Taking a Break for a little while.. 

 
Hi friends ,

Please note : I know I haven’t written much on here for a while but I did want to post this on here as I have done so on my various other forms of social media. So hopefully after my break, I will feel more inspired to create and write so I can resume with this blog as well as live a more fulfilling lifestyle. Thank you!
I listened to two TED talks today (see links below). One about a man going off the internet completely for one year and how much more present he became in his interactions after spending less of his time being consumed by the internet. And the other about a man who thought originally that success meant having a lot of stuff, and when he found out he was still unhappy after obtaining so many possessions, he got rid of everything he didn’t need and lived a more authentic and minimalistic lifestyle that focused on things that really mattered.

Both talks had the same idea – clearing out the clutter in our lives that keep us from following our true passions and purpose and leading lives that focus more on things that matter, like our health, relationships, personal growth, contributions and community.  

After listening to these men talk about their life changing experiences, I’ve realized how the more we connect and immerse ourselves online or become obsessed with our personal image, the more disconnected and disengaged we become from our real lives and the more unhappy we end up being. Lately, I’ve been struggling with feelings of lack of inspiration, disconnection, and some major insecurity about my life. (yes I’m being vulnerable here so bear with me) And while there can be so many contributing factors like normal every day stress and pressure, hormonal imbalances, and miscellaneous drama, I feel that a majority of this feeling of dissatisfaction within my life and lack of motivation is coming from what I feed my mind on a daily basis.

I’ve noticed that the more stressed I feel about not feeling good, the more I try to lose myself into finding seeking what I feel I’m lacking online. I tend to do this through comparing where I am with where everybody else is, comparing how I look with how everybody else looks, and then somehow driving myself mad with trying to compete with them, even on a subconscious level. I kept questioning myself, “why do I feel so uninspired and unhappy all the time?” “Why do I feel like I am never enough?” “Why do I feel like I’m not getting to where I should be?”

And then I wondered… is it because I’m not really living authentically? Because I am literally living for an image that I want to project rather than living for a real purpose. Have I literally been rushing through life trying to get from one milestone to the next just to show that I am significant? Am I not living presently? Am I not appreciating presently? Am I just constantly waiting for the destination to arrive rather than enjoying the in-between seasons of growth and change? Why do we do this? Why do we think that by documenting and presenting every single thing in our lives we somehow become more important or that life has more meaning because it has been shared online? I don’t think it really does.

It’s good to be connected online and it’s good to stay relevant with the times and to keep connection with family and friends, but at the same time I think we need to disconnect too. We need to find balance. We need to remember that we live in a real world and not just a virtual one. That it’s more important to live fully and experience things in the moment than to constantly be worried about what else you might be missing out on. 

I’m doing an experiment… Not that any of you probably even care because I don’t know if anyone even reads what I post sometimes (I know this is quite long so if you’ve read this far – thank you), but I’ve decided to go off all social media for one month.

I’m not doing it for any kind of attention or to make a point because I’m angry or anything or even because I am upset or angry at anyone, it’s simply because I want to take notice. I want to see if my life does change for the better and increase in quality. If I will begin to enjoy things more fully or experience things in a deeper way. I want to know what it’s like not to fill my empty time with mindless scrolling on Instagram or Facebook and maybe instead fill it with more important, worthwhile activities like pursuing my passions. I want to be able to taste meals organically without the attachment of needing to capture them with a photo so that I could 22 likes. I want to experience bike rides and beach trips and morning hikes without having to make some post about what I did just to get another form of affirmation from the world that it was cool.

I want to see if it even helps me on my own personal journey of gaining more self-confidence – seeing whether it will help me stop comparing my life to everyone else or even just trying to get to know myself more without the pressures and distractions of what everyone else is doing. I want to see if my relationships with friends, family, and even my own boyfriend will grow closer, richer, and more genuine.

I mean really what’s the worst that could happen – I don’t make it through the 30 days and succumb back to the addiction of being on my phone? I read that it takes 30 days to create a new pattern in the brain. If I can somehow create a new pattern in my brain to create more balance in my life and to not be so affected by these negative influences that social media has had on me then I say it’s worth a try.

I’m going to try documenting this too… in a personal journal, of course but if I do find any significant changes or experiences then maybe I will consider publishing it as a means of helping others find balance in their lives too.

So that’s it. Thanks for reading. Farewell for now.

 If you need to reach me for whatever reason, email me.

 I’ll leave this here: christinaciro@gmail.com

 And for reference the TED talks I watched:

Much love and well wishes.

xx

Christina
 

 

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Self Forgiveness: A Lesson In Moving Onward.

  
Hey guys!

Man. I have had a major case of writer’s block lately. Or maybe it’s just laziness. I don’t know what has been with me but I have had pretty much no motivation to write at all. But I’m going to try today. I guess every writer goes through this once in a while, right? They just don’t feel inspired to write. It’s strange, most of the time I am gushing with ideas of topics to write on, and yet lately every topic I choose, I feel like it’s just not good enough.

What is holding me back from writing? Maybe it’s not laziness. Maybe it’s fear. Maybe, now that my blog is receiving more viewers and followers, I feel this obligation to write something good and when I feel like what I want to write is not good enough, I lose that desire to even start writing in the first place.

I think many of us feel that way with our art. In the beginning when we first start, we do it because we feel that sense of passion in creating something. We do it because we love it and because we feel like we NEED to do it or else we’ll go crazy. But as time goes on, and our work either becomes more popular or well known, we begin to feel this invisible pressure of needing to produce something that is good and will be well-liked.

I think that’s what I’m feeling now. I think because I have been getting such great feedback lately, I feel this pressure of not wanting to disappoint my readers with poor quality work. And yet, that very same pressure is killing my own passion for creating. So what do we do?

Elizabeth Gilbert stated it best in her essay on her thoughts on writing. She advises:

The more important virtue for a writer, I believe, is self-forgiveness. Because your writing will always disappoint you. Your laziness will always disappoint you. You will make vows: “I’m going to write for an hour every day,” and then you won’t do it. You will think: “I suck, I’m such a failure. I’m washed-up.” Continuing to write after that heartache of disappointment doesn’t take only discipline, but also self-forgiveness (which comes from a place of kind and encouraging and motherly love). The other thing to realize is that all writers think they suck. When I was writing “Eat, Pray, Love”, I had just as a strong a mantra of THIS SUCKS ringing through my head as anyone does when they write anything. But I had a clarion moment of truth during the process of that book. One day, when I was agonizing over how utterly bad my writing felt, I realized: “That’s actually not my problem.” The point I realized was this – I never promised the universe that I would write brilliantly; I only promised the universe that I would write. So I put my head down and sweated through it, as per my vows”

 Self-forgiveness, huh? Maybe that’s what we all need sometimes to give us that nudge to get us back into our groove and on the path of self-expression. I think many times we become stuck because of these pressures of expectation we place upon ourselves and then we place even more pressure on ourselves when we cannot become un-stuck from that place. The cycle then continues with us being angry or annoyed at ourselves, and shaming ourselves into thinking we aren’t worthy of being creators in the first place so we should just quit and move on. Of course, this kills any inspiration or motivation we have left and then we’re left in this place of emptiness and self-destruction because we were too hard on ourselves in the first place, when all we really needed was a little bit of self-forgiveness to help nudge us back into place.

So I think that’s what I’m going to write about and what I’m going to practice. Self-forgiveness is important, not only in the aspect of creation but in our every day lives. We’re not going to get it right all the time. We’re not going to feel motivated or inspired all the time. Some days we’re just going to feel like we’re not that into creating anything, but in the end, we are nothing less than creators, because that’s who we are at the very core of our existence.

And in the end it is also not our responsibility to please everyone or make sure we are never rejected, but rather to fulfill our duty of completing the very act of creating. Because that is what we must do. If you are an artist, you must create. If you are a writer, you must write. Never give that up just because once in a while you write something that sucks. Sometimes you may write a 1000 poorly written words, but sometimes you may write something brilliant, and it is when you can write those words of brilliance is when it will all be worth it. It can be with anything. Just being you. Some days you may be off on your game, but some days you may be a shining superstar, and that is who you really are. Not the person who feels uninspired or off, but rather that shining human being who will bring forth and share something magnificent with the world.

How can we practice this act of self-forgiveness? Well, first off, cut yourself some slack. (Yes, Christina, I’m talking to you too!) Tell yourself it’s ok to take it easy sometimes. To kick back and allow yourself room to breathe. Tell yourself that there is no external pressure of needing to please anyone, but rather, you are working for yourself and your own expectations of what you want to bring forth. If you are having an off day, who cares! Tomorrow you can start all over again. You created something pretty terrible? Oh well. Toss it aside. Learn from it. Burn it. Do whatever you want, but remember that there is always another blank canvas waiting for you.

We need to learn to accept that we are merely human and as human beings we are flawed and imperfect and THAT’S OK. Sometimes there is beauty in all of our imperfections. And sometimes it is only through our imperfections that we can learn to improve and grow in ways perfection would not be able to teach us. So what if we made mistakes in the past? So what if we did a few stupid things? We’re human. We learn. We move on. That is life.

I can’t keep placing this pressure upon myself that if I write, it has to be something good and readable. Not everyone is going to like my writing, and I have to accept that. Sometimes I’m going to write posts that are absolutely brilliant, and other times I’m going to write posts that are pretty sub-par. But what matters is that I am writing. That I am continuing on with my craft. That I am not backing down because of any one opinion, even my own. But rather I am writing because it is something I want to do. Something I feel passionate about doing. Something I feel I MUST do.

So maybe this post was a bit all over the place and it did not have a direct connection to self love, but who cares! In the end, if we are doing something for the greater good of others or for the greater good of our selves, I think that is an act of self love. Somewhere someone will find my words inspiring, or maybe not. But either way, I wrote today. I did it because I wanted to. Not because I wanted to please anyone or accomplish anything or seek any sort of applause, but because I WANTED TO CREATE. So I did. And I forgive myself for not doing it sooner. And I forgive myself for not feeling inspired this past week. And I forgive myself if this writing truly does suck. But so what. ONWARD! (right, Liz?)

The Self Love Daily Challenge:

Learn to practice a little self-forgiveness. Cut yourself some slack and move forward.

xx

Christina Ciro

Follow your Dreams. 



Gosh. I really have no time these days. But I’m going to just keep on chugging along even if it means short posts here and there. 

Well, let’s get on with it right? 

So I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity. I am a very creative person, or at least, I was. It stopped for awhile because of all the issues going on in my life, but lately I’ve been missing those moments of creativity I used to have. I’ve realized how important creativity really is. It’s not simply just making something like art or music or whatever your craft may be, but it’s literally a form of expression. A way to simply let go and let it all out. It’s therapeutic really. Personally, I feel that if I don’t make enough time to allow myself to be creative, I will begin to feel dead inside – like what is the point of life if I can’t be myself and express myself in creative ways. 

I think that everyone has the ability to be creative. Like I said, creativity does not have to mean making something. Creativity is more so expression and if you express yourself by writing, cool. Or dancing around, cool. Or splattering paint on canvas, cool! Whatever it is that you do to express yourself is cool! We need that. We need to do it more often because in all truth creativity is what keeps us motivated and inspired to live a better life and to better ourselves in the process. 

I think that once we begin to allow ourselves to be more creative then we will also begin to start feeling motivated to follow our dreams again. To go after what it is that we truly want. Because when we become stagnant and caught up in the daily grind day after day, creativity starts to fall back on our priorities of things to do and with that, we become even more caught up in our lives instead of going after the things that we are truly passionate for.

I think if you’re not living for your passions then you’re not really living at all. You have to find what you are passionate about, whatever it is, and continue on going after it. Every day work towards your goals. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes – at least it’s something! 

So I encourage you all today with these challenges.

The self love daily challenge #053 – embrace your creativity. 

The self love daily challenge #054 – keep following your passions and dreams.

xx

Christina Ciro

YOU!

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Hello. Hello.

I know, it’s been a few days since my last post. Things have been pretty hectic over here. Lots of changes happening in my life right now. This journey is a very twisted one, but hopefully it’s worth the trip at the end, right? So. Let’s see. I have to catch up on three daily self love challenges for all of you lovely followers out there. (30 and counting! – this is very exciting.)

What do I have for you today? Well my theme is you. I know that doesn’t really make a lot of sense. But I read this quote this morning on twitter that said, “Be your own hero. Inspire yourself. And never give up on yourself.” I know it’s simple wording, but at the same time these words weighed heavy on my heart today. It got me thinking how important we are for ourselves. We basically have to be our own cheerleader most of the time in our lives. Sure, other people will support us at times or encourage us, but in the end it really is just me, myself, and I.

And that’s ok because what better person to depend on fully than yourself, right? And if we don’t believe in ourselves and encourage ourselves, then really who else will? We can’t depend on others to do that for us, no matter how great some people are.

In relation to my own life, I was thinking about how right now I’m the one who has to go through this journey. Yup. Me. I have to experience it all for myself. Nobody else can experience it for me. That leaves a lot of room for internal thinking and time for myself. I’m the one who has to make decisions, whether good or bad. I’m the one who has to experience different waves of emotions. I’m the one who has to choose which road to follow. I’m the one who has to motivate myself to keep going. I can’t depend on anyone else to do that for me, because if I did, then it wouldn’t truly be my own journey. And I think that’s important. I think we need to face our journeys ourselves, otherwise they wouldn’t have the kind of impact on our lives that we need. We need to learn and experience through these trials, instead of leaning on others to walk us through them. Yes, of course sometimes it’s good to lean on others for support, but in the end we have to be the ones to take the actual steps of moving forward.

So here are the three daily challenges.

The Self Love Challenge #049: Be your own hero.

Be your own hero. Be inspired by your journey. Motivate yourself. Look up to you because you are the one who is courageous enough to follow your heart and your dreams right now. Be encouraged by that alone that you are not simply settling, but moving forward and taking those risks to better your life. You don’t need to be successful or have a bunch of achievements under your belt or do anything extraordinary to be considered a hero. You simply just have to have courage to keep going. In my book that is considered a hero. If you don’t give up. If you keep going despite failures and set backs.

The Self Love Challenge #050: Inspire yourself.

Don’t wait for others to give you inspiration, seek after it yourself. You have it right there within you. You don’t have to wait for the perfect moment or the perfect opportunity, or even the perfect timing. Just get up and seek after whatever inspires you. Look for beauty in everyday life. Seek out creativity. Find inspiration in the ordinary. If you seek it out, you will find it, I promise you this. And once you do find it, your world will expand only that much more and you will find that motivation to keep going and keep searching for that ultimate inner joy.

The Self Love Challenge #051: Never give up on Yourself.

This is a big one. Like I said earlier, you have to be your own cheerleader. You have to believe in yourself, because often times, nobody else will. You have to motivate yourself and trust that you have it in you to do something great and achieve whatever it is that you are after. And don’t give up on yourself if you do fail or make a mistake. Failing is half the journey. I know, weird right? But it’s true. When we fail, it gives us opportunity to grow stronger, to discover more, to learn more, to become better. Without failure, we wouldn’t learn very much and sometimes what comes easy is not good. We need that adversity to make us stronger. So forget the haters and push forward. The only real motivation you need is deep inside you. If you can believe in yourself, then you have everything you need.

Signing off with love and hopefully things will become a bit less hectic in my life soon so I can devote more time to the Self Love Challenge. But for now, enjoy, stay positive. Live Happy. Live fully, my friends.

xx

Christina Ciro

P.s don’t forget to like us on Facebook!!

http://www.facebook.com/theselflovechallenge

Confidence: An Act of Revolution.

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“I decided to be confident one day, and then I just was. I think it’s a conscious decision. Everything in society tells you to hate yourself, but you know what? If you decide to love yourself, it’s an act of revolution.” – Gaby Dunn

I can’t begin to explain how much your life changes once you begin to see your own value. You begin to see yourself in a different light. You feel happier. You feel deserving. You feel like your eyes have been opened because a veil has been lifted. It truly is a whole experience to someone who has been living in insecurity most of their life.

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always struggled with being insecure and having low self esteem. Maybe because I always felt like I just didn’t quite fit in anywhere or maybe it was because I felt like I wasn’t good enough to fit in in the first place. I struggled with not liking what I looked like, not in the sense of body image of being too fat or too skinny, but more so with my face. I broke my nose when I was little and it never healed properly so it has always been somewhat more prominent than “normal” noses and I was always made fun of in grade school because of it. Children would call me names or say I was ugly. It was pretty tough, and I can’t tell you how many times I came home crying because of it. And although, I am now past all those childhood hurts, other more adult insecurities have replaced them.

I struggled with not feeling worthy of being loved or that I wasn’t good enough or deserving of it. I always believed that I had to earn love and I would seek after it constantly by trying to be perfect in every area of my life so I would be deemed deserving. I never realized how unhealthy this was until I was in the midst of my “breakdown.” My mother was the one who told me that the reason why I felt so overwhelmed and out of control was because I did not love myself enough, and that once I began to see my value, my whole world would begin to change. I didn’t really understand what she meant. I didn’t hate myself did I? I wasn’t one of THOSE people. I had this idea that insecure people were equivalent to those crazy psychotic women that you see in films who are portrayed as the crazy ex-girlfriend who’s completely insecure. That was not me! I loved myself right?

But in reality, I didn’t. Because if I truly did love myself, I wouldn’t feel so fragile and unworthy. I wouldn’t be constantly seeking out affirmation from other people that I was valuable. I wouldn’t strive for perfection or go crazy over trying to hide my flaws. I wouldn’t be embarrassed or ashamed of who I was or try to change any aspect of my personality or looks.

See when you really begin to love yourself, you begin to see your own value and how truly priceless you are. You begin to understand that you don’t need to be perfect and that imperfection is actually something quite beautiful. You begin to love your flaws because they make you unique. You begin to live according to your own standards and not try to adapt to any one else’s expectations of you. You stop seeking out other’s affections and instead let them come to you because you are worth to be pursued. You walk around with an air of confidence, which flows into fearlessness.

Having confidence is not something we are necessarily born with like a trait. Yes, of course some people are more confident than others, just because it is their personality to be more extroverted and outgoing, which requires a form of confidence. But in reality, anybody can be confident. Because confidence is a choice. We can choose it and we have every right to choose it. It may not come naturally or easy at first, which is ok, but once we begin to choose it over and over again, we begin to develop confidence like a muscle and it becomes stronger.

I feel like the first step towards acquiring that confidence is making that choice to love yourself instead of practicing self hate, as the world mostly tells us to do. It is a kind of revolution within ourselves because we are conditioned towards feeling like we must be perfect in such an imperfect, fallen world. But there is no such thing as perfect, and when we learn to love our imperfect selves, our confidence will also magically grow, and when that happens, our world will also begin to expand and so many possibilities will become available to us.

Confident and secure people are the ones who experience true movement, because confidence is what gives you courage to expand and grow. We can’t grow unless we take risks, and we can’t take risks without feeling a sense of confidence that there is a chance that we will succeed. And if we are too busy hating ourselves, instead of loving ourselves, we will always remain in the same place – unhappy.

The Self Love Daily Challenge #041: Make that choice to start being confident.

Consciously make that choice today to start being confident. Remember, with everything, it takes practice, but with time you will start to notice change within yourself. Go out and do something challenging, even if you fail, it will build confidence in you just for the sake of trying. Stop searching for other’s affirmations and seek your own instead. Practice self love, instead of self hate. Dress the part. Put on something that makes you feel good about yourself. Groom yourself nice. Walk upright and don’t slouch. Every little bit of effort counts towards creating the confidence you seek.

xx

Christina Ciro

The Power of Words.

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As I sit here at my work desk trying to figure out what message I want to blog about today, I came across a note I posted in my cubicle right after returning to work after my leave of absence. I remember how many fears I had of returning back to work, returning back to the stress of the daily grind, and not knowing how my coworkers were going to treat me. So when I did return back, I made a point to decorate my desk with positive messages as daily (hourly) reminders that I could do this – I could get through each day.

One of the messages I posted on my wall was a very short, yet powerful Christian poem of sorts called “Forget Not” It goes like this:

Forget not to be patient with yourself.
Forget not the difference between good and foolish sacrifices.
Forget not to be happy now.
Forget not the why of the Gospel.
Forget no that the Lord loves you.

I do not know the exact author of this poem, but I thank them very much as this small poem has brought me such great strength each day. Each line serves as a reminder to myself that I use daily so I can make the best choices towards myself and towards others.

Forget not to be patient with yourself.

This being a reminder of having loving and kind thoughts towards myself each day. To practice self love and self care. To be patient with myself, especially on hard days or if I make a mistake. To be reminded that even I am deserving of good things, of love and of care.

Forget not the difference between good and foolish sacrifices.

This one kind of hit home just because I am a major people pleaser. Or I was. Not anymore. Yes, I like to make people happy and do nice things for others, but like the line says, know the difference between good and foolish sacrifices, and there is one! If you are constantly putting your own needs aside just so you can make others happy, then that is a foolish sacrifice my friends! We deserve our own needs to be met, just as others deserve their own needs to be met as well. We are allowed to worry about our own well being just as we worry about the well being of others we love. This all comes down to self love because when we love ourselves, we will want to take care of ourselves, and sometimes it does mean putting ourselves first – which is a good sacrifice.

Forget not to be happy now.

THIS ONE IS IMPORTANT! Did I make that clear enough with the all caps lettering? I even want to make a special post dedicated to this one line because it is THAT important. But to give you a preview of what I mean…BE HAPPY NOW! Yes, don’t wait for tomorrow or next week, or next year. Don’t wait until things fall into place, or you finally get that promotion, or you finally find that special kind of love, etc. Be happy now. Be happy with each moment of each day. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be bad moments or bad days, but don’t sit around waiting for them to pass to give yourself permission to feel joy. You can feel happy in the present, you don’t have to wait!

Forget not the why of the gospel. Forget not that the Lord loves you.

I don’t mean to get all religious on you, but this one is important to me simply because I know that Jesus sent His only son to die on the cross so that I could have freedom. And that means so much to me. That is why daily I have strength. That is why daily I have courage. That is why daily I am confident that I am loved and deserving of good things. That is why daily I can walk in freedom knowing that I am saved and forgiven. A lot of people don’t have that kind of freedom. A lot of people are weighed down by their guilt and shame and mistakes and past, but once you find Christ, He will forgive you of all of that and you can be renewed into this person who has fresh start at life. And the best part is knowing that He loves me. He loves me unconditionally, meaning regardless of whether I am perfect or not, regardless of my past, regardless of who I am, even regardless of whether I even love him back. He still loves me. And that is a powerful, unfailing kind of love that all humans need. But I’m not pushing religion on you, I am just showing you how powerful my God is and how much He has changed my life around. So these two lines are a great reminder of that.

With all that being said, I encourage you all today to find a poem or a quote or any short bit you can tape up on your mirror or at your desk that you find encouraging and use it as a daily reminder for yourself. Find something that is encouraging. That will remind you to be patient and kind and loving towards yourself. That will remind you to be strong or courageous.

The Self Love Daily Challenge #029: Seek words that matter, that will inspire and encourage you daily.

xx

Christina Ciro

Embrace your brokenness.

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Broken. You hear the word and you automatically want to walk away from it. You don’t want to have any kind of association with anything broken because being broken is something “bad” right? Many people seem to think so. Society seems to shun things that are broken. Oh if it’s broken, just move on to something else or give up on it. It’s not good anymore. And what if it’s a person who’s broken? We stay away from them. We don’t want to deal with anything that’s broken. And what if it’s us that’s broken? That’s when we really freak out. Because we start to associate brokenness with unworthiness and we begin to love ourselves less when we feel broken.

But why does broken always have to be a bad thing? Have you ever noticed that it is only when we are broken or going through difficult times that “break” us that true strength reveals itself? You never hear stories about people conquering great challenges and things were easy for them or that their lives were a breeze. Instead, you hear stories about people who go through difficult seasons in their life and they overcome them by pushing through the storm and moving through their brokenness into something beautiful.

Sometimes broken can be beautiful. Sometimes broken is where we find our true strength. Sometimes broken is where we need to be in order to get to somewhere much greater that we could never have reached any other way.

The Self Love Daily Challenge #012: Embrace your brokenness. 

It’s ok to be broken. It’s ok to be in a hard season of your life. To feel like every day is a challenge. It’s ok. We shouldn’t be afraid of being broken. We shouldn’t be afraid of experiences hard things. It is only through these challenges that we face in difficult times, where we learn how to become stronger and overcome and eventually grow within ourselves. Have you ever realized that when we feel weakest, a part of ourselves is revealed that we never were in tune with before. We become more vulnerable. We learn to accept deeper emotions. We are basically forced to confront these dark aspects of ourselves that we have always been too afraid to venture into before. And sometimes it’s good to discover these parts of ourselves. Sometimes we need to in order to move forward to the next level or next part of the journey in our lives. Because sometimes without experiencing these things, we will not be prepared for the next part of our journey.

Yes, it is hard to feel the brokenness and all that comes along with it. It’s not something that you go out and seek, but if and when it does come we should not try to run away from it or avoid it. We should instead embrace it. Embrace that this is also a necessary part of our journey. Embrace that it does not make us any less of a person, but rather creates an even stronger self. Embrace that our brokenness is never wasted and that because of our brokenness we can then in the future help others who are going through similar events that we went through.

It is not shameful to be broken. So many beautiful things are born from things that were once broken. God can always use our hurts and our pain. He can always use our brokenness for ultimate good. He can always create something new out within us from our brokenness. And most importantly, through our brokenness, our weakness, His strength shines through. That’s the most beautiful part. That when we are weak, He is strong. He is showing us how powerful He truly is because He can always make something out of our nothing. He can always create beauty from ashes. He can always create a way where there is none to be seen.

I felt broken, completely shattered at many points in my life. But most recently after my mental breakdown last August. I felt useless. I felt unworthy. I felt like there really was no good that could come out of any of this. But with time, and a lot of faith and a lot of patience and self love, I have come to think otherwise. Yes, it’s been a hard, HARD journey. Yes, it was an even harder challenge to have the kind of faith that God was requiring of me. But i’m seeing now that my brokenness was not wasted. In fact, as much as it may sound weird, I am rejoicing in my difficult experience and my pain because without it, I would not be who I am today.

Through my brokenness, God showed me parts of myself that I never knew I had. He opened me up to the truth that I was not loving or caring enough towards myself. That I was seeking a kind of perfection that was very unhealthy. He showed me that it was ok to face my fears rather than run from them, and that by facing them, I would become stronger and more brave. He showed me the power of vulnerability. That by being honest with people, instead of hiding behind a mask, that it would open me up towards a more honest, deeper kind of love and human connection that I could experience from others. He showed me that it was ok to love myself when I felt imperfect. He showed me that my trials would not be wasted. That my journey and my experience would be a comfort and encouragement to those who are going through the same thing. That they would not feel alone through their struggle and in turn be more encouraged in getting through their own storm. Through my brokenness, I realized what aspects of my life were toxic. What areas I needed to cut ties with. What people I needed to weed out. What unhealthy behaviors and thoughts I needed to be renewed.

My brokenness was a transformation. It was a renewal. It was a purification of mind, body, and soul. And brokenness doesn’t always have to be tied to God either, but it does show how great of a healer He is that He can turn our brokenness into good. But nonetheless, we can still embrace our brokenness even if we are not religious or Christians. We can still find the good that comes out of it. We can still learn to love ourselves even when we are broken or when we feel whole. It doesn’t matter. We should embrace how we are at any point in our lives because everything we face, no matter how small, matters. It all plays a part in the great journey of our life purpose.

So I challenge you, embrace your brokenness. Embrace every part of yourself. Try to find good in the pain or the hurt you feel. Try not to run or hide from it. Try not to get rid of it, forcing yourself to become whole before you are even ready. Just sit with it for a while. Sit in the brokenness and maybe you will find some beauty there.

xx

Christina Ciro