Poetry: Being With You

By Monica C. Voskamp

You run your hands through my hair

And press a kiss upon my furrowed brow

You have faith to say, “It’s going to be okay, darling

The future is not any of your yesterdays.”

You have the courage to hold me close

Even as hot tears wet through your clothes

You don’t tell me to hide or be ashamed of me

Instead you trace trails of pain so lovingly.

You do what you now have the power to

And give me the chance to weep with you.

You come sit inside the deep black shadows

That have lined my soul for much too long.

You don’t excuse the darkness of humanity

You don’t dismiss the generations of wrong

Instead you reflect my pain in your eyes

You let me know I am heard and not alone.

I hear you whisper,  “Look up and see,

And I listen to your voice vulnerable.

The future is bright, the future is ours

Don’t believe any of the lies you were told.

My whole being sees, feels and knows

The way you are with me is destiny

And every day I spend being with you

I see the messy beautiful becoming whole.

 © 2020 MONICA C. VOSKAMP
Always believe. Always hope. Always love. ❤

*Photo Credit: Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Belief: Your lifeline.

By Monica C. Voskamp

He stared at my photos of the past obese me and then locked eyes on the current present me, shook his head in awe and said to me: “Monica, if you can lose 100 pounds…you can do anything.

That phrase has stuck in my mind. So many times I’ve undermined my ability. Scratch that. I haven’t even believed I have ability. It’s weird. It just never was a card in my hands–to believe I was able.

I wrote on my white board this week: You are capable.  I need this visual reminder of the belief I want my heart to live loud. This is a very emotional realization: You are capable.  Part of me feels guilt for not realizing this sooner. Another part of me is excited and incredulous upon discovering: I can. I can. I can.

For so long I’ve lived in my truth being: I can’t. And it seemed the universe always gave me one more experience to concrete that belief. But thank God, the universe has also given me experiences, people, situations that just spelled out blaring obvious: You can. You can. You can.

I have lived in the ‘I can’t’ mentality for so long whenever someone told me “I can”, the words kinda ricocheted.  But, somewhere along the line a shift in my thinking began.

“I can do anything.” This statement is so bold. The more I examine what I do and get honest with myself I think: Wow, if I’d apply serious effort and time into this…I could make something good. I could be successful…really successful.

I’m lost in shock and wonder at this possibility.

Believing you can is more than half the battle. Your belief is your lifeline. It is written on every second of your timeline. Know your belief. Hold it close for this is your good. And never let the world tell you differently. This is your core fundamental truth.

You, you, you (!) get to decide upon which truth you live. And when you live in that truth, your mind, your days, your relationships, your projects, your situations—good or bad—will all line up very differently, simply because you believe you can, instead of you can’t.

Your mindset matters. That voice inside your head is your power. Grab it. Train it. Wrestle it. Feed it. Nurture it.

Your voice is your choice. “I can…I can do anything.”

And you can.

 © 2020 MONICA C. VOSKAMP
Always hope. Always believe. Always love. ❤

*Photo Credit: Photo by Roan Lavery on Unsplash

Streaming Live

By Monica C. Voskamp

I’m scared. I don’t want to admit how terribly frightened I am of letting love in, of seeing what love could be, of stopping all my rules for what love should be.

It hit me today..Maybe love doesn’t have such a black & white definition. Maybe love is so big, ultimately, it cannot be defined. That scares me.  It scares me something cannot be defined!

Funny, that makes me want to run the opposite way if that’s the case. Here I’ve been trying to chase down love, when love could actually be right here. I’ve been trying to box love in definition, when love is too big for words.

Love fireworks way beyond this universe. Why is that terrifying?!  I know…because I know me…this is saying love is something beyond my control…beyond my containing, defining. Love isn’t about control. It is about freedom. It’s all about expression. Love is more like an unending gallery of mind-blowing art.

Unpredictable scares me, even if it’s good. I want to know, yet here I am realizing, I don’t know.

I can’t possibly know the scope of who or what is love.  It’s like I’ve been trying to contain a whole galaxy of stars into a wee pocket and say “There. THAT pocket is love.”

 

How can I define something I didn’t even create? How can I explain something that was before my existence? How can I contain something supernatural?

I think love is a free spirit, unpredictable in it’s goodness. I suppose that’s what makes it so beautiful. Maybe that’s when I know love is love. It will be different, the real thing, legit…OR maybe it’s simply a case of opening my eyes and realizing where the beauty flows, there is love.

Love hasn’t been running from me. I’ve been running from love…

When I look outside my realm of defining, I see love is already here. It’s already been in my past, in my present, and will be in my future.

It might even be an insult to Love to try pack it up in a pretty box of fancy labeling. The human mind could never possibly label something so grand.

I’ve been focusing so hard on the logistics of love, I’ve missed the reality of love. It’s not meant to be black or white. It doesn’t answer to anything or anyone but it’s own name. Maybe love is more a free spirit embracing and constantly flowing through the universe, and not so much a script in a book.

 

I’m afraid to admit love is this… *different*. I’m afraid to admit love is rather simple. You don’t chase it, because love is already in every moment.

Odd, I’ve only understood love as complex and something that must be defined, something that is conditional to those elite who find. But do they? Do the chasers ever find?  I’ve understood love as something beyond my figuring out yet something I forever NEED to chase down. Where’s the beauty in that, always chasing never attaining? It’s been the most frustrating pursuit…because it never ends.

I’ve been running the opposite direction, making excuses, hiding, denying, looking everywhere but right here. All this crazy effort I’ve been putting in so I never would have to confront the truth of love.  I’ve been living with blinders on. Love isn’t complex, it is simple.

I’m suddenly being hit with a new wave: love is already here. It’s not something elusive. I guess I just needed to stand still & open up my mind.

Because it is here, love is here, streaming live.

Always believe. Always hope. Always love. ❤

 

*Photo Credit: Photo by Joel Filipe on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rethinking: Push Delete on Reality

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By Monica C. Voskamp

Do you know how many pictures I deleted when I was the ‘Big Me’? Too many. I cringe as I think of one picture summer 2012. Of course it was summer, at the beach. I had bought a workout shirt for a swim top, donned a bright pink top, and then wore my plus 20 Old Navy capris. I wore ALL that to the beach, and tried to avoid the camera.

There were a few pictures taken of me walking with my little niece and sister. I regret deleting those pictures.

I didn’t delete them because they were horrible memories (No, those are reserved for the Ex’s. 😉 )  I deleted the pictures with me because all I saw was a whale of me, fat me, detestable me. My head impulsively turns away and stomach churns at the memory.  That’s all I saw: an image I detested & was embarrassed by. It was a reflection of what I wished I literally could do to myself.

The beach day memory was great. My sister and I were helping my little niece learn to walk. We were all smiling and my niece certain wasn’t cringing at me. Odd thought, she was enjoying being with her Aunt. No judgement was there, she had adoring love and acceptance of all of me. ❤

I was commenting to my brother today it was significant to accept and embrace the beauty of where I was in the moment. It was somewhere between 248lbs and 150lbs. Maybe in the 220’s? I know…getting to the specifics here. 😉  Around then,  I started celebrating and enjoying where I was at, even though I hadn’t arrived at my ‘final destination.’

I was still in the doctor’s obese category, but I had entered a new category in my mind. The beauty of enjoying acceptance.  Of me.

Isn’t that something? Imagine if, right now, in whatever crazy painful tailspin in your life, you were able to enjoy your now in spite of that specific area. Everyone has at least one area that they desperately wish was different.  Mine has always easily been health related…but ha, I could easily make that list longer.

When I stopped striving to be somewhere I could NOT possibly be today or even next month, something happened. In fact, I didn’t know the “when”…(yes, talk about freak out mode!)

When I stopped my desperate stressing to be in an unknown future place,  I started arriving in my now.  More so, I started thriving in my now.

Yes, things were still messy and as my one friend would phrase it…a sh*tstorm. It was still raining crap. I was still flubbing up, having binge eating episodes, and huffing around in a large body. That wasn’t changing in a hurry; however, I started to celebrate my daily growth and accept me for where I was. That was, is a freedom act. It was relieving.

It is so easy, tempting to push delete on life’s difficult situations. It’s natural to want to escape the chaos. I know. Who doesn’t want to elude pain, turmoil, trauma, stress?! But, pushing delete does not make reality go away.

‘Pushing delete’ is denying reality and living in fear of the now.

If I could’ve, would’ve paused and looked at the picture a little longer, I would’ve seen more than just ME and my painful reality.  I would’ve seen my nieces delight in walking between her sister and me, her aunt. I would’ve seen her chubby little fingers clinging onto mine. I was helping a little human being learn how to walk her first steps! How awesome is that. 🙂

I could’ve acknowledged:

Yes, I’m not yet where I want to be, but in my here, there is something still valuable for me.

  At that time I wasn’t looking for more; I was tunnel-visioned into the depressing state of me.

If you are wishing you could push delete on an area in your life. It’s understandable. My hope is you acknowledge your area is there, you don’t check out and you see something of value. There is something more in your picture too.

It’s okay to not have yet arrived; you are here.

In the arriving of now, you will start thriving more. I also think this ‘arriving in the now’ prepares you to hold the greatness ahead of you.

When you don’t hit delete and allow yourself to see differently, you gain something of value. Try it and see. 🙂

Always believe. Always have hope. And most of all, always love, because love will always be. ❤