December 20, 2013

My Scarlet Letter

Growing up in a glass house, I cleverly hid a lot! I knew what I could not be and created a version of me that fit what I should. My scarlet A was a PK and not a sign of shame, but of Godly status setting me apart. I was suppose to be different.

Yet, I have my own Footloose stories locked away still.
I am no different than the majority really. Most of us hide our scars.

We feel imperfect as we try to live up to the societal expectations of beauty, emotional, life ideals of perfection.

I can't admit to others that I am depressed or that my kid cuts himself or that I am lonely in my marriage. I can't let others know that I am divorced or that I really don't enjoy running the church program. I can't say no because they will think bad of me.

We talk ourselves into negatives.

I'll never have enough money. I'll never be skinny enough. I'll never be like her.

Until one day the inadequacies of imperfections fester long enough that they explode.

TMI! TMI! others exclaim while running to hide from crazy you.

And sometimes they can't handle you anymore and they leave.

Taking your need to be loved unconditionally and shattering it more.

I was a perfect 36-26-36 several years ago and decided to post a picture of myself on Facebook in my bikini. Now at this time in my life I was going through a divorce where most of the people that were suppose to love me for me was throwing blame on me. Telling me I was not good enough, I needed to do this or that...I should have....the list of others faults thrown at me tore my hurting heart to shreds.

Only a few people who claimed to love me unconditionally embraced me.

So in desperation I did something I would have been embarrassed to ever do and posted that picture. I needed affirmation even if it was physical and fitted societal expectations of beauty.

The temporary feel good high lasted a few days, until I saw some of my best friends de-friending me without saying one word because I know longer fit their expectations. Somehow I had crossed a boundary in our relationship that I never knew existed. That still hurts me to this day.

I am still casting off the masks of who I was to become who I am meant to be.

Finding beauty in my own scars.

Like many mothers across my lower abdomen I bare the scars of pregnancy. I must admit I hated the site of my railroad tracks stretch marks until one day a friend turned the ugly into beautiful when she said, "My stretch marks are love tattoos. A symbol of the gift of my girls. A reminder of how amazing our bodies are."

There is a spiritual holiness in finding the courage to be you that I believe makes you the most beautiful.

See these scars we all have, they are not ugly. They are not things we should be afraid to share.

They are what makes you uniquely you. A perfect being in His own image.

I confess I still struggle. I occasionally place too much weight on what other's think of me. I never want to hurt anyone, but I am learning to no longer let others define me.

I am letting go of the belief that what I do has to be good enough for someone else. That my actions have to fit into a mold. That there is something wrong about sharing my hurts or imperfections with others. That I am less than someone else because of my beliefs.

That my scars have marked me unworthy, unlovable, dirty because others make me feel that way.

In reality we are all the same. Some of us are just more honest about it all. And often, the less honest are the ones who judge the most.

Wherever you are today, know that I think you are wonderful and beautiful and worthy. Embrace your scars not as imperfections, but as a part of what you had to endure to get to where you are. They are a beautiful part of your story. Don't be afraid to share them.

December 10, 2013

A Letter to Myself

Dear Me,

You sit here tonight feeling inadequate. You find yourself swimming in the mucky murky dirt of self doubt.
Whether it was an offhanded comment about the past or one of your thousand irrational fears, you have allowed yourself to feel less than you should.

You see yourself as second best. A place you have always thought you should be. You have continued to allow yourself to accept this.

The wind has been knocked out of your sails and like a ship on rough waters you continue to toss about trying to find your balance.

You aren't fighting right now, you are sitting down letting others throw their stupid comments or actions at you, like the downpour of rain in the midst of this storm.

Forget the rock star moments of his past, or all that was before. You have decided to create this life together and it's yours. Don't let others stupid comments or actions take away your joy.

Stand up and believe in what is now.

Remember, you are in control. (Yes, God really is but you know what I mean.)

You can sit in your party of one and pity, pity, pity yourself.

Or you can choose to live in today.

There are a thousand dreams you were created to live. A plethora of skills you possess to use. A heart of love waiting to give.

You might not see it, but they are all within your reach. Believe.

Forget all the naysayers who will always be there. They steal your joy when you let them.

Jealousy lurks just around most corners and will hit you again and again. Their jealous is not your problem. Leave it with them.

And Sarah...

You are wonderful and special.

You are smart and talented.

You take care of yourself and those you love in countless ways.

You are gifted.

You are unique and beautiful.

Wipe all this self pity crap out of your heart and head and love yourself tonight. Because you are so worth it!

December 6, 2013

A Selfish Prayer

Hey God, I am rarely selfish and I know there are thousands of people who are worse off than me.

I am not asking for you to fix my problems, but can you at least give me peace.

Peace that this business we are creating, which has received countless positive reviews, is going to be sustainable. I mean I really have no idea where the money is coming from next year to keep this going.

Each day Mike and I get up and take these ideas and create hope for others out of them.

And it works!

God, it really works!

But can you send some more customers our way.

The income side of things is non-existent, but the personal satisfaction is great.

Or can you bless us with a big investor who wants to help others in living the life they were meant to live who chooses us as that channel?

In a sense we are very much like those we are working with. Hopeful.

Mike and I continue to live the life we desire without a net.

We have no idea how we are going to pay for this or that. How we are going to take the time or money to cross Ireland off my joie de vivre list.

But each morning we get up and continue pursuing a passion we both believe in. Creating books, classes, workshops, and coaching because it works.

So, God...I believe all this comes from you.

Is there a greater lesson I am to learn?

I mean honestly, I am struggling.

And I know I am not more special than the next person, but can you show me just how  we can keep this going when we have bills to pay, and car issues to fix, and medical insurance issues to face, and dental work necessary?

I don't know how this is going to work.

And I am okay if it doesn't. But somehow I think it is meant to be.

Somehow it is so much easier to give others hope than to see it within your own circumstances. I guess the fact that we keep going makes us different. So many give up when the unknowns become overwhelming.

A deep breathe relaxes my heart and head into a place of calm.

I don't know God. I really don't know. And I am scared. I really am. But I believe. And I am learning to trust more.

Maybe this is a greater journey of personal growth before the professional. I don't know. But, you do.

And I am ready to know.

Do you think I am?