Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite.

With the whirlwind of the Fierce 50, it’s been awhile since I’ve shared a Capturing Grace message with you and I felt it was time. Life brings ups and downs, ebbs and flows, difficult challenges and great joys. This past week was a low point for me and I wanted to share the struggle that blindsided me. When you write a blog that is designed to inspire and uplift, it can often appear that life is all Unicorns and Rainbows. It’s not.

Early last week, I woke up devastated and depressed. I didn’t know why. Overnight, my confidence and enthusiasm were gone and trying to focus on creating was like pushing through concrete. I had some distressing news about a couple of close friends. I also missed an important business call that made me feel ashamed and I spent way too much time beating myself up about it. The downward spiral began and the negative feelings seemed to rear up like thunderheads racing across the plains. I felt worthless and simply wanted to lie in bed.

The confusion comes in when you can’t seem to make sense of what’s happening in your inner world. I’ve spent a lot of time connecting to that inner world yet some days it’s a challenge to turn within and grasp what’s happening emotionally. When you cut your finger, it’s easy to know where the pain is coming from and why. Emotional pain is much trickier and harder to trace. I’ve spent a lot of time this week asking myself over and over, “What’s this sadness trying to tell me?” The most confusing part is not hearing a clear answer. The struggle feels so real, yet I know it’s only in my mind and the way that I’m thinking, particularly about myself. When I have a setback like this, it’s difficult to get back on my feet. There is no rational argument that can be made to snap out of it. The truth is that most of my fears are actually little gremlins that scurry around my mind whispering things that have no basis in reality.

Recovering from Lyme Disease was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done yet I learned a great deal about myself. I learned that we have immense power over our thoughts. When we think positively about ourselves, we immerse ourselves in a chemical cascade that’s incredibly healing and empowering. Positive thought and affirmation literally reprogram our cells and allow us to create and forge past obstacles. Sometimes it’s easy and other times, it feels downright impossible. This week was one of those weeks and I’m doing my best to pull myself back up and tell myself a different story.

My heart feels heavy and filled with sadness and grief. Born an empath, I tend to take on the weight of the world when others are suffering. I can literally feel others pain as though it’s my own. I also have some old programming that tends to ruminate, telling me that I’m worthless and completely inept. That’s a program I’d love to smash into a million bits as it’s dominated my wiring for way too long. It’s time to wake up and smell the roses. It’s time to spend time in gratitude as a way to shift from negativity to positivity. There’s always something to be grateful for no matter how difficult things might seem in the moment. I’m determined to pick myself up and tell myself a different story, a kind story, a loving story. It’s time to let that little girl know that she’s just fine just the way she is. It’s time to tell her she’s done a great job and she’s loved…particularly by herself…and that’s all that matters. She’s deserving of capturing grace…her own grace.

I guess I forgot that wisdom is reflected to me daily in a poem by Mother Theresa that I keep in a frame on my wall. Wise words from a woman I deeply admire and relate to on many levels. Wise words that I need to read more often:

Life

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is costly, care for it.
Life is wealth, keep it.
Life is love, enjoy it.
Life is mystery, know it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

43 comments

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Catherine, So sorry to hear you are going through this. Just know you are never alone. I too love that poem by Mother Theresa! Prayers, hugs and love! Jan

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Isn’t she the best!
Catherine

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Beautiful post, Catherine. Just give yourself time…don’t worry about the lesson, it will show itself, if there is one. Life may just be calling you to slow down for a bit. My prayers are with you, I know you have the strenght, and everything you need surrounding you and within you.

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Thanks love!
Catherine

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So inspiring Catherine! As a former therapist, I know the power of that or those voices that talk to us in our head continually. The power lies in training it/them to use kind and.loving words of encouragement and self-love! Well done!

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Hi Rebecca,
Thank you so much. You’re so kind and boy do I wish you were in LA. I could use your services!
Catherine

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Thank you for your candidness. You are not alone in how you feel- sometimes I used to think I was bi-polar the mood swings were so great- now I know I’m simply human. For a few days, about 4-5 times a year, my joy, confidence, drive and courage simply vanish, for no explained reason. I rationally know I have so much to be grateful for, but sometimes those little gremlins and their darkness, are determined to stick around for a few days and mess with my life, no matter how much I work to push them out. I become filled with sorrow, self doubt, and I go inward.Then just as that sadness and lack of self confidence appeared, gratefully a few days later that darkness lifts, and the gremlins move on. Could I do without them? – absolutely, but if I can move through this difficulty and others remembering that I truly do hold the power to move forward, , then I know I remain that fierce woman that I am.

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You are so welcome. It’s all part of life and this lovely menopausal journey. Truth be told, I tend to take on a lot that isn’t mine and I’m learning how to deal with that. And, surviving a lifetime of trauma and abuse, those gremlins do rear their ugly heads from time to time.
Thank you for your kindness.
Catherine

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Thank you so much, Catherine, for sharing this post with all of us! As life goes by we all experience every once in awhile, that kind of dark moments, especially when one is so sympathetic as you are. It takes a lot of courage, love, and strength to overcome those moments. I really admire your fight with Lyme disease and your wonderful initiative to start this amazing community “Forever Fierce” and how you’re putting all your energy to evolve it. We might not realize how important these personal testimonials can help others when they are feeling depressed. I’m very grateful to you for sharing this post.
Love,
Chuky

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So kind…thank you so much and I’m grateful to know you. You’re an amazing woman!
Catherine

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Hello sister. I see you.

Sending love, peace and ease.

Rosie

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I know you do!
Blessings,
Catherine

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Dear Catherine,
Your post resonates with me as I lived with someone with depression for many years. Like you said, it is not a cut that can heal, it is with you and will pop into your world when you least expect it. I commend you on writing this very honest and raw post. Catherine you are a bright, shining star and I am so happy to have met you. You are doing an amazing job on the Fierce 50 campaign, no one could have done it better!
Sending you love, light and hugs.
With very warm regards,
Nancy

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All good…thanks my beautiful friend. It’s just my empathic self taking on what doesn’t belong to me. I’m learning and grateful to my loving friends!
Catherine

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Cath,
I hope above all your friends are OK. Prayers going out for them. Get up Smile and go do something for someone in your circle who is in need.I do not understand Lyme Disease, but I had my own experience knocking on Heaven’s door, it indeed makes you stronger. You need anything, you holler, there are many out there who consider you worth it!

Jack

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Thanks so much, Jack. I appreciate your support in the IG world and I only know how to be real. This life has been a challenging one to say the least. I’ve come through a great deal and every once in awhile hit a bump in the road that brings the trauma back. Somehow we always get through. Things are much brighter and I’m grateful for all of the support and compassion.
Blessings,
Catherine

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Lovely post, Catherine. Raw and real, warm and even welcoming. It takes courage to speak out, and doing so gives us all courage and brings us all together. To one degree or another, we’ve all been down this road. That isn’t to negate depression at all, but just to remember you are never alone. What you are doing means a lot to so many women and we are grateful. Much love…

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Thank you and yes, I believe the darkness is part of the journey. It’s very challenging yet we always get to the other side and things look brighter. Grateful for your support.
Warmly,
Catherine

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This popped up just as I am getting ready to go to sleep. I was going to scroll past but something stopped me. I’ve followed you for a while as I’ve joined in with #fierce50 positivity so I guess that was one of the reasons I stopped by. Sorry to hear how you’ve been feeling. It felt like an echo for me. You have chosen beautiful words to explain your feelings and they’ve really resonated with me. I hope you are back in your happy place very soon xo

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Thank you so much for your lovely support. I can’t tell you how much it means. And, I know this is a universal issue.
Blessings,
Catherine

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Beautifully written post, with so much I can relate to. You’ve given us all a gift with your insight and willingness to share your experience with depression. I’d venture to say that we’ve all been there too.

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Thank you so much!
Catherine

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Thank you, Cindy. I know I’m not alone.
Warmly,
Catherine

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It is even more important for those of us who spread positivity to acknowledge when we hit a patch of depression. It doesn’t benefit anyone to pretend otherwise as sugar coating only makes others feel like failures.

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It sure is. I spent my life covering up with a happy face and it almost killed me. I only know how to be real.
Hugs to you!
Catherine

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Isn’t that so true? Thank you, Jan. Very kind and compassionate.
Blessings,
Catherine

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Catherine, your honesty and openness makes you even more beautiful ( if that’s even possible)…. you are an amazing person inside & out. You’ve brought our entire community closer. Thank you for everything you do, being an empath is not easy, but it makes you so very special ~Hugs & Blessings, Friend ??

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So kind…thanks love and that empathy thing…yikes…it’s been a rough one.
Much love!
Catherine

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Dear Kathleen,
Thank you so much for such lovely compassion and understanding!
Catherine

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Isn’t it ironic: the the more open and honest we are, the more our message resonates with others. You’ve shown more power sharing your struggles than those who show their “perfect lives.” NO ONE lives the perfect life. EVERYONE has issues, insecurities, pain, demons. Some may seem to have more than their share of tough times, but they emerge stronger than those who seem to skate through life. I think we impact others more when we show our weaknesses. You’ve shown a strength you may not know you have by sharing what you’re going through.. In a society that worships perfection, revealing “weakness” takes a amazing amount of strength.

While you’re in this valley, you may not feel the love so many of us have for you. You may not see how you’ve impacted our lives for good. You invited strangers to share a weekend; they emerged life-long friends. You created a campaign which became a movement which became a revolution. You reached out to women you’d never met and asked them to join you, and because you’re authentic and you want everyone to succeed, we said, Yes!”

If she could have seen the future, that little girl would have been chomping at the bit to grow up and become the woman she is now. If she didn’t feel loved then, she would see there was plenty of love waiting for her in the future. If I knew how to be the hand that reaches out to pull you from the dark I would do it in a heartbeat. You are so worthy. Worthy of our love. Worthy of your own.

I hope you see your strength, sweet friend. I hope you blow the dark clouds away.

Helen

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You are AMAZING. The most beautiful comment I’ve ever read. Thank you so much. I’m grateful to you and my dear friends as I could really feel your comfort. I sense we have to share numbers as I would love to connect with you. You’re an angel!
Blessings,
Catherine

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Your comment lifted my spirits immensely. I’m so grateful to you and all the women in our community. Thank you for your friendship and such beautiful compassion.
Catherine

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Oh that is so said to read. Stupid isn’t it, how it over sudden can come to you. Crawl into your head. I hope you feel better real soon because the world is to pretty. But sometimes it is not…

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It’s just honest as that’s the only way I know how to be. I had to let it pass and it did.
Many Blessings,
Catherine

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It’s all good and part of life.
Blessings,
Catherine

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I too struggle with this…and for me the remedy is not to fall too far down into the darkness. Because once there, it’s so much more difficult to climb out. It’s like quicksand… the harder you try to get out the deeper you go 🙁 I don’t worry about trying to think positive…I try to concentrate on Not thinking negative. I say out loud to myself “Be nice! Don’t be mean!” when the litany of awful words and thoughts about myself start going thru my head. I try to keep busy, even though I have no energy or will to do anything. I say to myself “Get Up! Move your body!” But I think it’s different for everyone. And trying to figure out what works for each of us is a challenge. But never give up…you never know what words or actions will be the turning point.
Thank you for your honesty!
Be patient! Be kind to yourself. Baby steps.
Love and peace!

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That’s just how I decribed the feeling. It was just like quicksand and I couldn’t force coming out and had to sit with it until the light came back on.
Much love to you!
Catherine

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It does feel like quicksand…thank you for such kindness and compassion!
Catherine

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Dear Catherine The Great?
How courageous and brave you are. I also get in these funks. But I also believe they are teaching moments for us. Your ability to share and help someone you may not know is truly the gift from someone with a Servant Mentality. I love empaths. Bless you and just keep being you❤️

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So kind, Mary. Thank you so much!
Catherine

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So kind…once an empath, always an empath!
Big XO

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Dear Catherine,
Since breast cancer and the unexpected death of my husband, I understand depression. Just when I think I’ve gotten a handle on it, it unravels my world, again. The puppies I adopted a few months ago have stressed me to the max. Last week animal trainers told me no animal shelter should ever let one person adopt litter mates, particularly the mixed breed I adopted. They fuel one another, and they don’t have an off switch. The last week has been particularly hard and I feel beaten down. Even though we’ve both survived diseases that could have killed us and have a lot to offer, our depression is real. It’s not always something we can snap our fingers and zip through. I have an understanding of how you may feel, and I’m wishing you clearer perspective and brighter days. Brenda

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Dear Brenda,
Thank you so much for your kind words. Life is an interesting journey for sure. I have a lot of trauma and abuse in my background and it rears its ugly head from time to time trying to hold me back. I had to sit with it and let it pass. It wasn’t an easy one. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I lost my pup 2 years ago as you know. I’m dying to get another one but I also know my limits at the moment. So, I really understand how challenging this must be for you…with 2 rescues…goodness. You may have locked me in a nut house! Much love, Catherine

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