What is your Darth Vader telling you?


I was never a big Star Wars fan.  I probably watched a total of one and a half Star War’s movies in my life, and that was because of my husband (sorry, “warsies” nerds, I don’t get it).  We all know those awesome punch lines, like, may the force be with you, or Luke, I am your father.

However, I am fascinated by Darth Vader.  With his heavy mechanical lungs that echo with every mysterious step.  His powerful force that can bring down any Jedi.  He seems unstoppable and destructive.  He moves gracefully in his sinister black armor attacking anything that gets in his way.  He uses the force of the darkside to manipulate and control.

Well, as I explained in my last post, I have a darkside. I am not proud of this, nor do I like to admit.  Its a genetic force that is with me.  It was

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Simply Sinful

I crave for the very realness that I am, yet I am afraid to be who I want.

The want is simply a sinful nature. However, courage consumed and surrounded me. I feel so encouraged by how many of you reached out in your own pain and struggles. Its so good to hear that I am not alone in this fight. Breaking out of our shell is hard and cold and just uncomfortable.

I like to stay in the confines of my pain, yet I am driven by a force within. We are trying to break free, but only together we can truly connect and belong. This is a quest to break free. To ride the hills and bare the curves. I feel a nudge at my heart to put these words out there and to tell you the truth, its really scary. I lay in my own misery while tempted to be in the flesh. I crave my genetic disposition, which, you guys, is not healthy. It takes every day to think about NOT doing those things. And those things are simply sinful.

I have many struggles, but I have learned that we must share and connect to fully delve deep inside  our murky waters. Just when I think I am drowning, I gasp for air and fill up on hope.  I look around and investigate the grounds beneath me. I rely on graceful failure to grow righteous wisdom. You guys, I am a constant work in progress.

Despair and depression is nigh, but musing on hope that always awaits in comfort.  Pressing on in dark while clinging to light, while still contemplating the mysteries of tomorrow.

“He has redeemed my soul from going down into the pit, and my life shall look upon the light.”- Job 33:28

A Perfect Failure


If you’re perfect you probably don’t want to read this.  Still Reading?  Awesome!  I’m not alone.

So, I’ve been digging deep into the hollows of my soul.  What I found was not pretty, in fact, it was shocking.  Reaching into the pits of despair and depression is taunting and scary.  I found something I never imagined.  I found that I am struggling with perfection.  Now, this is a different type of perfection.  This is not, my house must be clean at all times, or, every time I cook it needs to be just right (cause Lord knows about my cooking).  But let me explain this type of perfection I struggle with:

My perfectionism comes from within.  I struggle with how the inward looks.  I get so mad at myself when I don’t do something right.  I need to have a 4.0.  I need to write the best stories.  I need you to like me.  I need to have many views on my blog.  I actually obsess about it.  You guys, I obsess about how many views I have!  So, if you like reading my blog, can you follow me?  It makes me want to continue.  I know, I know, I shouldn’t rely on how many followers I have, but I do benefit from your encouraging words.  Can’t I fulfill my connection problem with the inter-web? (Yes, I know, I must have real live humans to connect with).  Like I stated in my other post, I am extremely sensitive and a bit insecure, so by following me I get giddy butterflies. Ok, so are you following me yet? (just kidding, well, not really:)

So, here I sit, on New Years Eve, wondering what my resolution is.  I have no idea.  In fact, I don’t think I will make one, because I am afraid I will fail at it anyway.  I sit here and read all of your posts on face book, all the wonderful activities planned tonight and awesome inspiring resolutions.  I. Have. Nothing. Yes, I want to be a better mother and wife, and be thinner.  But I know I will fail.  I will starve myself for a week, and then eat tons the next.  I will say something that I regret to one of my boys or my hub.  And, if I do make one, the perfectionist inside will obsess and I will let myself down. So, what’s the point, right?

So, after I stopped obsessing about a New Year’s resolution, something hit me.  I suddenly felt like my body went numb.  The raging waters inside came crashing into my conscience. Streaming inside my brain, I was floating on failure.  Just as I was about to fall off the cliff, I swam in the murky particulars of safety.  I could finally investigate the waters clearly.  Exhausted, fatigued, and broken, I saw truth.  The truth that failure reveals my weakness.  I want so badly to do everything right, yet I need to fail in order to learn.  This is what I am learning:

I cannot rely on myself.

Failure can lead to success, and a sign that I am learning.

Some of the best wisdom is learned through failure.

Do not be anxious in anything.

Embrace and understand your weakness.

Failure helps me evaluate and improve.

As I write, I am afraid that I will fail you.  That my stories will not be good enough.  I even wrote about perfectionism a month ago and was afraid to post.  So, I will try to accept my failure.  I usually fail very ungracefully and tend to punish myself very harshly.  This is when I just want to numb again.  To not feel.  But, I am a work in progress; I will learn to accept my failures, if it takes me to my last days.  But this failure also stems ever deeper.  This failure branches off of rejection.  I learned a bit about rejection through personality tests (come on, they’re fun!)

I don’t base a whole lot off personality tests but I do tend to like them.  So, about three years ago, I took a DISC test.  This test reassured me that I am very sensitive and constantly in need of acceptance and approval.  It was appropriate that I scored the “I” personality style.  The I stands for influential.  I love to motivate and encourage others, and in the work place I am very positive.  I will go out of my way to keep the peace. I have vision and love to research.  I can go overboard on my vision.  I have so many ideas and racing thoughts, BUT, I tend not to elaborate on my research and ideas because the fear of rejection and failure.  But then at times, I feel really, really good about my ideas, that its almost a grandiose facade.  But then fear slaps me in the face and I read about people like Thomas Edison:

“I have not failed.  I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Rejection come at me like an engulfing flame that consumes and burns down my courage.  The ash gets blown away and I have nothing left.  Then I swell into a shell and lose sight of what I was envisioning in the first place.  THEN, I become very introverted and never want to leave the house.  This is the vicious cycle of my mind.

I will never be one to vociferously express my feeling or opinions, I’m OK with that.  I will fail again, and I’m learning to be OK with that to.  I will probably exhaust myself into the abyss of my depression, but I will NOT rely on myself to get out.  The good news– I do not have a fixed identity that bestowed me at birth.  I am thankful for grace and revision as my story unfolds.  I am building the main character of my story.  And honestly, I like her.  If I didn’t have lows, I wouldn’t be who I am today.  If I didn’t experience pain and broken-ness, I wouldn’t know what it’s like to have grace and love.

So, if any of you have fear of failing or fear of ___, know this:  you are not alone, in fact, you are in great company.  Maybe you need to write your story.  Someone out there has the same fear.  You just might be the one to guide someone to freedom.  Many of us are being held down like a basketball in water.  When you let go of the ball, it will fiercely emerge from the water, exploding into the air.  We so badly want to be set free.

So, I am going to start celebrating my failures, not just my successes.  To celebrate my failures, is to dig deeper into learning who I am.  The more I fail, the more courage, strength, and wisdom I accrue.  I am going to be myself, you can come along for the ride or not.  But, I will not change who I am.

Here’s to Happy failing 🙂

Love you friends!


One of my favorite quotes on perfectionism:

“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up you life.  Research shows that perfectionism hampers success.  In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.” –Brene’ Brown

“I learned tha…

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

― Nelson Mandela

You guys, I have been feeling less than courageous lately.  Fear always seeps in and trumps being brave.  My sensitivity veils my vision and blinds my heart.  Work in progress.

Spoken Love


The sky seems darker today.  The fog surrounds my community with a deep sense of despair and confusion.  Many, including myself, continue to struggle with the whys and hows.  The drizzle of today will keep me inside, soaking in pain for my friends and community.  I cannot let go of this feeling in the pit of my stomach.  The swirling thoughts and disbelief.  The heartbreak. The loss.

No one is prepared for a friend in the community to get arrested and now be labeled a pedophile.  No one. No parent is prepared to receive news that will break their hearts and trust.  No parent.

Times like this is when words can mean many things.  Words that heal and words that stab the soul.

Our words stick.  Everything we say will have an impact on someone.  What you whisper to your friends, post online, mutter to yourself, carry loads of power.  How are you using your power? What if we began to use our power to speak love to others and ourselves, or perhaps, there is a far greater power in silence.

We were given the gift of language.  Words are how we connect, relate, and form relationships and function in society. All from a puff of air.  Amazing.  Sometimes, I hibernate my words until my heart is warm.  Sometimes, I write my songs but let them unsung.  We must carefully orchestrate our speech to the rhythm of love.

Words can move hearts and minds, shape beliefs and motivate people.  I want to learn how to honor my words.  I want to choose them carefully.  Right now, I have jumbled thoughts and cannot even begin to understand what words I need to use.  So I just start writing.  Writing to you, helps me sift, filter, formulate, and apply meaning to what I want to say from my heart.  For me, writing to you, brings peace.  Through words, I can better understand myself, constantly unfolding my narrative.

Also, your words, encourage me, as I learn from your beliefs, thoughts, and ideas.  I love to hear your words of wisdom-I highly benefit from it.  I also learn through your trials and mistakes.  I bottle your words of wisdom up and drink them before I do something with serious consequences.

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. -Proverbs 12:18

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.

I have delusions that one day I will use my words to speak or write, to spread love and healing in so many ways.  I don’t know where my words will take me, but I do know that we need each other’s kind words of encouragement.

Words: choose wisely.

What is your Darth Vader telling you?

I was never a big Star Wars fan.  I probably watched a total of one and a half Star War’s movies in my life, and that was because of my husband (sorry, “warsies” nerds, I don’t get it).  We all know those awesome punch lines, like, may the force be with you, or Luke, I am your father.

However, I am fascinated by Darth Vader.  With his heavy mechanical lungs that echo with every mysterious step.  His powerful force that can bring down any Jedi.  He seems unstoppable and destructive.  He moves gracefully in his sinister black armor attacking anything that gets in his way.  He uses the force of the darkside to manipulate and control.

Well, as I explained in my last post, I have a darkside. I am not proud of this, nor do I like to admit.  Its a genetic force that is with me.  It was an outlet to cover pain.  My outlet was substance use.  We all have an outlet, maybe yours isn’t the same as mine.  Maybe your outlet is working long hard hours so you don’t have to “face the music” when you come home, or maybe its writing, art, or music.  Maybe the only thing that is satisfying at the moment is to eat, and to eat alot.

I teeter on the ambivalence to listen to Darth Vader or go with Minnie Mouse (Don’t worry, I’ll explain).

My addictions professor explained this Darth Vader side of me so well.  She told me that Darth Vader is like the dark force that predisposes me to act impulsive and suggests negative outlets; meaning, my genetic addictive urges.  And my voice of reason is Minnie Mouse: little, sweet-natured, quintessential fun-loving, and soft-spoken.  Even though Minnie is small and dainty, she is something fierce, that will speak what she feels, no matter who she is up against  (bear with me, you guys).

Picture Minnie Mouse trying to have a voice over Darth Vader.  Poor Minnie will be trampled and stomped on.  But, with  Minnie’s feisty side she can stand up to Darth.  It will be hard; she will have to be brave, but she can take him down.  He will try to rise again, but Minnie must continue the fight.  This is the battlefield in my mind.  Minnie is fighting with genetics that will never change but can only be tame.  That deep mechanical voice will continue to terrorize and try to take over.  But Minnie comes with a brave heart sprinkled with hope and healing. (Oh, how I love her).

I’m learning that Life is a constant battle inside my flesh.  Sometimes, you guys, I just want to be my fleshy self; meaning I find it easier to just step out into darkness of Vader. How easy it would be.  I could drink to numb, I could drink to hide, I could drink to drink.  Thankfully, I don’t do those things anymore, but I daydream about it.

I learned a lot about controlling Darth, mostly when I realized Minnie told me I was “out of control.” I will always struggle   mainly because I’m predisposed from genetics.  I cannot even begin to tell you how addicted my family is.  You guys, it’s not just one person but both sides of my family.  Many family members died  to an overdose on both sides. We are impulsive and tempted.
I asked my hub the other night what he thought I would be like if I lived by my own fleshly self.  I thought he would say, you would dance more in the rain, or sing loudly, or hug everyone I see (because I love people). But I got- “you would be addicted to something.” I didn’t want to believe his response, and to be honest, I was a bit thrown off.  I don’t want to think of myself as addicted.  I  got irritated.  Really irritated. I was irritated because, when I thought about it, I realized he was right.  It’s just easier for me to hide behind substance.  It’s an outlet. It numbs. I totally get why people are addicted. I.so.get.it.

I never want to go back to that girl I once was, never.  I’m learning to love this girl, the girl that was never allowed to show up but has alway been there.  But that girl showed up twelve years ago.  But to my surprise, I still had characteristics of my once darker self.  I’m am still extremely sensitive.  Overly, sensitive.  Maybe that’s why I resorted to things that numb. So when I get sensitive now, I step out to healthy outlets.

So, Darth Vader, I did underestimate the power of the darkside-but you lost this battle.

Go Minnie!

We may not have the same Darth Vader controls, but we all have a story.  I still feel the build up of earth quakes inside. I begin to feel the tectonic plates begin to shift, like my body can no longer stand but only shatter and viciously erupt. But I will still be building courage and finding freedom.

Maybe you are building courage to empower Minnie.  She’s in there.  And she is way better.  She is fierce and brave.

Love, T

Welcome to the darkside..

Draining myself and wallowing in my storm, I need to start dancing.  Dancing is a action that I love, but rarely acknowledge due to its swirling joy and freedom.  I so desperately want joy and freedom I can barley see it in the distance.  So I choose to dance but not without trampolining through the swap of my entangled mind.  This is where I start.

My source to visualize pain is on paper, which helps me to become more vulnerable.  Yuck!  I hate the word vulnerable.  I mean, just read the definition of vulnerability: open to moral attack, temptation, and criticism (like I don’t have enough of that in my life).  And more importantly-open to assault and difficult to defend. My stomach churns just by the sounds of it.  I run so far from that word, but yet I was meant to open my wounds and let the poison seep out for true healing.  BUT, I don’t let the poison bleed out, I’d rather it covered and  infected.  YOU don’t want to see or hear my poison; you will run, you will be afraid, and you will hide-so my mind tells me.

You guys, connection equals vulnerability.  We all want the sense to be worthy and loved.  A sense of belonging (oh, how I struggle with this).  Belonging is believing I am worthy.  Here is my disconnect. I lack the courage to tell my story with my whole heart!  I’ll give you the sprinkles, but don’t dare dip into my ice cream.

I cannot surrender to my pain.  Its my core, you guys.  I cant walk into it. I cant.  The only way, is to acknowledge my shame, fear, and guilt.  I want and long for a rebirth.  I know its out there.  I need connection. But the moment you call me, I will shrill.  I will climb into my skin, put my super hero uniform on, and tell you “I’m great!” I numb my vulnerability.  I use to numb with drugs or food.  To be honest, you guys, I still get those cravings.  Yesterday, I told my hub that I am never eating again, and in my own words, I said, if I do eat, Ima throw that shit up.  Yes, that came out of my mouth! I confess.

So, let me introduce myself (as you see, just the mention of my poison- I run away and change the subject-just like me).  My name is Tia.  I am a free-spirit, sunshine daydreamer, depressed, grateful dead lover (yes, I said it, Grateful Dead).  I love spinning around my house singing, Sugar Magnolia.  I’m not a hippie, but my parents are. I’m crazy for sunshine, but love the sound of rain.  I can’t leave my house without coffee, ha; who am I kidding, I can barely leave my house period.  I am needy, needy of attention and encouragement. I am madly in love with my soulmate and my beautiful boys.  Yep, four boys, just the way God intended.  My two oldest boys are not biologically to my husband-judge all you want.  (As you see, I still harbor anger-thus, this blog!)  I live in rural Lancaster County, Pa, and I am not Amish.  I love Lancaster County and all its beauty.

Let me tell you the real reason for this blog (oh geez, never thought I would do one of these dumb things).  I am tired of hiding.  I am tired of fake.  I am in pain (not physically).  I want to be….*whispers* vulnerable.  I am scared.  But most importantly, I want you to be real with me.  We are meant to live together and grow together.  I want to grow with you because I need help too.  I.need.help. I strive for deep relationships but run away from them.  I have so much to tell you, but it will take me time. So, you guys, this is my start. This is a quest to find identity. This is my darkside.

This is hard to share but is an important key to my mind and despair, and yes..vulnerability.  I wrote this poem months ago when I was in a dark place.

Who is in control? I am. I control the outcome of my suffering. I can overcome any circumstance of my desire. Or, I can let the devil veil me in the despair of my deliverance.  Self is flawed, but inwardly I prevail an almighty beauty.  If I deny, I deny my master. With such denial, I fail my God, who is perfect.  I cast down my soul in my dark oblivion, but desperately reach for the light that I cannot touch. I can choose the light but darkness is so reachable. Don’t we choose the tangible?  Unknown is scary, seems vicious. Yet there is a gentle calm that lies within.  I close my gates and bound my walls. Its safe.  I have so much to say that is unspoken-shattered glass, I am broken.  Millions of pieces, cannot mend-I use my Lord, to him, I fend.  I thirst for more, he fulfills; yet, I let the full glass, spill. Over and over, I cannot satisfy my soul, yet to satisfy another, I will grow.  This comes from within, I want to grow,  mold me of the color you so desire. But catch the water that streams my eyes and kill the evil that so ever tries. For you, I am set free.  Give me peace without turmoil, give me faith without doubt. You are the one I am talking about.

I love you all.

I have so much more to say, but I have to refocus.  I am climbing into my shell again.  I will come back, I promise.

And I conclude with a shout out to the love of my life.  Today is his birthday! Happy birthday my beloved.


Just because it makes me happy…