Hope Wissel, Recovery

Why is Trust Easier Than Faith?

Faith is “complete trust or confidence in someone or something”.

Trust is “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.”.

Why is it so much easier to trust someone or something than it is to have faith?  I will be honest, the two words sometimes get confused in my head.  Nothing unusual with the onset of MS….

We trust every day – driving on the highway a car won’t cross the line, flying in a plane we won’t crash – yet when it comes to having faith in a Higher Power (I chose to call God), we want more.  I often hear individuals talk about struggling with the idea of a higher power, of having faith there is something greater who is loving and caring.  Yet, we readily jump in the back pockets of other recovering addicts “trusting” they will lead us in the right direction since they have some clean time.  It is a very fine line but who doesn’t like the thrill of walking a tightrope without the chance of falling.

Life has had its ups and downs lately.  Nothing dramatic and probably no more than usual. The impact my relapse has had on my life (and my relationships) rears it ugly head some days which can send me spiraling.  Life on life’s terms was never promised to be easy.  I have faith God will restore relationships completely when the time is right.  I have faith he wraps his loving arms around me, giving me comfort when I am weak and struggling.  I have faith he will help me close the door on Debbie Doubtful and Negative Nellie when they come to call.  I have faith when the time is right those relationships will be restored and all will be well.  I also face the fact, they may never look like what I want them to be but I trust it will be right for those involved.

Today, I don’t have to be the selfish, self-centered person I was (I want what I want when I want it). I wanted to fix, manage and control situations and people so I could feel better.  I can change.  It took me a long time to totally understand how self-centered I was.  My justification used to be to make a list of the things I did for everyone else, or to sacrifice what I wanted to do, so how am I being self-centered?  I have learned to trust others when they point out this definite character flaw.  It is my faith which allows me to believe they were brought into my life for a reason.  See the fine line???

As the world reels from the “virus”….. “who do you trust?” “do you have faith?”.  Are you being negative and jumping on the anger wagon during this crisis?  Does this “interfere” with your life?  My one day at a time perspective and the inability to remember things has helped me keep a positive attitude in light of all of the negativity.  Showing kindness towards others in dark times is more important than ever.  Thanking those who are working hard to stock shelves.  Thanking those who are helping others who can’t get out.  Stopping by my favorite small business to share some “angel love” and support them during this difficult time.  I trust we will get through this.  I have faith this is a blessing in disguise.  Sometimes darkness needs to come before there is light.  Look at the positive side of all the closings.  Be grateful you have a home to go to.  Be grateful you have family to be locked in with -even if we may want to kill them.  LOL.  Be grateful there is some food and some toilet paper.  Please no hate mail.

I know I have probably squirreled throughout this post but my heart was heavy this morning thinking about things.  As we start to talk and plan hubby’s retirement, the “woulda, shoulda, couldas” come along.  I loose focus on who I am becoming, loving myself (okay I will start with liking myself) and start to force the memories of the past.  Struggling for memories brings frustration which brings negative thoughts and questions everything.  It is only when I trust in my Higher Power and have faith he will restore those memories if and when the time is right, I find peace.

If you are struggling with faith, look for the little blessings in your day.  What you call coincidences, I call blessings or your Higher Power at work.  Maybe your Higher Power is a loved one who passed.  Maybe it is your dog.  Yup, it can be anything or anyone you want it to be who is greater than you.  I’m a visual person since processing words is tough anymore… so someone holding the door, a random smile from a stranger, a hug from another recovering addict, a random call or text from someone you haven’t heard from in awhile… These things are blessings from a power greater than yourself.  Are you struggling with finding supplies during the “stocking up”?  Maybe someone shares their toilet paper or drops off a meal for your family or gives you the gallon of milk from their cart.  These are all your Higher Power at work.  Have faith, even as small as a mustard seed……….they are really tiny!  All things are possible.

Check out of my favorite songs.  Listen and trust there is a plan for all of us…

So, just for TODAY, will you join me in trusting your Higher Power has a plan for you.  He will guide you when you swerve off course as long as you EMBRACE his love and open your heart to all he has for you.  As you do this, your faith will grow just like the mustard seed.

Have a blessed day!

Hope Wissel, Recovery

Peace Within

Hi blog followers….. I still haven’t figured out the road I want to take with my blog but this was on my heart today…,  Are you wondering “how can she did she get peace within”? LOL.  I have been wondering the same question.

I have 21 months clean today. I have a calmness I haven’t felt in a REALLY long time.  Is everything perfect in my life?  NOPE!  Honestly, what in life is perfect?  The difference has been my daily practice of the first three NA steps .Actually, I am grateful for a strong third step which says “We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him”.

On those moments I’m alone at home or driving in the car admiring the beauty of the sky, I think about how peaceful life has become.  I am grateful for my relapse. No, I am not grateful for the pain and heartache it caused. BUT it has helped me in so many ways to really appreciate the gift of life.  It has helped me to put my life with MS in perspective and not let it control me.

Over the last few weeks, I have been blessed with a clear head and vey little brain fog.  I have completed physical and occupational therapy – actually graduated out because I was doing so well. YEAH!!  Planning our vacation in April.  Clearing out the clutter so we can put the condo on the market by early summer.  Creating new angel designs.  Tracking my food even though the scale doesn’t seem to be moving much.  Sadly, I had to find a new sponsor which has its growing pains.  LOL. I am taking it one day at a time and enjoying whatever life brings.

Whether you are in recovery or not, here are some simple steps to help you find peace within…

Stop Thinking about Your Past. … 

I will admit for me this is a little easier than for most.  I don’t remember a lot of things –  thank you MS.  I have let go of the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” kind of thinking.  I have stopped beating myself up for the mistakes I made which I can’t change.  Yes, I have regrets.  Yes, I get sad about broken relationships. Yes, the pain and heartache I caused is in my thoughts.  The difference is, I don’t focus on them.  I have faith relationships will be healed.  Definitely not in my time but when God sees fit to make it happen (I will be ready).  I stop focusing on the past and am enjoying the moment of today.

Don’t Push Yourself Hard for Something. …

As not only a recovering addict BUT also a recovering workaholic, this can be tough.  MS has taught me many things – don’t push yourself too hard because you will crash and burn (okay, not literally).  Do I still have goals?  Yup.  The difference now is I am enjoying the journey and where it takes me.  See, God has a plan for my life (and yours) so why not just let it unfold.  This can be rough for a planner (an old grant writing habit).  You can still set goals but don’t push so hard you forget about….

Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones.

Loved ones can be family, friends or someone who are important in your life.  I am learning to enjoy the quiet times. Don’t get me wrong, I always enjoyed spending time with loved ones.  The difference is NOW I am in the moment focusing on them and our time together.  I no longer am thinking about the next thing I need to do.  I am grateful for time with hubby – looking forward to his retirement.  I am grateful for the days (not as many as I would like) I get to spend with momma.  I am grateful for the time spent with my fellow women in recovery.  Are there some I don’t get to spend quality time with?  YUP!  Do I mess them?  ABSOLUTELY!  Still I am at peace.  I can’t control others so fix, managing and controlling everything is a quality I have learned to let go of (there are still some days – LOL). I know in time, the day will come when I will get to spend quality time with ALL my loved ones.

Lastly, focus your attention on those things you can control. …

I have always been a peacekeeper, really “a people pleaser”.  I stuffed my feelings when they didn’t agree with what others thought or did.  I tried to fix, manage and control things.  It was how I hid my feelings as well as my addiction.  If I am focusing on others, I didn’t have to think about me. YIKES!  It used to scare the hell out of me.  I didn’t know who I was.  I didn’t like me.  NOW, I am grateful for being able to look inside and see me (most days).  Yes, there are still days I don’t ‘like myself.  There are days the number on the scale makes me crazy despite my best efforts.  The difference is now, I focus on the things I can control.  I watch what I eat  since eating healthier makes me feel better despite the scale.  I talk to others when those inner gremlins creep in instead of stuffing them behind a closed door.  I wake up asking for guidance and go to sleep being grateful for the day.

A long post but I know in my heart someone needed to hear it.  Have a blessed day!

 

Family

BLACK FRIDAY GOES PINK!

pink black friday

MORNING!  Many of you may be seeing this post late in the day because you are part of the CRAZINESS that is called Black Friday.  I am driving to work BUT I can’t help but think of past Black Friday mornings…

Black Friday has an array of memories.

The years Belinda and I camped out at Walmart to do holiday shopping for my best friend’s kids.  She couldn’t get there so we did the shopping and put it on layaway for her.  It was a game for us while others were getting crazy knocking each other over for what they thought was a GREAT deal.

Then there was the year that my Mom was hit head on by someone headed to a Black Friday sale at Best Buy AND she was on her cell phone.  Our lives changed that day for several months as mom healed and we are blessed that God that he kept her safe.

The years that Belinda came home from college and we headed out for “kid and me” time.  Not crazy early but just a day to see what deals we could find after the crazies headed home.

This year, Black Friday will be PINK.  Specials galore on my VIP Customer page along with unannounced specials at my events over the weekend.  Come visit me at the Avon Municipal Building on Saturday.  Check out December’s special and the BEST part is that you can get THREE (yes, I said 3) with ONE purchase of $35.

12208264_10153849803775809_100147262926683702_n

Black Friday has memories of happy and sad times but all of them I  cherish.  How are you spending YOUR Black Friday?  Shopping?  Resting? Working?  Visiting with family?  Share your favorite memories with us.

Best wishes for a safe and fun day filled with memories to last a lifetime.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Family

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

happy halloween

Halloween, the time of year when we get to dress in costume and pretend to be someone or something else. I can remember going trick or treating when I as growing up with lots of friends. It was a big deal to dress up and collect as much candy as possible. I wanted it to be a fun time for my daughter, Belinda as well but from an early age, this fun night turned into something totally different. We laugh about it now but I know that it has left an impression on her that caused her to dislike Halloween and “masked” people even now at the ripe age of 26.

Our first trip to Disney, Belinda was about 18 months old. I think my mom and I were more excited then Belinda for her first trip on an airplane AND her first of many Disney trips. In a nutshell, Belinda screamed every time she saw a Disney character come near her. She was happy to see them at a distance but did not want them to be close to her. They were BIG, SCARY creatures. To say the least, there are no pictures of my daughter hugging Mickey.

Every Halloween, Belinda dressed in costume and did the trick or treat thing. We did the mall thing sometimes because Belinda wasn’t a big candy eater and the local mall gave out stickers and other items for the kids. Belinda also managed to always get Edythe, Elsie and I to dress up. I can remember one year – we were all ducks. It was rather comical to see 3 grown adults walking around in all yellow sweats with foam web feet and caps made to look like beaks. No, there are no pictures of that fateful night.

Fast forward again when Belinda was trick or treating with her best friend Jen Loder (Otepka). Halloween in Jen’s neighborhood was a BIG deal. The kids dressed in costumes, the houses were decorated and even the adults got into the spirit of things. It was Belinda’s first year spending the holiday in their neighborhood. Rich dressed in costume, came out of the darkness and scared the kids. Now, he did this every year so most of the kids knew it would be coming sometime during the night. No one bothered to tell Belinda about this Halloween tradition. Rich jumped out from behind a tree shaking his chains and dressed in costume. To say the least, Belinda screamed and ran to Jen’s parents who quickly tried to convince her all was well. Rich apologized but it became the talk of the neighborhood how he had managed to scare her. From then on, when Belinda did Halloween at Jen’s, she was watching for him but she was never ready for him to scare her.

12189876_10156276869460220_3005404485883866097_n

Masked people, large characters and scary/ haunted events were on Belinda’s list of things NOT to do which is funny because she ALWAYS watched the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series at home with my friend April when she was young. Great Halloween memories. What are your favorite Halloween memories growing up or with your children? Share them with us or share pictures of your BEST Halloween costume

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Travel Tips

Travel Thursday – Asheville, North Carolina

IMG_8282

Asheville is a city in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s known for its vibrant arts scene and historic architecture, including the dome-topped Basilica of Saint Lawrence and the vast 19th-century Biltmore estate, displaying artwork by masters like Renoir. Its Downtown Art District is filled with galleries and museums, and in the nearby River Arts District, former factory buildings house artists’ studios.

images

I have been a sand in my shoes girl all of my life – never wanting to get too far away from the smell of the ocean or the chance to sit by the water and ponder the blessings in my life.  Then my daughter went to North Carolina for college.  Our first trip down was full of wonder at the beauty of the mountains and the trees.  We didn’t spend a lot of time doing much more than moving her in to her college dorm before heading home.

Unknown

Over the last 8 years, we have come to love this area.  The small towns nestled in the mountains but close enough to the city to have some fun.  We have been exploring parts of Asheville each time we visit – from shopping to the farmer’s market to the quaint little restaurants.  We had an AWESOME breakfast here….

2009-12-31 23.00.00-28

Of course no trip to Asheville is complete without stopping by the Mellow Mushroom

2009-12-31 23.00.00-45

I love to use my Go To Tote to hold those little treasures that we find while strolling through the Farmer’s Market.  It has LOTS of pockets on the outside and room on the inside.  So when I am not keeping my treasures safe, I can use it as my purse.

11988488_10156263868370220_2484554121128644454_n

Along with my Double Up Crossbody which is great for shopping hands free!

9d8d3894295c477c9c53d59e80a33a4f

I am counting down the days till we head back to the quietness of the mountains and get to explore more of what Asheville has to offer.  If you have visited this area or better yet, if you are a local, what are some of YOUR favorite spots?  We would love to check them out on our next trip.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Source: Courtesy of Free People