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.

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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!

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The Liebster Award || I’ve Been Nominated! (x3)

Hello Readers!

So it’s the time of year for the Liebster Award and, it seems, I’ve been nominated THREE times! I was nominated by  Natasha @ Memoirs of a Tale Weaver, T.A. Christensen,  and Rachel Day @ Stained Glass Windows and  I couldn’t be more excited! (Thanks T.A Chistensen, Natasha, and Rachel!) So, how this is going to work is that I am going to answer all 33 questions (So I don’t do three posts) but only ask 11 so my nominees don’t get all confused heehee. Simple as that!

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The Rules:

1.) Thank the person that nominated you and link back to their blog. 2.) Answer the questions given you by said person. 3.) Choose eleven questions of your own. 4.) Nominate eleven more people!  Note: You can find the questions for nominees and the nominees at the bottom of the post 😀

 

My Answers (to Natasha's Questions):

1. Who is your favorite character from your WIP? Why?

I suppose that means I’ll have to pick one of my many WIP’s huh? Well I’ll just got with my More At Home With Strangers cast….So, from that novel I will have to say that Paisley is my favourite. (That was hard to choose. I’m just saying. You all just couldn’t see my struggle and how long it took me to decide.) I love Paisley because she is probably one of the most Quirky Characters I’ve written so far and she’s absolutely brilliant but just doesn’t realize it and those kinds of characters are my favourite.

 

2. Outside of writing, is there anything that you really, passionately love doing?

Oh my goodness….I’m not sure. I have a passion for a lot of things (Dance, Singing, Reading etc.) but I have to say writing is something I passionately love doing….So I will say, not really.

 

3. What made you want to start your blog?

I’m trying to remember to be honest…Oh! I actually wasn’t sure I wanted to be a blogger but when I joined the GTW group about 3 years ago, a bunch of gals were starting a group blog and I did that for a while because I thought it would be fun….My posts really were terrible but I enjoyed it and that really kicked off my love for blogging so yeah…

 

4. What is one of your funniest childhood memories?

Now…Lets see. Do I want to embarass myself with one of these memories or someone else? Hard to decide I just have so many good/funny memories…But one of the ones that still makes me laugh so hard I cry is this: I was sleeping over at my friends house (She was my best friend at the time and we were both about 11 or 12) and we LOVED to listen to these Radio Dramas called ‘Adventures in Odyssey.’ I was so excited because I had brought my IPod and IPod Dock to that sleepover so we could listen to a bunch of the episodes I had on there. (I had the first 500 on my Ipod) So, we got SO excited and we had a blast listening to them the whole sleepover…and, I don’t know what possessed my friend and I to do such a silly thing, at bed time we decided to listen to one of my absolute favourite episodes….And it was a mystery. Probably one of the most frightening episodes I have heard ever (still my favourite one by the way)….Do you see where I’m going with this, you guys?  So we got ready for bed and we were lying there, in the dark, my friend was on her bed then sleeping on the floor was my younger sister, her younger sister and myself. (Our sisters were in between her bed and where I was lying on the floor) and we were listening to this episode and there was this crazy intense scene where this character was supposedly putting a ‘curse’ on someone and that is when….I sneezed. I sneezed so loud that it scared me and I jumped but the best part was my friend letting out this startled yelp and I literally see her shadow bounce off her bed a couple feet into the air while our sisters both scrambled out of the room and ran into the hallway.

It was one of the best things ever and we didn’t sleep for a long time because we couldn’t stop laughing so hard…  BOOM! Funniest childhood memory right there! (A note to my nominees: You better start thinking on something cause I’m asking this question. Too good to pass up.)

 

5. Do you have any pets? If so, what are they?

*sniffles* *sobs* I had a cat and I miss him soooooo much! (No, he didn’t die.) Let me explain. We were looking into fostering this adorable little kitten named Diesel ( or Deez and my mum and I called him) and we did a trial run with him for two weeks for two reasons. Those reasons were 1.) My sister has/had allergies but she hadn’t had a reaction in years so we wanted to see how she handled having a cat in the house and 2.) My dad isn’t a fan of pets (and if dad isn’t happy with an animal in the house then it could cause problems) So. We had a trial run with this adorable cat and I was the first one to fall for him. We went to pick him up and I was in love.

He was the sweetest cat ever and he had this funny way that he walked (due to a surgery he had when he was just a little baby) and he was just so chill and kinda my favourite but sadly, after a week and a half, my sisters allergies caught up to her and so we couldn’t foster him. I’m still heartbroken and miss my little Deez but we couldn’t have my sister not breathe well for the rest of her life either.  So, now that I have told you about Deez. I shall show you all pictures of him.

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Mah bebe sleeping like the angel he is

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6. Is there one particular trait that most of your characters have? If so, what is that?

I might sound REALLY lazy when answering this question, but I don’t really know…I’m sure there is, but I don’t know what it is…(someone who has read my writing help me out?)

 

7. If you could be any type of mythological creature, what would you be?

Well. I mean it’s already pretty well known amongst most my friends that I’m a mermaid sooooooo….

 

8. You have been handed a blank check by a billionaire. What do you do with it?

I swear I have been thinking on this question for SOOOO long and I really don’t know….

 

9. If you could live absolutely anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Oh boy…Too many options to choose from. I’ve never been there, but I’m gonna say Paris, France. I have heard from many people that it is beautiful there.

 

10. Plotter, pantser, or plantser?

I used to be a plotter but now I would definitely say I’m a plantser for sure. It all just depends on the day really.

 

11. Do you keep a journal/notebook? If so, what is it about?

I have about three main notebooks I have and use on a regular basis. The first one is just a simple notebook that I keep Sermon/Lesson notes from Youth Conferences and Church and stuff and I occasionally write prayer requests in there as well. The second one is a huge 500 page notebook I use for figuring out all my novel stuff. (There are short stories, snippets, character profiles and tons of stuff in there) The other notebook is what I use when people watching and has all my brainstormed story ideas and writing promts. (And it looks like the TARDIS which makes it a million times better.)

 

My Answers (To Rachel's Questions):

1. Favorite color?

My favourite color is Orange. No doubt about it.

 

2. Favorite sound?

Either the sound of thunderstorms/rain OR wolves growling/howling (Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know but it seriously calms me)

 

3. How long have you been blogging?

I’ve been blogging for two years as of April 21st, 2015

 

4. Do you have lots of stuff on your bedroom wall? Or do you like it clear?

Well…I have the issue where I share a room with my sister and she wants the walls clear so we compromised and I can use up the wall space around my loft bed (i’m on the bottom bunk) as much as I want….In result, I have SO many things on my bedroom wall. I shall just show you all instead cause it’s easier than explaining.

So, At the head of my bed is the following:

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A drawing I did and a note from my bestie ❤

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This is right underneath the note from my friend and the drawing and this is a one of a kind drawing signed by the artist 🙂 Something I got at Who Fest in Dallas last year

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This is directly above my bed and it consists of encouraging quotes, bible verses, emails from author Laura L.Smith and some other little things like that.

 

Meanwhile, to the right of my bed is this: (My Favourite thing on the whole wall)

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This is just a wall (still adding more pictures as I go) of pictures of my loved ones and reminds me of the fun times I’ve had with those loved ones 😀 ❤

 

 

Oh….and I have a kitty callendar.

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5. What is your comfort food?

I don’t really have a comfort food….but Earl Grey Tea is definitely a comfort beverage for me.

 

6. If your life was being made into a movie, who would you cast to play you?

Probably Billie Piper just so I could be portrayed as someone beautiful…Cause that would be nice.

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She is just gorgeous and I can’t deal.

 

7. What kind of computer do you use?

I actually have two computers who compete for my attention. I do all my school and most of my blogging on a Mac laptop who is kinda slow and a bit of a bum….but then I write my novels on a lovely little Acer laptop named Fred…who is basically my boyfriend (I have no life, okay? Don’t judge me.)

 

8. Summer or Winter?

SUMMER SUMMER SUMMER!!!!

 

9. What fantasy world would you most like to visit?

Narnia. Without a doubt. Narnia all the way.

 

10. One thing that will make you smile?

Getting an encouraging note/text from a friend or family member.

 

11. You are running away, and you are only aloud to take five things with you. What would you take?

Are clothes just an assumed thing I would take?….Hm. Either way, I would take: My Bible, My laptop (and charger, cause who wouldn’t take one?), My Kindle, My Ipod, and A photo album with all the pictures of my friends and family (on my wall) in it.

 

My Answers (To T.A. Christensen's Questions):

1. What’s something weird/unusual that you collect?

Well…I could say I collect earrings…I just LOVE jewelry and I have SO many earrings. All different shapes and sizes and all different levels of bling…*sigh* I have a problem.

 

2. Any interesting childhood nicknames?

My mum called me ‘Dilly’ for the first couple years of my life. That nickname came from the nursery rhyme ‘Lavender’s Blue’ (or whatever its called haha)…It might sound weird but I do miss the nickname.

 

3. What is the strangest piece of information that you know?

I seriously can’t just pick one. I know quite a few strange pieces of information to be honest…

 

4. Sweet, savoury, or both?

Both. Both. Definitely Both. Both is good.

 

5. If you could learn any instrument, what would you learn?

Wayyyy too many to choose from! I literally have a list of about 5 instruments I want to learn. One of them being the Violin 😀 (I’m learning the Ukulele now and I’m not sure if that counted as an answer cause I’m learning to play it now…)

 

6. How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

No freaking idea…

 

7. What is your opinion on instrumental music?

I LOVE Instrumental music. It’s so great!

 

8. If you could change one thing from your childhood, what would you change?

That I still had the nickname Dilly…That is all.

 

9. What is the worst book that you’ve read so far this year?

I sadly have not read much this year but I would have to say that it was this book called ‘Fat Girl’ I was so excited to read it but it was not as it was made out to be at all and I was quite disappointed. :/

 

10. Where is the last place that you would want to travel to?

The last place I would want to travel to? …I’m just not sure there are so many places I want to go so I haven’t had time to think about where I don’t want to go…

 

11. What is the first thing that you notice about a person’s appearance?

Is it weird if I say their eyes and/or smile???…. *sits here feeling weird*

 

My Questions for the Nominees:

1. What is one of your funniest childhood memories?

2. What would you say is one of your hidden talents? (Won’t be hidden for much longer. Mwahahaa)

3. What is your ideal vacation? (Location? What would you do?)

4. I demand a #Shelfie! (Picture of your book shelf/shelves in case you don’t know what it is?)

5. What is one thing you want to do or have done that will/has surprised everyone?

6. Favourite color! Go!

7. Do you have a favourite notebook/journal? What is the contents of this journal/notebook?

8. Who is the author you most want to meet? or have you already met them? (If you have tell us about it!)

9. People watching! (Admit it, writers, you do this.) What are your techniques to appear less stalker-ish while people watching?

10. What is your favourite movie/TV show right now? Why?

11. What are some writing/blogging goals you have for this lovely year of 2015?

 

The Nominees:

Brett @ Brett Michael Orr || Victoria @ Stori Tori’s Blog || Cait @Paperfury || Rae @ The Wallflower || Leah @ Leah K. Oxendine || Aidyl @ Noveltea || Carissa @ Digressions of a Demented Scribe || Laura @ Laura L. Smith || Aimee @ To The Barricade! || Kathrese @ Kathrese McKee || Rachel W. @ Secret Scribblings || and because I’m a cheater I’m adding a 12th blogger! || Justine @ Girl Gone Dreamer ||