she would be worthy of anything that she would want out of this world. I told her that she is loved- so unconditionally loved- by Him.

If we’re blessed with a safe place to share, maybe it is good once in a while. Maybe what we need is to console and love our inner child; our inner self.

Sincerely + Gratefully,

Jen