Dear Sis,

Dear Sis (that’s me…dear me)…
 
You are being inundated with unpleasant insights to yourself these last couple of weeks. It’s okay. You are growing so find the value and trust the process.
 
In the meantime, beware of the man who subtly devalues you in the kindest of ways. It might look like this…
 
– “I need someone like you in my life. Nurturing, kind, beautiful eyes and soul. Instead, I always choose the girls who are really hot, into the gym and crazy.” (He sees your beauty and that it’s the kind that matters but you are not going to meet his qualifications…trust this).
 
-“I want more than a hook up. I want a relationship. I want the old fashioned kind of dating where two people become friends and fall in love.” And then…he’s pushing for sex by the end of the night. (and sis, you go right along with it because you think he’s way cool and you want soooooo badly for that empty to be filled. Not gonna get filled for more than a minute….literally. Stop and think).
 
– He is thoughtful, smart, caring and concerned with your wellbeing. He asks how you are and then listens. (for a few weeks). Then, there is no asking how you are. It is sufficient to tell you how awesome he is. Communication quiets and then levels up when it’s getting closer to time for netflix and chill. (This is probably a mirror to how a relationship will work).
 
-“I’m just not good at this part” or “I guess my last relationship hurt me so bad that I’m afraid of…” are usually translatable. Meaning, “I don’t want to put the effort into this friendship/relationship/agreement. I only want my needs met please don’t complicate this with your words. (C’mon, you deserve communication no matter what the agreement is).
 
Sis, listen to words but believe behavior. Please, for the love of God, believe behavior. I know you want connection so badly, but trust God, trust the process and wait for the real good stuff.
 
Know when to walk away….even if he smells scrumptious, delights your mind, intrigues your soul and adored you for a minute.
 
YOU ARE WORTH MORE. TRUST ME.
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Growing up

I have this gut feeling that some intensely real part of me has been hibernating for years and like a baby bear coming out of a dark cave,  it’s beginning to awaken.  2019 will be my last year of grad school.  Working full time, momming, daughtering, schooling, working, interning….blah, blah, blah.  It’s going to be a whirlwind of a year!  I am amazed when I look back and see how far I’ve come (and I am overwhelmed when I see how far I have to go!)  

We humans are ever-evolving, exploring creatures.  I am in awe of our capacity for resilience and growth.  That capacity gives me hope for us all.  It especially gives me hope for myself because I dream of the day I am all grown up in the ways that matter.

Here’s what I am trying to grasp about being a grown up:

  1. Truly, other people’s opinions of me are none of my business.  I spend a great deal of energy trying to ensure that other people are happy and content.  Sometimes, I catch myself putting more energy into their well-being than they do.  Guess who pays the highest price?  
  2. Self-compassion and self-care isn’t all about bubble baths, long walks, journaling and time for me.  It also looks like the icky stuff; hard conversations that need to be had, sticking to a budget, asking for help, making the choices that don’t feel good in the moment but have a tremendous pay-off later.  That stuff counts for loving myself well too.
  3. Structure and routine are not dirty words.  I have to learn this somehow.  I hate being put in anyone’s box, including my own and find myself easily resisting what is best for me because of that.
  4. I am a grown up woman, I was made a sexual being, and that is okay.  Actually, it’s far better than okay, it is magnificently wonderful.  Labels, shame, guilt and not allowing myself to be who I was made to be is nonsense.  
  5. There are people who have wiped my tears away in the most gentle and intimate manner.  There are others who squirm away from emotion because it is uncomfortable for them.  On the lines of people….some will see my scars as beautiful as they kiss them lovingly and see the miracle of life.  Some will see those same scars as a marring of my physical body and they might say less than stellar things.  Some will see my stretch marks and mom tummy as unattractive and displeasing; some will see these things as real and soft and safe.  Some people might not see them at all.  Guess what?  Their thoughts ALWAYS have more to do with them and often nothing to do with me.  That’s a hard one to swallow when one is a master at ugly self talk, but this is truth. 
  6. My God loves me deeper, wider, bigger than I could ever imagine. I have atheist friends who think my God is a made up guy in the sky to serve no purpose but being a crutch.  I have friends who have what I consider to be rigid beliefs, as well as everyone in between.  I love them all and I hope they love me too.  We are all searching and searching is key.  Whether your answer is in logic or faith or anywhere else, it’s your journey.  This is my journey.  
  7. ALL of the stuff ALL of the stuff ALL of the stuff is made to take us to a higher level.  Someday I will learn to surrender to that, trust myself, trust my God and trust the process.  Until then, I’ll keep doing my best.  Mostly.  Sometimes I will screw up in the biggest of ways.
  8. Love Wins.  Every freaking time.  Unless we choose hate.  Ick.
  9. It’s the small things that are really biggest in life.  Some of my favorite small things…When my Momma is proud of me (I know, I’m 46, but still, she’s my Mom!), when my kids surprise me with an unexpected hug, sunsets and sunrises, feeling the breeze on my bare skin, sweet kisses, coffee, yummy smells (of course)….
  10. Gratitude brightens even the darkest, dreariest days.  Drop the mask, feel what you feel…but keep the gratitude going.
  11. Be kind, gracious, loving, tender, merciful and forgiving.  At the same time, remember that boundaries are a beautiful thing and that boundaries and walls are not the same, ever.
  12. I will be unapologetically, unequivocally  me, even when it makes me squirm.  Especially when it makes me squirm.  Simply because I am uniquely, beautifully made and there is only one of me.  I love that quote, “Be you, everyone else is already taken.”  That’s so right!

The magic is in the mercy.  The gift is in the grace.  Over and over and over I fail.  Over and over and over I receive these compassions.  I am surrounded with grace giving, magic mercy making,  lovers of my heart and I am intensely blessed.