“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

It has been roughly a year since this journey has started for me and I can see and feel that time is not real because this has been like a flash.  Imagine the most amazing of roller coasters, it is so intense that there are warnings  placed all along the walkway as you head to the platform.  All I can think of is Space Mountain in its infancy….if you have a heart condition don’t ride.   Or a pharmaceutical commercial stating: this drug may cause bleeding, loss of appetite, nausea, hair loss, and in some cases death….WHAT????  Hmmmmmm do I really want this joy ride.   Suddenly you realize that this coaster is a journey for you and you have no choice, but to jump on and go.  All those behind you are there to support you through this journey, through the up/downs, lefts, and rights.  Each individual supporting you in their own way, which makes it all the better as it is coming from love not obligation.

You slide into the first seat, buckle up real strong and off you go…..the journey of your lifetime.  This is really how this past year has been.  There have been very difficult times where I let myself get beat down, there have been much time of stillness and quiet (can you believe that with a 3-year-old).   I have cried many tears of emotional distress from years before, and mostly have dealt with ego and fear.  Bottom line:  You can NOT have faith if you have fear.  You can’t love others if you don’t love yourself first.  Most importantly if you let your ego run the show, allow your internal dialogue to be negative and filled with defeat then this is where you will stay.  However, if you believe in the unbelievable and let your imagination take you high into the sky you will live the true life that you desire.

I realize we are all human, we will all have days that are challenging.  Some of the challenges we have created ourselves, some have been handed to us for growth and learning.  It is definitely harder to live with kindness and love all the time.  For some it just takes one little thing to get the ego telling you how bad things are or how unlucky you are.:   “When are you going to get a break?”  But it is there for the taking.  We all can have work that feels like play because we like it so much.  I know that seems so hard to imagine as we conjure the list of excuses: money, rank, how can I go to school and pay for daycare….the list goes on and on.  I have seen people go to school with kids and work.  Crazy I thought, but it was done because of  passion and wanting to help people.  We all have it in us, it just comes down to judgment and inner dialogue.

“Those who have failed to work toward their truth have missed the purpose of living”


Over this past year, I have had so many experiences and have been blessed in so many ways that it truly is amazing.  I share these words with you as I have lived them and still do as I work through my own judgments, as I cry to my mom about my fears and uncertainties, to clear through to the beauty called life.  As I said really loving yourself is the key because then it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks, says, does, you have your own heart to share that you are good. PERIOD!!

Earlier in my coaster ride I asked God daily for affirmations that I was going to make it through this experience, especially prior to my bone marrow transplant.  (you can’t imagine the things people said as at one time it was a very risky procedure)  I had to keep my head clear and believe that whatever my true journey is would unfold.  But I still wanted affirmations  🙂

One afternoon I was walking into my garage and as I stepped in I found 1/3 of a butterfly wing.  I smiled to myself as butterflies are a sign of rebirth which is exactly what this was and is all about for me.  As I continually saw butterflies everywhere (I realize it was summer, but I saw butterflies in the most unlikely of places and one even rested on my shoulder).  To make a long story short over the next week, I found 1/3 of the wing in my backyard, and 1/3 of the wing in my front yard.  When I put them all together they made a beautiful color and shape.  I have saved it as an amazing memory that God is always ready to send you a message of comfort if you ask, there is no reason to suffer.  So believe me I asked everyday and always got something that blew me away.

After my transplant life was very slow going.  I couldn’t go out anywhere, I couldn’t eat any healthy foods, just foods that were preserved with garbage as any bacteria or mold could be detrimental.  I really wasn’t worried about that, I was more just about naturally allowing my body to heal.  It was some tough days…Tad, my mom, dad, and Sawyer were so strong for me and I became strong for myself.  As I began to get stronger (you wouldn’t believe how skinny and weak I did look after 6 weeks in the hospital) I would make small trips out.  I had to wear a mask and gloves and did people stare.

Some were worried I had something to share with them and others were just curious….and let me tell you, you could feel the difference between those that were curious and those that were judgmental, like you were going to give them sars or something.   Oh there were many fun experiences with the mask and gloves, a few times I wanted to jump at the guy who made the widest berth around me. But the best story was just recently I was sick of being in the house and so we went for a ride to best buy for several reasons.  One because Tad is a man and could stay in best buy for hours and not flinch, secondly and more importantly I needed a new phone.  If you know my son he is a very active child which for the most part is an amazing characteristic unless you are exhausted at which time you want handcuffs without DCFS.  Anyway, we were running through the store laughing as he chased me up and down the aisles, hoping to catch me.   As I began to head for the door bc I knew it was time to leave.  This woman turns around (now mind you I would not run up on someone with a mask on we were plenty far away)  She screams and throws her hands in the air….OMG!  Get away from me.   She runs back inside best buy as Sawyer and I stand by the door waiting for Tad who missed the whole show, but it was funny telling it over as I watched her pace the registers until I left.  It was hilarious.  The point that I am making is that it has been a challenge to wear a mask everywhere I go.  At Sawyer’s school parents have not been kind at all which was definitely a shock.  They ignore me or pretend they don’t see me which is fine, my skin has grown thick and I just think back to my journey of how I have shaken out the kinks and really learned to love myself.  With such a simple thing as wearing a mask, I have experienced judgment at its finest, and so I remember where it started. … when we were in our insecure 8th grade bodies and we just learned to keep going until some experience began to soften it our sense of judgment.  Then an extreme experience made it unacceptable when the judgment was unkind or mean.  There is a big difference between judgment and curiosity.   I have had people ask me why I am wearing a mask, which started some very kind and loving conversations.

Judgment is a tricky thing because we learn through others judgements so it is really just about keeping yourself in check.  There is a book I read and have just taken off the shelf to reread called “Above all be kind….raising a humane child in challenging times.”  It was amazing and just filled your heart with love and light.  I affirm to myself each morning while Sawyer watches his morning Word World.  That I love myself and no matter what I do I am doing the best I can each day with loving kindness.

A little exercise that I started in my journal was to write down all my negative inner dialogue and/or judgment.  I did it for a week without looking back at it.  The following week I would access these thoughts to find that most, if not all were garbage which I literally tossed away clearing another sheet for me to write in love.

Many blessings,

Love and light.

Holly P


  1. Holly, you are a teacher! Reading about your growth and your ups and downs causes me to grow in empathy and love. Your post, in particular the commentary about wearing gloves and a mask, reminds me to manage my thoughts. To make sure I am ALWAYS approaching people with love and kindness, leaving my preconceived notions behind. It’s good mental training.


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