Growth and Love

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No amount of loving him is going to make him love me.  No amount of loving him is going to make him love me HOW I need to be loved.  I realized this in deep self-work.  I lacked so much love for myself I demanded it from my partner.  I took everything he did as either a validation of his love for me or a slight on who I am.  I gave so much love and made so many allowances for his transgressions and slights that I expected the same from him and thought I was offering love.  There is unconditional love but that doesn’t mean unconditional acceptance.  When you are the sacrifice for another person, that isn’t who you need to be with.  We all deserve love and respect.  Unfortunately, we can’t make people love or respect us.  When that happens, we need to be strong enough to walk away instead of making allowances.  It’s hard.

In dealing with control issues, we learn to think that we can make other people feel or behave a certain way.  We think if we treat them how we want to be treated we are teaching them what the “right” thing to do is and how to behave.  The reality is all that’s doing is pissing people off and making them see our controlling behaviors and creating resentment.  Now, if someone is intentionally not meeting our expectations or a mutually agreed upon expectation, then that speaks to their character.  But if we don’t have clear definitions of what our “absolutes” are, then the other person isn’t likely intentionally hurting us.  I fought for things my partner didn’t know I was fighting for.  I did it to try and make him love me, to make him see that he had something valuable in me.  All he saw was my disappointment any time something didn’t work out how I expected it to.  That was never my intention.  That was an overwhelmed and overworked nervous system creating issues that didn’t exist.

But the real point is that we have to learn to supply love for ourselves before we can demand it of other people.  We have to learn what love really means and how to give it freely before we demand it of other people.  Love is an inside job before it comes from the outside.  Eventually we have so much love it simply flows from us.  We exude it instead of consume it.  We learn to sustain ourselves and to share what we have at the same time.  We shift from need and desperation to a desire and ability to do it for ourselves.  It starts with building our own foundation first rather than expecting someone to hold us up.  What happens if they had a shaky foundation to begin with? They can’t offer what we need. So learn to give for yourself, learn to do for yourself.  That is where the fulfillment comes from.  That is where we build the lives we are looking for.  Love ourselves first.      

Frequency of You

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“Your presence is not found in what you do.  It is found in the natural frequency of being fully you,” Ashmi Path.  So appropriate to follow our discussion on magic of the soul, magic of healing.  It isn’t to tout the greatness of being female, it’s about reclaiming what we were told to forget.  Ashmi’s message is about remembering self and honoring who we are seems more for women.  Too often we sacrifice ourselves for something else, namely to be accepted by something or someone.  I’m not discounting the human need to be accepted, but we need to be more discerning in whose acceptance we seek.  When we are fully who we are, that is an energy that can’t be faked or replaced.  It feels natural and life truly flows.

I think women willingly give up who they are because they are attempting to keep the peace.  They are attempting to keep the perceived safety alive, the perceived order.  Women can’t show weakness any more than men can, it just looks different on a woman.  The irony comes when we show vulnerability, we are automatically labeled weak or emotional.  It’s still the double standard where we are supposed to have it all and that means doing it all.  We are meant to support each other and that means getting in touch with that vulnerability.  Women are here to remind us of that but we are taught to forget it for the sake of proving we are worthy and capable.  The message isn’t to show that we can’t do it, just that we at least have the opportunity.  That doesn’t make us emotional wrecks.  It makes us humans who need to be validated as any other human.

I would like to add that sometimes it IS what we do.  When we align with who we are we naturally do the things that we love.  We find that our purpose and identity align.  We don’t have to do things for others, to make others happy, or to meet other’s expectations—because that isn’t the presence we are talking about.  That’s a temporary high of approval from others and we are always looking for the next hit.  When we align with our true selves, presence comes naturally and who we are follows.  The things we want to do follow.  The purpose follows. We are all capable of great things and we are meant to be.  We don’t have to be great at everything to be considered worthy-we just need to be greatly who we are.  Allow that out and watch your life change.

Healing Magic

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I want to appreciate all the magical healers out there—which is all of us. As I continue to do the self-work (which never ends) and healing both mine and my ancestral wounds, as I embrace myself and learn love again, I feel the magic.  I feel the power we are meant to have that the world wants us to forget.  I feel the connection with things other people don’t understand.  There is something uniquely divine in owing our identity.  It’s the magic of creation, taking the pieces and putting them together, of feeling our way into this life.  Navigating the world connected to the stars with our feet on the ground and our hair in the wind. 

Being knocked down hard over the last few weeks has shown me a new appreciation for what I’m able to do.  I’m still learning myself because walking around without my armor takes some practice.  But I see now that I’ve been living with a and tied behind my back.  The armor isn’t doing a damn bit of good anymore and it’s far too heavy to carry.  So I turn inward and learn to be a bit more gentle with myself.  It’s no longer about controlling the outcome, it’s about recognizing how I genuinely feel.  it’s about remembering all I fought to dismiss.  The things people told me made me too much, the things they told me weren’t enough. Fuck that and fuck them.  This isn’t about their approval any longer because I’ve wasted enough time dancing to their beat only to be told that’s not the song they’re playing today.

So I appreciate my own rhythm, my own magic and I love my life a little more every day. There is no worry worth carrying or any sacrifice of self that will make up for what we can do ourselves.  The world is afraid of that.  Sometimes we’re afraid of that too.  But when we step into who we are, it doesn’t matter what anything on the outside says.  We are who we are for a reason.  We are meant to be that and no one else.  Sometimes people see the wishy washy version of who we are, the façade, and they do things that force us to break through again.  As long as they don’t break us, then allow it to happen.  We can take that dark moment and allow it to be a breakthrough.  Love your magic and remember you know how to turn dark into light, mess into magic, and make pieces whole again.  That is your gift.

The Table is Big Enough

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“You don’t need to be perfect to be included at the table,” Erin Janoso.  This lesson, this reminder about knowing our worth is key.  There is a genuine wholeness you feel when you love yourself.  It’s far easier than carrying around that weight I mentioned yesterday.  We pretend that protecting ourselves is enough when we are desperately searching for a way to be seen.  It’s scary to think about letting pieces of you out that you never shared before.  Sometimes we keep them hidden for so long that we aren’t even sure how to behave with them.  We don’t know how that feels.  Sometimes navigating life feels a lot like learning to ride a bicycle or learning to walk.  We’re always wobbly at first.  It takes a lot to take those first steps or spin on those wheels with confidence.  So too is wearing and sharing our authentic identity.

I made the mistake a long time ago of thinking sharing an authentic identity meant sharing every detail of my life.  Depending on the audience and the purpose, it’s necessary, but not every person needs to know everything all the time.  I thought over-sharing was a display of confidence and now I see it’s a trauma response.  I was so hoping to be accepted that I would create a situation where I would be rejected before I even knew someone or they knew me.  Sometimes it sticks, but people don’t want to start a friendship with anyone where they need to be your therapist. 

The other side of this is knowing our worth and knowing how to provide that love for yourself instead of demanding it from others.  When we see our own value, we are less likely to need that level of attention and support from people.  We have to know that we are worthy and perfection has little to do with that worth.  We are here to share our gifts and supply more light to the world, to ignite that light in other people.  When we know our worth we feel complete.  Yes, the other side of this means accepting that not everyone will accept us—and that is ok.  We aren’t meant to be everyone’s cup of tea.  We are meant to be ourselves and find our group and do the work meant for us.  We can still find a way to be included by knowing where we belong.  And we first belong to ourselves. 

When we find ourselves at a table that no longer serves the nourishment we need, we also need to have the strength to walk away.  We need to know when things are no longer good enough for us and that we can walk away.  We don’t take our sustenance or our light from the outside—we are enough as we are.  If the table doesn’t work, we are allowed to walk away.  It’s nice to be included, but if that means wearing that 1000 pound mask to make people happy, then it isn’t worth it.  Put it down and pick up the mantle of who we are.  Stability comes with genuine identity.  That comes from knowing who we are and we know who we are when we allow ourselves to experience life and figure out what we enjoy, what works for us, and what feels right.  It’s never about perfection, it’s about finding self.  Explore, move, be authentic.  Love your life and drop the shield. 

It Never Comes

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“Sometimes your future can’t fit in because you’re holding on to too much of your past,” Lisa Nichols.  There is no need to ask if you fit in the story when you become the author of your story, who you are is waiting to be born.  This is just a quick reminder to fully embrace where you are and welcome the life you are meant to have.  I operated from the belief that I couldn’t move forward until things looked a certain way or until certain events happened that “allowed” me to pass go so to speak.  Those things never happened.  The apologies never came.  The restart never happened.  The opportunity passed.  The clarity never came.  The new point of view was so foggy.  I see now that had more to do with wanting things to be a certain way than them actually being a certain way. 

Sometimes we have to move forward without the apology.  Without the closure we thought we would get.  Sometimes we have to close the door while things are still being said.  Sometimes the outlook changes in a second and that shifts our future in ways we didn’t think.  We aren’t meant to be mind readers and we aren’t meant to control every facet of what comes our way.  Life just doesn’t work that way.  We need to reconcile where we are at all times.  The past happens for a reason and that is often a lesson.  It may not be what we thought it would be, but it is what happened and the sooner we can make peace with that and get our bearings, the sooner we can step into the opportunities really meant for us.  A whole new world of possibility opens up.

Dark Night

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I’ve been going through another bout of depression since the argument with my husband I mentioned a few weeks ago.  There are things that gnawed at me, played in my head repeatedly because I fixate on everything and I analyze the words until I can’t break them down anymore.  Then there are some things that were said that simply changed things between us.  Those are the things that clung like a 1000 pound weight to my face and dragged me down.  I couldn’t breathe.  Even in the aftermath of the fight itself when I started to sort through the rubble, I replayed those words and knew I would be thinking of them for a long time.  They were weapons and they were chosen, aimed, and deadly—and they hit their mark.  People can say they are sorry, but in every heated moment, there is the possibility of some truth that comes out, so even during “reconstruction” you ask if there is still some truth to it.  It doesn’t go away.

While the words hurt and certainly changed things between us, I had a decision to make.  I wasn’t exaggerating when I said my world fell apart.  I had no clue who I needed to be in those moments after the words were said.  I had no footing, no bearing in my life and I felt that way for a while.  I knew I didn’t want to be in that position again.  I knew I needed help and that anything I did wasn’t about my husband—the next steps were about me.  They were about looking forward and making the choice to do something different, to take control of my life rather than control everything around me.  That’s a novel approach.  Immediately discomfort washed over me.  How do I function, how do I lead without setting expectations and having people follow them?  How do we get what we want out of life if we don’t do what we are “supposed” to do?  What do we tolerate and allow as far as straying from the path before we need to walk away without it becoming a control thing?

As it would happen, when I felt I was at my lowest and ready to give up, I came across some posts from a few people I follow.  One of them is an inspirational leader and she happened to be re-hashing the story of how she started doing what she was doing.  She shared that she had just finished grad school and was out of work.  She had moved to another state with her husband and couldn’t find anything.  She shared how she needed to go to the deepest parts of herself to heal and work through the fear she experienced at being relatively alone with no way to support herself.  She had to learn to take care of herself in order to move forward.  She learned to share her healing with others and it started a business for her and she said that it was in her “dark night of the soul” where she learned all the skills she needed to move forward successfully.  I started thinking about the argument I had with my husband and the things he said.  Yes, they were hurtful but was there a reason behind them?  What and who had I become? 

When someone you’ve been with for over two decades starts saying things they’ve never said before, you have to examine the whole situation.  I realized I was in my dark night of the soul.  Lost, confused, and alone.  I was acting completely out of alignment with my values and who I am and I began to see glimmers of the frustration my husband had and why.  I wish he was able to see the same from my perspective, however, I know now I have no say in that, no control.  This had to be about me and learning to redirect my focus inward.  I have to learn to love myself again.  It’s time to complete the past and give up on “how it’s supposed to be” and fully embrace the present.  Fully embrace building the new rather than “correcting” or rehashing the past.  What’s gone is gone and done is done so take the pieces you have and focus on building the new.  Focus on what feels good.     

I was uncomfortable so I controlled.  Now I’m learning to be me so I allow.  Unleash the authentic me.  It’s amazing how we create these facades to protect ourselves and we integrate them so deeply we confuse that image with our identity.  Ironically what we use to protect ourselves is so far from who we are and it gets so heavy that holding it becomes impossible—but so is putting it down.  We can’t be vulnerable.  I did the same within my own family.  I wanted things to look a certain way and that control was about protecting myself.  THAT is what I need to work on.  At my core I’m a deeply fun-loving person with a wicked sense of humor and I see the possibilities.  I just have to allow.  Release the fear.  So while the initial argument took me for a spin, I know more about who I am.  My dark night showed me the light—the light from within.  The bottom becomes the beginning.

Sunday Gratitude

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Today I am grateful for developing consistency.  Keeping consistent with what I want to do has always been a bit of a challenge for me.  It’s partially a victim mentality—if something stops me from doing what I want to do then it’s not my fault for not getting it done.  It’s partially stubbornness/lack of creativity; I struggle to find alternative ways to do the things I want to do.  It’s partially not having all the resources built because I’m shy and unsure and self-protective.  In spite of all that, I’ve been changing those habits.  I’ve been consistent in meeting myself where I want to be.  I’ve ben listening to the things that feel right in my soul and my body and that is the direction I go.  It has been different not seeking approval from the outside and it’s hard to not go that route.  But making sure I’m able to stand on my own has been helping me and sticking with it has strengthened that muscle.

Today I am grateful for family.  I’ve spent a lot of time with family over the last few days even past the holiday and it has been refreshing.  It has been a comforting reminder that family is always there and prioritizing them really matters.  We make time for the things we love and the things we want to do and it has been nice to have more of the family on board.  I’ve gotten to see new parts of my family’s history and it has been so cool learning things that happened before I was born and knowing more about where we all come from.  Too many times we let ourselves get distracted and angry by silly things and time passes and before you know it, it’s gone.  There is real value in sticking together and closing gaps and sharing that mutual history with each other. 

Today I am grateful for trying new things.  As I’ve been working through my control issues, I’ve learned that there are moments I need to trust others and step out of my comfort zone.  We were with a bunch of our friends yesterday and we were all sharing and helping each other and learning.  This was something I’ve only ever previously done with my husband and myself.  Taking in new perspectives and learning from someone other than my husband opened my eyes to a new experience.  We all had a lot of fun and I found something else that works for me and my husband rather than me trying to fit in something that didn’t work at all. 

Today I am grateful for being part of a community.  I’ve had to be a do-it-on-my-own girl for various reasons for a long time.  Partially out of necessity and partially out of stubbornness, but it has made me pretty detached from my ability to ask for help.  If I couldn’t do it on my own, then I didn’t do it.  I’m learning that there are really people who follow through on what they say.  They are truly there to help and they don’t expect anything in return.  I’m also learning that when we help each other it doesn’t take away from what needs to be done in my world, but it opens it up to finishing things in each of our lives faster, easier, and with more perspective.     

Today I am grateful for perspective.  This has been an amazing, long weekend spent with family and friends and making memories, and helping my kid recover from being sick.  I started decorating the house because my goal was to have the tree up the day after Thanksgiving.  Well, that escalated and I’ve been trying to get as much done as I can because there is so much to do for the holidays.  Then I found out that my mother in law is having our Christmas on the 11th.  I’m no where near ready. As I sat on the floor in the middle of garland, I realized that I’m living in conflict with what I want to be doing.  I’m trying to get all the fun stuff done quickly because of a ridiculous work schedule.  I’m trying to be both a dutiful employee and an amazing hostess/daughter/mother/wife etc. every day.  I’m not spending time doing the things I love because I have to rush them.  I’m trying to fit a week’s worth of work in two days.  Not going to happen.  And it’s ok.  I’m not weak, I’ve gotten through a lot.  Perspective is key.

Today I am grateful for remembering my strength.  Sometimes strength is the simple reminder that we can and will go on.  Things will move forward, and as long as you’ve done your best, that is enough.  I don’t need to be superwoman 24/7.  I need to cherish the time I have.  I need to stand in my integrity.  I need to follow through on my word.  I need to be the person I say I am—the person I really am.  That is all strength.  It takes a lot to let go of the outside ideas of what we should be or how we should behave.  This is a time when being ourselves is a radical act—well, technically, being ourselves has always been a radical act.  That starts with accepting who we are, and that is a feat in certain moments.  Acknowledge our wonderful magic, the gifts we have, and be grateful.  That is where our strength comes from.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

Examples of Healing

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We spoke about trying something new yesterday and I focused heavily on the aspect of self-work and healing as something new.  It’s important to note that self-work, while healing and creative, is also destructive.  You can’t hold onto what you knew and do something new when it comes to finding yourself.  The two identities can’t co-exist and that means you will lose things that were familiar as you build a new framework for your life.  There may be parts of you that come along, those parts that are based on core values for example.  But you can’t behave in self-destructive ways and claim to be healed.  It doesn’t work like that.  For me, I can’t continue to control every facet of life around me and claim to be at ease with what happens. 

The biggest portion of healing for me is making peace with what happened—and I am far from there. I struggle to let go of the “could have beens” and the “should have beens.”  You know what I mean, the “if onlys”.  If only they had done this like we talked about, we wouldn’t be dealing with this now.  In order to reconcile that, I need to get creative and focus on what I can build moving forward.  It SUCKS letting go of the past, especially knowing that it could have been different with a few small tweaks.  But those things didn’t happen.  All we can work with is what happened and the here and now.  What happened is done but how do we integrate that to move forward now?

I’ve been told repeatedly that life isn’t fair.  I’m sure we’ve all heard that multiple times in our lives.  Logically we all know that—I know that as well.  I also don’t think life is malicious, placing a heat-seeking missile of misery on us just for giggles.  I feel like we have the ability to control how we interact with people, yet we don’t operate in a vacuum. Our actions impact others, so choose to have awareness.  Not that we are responsible for others, but we need to understand action and reaction.  Some of those reactions people have aren’t a result of our actions, rather from their experiences.  And that, too is a healing thought.  It’s not always about us.  It is always about choice.  When we choose to heal, we choose to change the course of our lives.  How exciting is that?

Seeking New

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The best way to get out of a rut is to do something new.  There comes a point in everyone’s lives where what they did no longer serves.  There’s a point to tie up some loose ends and another to simply walk away.  There is also a point when we need to engage curiosity and follow that.  When we get stuck in our ways, sometimes we don’t realize we’re sinking until we’re waist deep in it.  Make the effort to find something new, simply by asking what your heart needs in that moment.  Stand in who you are and follow that belief, that direction.  Always be grateful for options.  Engaging in new things can be tricky because it’s out of our comfort zone.  So the other part of trying something new is to be intentional about it.  If you’re not into heights, don’t rush out to go sky diving simply because you need a “new thing.”  If you’re looking for a rush of adrenaline, then by all means, proceed. 

But the need for something new can mean moving forward.  The need to move on or move forward can mean healing those parts of you that have gone ignored for too long and not some huge physical trip. Many of us hesitate to take that journey.  It’s far easier to deal with what’s on the outside over what comes from within.  But magic happens when you deal with your own stuff because that is the inner depths of connection to soul/universe/purpose.  Those are the pieces you need.  I struggle with control and needing to know what to do in every situation from a trauma place (I lost people in my family early, I tried to prove my worth to my older siblings, I sought other people’s validation of my worth as well).  So for me to move forward, I need to heal those abandonment wounds experienced with actual loss and recognize where I abandoned my sense of self for the approval of others. 

I know we are trained to operate 24/7 with the latest and greatest and to prove who we are at all times and to win and gain and acquire.  All of that makes self-work look boring by comparison.  I’ve fallen into that habit as well.  It’s far easier to go shopping and buy a fantastic new book to keep myself “working on it” or to by a new planner that will “keep me on track,” or even to buy some fun new clothes or decorations or gifts for other people than it is to really examine the core of the wound and make peace with who I am.  I KNOW I’m not alone in this.  But the self work is what makes all the other crap fall away.  That is the work that creates the space for who you really are when you no longer need to identify with what other people think/say/do.  You’re on your own two feet like we talked about earlier this week.  Coming from that healed place will permanently remove you from the rut because you know yourself.  Talk about new!        

A Little Thanksgiving

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There is always something to be thankful for.  All the time.  Even in our darkest moments, there is something to be thankful for.  That isn’t to sound trite or dismissive to real issues, but the bottom doesn’t mean the end.  Sometimes that’s the start.  It is truly difficult to see the positive when we are face down in the dirt.  I don’t ever want to coat those issues with a toxic sense of positivity because that doesn’t do anyone any good.  I want to encourage people to find enough strength in those moments when all feels lost to recognize the light in themselves.  To find the creativity they need to move forward.  We are never trapped.

This year, I have witnessed and experienced countless moments of synchronicity, faith, and love.  I have been given grace in truly difficult times, and I have learned to use my blessings to bless others, to share the light and gifts I’ve been given.  I am grateful to recognize where I need to use my own strength and the times when strength comes from being gentle.  I am also grateful to recognize where I need to grow up, where I need to step up, and where I need to let go.  I am grateful to find my own footing and to see where I need to keep practicing those steps. 

I am grateful to be alive, to have my family, to have my health, to have options.  I am grateful to hold the pen to create the life I’ve been looking for.  I am grateful to share this life, to heal, and to hopefully leave things better than I found them.  I am grateful to give up old patterns and old beliefs and to step forward to something better.  I am grateful to find the light, to be the light.  I am grateful to keep learning and moving forward.  I am grateful for time and I promise to learn to be a better steward of it.  It’s a gift.  Life is a gift.  I am thankful for the abundance of living.

Happy Thanksgiving