Growing Pains: Cultivate PAIN into something AMAZING

"Pain that deeply hurt you will evolve into pain that changes you, hopefully for the better." - Annie Keophila

Follow me on my journey as I write my book on my lessons learned and blessings earned in life, and how I am applying those lessons to my present self to set me up for a better, happier future self. I owe this to myself, to my children, and to others with my aspiration to inspire and infuse people with life lessons and blessings through my own experiences. I would love to hear yours, and it might make it into my book!

I'm sharing my feelings through how my heart speaks, my thoughts on how my mind thinks, and my pain felt through my soul. Folks, I have to be brutally honest that pain never fully goes away, but it does lessen over time - pain that deeply hurt you will evolve into pain that changes you, hopefully for the better. My pain is the latter: I'm definitely becoming a different person, a better version of myself daily, and I have a lot to be proud of. 

Everyone faces a heartbreak in some way, shape or form. Heartbreak from death, divorce, relationship loss, betrayal, job loss, friendship lost, family feuds, the list goes on. Some heartbreaks hurt more, and sometimes they happen one right after another. The pain is deep but YOU CAN TAKE IT and make something amazing happen for yourself, but realize it doesn't happen overnight, and that amazing I'm talking about, starts with you.

Growing pains is a sign and catalyst for change; you either regress or progress with pain. For me, I choose to progress and I'm cultivating something amazing from the pain I endured. Pain forces you to make a choice; that choice is up to you.

There are parts of me that are still healing, and parts of me that has moved forward, and there are pieces of me that have faded to faint tugs at my heart, which isn't necessarily all bad - they are pieces of the old me, my past self that I forgave, and "KILLED". They were pieces of the old me that needed to be "killed off" because those pieces were hindering progress of my pain cultivation into something positively, amazing. 

Life has so many ways to tell you when your soul needs replenishing and when your heart needs nourishing. Life said to me, "Here are all these events that will test your strength, your patience, your compassion and resilience." Boy, life and I became good friends and enemies (haha!).

In order to move forward, I am learning to forgive myself first; it's not the easiest thing to do, but if you can forgive yourself first, you will find a peace of mind and a calmer, stronger inner-self, and then forgiving others becomes easier, and almost naturally.

I'm forgiving my old self for ...

  • Allowing myself to compromise my values.
  • Allowing myself to lose myself and my identity.
  • Allowing myself to be treated less than what I deserve.
  • Not making the time and effort with people who matter. 
  • Making some bad choices (although in life, we all will make some more, but realize you are not defined by the bad choices you make in life but rather on how you handle the consequences).
  • Being so harsh on myself for allowing certain people to enter my life; I realized you do meet people in life for a reason, they are either a lesson or blessing.
  • Wearing my heart on my sleeve for the last 18 years of my life to one person; one person that I truly did love and stood by through their changes. I wore my heart on my sleeve because I genuinely loved this person, deeply cared for this person, and trusted my life with this person, and forgiving myself is to allow my heart to feel that it wasn't a bad thing to have worn my heart on my sleeve for love.

Growing from pain is really a learning process and I learned quickly that how you manage pain is how you will overcome it. If you let it consume you and control you, then the pain will increase versus lessen overtime. Trust me, I know that it's not always easy, and not everyday is rainbows and butterflies. I learned when difficult days arise, it's important to allow yourself to feel those emotions, and don't suppress them because if you do, they will just come back stronger on steroids - HOWEVER, DO NOT GET ATTACHED TO THOSE EMOTIONS. Feel them and release them - through writing, through meditation, through exercising, through long drives alone, through music, through meaningful conversations with people you trust, etc. As you release the negative emotions, you are making room for positive ones to replace them and when you can think positively, you will attract positive things and people into your life.

A test to see your progress is to think of something that once made you feel a certain way i.e. angry or resentment, and then gauge how intense those feelings are now - are they the same, more intense, lessened or completely gone?

One of the biggest lessons I learned so far is that true love is actually found within yourself first. If you aren't able to be comfortably alone, and can't love yourself for who you are, then you can't possibly give genuine love to others. When you don't love yourself first, you are mixing up love and attachment: what you become attached to in someone else, is really something that you lack in yourself, you are filling your voids with the illusion of love; you end up lying to yourself that what you are experiencing is love. 

I lost myself in the last few years and I lost love for myself too; I am rediscovering myself while discovering new things about me. I am fine being alone, it's rather a blessing to be able to find my inner child again and to learn to love myself first yet again - and even more this time. Love from others, or from a partner, will be an added BONUS this time around - that is how I am viewing love.

I know I am on the right path to making something amazing happen out of my pain because I am choosing daily to not let it control me. I am channeling the pain through my writing and blogging, which my book is part of, and also through pursuing my passion, and fulfilling my purpose of inspiring at least one person a day. I realize I can achieve my purpose by combining my ambitions and passion with effort: I started my own marketing consulting agency where I am able to enjoy doing what I love; marketing, talking, giving advice, providing guidance, motivating, and inspiring my clients (PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND I) to achieve their business/personal goals through marketing. I choose to turn my pain into something positive and I pray you do too! Good Luck!

Want a chance to be part of my story, my book? Send me a lesson you learned in life, and how you applied it to your present self, and also what blessing you earned/realized.

 

 

True Happiness Looks Good On You

Everyone is in search of true happiness, but where can happiness truly be found? Is it in material things, money, jobs, relationships? HECK NO, those are all temporary things. True happiness is permanent, and it starts with you. 

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It's vital and healthy to learn to be happy with yourself, to learn to live on your own, to be your own person, to learn to think for yourself, and to define yourself through the things you love doing or things that make your heart sing. Make yourself happy first. We've all been there, and many of us are probably still there, in search of true happiness. I've seen first hand and experienced first hand, the happiness that people try to find and maintain with another being. Relationships are great, don't get me wrong, but if you're relying on the other person to make you truly happy, then you are setting yourself up for the ultimate disappointment because relationships aren't the center of your life, you are. Don't adapt yourself to your partner's ways, do have your own friends, do your own thing, live out your hobbies, and maintain your identity, not the identity of YOU AND YOUR PARTNER. What happens when the relationship ends? You'll be sad but time heals, but you'll be okay, because before you entered that relationship, you were fine and truly happy with yourself. Life moves on, and you continue with bettering yourself, loving yourself and expanding that true happiness within yourself. 

I'll be honest, it's been a roller coaster journey in my own quest to finding my true self, my self-happiness but I'm getting there and I'm closer than ever, I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to be proud of and I'm learning to gradually forgive my younger self for the stupid choices I made but those choices have brought valuable life lessons that I am applying to my present and future self. However, I did make smart choices too, and those smart choices are paying off. I'm finding something new about myself everyday, things that were mot likely suppressed. I'm doing things that make me happy, and I've been able to pursue my passion with purpose, doing what I love, loving what I'm doing. I love that I am able to bring my passion of writing and marketing together with my own personal purpose of inspiring and motivating others. People always reached out to me for business, career, personal and marketing advice - so I thought why not take this to the next level? Here I am today, offering marketing and business strategy, planning and execution as Marketing Coach Annie, through my own marketing agency, A-Line Marketing, with a unique and valuable blend of professional and personal coaching style. This is me, and what I will still have and continue to expand on as part of my true happiness for myself.

True Happiness looks good on you and it's contagious - keep being you, keep finding you and keep smiling. Good luck on your journey!

 

 

 

 

"Soul-y" Connected

It's easy to be attracted to a handsome or pretty face and to get along with a "body", but what's really attractive is a deep, soul connection. 

Beautiful is when you're connected with your own soul; even more beautiful and rare is when two souls are so deeply entwined and rooted. You know each other's thoughts, you know each other inside and out, and you feel what the other soul is feeling even through distance and time. Their soul is your beacon as yours is theirs. 

You'll know when you're "soul-y" connected to another soul; it's a strong, innate feeling that only you two are familiar with and a feeling that won't leave despite efforts to get rid of it; that feeling just becomes concealed and buried but will still manifest through all your efforts to fight it. That intensive, intuitive feeling is that rare and beautiful soul connection - sometimes it's dangerously beautiful. 

If you feel this, cherish and nurture it.

Five letters, endless emotions: Grief

There is no timeline on grieving and there is no right way to grieve, can we all agree?

I felt compelled to hit on this topic because I am grieving, many of my friends and families are too, and I'm sure many of you are or know someone who is as well. Share as you please, people need to know they are not alone. I created a GRIEF word cloud of emotions with input from a handful of people I asked.

Keep reading. 

How can five letters consume your heart, your mind, your soul and your life in so many different ways? 

Grief is a multifaceted response to loss, usually to the loss of someone or something that has deceased, to which a bond or affection was formed. Grief also occurs in job loss or even relationship losses. There are multiple dimensions to grief but the common denominator is the flux of emotions (see the word cloud I created below). Grief can go beyond just emotional boundaries, it can sometimes be physical. I suggest you understand the different stages of grief, it helps you and others. 

I describe grief as a hole in your heart; a missing piece of you that you will never fully get back. In time, it does slowly fill in but there will always be tiny holes because grief never really leaves. 

Grief causes emotional pain, pain sometimes like no other. People deal with grief differently, some spiral so deeply to the point of no return and others go on a journey to enlighten themselves and others. 

How I Deal ...

I feel it in different ways; I've experienced grief in several different dimensions. I have my own way of dealing and that is through writing and finding my true self. I remind myself daily that in this life, be grateful for what you have and go after what truly belongs to you. I learned to appreciate those who have always stuck by you, through your struggles and your glory moments. I learned to make amends where I felt necessary and I also learned to forgive myself and others. I learned to tell people I love them and I learned what is really important in my life: those who want to be in your life will make an effort no matter what and vice versa. Grief forces you to look at life differently. It forced me on a path to love myself, to learn from mistakes, and to help others through my own writing.  

How Others Grieve ...

People grieve differently and that is ok. I know a woman who lost her husband, and she listens to his voicemail greeting every day just to hear his voice. I know a girl who kisses her father's pictures every morning and then there's the parents who divorced after losing their son because the pain from the grief was so unbearable. Some people celebrate their deceased loved ones with tributes and ceremonies, while others mourn in silence. 

How have you grieved? What comforts you? What have you learned? What are you feeling? 

At some point, when you're ready, I say talk about your grief, your emotions, your stories with someone. Heck, take to writing!!! Also, remember it's okay to cry, cry all you want. Cry with someone or cry alone. It's part of healing. It's important to remember that you must allow yourself to feel every emotion that comes up, don't ignore it and know it's ok to feel a million different emotions at once. It's not okay when you don't face it, that's when it's time to get help. 

I wish you all a positive and beautiful journey in life, extra wishes to those having a harder time coping with grief. 

With love,

Annie

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Love Lost

Today would have marked our 6th year wedding anniversary from an 18 year relationship. Our relationship wasn't your typical one, matter of fact, it's a unique one, we are each other's First Love. Everyone around us saw the genuine love between the both of us, what we had was real, we were best friends. We went through it all together, grew up together, got married, experienced the lows and highs, had children, and suffered a tragic loss together and all the drama thereafter. We had a beautiful relationship but it wasn't perfect. There is no such thing as perfect, so trust no one who says there is because that person will just continue in life in search of perfect and will never be satisfied with what they have, they'll be onto the next. 

I thought it was appropriate to blog about lost love. It's grief, and it feels like death. I know many people can relate, I'm not shy talking about it. It's life and I hope it can help others heal and find some sort of comfort to know they're not the only ones going through it. Everyone's experience is different but the common denominator is emotional pain and how you manage it. I'm finding a silver lining in every negative emotion and situation. I'm letting go of what was and welcoming what is and will be.  

Below is one thing I always keep in my mind and dear to heart because I know ...

"We are all one in pain—we act from pain and make mistakes from pain, and we all deserve forgiveness and kindness." - author unknown

Some actions are inexcusable, but you have to take the high road and gradually forgive. Forgiving lifts a load off your heart and soul and frees up space for more positive thoughts. Forgiving doesn't mean you have to forget and it doesn't mean you're righting their wrong - it just means you are accepting what it is and allowing the negativity to dissipate so you can move on.

For many of us, we have one true love in our lives, though we don’t necessarily end up with them or sometimes we are lucky to find our way back to each other. Regardless, lost love is part of life and you must learn to cope and heal. This takes time and a lot of emotions and you must allow yourself to feel and go through all of it. Also remember, there is no timeline on healing.

I'm taking the time to reflect and heal and I must say, I'm a lot better than yesterday and the day before that! I'm not trying to search for the love lost, I'm searching for my truth and building my inner strength and peace. I'm not looking to be anyone's rebound or anyone to be mine, I'm going to be my own person first. 

My words of advice on the road to healing:

Be Strong. Be Brave. Be Compassionate. 

Remember what you loved in that person who hurt you, and remember everyone hurts too. In time, the lesson or blessing or both will be clear on this love lost. From these experiences, you will become a wiser, stronger and more compassionate human being. 

Falling Apart to Learn How to Fall Back into Place

Often a fallout, a misunderstanding, or a tragic event will tear two people apart and send them onto finding greener pastures. The journey is often needed in order to learn how to deal with the same shortcomings.

First step was acceptance, and now it's my journey to uncover the why. The last 18 years of my life was memorable ... filled with every walk of emotions; always love, affection, happiness, anger, joy, heartaches, sadness, smiles, laughter, frowns, and a deep connection that only he and I know, we did go through it all together - from the lows, to the highs and all over again. No matter what life has in store for us, I am comfortable in saying, we will forever share something special; something so special that only another understanding, level-headed, selfless person would be able to handle. 

Two beautiful people, two beautiful souls, literally almost one in the same from being Leos, exactly two weeks apart, and born on a Wednesday. Tell me that isn't special <3

Memories don't leave like people do

"Memories don't leave like people do

They always stay with you,
Whether they've been good or bad,
Then that was something that you had" - Song by Tom Jones

They say "take a picture, it last longer". while somewhat true, the memories associated with that photo, that moment, that point in time, will always outlast the photo. The photo can be lost, can be erased, can be torn into pieces but that memory, whether good or bad will always remain.

Memories never leave, they might diminish over time but they really never leave. Memories are what makes you or breaks you, hence whether good or bad. People leave your life but the memories shared with them, will always remain. You choose how to deal with those memories: embrace them, learn from them, or run away from them. 

Broken Hearts Can Heal

Happy August 1st, it's my month Bitches! Yes, a Leo :) 

Get your tissues ready, you might just shed some tears. 

Broken hearts can heal, and yes my broken heart will heal. It's been pretty much back to back heartaches, from the passing of my former baby brother-in law by technicality, but by heart, he was my dear brother. I pretty much grew up with him, I knew him since he was 3. Beautiful soul inside and out with a contagious smile and personality. His 3 year anniversary is approaching and I miss him everyday but I know he's well, so it makes me feel better. I always wonder what advice he would give or what he would say, seeing how things are today, he was always a wise one. I love you, Nicholas. 

Now, another heartache is the breakup from an 18 year relationship, 5 years married and blessed with 3 kids. It was a beautiful relationship with everything in between. I loved with my all, loved through all good times and flaws. There is a unique, special bond that Andrew & I share, something more rare than a best friend relationship. It will take a level-headed, selfless and strong person to understand that he and I will always have this. Heck, I'm still family with his family and I hope his girlfriends don't call me and ask for advice on how to deal with him, haha :) 

I'm a lot stronger than I thought, shit, I'm pretty fucken strong. The pain is deep, no lie but I'm handling it better everyday. I don't ignore the need to cry, it helps. I channel the pain into positive vibes and thoughts. I have my 3 kids to raise, love and protect and myself to take care of FIRST. I have the best support system of friends and family and I'm my own person who can think for myself. I am in no competition with anyone else but myself and I strive to just be a better version of myself everyday. I'm smart as fuck, I'm sassy, I'm classy, I'm goofy, I'm loved by many. That is me and more. Damn, this is starting to sound like a dating pitch ... LOL. 

There's only one direction and that is forward. 

I'm a very compassionate person, and that's why I choose to handle things with love, hate doesn't do anyone good. Actually, let me take that back, I don't need to love everyone but I can tolerate them, haha. 

If you're in pain and healing from a broken heart, I can tell you that there is no timeline on healing, but it starts with you. Talk about it when you're ready, if not, start writing or finding ways to release your emotions. :)

Can you see where my daughter gets her elegance and compassion from? :)