The past few months have been a struggle for me mentally and while they haven’t always been pleasant…lots of ugly crying breakdowns, engulfing myself in a book or my work, staying busy to avoid conflict, praying my heart out and an insane amount of personal reflection, BUT I am finally making a breakthrough and I am elated. I’ve been on a journey. I didn’t know what that journey was when it started, but now that I am well into it, I’ve realized that it is just an extension of me learning about me and accepting the woman I am. I am happy with who I am. I am proud of the woman I’ve become, the friends I have, the work I do. While my life isn’t perfect, it is my life and I am in control of it. I’m ok if people don’t like me. I’m not going to jive with everyone, but simple respect is an expectation of mine. I strive for greatness and I fail constantly, but it’s ok because I get back up. How one handles failure is true sign of strength. Failure is rough, but knowing that failure, acceptance, awards, grades, are not a recipe for how much you are loved or appreciated, but rather a recipe for personal guidelines. I know what I am capable of and when I don’t reach or succeed my abilities, I am frustrated. I don’t love myself less. I challenge myself and push myself more.
Everyone reacts differently to events in life. There isn’t an exact recipe for the right way to react. There are ways that are unhealthy to react, but that’s a different topic for a different day. I’m not a counselor or psychiatrist. Accepting other’s reactions and not judging them especially when you are passionate about the topic or are feeling challenged is really difficult and totally frustrating for me. I was raised in an extremely accepting family. Being one of six kids, 2 of which were half siblings, and 27 years between the oldest and youngest, we were diverse. My brother who is 23 months younger than I are the only two that were ever in a similar place at the same time (high school, college). The rest of us have always been in different stages of life. It’s really neat being smack dab in the middle and seeing how my older siblings handled things so differently from my younger siblings and vice versa. Our interests are wide and varying, but we all love each other unconditionally. That’s my norm. I dream of a world as accepting as my family. I’m an idealist, I know, but it would be awesome!
My family has always loved me. They loved me through my adorable toddler years, my emotional teen years when I hated my body and wanted nothing more than for a boy to like me, my slightly crazy college years, my super driven/channel vision moments, and my insanely emotional times. I still cry when I leave my parents’ house. My feelings are extremely visible. I love that I am emotional. Does that mean that I will cry when I’m happy and when I’m sad? You betcha! Does it mean that when I’m in a discussion and am having trouble getting my point across that I get agitated and frustrated with myself? Yup. Does it mean that if I know you are capable of greatness and are shorting yourself that I am going to try to do everything in my power to make sure that you know you are loved? Hell yea. Does it mean that when I get tired, I collapse mentally, physically and emotionally? Sadly, yes. Does it mean that you may get my ugly side if you wake me up or “test” me during my collapse? For sure.
Being happy with who you are, the life you live, the job you have, your dreams…is healthy. I’ve been the giver and receiver of lines like you have it better than so and so, at least you have your health, financially you are just fine, life’s not easy, and I hate it. Being happy shouldn’t be a luxury, it should be the norm. There seems to be a constant so and so has it worse than you, so be happy. NO! Be happy because you love who you are. If you don’t love yourself, change something. Fight for happiness. Believe me, it’s worth it.
I heard this song yesterday and while I have heard it a million times, I don’t believe I’ve ever heard it the way I did yesterday.
Everybody by Ingrid Michaelson
Happy is the heart that still feels pain
Darkness drains and light will come again
Swing open up your chest and let it in
Just let the love, love, love begin
Everybody, everybody wants to love
Everybody, everybody wants to be loved
Everybody feels the love
Everybody steals the love
Everybody heals with love
Oh, oh, oh
Just let the love, love, love begin
Let the love, love, love begin is such a great line. Love yourself, Love your neighbor, Love God. If we all do that there’d be a whole lotta love and happy hearts in this world. Oh how sweet that would be!