Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder?

I have been noticeably absent from my normal social circles since the pandemic hit. The pandemic, for me, has been both devastating and kind of…good. Devastating because I lost my father to COVID. It was swift and crushing. It didn’t give us time to think or process the aspect of losing him. Within a span of days, he was just…gone. We were left reeling with the aftershock of his passing and the void that was left.

It’s been only 6 months since he’s passed. While I no longer feel devastation, there remains a sense of loss. Mostly when I think of him these days it’s with a twinge of sadness, coupled with the warmth of whichever good memory is randomly unearthed from the recesses of my mind. I still cry sometimes, but more so because of missing him and less so because of the weight of sadness, if that makes sense.

I’d say the pandemic has been “good” not because any pandemic is good. No. Rather, working from home and self-distancing drew me further into my own bubble. And in this bubble I had quiet. A break from the normal hustle and bustle. A break from people (except for some family). A break from having to be and feel “on” all of the time. A break from socializing. Although I have missed my friends, I have needed the break.

The quiet and near isolation turned out to be a good thing for me. It firstly allowed me to BREATHE. It allowed me to just BE, without any expectations from others (again, with the exception of some family). I could just think my own thoughts and decompress from the pressures and stresses of pre-pandemic life. This was a huge relief to my person (my mind, body, soul, spirit).

Secondly, it caused me to be able to face by own issues. I had the time and space to just be able to explore inwardly. We all have our own “ish” to deal with, right? This time gave me the freedom do deal with mine. A lot of healing took place. A lot of things I’d buried deep within began to surface, so that I could deal with them, reckon with them, wrestle with them and finally release them. I was able to come to a place of peace with a lot of things that I’d long needed to address.

Thirdly, it gave me clarity. Once I was able to come to peace about a lot of things, I was then able to see more clearly. Clarity of purpose is a gift. I did a lotttt of praying during this past year (and don’t plan to stop) and God just showed me a lot of things (and is still showing me). I feel more centered than I used to and I’m thankful.

When will I resurface? I know a few friends have been checking on me, worried about me, wondering about me, etc. Thanks for the loving concern. Trust me, I’m fine. I’m just handling my business, taking care of me. I’ll keep you updated.

Much love,

Kay Dee

©2021 I AM KAYDEE | “Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder?”

Why Do You Worry?

Why Do You Worry?

by Kay Dee

My mind often goes there… It spirals to that place of a million thoughts happening seemingly simultaneously. I tend to worry. I want to blame it on genetics. My mom worries a lot. I might be predisposed to it. But, it’s something I’ve had to learn to manage. When things are out of control in our lives, we tend to like to control as much as we can. For instance, if you’ve experienced trauma at a young age (or at any age really), one way to cope is to control as much as possible going forward so that you prevent yourself from experiencing further trauma. The only problem with that is that there is so much in this life that is outside of our control. And when we cannot control all of the variables of life, it tends to breed anxiousness.

One definition of anxiety is: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. [google]

I tend to get anxious about uncertain outcomes. I want to control the outcome so that it will be a pleasant or happy one. Why do I want happy outcomes? Who doesn’t? But, for me, it is likely because I experienced traumas as a child and as a young adult. These series of events affected me deeply and it took a lot of time to recover from them. Trying to control as much as I could was a safety net for me. It made me feel secure. It made me feel like I could determine how things would progress. Most importantly, it made me feel that I could protect myself from hurt. Unfortunately, it didn’t. Life happened anyway. I had to learn that being anxious for things that hadn’t happened or might not happen only succeeded in making me feel terrible. And I had to learn that there was no possible way to control all outcomes. It was better to learn to enjoy what life had/has to offer and to learn ways to manage my anxious feelings should they arise.

To be honest, it’s something I consistently work on. I don’t have all of the solutions. Different things work for different people. One of the things that helps me is using basic MINDFULNESS techniques. Another thing that helps is reminding myself of TRUE statements to replace/counteract the anxious or fearful statements that arise in my thinking. For me, prayer also helps. My faith is an integral part of who I am, and reminding myself of the truth of scripture and of God’s love helps me to refocus my thinking. During prayer, the statement that frequently comes to mind is “Why do you worry?”. It’s as if God is reminding me that He is in control and I needn’t worry. I have his guidance and peace to accompany me throughout my daily life. This helps.

For some folks, anxiety can be debilitating and more focused, professional treatment may be needed, including counseling/therapy, psychotherapy, medication. There is no shame in any of this. Life is stressful at times and depending on what we’ve been through, what we’re going through currently, and how we have learned to manage and cope with life stresses and events thus far, this will determine how we handle when difficult things arise. You may need more help at certain times than at others. That’s perfectly okay. Love yourself and do right by yourself. You’re the only you that you’ve got. Be kind to yourself and learn to recognize and address your needs. You’re worth it!

Blessings!

LISTEN TO MY PODCAST at anchor.fm/kay-dee7 for more encouragement!

Mindfulness Info HERE

©2018 Life Together with Kay Dee, “Why Do You Worry?”

The Art of Letting Go

I’ve never mastered the art of letting go. I’d like to say I’ve gotten better at it over the years, and in some aspects I have, but it’s still hard. I am one who likes to hold on until the bitter end, even when things CLEARLY are over. I could say that I don’t know where that comes from, but that would be a lie. I believe it stems from my childhood.

Now, I am not going to go into some blaming session toward my parents. They are good and decent people. Did they make mistakes? Yes, but we all do. Did they purposely cause lasting trauma in our lives? Absolutely not. Did their decisions have a lasting effect regardless? Yes, some of them did. I have a good relationship with both parents today. That took work and lots of forgiveness (and still takes work and forgiveness) but I am thankful for what we do have.

My parents divorced when I was almost a teenager. To say it was traumatizing would be an understatement. It has caused some issues. All of the talk in recent years about having “daddy issues” has become a joke of sorts, but, it does not lessen the truth of it. I think lots of people have “parental issues” that still affect them today.

Back to my story. I won’t go into explicit detail, but, I will say that I was daddy’s girl. When my parents divorced and my dad immediately married another woman, I was left crushed, devastated, confused and very, very hurt. In my mind, he abandoned us. He abandoned me. I was left feeling (as most kids do) that somehow part of this was my fault and if daddy really loved me then how could he leave? Fast forward to my teen years and seeking love in boys who didn’t know the meaning of the word. Fast forward to college years and picking guys who were slime balls (not all were, but most were). Fast forward to trying to get my life right with God and marrying a guy who used to be a huge player, but, told me he was changing his life around and getting right with God. He wasn’t. He didn’t. The marriage was a long-lasting fiasco and complete “hot mess”. The best thing to come out of that union were my kids. Fast forward to my divorce. It caused within me such devastation that took me years to get over. Fast forward to me dabbling in relationships post-divorce. The incidences were few and far between but I will say that I did experience deep, deep heartbreak again. I also experienced going out with men who would consistently disappoint or hurt me. Ultimately, nothing has worked out so far. But, I still have hope in spite of it all.

How does this all relate to daddy issues? Answer: the abandonment. I felt my father had abandoned me and I spent an entire marriage trying to “fix” that abandonment by marrying someone similar to my dad in some major ways, but, that someone also treated me badly. You see, I was trying to stay married to someone who was unavailable to me. Someone who would leave. Someone who was not a good person. Why? 3 Reasons: (1) By staying in the marriage I was subconsciously trying to fix my parents’ marriage. If I could stay married, I’d somehow “win” by avoiding divorce. (2) I didn’t want to somehow disappoint God by getting a divorce. (3) Because subconsciously I felt a I didn’t deserve any better.  Deep down, I felt like something was wrong with me because the person I had loved with all my heart in my early years, (my dad) had left me. If I wasn’t somehow “good enough” for my dad to stick around for our family, then, I must not be worthy of love or good treatment. I couldn’t have rationalized that at the time. I was in the thick of it and often when you’re in the middle of an unhealthy situation, you’re not able to see how bad it was until AFTER you’re free from it.  And because I’d been unconsciously operating this way for so long, I didn’t know any better. Therefore the unhealthy pattern was strung through my post-divorce relationships (or attempts at relationships) as well. It took some counseling to realize it. I began to see that I always chose someone (whether a good person or not) who was not fully available to me (whether physically or emotionally or both) and of course the relationships or dating situations ultimately never worked out.

What can be done to change the cycle? First, be AWARE of the cycle. Second, when you realize you are going down the same path, catch yourself earlier and earlier so that you can “let go” and proceed in a different direction. It is actually going to take work. You will not be perfect at it. But, you will begin to see that harmful pattern sooner and sooner, so that you can stop yourself from going down that old road. The other part is realizing that you deserve GOOD. You deserve a healthy relationship with someone who IS emotionally and physically available. Someone who will treat you well. Someone, who, although not perfect, is balanced and emotionally healthy and will invest in the relationship WITH you.

What if you feel that you cannot navigate this on your own? You may want to go to a licensed professional counselor who can help walk through this process to find healing and make healthier choices. There is no shame in it. I realize there is still a stigma around going to counseling or therapy, but, think of it this way… If you are injured physically in some way, you go to see a physical therapist. If you are injured emotionally, you should see an emotional therapist. We are multidimensional human beings and therefore must care for ALL parts of ourselves. You’re worth it.

Hope this has helped someone.

~ Kay Dee © 2018 “The Art of Letting Go”

Forgiving Yourself.

IMG_5092Forgiving Yourself.

Today, as I sat in church listening to the message many thoughts ran through my mind. It wasn’t your typical sermon for Mother’s Day (which was kind of a relief in some ways). It touched on how God allows both joys and sorrows in our lives. And in particular, how it seems we learn the most from sorrows (or difficult situations). It’s true. Whenever we go through joyous events, we’re not really thinking, “what am I learning from this?” We are just reveling in whatever amazing thing is happening. But, when we experience the tough stuff, we go through the full gamut of emotions and thoughts. We ask “Why?” And it also causes us to be more reflective.

In reflecting on these things, my thoughts turned to some tough situations I have gotten myself into over the years. As much as we all want to believe we pretty much have life “together”, there are times when we lack judgment or experience or good sense. There are times when we’ve thrown caution to the wind and acted on a whim and it’s come back to bite us in the rear end.

As someone with perfectionistic tendencies, I’ve often beat myself up over these kinds of mistakes. Also, I’d falsely think, “There’s no way God is happy with me. No way he really loves me after this (whatever the mistake was).” It took a long time for me to realize that God loves me regardless. He may not be happy with all of my choices, but, his love never ends. His grace never ends. And he forgives when I ask sincerely. I’m sooo thankful for that!

Then there’s the topic of forgiving other people. That’s reeeeally rough to do sometimes. Especially when you know they don’t deserve it. But, I’ve learned that forgiveness is more for MY heart, than for their benefit. I forgive so that I can live free from bitterness and anger.

The last thing, yet possibly one of the biggest hindrances to our overall well being is self-forgiveness or lack thereof. ‘Can I or will I forgive myself?’ Can I forgive myself for messing up? Being human and flawed? Lacking judgment in that instance? For saying that thing? Or doing that thing? I think forgiving ourselves can be one of the most challenging things to do, especially if we hold ourselves to a high standard, and if other key people in our lives do, too.

But, forgiving yourself is part of loving yourself. It’s part of healing. [This is not the same as excusing repeat bad behavior. If you know you have a pattern of doing something wrong or harmful to yourself or others, then you should seek out professional help.] But, if in the normal course of life, you make mistakes here and there, or you really mess from time to time, then it’s imperative that you forgive yourself. Love yourself enough to do yourself that favor. On this journey of life, we’re all learning and growing and hopefully trying to be better people all the time. We do have to remember that we are flawed but as long as were trying to learn and grow and be the best we can be, then we’re on the right track.

©Kay Dee Speaks “Forgiving Yourself.”

photo credit: google pics and here

Shake Yourself FREE

free2

You
Yes, you!
You’ve been lost.
You’ve been tangled in the maze of the familiar.
But now you must shake yourself FREE from folly, from indecision, from old patterns
that keep you on the hamster wheel running FAST…and going nowhere.

What must you do to be different? Better? Changed? Improved? Healed?
What must you do to permanently BREAK the chains that have bound you for so long?

You must begin to make better choices
And NOT allow yourself to be SEDUCED by the familiar.
Because the FAMILIAR is toxic, is dangerous, is distorted reality.
The familiar has kept you asleep…unconscious…brain dead for too long.

You must begin to see clearly
Even if the bright light of TRUTH hurts your eyes at first.
You will soon learn to adjust to walking in the LIGHT instead of the darkness.
You will learn to look beyond the surface in order to see the SOUL of a thing
Whereas before…you’d to been blind to it.

Somewhere along the line you fell for the LIE that you weren’t “good enough” for the best things in life because someone mistreated you…and made you feel like you were less than you really were.
And as a result, you made choices about life and love based on this lie.

But, no more!
It’s time to rise up!
It’s time to be free!
It’s time to walk in truth!
It’s time to fly high!
You’re worth it.

Begin.

©2016 Kay Dee Speaks, “Shake Yourself FREE”

Image from Google images via freedomworldwide

Forgiveness = Freedom

Gosh, it’s so hard to forgive. We know we should. We feel we ought. But, sometimes we’d just rather hold onto that grudge and let it stew a little. Let it marinate. Let the venom build up so that we can spew it at any given moment when reminded of the person who offended us or the situation which embarrassed us. Oh, we’ll show them!

But will we?

I mean, what good does it do to hold onto anger and resentment or even to have vengeance in your heart? It only serves in making you a miserable human being. And all of your energy is wasted on these awful feelings. Maybe I’m oversimplifying this whole subject…but maybe not.

I’m not for a moment suggesting that whatever was done that hurt you is not awful. Not at all. Maybe whatever happened really hurt. Maybe it was really wrong or unfair or mean or uncalled for or damaging. I’m not discrediting whatever happened to you. I’m not trying to say that you shouldn’t feel wronged or hurt or betrayed or offended. What I AM saying is that holding onto unforgiveness really doesn’t do you any good.

It is like ivy. Have you ever seen ivy grow along the walls of the outside of a house. It may start with just a few vines creeping up the walls, but over time, it literally takes over. It spreads covering every possible surface. If you don’t manage it, it will completely take over. That’s how unforgiveness is. It may start small. But, if left unchecked, it can grow to overtake you.

climbing-ivy

Don’t believe me? I’m sure we’ve all met or known at least one bitter person who has been holding onto the same grudge for YEARS. They bring up the topic of their offense repeatedly like a recording on a loop. They never got over whatever it was. They’ve stewed in their unforgiveness for so long that they’ve become this awfully negative, toxic, bitter person and/or their personal growth was stunted. Because they never got over the offense and never chose to let it go, they’ve remained STUCK. They’ve not grown or changed for the better. It’s like an invisible restraint, prohibiting the person from moving forward. But, the only way they can break free is if they choose to break free by forgiving – and setting their own heart and mind free.

I didn’t say it was easy. It’s almost always difficult. But, it begins with a CHOICE at first. You have to choose to forgive. And most of the time it is not an instantaneous fix. You won’t always feel better immediately. Most of the time it is a process where you make the conscious decision time and again to release that offense or person from the mental jail you’ve put them into. You’re not really punishing them, so much as you’ve been punishing yourself by brooding.

This is such a large topic to cover and this post is only scratching the surface. But know that forgiveness is often a process and yes it can take on many forms. Sometimes it means quietly within yourself choosing to forgive. Sometimes it means confronting someone in a safe setting. Sometimes it means actually telling the person you forgive them. Though you forgive, that doesn’t mean you have to return to the previous state of friendship or relationship. Forgiveness can involve you realizing that you must construct healthy and necessary boundaries. Sometimes those boundaries may include reducing, limiting or prohibiting further contact with that person or those people who offended or harmed you. There are various scenarios. But, the important thing is that you FORGIVE FOR YOUR OWN WELL BEING.

From a faith perspective, God says we must forgive others because He forgave us, this can be also difficult to swallow. But, if this is your belief, then you understand that we have been forgiven much, therefore, how can we, in turn, choose not to forgive others. But, forgiveness is not something we’re left alone to grapple with. God helps us via his Holy Spirit to have the capacity and desire to forgive. We have His assistance. And all of the above (in this article) still applies. God desires our freedom from things that would be negative and that would bind us. He knows that if we choose to hang onto unforgiveness it is like a poison to us and he’d rather we are free from any poison in our lives.

It is my hope and prayer that something said here has helped you, whether you’re a person of faith or not, forgiveness is key to our health and well-being.

Blessings.
-KD

©KD Corner 2015 “Forgiveness = Freedom”

Photo credit – Google Images