It’s Just a Detour

There have been many endings in my life that initially felt cataclysmic.

Not getting into the college I’d dreamed of attending.

Break-ups with lovers that I’d believed would last forever.

Jobs I’d applied for that seemed a perfect fit passed me over.

All things I wrapped my hope and vision of my future around that prematurely ended leaving me devastated and lost.

However, once I got on the other side of these endings and found myself somewhere new I realized that none of these endings were roadblocks, they were detours.

So, now I’ve learned to see endings as new opportunities.

This doesn’t diminish the pain that endings can bring, but it does provide some comfort as I work through the accompanying feelings that tend to come with an unexpected detour toward embracing optimism and curiosity.

Perhaps one path has reached its natural end, but I’ve just been shown that another path awaits me, even if only one step is illuminated before me at a time.

I’m good at planning and dreaming of the route I’d like my life to follow.

Letting go of my attachment to these plans has been vital as I’ve found myself at detours that brought me miracles I was only able to create because of the endings.

Now I can celebrate new beginnings and the possibilities that they bring all because of an unexpected detour.

Always,

Your Trusted Friend 🖤

Give Yourself Permission

Photo by Klara Kulikova on Unsplash

Give yourself permission to let go.

When I think of letting go, friend, I think of two ways in which one can release.

Some things we grasp hold tightly because we know once we let go, once we stop trying, grasping, or clinging – whatever is in our grasp will disappear or leave.

So we hold on with a white knuckle grip and clenched teeth and we fight, often finding honor in the willingness to fight so hard and suffer in our relentlessness.

Instead, though, what we are actually doing is diverting energy, attention, and focus onto something that should be released. Something we should let go of in order to free space and make room for something else.

There is no honor or nobility in the white-knuckling, only blind stubbornness.

When we cling to ideas, dreams, or people after we’ve outgrown them because we’re afraid of letting go, of what comes next, we are cheating ourselves of our next evolution.

So, first, there are things that must be released in order to purge them. Other times we must release in order to flow. We must stop trying to control, fight, manage or manipulate and – instead – ride the momentum.

Sometimes there are things that need to be eradicated, dismissed, or erased because they do not serve us and who we are becoming.

And sometimes we just need to let go of control and let it be the momentum that drives us forward, the wind that fills our sails, the current that takes us downstream.

This is the type of release that creates space to flow with what comes easily while holding the rudder to avoid pitfalls and the river bank – but first we must push off the dock.

This is the release that allows the kite to dance on the wind while holding the kite string – but first, we must let go of the kite.

This requires the wisdom and understanding that we do not direct the current or the way in which the wind blows, but we do have to decide and then allow ourselves to be carried and guided.

So, give yourself permission to let go.

Always,
Your Trusted Friend ❤️

To Bloom

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unplash

Someone recently asked me about a past experience, one that for a long time I had carried a great deal of shame about, one in which I often sat in judgment.

I thought that I should have done something differently or known better.

It struck me that to sit in shame or judgment robs me of appreciating the person that the wounds grew me into.

For it is often our darkest moments that remove the layers of programming and expectation and reveal to us who we are and what we want.

It is when we sit in the discomfort and take the close look through the cracks at what lies within that shows us where we need to make the space for growth.

Just as a flower to reach its full potential requires fertilizer in order to bloom, so do we.

We need the shit.

Not to wallow in it or regret it, but to take the nutrients necessary in order to become unmade.

To burst through the seed state and grow into what we are meant to be.

The first thing a seed has to do is burst open, then it needs to take root in order for it to grow and bloom.

But, first, it requires some sit.

A flower doesn’t judge itself for this, nor so should we.

But instead, celebrate the opportunity to bloom.

Always,

Your Trusted Friend ❤️

Supposed To

We tether ourselves to so many things.

I have found my hands grasped so firmly to the many ‘mistakes’ I’ve committed, the times I’ve left the path of supposed-to… the path that brought me here.

This realization struck me that, as much as I’ve tried to cast off the expectations of others, there are so many supposed-tos still deeply embedded and ingrained.

Ideas that I’ve tethered myself to in a way that has resulted in almost imperceptible guilt and shame.

Imperceptible because I’d become so accustomed to carrying it, so used to the burden that I’d normalized it.

Until I consciously untethered myself and allowed the release.

I do not have to regret anything that has happened.

Not failed relationships.

Not the times I ignored my intuition.

Not the times that I didn’t use my voice.

Nor when I had to backtrack and start over.

And definitely not the family I’ve built.

I do not have to hold onto shame, sit in judgment of myself, or wish that things had been different.

I have not messed up.

I have not missed out.

I am learning and growing.

I am new.

I have worked hard on myself and have been transformed through all the seasons of change.

That bears repeating.

I have been transformed through and because of all the seasons and I will not fear the winter for it is an essential part of life, an essential component of growth and growing.

Life is growing my soul to its beautiful fulfillment and everything that I have gone through and experienced is part of what has made me strong, compassionate, and wise.

I do not regret the path that led me here or any of the discomfort, for it is all evidence that something new is unfolding within and I am becoming more and more who I was always meant to be.

As the caterpillar transitions to the butterfly, it may mourn the loss of its caterpillar ways.

It may question the process as it transforms to mush and experiences the necessary discomfort of becoming, but this is necessary to take on wings.

When you have wings you don’t should on them.

You fly.

Always,

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

Emotions Deserve Space

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Friend, have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’re bargaining with your emotions or feel as though whatever you’re feeling doesn’t deserve space?

Late last week I was angry, sad, and hurt.

I told myself that I had no business experiencing these emotions and that I was being crazy.

Then I flicked those thoughts away and gave myself permission to allow the emotions to be what they were without judgment.

That shift allowed those feelings a swift passage and gave me the perspective and peace necessary to handle the emotions with grace.

Once I accepted my feelings, acknowledged them, and gave them space they lost their weight and power.

I was able to take control of my emotions, by welcoming them and allowing myself time to sit with them and process them.

As I was able to do this my anger, sadness, and hurt faded away.

Emotions are just indicator lights, and when we ignore them, stuff them down, or put on blinders they just become bigger problems. Research has shown that the suppression of emotions results in anxiety, depression, and creates psychological distress and symptoms such as heart disease, intestinal problems, headaches, insomnia, and autoimmune disorders.

Also, our emotions and feelings urge us to check in with ourselves and help us to learn from our mistakes. Without them we’d keep repeating the same behavior patterns and experience the same repercussions, forever locked in a downward spiral when we ignore them we deny ourselves the growth that comes from strong emotions.

Our emotions cannot be talked away or beaten down because our brains tell us that they are wrong, illogical, or – in my case – crazy.

Emotions are not right or wrong and cannot be chosen, as they are natural biological responses from our bodies.

They just are what they are, and we – my friend – are allowed to feel them.

Our power comes when we sit with our emotions and allow them space. When we process them and set to learning whatever it is our feelings are telling us, instead of being ruled by them.

Most people are ruled by their emotions without any awareness that this is happening. But once you realize the power of emotions, simply acknowledging your own can help greatly

Hiliary Jacobs Hendel

Until I allowed myself to do this, to sit and allow my emotions space, I was stuck within my head and missing the value that comes when emotions are tended to and used wisely.

Emotions can give us information on a situation that is affecting us and prompt us to make necessary shifts to ensure that our needs are met if we allow them to.

Always,

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

The Weight of Thoughts

Clear Your Mind

Your thoughts are not reality, they are just thoughts.

How often do we get stuck in that place, though, trapped in the mire of our thoughts believing them to be real?

We create ourselves with our own imaginary worlds.

This is the weight, the gravity, and the importance of our thoughts.

Our thoughts, when we think them again and again and again, start to become beliefs.

These beliefs shape the lens through which we view the world, often looking for evidence to support what we’ve learned to believe about ourselves.

I’ve been guilty of this, particularly in my romantic relationships.

First, I’ve selected partners who – often – are emotionally or physically unavailable.

This inability on their part to choose me fully has confirmed a belief that I’ve had about myself that I am unlovable and not worthy of being chosen.

Secondly, when the relationship is, as it is destined, ended it again confirmed that belief about myself that I would never be fully loved, that there was something implicitly wrong with me that prevented me from being chosen.

It was a terrible cycle that was all self-created out of false beliefs that only existed within my mind.

I wrote my story of what I thought was possible based on what I believed was true of myself and acted accordingly in my selection of partners.

Every rejection, infidelity, lie, or disappointment experienced was a result of my own participation in creating that narrative.

When my last mentally and emotionally abusive relationship ended it became very clear to me that I was experiencing a pattern and that, while what I suffered at the hands of others was inexcusable, I had to accept responsibility for my role.

There was one common denominator in each of these relationships and that was me.

My negative thought cycle had trapped me in the belief that I wouldn’t be loved or chosen, so I dated people that affirmed this belief about myself.

This was a hard pill to swallow, my friend. That I alone was responsible for the pain and suffering experienced through my relationships through my choosing.

Once I recognized my role, friend, I could start making the necessary changes to alter the life that I was creating for myself that was rooted in my thoughts.

It is the quality of my thoughts that creates the quality of my life.

So, I needed to start thinking better thoughts.

This began for me with learning to dismiss the lies that are born of doubt, anxiety, and insecurity.

I will literally imagine myself flicking these thoughts out of my mind bubble and not giving these negative thoughts any power to assert themselves into a belief system.

I actively choose to focus my thoughts – instead – on that, I am loved, that I am worthwhile, that I matter, and that I am chosen.

There is so much power in drawing these types of conclusions about myself because it serves to change the reality that I create for myself because, in truth, I am the creator.

I decided, just as you do, what thoughts to give power to in creating my beliefs and defining my life and how I experience it

and it all starts in my thoughts.

Always,

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

The Mind Trap

Of the 95% of people who believe that they are self-aware, only 10% of people actually are.

On my own journey of wellness, introspection, and self-awareness I remember hearing this quote by Tasha Eurich in a TED talk.

Her findings came down to one very important distinction between those who really were self-aware and those who were not; the question one asks when faced with adversity.

Those who believe that they are self-aware and those who actually are do take time for introspection. It’s important to look within, this is something no one is going to argue against.

However, introspection doesn’t result in happiness.

More often than not it can cause stress, depression, a loss of control because we’re asking ourselves the wrong question.

When you ask the wrong question you get stuck in the mind trap.

Personally, I call the mind trap my inner mean girl. I know someone else that calls it Becky.

When hardships happen, whatever they may be, and you attempt to understand the why or the meaning behind it you get stuck in a mental prison.

Asking why is the wrong question, one in which there will never be a satisfactory answer.

The more you search for one, the more you fixate until you wind up inventing answers to fit your narrative.

For example, you may suffer a break-up.

In this scenario, if you ask yourself why, why did this happen? You may find yourself answering this question by saying it must be because there is something wrong with you and that you’re unlovable.

Asking why leads you away from the truth and clouds your self-perception.

There is nothing wrong with you and you’re not unlovable, but this invented answer may fit the narrative you’ve created for yourself and results in getting stuck in a mind trap.

Instead, of asking why, ask WHAT.

Introspection that asks this question results in actionable steps. This is the type of question that can produce answers and direction.

After a break-up instead of asking yourself why questions that result in a clouded self-perception, ask what questions; What do I need for healing right now?

What can I learn from this relationship?

What patterns did I see in my last relationship and how has this pattern shown up before?

What have I been struggling to let go of?

What do I need to take responsibility for?

What do I want in my next relationship?

Asking these types of questions leads you closer to your truth and directs you to the type of future you want to live, instead of trapping you in the review mirror of why.

Always,

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

Meet Her

She’s strong and capable,

has built a life of which she’s proud.

She’s happy, loved, appreciated.

She feels like magic,

a unicorn in human skin.

A star resting on the earth.

If you wish to earn her,

You must meet her.

Find her soul, capture her there.

Not with grasping or pleading,

wooing or preening.

No, by being your own type of magic.

Strong and capable,

proud of the life you’ve built.

Happy, loved, appreciated.

A pegasus in man form.

A sun blazing in a darkened sky,

never threatened by the star.

She’s growing and blooming,

has invested in her worth.

There are times she feels she’s flying,

barely contained within her flesh.

If you wish to stay with her,

You must meet her.

Be her equal or surpass her

in your growing and your blooming,

your investment in your worth.

Take flight with her.

Never trying to contain or restrain,

but by loving with an open hand

and letting her stay free.

Strength in Weakness

Bloom from your weakness

I’ve known for a long time that some of my greatest strengths also pose as my largest weaknesses.

A big heart can result in loving in such a free and giving way as to forgive anything and everything.

A strong voice can end up causing offense or being overly firm and resolute.

The ability to empathize and understand people can result in self-abandonment if one is unable to draw clear boundaries.

This is the way I’ve perceived many of my strengths, as ones that have the ability or chance to trip me up.

A hazard to be aware of and navigated with care.

Though it makes more sense to flip the script, not because our strengths don’t have a dark side, but because our dark side also contains light.

How about we dance with the darkness, work through the weakness in order to fully embrace and live out our strengths?

I say this for the collective we, but I’m really just talking to myself.

Self-abandonment has been my weakness.

It’s been more comfortable for me to abandon myself, my needs, and my desires if those needs and desires cause another discomfort.

I’ve found more comfort in that discomfort, because of my ability to empathize and understand why people do the things that they do.

So, when someone speaks badly about me, doesn’t show up when they say that they will, lies to me, or mistreats me in some other way I can often have empathy for their why.

I know that the person who spoke badly about me just lost someone close to them and their words are a reflection of their inner space and not really about me.

The person who didn’t show up, I know that they take everything on their shoulders and have a hard time saying no for fear of disappointing others.

That person that lied to me found it too difficult to tell the truth because they thought the truth would hurt me.

When you know and understand a person’s why it is hard to fault them for the bad behavior.

This is my light.

In this is also my darkness.

I’ve neglected drawing boundaries because I’ve so clearly understood someone’s why.

The idea of calling someone out on poor behavior when I know where it comes from can feel wrong.

Instead of viewing this only as a negative, I’ve been striving to find my strength within it.

To demonstrate through my drawing of boundaries and stating of expectations my worth and self-respect.

I can have both empathy and self-respect…

understand someone’s why and not tolerate the behavior.

So, what’s the difference in seeing strength in weakness, versus the oppositive?

For me, it’s the ability to look at my faults, flaws, and areas in which I require and want to grow and actively look for ways in which to improve.

To see the lack of self-respect and boundaries and look for how I’d prefer to respond and react and work to grow that ability, to engage that muscle.

When someone treats me in a manner that is unfair I can say, “I see you, friend, and this is how that action hurt me and I will not tolerate it.”

I deserve the same kind of care, tenderness, and understanding that I extend to others.

This is where I what I will grow out of my darkness.

Always,

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

Pattern Breaking

When you’re able to truly tap into your own desires, wants, and power it can initially feel uncomfortable, selfish, and can be laden in guilt.

At least, this is how it is feeling for me.

So many of my patterns involve me considering and putting others’ thoughts, feelings, and desires ahead of my own, so often to my own detriment.

My former relationship pattern has been to rescue, help, and to make myself indispensable.

However, I’ve learned through a series of doomed relationships that no one really wants me to do for them what they need to do for themself.

When I’ve stepped into this role of the rescuer I’ve relinquished my power, my voice, and the respect of the other person in relationship with me.

Also, I’ve repeatedly lost myself as I’ve moved further and further away from my own truth in an attempt to appease and please someone else.

Why?

Because so often I’ve felt selfish focusing on myself.

I’ve suffered intense guilt at the idea of disappointing, hurting, or letting someone else down.

For some reason looking at what it is that I really want, deserve, and desire has felt taboo.

It’s been much easier for me to disappoint myself than to disappoint someone else.

To the extent that I’ve distracted myself with the needs of others and found my sense of self-worth in how invaluable I assumed I’d become to someone else.

In recent history, it’s become imperative to do what maintains my own sense of overall wellness.

Dating during a pandemic, apparently, will do that.

I just didn’t have the mental bandwidth or emotional availability to do anything other than put myself first.

To love me first.

Investing in relationships from a space of self-love, self-preservation, and self-interest has been uncomfortable in a lot of ways, but also deeply peaceful and, ultimately, powerful.

Listening to my own inner voice and wisdom for what is best for me instead of trying to guess, supposition, or speculate about what I could do to satisfy, please, or appease someone else has stretched and challenged me in ways I’d not envisioned.

Each of us – friend – needs to make a powerful commitment to care for and listen to ourselves first. This has been something that has required me to consistently release and shed guilt.

We have to believe that our voice matters, instead of shoving it aside in fear of offending or hurting someone else.

For me, this means releasing my urge to ‘please’ or ‘fawn’ in order to stay comfortable and safe – a learned trauma response from a childhood spent avoiding angering or upsetting my dad.

I remember being told growing up when my dad was grumpy or unreasonable due to mood swings caused by shift work, “to just say what he wants to hear” in order to avoid conflict.

This lesson has weaseled its way into my romantic relationships and it’s taken time to recognize it, root it out, and let it go.

My peace is what is important.

If I seek my peace and my truth authentically and compassionately, give this voice, I do what is right and fair for those navigating a relationship with me …

instead of stifling myself for the good of the other.

It doesn’t mean that it’s easy, but it feels so much more worth it.

Always,

Your Trusted Friend 🖤