Therapists will tell you that depression is anger turned inward, but when you feel depressed, sometimes you just don’t care what anyone says about anything.

“Have patience with all things,
but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in considering
your own imperfections,
but instantly set about remedying them
— every day begin the task anew.”
Saint Francis de Sales

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little pine trees

At the bottom of the forest floor are some small, brown, wormlike things laying everywhere. The wormies grow on the ends of pine tree branches in the spring and are known as the male pine cones. At this time of year they are hollow, but earlier in the season they held hundreds of pollen-filled stamens and their main purpose was to pollinate.

Tiny, bright green pine trees are scattered amidst the male pine cones. They have pushed their way through the dirt, all the pine straw and past the dried male pine cones. Each tiny new tree stands as tall as it can stand ever reaching for the sunlight.

Nothing holds the little pine tree back. With each obstacle on the forest floor, the new pine tree just keeps on pushing out and upward.

What’s Holding You Back? – Depression

little pine trees gray depressed

It’s easy to lose sight of the goal and even easier to become depressed. Succumbing to depression though is a sure fire way of not accomplishing what you’ve set out to do.

Unfortunately depression is more than just a phase people go through – it is a serious illness. Often, getting motivated isn’t enough. You may need therapy with a counselor or medication to get you back on the path so that you can motivate yourself.

There are few key things you can do to motivate yourself through depression:

  1. Get up and go to bed around the same time.
  2. Move (exercise, walk) to increase the endorphins in your brain.
  3. Think about today with a goal that can be attained by the time the sun sets.
  4. Lean on the people who care and love you.
  5. Be involved in uplifting experiences and environments – peaceful music, calming nature landscapes and creative hobbies.

“I am in that temper
that if I were under water
I would scarcely kick
to come to the top.”
~ John Keats ~

What’s Holding You Back? – Confusion

little pine trees color askew confused

When you are embarking on a new adventure, confusion is a common feeling. Confusion is a symptom that makes your head feel fuzzy and it feels like you can’t think a focused thought or make a solid decision because of the disorientation. Often this will paralyze you and hold you back from accomplishing your dreams.

So if confusion will cause you to stagnate, what can you do to break free of it? Here’s a few things to remember and do to get rid of your confusion:

  1. Lose your ego and become humble. If you don’t know something, you don’t know it. If you do know something, you don’t have to shout it at the top of your lungs every time someone is near.
  2. Get rid of chaos – de-clutter and clean your home environment; remove negative, angry and/or drama-seeking people from your life.
  3. It is what it is, so accept this moment and do the best you can with what you have right now.
  4. Forgive everyone including yourself and then move on into the bright new future filled with hope.
  5. Practice healthy habits – get plenty of sleep; eat natural foods void of caffeine, chemicals or high sugar; and exercise.
  6. Read and journal your thoughts, hopes, dreams, feelings and plans.
  7. Play and relax – get a massage, take a day trip, play golf, do crafts or dance. It doesn’t matter so much “what” you do as long as you “do” something to play and relax.

“When confusion dissipates
like a foggy mountain morning,
the clear path becomes visible.
Decisive action leads to peace
and the mind relaxes in acceptance.”
~ Sherry Riter ~

What’s Holding You Back? – Fear

little pine trees blurred fearful

The fear of rejection and failure is a powerful emotion that can blind you to all reason, thought and action. It can render you almost catatonic thus making your worst fears a reality. I know all about fear. It has been my worst nightmare and has ruined many an opportunity for happiness. I was fearful waaaay back in my childhood and if followed me through my teens, young adult years and adulthood. Even now I can’t say that I have conquered the fear of rejection and failure.

One of the first posts I wrote told of an experience I had of missed opportunity because of my fear of rejection and failure. I use that pivotal moment in my life as a motivator whenever I am overcome with fear and I tell myself, “Do you want to carry more regret to the end of your life?”

When fear is holding you back, break free of the powerful chains of darkness by using the following tools:

  1. Breathe deeply. Seriously, take the time to just breathe deeply and concentrate on the act of breathing.
  2. Prepare for the best and worst cases scenarios.
  3. Don’t let your imagination run away with your common sense and knowledge.
  4. Be confident in your skills.
  5. Don’t expect to be perfect or do things perfectly. You are enough and what you offer is enough.
  6. See yourself successful.
  7. Know that it is impossible to fail as long as you try to do your best.

“Courage is resistance to fear,
mastery of fear –
not absence of fear.”
~ Mark Twain ~

What’s Holding You Back? – Staying Open, Relaxed And Focused

little pine trees open relaxed focused

If depression, confusion and fear are a major part of your daily existence, being relaxed, focused and at peace will prove to be impossible.


Absolutely impossible.

You can’t be filled with terrorizing fear at the same time you are completely relaxed.

When I was first diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), I believed it was either a life long punishment or a death sentence. People would tell me face-to-face, send me emails, leave comments on my blog, post on Facebook and Twitter the same thing —

“I still have PTSD after 25 years.”
“I’ve fought to get rid of PTSD for 44 years.”
“I’ve been tormented all my life with PTSD.”
“PTSD is impossible to cure.”

It was bad enough that I was suffering with flashbacks every waking minute, only slept two hours a night, and my life was falling apart, but to hear people tell me that I would never be able to heal was ALMOST too much for me to handle. I wanted to die. The thought that I would continue to suffer in such a tormented way until I grew old was just too much for me to wrap my mind around.

I got to the crossroads and had to decide to either live and fight it or die.

So…I refused to believe that I had to live with PTSD forever.

No matter how painful the “cure” or “healing” might be, NOTHING could be more painful than what I was suffering each day with full blown complex PTSD. I set out on a long journey of eradicating PTSD from my life. I was open to EVERY cure offered or piece of information shared with me. As far as I was concerned, each day was another day closer to discovering the secret of getting my life back from the dreadful claws of PTSD. I was more focused on this journey than I had been with anything else in my life…ever.

My DESIRE for a PTSD-free life had to be more than my depression, confusion, fear and pain.

No one could DESIRE it for me.

No one could FOCUS my mind on the healing process.

No one could get rid of the CONFUSION and FEAR that had firmly planted their roots in my brain.

No one could take away the PAIN that accompanied every thought that passed through my mind or movement that my body followed through with doing.

I had to do it myself. Unfortunately, for the most part, people don’t understand PTSD. Plus, since it is classified as a “mental illness,” people shy away from talking about it or even acknowledging it. The “mental illness stigma” is alive, persistent and thriving in these United States of America.

What isn’t understood is feared.

What is feared is ridiculed, condemned or ignored.

It is such a vicious cycle of sickness and pain.

I’m sharing this with you to illustrate that even under the most horrible circumstances, change toward peace and happiness can take place. Was I successful at healing and eradicating PTSD from my life? Yes I was successful and I’m a PTSD survivor.

I do not have flashbacks.

I do not have overwhelming panic attacks.

My fears do not suddenly take over my life without warning.

My mind is not controlled by a Hellish fiend called PTSD.

What’s holding you back from living the life you deserve, dream about, need or want and how do you break free from the chains of your own personality in order to obtain true peace and happiness?

It all begins with YOU.

The most important aspects of YOU that need to be present to break free from anything that is holding you back include the following:

  • Remain determined to see it through to the very end. Giving up cannot be an option.
  • Have a willingness to change even if it is something you’ve been or had your entire life.
  • Be honest with yourself and make no excuses to others for your current dilemma.
  • Take the time to learn and implement the new found knowledge in your life.
  • Step outside the box with your ideas and with whatever methods necessary to have your needs fulfilled.
  • Don’t settle with “almost” no matter how tired you become while working through the process.
  • Communicate and share your journey, but if people only add negativity to your life, let them go.
  • Believe that it is not shameful to conquer a demon or share the journey. There is no shame in learning, growing, falling and getting back up.
  • You are enough. You may have chosen a crooked path to get to where you are now, but life is a long journey of learning.

If I can conquer the fight against PTSD, I can do anything. My fear immediately laughs in my face at that statement, but it only takes a few minutes of remembering the Hell I’ve been through while trying to survive PTSD before I once again believe in myself.

After reading this post, if you still doubt that you can change, accomplish or cope with a situation that has held you back no matter what you’ve done, please believe me when I say, YOU can break free of the chains that bind you in any situation or condition.

Take the task at hand ONE DAY AT A TIME and if that’s just too much, take it ONE HOUR AT A TIME.


Happiness, success and peace await your arrival encouraging you to push past the muck and obstacles just like the little pine tree.

“You cannot find peace
by avoiding life.”
~ Virginia Woolf ~

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