Late last night I got a phone call from my daughter. She was upset about something that happened at school. I was reminded of how many times my own first instinct was to grab the phone and call my own mom or sister in times I was feeling frustrated or troubled. We all need a tribe. We need to know there is someone on the other end of the phone line waiting to pick up in our time of need.
Today, be the calm in someone’s storm and the sane in someone’s crazy. Be there for the people who need you and trust that when the time comes, someone will be there for you too. Be an an anchor. Be a rock. Be a soft place to fall. Be the difference.
It seems like everything crashes down around me at the same time. I have reminded myself time and time again that the sky is not going to fall but I am keeping one hand on it just in case. That’s the thing, just because everything else is falling down does not mean I have to crumble with it. I am a warrior, in control(for the most part) of my own destiny and when the wind starts to blow, I must ground myself and find comfort and strength in my roots. The storm will pass and I will come out on the other side of it safe and strong. Sometimes it’s necessary to bend so that I do not break so bend I will. What do you do to stay grounded.
Sadly, I am learning the result of accommodating everyone in my life. I have spent so many years trying to keep the peace and make everyone else happy that finally I have lost my own voice. I cannot even hear it anymore and I can’t help but wonder if it even tries to speak. Everything has become a negotiation. Just this morning I wanted the family to go for breakfast and everyone had an attitude or conditions. Being a mom is not always easy and often times it is downright hurtful. I wait all week for a tiny slice of time for us to be together but someone always throws a stick in the spoke until the bike has a tragic accident. It’s broken and today I feel sad and broken but instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself, I will go out and do something that makes me feel good. The others can stay home and be in good company with their cell phones, computers, attitudes and conditions and I will simply carry on. No sense throwing myself in the middle and crying victim. I am in charge of my own destiny and sometimes it is necessary to leave everyone behind and follow on my own path. As for being a woman, I have to stop using that as an excuse. I swear it is almost innate to make everyone feel important and included but you know what I’ve realized? It’s necessary to include myself in that behavior as well. Time to find my voice and make it strong again. Time for some conditions of my own. Time to make some changes starting right now. Wish me luck.
Never let someone’s darkness snuff out your light. Shine on.
Sometimes life packs some pretty hard punches. I can go along minding my own business and out of nowhere I take a right hook to the face. I can’t escape them. I can’t hide or duck or dodge what I don’t even know is coming. I am exposed, sticking my face out there, inviting to be completely knocked out. Some days I can escape the blows and bruises and other days I wear the pain like armor all over my face. It’s hard to get up when all I want to do is lay down and say I’m done, no more, enough. I reach that point where I grow tired and all I want to do is plan my escape. Then that quiet voice whispers to me, “you are tougher than you think.” Each wound is a reminder I will not be defeated. My pride and my hope can be shattered but my spirit will not be broken. That voice whispers one last time, “You’ve got this, I promise”. I hold my head high and put one foot in front of the other as I remember to take one step at a time.
One of the hardest, most painful lessons I have ever been forced to learn is that I do not have control. Ever. I have kicked and screamed and begged and pleaded and still God has not granted me the ability to control a single thing. Not a situation, not a person, nothing. Most things are not in my hands. Life will not go a direction that coddles me softly as I sit in my make believe comfort zone. In fact, I realize that the comfort zone was never even possible. My comfort depends on very specific factors. The fact that everything is constantly changing rips the reality of that zone out from underneath me. Acceptance was the first step. After spending countless precious moments fighting against what was and fighting for something that was just never going to be, I have found a place of calm. Initially, it feels like a place of anxiety and panic but I remind myself as I slow down my breathing that everything will be okay. I have to consciously make the choice to be okay with whatever is, each and everyday. No amount of freaking out on my part will undo my daughters speeding ticket. No amount of screaming and panic will take away the fact that my son got a horrible grade. We just have to live with the things we don’t like that we cannot change. We have to learn to live in that zone that feels uncomfortable like it or not. I say this in several posts as I repeat these words to myself even now. The sky is not falling. I am okay. Life will go on and tomorrow will look like a completely different day. One problem at a time, one fear at a time, one moment at a time. Stop telling yourself it’s the end of the world.
Do you have the courage to be who you say you are? It’s so easy to point out someone who is acting like a hypocrite. It’s becoming almost second nature to point a finger at someone and force them to be accountable. The question is, do we hold ourselves to that same serious standard? Do we walk around preaching like we are one way and behind closed doors act like someone else?
I know I’m my own life, I have this clear vision of who I want to be. I try every day to get to that destination where the expectation of myself becomes one with the reality of who I am. I do not pretend to be perfect or have all the answers but I do know who and what I have to be to do my part.
The bottom line is simple. I cannot continue to blog about being a decent human being if I am not going to make the necessary changes to become one myself. I have to stop making excuses for bad behavior and say no more while at the same time actively replacing them with different, healthier ones. Let’s stop calling everyone else out and work on improving ourselves. We won’t have time to fact check our Facebook friends and neighbors if we are occupied with fact checking ourselves. It’s time for a change but the question you have to ask yourself is will you be the change or one of the same? Notice how many times you speak or think about someone else doing something you don’t like. Pay attention how preoccupied you are with having opinions about everyone else when you you should be focused on the work you need to do on yourself. Imagine if you spent as much time building others up and pointing out their strengths how natural that would become when applying it to yourself. Let’s make an effort to practice using our positive voice and create the change we so desperately need to see in this world. We the people need to be better people. Are you with me?