Truth Serum

I learned something about myself this weekend.

Allow me to set the stage.

Saturday night. Out with friends. Well, correction…I was out with the guys. Because all my female friends decided that Netflix was more appealing than a gorgeous, open air rooftop bar in NYC.

#NoJudgement…To each his own.

But there maaaay have been some potential love interests in the group…perhaps I’ve blogged about them before…a lady never tells.

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JK…I always doo000 🙂

Anyways. I’m going to say something and I don’t want to give you the wrong idea.

I am not a lush. But, that being said, I do drink alcohol socially. I know my limit…which is very minuscule. So I do not imbibe in more than 2 vodka/sodas. Because…well…dignity.

But that night, I had 2 drinks. No more. No less.

And allow me to just interject…there’s a reason that they call alcohol a truth serum. Especially for me. Over the course of the night, I perhaps confessed my love for George W. Bush. My secrets to preventing wardrobe malfunctions. And my irrational fear of seaweed.

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But I digress.

Eventually, the topic of conversation drifted…to Bumble.

Yes…the online dating app.

Which, as you know…I have recently joined….and matched with several of the gentlemen I was with that evening…it’s a running joke.

But the conversation quickly turned to why I’m not dating anyone. We had been talking about some of the guys’ horrendous online dating stories and the tables then turned to why I am still single.

And perhaps I was feeling uncomfortable being the center of attention with all these eligible bachelors, or perhaps it was my liquor talking, but I involuntarily blurted out, “Oh I’ve got a lot of baggage!”

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 Facepalm.

I mean, seriously Caralyn?

Holy camoley. Way to be smooth, there, sister!

And I mean, the guys were chuckling about it and laughing it off as kind of a “ok sureee” kind of response, but falling asleep that night, that moment kept playing over and over again in my head.

Does that ever happen to you? A moment or an interaction just nags at the lining of your stomach. Makes your throat tense up?

Well that was me. Not sleeping, and freaking out about making a total and complete nincompoop out of myself.

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But the following morning, sitting in church and – I hate to say it – zoning out during the homily, I found my mind again replaying that conversation.

And it dawned on me. Is that really what I think of myself? That I’m just a walking mess of undesirable issues?  

And sitting there in the pew, I took a good, long, introspective look at myself.

And spoiler alert…my findings were not pretty.

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I’ve always said that eating disorders are never about the actual weight. That the weight loss is merely a symptom of an internal battle. A manifestation of something bigger.

Something that you have come to believe about yourself that is false. A Lie.

And to truly heal, you have to identify “The Lie” and replace it with the Truth.

And it’s different for everyone.

For me, “The Lie” was that I was a burden.

Fast forward to NYC on a Sunday in 2016, all those years later, I realized something: Is my single-ness simply another manifestation of “The Lie” that crippled me so long ago?

Am I afraid to burden a potential boyfriend with my baggage? 

Aye yi yi. The plot thickens.

Out of focus lights

I told you at the beginning of the month that I was actually going to go out on a date with a guy this month, and here it is, September 26, and I have yet to do that.

So, I’m sorry.

But.

Coming to this realization this morning, it has awakened in me a new perspective.

And here it is:

I need to redefine my “baggage.”

I need to shift my thinking. Because what I consider baggage…i.e.having overcome anorexia, still battling self-worth issues, being a virgin, having to eat a specific way to keep my Ulcerative Colitis in remission — those things that I see as “baggage” in my eyes, are actually things that make me who I am. They have shaped me.

And dare I say it, someone is going to think that’s beautiful.

I just have to let someone in. Allow someone to see that. Unpack my baggage, if you will.

Because, I know that we all have quote-unquote “baggage” in our lives. And thinking about all of the people in my life…it’s their “baggage” that truly makes me love them all the more.

It gives them depth. Gives them beauty. It makes me appreciate who they are and how they got that way.

These things that are not-so-lovely about my past – they don’t make me a burden. They make me real. Honest. And perhaps, beautiful.

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So who knows…the month isn’t over yet. And thanks to my guy friends who took over my Bumble profile on Saturday night, I have about 25 new matches to sort through….

Anyway…

Hope your Saturday wasn’t quite as mortifying as mine 🙂

See ya Thursday.

xox

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280 thoughts on “Truth Serum

  1. Beautiful realizations, Beauty. Its wonderful not only that you were honest but that you know your wounds are part of you, not the entire you. Someone whose love is true will love all of you, but that starts with you loving yourself first.

  2. Everyone you were with that evening has baggage! We all do. Now about napping in church……now that’s honesty! Thank you for sharing your walk of faith. You are an inspiration!

    1. Hey Rick! Haha yes that is definitely too. Haha 😂 I know! It was bad – shame on me for doing that haha just goes to show that God will find a way to speak to you even when you’re tuning out! Haha Hugs and love xox

  3. Everyone has their own Lie, and everyone’s quest to replace it is a work in progress. Which means none of us are perfect going into dating, or any other venture.

    Which in turn means, any guy who is walking into a dating relationship with an expectation of finding no brokenness in her, is probably deluded. We all think our brokenness is the worst kind. But brokenness is brokenness.

    Just keep working on your lie, Caralyn. Like you said, you’ll find someone who isn’t deflected by it. 🙂

  4. Again I think you are usually way too hard on yourself….and you are right in saying, “We all have baggage.” So just think, whoever you end up dating will have his own baggage. If he says he doesn’t have any….he is living in denial….God brought you this far on your journey, and He allows things in our lives, so that we can be of help to others….Blessings!!

  5. Thanks for sharing. My heart hurt when you said about ‘being an undesirable mess with issues’ but I love how you love to redefine those things that if not taken care, could rob your joy. And your joy makes me joyful. Your videos make me laugh because you have such a bubbly character. Thanks again for sharing.

  6. Beautiful little open rooftop bar critter….explain how such a victorious life and even victory over biology ‘an ever be called baggage? What you deem as a burden to yourself is something different to others. I fear the truth serum you’ve been taking was a bit stale. Or that you must be allergic to it. From a distance, all we can see is a refreshing amount of beauty and no bones. You don’t need to change a most successful recipe.

  7. A few years ago I was travelling with a young lady who had been hired into our sales group. She was spending a week with me for training. As we traveled around Tennessee, finding a restaurant was always a challenge. You see, her diet has to be 100% gluten free. She has an app on her phone that searches for restaurants near her current location for gluten free menus.

    Was that a pain for me? No! We had a great week, comparing her injuries and my surgeries – it was like that scene in Jaws when Quinn and whats-his-name are comparing scars (we didn’t do show and tell).

    We talked about family and issues we were having; looking back, I think all we did was talk about baggage. But she was such great company we just fell into this trust thing and nothing was off limits.

    You have baggage. So what? I and 16,000+ other readers don’t have a problem with your baggage. Hell, we’re reading you BECAUSE WE have baggage, and it’s comforting to share it with someone we can identify with in some way.

    First time giving a public speech people tend to freak out. I always tell people, “You’re at the front of the room, so everyone is giving you the benefit of the doubt. If you stumble, no one is hanging like vultures to pounce. They are silently praying and trying to send you good vibes because they WANT you to do well.” Same as theatre, right?

    So – you go on a date, and the guy is going to give you credit just for showing up and being “at the podium.” You give your best “speech.” Let him see your current state of speech-giving. You can tell him later what it took you to get there. That’ll be academic once he knows you today.

    Go ahead. Take a plunge, if someone really trips your trigger. If you bomb, who says he ever gets to see you again? If he’s a jerk, what do you care what he thinks of you?

    Just order Coke or Pepsi instead of the Vodka.

    1. Hey Jeff! The blessings of apps, right? You know I have actually never seen Jaws?! 😬 perhaps I’ll add it to my Netflix que. but you’re right-we all have things we’re working on and honestly, that’s what makes life interesting. Aw, what a kind thing to say. Thank you Jeff:) you’re right-just showing up is a victory and he’ll want it to go well too. Haha yes! Forever a Shirley temple! Hehe hope you’re having an amazing trip!!!! Big hugs xox

  8. Your post today inspired me to write something of my own talking about my own baggage. I’ll link this post to it so people see my inspiration. Thanks for your honesty and for sharing what you do. We all have baggage. They’re just in different kinds of suitcases.

  9. Don’t be mortified, on any account. If you had not said that you would be missing out on the insight it has now brought you. Remember, you don’t owe anyone anything – even the ‘favor’ of shielding them from your baggage. He who sees your baggage and loves you for it may well be worth your consideration – so walk on and hold your head high.

  10. Where would we be without our individual “baggage”? I suspect robots could replace us if we didn’t each have our own stories, issues, etc. Besides, how could anyone else deal with a perfect person? I certainly would have no idea how to talk to someone who had no empathy with my flaws, fears, and failures.

  11. Hello Caralyn, I’ve missed reading your blog. I have been on holiday and internet connections at sea and the far north part of the world, was difficult. You may like to read my blog as I keep adding to my spiritual adventures during my holidays.

    Baggage!!!!! What baggage!!!!!! We all carry our past with us, it’s shaped who we are today!!!!! We all have it. Just a word of advice, you can always mention your personal journey and growth later on into the relationships because when it’s put into perspective, it’s not bad at all. They are the scars that have taught you lessons in life. Jesus takes those scars and turns them into reminders of how far you have grown.
    God bless you <3

  12. Leap of faith–that’s the hardest thing about relationships. For you, as the lady, that’s the definitely the hardest part in a relationship. Will what you share cause the guy that likes you to view you in a way that he doesn’t like you anymore? Thing is, God has created those relationships to be complementary in a way that you build each other up. Caralyn, you definitely deserve a guy who will view the things that you think are negative about yourself as something even more to love about you. Don’t feel pressured to do anything for a guy that is less than what you expect of him. I’m sure you have high expectations and that is where they should stay!!

    Looking forward to seeing more posts from you!

    ~Tom

      1. Hey, not sure how else to let you know, but I hope you didn’t mind me making mention of you in my recent post! I apologize if I overstepped myself!

      2. And I just tried to leave a comment on your post but for whatever reason, it’s not showing up! But I am so touched by your prayer:) you are a great friend and I’m thankful for you 🙂

  13. Loved this blog tonight! It is helpng me with my many dilemas in life. You also mentioned some things to help me understand a bit more personal about my daughter who fights anorexia. I am proud of what she has overcome! Thank you for sharing and I can’t wait to hear more!!

  14. I now I understand the name of your blog, the relevance at least. I admire you very much. You are gifted in many areas as witnessed by this observer in your writing. Beyond this you have incredible courage and fortitude as well as strength of character. You’ve overcome an incredible struggle in a society that puts extreme pressure on women to obtain perfection or be perfect when there is no such thing. Learning to redefine who you are from the ground up could be daunting but you’ve overcome the most difficult part the change in your inner picture. Now surround yourself with those who truly appreciate you for who you are. It’s a pleasure to get to know you and I am indeed humbled by your generosity and willingness to share your story. You are Remarkable!

    1. Hi there, friend. Wow, you’ve got me all choked up 🙂 Thank you for your incredibly kind words. This is a beautiful perspective and I’m grateful that you stopped by shared it with me. Have a beautiful evening! hugs xox

  15. Hi BBB, your posts are highly entertaining/engaging, also considering how cute and girly you come off as. I don’t know if you need to apologize for not being able to date anyone this month… uhm, lol? Just some thoughts, hugs 🙂

  16. Baggage…I find baggage something you unpack, wah and getread for the next journey. Some of your “baggage” are souvenirs waiting to give to someone special. That is awesome to me. Any “W” fan is a fan of mine.

  17. Hmm. Not a terribly fair question for a boy to ask a girl.

    How about: because I haven’t met a man that I am confident is strong enough to walk my journey with me.

      1. Just so you know: you’re not the only lady I’ve tried to support in this regard – so maybe it’s caused me to be a little too pointed.

        Yesterday at lunch, a young lady at lunch with four men stood up from the table, and I immediately thought: “Wow. You present yourself really well.” When she came back, her boyfriend, an older fellow, got nervous and began touching her along her spine. I just kept on sending her support, thinking “You control where your energy goes.” She became really radiant and gently affirming of all the people at the table. When the other men realized what was going on, they leaned in around her, trying to manage her grace, and I thought “Just ground yourself in the floor.”

        One of the guys came over and tried to throw me off balance by making fun of my “girlfriend,” the bike helmet on my backpack. After they had walked out, I found myself thinking “If they really loved her, he’d be happy to have a father-figure show her how to shine.

  18. You have answered the questions of your own subconcious questions! Of coures you’re not a burden, and never will be to anyone. Like you say, it’s what we go through in life shapes us into who we are. And we are all beautiful for those unique experiences.
    Can I suggest you look into a practice called Mirror Work? It might sound like a weird thing, but trust me – it works! It teaches you to love yourself, and in order to find true love with someone else, you must first find it within.

  19. Oh my dear Caralyn… (:

    I can’t count how many sleepless nights I’ve spent mentally kicking my own nincompoop ass for things I’ve done or said days–even months and years in the past; one of our fellow writers calls this “sunk costs”–things that may or may not affect our life but we can’t change regardles – it’s sunk! I’m trying to learn to accept those things more readily–and not have the clenched throat and racing heart/brain for hours on end.

    But you’re onto something here. When someone quits an addiction, there has to be something to fill that empty gap. And when you’re in crisis, anything goes – some people go from one substance to another without ever really touching on the root of it.

    Of course we both know Jesus fills that hole so very well and there’s just no better substance. But at the same time I see you digging and I think that root runs more deeply and further back into your history than you ever initially could have seen–and it’s the same way for almost everyone, I think.

    But that’s okay and that’s one of the great things about Jesus; he knows your process and your journey and he knows exactly how best to lead and shepherd you through to the end of that root–to the real core wounds–and to healing more complete than anyone could do on their own. He is so faithful!

    So I pray continued peace and healing for you on your journey, and especially as Jesus walks with you through each new layer of your baggage.

    Oh Caralyn! I’m so excited and happy for you! I know that seems like a weird response, (it feels weird to me!) But it just came over me and like… wow! You’re growing, and learning and healing and just so….wow. Jesus is so wonderful, isn’t he!?

    And this time I won’t digress.

    Happy Tuesday, my friend! Have a wonderful week! (:

    1. Hey Carson! oh my gosh this brought such a big smile to my face 🙂 thank you so much — you’re so right – there’s gotta be something to fill that hole and Jesus is definitely the best solution. Because he fills it and HEALS it. what a beautiful and comforting thought that is. Thank you for your prayers, your encouragement, and your friendship. I am grateful for you! big big hugs xox

  20. This hit home. It’s not exactly the same lie for me, but I know how it feels to feel like I’m a big bundle of issues that no one will ever be interested in romantically. I hope and pray that you can continue to break free from the lie… even though I know I’m not good at taking my own advice.

    And, I’m sure hearing this kind of thing from some stranger who reads your blog is the last thing you need, but if not for the fact that we’re a few thousand miles apart, I would love to take you on a date… … there, I said it. 🙂 Hang in there.

  21. BBB I’m always a bit surprised by your transparency here, but it is on point. We so often miss the depth of people’s lives and this often is true for ourselves. In my walk with God I realize He loves me first! It is this fact that draws me toward recovery,reconciliation, and ultimate redemption.

    Love cultivates change in our hearts it never demands it!

    Just let God love you where you are and as each promise is received from God, a lie will be removed. May gentleness make you great, you were never a burden to God.

    Psa 18:35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great

    Praying for you, I find myself in the same place of burdensome self consciousness and I can say definitively that God consciousness is the only way out.

    1. Hey Chad! Amen to that: God does love us first, and what a comfort! I’m cheering your on in this comment- love DOES cultivate change! Thank you again for your kind words and prayers. Hugs and love xox

  22. I’m constantly replaying conversations over in my head and thinking of a much better response than what I just blurted out of my mouth.
    More than that, own your story. It’s made you into who you are, and you should not be ashamed of that!

  23. There’s baggage and there’s history. I’m not entirely sure that my definition of the two is the widely accepted definition, but I think baggage is something that’s still dragging you down, that you’re still tripping over, that’s going to be a giant pain when you’re interacting with others. History is something that you went through, but that doesn’t define you now, that you aren’t still grappling with, that isn’t going to going to come between you and others. Some of the items you listed seem like history. Some of them (virginity) seem like life choices instead of baggage.

    1. Thank you for this awesome perspective. Definitely a lot of food for thought. you’re right – history vs baggage is different. gotta leave the past where it belongs: in the past! hugs and love xox

  24. Dear C,
    We have all, more ore less, stinking stuff in our old bags. This year’s Good Friday I felt an urge to confess some things to my wife, but she refused to listen. I felt very frustrated. Am I not worth listening to? But one of my beloved priests said to me: “She has the right not to know!” Wow! that changed everything! You don’t have to confess everything to everyone, not even telling that you have some stinking stuff. If another person likes you for who you are now, it may be because of everything that you have been through. Show off the wonderful girl you are now! The past can be enjoyed later, in small portions…
    Lennart in Sweden

    1. Hi Lennart! My Swedish friend! Hah stinking stuff – I like that evaluation! But in all seriousness, you offered some really powerful food for thought here so thank you. You’re right-I need to celebrate who I am now, not let the “past me” be drudged up. Thank you for sharing your heart. You’re a blessing to me! Hugs and love xox

  25. You, my friend, are setting yourself up for a wonderful life to come. Your openness and honesty and faith in and relationship with God are the perfect mix for peace, contentment and joy….Great blog!

      1. You’re welcome. I encourage you to continue doing what you are doing. Love seeing the leaps and strides you are making in openness, honesty and transparency in your writing. If nothing else, it will bring peace to you to not have any chains weighing you down. God speed my friend,

  26. Awesome! You’re a beautiful woman inside and out. One of the most amazing things about this story is that you own who you are and aren’t afraid to look inside yourself to become a better you. Also… I’m one of those who replay statements I made over and over… lol I think all the best people do.

  27. Lennart’s comment nails it….you are wonderful and who you are now. Whenever you draw closer to someone you will subtly evolve again, as will he..you have this moment and you are a beautiful soul. Xx hugs x

    1. Hi Jane! I 100% agree! His comment really struck a chord with my heart:) I can’t tell you how truly blessed I feel and how grateful I am for this beautiful and supportive community on here! Thank you for your wonderful encouragement. You’re right-it’s an evolution. I can’t wait for the day:) thanks again for stopping by! Sending big big hugs xox

  28. ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ BBB, that’s life beyond anorexia, letting go of the control and trusting, like that saying, you might have to kiss a lot of frogs before finding your handsome prince, LOL.

  29. Everyone does have their own story or “baggage” it’s true. But when you find the right person who will let you be yourself you will blossom and trust – unfold and be free; you will be like a butterfly and one day look back on that baggage and think, “Wow, I made it through” – I’m free. ♥

  30. Dear BBB,

    I had started writing a comment on my phone and this got lost somehow. But am braving it to write a second one because your post hit home. You are probably much younger and so hopefully you’ll be able to catch up with your ‘soul romanticism’ life…

    In 2012 barely a year after my ‘self-exiled’ when I was still barely beggining to feel that any healing will be possible for me, a guy came up to me at my sister’s wedding and tried to chat me up… I was simply put still so broken. As if he seeing me with my three sons didn’t scare him off, he just kept trying and trying… I told him: ‘Look you can’t even lift my hand luggage’ (I was referring in my mind to all my life shit I didn’t want to burden anyone with nor even let it haunt me once I got into a relationship and had to put a mask on’.

    Last October 2015, that healing was way in process, at a very good stage, and I was ready to face some ‘ghost dogs’. I went on a retreat – solo, and wrote a memoir titled ‘what is the worst case scenario…’ Two chapters I braved were: The Fear of Loving and The Fear of Being Loved. Once I braved these, I was much more ‘liberated’ and I gave myself permission to ’embrace’ that whole me, to stop thinking I had any ‘Luggage’ or ‘Baggage’ (in your own words), that will be more than any God sent person wouldn’t want/love to share; simply I gave myself permission to Relax and give it a Try – that was the only way I could know…

    Am still trying but now I have this intimate relationship with Jesus I literally tell him everything and I run to Him for comforst and all, all the time.

    Wishing you so so much because you are Beautiful and Beautifully made and someday a “Special God Fearing and You Cherishing One” will come along just keep Trusting God

    1. Hi Marie! Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry for the glitch-Technology… I’m so glad you took the time to write it again because this is such a powerful comment. Your words have so resonated with my heart. I’m so glad you found the “key” and have given yourself permission to embrace the whole you. That is so beautiful and powerful and yes-super inspiring. Thank you again for sharing your heart. You are a blessing to me:) I’ll keep holding out for my “SGF&YCO” 🙂 love that. Sending massive hugs xox

  31. I just had to add my two cents worth to this because my circumstances is and was alot like yours. It took me a while to adjust my diet (I’m celiac) and get my other illnesses into remission. For a long time, I didn’t think anyone would be able to put up with my baggage and sabotaged myself out of being with many people over the years but when I finally did open up to someone and enter a relationship, she supported me through many traumatic events and helped me see through all the garbage that held me back in life. The great thing about you, from what I read in your post, is that you are open to introspection and that is truly the quality of someone who will thrive in life 🙂

  32. Great post! Love your honesty here. I think your “baggage” is such an awesome victory! To have overcome the lies and to be walking in the truth and now sharing your story with so many others who have probably been there I think is a huge miracle and success! I pray that God blesses you someday with someone who recognizes it!

  33. Wouldn’t it be funny if you being open and sharing was exactly what makes someone brave enough to ask you out? You never know if there is someone in your life right now who feels a connection but could be scared….

    I like what you said about holding on to the lies we tell ourselves, we do it for comfort or even pride sometimes, but as long as we do there will be a barrier to our healing.

    Great post!

    1. Haha hey there friend! You know what, that actually doesn’t seem too far fetched! And actually, since this convo, one of the guys has–shall we say–stepped up his game a little bit! Haha you’re right-we’ve got to let those things go and claim the truth! Hugs and love xox

  34. Oh man, can i relate! Then again, i’ve been battling self esteem issues for the better part of 20 years when it comes to dating and the opposite sex in general. I am always afraid of really opening up and sharing my loves, fears, annoyances, etc because of my crippling fear of rejection. So, i suppose that’s my baggage. I am a firm believer, however, that God has a plan for all of us. We’ll find the right person for us when God sees it fit for it to happen. 🙂

    1. Hi Clone:) thank you so much for this reflection. I can definitely relate. And you’re so right-all in God’s perfect timing:) such a comforting thought! Now I just have to work on patience…haha Hugs and love xox

  35. This is definitely something I needed to read! Love it. The last few days I’ve been struggling with thoughts of not being worth a meaningful relationship and being extremely insecure. I, like you and I’m sure most people, have “baggage” and getting back out on the dating scene after 9 years is quite intimidating. So thankful to have come across your post this morning!

    1. Hi Faith! Oh I’m so glad it resonated with you! Thank you for your kind words. I’m sorry you’ve been feeling that recently, but you know what? You HAVE put yourself out there and I am so inspired by that. That takes a lot of courage and is something to celebrate:) you go, my friend! Haha sending big hugs xox

      1. Thank you so much!! Good to know I’m not alone in all this! 😉 You are right, this is an opportunity for me to grow secure in myself, as scary as this may be. God bless you lady! Xoxo

  36. Being our authentic self is difficult for we believe that no one will love our perceived flaws. Those much wiser than me say that what we perceive as our weaknesses are often gifts that we can share with others. It’s all in our perspective. Be well and be inspired to take a chance. Namaste.

  37. Before Communion this morning I read an old poem I had written and offered to the Lord. As I read it, I thought of your post and which touched me and so I’ll send it your way. I called it Now for Eternity.

    All days have led to this day.
    Yesterdays march up to the edge in Time,
    But cannot enter upon my Now.

    As precursors they stand,
    Peering onto this Today,
    Blind as bats.
    Their edges approach
    But halt at the Present.

    Here I reign with my will.
    If all my mistakes
    Shout for change,
    Am I now the fool
    Who fails to learn?

    With the sun,
    I am begun.
    Eternity beckons me,
    Where Time cannot go,
    Invites, “Come.”

    He, Who sails on Eternity’s Wing,
    Would be my Mender,
    Not in a breaking of the Past,
    But a knitting of it,
    A seamless cloth,
    As His very own.

    The morrow begins as a Way I choose;
    Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
    Are gift to my being,
    And beginning in this Now,
    I am His.

    In Christ,
    Joann

  38. I needed this right now especially as it relates to my own dating life. Thank you for sharing and hopefully you continue viewing those “burdens” as just other pieces of you.

  39. I really loved this post. Loved the honesty and self-evaluation that brought you to a very healthy realization. Who are are as individuals makes this world such an interesting and lovely place.

  40. –“And dare I say it, someone is going to think that’s beautiful.”

    Amen! I’ve already thought that. I think any worthy man reading your blog and getting to know you should see your struggles with ED and UC, and your willingness to be open about them in order to help others with similar struggles, have refined your soul like silver tried in the fire seven times, and given you an inner strength and character that make you more attractive, not less. And very easy on the eyes if you don’t mind my saying.
    If I weren’t already with a woman I’m crazy about, I would ask if you were open to older men 😉

  41. What is so awesome about this post is that it is a reminder that your baggage is not what defines you. I work with college students and every single one of them has issues that are really hard for them to face and deal with. Your post is a reminder that even as you overcome challenges, life can still be a struggle and a fight, but it doesn’t have to define you.

    1. Aw thank you so much:) what a powerful line of work you’re in. It sounds like you’re really making a difference:) and such an awesome perspective too. No, those thugs definitely don’t have to define me! Woo! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  42. “..sitting in church and – I hate to say it – zoning out during the homily…” If it’s any consolation, I have so been there and, unfortunately, done that.

    In fact, I came up with the idea for my onceuponasundaymorn blog in church and I just wanted to rush home and start working on it. Of course, mass hadn’t even started yet. 🙁 Then my family and I attended the church picnic afterwards. 🙁 🙁 🙁

  43. Hi! I wanted to tell you that I love your blog. I was thinking of you the other day and wanted to send you a copy of my book, In This Life. I think it is something that you may enjoy.

    And whether or not you are interested, I want you to know that you are beautiful and an inspiration to young girls your age!

    Christine

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    1. Aw thank you so much Christine! Oh my gosh you’re an author! What an awesome accomplishment 🙂 congratulations! And seriously what a kind thing to say:) hope your week is off to a great start! Hugs and love xox

  44. You have so many wonderful things about you, its hard to count. We all have those things we wish hadn’t happened, our could have been different. We need to shine our lights and put those things behind as best as we can. Sometimes they re-surface and we have to respect that they happened, and try our best to get past their mulling in our heads. You are such a light, beautiful and bright! x0x0x0x0 Love always!

    1. Awwww thank you Miguelito! ☺️☺️☺️ you are seriously so kind all the time. Your comments always bring a smile to my face! You’re right-let’s shine those lights! Hope your weekend is off to a great start! Big big hugs to you friend.

      1. Thanks so much!! You bring smiles to me too! You ate wonderful and its an honor to know you (and be so kind). I wouldn’t be anything less! xoxoxo

  45. So I came across your blog today at work, lol silly me should have been focusing on work but I was par oozing the interweb, but I have to tell you that I started reading it and could not stop. I feel that everybody has some sort of baggage as you say but that’s all good and makes us the people that we are. Life is crazy and has ways of making people feel so many different ways. I understand how it feels to get inside your own head because I do that a lot! You have a great talent in your writing, and I look forward to reading more! Stay beautiful inside and out and remember life is all about the experience…

    1. Hey there! Haha love that– you were multitasking😉😉😉seriously though thank you for your kind words and encouragement:) you’re the best! Hugs and love xox now back to work! 😉😘😘

  46. It’s perfectly okay to have baggage and you are so right, someday you find someone who is willing to work through the issues with you and they’ll have some of their own too.
    Stay strong!
    -Carly

  47. Love this! Very well said. God made you who you are on purpose to touch the lives He already has planned. So glad you are truly beginning to see the beauty how awesome that you were able to hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit as He revealed that you thought of your baggage as too much and now you are opening to all God has in store for you!

  48. This resonated a lot with me. Funnily enough, before my boyfriend and I started dating and were just friends, we had a conversation about how we each felt… unfit… for a long-term relationship. I was dealing with a lot of self-esteem issues from my previous relationship… feeling (like you) as if I were a burden. Like I was difficult, maybe impossible. He had other different (but maybe also not so different) insecurities.

    We’ve been dating 3+ years now, and I still have some issues. So does he. But such a huge part of it is just being with someone who allows you to have those issues… who allows you to be imperfect.

    1. Thank you so much Katie! So glad it hit home with you 🙂 Thank you for sharing this…it sounds like you and your boyfriend have a beautiful relationship – what an inspiration 🙂 glad you stopped by! hugs xox

  49. Great post. I love your sense of humor. Brene Brown in her book, “Daring Greatly,” describes your feelings as “feeling like I’m not enough.” I think you would love, love, love her writing.

    It’s fun to share you journey and watch your balance between awareness and acceptance.

    Greg Johnson
    Professional Speaker and Advisor
    New Era Financial Strategies
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    2411 San Antonio Crescent W
    Upland, CA, 91784
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    Please consider the surrounding environment before printing this e-mail. This message is intended for the recipient only and is not meant to be forwarded or distributed in any other format.

  50. This was a really nice read. You have a wicked sense of humor at times that I really like. With your history, the fact that you can be self-deprecating seems like a great sign of strength and recovery.
    And since you are so honest, I will be too.
    I have often wondered at how consistently “likes” from you have shown up on my own blog. With your deep religious convictions and my self-professed heathenism, it always struck me as a bit odd. I wondered if algorithms were at work. I’d love to hear from you personally at some point.

    1. Thank you so much:) haha a wicked sense of humor haha you from Boston?!! 😆😉😂yeah I like to support people who put themselves out there on the blogosphere. No algorithms here! I guess I like to consider myself an encourager:) glad you stopped by! Big hugs xox

  51. Happy to stumble upon your story! (And thanks for liking two of my posts — I shouldn’t have ignored you the first time!) I left a long-term relationship when I moved 12 time zones away, and since then my dating life has only been a series of rejections, on both the receiving and giving ends… mostly receiving. Sometimes it takes tremendous effort not to get discouraged, especially when you feel at odds with the dating culture around you, but self-love is always worth pursuing — and we all struggle with it. Best wishes, looking forward to more of your story!

  52. Only the truth can set you free, Caralyn 🙂 Be who you are, be real, with the wholeness of your story. With all your baggage, with your scars and wounds. God loves you as you are, not as you should be, beause he is Love and if a man truly loves you, he loves you with the same love. You are the holy and beloved Child of God, you are an extension of his Divine Love. The right partner will mirror that to you, be simply open for that. Nothing in this world can ever change your True Self, that you shall forever Be in the eyes of Jesus.

    Be blessed and stay true,
    Mark

      1. Maybe you like that poem from Oriah Mountain Dreamer…. “The Invitation” …. it is one of the most beautiful poems, in my opinion … and it is a great description of true love.


        It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

        It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

        It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

        I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

        I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

        It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

        I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

        I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

        It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

        It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

        It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

        I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.


        http://www.oriahmountaindreamer.com/

        “I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.”

        THIS is one of the most important experiences in this life…. don’t run away from it…

        Your wounds are where the light shines through. And love is a power that guides you from wounds to wonders, from fears to miracles, from tears to triumph. There is beauty in our brokenness. The hell is a salt desert of unshed tears. The Heaven of Love is different: you are called with all your tears, brokenness and misery. You can be real there.

        Without exception.

        Not only your beautiful smile.
        Not only your Light.
        Even your darkness and your inner abyss. Love only desires to embrace your wholeness, who you truly are.

  53. Our baggage is tough stuff. It’s hard to put down. We carry it like the load it is, weighing us down, causing us to see ourselves under the burden. The good news is we can set it down and walk away but for some of us, it’s a process.

    Before my wife and I were engaged, I told her I wouldn’t marry anyone if I didn’t know the worst of the worst about them. How’s that for a proposal? Tell me your deepest, darkest, nastiest secrets and I’ll tell you mine and then we can talk about marriage. I’m such a romantic!

    We shared the things that have left big scars. We shared our greatest fears that someone might find out about ourselves. She knows what drives me to sin like nothing else. I know her deepest hurt that still follows her today. AND, she is still beautiful in my eyes. Broken. Beaten up. Emotionally scarred. Spiritually scared. And she is still BEAUTIFUL.

    We shared the deepest and darkest and came out of it with a “yeah, I understand and I have empathy for you” attitude and it has made the challenges of our marriage easy to overcome. We know we are imperfect. We know we still have wounds and bags that hurt us from time to time. We also know it is God that leads us away from all of that and closer to each other as we journey to be closer to Him.

    Keep on moving…you are headed in the right direction.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this. What a beautiful love story you and your wife have. So inspiring. Thanks again for the encouragement! Here’s to being vulnerable and sharing our baggage! Hugs and love xox

    2. “Tell me your deepest, darkest, nastiest secrets and I’ll tell you mine and then we can talk about marriage” ~ wow, that’s powerful… and yes that sounds like Love… love embraces the whole. The ocean embraces all waves and not only the surface.

  54. Okay little sis here’s my take. When you find the “love” of your life, the one God brings your way, all the baggage in the universe won’t keep him away from you! How do I know? I fell in love with the most beautiful and smart woman I ever saw when I was 17, still married and she had serious baggage and you know what? I had baggage too. Most people, if they’ll be honest, have baggage.

    In His Love,
    Bro Stef 😉

      1. Ps. If a man will not accept you as you are, he’s not the one for you! You are created by God and you are special…the right mane will see you as God does. 😇💕👍

  55. I’ve missed reading your blog! (The mommy life has kept me busy, but I actually have some free time tonight… So here I am)! 🙂
    We ALL have things in our past… We all have some sort of baggage that shaped us, strengthened us, and purified us through fire. You’re right, it makes us real. And that helped to mold us into who we are today.
    You may have had a very difficult past, BUT you are helping so many others by sharing your story. So I maybe don’t see it as baggage… I see it as a victory that God helped you achieve. It does make you beautiful!
    Any guy would be lucky to have you. But definitely wait for the right one, because you deserve someone special!! xoxo

    1. Hey Nicole! aw, i’m so glad you’ve got some free time and that you stopped by! what a kind thing to say – a victory with God. I’m going to take that and claim it 🙂 thanks for making me smile 🙂 hope you and your little one are doing well tonight! big hugs xox

  56. I absolutely love your writing! You have a great sense of humor, and your posts always brighten my day! The things about yourself are truly beautiful, and please know that you are a strong survivor. Eating disorders are extremely hard to overcome, in fact, it takes pure strength to overcome it. God is using your story to help young people find the strength to overcome it.
    Any guy would be lucky to have you, and I find you strong for waiting on the right one. I’m still waiting on the right one. So know you’re not the only 20+ year old virgin. God bless you, and I hope you have a nice day.
    Jayme

    1. Hi Jayme! Oh my gosh thank you so much! I’m so glad they brighten your day! That makes me smile:) yes, God is good and I trust that he has the right guys out there for both you and I! Big hugs to you friend xox

  57. Surprising what we say sometimes isn’t it, Caralyn? 🙂 Better is that you followed the thought to the root. Burden. Now only you know why that term hits a never in you, but realizing that as the root is a big insight.

    You made me think about my label. Yes, I have baggage too. Lots of it. A big piece is the divorce– because only clearly major league-leading flawed people are divorced. And I battle that every time I say it.

    But if you are a burden, remember that you are His burden, and His burden is light. As you would then be. And you share your light with all of us.
    Keep going.
    And tomorrow is your last day for a date 😛

  58. Yep – I’m with you on this one… We sometimes need to open the bag, take some old clothes out to allow room for some new ones.. And – the alcohol – yes that one too.. I once had just a couple more than my usual 1 or 2 infrequent (seriously I’m not a good drinker..) glasses of cocktail and ended up dragging my husband (very reluctantly) on an adventure whilst on holiday one night, to the top of a mountain in Turkey… long story and not a pleasant ending.. He refuses to buy me alcohol now! hehe xx

    1. Hi Wendy! You’re right – life is like closet maintenance 🙂 old stuff out, new stuff in! haha oh my gosh, it sounds like you and i are kindred souls ! i always love a good adventure 🙂 especially after a little liquid encouragement hehe my type of adventure usually involves karaoke though 🙂 hehe hugs xox

      1. Fabulous – ages apart but together in heart.. Love it… hiccuuppp.. oh oh – where will I drag him to next! I think I may write a post on the impact of alcohol.. hehe! I bet those karaoke bars don’t know what’s hit them.. Here’s to ‘great adventures’.. Cheers! x

      2. I may need some ‘dutch courage’ first… hey hang on – I’m ‘tea total’.. nearly! Maybe one day… Watch this space.. xx

  59. I get very, very quiet when I have had too much to drink. I don’t like that feeling of being influenced by alcohol and so I am also very careful even though I enjoy the occasional drink.

    Anyway, I am close to twice your age and so you won’t find my profile on Bumble looking for dates (never even heard of it). Still, please allow me to just say that you are beautiful – both inside and out – evident to anyone who visits this blog. God bless.

    Don’t forget to ask God for help with getting a date.

  60. I find it interesting to note, as I scan thru the comments, how different people pick up on different aspects from your blog.
    The part that stuck out most to me is how you were able to see beyond the surface to your deeper feelings and perceptions of yourself and recognize the roots to be a feeling of being a “burden”. That insight gave me pause to stop and reflect on my own experience.
    So often, I believe, we humans carry on ignorant of what really drives us. To dig deeply into our inner core and come face to face with our unconscious beliefs can open the door to some much needed healing.
    One of my core beliefs was that I was not lovable. I believe my experience with ED was an attempt to make me something someone would “love”.
    An essential part of healing for me was in coming to know and accept, in the deepest recesses of my heart, that God, my Eternal, Heavenly Father loves me, and deems me worth loving, without my having to work to earn that love. When I began to internalize that as truth, then I began to be able to allow people into my life that wanted to and were able to love me, for me, just as I am.
    May God touch your soul in the ways you need so you can know your true worth to Him, as for me that is where true healing really began.

    1. Hey again GD. Wow this is so powerful. What a life changing thing it is to accept that God deems is worth loving-just as we put in our imperfect state. Thanks for that beautiful reminder. Hugs and love xox

  61. Hello,

    Great sharing. I will tell you that everyone has baggage and that is what keeps us from bearing it alone. Real people know how to share, unpack, snd throw out the extra to run that race ahead. The Lord has His timing for you and maybe all of this blogging is part of the cathartic process.

    Have a great week,

    Gary

    On Monday, September 26, 2016, BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > beautybeyondbones posted: “I learned something about myself this weekend. > Allow me to set the stage. Saturday night. Out with friends. Well, > correction…I was out with the guys. Because all my female friends decided > that Netflix was more appealing than a gorgeous, open air ” >

  62. Caralyn! You are a beautiful person. I have yet to read your entire website & learn a lot from you. Don’t feel less of a person because you think you have a baggage. We all do. What matters is how we proceed from there and how we face this journey of life.
    Thank you for stopping by mate 😀

  63. When my husband and I first started talking the first thing we did was word vomit said “baggage”. I have to say I had never been more attracted to a person in my life. The fact that he was so vulnerable and comfortable with me that he felt he could unload all of it and let me help him carry it. He later on told me he felt the same way! Hope this is encouraging! You have a perfectly great point here. 🙂 Thank you for the recent like as well!

  64. Just wondering if you have heard of EFT tapping to help some of the things you’ve talked about? Lots of evidence to help with self acceptance – just how you are but also empowering to change what u wish to. http://Www.thetappingsolution.com has a couple of videos to learn about it and even try it. Low self esteem is a big problem so I am always looking for more tools in my tool box and wanted to share it with you also 😘

      1. Thank you for passing it along. I can’t imagine the pain you must have to deal with. I’m glad you’ve found something helpful. Know that you’re in my heart and prayers. Xoxox

  65. I must’ve been channeling you a few minutes ago. Omg, so weird the way God uses us for one another. I just finished watching a sermon by T.D. Jesus called, “The Serum Solution.”

    Girl, for reals- please go watch it.

    Your eating disorder may have been an affliction for you, but you survived and because of that, God has made you an antivenom for someone going through what you’ve already overcome. Nothing that you’ve gone through in the past or that you will face in the future is baggage. It is a testimony, your testimony, God’s testimony through you. The exact things that we run from about ourselves, that we hate, or view as weaknesses is precisely what God will use to save us and those around us.

    1. Hey Celestial! Oh my gosh what a powerful and affirming comment. Thank you. Seriously, you have such a way of making me feel so empowered and you speak to my soul! Haha I know that’s BEYOND cheesy, but it’s true! Like you said-God definitely made our paths cross for a reason!! I’ll definitely have to look that sermon up! It sounds awesome. Thanks for passing it along. Hope you’re having a great week! Big hugs to you friend xox

      1. I got you boo:) I’m glad it helped. You’re totally not cheesy. You know how much I adore your blog as well. It’s so authentic and uplifting😘

  66. I’m a little late to the party here, but “come as you are” seems to be working for you. Sounds like you had a good time. Sometimes speaking our personal truth in the world seems risky or even terrifying. Still, it is what it is. To quote the post beneath this one, …Glad you had a damn beer.

  67. Such a wonderful and uplifting write! I can relate to labels and baggage being in my own recovery, a “recovering alcoholic.” I am actually a new label “recovered alcoholic.” Anyway, I relate could relate to what you had to say. I only wish my former better half realized that I was willing to accept ALL OF HER…and it didn’t have to be name brand or have wheels, her baggage. Take good care!

    1. Thank you so much Rob! Oh that’s terrific 🙂 congrats on your recovery! That’s such an accomplishment. I’m sorry to hear that 😢 I’m glad this hit home with you. Big big hugs xox

  68. You are an amazing writer, a beautiful woman, and the exact replica of what I want my future wife to be. I loved your letter to your future husband, it brought tears to my eyes. I would die for a woman like you. Thanks for liking my blogs. I am new to this blogging world, but am learning from wonderful bloggers like yourself. One more thing: your so-called baggage makes you beautiful in my eyes.

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