13.10.2017, 11:16:09

call out your lies,
create a list,
dump them out:

1. “you don’t matter, now or ever … you know that right?”
2. “nothing you do matters anyway; you’re always lagging behind.”
3. “nobody actually cares; nobody really loves you.”
4. “Oh, you want to be recognized? that’s so selfish.”
5. “you don’t have a legitimate reason to feel what you feel – stop pretending.”

name them,
one by one,
look them in the eyes for what they are:
lies.
-cv.

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09.10.2017, 12:48:09

The A-word.

You’ve wiggled your fingers in my direction, a sly grin on your face. You’ve changed shape and form over the last few years, but you’ve always looked exactly like me.

Somewhere along the way, I believed I was no better than you, not worthy of being understood and even asking for help. Unseen, I internalized you as my identity for far too many moments than I’d like to admit.

But I see you for what you are. You aren’t my friend, my comfort or a source of safety. You’re a liar. You are paralyzing fear dripping with disappointment at every corner — lurking around, trying to rob me from what was originally and has always been meant for me.

I was made for community, for love and grace.
I was made for leadership, for creative expression and peace.
I was made for God’s heart, and His home is found in mine.

If naming your demons exposes the darkness to light and invites love back in, I’ll set my mind ablaze, transparent, illuminating the truth of how desperately I need a Saviour to heal the battle wounds I’ve tried so hard to hide. I’ll stand among fluorescent lights, telling the story of how fashioning an image of perfection was a complete waste of my life’s calling to creativity and redemption. If living gloriously small, humbly and always looking for my soul-Lover’s beauty will radically reform a hardened, scar-tissued heart, I will gladly jump in and douse myself in gratitude and grace.

This isn’t a freedom merchandise stand,
here one day, gone the next: this is real life.
This is a war, a constant tug of war– of whose side I choose to believe.

This isn’t an attention-seeking cry or protest.
This is a rally, a yell to echo into the wilderness:
that the captives are not alone– they are warriors, strong and powerful.

I will march around your city walls seven billion times if I need to.
I will be a ragamuffin, claiming victory before your gates even fall,
I will shout joy, dance without restrain and bang the beat of Heaven’s drum.

This soul is God-country,
and you have no place here.

go back where you came from, hell.
anxiety, you have no dominion here.
-cv.

09.05.2017, 12:49:09

sometimes, there are days where everything is so right with the world. And not because they are in any way perfect, or that I tried to make them so- but because each moment came together in harmony. through intentional, present-focused living. And I can’t help but feel deeply- fall deeply- into the zen and quiet joy it stirs.

1. Being real about my holistic health: partnering with my doctor, who not only does her job well, but listens to me well. Relief. Change. Hope. Excitement.
2. Cozy days spent with Leo: Netflix, deep chats, green thumbs and lots of laughter
3. Choosing to fully engage in the moments I am most me, and continually realizing how much joy and silliness there is in freedom.
4. Forgetting where my phone is entirely
5. Space in my schedule to do whatever my heart wants to delight in: working out, eating good food, shopping with a friend, meditating and reading a book.

I am learning the art of being wholly me, and it is absolutely wonderful. I’m so thankful for seasons like May and June – where time slows and spring births seeds to life.
-cv.

15.04.2017, 20:59:39

some thoughts on reclaiming presence lately.

I’ve been trying to be more aware, more soft-hearted and more in awe of each moment that passes and every person that flickers in my line of vision. I’ve been trying. I’ve been trying … but I burnt out. the burn out became an anxious spirit, the spirit became a constant headache in the forefront of my mind, and the thoughts melted me down last week. I felt downright debilitating to my own self; it leaked into my perspective and steeped my relationships.

Thing is, what I’m learning about presence is it starts with me. my own self. my body, my mind, my soul. and when days go by, unchecked, the poison goes rampant. Mind you, I am reminded of grace, and the importance of giving myself this gift just as much as I give it others. I’m not so good at showering myself in love as I am with other hearts. Leo pointed it out: the way I light up around meaningful conversation with people at work; the way I greet shopkeepers with bubbly smiles in quiet flower stores; the way I choose to handle conflict by waiting for the right, peace-inducing words before speaking. Maybe you relate.

I’ve spent this week investing in reclaiming territory. Reclaiming presence. Reclaiming my own love. Reclaiming truth. Here are a list of things I’ve noticed that help, and I have already / want to incorporate them into my daily living:

1. Meditation
This is new for me. like, three days old. but I love it, why? because it stops the torrential flood of thoughts and trying to “fix” the feelings inside. meditating is stopping and being present with yourself, letting go and welcoming home. I feel so connected to my body- it’s a new way I’m experiencing freedom in all sorts of ways.

2. Exercise
Has been a downer … all year. I’ve realized how important exercise is for stress-relief and mental well-being. It’s been hard, considering a few factors that became roadblocks along the way- but with sunny weather and slower days finally here, I look forward to new beginnings, small beginnings- and endorphins.

3. Slow mornings and short to-do lists
If you know me and we’ve looked each other in the eyes, you might know I dropped to part-time in school. I painfully realized last year I function best at a slower pace, and that it’s okay. I’d rather breathe deep than take short, stifled breaths. I love creating a life where I am happy to wake up and not overload my day.

4. Meaningful conversation
Always, always, always. Yes, I’m an introvert, but conversation is a necessity for me, in big, deep doses. I come alive in discussion about love, friendships, hard times, the meaning of being worthy and how every little thing matters. Strike up a dialogue with me on this, I promise I love surprises, especially out of the blue.

5. Practicing grace and gratitude
I do this for myself, so I can give it to others from a place of fullness, not emptiness. Leo stole my all-time, go-to mantra and now uses it in his daily vernacular: “it’s all grace. all is grace.” This is a conscious posture. A muscle that needs to be frequently flexed. One needs to be fully present, looking for grace to give, looking for God-gifts in all little things.

6. Eat well, Sleep well
My New Year’s resolution was to meal prep every Sunday to learn new things, eat well and not have to make lunch at five in the morning. I did so well during the semester, but as school has ended, so have some of my healthy habits as well. Oops! Tackling food, self-love and my body requires my 100 per cent intention. I’m learning how to listen to my body in such a way that I steward this Holy Temple the best I can. the breakthroughs are wonderful stepping stones.

-cv.

12.04.2017, 09:57:21

18 things I would tell my 18-year-old self:

1. I love your heart– for people, for passion, for perspective
2. you’re not going to graduate “on time” in four years, but five – and that is more than okay. it doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it means you fight to live life slower, more present.
3. every day is an adventure into the unknown + what-could-be. keep an open mind, don’t plan it all in one night.
4. yeah, that boy that broke up with you on the first day of first year? don’t fret darling, there really are good men out there, and your time in relationships that didn’t work out wasn’t wasted.
5. the love-journey with God is the most exciting relationship ever, and haha, girl … you’re just getting started.
6. you are worthy of grace in the “my life has been flipped upside down” moments and the diagnoses and titles placed on your head.
7. love your body. love it. I still have to tell myself this: but you are enough.
8. friend groups change, seasons shift – and it’s all okay.
9. your story is being written by the Creator, not his creations (you will learn this the hard way, but it’s all grace – there’s purpose in the process)
10. drink your water, set boundaries, get enough sleep, eat healthy
11. you can’t be everything to everyone, and you’ll fail trying to do so
12. the dreams in your heart matter, and you should pursue them
13. your Facebook friends and Instagram followers count doesn’t matter, you love the people in front of you really well, focus on them
14. fight for presence, for authenticity. even when it seems you’re the only one
15. feeling the #feelz is your superpower, it’s not the enemy.
16. you shift the atmosphere in every room you walk in, royal one – you are significant and powerful
17. the struggle, the hustle, the pain — it’s all gonna be worth it.
18. life is so good babe. here, now. it’s beautiful, and it’s only getting more and more beautiful every day.

you are so dang loved,
-cv.

10.04.2017, 21:56:28

tell me all your secrets, and I’ll share some of mine.

maybe I’ll tell you how my cheeks feel raw on the inside, riddled with anxiety and nervous habit, or how sometimes I’m scared people will walk away when they realize my life isn’t as picturesque as the Instagram feed I prep. maybe I’d tell you about this bursting, bright yellow kind of love I’ve never felt before and just how happy and full everyone around me is, or how I’d never trade in my broken pieces for poker chips with the words like “should have” or “what if” scrawled in red.

tell me all your secrets, and I’ll gladly tell you all of mine.
-cv.

13.03.2017, 21:51:47

thoughts + mental ramblings, part two:

Feelings. Mmm, my favourite. They can be crippling and freeing– both within seconds of each other. It fascinates me, really: how powerful our emotions are should we allow ourselves to be controlled by them and let them have the final say.

Life, circumstances and, really, every day teaches me new things about the world and its people in it. It’s a beautiful thing to feel so deeply. To have the highs and lows. To conquer a depression so weighty you thought you wouldn’t live through it. To see the stitched-together scars inking your story in redemptive tones. To understand that everything was necessary to point the compass to where your feet find home.

And that, right here, you are enough.
And this is God’s best for you, now.

I’ve learned how to live in moments, one after another. When it comes to feelings, fruit and danger though, I’d like to untangle some of my jumbled thoughts here. So bear with me, friend.

Something Leo has pointed out on numerous occasions is my ability to see a story from all angles. But not only to shift my perspective, like an omnipresent narrator, but to fully embrace the feelings involved. Simply being objective or taking on the second person pov isn’t my piece of pie. I dive fully into the first person character, naive and believing the best in others.

Maybe it’s because I believe everyone is an ocean, each different and so much deeper than the shallow, superficial scratches people tend to talk about. Entering someone’s own personal ocean entails fully submerging yourself, and that includes the possible emotions that might flood your way.

You absorb them, and they become your own. Yeah, it’s confusing to me too.

I’m not sharing this as a boast to boost myself in the holier-than-thou books or make myself sound like a spiritual guru. Far from it. All I know is I tend to feel emotions all at once and then process them as time goes on.

Stories become real to me. People become dear to me.

And I walk around holding remnants of peoples’ hearts in my sleeve, and I leave pieces of them everywhere I go. It’s uncanny, but I think it’s true. It sounds poetic and endearing, but I think it can quickly become unhealthy and dangerous if I’m not careful.

Because if I let my feelings rule, I can be bleeding others’ tears and bad-blood that was never ‘bad’ at all. Maybe somewhere along the way, instead of simply defining the claw-shaped smears as violent or ridiculous, we might stop to see it differently, deeper: someone broke.

The organ that held life-pumped, rhythm-echoing arteries tore a bit. Maybe it was a paper cut, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt. We get squeamish and we gag at bloody fingers and bruised knees, but we forget that something had to break– someone’s heart got busted– in the process.

So I try to live with this awareness.
I try to love people the way I would want to be loved.
I believe in starting over.
I believe in healthy relationships and sharing feelings.

Feeling with others is a beautiful process. It can weigh heavy, yeah, but when done right and with the right people surrounding you, it’s always worth it.

What do you think?
-cv.