Boundless Beauty. (300 words)

I hate to be the bearer of bad news in my own expectations or the facilitator of less than my absolute best when I am actively pursuing my dreams. I want to grow tired of the lies I sell myself and follow my heart as it leads me to truth. But it takes so much more than hopes and good thoughts to inspire lasting and effectual change.

Sometimes, you have to break down completely before you will ever follow through.

I am not infallible. Every day I wake up just like you with a choice to do better or to stay statically still. I could go on and on about the times I wasted or the balls I let drop while the world around me refused to stop–but none of that will matter unless I choose to make a difference now, for me.

When you are not emotionally connected to your actions, you will continue to fail without any regard to who you are taking down with you. You will emote and feel things deeply but forget that it is not all about your problems. It is about finding a path in the middle towards achieving and maintaining peace. Peace that can not exist if we are constantly fighting.

I do not want to hear “suck it up” when the truth in love inspires us to speak words of healing over people who are truly suffering. There are a thousand ways we can say the same thing without wounding sensitive spirits with our harsh expressions.

Some days this is harder for us to do–but the most beautiful things have a way of happening in spite of you.

beauty, life, expectations, hope, love, blog


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– Jen Cosby

You are Missing from Me.

As I draw further away from the negative reality of my past year–and come closer to the anniversary of our ending–I am hard pressed to examine and emote and release this anxiety that has already served its purpose for me. I suppose I just gave up when faced with the truth of my deception. I did not fight because I had nothing left to lose. Thought I was strong enough and wise enough to push past the initial defeats, but I will never forget you are missing from me.

I still try at times to make peace in my subconscious. My dreams are filled with road blocks and alternate routes that always lead back to you. Except, I spend most of my time jolted awake by the fact that I cannot change what God has told me is not now possible.

The hope is to give up the hurt you experience, and to focus your efforts on healing.

bloom, growth, healing, flowers, relationships, friendships, loss

Bloom with Intention

We all plant seeds that will one day take root and bear fruit. Whether it is good or bad fruit is determined by what we choose to leave. –Jen Cosby

Usually this would not matter to me. What mattered then is how my hurt manifested itself as a quietly ticking time bomb that without warning exploded on everyone I loved. Shrapnel broke down decades old foundations and opened up carefully concealed scars. This makes me human but also magnifies just how weak I really was. And just how weak I continue to be, when I try to forget you are missing from me.

Today, I walk through doors that I did not have to blow up in order to walk through. They open because they are mine and I did not have to convince myself that I was worthy. They open because I accepted my undeniable part in the mess I experienced and gave up praying God would bless the dysfunction.

I realize my pursuit of wellness may not mean restoration. My desire to be better may never be seen. But I promised myself that I would be honest when I am hurting. And the truth of the matter is you are missing from me.

 


P.S. As life continues to evolve I am realizing that I am posting less frequently on this site. My goal is to only provide “good” thought provoking content at all times. With my current schedule in mind, I will begin to follow a bi-monthly posting schedule.

Stay Socially Connected:

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I look forward to connecting with you guys on these platforms!

-Jen Cosby

24. Prepare to Jump.

 

When you wonder too long on the edge of a cliff, you will inevitably lose your bearings. I know in your heart you believe you were MADE FOR THIS but nothing could prepare you for this view. Say you were expecting a longer drop, but the plummet to reality is brief.

Hitting rock bottom sparks instant clarity.

Flash forward to a place of healthy perception. Interrogate your thoroughly broken self.
What in the world compelled you, to split into pieces for someone else?
Who arrested your vision? Why did you turn yourself down? 
Maybe if you answer these questions, the cliff will lose its edge somehow. 


Raise your hand if you have faced a challenge that forced you to make drastic changes in your life. Lower your hand if you embraced it. Raise both hands if you struggled to adjust.

The arc of resilience resonates deeply with our need to not give up. We walk the same lines of life as everyone. Sometimes those lines cross. Other times our journeys combine. But our own individual decisions are what either keep us stuck or moving forward in life.

I remember friends who were necessary in uncertain seasons, but had to go when their time had passed. Periods of life where I was failing to figure it out. Relationships designed to keep me wandering and lost.

Somewhere in the midst of it all, I always woke up.

Deliberate steps away from dysfunction will make everyone uncomfortable. At first. Eventually, the hope is you will recover and grow into more than you thought you were before. More than your misguided expectations. Or those repetitively negative thoughts. Often, the doubts we develop originate solely in our minds.

 Here is one truth to guard with your heart:

The conflicting narrative from your past is wrong. The only part of where you came from that matters is how you rise above. Some crashes come earlier in life. Some cliffs are steep and long. Some of us have to fight our own (incorrect) insistence that we will always be this way.

As you rise up from your latest disaster, brushing off those derogatory thoughts
Remind yourself that there is beauty in starting over.

And you can take Damn. Good. Care. of yourself.

19. If You Want to Make a Difference.

 

home_art_healing

If you want to make a difference in the world, honor the decisions you make. Perhaps the world is not the entire planet. Maybe it is not a whole continent. The world, may simply be your home. Maybe it is the beating of your heart. Now that you know what it is, honor it. Honor the place you choose to dwell. Honor the people who come in your life and love you well. As a matter of fact, when you come across people who are difficult to love, love them too. Love them with the full force of your intention. Because the ones who are difficult will have a harder time believing you.

Making war is a choice. When our home is threatened (wherever home may be) we militarize and take steps to defend the honor of our country. Maybe you feel disrespected. Maybe this “enemy” said some harsh things that conflicted with the words in your heart. This person you trusted and allowed to get close enough to wound you and leave this scar. This person who shook you from your solitude and asked you to sacrifice something hard. This person who asked you to come out of your trenches and meet on common ground.

Maybe the real enemy is you.

If you placed your home in a person, be prepared to be moved. It will feel like you are riding on a runaway vehicle. A car you cannot control. A destination you cannot approve. An end you cannot predict, or prepare for.

People make terrible homes.

But if you want to make a difference, it almost always starts with release. Releasing the need
to have control over every situation. The need to be right. The need to be loved by outside company. Perhaps you thought you were loving someone by refusing to let them go. Maybe you held on so tightly, you began to cause damage to your peace, your home.

Maybe making a difference is starting over–alone.

Wherever the battle, whatever you lost–no matter how many times you felt convinced that you would “never get past this”–remember, you were wrong. The narrative of your life will not be limited by 1, 5, or 50 mistakes. Resist the urge to edit out the lessons. Wear your badge of experience and take the necessary steps to recover.

Maybe love dealt you a blow that cut you deeper than any hurt has ever affected you before. It’s okay to sit for a season and sulk. But this hurt will not last forever.

You have to get up.

18. Making Your Choice.

 

There is such a thing as physical heart pain. Most people just choose not to talk about it. The heart acts as a muscle. It stretches and adapts under the weight of new experience. When we encounter positive things, the heart flourishes and opens responsively. Likewise, after prolonged exposure to negativity–the heart will naturally contract defensively. This is a protective measure when hurt becomes impossible to bear.

No one should judge another person’s reaction to hurt and pain. We all have different expectations and dreams. A consistent staple in your life may be a distant, silent longing for someone else. It is easy to take what we have for granted. In our pursuit for ideal and the all elusive happiness–we forget to take inventory. We lose sight of our blessings in the face of loss.

My message is simple: Breathe in, breathe out.

When anxiety rears up in your chest and your heart beats fast…breathe in.
When pain overwhelms your consciousness and you feel stuck…breathe out.
When the bully in your mind tells you lies about who you’ll never be..breathe in.
When hope escapes and darkness squeezes tightly around your heart…breathe out.

Do not let the still, small, voice suffocate under layers of doubt.

Your job, your goal–in the midst of any undesirable circumstance is to pull yourself out. The most powerful thing you can do for yourself under severe pressure and growing impatient is to remain calm. Inspect everything. The shows you watch, the books you read, the people you meet. Eliminate anything subtracting from your peace. Explore the temporary emotions you feel now. Dissect the conversation between your soul and your mind.

What you choose to believe will be evident in your life. 

Ask yourself:
Who is this voice screaming, you are not good enough? Why is it easier to run with this self-deprecating dialogue?

Honestly, disappointment changes everything. We make mistakes and pay the real price for being wrong–time. We give our time and power to people we love and who we want to love us. But when things do not work in your favor, when you are forced to shift direction–you cannot move forward without healing from the inside out. Survivors are known to put on a brave face. But life is more than dressing up wounds and taking scars out on the town.

Sometimes you have to grab the red-shirt. Get physical, mental, emotional therapy.

And sit down.

Maybe you even sit out the whole season.

I know, I know. You are the star player and everyone is counting on you. If you do not play this game you will never forgive yourself. Your career will be over. Your faith arraigned. This voice becomes so loud that you insist on putting your injured self back on the roster. Make no mistake, an injured player can in fact play. But you are not your best. And you risk your own necessary healing when you refuse to rest. No game is worth the rest of your life.

Healing requires you to take your time. Time to learn, to process, to grow. Healing will ask you to make better decisions. It will ask you to let go of toxic relationships and go on new, beneficial journeys. Healing is the soul’s intervention when you have buried yourself in the mud. Healing is a complete stop, in a world that is constantly turning.

But once you take the time to invest in your self, you will find you could not be happier anywhere else.

17. Reconstruction.

Time seems to move unbearably slow, until it all speeds up at once. It’s like waking up one morning and everything you knew is gone. You endeavor to recover. Get on the path and move forward. But there are internal guards and emotional blocks. We spend our waiting periods dreaming and hoping for new beginnings.

But the absence of expectation keeps many a traveler lost.

I like to exercise my right to stay in the moment. But my heart knows my infernal weakness–I am impatient. I rush. I can see 10 years into the future. A strong tower, fortified with the finest steel and concrete. Yet, instead of reconstructing this building, I pick up the pieces where I previously left off. I want the finished product, I don’t want to start all over again. Most people are excited about new construction.

But healing yourself is hard.

When you have a broken heart…I mean building, it must be completely renewed. This property was my responsibility. It fell under my watch. I may know it better than any other contractor–but I will still need to make changes to the blue prints. The original plan ended in disaster. Now, I return to the basics.

And remember what went wrong.

 

 

15. Finish What You Start.

 

The midway point of any endeavor is perhaps the most difficult place to be. Here, you have already decided to start–committed to begin the hard work necessary to see your dreams come true. There may even be a picture in your mind of how you see the task unfolding.

Whenever you start a new project–adrenaline courses through your veins. You do not need to set the alarm for the morning. This brand new energy wakes you up. Your heart beats faster, thrusting blood to your cheeks. The excitement over what could be….is everything.

But there is a trick the mind will play when you choose to show your cards.

Taking a chance, making a statement, breaking the mold–these are all aspirations that require painful, but necessary change. You can not stay the same in the face of something new.

You will sweat, you will cry, you will embroil yourself with doubt.
But the same determination you started with, requires courage to see you out.

Maybe you want to see the “other side” of a relationship–or lose 15 pounds. Some want to break into a number of industries–others want the perks that come with a college degree.

Then there are those who just want peace in their lives. They want a comfortable existence with the ones they love. They do not want to make a difference across the board.

Home, is good enough.

Still, these things are not possible if you quit before you begin. The middle is definitely frustrating–but think of how far you have already gone. Halfway is a celebration. It is your birthright, a hard fought testimony. In the thick of your hearts desire you should feel full, and complete.

Yet all too often, we hit an invisible wall.

It’s happening too slow,
it’s too difficult,
….you never thought you’d have to do it alone
.

And what was once so promising and predestined, deigns to recede.

Now, instead of working you prefer to sleep. Choosing idleness over perspiration.
Anything to cover the stink of ambiguity.

But hold on to the promise.
Remember the one who gave you the gifts that the world was meant to see.
Hold on and take cover.

Let go, and be free.