self-compassion

There is No Finish Line

And no one told me. I’ve walked around clueless and uninformed for almost 19 years.

Somewhere along the way I decided that once I got my kids through high school, graduated and off to college that I would feel some level of relief at a “job well done”. That was the imaginary finish line in my head that was my aim and direction. He graduates from high school then he magically does the adulting and I’m gonna coast, right?

Now that I’m one week away from taking my oldest to college, I’m consumed with all kinds of emotions and worries as I realize (probably late) that I’m not done.

My job isn’t done.

We crossed off some milestones but he’s still one of my reasons for being. And that won’t ever change. Even when he does the adulting.

I can’t help but wonder if he’s ready. If he’s been given the tools he needs to be whatever his version of successful and happy looks like.

Did I do the Momming right?

How do we ever really know?

In the meantime, since I missed the memo, to the Mommas of younger kids, here’s your reminder:

THERE IS NO FINISH LINE.

The milestones and checkboxes and worries are different now that he’s grown and about to be off on his own. Rather than worrying about his grades or his homework, I find that I worry about his overall well-being. I want him to feel safe and secure and happy in the world at large. The fact that he will now do that away from me and his family is so very scary. I won’t be able to peak a look at his face or yell upstairs when he’s being loud and crazy. I won’t be able to see his frustrated face on the bad days and help him process and feel better.

I’m grateful that we can stay in touch with FaceTime and all of the nifty tech gadgets but my goodness how much I will miss his presence and his energy and his hugs.

There is no finish line.

self-compassion

Lessons from a Pandemic

This pandemic hasn’t created new problems for me, personally, however, it has magnified the cracks and insecurities in my life that were much easier to ignore before I was socially locked down with no distractions from all of the wreckage that has been my journey for the last 7 years.

Talk about a hard pill to swallow.

That mess that I was effectively sweeping under the rug in every possible way, became too much anymore when I was home alone with my thoughts and my feelings and anxieties and with nowhere to run and zero distractions from what was staring me in the face.

So you know what?

I faced it head-on.

I stopped looking the other way and took a long hard look at ME and my choices. Who do I want to be in charge of the REST of my story?

I didn’t want to forfeit my ideas and thoughts and experiences to another human being no matter how much I love them anymore.

I don’t want to be a watered down version of my true self.

I want to love the things and people I love and not feel ashamed of the human being that I am. I want to honor my heart and my beliefs and I want to take my power back. I want to truly live my story out loud, with the volume way up and all the glitter I want.

So here goes.

I’m grateful that I got here but I’m sorry it took a plague to make me see where I was wrong.

Onward, friends.

xo

self-compassion

Oh, the Clutter…

I’m a naturally scattered human by nature. As I’m learning and growing and embracing all that is me, I’m trying to be more mindful of my processes and quirks and flaws.

That said, as I’m reflecting on wrapping up 2019 with a big and pretty bow, I’ve really been ALL OVER THE PLACE this year and I want (and need) to tidy things up.

I’m forever amazed that I still don’t know what I want to “be” when I grow up. When am I gonna figure this life-stuff out? I feel like 42 years and 5 months of age should be sufficient in helping me determine a direction and a path but, here we are.

I feel stuck and uninspired and I just want to spread peace, love, joy and glitter.

(Can I get a real job hugging all the broken people and telling them everything will be ok?)

These next few weeks, I’m hoping to pare down and de-clutter and be more mindful and meaningful about what’s important to ME in this world that I share with the people I love. I feel like 2020 needs to bring about a more focused and intentional ME.

Wish me luck!

All the love. Always.

D

self-care, self-compassion

Reading and Writing for Wellness

This past weekend was hella tough. For a variety of reasons. But the most strikingly painful part was realizing that I exist in a world where the people who were my unconditional people are no longer here.

In looking for ways to love myself through it, I found a fabulous book called Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig.

In my own anxiety and depression, I sometimes have felt that I’m alone and isolated and that no one understands where I am emotionally and that seems to make that proverbial “black hole” of sadness and loss of hope grow.

Writing has been therapeutic for me and reading about other people’s journeys is also hugely helpful. While everyone’s journey and circumstances vary wildly, we all have the human condition of suffering. But, we also can learn and grow and heal and help each other learn new ways to give oxygen to whatever it is that ails us so that we can recover together.

I hope you know you aren’t alone.

I hope you know you matter.

I hope you know you’re loved and I hope you remember to love yourself when things get hard.

And in the moments that you need reminders and you need support to realize and understand that you really aren’t all alone in the world, find someone that you can relate to — either in person, over the phone, virtually or even like I sometimes do: with a wonderful book.

Much love.

Always,

xoxo

self-compassion

Today’s Lessons

In no particular order:

– Waiting for an apology that is never gonna come is exhausting. You may as well let that that shit go and keep it moving.

– Silence is an answer. Accept it as such.

– You are the only person that you will spend the rest of your life with 24/7 so you had better make sure that you love you. I’m so serious.

– Don’t be too big/proud/too much of an asshole to admit your own faults. Be humble. Have grace. Apologize when you should.

– You don’t have to be the kind of person that hurt you. You’re better than that.

– If it seems too good to be true, it is. On some very basic level, you already know this but for some reason we try to convince ourselves otherwise.

– No matter who gives up on you, don’t give up on yourself.

– Remember who you were before the world tried to break you. Get back up and try again. Maybe take a nap first.

– Keep going. Keep trying. Keep smiling. Keep shining.

Always.

xoxo

self-compassion

Unconditional People

I hope you have some.

I can literally name 3 true hearts and humans that I still have in my life and world and I’m grateful for them.

I used to believe that I had more.

But when the shit goes down in the big and ugliest of ways, you find out fast and in a hurry who will be left in the end, and for me, I have 3.

One of the hard lessons was realizing that those people who I believed were my “ride or die” tribe members were more than ready to bail and exit stage left when things became unpredictable and less than socially acceptable.

I quickly learned new ways the heart can break.

But more importantly, I’ve learned and grown and changed in so many ways and become a better support for myself and my own heart.

I’ve learned to love me. Flaws and all.

I don’t struggle to be “seen” or approved of.

I just am.

I’m comfortable in my own skin and don’t feel like I have anything to prove to anyone other than the person who I’m living the rest of my life with — the person I see in the mirror for my forever. She is me.

I’ve have also found that there can be pockets of normal even in the middle of awful. Pockets of amazing in between the chaos. Pockets of hope in between the loneliness.

And, to my 3 true ride or die humans: you know who you are and I love you.

And that’s enough.

Always.

xoxo

self-compassion

Perspective

If ever you need some perspective on what really matters in this world, I highly recommend spending some time with people who are dying and/or their families who are grieving.

The human heart and it’s capacity to love beyond all measure never ceases to amaze me. I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunity to share some of my most treasured conversations with so many folks over these last few months as I joined a local Hospice team. I’ve shared tears, laughter, sweet tea and strawberry milkshakes along with so many meaningful hours with folks who are struggling in some of their journey’s most difficult times.

I wouldn’t change a single minute of it. I have a much greater appreciation for the smaller things that we often take for granted while we keep things moving at an all too often hectic pace.

Our lives are entirely made up of billions of the tiniest moments and in the end, those moments all add up to make us the people that we are and give us the opportunity to shape and share our world with SO MANY AMAZING PEOPLE with so many beautiful stories to share.

I am so grateful for this life and the people I share mine with.

xoxo 💕

self-care, self-compassion

This One Struck SO Many Chords with Me today

I believe this down to my bones, y’all.

The harder your journey, the more strength you gain — and with that strength, hopefully, we also find some grace; and the ability and desire to give back.

The only way forward is through. And, sometimes that journey is hard and heavy and the last thing anyone needs is to feel isolated and alone.

So when you’re out of your own personal storm, I hope you find the hope at the end of whatever rainbow life gives you. I hope you take some time to be a light in someone else’s journey.

This world needs you to shine.

Much love and happy weekend. ❤️

xoxo

self-compassion

A Year Ago Today

Things went from bad to worse in the blink of an eye.

Not many people know my entire story and I share it sparingly because I’ve been judged harshly. Not many people supported the choices I made. I’ve lost friends and loved ones along the way and I’ve made choices that I’ve been utterly ashamed of.

But ultimately, my truth today, in this moment, is that I’m proud of who I am.

The road I walked to get to where I am between July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 has been anything but pretty. I wouldn’t wish the things I’ve seen and lived through on anyone.

Not ever.

But guess what?

I’m. Still. Standing.

I’m still standing, y’all.

I’m smiling again.

I have a peace deep down that I’ve never known before.

I miss the people I’ve lost.

Every day I want to pick up the phone but I know that there’s nothing good to come of that. I’m simply not who I was then and I don’t want to be that person ever again.

I don’t want to WANT and crave approval and acceptance because I’ve learned the hard lessons of what unconditional love actually is.

I’m grateful for those who helped me get through my journey to the place I am now and I’m sorry that some of those people aren’t with me as I continue on my path forward.

The reasons, I know, are many and scattered and there are a multitude of why and what if’s.

So be it.

I can only pray for their peace, too.

I wish them well.

I hope that one day I will have the courage to share my WHOLE story. Unashamed and raw.

Maybe that will be my goal for July 1, 2020.

Until then, friends, keep shining.

Keep moving forward.

Don’t look back.

All the love.

All the days.

xoxo

self-compassion

It’s Still Heavy

I learned this yesterday.

While grief and pain and worry are heavy burdens to carry, especially on you’re own, so too is joy and excitement and good news.

Everyone knows and expects that the negative emotions are gonna make you feel low and weighed down. That’s why we lean on our systems of support. To lesson our load and share the weight so that our pieces of pain may feel a little less heavy to carry – even for a few moments.

That’s not to say it still doesn’t suck.

And badly.

But sharing your grief, your shame, your sadness and your worry helps. Somehow, giving oxygen to what worries our hearts and minds and sharing it with another soul is soothing.

But what I didn’t realize, until yesterday, is that joy and happiness and excitement and really good news can also feel heavy and make us weighed down.

We’re meant to give oxygen to our happiness and share it as well.

The best parts of our lives are meant to be appreciated and honored with those who we love and who also love us back. Not having a system of support to help us carry the weight of really happy and good news can feel almost burdensome, too.

And that surprised me.

I’ve been grateful for the people who have been in my corner while I have weathered some horrible storms. But just as important as those who helped to carry me through the tough stuff are those who stand with me and smile and are excited for me and my happiness and my life “wins”.

I hope you have people to celebrate with.

When there’s no one to call when you’re bursting at the seams with joy, that joy can quickly feel muted or less than.

And it absolutely shouldn’t.

So find your cheerleading section, y’all. We need those people who clap for us and smile with us just as much as we need those folks who help us when we’re down.

Xoxo

Always.

#keepshining