3 Day Quote Challenge: Sadness

I was invited by Shawna of The Honeyed Quill to participate in a 3 day Quote Challenge on the theme of sadness. Right now with everything that is going on in the world, my heart is heavy for all of humanity, but on a more personal scale my heart hurts for what I have lost in my own life following the latest world events. 

While my heart aches on a worldwide scale, today’s sadness quote challenge will stay close to home. After the attacks in Paris last Friday I spent the weekend deleting long time friends (I’m talking kindergarten friends) and family from my social media accounts due to their hate filled, racist, bigoted tirades. I am a proud Canadian and our new Prime Minister is following through with the promise to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees into our wonderful free country which I support 100%. I was absolutely sickened by the rantings and ravings of the people that I thought I knew.

The ignorance that was spewed from my friends and family saddened me to a point where I curled up with my family and shut off all technology. Instead we chose to cuddle and read and giggle, loving each other and taking moments to express my silent gratitude for being lucky enough to be born into a country where I am accepted because I’m white and somewhat above a poverty line.

It breaks my heart that I have had to disconnect from people who I have known for over thirty years, but I would choose love over ignorance, intolerance and hate any day. I could know someone for a day and become kindred, yet spend thirty years with a family member who preaches hate, but starts every sentence with, “I’m not racist but…” Guess what, kindred for one day wins, but it still saddens me.

I don’t know exactly who said the first two quotes, I am getting different results from Google, but they hit home for me. When you love someone and you lose him or her over hate, it’s deeply saddening. This world needs love to sustain itself. We will never survive while we continue to hate one another; there is no hope for us without love. It’s okay to let those hateful people go, you owe them nothing.

Letting go of family


Having to grieve the loss of my family and friends is like having to grieve the death of my family and friends. We wont ever come back from this. I can not in good faith remain close to people who spread hate, ignorance and intolerance. There is no excuse to choose to remain unenlightened and their choice leaves me deeply saddened.


I joined the challenge late but I nominate the following three bloggers to share their quotes on sadness:

  1. Courtney Keesee from Courtney’s Voice
  2. Ann Roselle from Bipolar & Me
  3. Stephanie Ortez from Collected Essays of The Anxious Mind

I See You Humanity

Photo Credit Jean Jullien
Photo Credit Jean Jullien

I see you humanity, crawling out from under the rubble, holding your neighbour’s hand, lifting up the closest stranger and offering a shoulder for solace.

I see you humanity, in all of your glory though you may be beaten and tired, scared and feeling defeated; I see you rise again; refusing to let the enemy win.

Across this vast world that we share, horrors and atrocities are carried out systematically, coordinated with calculated terror; devised to separate and conquer us all, and sadly, the enemy is winning, not with their destruction and mutilation, their bombs and their grenades, for we fight those. We grieve our loved ones, and we honour our victims of senseless violence.

How do they beat us? They beat us by outwitting us. The beat us by turning our own on each other, “We do not negotiate with terrorists.” Instead our society has deemed it safe and necessary to paint a single faith with one brush, and I am disgusted.

In an age of enlightenment, ignorance is no longer an acceptable excuse. You scream, “How dare you let these refugees into our Country!” but what if we were bombed, thrown from our homes? Your children raped and tortured before your very eyes, and taken away to be trafficked to a horrific group where their only purpose was to violate and destroy? Baby legs splayed open for every beast to take his turn at your precious baby? Mutilate and desecrate her very soul as her tiny body shuddered in pain, screaming for her Daddy to save her as you were helpless to take her suffering away? What would you do? You would run for freedom.

Wouldn’t you wish a Country that was Free would open its borders for you and your little child, offering solace, comfort and hope? A Free Country where a new beginning for her to start fresh was a real possibility? She could leave the pain and suffering of a war she had never asked to be born into in hopes that she could live a full and healthy life, and begin a chain of love and hope and freedom.

I ask you, how in good faith can you condemn a child who has never had the chance to choose her life? You, my friend, have been privileged to be born in a Free Country, it was nothing but luck that this happened to be where you were born, and it would do you good to remember your blessings the next time you paint all faiths under one brush.

After all of the atrocities, I see you humanity. I see you in the love that is being posted. I see you in the refusal to adhere to the racist bigoted comments that are vomited all over social media. I see you humanity and I have hope. I see you in the faces of my children who choose love because love is louder and love always wins.

I see you humanity, in the way society will not back down to extremists or bigots or racists and I celebrate you.

The bombs and screams and destruction were deafening, but the collective voice of, “you will not bring us to our knees!” is that much louder. Love always wins; it may just take a little while longer.

I see you humanity, and I will never give up on you. You give me strength and courage and the will to keep on going when I feel my faith is gone. You are a beautiful world, and I am proud to be part of you. I am proud to raise my children in such a place where people love one another and accept one another, and those who do not, do not deserve our time, only our love and our light, and our hope that one day they will see the light.

Hate is not born, it is learned. Whether you go into a building with a grenade and destroy lives, or choose to paint a faith based on false beliefs, you are one in the same, maybe not quite on the same level, but you are teaching hate. Try to open your open mind. Love wont kill you, it will only make you grow. The only way to change the world is by one random act of kindness at a time.

Neither faith nor religion is the enemy; an extremist group is, as is your hate and ignorance. You are teaching this to your children, are you any better? Because you haven’t murdered someone, you are still teaching others to hate, ask yourself, is it helping or hurting?


I Used To Love The Night

I wrote this for the brilliant Allie Burke and The OCH Literary Society. It was originally published there.

I Used To Love The Night

I Used To Love The Night

As far back as I can remember dusk and then finally twilight always held a mystical essence for me. My child’s mind was filled with make believe and possibility, but the central element to most of my vivid imaginings occurred during the twilight hours which then cascaded into the darkest parts of night. I was never afraid, for this was the time that my imagination would burst with endless possibilities of fairies and sprites, brownies and otherworldly creatures who would come alive when Mothers and Fathers tucked their littlest in for the night.

My own mother tucked me in every night, singing me lullabies and telling me stories of far off places where noble knights and fierce heroines saved the day. These stories that she told me with such enthusiasm, always left me with the belief that I could accomplish anything and invoked something deep inside of me, something that I have tried desperately to hold onto and pass onto my own children.

After my dear Mother would kiss me on the nose and wish me the sweetest of dreams, she would tiptoe out of my room while I feigned sleep, my long lashes shut out the world and deceivingly implied that I was indeed asleep. I always waited for the count of seventy-two before I would sneak out of bed and make my way to my window where I would look out at the brilliant not quite night sky. This is indeed when the magic would begin.

I would spend hours looking out that window, watching the streetlights cast shadows across my bedroom walls; again I was never afraid. Those shadows became dragons that I valiantly slayed, perhaps a lost soul who had found her way into my secure and welcoming bedroom asking for help to find her way home. No, I was never afraid. As the night grew darker and the streetlights dimmer, the stars and the great crescent moon illuminated the park beyond my bedroom window, I knew for certain that beyond the thin pane of glass was a haven of mystery waiting to be explored.

I never dared leave the my room in the middle of the night for fear of terrifying my Mother, so I lived in my fantasy world taking solace in the beauty of The Milky Way, The Northern Lights, and all of the secrets that I would one day discover that they all held.

As people in our life tend to do, our children are not only discouraged from using their imagination but also chastised for it. And in some awful horrific things happen to them that rob them of their innocence and their wonder.

When I was just a girl, no older than my youngest is now, someone took my innocence from me and violated my very soul. With that one abhorrent and violent act, my innocence was forever lost and shattered. Where I once found solace in night and shadows I now found fear and terror.

For years I kept that awful secret, somehow at such a tender age I was convinced that I was to blame while still not understanding the entirety of the situation. I was abused by someone who was trusted, someone who would “never do such a thing” and in turn I was also silenced because back then; we didn’t talk about such things. If we ignore it, it’ll go away was the well meaning but disillusioned thoughts that many people had back then.

In time I have come to understand that this was not my fault. A child who is victimized by sexual assault is never at fault, but the damage has not been healed completely.

I no longer love the night. The shadows that creep across my walls now are gnarled fingers that threaten to grasp my throat and choke the life out of me. They taunt me by creeping their sick slimy residue up the legs of my very favourite blue shorts with the pink flowers, the ones that I loved to where in grade one. I struggle to find solace on those nights where insomnia keeps me up and I find myself pacing my house, willing the flashbacks to stop.

The bright light of the morning sun is now a much easier place for me to reside, although I do miss the innocence and magic of those moments before some monster robbed me of them, but I will still be this heroine of this story. I will take my children out to the woods and lay a blanket down on a mossy floor and tell them all about sprites and brownies and dragons and heroines because they deserve to believe in magic and if it’s the last thing I do, I will not let a monster lurk behind every shadow on their bedroom wall.

The Vast Landscape Cover Reveal

Novel Review Book Tours & Jacqueline Cioffa

The Vast Landscape Cover

Book Info:

Title: The Vast Landscape

Author: Jacqueline Cioffa

Genre: Literary Fiction

Published by: Gravity Imprint of Booktrope Publishing

Expected Publication Date: December 11, 2015

Cover Design by: https://www.facebook.com/yosbedesign

JCioffa_Author Photo

Author Info:

Jacqueline Cioffa was an international model for 17 years and celebrity makeup artist. She is a dog lover, crystal collector and Stone Crab enthusiast. Her work has been featured in the anthology, Brainstorms, and numerous literary magazines. Living with manic depression, Jacqueline is an advocate for mental health awareness. She’s a storyteller, observer, essayist, potty mouth and film lover who’s traveled the world.
Her poignant, literary fiction debut, The Vast Landscape, gives new meaning to intense, raw and heartfelt.
Fans of the emotional, soul stirring first novel will not be able to put the exciting sequel, Georgia Pine, down.

The essence continues because you do. Harrison leaves the door open a crack. I seize the opportunity to revisit my whole, healthy self a bit longer, live in the mystic beach home I adore, dream eyes open. Hope is our greatest asset. To choose hope against the worst possible odds is the true measure of life.
~ Georgia Pine by Jacqueline Cioffa

Author Site: http://jacquelinecioffa.com


TWITTER: https://twitter.com/JackieCioffa


LINKED IN: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jacqueline-cioffa/4b/3/5ba

PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/choff777/

INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/choff777/


TUMBLR: http://greatpaperyouth.tumblr.com

BEAUTY BLOG: http://modelcitizenmakeup.blogspot.com

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Jacqueline-Cioffa/e/B00H4EZKVE

When Triggers are Everywhere | Embracing Balance

When Trigggers are Overwhelming

Source: When Triggers are Everywhere | Embracing Balance

I Used to Love the Night

Featured Image -- 1389

Today I am very pleased to have a spot on the lovely OCH Literary Society’s page. Thank you for having me.


As far back as I can remember, dusk and then finally twilight always held a mystical essence for me. My child’s mind was filled with make-believe and possibility, but the central element to most of my vivid imaginings occurred during the twilight hours which then cascaded into the darkest parts of night. I was never afraid, for this was the time that my imagination would burst with endless possibilities of fairies and sprites, brownies, and otherworldly creatures who would come alive when mothers and fathers tucked their littlest in for the night.

View original post 1,200 more words

The Long Sleep


After Summer’s lazy sun-kissed days have become shorter and her balmy nights cooler, Autumn slowly begins to rise. Subtly she peers out from her deepest slumber; a gentle sigh escaping her mahogany lips causes the winds to blow and turn brisk. It is time.

With a stunning grace, Autumn awakens, swaying with passion and consumed with power, and for a small moment in time, grants us the glorious illusion that everything she touches becomes magnificently alive.

She walks with purpose, tenderly cupping each leaf, watching them turn a kaleidoscope of colours from hopeful greens to burnt oranges and sultry reds, before she blows them a loving kiss and watches them drift softly to the mossy ground below. The cycle begins anew.

What an extraordinary challenge Autumn has, to be empowered with the gift to give the world one last glimpse of absolute beauty before that long sleep. To make nature come alive with such exquisite detail that artists struggle to capture the pristine awe of it all. She takes pride in her fine work, shedding the old with love and lighting it up to hold one last time before it is dropped and forgotten.

Autumn isn’t the bringer of death, for everything shall die. Autumn celebrates the life that was lived and shines her ethereal glow upon every last piece of nature that has given itself over to that cycle to begin again.

Autumn brings with her dark nights and short days, and after her show of fire and mist, she leaves me and tucks me in. I dream of Autumn during that long sleep, her colours and her fire keep me whole. The maples in my yard and the wildlife feasting on the berries in my field bring me great pleasure. If I could stay wrapped in Autumn’s embrace and ethereal beauty I don’t think depression could ever touch me again, but Winter takes her place and he is vicious and hard. He is cruel and uncaring and he lurks about in darkened corners while Autumn weaves her magic.

Some people say death brings beauty with it, maybe so, but that isn’t my Autumn. My Autumn celebrates the life that Mother Nature gave us this past year, not the life it will cease to give us next year. Yes, those particular blooms, leaves and life are done, they have given themselves to us and we are grateful, and my Autumn celebrates each one with a fiery display that puts them all to rest in a long and peaceful sleep, one not easily awoken by depression.

When Old Man Winter makes his debut, he will make children smile and I will miss my Autumn because Winter brings sadness with him. I curl up with my books and look out of my frosty windows and wish for the burning Maples and fermented berries, and I miss the white-tailed deer that visit my doorstep.

Depression for me ebbs and flows with the seasons and Autumn is my salvation with her fiery eyes and loving touch, and the promise that when she lights everything up to say good night, she will tuck it all in gently for Spring to kiss it good morning, and that gives me hope that depression will also fade away in the light of a single warm sunrise.

© Nicole Lyons 2015

The Client/Therapist Relationship | Embracing Balance

Source: The Client/Therapist Relationship | Embracing Balance

Halloween: Are We Perpetuating Stigma? | Embracing Balance

Source: Halloween: Are We Perpetuating Stigma? | Embracing Balance

Delusions or brilliance?


Vibrant Ideas

My mind is filled with an essence. Tales and characters ride on the cusp of almost tangible, and trust me when I tell you they are neither delusion nor hallucination, but that they are vivid and extraordinary.

Thinking outside of the box makes perfect sense to me and logic seems almost crude, at times. For years I have been told that any and all ‘flights of fancy’ must be abandoned because surely if I have an idea that doesn’t fit into a pretty little box, I must be delusional.

Is this creativity, flashes of brilliance or even an Aha moment? My psychiatrist and her Big Pharma Friends would call this bipolar disorder. But what if I had never received a diagnosis? Would I be considered a little bit eccentric, perhaps the boho hippie chick who enjoys talking about other dimensions and crystal healing and the power of dreams? Who knows?

Sometimes I wonder.