An Open Letter To Satan

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Dear Satan:
I’m being tested. I now know that. You’ve been testing me. In the last couple of months, You’ve seen to it that every decision I made for myself in the four years was put in jeopardy. You’ve offered me opportunities to go back to who I was in the past. You tried to break me and make me small again.

You made me sad during the Holidays and made me I want a drink. You made me want my old life. I stood strong and made it through without giving in. Fuck you Satan👍

You tried to break my spirit by bringing pain and illness into my body the last two months. Straight up, you almost won on this one. You almost beat the shit out of me on this one. On the brink of despair I prayed to God for strength. The answer came. I remember the things that nourished my mind, body and spirit and make me feel good. I leveled out my emotions with Yoga. I helped my body find balance with QiGong. I slowed my mind down with Meditation. I had a good cry. I spoke honestly with those I love and reached out to people when I was freaking out. I listened to my instincts and sought better medical care out if the area. I took care of myself. While I am still navigating the health issue that started two months ago, I’m stronger and in a better frame of mind. John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” Guess what Lucifer? I saddled up! Fuck you👍

You brought a former lover back into my life not as temptation of the flesh but as an opportunistic bastard trying to reintroduce an unhealthy relationship I left behind. I took pause and thought about the past. Asked myself if it would be good for me to revisit this relationship. The answer was clear to me. No, no I do not want to go back to the past. I don’t have those feelings for him anymore. He knows that. I wished him well and left what we had in the past. Fuck you Prince Of Darkness. I moved on👍

Satan, Lucifer, Prince of Darkness, this is the face of a woman who will rise up and defeat you every time. Look at the Cross in my Cleavage. That’s right. He will help me defeat you every time. But go ahead! Take your best shot! Go head! Test me👍 I will fight you. I fight for the life I chose four years ago. I will fight for my emotional well being. I will fight for a healthy relationship with the good man I now see in my life. While things are still complicated, he is good for me. Even if he is to be Just a friend, he’s shown me by example what I hope to have in my life. I will fight for that and him – if I need to! Fuck you Satan👍You lose!

But, remember my face. Remember my name. Because I am one strong confident woman who doesn’t give a fuck what people think of me; I will straight up beat your ass ever time. Every.Single.Time👍😄👏

Namaste,
Linda🌹🙏

(C) 2014 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Photo Credit: Unknown Artist
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Prayer

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Prayer
By: Linda A. Long

You break me
You bully me
You push me
You taunt me
You hurt me
You disappoint me
You humble me
Yet
For some reason
I don’t quite
Understand
I still believe
I believe you
Love me
You
Call me again
To rise up
Push forward
And grow again
You ask me to
Trust this journey
You ask me
To transform
My heart and soul
When I underestimate
Myself
You show me
My strength
When I feel broken
You show me
Wholeness
You removed all
Obstacles from love
In my heart
And made
Me love again
Today
I turn my eyes
To the sunshine
And put my trust
Into your hands
Where ever
This journey takes me
I know
I’m being called
To be someone different
Without understanding
Why
I accept your invitation
To grow
I fear that
I’m a too tired
To rally
But I trust
You will give
Me the strength
In this prayer
I acquiesce
I only ask
For you to oblige
One request
Let there be a reason
For this
Let there be a purpose
In this
Let my experiences
Encourage others
Let my determination
Motivate others
Let my humble words
Help someone else
Find peace
Or perhaps
Detect a disease early
Because they read
About my experiences
I pray
For meaning
In my challenges
(C) 2014 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
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Photo Credit
Unknown

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Old Soul Eyes

0_24e59_cb7704fb_XLI am a Brown Eyed Girl. In my family, my father and I are the only two out of seven with brown eyes. Everyone else in the family has either Blue or Hazel eyes. I suppose that is why growing up I was always attracted to people with Blue eyes. I always thought Blue eyes were beautiful. You always want what you don’t have and I couldn’t figure out how I got eyes as dark as mine when everyone else in the family has fair eyes.

Then one day a mentor/friend said something to me that changed my perspective and made me truly appreciate the eyes I have. She said “You can see your soul in the depths and beauty of your eyes. You are an old soul. You can see it in your eyes. Old souls give comfort to the younger ones. And, that’s what you do.” I reflected upon this statement for a long time. I wondered “What’s an old soul?” At that time, I was only in my twenties and didn’t really get what she meant. I was still too emotionally immature to really understand or accept the depth of what she spoke. Nor was I willing to accept the responsibility that comes with being an old soul. You see old souls have been around the block a few times. If you believe in reincarnation, an old soul is someone who has lived many lifetimes before this one. If you believe in Buddism, an old soul is here again to achieve Nirvana and live their last lifetime. They are here in this lifetime to get it right.

As I reflect on this lifetime I am living and think of it in terms of being an old soul, I now understand and accept the many tragedies I’ve witnessed. I now know that God has me here on this earth at this time for a purpose. And, that purpose is to LOVE. It’s to offer compassion and comfort to the lost traveler. It’s to give guidance to person who left their soul in the lost and found. It’s to show empathy to the person who no one understands. And, I’ve made a commitment to myself that I am getting it right in this lifetime.

My sister passed away 14 years ago after a long tragic illness. I was one of her caretakers and it was the greatest privilege of my life.  Her death broke me for a long time. I couldn’t figure out how to live my life without her. But, her memory and her legacy now sets me free and has helped me put my heart back together again. By listening to my heart and following my very own instincts instead of listening to the advice or direction of others I was able to rebuild my life. I was able to reclaim my soul.

So, yes. I am an old soul. I’ve witnessed and experienced a great deal of heartache in my life. But, those heartaches have been a wonderful teacher. It was only recently that I finally figured out that my heartaches and disappointments didn’t have to be shields that protect me.  They needed to be the rock that I stand on so I can help someone else up. They were lessons God wanted me to learn so I can help others. They were lessons in love. Through the heartaches and disappointments I’ve learned just how much love my heart can hold. I’ve learned to express my love. I’ve learned how to love unconditionally without expectation.

I have old soul eyes and for that I am grateful.

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Photo Credit:

Bec Winnel

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Doing The Doggy Paddle

Doggie-Paddle-and-Play-DayWhen I was a young girl my mother sent me for swimming lessons at the local recreation center. The first thing we learned how to do was the Doggy Paddle. Basically, the Doggy Paddle is treading water in one place; it’s not swimming. You tread water to keep you afloat to gain strength so you get ready to swim yourself or you tread water in place until help arrives to rescue you. I woke up this morning realizing that this is a time of my life that I just need to tread water for a while and stay in one place to gain some strength.

This morning I thought about the last six weeks of my life and tried to glean a morsel of inspiration or motivation to keep me moving forward. Honestly, I couldn’t find one. By the end of my reflection period this morning I did come to one realization. Maybe standing still for right now is exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now. Maybe this time of my life isn’t about action. Perhaps this time of my life is for staying in one place and just doing the Doggy Paddle until the storm passes and I am stronger.

Just over two years ago I had a moment of perfect clarity in my life while sitting in a Doctor’s appointment. The Doctor told me if I didn’t do something to change my life that I wouldn’t make it to see 50 years old. When I walked out of the office I knew what I had to do but I wasn’t sure if I had the strength to do it. I spent the weeks following in a severe depression. I knew the only way for me to save my life at that time was to walk way from the life I was living. An unfortunate event between me and the man I was in love with at that time gave me the push I needed. I knew then in that moment it was time to walk away and start over. It was time to give myself a fresh start and a new healthy body.

Losing 75lbs was actually the easy part of the transformation process. Distancing myself from unhealthy relationships proved to be much harder but I did it. Healing my Liver and stomach was challenging but I did it.   Stabilizing my Congential Heart Arrhythmia without medication seemed out of the question two years ago but I did it. Being diagnosed with Celiac disease, a shellfish and tree nut allergy all seemed overwhelming but I survived. And, learning to live a different life seemed completely out of the question to me two years ago but I did it. Now, I am safely on the other side.

After going through all of this the last two years I suppose I expected things to calm down so I could just relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor for a while. Everyone deserves to relax and have fun. But, six weeks ago things in my life got even more stressful and complicated. In the last six weeks I had a month long migraine. I was in the hospital. I had a reaction to a medication that adversely affected my heart. I found out I have a 15 year old neck injury that may need surgery but I am currently going to physical therapy for it as I am not interested in surgery. I had two life threatening anaphylaxis reactions in one week to NSAIDS. I went six days without sleeping. I had a mini emotional and physical breakdown as my Doctor called it from Post Traumatic Stress and was told to rest and relax for a few weeks. I took three days off of work:-)  The medicine I had to take to offset the allergic reactions jacked up my stomach again.  It’s been three weeks and I am still waiting on that to calm down. And, most recently I found out the other night one of my very closest friends was diagnosed with a rare aggressive cancer and she will be having radical surgery this coming week and starting Chemotherapy.  She didn’t want to tell me until she knew for sure.

Well, I guess I could be a pussy about things. I could feel sorry for myself and start drinking again even though I know it will kill me. I guess I could lose myself in Xanax everyday to numb myself to my reality. I guess I could hide in my bed and pretend it all isn’t happening. I suppose others would be eyeing up the branch on the tree outside their house that they would hang the rope from or looking for the pills in the drawer that they would take to finally end it all. But, I am not a pussy and I don’t give up.   I may end up in the the Psych Ward if this trend continues, but I won’t give up.  🙂  As a saying I recently heard said “I’m not only putting on my big girl panties. I’m putting on my bitchin’ bra, my shit kicker boots, & spiked leather belt with the FUCK YOU buckle. So don’t tell me to “deal with it”.  Honey, I got this shit covered.”  My only minor correction would be I would need to sex this up a bit. I would put on my red lace garter belt and matching panties instead of BIG girl panties. My ass is smaller these days and I would like to show it off a bit 🙂

Just yesterday afternoon a friend a said to some really important words that I found very comforting and I would like to share all of them.  She said,  “Linda, you’ve been through a lot in two years. A lot of people would have broken down before now. Most people would have never had the courage to do what you’ve done and change their life the way you did. The last six weeks have been horrible and you have every right to be sad and frustrated maybe even a little pissed off at God – that Mother Fucker.  It’s ok you were weak and broke down. You are human. Sorry to tell you. You’re not Super Woman.  It’s ok to admit you can’t handle this by yourself and ask for help. It’s perfectly ok for you to stay in one place for a while and do the fucking Doggy Paddle until you are strong again. Just don’t make me get in the water with you and pull your new skinny ass to shore. I am too old for that. 🙂 Stop being so hard on yourself.  Stop expecting so much of yourself.  Stop pushing yourself.  Just tread water until this storm passes.  It will pass eventually. But, until then it’s perfectly ok for you to cry, rest and say no to people.  No, I am sorry I can’t do that for you. Especially now because you are going to need your strength to help our friend.”   In her words, she gave me permission to surrender to the now of my life. In that moment I was able to accept that I am doing exactly what I am meant to do right now. I am resting, healing, gaining strength and just trying to ride out this strong until better days come around again.

I am writing this deeply personally blog today in an effort to share my experience with anyone who may find themselves at the end of their rope. This is for anyone who thinks they can’t do it one more day. This is for anyone who isn’t sure they have the strength to keep going. Remember, you are not alone. Get help if your life is in danger. Get help if you want to harm another human being. Talk to a friend. Take a nap. Close your eyes for ten minutes and rest. Do the Doggy Paddle. Stay in one place for a while. Breathe deeply and hold on tight to my words. Better days are ahead. But, you won’t see them if you give up now.

I am hoping one day in the near future I will receive good news and good things will start happening again.  But, until then I just have to do the Doggy Paddle until the storm passes.

Love, Peace & Happiness

Linda

My Novena Rose Prayer

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rose (Photo credit: aling_)

My Novena Rose Prayer
O Little Therese of the Child
of Jesus, please pick for me a rose
from the heavenly gardens and
send it to me as a message of love.

O Little Flower of Jesus, ask
God today to grant the favors I
Now place with confidence in
your hands…

(Mention specific requests –  Today I ask for healing for a friend. My head is still reeling from the news that they have a rare cancer and need surgery. They have a strong body and mind. So, I feel there can be no other outcome but a full recovery and healing. Please give strength to them and their family and caregivers as they set out of fight this battle. I ask you give the surgeons skill and knowledge to give them excellent care. I ask you to give me wisdom so I know what to say, how to help and what to do for them in the coming weeks. Lastly, I ask that you recognize this person is just pure goodness. They are one of the good ones. Bless them with healing.)

St. Therese, help me to always
believe as you did, in God’s great
love for me, so that I might
imitate your “Little Way” each day.

Amen

Last night I was given some really bad news. I hardly slept and I woke up heavy hearted. I am still in shock. I am worried and extremely sad that a friend I love deeply is seriously ill. I called my Mother this morning as she always has a way of helping me gain perspective. But, neither one of us could come up with anything comforting regarding this news. So, we just told each other we loved each other and hung up. Sometimes that’s all you can really say or do. 

My friend is really quite special. I’ve learned a lot from her. And, she’s been an amazing friend to me in the last few years. So many of my friends couldn’t handle when I walked away from my life a couple years ago. I learned many of them were just drinking buddies. My “real” friend list is much smaller now since I changed my life. But, the friends I have are true and deep. She stuck by me and went on the whole ride with me. When I didn’t drink, she didn’t drink. If I didn’t want to go to a bar, she didn’t go to bar. She walked with me. She went to the beach with me. I even got her to try Yoga. And, mostly, she listened to me. Friends don’t get much better than that and I am extremely grateful to have her in my life. That is why I am so shaken up by this news.  I don’t want to see her suffer or go through the surgery or treatments. She doesn’t deserve it. If I could take her place, I would gladly.   

I am kind of standoffish with people at first. I usually keep to myself. I have to warm up to people before I am comfortable with them. But, once someone is in my heart and part of my life, my heart beats with theirs. Once I adjust to this news, I will focus only on sending her good healing thoughts and positive energy.

The only way I know how to deal with things like this is to pray. I am posting this prayer on my blog because I believe in praying boldly. If anyone reading this could also offer a prayer for my friend, I would deeply appreciate it.

Prayer Retrieved from www.littleflower.org

Slowing Down – A Journal Entry Post

Sorry for being so quiet on my Blog this week. It’s just that I’ve had a tough few weeks and I needed to just unplug. I’ve been writing in my journal with pen and paper this week instead of online.

Doctors orders were rest and sleep for a week. I’ve done my best to follow those orders. Actually I really had no choice because I’ve been exhausted.

The stress of the last three years of my life finally caught up to me. It was creeping up slowly but swallowed me whole the Friday of Memorial day weekend when I had an anaphylaxis reaction to Celebrex and was in the hospital again. Then I had a subsequent allergic reaction to Icy Hot. I am allergic to Aspirin. Celebrex is similar to aspirin and Icy Hot has Methyl Salicylates in it which is just like Aspirin. So anyone allergic to Aspirin should never use menthol products containing Methyl Salicylates.

Anyways the stress of both events pretty much left me a crying mess with, as my Doctor called it, Post Traumatic Stress. I couldn’t sleep for five days, I was confused, worried and couldn’t stop crying. My Doctor told me to go home take Xanax short-term and focus on rest and sleep for week – nothing else.

Well, I had tickets to see Joel Osteen in Heshey, PA on Friday night. My sister and I planned it months ago. I was very excited to see him. Even though I was exhausted  and a bit of a frayed knot, I still went.  My sister was good company.  She listened while I talked, cried some more and she just let me have whatever experience I needed.  There was no pressure.  She understood I needed an afternoon nap and was exhausted by the time Service was over and needed to go to bed.  I stopped at Mom’s house on the way to and from Hershey just to get a Mom Hug.  She was glad to see me and I was glad to hug her.  I came home late on Saturday. I jumped under the covers with some new reading materials and rested until bedtime.

Today is Sunday. Sundays are my favorite day of the week. It’s day I always feel the most relaxed.  I went back to Yoga this morning for the first time in three weeks.  Instead of pushing my super flexible body to it’s edge I held back. No aggression, no pressure. I kept things slow and easy.  I am a beach lover and the summer is my season. So, I went to the beach for about an hour.  That was enough. I am now baking Chicken as I write this blog.  Making Mashed Sweet Potatoes and roasted cauliflower, Broccoli and asparagus for dinner.  I also did my home physical therapy exercises.  Other than that just resting and watching the Phillies game. From what I was told it’s going to take some time for me to feel like my old self. I want to wake up tomorrow with all of this behind me and have things be normal. The worst allergy season ever isn’t helping me becuase I do have seasonal allergies too.

What I’ve learned through this is I have a tendency to push myself and my body.  But, all along my body was asking for rest.  I learned I need to stop pushing my body to its edge.  No more maxing my heart rate out while working out. No more excessive weight or aerobic training.  I’ll still walk five miles but I don’ t need to power walk four days a week. It’s just wearing me down.  Yoga is my sanity so I will do that almost every day. But, now I will be more gentle and not aggressive. I don’ t need to prove anything to myself. I won’t be taking vigorous Vinyasa for while.  I also know now that my body doesn’t like a lot of medicine so less is best.

For years I’ve resisted wearing a medical alert bracelet for my allergies and my congenital arrhythmia.  Doctor’s told me years ago to wear one.  I always thought it was a sign of weakness and wouldn’t wear one.  Well, I ordered one last week.  It’s a leather cuff with a dog tag.  Very fashionable.  I spent years resisting and pushing my body to be and do things it just couldn’t do.  And, now it’s time to accept that my body needs a slow pace and gentle movements.

I lost 75lbs a year ago and have had no problem keeping it off.  But because of the weight loss my body’s chemistry has changed dramatically.  So, I am just trying to calm down, relax and rest and give my body the time to adjust instead of pushing through it the way I always did.

It’s not easy of me to cry and be depressed. It’s not easy for me to admit I need help. And, it certainly wasn’t easy for me to have a Doctor say to me “you look confused, stressed and exhausted and you are verging on a breakdown”.  But, that is what happened and I am living through it.

I go back to work tomorrow and I go back to Physical Therapy tomorrow.  But, I will be approaching everything differently now and I will have no guilt admitting that I just can’t be strong all the time.

Admitting you are weak is a new strength for me.  God keeps forcing me to learn new lessons. I keep thinking I am done. But, he keeps raising that GOD damn bar on me.

As they say, That’s life.

Peace, Love & Happiness,
Linda

Photo Credit:

Gerson – Rest

 

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Salvation Lies Within

Somewhere in the middle of your everyday life it is possible to open your eyes to the possibilities that lie before you and want more. Rather than accepting the morsel of bread you were given it is possible for you to believe you are deserving of more and start taking steps, even small steps, towards something bigger.

Waiting for it to be easy is, frankly, lazy. Anything worth having is worth working hard for in this life. Waiting for everything to be perfect is an excuse. Nothing is perfect in life. We live in imperfection but still somehow succeed. Waiting to be absolutely positively sure you are doing the right thing lacks courage and faith. Sometimes we have to just jump and have faith the parachute will open.

I certainly do not have all the answers in life. But, I am not afraid to ask the questions of myself or others. I am not afraid to look at myself, challenge my beliefs, grow and change. I am not afraid to step into my own personal best and demand more of myself. Accepting less than one deserves is settling. I don’t need to settle. Assuming you’ll screw it up, once again, lacks faith. Oh Yee of little faith. Would you please pray a little and find something to believe in?

No, I am not religious. I don’t go to church every Sunday. I don’t claim to have a firm grasp on the Bible and depths of its meaning. But, I am spiritual. I believe in God. I believe Jesus Christ is my savior. I believe there is a power higher and stronger than me that I can trust in times of need. But, I also believe salvation lies within. Each individual person must take responsibility for their past, present and future and hold themselves accountable for their actions and, in some cases, their lack of action.

True salvation lies within and is a choice. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Stop assuming nothing good ever happens to you. Stop punishing yourself for mistakes you’ve made and forgive yourself once and for all. Choose to be the best version of yourself, whoever that may be. With reflection, courage, fortitude and a good plan anyone can save their own soul and choose salvation.

Salvation lies within…

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