My tattoo, my story…

                                      “Takes Dust to Polish”

So this tattoo isn’t something I did out of the blue…. 5 years ago I made a promise to myself and that promise has finally been fulfilled. But let me tell you what is behind these words and how this promise started…

Takes dust to polish basically means that it takes hard work to get where you want to be! I heard it from a song by Jason Mraz, “Life is Wonderful”. I love this song because with so much simplicity he explains that life is wonderful and meaningful despite the twists and turns it takes. Life has good moments and bad ones, but that is what makes it special, allowing us to learn and grow from them.

But what makes this quote and tattoo even more special is the moment I would listen to this song. This song came out in 2006; I was living in Tujunga, California, a sophomore in high school, barely functioning…it was the year I was admitted into rehab for eating disorders. On my way to outpatient program I would listen to this song every morning. My mother would let me drive and listen to this song repeatedly. It must have driven her crazy! I don’t know why this song captivated me, but I remember thinking that my life was hell, and it was nowhere near wonderful! I hated going to the hospital. I doubted I would ever get better. I had no hope in my future. I thought I would slowly die in my dark world and no one would be able to rescue me.

This quotes represents overcoming many challenges and adversaries. Battling bulimia, a victim of sexual abuse as a child, depression, drugs, becoming a teen mom, betrayals, going through a failed marriage, a rough divorce, and the hardest thing, learning how to LOVE and ACCEPT my past and myself, and letting go of the SHAME.

 I had to learn that in order to get out of the dark spiral my life was in, I had to rescue myself, and that was allowing to unfold the deepest and darkest secrets, to unmask everything that was holding be back, the fears and the doubts, exploring my feelings, thoughts, and emotions and allowing myself to live authentically. A part of rescuing myself was letting go of all the control I so desperately longed to hold, and to give it up and learn to trust God and believe in his promises.

For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.        Jeremiah 29:11

But one of my greatest and proudest achievements is to have finished school and become a professional, to give back and help others. When I first began studying psychology, I didn’t think I would learn and discover so much of myself through the process. It took 5 years of blood, sweat and tears and without fail, each semester I considered dropping out. I was on the verge of giving up, of letting it all go because I was scared and doubted myself constantly. I felt that the demands of school were too much, and on top of that I had to deal with the emotional exhaustion of a broken marriage and divorce. I had to juggle being a student and a single mom, sacrificing time with my daughter, dealing with sleepless nights and sickness, etc. Nevertheless God always had my back and there were people in my life who supported me unconditionally and prayed for me, people who uplifted me and allowed me to vent and break down, people who let me open up, expose my life and be vulnerable, and still stand by me and show me love.

It has been a hard journey and I am grateful and proud to have overcome many difficult circumstances and self-destructing habits, but I am still learning to give myself love and compassion and be more positive. I finally understand how important it is to invest in myself, giving love and acceptance to myself…because it has allowed me to give love, compassion and acceptance towards others too. It allowed me to connect and build strong relationships, restore old ones and become a better mother.

It takes dust to polish, it takes hard work to shine, it isn’t easy but I’ve seen how God uses the bad and turns it into good. To live a meaningful and purposeful life is to learn from the bad experiences, to grow and allow happiness and love to flow despite the circumstances.

 So I end my first post sharing my banner of healing, hope and recovery. A promise I made to myself: to turn my life around, to finish school, share my story and live authentically.

                              With love and courage,

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