Why I Write? – Finding the Why Behind your Passions

 

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Why I Write? -Finding the Why Behind Your Passions 

There are many reasons why a person writes or may want to call themselves a writer.

Some enjoy the soft grip of a pen as they scribble their thoughts and ideas across a sheet of paper.

Others use writing as a therapy, or an outlet in order to hash out specific feelings or emotions that they need to confront.

A handful of individuals may even find purpose in the art of story telling in order to better connect and motivate other humans to one another’s most vulnerable levels.

Regardless of the specific reason for writing, writing runs deep in a person’s blood.

It’s a bunch of jumbled ideas and words that are banging on the frontal cortex of a person’s brain begging to escape the chained-up realms of their creative world.

It’s the sleepless nights as a person pounds away at their keyboard racing to see how fast their fingers can type as their ideas flow through their hands.

Writing takes courage and strength to face the walls we build so high to protect ourselves from, only to break those walls down brick by brick, exposing the truth to who we really are as individuals and as authors.

You see, anyone can be a writer. Anyone can write, but it takes true persistence and passion to expose yourself and your stories to the world around you- to the criticisms and judgements of others.

That is why the willingness and passion to capture your ideas and thoughts on a piece of paper must be greater than your fear of the judgements, criticisms, and exposure of oneself.

 

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This is the main reason why I write- I simply enjoy it.

I find freedom in opening a notebook and scribbling my deepest thoughts onto a piece of paper. I enjoy creating a string of words that explains exactly how I am feeling at a specific moment in time. I love feeling into my emotions and assessing them through words, while also having the ability to be vulnerable with not only myself, but with others. I enjoy sharing my stories of triumph, of failure, of love, loss, heartbreak, and overcoming in order to motivate and inspire others to preserver through their own individual stories.

Therefore, I write because I love it.

Why partake in something if you do not have the passion and the joy for it?

If you are doing something for the sole approval of others, for the money, for the success, for the fame – or any reason other than simply enjoying what you do- why would you waste your time partaking in such an activity?

Do the thing that brings you the most passion. Spend the time crafting and practicing your passion, so that you can become better and reach new levels within yourself. By focusing and doing what you love, you will automatically bring happiness and enjoyment into your life- and isn’t this what life is all about?

So, what do you love?

What are you passionate about doing?

What activities or interests bring you joy?

You see, writing has always come natural to me. The creative ideas I held in my head were begging to come out at a young age. I remember writing song lyrics, plays, and countless stories that I would share with my family, friends and teachers. In my hands a person would almost always find  a pen, a journal, and the current self help book I was reading at the time because as children we have the freedom to explore what we love, and that’s exactly what I did.

In my adolescent years I became fascinated with reading the bible and discovering new truths about the author of the universe and the countless stories His word held. I was mesmerized with how the smallest of details in one person’s life in the bible could make up a string of themes for the multitude reading the stories.  I would create insights to what I read, writing and journaling what I thought and how I connected to the text. I discovered my love for exploring, creating and connecting to others as a child.

All of these activities came natural to me, passions usually do.

When an activity is a passion, it usually means it’s a God given desire, gift or talent.

 

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In addition to passion, I write because God gave me the gift to do so.

He gave me the creative mind I have that thinks on a deeper, more connective level than most.

Why hide away this talent?

Why make excuses for not doing something I love to do?

I think that’s the thing we all do as we grow older. We have the freedom to explore our gifts, passions and talents at a young age, but as we grow, we lack the time and freedom to keep up with these passions that bring us such joy.

Our lives start to become our to-do lists, and others place their expectations of what they think we “should do” on our shoulders.

When the reality is, God gave us these gifts, talents, passions, and desires to do these activities we love for a reason- to explore and grow in them.

If we push these passions aside because we “don’t have time” or because it’s something we think we “shouldn’t do,” we are essentially pushing off the true person God made us to be.

So, what are your gifts?

What are your talents?

What comes natural to you?

Are you engaging in such activities?

If you are not, how come?

Lastly, I write because I want to connect with the world by telling my unique, individual story.

 

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I believe the most humanistic thing we can be in this world is vulnerable. To let others see ourselves as the true, authentic self that we are. So many of us hide behind masks and pretend to be something that we are not.

Why hide your authentic self away?

It is in our vulnerabilities, our uncertainties, our doubts, emotions, pains, and victories where connection between individuals can really happen.

Essentially, we are all the same, journeying through life telling our own individual stories of how we have overcame difficult obstacles that we have uniquely faced. Each one of us does this in our own ways, whether it is through engaging in conversation with others we love, creating art, speaking, writing, practicing an instrument, playing a sport-  you name it.

Writing is a way I can connect to others around the world who face my similar struggles, pains, hurt, and victories. It is a way for others to see into my unique story. Writing is a way I can express who I truly am with no masks or walls to hide behind. I write so that I can feel more human and meet others in the familiar places that I am writing from.

So, all in all, there are many reasons why I write.

But that is the thing, in order to do something, you must find your why. You must find the reasoning behind the doing. You must find the passion behind your interest, and you must not waste it.

So, I urge you readers to find your why. Find your passion and start pursuing it.

God bless,

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L.Blum

How to Let Go When You Desperately Want to Hold On

 

For the Person Who Needs to Let Go and Trust in God’s Plan for Their Lives

I grasped the phone tightly as I felt its edges dig deep into the palm of my hand. The plastic cover that protected my phone quivered with fear as my fingers strangled the small, square electronic object. I pushed the phone a little harder against my ear as I heard his deep, soft voice smoothly protrude through the speaker.

Every muscle in my body was tense and my heart was racing with fear.

Fear of being abandoned.

Fear of being alone.

Fear of rejection.

And most importantly fear of the unknown.

My voice quivered with the same fear that ran through my veins. With shaky words and tears falling down my cheeks, I tried to convince him to stay. I tried to convince him that things will get better, the fighting will stop, the trust will grow and the love will remain.

I heard the foreign words that were carefully crafted roll off my tongue as I gasped for air in between sentences and sobs. You see, I was never really good with goodbyes or walking away from something or someone I loved. I was raised to never give up, to try harder, to keep pushing until you see the results you so desperately desired. So, when him and I said our final goodbyes and I love you’s, I felt an all consuming fear and pain engulf me.

Somewhere along the lines I associated my fears to this desperate need of trying harder in my relationships- intimate relationships and friendships. I guess I thought if you gave up on the relationship, you were giving up on love, and more importantly the person you loved. So, I held on tighter.

But I didn’t just hold onto the people in my life with a forceful grip, I held onto my insecurities of not feeling enough for someone.

I held onto this need to constantly compare myself to others, allowing feelings of jealousy to bubble up and overflow to those closest to me.

I desperately gripped onto my past relationships that never worked out and the pain they caused.

I clenched onto my fears, my selfish ways, my inability to let go of my pride and admit that I was wrong.

I was constraining the reckless, immature ways of handling situations instead of voicing my thoughts and feelings in a mature matter.

I used a bottle of tequila and nights out with my friends to mask the pain and make excuses for my poor behavior and choices.

I didn’t listen to others. I didn’t change. I just held onto these toxic qualities about myself because it was easier then going through the painful process of confronting each one of these areas.

And guess what?

I held onto all of these toxic qualities until it ruined a relationship that had the potential to be something extraordinary.


Sometimes it takes a person or a situation to shake up our world so drastically in order for us to confront, and let go of all the demons that have been hiding away inside us.


Through these painful situations we learn more about who we are, how we react to problems, how we might treat others when our fears and insecurities are raging in front of us, and most importantly the person we want to become after the pain subsides.

Unfortunately, the sad part about this is these individuals or situations rarely get to stay the same in our lives.

There are times where we must forgo what we thought would happen, or the plans we made for ourselves in order to step into the person and plans God has for us.

At the time of that phone call I felt as if my world was crashing down around me. Nothing was going as I wanted or expected it to go. I remember feeling beaten down and distraught because I was faced with multiple situations that shook me to the core of my being.

In the weeks that preceded the phone call, I was faced with the news that I needed to stay an extra four weeks in my student teaching placement after graduation. I would be allowed to walk in the ceremony and celebrate like any other individual who finally concluded their time at college, but I would have to return the following Monday to my placement school.

Once I made it through the four weeks, I was confronted with another set back. I was required to take an online summer class in order to bring up my GPA to graduate. In addition to all of this, I still needed to take my state level teaching certification tests, which cost lots of money- something I did not have. So, I attempted to look for a job. During this timeframe I felt like a huge failure. I felt as if I just could not get it right with anything, or anyone. I was a mess and took it out on everyone in my way, especially to those closest to me.

So when the phone rang that day, and my boyfriend told me he thought it would be better to focus on ourselves for awhile, it was the cherry on top of my disappointment cake.


What I did not realize at the time was God was calling me out of my toxic, selfish, and fearful ways. He was calling me to let go of my plans, and my expectations in order to turn to him and trust his ways more fully.

You see, I think there are times in our lives where we must lose it all in order to stretch more fully into the person we are meant to become.

We must hit rock bottom and come face to face with pain in order to fully understand, and accept that everything in this place that we are holding onto is keeping us from stepping into the next phase of our lives.

I had to let go of a lot in the weeks that followed the disappointing situations and break up I went through.

First, I had to confront and let go of the pain I felt. I had to accept my current reality for what it was. I had to understand the mistakes I made, not only in my relationship, or friendships, but this also included the mistakes I made along the way in my academic career that put me on the pathway that it did.

I had to let go of my fears of failing, being alone, my expectations of what I thought my future should look like, as well as the fear of facing the real world with not a clue on how to navigate being an adult. I then surrendered myself fully to God. I drew closer to him by praying, reading the bible, listening to music and sermons that encouraged and uplifted me out of the pain I was feeling.

By letting go, and giving my fears, insecurities, doubts, and the unknown future to God, I started feeling better, stronger, and more myself in the weeks that followed.

Now, a couple of months later I look back and I am thankful for all of the challenges, struggles, fears, and people I was holding onto so tightly and desperately. I realized I needed to face myself more fully, in order to realize how important it is to let certain things go.

You see readers, when we surrender our plans, our expectations, and our desperate wants and desires to the God of the universe, he listens, restores our brokenness, and pieces us back together little by little.

I received a second chance at loving the man on the phone. I am able to correct my mistakes and love more fully, whole heartedly and sacrificially the way Jesus wants us to love. I am able to walk boldly and confidently in the present situations I am faced with instead of being filled with fear.

So what are you holding onto?

Are you holding onto fear? Fear of failure? Fear of success? Fear of placing your trust and love in someone?

Are you holding onto past memories that are keeping you from living your life in the present?

Or maybe are you are holding onto high expectations and selfish ways, refusing to listen to others?

Whatever you are holding onto so tightly, so desperately I urge you to let go. This week focus on letting go of everything that is holding you back from becoming everything you are meant to be.

Give it all to the universe or to God, and trust that whatever is meant to happen in your life will in its own timing.

Choose things in your life that bring you happiness. Make choices little by little that point you on the pathway that you feel you are meant to be on.

Let go, and let the creator of the universe do the rest.

Until next time,

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God Bless,
L.Blum

Ready or Not the Real World is Calling: A College Graduate’s Guide to Moving on.

 

ready or not the real world is calling cover


 

I quickly cut my steering wheel to the right and smoothly pulled up the semi steep, black driveway that led to my little college house. My foot pressed down tightly on the brake pedal as I pushed the gear into park; an action I have done over and over since living here. I felt my blue Toyota Rav 4 jolt to a stop as I sat back in my seat admiring the small, cottage, college house.

 
In front of me a singular, white garage door kissed my car ever so slightly. To the left of the garage, a small white deck protruded slightly out a few feet with bright red bricks lining the awkward spaces. On the white siding next to the garage door, the number 112 rested slightly in a fancy font. Above the small deck, large, spacious windows lined the front of the house. Oh, how many times I have looked out those windows into the world outside this small little house, I thought to myself.

 
I clicked the small red button that hooked the seat belt into place and opened my car door. Stepping out of my car I took a long, deep breath, filling my lungs with air, and with an exhale I slammed the car door shut. I have stepped out of my car and walked up to the bright red door of this house so many times before. This time is different though because this time is the last.

 
This is it, I thought to myself, my final goodbye to my college days.

 
I confidently walked up to the red door and stuck my small, silver key into the key hole. With a swift turn of the golden knob I pushed the door open and walked through the doorway.

 

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Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

 
It is so empty…I thought to myself.

 
This once busy house filled with the chatter and hustle of my roommates remained empty, still and quiet. With all the furniture gone, and my roommates officially moved out, this house is nothing but a foundation of walls, floors, and rooms ready to house the next group of individuals.

 
Leaving a place and moving on is never an easy thing to do.

 
Whether it is moving to a new city or town, changing job locations, or graduating from college and moving back home; change is never easy.

But change is necessary for our growth as individuals.

 
If there is anything that I learned in the last six years of college it’s the fact that we are all humans-flawed, and imperfect-living out life to tell our own individual stories through our experiences. We as individuals choose to write our own stories, chapters, and endings.

 

 

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East Stroudsburg is not just a small little town that houses a “mediocre” sized college. To many, East Stroudsburg is home. I call this place my home because of all the memories and people who reside in it. Without the people, my small little cottage college house would just be a house built on a firm foundation on a certain street, in a certain city. What makes a particular house or place a home is the people. It’s the late nights that my roommates and I stay up and talk about life and all that it has to offer. This place is a home because of the nights we all laughed and cried about the mess our lives hold and the places we will eventually go. It is the late drunk nights where we were all silly messes wondering home from main street speaking in a jumbled language that only we could understand.

 
This place is a home because of the pre-game pep talks our coaches gave us before important games. It’s the stadium being filled with fans painted with our numbers on their chests as my teammates and I ran up and down the field. It’s the cheers, the laughs, the games played, the sweat dripped, the tears cried.

It is friendship.

 

It is figuring out who you are and who you are not.

 

It is a place.

 

It is the people.

 

It is the memories.

 

But most importantly it is a home.

 
Sometimes certain situations or circumstances like moving on from a place we considered home for so long forces us to take a deeper look at our inner selves. We reevaluate and realign how we view our past, our present and our future. We ask ourselves, what do I want for my life and how do I want to live? It is through these trivial circumstances and major life changes where we transform, transcend and even transcribe into the person we are meant to become. We transform the soul into a new masterpiece by stretching beyond familiarity or comfort. We transcend past our old ways of thinking and acting by living unashamed in our present while working hard and moving towards our goals. Finally, we transcribe a theoretical mark or imprint that can be left on the places and people we leave behind.

 

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So, readers, regardless of where you are at in life we all must leave something behind in order to grow and mature into who we are meant to become. Maybe that “something” could be old habits or ways of thinking that hold you back from the person you could potentially be. Maybe you are moving on to a new job, leaving behind new friends, or you are like me, forced to grow up and face the real world.

 
Wherever you are at, the real world is calling.

 

You see, the real world to me is a theoretical place I like to call unfamiliarity. It is a place that calls us out of where we feel comfortable, secure, and at home with ourselves.

East Stroudsburg is my home. There will always be a part of me residing in that place, but the real world is calling. I must move on from this place, gather my things, and move back to my parent’s home to start a life that was truly made for me. It may be scary, and heck living with my parents sounds god awful (sorry mom and dad nothing against you I just really like my freedom), but I must transition from this part of my life, leave behind this home, to create a new one.

 
Home can be a place, and it can be the people.

 
But home can also be the memories that come with the people and the places. Home resides in the memories and the person we are at specific moments in time; glimpses of who we were and who we became with certain people in certain places.

 
When we think of moving on in this essence it takes on a whole new meaning. Physically we let go of certain people, places, and things in our life, but home is the memories we make. The person we are. The person we become.

 
Home is evolving and constantly moving.

 
So, moving on should be quite simple. Let yourself go. Move on from each place, each person, because you can always revisit home in your memories. Home will be closer than you think.

 
But for now, the real world is calling.

 
Will you answer?

 

 

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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

 

God Bless,
L. Blum

Unfinished: When You Feel like You are Not Good Enough.

UNFINISHED_ when you feel like you are not good enough

 

I gazed inquisitively at the waves as they crashed one after another on the solid, sandy shore. In front of the place where I was sitting, two young girls were laughing, screaming and jumping in the water. Their playful screams echoed through the roar of the ocean as  each wave came crashing at their feet. I giggled to myself at their innocence and thought for a second, when did growing up become so hard? 

I observed the two young girls laugh and enjoy life without a care in the world and it brought me back to memories when my sister and I stood in their shoes. I remember sitting on these very beaches in North Carolina at their age, running, jumping, dancing in the sun with my sister. We were so little and so innocent. The world did not touch us with pain, hurt, and the realities of life just yet.

When did growing up become so hard_

I remember pretending we were queens of the ocean, and mermaids who explored the deep sea to find hidden underwater cities. We had ambitions and dreams to be leaders, actors, teachers, and world changers. We pretended to be wonderful beings with a wonderful life, living out our biggest dreams, goals and ambitions. We had the world at our fingertips imagining anything and everything we have ever wanted. That was when life was good, easy. It was innocent, with no hurt, no pain, no people influencing you to be who they want you to be. It just was. And it was good.

When we were all children we played, we explored, we laughed, and we enjoyed life to its fullest. We had a childlike faith that was unshakable. We all believed in ourselves, our abilities, and our aspirations.

When did the world take those beliefs away? When did life become the daily to-do lists, or the anxieties, the worries, or the pressures of measuring up to the world’s standards and the opinions of others? 

I think in some aspect or another everyone has confronted this loss of innocence as we grow up and face the realities, disappointments and pain that life may inflict upon us. We each have these images of the person we want to be in our heads. That “ideal” being and “ideal” life we wish to live. We strive to be that perfect person that is good enough, smart enough, and CAN do everything that our real selves lack. We each strive to become that person, to do what it takes to change ourselves into this perfect version of who we are.

we will never be perfect

The reality is we will never measure up to that “ideal” version of ourselves. We will never be perfect. When we think we finally have one part of ourselves mastered, there will be another area to perfect, to work on, to strive towards, and this is OKAY.

I am not sure what path of life you may be on right now or the struggles you may be facing. Maybe you are struggling to find that perfect, suiting job. You are trying to change yourself to fit into the mold of the career path you chose; attempting to  perfect each quality to match the ideal job resume for the career you have chosen to pursue .

Maybe you are trying to live up to the perfect standards of parenthood, competing with all other parents around you, listening to the type of parent you should be, or what you should not do for your child.

Or maybe, you are listening to the opinions of others way too much, pleasing people rather than honoring yourself or your own choices. Maybe you are listening too much to the voices of those who tell you who you are, who you are not, and who you should be. You try to measure up to their worth, their standard, and come to find you let them down or fail every time you try to mold yourself to their ideals of who you are.

In actuality, we are imperfect beings trying to live in a society that pushes its standards of perfection on each one of us.

The truth is we are all unfinished, and imperfect. 

But let me tell you a little secret, by God’s grace, and perfection, our imperfections are made whole. What this means, is through our creator’s perfect eyes and love for us, he choose to create us as imperfect beings. It is through our imperfections we reflect what it really means to be human, to be flawed, to need a God who is loving and perfect in His entirety and covers our imperfections with His forgiveness, and His love. Thus, we do not have to live up to this standard of perfection we place on ourselves. We do not have to struggle, or try to be this “ideal” “perfect” version of who we want to be. Our worth is not measured on what others think of us, the amount of items we check off on our to-do list, our accomplishments, our failures, our struggles, or even our flaws.

god imperfections

 

Our worth is measured by who we are IN our IMPERFECTIONS. The unfinished versions of ourselves. 

I have this sweatshirt from one of my favorite Christian bloggers, Jordan Dooley, it says “your brokenness is welcome here.” Every time I wear it I remember I do not have to live up to these ideals of perfection. I do not have to continue to expend my energy trying to fix every little thing that is wrong with myself and my life. Instead, I can focus on God’s grace and love that covers my imperfections and my brokenness. I can focus on being the kind of woman God wanted me to be- kind, caring, passionate, loving, happy, excited for life. I can live a life of joy, happiness, and have that child-like faith and innocence like I had when I was younger. Life will still have its struggles, and its pain, but I know I don’t have to try so hard to be perfect, to be accepted, or to be who others want me to be, because I am already accepted, I am already loved, by a God who embraces me for the imperfect mess that I am.

 

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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Whether you believe in God or not, trying to live up to the standards of society and the daily stresses of trying to be perfect, or enough for this world can weigh on you.

So instead of trying  to focus on perfecting  every aspect of who you are, or what you want your life to look like, love yourself in your imperfections, and the places where you are at in this moment of time. Go back to that little child inside of you, find him or her, the innocence, the happiness, the childlike faith and focus on living a life that brings out joy, happiness and love. Live in the imperfect moments, and accept the flaws you have, while striving not for perfection of those flaws, but of being a work in progress. Work hard to accomplish your dreams and goals, but know the imperfections and flaws do not define who you are.

You are unfinished and imperfect, a work in progress, and this is okay.

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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

God bless,

L. Blum

 

 

 

 

 

Looking Back, While Moving Forward

Looking Back, While moving Forward

Closing Out Chapter 2017

 

With only a few unwritten pages left in the chapter twenty-seventeen, it is only right to finalize the ending with some closing remarks. Like any natural story, chapter endings end where the chapter really began -reflecting back on the previous chapter.

 

You see, chapter endings are really just strange pauses in a story. The last period, in the last sentence, on the last page, gives readers a chance to reflect on the chapter, it’s characters, plot, and the story as a whole, before beginning the first page in the next chapter of a book.

 

The celebration of the New Year is a lot like that last period, on the last page of a chapter.

The New Year is essentially the ending of one chapter and beginning of another, which gives us all a chance to reflect on our own stories, chapters, and characters within in them.

 

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For myself, as I look back on this last year I can definitely say that this year brought lots of tears, smiles, laughter, doubts, sadness, joy, anger, happiness, and much, much more. This year was a growing year to say the least.
As the year 2017 comes to a close, so does another chapter in my book.
2017 for me, began with heartbreak and loss – loss of love, loss of passion, and loss of myself. In the beginning, I tried everything to run from myself and the pain I felt. Instead of embracing the beauty of the pain, I ran away from it, and sprinted directly into the arms of this corrupt world. I saw myself in such a negative light. You see, I saw myself as a failure and incompetent to complete the goals I set out for myself from the beginning of the year. I felt purposeless and unworthy of love.

 

Reflecting back, it took a lot of circumstances, and a few individuals in particular to help redirect me onto the right path, a path of happiness, joy, opportunities, and most importantly, a path of love.

 

I am not sure what this last year brought you, maybe it was a year full of opportunities and great experiences. A written chapter that was filled with content and happiness that you wish you could relive all over again. Or maybe this year brought you set backs and loss. The year was a year you are happy to move on from.

 

Or maybe, just maybe, this year, like mine, was a growing year for you. A year of losing yourself, and finding you all over again. Maybe it was a year that allowed you to peel back yet another layer of yourself to get to know yourself better than before.

 

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You see to me, the New Year is not about the shallow resolutions we make for ourselves or changing who we are into a “new me” because it is a “new year.” We should be constantly evaluating our lives throughout the year, and adapting ourselves to the goals and aspirations we have set for ourselves all along. Just because it is a new year does not mean a person should leave who they are behind and chase after this idea of a completely different, “newer” and “better” version of themselves.

 

To me readers, the New Year is about celebrating the big moments and small moments that have accumulated over the course of the entire year prior. It is about the people we were when we first started the year and who we have become.

 

 

Is this new person wiser? Is he or she stronger? Has he or she overcome struggles and mountains to step into the person that is sitting here reading this post?
OR
Has this new person failed in some way? Did they have all of these plans and promises to oneself but the person sitting here is filled with regret, hopelessness, sorrow or doubt?
Regardless of who you were when you first entered the year and who you are now, there is an opportunity to move forward, to learn from the good and the bad, and step into the hope of a better future.

 

2018 new year

 

What do you want your new chapter to look like? How will you write it?

Feel free to like and share any thoughts in the comment section below!

 

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Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

 

God Bless and Happy New Year!

L.Blum

 

 

 

 

 

Breakthrough the Pain

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Embrace the Rain

“When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person that walked in that’s what the storm is all about” – HARUKI Murakami

 

I sit at my dining room table hunched over with tired eyes and a warm blanket draped around my shoulders. If you know me, you would know that the first thing I enjoy when I wake up is a nice brewed, hot cup of coffee. Cupping my frigid hands tightly around my blue mug, I allow the smell of my steamy, hot cup of “Joe” to bring me back to life from the sleeping dead.
Since I am not a morning person, it usually takes me a solid half hour to fully wake up my mind and body before I can move on with my day’s planned activities. I slumped my tired body onto the wooden dining room chair, and peered out of the large window to the right of me. I usually gaze out of the window in a zombie like fashion taking in the hustle and bustle going on in the world outside of my quiet, sleepy bubble. The activity of others somewhat inspires me to wake up and participate in life for the day.
The view outside my window on normal day contains several students walking to and from class, cars zooming by, and adults going for brisk walks around the neighborhood. I can mostly hear everything that occurs outside of my quaint, college house. I hear the laughing and talking of students in groups, or individuals talking on the phone to a friend or parent as they stroll on the sidewalk. Usually, the sun is shining reflecting off trees and cars as much activity occurs outside of this large window of mine.
Today, the world holds a ghost like scene. The only noises are the pitter patter of rain slightly knocking on the sidewalks, trees and houses of East Stroudsburg. All is quiet and grey; the sky is dark and gloomy.
Naturally, with any rainy day comes rainy attitudes, and I can be the first one to attest to this. Waking up was harder than usual, and I had not one ounce of motivation to do all the activities I was required to do. Sitting in my chair, peering out of the window into the dreaded, wet, outside world listening to the constant flow of rain falling from the sky slightly relaxed me a bit. Listening to the slight tapping of droplets against the window eased me as a thought came into my head.
Sometimes the rain can be beautiful.
Watching the way the rain danced off of trees, sidewalks, and streets, drenching, no cleansing everything in its sight gave me peace and hope for some reason. I sat dry like a desert wrapped in warmth as I marveled at this new found beauty. The rain brought me peace, clarity and closure.

 

 

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I sat and thought for a moment.
How often do I wish dark, rainy days didn’t exist? The answer is a lot. I much rather have a day with the sun kissing my face and the sky bright, clear and blue above me. Who wouldn’t prefer this?

 
Scientifically speaking the rain is needed for growth, and life. Without rain, nothing would grow, thrive and survive.
In the same way rain is needed for the environment to survive, we too need the “rain” and “storms” of life to help us grow and thrive.
If we do not go through these stormy moments of life there would be no sunny, happy days. The rain, if we allow it, can cleanse us causing us to change into beautiful beings.
I think all of us could use a little reminder that even though rejection and bad situations may occur, it is in the pain of these situations that transform us into the individuals we are supposed to become.

 

 

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This is something that I have come to learn over the course of this entire year. Both this semester and last have been two of the hardest semesters I have had yet throughout the duration of my college career. Everything about this last year has been hard, from my school work, to my extra activities outside of classes, and finally in my personal life. There have been plenty of times in this last year that I have had my head, face first in a pillow crying hysterically over some aspect of my life. You know the really ugly type of cries? The ones where you can barely breathe and they leave you exhausted from the amount of energy you dispose? Yeah… I have had a record amount of them this year.
BUT, what I have learned from these moments of complete weakness was that those moments served their purpose. The questioning, thinking, and doubting during the times where I have completely broken down in turn strengthened me. They have cleansed me from the inside out. Sure, what I was going through did not make any sense at the time, but standing back and looking at those moments of weakness has shown me that the situations that caused those breakdowns were needed to make me stronger. They helped me to rebuild myself back up piece by piece even stronger than before that situation and that breakdown occurred.
So why must the rain fall so hard that it creates such a gloomy, yucky day? Why must pain, rejection, and hurt even exist in our lives?
I believe everything that happens in our lives transform us into the people we are meant to become. Every bad situation that occurs does indeed make us stronger and wiser and put us on the pathway to life that we are supposed to be living if we allow it to. Pain creates growth, and life.
Every sting that comes from rejection is teaching us that we do indeed need pain, and hurt just as much as we need joy and happiness to feel alive.

 

There is beauty in the pain we feel that comes from rejection. This pain puts pressure and stress on our bodies which in turn forces a transformation of some kind. Pain caused by rejection molds individuals and allows each person who feels it to piece themselves back together in their own way, separately from all of those who have hurt them.

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It is a wonderfully, creative and liberating process when we allow the pain or storms to transform us into the people we are meant to become.

 

That is why the rain is beautiful. The rain removes all the dirt and grime in our lives to make room for a beautiful, thriving individual.

So readers, instead of hating the storm, embrace the rain as well as the pain. Accept it, and let it cleanse you. Relax and listen to the pitter patter, as we all know after a storm, a beautiful rainbow shines through the clouds.

 

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God bless,
L.Blum

To the Individual who Struggles with Finding Beauty within Themselves

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Finding Beauty in a Pile of Sea Shells

I gently placed one foot down on the rocky, shell filled beach feeling the crunch of the pile of sea shells crack beneath the weight of my body. I was careful to balance myself at just the right angle so the sharp edges of the broken sea shells, and rough sand wouldn’t poke the bottoms of my feet. Holding onto my red purse for dear life, I wobbly walked along the shore line in knee deep water picking at hidden treasures that were uncovered from deep below the ocean’s surface.

My legs were already fatigued from the one and a half mile walk my family and I made along the North Carolina shore, so attempting to balance on a floor of jagged sea shells looked like a poor circus act. With every step I took my body swayed a little to the left, and a little to the right, until I finally caught my center of gravity making sure my red purse and the items contained in it wouldn’t be plummeting to their death.

Every muscle in my calves and quads, as well as the pinching sensation I felt on the soles of my feet begged, and pleated with me to stop walking. The sad part is I was once a division two athlete, but a few years living the NARP (Non Athletic Regular Person) lifestyle can really catch up to ya.

 

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The place where I was standing housed thousands upon thousands of shells washed up along the sandy shore called The Point, in Outer Banks, North Carolina. This particular spot is known for the churning of opposing currents which digs up the ocean’s deepest treasures. Looking along this beach, a guest like myself can witness large trucks such as Ford F150s and Jeep Grand Cheerokees perched on the top of the Earth’s soft, sandy surface. Rows upon rows of these vehicles housed individuals grilling food, playing country music, drinking alcoholic beverages, all while casting long, clear lines into the Atlantic blue to uncover a different kind of treasure than I was looking for. A Philadelphia suburban girl like myself was astonished at the southern sight.

 

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What intrigued me the most about The Point’s beauty was the sea shells. There were all different types of shells. Some were big, wholesome shells that portrayed an off white, grey color. Others were heart shaped shells that had ripples along the surface of the shell. There were broken shells, purple shells, pink shells, shells that were white as snow, shells with barnacles – you get the point.

 

Out of all the shells that surrounded me, I found beauty in the shells that were unique, and different from the rest. I found beauty in the shells that were broken, that had deep scrapes, barnacles, and holes throughout the surfaces of them. These were the shells I picked up, these were the shells that became sacred and special to me. I found beauty in the uniqueness of these particular shells.

 

I think we as individuals can be compared to these “broken” and “unique”sea shells I found on the beach in North Carolina. It’s a weird comparison I know but stick with me on this one.

 

Each sea shell that I picked up had its own unique, and different qualities than the shell sitting next to it. I treasured each of these shells because of the UNIQUENESS they portrayed . No two shells looked alike. No shell compared itself to the one next to it. They just laid there on the sand amongst all the other shells, basking in their own individual beauty and rolled where ever the ocean tide took them.

 

See where I’m going with this..?

 

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If those broken, barnacle, hole filled beautiful shells are treasured just as they are, then think about how greatly we are treasured just as we are, brokenness and all.

 

Have you ever wondered if you are good enough? Beautiful enough?

 

Have you ever compared yourself and your struggles to those around you?

 

Have you ever wished you had other qualities or traits?
Or what about hating the situations and circumstances that broke certain parts of your innocence?
You question why certain situations had to occur, going through them over and over in your head.

 

 

You see, like the broken shells I found on the beach, each one of us has a set of qualities – outward and inward that make us individually who we are.

 

Inwardly, each of us houses the complete, individualistic personality that makes up our entire being. This includes our passions, our fears, our likes, our dislikes, what makes us tick, what makes us happy, the circumstances and situations that broke us or pushed us to the next level – these are all the little intricate details that are woven together specifically in a unique formula and fashion that make the only you on this planet.

 

Outwardly, if you think about it no one looks exactly the way you do. The texture of your hair, the dimples on your cheeks, the curves of your legs. You were made to look the way you do for a reason. Sure you can change the outward appearance but who you are outwardly is the unique, individualistic person you portray to the world.

 

You see, each scrap, hole and barnacle on a particular shell can tell a unique story about what and where that shell has been. Just like each sea shell tells a different story about where the ocean tide took them, each particular situation, and circumstance you have been through (good and bad) make you unique and different than all other individuals.

 

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The truth is we all have broken pieces of our being, hidden parts of ourselves that we rarely show to anyone else in fear that it will drive them away. We all have ugly and jagged sides of our personality that is tainted by the evil doings of this world. At the end of the day each of us desperately hopes that someone sees these broken pieces, this uniqueness, and believes that we are beautiful despited the jagged edges of our souls.

 

So to the individual who struggles to find beauty within themselves, I am here to tell you that you are perfect the way you are, flaws and all.

You are beautiful in your OWN uniqueness, and your OWN brokenness.

I believe God finds beauty in the brokenness, he finds beauty in the holes of our personality just like he finds beauty in the unique, broken, barnacle filled sea shells I found on the beach.

 

Whatever brokenness you feel, whatever “ugliness” you think you have, I want to tell you that you are treasured more than you understand or comprehend. You are an individual that is made perfectly the way you are for this particular moment in time.

 

Whatever circumstances you faced that caused you pain, hurt or brokenness, are just what you needed to make you a stronger, more influential individual on this planet.

 

You are not what society tells you to look like, act like or be. You are uniquely yourself, let that unique, broken, different, awesome, cool individual shine. Have confidence in yourself, your abilities, who you are and who you are not, because you are one truly great individual. Strive for excellence but do not be so hard on yourself that you see yourself in a negative light. Let go of the insecurities that you struggle with and just let yourself be because you are beautiful and are treasured just as the sea shells on the beach are treasured.

 

So readers, next time you are on a beach and you find a sea shell, pick it up, admire its beauty, stick it in your pocket and let it be a reminder that you too are treasured and beautiful despite the brokenness you feel.

 

 

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God bless,
L.blum