Category Archives: You are loved

Wake Up, Wake Up, Sleeping Soul

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Whatever it is, it will be ok.

Whatever it is, it will be ok.

Sweet friend:

Have you ever felt like you are sleepwalking through your life?  I have.  Our bodies wake up every day and make breakfast, get dressed, get our kids to school, go to work, pay bills, go to church, hang out with friends, and lay awake at night, wondering why the very mind that couldn’t focus during the day now can’t seem to turn off.

Waking up is bitter sweet.  We look around at our house, our relationships, our job, and our life and wonder “Who on earth made this mess?!”  Oh…. I did.

The shame and guilt can almost be enough to make us turn right back around and retreat into the swirling fog.  Keep your eyes open as long as you can stand it, dear one.  Trust that there are a whole host of angels standing guard around you, patiently waiting for you to sweep the cobwebs from your eyes and gather your bearings.

As you look around, it can feel overwhelming!  There’s so much to do, so much that wasn’t done, too many things that are overdue, and who on earth even knows where to start?!  Start with you.  Take a deep breath… and then just keep taking them.  Feel absolutely free to just stand still in one spot for as long as you need to feel stronger.  Soon, that little flame of strength will turn to hope.  And that hope will turn to determination, and that determination… well, sweet girl… that determination can turn into the best, most wholehearted life you have ever dreamed of.

It can.  It will.   Just start today by gently looking at your childlike soul, as our Father in heaven would.  Today, you might need to sleep.  But tomorrow… oh, tomorrow… you may open your eyes and smile at the mountain.

Onward.

It Will Be Ok

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Not everyone is in a perfect, happy, beautiful family today… steeped in generations of honoring the same gravy recipe and using great great grandma’s serving platter for the holiday turkey. It’s not that way for everyone, dear heart. It’s just not.

It’s also not miserable! For some, it is. But take courage, wondering one… I does not have to be that way.

Sometimes, we get thrown in the “in between” don’t we? Years of traditions are gone … just like that. Or maybe they never existed for you.

Whatever it is, it’s going to be ok. It really, really is.

The whole world is not in pairs and happy bundles. Today, your heart might be broken…but it won’t last forever. Nothing does.

Just remember…neither does happiness.

The best boat to ride the ups and downs of life is a peaceful spirit. And you can find it. I know you can!

Step 1: You’re not allowed to beat yourself up any more. Whatever happens, whatever breaks, you are going to hold those embarrassing little pieces in your hands and love them.

Because they are part of you.

And you, my dear one, get to be loved.

Courage…

Love Does Not Have to Come Wrapped inPain

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I found this leaf on a camping trip in the spring of this year. Near the fire pit at my campsite, it literally stopped me in my tracks.  It felt like seeing my own heart, lying there on the ground.  I was camping alone, in a relationship a man who ran hot & cold, and trying to find my way back to myself.

It’s hard to find our way back to ourselves if we weren’t ever anything solid to begin with, isn’t it?  We like the things our guy likes, his hobbies become interesting to us, and we just sort of dissolve into his life.

What if it wasn’t like that?  What if we had this beautiful, warm, loving life of our own and found a great way to merge our great life with his great life?  What if we stayed ourself and he stayed himself and we just rolled along that way… supporting each other… loving each other… inspiring each other to be our best selves?

Count me in for that.

I believe that once we get our hands, hearts, and minds around who we are and what we’re about, it’s a whole lot easier to decide who gets to enter that life with us.  When we can honor our little snags, life just smooths out… because the rough stuff snags.  The hurt stuff snags.  We can feel it on the way in, can’t we?  And we get to love ourselves through that growth and say “I recognize that I have always done it that way, but I am not getting the result I want.  I intend to keep my mind and heart open to finding a different way to be in this life.  I intend to find a way to feel whole and good.”

Love does not have to come wrapped in pain.

Onward…

Stillness

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solitudeI know what a healthy (maybe) relationship looks like from the outside, but what does it feel like to be in one?  I had absolutely no idea. So, I grabbed my phone off the nightstand and Googled it.

Article after article talked about boundaries. What are boundaries? I had heard the word, many times, but what does it really mean in a person’s life? What does it look like? What does it feel like?

Boundaries, to me, always seemed like artificial walls people would erect when 1. They had been hurt and said “Never again!” and then promptly shut their heart down for all eternity. Or 2. A buzzword that women use to criticize themselves or other women. “She clearly doesn’t have any boundaries (she’s easy)” or “If I was stronger and had better boundaries, this wouldn’t have happened to me (I must be stupid)”.

Where to start? It didn’t seem right to just arbitrarily make up rules. Because then what if I wanted to change them? What if I didn’t like them?! So, I panicked and decided to just try to be aware of how things made me feel and try to do my best to honor those feelings with the same respect I would give to someone else.

Here’s what I learned: We know when a boundary has been crossed. We might not even be able to put into words what the boundary is or what we don’t like about what just happened, but we feel it. In our gut. Something hurts. Something snags. Something about what’s happening just doesn’t feel right.

Want to grow a little?  Try to stay open to your feelings as you go through your day.  When something snags, stop for a moment.  Pick that little feeling up with two gentle hands and tell it “I don’t know what just happened, but I’m going to take care of this feeling.”  As you collect and take care of those little snags, you will start to see a pattern.  For me, the first pattern I began to see was “I don’t like it when I get up the nerve to call the guy I’m seeing and he doesn’t pick up the phone.”  Even saying that I didn’t like something was empowering!  Hey, I didn’t like it.

Then we get to ask ourselves great questions.  Like:

“What does it mean that he didn’t pick up the phone?”  I’m not important

“Ok.  What does it mean if I’m not important to him?”  That he doesn’t love me.

“Ok.  What does it mean if he doesn’t love me.”  Maybe nobody can love me.

Aha.

When we can start to be aware of snags, and then take care of those little feelings, we begin on what is maybe the most talked about journey in all of mankind.  Who am I and what’s important to me?

You are so, so loved.

Onward…

I See You

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box of darkness handwrittenThere’s something that happens the moment we realize that the world does not, in fact, revolve around us.

Last week, I came across an article that asked famous people what they would like to tell their younger selves.  The answers were a predictably interesting mix of advice about taking life more (or less) seriously.

See… when it’s not all about us, we can turn down the spotlight a little and begin to really see the humanity in the people we encounter.

Let me get a little more specific.  The way people treat you has very little (if anything) to do with you.  I’m definitely not suggesting that we have no accountability for what we attract into our life story.  I believe just the opposite.  What I’m saying is that how we treat each other has more to do with how we are then how they are.

Think of the woman you know who says the right things.. and maybe does the right things… but you can’t seem to shake the coldness you feel from her.  You get together for coffee and, on paper, it seems like that a friendship should happen.  But your gut knows different.  There’s something you can’t quite put your finger on about her but it makes you want to keep her at an arm’s distance.  And then it happens.  That awful moment where she leans in and spills a gut wrenching, raw, heart ripping story that has been confided in her “Well, you know, she had a miscarriage and tried to pass it off as the flu. [smirk] As if we all didn’t know.” And, like a thud.  There it is.

What about the guy who wants to spend every waking minute together and professes his love to you so eloquently it makes Shakespeare sound like a second grader?  And then he starts breaking little promises…and then big promises…and then one day you find out that he’s been sleeping with your best friend for a year.  Does that have something to do with you?  Absolutely.  There were red flags and you blew past them because, at that time, that worked for you.  But here’s my point.  Did his and your best friend’s choice to betray someone’s sacred trust have anything to do with you?  No, my dear sister.  It did not.

People blow past boundaries and betray others and act disrespectfully because that is where they are on their journey. There’s no shame here, dear heart.  We have all done things that are just flat out stupid and embarassing.  but we’re just not going to beat ourself up about it.  And we are certainly not going to bring someone else in our life to beat us up about it, either.   We are all where we are and God’s mercy can meet our surrender just exactly where we are.

Onward…