Friend, it’s easy to measure ourselves against all of the things we’re supposed to do, be, or have accomplished by a certain point in our lives.
By 18 I will graduate high school.
By 22 I will be a college graduate.
By 25 I will be in my ideal career.
By 27 I will be married.
By 30 I will have my first child.
By 32 I will be a home owner.
The problem with these arbitrary timelines, is that we risk feeling like a failure if we have not met or accomplished these goals. We risk feeling like we’re not good enough, or that there is something wrong with us if we don’t measure up to these things that we think we’re supposed to do or be.
These ages are the average for people in the U.S. If I were to measure myself against these averages, friend, I would be deemed a failure. I did not accomplish any of these things by these ages – and some I have yet to have accomplished at all.
Who says that these things are what are valuable in determining our success? Who says that these things HAVE to be accomplished by such-and-such an age?
Have goals, friend. Have aspirations and dreams and things that you are striving to accomplish and be and do, but please do not determine or decide your success by if you meet a deadline or not.
Your success should, instead, be determined by the size of your heart, by the amount of dedication and persistence that you show, by how much you’ve grown, how hard you work, and by the quality of your life experiences.
If you spend your time measuring yourself against what others have done, or are doing, you risk missing out on celebrating the very real accomplishments that you are making everyday.
The lives you change by freely giving a smile to each person you greet.
The difference you make with the words you’ve spoken and written.
The places you’ve traveled and the things you have seen and done that others have only dreamed of.
The relationships and friendships that you have formed and grown.
Instead of focusing on the timeline, on the things that you have yet to complete and accomplish, focus on all the things you’ve done, the memories that you’ve gathered, and the love that you’ve shared and received.
Friend, you have your own timeline, and that timeline is perfect. You will bloom when you’re ready, and you’ll be beautiful.
Your Trusted Friend ♥
Friend, it is all too easy to struggle with our sense of self-worth. To question who we are, particularly when life hands us lemons and we find ourselves solidly immersed in personal struggles.
Any perceived failure has the ability to send us into a downward spiral of negative self-talk, the inner mean girl coming out in full force.
You can’t do that.
You’re not pretty enough.
You don’t deserve that.
No one is going to love you.
No one is going to want you.
How horrible our inner critic can be, and how awfully off base s/he is. If you allow yourself to succumb to this kind of self-talk, you will end up mired deeply in sadness.
Friend, when you find yourself at the mercy of thoughts like this, please, make every effort to replace them with the truth.
You are worthy.
You are loved.
You are beautiful.
You are strong.
You are magical.
You are unique.
Don’t let the lies you tell yourself undermine your sense of who you are. I know how easy it is to be critical, especially in times of deep sadness, but I also know that the reality of who you are is so much more than this moment you find yourself in.
Friend, you are so worthy of love, kindness, compassion, joy, and happiness. Until you remember this, I’ll remind you.
Your Trusted Friend ♥
You give so much of yourself, friend. It’s just how you love, I know.
I also know that, while you ask for nothing in return, you long to be seen. To have the things you do recognized and appreciated. For YOU to be seen recognized, and appreciated.
Sometimes we forget to see one another. It seems that it is always those closest to us that we take for granted. You, friend, have been taken for granted. You give so easily, so readily that those around you have inadvertently created an idea that that’s just want they should expect. That, perhaps, that is what they deserve.
Friend, the things that you offer are valued treasures. You don’t have to give them. Your time, your attention, your thoughtfulness, and your love are all gifts and treasures that should be appreciated and should never be expected.
Sometimes we forget to see the people around us as multifaceted individuals. Each person having their own joys and hurts, their own celebrations and demons. It is easy to stop looking for these things, and to allow the people around us to blur, becoming the backdrop of our lives – instead of the reason we live.
I am so sorry that you’ve become someone’s blur, as you were always meant for more than just the background. You are the bright star that lights up a dark sky.
Friend, if you ever feel unseen, forgotten, unappreciated, lost… please know that I see you and – please – don’t forget to see me, too.
Your Trusted Friend ♥
Friend, there are times we feel that we are inadequate in some capacity. I want you to know that you are not alone in this. When we compare ourselves to others we will, inevitably, feel not smart enough, not pretty enough, not successful enough…
Not good enough.
What a lie this is.
You friend, are always good enough.. you are more than good enough.
There is also danger in listening to the opinions and judgments of others. Words can also, like our own comparisons, leave us feeling not sexy enough, not feminine enough, not pretty enough…
Not good enough.
Again, what a lie this is.
There was a time when I was told that I wasn’t sexy, that I was just cute.
I allowed these words to matter. I allowed this feeling of inadequacy in my desirability to eat away at my self-worth… being ‘cute’ didn’t feel enough.
I didn’t feel enough.
So, friend, I did what any hard-working, logically minded woman would do. I studied the art of sex appeal by reading articles, by looking at images, by watching the women around me who had this quality that had eluded me.
Friend, I even watched exotic dancers and made very poor attempts to mimic them… turning on music while alone in my apartment and prancing around my living room.
I lost myself, friend. I lost myself trying to perfect my hair flip, by applying lip plumper, and trendy tight clothing. I lost myself in refining my hip sway, in the mastery of appearing elusive, and in the attempt to remain mysterious. All the things I thought would amplify my sex appeal.
I still didn’t feel enough, and I certainly didn’t feel like me.
Friend, I let one person’s opinion of me redirect my path and to allow me to think that I needed redefinition. My attempts were comedic.
Not only that, but I wasn’t being genuine and authentic. I was acting a part, and not even doing it particularly well.
The point is, friend, it should never have mattered what this one person thought of my appearance and lack of sex appeal. The only opinion that should have mattered was my own.
As soon as we find beauty, acceptance, self-worth, and self-love in who we are… JUST as we are, we won’t care what anyone thinks of us.
Do you know what else, friend? The right people will be attracted to this authentic version of ourselves and we will be enough…
and so much more.
Your Trusted Friend. ♥
You will wait forever and it will never be the right time.
What holds you back, friend? Do you not believe in the miracles that I see in you? Perhaps I need to remind you of all that you are capable of.
You, friend, have so much living inside of you.. just bursting and wanting to get out. You’ve trapped your dreams with stipulations and to-do lists, always waiting on the ‘right timing’.
Do not get to the end of this week, this month, this year and end up looking back with regrets at the should haves and could haves.
You will never regret the leaps you take, only the ones you don’t attempt. Don’t live with regrets for what you didn’t attempt or didn’t try. Don’t let the thought of hard-work and lack of time veer you off course.
Stop waiting, friend, and do.
Do all of the things you say you want to do, the things you’re saving for when you have more time, more money, more energy.
I will forever believe in you and all the things you can accomplish once you decide to act, cheering you on each step, and celebrating when you raise the flag.
Your trusted friend ♥
Pain requires healing, friend.
We will be broken, hurt, disappointed, and abandoned… and, friend, this isn’t a terrible fate. This may sound confusing to you. Why would suffering be good, you wonder?
Why? Because it shows us who we are, friend. This mirror is what allows us to take a good long look at ourselves and decide if we’re happy with the reflection that we see and to evaluate what needs work.
This isn’t easy. I won’t lie to you and sugarcoat it and pretend like it is. It’s hard to look at ourselves like this. However, it’s necessary for growth. It’s needed to elevate ourselves to the next level – beyond the current hurts.
So, friend, take a good, long, hard look. Take it in. Don’t make excuses for the mistakes you’ve made, or the ways in which you’ve let yourself and others down. We all play a role. What was yours?
You see, if we don’t face these things and take the necessary time to heal them, they tend to rear their ugly heads at the most inopportune time. Don’t distract yourself from the hurt and pain, don’t try to cover it up and bury it deep, for it won’t go away and, eventually, it will force you to address it… often times in the ugliest of ways.
Maybe your heart was broken by an infidelity. This left you feeling insecure, inadequate, alone, and unworthy. Friend. I have been in this place. Looking at a relationship broken by someone else’s dishonesty and wondering all the wrong things.
What is wrong with me?
What did I do to deserve this?
What about me is so unlovable?
There is nothing wrong with me. Do you know something else? There is nothing wrong with you. I hope you see the lies of those thoughts… but if you don’t take the time to address them… to look at the doubts and insecurities, pack them up and send them on their way… they will NOT go away on their own.
You can cover them up by amassing attention from new men, convincing yourself of your appeal because of the attention heaped onto you by others. Perhaps you dive into work. Making yourself invaluable and letting this become what your self-worth is built upon.
But these are just camouflage. Outside efforts to cover up the hurt that you suffered. You need address these things and build your self-worth upon the realities of who you are innately… without your accomplishments and the attentions of others… for these things, too, can be taken away.
You are miraculous.
You are magical.
You are powerful and unique and beautiful.
Friend, believe these things about yourself. There is nothing you have to do to earn this or to deserve this. You don’t need anyone else to like you, believe in you, or to need you for these things to be true.
They just are.
Your trusted friend ♥
Recently I went through a heartbreak.
It was easy to feel sad and to want to cocoon myself within it, feeling that it was unending. The waves of grief in the initial onset of any type of hurt feel insurmountable and as though it is never going to end. It’s so hard to see through to the other side.
This is what our friends are for. We need to have a tribe around us. A few solid people that we can bare our souls, reveal all of our secrets and hurts to, knowing that we won’t be judged. Only supported.
Know, always friend, that I support you.
However, I want to encourage you to reach out to the people around you in an attempt to build solid foundational relationships. I cannot stress to you enough how vital this is.
There will be hurt and sadness, pain and grief, disappointment and disillusionment. It’s inevitable. These are the things that break us down and reveal to us just how strong we really are. To survive these difficult moments, though, we need people to lean on.
The above has been my message to my closest confidantes.
“I feel sad.”
There was freedom in expressing this reality, friend. I need people that I can be real with. A place that I can remove all the pretense and just be.
I encourage you, friend, to find these people. My person told me that I am a Phoenix. That I may feel the burning pain of disappointment and loss, but that I will rise from the ashes of heartbreak an even more beautiful soul; confident and full of hope at the limitless possibilities of the future in store for me.
We need these people who remind us of who we are and what the reality is outside of our pain. It is okay to be sad and to hurt. Feel all the feels. Lean into it and learn all the lessons.
Rely on the people around you for strength, and find your way out to the other side.
Friend, I will be there to hold your hand and raise the mirror to remind you of your potential.
Your trusted friend ♥
The acceptance of mediocrity, a befuddling reality
Oh, Friend, I’m frustrated with you. I’ve been watching you for awhile now, wondering if I should take the time to say something or not. However, I care about you and don’t want to see you accept just being okay. You were made for bigger and better things than what you are currently settling for. Friend, you are only putting forth the scarcest of efforts. I want to see you work hard and put a concerted effort towards the things that you do!
Excellence is what I expect from you. It is unclear to me when it became acceptable to commend mediocrity, or give accolades to people who refuse to live up to their full potential. I won’t do it because I care about you, friend, and as soon as the expectation is raised to only settle for greatness you will — I believe — rise to that challenge to be the best version of yourself. This is our responsibility to one another you see, to always be honing and bettering ourselves, and helping others to do the same.
Don’t make excuses for not doing, or being, your best. This by no means places an expectation on you to be perfect, for that is an unrealistic expectation. Merely strive to be the best of who you are, fully and completely. This doesn’t mean that there will not be times that you fall short, or fail. However, I am tired of watching you not even make an honest attempt, but merely flap you arms about in a half-hearted ‘effort’.
Perhaps, the idea of failure is so scary, that it has caused paralysis and prevented this honest effort. For, if there is a lack of effort we can save face in the knowledge that we weren’t really trying, our pride will remain intact. I can certainly think of times where fear paralyzed me from taking risks or led me to fall into what was considered ‘safe’ and ‘comfortable’. However, this is when an extra push should be expected. Don’t commend my failure due to fear, please – friend – encourage me of what it is possible for me to do. Can we do this for one another?
No one should be satisfied with being so-so, with just living an existence and not a life of experiences. Every day we are surrounded by people who live their lives going through the motions, sleep walking, and missing out on the experiences that make our lives meaningful. I would hope that when my head starts to bob dangerously towards sleeping awake that you will shake me back to reality and the life that I should be leading.
Let’s not just aimlessly drift through the world. We were meant to be more than zombies, more than clock punchers and window gazers. We are meant to live a life punctuated by memories and shared experiences. Friend, let’s push and pull and stretch one another into, not only the best version of ourselves, but the version of ourselves that we never thought we could be.
Your Trusted Friend ♥
Stop looking for the love of your life, love your life and the right person will appear. – Anonymous
It’s nice to speak with you again, friend. I’ve heard that you’re having a difficult time nursing a broken heart. It pained me to hear this news, mostly because I know the thoughts that are most likely running through your head right now. You’re questioning who you are and thinking that something must be wrong with you, or perhaps that you have done something in order to lose someone that you love. I wish that I could remove all of these negative thoughts and self doubts from you, but I know that you have to work though that on your own. For now I will offer you words to replace the nasty ones, and I will extend you my kindness and my love, and hope that it is enough to sustain you until you’ve navigated through this pain.
As alone as you feel right now, please know that you’re not. Also, as difficult as this will be to conceptualize now, know that this pain is temporary. Right now it feels as though the pain of heart break is drowning you. You may even wonder how it is you are supposed to get yourself out of bed. Maybe all you want to do is cry while you nurse your sorrow with a pint of ice cream.
I’ve been there. Believe me. As I write these words to you, I am also nursing a broken heart. After three years of dating, I discovered that the man I was in love with had cheated on me with a beautiful much younger woman. In the moment of discovery I felt every hope, aspiration, and dream that I had for our future die. It is difficult to let go of fantasies we have for the future. As much as I wanted to cling to those things, I had to let them go or drown in grief.
You see, friend. I’ve been here before. Not this exact place, mind you, but fairly close. My heart has been broken by lies, infidelity, disappointments, and dishonesty. I’ve navigated all of these things before, so I know – that as much as I hurt right now – I will be okay. There us nothing that I did that caused these things… the lies, infidelity, and let-downs were the decisions and inadequacy of someone else. They were not mine. We will not accept responsibility for the faults of another.
For now, friend, we must put all that love we gave away and redirect it to our healing. We must have faith that all things will work out as they are meant to. Mere months from now we will, I guarantee you, be able to look back and be thankful for the pain we feel now – for it will transform us and take us somewhere new and wonderful that we couldn’t imagine when we were trapped in fantasies.
Now. Get up. Get dressed. Put your makeup on and do your hair. Do the things that make you feel ‘normal’. Live your life and face the world looking for the promises it offers that better things are coming. Today my promise was a rainbow, and it made me think of you.
Your Trusted Friend ♥