Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I see that you’ve grown over night. Your face is more defined, your eyes look older. A part of me is excited and in awe; I know you have so much ahead of you. Another part is scared because time is racing and I can’t slow it down. I’m afraid that I haven’t always been awake and noticing, and that somehow I have slept through the magic of your growing. I wonder, have I enjoyed you enough? Have I given you what you needed? Is your heart still whole? Is your spirit unbroken?
I’m not always good at this. I’m not always as good as I want to be at being your mom. I want to be great; and sometimes I am, but sometimes I’m not.
Sometimes I get it, and sometimes I don’t.
Sometimes I do it right, and sometimes I completely miss it.
Everyday I make mistakes.
Sometimes I snap when I should be sensitive. Sometimes I lecture and give chores when what you needed was a hug. Sometimes I completely and utterly miss it. I know that I do. I mistake your pain for complaining or your sad heart for a bad attitude. I watch myself miss it, and later I grieve that I didn’t respond differently.
I miss it when I am tired, and you get my leftovers at the end of a long day. I wish that you didn’t, but sometimes you do.
I miss it when I am scared. I am scared of big things and little things. I really thought adults had it all figured out, but I am one now, and it turns out we don’t. Sometimes fear snatches my heart and I can’t seem to think of anything else. I forget to relax and to enjoy you. I forget to smile and to laugh. I’m working on that.
I miss it when I am lost. I’m struggling with my own demons and it has nothing to do with you. Sometimes it’s anxiety or it’s depression, but it’s never, ever your fault. I will keep striving for wholeness so that when you reach those obstacles I can help you do the same.
I know that it is easy to hang on to the negative things and forget all the positive, but I want to set the record straight. When I look at you I am SO. PROUD. When I look at you I see good. I see someone who is mighty. I wonder how I have been trusted with such a treasure. Your heart is pure and soft. You are gentle and kind, you are vivacious and fierce.
I am forever your biggest cheerleader and your greatest fan.
Please keep helping me to see you and to know you. Keep telling me when I hurt your feelings. Keep sharing with me your fears and your insecurities and we will figure it out together.
I’m okay with making mistakes, but I’m never okay with losing your heart. Your heart is what matters to me.
I hope that my weakness teaches you something. I hope that when you come upon your own brokenness, tiredness, fear, and confusion, that you will be okay with it. I pray that your imperfections won’t scare you as they have me. I pray that you won’t run from them, but that you’ll wrestle with them and you will keep showing up, saying sorry, and trying again.
We don’t always get it right and that’s okay.
We are all professional mistake makers, and you will make lots and lots of mistakes. You will make countless amounts of mistakes, just like I have, but not one could darken the light I see when I look at you. You are my treasure, you are my reason.
Even though life is racing by, sometimes we have a moment. Sometimes we can reach out, grab time, and hold it. The world stops, all is quiet, and we really see each other. In this moment when I glimpse at the person you are and who you’re becoming, all I can think is…
On this morning, where it seems you’ve grown overnight, I want to tell you that you are wonderful. You amaze me everyday – and as I watch you, you inspire me. You inspire me to pull out the greatness that’s inside me. In this family we will make mistakes, but we will keep doing it together and we will keep holding each other other tight.
It turns out I’m never, ever, going to be perfect, but I am always and forever yours, and I’m always and forever on your team. That I can promise you.
I love you.
She took that step. The one that she had been watching draw near. The one that she knew to be true and right. The step towards a more authentic, purposeful life.
She took that step into the unknown. The one that she had been fearing. The one that she worried would change her whole world.
She took that step while no one was cheering. Accompanied only by her dreaming soul and warrior heart. Poised for impact, dreading the worst, uncertain of what may come.
But she took that step ...
She took that step and the ground didn't tremble.
She took that step and the sky didn't fall.
She took that step and the oceans didn't surge.
She took that step and the thunder didn't roll.
No … her outer world didn't fall apart, but her inner world fell together. Insecurities and outdated beliefs crumbled away. Courage found a stronger foothold. Hope took flight. Freedom danced in delight.
She took that step and now she is certain. And now she is thankful that her whole world is changing.
I have been really tired lately
And by lately,
I mean the last year
I have always been able
to rise to the occasion
I have been able to rally
no matter what.
I could will myself
to do most anything.
But this year
I just couldn't.
And it completely freaked me out
I was burnt out
It has been humbling
I can see how much of my identity
how much my sense of self
is wrapped up
in what I am able to do
in how I am able to contribute
in how useful I am
So when I couldn't
stop hitting snooze
when I noticed in conversations
I had stopped listening minutes ago
and when I found myself reading
but not comprehending
I first did what I know to do
I pushed harder
I got more disciplined
or at least I tried to
But there was no gas left in the tank
I just couldn’t will myself
to be how I used to be.
The spark I have always had
that had set my life on fire
in the best and worst ways
and I have been worried
that I lost what made me
A few days ago
I woke up inspired
This is the closest I have felt
And it felt like the deepest breath
I am not gone
So I want to share with you some of what I did
to get me back
in hopes it helps you
if you are teetering around burnout
and feeling wiped out too
I slept, sleep is my number one priority
I am a messy messy not so stable human without it.
I walked, every day, I walked, no matter how slow
I moved my body, every day.
I stopped living in response to everyone else's needs
It used to be that if I got an email from somebody
I felt bad if I didn't answer it within a few hours
I was literally consumed by all the people
I felt responsible to
and their every request was running me.
I wrote every day
I journaled till my hands hurt
When upset or ecstatic or in pain
I dug in, before talking to anyone.
I wrote, I wrote so much
I cleaned up my diet
and stopped being ashamed
that I really feel best when eating a specific way
that I know works for me.
I unfollowed everyone on social media
that didn't feel like a value add
If they were not inspiring, informative, thought provoking,
or someone I cared about
I made a list of everything
that was causing me anxiety
I prioritized friendships that are a value match
I stopped engaging with people/"friends"
who only reached out to me to ask for something
This one was hard
I felt guilty at first
I do love helping
I do get energy from it
but I was leaking too much
I was extending too much
and got clear it was completely unsustainable
and I was feeling hurt and unseen regularly
I shook things up
I intentionally said yes to things
that I knew would challenge me
and have me so outside my comfort zone.
I would have no chance of feeling the apathy
that was slowly creeping over me
So these are just a few of the things I did
to help turn the lights back on.
I am grateful,
deeply deeply grateful.
I hope you pay attention to the warning signs for you
I hope you learn to listen before it is too late
The body, the mind, the heart, the spirit
have an amazing capacity to heal
and come back stronger
if we are willing to listen
truly listen to the spoken and unspoken
to take pause
and take action
There a way you need
to take better care
The HAPPINESS JAR is a project I started in my own life many years ago, and it has remained a practice that I've tried to keep up with regularity ever since. (Though I do slip and forget, because I get lazy and overwhelmed sometimes by life, as we all do.) But in its essence, the HAPPINESS JAR is a very simple idea — every single day, at the end of the day, I grab a scrap of paper and I write down the happiest moment of that day. And I put the date on it. And then I fold up the note and stick it in the jar.
It takes about 35 seconds to do, but what it brings me is enormous — not only the pleasure of finding a good moment in each day (for even the horrible days have one least-bad moment) but the lasting benefits of recording that moment forever.
I am continually amazed at how simple my happiest moment of the day usually is. It is hardly ever a moment of explosive achievement or delirious excess. For all my striving and all my ambitions and all my seeking of remarkable experiences, it is important to recognize that my happiest moments are generally really common and quiet and unremarkable. In fact, my happiest moment each day is usually just a glance of something sweet and small, a bit of sun on my face, a pleasant encounter on the sidewalk, a cool glass of water at just the right instant, the cat-like contentment after a nap, a glimpse of a bird just out of the corner of my eye, a recognition of some tiny lovely thing.
What are the rules, you ask?
- there aren't any rules! I have no idea! I just made this thing up, because it works for me! It's YOUR happiness; you may do absolutely whatever you like with it, sweet friends! Put whatever you like in there — whatever brings you peace or joy. And when your jar fills up (which I dearly hope it shall) just make another one. Read them if you like; leave them quietly folded if you prefer. And you can make it out of an old tissue box if you want! The vessel is not the magic part; the vessel is just the vessel. What's inside is simply — very simply — the best part of your life on earth.
So that is the HAPPINESS JAR project, dear friends.
I send you blessings from my jar to yours, and all my love…
Keeping it real...some thing that I have been trying to do lately is that. Trying to find a way to still be myself when nothing is about me anymore. Struggles are so great for everyone and I am sure you have a long list as well. Not everyone is going to have the same challenges in life and sometimes the things that bother us the most are things that do not show up in our photo's. Invisible to others but they continue to eat at our souls until we have resolved them. So this is me , on a day that was nice. It is easy to post a photo after we have done our hair and picked out the perfect clothes, but on this day I did none of the above. I don't live near the ocean. I live on a small street in a small town in Missouri. In a small house. So my outlook is starting to change. Keeping it real. Wearing my sweatpants when I want. Brushing my hair less, maybe even cleaning less. Keeping it all together on the inside is much easier for me when I am not trying to keep it all together on the outside. I love gardening and am going to make this the best season ever, all while making a mess, lol. I read once, that one of your goals should be that when you have people over to your house, they should leave feeling better about themselves, not feeling better about you. And that totally meant why do I spend 4 hours cleaning when I know someone is coming by for 5 minutes? I must be crazy. So here I go, off to work and all the while ...keeping it so real people will be wondering all day what the heck is wrong with me :) and if your feeling the same way.... take the challenge and start just being you :)