Disappointments can be BIG blessings

Dear Seeking Girl,

Have you ever been disappointed? Have you ever carefully planned, or saved, or studied, or sacrificed, and still had a big disappointment come into your life and knock the wind out of you?

That big disappointment could end up being one of the BEST things that ever happen to you.

Sometimes NOT getting what you thought you wanted is the greatest, most miraculous blessing that you can ever count in your life. It can save you from so much heartache, and it can keep you on the exact path you were meant to be on…..or even lead you to the right path.

Brave Girls Club - your path is YOUR path
It is difficult to do….but please just trust. Trust that you will all end up exactly where you are supposed to be, to learn exactly what you are supposed to learn and to become exactly who you are meant to become.

Everything always works out somehow, doesn’t it? It’s okay to cry a few tears over the disappointment, friend…but then step into the warm, sunny light of your beautiful future. It is gonna be SO GOOD.

You are so very loved.
xoxo

Being willing….

Dear Inspiring Girl,

Willingness is so important. Do you think you could just try try try to be willing this week to take chances…to hear someone out….to let something be….to let things work themselves out…to learn something new that you may not have been willing to believe in before? Just be willing, that’s all. It’s such an important first step to take when things seem so far out of reach.

So…if you are up to it…please be willing to let change happen, be willing to trust, be willing to forgive, be willing to try something new, be willing to see yourself in the beautiful ways that others see you, be willing to accept love, be willing to give of yourself, be willing to believe in your dreams, be willing to believe in the path that is meant just for you. Be willing to believe that there are unseen hands helping you along every single day. Be willing to believe in yourself.

Doesn’t that feel good? It feels good because there is so much truth wrapped around it….and it all started with just being willing to believe it.

You are loved so much more than you could ever imagine.
You really are.
xoxo

I showed up angry, I showed up sad, I showed up hivey and chubby and exhausted…… the summer of LIGHTER AND LIGHTER is almost over.

I am on day 90 of a 100 day hiatus from how my life WAS….and before I start writing about what exactly transpired over these months……….I wanted to set the stage. I am SO READY to close this chapter. This was no sabbatical….it was more like an emotional/physical/ mental boot camp. Today I can be all light hearted and cheerful about it…..in the middle….I wasn’t so much fun to be around. This was not my favorite summer of all time.

I made it

This blog post is gonna sound really ugly at the beginning but I promise it all turns out in the end.

to show up

As someone who tries to see the bright side of everything, as someone who believes in extracting the valuable lesson in everything and letting the rest go……it has been a terrifying few months when I could do neither. I have known myself as someone who could will myself to do just about anything….someone who could overcome and just press on….power through it. Tough it out. Well……

My 100 day hiatus is almost up. In May, after nearly 2 years of chronic hives and a gradual decline in vitality….then a swift decline in vitality and a startling weight gain, I decided to take the summer to really figure out what was going on with my body.  I did not write much, even though I had planned on it, because it was all just too personal…I know you get that. Also….I didn’t have much to say that was good or inspiring. Things got much worse before they finally started to get better….in fact, I was sure I was ruined for life when I was just a few weeks in. I did not have it in me to see the bright side of that. What I learned this summer was that although my symptoms most certainly manifested in my body…..they started in my head, my heart and my soul. Shutting my body down was my self’s last resort to get me to stop and take care of some old, yucky infected soul wounds that I have powered through but never let myself feel angry about…hurt about….I have never let myself grieve things that were lost by natural causes, lost by unfairness, lost by my own decisions, lost by things that were out of control. My way of dealing with everything has always been to press on…press on…press on…….power through it and always always always look at the bright side.

Well…then I got sick. In June…..I got diagnosed with Stage 3 adrenal exhaustion. This was after, like I said, nearly 2 years of disfiguring welts and hives that moved all over my body and stayed for weeks at a time. After all of the blood and saliva tests….I learned I was depleted in everything. Even my cholesterol was low! There was nothing left in my body to power through with…not even a drop. My doctor said….‘you have squeezed every last drop of every single thing out of your body…….you have no choice but to stop and replenish it all…and it takes a while to do that.

melody ross i dont want to look like this

2 years of chronic hives, stage 3 adrenal fatigue and a 30 pound weight gain….hellooooooo, healing hiatus…where are you????? (and by the way….WHAT THE H????? Remember, God, that I just finished this 10 year marathon of helping my husband heal and seeing our life fall apart and working my bootie off to put it all back together…….and now this??? WHY???)

why this

That is when I stopped writing.

That is when I got madder than mad. (I was even mad at my doctor) This is new for me…I really and truly thought I did not have the gene that helps people to feel anger….turns out, I just had a really thick wall with a really locked up gate that held in all of my very human anger….years and years and years of it.

That is when I pretty much stayed in my bedroom and cried and made art from my bed all summer because I lost my energy and my zoom and my pizazz and my sparkle… and all I could do was rest most days….another totally new experience for me.

and….that is when I went into a pity party of such sizable proportions that I didn’t even know who I was.

i do not understand

This summer (and for the last 2 years) I had grotesque hives in ways that made me look like that guy in Goonies…no matter what I did..they itch, they hurt, they make me want to hide and sleep in a bathtub of oatmeal…….my weight climbed, leaving me 30 pounds heavier than I was before this all happened. My energy went away, my joy went away and I every day I faced a new issue. It was not the best year of my life.

I have WANTED to write….I have wanted to write blog posts with titles like “2014, the year I got old and dried up, puffed up and messed up” or…..”when beauty and youth fade overnight and leave you a shell of human” or…..just simply “life is not fair and it really really REALLY sucks.”

but…I didn’t. I am glad I didn’t. Hopefully you can see why I stopped writing. In fact, my writing has withered over the last 2 years since those hives showed up because my energy, my vitality, my sparkle, my shine, my confidence, my smile, my mojo….all of it was slowly draining out of me…….but I just kept powering through it instead of filling it back up.

I will tell you that I wanted a magic pill….a magic program….a silver bullet…..a secret code….SOMETHING that would make me better overnight. I believe in choosing happiness above all else…I never thought it would be so hard for ME to find it. I thought happiness was my special talent!!  It has felt very unfair when I begged and I begged and I prayed and I prayed to be healed. It made me feel very sad, mad and negative for lots weeks that turned into lots of months. I don’t like this side of me that behaves this way….but I do love her. She has put up with so much. Soooo, I finally let that side of me be as mad and as sad as she wanted to be….I surrendered to it….and I let her say it, I let her feel it…I sat next to her through it. When she would listen…I would tell her that it was gonna pass and everything would be happy again.

…and I even started therapy…which I have never ever ever done.

I was so thankful when, after talking for 2 hours…..my therapist said….”you have been through a LOT of trauma, dear…..you HAVE to let yourself heal from that….you have to let yourself be mad at how unfair it felt, how sad it felt, how lost you felt, how alone you felt…..you have to work through this anger and sorrow and despair.”

So…I started doing that.

I am doing that.

I wrote in one of my first “lighter and lighter” posts about how it knocked the wind out of me when I realized that my husband can not remember the worst things that happened during his 4-5 years of mental illness that resulted after his brain injury. I think I started going downhill fast when I realized that we were never going to be able to heal from those years together because he can not even remember them. It really really REALLY stinks when you are the only one holding memories that have never been dealt with. It makes you feel crazy. It makes you feel infuriated.

-press on beautiful soul

I was reminded that over the last 2 years I have done some major overhauling in my life through facing painful and difficult things that had never been talked about…..on top of my son getting married 2 years ago, my daughter getting married last year and our first grandchild being born this Spring.(all the the most wonderful things you can imagine)  We have moved 5 times in the last 5 years and life was very uncertain for a very long time. We started a new business on a shoestring and gave it all we had. We love everything we do and we give it everything we have…..

Life has just been really grueling….happy and sad…constant going….constant survival mode. Constant POWERING THROUGH IT. It has been this way for more than 10 years.

My body is tired. My soul is tired.

-this might take a while

Plus…….this thing that happens in your 40’s…..when you start to age, you start to look different and feel different….when you start to question everything in life because you have new wisdom…..it is a weird time. Middle age is not for wimps…that’s all I’ve got to say.

SOOOOO…the good news is, dear friends…that I am writing because I am shifting. Everything is shifting. I see the light. My body is balancing….my heart is balancing. I have so much to say about all of the different facets of this………as this summer I have learned so much about my marriage, about being a mother, about being a woman, about being a friend and letting others be a friend to me. I have learned so much about limitations. I have learned so much about choosing…and deciding.  I have learned so much about patience and impatience. I have learned so much about the value of anger and the purpose of anger. I have learned so much about myself….my beloved, precious self (I can say that now and really mean it) I have learned so much about what happens when we believe the yucky lie that we have to pay dearly for anything good, including happiness…..and I am learning every day what GRACE means.

I have been angry at God, angry at myself, angry at my husband’s loss of memory, angry at my body, angry at the world…..I have been angry this summer about how life works. I have been angry angry angry….mostly about things that I can not control…and that made me even angrier.

But I am seeing the other side of it.

When I can…I want to write to you all that I have learned about these chronic hives, about what I’ve learned about hormones…what I’ve learned about adrenals…what I’ve learned about how it’s all connected to old secrets, old memories, old wounds and old stories……..because I want to give you all the information I can about how this healing is evolving so that if you are going through some of the same things….maybe I have a map that will help you on your journey.

Because I AM HEALING. I AM.

melody ross I will tell you the secret

I see this vision of myself coming out of this brighter, happier and more at peace than ever before…….because I went on a quest and I was gifted with some gifts of knowledge and wisdom…….(gifts I may have declined had I been given the choice when they were offered, but that I am profoundly grateful for now)

….thank goodness because I thought this was all just a bunch of crap while I was in the middle of it. I thought this was my new life. Just being honest. I swore a lot, I cried a lot and I felt sorry for myself a lot. I was jealous of others a lot. I begged a lot…I yelled a lot………..I hid out a lot. I did what I needed to do…and I let myself do it.

Ok..this is too long already but I will write more when it is time.

Love you all so much……..please hang in there…stay with it. When my friends kept telling me to HANG IN THERE and STAY WITH IT this summer, I sometimes wanted to punch them in the face, but I knew they loved me and that I could trust them…so I did. I hope you will do the same.

Because life is really hard sometimes….but sometimes that’s what it takes to get us to the next place we are meant to be.

Finally…..as the post is titled…”SHOW UP ANGRY…SHOW UP SAD…” please make sure you reach out when things are tough. This summer it has been a real exercise in trust as I have been honest with my closest circle about how yucky I felt. It is excruciating to have to admit how you really feel, especially when you feel like there is no way out of it. It was a floatation device for me to be able to reach out to a few trusted friends and family and really be honest about how angry, sad and hopeless I felt some days. PLEASE REACH OUT AND BE HONEST…don’t keep it inside. They all told me it would pass…and it always did….even when I was sure it wouldn’t.

You are beloved and important and human…..that means you have human frailties and limitations, that means you have up times and down times……that means you have hard things to learn sometimes. Know how I know that for sure??? Because I am human and I am living it too. Even when there seems to be no good news to share…..reach out, ok?

I promise I will write more about the chronic hives (they are gone!) and I will write more about the adrenal fatigue and the hormone imbalances and the anger…..because I know there are lots of you suffering with the same stuff. Let’s all help each other figure this out.

I feel alive

I am getting better. I feel good today. Good feels sooooooooooooooo amazing…just regular old good feels sooooooooooooooo incredible. What a gift.

melody ross good chronic hives day

I choose happy…………it’s always looking for me just as hard as I am looking for it. The reunion is so exquisitely sweet when we finally find each other again.

xoxoxo

melody

melody ross lighter and lighter end of the battle

Just keep moving forward…

Dear Phenomenal Girl,

We all have parts of ourselves that need working on. We all think thoughts that aren’t the best thoughts we could be thinking. We all do things we wish we would have done better, or differently, or not at all. We all make mistakes, every single day, every single one of us. And then, we all wake up every day with lots of chances to start over. It is one of the miracles of life.

When mistakes hold us back, they become bigger mistakes. In fact, holding back could really be an even bigger mistake than the mistake that we originally made! When we do something that we wish we would have done differently, or not at all, we need to do the best we can to make it right, and then let it go. We need to keep moving forward.

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Let’s not make the bigger mistake of keeping us from the future that is meant for us. You are not your mistakes. You are not your bad mood or your careless act or any of the other labels that come when mistakes are made. You are a human being, and you are learning something new every day. You are getting better and wiser and more equipped. You are doing a great job.

Let yesterday go. Be done with it. Walk onto your light-filled path and make today a better day.

You are so loved!

xoxo

There is a time to stop and r e s t . . .

Dear Tired Girl,

It is SO GOOD to do GOOD things, so good! It is so good to make things happen and to help others and to cross things off of our lists and to seek out more of everything that is good.

There is a time to stop and rest, however. Rest is good. Rest is one of the very good things in life to do. Our bodies need rest, our minds need rest, our spirits need rest, our relationships need for us to be rested. Our jobs need for us to be rested. The GOOD GOOD things in the world that we do need a rested BEST of us.

time-to-rest

Rest does not need to hold hands with guilt. We do not have to pay for rest when the rest is over. Rest is an investment and makes everything we do better, more valuable and more meaningful. WE MUST REST. Please, dear friend, let yourself rest. Rest physically by going to bed. Rest emotionally by letting go of expectations. Rest spiritually by turning over your worries, problems and anger.

In your quest for all that is good and true, decide TODAY that rest is one of the best and truest of all things. Our bodies were designed to rest. We are being true to who we are when we take the time to truly truly rest. Hear it, sweetheart?

You are so loved. Now get some rest this weekend.
xoxo

Look for it…it’s there

Dear Choosing Girl,

We tend to find exactly what we are seeking, and exactly what we are expecting…in some way or another. This is why it is so important to seek for beauty and truth, and to expect the best of people and situations.

What happens when you do your best and expect for the best…when you look for goodness and when you seek for beauty and life surprises you with something that is not so fabulous? What happens when clouds cover the sunshine and walls seem to be around everything?

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This is where it gets tricky…and this is where the magic happens too. You can choose to see your problems as potential teachers…..see your difficulties as stepping stones to your most fabulous life. See your trials as opportunities to become even better at what you are already good at, and to learn things you never could have learned otherwise. See your place in painful situations as perhaps the ONE person who can bring the light into a dark situation.

There is good everywhere you look…..if you decide to look at the good instead of the yuck. True…there is yuck everywhere too……so it’s more important than ever to step right over it, look up into the light…and decide RIGHT THIS SECOND that you are going to be a force for goodness, light, happiness, laughter, optimism, funky dancing, loud singing and creative fun solutions to every dilemma…..because THAT is who you are.

Thanks for being that incredible force, lovely lady……..the world would not be nearly as beautiful without you.

You are so very loved.

xoxo

How to forget what ails you…

Dear overwhelmed girl,

Got issues? Too much to do? Got a headache?

Want to know the very best way to forget what ails you for just a little while?

Lose yourself in doing kind deeds.

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When you take time to focus on what is ailing someone else and doing all that you can to provide comfort, help and encouragement…it’s almost guaranteed that you will have the wonderful side-effect of forgetting your own problems.

The ‘high’ that comes will be so big, so powerful, so beautiful, that you might just that you won’t focus on your problems much at all any more…instead, just moving on to the next person that you can help out.

Even if you only have five minutes…look around for a way to serve your fellow brave girl…and your heart will sing and your soul will fly…

You are beloved.

xoxo

Truth never changes…truth never goes away

Dear Loving Girl,

If we could carefully base our lives on things that are not temporary, we could find so much peace in every minute and life would be so much more fun, too! Something every soul wants is to have something to hold on to, but sometimes we hold on to things that make us feel miserable.

When we base our happiness, measure our value and center our lives around things that could be gone tomorrow, we feel a sense of panic all the time BECAUSE we know those things could be gone tomorrow. When we place all of our value on our looks, our money, what people think of us, our titles or anything else that is out of our control, life can feel pretty scary and shaky, and it is almost impossible to find peace in our hearts.

 

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Truth never changes. Truth never goes away. When we focus on the truths that are deep inside of our hearts that no one can ever take away from us, we can finally rest in those truths and not try so hard to hold on to things that could be gone so quickly.

Hold on tight to what you know to be beautiful and true. Love your family and friends, spend time learning, do things for others without expecting anything in return, simplify. Focus on the things that you can control — your attitude, what goes into your mind and heart and body, the people you spend time with and the time you spend alone, listening.

Life is meant to be beautiful and peaceful, but it takes some practice, dear friend! It is worth the practice time and it is worth letting go. YOU are worth the practice time, and you are worth what it takes to let go.

You are so loved.
xoxo

 

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Starting over….it takes courage to get back up and try again

Dear terrific girl,

You may feel that if you have had to start over again and again on the same goal or struggle or dream that maybe it is just not meant to be for you.

Please remember, wonderful girl, that just about anyone who has done anything amazing or worthwhile had to decide to get back up and start over, again and again, because those people made mistakes, slipped up, got lazy or distracted and had to get back on track.

 



dont-quit

So if you find yourself starting over again, congratulate yourself for being one of the few to have the humble courage it takes to get up and move forward after falling. It really is quite an act of bravery and honor.

It will make a difference and you will make a difference. It is worth it and you are worth it.

You are deeply loved.. and  you are never alone on this journey.
xoxo

 

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Go do something fun

Dear Perfectly Imperfect Girl,

It’s hard to remember that we can’t be much good to anyone at all if we don’t take care of ourselves. Even though there may be people all around us who need help, who need assistance, who need advice, who need a hug, who need a friend, who need a clean towel, who need a sandwich…..we’ve all got to have the energy to do these things each day, and we can not expect our bodies to carry us forward without recharging. We kind not expect our mind to have fresh ideas and our hearts to have patience. We have to refill ourselves.

Just like we are told on an airplane before a flight…before reaching out to help another, we must have our own oxygen masks on. It is not taking anything away from anyone else when we take some time each day to catch our breath, recharge, restore and remember.

We must.

dosomeethingfun-440Take time to take care….you are so important. And you are loved.

xoxo

 

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