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

self-compassion

Keeping Score

It’s funny how there are times in life where you absolutely need to take a step back and re-evaluate your life. Most recently, that is happening for me as I’m about to celebrate my 42nd birthday in a few days.

I’ve had a number of starts, stops and resets in my personal journey and just as I think I’ve finally started to figure (some) things out, the universe seems to shake things up again. I begin (again) to rethink all of my decisions that have brought me to where I am at the present moment and I take time to really look at my world and my life and my choices and ask myself the hard questions.

I wonder does anyone else find themselves second guessing things over and over again? I’m envious of the people in the world who just seem to have gotten things right and appear for all intents and purposes to be coasting through their lives. (If that’s you reading this, you need to call me or write a how-to book because I feel like my time is ticking away and my life is overwrought with mistakes on top of more mistakes.)

I really do want to get things right. Just once.

Overall, I just want peace and quiet deep down and all the way into my soul because I’m tired, y’all. At the same time, in my current role as a Bereavement Coordinator for a local Hospice, I have the honor of spending time with people in their final days and sometimes hours while supporting their families and significant others as they learn their way forward in their grief. I’ve found that I’m so envious of those people who have their forever person to hold their hand through their life’s journey. Recently I’ve supported people who have had “their person” for 50+ years. It seems a rare thing in this day and age and it’s bittersweet to have a small window in to a love like that.

And then I think to myself, maybe I’m my own person. Maybe there’s no real “ride or die” that’s meant for me. Maybe my journey is meant to have starts and stops and resets because I’m supposed to learn grace and patience and perseverance along the way with fierce independence? And if that’s the case: yikes. That’s hella scary to me.

I love people. I love people fiercely. But maybe a fierce and hard love like that burns so brightly and then, ultimately burns out for a reason. Maybe I’ve given too much of what’s inherently me, away.

I don’t have the answers for me. I had hoped that I’d have my shit figured out by now. The only thing I really know for sure anymore is that I know absolutely nothing.

I know that there are no absolutes for me and there haven’t yet been any black and white situations where I’ve known what’s what. There’s all kinds of shades of grey.

And maybe that too, is a lesson that this life is teaching me. That I’m not ready for the test or the final exam so to speak. I’m still learning and growing and studying and hoping that I’ll ace it when my time comes.

Let’s cross our fingers and hope.

Much love.

Always.

xoxo

self-compassion

Writing to My (Younger) Self

This is me 40-ish years ago.

I love this picture. My aunt recently moved and my cousin found it and sent it to me and I’ve been so thoughtful since seeing this photograph of this sweet little girl.

That smile and that light in her eyes are pure magic to me and remind me that I came into this world unbroken and full of hope and happiness and the possibilities were absolutely endless.

I wish I could hug her. I wish I could tell her that it will be hard as hell and she will often want to give up. I would tell her that she is resilient beyond measure and she will make ginormous mistakes but she will always get back up.

She will bend but not break.

She will love with every ounce of her being and she will cry until she feels like all of her breath has left her.

She will recover and move forward and climb mountains and learn to love after losses.

Again and again.

So many times she will feel that her world has shattered and just as many times she will feel like the whole universe is hers to learn and love all over again.

The highs can be unimaginably high and the lows just as devastating and still, she will continue.

It’s been a wild and crazy ride and as I’m about to celebrate my 42nd birthday, I can’t say I’d change a thing. Every moment has lead me to another lesson or a new victory and has made me the woman I am proud to be today: perfectly imperfect—- but still full of light, love, hope and magic.

Always. xoxo