Some of my best pictures have permanent memories and ‘records’ in my head… of me being taken out of my environment, into another realm of being and doing, transplanted to another part of the earth and helps me see a greater part and the ‘spiritual’ part of who I am.
I love to travel. It’s no secret. With most of these photos… I was experiencing life on a very meaningful level, in everyone of these pictures and some type of MAJOR growth was happening in that very moment.
Maybe that’s why I love photography and I get so much out of it. It speaks without opening its mouth. Speaks so permanently and profoundly.
But on the inside. In my heart, my mind and my soul.
I am going to be working a photo task this year, and I am excited about it, although I am expecting that it will challenge me, I am a little nervous that it happens all YEAR LONG. So that means I have to be CONSISTENT. * (Mind you …. this WAS – –gonna be my word, then I chickened out.. so I will keep it on the sideline and refer to it, when I have “fully embraced” life to the umpteenth degree and you can see I am not hiding any longer…)
If you are gonna be consistent, why not then BE: one who EMBRACES consistency, right?
a big HUGE HA!
Well, the God’s honest truth is… most of these photos were taken RIGHT here in Tulsa Oklahoma. And just for the record, I WAS on a JOURNEY…. I really BIG one, too. Smile.
I don’t know how you feel about the journeys in life that wind up taking you “further ” than you may have ever imagined…. but this girl right here… has decided to work on my ONE WORD for the past three years and BOY…! Have I been stretched!
2015 was Endure.
2016 was Conquer.
2017 … is Embrace.
All three of these words take me some place. To stories in my life journey that mesmerize me ; stretch me a little more, cause me to contemplate, and show me who I really am. … And in these past few years , that has been almost inevitable. See,.. though I am now a very strong advocate of “choosing words” that honor and embrace the journey, I don’t believe I pick these words. I believe THEY PICK ME.
And so it is… I should have wrote down how I had it confirmed…. but I literally heard the word EMBRACE over w three hour period… at least it seemed that way…. so I said :YES.
I WILL. and she stayed here.
So I guess we are sort of partna’s for the next 360 days!
Amen & Selah.
Oh.. and you can guarantee ‘the pictures’ will follow in 2017 as well…
How do embrace my worth? What I base my worth upon?
I haven’t always been able to answer this question confidently. I began to ask myself these questions about my worth when I was about thirty five years old. I didn’t stop until I was about 38 years old and felt some sense of resolve about it.
I used to base my worth upon what my ex-husband thought was good and acceptable. Even after I left him. And then, what my girlfriends considered important, or… my parents. Even as an adult, I based my worth upon these people in my life. I would think whatever anyone important to me thought was important, it was also important to me, as well.
But I was so wrong. I matured a bit, and found that my worth is based more upon things that God finds worthy. God gave me gifts , and one of the was the ability to trust my instincts. So…lately, it’s been my ability to discern . I had a very hard time trusting myself, when I was the age of 37. Then , one day, that all shifted. and I decided to began to prioritize myself . I made some decisions with my purpose and intentions in mind and I began to ask myself what I wanted.
One of the most fearful decisions in my life, was to move on. To not be in relationship with someone, who I truly cared for . The only issues I had with this, was that I had to decide how to love myself more than I loved him. I realized once I loved myself fully, ( I came to this revelation much later and longer after I had left him), that loving me felt really good, and relationships could not dictate my worth. I would not and could not control how someone accepts me; and I actually had to grieve this relationship, even if I was not ready for it to end . The other relationship… Was similar … I didn’t expect that one to end either , but I was confident it was time to end . I wasn’t grateful for these relationships to come to an end, yet they were purposed to do so.
I was so afraid to make a mistake when I decided something, I thought if I did, my whole life would disintegrate. I didn’t trust my own thinking. And so I began to look at the source of that, to determine where I lost the ability to think for me. I realized my fear– “frozen fear” discounted my worth. That I could not make decisions for myself unless I first realized I was worthy of those decisions. And that confident place of worth had to come from deep down, so I asked God where – had I neglected myself and why? And I began even to look at my family of origin and notice patterns of family neglect and I prayed very hard for those patterns to leave my life.
My relationships were central to my worth in my past, and the relationships that didn’t allow me the freedom to live and choose for myself –taught me I needed to make a few personal changes, and challenge myself differently with how I deserved to be treated . Those changes taught me I needed to change a few things about my relationships in general.
I’d like to share here those lessons learned :
1. Don’t filter a relationship gone wrong as a rejection of you as an individual. Don’t view it as a rejection. You should filter it through the guise of transparency. h If your esteem and worth isn’t higher, when you leave it because you stood for integrity and your values; then the person you were – may have lost a piece of you, in the process of being a part of it. If confusion and setting of goals and ambition disappeared, perhaps the person in that relationship was not healthy. Hopefully, you will be reminded of the truth and realize that you are better off believing the truth, rather than the lies.
2. Don’t ‘force’ relationships to exist. If they aren’t going well , or end up abruptly and unexpectedly ending, receive it. Let it go. It may have a lesson of release in it, but you’ll never know what it was, or wasn’t , until you decide to fully let it go and can independently evaluate what the lesson is, to learn. Some intimate relationships are meant to be friendships, some are lessons and others are keepers. The keepers cause you to maintain and increase in self-love. You shouldn’t ‘ t lose self-love when you’re forced to take a look a good, honest, look at yourself.
3. Choices come to us every day. If we don’t let go , we stifle the growth. And sometimes growth needs to happen through the conduit of surrender. Without our resistance. And without our interruption. Selah.
4. As you release… you will feel awful. Even in the grieving process : Accept. Grief comes as resolve when you are able to fully surrender. If you don’t surrender, you become stagnant and sometimes you’ll go back if you resist the release. Grief, however, matures you, immensely , once you get to the acceptance phase. It’s a Teacher. Grief teaches you the blessing of embracing sorrow. And sorrow, once embraced, offers so much clarity.
5. Be angry. Yell, scream release . Then yell… Scream .. & release again. Do this 20 or more times, until you feel less stifled. Even if you must have a silent scream Silent screams help too. I recently took a silent scream within, ( I just couldn’t get it out)… and then I walked in the cold air, breathed and took some of the most beautiful pics I’d ever taken before. Hmmm… (Maybe my silent scream turned into breathable breaths; because I found another release.) Believe me, though I had to breathe to SAVE my life.
6. Prioritize Your Worth . Oh yeah… The worth came once I moved into acceptance. Because I knew that the decisions I made were in a spirit of integrity; and I knew I was in full consideration, of everyone involved but me – I had to back track and ask myself – Jenn, …Do you deserve this? And most of my answers were a resounding YES. I completely let go… and I decided I didn’t want to carry their baggage around with me, any more .
Sometimes complex relationship can confuse you into believing that something is wrong with YOU. If the integrity factor weighs strong and you know all you have to the relationship was out of the goodness of your heart and for the sake of being your best self, then you’re fine. If you experience oppression in your heart, feel weighted, or its way too painful , then you may need to process and heal from the experience with a counselor mentor or friend Don’t underestimate the power of a healthy heart lending an ear and – listening in to your struggle.
And one more thing… this is a wonderful time to RECEIVE. To just be around good, fun-lovin’ people, every chance you get. It balances off all the unhealthy stuff.
Well, I think I did it. I found a word that should’nt involve too much struggle right? Conquer . It’s my word for 2016.
You ever been scuba diving? (Well, maybe that isn’t a good example.) but then again, it’s life gear. And sometimes we need “emotional life gear.” I’ve never been scuba diving, but I have been to Six Flags on the ride you know the one that’s takes you all the way to the top, then drops you really fast? Free Fall. That’s the name…
Well, even though you know the ride and know what to expect, you are TOTALLY in, because of the excitement that lies ahead.
That’s me in 2016. I’m all in, even if this word was not the best pick! So… I did my homework …and the word Conquer is like a good monster, indeed.
Conquer: means – togain,win,orobtainbyeffort. To subdue.
Uh Oh – I may have mistook its power!
However, this is one that resonates from a year of being fully engaged in a well won battle – of ENDURANCE and that has given me a sense of challenge, of excitement and empowerment ALL at the same time!
Life Lesson: Life is conquered by the bravery we have in saying “YES”.