Jude: Thankfulness in the Month of Love

Jude: Thankfulness in the Month of Love

The last few weeks have really tested me, and I thought I would share on my struggles and how I overcame them. Despite all the positives in my life, I do have those days where I feel so defeated. I feel I have not only let myself down, but I have let down everyone around me in some way or another. On these days I sometimes forget how allowing even that one negative thought in can really impact the rest of my day. This negativity stayed with me for a few days, and I really struggled to stay happy and find a way to remain positive.

This past weekend I had a sort of epiphany. I realized how much taking a deep breath and stepping back helps. Gathering some perspective helps to calm me, and I also realized how much a good support system is worth having. With that in mind, let me take this time to call out a special thanks to a few of you who have helped me without you even knowing you do.

To my cousins: Now that we live close to each other, being able to spend time with you and see how you have grown in life gives me hope for my own future. You have had your own struggles, both personally and as couples, and I feel humbled and awed at the strength you have shown through the years (and continue to show). I am always happy to be around all your positive energy, and I find it is always needed even when I least expected it. You all mean more than you know to me and have taught me so much. I thank you for the strength, courage, and humility you have taught me.

To my fellow Protagonists: We have grown closer as we continue to conquer this quest we’ve begun. You not only allow me to share and grow with you, but you help to inspire my thoughts, emotions, and make me a better oracle. Your warm words of wisdom and constructive criticism are always a happy welcome. You push me to be better each month and I take the challenge with great determination to not let you down. You not only encourage me to share but make feel more comfortable to share my experiences and not be ashamed of my past.

To my dearest friend: You have shown me such courage. You did something I could not do years ago—you took control when it seemed things were lost. You have grown up so much in last few months, and I am so honored to have been a part of your changes. I love seeing how much happier you are and how you enjoy living life after so many trapped years. To me, you are the definition of living life to the fullest. My beautiful butterfly, you are.

To my future husband: You do so much for me that there are not enough words, so I’ll try and sum up. You know how to push me to be better without pushing me away or pushing too hard. You push me to be myself, do things for me, and do them on my own. You know, even when you just want to hold me, that to be strong again I need to find my own feet and do it alone. You also know when I need help the most and am too weak to ask for it. You allow me to do things I believe are better for me, and when I am wrong you never dwell on my mistakes, but understand and move on with me. I love you because you helped me to love myself again. Every argument we have, every crying-laughing moment, is equally as beneficial for our future. I know we will be happy because we allow each other to grow as individuals and we can grow as a couple. You make me not afraid to share my past, as you have taught me to learn from the past and move on.

The best thing I have learned from all of these people, and so many more, is that you really aren’t alone in life. I want to challenge you to take a step back. Try and observe an individual, try and really see and imagine what that person is like. Not only will it help to distract you for a little while, but it may also help remind you that we aren’t alone. There are so many people in the world, and it’s so easy to forget that. With the way things are these days, we don’t have much of a connection with people in our neighborhood or community. We sometimes get so self-involved and closed off.

So, not only do I challenge all of you to try and imagine a different lifestyle, I also want you to do one kind thing to a stranger every day. Hold a door open, let someone in front of you in traffic. Say hello to your neighbor, buy the person behind you a cup of coffee. Anything, large or small. Since this is the month of love, why not spread some? Doing a kind act for a stranger can be something you look back on when you are having a bad day, and can help you find that strength you are missing.

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Jude: Thankfulness & Healing in a Busy World

Jude: Thankfulness & Healing in a Busy World

Hey, everyone! 

I want to start off this month’s post with some of my favorites from last month’s Thankfulness Challenge:

Day 9: I am thankful for my friends, family, and those who love me. Knowing that I have them in my life is a true blessing, which I will always be thankful for.

Day 13: I am thankful for the beauty of the state I live in! I am so happy with the decision to move here—it makes every morning worth it!

Day 21: I am thankful for my fiancé. He has done so much for me, and helped to shape me into the person I am today. I honestly would not have the confidence to open up as much as I have without him always there to support and love me. I am beyond thankful for him, and know the rest of my life will be enriched for having him in it.

Over these last few weeks, taking the time to think on what I am thankful for has been wonderful. It has especially been nice to look back on days when I felt like it was a pointless day. By re-reading what I was thankful for the day before, or even the week before, I could find a new outlook on what had started as a bad day. It was a real boost in perspective and confidence to turn a bad day good again.  

This month, I have also given some thought to a subject I haven’t ever touched on before, and I want to do that now. I recently found an article that I can relate to, and that discusses the healing that hiking and experiencing nature can provide during grief. Grief affects us all at some point in our lives. Sometimes we expect these losses, and sometimes we don’t. I have always tried to run away from any sort of painful emotion, believing that I didn’t have enough strength to deal with it. In years past, I acted self-destructively instead of dealing with my pain in a healthy manner.

As I began my long journey of healing, I found the best places for me to heal were in nature. I began with short hikes up the bluff, then started taking weekend camping trips in the desert. Being in nature reminds me not only how different the world is, but also that it constantly changes, evolves, and grows—much the same as human beings do. It is important to learn and grow from our emotions. We all grieve in different ways, which is perfectly acceptable. As long as you are doing it in a healthy manner and not harming yourself or others, I support finding your own method. We are all different, and we all grieve over different things: the loss of a loved one or pet, or even something as small as a friend moving away. Understanding what causes your grief is a wonderful first step to healing.

If you currently find yourself grieving, try being in nature for a little bit. Take a walk alone, let the fresh air help clear your mind of the chaos, and most importantly, begin your healing journey.

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Jude on Emotions and Thankfulness

Jude on Emotions and Thankfulness

Hey all!

I think we can agree on one thing, here: this past month has been incredibly emotional for all of us. I want to talk about two things before I dive into this month’s challenge.

After the recent attack in Las Vegas, I found myself feeling very emotional. This incident was beyond horrible and has affected the nation in a way that I would never have thought possible. After what happened, we must remember that love will win. Hate and darkness will always exist in this world, so it is up to us and our light, our love, to shine bright through it. What happened is just another reminder to always tell someone how you feel; call your grandparents, parents, siblings, and friends more often, even if just to say hi. With all the technology available today, there is no reason not to remind our families that we are thinking of them daily. You can spread love by simply smiling at a stranger or holding a door open for someone. Even the smallest of acts will grow. Take those opportunities that are offered. Live the life you want, because we never know when it might be cut short. If you would like to help the victims from the Vegas shooting, I’ve put a link at the bottom of this post to an article that can show you where to start.

Another thing I wanted to touch on is the #metoo movement, a very brave and long-overdue movement to help the women in the world stand together and fight back. No matter your profession, age, or race, sexual assault does not discriminate.  I know that some of us may not be comfortable with announcing some of the experiences we have had, and I wanted to remind you that you are more than welcome to send me a message and tell me your story. Talking to someone always helps, and that is exactly why I am here. I am your journal that talks back. Let me listen, and I’ll offer some insight if I can. You are not alone, and it is always important to remember that. If you still feel uncomfortable, or if all the attention on sexual assault has dredged up some painful emotions and memories for you, below is another link to an article that may help you.  

Now, for this next month, I wanted to challenge you to what I call the Thankful Challenge. It seems fitting, since it’s just in time for Thanksgiving. I want you to write down one thing you are thankful for every day, big or small. I feel it is very important to remind ourselves how lucky we are and how important even the little things in life are. You may be surprised by what you actually find yourself thankful for. You can do what I do and physically write these things down, or find one of the hundreds of goal tracking apps available. I personally enjoy writing them down so that I can go back and read them out loud later. Come back next month, and I will post some of my favorites that I have written down. Sometimes you need to be the one to remind yourself of just how lucky you are. Remember: to love others we must love ourselves. Don’t let the hate in—humanity can be beautiful, so let’s show it!


Posted by Jude in Reflections, 0 comments