A Real Reflection on My 2013

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We’re only a couple days away from ringing in a new year. It’s a time of anticipation and preparation of the future and all it will bring, and a time of reflection of what 2013 brought us.

Have you seen those really cool instagram videos that have been going around with snapshots of people’s most liked pictures of the year? I love seeing those things. Most of my friend’s are filled with weddings, babies, and more babies. Haha.. It’s so amazing to see all the smiles, new beginnings, and happy moments so many are reflecting on.

A couple weeks ago I posted a video challenging myself and you to be real with ourselves and those around us. I talked about how on social media we usually only see someone’s happy moments and not their struggles, and when we compare our behind the scenes to someone’s highlight real, we will almost always feel bad about what’s going on in our life because it’s not an accurate comparison. So, I’m risking being vulnerable here and wanted to let you know that if you’re looking back at 2013 and your highlight video isn’t full of what you wished it would be, you’re not alone, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t have a purpose.

Today, I was reflecting on my 2013 and as a surprise to me, tears came to my eyes. First, let me say, the point of sharing this with you is NOT to get pity from you or have a pity party for myself. It’s a statement of authenticity and ends in thanksgiving. This time last year, I was in Spain with my husband. I was the wife of a basketball player living what many would call “the dream”, living in a foreign country, moving every year to different parts of Spain, living by the beach, soaking in the rich culture. It wasn’t a bad life. I look back at all that happened between December 29, 2012 and December 29, 2013, and if someone would have told me what would go down, I never ever would have believed them.

I lived in Spain on the coast of La Coruña until June 2013 when I went home for the summer to see my family.

I shortly after found out I’d be moving to Kansas in August for my husband’s job and completely shift my life from European culture to the heart of America, this was a very exciting and challenging time.

Shortly after the big move all my dreams of having my own home and finally being able to settle down were shattered on September 11 when my other half decided he had other plans that didn’t include me.

For those of you who have been through divorce, you can probably agree that it is one of the deepest pains our heart can feel. I was talking with my mom about this and we were comparing our experiences as she lost her high school sweetheart when my father passed away 15 years ago when I was 11 from the motorcycle accident we were in together. We both agreed, that there is something different about a divorce. The pain of rejection has a sting uncommon to other forms of grief.

The final months of 2013 for me were some of the most painful and most enlightening times of my entire life. I experienced the most brutal, deepest form of heartache and the most powerful, healing forms of grace and love I have ever felt.

This is the beauty about pain and suffering…if you allow God’s love and truth to penetrate your heart and come to a place where you fully trust HIM, you will ALWAYS come out stronger, refined, more patient, compassionate, and prepared to more deeply love the people around you. I can’t explain how I have overcome this huge obstacle so quickly, how my heart feels more loved than it ever has, how I have no resentment or bitterness on the other side, how I feel better than I have in years, how much JOY I have in my heart… all of that is supernatural, I can’t take credit for it. All I KNOW is that we are UNCONDITIONALLY LOVED by an AMAZING God. A God who is there through the thick and the thin no matter how many times you may doubt Him or turn your back on Him. He is aching to hold you right where you are. The idea that you have to do anything to earn His love is a lie. It was in my darkest moments that I was able to experience a supernatural strength in ways I never knew it. It was in those moments that I knew I was being molded for something greater…a calling I never knew I was cut out for, to love on others through some of life’s most painful moments including death and divorce. That may sound morbid, but I’ve lived through it. I know the pain, and I’ve experienced the grace, peace, and hope. I’ve reflected on life and instead of tragedy, I see beauty from ashes, strength from fear, rejoicing after sorrow, and I am SO THANKFUL.

YOU, my friend, have your own story. You’ve experienced your own darkest moments that you never thought you would heal from. Many of you have experienced more heartache than 100 people will in their lifetime. I want you to know that not a tear is wasted. You’re being molded and prepared for something greater beyond yourself. We are not here on this crazy planet just to exist. We’re here to love on others and use the gifts and experiences we go through to help others through this insane journey. Together.

So, my 2013 may not have been full of smiles, butterflies, and rainbows, and I may have fallen on my face quite a few times, been thrown a few dozen curve balls, and had the rug pulled out from under me, but I am walking out of 2013 with a new found strength, love, grace, humility, understanding, wisdom, and appreciation of life. A new compassion for those who are hurting, a more mature view of the brokenness of humanity and desire to simply love on people and CHOOSE to be THANKFUL in EVERY circumstance and situation. It’s like a magic trick! Thankfulness is anger’s worst enemy. Try it, I dare ya! 🙂

The biggest lesson that I am walking away from 2013 with is to BE LOVE. Love everyone around you just like Jesus did. Don’t get so caught up in organized religion that you completely overlook the lessons and example that Jesus taught. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Religion has in many cases become a more effective tool of evil than of good.

To people who don’t know me, I’m a girl who lost her dad at a young age and now divorced at 26. Do you know how many labels the average person would slap on me without even knowing my heart or the situation? How many times do we do that? I know I have been guilty several times! Isn’t it time that we stop this madness and encourage instead of discourage, empower, inspire, strengthen, and lift others up no matter who they are or what they’ve been through. We can’t change the world all at once, but we can start in our little circle of family and friends and create a ripple effect throughout the world. We all want change, it’s time we step into action.

So, my challenge to myself and to you is no matter how 2013 went for you, let’s end it stronger than we started, because that IS our choice. YOU CHOOSE how you view your circumstances. Choose to let them make you stronger instead of weaker.

I know my foundation is in who my Creator made me to be. I know He loves me unconditionally no matter what I do or don’t do. I know in Him I can do all things. I know that nothing can touch the peace and joy that is from Him, because ALL things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. I KNOW that HE wins every time. So, I have nothing to fear. And I KNOW He’s just as crazy about YOU.

2014…Bring it.

Jessica Aubrey

RN & Health Coach
www.JessicaAubreyRN.com

Jessica@JessicaAubreyRN.com

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Love Yourself As Your Neighbor

Today’s post is aimed at a very specific group of people. This won’t apply to everyone, but for the people it is relevant for, today could be a powerful moment in your life.

Today, I’m speaking to those of you who are victims of abuse…from yourself.

Those of you who daily speak damaging words to yourself, tell yourself you’re a failure, you’re not good enough, you’re too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall, too light-skinned, dark-skinned, etc. Do these statements sound familiar?…

  • I hate my body, why can’t I be thin like the other girls?

  • I hate my job, I feel like my life is such a failure.

  • I will never been good enough to get a job/salary/house/spouse…like them.

  • My body doesn’t work right, its broken, I will always feel sick.

  • I can’t believe I messed that up! I’m so stupid!!

  • Nobody loves me, everyone hates me, I should just go away.

  • Ugh…I am so fat! No one will ever love me, and why should they, I am gross!

  • I am so ugly, I hate the way I look.

  • I’m going to fail this test.

  • I’m not good at anything! Why am I even here?

These statements are pretty intense, but there’s a good chance that you have said something similar to yourself, and possibly on a daily basis. I know I have damaged my body and mind in this way numerous times over the years.

Whether you are a Bible reader or not, almost everyone has heard the verse, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. The truth is that no one will take care of you as well as you can. No one knows our feelings, thoughts, needs, like we do ourselves. Normally, we take care of ourselves better than others, so this Bible verse is helping open our eyes to the fact that we need to treat others as we want to be treated. This verse helps us to understand what Jesus is teaching as we all know how we want to be treated. Everyone wants to be loved, respected, and cherished, and through this verse, we understand we need to treat others with the same kindness.

In our day and age, we have a unique problem that is progressively getting worse, and that is SELF DESTRUCTION. This is especially true in women. The enemy (aka the devil) has come to steal, kill, and destroy. In women, he is especially effective at destroying our confidence, our sense of feeling beautiful, and our self-worth. Can I get an Amen?

For some of us, if we were to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, our neighbors would be pretty pissed!

Think about all the things you say to yourself on a daily basis. Now, imagine saying those things out loud directed at someone else! Yikes! Do you ever tell your inner self “I love you”? I know that may sound foreign to you, but why not? Loving yourself is not cocky, conceded, or arrogant. In fact, when other people have these attitudes of arrogance, 99% of the time it’s because of lack of self-confidence. Loving yourself is not arrogance, it is one of the BEST things you can do for your health!

I am reading a book right now by Louise L. Hay, called “You Can Heal Your Life“. AMAZING book and probably unlike anything you’ve ever read about health. Louise believes that nearly all state of dis-ease in the body comes from a lack of self-love. She also believes that any lack in life- finances, love, success- also stems from a lack of self-love. Obviously this is a very basic statement, and the book goes into much more detail, but this theory has a lot of merit to it, and many specialists have proven this to be true over the years as they continue to heal disease & cancers by addressing mental/emotional factors.

Think about it, if you love your body, you’ll take care of it- you’ll put healthier foods into it, you’ll exercise more, groom it better, you’ll feel better, be happier, and meditate on being, feeling, doing good.

If you loathe your body, you’re in an abusive relationship with yourself. You’ll end up putting junk into it, damaging it with hateful words, you most likely will hate exercise, and you’ll be stuck meditating on all the negative things in your life.

You attract into your life what you focus and meditate on. Those are two VERY different lives stemmed from one simple difference- their perspective and the way they love themselves.

 

TODAY’S CHALLENGE:

I want you to take notice of how you’re treating yourself today. Stand in front of a full length mirror and look at yourself with eyes of love and appreciation. Tell yourself “I love you”, “Thank you for working so hard and doing a million things per second to keep me alive. I promise to love you a little more each and every day, because you were created PERFECT.” Maybe write down all your thoughts that you have towards yourself so you can reflect on what’s really going on. We all have an inner child within us. This isn’t voodoo, hocus pocus, new agey philosophy, it’s reality. Talk to yourself as if you were talking to a 3-year-old. If a 3-year old fell down, would you kick them while they’re down, call them a failure, and tell them that no one will ever love them because they fell? OF COURSE NOT! You’d help them up, dust them off and tell them to try again, keep going, they’re doing great!

SO MUCH WILL CHANGE if we can do this one simple thing. I know you can do it! Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Let me know how it goes!

Have a beautiful Sunday everyone!

XOXO,

“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:28-31

 

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SWEATY SATURDAY- Do What You LOVE!

YAY! It’s the weekend! I hope you’re having a relaxing & restorative weekend with your friends & family! Today’s post was inspired by my softball practice today, first time I lace up my cleats in a loooong time! As you know, today is “Sweaty Saturday”, and I want to talk to you about doing what you love to get sweaty!

SO many people DREAD exercise. Are you one of those people? If so, you are definitely not alone. I was reflecting on why that is today…why do so many people truly hate exercise? Why is it such a burden? Why do people dread going to the gym or going for a run, yet push themselves to do it because they know they should? Think about that… If this is you, why do you dread exercise so much? Now, write that answer down….

Ok, now let’s talk about what you DO love! Everyone loves some sort of activity, and if you don’t, email me so we can figure out what’s going on :). So, for me, all of my life I played softball. I started with t-ball at around 3 years old and never looked back. I went on to play baseball with the boys until I was 8 and then switched over to softball. I don’t think there was any other activity in my life that I was so passionate about and invested so much in. At 10 years old, I was playing on a traveling softball team an hour away, where we would drive for practices and all around California for games. I was hooked at a very young age! In fact, it was on the way home from one of my softball practices on my 11th birthday that I was in a life-altering motorcycle accident that claimed my father’s life and truly changed my life forever. I almost lost my life, my leg, and so much more. If you haven’t heard my story, you can read more in the “About Me” section.

To me, there was no question as to if I would play softball again, I just knew I would and was determined to do just that. A little less than 1 year after my accident, I was wheeled out to the pitchers mound (I was a pitcher) with my casted leg and was honored to throw the first pitch to start off the softball season at a city-wide tournament. I couldn’t wait to walk out to that mound again.

Little by little I rehabilitated back to walking and eventually running and pitching again. I look back and realize that it really was quite an achievement! At the time though, it wasn’t a big deal to me. I was just doing what I was passionate about and that motivated me more than anything! I went on to play on multiple travel teams, was the starting Varsity pitcher multiple years in high school, played on a Junior Olympic softball team that my family and I drove 2.5 hours to for practice weekly and flew all over the country for tournaments, and eventually hit the pinnacle of my softball career when after shoulder surgery, was able to play with one of the top college softball teams in the NAIA, PLNU. The joy that softball brought me was unquestionable. I didn’t realize how big of a place it had in my heart until the day came that I had to hang up my cleats & glove.

Combining an extremely demanding nursing program, and an extremely demanding softball career, with a little pinch of a perfectionist mentality, my body started breaking down and on came the hormonal mess, heart palpitations, and digestive issues. It was time to move on to the next chapter of my life, and that hit me harder than I thought it would. I remember going for a run one night and I found myself in a puddle of my own tears sitting in the dug out of our college softball field. In that moment, I realized so much of my love for softball was connected to my dad. The last day I had with him was on a softball field, he coached me all growing up, and was there at every game alongside my amazing mother. Now was time to let it go and move on. And that I did, and found new joys, desires, goals, and aspirations.

I shared all this with you to show you one of my life long passions, softball. Each of you have a passion. Maybe it’s a sport, maybe it’s loving others, maybe it’s being in nature, playing with your kids, cleaning the environment, etc. Today, I was reminded of what I love and how I don’t have to think twice about running, sprinting, diving, and squats when I’m playing softball, because I LOVE IT! Today I dove and caught a fly ball twice and it felt SO GOOD even though I was covered in wet grass and may have moved a couple ribs out of place. 🙂

So, my friend, what is your passion in life? Now write that down. Does it fit with the reason you wrote down earlier about why you dread exercise? How can you turn that passion into an active- get sweaty sesh? Can you get some friends together and go play basketball on the street? Or maybe a group of girls wants to do a 5k together and you can all train and talk together. Or go run along the beach and pick up trash as you go, doing a full squat every time you bend down to pick something up. Maybe it’s playing and running around with your kiddos. Kid’s are GREAT to exercise with. Have them sit on your back as you do pushups, lay straight and depending how big they are bench press or bicep curl them, play jump rope or on a trampoline. Kids are ALWAYS active!

My point in all of this is that life is too short to dread exercise. If you truly hate running with a passion, then don’t run! If you hate being indoors at the gym, then go exercise outside! If you hate working out for hours at a time, then do something fun and intense like Crossfit! If you want something more calm, do yoga, pilates, or Qi-Gong! You have no excuse today. All I’m asking you to do is have FUN getting sweaty. Make it something you crave and can’t wait to do again! 😉 Use your imagination!

Have fun with today’s challenge and go get sweaty doing what you love!

xoxo,

Jess

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

John 15:7

Make sure you check out my new program THE EMPOWERED WOMAN!!

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