Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Forgiveness and letting go.

Unforgiveness is a weird thing. You, in a way, think you already have forgiven someone but then all of a sudden, out of nowhere his name comes up and this anger rises up from somewhere inside you that you didn't know was there. And if you're anything like me you think, where in the world did that come from? I thought I let all my crap go a long time ago. You see, when there's years of hurt, there's going to be years of healing. It's not going to happen in one thought, in a minute or even overnight. Sometimes, I get so tired of thinking about all I still have to work through and deal with and then that makes me even more mad at the person I'm trying to forgive for giving me that much to work through. That's where grace comes in. Grace for yourself. In the past 10 years, I've had numerous people say to me, "You need to forgive your dad". "Just forgive him!" "When you look back at this time in your life, this will seem like such a small thing." "Don't wait to forgive him because we're not promised tomorrow." 
I'm so glad that me forgiving my dad is no big deal...to you. 
"How am I doing? Oh, I'm fine. Thank you so much for NOT asking."
So, if I say that I've forgiven him, will that be enough for you? Because it's more than that to me. It's more than words to me. If you've never been through it, then you don't know. End of story. And I don't mean to sound all emo here but it's just the truth. I never gave up on forgiving my dad the past 10 years, I just didn't know how to do it. It took 10 years of me working on myself to get to a place of being able to begin to forgive him in my heart and not just in my mind. For other people, it's all about how something looks. But to me, it was more personal than that. You want everything "good" so there's no awkwardness but my heart is telling me something very different. 
Don't give in to peer pressure. If you need time, take the time. You can't force yourself to forgive someone. It's about your heart and your heart is important.
So, what does beginning to forgive someone look like? Something like, beginning to let things go, little by little. The hurt, the pain. To begin to remember the good things you shared with that person.  

To mourn the loss of the idea of the father I thought I had. 

To realize that they are a human being & whatever choices they have made in their life have most likely come from a place of hurt & pain in themselves. Forgiveness has nothing to do with the person you're forgiving but it has everything to do with setting yourself free. I always justified that my dad doesn't deserve my forgiveness because of reasons a,b & c. But those reasons were things that made me angry so, they were only affecting me, not him. So, who is the real one suffering? Forgiveness has everything to do with you. So, don't be fooled that you're somehow getting back at that person by not forgiving them. They might not deserve your forgiveness but your heart does. Allow yourself the time and grace it will take to forgive that person. I'm not totally there and I have no idea how long it will take but I can already breathe lighter and feel happier. You deserve to breathe lighter and feel happier. You deserve freedom. You don't deserve the demons or the shallow breaths. It's a labor of hurt, pain, love and beauty. Allow yourself to feel it all and once you let things go, shut those doors, lock them up and throw away the key. And every time they start making noise, remind them that they are no longer a part of you and you're moving on without them. Because you're strong, capable and worth it. Because the rest of your life is waiting for you.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Joy is my motivation.

Why is moving to a new place so hard, amazing, exhilarating, lonely, exciting, fun, overwhelming, magical but hard? Sunset is my favorite time. Sitting here, trying to breath in the humid, moist filled air, watching the salmon colored sky sink into the night. I never minded being alone or in a room full of people but I don't think I've ever been somewhere for a long period of time (or knowing that it would be a long period of time) without people around me that knew me. That I felt totally comfortable with. And I know that will happen once I'm here longer but tonight, it's how it is. It's also strange to get to know yourself somewhere where no one really knows you. You start to realize things that you didn't realize before. 

A couple of weeks ago, I started to realize that I had lost my joy. The kind of joy I had 10, 15 years ago. And I knew that it had to do with my dad but I didn't know how. He wasn't in my life because of his issues. And that's all fine and good but when do you stop blaming someone for it? What do you do with the fact that you've never shed one tear over losing someone that was such a huge part of your life. Because no one teaches you how to go from having a father to not having one. And in my case, losing him but still having him living. What do you do with that? Does anyone really know? 

So, I started some digging. In myself. And realized that unforgiveness is an ugly little scoundrel that creeps its way in and covers itself by your sub conscience to protect you from reliving hurt, pain & disappointment. But you want to hear the really sucky part? The only way to forgive, is to dig up the hurt, pain & disappointment. I miss being joyful. I miss having that joyful energy all the time. I don't like feeling just happy. Because I know there's more. And if you know anything about me, you know that I don't like to settle. I think that's also where I get my perfection obsession from. 

But perfect is overrated and pure joy is hard to come by. It takes work. So, you have to start somewhere to accomplish a goal. 

So, being here, alone really isn't all that bad. If it means finding my joy again, forgiving so that my heart can be happy again. Then that's what I'll do. 10 years later. It's been 10 years since my world started to fall apart. 10 years. That is a decade, a long ass time. And in the last 10 years, I have experienced a lot and I've worked through a lot. And I know that this is next on the list to work through. And I'm ready. And that's key. You have to be ready or else, you'll never realize how lucky you are to have come this far in 10 years. You would have never realized that forgiving a man who hurt you so badly would mean really living. You would never realize that you have this grand opportunity to have the time and opportunity to find your joy again. Mourning only lasts for the night...even if it does last 10 years. And you know what comes in the morning? Joy. I'm ready for morning. Because sunrises are my favorite, too. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Are you ready to jump?

I have been thinking a lot today about how people get to where they are in their lives. Like, what thoughts went through their minds when they made the decisions they made. Like, who to marry; do they really love their spouse? Do they feel physically attracted to them? Or did they settle just because their spouse liked them, paid attention to them and they were afraid that no one else would come along? I know I'm not one to talk because I've never been married but these are just my thoughts. Or how someone is in the career they're in. Did they go into it just for the money? Stability? Or do they truly love what they get paid to do and are passionate about it? Or where someone chooses to live? Is it because that's where their family is? Are they too afraid to try to make it somewhere alone or without the comforts of their family? Or are they happy where they live and are satisfied when they sit down to rest in their home at night? 

One of my clients today commended me on how brave I was to move far away from my family to go after my dream. That choice was not an easy one. I miss them everyday. I didn't make this decision to be commended. I made this decision because I couldn't imagine my life without making this decision. The sadness it brought me to imagine my life differently than it is now, I just couldn't take. I've lived in terrible sadness before, I couldn't take the thought of my future being filled with it. 

Getting married, to me, isn't something that I have to do. My mind doesn't fill with sadness at the thought of never getting married. Would I like to know that kind of love before I die? Of course I do! But would I be devastated if it never happened? No. I love who I am and where I am in life! I don't need anyone else to complete it. I'm not lonely. Sometimes I feel lonely, just like everyone else. But a man will not make me feel less lonely in those times, either. I am beyond blessed to be working not only in my career field but in an amazing salon. And in an area of great opportunity in my career field. But I have the life I have because of the choices I have made. 

I have made a lot of decisions out of doubt and fear in the past. I didn't want the rest of my life to look like that.

I also know this: If you aren't happy today, with yourself then you'll never be happy with a guy, with an incredible job or whether you live a block away from the beach or in a hut. You just won't be. I hope when you look in the mirror, you're glad at what's looking back at you. And if you're not, it is NEVER too late to change.

This person, who I am today, is not who I was. I don't want you to think that I'm candy coating anything here. Well, if you've read my past blog posts, you know. I did a lot of things out of doubt and fear in the past. I wanted to be liked. I wanted safety. I wanted to do it all myself. Those roads got me nowhere. That's why I'm here telling you what I am now. Not because I think I'm a know-it-all. It's because living in anything but freedom isn't living. 

When you're passionate about something and you can't help but think about it all the time. When you're filled with so much joy at just the thought of it, you could burst. That's how you know. And anything else that is mediocre, don't settle for it. It's not worth an ounce of your energy. Everyone's road is different. Yours may look nothing like mine but that's what's so great about life. I don't know how you're going to accomplish your goal but I do know that if you start, the doors that will suppose to open will and the ones that aren't, won't. You may not understand it all. You may think you're crazy at times. Hell, this world needs more of that kind of crazy! And when people question you and ask you, "Why Nashville?" "Why would you move that far away from your family?" "What are you going to do there alone?" "Are you really going to do it long term?" "What if you don't get anywhere there?" "Why don't you want to do something that's more stable?" "Are you sure?" Let me tell you something folks: This life isn't the dress rehearsal. And I'm sorry you aren't completely happy with your life. I truly am. 

 Maybe it's time we get a little foolish and maybe it's time to take some risks. Maybe it's time to step off that ledge and see where you land. Maybe it's time to go where your heart and soul are leading you. You might have a lot to lose! But would you be okay with your life if you never went after it?

I hope when you look around you, you're satisfied. And if you're not, I pray you have the courage to change it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Somethin' about your dreams

Hey ALL!!! I have been thinking about my blog SO MUCH lately that I think...I think, I'll start writing again...we'll see. You all know how this has gone in the past. ;)
But for today, here I am. Hmm...ya know how you can think of a million things to write about during the day but when you sit down to do it, your mind is like a blank canvas with no inspiration??? Okay, let's find some... .. .. ...Oh yeah, I live in Nashville, TN ya'll!!! I'm here. Ya know how when you're younger and you start dreaming about your future and you can almost taste your dreams? And how you would day dream thinking about them? And how you couldn't wait to start on them? And then have you had something that side-tracked them? Something that made you question whether those were just childish dreams of unrealistic things that happen to only people who get lucky or are born into money? And maybe those dreams were just day dreams and nothing more? 

I did. Last year. 

I wasn't sure where my life was going. I didn't know where I'd be a year from then. Eli Young Band's song, 'Keep On Dreaming' was a favorite of mine but after things not working out time after time, it quickly became my least favorite song. I actually remember thinking that dreams don't come true. You just get lucky. When 'Keep On Dreaming' came on the radio on my drive from New York to Tennessee I regretted for a moment ever doubting. 

Being one step closer to your dreams does something to you. It reminds you how to live again. Before whatever bad thing, life in general or doubt happened to you. It reminds you to breathe in deeper. It reminds you that there is someone who wants you to not only succeed but to soar.

As I sit on my front porch, in Nashville Tennessee, with my lemon infused water next to me and this view:
I can't believe I ever doubted. But I am so thankful that it didn't stop my life from happening exactly how it was suppose to happen. When I came home from Michigan, after graduating from Douglas J Aveda, there were people that asked my why I came home. Like it was a failure of sorts. I never understood that. These last six years haven't been the easiest but they were so full! I was able to spend them with my grandparents, helping my grandmother bake & cook to get ready for hoildays; spending time with 3 children that I adore & was home for the birth of the third; being able to help my cousin after having a hard delivery with her little girl & being able to bond with her for her first few months of life on this earth; learning a lot of lessons with all the different jobs I had; working with the youth & children in my church & planning 3 VBS events that changed my life forever; being able to be with my mom & brothers & sister-in-law & some of the single most important moments of my life-being there for my nephews first year on this earth; spending six years of holidays with people that I love and adore; living close to one of my closest friends; seeing my uncle accomplish one of his dreams of Pastoring his own church; being able to be in weddings, seeing family and friends have babies & love on them. So, was moving home after graduating from Douglas J. six years ago a mistake, not for one second of them. And I of course have to mention that staying in Michigan would have been a piece of cake with the family and friends I had & made there. 

Really, I have been blessed beyond measure in my life. I have never needed for anything. I've had to work pretty damn hard but it taught me so much. Last year, I've never felt closer to God. A very hard year professionally but one of the best personally. I learned more about who I was last year than in pretty much my whole life. Because He is good. He is really, really good.

Reflection is something that brings about inspiration and clarity to your life. What I went through 10 years ago doesn't define who I am. The choices I make today define that. To not let your past hurt, pain & anger ruin your future is a 24 hour job in itself. I haven't been perfect at it by any stretch of the imagination, ask my mom. But every day I try to change for the better so that I'm improving. Staying stagnant is one of my greatest fears. But you know what the least scariest thing about that is? It's up to me whether I stay in mucky waters or I push against the currant to strengthen my life. I am who I am because of the choices I make daily. That's what makes me who I am. Not any negative part of my past. And you know what, you're not that much different than me. We are free to be who we want to be. Deep down inside us. Those people that we use to dream about accomplishing big things. If you aren't going after them, they're still there. They're just waiting for you to visit and to remind you what your future holds. Don't doubt them. Learn & take in everything you can while they get ready to bring you to your next step. Even if you can't see the light. Trust that they can and that they will lead you to it. 

Don't let hope go. She is there for us to hold onto as tightly as we want. 

And when you do look back and see your pain or depression or fear coming out in texts, or emails or Facebook status', remember... .That's not who you ARE. 

Well, I guess I figured out what to write about. I missed this.

Talk soon.