How To Find Peace In Your Imperfections

Hello Loves!

This week has been super crazy with work and school and my boyfriend visiting and I forgot to post this guest post by the lovely Molly Shaffer. So I’ll step aside and let her take over the blog today.

nci5n8ul3z

For over three decades, I’ve struggled with self-hate. So much so that I couldn’t stand to see the woman staring back at me in the mirror. The world said I had to change in order to be beautiful. My face, without makeup, was not beautiful. The stretch marks that etched across my body were not beautiful. The cellulite, pimples, smile lines, and God knows how many other countless flaws, were not beautiful. In fact, there was nothing redeeming about me, and beautiful was a word meant for other people, not someone as broken as me. Lies!

This past year, the infamous 2016, was my year of self-growth. My New Year’s Resolution was different from my past ones, the ones where a number defined my life. In 2016, I made the resolution to become healthy: mind, body, and soul. Little did I know that uttering those words would send me on the most gut-wrenching journey of my life. A year of pain, growth, and ultimately, the beginnings of self-love…truly, honestly, lasting self-love.

How did I do it? How did I go from an inability to stare at my own reflection to becoming my own champion? Faith, quiet time, and most importantly, banishing the negative thoughts that were at war in my head. It took a lifetime to hate myself, and a year to come to peace, but it will take a daily commitment to choose love, in order to make lasting changes in my life. This is how you begin the process. This is where change resides. Not in a miracle pill or fad diet, but in rewiring your brain. Realizing that weight is truly just a number, but health runs much deeper than beauty ever will.

 

Step 1: Recognize the lies

One morning, I woke up ready to start a brand new day. I had a song in my head and a smile on my lips, but one step in front of the mirror, and my entire mood changed. Like a light switch turning off in my head, I felt the negativity creep in. My hair was in disarray, and my mascara smeared under my eyes, creating dark circles that would make a raccoon envious. I sat at my vanity, my head in my hands, and I cried. What happened to that strong woman from a second ago? Where did the warriorNowherewhere. She was inside me at that very moment. I had silenced her with a lie.

I picked up my head, and forced myself to look in the mirror. My eyes watered, but I refused to look away. I stared until my face blurred, and I ignored the menacing voice in my head…the liar. Slowly, ever so slowly, I began to make out an image. A cute button nose and full lips. Finally, a positive thought. I liked my nose and my lips. I ran with these thoughts, and as soon as the liar emerged once again, I had a weapon. Sure my eyebrows need to be shaped, but have you seen my nose. Damn, that’s a good nose. I took that first step, which lead to two more, and then, I was running.

 

Step 2: Find a Mantra

The negativity had defined me for far too long. The time had come to find my life quote…the one I could use to defeat the enemy…my war cry. I read through scripture until I came across the verse that spoke to my soul. Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ.” I had read this verse many times before, but for some reason it held a new meaning for me. I can do anything. Anything. Give up the bad habits. Strengthen my body and soul. Heck, I could even love myself. Why not? My life verse echoed…all things. The key word being all. I can do this. I will do this.

You may not be religious, and that is okay. Find your life verse. The verse that clings to you, or better yet, the verse you cling to. You’re going to need it, because the liar is strong in you. You’re going to need a mantra to defeat that cycle of abuse. Find your verse, memorize it, and repeat it until it sticks. Over and over again, like a song on repeat. You can do this.

 

Step 3: Phone a Friend

I have an accountability partner. Her name is Jessica, and she is my sister from a different mister. There are moments that I feel we are the same person in different bodies. Kindred souls thousands of miles apart. It’s kind of freaky how well we mesh. The best part, I can be real with this woman, and she doesn’t judge me. She pours truth into my life, refuses to sugar coat my failures, or accept my excuses. She isn’t harsh in her redirections. I don’t need a drill sergeant. I need a friend. Someone I can cry out to and laugh with. Jessica is that friend to me.

My journey will not work if I try it alone. I can talk myself into some stupid mistakes. “Go ahead, girl, you deserve a slice of that chocolate cake…no, you deserve the whole cake.” So, before I make a bad choice, I text Jessica. She either affirms my madness, or gently redirects me. Find your Jessica. She’s out there.

 

Step 4: Give Yourself Grace

You’re going to screw up. It’s inevitable. The best thing you can do when you muck everything up, is to realize you haven’t really mucked everything up. Stand up, dust off your bum, and get back on course. So you failed: who cares? That’s part of the process. Don’t slit your other three tires because you have a flat (I love that analogy). Give yourself the same grace you would give to your best friend, because after all, you need to begin seeing yourself as your best friend.

 

Step 5: Perfect isn’t Real

For most of my life, I sought perfection, until recently. I read this amazing book, Present Over Perfect, and I had an epiphany. Perfect is cold. Perfect is plastic. Perfect isn’t real. I want warm, comfortable, snuggly, and sometimes that comes with messy, flawed, and blemished…and that’s okay.

The price I paid for perfection is profuse. I spent countless hours inspecting my physique, holding myself to severe standards, and beating myself up when I didn’t reach the unattainable. Sound familiar? It’s the anthem of our world. Kill yourself so others will love you. Well, I say, love yourself and kill the negativity. Once you can see the lies you’ve believed about yourself are just that…lies…you can begin to speak truth into your soul. That’s where real transformation begins, and I’m here to tell you, life on the other side is great!

 
If you’d like to read more about my journey to self-love, visit my website: www.mollyshaffer.com. I’ll be the one with the love of words. The messy chick with a crooked grin. But guess what, I’ll be the one smiling!

Beautiful People: March Edition ||More At Home With Strangers Characters (Camp NaNo Novel)

Hello Readers!

At long last I have finally written a post telling you about my Camp NaNoNovel that I will be writing next month! (In which I will be doing the Beautiful People Linkup!)

excited

 

Now, I am going to introduce you to the characters a little bit and also just tell you a bit about the basic plot of the story. (Cause thats really all I know at the moment.)

 

IMG_2075

 

Synopsis:

Four teenagers, Mackenzie, Paisley, Tarryn and Maiya can’t stand each other upon meeting which makes having to live together hard. But they don’t have much choice considering the foster system is a hard, complicated issue. None have any valid excuse to leave, except their hatred for each other, so in the same home they remain. With the help of Gabrielle Harrow, the girl’s foster mother, they fight their own demons and face things they would much rather forget….and soon find that not only friendship starts to bring them together but that they are more at home with these strangers than anyone else.

 

I’ve kept this story pretty under wraps until now because this story is very special to me. So many things people I know or things I’ve seen or gone through are in this story making it very special to me. But that’s what makes a good novel right? Putting your experiences and such in a novel, right?

I’m super excited to get started on this novel and have had many ideas brewing and I’ve been writing down any little scene idea I get, making sure I’m ready to tackle this novel during Camp NaNo. Lots of figuring out of the characters to be done for that.

BeautifulPeopleBlogButton-PF2_zps5c587c9e

With that said, I’m gonna do (as an introduction to the four main characters) the March Edition of the Beautiful People Link-up hosted by Cait @ Paperfury and Sky @Further Up and Further In!

 

 

Tarryn

Tarryn McPherson (Age 17 years)

What is their secret desire?

Tarryn comes across as a very distant person and (wether she wants to admit it or not) has a very careless and self-destructive personality at points. (She’s a very broken girl 😦 ) She’s also very sassy and snippy and pushes people away in a way to defend herself which makes getting to know her rather undesirable and a lot of work. But deep down her secret desire is to belong somewhere and to someone. It’s all she wants…To belong.

 

What is the best and brightest moment they experience during the story?

The acceptance that she receives from Gabrielle and David Harrow (her foster parents) and the fact that they truly care about her.

 

What are the emotional places your characters are afraid to go to?

To face the fact that the condition she is in could potentially kill her (she is anorexic and suicidal) and to face her ‘demons’ and move on to the path of healing is a struggle she isn’t really sure she  wants to face.

 

Is there a place/city/room where they will never go? Why?

She will never go back to where she used to live before she was in the foster system because her parents were killed and she was separated from her brother. That town holds lots of bittersweet memories for her.

Another place she refuses to go is once again to another city to where she was adopted into a home (before the story starts) but things became bad and she suffered abuse from a family member. She refuses to go anywhere near that home again. (Not like I blame her though…)

Though, being in five foster homes I think Tarryn would like to avoid all those homes if she can.

 

If they were permanently leaving town, what would they easily throw out? What would they refuse to part with? (Why?)

She would easily throw out pretty much anything. The only things she would keep are these things that she keeps in a backpack that she takes pretty much anywhere not wanting to part with it. Those items are: A few family pictures from when she was a child, one of her old teddy bears, her fathers old sweater, her moms favourite book and a couple notebooks and journals.

She keeps all these things because they are all mean something to her and help keep the people she’s lost close to her.

 

What do they want (consciously and tangibly)?

A family, friends, and to be accepted.

 

On the other hand: what do they need (on the emotional, subconscious level)?

She needs both medical and mental help as she has suffered much trauma. Tarryn may be too stubborn to ask for help or admit that she wants it but she needs help.

 

If they could change one thing about themselves, what would it be?

Tarryn hates how she looks with a passion. If she could change one thing about herself it would be that she was ‘prettier’

 

What is the most humiliating event of their life?

Probably the time she met her boyfriend. Suffered much humiliation that day…by falling down a set of stairs in front of a lot of people…Oh then she went and accidentally threw a partially empty cardboard box of clothing at said future boyfriend. (Well future boyfriend at that point)

 

What things do they turn to when they need a bit of hope?

Probably listening to music is one of the big things she turns to. Eventually, once she meets her and tolerates at least somewhat, she turns to Maiya who is willing to listen to what Tarryn has to say and help her feel better in any way she can.

 

 

Maiya

 Maiya Sterling (Age 16 years)

What is their secret desire?

Maiya was born with a major lung deformity and the looming possibility of lung cancer revealing itself. Her secret desire is to one day be healthy and normal and be able to run around and have fun, not having to worry about her medical condition. (She has a lung deformity)

 

What is the best and brightest moment they experience during the story?

You know, Maiya experiences a couple bright moments during the novel (Though has a heavy load that comes with restrictions that is her medical condition) but I think one of her brightest moments, as weird as it might sound, was getting a lung transplant which really improved her condition. Yes, it still has its setbacks and limits but it’s something she’d been waiting for since she was a child.

 

What are the emotional places your characters are afraid to go to?

Probably anything linked with the pain she suffered from the hands of her mother. She doesn’t like to think about it and will avoid it at any cost.

 

Is there a place/city/room where they will never go? Why?

She wants nothing to do with prison. No, she has never been but she has turned down visiting her mother on many many occasions.

 

If they were permanently leaving town, what would they easily throw out? What would they refuse to part with? (Why?)

She would definitely keep the things given to her by her previous foster mother (who suddenly passed away) which were things like a couple books (one of them being a cookbook of family recipes), some jewelry and a sketchbook of her foster mothers drawings. Maiya loved her foster mother so she refused to let go of some of the more important things she had given her.

 

What do they want (consciously and tangibly)?

To be happy with another foster family, like her previous foster mother (who was a single woman), and to be healthy.

 

On the other hand: what do they need (on the emotional, subconscious level)?

She needs something to help her medical condition as her lungs are failing her more and more every day.

 

If they could change one thing about themselves, what would it be?

That she didn’t have a lung deformity.

 

What is the most humiliating event of their life?

She once had an issue where she was in school and found herself struggling to breathe and she was rather humiliated by it. (She’s humiliated by her medical condition.)

 

What things do they turn to when they need a bit of hope? 

She turns to the memories of how happy she was with her foster mother and later, she turns to her new foster sisters as well.

 

 

Mack

 Mackenzie Oliver (Age 17 years)

What is their secret desire?

Mackenzie, or Mack as she likes to be called, has been quite the uncontrollable rebel ever since her father walked out on her and her mother. She never forgave her dad for doing so and blames him and her mom (who kicked her out) for her tendency to look to other men for love and her partying habits. Her secret desire is simply to have a daddy again.

 

What is the best and brightest moment they experience during the story?

Her brightest moment is fulfilling her secret desire. She comes to connect with David (her foster father) and she eventually has a father again that she can trust never to leave.

 

What are the emotional places your characters are afraid to go to?

She more has the issue of not wanting to forgive her father for leaving. She doesn’t want to forgive him thinking that by doing so she’s accepting that her father leaving them for another woman was an okay thing to do.

 

Is there a place/city/room where they will never go? Why?

Not that I can think of, no.

 

If they were permanently leaving town, what would they easily throw out? What would they refuse to part with? (Why?)

She would want nothing to do with her family so she would leave with only some clothes and thats about it.

 

What do they want (consciously and tangibly)?

She wants to get back at her father for ‘ruining her life’ (this is one angry girl, you guys) …..

… Mack also wants to be a fashion designer… She wants both things equally.

 

On the other hand: what do they need (on the emotional, subconscious level)?

She needs a father figure to help her out and set her on the right path again.

 

If they could change one thing about themselves, what would it be?

It’s not really anything about herself but more her family. If she could fix her family and make her dad never leave she would. That is what she would change. (Which would technically change who she became)

 

What is the most humiliating event of their life?

Might seem a little repetitive (but like I said she is a very angry girl) but she found her dad leaving not only angering but also humiliating.

 

What things do they turn to when they need a bit of hope? 

I probably should know what it is she turns to but I currently don’t at the moment. (I am having a very hard time figuring this character out just because she is naturally stubborn…)

 

 

Paisley

 Paisley Moore (Age 13 years)

What is their secret desire?

Paisley has a minor case (or whatever the terminology is.I do know but I have forgotten) or Autism and that causes much frustration within for the poor girl. Her secret desire is to just be normal or treated as normal anyways. She sees her other ‘foster sisters’, who may not understand her much, and just wants to be like them because some part of her just knows that she’s not like them.

 

What is the best and brightest moment they experience during the story?

That in her foster family, she isn’t teased or given a hard time because she thinks or acts differently compared to everyone else (which really is something she can’t help at all)

 

What are the emotional places your characters are afraid to go to?

She’s always afraid of not even being able to understand herself. For some reason she has this issue where she can’t even understand herself and she hates that and it scares her. She hates being scared or feeling alone.

 

Is there a place/city/room where they will never go? Why?

Hospitals. She hates hospitals and will avoid them at all costs. The very short years in her life have been spent in the hospital two different times (because of suicide attempts) and also because as a young child (around 5 to 7 years old) she used to become extremely sick and would sometimes end up in the hospital for a night or two… She has bitter memories with hospitals and therefore hates them with a passion. Nothing you say or do will even get her to visit someone in the hospital.

 

If they were permanently leaving town, what would they easily throw out? What would they refuse to part with? (Why?)

All I know is that she would for sure bring her notebooks with her scribblings and poems and such with her. She found a love for it when she was 11 or 12 and now she uses it as a way to vent her frustration and confusion. Those notebooks could only be taken in the case that she was dead and not there to hide or protect them….okay that might have sounded morbid but she once used the term ‘Over my dead body’ when someone asked to see what she wrote…that is all I meant by that…

 

What do they want (consciously and tangibly)?

Well she is always in want/need of a new notebook or ten and she just wants to be normal.

 

On the other hand: what do they need (on the emotional, subconscious level)?

She feels the need to be treated as normal. Thats it. Its all she wants and all she needs.

 

If they could change one thing about themselves, what would it be?

Besides the whole wanting to be normal thing, she doesn’t like her nose. (Yes her nose.) She would totally trade it for a different one if she could because she thinks her nose is too pointy and looks like a witches nose. (I kid you not. Her nose is fine but she doesn’t seem to think so)

 

What is the most humiliating event of their life?

I actually don’t know what the most humiliating event of her life was to be honest…. I might have to figure that out…

 

What things do they turn to when they need a bit of hope?

Music and Poetry. Thats all the girl needs.

 

 

Okay, so maybe this was cheating in some way by doing all four characters in one post but I figured doing it all at once might be a little bit easier. As you can see these four characters are all such sad/broken characters….But I love them *hugs to my characters* and they may not love me but that is okay. 😛

Now this may make it seem like in the story the foster home these girls come to makes everything better but really, I’m just showing you the nice side…sure they come to treat each theory as family in the end but trust me when I tell you there will be much teen drama, arguing, fighting and frustration in this foster family. It will be quite interesting since there are a couple Drama Queen’s in the mix of these 4 teenage girls….but thats the fun part right?

So, thats my characters! Hope you enjoyed the linkup! Is anyone else doing CampNaNoWriMo in April? Whats your novel about? I would love to hear from you guys!

 

Until Next Time!

Adriana Gabrielle

Best Blogging Buddy Award

Hello Readers!

So, I was nominated by Rachel for the Best Blog Buddies Award! So here is how it’s gonna work!

Rules
blogger-image--16410493☼You must make a post to show your award on your main blog.

☼You must tag the person who nominated you in your post (also take the cute owl on the left with you!).
☼You must nominate all of your best buddies, and those whom you want to become best buddies with, who, to your knowledge, have not been nominated for this award.
☼You must ask your buddies at least 15 questions in your post.
☼You must answer all of the questions your buddies ask you on your post.

 

 

Here are the answers to the questions I was asked by the lovely Rachel 🙂

  • Do you use Pinterest? 
Sure do! Got tons of awesome stuff on there! I love Pinterest. It’s kinda my novel inspiration bank and much more! Here is the link to my Pinterest page!! –> PINTEREST
  • Facebook or Twitter?
Well I don’t have FB anymore but I definitely love Twitter more…even though it’s basically FB with a character limit per tweet/post.
Y’all can follow me if you want! Just click HERE to do so!
  • Favorite genre to read/write?
Gosh…I write and read a variety of genres but I think overall, YA Contemporary novels win for both.
  • Favorite book series?
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis
  • Song that makes you cry?
Broken Lullabies by forKING&COUNTRY
  • Do you play an instrument? If so, what?
I’m learning guitar, ukelele and harmonica and I can play piano (not good at it though)
  • Favorite season? (winter, spring, autumn, winter) 
Spring! I love the spring 🙂 it’s my all time favourite season
  • What are your Fandoms?
Oh honey, you better grab the popcorn cause you will be here a while…I have book and movie/tv show fandoms I am a part of so..
Book Fandoms:
-The Maze Runner
-Narnia
-LoTR
-Nancy Drew
-The Hunger Games
Movie/TV Fandoms:
-Heartland
-Sherlock
-Doctor Who
-OUAT
-Call The Midwife
  • What book could you just not put down?
Umm… I have to pick one? I would probably say ‘It’s Complicated’ by Laura L. Smith
  • Did you cry when you read/watched The Fault in Our Stars?
Absolutely not. There was and are many I reason I don’t like it but I shall not rant at all…
  • What gives you a thrill?
A good, action packed film *cough* The Maze Runner *cough* or reading a good book…. Yeah I have no life.
  • Dream job?
To be an actress though I do not think it will ever happen…or a movie director would be cool and I could make all these amazing book adaptations into movies and yeah…
  • What word processor do you use to write on?
I think it’s called Open Office…though I want Scrivener.
  • Favorite Flower? (post picture)
Lilacs. Without a doubt.
lilacs
  • What year did you start blogging?
I think it was almost two years ago actually…that’s all I remember. No exact dates xD
  • Favorite poem?
The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll is by far my favourite poem ever.
Now! Time for me to nominate my blog buddies AND provide them with questions! 😀
So, for this award, I nominate EVERYONE! If y’all are reading this post then you are nominated! You can pick and choose which of the 15 questions you wanna answer on your blog (or in the comments if you don’t have a blog) so, yeah! Have fun with this tag my readers!
Now. The question(s) YOU have to answer are:
1. Who is the #1 author you are dying to meet in real life?
2. What do you do in your free time?
3. Dream job?
4. You have your house all to yourself for the entire weekend, what do you do?
5. Biggest pet peeve in books/writing?
6. Movie or book first?
7. If you could turn one book into a movie, which book would you choose, and why? (bonus. If you wanna tell me which actors you would pick for it too go right ahead 😉 )
8. If you were a superhero what would your superhero name be? Or would you even have a hero name? Why or why not?
9. What blog/blogger are you jealous of and why?
10. When and why did you start blogging?
11. Mermaid or Fairies?
12. Centaurs or Fauns?
13. If you could TRADE LIVES with any fictional character, which character would it be and why?
14. What is one piece of fiction you wish you wrote? Why that specific piece?
15. What is your #1 played song on your IPod/Phone?
So…I REALLY want to answer my own questions now…. anywho. If you answer any or all of these questions on your blog drop a comment below and let me know because I want to read your answers!(and stalk your blog.) Or even just answer the questions in the comments. Up to you!
Well, Until Next Time!
Adriana Gabrielle