useless failure

I was reminded again, in the last couple of days, what a ‘useless failure’ I am. For far too many years, hearing this being spewed at me regularly, I not only believed it to be true, but I also found it extremely devastating every time it was said.

I know better now.

We all know about ‘unrealistic expectations’ that we not only set for ourselves, but sometimes hold others to. And we know how negative an impact they can have. Sometimes they are disguised as ‘my dream/wish/hope for you’… because sometimes those are just ‘pretty’ substitutes for ‘this is what I actually expect’.

Please don’t get me wrong : it is wonderful to have hopes and dreams for our children, our siblings, our friends. It can be quite empowering to share these with them – it can encourage and inspire things within them that they may have never even considered.

The danger comes in when we share that dream/hope/wish… and then turn it into an expectation in our minds.

I was supposed to get an Honours Degree.
I was supposed to marry a ‘professional’ (doctor, lawyer, accountant).
I was supposed to have two ‘perfect’ children.
I was supposed to be ‘successful’ by now. (Ah yes, but we may not measure success the same, right? 😉 )

All of the above started out as ‘hopes and wishes’ for me – for my future. But somewhere in the passing years, there has been a noticeable shift to : this was what was expected of you and you have failed dismally.

BUT I HAVEN’T! 🙂


For far too many years I have allowed my worth to be based on my inability to achieve the things that I was always told were what would make me successful.
It had me carrying around a burden of unworthiness that was not mine to carry.
It had other implications too.

Thank goodness for personal growth, and the willingness to learn and grow 😉

I may not have married well, I may not have obtained the ever important degree, and I definitely don’t have perfect children 😛

But it doesn’t make me less. And it doesn’t make YOU less if you’re in the same position. So here is my message to you all :

It doesn’t matter if you have not achieved all that others wanted for you. YOU STILL HAVE WORTH!
It also doesn’t matter if you have not achieved all that YOU wanted for you. YOU STILL HAVE WORTH!
There is still time. Circumstances may mean you need to ‘alter’ your dream… but you CAN still have a dream 😉
Every day is a new day, to keep growing, and keep going…

Because you ARE worth it! ❤

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Quality Street

Six years ago, I was invited to attend Friday night youth, and give ‘a talk’ for the teens. When I unpacked my ‘visual aid’ for my talk, I had the attention of each and every one of them…. especially when I proceeded to open the bags and allow the taste delights to spill out on to the table in front of me. Because, you see, I had brought with me three large bags like this :

The image comes from the Nestle website, and you’ll notice in the fine print below the ‘Choice Chocolates & Toffees’, it states that it is ‘everyone’s favourite favourite’.

Funnily enough, the pictures alongside that (the green, yellow and purple chocolates) happen to be MY favourites in the bag 😉
Now Quality Street has always been ‘an expensive treat’, and when growing up, if our family gifted a box of chocolates, this was usually the one that was given.
We had them for ‘us’ a few times a year…. and I can remember many a battle over MY favourites, ha ha ha!
They are still one of the ‘more expensive’ boxes/packets of chocolates, and I think we probably only get them once a year now – usually around Christmas time.

One of my reasons for using them for the Youth Talk was this : Like the bag of chocolates, with it’s variety, we are all different. And we all have different things that we ‘prefer/like/favourite’ as well as different strengths and weaknesses – ‘tastes’, if you will.
But what if I said to them that they could have any chocolate from the bag, just not their favourite? Would they still choose one? Their reply was a unanimous yes.
And I used this to illustrate to them that just because someone wasn’t their favourite, or wasn’t ‘like them’, didn’t mean that that person didn’t have value. That person was still SOMEBODY’S favourite, and deserved kindness and love, just as much as they themselves did.
And that even if they felt they themselves were different, they still had worth!

And as I look around me in the world today, I see a whole lot of people with a variety of talents, and weaknesses, and strengths, and ‘differences’.
And I may not always ‘approve’ or be comfortable with their choices, or choose to spend ‘quality time’ with those people – they may not be my choice at all….
But they still deserve kindness (which is an expression of love!!!) no matter what I think or feel. Because they are still Someone’s favourite.

IN A WORLD WHERE YOU CAN BE ANYTHING, BE KIND!

(And yes, I let the teens eat the chocolates – although supervision was required to ensure that they were evenly distributed 😛 )

Plea and please

The picture below is a photograph of my son and I, taken four years ago, on the evening of his final school dance. Many people have commented that he ‘looks a lot like me’. (I softly curled my hair for the occasion 😉 )

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Although there is a resemblance in our appearance, it stops when it comes to height and body shape. He’s slouching a little in the picture, for Mom’s benefit 😛 He’s just over six foot tall, and slender. I am a shorty, and rounder 😛

The similarities with us are not just physical – he seems to be very similar to me in a lot of other ways too. He has a kind and tender heart, a gentle spirit, and like his momma he can be quite sensitive. He and I are the ones who will sit and cry in a movie, or an episode of a series – not always out of sadness though. In fact, most times, if it’s heartwarming, it gets our tears 😉 When we try to retell stories of acts of kindness, our voices wobble a little – and if it’s one of those ‘overwhelming type stories’, we’ll have to stop to try and ‘get a grip’ and prevent ourselves from crying.

We’re just too soft 😛

But I am proud of my young man, and who he has become. He may fail in some ways, and may be a bit of a slow starter in others – and yes, he still has his moments where he frustrates and irritates me, ha ha ha! BUT his good qualities FAR outweigh any bad, and I am very grateful for that!

One of the ways that he is VERY different to me though is when it comes to the social side of his personality. He’s great with the friends he has known since he was 13 – there is no struggle for him there. But he is, for the most part, shy and introverted. It takes him a while to come out of his shell around other people. (He partially struggles with self esteem.) And yet, like his mother 😉 , he doesn’t struggle to connect with his online friends. He met them through the world of online gaming, and soon they were social media friends, which means chatting and voice noting and connecting. And through all that, he has made good friends – friends he has never met in person. And I even ‘know’ a few of them – sometimes it feels like they are part of our ‘real world’ and have been to visit 😉

SO…. why am I telling you all this?

Last night, my very precious ‘boy’ came to me, still in shock and unsure of how he felt. He had just received a message from one of his other friends to say that their ‘mutual friend’ had committed suicide on Saturday. She was only 18 – we had all ‘celebrated online’ on her 18th birthday this year.
We knew she was struggling with depression. We knew that she had started new medication earlier this year. We knew that a couple of weeks ago, things were bad for her and she was withdrawn.
But it still came as a shock. 
Because we also knew that we had all offered help, that she had reassured us that ‘it was okay’, that she had her meds. She never once told anyone that she wished for death.

I didn’t hug my son. He’s not one for physical affection, and I respect that.
But we talked. Briefly. And I made it clear that I am always available if he needs to chat – he can even wake me if I am sleeping.
Then I watched my young man as he left my room, shoulders stooped, heart hurting.
And I cried a little bit.

Preteens, Teens, Young Adults, Grown Ups – please hear the cry from my heart today :

Depression sometimes has a way of ‘creeping up on us’. In society today, it’s ‘common’ – and yet in some cases, there still seems to be a stigma attached to it.
If you think you may be suffering from it, or know that you are, please DO NOT BE ASHAMEDno matter who has tried to shame you for it. 
Please reach out and try to ask for help.
I know that sometimes we get to a place where we just can’t ask.
Please force yourself. And if you need to, then please force yourself to accept help.
Your life IS worth something.
YOU ARE WORTH SOMETHING!

Worth… again

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I just can’t stress this enough!

The last 24 hours have made me even more aware of this – not in my own personal life, but as I have interacted with others.

You may say, ”But you don’t understand.”

Hear me when I say this : I DO! If I shared some of the words that had been spoken over me, you would be horrified – and in total agreement if I told you that I felt unworthy.
There is validation in your feeling that way if it comes from an abusive past….

There is not validation in staying in that place though.

It’s not an easy road. Going back, identifying and dealing with that false belief system, and breaking through into a changed perspective on the essence of you is HARD! 

But it is worth it. Because no matter your circumstances, or what you have been told, YOU are worth it!

I shared a post back in February, which I feel strongly in my heart needs to be revisited by us all, especially in these troubling times, where we’re all feeling rather lost in one way or another. There is a lot right now that we cannot control, and unfortunately there are a lot of circumstances that are making us question our value as individuals (like the man who has lost his job because of Covid, and now cannot provide for his family – does this make him unworthy? NO! But it can make him feel that way!).

I also want to throw something in here real quick as well….

Your worth is not based on the opinions of others. But it’s also not based on the actions of others. Before we work on relationships ‘out there’, we need to work on the most important relationship that we have – the one we have with ourselves.

I spoke with someone yesterday who told me, ”It’s just another failed relationship. I guess I am not worthy of love.”
When I told them they were still loved, they referred back to the ‘romantic relationship’.
So then I asked, ”How do you see yourself from the perspective of being a friend? Are you a good friend?”
The answer was, ”I think so. My friends know they can rely on me, and that I have their backs – and they have mine.”
So I asked, ”Is that not love?”
”Yeah, I guess. But if you can’t have a partner to share your life with, then you’re pretty worthless when it comes to loving, aren’t you?”

The conversation continued, but I want to leave you with this :

Your worth is not based on what other people say and do.
Your worth is not based on whether or not you’re single, or a good partner in a romantic relationship.
Your worth is not based on how much, or how little you have.
Your worth is not based on the circumstances you are facing – not now, not in the future, and certainly not from your past.

YOU ARE WORTHY – so worthy, in fact, that you deserve to embrace every opportunity that you have to learn and grow and accept it! (And we have many opportunities, especially with the internet and the resources out there – we just sometimes avoid it because it seems easier not to address the issues.)

And I’ll say it again : it’s hard! It’s painful. You may still have moments where you find yourself questioning your worth – I know I do – but for me personally I have found it to be a good thing, because it makes me stop, and really think… and I remember… I HAVE got worth, despite ‘whatever’.

As per the post I referred to above : Jump that fence! You’re worth it! ❤

Simple isn’t always simple

At least once a week I either cut my finger, or burn myself while cooking – I never burn badly, but definitely enough to get a blister. I’ve decided it goes with my ‘unprofessional chef’ territory, so there is a box of Band Aids that lives in the kitchen and there’s always ice in the freezer. On Sunday I had myself questioning why I even cook! 😛

I burnt my right index finger and cut a slice into my left thumb. I dished up dinner with a Band Aid on one finger, and ice held against the other.

On Monday morning, the Band Aid came off in the shower, as they sometimes do. I chose not to replace it because it seemed okay. I didn’t inspect it closely enough though and it wasn’t actually ‘healed over’. I caught it on something at around lunchtime, and it opened up again to being as bad as it was, and bled profusely. I grabbed another Band Aid, and I’ve been wearing one ever since – which is ridiculous because this morning I could see it had closed over…. I’m just not taking any chances. 😛

If I had given it enough time to heal though, it wouldn’t have been a problem.

The thing is, the healing process is dependent on other things – how deep the cut actually is, and how well your body does with healing itself. So I don’t always know how much time to give it.

And I think we’re kind of the same way emotionally. Our healing is sometimes dependent on how deep the hurt has gone and what the circumstances that followed were; and how well we do with dealing with things.

I know a girl who had an eerily similar childhood to mine – eerily so because she even made some of the same mistakes/choices that I did in my teens, and for the very same reasons I had. Her circumstances changed when she was 18 though –  she met the most amazing man who was the complete opposite to the limiting beliefs she had had imposed on her. And she embraced him. He encouraged her, inspired her, and loved her unconditionally. And it had a very positive result. The greatest achievement was inside her – she was confident, and loved herself, and no longer let the lies from her past define any part of her.
By the time she reached 40, she was the boss of her own company and was raising three beautiful children, still happily married, still confident and loving herself. She’s gained weight, and her face has aged quite a lot – and she honestly isn’t even worried.

Things weren’t the same way for me. I met, and stuck with, what I knew. And years of abuse followed. It’s no surprise that that led to even lower self esteem and I lacked self love to a terrifyingly staggering degree. (Which of course, in itself, paved the way for bad decisions and more mistakes.)

It’s only in the last few weeks that I can honestly say to you… Guess what? I love me! I AM worthy! I don’t just have the words to encourage others to believe it for themselves because I can believe it for me! I have the words FOR ME! 

About a year ago, someone who knows both the girl I mentioned above, and me, was overheard saying,
”Well, her childhood was pretty similar, but compared to Meg she’s a walking version of success. Guess Meg can’t be bothered to conquer her demons.”
I was devastated. It stopped me dead in my emotional tracks. I pretty much stopped trying. I let myself be defeated. 

So the point of me painting the picture above is this :

First of all – please don’t believe any comparisons. You can’t compare people because we’re all different – and we come out of different circumstances and come from different places. And try not to compare yourself either. Just because Peter or Mary got over it quickly doesn’t mean you’re supposed to. They are not you. They don’t feel like you do. They don’t experience things like you do. They can’t compare to you because they are not you!

Secondly, please stop putting pressure on yourself to achieve someone else’s timeline.
Yes, we need to have goals and dreams and aspirations. We have to have something to work towards. But again, we are all different. We work at different paces. Just because you stuck with the plan that someone else laid out, and they succeeded and you didn’t, doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Maybe you just need a little more time than what they did?
It works the same with our emotions. Some of us ‘get over’ things more quickly – and there are those of us who have to deal with the root before we can successfully pull the weed… and that takes time. ‘Simple’ problems are not always simple.
Please try and love yourself enough to give yourself grace – you’re not a failure, you just need some more time.

And remember that it takes time to recover and rebuild… so if it doesn’t happen in a specific time frame that you have in mind or have as an example from someone else, please don’t give up. Keep at it!

Slow progress is still progress.

And you’re still way ahead of people who aren’t even trying 😉

Can you name yourself?

self love

I shared the above picture on my Facebook wall yesterday. And my heart broke.

People I truly care about and love responded with a sad ‘like’ emoji. Four of them actually commented… and basically? Their reply was, ‘never’.

For those who responded, I did what I do best, and popped off messages of encouragement to remind them that they have worth.

But guys and girls, isn’t this such a tragic epidemic? Because so many of us can identify with it. If you had asked me six months ago, I am pretty sure my response would have been ‘never’ too.

You know something? I love my kids. I really do. It helps that I have kinda great ones 😛 Thing is, that sometimes they don’t act or treat me in a way that they should – they ‘act out’ or make silly choices – and I get a little mad at them. But in every disciplinary action that I take, every word that I speak, I am always really clear :

”I love you no matter what. But what you just did/said, is not very like-able. So although I love you despite it, I really don’t like it.”

Why do we struggle so much to apply that to our lives?

I didn’t get that kind of unconditional love from my own mother. No! Please don’t feel sorry for me. And please understand that I don’t mean it as a disrespectful thing for her – because when I started accepting that she loved me the way she knew how, based on her belief systems and from her place of pain and bitterness, it made me see things a little differently. And it’s partly because of my experiences with her that I have been able to grow, and be a different kind of mother for my children. Moving on from that though, I want to say this :

(There’s a much better, and probably well-researched, way to get this message across. And there are more blog posts to grow from it. But sadly, I am pressed for time. So you’re just gonna have to get what’s in my heart for now.)

It doesn’t matter what mistakes you have made in your life. It doesn’t matter where you come from. It doesn’t matter if you made bad choices. 

It doesn’t matter who DIDN’T love you. It doesn’t matter what people have said about you. 

And I know it’s hard to break cycles of abuse, and switch off those repetitive voices that tell you that you’re a failure, worthless, unattractive.

The toughest is when you ‘make another mistake’, or just made your third bad choice this week and it’s only Tuesday! But guess what? That actually doesn’t matter either.

Here’s the thing : when our friends come to us, broken by the things listed above, we usually say something like, ‘My friend, don’t be so hard on yourself, cut yourself some slack, all is not lost, tomorrow is a new day’….

But we keep forgetting to apply it to ourselves.

So to everyone who is taking the time to read this :

PLEASE cut yourself some slack. Yes, maybe you need to make positive changes. Yes, maybe you’re making the same mistakes. Yes, maybe your choices need some guidance.

BUT…. those are just things that we need to ‘not like’, and work on.

They do not define you. YOU CAN STILL LOVE YOU!

Because you ARE worth it!

 

 

You Are The Best!

Each and every one of us are different. And there are days when I look in the mirror and think, ‘well, thank goodness for that!’. 😛
Honestly though….

NO ONE can be a better YOU than YOU! (And it’s in red because it is really important!) And guess what? Your birth was a blessing, no matter what the circumstances. You have gifts and talents, even if you haven’t discovered them yet. And you have a purpose!

You aren’t defined by your past, and that includes yesterday. Because perhaps yesterday you did something that suddenly sparked a much needed change and so today you are a better person, striving towards the greatness you were created for.

And if you feel like you haven’t yet managed to grasp your particular talent, ability, purpose and it’s making you feel worthless? Please don’t lose heart! You will! You’re still the best ‘you’ that anyone could ever hope to be and you’re filled with undeniably positive potential! (Even if it means you need to learn and grow and discover 😉 )
No matter what : you matter!

So having said all that, I am also going to say this : some people can be really mean, and sometimes I think that’s why Noah only took animals on the ark. 😛
They stand in judgement of every little thing, and they’re critical, and they’re a downright hindrance to whatever self esteem we are trying to build. And sometimes, if we pause to explore where they’re coming from, we might find a lot of hidden hurt… and opinions based on the beliefs they have. They can still be quite destructive though. (If we let them be : and let’s face it, sometimes we’re in a place where we struggle to not let them influence us.)
They’re a ball of continuous negativity that just seems to never stop rolling.

The thing is, when I think about it, there are times where my behaviour was exactly like theirs. Those times may have been fleeting, but I’d be lying if I said that I have never judged another, or been critical, or broken down someone’s self esteem.

However, nowadays when that old pattern of self threatens to emerge, I am usually a lot more successful at preventing myself from reacting or behaving in that way, because I have worked really hard to eliminate the beliefs that taught me to be that way and deal with my pain.  And I owned my mistakes – and appreciated the times they were not thrown in my face. There’s also something extra special and extremely uplifting when someone pauses at an action you have taken and wants to know ‘why’ – without just the assumption that actions speak louder than words.

The ‘WHY’ is actually the source of the biggest step towards change and growth. Without understanding ‘why’, or caring enough to ask someone ‘why’, they may not ever get the help they need and may continue on a path of self destruction. I understand that sometimes the why isn’t a simple answer – but growth and change aren’t always simple either.

In a world where we can be anything, let’s not only be kind…. let’s also be understanding.

This was actually all sparked by a motivational speaker who has fed me some truly great opinions and knowledge that have helped me, but has also recently been tarnished in the media for doing something ‘terrible’. And while I agree that ‘the deed’ is in fact a bit questionable, I don’t know why it was done – I have no real knowledge of the circumstances or the emotions, or the struggle that I am sure was happening internally.  Does it mean that the food I was able to glean for my own soul now no longer has worth? NO! 
It just means that this person has weaknesses too – and that the weakness has temporarily won – and perhaps there is a great sense of purpose to it? For who knows?Perhaps there’s a lesson for them and an opportunity for even more growth. Because we never stop growing or learning. Perhaps this is a part of their journey.

They may be a celebrity with a recognised social status and more money than I could ever possibly imagine having or even desire (unless it means I can give it away and help the people in my life who I know so desperately need it!) … but that celebrity is still a person, like me. They also matter. They also need kindness and understanding. They also make mistakes.

And since I didn’t like being judged and criticised for mine, I don’t think it’s fair that I jump on the bandwagon and do the same to them – especially since I don’t understand the situation.

That weakness led to a mistake being made. Celebrities are not perfect, so why do we think they don’t make mistakes? Just like we do. Just like some parents do. Just like some pastors do. Just like some teachers do.

Just. Like. Me.

 

 

What’s Really Important?

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We all have a heart condition – it’s just not always physical. And the condition of your emotional/spiritual/soul heart is very often based on what you put in. These things will form your thoughts and in the end they will shape you. When you allow the wrong things to room in your heart with free board and lodging, all they’ll do is continue to steal from you.

Confucius said : “When you see a worthy person, endeavor to emulate him. When you see an unworthy person, then examine your inner self.”

Examining our inner selves and continuously revisiting our personal core values, being receptive to learning lessons even when they hurt, taking responsibility and turning our pain into something powerful – all these things bring change… growth. All these things affect our hearts.

And my heart is my responsibility. The same way that yours is, well, yours.

We grow everyday. We make mistakes and learn lessons. We give each day our best, and the next day we give our best in an even better way – because in growing we learn new things, and the new things raise us to new heights of achievement. 

I love this part in The Lion King :

Simba: Going back means I’ll have to face my past. I’ve been hiding from it for so long…
(Rafiki whacks Simba on the head with his stick)
Simba: OW! Geez, what was that for?!
Rafiki: It doesn’t matter! It’s in the past! (chuckles)
Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts.
Rafiki: Oh, yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.
(Rafiki swings his stick, but Simba ducks)
Rafiki: Aha! You see? So what are you going to do?
Simba: Well first, I’m gonna take your stick. (grabs Rafiki’s stick)

 

When we are prepared to learn the lesson, we will grow, and our hearts will change.

In most cases, this takes time. It’s a process. And it can be painful.

We all have our own journey. Our own hearts. Our own painful lessons to learn.

Be kind to others, because you never know which part of their past is busy growing them.

And always try to remember that even if you knew a person before, they may just have changed in a good way (we all know that this is very likely because as we grow on our own journeys we see the positive changes within ourselves) –

don’t use their past to invalidate who they are now. 

Let’s yank our hands back and try to remember what is important!

It’s Time

You know that expression, ”I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus”? Well, yesterday afternoon I nearly was that expression!

A bit of background : It’s been raining non stop, a steady drizzle interrupted by the odd downpour, for the past 40 hours. I am celebrating. And not just because I love the rain. 😛 Water restrictions came to town last Friday. September is our heavy rainfall month around here – we didn’t see more than a few drops. Our main dam is now sitting at less than 35% capacity. The last census in 2011 showed that there are 267 007 people living here – we have largely increased in numbers since then. This rain is nowhere near to filling the dam, but it sure is helping!

And the roads are very wet as a result.

So I leave the house at lunchtime to perform Mom’s Taxi duties with a smile on my face. The garden beds in front of my house are overflowing with water. The bucket next to it is almost full.

My celebration of happiness has been extended.

Now, as ridiculous as this may sound, one thing I don’t do is break the speed limit. That doesn’t mean I am a slow driver though – because I hit the speed limit in the given areas. 😉 But when it rains? I stay in the slow lane where possible and I drop my speed by 10 or 20 – depending how fast I’m allowed to go in that spot 😉  I suppose you could call me a careful driver, who isn’t a hazard on the road.

So there I am, pulling onto the highway, still in the euphoric state brought upon by this much needed and beautiful rain (and cooler weather – added bonus!) and I see that on the bridge up ahead, in the fast lane, there is a massive truck that has come to a complete standstill. This is a two lane highway, and I’m in the slow lane, so no problem.

Big problem, when there’s a massive bus coming up fast in the same lane as the truck! It was a good thing I glanced in the rearview mirror to see if I needed to warn anyone. I put my hazards on and slowed a little – but that didn’t help the bus. When you have that much steel at that sort of speed, and the roads are wet, braking hard isn’t going to do anyone any favours. So he did the next best thing, and swerved. While the front of his bus was in the clear and one could just say that he ‘cut me off a little’, I think he’d forgotten that there was a back side that would follow. I was reminded when I saw it coming to meet me at my drivers side window, and braked a little harder than I like to in wet weather.

Of course you know that my car skidded a bit – but the side of the bridge came nowhere near me. If I had been going faster, this ending would have been very different, and I’d be celebrating wetness in the river below that bridge. Although, as my son pointed out, if I was a speedster, I may have cleared that truck way before the bus arrived on the scene 😛

Admittedly, I was in a small amount of shock – but as I continued on my way, I actually laughed because I thought, “My gosh, I nearly was the back of a bus”! My friends often tell me that my reactions to close calls, where I laugh and think of something funny, is a very dark and unhealthy coping mechanism. Well, it is what it is, and I am what I am.

Right, the point of sharing this silly story with you is this :

I am not totally afraid to die. Fear of death is a very real thing, and is known as Thanatophobia. It affects people so deeply that even the thought of death gives them an anxiety attack. This is one thing I cannot completely identify with, but because I have other phobias I can understand and be sympathetic to their plight. I say ‘cannot completely’ because there was a time when I admit that I couldn’t think of anything worse than dying!

My journey in the past four years has been filled with epiphanies. The turning point for me was looking back on my life and accepting that my pain had purpose – I had lessons to learn and painful roads of the past to travel, because I needed to grow.

When I made the choice to accept the pains and hurts of the past, changed the way I viewed them, and turned them into opportunities of growth, changed for the better.

Please don’t get me wrong. I do not mean that I will put myself in dangerous situations or do anything intentionally that will cost me my life. Neither am I advocating that you do, if you’re not afraid to die. It’s not about suddenly being irresponsible. And it’s certainly not about taking life for granted.

And I am not saying I want to die.

There’s just been a shift in me. I still will say, ”I don’t want to die”, but I will not allow that to be my focus or make me negative. Time’s a-wasting, and life is short, and you just never know. So while I’d like to have the mercy of being around for a very long time still to come, I’d also like to LIVE while doing so.

Living means different things to different people. And it means different things to me, depending on the context in which I am saying it. The context today means this:

I want to feel alive. In order to do that, I need to remain in alignment with my values. I must not waste my days. I need to change lives, one life at a time. My values mean that I have an insatiable need to show kindness, motivate and inspire, and be courageous even in the face of pain and grief – especially when dealing with areas that need tweaking in my personality…to never stop growing and learning! These are to just name a few. And these are some of the reasons that I get up every morning – they put purpose in my life… along with the kids and dogs who kind of NEED me to get up every morning 😛 😉

My friends, think about what it’s like to be alive. What drives you? What are your values at this moment in your life?

Because it’s TIME TO BE ALIVE!

Chase after the things that get your blood racing, follow your dreams, reach out if you have a need, spread kindness like a disease, feed your soul.

TAKE CARE OF YOU! 

Because YOUR LIFE MATTERS, YOU MATTER, and despite what you may think or feel, YOU make a positive difference in someone’s life and they’re very glad they have you!