Im starting with the “Man in the Mirror “

beautiful-black-blur-987627I like shopping for clothes especially when I see them on the mannequin and think, “That outfit is super cute”. So I try on the outfit and say to myself, “Girl, you look good”.  I walked right out the store with the entire outfit. I got home and put the outfit away for a special date.  When I find a nice outfit everything has to match from the makeup, down to the jewelry.  The special day came and I worked extra hard to do my makeup, hair and had jewelry set out.  So I pulled out my special outfit.

I looked at myself in the mirror and I was ready to take myself on a date. I started to put things away that I had used to get ready.  As I was coming out of my room I looked at in the mirror again.  Once I got into my car, I pulled the visor down to look at myself.  Then as I was arriving at my destination I decided to look at myself once more.  I am not sure why we do this but I want you to picture yourself standing in the mirror and turning to one side and then the other. Then walk away and come back and do the same thing again.

It sounds so crazy right, but it is something we do.  I noticed my dog has looked at himself in the mirror as well, its hilarious to watch because he startles himself and then barks.   Looking in the mirror is like verifying that we still look the same from the last time we looked.  There are many times we look in the mirror and are not happy with what we see.  We can easily even have people be our mirror and allow them to dictate who we are.

Have you ever looked in the mirror and were not happy with that you saw?  I know many times I have looked in the mirror and did not want to go back to be reminded of what I previously saw.  This reminds me of that song by Michael Jackson, “Man in the Mirror”.  This song is basically about looking at yourself and making a change.

The key line that stands out to me is “I’m starting with the man in the mirror and I’m asking him to change his ways, And no message could have been any clearer” If you want to make the world a better place.  You better take a look at yourself, and then make a change”.  Well what if we don’t know how to make that change?  Acknowledging that we need change in our lives but then what happens.  We have to work towards brining that change.

The word of God tells us of who we are versus having to go back to the mirror to remind us or dictate who we are.  By applying scripture, we have to retain and act on what we see and the mirror is not the source we should be using as our guide.  By reading his word it reads our lives and helps bring healing to our mind, body and soul.

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror” and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it–not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it–they will be blessed in what they do (James 1:22-25).

Life Application 

  • Are you looking in the mirror?
  • What is it telling you?
  • Are you going back for it to remind you of who you are?
  • Are you ready to make a change?

I’m starting with the Man in the Mirror on this end. By allowing the word of God to become illuminated in my life and letting it dictate who I am. His word doesn’t come back void. and it will bring that change.

Sandy Cortes, Carrier’s of Hope

Breathing Hope One Life at a Time!


Where did that come from?


One of the greatest opportunities I have is to coach people and get to know their story. I am all about getting into their world. I love getting to the root of things. Discovering the whys and hows.  In trying to figure why someone is acting out or are constantly in that situation.  When I see clients, some need someone listening or need help with their challenges. The greatest part of the job is figuring out how I can help an individual move forward and identify certain things. Everyone comes in with an area of their lives that they are not aware of.

I look for those blind spots. Which tends to be an area where it is impacting them in a negative way and that they cannot see. Similar to when you’re driving and do not see the other car as you were attempting to cross over into the other lane.  The blinds spots that are ignored can be dangerous in life. Some can be things that an individual does by hurting others and themselves. Knowing full well what they are doing or go unnoticed. Whatever that is it can cause a great deal of pain and dysfunction.  These blinds spots can hinder seeing things accurately and misjudge things.

As I work with clients I love when I see the light bulb go off. So many different emotions of either joy or hurt come.  It is such a beautiful thing to see that unfold. They begin to realize some patterns in their character. Some wonder, “How have I missed this for so long?”  As I was coaching the client with her belief system and helping identify some of the lies.  Gradually moving along into helping build some truth statements.  The lie I was working on was, “I have to put up walls because people will always hurt me”.  That client I mentioned was “me”.

A lot of the times I am the client and God is the coach.  Being bullied throughout life I had a problem trusting.  I was guarded and anytime anyone wanted to be my friend it was a bit foreign to me. As I began to allow people in my world they would leave.  I am not sure if the pain of someone walking out of my life out did being bullied.  I always kept people at arm’s length setting an imaginary line that if people got too close they were not allowed to cross.

That was a blind spot in my life and I never knew it was there.  I began to realize that I had built walls.  I truly believed that by having walls up it was a healthy way of protecting myself.  It was so hard to bring those walls down and allow people into my life.  I was doing it afraid, but I was doing it.  The light bulb went off and I began to see the blind spot in my life.  God began to heal those broken pieces inside of me and has been faithful in his approach.

He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them (John 12:40).

Life Application

  • So, what are your blind spots?
  • Do you have someone who is helping you along this journey?
  • Have things happen in life as you were crossing over you didn’t see the blind spot and were side swiped?


Sandy Cortes, Carrier’s of Hope

Breathing Hope One Life at a Time.


Here we go!


There went the weekend and Monday was here.  Attempting to start another diet and telling myself, “I need to log my food”.  There I was dealing with the feelings of disappointment and failing once again.  I was on another roller coaster ride.  Yet, I was not holding my arms up screaming with excitement, they were more like feelings of defeat.  I asked myself, “Sandy, Why are you not taking care of yourself?”  Your not happy with yourself and do not like how you feel.  Those feelings of self-hatred began to taunt me.

Growing up, I believed this is who I was, due to what my step father would say, so this was normal to me.  When I looked in the mirror I always saw the “overweight girl”.  Yet, I was not overweight but partnered with this belief.  I wore it like a necklace around my neck it was part of my accessories.  I went through sexual trauma growing up and was bullied by a girl who continually molested me.  She would make threats that if I said anything she would beat me up.  So I believed that no one would no longer touch me inappropriately if I was overweight.

My father would say, “Your fat and no one likes a fat person”, “Do you know being fat is not attractive”.   Eating became a way of soothing and self sabotaging myself.  I slowly began to eat away the pain.  I did not realize I was an emotional eater.  At 17, I left my home and gained about a hundred and fifteen pounds.  I was finally able to hide behind the weight.  It created this self-hatred within me and can hear the lies of my stepfather.  Thank God I was able to lose that that weight.  Lately, I noticed some old behaviors coming back.  I was positioning myself to stand in line waiting for the roller coaster to arrive.

Have you ever done something where you knew what you had to do?  Yet, you don’t do it and go back to what feels comfortable.  Knowing full well your supposed to do.  It will make you happier, confident and being content with yourself.  I myself had to do some soul-searching lately.  Wondering, why I have been out of control with eating?  What is happening internally that is causing  me to respond this way?  I definitely do not want to gain all that weight back. Then I hear this scripture, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do”.

Somewhere along the line I became comfortable and complacent again.  I lost my focus of the goal and I stop believing that I can do this.  Just when you thought this girl was down, the fighter in me doesn’t just quit, quitting is not an option!  As I was standing there I saw the roller coaster go right by me.  Why? Because I decided to do something simple for myself and not get on the rollercoaster.  Today, I have not eaten any candy and I am back to drinking more water.  As humans we can complicate things more than we need too.  I have to keep things simple so that I don’t become overwhelm and quit on myself.  I walk away feeling like a winner and watching the roller coaster go by.

I want to encourage you, that if you are on a roller coaster ride, it’s okay.  Let’s do some soul-searching on whatever is oozing in your life or has become a struggle. The biggest part of this race on earth is to keep going and not quit.  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize!

Life Application 

  • Are you on the roller coaster and ready to get off?
  • What promises have you made to yourself that you have not showed up too?
  • Start with something small you want to add to your life, maybe something simple like drinking more water or watching your thoughts, or mediate for 5 minutes on the good things that are happening in your life.
  • Once you have accomplished what you have added, focus on one thing you want to change and keep going.

No longer standing in line, waiting to get on the ride!

Sandy Cortes, Carrier’s of Hope

Breathing Hope one Life at a Time!



Where is that sharp pain coming from?

Man Wearing Polo Shirt Holding Left Chest

Have you ever walked into a room and there was a group of people laughing and having a conversation? Everyone stops, looks and then continues to laugh and carry on.  Or do you ever recall being in grade school and the teacher picks a different helper week after week and your never picked.  You begin to wonder “Why are they not associating or picking me, and begin to think something is wrong with you.  Rejection can take on a root system over the years that can happen in so many ways.

My mother had me at the age of 15.  I can not even imagine being so young and knowing how to raise a child at the age.  My grandmother raised me until I was about 8 years old. She was this short little Hispanic lady that her attitude was much taller than her height. She was strict and reminds me of “Edna Mode” from “The Incredible”.  At times my mother would pick me up and take me with her for the day and I would see my father. He would come in at late hours of the night from partying and then the arguments came that led him to striking my mother every time.

The next day my dad and I were sitting at the stairs with this big basket full of chocolate just talking and laughing.  Little did I know that was the last time I would see my father.  So my mother came back home to grandma and we were all a happy family.  I never wondered what had happen to my father.  Years went by and my mother meet a new guy that swept off her feet.  I began to see less of her and I was so jealous of him taking all the attention I was finally getting. Eventually my mother decided to relocate from New York to Florida and take me with her.

This is when the physical abuse came from my step father, but this time it was towards me.  He was angry all the time.  Then our family began to grow and my mother had two beautiful boys.  My step father was protective over his boys.  One day as we were sitting at the dinner table I asked, Dad, can you pass the green beans”, he quickly responded, “Do not call me your father, because I am not your father”.  Everyone continued to eat like nothing was said.

There was years of abuse and a lot of days of missing school.  There was name calling and jokes about my weight and my brothers being told, “Don’t turn out like your sister, She will always be a failure”.  My step father never communicated love to me and whenever I would go to hug my mother she would push me away.  This is when I began to wonder where is my dad?  I began to have those feelings of no one likes me and I am a bad kid!  Which created the belief that I was not wanted and was a mistake.

Rejection is to be cast aside and having no value; to refuse to give affection or recognize.  That day at the dinner table, those where the feelings that spoke to me in wondering why doesn’t he tell that to my brothers?  Why am I being treated so differently? Why does my mother push me away, is there something wrong with me? Those lies began to take root and created a system of beliefs that intertwined together.  I questioned who I was and wanted desperately to be loved, accepted and valued.

It became a vicious cycle trying to figure out who I was.  Spiraling out of control having an identity crisis, eating and throwing up my food in trying to fit in whatever was the perfect size.  I was broken and felt like such an outcast.  In 1999, is when I had an encounter with God and he took this broken, damaged girl and showed me who I was.  I had to allow God to rebuild who I was and allow his word to begin to dictate who I was. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).

Maybe you were an unwanted or parents wanted a girl/boy instead or were adopted? Compared to your siblings (Why can’t you be like your brother/sister?) Maybe you were in a relationship that was unfaithful or a friend walked out on you.  Exposed to abuse or were withheld love?  Lastly, maybe you felt rejected by God that he didn’t come through for you.  Rejection can be so deeply imbedded in us and not even know the source of where it is growing from.

Beloved, I am not sure what you’re experiencing today.  I want to encourage you today and let you know I understand how hard this can be for you and I believe that God is wanting to bring healing to you today and know the truth.  You are loved and accepted!  I leave you with this scripture “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created YOU anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Grab ahold of the truths of who you are! 

Carrier’s of Hope,

Sandy Cortes

Breathing Hope One Life at a Time