Monday, December 29, 2014

Wickedly Looking Battle Scars…

This year has been a complete mess of emotions—where every component of my life has been thrown into a large barrel and shaken around, to the point where I haven’t had any clarity—like all of my foundations have been ripped out from under me, and for a time all I could feel was pain—physical and emotional. Multiple surgeries. Physical anguish. Mental anguish. This past week alone has been the most difficult week I’ve ever lived. And I don’t say this for sympathy—because we’ve all been here—but I say this to set up the tone of this post.  

How much hardship is too much? At what point do you break?

There’s so much truth to “When it rains…” Have you ever had a period of your life where you haven’t been able to see any light? Even when you know it’s there, you just can’t FEEL it? Where life has pounded down so hard on you that it’s hard enough to just breathe let alone try and accomplish the pile of ‘to do’s’ on the counter—or let alone accomplish the dreams that are burning deep within your soul.

This year alone has brought on the most extreme emotions and trials I’ve ever faced. From friendships to family to writing life to my health to my mental sanity and more.   Whatever kinds of demons you’re facing, it’s so difficult when you feel so alone, or that you’ll never be able to get a grip on life or yourself and pull yourself out of the darkness.

Can you think back to a time where every dream you envisioned was a possibility? Where you felt that no matter what you faced, you would pull out of it for the better?

Life has a funny way of challenging us. Of taking whatever we thought we could handle and show us that we can’t… or try to show us that we can’t. ;)

Because one thing I’ve learned is that every time—and I mean every time—that I thought I was broken
and that I thought I couldn’t possibly handle any more, the sun has shown its face again. Even when it’s just a smidge of sunlight peeking through the dark clouds.

And more often than not, it’s people who end up being my miracles. People who step outside of themselves and reach out, who have come into my life at the right time, who have made me smile or have made miracles happen right in front of my eyes. And it’s these people who have helped me through the dark—been able to help me see the light again and remember that I need to fight to find happiness and live the life that I want.

Do you ever envision the person you want to be? Ever feel so strongly that you were meant for something spectacular? Something that only you were capable of? Maybe I’m just a romantic, but I believe that’s true for all of us…

And I know for me, I’m sick of not being the person I want to be. Sick of being held down by physical limitations.  I’m ready for a change. I’m ready to be healthy and have energy and be happy and use my talents to their full benefit… I want to be the person I know is inside of me bursting to come out. The person that’s been dormant for way too long.

But the twisted part is I know that I won’t become the person I want to be without the hardship… because it isn’t until we’ve faced the demons or physical ailments or whatever challenges we have that we can change—that we become better. And I know we all know this, but there’s such a difference in feeling something as we go through trial and knowing it in our head.

But there’s one thing I know more than anything right now. And that’s it’s we’ve got to fight. We’ve got to. We’ve got to keep pushing forward, forging on to find those little bits of sunlight and hold onto them. Because I know there’s a time and season for everything. And even though life is always going to be hard, it’s not always going to be this *kind of hard. Things are going to get better and we can either let hardship mold us into who we really want to be, or we can let it break us and let it beat us down until we don’t recognize who we are any more.

And I would rather come out of it standing tall with some wickedly looking battle scars than not live up to the full potential that I know I have.

And to the few of you who have been my sunlight, I want to thank you—you know who you are. People make a difference. And I can only hope that some day I can be that kind of person for someone else that you have been to me.

Red. Head. Out. 

***Hope you all have a Happy New Year! Can't wait to see what 2015 brings. :) 


  1. I too am looking forward to what 2015 will bring, but I'm most excited to share some of it with you! 😘

  2. There's so much truth in this post. I can't even comment on it all, because my comment would then be longer than your original post :) BUT - Morgan, you are one of the sweetest, nicest people I know. You'll pull through this. You deserve so much happiness. I hope your health gets back to 100% and that you can then go out and conquer the world! Also, whenever you need a shoulder to cry on, you know where I live ;) (And we should definitely hang out, even if you don't feel like crying!) *hugs*

  3. What a post! I love that the heart of the post is about getting up and fighting a good fight, even when we feel like we can't. I am glad that you have been surrounded by people who have helped to pull you up and helped to spread some sunshine over you when you needed it most. I am so sorry this past year has been one of so many hardships and struggles. I am sending good wishes your way that 2015 will have you standing healthier and happier than you were in 2014. :)

    My favorite line from the post: And I would rather come out of it standing tall with some wickedly looking battle scars than not live up to the full potential that I know I have.

    You are an inspiration!

  4. God is always there, and no matter how hard, for His children He is always capable.
    God also likes to stretch us. He knows what we can and will become.
    He will not let you break though...

  5. You, my friend, are like Sam and Frodo. I think the world is full of unknown heroes who fight battles their peers have no idea of. And you're right. We have to fight on.

  6. Glad that you have found strength in the support of others. You sure have had a bad time of it in 2014. I hope 2015 will be a better experience altogether.

  7. I've been through three ghastly periods of time in my life. During those times, I felt terrible about everything, myself, and my outlook on life, but those experiences left me stronger. Good people, good news, and the pleasures of life lifted me up. There was also the light inside of me trying to shine through the darkness.

    I hope you have a much better 2015 and that the wheel of fortune turns so that these burdens will ease. I'm glad there is solace and sunlight for you.

  8. If you think EVERYONE is destined for greatness, walk into a Wal-mart at 2 in the morning and look at all of the "I gave up on life" types of people just floating around in there.

    No, but you really captured the essence of it. We have to keep fighting for greatness, and we have to help each other along the way. Many people think that writing is a solo career, and we have to push each other down to get our own work forward. It's quite the opposite. We're the only ones that know what a writer truly goes through, and that makes us the best to talk to about these kinds of problems when times get tough.

    If you ever need anything, our e-mail address is on our page. Like that lame office manager that wants to look cool always says, "My door is always open."


  10. Morgan, you WILL get through all this. Alex is right, God likes to stretch us, but He won't give you more than you can handle. I know you won't give up. You're spirit is too determined. Remember that.

    I admire you for being able to go through all that you've been going through, yet still be there for others. That's why I love that you're in my corner and that I found you. I will continue praying that things change for the better. Love you girl! Eva

  11. Maybe it's time to go stand on Peggy's cove again? haha

    But yeah we have to keep on fighting and kick the negative nelly's in the nuts or knee if you can't reach that high. Been down in the pit so far I was ready for someone to shoot me and just get it over with. But got out bit by bit and it sure does change you.

  12. Honestly, I don't think everyone has greatness within them. Too many people want to have things just handed to them. They don't actually -want- to be great. It's probably a good thing, though, because it's hard enough just for those of us that are striving to get out of the muck.
    And, yes, it's the struggle that takes us out of it.

  13. Sending you hugs and the best of wishes for a better 2015!! This year has been a challenge for me as well, in completely different areas, and I must say that even with the growth it's forced me to face, I'm not sorry to be starting a new, fresh and shiny year! May it be an awesome one ;)

  14. I think you and I always find each other when we need each other most. I hope I get to seriously spend some time with one another next year. If not for the conference then just to be your friend and visit. 2015 baby!! Hey Morgan. I kinda you know, like and love you. Just totally.

  15. I haven't been broken yet, but there have been times when I couldn't imagine ever feeling normal again. But time a;ways heals, at least so far. May 2015 bring wonderful things for you.

  16. You have a great way of saying what, I believe, each of us feels inside.. even if we appear to be successful to others. I wonder if we ever really do reach a level where we look at ourselves and feel like we've arrived. Like we're everything we wanted to be. I know I'm nowhere near that right now, and sometimes it feels like it both will and won't happen simultaneously. However the most important parts of life aren't the heights we reach, but the struggles we overcome. That is where we grow and actually move towards our amorphous future self. Like everyone else who has or will post on this thread, I wish I could offer more than just my encouragement in your times of difficulty, but I know you have a tremendous support network, a loving family, and a strong faith. That gives you a great head start on your own personal journey through the rough patches in life.

  17. LOVE this.... LOVE you. I agree with a comment above. You are able to capture and write what we are all feeling inside. What a gift! You're amazing. Can't wait for this nightmare to be over and for you to finally be able to wake up :)

  18. All of us have the seeds of greatness in us. The trouble is that many do not water them or allow the harsh sun of hardship to bake the soil of their souls.

    You are not one of those.

    There is greatness in you that you water with the tears of your struggle to be all you can be. The Father is in the crucible with you, urging you on. In the dark times we forge our own meaning by choosing what lesson we take from the battle.

    There have been moments when I would have waved a white flag of surrender but there was no one to surrender to. I mean where do you go to surrender?

    Your sense of humor will see you through when you feel your faith buckling. I tell everyone that the scars on my forehead and temple from the cancer surgery are dueling scars ... and boy! was that girl scout tough!!

    No ordeal is so easy to bear as the other person's. People say well-meaning things that offer hollow comfort. Sometimes the biggest choices in life are made for us by circumstance or our bodies. It is what we do afterwards that determines what we make of ourselves.

    I will pray that the Father grant you enough light for the next step and the strength to take it. Happier New Year.

  19. "...And I can only hope that some day I can be that kind of person for someone else that you have been to me."

    You ALREADY are :)

    'Nuff said.

    (Yes, I can be chin-scratchingly intelligent and direct sometimes.)

    Don't you ever give up on your potential, Morg.

    You keep fighting and you never damn quit, ya hear me.

    As Winston Churchill once said, "Never, never, never!"

    Love ya! [Insert brotherly punch to the shoulder here]

  20. Hi Morgan - you said a great deal ... much has not been exposed during the year ... the undercurrents and the struggles you've been through are here though. Your friends here show much love and support and understanding ... and you know I think I've had tough times ... but through them all I'm healthy, just mentally struggled and physically exhausted in helping my mother and my uncle ... but I knew the time would come when I was free.

    Life deals us funny cards - we all have them ... some grasp them, some just release and let go ... and we can learn so much from so many ... here, and from other stories out there ...

    I sincerely hope you have an easier year, but you're prepared and are preparing yourself to go through those pain barriers to get better ... my thoughts - it's a rocky road, but life is that ... just apparently worse for some than others, but those who pull through encourage us, we learn of their lives, their struggles, their way of coping ... you and your commenters have taught us much.

    Happy New Year - enjoy these days with your family .. and most definitely here's to your future health ... with big hugs - Hilary

  21. I, like a great many, have been through periods of hardship and deep sadness. I think I am a stronger person for it, some of the pain comes out in my writing and that in itself is healing. Maybe it even makes me a better writer because of it. I am sorry you have had a difficult year, Morgan. Your posts always leave me thinking and your sunshine shines through even when times are hard. I hope that 2015 is a great year for us all. Big *hugs*

  22. What doesn't kill us can make us stronger, even if it's a tad cliche.

    Here's to 2015. May it be a sunnier year.

  23. What can I say here that hasn't all ready been said? Only that, like Mark said, You already ARE there for me, for us and I too, appreciate YOU in my life so much more than words can say. I know I shouldn't, as a writer, admit that! But it is true. My heart hears yours, your pain, your challenges, your strength,your valor, and I also have heard your joy at times this year and love how amazingly joyous you can be in spite of everything. I'm glad you know we are there with you in spirit because we are. I've thought of you almost every day during our holiday so you are with me wherever I go. Peace and healing love to you Morgan...Lisa

  24. I hope sunnier times are ahead for you. From my own personal experiences, suffering and despair help to built compassion for others who suffer, make one sensitive to others' hurts and deprivations. I actually feel so much better qualified, as an adult, to write my secondary WIP because of all the insight I've accrued towards suffering and being different from the crowd. I obviously don't have a bleeding disease, but I've been confined in other ways, kept apart from things other people take for granted being able to do, on account of other health conditions, and just the way my brain is wired.

  25. Boo to horrible-ness. It's so awful when our bodies won't be healthy enough for us to do those grand things we dream of. And you have for sure had more than your fair share of that! But one thing I know I've learned from Justin's sickness is that the sickness can be part of the redirection toward the greatness. Even the lost time doesn't have to be for naught. God uses it also to create us. I wish you improved health this year so you can meet your goals. You are already standing tall.

  26. Okay, shivers are igniting all over me. It could be from my cold/flu, but I believe they are from your words...your soul. As you know, I've been where you are. And remarkably around the same age, too. Scary coincidence. You WILL get through it...You have a loving husband and four beautiful children who truly need you. That, in itself, will keep you going.

    It took me two decades to correct my issues. I still live with it on a daily basis, but it's bearable. I guess I got used to the swollen joints and dulling pains. Once we learn it's part of our lives, we can still enjoy life, but at a different pace. Of course, I'm a LUNATIC and refuse to get old and let my arthritis kick me down...again. But that must be my taurus stubborn streak! LOL. You're an aries, you've got horns too, not to mention your fiery hair color! I KNOW you will get through this. It may take a while, BUT, BUT, BUT, you are destined for better things. IT may not be what you think either. But one day it will surface and strike you in your heart and soul. You'll hit yourself in the head, and laugh and say, "Why hadn't I thought of this before? It was there...all along!"

    Life is full of mystery. That's what keeps it interesting. If you get what you want, when you want it, where's the challenge? Right? But, if you roll with it, and hike up the treacherous mountains, you will reach a beautiful valley where the air is sweet with lilac. An array of bright, red poppies will sway in the breeze and welcome you with open petals. At the end of the path, a stone cottage with a dozen windows dressed in sheer lace, will be nestled next to a sparkling blue/green pond.

    The aged, wooden door will slightly creek open, and inside you will find your muse, sitting on an aubergine and black quilted log cabin bedspread draped over an antique brass bed. She will smile at you, holding her arms open. You will dash into her embrace and you will feel the love of all you lives.

    And that, my dear friend, will be your time.

    Until then. You will inspire all of us with your passion, honesty, and light. You may think your light has gone out, but it never will. Not until YOU put it out. And that you will never do!

    All the best, for this coming new year. May it be an easier one. May your journey be less bumpy and ALWAYS remember you have us walking right next to you....


  27. I've been in that place and it isn't fun. Here's to hoping 2015 is better to both of us!

  28. How true. I've often marveled at how we hit our wall and then something appears to pull us over when we thought it was completely impassable. Another great post, Morgan! I'm sure you'll become the person you want to be. You will make it.

  29. Morg. Your strength astounds me. I'm heartbroken that you've had such a tough year, and I hope you find your light again. You are such a light to everyone. To me. <3

  30. You really are one of the strongest people I know, Morg. Every healing vibe I have is being directed your way. May 2015 be the polar opposite of what 2014 was for you. :)

  31. You have to be such a strong person to keep pushing through all of that . . . and still remain so positive and upbeat when commenting on other bloggers' posts! I'm sorry life's been so tough for you. It's probably hard to believe right now, but there is still a sun shining above all the clouds! I wish a much better 2015 for you! Hugs!

  32. "If you're going through hell, keep going." --Winston Churchill

    I know what you mean, with most if not all of this. 2014 has been a rough year for me, professionally and personally, and there were more than a few times when I wanted to just give up, just forget it all and accept failure. But I couldn't. Because as much as it sucked to deal with the various assorted flavors of crap, dealing with them meant I was doing something, meant I was working toward something. And that made all the difference.

    The first bog entry of yours I read was "Don't You Dare Give Up". Not everyone can follow their own advice. But I'm happy to know that you can. ^_^

  33. You are an inspiration Morgan. While I am sorry for your trials, I'm also glad that you have used them not only to power yourself forward but to encourage others. You are an angel in human skin. I love you. Merry Christmas, Happy New Years and a Great 2015.

  34. I hope that 2015 will be a better year for you, Morgan...
    Fight on. Never give up.
    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  35. Happy New Year! I hope 2015 is good to you. 2104 was an emotional roller coaster for me, but I can saw that the second half of the year was much nicer than the prior two years! But the pain and heartache to get to that point...

  36. I always find that after a bad year, the next year usually rebounds with positiveness to balance it out. So here's to your rebounding season! And Happy New Years:)

  37. Happy New Year! I hope 2015 will be better than ever for you! I'm glad you are fighting because you're right, that's what we have to do. :)

  38. Hey Red,

    Inspiring post! In life, we go through hardships to hone our weaknesses and turn them into strengths. When forging metals, doesn't the blacksmith smelt them to red-hot liquids so the dross may surface and be skimmed away? But after it has cooled, there's still work to be done. Pounding, reheating, pounding, shaping, reheating, strengthening, over and over and over again, until it's so flawless and pristine, you can see the maker's face in the shine of the metal. That's what you've been going through and have survived. Some people can't take the heat and pull out before refinement is complete. Their metal is weak and they shatter in the first battle.

    Life is hard. Having the faith that you will make it through your trials, as long as you keep your eyes up, is even harder. Keep the faith. :)

    Happy New Year.

  39. I so much understand you. It seems I could have written this myself. There are plenty of battle scars and many battles ahead but we know we must go on. All battles teach us something if we choose to learn from them. i have read this post twice and I still feel like doing it again. I send you Dragon Hugs!

  40. Hey Morgan,

    Such a year for you. And yet, with all that happened, you know of choices. You can be overwhelmed and retreat under the duvet. I call it the duvet or doorway dilemma. You looked out beyond that inner environment and saw, despite the trying times, the hope that glows brighter and brighter.

    Considering I'm typing from 2015, I can tell you that it's getting better and better and better...why?...because we make it so. The more adversity, the stronger we become.

    Here's to a peaceful, positive and healthy New Year, dear Morgan.

    Hugs and hope, your way,

    Gary :)

  41. Once again, you've hit the nail on the head, Morgan! A big, huge yes to this: "I'm sick of not being the person I want to be." I'm hoping for some big changes this year too because it's high time for it. I really hope 2015 is a great year for you filled with tons of sunlight and success in everything you set your mind to! Happy New Year! :)

  42. This was a touching post, and one I can identify with. I trying to climb out of one of those dark times now. It's not the worst it's ever been, but there's certainly a lot that feels hopeless. I hope you have a better year, that things only look up from here, and that you see plenty of light and discover the "you" you'd like to this year.

  43. Morgan, I read this post while I was on vacation and wanted to comment but couldn't. You are such an inspiration. I know it's been a difficult year for you, but I have a feeling brighter things--breakthrough things--are on their way. And those people who are like sunlight to you? You're THAT person to a lot of people. Here's to a wonderful 2015! *clinks glass*

  44. I'm not sure where your difficulties are coming from, Morgan, but if you need a friend to help you through anything you can count me among the hordes of people that adore you (and will provide emotional support). In my own life, I try to let go of things that are beyond my control because to do otherwise is too stressful. Remember always that at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is you. Pay yourself before anyone else gets paid. This is why flight attendants instruct people to put oxygen masks on themselves before you do so for your kids. The instinct is to protect your children first, but it's incorrect. You always come first, because if you aren't around then how can you help your children? So yeah...a little selfishness in life is warranted.

  45. Sometimes all you can do it tie off the ship and try to hang on until the storm is over. But you are right, we may not believe it but the sun always comes out. Hang in there, take care of yourself. You're inner self will always be with you, no matter your physical limitations. Here's to a better 2015.

  46. I hear you. It's a constant war. Still, with consistent effort every day, we come out of the darkness so gradually we don't realize we're standing in the light. I'm wishing you the best in your recover. Be patient with yourself. Be gentle with yourself. You will get there and when you look back, you'll be shocked at how it came about.

  47. The trick is to keep bending so that you never break. Maybe I've watched too many TV shows where everything works out in the end, but I always think that things will work out eventually, although there have been times when I've sorely doubted it. Hope 2015 is a breakout year for you.

  48. I'm not really religious, but I still love and appreciate the saying: God never asks more from us than we can handle. Though I know it definitely feels like that sometimes. The hardships turn us into the people that can inspire others. Your posts are always so powerful and emotional You inspire me. I hope 2015 provides a smoother path for you. Happy New Year. :)

  49. I think you're beautiful, Morgan. Inside and out. God rains down blessings every day...if we put out umbrella away we can feel them. :) I'm glad you have people in your life who lift you up. They're a good reason to become the person you want to be. Best of luck in 2015!

  50. Oh, no. I'm so sorry to hear that things have been so difficult for you in the past year. It sounds like you've been having a dark moment yourself; I hope that means the light moment where everything is resolved is on its way. (I know lives aren't books, but I like to hope...)

    May 2015 be a thousand times better.

  51. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, Morgan. It's tough, I know, but I think you're going to make huge strides in 2015. It's easy to look back at the year and wonder about the things you didn't accomplish, but look at all the things you DID do. Life is hard. So any small victory is still a victory.

  52. Looking forward to 2015 with you my friend! Let's plan for all good things.

  53. I have had the same experience in 2014 you are describing, and I'm done letting these things get in the way of what I want and where I should be in life. 2015 will be the year for all of us. Watch........



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