I'm Just Saying

If You Leave The Light On

It has been about a week since I’ve blogged, and I have a lot on my mind tonight. Surprise, surprise. If I’m being honest, that actually happens to me a lot. I get on my blog pretty much every day, just to check and see how everything is and to peak at the blogs I follow. And sometimes I look at my blog and think, “All is well. I am pleased.” And then I continue on with my day. And after doing this for a few days, I’ll suddenly come on my blog and it’s as if my brain explodes with all these thoughts, feelings, and ideas that I absolutely have to get out and it’s as if the creator in me screams, “How have you been waiting around with all of this in your brain for eternity?! Write something, you fool!”

So here I am, writing something.

Like I said, I have a lot on my mind tonight. And if I’m being honest not a lot of it is positive. I have been having a great 2019. That is no lie. Wonderful, amazing things have happened to me so far this year and it’s only February. And there are so many more incredible things to come. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my off days. It does mean, however, that when I do have my off days I get frustrated. I just say to myself, “Um, self. What the devil? You’re actually doing super great so … get it together.”

Today is not, in fact, an off day. But I have had a few in the last week or so. And they haven’t been bad days. Just off days. Days when negativity comes seeping into my head and I can’t figure out why it just won’t leave me alone. Days when the people closest to me have felt like they were falling apart and I had to help hold them together. Those kinds of days.

I think it was last November, I was having a really, really, really bad day. I felt so alone and lost. I couldn’t figure out what to do with everything that was happening in my life. I was trying to hold everything together. So late one night I got in my car – wearing the classiest outfit I’ve ever put together mind you: Christmas pj’s, a sweater, socks, and flats. Class, class, class. – and I just started driving. I went to a very peaceful spot and called one of my good friends. She helped a lot. And then I started driving again. And I drove and drove and drove. All around my town and to my old town and around my old high school. And the entire time I listened to “Home” by One Direction on repeat. And somehow that helped.

Truthfully, every single time I am having a hard moment, no matter where on the scale of hard moments that it falls, I always come back to the same conclusion: trust God. He has a plan. Everything is going to be okay.

Several weeks later I went and spoke to one of my very trusted spiritual advisors and told him some of the things that were going on in my life. I had some pretty heavy issues I needed to discuss with him, and I was scared. But it was an incredible meeting. And I wish I could say that he said all of these wonderful, groundbreaking things and introduced all this truth I’d never thought of before, but he didn’t. In fact, he let me tell him some very hard things from my past, and a few things in my present, he let me shed a few tears, and then he said, “Did you know that Heavenly Father is in charge?”

And for whatever reason, it hit me right in the heart. And I couldn’t stop smiling.

I just started beaming from ear to ear. I couldn’t have stopped smiling if I’d tried. It is something that I have always known. It is something that I take for granted, actually. But for whatever reason, the truth of that sunk deep into my soul at that moment and it was exactly what I needed. He continued on telling me about how everybody’s life story is different and rarely does life ever go the way that we think it will. But God is God. His truth is unchanging. He cannot lie. He will not tell you something that isn’t true. He will not lead you down a wrong path.

A few days ago, my little sister Josie, who is one of my best friends on this earth (pretty sure I’ve blogged about that a million times), sent me a Youtube link. She does this often: sends me videos and pictures and all the things. And since I have this habit of not actually viewing them they are usually accompanied by a passive-aggressive, “Please watch this.” Well, the link she sent me the other day was accompanied by:

“Please listen to this song. I freaking love it. It might make you cry.”

I couldn’t decide if I was happy that she knew me this well or frustrated that she knew me and my life this well, but I did indeed listen to the song and it was beautiful. It did not, in fact, make me cry, but I responded, “I am not crying. But I feel like she spied on me.” You know those songs?

Anyway, it was very sweet. And I promise that there was definitely a point in telling you all of these very random and seemingly unrelated stories. But at this precise moment, I can’t remember what it was. But they do relate, and they are all very important to me. And they show that we aren’t alone, ever. And they show that life takes twists and turns but that what’s meant to be will always find a way.

Because God is always in charge.

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I'm Just Saying

At The End Of The Day

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

Hello, everyone! And Happy Christmas Eve! If any of you have been around my blog for a while, you understand how I feel about Christmas. I love Christmas so much. And this year I am actually more excited for Christmas than I have been since I was a little girl.

Every year I try to write a Christmas post about what Christmas means to me and how special it has always been for me and my family. And every year I do this and it’s great. But this year I want to do something a little bit different.

I have had so much on my mind lately, and a lot has happened in my life very recently. And if I’m being completely honest, a lot of it has been shocking and also exciting. I discovered recently that I am more than my fears, even my very biggest ones. I also discovered that no matter what, at the end of the day, God is always, always, always in charge. We may not understand the twists and turns that He puts into our lives, but He has a purpose always.

One thing I love about Christmas is how absolutely magical it is, and that we get to end the year with that magic. I think it’s a way of reminding us that no matter what we’ve been through and experienced that there is always magic at the end.

Looking back on my 2018, it has been incredibly amazing. I got to travel to many different places, visit old friends, go to concerts, and overall: my life completely changed. It was a phenomenal year. I’ve loved every second of it. There have been some lows, and they have been hard, but the good has outshined them so spectacularly that I can hardly remember what they felt like.

I know that we have all had moments in our lives where we think, “If only I would have said this…” And that’s an idea I want to touch on for a bit. I find that every single time I have a very serious conversation when I look back on it I realize I said everything I meant to. But there are bits and pieces that were the most important, the most from my heart, and those are the bits and pieces that I hope that person remembers the most.

You see, I think we have it in our minds that if we would have just said whatever it was we felt like we didn’t say then things would be different. But that isn’t necessarily the case. I have learned that you can say everything in your head and in your heart, and even though it might mean the world to somebody else, it isn’t always going to change anything. Like I said before, God is in charge, and even though we don’t always understand the paths He puts before us, one day we will.

I also learned this year that hope is never, ever lost. I went through several experiences this year, some of which are ongoing, in which it would have been very normal for me to feel like all of the hope in the world was lost.

But I don’t feel that way.

In spite of everything in these situations with some very important people in my life, I am thinking of two in particular, I have come to feel that there seems to be even more hope than there was before. In fact, I will even confess to you that I actually feel closer to these people now than I did before.

You know how we have emotional connections to people? I feel mine in my heart, almost as if there is a rope that connects my heart to the hearts of the other people in my life. For one specific person in my life, this rope should have been completely severed about two weeks ago. And for reasons I don’t entirely understand and therefore cannot explain, the rope feels stronger than ever. It feels like I could reach out and touch them. For whatever reason that this connection still exists, I know that it does.

I know that the future is bright. And I know that no matter what happens, there is always hope. I know that we are bigger and stronger than our worst fears. I know that there is a plan for each of our lives, and as confusing as it can be at times, it will bring us ultimate joy.

God bless you all. Merry Christmas.

I'm Just Saying

when the sun came up

it all seems so simple
As human beings, we are completely obsessed with endings. We are constantly asking about what is going to end up happening when we will reach a sometime we’ve been waiting for, or what tomorrow or next year brings. I know that I do this. I am always wondering about what’s around the corner. And as we spend our days obsessing over the future and wondering about the ending, we forget one very, very important thing.

It isn’t about the end.

Life is made up of seconds, moments, hours, days. Life is made up of each angle that creates it all. And ultimately, life is about the process. People are always saying things like, “When you are on your deathbed do you want to look back and think…” or “Twenty years from now do you want to be able to say…” These phrases capture just. Just a little. It is not about the end.

It is about the process.

And sometimes the process of life is messy and dark. And it hurts. And other times it is clean and bright. And beautiful. There are times when you understand the things that happen and times when you don’t. But that’s only normal because you are, after all, a human. And no matter where life takes you there will be never, ever be a moment when you understand absolutely everything.

One day, we will all die.

And depending on your beliefs, it will be an end in some way. If you believe that there is no life after death, then it is the ultimate end. If you believe that there is life after death, then it is the end of your life on this earth. Either way, it is an end. Death is inescapable, but it isn’t the purpose or the point. Isn’t the point to become something? It isn’t about the fact that you got from Point A to Point B. It is about how you got there. That is life.

the monsters turned out to be just trees
We spend a great deal of our life in fear. And that’s because life is scary, and there is so, so much about it that is totally unsure. No matter how sure we are about anything, there is going to be insecurity. In fact, the times in my life when I have been the most confident about what I was doing have been the times when I was the most frightened.

I think we all have one thing we the most terrified of.

I am deathly afraid of spiders. And most insects, really. I don’t do well with scary movies at all. I’m also very, very afraid of pretty much everything to do with the ocean. And space. There’s too much just … something out there and the expanse scares me. You probably couldn’t pay me enough money to go into space or on a boat by myself in the middle of the ocean. Really, I’m absolutely terrified of it. And we all have these things. And we have things that we are most seriously afraid of. Like ending up alone. Or never knowing love. Or going without. Or any number of countless things that are completely real and so, so scary. But what if you were to face this thing, this great big thing that scares you the very, very most? The thing that you are sure would end you as you know yourself. What if it was there? Happening right in front of you?

And what if it didn’t hurt at all?

What if you realized that you are bigger than this fear? What if the only feeling was this feeling in your chest that was like the sensation of falling mixed with a very hot fire that very suddenly cooled and left you sitting on the top of a green hill? Silent. Peaceful. And clean. Finally clean.

so we could dance
I was talking with my mother recently about a lot of things. Mostly some family issues. We were talking about the concept of “letting go”. Overall, I think this concept has merit. I mean, it exists for a reason. But as we discussed it and thought it over, I had a bit of an epiphany. I’m going to do my best to explain it so that I don’t discount the very real thing that “letting go” is.

I realized that life isn’t about letting go.

First of all, if we just walk around letting things go all the time then we’ll end up empty. The point is to gather things inside of us and let them become a part of who we are. “Letting go” is, I think, more about the bad things. Let hate go. Let fear go. Let doubt go. Let insecurity go.

But please hold on.

Hold on to laughter. Hold on to sunlight. Hold on to memories. And, most of all, hold on to love. I cannot stress this last one enough. Love is never, ever something that you should let go. It is never, ever something that you should forget. It is never, ever something that you should get over. Love is the most beautiful, perfect force that we have on this earth. Don’t ever let it go.

baby, i did, too
If I stand back and look at life, I mean really, really look at it, the only thing I see is me standing before God and Him asking the question, “Do you trust me?” It may seem incredibly simple, but it’s true. Because if God is real, and He does have a very specific plan for each of our lives – which I know to be the case – then really the ultimate lesson in life is one of trust. Trust in the process.

i was looking at you
There is another thing that I think we have to learn, and again I’m going to do my best to explain it lest I lead the world down false paths. But honestly, it’s pretty simple.

I am not in charge of my life.

There are a lot of things that I can control. A lot of choices that are completely up to me. A lot of things that I am accountable for because it is, after all, my life. But I am not in charge of it. There comes a moment in the life of every single human being when they realize that they cannot control the things that happen during their own process. There is so much that simply happens to us. There is so much we are not in charge of.

you were looking at me
But along with all of this is another truth. We may not be in charge. We may not ultimately be able to control any of the things that shape our process. However.

What’s meant to be will always find a way.

God reminded me of this fact recently. He reminded me that there are things I can’t control, but that that’s okay. There are things that happen, but ultimately He is in charge. He reminded me that what’s meant to be will always find a way. No matter what that means. No matter what Point B that gets you to. It’s about the process and trust. And love. Always, always love.

Uncategorized

Don’t See Me! I’m Sneaking!

In the days when my family was very young, my parents lived in a double-wide trailer on the family farm. I have vague memories of this house, which we now refer to lovingly as The Blue House. It was situated at the bottom of a hill which held two massive rock piles we aptly named The Big Rock Chuck and The Little Rock Chuck. Back then I thought they were completely massive. (Age and perspective, as well as later visits, have assured me that The Big Rock Chuck is, in fact, quite massive. The Little Rock Chuck, not so much.)

mountainsMy mother had a rule that we were never supposed to play on The Big Rock Chuck, which was a rule we obeyed most of the time. When I was that age I imagined that these huge rock piles had once been a medieval castle. The home of a great king who ruled the land with power and influence. I even imagined once, when I found a formation of rocks that looked rather like a chair, that I had found the ancient location of the throne room.

And this was the playground of my youth. In front of the house was a stunning view of the mountains and a wheat field that was brilliantly gold in July and August. It was absolutely stunning. A very rare place to have a very rare childhood, I now realize. But as beautiful as it could get in the summer, it was equally beautiful in the winter. The entire land is covered in a thick blanket of snow until you can’t really remember where one field ends and another starts, and every here and there telephone poles jut out of the blank canvas. It’s lovely.

But there were dangers.

In the summer, the biggest danger was always rattle snakes. Oh, we got super good and hearing them and running away really fast to get help. If they were far from the house we would leave them be, but if they were close to the house my dad would come home from work long enough to kill the snake and dispose of the head. (It’s still very venomous and dangerous even after being separated from the body.) It was something he’d been trained to do his whole life, as shown by the little green jar of rattles he now keeps on a shelf behind his desk.

But in the winter, the danger was the ice and snow. On the farm, the winter can get exceedingly brutal. Very high winds, unheard of low temperatures. You name it. Winter as epitomized in every “I’m-lost-on-a-mountain” movie ever made. Winter is kind of scary at the farm.

It is in this context that one of our very favorite family stories occurred. The characters of this narrative are my mother, angel that she is, and my older brother Jud. He was about two years old at the time, which means that I was not a being who yet lived upon the earth. However, this is one of my favorite stories that we bring up as a family.

One snowy day, my brother Jud wanted to go outside and play. However, my mother wouldn’t allow it for one reason or another. Probably because we lived in the North Pole, or close to it, anyway. I think the weather was particularly harsh that day, and so for obvious reasons my mother didn’t see fit to let her two-year-old go outside and play.

This, however, did not stop Jud.

One thing it is necessary to know about Jud is this: he gained the nickname Mowgli. mowgliSome of you may immediately recognize this name for the character in The Jungle Book. Jud became Mowgli early on in life, and to this day he still responds to it occasionally. Why was he named Mowgli, you may ask? Because he never, ever, ever kept his clothes on. He ran around in a diaper or his underwear until he was fairly old, but I’ll keep those details private for the sake of his modesty.

So, on this very snowy day when my mother informed Jud he wouldn’t be able to go outside and play in the snow, she discovered him only moments later at the back door trying to open it. Wearing a diaper, boots, scarf, and hat. At seeing this sight, my mother asked, “Honey, what are you doing?” Jud turned around, facing her with wild eyes as he responded:

“Mom! Don’t see me! I’m sneaking!”

When I was three years old my family built a house in town. We now lovingly refer to this residence as The Town House, even though it was not, in fact, a townhouse. Merely a house that was located in town. For many years we moved back and forth between The Blue House and The Town House. Blue House during summer and potato harvest, Town House during the school year.

When I was probably about eight years old we began living permanently in town, as we’d given the use of The Blue House to my aunt and uncle. That was hard for us, but a few years later we moved back to the farm permanently to a different house and have been very happy with that choice.

Now, in this time of life when we lived permanently at The Town House, I was what you might call a daddy’s girl. I spent as much time as possible with my dad. We were the very best of friends. Which also consequently means that I probably got away with more things than I should have.

One night I remember very clearly. My older siblings, rebellious teens that they were at the time, had all been banished to their rooms. For reasons I do not know and can only attribute to my status as the favorite daughter, I was not forced to go to bed. I was sitting by my dad’s chair watching a movie with him and my mom. When very suddenly, a major rule was broken.

audreyOne of the bedroom doors opened. And one of my siblings emerged.

Completely unheard of under the present circumstances of: go to your room and go to bed. Do not come out until morning.

It was my sister Jessie. Ever the bold one.

She emerged from her room wearing a huge, poofy blue parka with fur around the hood and a large pair of sunglasses (very Audrey Hepburn). In this disguise, she walked through the living room and into the kitchen, got a glass of water, and then went back to her room.

We. Laughed. So. Hard.

My dad literally could not be mad at her. Her disguise was everything she needed to gain access to the kitchen and a drink of cold water. Mission accomplished.

What I absolutely love about both of these stories is how blatantly obvious, and quite hilarious, the “rebellion” is. Jud was very clearly not going to last out in the snow in his diaper, boots, and hat, and Jessie was obviously recognizable despite the parka and sunglasses.

But they tried anyway. One successful, the other not. Both equally funny.

I’ve been thinking about these stories today, and what they mean in several different contexts. And interestingly enough, I have found a parallel between these stories and something else. Something that makes so much sense to me.

God knows us perfectly. Completely and perfectly.

It is like the story of Jonah and the whale in the Bible. Jonah legitimately thought he could hide from God. And while Jessie didn’t legitimately think she was fooling anyone in her disguise, but she knew she had humor on her side. In Jud’s case, he was just fiercely hoping he wouldn’t get caught.

I know that I have done similar things a million times.

Sometimes it can be so hard to understand that God knows and loves us perfectly. Sometimes we try to hide away from Him, disguise our lives, or sneak away. Sometimes we have experiences where we just want to move in our own direction, in our own way, and throw behind our shoulder, “Don’t see me! I’m sneaking!”

But even though we are intelligent beings with our own minds, our own plans for cherishedourselves are never as amazing or perfect as God’s plan for us. Surprisingly, though, it takes a fair amount of humility and courage to admit that we shouldn’t be sneaking into the snow storm.

I love that these stories brought me to this spiritual parallel because both of them are some of the funniest stories in the family repertoire. And when compared to our relationship with God, it helps me remember that He loves me completely and perfectly. And yes, He can see through my disguises and see me sneaking, but He always loves me.

He knows.

Perhaps that can be ominous, but for me, it is the biggest comfort in the world. I don’t have to hide anything from God. Because He knows me. I can be completely honest and transparent with Him because He understands. He gets it.

So while the world may be confusing at times, or even a place of turmoil, I never have to be afraid.

Just Writing

Say It In Writing

biggerWhen I blog, what I’m really doing is writing down all of the things I wish I could say out loud. I think it’s probably like this for most of us. Especially the writers. Writing is the way that we say the things of our soul. The things that we are thinking, feeling, and knowing, but can’t actually say.

I’m not sure what it is about our world, but none of us ever say what we really think. It’s much too raw. It’s much too real. And when we look back on it we have a tendency to be embarrassed. We have a tendency to wonder what we were thinking when we were so unabashedly ourselves. Or at least that’s what happens to me.

Honesty has been hard for me lately. Not because I’ve been lying like crazy, but because the truth has been very painful. I have let fear get in the way of my life for the past several weeks. And when I made one tiny move to try and let go of this fear, it proved to be a little anticlimactic. Even stupid. Go figure.

I wish I could explain to you all of the times I’ve prayed and gotten amazing answers. One of my friends told me today that God has been spoiling me recently, and I couldn’t agree more. It really is true. He has been. I’ve never been this close to Him in my entire life. Which is actually really good because I’m carrying a lot of crap around inside of my heart right now. And it isn’t very fun.

But what I really wanted to do tonight is say a few things to the most important people inchapter my life. I want to say what’s in my heart, and let them know what I’m actually thinking. And when I come back and read this blog post I don’t want to be ashamed. I want to be proud of myself for being this brave. I want to be okay with being vulnerable again. I want to be okay with saying what’s in my heart. Even if it hurts. So here it goes:

A: How could I ever explain to you how amazing you are? Seriously I’ve known you for such a long time and you never ever cease to blow my mind. I just want to be a fraction of your type of cool. You have so much strength in your heart and it honestly leaves me in so much awe. I hope that when you look in the mirror you see the woman that I see. We both know that I have a gift for seeing people as they really are, so don’t try and fight with me on this. I’m right. You absolutely shine. Thank you so much.

M: Thank you for teaching me how to be a dreamer. I wish you would stop dreaming and live your dreams now. Don’t be afraid anymore. It’s time to live. Just do it. Please.

perfect goodD: Thank you for teaching me to be a doer. I love you very much. Please don’t forget that sometimes your heart’s more important than your mind. In fact, I honestly think that that’s where all of our truth is. I wish you could see that.

H: Please never stop laughing. But also please remember that it’s okay to be sad. You don’t have to be perfect, and in fact you never will be. We’re all here to help each other. That’s the point. Thank you for holding me while I ugly cried, and smoothing my hair. And buying me Jimmy Fallon ice cream. And loving me through every disaster. You help me believe in the redeeming power of love, and that as long as we trust each other we can do anything.

S: You’re probably so tired of all that I have to say. And I wouldn’t blame you. So here’s all that I have to say this time: if God tells me to be patient with you one more time I’m going to lose my freaking mind. I’ll either have to actually do it or just be in open rebellion, harderwhich I don’t see ending well. Actually I tried that angle for a while, the angle of “oh my gosh I am so done because this bloody hurts” and suffice it to say… it didn’t end well. I laughed, but I’m pretty sure He was serious. I’ll tell you that story some day.

K: You’ve gotta trust yourself more than you do, girl. I wish you could see how incredibly bright your eyes are. There is so much there it kills me. Don’t let fear run your life anymore.

J: I love you so much. You teach me so much as our lives continue to unfold. But I wish you would stop treating me like an innocent child. I wish you could see that I have scars, too. The other day you told me that you kind of gloried in my pain, and that hurt more than I can ever say. I’ve experienced a lot of hurt, and a lot of things that have changed logicme. I’m not who I was in those days. And there were things about that person I was that you’ll never know or understand. She spent so much of her time being angry about love, but in her heart that’s all she really wanted. She wanted to believe in it. She wanted it to be real. It was all she really, really wanted. She prayed for it every day. That’s who she really was underneath everything you saw. I hope that someday you can trust me with every vulnerable part of you. That someday you’ll stop thinking that you have to change what you think because you’re with me. But dude, you’re a freaking rock star. Thank you for that.

homeJ: Just don’t be scared. Live your life as brilliantly as we all know you’re going to. And don’t you dare think for one minute that you have to prove us wrong or prove us right or prove anything. Do what makes you happy. Just let your awesomeness shine. And don’t you dare give up.

C: Where would I be without you???? I just have absolutely no clue. You are the greatest human. The greatest. The purest of cinnamon rolls. Thank you for being an amazing friend and an incredible woman. Seriously, you are the big sister in our friendship. It doesn’t even matter that I’m older than you. You have so much in you and it is dazzling.

certain thingQ: You make me believe in the goodness of humanity. You are the human that I’ve always wanted to be, but will probably never be great enough to be. But I’m so grateful for you in my life. You are #goals. Thank you.

Love,

Jordan

I Was Wondering

What Are You So Afraid Of?

The subject of fear has been on my mind quite a bit recently. And I will be completely honest and tell you exactly why: I’m a pretty frightened person.

This is not something that I’ve known about myself for very long. Mostly because I try very hard to be brave. But lately I’ve begun to realize that there are so many things in this world that I’m afraid of. Fear seems to drive just about everything that I do. It is very tempting for me to succumb to fear, and very often I do.

fear-indicationInterestingly enough, I think that the thing I fear the very most, above anything else in the world, is being happy.

Can you even believe that?

I have met so many people who fear being happy, and it is always for different reasons. I have some relatives who are so comfortable with their misery (health problems, financial problems, etc) that being happy would almost be worse. Because trust me, folks, being “comfortable” and being “happy” are two very, very different things. After a while you become comfortable with just about anything, but being happy is something else.

But like the human that I am, I never stopped to look inside myself and wonder if I was doing the exact same thing.

This isn’t to say that I’m not a happy person. I have so many blessings: wonderful family, great friends, a job, ambitions. Overall my existence is a very happy one. But I think that every one of us, no matter the stability or goodness that surrounds us, all have at least one dream we are reaching for.

But being happy is, oddly enough, a scary thing. All sorts of questions come up for me when I think of what it would be like to be truly happy. Questions like: do I dare? What would happen? Where would I be? What would that mean for me or my family?

Most of these questions stem from the fact that I, like many others, have a really hard growthtime trusting others. To be truthful, I’m not exactly sure where this trust thing started with me. I grew up in a large family with lots of older siblings who made really dumb choices, and as a result I learned to just rely on myself. It is infuriating, even to me, how hard it is for me to trust others. I am your classic “I’m afraid of getting hurt” human. Talk about cliche. Gag. (I usually avoid being cliche anything. I hate being like everybody else. Don’t even get me started.)

So if I were to be truly happy, if I were to live these dreams I have stored away in my heart, I feel like I’d always be waiting for something bad to happen. I’d always be looking for the catch. I’d be tempted to wait for the dark places, and then be all “I told you so” when I ended up crying in my room over something I felt like I ruined.

When it comes to fear, I honestly believe that we are our own worst enemies. And for that matter, this also applies to happiness. It can get so frustrating and I just want to shake myself and yell:

What are you so afraid of?

But I think the curse of the human soul is that we are so infinitely more than a body that we occupy. And whether we realize it or not, we’re pretty deep. So the whole “I’m afraid of getting hurt” thing is quite valid. There’s a lot of unknowns in the soul that we’re trying to work with, and getting hurt is definitely an over complication.

believe-thinkI often have these exhilarating moments where I throw all my fears out the window and decide to just go at this life thing. Unfortunately, they never last long. I’m too much of an expert at getting inside my own head.

I wish I could end this post by saying that I’m not going to be afraid anymore. That I’m not going to fear happiness, that I’m going to stop retreating into myself at the slightest sign of danger. But if I say that then I probably will not do it on purpose because this is the type of personal contradiction that I have to navigate daily.

So I’ll just end it by putting the question to you:

What are you so afraid of?

I Was Wondering

They Vs. Me

Sometimes I wonder about the word “they”. If you look up the definition of the word, among other things heavy in grammar language, you’ll find a definition that states: people in general.

I’ve been wondering about this word because it keeps coming up a lot. You hear people say things like, “They wanted me to do this.” Or quotes that read, “They said I couldn’t…”

done in loveIt is the second instance that has gotten me thinking recently. The hundreds of thousands of variations of the quote: They told me I couldn’t, so I did, are meant to be inspirational and motivational. I totally get that. But here is my question. Who are “they” exactly? And why were you listening to them in the first place?

I recognize that in your life, their are genuinely people who are going to tell you that you can’t accomplish something great. But in the spirit of complete transparency, I have to be honest and tell you that the person most often saying that to me is me. Not them.

While I think that the sentiment of doing things despite failure and hardship is completely worthy and wonderful, I don’t think that it should be the sole motivator in why we accomplish good things. Because that is just revenge masked as your success story.

As I’ve been thinking about it, I’ve realized that the reason for success should never be because somebody told us we couldn’t. And we also need to realize that more often than not, we are the ones saying those things. Not them.

In the end, you are only responsible for you. And I firmly believe that so much of the time, we create our own barriers and limitations. We are the ones holding ourselves back from the wonderful things we want to do or be.

It occurs to me that the real reason behind all of this is fear. We are afraid of failure or limitmistakes or looking like we didn’t do the right thing. It is what holds us back from telling people we love them, or pursuing that outstanding career, or starting a family. As much as fear can protect us, it can also hurt us.

When I think back on the most incredible times in my life, I can tell you with complete certainty that those were also the times that I was totally and completely terrified. I had no idea what I was doing, no idea what would happen. But I went forward because I couldn’t deny that I knew what I was supposed to do. I went forward because, despite the fear, I knew something great was coming.

And sometimes I’m in awe of that girl who did those brave things, and I wish  could be like her every day. Because instead of doubting and belittling myself, instead of creating my own barriers, for once in my life I moved forward with complete faith. I pushed aside the fear. And I’ve never been more grateful for anything.

More than we realize, I think that they keys to our happiness are right in front of us. In our sight, and within our reach. It isn’t up to “them” to tell us what we can and cannot have, and nor is it the job of fear. Maybe the real key here is to open our eyes a little bit, and look past the barriers we put ourselves behind in order to see what has been there the entire time.