I sit here writing this post today in a very vulnerable state. I write this not only to tell my story but maybe perhaps one that reads this can relate and know that whatever you maybe going through right now in life, there is hope and many blessings that come along the way.

I was born into this world on August 12, 1984 which was a Sunday to be exact. I was born to a mom and dad and as a baby born I had no cares of the world. I grew up with no understanding of the life I was brought into.  I don’t remember much about the divorce but I know it happened. I remember being raised by my mother who at the time was single and raised me in our family’s hotel with help by my grandmother.  I always saw her as my second mother in life, and grateful for her.  Growing up not knowing much about the divorce it seemed to be kept a secret, instead of it being something I used an excuse, I look at it as a blessing, that because of this man I hardly knew, a beautiful daughter, wife, mom and individual was born.

At the age of 5 my mom got remarried to another man that I would learn to call dad.  He did so many good things for me throughout my life and he even went through the adoption process to make it official.  I was still young, but I remember that day… Heck both my parents asked if I wanted to change my name just because I could but I loved my name so kept it. I did have a middle name Renee but dropped it in the adoption process.

Life seemed pretty good, though I remember lying in bed and thinking…. they are arguing again but I just ignored it.  We moved around a a lot and remember I always had a hard time finding friends because I either got pushed out of the group for reasons unknown or we moved again. It was hard and confusing to find my place in life.  At the age of 11 my father was in a massive drunk driving accident that led him to go through major back surgeries with him and my mom commuting back and forth from the bay area.  I remember for a while that our living room was a at home hospital room.

This event took a huge tole on our family.  The arguments progressed especially about money, the depression was more noticeable and I would take on a lot more responsibility as the oldest child of 3.  The depression was the hardest thing to live with growing up.  To see the pain and suffering it causes someone you love and unaware of it, it starts to creep on to you like slo moving snake.

Because of the depression, it lead to even more strife that would later lead to another divorce.

I love my parents and know they did the best they could with the circumstances they were handed. They taught me to be brave and overcome struggle to an exceptional person because of it. Because of the arguments of money, I am motivated to provide a life for my children were they don’t have to see mom and dad argue about money.  Because of divorce I am a better wife and mom because I want my children to know what it is like to have a mom and dad who love each other unconditionally.  Because of depression, I strive to be a better version of myself both physically and mentally for me and my family because depression sucks.  It really causes more unnecessary pain and shame to ones personal life.

I have lived my whole entire 34 years of life pretending like this didn’t bother me, but the truth is, its held me back because of my own pain and shame I never new I had.  I always tried to find love in all the wrong places, I was needing to achieve something to feel that love I was seeking, and I felt I was always seeking love from others that was never there that led me down a path of unworthiness in my self and feeling shameful of who I really was as a person.

We can find brave from our past.  Our past doesn’t have to define who we are.  We can learn break free from those moments that led us to believe we weren’t good enough.  Without even realizing it, my past was holding me back because I didn’t know who the real me was.  I was so in my head of worry and fear, I couldn’t get to know the real me because I was to busy inside my head. I’ll put it into perspective of how much fear I was living in, After a lump was detected in my left breast as I was preparing to graduate from college, I kid you not, I would feel my boob 20 times a day for 4 years.  I was obsessive!  And with every little freckle I had I start to freak out I had skin cancer!

I lived in so much fear and worry for so long. After hitting rock bottom after Nate was born, I was tired.  Tired of living this life that controlled me who I was.  Resenting and blaming the people I loved for the problems (my fault or not) that where holding me back in life.

Today I am in a place of seeing love within my self and compassion for others.  Years of pain takes time to overcome, but I can say how grateful that my past has helped me to become brave.  Each day is a new day to have more grace with myself and each new day gets a little better.  Even in the seasons I feel stuck and like nothing is happening in my life no matter how hard I feel like I am trying to work hard at whatever I am doing, I am grateful.  With each new season comes a new lesson and blessing to be grateful for.

I seek guidance from my Heavenly Father and know that he has given me these trials to be blessed by and I truly have.  I’ve learned to appreciate my parents in a new way and know that they did the best they could.  I’ve learned to love my husband in new light and for him sticking with me through all my deep darkness.  My children are my greatest blessing even on the days I want to pull my hair out.  They just add to the learning process of it all.

Find brave from your past.  Your past and experiences aren’t placed in your life to define you, they are there to help you grow.

Be Awesome,

Amber