There is something in you that the world is waiting for!
“To give up who we really are in an effort to never be judged because we feel like we can’t be perfect at our gifts is a terrible waste of our time and energy. It absolutely gets in front of our gifts. It’s a great excuse, I’m not going to step into my gifts because I can’t do it perfectly.” – Brene Brown in The Power of Vulnerability
I have been debating where to share all of the stories and hope I have acquired throughout the years. I have bounced between a multitude of social media and simply sharing with friends. I have spent years considering a blog and every time deciding it was not for me. I convinced myself that no one would even want to read these post. So instead I wrote in my journal, religiously. In addition, I would occasionally do what I have now learned is called “flood lighting” basically sharing a ton of information with others and labeling it as vulnerability. Later learning doing so actually protects from us from true vulnerability. Don’t worry we will talk more about this soon.
When I decided to start this blog, I actually set it up under a pen name. I honestly believed that would be the best route. After listening to The Power of Vulnerability and realizing I could not even find a starting point using a pen name, I decided against using it. While this may detract from the number of people who read the blog I am going to move forward in hopes of helping just one person.
Why start a blog?
- My biggest reason for starting this blog is due to the lack of mental health assistance in the United States. As many of you know mental health care in the United States is SIGNIFICANTLY lacking. While I can not provide medical opinions or information through this blog I am hopeful I can guide someone through the darkness and help them find the resources they may need.
- Often times the only way people reach out is through a google search. Sometimes the only way people find hope to continue on is by hearing someone else’s survival guide. I am hopeful others will find this when they are struggling the most.
- I have so much more to learn. I am a firm believer the only way to truly grow is to self reflect after hearing from others. I am hopeful these post and stories will not only help me grow, but allow others to realize they are not alone.
- Please keep in mind mental health is not just about the major traumas. It is about self-esteem, stress management, parenting, college, illness, school, life and everything in between! Everyone is welcome here!
- Lastly, to hopefully improve my grammar skills 😀
Why is the blog called “Frozen in the Fire: Rising up through Grace”?
Before you begin to read the thoughts and stories I hope to share, try to imagine yourself standing in the middle of a fire. The fire is close enough to keep you warm, yet not strong enough to completely devour you. As the wind on the outside of the fire picks up the flames move and the fire begins to scorch you. Occasionally, the wind dies down and the fire calms back to a nice warming barrier. Yet every time you try to move out of the fire the wind picks up and you are burnt.
Eventually you begin to believe the only way to protect yourself is by freezing your body inside your circle of fire. So you begin to cover yourself in an icy protective barrier. The fire no longer burns and overtime you begin to become numb to the pain of the ice. Every now and then when the numbness wears off and the icy pain returns followed by the heat of the flames you begin to realize it feels as if there is no way out.
You tell yourself the only way to escape the fire is for some of that ice you have covered yourself in to be touched by the fire, turned to steam or melted from around you only to escape into the ground. At some point during those moments all hope is lost. You stop escaping and you’re alone in the fire, still frozen from fear.
One day you realize the ONLY way to truly escape the fire is by “unfreezing yourself” . Jumping out of the fire through the flames is your only hope. It will hurt, you will get burned and you will be left with scars. This pain is inevitable. During this period of reflection you may begin to debate if coming out of the fire is worth fear of the pain that has kept you frozen for so long.
You have been told on the other side of the fire is freedom and joy. One day you make the decision to lose the barrier, feel the pain, jump through the flames and allow hope to take you over. To your surprise the other side is full of freedom, beauty, calmness, peace, water, and everything you have ever hoped for can be seen. As the wind hits your freshly burned skin and all of the fear returns. It almost seems easier to run back into that icy box. The loneliness and pain feels safe. Yet you continue going because you know eventually the fire will melt that beautiful, safe and numbing box.
Instead of succumbing to the pain or allowing the fire to win, you push forward. You find people, prayers, love and hope each every single one becoming a bandage slowly easing your pain. Occasionally, running into hatred and more fire strong enough to make you doubt your decision or tear away a bandage, but you continue on. Always remembering, while you may still have those scars and the memory of the fire, the one thing that has changed is you are no longer frozen! It is your turn to experience joy!
As you look back on the fire you recall the many people who tried to help you out. Those who laid themselves over the flames. Those who tried to try pull you through the flames. Those who yelled from the other side only telling you what you were missing and even those who stood far away occasionally throwing buckets of liquid they had found near. Those buckets being filled and not labeled would often times mean those trying to help were not even realizing the liquid is either water or gasoline. Then there are still a small group of people who knew exactly what is in the bucket they chose. The chose to withhold the water, simply because they felt they needed it to try and put out their own flames.
You can never forget the moments in the fire, but you can use that pain to grow and guide others on their journey to escape their icy box within the flames.
That description is often what it feels like to struggle with mental health. A feeling of complete desperation with flashes of hope. Being surrounded by helpful hands and yet unable to escape the pain.
This can be from any situation in our lives. The feeling of knowing that no matter how much you want to get out of the fire, the only way to do so is to experience even more pain. The feeling of “freezing” yourself in a moment, as not to feel what is truly happening around you. Missing out on the joy during the moments calm while always awaiting the flames to rise. The feeling of knowing it would be easier if you allowed the flames to consume you, but realizing you would never know the beauty that lies beyond all of that pain.
I spent many years “frozen in the fire”. Some days, I still feel frozen there. Why I never allowed it to consume me is truly beyond me. The thing about pain is that you can’t see past it sometimes, all you can see is the fire. There is no how to list to fix that pain, but there is always HOPE.
Often times, just as skin is changed by the fire, the trauma and pain of one’s past or current situation can actually alter their brains. Making it incredibly difficult to find hope. In other ways, it makes it incredibly difficult for those around them to find understanding or ways in which they may help as much as they wish they could.
As we all know our brains are powerful. The response that creates fight, flight or freeze is automatic. It’s the same response that occurs when you see a shark in the water. It is an uncontrollable and immediate action.
The goal of this blog is to help you find HOPE. Regardless of if you’re stuck in the fire or you’re trying to decide which bucket holds water to help someone you love escape the pain.
Please keep in mind as you read some topics may be difficult to hear, if you find it to be troublesome please just skip right over it. If you have any questions I have a P.O. Box as well as an email address listed. You are never alone. Let’s create a more beautiful world together!