The Things I Learned The Hard Way…

I often reflect on how many lives I’ve lived and how many incredible things I have been blessed to experience in such a short span here on Earth. If you ask my two little grown up’s, they will probably tell you I am always trying to teach them some lesson in life that I have had to learn the hard way. I am sure you have picked up on the #BeFree theme of this blog, but basically I have been on one big lifelong journey free myself from childhood trauma and fear. A lot of these little lives lessons are the basics tools that have helped me along that journey. So without further ado….my message to my children:

Family2

GIVE OF YOURSELF

There is a great deal of pain in this world. There is one singular way through it. Get outside of your pain. Get outside of you. Be the shelter to someone’s storm. There are no two greater words in the world than “I understand.” Seek to understand. Yourself. Others. What makes you tick. What motivates your soul. What gets you out of bed in the morning? Live out loud.

What feels good…

Do THAT.

What feels bad.

Stand in the face of it.

DONT GIVE UP

Don’t let the haters permeate your self worth. There will be so many. The people that judge you based upon how you look, what they perceive you to be, how you navigate the world. Getting ahead is really, really hard. Grown up life is hard. Being on time is even harder. Bills are the hardest. Sometimes the survival makes you feel like you are never going to get out of the rut. Failure is a gigantic beast. Especially when you put yourself out there for the world to see. But striving for greatness is never a misstep. Going after a dream is always worth the risk. Even when you end up short. Even when you feel completely defeated. It will pass. It always passes. Start again. Risk again. Go fight the hill again. Life is a battle and you have to fight. And sometimes it’s hard to find the energy to keep fighting. But look back and don’t point fingers. See your part in it all. Be willing to see the actions that you took that lead to the pain. Allow yourself to own your shit without making yourself feel worthless. You can make mistakes and still be so worthy of success and connection and love. The greatest successes have made a million mistakes.

KNOW YOUR WORTH

There will be so many influences in this life – so many people and things sending you messages on who you are and what your value is. People that say you are “too much” or “not enough” and guess what…

YOU ARE ENOUGH

Every person has something to give and something to share in this life. Get comfortable in your skin. Enjoy your curves. Let yourself eat the cake. Wear the bikini. For god sake eat the cake. Wear the dress you think you can’t pull off. Glitter is everything. Big earrings and a great dress go so very far. Don’t be afraid to sparkle. Don’t let anyone dull your shine. Own your physical being. Do yoga. Learn to move inside of your body – really move inside of your body. Do not wait until you loose 10 lbs to dance. Dance – like really dance. Sweat. Physicality is an enormous freedom and so many people are trapped inside of their bodies. Be free inside yourself.

LIVE OUT LOUD

Life is this majestic and magical ride. Enjoy the journey. Don’t get too caught up into what you do not have. What others have. What you really wanted and then didn’t get. That’s a tough one. There is nothing more difficult than giving the fire and passion of your soul to something you desire so desperately and then it blowing up in your face. Trust me, I’ve been there. Not getting what you’ve given your all to is a gigantic blow. But bob, weave, and change directions. Set your sails in another direction.

YOU CAN START AGAIN

That is the magical thing about humanity – we are all capable of starting again. Of charging down a path so certain it is the only option for our well being only to find we are at the beginning of an entirely new journey.

YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE 

For anyone else. For anyone’s happiness or well-being. You have to put the mask on yourself before you can give it to anyone else. You have to love yourself before anyone can really love you. The people that love you will really love you regardless of how much you mess up, how imperfect you are, how many times you fall.

TRUE LOVE IS NOT A FAIRY TALE

True love is unconditional. It can dwindle at times, and in every relationship you will go through periods you are sure it is gone forever, but true love, like the flowers in the ground can die through winter and bloom again. You just have to be sure to water them. The best way to water love is by swallowing your pride, giving up the notion of wanting to be right, and really seeking to validate the feelings of those around you. Be the first to forgive. Be willing to compromise. Know that being in love is more important than being right.

THE WORLD IS FULL OF POSSIBILITIES 

We as humans have a tendency to get stuck in our routines and in our circumstances. But the amazing thing about life is we can always break free of them. I have been lucky enough to live many different lives, and have taken many different paths. Every single door that has ever closed in my face has always opened another window to things I never would have imagined possible. Every single disappointment has lead me down another opportunity to uncover different parts of myself I didn’t know existed. Each was a tiny part of me growing to be who I am today. Know your pain is a part of your growth. Encourage the process and do not get attached to any part of it.

CREATE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL

It doesn’t matter if it is a family full of children, a well-cooked meal, or an incredible painting. Creation is the birthplace of freedom. Creativity has always been my escape from pain. Nothing has done more to empower me in my life more than creativity. As a young child it was in the form of dance and art and music and writing. As an adult I can escape into something as silly as Instagramming my dinner, planting a beautiful flower, planning a party. Buy flowers. Make your bed a heavenly oasis where you want to enwrap yourself and sleep for days on end. Feather downs equal happiness. Surround yourself with great books. Turn on a song that moves you. Sit in the grass. Swim in the ocean. Open the windows. Sautee the garlic and make sauce from scratch. Pour a glass of wine. Dig your hands in the dirt and plant a gorgeous planter. Light the candles. Sit at the dinner table nightly. Put bubble bath in the bath. Sit in the tub and look at the moon. Make a home you love to be in. Take photos of the things that move you. Seek out new music. Go see the singer live. Whatever you do see a concert at Red Rocks. Its heaven on earth. Make your home a place that comforts you. Express yourself in whatever medium inspires you. Write. Read. Paint. Shoot. Cook. Just create something that you can look at in awe of and see with pride.

“DO LOVE”

Ego and shame and fear all get in our way when it comes to loving fully. Because at the end of the day we are all terribly afraid of LOSING: control, a person’s affection, the way we see ourselves in someone else’s eyes, our power, our freedom, our youth, our drive – we put road walls up to protect ourselves from the kind of vulnerability, openness, and intimacy that true love requires. True love is free; and freedom is in complete opposition of control. Which is why true love is such a terrifyingly risky endeavor to engage in.

We have all heard that love is patient and love is kind…but what we do not hear often is enough is that loving is an incredibly soul wrenching journey and a challenge that requires an immense amount of work, effort, and self-sacrifice to truly become actualized in its trust form. This is because we first must master the art of being enough before we can feel worthy of being loved, and then we must master the art of faith and belief – in God, or others, or the goodness of life overall to truly believe that others are trustworthy of loving us.

Believing in ourselves and believing in others is really all about one word: Belief. And belief is the foundation of love in all its forms.

And last but not least. The lesson I have been forced to learn, over and over again.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

This is one of the hardest for me always. Anyone who grew up without a parent or without a stable home environment was taught at a very young age how to feel loneliness – how to feel like an outsider – how to yearn for a place they belong. And lord knows how long I sought out connections to feel that belonging – but the truth is that we have all the belonging we could ever need within ourselves. That’s a hard concept to wrap our heads around. But it’s true non-the-less. When you learn you can light the candle, self soothe, and feel the energy of the love of the world around you – so abundant and never ending you finally realize that no one can validate your belonging other than yourself. Belong to yourself. You have all the power and love you could ever want within you. If no one will go look at the Eiffel tower with you – be brave enough to go alone.

And when you finally get there – in front of the Eifel tower, look around at the faces of people from all over the entire world, watch the way they kiss the ones they love, smile for photos to capture their memories, play with their children and laugh at each others jokes and in that moment you will understand…. We are all connected and there so much love in the world.

And just like that.

You too can

#BeFree

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