Girl, Just Breathe

But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me. So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 TPT

Hey best Fran! Where have you been? 

 (Inserts record scratch here)

Hold up, Britt! Better yet, where have you been?

You’re right, I owe you “my why.”

Well, for the last couple of weeks, I’ve placed myself on pause. Why? Because a pause is not a stop, but a period in which you can become one with yourself.

Every day I’ve been journaling my thoughts, my ticks, and my tocks…you know…my day-to-day.  My therapist encouraged me to write about everything. For one, it is a form of therapeutic healing.  And two, getting what’s in your head – out of your head – soothes your mind, body, and soul.  Typically, my day-to-day expressions can range from long paragraphs to a simple word. But even in that one word, I find total release. 

For instance, B R E A T H E.  

I cannot recall what triggered this expression or what I was possibly going through that day, but this simple word pierced my heart. After writing, Breathe, in my journal, I ask myself questions like…When did I stop breathing? When did I stop feeling alive?

 I know the exact moment I stopped breathing

On November 28, 2017, when my brother took his last breath, simultaneously, I took mine too. I stopped breathing. I stopped living. I stopped speaking. I went a year and a half holding my breath. Suffocating.

Unbeknownst to me, the stages of grief trapped my oxygen levels and oppressed my whole being. I couldn’t wrap my head around losing my brother. Let alone, how do I move forward from this?

As days went on…my life felt like a time-lapse. Everything seemed to be moving forward except me. And the saddest part about this situation, very few took the time to ask: Are you okay?

We have all been that “strong woman” on the outside, but on the inside, we are broken, empty, and lifeless. We have held our breaths to keep our deep secrets, struggles, and even our greatest pain from reaching the surface. I can recall many times where I have held out my hands, hollow. Open my mouth, soundless. Shut my eyes, leaking. Sometimes my tears were the only offerings I could give to God – because my prayers couldn’t make it pass my caged heart.

I’ve always been the strong friend. The friend you go to for counsel. The friend you go to for support. The friend you go to for prayer. But the time I needed my friends and loved ones the most, no one could be traced. No prayers could be heard. 

Can you relate?  

Where is everyone when you need them? Can’t they see that I’m suffocating?

Many of us are suffocating in situations right now. Many of us have stopped breathing because of depression, a broken heart, a traumatic past experience, a devastating loss, guilt of our mistakes, battling emotions and the list continues to grow.

Did you know that the average woman criticizes herself 8 times a day? As women we are really hard on ourselves. We replay so many insecurities, assumptions, and mistakes in our heads that we end up suffocating. 

Girl, I just want you to breathe.

Inhale God’s peace and exhale every circumstance that keeps you bound.  Inhale loving yourself and exhale every insecurity. Inhale faith and exhale every fear. Inhale “I am more than enough” and exhale every self-sabotaging thought. Inhale the lesson and exhale the mistake. 

There’s a reason why the flight attendant instructs that, “If there should be a change in cabin pressure…put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.” I want you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first. Don’t be afraid to admit that you need to care for yourself.  When the pressures of life show up, which they will, unapologetically put your mask on. And, do it with grace. 

The beauty about God’s grace is its sufficient. And, God gives that gift to us every day. When we are low on oxygen, He is able to refill our tanks.  As II Corinthians 12:9-10 says, “my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.”

You don’t have to do life alone. I encourage you to seek self-care. Know that it can come in any form, such as: therapy, prayer, reading, writing, exercising, taking a class, attending support groups, taking a bath, taking a walk, buying fresh flowers, repeating positive affirmations, and my favorite, “Eating good food!”  But, don’t over indulge on the eating boo, lol.

In all, God desires us to breathe on purpose. He is an advocate of self-care. And if you catch yourself holding your breath at any time, let these words be your Apple iWatch reminder:

B R E A T H E.

Until next time beautiful!

 

Besos and Hugs, 

Britt

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