Renaissance of the Heart

It’s a funny thing, nostalgia. Whether it’s rewatching Harriet the Spy, or finding your suede, sea-foam green converse shoes from when you were a kid (#style), certain things have the power of just bringing you back to moments in time and making them feel like just yesterday.

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That happened today.

One of the things I have just been blown away with here recently, is how good people are. And how they rise to the occasion. People going out of their way to spend time with my mom, and help in anyway they can with her stroke recovery.

So this afternoon, my mom’s friend picked us up and gave us a tour of downtown. We walked, drove, and took the streetcar.

And this was a big deal. I haven’t really spent much time downtown since I left for college. As in…none at all. When I left, the city was really nothing to write home about. And you definitely didn’t want to find yourself alone on the streets at night.

But since then, this huge cultural renaissance happened, and now, downtown has turned into its own little Brooklyn-esq hotspot with eateries and shops that could compete with just about any city on the map. All it needs now is tall, skinny, bearded men in micro shorts.

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But what was the most special for me, was driving past all of the old theaters where I spent my childhood years.

Seeing the stage doors where I would come in and out as a teeny little thing, carrying my weight in bouquets of flowers and teddy bears.

Or walking through the park across from the theater where my mom and I would go for the afternoon between shows just to get some time to “be a kid.”

It was this tidal wave of emotion and nostalgia that washed over me as I visited these places that truly shaped who I was growing up: the good, the bad and the challenging.

Coming home, I couldn’t stop thinking about that feeling of being back on my old stomping ground. I mean, from age 7 to about 15, I would spend months at a time performing at these big theater halls downtown. It gave me such joy. Such life. Such passion.

I think about that little girl, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t fill my heart with a little pang of sadness when I think, what happened?

 What happened to give that passionate, spunky, confident little girl, the belief that she was anything less?

What crushed that spirit to make her believe that she wasn’t beautiful or enough?

Coming back to these “hallowed” spots of my youth today, as a whole, healthy young woman, it was as though I was reclaiming that little girl. That pip squeak who was singing her heart out on stage, loving life, loving herself and absolutely sucking the nectar out of life…I embraced that little girl today. Allowed those memories back into my heart. Allowed her back into my heart.

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The thing about recovering from an eating disorder – or any traumatic event, I would assume – is that it’s easy to fall into the trap where you close yourself off to the past, because it hurts to remember. Because it’s dark. Because you mourn the loss of those precious years to anorexia or what have you.

But the danger in that, is by doing so, you lose the good memories too.

 

Shutting that “pre-anorexia” part of my childhood out, and not even revisiting the scene…sure, it may prevent some temporary discomfort of reliving those horrible memories, but what about the good ones that you wipe away with it?

For crying out loud, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, Caralyn!

 

Going to those places today, it was really good for me. Because the truth is, that was a huge part of who I am that I had just left behind. Aside from the lines on my acting resume, that part of my history had been written out completely.

But not any longer.

Along with the renaissance my city has experienced in these last several years, so to, today, in my heart.

That little girl was precious. And good. And had something to offer the world.

And gosh darn it, so do I.

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280 thoughts on “Renaissance of the Heart

    1. haha Yes! It’s new just this past year or two! I was pretty impressed too! And micro shorts are what some hipster guys wear in NYC lol I’m actually pretty glad that trend has not caught on here! hahah 🙂 thanks for stopping by! hugs xox

    1. Thank you so much! aw, you’re right, it was so special to be out and about with her. we had a really great afternoon, and it really triggered a lot of memories for her too! so a successful trip! 🙂 thanks for stopping by! hugs xox

  1. Thank you for sharing your walk of faith and in the process creating a powerful testimony. Where you are now reminds me of a few folks in scripture asking God, “what am I doing here?” Your faith already allows you to know you are where you need to be. I haven’t been able to comment too often lately, but I want you to know how inspirational you are and how proud I am of you! It may not feel like it on some days lately but I believe God is using this time to prepare you to do more of His work……whatever that might be? Prayers and blessings for your walk of faith!

    1. Thanks so much Rick. Yeah I definitely get that feeling of what am I doing here. I trust that God has a good answer for that and will lead me to it. Gosh your words are so kind and really touch my heart. I am so glad that our paths crossed. Big hugs to you xox

  2. You are a beautiful person, not just your physical appearance, but based on your writings, being able to face your own self, your own inadequacies, is so courageous in itself, it shows the beauty of your heart and soul.

  3. Good for you, Caralyn! So glad that you were able to rise to the surface with the creme de la creme. Now that you’ve got that started, why not make it special with pics of Caralyn today in those places and show the world how far you’ve come! Congrats girl. 🙂

    1. Thanks Eric 🙂 hahah that’s such a great idea! yeah, I wish i would have thought of that! I guess that just means I’ll have to go back ! 🙂 hehe thanks for stopping by! hugs to you xox

  4. I experienced that same kind of homecoming just a few years ago. 23 years after leaving my hometown, my family, and my friends to find a new life, following a disappointing period of drinking and ruined relationships, I returned home to visit. Suddenly, I realized people really missed me and loved me and I had been running away for nothing. It was so very good to reconnect and reclaim the best of who I had been and to re-establish those ties that strengthen me. Wow. I am glad to hear you too are knitting your life back together into one beautiful tapestry. As Richard Rohr says, everything belongs.

    1. Hi David, thank you so much for sharing this. I’m so glad you were able to reclaim that precious life and reconnect. that makes my heart so happy 🙂 Everything belongs…I like that a lot 🙂 so glad you stopped by! big hugs xox

  5. “That little girl was precious. And good. And had something to offer the world. And gosh darn it, so do I.” You sure do, girl! Rock on!

    And God bless you always. 😀

  6. Part of recovery and healing is to reclaim what the enemy stole from you. I’m sorry for the reason you have this space and time to do that, but thankful you can. Good for you!

    1. Thanks so much for this, Melanie. You’re so right – that’s a huge part of the recovery process. That’s exactly right – I’m thankful for it too 🙂 so glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox

  7. Great post. Well written. I loved it and need to remember to go the good places of my life without feeling bad because I feel like my life would have been so much better if I never would have had bipolar disorder so I grieve who I was before my bipolar. but you are so completely right. I need to love and cherish all of those happy memories of who I was and the happy memories with my children before I had bipolar. I need to work on that and love all of those memories and stop thinking of it as before during and after stating my recovery but turn it into a beautiful all…. an all of me. Gosh thank you so much for your post. It has been very helpful and Inspiring for me and my life. I mean really it has. Wow!!!! BTW You are very beautiful inside and out!! Hugs and blessings! <3

    1. Thank you so much for this encouragement. I’m glad it hits home with you. I can definitely relate. It’s hard to let go of those challenging seasons and embrace everything. That’s definitely something I have to continually work on. Thanks for sharing part of your story. Big hugs to you xox

  8. Reblogged this on My Loud Bipolar Whispers and commented:
    I loved this post as it really made me think about my own life. I used to grieve the old me, but now after reading this post I realized I should not do that. I need to love and cherish all of my memories. I need to work on that and love all of my memories and stop thinking of my life as it was before, during and after starting my recovery… but I need to turn it into a beautiful all…. an all of me. It has been very helpful and Inspiring to redefine my life that way. Wow! I need way to think. Thank you Beauty Beyond Bones! <3

  9. I love reading you! Thank you so much for sharing. Two things strike me. First is how recovery is so similar no matter what it is. That it is a spiritual awakening that is, in my experience, the path to healing. And second, is in The Book Alcoholics Anonymous in the ninth step are the Promises, one being. We will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it. The next promise is We find that sharing our experience will benefit others. As yours does me,

    1. Thanks so much 🙂 that’s really kind of you to say. And thank YOU for taking the time to read. You’re right- recoveries are similar. And what a powerful step. I love that – sharing it with others definitely brings even deeper healing. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  10. Absolutely beautiful and so are you! I think the most glorious spot in our journeys is the moment we “rediscover” the child inside of us, working past the pain and into precious memories and there is nothing more beautiful than the merging of the two!

  11. Sounds like a fun day! I went back to my old college stomping grounds in Tiffin last year. So many old memories, so many good times!

    The (hopefully) good stuff for you is at Patreon! 🙂

  12. What can I say? You brighten my day with your smile and your optimism. And I think about the checkerboard of memories that is my past too. The lessons I learned between the drinking prepared me for the good life I enjoy today.

  13. YOU!! I’ve recently been walking down memory lane and in turn rediscovered the self that had an unhealthy self imagine and today found the girl that was innocent , not yet jaded.
    I LOVE this story of you. Seeing you watch your little self come out of those theaters. I’m glad you got that back.

  14. Good memories in Ohio? Of course I’m kidding but I am obligated to say that based on my Pittsburgh area code. Your town made a comeback and you have made a few of your own. Great post as always. – Larry

  15. You are totally wonderful!! You know, the same thing happened to me when my mom died back in November. I was having to run back and forth from where my sister lives, to my old hometown (where we grew up) and take care of details etc.. I was able to spend a little time between appointments checking out parts of town I hadn’t been to in YEARS, as well as some of the new development that has popped up there over the last years mom still lived there. It was good for me too. I’ve always had memories, and also wishes, that the past could have done a bit differently before I left. I know that can’t happen, but it was good to be “around town” one last time. I’m glad you got to enjoy your old downtown!! Hugs and love always. Your presence there added beauty on that day!! xoxo

    1. Thanks Migueltio. I really appreciate you sharing this. Gosh, I am so sorry to hear that. It sounds like you were a real rock for your family during that difficult period. That’s something really incredible. And I’m glad that during all of that, you were able to find some good memories and peace. I definitely was given some peace and just acceptance of the city. that was really good. and gosh, what a kind thing to say…I’m blushing 🙂 Sending you massive hugs and lots of love my friend. I can only imagine that the pain from losing a parent never really gets easier with time, only different, and I just want you to know that I’m here if you ever need to talk 🙂 big hugs xox

      1. Thanks so much!! I’m glad I found that time and I’m glad you have had that time too. Yes, its not easy, no matter how long its been since “the better days” or the days that were once so relished. Finding that peace is what makes it somewhat more manageable. But its always different and managing the pain is the key. Thanks so much xoxoxo <3 <3 <3

      2. Just letting you know, that starting this week as Lent begins, I will be only getting on the net once a week. Its one of my annual abstains. I will try to catch up to your blogs, but may not get to each one. I wish you a Lent filled with grace and warmth in however you keep it, as we journey toward the joy of Easter. God Bless my friend! Love and hugs!

  16. I agree with your conclusion. 100%.
    Your discovery reminded me of when I went through a workshop a few years back. In one exercise, we saw ourselves walking past times in our lives. After we processed a few things, we were asked to imagine walking up to a large tree and notice two children playing underneath. We paused for a few moments to notice how happy they were, to appreciate their simple joy. Then as we were asked to look more closely and see that these children were our parents. Our parents long before the weight of the world pressed down on them. Long before they experienced heartache and loss, rejection or failure… It was quite a paradigm shift. Like you, I had a much deeper appreciation for them and who they are in my life. Thanks for the memory.

    1. Thanks so much Brad. 🙂 Wow, sounds like a pretty powerful workshop! I’ve never thought about anything even remotely similar to that, but my goodness, what a shift in perspective! thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

      1. Do you know who makes emojis? We should get them to make you a “mind blown” emoji for your replies to what I share with you… ha ha ha.

      2. hahaha yes!! I know, we need that and then we also need an “english accent” emoji…because I for one love a good random accent thrown in every once in a while. Keep people on their toes 🙂 hehe

      3. Hey Caralyn, remember when we agreed that I’m always right? Well, I apologize in advance for not minding my own business and if this isn’t the right place but based on the timing of your replies and likes I’m concerned you’re not sleeping enough.
        You can’t serve from an empty cup. Self-care heals and strengthens us.

      4. Thanks Brad, yeah I could probably be getting more sleep. Right now I’m getting a little shy of 8 hours. I think this is just my season to be a little shy on the shut eye. But you’re so right, I need to make sure to be practicing self care. Thanks so much:) Hugs and love xox

      1. yeah, I think you’re right about that…I’m trying to remember. It’s crazy, I watched that movie practically every weekend as a kid, and now I can’t remember the plot points or anything!!!

      2. Oh here’s a completely random question because I used the word deniability: Are you familiar with the musical “Hamilton”?

      3. Also haven’t seen it but discovered the soundtrack about a month ago. I really like it although the ending always makes me choke up.
        There’s no big point-just curious.

      4. Oh! Yeah, I tried to see it on Broadway, but the tickets were like 7000 for an obstructed view, or something astronomical like that. No thank you! haha yeah, great music. He’s a musical genius!

  17. Excellent reflection. I am struck with how frequently we tend to “shut off” the child part of our lives. And what a gift to embrace that girl again. Yes, you have much to offer. Loved how a simple visit to see the town could also become a trip to reconnect with your heart. May grace and joy be yours!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and prayers. It really means a lot. Yeah, it was a really specially day today, accepting that little girl back into my heart 🙂 yes! simple yet powerful. so glad you stopped by! big hugs to you ox

      1. Thank you! I understand the need to embrace the child again as kept separated from my own inner boy for sooo long. And needed to get free from the Shame I felt within and stand in the Grace we have been given so freely. For me I was Shame bound for so many years. Hugs back. Blessings and joy. You are courageous. Keep sharing. Keep growing!

  18. Another beautiful post! It reminds me of this verse. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm. Joel 2:25a. Your restoration has begun and it is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much Terese! Oh wow, what a powerful verse. To be honest, I haven’t read much Joel, but it sounds like I should remedy that! it’s so comforting! Thanks for the beautiful encouragement. you are a blessing to me:) big hugs xox

  19. I’m with you with the childhood part, but sadly with me, I don’t remember much of it with the bad and good memories, that I compress. Their are a lot of good things, I will like to recall from my childhood, the bad things can be left not being recalled for me, but I to know about things, that happened in my childhood and with the really bad things, like with my lower back that got screw up in the first grade by 4 high school kids. They also strengths 3 or 4 other kids backs out the long way.
    I also got pick on with my speech impediment as a kid that was hard for me, but not as hard about learning about love to young.
    But now I’m a happy person with no revenge thinking on people, because that is a waste of life, of thinking how to take revenge on people, also you go lower than their level was at or at.

    1. Hi Michael, thank you so much for sharing this. i’m so sorry to hear that about your back! gosh, back injuries are no joke. I’m sorry you had to endure that as a child. That’s great that you’ve learned those powerful lessons — you’re right, a life of revenge is no life at all! so glad you stopped by! big hugs to you x

      1. I don’t recall the back injury so it doesn’t bug me at all besides the physical part that bugs me with my lower back once in awhile also when it’s really cold out.

      2. I needed to look up chronic and no or not yet or least of now, but I did heard when I get older, there will be times where I might not even be able to work.
        I kind of believe that, because when it’s is freezing temperatures my lower back gets stiff when I wake up. Also during yoga, like back strengths helps, I do yoga alone, because I think is a female thing, but I do know some yoga moves that helps when my lower back is stiff, and I do them for a minute usually, or 2 or 3 minutes with the ones you left a leg on a dresser or something, and bend as far as you can do your feet.
        I do 3 minutes only with my right leg once an awhile, because I have a bad knee on my right leg, that is my fault of not listing to my dad of not running in an old barn at 6 years old.
        Also I have a sister, so when we was younger, we took ur anger out on each other when we was fighting, but we get along now, since we not at each other necks 24/7, if you know what I mean by that, even you do love them, just the 24/7 thing, can get to one of the other, at times.

      3. I just do yoga when I need do, that’s it. Also my back isn’t bugging me to much yet, but I do feel like 50 sometimes and when I get 50, I’m going to feel like 80, I bet.

      4. I’m thinking it will get worst, when I become older, just one of those things, when you get older. I don’t think their much I can do as for now, since it’s just minder stiff pain once awhile.

  20. As dark as our pasts might be, God was always there (even it we didn’t feel like He was) and for this reason holding on to our memories shapes who we are today. I appreciated what you had to say about nostalgia and reclaiming our past, because without those events our present would not be the same!

    1. thanks so much for this Luke. You’re so right, God was and is always there. What a comforting thought that is! Thanks for the encouragement – you’re right, our present would not be what it is without our pasts! hugs to you ox

  21. You are a physically beautiful woman; but as you have noted, beauty is beyond bones (or flesh). I know that at one time you could not see your physical beauty or you might not have had an eating disorder. I suspect who you saw in the mirror was not who other people saw, especially your parents. Anyway, you endured through a time of trial, a time that you are still emerging from. You have chosen life. You are emerging from the chrysalis, a beautiful butterfly.

    Saint Paul wrote (Romans 7:24-25): What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

    You have lived as a wretched woman but, thanks be to God, through Christ our Lord, you have been delivered. Your loving care of your mother, your sentimental trip down memory lane, your realization that you were beautiful, you are beautiful and you always will be beautiful is a gift from God.

    It may seem crazy but I think that you should thank God for your eating disorder. Without this trial you would not be the butterfly that you are. I believe that He has worked this terrible thing to the good. I suspect that it is through the brokenness of your affliction that you have have become such a wonderful servant of Jesus Christ. Your humility is an honor to God. Your life is a witness to His love. Your service to your mother is an act of worship.

    Thank you for sharing your journey, through your words many will see God at work in your life and know that He lives because He lives in you.

    1. Wow, Oogata, I am so incredibly touched by this comment. I’m all choked up! thank you so much. You know, it’s funny, because I do thank God for the lessons I learned because of ED. Suffering is actually a gift, in that we are able to enter into a deeper connection with Jesus. And i think that time really also made me rely on Him in a total and complete dependence. And I love that metaphor of a butterfly – that’s a really kind thing for you to say. But i do feel like that — that God has transformed me from who I was in ED to who I am today, and I am so grateful for that. truly owe my entire life and health and every to Him. He delivered me from that horrible place and I will praise Him for that! So glad you stopped by. I hope you have a wonderful evening. big big hugs to you friend xoxoxox

      1. There is a song called Holiness by SCOTT CARL UNDERWOOD:

        Holiness, holiness is what I long for
        Holiness is what I need
        Holiness, holiness is what you
        Want from me

        Holiness, holiness is what I long for
        Holiness is what I need
        Holiness, holiness is what you
        Want from me

        So, take my heart and form it
        Take my mind and transform it
        Take my will and conform it
        To yours, to yours, oh Lord
        To yours, to yours, oh Lord

        Faithfulness, faithfulness is what I long for
        Faithfulness is what I need
        Faithfulness, faithfulness is what
        You want from me

        So, take my heart and form it
        Take my mind and transform it
        Take my will and conform it
        To yours, to yours, oh Lord

        So, take my heart and form it
        Take my mind and transform it
        Take my will and conform it
        To yours, to yours, oh Lord
        To yours, to yours, oh Lord

        Brokenness, brokenness is what I long for
        Brokenness is what I need
        Brokenness, brokenness is what
        You want from me
        What you want from me
        It’s what I want.
        ________________________________________

        You have been living this song. You have been and are still being transformed into the likeness of Jesus. You have been and are being refined through the crucible of affliction. In Isiah 48:10 God says: “See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.”

        You are being formed, transformed, and conformed into the likeness of Jesus. Jesus suffered on the cross so that you would know that you have not suffered anything he has not himself suffered. He is with you. I know this because I hear his voice in your writing and see his eyes looking through yours. Through His eyes you look compassion out onto your mother and the world.

        He has been with you in the pit, even when you could not feel his presence, he was there then and he is with you now and he will be with you always. He sees you as you are: a Phoenix rising from the ashes, a butterfly bursting from its chrysalis. He knows the real you, the you who is a wonderful, marvelous, beautiful daughter of the Most High God.

        When your heart aches for your mother, it is holiness. You weep as Jesus wept for Lazarus. Your acts of kindness towards your mother are as Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. It is holiness– it is holiness, that is what I see in you.

      2. I love that song! Thanks so much for sharing it Oogata. And wow, what a kind thing to say. I don’t know about that, but I do trust that God has me right where He wants me and I’m trying my best to just trust this messy and confusing process. Your words are so comforting, my friend. And I am seriously so humbled.thank you with all my heart. Sending love with all my heart. Big big hugs xox

  22. This is beautiful – that little girl deserves to be enfolded in loving. And you are just the one to do it with the grace of God. Thank you for your vulnerability, your openness and your willingness to share your experience …. it’s a great service.
    Love, Debbie and hugs!

  23. I’m so happy to hear you’re doing well.

    This was the kind of post I needed right now. Lately I’ve been beating myself up over my past, and I needed to be reminded to not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I’ve got to remember who I was and have faith in God about who I can be.

    And this post gave me an idea for a future chapter of that story I’m writing (thanks for the Likes 🙂 ) “I Have Found It.”

  24. You made me turn back pages and the pristine beauty of Gods creation when we were all lost in the virtues of oblivion. Remember those paper boats and that September rain we drenched our souls and get lost, I am longing for those days to return because I cherish them. You reminded me about my fond memoirs of my life.
    Warm Regards
    Bhanu Kapoor

  25. As a child that suffered a traumatic event, I can totally relate to what you wrote here. “What happened to give that passionate, spunky, confident little girl, the belief that she was anything less?” really struck a chord. It is sad, but the good news is what we have to look forward to going forward in this life- I think that we go through these horrible things, try our best to recover or make sense of it and we come out better on the other end. You sure have, and sharing your stories helps other people to open their eyes too. God bless you and keep you in your continued recovery. ~ Annebella

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that, Annebella. You’re right- we do come out better on the other end – with a gained perspective that can only be learned through challenge. I’m sorry that you can relate on such a personal level but I’m glad we’ve both made it to that other side 🙂 same to you. Big hugs xox

    1. Haha thanks Benjamin! Definitely try and see Harriet the Spy — a childhood favorite 🙂 and streetcars are these trolley-like things that ride on tracks through the city. Kinda like a train that runs with the traffic. It’s pretty cool. It was just installed in the last year year or so 🙂 Hugs and love xox

      1. I want to go on one but I’m too anxious too 😢 also I’m currently watching Harriet the spy 😜 sending you lots of love, hugs & butternut squash ice cream 😘😍 xxx

      2. Yeah it was definitely a little nerve wracking seeing the cars swerve around the tram at rush hour! And awesome! Hope you enjoy the movie! Can’t wait to hear what you think! Xox

  26. Yeah, don’t throw the baby with the bath water, Caralyn! 🙂 So true. We do tend to box everything together and either love it or hate it, remember it with fondness or completely repress it. Yet, not everything in the box is unpleasant. I guess when the wound has healed and even the memory of the pain has paled, it becomes easier to recognize the good in what would have been otherwise taken as bad period of our life. I’m glad you’re able to recognize this. We eventually get there, right? Slowly but surely, I often say.

    And yes, when we want to see it, we are able to see how good people are. It’s your own current personal space (mood/predicament) and perspective/angle.

    1. Thanks for this Anne, you are always such a positive source of encouragement. I’m so grateful for you! you’re right – slowly but surely. And yes! it’s so wonderful to see how *good* people really are. its been so refreshing 🙂 Hope you have a beautiful weekend. hugs xo

      1. Always my pleasure dear friend. That’s what we’re here for. 🙂 Life is better when we are here for each other. Your writing is an encouragement for me. You inspire me. And for that, thank you.
        God bless always to you, your mom and family.
        You have a wonderful weekend, too. Much love and hugs xxx

      2. Hi Anne! I so so so agree:) and thanks again for the prayers for my family and I. You’re right- friends are such a blessing. I really honestly believe that god puts people in our lives at the right time for a reason 🙂 happy Friday! ❤😘❤😘❤

  27. Just double checking with you that it is okay to share this article on my blog! I assume it would be since you had a share button, but I’m not sure what the etiquette is. Let me know if you would like me to ask permission first!!!

  28. The power of nostalgia! This post pricked my heart and touched my eyes. I don’t know why tears rolled down my face, maybe it was the part when you asked what had crushed your spirit. Life can hit us real hard but thank God for his grace that helps to lift us up again. Beautiful post, you owe me some tissues! xxx

  29. Have you seen the movie ‘Inside Out’? It’s a kids movie about emotions and memories, and how there’s always a mix of emotions – you lose something when you only want to remember the good. Sometimes the good only comes because of the not so good. The memories can also show you exactly how much you’ve grown.

    Great post.

    1. How interesting! I actually haven’t, but have heard good things about it. But wow, talk about a powerful message in a kid’s movie! It’s true, the memories can show us how far we’ve come. thanks for stopping by! hugs xox

  30. I can so relate!! Trying to pinpoint this week where some of those insecurities came from. Who said what to make me think that? While I try to become a wise older woman, I also am trying to bring back those characteristics of that little girl from so long ago. Thanking God that He is working this out in me……wish I were a quicker learner.

  31. I have this picture of me when I was in kindergarten on the wall and when ever I look at it, I mean really look at it, I think…that girl is awesome! That girl is still inside of me and you. Such a blessing to reconnect with her, isn’t it?

  32. It would be just like God to bring you back to your home town and discover it’s not what you remembered. Now if only that tall, handsome stranger would be sitting in one of those new eateries!

    1. Hahaha thanks Elizabeth. Yes! I know, God is so good and I know He’s going to bring that handsome fella into my life when the time is right 🙂 thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  33. this was very beautify bbb… and it goes for all addictions…i lost a lot of my memory because it had faded into the background of who i had become. It is not until recently that I am starting to uncover the bountifulness of the tragedy in which i was bury. I am glad that I have another chance not only to get it right but to be able to look back and remember again.

    1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful response. I’m glad you have that second chance to remember again. You deserve to have those memories back. Thanks for stopping by. Big hugs xox

  34. Oh my gosh, I praise Jesus for this post!
    Before I went on my laptop to read it, I spontaneously decided to write a poem… I used to write poems, A LOT, but I, like you, left it behind (for at least a few years) after a very traumatic season of my life occurred. I left the art and enjoyment of writing poetry behind, along with many *good* memories of the Annalee who was not afraid of life; was not afraid of anything.
    I realize I have become afraid of life.
    I am forever changed, but writing a poem… it felt good. Freeing, life-filled.
    May Jesus continue to show you, and I, and all of His Followers, the Good Memories worth holding onto… and may He make us unafraid to live the lives He has so graciously given us!!
    Thank you for bearing your heart, and glorifying Jesus so beautifully. <3
    Love, Your sister in Christ,
    Annalee

    1. Thanks so much Annalee. I’m glad this resonated with you. I’m so sorry that you had to go through a difficult season. I hope that you can welcome that poetry and artistry back into your life and that you feel revived! Because yes! He has come that we have life and have it to the full! God is good. I’ll definitely keep you in my prayers:) and thank you for your prayers and kind words 🙂 sending massive hugs xox

      1. Thanks sis!!! Like many commenting on here are saying, I need a new perspective–Jesus’ perspective on my whole life, including this trauma. Prayers for walking in the Spirit and being obedient and open to all Jesus has for me would be appreciated!! Sending massive hugs back xoxo 😊

  35. (I think the comment I just left didn’t show up, so I am re-writing it. Haha.)
    Oh my gosh, I praise Jesus for this post!
    Before going on my laptop to read this post, I spontaneously decided to write a poem… I used to write poetry A LOT, but, like you, left it behind, along with many other things, after going through a very traumatic season of my life.

    It’s probably been at least 1 year or so since I have just enjoyed writing poetry. I look back to pre-trauma me– this Annalee who wrote and was not afraid of life; not afraid of anything.
    I realize I have become afraid of life. I don’t want this. I don’t need to be.
    So, sitting down and writing a poem again? It felt… good. Life-giving.

    I am praising Jesus for reminding us that while what lies behind us is hard, He was THERE– and wants us to remember that, too.
    May Jesus continue to remind you, I, and all of His Followers of the Good Memories worth keeping… and may He continually make us unafraid to live the lives He has so graciously given us!!

    Thank you for your honesty, and glorifying Jesus in such a way! <3

    Your Sister in Christ,
    Annalee

      1. Don’t be sorry 😋 It’s all good!! And the beautiful words truly are Jesus’ words– He always leads me to this blog for some heart change!! I praise Him and thank Him for you (Philippians 1:3). 💕 Have a blessed evening, Lovely.

  36. Beautiful!
    I went through a depression that I call my “fog years” at first it was hard to look back on but now I have realized I have grown from it and that sweet little girl with a creative spirit is back and better!
    Your post are always so honest and I am praying for you and your mom.
    I am glad you realized you have something to offer the world ♥

    1. Thanks for your kind words and prayers for my mom. I’m sorry that you can relate to the fog years. I’m so glad that you’ve been able to learn and grow from it! Woo!! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

  37. Hey Caralyn – thanks for sharing – isn’t it good to know even if we have suffered abuse – an ED – a painful past – although it’s a huge part of our life there is more to our lives – learning to live with that part of you are is so huge – it’s a part of us but not all of us – I’ve been finding out in my blog people appreciate connecting with others who have similar paths – appreciate you – God bless

  38. This isn’t quite related to the content of the post, but I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of months and something I always find myself mystified by is how you write so frequently. For me, it often takes days to finish even a single post because of reorganizing thoughts, considering better ways to say something, editing, etc. How do you write posts with such frequency?

    1. Oh gosh, thanks Jeremy! You know, this blog is seriously a full time job for me. I honestly spend about 30-40 hours a week on it, and that’s not even an exaggeration. To answer your question, I spend a lot of time talking to people and listening to podcasts, and trying to experience a lot of different things that could spark inspiration for my writing. I hope that helps! thanks for stopping by! hugs xx

  39. I can relate to a lot of what you have written here. There are some periods of my OCD that were so dark and terrifying that I don’t want to think about them (my therapist has said that at times I was bordering on psychosis), and it is hard to believe that anything good could have possibly come out of them.

    But I came out of them. And for that I am incredibly thankful.

    Thank you for sharing your journey, and for being so honest and inspiring.

    1. I’m so glad that you’ve gotten freedom from that. that seriously makes my heart so happy! Thanks for sharing part of your journey. Isn’t it incredible how good can be made from even the darkest of situations? Big hugs to you xox

      1. In a few week’s time I’m actually giving a 2-hour “course/workshop” on my journey with mental illness, and there are apparently quite a few people who are attending. I’m hoping that I will soon find the courage to share my story on my blog, as you share your story on yours.

  40. I had no idea about you being on stage when you were young. I think we all wonder from time to time about the path our life has taken us on. Great post.

  41. Wow! You had suede, sea-foam green converse shoes! You must have been so cool as a kid 😙 My mom seriously bought my clothes for me from the Salvation Army until I was in about seventh grade, and then there was definitely a learning curve before I developed any sense of personal style. Lol. Thank goodness for Catholic college with segregated dorms!!! Those ladies were the sisters I never had and desperately needed!

    It was so good to read this post. My heart is a little bit lighter and much brighter. Thank you for sharing the goodness that you found on your tour through familiar places and old memories. Many of my childhood memories are traumatic ones, but there are also good ones mixed in. It’s really hard to revisit my childhood to spend time with those moments playing in the sandbox or riding the swings as high as they would go or hunting for frogs with my brother or staying up late with all the neighborhood kids playing flashlight tag on rollerblades in the summer… it isn’t easy, but it is possible to go back to those memories while still holding space for the memories that are mixed in with them that are harder to reconcile. To acknowledge those happy memories doesn’t mean that the traumas didn’t happen, and it doesn’t lessen them, but to negate the good parts of my childhood would be just as invalid. This isn’t easy stuff, but thank you for bringing me back there.

    I’m imagining you as a spunky, little kid, and it makes me smile. That girl has definitely sent out a lot of light into the world. I know you will continue to sparkle. ☺️❤️

    1. Haha yes I did! I thought I was the cats pajamas with those shoes, lemme tell ya! Haha yes! I stayed in the girls only dorm at college too. Crazy to say, but those are hard to find anymore — everything is coed now. My father was pretty thrilled about that…haha But thank you for sharing this, I’m sorry that you can relate in the difficulty of looking back and looking past some difficult seasons, but I’m so glad that you’re choosing to remember the good. You’re right, it isn’t easy. Thanks again for your kind words and positivity. So grateful for your friendship, Lulu! And ps…I loved playing flashlight tag!! 😎 hope you have a great rest of your weekend. Hugs and love xox

      1. There should be an adult flashlight tag league. Maybe I’ll try to start one up this summer 😉. Sending hugs back to you!!! ❤️

  42. Acknowledging and membering the many aspect of our past experiences does take effort. “Going home”, even when the home town has changed as much as we have during those years can elicit those thoughts.
    Oscar

  43. Caralyn, this made me want to sing and dance with you and for you. For all you are re-discovering of that little girl and for all the beauty your heart finds God putting within you today, I praise Him. Only God can bring resurrection like that!

    1. Aw Karen, thank you so much. What an incredibly kind response. God is so good and He really has brought about this resurrection and forever I will be grateful! Have a great weekend. Hugs and love xox

      1. This is really the right name to put your life together like a nutshell. I can see with the inner spiritual eyes of my soul that a book with this title is on the New York Times bestseller list 😀

  44. Catching up with yourself is, always good. It shows how far you’ve come and how far you have to go, I suppose. Did you know, humans are not very good with time. So, memories bump into each other in our minds as if it was yesterday and it could be ten years ago. The links could be as simple as, a smell or the wind on your skin. The point, pain can seep in and become the smell and hijack all these great memories. Another filter but just like water chips away at rocks in a stream until smooth we are capable to chip away at our pain because we are also, water.

  45. Hi BBB,

    It is so cool to see steps in your healing. We saw Runway Bride a few weeks ago and something about fixing the past comes to mind. You have to do some repair of old things to be healthy for now and what is to come. A town or a person can benefit from that. Enjoy these days God has given you.

    In Christ,

    Gary On Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 4:00 PM BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > beautybeyondbones posted: “It’s a funny thing, nostalgia. Whether it’s > rewatching Harriet the Spy, or finding your suede, sea-foam green converse > shoes from when you were a kid (#style), certain things have the power of > just bringing you back to moments in time and make them feel l” >

  46. Caroline,

    I have been reading all your blog posts as they came into my inbox. I have been praying and rejoicing alongside you girl. I am sorry about what is going on with your mom and I am so thankful that God is in the middle of it all, helping make each day something you can live through…and giving comfort. I started 2 new blogs today: sweet peace tea and sweet peace dancer. I am had a family emergency last year as well, and I have been helping to support my mom and family. I’m only 24 and I can relate. Like I’ve mentioned before I struggled with anxiety for years and it wasn’t until I was in college that God healed me through a friendship that is fizzled and strained right now. I just want you to know that God loves you and that you are making a big difference in this world. I am so thankful for all your posts and comments. I am also thankful that you’ve kept up with my old blogs for maybe years (I don’t even remember when I started reading your blog). It seems like forever.

    Love you and I’m sending shalom (so much peace) your way.

    ~Brianna

    1. Oh Brianna, what a kind note of encouragement, thank you so much. I really appreciate your kind words for my mom and I. I’m sorry that that friendship is in a rocky patch right now. It sounds like it is a particularly special relationship, and so I know that you guys can get through this. I’ll for sure keep y’all in my prayers 🙂 hugs to you xox

  47. You as the little girl was definitely precious, as you are grown to be precious to all readers, I am so glad you brought that pip squeak back into your life, as she was and is a big and important part of your life

  48. I love the nostalgic sense in this post, going back to things from my childhood has really helped me get back into a positive mindset throughout the last few years. Whether that be a song, smell, place, photos or whatever I agree with how earthgrounding it is!xx

  49. Thx for sharing. It touch my melancholy heart. Throwing back into my childhood time has make me to be grateful person 🙂

  50. feeling the need to escape my own thoughts for a little while I scrolled through some blogs and fell upon this post. And somehow I ironically managed to hear my own voice in your words, but clearer then I have for a while. so thank you for your honesty and thank you for allowing me to reconnect with myself.

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