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How To Turn Challenges Into Blessings: My Healing Journey

About a year ago my world was turned upside-down. My marriage was crumbling and I was holding on for dear life. At that time I did not have the full picture, but I was abruptly blind-sided and thrown off my entire life path and on my way to a divorce. It has been the most devastating and painful journey I have ever endured. I was in survival mode trying to put the pieces of the puzzle, my puzzle, together. It felt like my dream life had turned into a sick and twisted movie.

Since that dark time I have been on a healing journey to rediscover my inner light. It has taken every single second of the past year to recover, and I am about 90% there. I work every single day to better myself and heal. I know there are so many people out there who are struggling with something in their lives and could use some hope, inspiration, words of encouragement, and advice. I am here to hopefully do that in any capacity that I can. If I can help even one person cope by being vulnerable, it is certainly worth me putting myself out there and sharing my journey and insight.


Life is hard. It is not perfect. It was not meant to be. Challenges along the way are there for us to become stronger, wiser, and to grow. Some challenges are small. Some are massive and hurt like hell. It takes time to work through the stages of grief and reflect on why terrible things happen to us but I can tell you that with the right attitude, mindset, and perseverance you will get through it. There are many valuable lessons and blessings on the other side. All challenges can be blessings in disguise. Turn towards your pain and ask, “What can you teach me?”

There is no fast track through grief. You have to go through all of the stages to make a healthy and slow recovery. It truly comes in waves. Some days grief comes crashing down, while other days are more calm and bearable. Then it comes crashing in again.

There were so many times I would get frustrated with myself and feel like after so much progress I was taking steps backwards. I came to learn and accept that this is a very natural and normal part of the healing process.

My counselor would always say, “Don’t add suffering onto suffering”.

Don’t beat yourself up for the way something happened, or for not being at the stage you want to be. You really need to treat yourself the way that you would treat your best friend. Be compassionate, be understanding and empathetic, nurture yourself, be patient and listen to what you need in that moment.

There is no going back and there is no shortcut. You can’t bypass grief. Time will help in healing. Be patient. It’s okay to still be sad. You will always have your moments and painful memories that pop up and trigger you. Healing is not linear. Healing and moving on can also happen on parallel paths. You have to trust the process.

You truly have to FEEL your feelings. All of them. Don’t hold them in. Getting them out is the only release and relief. I promise you will feel better after. Cry, journal, talk to your loved ones, talk to a counselor, get professional help, meditate, be alone, have fun, create new routines, rituals, and memories. Whatever you need to do for you is okay.

We can all sit in our sad feelings and space and that is okay. There were plenty of times I didn’t want to get out of bed - I listened to sad songs, looked through mementos, or re-watched my wedding video. I literally tortured myself, but I released a lot of emotions and pain. I got it out. You have to make time and space for that when needed. Meditation was my coping medicine for getting through deep grief and anxiety. It is such a powerful tool to calm your mind and nervous system and something I highly recommend for pain and healing.

Counseling and therapy were key for me. It is so important to make time to talk about trauma and your emotions surrounding it. I strongly believe everyone should make time for counseling in their personal lives and for their relationships. We need to take care of our minds, emotions and nervous systems the same way we take care of our bodies with exercise and healthy eating. Make the investment in yourself and you will reap the rewards.

It has always shocked me that relationship management and communication skills surrounding our relationships were ignored in all of our years of schooling, especially with current divorce rates. Relationships are the fabric of our lives and truly give our lives meaning. Why don’t we put the time and investment into our precious relationships like we do our careers or education? This really hit home after what I went through. I continue to go to counseling for myself and my future relationships because I know just how important it is.

You also need to surround yourself with positive people, influences, and plans to help you work through any trauma at a healthy pace. This helped expedite my recovery tremendously. I was an advocate for myself and did everything I could to invest in myself and my recovery. I read and listened to books and podcasts daily. I went to counseling religiously. I spent self-invested nights at home alone, and I also booked fun girls’ nights, and trips to bring myself joy. My counselor had to remind me that it was okay to have fun and be happy. It’s not just okay, it’s necessary. Your body goes through so much in these trauma situations and you need happiness, laughter, and comfort mixed in. It brings you back to life and back to yourself.


I journaled like it was my job. If a thought or emotion came to me, I wrote it down. This was so therapeutic. I spent a lot of time reflecting on my life, my relationship, and what had happened. I had been knocked down to a place I could never imagine in my wildest nightmare. I was disrespected and betrayed by the person I thought would do anything in the world for me. It tore me apart and took time to build myself back up, but I was going to fight. I was given a beautiful life, good health, a loving family and support system, a fulfilling career, and I worked hard for the life I had built thus far. I was thrown off my original path to love, marriage, and a family of my own, but I was still confident that there was plenty more in store for me. I believed that whole heartedly and worked to strengthen that belief every day. I sat down and made a vision board mapping out what I wanted for myself and my future. In time I even made my “dream man” list. I can confidently say that manifestation is real. What you think about, you bring about. What you keep at the forefront of your mind or in clear view on your vision board can truly become reality when you are thinking about it and working towards it every day. Focus on the positive, and I promise positive things will come.

 

"In the end, she became more than what she expected. She became the journey, and like all journeys, she did not end, she just simply changed directions and kept going." -R. M. Drake 

"Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending." -Carl Bard

Everything happens for a reason

Grief is our biggest and most powerful teacher. When you let it in it allows you to do an inventory on yourself and your life. It gives you the opportunity to be a better person. It allows you to evaluate your self-worth, what you deserve, and to make better choices for your best self and best life. The sooner you can accept the situation, take responsibility, and reflect, the sooner you will find peace.

Love can be blinding, and many of us end up in unhealthy situations. All relationships are not meant to work out and that is okay. You can still take valuable knowledge, insights and lessons from any relationship. I certainly have, and it will make me a better person and partner in the future. I can now look back and be grateful for those 9 years spent with my ex. Some of the happiest moments of my life happened in those 9 years. I will carry that in my heart and those lessons in my head and be a better person for it.

We have to make peace with our past and re-frame it’s meaning in our lives. You get to write your own story so make it a good one. Don’t be a victim. Be a survivor. The choice is yours every day.

“When we play the victim in our own story, it defines us. When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending.” – Brene Brown

“You cannot change the circumstances, the season, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” -Jim Rohn

Learn from it – “Don’t just go through it, Grow through it.”

Be grateful for your blessings - “You don’t truly know light, until you have seen the dark”.

When you go through heartbreak or trying situations, all of your senses are heightened. Smells, taste, touch, photos you see, and songs you hear all stand out more and evoke more emotion. Quotes are more meaningful and relatable because the author lived through it. Songs and lyrics are more powerful because the artist felt exactly like you do. Friends and family are more appreciated because you don’t know what you would do without them. Small pleasures like your morning cup of coffee taste better and bring a smile to your face. Huge blessings in your life seem unbelievable or too good to be true because you never thought you would find them. Keep going. Continue to be grateful and you will attract more. Trust the process, the change, and this new opportunity. You deserve happiness and it will come.

Be introspective. How can you improve as a partner, a daughter, a friend, a co-worker? Hold yourself accountable. Take these lessons forward and be a better person.

Don’t live in fantasy. When a relationship ends we tend to think about all the good memories and not focus on the bad. Don’t forget the bad. Make a list and remind yourself if you need to when you get wrapped up in the fantasy version of the relationship. Stay grounded and focused on what is in your control.  Focus on all of your current blessings. Stay present and be grateful for the moment you are in.

 

“You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.”

A few key relationship lessons that stuck with me were:

When someone shows you their true colors, do not try to repaint them.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

Do not get caught up in someone’s potential. You cannot save or change people that do not want to change for the better themselves.

Appreciate the little things. Recognition and kindness are key in successful relationships.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” -Theodore Roosevelt

Social media is hard. We all know it’s a highlight reel, but it’s hard not to compare. My feed is filled with happy couples and their growing families. There are so many times I thought “I should be doing that”, “I should be happy”, “I should be on that path”. I felt like the life I had built for 9 years was stolen from me. It’s extremely hard to adjust and accept a life that you did not choose, imagine, or plan for. I felt like a stranger in my own life at times. I was a fifth wheel or outsider to a life that I had once known and loved. I found myself comparing my life path even to my best friends, and it hurt. I was extremely happy for them, but I was also jealous at times. Something I thought we would be doing together was no longer an option for me. I snapped out of that quickly because comparison is truly a thief of joy. Everyone has a different life path and that is so beautiful and unique to each of us. I have SO much to be grateful for. Hey, I even get more time in my 30’s to be selfishly independent, travel, focus on my career, sleep in (oh, I love my sleep)! I have already gotten to experience so many things, travel to new places, and meet so many people that I wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to and that makes me extremely grateful. My journey is unique and I am stronger for it. Embrace it, take the reins and find the joy! 

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be Kind.

There are so many hard nights and mornings when going through a difficult time in life. You try to hold it in and focus all day, but it inevitably comes pouring out in times of stillness. There were emergencies where I felt like I needed to leave places or go meditate in a bathroom stall just to calm down and focus on my breathing. There were plenty of times where I was up all night or crying on my drive in to work, and I would suck it up and put a smile on my face when I walked into the office. The point is you don’t know what someone else is going through so be kind. Don’t judge. Be understanding and compassionate towards others. One of my favorite quotes from our desk easel is “Good energy is contagious, and you never know who needs yours.” There were plenty of times I needed my bloom girl’s energy and positivity to lift me up, and I will always be grateful for this inspiring, nurturing community, and the influence it has had on my life.

bloom is a gift.

bloom is truly a lifestyle and it has been such a positive influence in my life, especially in the last year. bloom reminds you to wake up with a grateful heart, to turn challenges into blessings, to practice reflecting, to continuously want self-improvement as an individual, a partner, an employee, a friend, a daughter, and so much more. I am so blessed to be surrounded by my uplifting team who inspired me to stay strong and positive throughout this journey. They filled my cup with inspiration, encouragement, laughs, wine nights, and plenty of love when I needed it most. I will be forever grateful to my bloom team for their support and I want our bloom girls to know that we are a community and we are here to support you, too. No matter what it is, we love to hear from you. Our mission is to help you bloom into your best self and support you along the way. To provide tools, encouragement, and advice to get there. Life is hard and we are here for you. It warms my heart to know how powerful our brand and message can be to others. Hearing how we have touched your lives is the reason we do what we do. Thank you for sharing and inspiring us. <3

Love,

Kaylyn

 

Here are some of my recommended resources that I found very helpful. I hope they can provide help, guidance and inspiration for you. What are you struggling with? What do you want to hear more about? We are here to help so please reach out.

Resources:

My favorite relationship podcast:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mark-groves-podcast/id1282044290

My favorite general life podcasts: 

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/oprahs-supersoul-conversations/id1264843400

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/on-purpose-with-jay-shetty/id1450994021 

Relationship resources:

https://www.gottman.com/

https://www.gottman.com/blog/the-sound-relationship-house-build-love-maps/

https://www.gottman.com/blog/the-four-horsemen-recognizing-criticism-contempt-defensiveness-and-stonewalling/

https://www.joinonelove.org/signs-healthy-relationship/

https://www.joinonelove.org/signs-unhealthy-relationship/

 

Social Media Accounts:



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  • Maria Gbur on

    Beautifully written. Thoughtful, introspective and inspiring.

  • Cheri VItagliano on

    My daughter, the love of my life, the light of her Mimi’s life. So proud of your healing process and sharing it. 90% is sensational in a year. You have worked very hard to get here. Allow others to help you with your other 10%. We love you and are here for you my dear, sweet Kaylyn Caroline 😘💜👍😇🙏🏻


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