Day 29: The Cruciality Of Support

I’m feeling pretty defeated by the world this round. Like, knockout defeated.

We had a snow storm last night and got about 8 inches dumped on us in a region of the USA where there is typically not much snow fall which means there is not a good system in place to handle that. So my power has been out intermittently for the last 18 hours. 13 of which was a continuous blackout so… no heat. I woke up to quite the chill this morning.

A patient that I referred for surgery took a turn for the worse and died today. Another is likely headed for the same fate this week. The second one I have been working on for the last four weeks.

I was in the middle of making food and once again, no power. It’s 5 PM, pitch black and cold and here I sit. I’m writing to you on my phone, curled up in my blankets like a gnarly little gremlin.

To be honest I’m not even sure that cruciality is a word and I don’t want to waste precious cell phone battery to find out. That’s what we are working with here.

There are things in life that we require to survive, food, water and shelter. Once those base needs are met and satisfied a whole host of options opens up. Having the freedom from the stress of survival allows for breathing room and the focus can shift to creating a life worth living.

And creation is what it’s all about.

When I started out on my journey to self love I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it on my own. Even though the actual process of self growth is a solitary journey, having the right support can make or break your travel.

Support can come in so many forms. It can come in the form of a cheerleader, a mentor, someone delivering tough love or even the circumstances that crop up in life.

If you are able to look around and realize that even the tough times are supporting you somehow it can make dark times seem a little less heavy. The tricky part here is having to trust that they are delivering you somewhere that will be of benefit which is, admittedly, hard to do when you are caught in the thick of it.

For me tonight my support showed up in the form of a phone call from a friend. He reminded me that even though I had a rough day, I still showed up for myself. I didn’t let the trials stop me from doing the things that I know will benefit my future. I worked out. I took a call from a coaching program that I am looking to join. I was able to shower at the gym. My day has been a little tough but it’s been a good training ground for changing my mentality and luckily for me, barring any unforeseen catastrophies, I will have a chance to try again tomorrow.

I hope you are all warm and cozy out there. ❤️❤️

Photo by Sasint from Pixabay

Day 28: How To Fill An Empty Heart

Oh man, today has been quite a day.

I’m currently involved in two “hard” conversations with two different friends and fuck is it wearing me out. As usual I can see everyone’s side. I can see their love and concern for me and for them and I can sit firmly in their shoes. I know that having hard conversations and coming to compromises and conclusions based on both party’s input is the stuff that creates lasting relationships but the middle parts, the actual work, it can be messy. Feelings get hurt, words are sometimes misunderstood and conversations are often times drawn out and heavy.

That’s a good word for my day, heavy.

My heart feels like it has a hole in it the size of Texas.

So what do I do when I feel like this?

I took a few minutes and looked back at my last couple of years of relationships with these people and I recalled all the good and loving times and I brought them into my heart to sit. Then I looked at all of the ways I have grown in the last year and I congratulated myself for taking steps to have healthier relationships and for not running away.

And the last bit of the hole that I couldn’t fill…. admittedly I stuffed a donut in it.

Image by Shurriken on Pixabay

I used to be a really emotional eater. I would sneak food and hide it from my family so I didn’t have to hear how no one would think I was lovable if I was fat. I would have ice cream every night, that sweet, silky softness caressing my tongue. I would have cookies in between meals and sweets after every lunch and dinner. Sugar played a huge part in my life. Self soothing. In my 20s I was actually worried to move out on my own because no one would be around to shame me so I thought I would gain a hundred pounds.

It turns out, when you remove yourself from a stressful situation you no longer need coping mechanisms.

I am not perfect by a long shot but I have learned to listen to my body a lot more in the last few years. I have always had some digestive issues so mindfulness with food has been a big goal. I know how much I should eat to feel my best. I know when to skip meals and when to eat fully. And occasionally I revisit an old pattern, and have a donut or two and I do this because it does feel good and for a few minutes I do get some relief. The biggest difference now is that I don’t hide it. I acknowledge what I am doing and why I am doing it before I even open the box. Then I allow myself a certain quantity and I sit there and really enjoy the hell out of it. No shame. No guilt.

So how do you fill a hole in your heart? You practice compassion. For yourself and for others. You stay open and present and mindful. You love yourself no matter what kind of mental chatter pops in. You practice appreciating what you have in life. You approach each situation with curiosity and the desire to grow. You find things that light you up and you do more of them.

And sometimes you allow yourself a guilt free donut. ❤️❤️

Day 27: Hello, I’m Frazzled, And I’m A Recovering People Pleaser

I have been so thrown off by this situation at work (see yesterday’s post). I like to ruminate over conflicts, take them into my mind and heart and see if I can untangle them and figure them out. And some situations can’t be untangled because you can never really know all of the pieces that make up a person. All you can know is yourself. Today I found myself getting lost and hurt in the pain of what was happening, of knowing that rumors are being spread about me and that people are being influenced against me without asking my side. As someone who genuinely considers everyone’s feelings in any given scenario, this kind of mutilation of character really really hurts.

I have been thinking all day about what I can do moving forward, how I can manage the things that have been said about me, how I can adjust myself to try to work with this person. My thoughts kept coming back around to the fact that I can’t manage the things that are being said, I can’t adjust myself to work with this person because every adjustment I make is seen as lacking. To not be able to find a solution was literally frying my brain. I find in most situations that if accountability is had by both parties, regardless of the conflict, there can, generally speaking, be some sort of resolution or at least rocky peace. I can’t see it happening here, the same rules just don’t apply when someone will say anything to try to smear another and cover their own ass.

I came home from work today and went straight into my bed. My dogs came and piled on top of me and I started to cry. I was so frustrated. I was almost panicky for a second because I felt trapped between a rock and a hard place. No matter how I have adjusted to try to figure out the puzzle that is this person, I have failed. And in that moment I realized it didn’t matter what I did and never would. I will always be at fault. So I decided to stop trying to figure it out. Stop trying to fit myself into this box where the only way I can exist is by demeaning and diminishing myself. I have tried this before and it has never worked. And it never will. I decided instead to show up. To stand up as tall as I can, to speak my truth, to cross my T’s and dot my I’s and let this person bury themselves in their lies. There are 7.5 billion people in the world, to let one color my existence so harshly is ridiculous at best, damaging at its worst.

There is a time to play nice, a time to make adjustments in honor of a relationship, but when someone’s true colors are that of a devil, it is time to put on some armor and go to war, respectfully, but without concession. I know the truth. Most of the other people I work with know the truth and when I really stop and pull back from the middle of the drama I realize I have a TON of people on my side, the vast majority actually, and I have great relationships with the other people I work with. And there is a lot of love there. I decided I am not going to let one asshole run me out or make me question myself. I am going to stop trying to please everyone, and I am going to focus on pleasing me. I want to focus on patient care. I want to do my job to the best of my ability everyday so that I can sleep at night knowing I did the most that I could. I want to shake off this shitty feeling I have about my work because I know that the work itself and the workplace are completely different things and one should not be marred by the other.

I will show up for myself. I will stand up for myself. I will use every ounce of my morality and values to do what I know in my heart is right and if I decide to walk away I will know that I did everything within my power to make things work and I can feel good about what I have done. It’s much easier to run and hide, and I have done that so much in my life. This time I am choosing different.

I am done hiding. I am done running. I am sure as fuck done trying to fit into a mold. The world doesn’t need anymore cookie cutter people. The world needs courage and authenticity and I have plenty of both. ❤ ❤

Day 26: Heart On A Spit

Have you ever had those days where your heart feels like it’s on a spit? And it’s going round and round and round and getting dizzier and more confused and everyone around it is just slicing a piece off as it turns their direction?

It is taking literally every ounce of energy that I have to keep myself grounded in this moment. Even my friends are hitting hard tonight. I am having to evaluate everything that is being said taking into account what I know about that person, feeling into all the noise. And it’s fucking exhausting. I want nothing more than to curl up in a ball in a hole in the ground and hibernate for a while. Even my dogs are driving me crazy.

That is my day.

And I realize that all of my choices are perpetuating my confusion, my fear, my anger. They are keeping me stagnant. I am not a victim. But I have put myself in some situations (and stayed in situations), and engaged with some people, where I am getting hurt. Repeatedly. And that is on me.

I am having a situation with a guy at work who is one of the biggest narcissists I have ever run into. He is a complete liar. And the worst part is that he believes his own bullshit. Sometimes I think it would be nice to be so consumed with your own false self image that nothing else mattered. I think about how much easier that would be than having a moral compass, cause when you don’t have one you don’t have to give a shit. And I give a shit. About a lot of things and a lot of people. I have to work with him fairly closely at times and after being threatened by him and calling him out on it, he is now trying to turn every situation around so that I am the bad guy. The worst part is that there are messages and communications that prove that he is lying. And I am the one sitting here feeling like I fucked something up, even though I know I didn’t and this is a very broken person with a warped sense of reality.

This kind of emotional drama is so draining. Especially when I am trying to be the bigger person, have the hard conversations, repair the relationship. You simply cannot do that with someone who refuses to be authentic or take responsibility for their actions.

My heart feels like it’s expanding and dying all at the same time.

At the end of the day we are alone, with just ourselves. Our thoughts, actions and feelings define us. Not our jobs, not our financial status or outward success, it is what is inside that really matters. And I, for one, refuse to be anything but the ever expanding, highest version of me. ❤ ❤

Day 23: Embracing The Negatives

I know what you’re thinking… “girl, that’s supposed to say positives right?”

Nope. I got it right. Embracing the negatives. Sometimes there is a place for that, when the “negatives” can be used strategically to push forward. And right now, for me, that place is heart ache. ** Maybe I should change my language here. Negative has this connotation of being “bad” but for purposes of this article, a negative is just something that isn’t aligning with my desired outcome.**

We are taught that the only way to be happy is to focus on the positives! Let love in! Shun the bad! Nope…. nope, nope. Not for me. There is a reason the “negatives” exist. They provide contrast and are tools in themselves. They are powerful guides and shouldn’t be ignored. It is all a matter of how those tools are used as to whether they can be constructive or destructive.

The sticky thing about grief is that it comes in waves. One day I can be rocking, creating my own sunshine, the next I can be sobbing on the floor. This is when you can embrace the negatives and use them to slingshot you forward.

Getting over the life you saw yourself having with someone is hard. Sometimes you do have to embrace the negatives, put the positives in a box, and even though it’s a much bigger box than the negatives, you have to shove it aside for a moment.

Sometimes all I can do to keep moving is replay all of the things that were said that are the evidence for why we won’t be together. “Maybe we aren’t good for each other.” “Our season is over.” “We do better at a distance.” All of those little knife wounds are actually my friend. My way to move on from the one person who has asked me to do so, who has needed space every time we see each other. The one person that feels like home. The one person my heart practically bleeds for. The way to successfully do this is to not make it personal, because it isn’t. All of those things are a reflection of situational issues, not a reflection of me as a person. And they are all in fact, correct and honest and vulnerable. And even in that I find more love for the keeper of those words. See… herein lies the problem. I understand so completely where this man is coming from and I love him so much that I find appreciation for the things he says… even when it cuts me to the core.

The “negatives” are an exceedingly skewed perspective of a really beautiful relationship (and they aren’t negative or bad, they are just honest and authentic – it is my perception of them that labels them as negative). It is a perspective that I know will cause its own hurt as these words are devoured by the other player. But the negatives function as evidence. It’s building a case. It’s ushering my heart to a place where it can open the door for something else. Because if I focus on the positives, the “you’re beautifuls” and the “I love you’s” right now, it lets my heart take the wheel. It’s lets in hope. It lets in a love that cannot be tamed. It lets my imagination run wild. For each brick of a boundary laid I am there on the other side pulling it back down. I am there telling myself we just need more time, he needs more time. I require a massive amount of energy to move, to shift… my heart has a huge capacity and can handle a ton of shit. Filling it with these things pushes out some of the romantic tendencies and allows room for the new landscape. Friendship. In displacing the romantic and allowing friendship to enter instead, that positives box can be cracked once again and those beautiful words can be taken back into the heart under a different lens. I am loved, I am beautiful, I am capable, I am cared for, I am safe. In any relationship it’s all a matter of adjusting expectations and wants and aligning goals.

This can be done gently and lovingly and in honor of both parties and that is what I am choosing today. I have no anger or resentment towards Mr. X and maybe I am right, we do need more time. In this moment though, we aren’t meant to be and I have to focus on that right now so that I can stop the loop of what ifs that I am trying to use to define our future. Stopping this cycles allows me to appreciate the present moment and the relationship that we do have.

So yes. Sometimes focusing on the negatives is all the self care I can muster for one day. Because all I really need to do is keeping taking one step at a time. ❤ ❤

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Day 20: Strategic Ignorance And Protecting Those You Love

Strategic ignorance is a buzz phrase right now in the personal development world. Influencers tout it as a way to live a carefree, blissfully happy existence. Just strategically ignore anything that causes a twinge of pain or fear. You ignore any inconvenience in this world, including the people in your life that may be causing discomfort. You simply ignore anything that doesn’t please you!

I would venture a guess that these people also have relationships that are very superficial. Probably a lot of them. Probably not many people that would actually stick around for the hard stuff. And why would a person in this state even need that, because we are ignoring all of the hard stuff, right?

Pair this person with someone who has a huge heart, one who values connection, presence, elevation of relationships and … well… it can be a recipe for disaster. People with huge hearts aren’t made to connect superficially. They see beyond that. They see beyond the happiness facade to the truth underneath and they still love and cherish the connection. Even when it hurts them.

What do you do when you are in love with one of these huge hearts and you see them walking back into the lion’s den? When you have a huge heart yourself? You let them go. You watch from a distance and you stand by to pick up the pieces when they let hurt in again. And you keep showing up for them, because you see what they have to offer the world.

Loving someone is not always easy. It isn’t about ignoring all of the inconvenient parts. It isn’t about walking away when things get tough or you don’t see eye to eye. Sometimes loving someone is watching them walk a dangerous path and you quietly walk behind them, distracting evil from them as they journey. Sometimes loving someone is having a hard conversation when the time is right and sometimes it is keeping your mouth completely shut and silently crying your tears because you know that serves them better. When you truly love someone you want to protect them, you want to fight for them and with them, but sometimes they are fighting themselves, and that is a battle that you can only observe from the sidelines, cheer them on, and wipe away the blood, sweat and tears. This is one of the hardest parts of love.

Strategic ignorance. Yes, it can be useful. I can ignore the physical soreness in my body and keep working out because I know it is making me stronger. I can ignore people in my periphery that don’t hold the same values that I do because I know engaging will only lead to strife and close minded conversation.

What does strategic ignorance look like when it isn’t making a positive contribution? It looks like ignoring the $30,000 in credit card debt to continue living a lifestyle you can’t afford. It looks like ignoring conversations that require vulnerability and courage because walking away is easier. At the end of a life, I believe, it looks like regret. That is, of course, assuming the person in question is capable of true introspection.

Strategic ignorance. The quickest and easiest way to end up alone in life. Unless you are one of the lucky few who has someone with heart in your corner. And you can strategically ignore every time that you hurt them, knowing they will still show up for you. Unfortunately, people like this fail to recognize that there is one person that can’t be ignored, and that is the person inside. The self, the identity, the one that feels the happiness and the sorrow and the pain. And you can run from those feelings and cover them up in layers of superficiality but at the end of the day those emotions that don’t please you are still there, alive and thriving, pulsing at the core of the heart, growing stronger and stronger until the day that they are finally recognized, honored and processed.

For me, that is no way to live. I want all of it. I want the blissful happiness, and the joy and triumph, but I also want the edges, the pain, the tears, the fear of facing who I truly am and walking out the other side. This to me is authenticity. This is self love. And I will fearlessly stand beside anyone else lucky enough to be in my circle, because I’m not ignoring shit. ❤ ❤

Image by Ian Lindsay from Pixabay

Day 19: Overcoming Outcome Attachment

What in the hell is outcome attachment?

You know, outcome attachment… you meet a guy (or girl) and you hit it off and you imagine the wedding and the house and the 2.5 kids and then a few months down the line things change and suddenly the life you thought you were going to have is nowhere in the vicinity. You are left unsatisfied and longing for a future that was never yours.

I did this with Mr. X. ….. I still do this with Mr. X….

Latching on to outcomes isn’t all bad. After all, without attachment to outcomes we wouldn’t have goals and motivation. Attaching to these things can propel us forward, create momentum and lead to some really cool shit happening in our life. But what happens when the idea of an outcome is so strong that it is impossible to put aside? This doesn’t just pertain to relationships, of course. Attachment to an outcome in any area of our life can be detrimental if we are unable to come to terms with how that want has shown up. It can be landing that dream job and realizing the dream is actually closer to a nightmare, or gaining freedom from a situation only to realize we have backed ourselves into another prison. It can pertain to anything really. I know people who have ended up in the life of their dreams and are so attached to the ideal of what they thought it would look/feel like that they slog away, miserable in their existence for decades. Sometimes never realizing anything else is out there.

This happened for me with Mr. X because of the crazy connection we share. All my life I had been looking for that connection, and when I found it I just kind of assumed it was a sign that we were meant to be. It was cosmic lovers finding each other in this messy life, uniting energies and living the proverbial happily ever after. It is a depth of connection that I felt could only be reserved for lovers.

When Mr. X told me that we needed some space and that my vision wasn’t on the same page with his I became a little bit of a crazy chick. No, not slashing tires crazy, but sobbing breakdown crazy. My internal energy was that of a pissed off, spoiled little kid. I was stomping my feet wanting what I wanted and wanting it NOW. It made no sense to my brain or my heart that if he felt the same connection as me why in the hell he wouldn’t just dive into it. I have spent months and months grieving the loss of this future that I never had. I have spent countless hours with him, patiently and lovingly, ushering me through sadness and gently encouraging me to be present and enjoy our time together. Much of the time I couldn’t, or more accurately, I didn’t want to. I wanted to be sad. I wanted to mourn and grieve and focus on the loss of my storybook life. It is only in the last month or two that I have been able to shift perspective and come to some understanding that things don’t always turn out how we think they should. And that’s okay. I was holding on so tightly to the one thing I was SURE about in life. I KNEW love could ONLY be this way. When it wasn’t, it was as if I had just jumped off a 1000 foot cliff without a parachute. I felt lost and confused with the ground rapidly advancing toward me.

When I look back I realize all I have ever really wanted was love, not to be loved by anyone, but this earth melting, insanely connected love with a man. That was it. Sure, I had other dreams and things I thought would be cool to do in life, and I did most of them. Love was always the elusive one, the one I yearned for. Now, when I zoom out from all the drama I realize, I have that. I have exactly what I was looking for, exactly what my heart wanted. I have this person with whom I have this amazing connection and love. And we aren’t “together,” and we might never be. What we will always be though, is connected. We will always be great friends. It looks nothing like what I pictured, and has forced me to change a lot of preconceived notions of what I thought intimate relationships should look like.

Part of the grief and pain was that I felt I was missing out on this romantic aspect of this spectacular connection. The other part, that I realize only now, is that if I wasn’t looking for this, this love, then what did I have to look for? Somehow finding what I wanted was really scary because I no longer had that thing that was driving my life. Let me be clear, my life wasn’t that great a year ago. Yes, I had ticked some boxes of success as dictated by society, but I wasn’t happy. Something huge was missing and I realize it was human connection. I truly believed that having this man in my life would fulfill me so much that I wouldn’t need anything else. Which was great, because I had the career so what else did I need to be considered a success? The thing about a connection like the one I have with Mr. X is that it can very quickly and easily become the icky side of dependency. I wanted to be saved, and he did that. And I wanted to stay docked to that and let my life be whatever Mr. X wanted it to be and I would go along for the ride because we would be together and that would be all I needed (isn’t that an insane amount of pressure to put on another person).

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Mr. X knew it. I knew it. Even as I was thinking those thoughts of how great it would be to just be cared for and protected and not have to “deal with the world,” I also knew I would never be happy like that. Once I was able to zoom out and take a bigger picture view I realized that wanting that love and connection was super powerful and had been such a driving force in my life for so long that all of my energy was focused on finding that. So I did… and now that I have that, that energy can be directed elsewhere. Namely, back into myself, because the reality is, the human connection that I truly NEED, is with me. Once I accepted the situation of what was going on with Mr. X and how he felt and why he felt the way he did, it was like this whole other world opened up. Once I accepted that I was not going to have the fairy tale ending that I imagined, but I still had the connection that I wanted, my energy shifted to me. I began to ask myself, what do I want? What can I do today that will serve me? How can I show up for myself? Then I started doing those things.

It was only with acceptance and the end of resistance that my lenses were able to clear and I was able to see a whole host of other options for my life that I never would have been able to notice being stuck in that whirlpool of drama. The truth is, there is never just one path to happy. And looking for another person to “complete you” or fill you up is a recipe for disaster. You have to be willing to be whole as you, for you. You have to be willing to step off the path for a minute, take a look around and realize that there are endless other trails and tangents that lead to beautiful, enchanting, fulfilling place. You just have to be open to finding them.

How do you overcome outcome attachment? You breathe. You let the pain be there, but you don’t amplify it and you scan for all of the positives and gains and strengths acquired, and then you focus on you. You breath into your heart. You explore the world looking for things that create a spark of life and pretty soon you will have gathered so many that a bonfire is lit and the momentum to create pushes you to the next thing. And suddenly each step you take leads to the next, and the next and the next. And none of them look like how you thought they SHOULD, but the rush of excitement in your heart cannot be ignored, and that is when once again, you find life. ❤ ❤

** We all need catalysts for our journeys back to self. Mine is Mike Kemski. I write about him here. He is starting a challenge that will amplify your life and lead you to a path of transformation that is unlike any other. The challenge starts January 6th. These are the last few days to get your ass in gear and start living the life you want. Don’t be like me, don’t wait until your heart is gasping for breath and all you can see in front of you is the monotony of your current existence. Dare to create, dare to dream big. This man, this challenge and this community are all you need to get started.

Jump in here: