September 4, 2017: Moving on after an ending can be so difficult. It’s one of the hardest things we go through, and no matter how many times we’ve been there before, when we’re in it, it just doesn’t seem much easier than the last.
Sometimes closure looks differently than we imagine it. Sometimes we don’t get all of the answers we’re seeking. Sometimes it’s not wrapped in a pretty bow with two people who amicably say “this is for the better.” Sure, maybe we know that’s true on some level, but most of the time our closure seems to be messier than we wish it.
I’ve found that one of the hardest parts of moving on is processing the loss of the fantasy of the future. It’s not so much about it ending in that moment (let’s face it…most of the time the relationship isn’t healthy anymore and it ending actually makes sense)…it’s more about losing the thoughts about what life was going to be like with this person. What the future held with them…the first house bought, the kids, the family traditions…all of it. The loss of that can penetrate so deeply even if we’ve been unhappy for a long time.
That’s why this quote is so helpful. You see, we get closer to closure when we accept that letting go of the fantasy of the future is something that’s keeping us stuck. We get closer to closure when it’s more important to embrace the now instead of living for the what ifs.
Your loss is a real loss. It’s devastating and sometimes paralyzingly, but it’s also not your greatest future. It’s not your greatest love. And that’s reason enough to release from the hold it has on you. Your loss is your gain. And your gain is your freedom to get closer to a future that will be yours.
September 2, 2017: Friends. Family. The person you met for 2 hours who you felt more connected to than anyone else you’ve ever met. That relationship that transformed you in 3 months.
There are some people who just get it. Get us. Who are so safe that it makes us know that every part of us is enough. They don’t run from the messy. They don’t run from the imperfection or the not so lovable parts. They’re curious about them. They challenge them. They listen to understand, and they stand by us when we want to abandon ourselves.
Our community can be made up of so many different types. Sometimes it’s a life long friend, and other times it’s the serendipitous meeting that has us talking to a stranger in ways that feel more joining than most other interactions.
These people send us the message that we are seen and heard. It’s an important one. Embrace and celebrate this community.
August 25, 2017: There are going to be so many people who leave our lives…and you know what? It does more than just suck. That’s an understatement. People leaving can be shattering. It changes our course. It rocks our worlds. It reduces us. It makes us question our worth. It makes us question if we can recover, or if people will ever stay. It will make us see some of our darkest days, but it can also be the catalyst to our greatest growth. It can make us doubt ourselves entirely, but it can also be the most transformative part of our stories.
People leave in so many ways. People end relationships, parents abandon us, we lose children, friends die, marriages end, we outgrow friendships, and people ghost us — and you know what, people leaving will NEVER stop…because life happens, and we can’t get around it.
Your pain is real. The loss is real. It will hurt like hell. Some days you’ll hate them. Some days you’ll bury your face in a pillow and scream as loudly as you can. Some days you’ll cry silently and repeat, “I understand.” Some days you’ll need to talk it through with seven of your best friends. Some days you’ll run until you get lost. Some days you’ll eat/not eat. And some days you won’t. Some days you’ll scream, “I’ll never forgive you”…and other days…you will.
But what I want you to know as that even though it’s inevitable that people leave, it’s also inevitable that people will stay. Sometimes it’s the same person who can stay for 20 years…or 10…or 1…or 3 months…or 2 weeks. I know that sounds strange. I know you’re thinking “wait, that means they leave”…and you’re sort of right. But let people stay for however long they can. And let them be your “stay story”. Some won’t ever leave, and some won’t ever leave you for as long as they’re meant to be in your life. Just know that staying can mean more than just our normal definition of it. You’re not alone. People are always staying…just as much as they’re leaving. It’s just your choice how you’ll look at it.
August 18, 2017: Couldn’t have come across this quote at a better time. Although I’m completely convinced I’ll be dying alone, I love what this says… We should go at our own speed. Take a different path. Not being at 25 doesn’t mean that you’re unlovable or that something *must* be wrong with you. It also doesn’t mean that at 33 or 42.
Your dream job may not come until you’re 60…or maybe your dream job just changes. Who cares? This is YOUR life.
We’re not failures just because life doesn’t unfold according to a certain set of “SHOULDS” written by a society who generally never lived them out either. Be kind to yourself. Right this moment, you are exactly where you need to be. You’re in the middle of your journey. Eventually, you will look back at this moment and be grateful. Appreciate the process.
August 15, 2017: Heck, I’m still learning to love the parts that people DO clap for, but it’s so easy to feel good about the parts people celebrate….but what about the parts we hide?
We subscribe to a narrative that tells us we’re not good enough, that certain parts of us should be hidden…because they’re unlovable, unattractive, not what society accepts, etc. When we allow that to be our story, we also allow ourselves to believe that no one will truly love and accept all parts of us. It sends the message that we can only be loved for them. What a lousy message. We need to embrace all of ourselves and challenge ourselves to subscribe to a new narrative that’s accepting and honoring of our story. The only person who has to start clapping for you is you…people will follow your lead eventually.
July 25, 2017: We often tell others, “Don’t be so hard on yourself,” but how often do we say that to ourselves? We praise others for their accomplishments and their looks, but we are so quick to minimize and shrink our own (or any compliment we receive). It takes bravery to go up against decades of self-bashing. It takes bravery to challenge a narrative that reminds us we are less than or undeserving…ESPECIALLY when our history supports it.
But here’s what we’re going to do. No matter what messages you received growing up – no matter the family dynamics that make this SO difficult – no matter the mom who can’t be there for you, no matter the dad who can’t love you, no matter the people telling you that you’re not good enough, no matter the partner who is constantly disengaged and reminds you there’s something better out there, no matter the abuse, disorders or diseases you may come from – no matter it all, we are all going to commit to *trying* to love ourselves just a bit more. Love yourself and everything else will start to fall into place.
June 30, 2017: Forgive yourself. This is important. You have screwed up in the past. You will screw up again. Every human is born with the ability to make colossal mistake. You are not alone. Screwing up is not your special skill. Get over it. Dragging around guilt and self-criticism is beyond unhealthy and is utterly pointless, not to mention boring.
Get clear on this one truth: guilt, shame, and self-criticism are some of the most destructive forces in your life, which is why forgiving yourself is one of the most powerful.
June 8, 2017: It’s so easy to love and be loved when things are going well. It’s easy when we’re having fun and exploring together. Loving someone when they’re easily lovable comes pretty naturally. And all of that…it’s great. But what’s just as great is when we love people and are loved by people when the ‘not so lovable’ parts show up.
Let’s dive in here. Sometimes our sky is clear and sunny. Sometimes there isn’t a cloud to be found. And other times the sky is roaring and electric. Days it might be grey with the sun hiding, and other days it might hold the most magical of colors that we ever did see.
Beautiful love sees all parts of us, and it finds a way to embrace those different parts…even when they’re resistant, closed down, hurting, or reactive.
Sometimes the storm is where we learn the most about ourselves and each other. Sometimes the clouds trigger us in such a way that it confronts parts of the story that need attention. Sometimes the rain is the greatest gateway to deep connection and intimacy. The easily lovable parts are beautiful…truly…AND the rest can be the greatest opportunity for transformation.
Find ways to love each other through it all. Be in. Always.
June 3, 2017: We’ve heard it before: hurt people – hurt (other) people. But the saying should really go: hurt people who do not connect to and feel their pain, can more easily hurt others than those who do connect and feel their pain. I know…it’s a mouthful. But why? What’s the deal?
When you’re hurting, we have a few options: avoid it, internalize it, feel it, acknowledge it, learn from it. Some of those happen in a specific order, but there’s a divide. The first two keep us stuck. The latter three have us moving through and addressing our pain. Here’s the deal. Confronting our hurt is necessary. Yes, sometimes it’s a timing thing (being avoid ant or in denial can serve us at the right time), but eventually we have GOT to look at our pain and move it through our system so it doesn’t reside within us.
When pain starts paying rent inside our bodies, we seek to share pain with others so that we don’t feel lonely in that space. See how backwards that is? What we all want and need is to feel heard and understood. We want our pain to matter. For others to connect to it. But we need to connect to it first. We need to feel it and be present with it and then share it. We don’t have to hurt others while we’re hurting. No. We have to feel our hurt and share it so that we create connection and understanding instead of passing the torch.
May 31, 2017: “I’m such an idiot.” “I can’t believe that I let (that) happen.” “No wonder people don’t like me.” “Maybe bad things happen to me because I’m a bad person.” “Why did this happen to me?” Everyone always leaves.” “Did I deserve that abuse?”
Truth is, we all have a story. And sometimes it’s really easy to hate our stories. Hate what’s happened. Hate that it happened. Hate how it happened. And hate what it’s done to us.
We are allowed to dislike what’s happened, but staying stuck hating the experience only destroys us. We can hate that something happened, but we also can demand that we grow from it and transform from it. Let your story be the gateway to your deepest and greatest connections. Let your story teach you about your emotional needs, your patterns, and where your healing is. Let your story confront you with your shame, and let it teach you how to move through it and use it as strength. Our story is real. Do not ignore it, deny it, shrink it, or minimize it. Embrace it exactly as is. Doing so sends yourself the message that you trust your resiliency. To move through things we must confront them. What’s happened to us does not have to define us. How we respond to it does. Your experience shapes you, and how you deal with those experiences shape your future.
May 2, 2017: It’s easy to love people when they’re easily lovable, right?! That part isn’t much work. What’s much harder is to love them when they’re doing (unlovable) things. We can communicate our hurt and set boundaries, but we can’t force people to do things differently. That will always be upon them.
Sometimes we wind up holding a space and continuing to do the work with them while they remain in our lives, and other times it means stepping away and sending compassionate love from afar.
We don’t have to accept “garbage-y” behavior…we are allowed to set and honor our boundaries. We are allowed to say “this doesn’t work for me, and I can no longer be a part of it.” But even when we set boundaries, we can still send love from afar.
Because no matter what, everyone needs it. Everyone needs love, and it’s something that we can still do without being dishonorable to ourselves. So even if it’s just a kind thought, be mindful to send love to the people in your life. Everyone can use it, and eventually it will be exactly what takes them further.
April 24, 2017: Forgive yourself. This is important. You have screwed up in the past. You will screw up again. Every human is born with the ability to make colossal mistakes. You are not alone. Screwing up is not your special skill. Get over it. Dragging around guilt and self-criticism is beyond unhealthy and is utterly pointless, not to mention boring. You aren’t a better person for feeling guilty or bad about yourself.
Get clear on this one truth: guilt, shame, and self-criticism are some of the most destructive forces in your life, which is why forgiving yourself is one of the most powerful.
April 23, 2017: It’s easy to deny it. It’s easy to tuck it away. It’s easy to avoid and hide. Easy to tell ourselves that we don’t want to feel it – don’t need to feel it – don’t have to feel it. But here’s the thing…eventually we do. Confronting it is the way out. It’s the process that lets us feel other emotions more fully. Because when we deny ourselves of the process, we also deny ourselves of the release.
Address it so that you can feel other emotions. Address it so that you give yourself space to step into something else. It’s never about forgetting your story…the experience…the person. It’s just about granting yourself the permission to feel. To listen to yourself. To honor it all. Grieve, so that you can be free to feel something else. Grieve, so that you honor yourself and what has happened. Grieve, so you’re not stuck.
You are strong enough, bold enough, and courageous enough to grieve and get to the other side.
April 22, 2017: “It’ll be okay.” “You’ll get over it.” “With time, the pain will fade.” You see what we did there? We minimized and rushed a person through their pain, and we let our own discomfort of sitting with it keep us from being in the moment with people who need us…and who need the message: “It’s okay to be feeling what you’re feeling.”
So many of us do this. We don’t even realize that our own discomfort with vulnerability…with sadness and hurt…makes us speed up another person’s process.
Let’s take a step back. Let’s allow people to feel. Let’s honor their emotion, and send the message that what they’re feeling is not too much…that what they’re feeling does not need to disappear quickly. This world needs more people who can sit with pain, and let it be what it is. We need people who don’t need to rush us through it.
April 21, 2017: “Thank you” shifts us into a space of gratitude. It asks us to honor the other person and label their generosity. These shifts make a huge difference in relationship wellness.
The practice of gratitude is a game changer.
Practicing appreciation matters. Saying “I’m sorry for being late” is dismissive. It doesn’t honor what the other person had to generously offer…their time and their patience. When we thank them or what they’ve given us, we acknowledge them (gratitude) while also owning our part (accountability).
These are two components of a healthy relationship equation. Sometimes “I’m sorry” just doesn’t cut it. Dig in a little further. The heartfelt apology needs accountability and understanding, as well as gratitude. Often times those things are more important than the words.
So take this week to pay attention. Shift your language. Practice gratitude. Take ownership. And flip the “I’m sorry” to “thank you”.
April 18, 2017: Not only are you allowed to change, you are required to. So many of us have a strong resistance to change. We make declarations against it as if it’s a bad thing. Maybe it’s because we confuse change and growth? Maybe it’s because we have an unshakeable loyalty to ourselves?
What if it keeps us from living life differently…from changing… What if it’s actually a fear of no longer being the person we’ve gotten used to? What if we’ve lived a life with depression but are afraid to live without it because we don’t know who we are or who we’d be? What if what keeps us from changing is the caretaker part in us that has to make sure everyone around us is okay with the person we’re choosing to grow into? What if change means criticism from others? A lack of acceptance from others?
Growing is never taking you away from yourself. The message that growth sends is not that you aren’t good enough as you are. We often look at change as criticism we need to defend against instead of seeing it as an invitation to our greatest selves.
You are allowed to change. You are allowed to grow. I promise you there is an even greater version of you on the other side of your beautiful transformation.
April 7, 2017: Everybody has a chapter they don’t want to read out loud. Spend no time trying to change your past… Spend no time trying to cover it up. Yes, those things were awful. Yes, we’d do anything to change some of those things if we could…but we can’t. All we can do is decide what role it will play in our lives now. Will it own us…or will we have a story of resiliency to share?
Instead of collecting all of the bad moments, collect your moments of growth…your moments of resiliency…your story of change. Collect your aha moments…your “omg, there’s my pattern and I’m choosing differently” moments. Collect it all… Stop making excuses for the dysfunction you allow into your life. Move forward…and be beautiful.
Be beautiful in your imperfect story. Let the light shine through your cracks, and stand proudly in all of your details.
Plus, if you ever wanted to write a book, no one would read anything that starts off with “So, my life has always been perfect, and I’ve never had to grow.”
March 30, 2017: Love yourself. Love your flaws. Be confident in who you are. Who you are is wonderful, beautiful, and more than “enough.” You are WORTHY. Believe it.
Love and accept yourself as you are so that you are open to receiving love. Sure, you have flaws and things you want to change about yourself. We all do – whether it’s wanting to lose weight, be more positive or more confident, have straight hair or whatever it may be – you are still WORTHY. Right now. As is. You don’t need to prove anything to approve of yourself.
You need to erase this idea that there is something wrong with you. Delete the notion that you’re unlovable, that you have some defective piece of you that stops someone from loving you. Let people in…let them love you.
If you can deeply connect with the real you, who wants, needs, and above all deserves to be loved, a freedom lies ahead that is beautiful to behold.
March 25, 2017: So very true. Love yourself. As you begin to love yourself, your relationship with everyone else changes.