Flowing full and free
Careless and passionately
feels like an illusion
laughing in our faces –
we can see but not have.
Feeling stifled and alone
burdened and overwhelmed.
Feeling like an invisible promise has been broken
Not sure who promised us. Were we promised?
Or are my dreams and untouchable goals products of my fantasy?
Can I just blame it on this culture?
On my church? or lack of church? My parents?
Is there freedom in this life?
Is it a visionless dream?
Or is it a little whisper in my soul?
Poking through my mind-clutter
asking for attention
for a moment to be heard.
can life be more? Full? Satisfying?
Could I enjoy it? May be even thrive?

Full and free and flowing forth
For those who will partake.


The blank page of hope
The birth of newness
Creativity springing forth from solitude and stillness.
Bending before the truth in my soul that I am a perfect creation
No blemishes or imperfections – just life’s lessons of my past.
No shame in who I used to be for who I was is now redeemed.
Everyday more redemption
Everyday new birth
Everyday settling within myself.
Hope – this blank page. No nagging voices of my failings.
Hope – a fresh start
Hope – a light through the tree
Hope – saying yes to the unknown.


Michelle Kohler


In the first pages of a new journal I wrote this last night:
“In these pages are my heart. My soul. My musings. Themes. Ideas. My tears are spilled on these pages in agony.
My love poured out in words not full enough to explain the bursting in my heart.
My life is written honestly, open, vulnerable.
I offer this, myself, to these pages. Holding nothing back. Not seeking my own or myself.
The conversations on these pages are sacred. Holy. I hold them close to my heart, poured out of my soul, lifted to my God.
Held without shame. Full of grace. No fear. I stand naked before my God – my Father.”
What is your journal for you?

The Person Inside Me

This morning I was mindlessly scrolling through facebook adding my opinion where it didn’t belong and reading linked articles. One of them got me thinking about women and the ‘get out of my way, I will do what I want, you can’t control me’ attitude. 

I realized (again) it’s not what I want with my life. There is a part of me that wants that yes. I want to be strong and confidant and have everyone think I’m so amazing and not weak. 
But I’m not. 
The life I’m called to is of vulnerability and looking my shit in the face. It’s painful and doesn’t make me look strong. 
That part of me that wants to look strong kicks at this and there is my daily struggle. To stay in the vulnerable while the strong Michelle is screaming “You got this woman!! You are female! You will rise above all these lame ideas of weakness! We are NOT weak!!”
But the truth… I am not superwoman. 
Recently I found myself wanting to find stuff to volunteer to do. Just to stay busy enough that I wouldn’t have to face my true self. 
Because it’s painful for my hands and brain to be stopped and let the voice of quiet Wonder and Self Awareness speak up. 
I said no, thankful for self awareness and choosing this path of slowing down and finding a person inside me I lost very slowly over many  many years.
She’s beautiful and loud and funny. Her sarcasm comes out in moments I don’t except or think appropriate. She has a tender side that holds people in pain and lets them cry on her shoulder. Her love for people is unexpected and throws the strong me into choruses of ‘this is not how it’s done!’ and ‘who do you think you are??’ 
The more I see of this person inside me the more I love her and welcome her into my life (against all the screaming of old me). 
“But you can’t get away from yourself. You can’t decide not to see yourself anymore. You can’t decide to turn off the noise in your head.” ― Jay Asher,
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ― C.G. Jung
“I think that we are like stars. Something happens to burst us open; but when we burst open and think we are dying; we’re actually turning into a supernova. And then when we look at ourselves again, we see that we’re suddenly more beautiful than we ever were before!” ― C. JoyBell C.
“We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the buy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert,



Sunday I ate food I know I’m allergic to. I knew when I ate it and I still did. Today I realized I subconsciously let myself. I self sabotaged.

When I was a child I learned to handle living in a very controlled environment by causing myself pain-sometimes physical and sometimes emotional. The point was to feel something. Eventually it lead to addictions that lasted many many years.

I don’t do those things anymore. Its been long road but I’m slowly finding healing from those damaging addictions.

I’ve always looked like a good girl and even now I’m still the good girl. I don’t even let myself pluck my eyebrows or wax when I’m mad or needing to release pain. Because i can’t let myself go there. To that pain.

Yet I still find ways to make myself feel miserable. I eat food I know my body can’t handle, or i attack people I love.

The first step for me is realizing it. And the second step is telling people.

If you can identify with any of this know you’re not alone. Healing from addictions and self abuse isn’t easy. Many have traveled it and many of us are on the road right now.

Response to Umbrella of Authority Post

Last week the post I wrote about the Umbrella of Authority was over on Recovering Grace.
It’s been a long year since I wrote that. Much healing has happened and I haven’t written things like that in a while mostly because i haven’t needed to. I remember my past but I also know the truth. That my childhood doesn’t define my life. I still have to feel the pain I wasn’t allowed to feel but it doesn’t determine how I respond to situations in my life now. 
Someone asked me a question over on Recovering Grace and I thought I would post my response here. 
Did your parents ever leave the ATI cult or did they shun you? Would you have any advice to offer someone like me who is cutoff from their family by legalism? Thanks!
Hi , 

I’m so glad you found freedom and I’m so sorry your family won’t have contact with you. 

The truth is I don’t know if my family is still actively in ATI (it’s not relevant in how I live my life now) but I know that my parents still believe a lot of the same things I grew up with. I do have a relationship with them and I think for the first time we see each other as mutual adults. 

The months and years following when I left were extremely difficult. I limited contact with them and got married just over a year after I left. 

Even while living with my parents I had people in my life who were parent figures. I’ve come to realize now that a huge role of parents is surrounding their kids with people they can look up to and seek advice from. Because honestly, no matter what a parent says and does they are still a parent and know nothing in their kids eyes. Having those parent figures in my life was important. 

That has transferred to other people now. I believe in having 2nd families. I’ve learned a lot about being a daughter from my 2nd parents and that has transferred to my own parents. I’m much more understanding of my Dad and Mom and can have a relationship with them now needing nothing from them. 

Many people talk about boundaries in recovery and healing. Those are vitally important but it’s also important to know that boundaries have no expectations of the other person. I am free to not answer my parents calls because of boundaries I’ve set (and I did that in the first month of leaving) but I am not free to demand they call me. I accept what they give. 

My advice to anyone is to seek your own healing. Trying to change anyone but yourself doesn’t work (if people change for you it’s not real change). Part of my healing has been separating myself from my parents and letting myself grieve (feeling deep deep pain) the childhood I never had. Another part of it has been going back and finding relationship with them. 

In May of 2013 I wrote this:
Mothers Day Letter

Last weekend I wrote this: 
Mothers Day Thoughts

The change in a year has been huge. I needed to go through the pain of remembering things about my Mom to get to this place of being in relationship with her. She had nothing to do with it and I’m sure it was really painful for her to read the letter from 2013. I had to go through that process alone (and with supportive safe people). 

I hope eventually your parents both see and delight in you as their child and see you as the adult you are.


Mother’s Day Thoughts

It’s mothers day. I’m not a Mom. But i am female. My body is female. I have all the parts that could make me a Mom. But i have no offspring. Nothing that says ‘i have used my body to produce a child’. I’m reminded of this monthly when my body cleans itself out.

I don’t think of this a lot. But today i do. All day. Friday the mail lady said ‘if you’re a Mom Happy Mothers day.’ I said ‘I’m not’ and smiled. I didn’t smile on the inside.

This morning i called my Mom to say ‘i love you’. We chatted over family gossip and out of no where she said ‘Happy Mothers Day’. With those 3 words she dissolved me to tears. It was unexpectedly one of the most meaningful things my Mom has said to me. Because she acknowledged me on her level… A woman. A Mom. Her equal.

I Love you Mom.
And Happy Mothers Day.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 50 other followers