The two things I want more than anything

First, I wish to see myself the way others see me. I can hear what they say about me, feel how they feel about me, and see the way they look at me. I know that I am loved, admired, and respected. My ten-year-old recently told me that I am the greatest person he knows. I believe that he feels this way. My little guy says I’m so beautiful. I know he means it. But I don’t see myself the way they, or others, do. I harbor shame and guilt and anger towards myself. I think and feel negative things about myself. I look in the mirror or at pictures and don’t see the beautiful person my boys think I am but I pick out all of the parts of me that aren’t perfect. I hold myself back from things that I want because I feel like I’m not good enough, strong enough, or smart enough. Imagine what I could do, what I could achieve, if I believed I was even half the person others think I am.

Second, I wish I could see the world live up to all of the potential I know that it has. If we, all of the creatures of this miraculous planet, acted with what I believe is the secret to happy co-existence: kindfulness. Kinfulness is the act of being mindful of your actions through being kind to yourself, kind to others, and kind to nature. If we stop destroying each other and the earth around us and just exist peacefully. Build each other up instead of tearing each other down. Stop trying to prove who is smarter or stronger or richer. Why waste the precious time we have in conflict with ourselves and others trying to be something that we are not? We need more acceptance. We need more encouragement. We need more kindfulness.

Work in progress.

My business is my passion. Connecting with others is where I do my best work. My most amazing insights have come from sharing an open heart and seeing myself through the story of another person. It’s breathtaking, heartbreaking at times, and truly inspiring.

My business has taken a backseat the last several months as I have faced some personal health issues. I often forget how much our physical health can impact and impair our mental and emotional health. I have struggled with both recently. Having serious physical symptoms with no answers after countless doctors appointments is maddening. I’ve felt helpless, unmotivated, and inadequate. I’ve been too distracted to read or write. I’ve been in too much pain to even pull out my yoga mat and find comfort in the stillness of just being. I’ve been sad, lonely, angry, confused, and tired. I’ve felt lost.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to get away with some friends for a long weekend. It was an amazing in the woods, in a cabin, soul food kind of weekend. I craved it and feared it all at the same time. I didn’t want anyone to see that I was struggling and I wasn’t sure I could hide it. So I let it be what it was. I showed up with all of my issues and I let myself be nourished by nature and loved by friends. With each passing hour I could feel my heart opening more and more and I could feel the weight of all of my pain, fear, and self pity lifting. I left that weekend with more clarity, self-acceptance, and excitement for my work than I have had in, well, maybe ever.

I came back to find out that I have a growth on my spinal cord that is causing the numbness and weakness in my legs and making it challenging for me to get around easily. The good news: it’s benign. The bad news: surgery would be too risky. I am both pushing forward with more appointments to find treatment options and making peace with where I am at. This is my reality. I can choose to accept it and stay focused on my goals or I can let it hold me back and keep me small.

I am choosing to heal through my work. I’m choosing to be vulnerable and exposed and messy and let it all be part of what I do. What I write. It’s a work in progress. I’m a work in progress. I think we all are. If we wait until we feel whole and complete we may forever hide the parts of us that are meant to inspire others. We may hide the parts that need to be seen, to be heard, to be loved. I’m here now. All of me. I have a lot to say. I have a lot to do. It may be messy but it’s honest. I’m not going to hide. I’m not going to hold back. I’m going to heal.

Why now?

I am a healer.

I have always been a healer. Even when I didn’t recognize what it was that I was feeling. I felt it at a very young age. This innate ability to really see people. See who they were, what they felt, and what they wanted. Empathic and sympathetic. I struggled with it for a long time. Struggled to see that this empathy and intuition that had been such a heavy load to carry and had bogged me down was, in fact, my greatest strength. I realized that I wasn’t meant to carry it all myself. I was meant to share it. To share this abundance of life and learning. Not just from my own experiences but from those all around me. 

But still, I’ve held myself back for years. Who am I to proclaim to be a healer? What makes me so special? How do you just decide you’re a healer? You don’t. It’s decided for you. As it was decided for me. I’ve been afraid to accept it. Afraid to put myself out there. Afraid that I’m not good enough, strong enough, smart enough. Afraid I’ll be seen as a fake. Why? Because I can’t seem to heal myself. I’ve met many challenges in my life and I struggle with so many things even today. I’ve been trying to find the answer. That magic bit of juicy knowledge that I can share with others to prove that I can help. That I can be trusted. The truth is, I don’t have the answer. But what I do know is this: as I work more and more with others I find myself healing more and more. The secret to my own healing has been sharing my story, being vulnerable, and opening my heart to others. What a miraculously inspiring thing to know that we can heal together. We can do the work together. We can rise together.

I’m ready to acknowledge and use these gifts. I’m ready to share my experiences, speak my truth, and provide support to those who need it. I’m ready to stop hiding in the shadows and let my light shine. I’m ready to be seen. I’m ready to be heard. I’m ready to heal.

Why now? Because it’s time.

Memories are the currency of life…

I realized recently that my life has become very “business as usual”. I used to live for adventure. For those tiny moments of joy and laughter. For last minute spontaneous trips and treats. Real joy. And suddenly I find myself in a place where I’m merely surviving. I let work and chores and diagnoses get in the way of real living. But I want more. I want to exist in a world where anything is possible and there are surprises around every turn. Where laughter is commonplace. That epic can’t breathe with tears in your eyes kind of laughter. The kind where you don’t even remember what you’re laughing at but can’t stop. The days that I will look back on and be able to feel, see, smell, taste, and hear every detail. The moments that take your breath away. I want that.

I also realize that it’s up to me. It’s no one’s responsibility but my own to make sure I live my life and how I do it. It’s up to me to take chances, plan visits, start meaningful conversations, forget for a moment that there is a pile of laundry or a sink full of dishes and just burst out in a song and dance routine that would rival any SpongeBob episode and make my boys cringe with embarrassment. It’s all up to me. That’s what makes life fascinating. You are always one decision away from a completely different life. Today I decide to make living a priority. Today I choose me.

Speak Your Truth

The truth is that we don’t always speak our truth because we care what other people think.

The truth is that sometimes we want a different truth.

The truth is that sometimes the truth hurts.

The truth is that sometimes we ignore the truth.

The truth is that ignoring the truth doesn’t make it any less true.

The truth is we are killing our planet.

The truth is that the world needs more kindness and more compassion.

The truth is that love is love and you shouldn’t be shamed or judged for who you love by anyone.

The truth is that sometimes love hurts.

The truth is that we all make mistakes.

The truth is that a single person, two men, or two women are just as capable of being parents as any heterosexual couple.

The truth is that kids need to be loved and need to feel safe.

The truth is that we are all different.

The truth is that people come in all different shapes and sizes and we need to celebrate our uniqueness.

The truth is that love is stronger than fear.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter who our president is. We should stand together in support of our country regardless of our opinion of our elected officials.

The truth is that we are all in this together.

The truth is that all lives matter.

The truth is that we should help others not for what’s in it for each of us but for what’s in it for all of us.

The truth is that I want a better world for my children.

The truth is that I want a better world for their children.

The truth is that I want a better world for your children.

The truth is that none of us is perfect.

The truth is that people change.

The truth is that what you know to be true today may not be true tomorrow.

I know this all to be true because this is my truth.

You can disagree and I respect that. You have the right to speak your own truth.

The truth is that your story matters.

The truth is that my story matters.

I know this to be true.

I know this to be true because this is my truth.

Someday…

Someday I’m going to stop settling. I’m going to stop sacrificing what I want or need to make others happy. I’m going to be very clear about what I want and I’m not going to accept a drop less. I’m going to put me first. I’m going to love myself fiercely and set an example for anyone who wants to be in my life. I’m going to love myself unconditionally. I’m going to stop softening my edges to fit through round holes and just accept the fact that I’m a square peg.

I’ve been calling it compromise or selflessness or taking care of others. Those are good things, right? I’m a nice person. I put others first. I’m a lover not a fighter. Whatever I choose to call it. But, at the end of the day, I still end up feeling like I give and give and give without question but feel guilty for asking to get my basic needs met. I’m a perpetual people pleaser. I thought I was healing but all I’ve really done is expanded my vocabulary to continue to do the same things but convince myself that it’s different because I call it by another name. Maybe I missed my calling in political speech writing…

The silver lining is that it’s an opportunity to grow and learn and continue to strive towards a better version of me. A fiercely self-loving square peg. Someday.

 

 

 

My Heart’s Words

There are words in my heart

that tell a tale of strength.

They tell a tale of pain.

Tell a tale of grief.

There are words in my heart

that long to find a page.

A page to rest on.

A place for relief.

There are words in my heart

that hope to reach others.

To ease their fears.

To touch their souls.

There are words in my heart

that know what you’ve been through.

Know what you’re feeling.

Know you have holes.

There are words in my heart

that need to be shared.

That want to be heard.

That want to rejoice.

These words in my heart

will someday tell my story.

So long as you’ll listen

once I find my voice.