Silver Lining Anyone?

What a wonderfully terrifying, stimulating, crazy world we live in…

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Because sometimes we need a reminder…

A friend replied to another friend of hers on Facebook which led me to see this beautiful piece.

I’m not into fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, healthy-shaming, ANY kind of shaming…so do not read into this too much.

The most moving part of the entire video, for me, occurs at the very, very end. When a beautiful young woman says, “We’re always looking for something, externally. For some thing to make us perfect, or to make us beautiful, or to make us valid. And we’ve always had it. We’ve always had it. It’s you. It’s you. It’s your essence. It’s who you are. You are born with it.” Now, I did my best to transcribe her words, but you really should view this and hear it for yourself.

How often do we look to others to make valid our existence?

Do we look to our identity in our children? Our identity in our relationships? Our identity in our jobs?

Why do we do this?

I think it is time for us to stop looking elsewhere and start looking within. Start looking into the deep recesses of our souls and recognizing that our “something to make us beautiful” is simple: It is US.

Beautiful, messy, imperfect you. You are the reason for you. The world needs you. The world wants you.

I realize that the video addresses the need for validation of beauty and existence specifically for plus-sized women, but what if we change the words?

Make plus-sized read: working mom, single dad, career woman, college student, lonely heart, lost Christian. What happens then? Does it change things for you? For your perspective? I sure hope so.

Silver Lining:

We really do have all we need right inside of ourselves. We just have to trust ourselves. Trust that our messiness, our imperfect nature, is worthy of loving and being loved. Love: It really is THE reason.


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Discovering Who I Am…

I decided to take down all of my former posts. It seemed appropriate since almost none of what I had written applied to the woman I am now.

Looking back at what I had written I realized a few things:
I was a very sad person.
I was a very wounded person.

And don’t get me wrong, I recognize those traits in the woman I am now as past reflections of the woman I had to be to get here…but it doesn’t mean I want to relive my past. It doesn’t mean I want to read about it and remember the ache of loneliness from when my marriage broke up. Or the pain of realizing my trust had been broken again.

So I decided to start again. Who knows, maybe in two years I’ll delete this, too and start all over again!

What I have discovered about myself in the last two years:

  1. I am a survivor…and there is no shame in that.
  2. I like my own company…and it isn’t lonely to be there.
  3. I’m a much better mother than I thought I was…even if I can’t solve all of my teen’s problems.
  4. I am much better when I am intimately connected to those I love…and not using texts or emails as my sole forms of communication.
  5. I am much kinder than I have ever given myself credit for…and that isn’t a weakness.

Being a Survivor:

I make no bones about, and do not try to hide, the fact that I was sexually molested by my biological father when I was only 8 years old. There is shame automatically associated with the admission of such a terrible thing–and it is a terrible thing, it just isn’t my burden to carry–and I think I carried that shame for quite a while.

I have only discussed this with close family, close friends, and any man I have been in a relationship with. Up until this point, I never felt like there was anything anyone else could gain from my pain.

But I was wrong.

There is a freedom in letting others know you have been through a traumatic experience. There is a pride that comes from knowing that you could have gone down many worse paths than you did. And there is a peace that comes from acknowledging that others can and do gain from the acknowledgement of your pain. They can gain their own freedom.

The sweet connection of knowing that someone else has been through what you have been through…it sounds a little sick when I write it out, but I promise it isn’t. Instead, it is a connection that allows the pain to leak out of you…to flow out. And if you keep talking about it, keep recognizing it for what it is, you can let it all out. And you can help someone else do the same.

Being Comfortable with Me:

There was certainly a time when I would have burned up the phone lines (text and calls) to find someone to help fill the quiet. When my teen left my home it was a deafening silence. Me, who loves to read, found it too quiet to do so. I needed constant contact. I needed someone to be there. I needed…I needed to realize that I was afraid of being alone with my thoughts.

Almost two years later and I am so much more peaceful. The silence that comes when the house is empty isn’t deafening…it is soothing. It reminds me to take a few moments to breathe.

And my thoughts don’t scare me anymore. The “what ifs” and “what abouts” have changed from having a menacing feel, to a pondering one. The future isn’t so scary when you stop, breathe, and realize that you have everything you need to accomplish your dreams inside of yourself.

Being a Mom:

Or, you know, a SUPER Mom! Ha! Well, I won’t stay long on this, as I don’t want to share too much of my child’s life on here. I will simply say that in a world where teens and their parents are often at odds, I still have one who wants to curl up and watch movies with me. One who trusts me with innermost secrets and fears.

Am I scared I am screwing up? Every. Single. Day.

But I refuse to let that fear inundate my life. I refuse to allow fear to be a primary emotion in my life anymore. So I just wake up each day, say my thanks to God that He allowed me another, and vow to be better than I was yesterday. Which, if I’m honest, makes some days easier than others.

Being Connected:

Whoa! “Intimately connected” Now there’s a phrase that can raise the blood pressure! (In a good way if you’re a little sassy, and bad if you are less so…) But let’s be clear: I am NOT talking about sex.

Okay. Now that we got that out of the way…what the heck do I mean?

I mean taking time at the end of the day to sit, face-to-face, with my mom & my child to ask about their day. Without a television, computer, tablet, Kindle, or smartphone in between us.

I mean taking the time to CALL those that I love…not just text.

I mean using FaceTime to keep in touch with a man I love deeply but lives 500+ miles away. Every night. Even if it is just 5 minutes. I see him, he sees me and, for those few, precious moments, we are intimately connected.

And let’s be clear about this, as well: Being intimately connected with those you love requires WORK and INTENTIONALITY. (Pretty sure I just made up that second word, but I trust you are smart enough to figure out it means you have to be intentional.)

Every day. You choose. You choose what clothes to wear. You choose to eat lunch. You choose to brush your teeth. You choose what jewelry to wear (or cologne/perfume). You make so many choices. Do yourself a favor: Choose Love.

I choose to love the people in my life as wholly and unconditionally as I can.

I choose to make time for those that mean the most to me, and take the time away from those who are a suck. (By which I mean, those who are unintentionally draining me.)

I choose to pray every morning and every night. I choose to Love. And I choose to share that Love whenever and as often as I can.

Being Kind:

I am not the nicest person you will ever meet. I can be snarky and mean sometimes. (Though I try very hard not to let that out too often.)

But I do my best to try to see situations from all sides. I get VERY worked up if someone I love is wounded, taken advantage of, taken for granted, or just plain mistreated. I am the epitome of a Momma Bear…and yet…I can’t help but wonder: What caused the other person to behave in this way?

I will tell you, I find myself praying more for people I do not know well…for those who have hurt my loved ones…for those who have hurt me. I have found in these prayers, a certain peace.

It feels good to pray on another person’s behalf. Instead of being selfish. Instead of, “Dear Lord, can you hurry THIS up?” Or, “Dear Lord, I really need to pass this paper…” Instead I say, “Dear Lord, I’m not sure why X decided to say that,” or “Dear Lord, please forgive X for their actions…”

I’m no saint, ladies & gentlemen. Faaaaaaaar from it. But what I am, is a person who has discovered that the secret to life really IS Love.

So I’ve reached out more to people I want to know. To people I want to know better. And I try, every day, to be better and more intentional in my actions. And I hope it is spreading the Love.

Silver Lining:

Some days are better than others. But I will say that living my life on the premise of Love being the secret…it really has helped. It doesn’t automatically make everything hunky-dory. It doesn’t take away the pain immediately. But it allows me to see through the hurt and the pain to another’s. It allows me to show my child that love is not always the easy choice…but it is never the wrong one.