The NEW Things I Like About Me ~ Just Be Enough

On Valentine’s Day I made a point to send love to myself! I compiled a list of things that I love about me the day before Valentine’s day and scheduled a post. Well here it is just two short weeks later and Just Be Enough asked us to come up with a new list of tThings I Like About Me

I am going to confess something, I really thought that I was gonna be stumped. But the past week and a half has certainly given me plenty to add to my list!

The list that I am revealing now is full of breaking news that has pushed me in ways that a year ago were unimaginable for me. My PTSD and Anxiety are under control and I am ready for the world.

1. I am funny! ~ On Valentine’s Day while the world was exchanging cards flowers and chocolates, I received the news that my doctor suspects that I may have uterine cancer because of the formation of cells in my uterus. My response included a hearty laugh and then I said, “Then let’s cut that shit out! I don’t need it anyway.” See, I’ve been here and done this before with cancer and I’m gonna laugh until I have to cry!

2. I do not crumble (or at least not for long). ~ I keep my head in the game regardless of my task. So I called and scheduled the two appointments my doctor recommended: the first was for a 3D Ultrasound and the second was for a biopsy.

3. I am quick to respond. ~ I set up my 3D Ultrasound and had it the very next day and my biopsy is scheduled for March 7th. I informed my husband, family and my bible study group that the monster known as cancer was trying to rear its ugly head again and I let them know I AM PLANNING TO BEAT ITS BUTT!

4. I am determined! ~ I will fight with every fiber of my being to beat this thing and I will not give cancer any of my negative attention. Cancer has already stolen a family member (Rich) and online friend (Susan) from me in 2012 and I am determined that I will not be next!

5. I am more than cancer ~ Cancer does not define who I am and if it is back it will not define who I will become. I am a wife, mother, friend, advocate for special needs families and cancer recovery and I AM MORE THAN ENOUGH!

What are your things? What do you love about you?

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Sending My Love To You (Did I mention this is a list of things I love about me?)

A girlfriend of mine (She-She) asked me to write five things that I love about myself and I decided to publish it as a reminder to myself of just how many ways that I am loved and I am a reflection of self-love for my children and friends:

Dear Me,

Here is the things that I love about me:

1.  My Faith in GOD ~ I am faithful to GOD and his plan for my life.  It has not been easy to follow or accept GOD’s plan but it has always guided me down the appropriate road for my benefit.

2.  My Open Heart ~ I love my open heart.  So many things have happened that could have easily made me harden my heart but I didn’t allow it to close me off from people or to close my heart to new people, places or experiences.

3.  My Determination ~ To look into myself and discover and unravel all of the layers of me. The un-perfect layers that have melted together to become the me that I am today, in spite of the me that I was yesterday.  My determination to review my life with accepting eyes and through a lens that allows for human errors, human tragedy and self-acceptance has been the key to living a healthy life with PTSD for me.  Sure, I still stumble and fall from time to time — but I do not collapse like I previously used to when situations occur that trigger my PTSD.

4.  My Willingness to Help Others ~ I take pleasure in helping others.  I have been so blessed by the people who have helped me in all aspects of my life and I know it is a privilege to help others!

5.  My Creativity ~ I truly know how to make lemonade when lemons are thrown at me.   Lemonade is my way of making the best out of unpleasant circumstances, it’s a way of stretching resources and getting positive/negative energy out of me.  My creativity helps me express myself in ways that I may never verbalize.  I quilt to tell a story with fabric.  I write to vent, to tell my truth, to tell how I desire something to be and to help others that may struggle as I have struggled.

This exercise took me about 1 hour to write.  It is very short but I honestly struggled to think of things I love about me, mostly because I have never been encouraged to make such a proclamation.  This my Valentine’s Day gift to myself.  This my proclamation of self-love!  If you are reading this and you have never done this before I highly encourage you to do so!

Here is your challenge:

Name five things that you love about you!

Write it down, shout it out to the world, toot your own horn, because if you don’t who will?

Love,

Sammie

20 Things I’ve Done In My Life ~ Gratitude Journal

GRATITUDE JOURNAL ENTRY #1 for 2012

I have had a great forty+ years of living and I’ve done some pretty awesome things. There are tons more I’d love to do, but this is not a bad list of my top twenty life highlights for my gratitude journal!

1. Married to a wonderful man.

2. Completed my Masters Degree just before I turned 40 years old.

3. Became a Certified Meeting Planner.

4. Gave birth to amazing children.

5. Became a Soccer Mom.

6. Traveled to: Paris, France.

7. Went Parasailing in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.

8. Sang a solo in front of 3000 at a conference.

9. Walked in a 5k race.

10. I was told by my favorite author, Mr. E. Lynn Harris (R.I.P.) “You have the name of an author!”

11. Danced the night away until I had blisters on my feet.

12. Saved someone’s life by performing CPR.

13. Rescued two children out of a burning apartment.

14. Raised $300,000 to renovate a preschool.

15. Voluntarily read through the entire bible.

16. Had an article published in a magazine.

17. Breast Cancer Survivor.

18. Rape Survivor.

19. Written a book on helping children who suffer from the impact of trauma that is currently being edited for publishing in the Summer of 2012.

20. Made the decision to take back my life and get healthy!

Five Things That Make Me Smile

1. Paris, France ~
Thoughts and memories of Paris always make me smile! The people, the beautiful streets and sites and of course the spirit of creativity that fills the air. There is nothing like Paris! It is someplace that is truly original and it’s diversity, people and gardens just keep inspiring: artists, designers, models, performers and writers alike to envision beyond the ordinary to create the extraordinary,

2. Family & Friends ~
My family and friends are the source of hours of laughter. They inspire and encourage me and they always give a different perspective, which allows me not to take myself so seriously!

3. Forgiveness ~
The grace of forgiveness always makes me smile. Even though I often don’t deserve it, I am so grateful for the gift of forgiveness because it lightens the burdens on heart.

4. Healing (Physically and Mentally) ~
Healing provides heartache a reason to smile. Healing reconnects my soul with the happiness that was lost in painful situations and assures me that GOD is always nearby!

5. Learning ~
I always smile when I learn something new because it usually opens my mind to a new perspective about things. I smile when I learn because learning provides me with an opportunity to grow.

Letter to Me ~ Just Be Enough post

Dear Sammie,

I am sure that you are doing well, but by the time you read your life will have changed so much. I just wanted to tell you how proud I am that you have worked so hard to heal yourself and to be a great role model for your children. They are grown now and the time went so fast with them. The trials and triumphs you have helped them face are your badge of courage and your ode to motherhood.

You have raised three wonderful, amazing, resilient children that have overcome disappointments, learning challenges and the loss of their grandparents. It has been through your love, successes and mistakes that these beautiful children have grown to be loyal, truthful, affectionate, intelligent adults. I point this out because they have become this way in spite of your fears that your parenting skills may not have been enough.

Well, with the children all grown now it is officially your time to do all of those things that you have wanted to do but couldn’t or didn’t because of the kids needs. I’m so proud of your recent accomplishments of finishing your novel, and releasing the third edition of your Helping Children With Trauma training guide.

It’s your time to bask in the sun and enjoy the fruits of your labor, now understanding and truly believing what you did for your family was always enough!

Love always,

Sammie

I Knew I Had To Heal (Just Be Enough)

After four years of silence I knew I had to deal with the truth. The time had come for me to stop living in denial and tell my loved ones the source of my unhappiness, weight gain and sudden introverted behavior.

I came to the decision just as abruptly as I had assaulted the innocent man in the grocery store. I had been shopping with my toddler at the time, when I man walking behind me said, “What a cutie?” His voice gave me chills and left me paralyzed in the shopping isle. I stood motionless until he reached out his hand to play with my baby and I lost it. I mean, I completely lost it! I pushed him away, began throwing cans at him all the while screaming, “You raped me!” His voice and actions had taken me back to that terrible night when I was raped in the dorms at college. He was not my rapist, but in that moment, that innocent man was guilty because of his words and actions. The way that he’d snuck up on me from behind had transformed him into the object of all my hatred.

It was at that moment I knew if I didn’t break my silence I would never heal! In that moment I screamed the words that yelled quietly deep within my soul for four years. It was the moment I cried for the innocence that I’d lost and my desire to keep my baby safe was greater than my need to continue to suffer in silence.

This innocent man was gracious and did not press charges against me. He was extremely understanding of what was happening, even though I didn’t understand it myself at the time. I finally told my parents what had happened and I went to counseling to treat my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The mind is a wonderful protector of our soul and I was blessed to have the time I needed to deal with the trauma I’d suffered until I knew deep inside that I finally had the courage to heal! Individual and group therapy has done wonders for me. I’ve since learned that I am not the tragedy that happened to me. I am resilient. I am tough. I am courageous and I am enough!


Every MONDAY join us…
Write, post, link-up, share your story and your voice. Be part of carrying the weight of confidence, empowerment and share our mission to empower, inspire, and remind women, parents and children that the time has come to celebrate ourselves!

Next week’s prompt: Write a letter to
your future self or your child.
(Remember you can also write on a topic of your choice.)

I Knew I Had To Heal (Just Be Enough)

After six years of silence I knew I had to deal with the truth. The time had come for me to stop living in denial and tell my loved ones the source of my unhappiness, weight gain and sudden introverted behavior.

I came to the decision just as abruptly as I had assaulted the innocent man in the grocery store. I had been shopping with my toddler at the time, when I man walking behind me said, “What a cutie?” His voice gave me chills and left me paralyzed in the shopping isle. I stood motionless until he reached out his hand to play with my baby and I lost it. I mean, I completely lost it! I pushed him away, began throwing cans at him all the while screaming, “You raped me!” His voice and actions had taken me back to that terrible night when I was raped in the dorms at college. He was not my rapist, but in that moment, that innocent man was guilty because of his words and actions. The way that he’d snuck up on me from behind had transformed him into the object of all my hatred.

It was at that moment I knew if I didn’t break my silence I would never heal! In that moment I screamed the words that yelled quietly deep within my soul for years. It was the moment I cried for the innocence that I’d lost and my desire to keep my baby safe was greater than my need to continue to suffer in silence.

This innocent man was gracious and did not press charges against me. He was extremely understanding of what was happening, even though I didn’t understand it myself at the time. I finally told my parents what had happened and I went to counseling to treat my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The mind is a wonderful protector of our soul and I was blessed to have the time I needed to deal with the trauma I’d suffered until I knew deep inside that I finally had the courage to heal! Individual and group therapy has done wonders for me. I’ve since learned that I am not the tragedy that happened to me. I am resilient. I am tough. I am courageous and I am enough!


Every MONDAY join us…
Write, post, link-up, share your story and your voice. Be part of carrying the weight of confidence, empowerment and share our mission to empower, inspire, and remind women, parents and children that the time has come to celebrate ourselves!

Next week’s prompt: Write a letter to
your future self or your child.
(Remember you can also write on a topic of your choice.)

September (A Cancer Reflection)

I woke up anticipating Fall today. The air is crisp. Leaves are beginning to change on the trees on my front and back yards. My children are in already in school. Soccer season has started and here I sit in the waiting room of the Breast Cancer Center waiting for my Mom to complete a test and second mammogram.

I’d like to say this was an abnormal day but it’s not! I’ve spent way to many days sitting in a waiting room just like this one for both myself and my Mom.

Yesterday was my best friend Belle’s birthday and it also marked the one year anniversary of my Mom’s breast cancer surgery. I didn’t celebrate either occasion with an outing. I just felt the need to write and tell both Belle and my Mom exactly what they meant to me. As I wrote notes to each of them and completed an article for a deadline, I just kept hearing Earth Wind and Fire singing “Ba de ya, say you do remember.”

Well I did remember! I remembered that some of the best and worst times of my life took place in September. I remembered that I survived those times and I remembered the love that surrounded me, and my Mom and Belle.

Soon I was singing and remembering: my first true love, Sunday dinners, hope, sweet stolen kisses, high school basketball games, Cal football games, high school dances, FAITH, weddings, mimosas, children born and children lost, courage, music loud and strong like laughter in my soul, the kindness of strangers, FAMILY (birth family and extended family), healing, FAITH, leaves turning, the new school year, new uniforms and clothes for school, FAITH, seasons changing, love changing and life changing!

“Do you remember the 21st night of September?” Pick a year, any year but remember the beginning of Fall and all of it’s splendor. Remember there is a season for everything under heaven. Cherish it! Honor it! Embrace it! Live it! Love it! There is a time for all of us and a reason for each of us to be here on earth and our existence matters. We are more than our enemies negative thoughts. We are more that our daily successes. We were created for a reason and our purpose in life is as specific as each leaf that falls from a tree before fall turns it’s supple branches and brilliant foliage to brittle barren winter twigs.

Well, my Mom is done with her appointment and it looks like we will be coming here more often to suffer, fight and heal. She just scheduled her ultrasound guided biopsy to remove the mass in her right breast and determine its stage of cancer. We will come back here on October 6th.

But for now we will reflect and sing through our September and remember just how much CANCER SUCKS!!!!!

“Do you remember… dancing in September … never was a cloudy day…”

Just Being Me — A Mother’s Response to Bullying

This summer has been difficult. There I said it! It has been challenging in ways that I have never experienced and that truly says a lot if you have read anything about me. It started at my son’s fifth grade graduation luncheon when the girl that teased him mercilessly because he had ADHD and Dyslexia for four years walked into our private luncheon to say goodbye and give him some candy after being told that she was not welcome to do so.

Much to my chagrin, this mean-spirited girl walked into our banquet room and I completely lost it! As a teacher, I have never allowed myself to become that angry at a child but: after four years of explaining that my son learns differently, staying up late nights with him to complete his homework only to receive it back with her rude scribblings on it, coaxing him to go back to school and to continue to try his best, lifting his spirits when his spirit was broken and he felt like giving up on everything and remembering the alienation from his classmates that she had caused with her brutal teasing — I LOST IT! I became completely undone. I was filled with so much anger it scared me. If I didn’t have the help of my two “girls” I don’t know what I would have done. My son’s response was much more gracious, he accepted her candy, retrieved it after I threw it across the room, waited for her to leave and then tossed it in the garbage.

I could not process my emotions. I was flooded and bitter over the miserable experiences she had created for our family. I’m not good at asking for help. I never have been. It’s hard to for me to accept my weak moments. I know that it is okay to have them and they rarely get this out of control. I know it’s okay to ask for help, but it’s just something that I am going to have to learn to do because I don’t do it well.

I had intended for this post to be a little bit different and I’ve struggled writing it for the past two days. I’m being completely honest and putting four years of pain and struggles out there for the public to see. I am the parent of a child with learning differences, I accept that! This is not the last time that he and I will face adversity together. This is not the last time that this will affect our family. But I am acknowledging the pain that I felt for my son, my heart, and my little angel because he is just like everyone else — he just learns differently! He is sweet, kind, empathetic, helpful, a great storyteller and struggling with who he is because of the challenges of his learning differences.

As for me, I am not proud of what happened. It is what it is. I am what and who I am. I feel what I feel. I am working hard to gain control over my actions when my child is attacked. All of that is okay as well! I’m learning to ask for help, I am learning that it is okay to have someone support me and that just has to be enough.