Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too”
It isn’t all roses. Sometimes you have to smell the garbage too. Sometimes you may have to sit there and experience the worst. Maybe even bottom out. It doesn’t need to be a dramatic whirlwind of “terrible” in order for it to be your lowest point. There are dozens of movies and tell-all memoirs by has been celebrities that hit rock bottom using narcotics or alcohol for one reason or another. That may not necssarily be your story.
Life has a funny way of stopping you dead in your tracks sometimes…it happens while your making other plans. Just when you think everything is status quo, everything is gone. Or is it? It’s now just dramatically different. When we think of loss it usually denotes death. But loss can mean so many things. Loss of a job, of a home, of a friend, a lover, a status, direction. We often hear, from well meaning people-“It will get better/easier”. Untrue-it only changes. It changes as you do, as you adapt to your new normal. You learn to cope in some way, sometimes healthy, other times- not so much. You’re allowed to fall apart. Cry your eyes out, question why…. and then you have to do something else. As much as you’d like at that moment choose to stop existing, it isn’t real. There are reasons and people that need you for other things. So you must. You must for you.
We’ve all been hurt. Maybe you’ve experienced something that you now believe defines you. We all have scars. Some people choose to live according to them-constantly blaming the “it” or the “him/her” for where they are. Others live around them. The scar exists, it is there as a reminder of your strength and resiliency. You have a story to tell, a person to remember, a time in your life when things were easier/happier/different. If you allow yourself to believe that it will never be again, that will be your reality.
Sometimes when you pick up the pieces, people will marvel and ask you how you can possibly be ‘okay’? The truth of the matter is, they may be asking for you to show them how, because they want it too. Tell them how far you’ve come or haven’t, but either way help them if you can. We all will have our own lowest point…and then. And then we begin again.
My father once told me “I love you in a million different ways, for a million different reasons” what he forgot to say was that being perfect wasn’t one of them. While fighting for his life, my dad wrote me a letter because he realized he might not make it to offer me advice throughout my adult years. It is perhaps one of my most treasured posessions. It stays at my bedside and has for nearly eight years now. Although he believed I could do anything, he was always sure to praise the little things. He made the biggest fuss over how I tied my shoe laces at the age of five. With regard to my accomplishments in school he was always one to say “As long as you’ve tried your hardest”.
Somewhere along the way we pick up the idea that we are supposed to be perfect. We are supposed to strive to be superhuman and save the world. Chances are you were never told it was completely acceptable to be average- to land somewhere in the middle and to embrace your imperfections. Here I am to tell you you’d better hurry up and do so. You don’t need to be a model or a doctor or a rocket scientist- though if you are, kudos. Plus who is to say that your average isn’t actually amazing? You don’t need a flashy car or a huge house, try celebrating your strong character and incredible family and friends. Money is of course wonderful, in the sense that it provides security, but what is ” a lot” is completely relative to what you value in life.
Now don’t get confused, I didn’t say don’t strive- but remember to strive for YOUR best, not someone else’s. Challenge yourself and be happy with the results against your own ruler. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, rich is the man who has his health. Do you. And if that means you land in the middle, hold it down- someone has to 😉
Curare-to take care. It’s a shame we don’t come with instructions or warning labels as people, it would make interacting with one another so much easier. So since we don’t here’s a very simple rule to live by- handle with care. You know you can relate to wanting to know exactly what someone is thinking when they say something atroscious- hopefully they weren’t thinking. Every single day you make decisions subconsciously on what you say and more importantly- HOW you say it. Choose wisely- your choice is brief and yet endless. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Let people know where you stand. But please remember to be gentle. It is very easy to take out your frustrations on the people you love the most without meaning to. Because if you are normal, you get tired and cranky and maybe even angry sometimes. You want so badly for them to see it your way that you completely discredit where he/she is coming from- their entire mindset, background, upbringing and personality. You forget to consider their “story” and the paradigm through which they interpret what you say and mean.
People have hearts and feelings and in our most fragile states as infants and seniors we needed or will need others to care for us- so why do we not expect the same for the greatest portion of our lives? Take care of yourself and expect that others will treat you similarly. Teach them how by giving them your best. It’s amazing how one smile leads to another or a compliment can turn someone’s entire day around. If you don’t realize the kind of impact you have consider this- “to the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world”. Sometimes we aren’t privy to this kind of information. You may never know how much you mean to someone if they aren’t able to express it. Give them permission. Say you’re sorry when you are, say I love you when you do, as often as you can. Choose wisely. Handle with care. Curare
If I said- this is it! Your intitial thought is that I’m excited and absolutely sure about something. If I say- this is it? I’m disappointed with what I’ve gotten, I was looking for more. It’s so easy to want more. I’ve spoken about wishing for more, wishing your life away. Hoping for different circumstances. Whether or not you’re ready, I’d like to welcome you to your life- right at this very moment. I don’t know if you realize it but you are exactly where you are supposed to be. You’re doing a great job, I promise. It may not always feel like it. You can never get your hair exactly as you want it, you need to lose 5 pounds, your kids are always late for camp, you only earned a B-. You haven’t gotten the raise you want, someone you know is sick. Look for the messages in these things- they are there. We are human-we falter, we win, we lose, we’re happy and then sad sometimes. We all make mistakes-look PASSED it. I guarantee you you have so much more than you realize. You got up this morning and were breathing, put clothes on, ate breakfast and went somewhere-likely somewhere they need you. If you didn’t show up- something would be missing or wouldn’t get done. You’re a lot more valued than you think. If you have children who climbed into your bed this morning, they snuggled up next to you and you got to kiss warm little faces. There were ten fingers and toes. How incredible. How about those shoes your wearing? First off- you’ve got shoes…secondly, don’t dare wish to walk in someone elses. There are people around the world who would give anything for a pair to lessen their burden. Rock your shoes 😉
Be still and believe. Believe that the choices you make and the hard work is all for something. Don’t get stuck in the “coulda, shoulda, wouldas”. A wise woman I know taught me-don’t worry about the could haves, because if it should have then it would have. Count your blessings, make each day matter, do good, be kind, laugh and listen. Hug tight. Love yourself and your life exactly as it is- that way it can only get better. This is it.